How to Be a Part-Time Day Trader
For many people, the attraction of day trading is that traders can very much control their own hours. Many markets, like foreign exchange, trade around the clock. And with easy Internet access, day trading seems like a way to make money while the baby is napping, on your lunch hour, or working just a few mornings a week in between golf games and woodworking.
That myth of day trading as an easy activity that can be done on the side makes a lot of traders very rich, because they make money when traders who are not fully committed lose their money.
Day trading is a business, and the best traders approach it as such. They have business plans for what they will trade, how they will in invest in their business, and how they will protect their trading profits. If you catch a late-night infomercial about trading, the story will be about the ease and the excitement. But if you want that excitement to last, you have to make the commitment to doing trading as a business to which you dedicate your time and your energy.
Can you make money trading part-time? You can, and some people do. To do this, they approach trading as a part-time job, not as a little game to play when they have nothing else to going on. A part-time trader may commit to trading three days a week, or to closing out at noon instead of at the close of the market. A successful part-time trader still has a business plan, still sets limits, and still acts like any professional trader would, just for a smaller part of the day.
Part-time trading works best when the trader can set and maintain fixed business hours. Your brain knows when it needs to go to work and concentrate on the market, because the habit is ingrained.
If you want to be a part-time day trader, approach it the same way that a part-time doctor, part-time lawyer, or part-time accountant would approach work. Find hours that fit your schedule and commit to trading during them. Have a dedicated office space with high-speed Internet access and a computer that you use just for trading. If you have children at home, you may need to have child care during your trading hours. And if you have another job, set your trading hours away from your work time. Trading via cell phone during your morning commute is a really good way to lose a lot of money (not to mention your life if you try it while driving).