How to Trade Forex With a Full Time Job

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Almost every new Forex trader who enters the business starts with having a full time job.  The traders are few and far between who have enough money to live on outside of a regular job.  Learning how to trade successfully is a process that usually takes several years.  Some traders get it quicker and other traders take longer but it is not a quick process to become a professional full-time trader.  Therefore we are going to look at a rather simple plan for becoming a professional trader even when starting with a full time job.  This is a realistic plan, BUT IT IS NOT a get-rich-quick plan.

There are some traders who may begin their full-time trading quest because they are retired and are looking for some way to continue their education, challenge themselves and/or add an additional income stream to their retirement.  There are also some traders that have done financially well in another business or career and have plenty of money to be able to survive without a full time job.  They can devote 100% of their time to learning trading and trading for an additional income.  But of course, these are the rare cases.  You likely have full time responsibilities already and so need to build trading into your already busy schedule.

Trading is a very difficult thing, and the education is like that of a full 4-year university

If you have been learning trading for any period of time you have realized how difficult of a thing it is.  Even just the education is a full time job it feels like most days.  Once you have a strategy that you are comfortable with then the work load can get lighter.  But the educational stage is very time intensive.  You’ve likely watched hundreds of hours of trading videos and webinars, read countless books and reports, and skimmed through more market commentaries then you can even remember.  What we want to see now is a return on our investment and we want to have a solid plan to begin trading a live account (or even a demo account is fine too) whilst we have a full time job.

Hopefully you have already accepted the idea that keeping your full time job is the best plan.  You want to have at least 3 to 6 months reserve income set aside before you consider becoming a full time trader.  You also will want to have a successful track record and consistent success with your trading strategy before making the leap.  While we’re not going to talk about a specific trading strategy here, we are going to talk about how to trade successfully even when holding a full time job.

A Successful Trading Plan Includes A Successful Home & Family Life

Let me say right now that this plan does not include alienating your family or neglecting time that you would spend with them.  Your family is incredibly important and should be the most important thing you have.  Certainly you don’t want to trade a wonderful family for success in trading.  So what we want to do is build in the trading time in a rather limited amount of time each week.  Exercise patience as you begin trading and try not to be superman and do everything at once.  Take some time with your family and some time with your trading.  Both are important and neither one should be neglected.

Treat The Capital You Have (Your Trading Account) With The Utmost Of Care

Since you have a limited amount of money, you can’t afford to just go trading randomly and wildly.  Even though you have started to learn and apply your trading strategy there is a danger in losing money.  It should go without saying that you should never risk more money than you can safely afford to lose.  Never trade with money that you will need to pay bills with at the end of the month.  This should go without saying.  You are a professional trader, not a gambler.

Let us now talk about some of the ideas on how to trade with a limited amount of time each week.  There are two main ideas for compressing the amount of time it takes to trade so that you can make the most out of every opportunity you have:

1.  Trade Smaller Time Frames

Smaller timeframes like the 5 minute, 15 minute and sometimes even the 1 minute timeframe will allow you to get into and out of the market in a smaller amount of time.  Please note that trading the 1 minute charts is generally considered extremely risky because of the seemingly erratic price movements.  As you move up in the timeframes the risk will generally reduce itself.  The larger timeframe charts move more slowly and predictably than the smaller timeframes do.

But let’s say for example that you’re trading the 5 minute charts.  There are 12 bars in one hour’s time and this can often open up opportunities.  It is very possible to catch a winning trade on the 5 minute timeframe if you have just 90 minutes available to trade.  (You must remember to check your times of the day and make sure that you are trading in a trending market rather than a sideways or consolidating market, as these conditions will increase risk by their natures.)

