7 Habits of Effective Part-Time Traders
Part-time traders have a limited amount of time to spend on market research and trading. Believe me; I remember what it was like trading around a demanding job while raising a family and trying to have a social life. It seems daunting to balance all of these things and trade profitably, but it can be done.
The key to effective part-time trading is to create habits that you repeat every single day to simplify the process and focus on what's important while cutting out time wasters and noise. The part-time trader wants to keep the decision-making process as fast and efficient as possible.
These are the 7 habits of effective part-time traders. They've worked so well for me that I am now a full-time trader.
- Create a post-market routine: During the post-market hours is when the part-time trader does all of his research. It's where the money is really made. Create a repeatable process that you do every single day. For example, scan for breakouts and setups, review the market and key ETFs, and review your watchlist. Do this every single day.
- Create a high-quality focus list: After you complete your post-market routine, create a list of 5-15 high-quality stocks that you can monitor during the market hours while you are at work. Keep it simple and only include the best setups. A part-time trader doesn't have time to experiment with low-quality setups and monitor 100 stocks throughout the day.
- Plan the trade: Now that you have a focus list, identify the entry price trigger and complete your risk analysis with the stop and target range for every stock on your focus list. This takes the thinking or decision-making out of the entry. When you are at work the last thing you want to do is spend time thinking about your trade entry. Make it automatic. Most traders stress over their trade entries. If you lay out the plan beforehand, the trade entry becomes the easiest part of the trade. This leads to good decision making.
- Develop easy trade entry: You have already made the trade decision easy, but now you have to execute the trade while you are busy or at work. Make this process as easy as possible. When I worked full-time, I timed my breaks around the open and close, along with one break intraday. Make sure to use a broker that has a good mobile trading platform for your smartphone. Get the biggest smartphone you can so you can easily view charts. Do this and nobody around you will know you are trading!
- Automate your positions: Once you are in the trade, set your stop and target as planned when you developed your focus list. Now you no longer have to monitor your positions while doing other things. You can truly "set it and forget it". This functions as an added benefit by stopping you from making mental mistakes like micro-managing your positions.
- Journal and review every single trade: Journal every trade you make with the entry, risk analysis, results and a chart with entry and exit. Setup one day every month to review all of your trades. Trade reviews are where you learn about the market and yourself. I've learned more from my personal trade reviews than I ever have from any trading book.
- Rinse and Repeat: Develop and perform these habits every day, week and year. Soon the process becomes second nature and you will spend only 30-45 minutes per day on your trading. Trading will no longer consume you and you will have more time for your work and family obligations. More importantly, these habits will make you a more effective trader.
How the Swing Trade Report Helps:
I hope that learning the 7 habits of effective part-time traders has helped you focus on techniques that will improve your trading. I've designed my swing trade report to help those who are new to part-time trading avoid the hurdles that held me back for years. First is the education. As I mentioned above, it's easy to collect "trading trivia" that feels valuable on the surface but is functionally useless. The strategies that I use and teach have zero fluff. If something isn't useful in the real world of trading, I don't include it. As someone engaged in part-time trading, you must focus your limited hours and mental bandwidth on what is most useful, and my report will help you do that.
One of the biggest mistakes I made as a new trader - and it's one that almost all new traders make - was not managing my risk properly. It's important to understand that the way a day trader and a swing trader manage risk aren't identical. When you are part-time trading, you can't sit and watch every tick of a stock. Some stocks that would be fine to day trade are simply too volatile to swing trade safely. I curate my watchlist with this in mind, leaving out the craziest momentum stocks, while keeping huge movers like $FCX (19% gain, 3-day hold), $UCO (27%, 2-week hold), and $NUGT (24% 2-week hold). When I alert a stock from my report, you run little risk of missing the entry and chasing, and you won't have to be worrying that it will make a drastic move overnight.
The swing report will help you gain confidence as a trader. Rather than trying to piece together something that works from a random collection of books, forum posts, and blogs, you'll get one concise, cohesive report that gives you everything you need. No more jumping around from one system to the next. No more blindly following the latest social media buzz. You'll earn your confidence as a part-time trader one successful swing trade at a time.