There’s no easy way to say this but trading stocks is something that will take up a large chunk of your time every day, no matter whether you want to do it full-time or part-time. Therefore, if trading stocks isn’t your primary job, it can be hard to balance work life with this lucrative career.
However, it’s possible. There are thousands of people out there who trade stocks part-time while working a full-time job and that can be you. All you need to know is where to start and how to apply yourself to the market. Let’s get into it!
Know Your Schedule
The stock market is open from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.Sometimes, it closes earlier for holidays. Plan your schedule accordingly to the stock market’s open hours and you can trade throughout the day. In my opinion, the most important times of the day to be watching the market is from 9:30-10 (30 mins after the open), and 3:30-4pm (30 mins going into the close). This is the best time to look for potential plays and set-ups to go into the trading day or the next day.
Do you have a meeting at 11:00? Get as much as you can off of your to-do list before the stock market opens at 9:30 and then trade from 9:30 to 11:00. It’s all about knowing when to trade throughout the day.
As long as you can get your work done, you’ll find that it’s quite convenient to trade throughout the day. It all comes down to planning out your schedule. Know when the meetings are happening, get your work done as soon as possible, and start grinding away at the stock market.
That means if you come into work at 8:00 am, you have an hour and thirty minutes to get as much done as possible before the stock market opens. But you don’t necessarily have to start trading at 9:30 am.
If you have a lot on your plate that day, it’s fine to start later into the day but it’s also imperative that you try to trade long enough to make a difference.
Aim to Trade for at Least Two Hours a Day
It sounds crazy–using two hours of your eight hour work day to trade stocks–but it’s something that needs to be done if you want any future as a day trader. Furthermore, two hours out of the eight hours isn’t actually that much if you plan out your schedule accordingly.
You can trade throughout lunch break and you can also trade near the end of the day if you’ve finished all your tasks.
By trading for at least two hours every day, you’re getting notable trading experience in-field and if you do it right, you’re making a second stream of income which can later help you pursue trading as a full-time career.
Spend Off-Time Learning and Studying
Say you get off work at 5:00 pm. You usually go to sleep at midnight. That’s seven hours between work and sleep. Now, let’s say that two of those hours are spent on family (picking up kids, grocery shopping, school events, etc.), an hour is spent on dinner, and another hour is spent on getting ready for bed.
That leaves you with three hours to yourself. During those three hours, you should be heavily investing in yourself. That means you should be watching courses, reading books, and listening to podcasts all related to trading. Preparing the night or morning before the next market open will give you a significant advantage. Know your set-ups and your charts. Have a list of stocks and a set of rules ready for the 9:30am market open. If X stock is at Y price should I buy more? Exit a position? Take some profits off the table? Have your plan ready so the only thing you need to do during market hours is execute.
Building up knowledge is the best way to prepare yourself for the next day. You’ll learn new techniques and top-of-the-line strategies from the best in the game and that will rub off on you.
Of course, you’ll need to apply the knowledge you learn in the field but you’ll be doing that every day for at least two hours if you can get all your tasks done inside the office.
I cannot stress this enough. Learning is the biggest part behind trading well. Most of the stock experts spend about 80% of their time learning and 20% of their time trading. This gives them a significant advantage over the other traders.
It’s the easiest way to instantly get better and it puts you one step closer to pursuing trading as a full-time career.
Trading stocks is a career that most want but will never have because they feel like they need to quit their job in order to go after this prospect. But whoever said that you would need to abandon your job in order to pursue a career as a trader?
You can definitely do both but in order to do so, you need to manage your schedule well. Life as a trader is something that requires significant time and effort and to make it work, every second matters.
But in the long-term, you’ll thank yourself because once you’ve traded for long enough and the results start to show, the time and the effort that you put in will pay off. Then, you’ll discover that a career as a full-time trader is a possibility for you.