Metatrader EurJpy m5 and h1 charts compared

Finding Just An Hour Or Two Each Trading Day Can Be All You Need To Trade Successfully

This means that if you can find just an hour or two per day for trading time then you may be able to catch some good moves on the 5 minute charts.  You should know also that different days of the week are generally better than others for trading successfully.  Mondays and Fridays are typically the two days with the most erratic price movement.  This doesn’t mean that there aren’t good trades on Mondays and Fridays, but it should be noted that, on the whole, these days will contain more losing trades than what a Tuesday through Thursday might hold.  These are statistics that you can find on the Internet that represents the experiences of thousands of different traders.

So what we can learn from this right away is that if you only have limited time per week then you should choose your trading times/days more carefully.  Perhaps you only have 4 hours each week to trade because of your full time job schedule.  Obviously you cannot trade on the weekends, but do not let this deter you.  Set aside an hour or two each day on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  These are the three best days to trade.  Period.

Study Which Hours Of The Day Are Most Profitable

Next, study the hours of the day and make sure that you are trading during the times of medium volatility.  Avoid the high-impact news releases and the times when the markets seem to be trending sideways or going nowhere.  Both of these market conditions will increase the risk of each trade and leave you with a higher losing percentage.  Avoiding these types of market conditions will help your win-percentage increase.

Down trend and sideways trend illustrated eurjpy

2.  Trade The Higher Time-frames Like 4-Hour And Daily Charts

One of the easiest ways to increase your winning percentage is to trade the higher timeframes.  It is said that if you cannot make money trading the daily charts then you will not make money trading the smaller timeframes as well.  This is a hard lesson to grasp, but an important one.  You see, the price flows in a much more steady manner over the course of the 4 hour and daily timeframes.

Metatrader AudJpy daily and h1 charts compared

It is easier to anticipate trades as they are setting up when you trading on such large timeframes.  (It is also easier to control your emotions on the higher timeframes.)  Trading on the daily charts, for example, means that you really only need to check the charts once per day.  You will simply review the charts as the new day approaches and see if there is a setup based on your strategy.  If there’s no strategy then you do nothing and wait for the next day.  If there is a setup, you have plenty of time in which to place your trade as well as enter in your stop loss and take profit levels.

Save Yourself Emotional Heartache

Trading these larger timeframes will help remove the emotions from your trading.  If you have been trading for any length of time then you know how dangerous emotions can be in trading.  Instead, allow yourself the patience to trade these larger timeframes.  Again, if you’re not profitable on the 4 hour or daily charts, than it is unlikely that you will be profitable on the much smaller timeframes as well.

Sometimes you might be able to trade these larger timeframes like the 4 hour and the daily charts even while you’re working your full time job.  It does not take long to analyze your charts if you know what you’re doing, so you might be able to take a lunch break and pop open your charts to analyze things at noon.  And then again at 4:00 PM if you’re trading the 4 hour timeframe.  Then when you get home you can check your chart again at 8:00 PM.  If you’re feeling overly ambitious then you may get up at midnight and also 4:00 AM to check you charts again, looking for those perfect setups according to your system.

It is all up to you how aggressively you want to trade.  You can always try one approach and then shift to another one if it is not working.  However, make sure you choose a schedule that is realistic so that you will not burn yourself out and ruin your trading results.  You don’t want to kill yourself trying to get rich after all.  Also keep in mind that consistency is a golden key to success in Forex trading.

3.  Use Technology And Other People’s Resources To Grow Your Account

It should be said that these previous ideas were more of the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ method for becoming a full-time trader.  There is another route that a number of professionals choose to take with their trading careers.

This other career path is based upon using Forex robots and other automated tools like signal services and trade copiers to help create positive returns to your trading account.  There is certainly nothing wrong with leveraging technology or the skills of others to help achieve your goals.  Doing so can actually be quite a wise decision.

As you know, one of the biggest drawbacks to learning how to trade successfully yourself is the fact that it is incredibly hard to do!  If you were instead to find some signal providers or winning robots and use them to build your account’s equity then you would not need to learn how to trade manually yourself.  IT IS possible to use technology and tools like winning robots to help you make money.

BUT, it should also be said that finding profitable systems amidst the countless Forex scams can be quite a chore in itself.  It is not easy to find long-term profitable robots out there, but I will give you some recommendations from my experience.  I will point you to some systems that definitely work (I know because I use them to make money consistently) and I will share with you what I know.

I will first refer you to another article that I have written on the matter of finding profitable signal providers and robots.  This article will help you to get a thorough understanding of a few places you can go to find the legitimate robots and trade signal providers. I recommend you reading that next.

I will also recommend that you review the performance of the trading robot which I developed.  It works on very solid principles and has averaged hundreds of pips per month in profit.  It represents a completely hands-off approach to currency trading success.  You will be able to view the performance and more details about this unique trading strategy at VavaTrade.com.

Focus On Results More Than How

After all, what you are really searching for is consistent success and growth with your trading account.  You don’t necessarily need to be doing the trading yourself so long as you are getting the positive result at the end of the day.  Keep this in mind as you plan your course forward.  Sometimes the lazy traders approach can be the most profitable.  Robots have a distinct advantage in that they do not become emotionally involved in the trading process.  But at the same time they lack the advanced trader’s intuition that can be very helpful.

Using tools like robots and trade copiers (from winning signal services) can be extremely effective at growing a trading account.  As with all research that you do, and before you make any decisions, make sure to always research the PROOF that a robot/service can offer.  Look for 3rd party verification tools like myfxbook.com. Using systems like these can indeed help you with your goal of trading successfully, even when maintaining your full time job.

Full Time Jobs And Forex Trading Success CAN Mix

It is a relief to know that it is possible to succeed at Forex even when you have a full time job, isn’t it?  I think so.  It is very important that you do not sacrifice the financial security of your family to jump into full-time trading before it is your right time.  Using these strategies and ideas for manual trading can help you balance work and trading and family life at the same time.  And if manual trading isn’t for you, then using the resources I’ve mentioned for finding an automated robot or signal service can provide another bridge to your Forex trading success.

Remember to continue on steadily and with much research and diligence.  There is no one formula for Forex success, but rather there are hundreds of different paths you could take to reach your goals.  Find the one that will work best for you and borrow from the experiences of myself and others.  Very soon you will likely be looking at your own consistent account gains.

About the author

Rimantas Petrauskas

First I am a father, a husband and then the author of the book “How to Start Your Own Forex Signals Service”. I am also a Forex trader, a programmer, an entrepreneur, and the founder of ea-coder.com Forex blog. I have created two of the most popular trade copiers and other trading tools for MT4 that are already used world wide by hundreds of currency traders.

5 Comments

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  • What can I do to trade and made money, because on my website I received trade request from a lot of company without result. I don’t want
    to do it anymore with the company that I have my funny store named http://www.smartlivingcompany.com—–Let me be honest with you I have a fulltime job with no money to invest. I red something in your site that is really true, I can invest what I have to pay my bill, then what can I do if I don’t have any of these or no money at all. Will you help me?

    Thank you
    Ana

    • Ana, Forex trading is a high risk activity and should never invest the money you cannot afford to lose. It is impossible to start trading Forex with no money. The truth here is that on average most of the trading systems make around 5% profit a month and that is considered good results. So even if you got $10k you can make only about $500 a month. I am sure you will find marketers who will promise you 20% or even 50% profit monthly, but be aware. I would just run away from them.

      • Appropriate reply Rimantas, and good article.

        FX is by far the most riskiest trading to get involved in, it is also the most advertised and promoted as getting rich the easy way. It takes a very long time to convince yourself of this.

        I have been trading for over 15 years, the later half FX. I think there is a simple linear scale assocated with the size of your account and the amount of income you can derive from it. For example – if you have a system that works, to earn 20 – 30k/annum you will need to invest at least 50k, there is no way you could earn a living by investing 10k, and/or trading microlots.

        Leverage kills nearly all traders. It is way too easy to over leverage in FX.

        A hint for Ana, try $100 in your account and only trade 1 microlot on 4hr time frames. You will have to wait for your trade to move at least $0.02000 to make it worthwhile.

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