A Day In The Life Of Forex Trader Nial Fuller
In today’s trading lesson, I am giving you guys a glimpse into one day of my life as a price action trader. You can consider today’s article a diary of my daily activities over the course of a trading day. Hopefully, through the insight you gain in today’s lesson you can build more structure into your daily trading routine and improve your performance in the markets.
7:30 AM –
The first thing I do after waking up is hit the shower, afterwards, I jump in the car and take my 2 year old to pre-school (luckily it’s only around the corner). When I get home about 15 minutes later, I will usually turn on CNBC or Bloomberg for a quick recap of what happened overnight in the markets. My wife will normally make a healthy breakfast at this time complete with coffee and Berocca vitamin to give the brain an extra boost…it’s important to have the energy and electricity flowing before you hit the computers.
8:15 AM –
I am not a big fan of the news, so unlike most, I do not waste my time reading the paper or visiting any news blogs. I couldn’t care less which Euro-zone country is going bankrupt or issuing bonds, and I don’t care what Oil country in the middle-east is starting a civil war; this stuff does not help a price action trader and it does not influence or concern me.
After breakfast I go into my office and chuck on the computer screens and my laptop. The first thing I do is get my pen and paper ready to take down some notes. I do not type my notes on the computer, instead I prefer to hand write them, it’s a routine and a habit and I feel it helps to cement my objective thoughts on the market into my mindset. On my notepad I will take notes of which currency pairs I feel look good for potential trading opportunities, key levels, any price action signals that may have formed, and any other major event I feel is note-worthy.
Luckily, I live in OZ, so the New York market close falls around the same time as the start of the business day in Australia. This works out nicely for me because I can open my charts in the morning and go through the daily charts, and like I said, since I live in Australia the new Forex trading day begins at 8 am for me, which is 5 pm in New York. I am typically only looking at the major pairs, scrolling through the daily charts and checking for core signals that may have formed in the previous session.
As I analyze my favorite markets, I will plot key chart levels, breakouts, or false breaks on my charts with lines. I will also make more notes in my notepad at this time; here are some of the things I will be looking for:
• Market condition: is the market trending or consolidating?
• Where are the key horizontal support and resistance levels on the daily and weekly charts?
• What is price action doing in relation to the key support or resistance levels?
• What are the daily 8 and 21 EMA’s doing? What is price doing in relation to the EMAs?
• Are there any obvious price action setups? If so, do they have confluence of multiple supporting factors and agree with my trading plan?
• What is happening on the 4hr charts? Are there any obvious signals on the 4hr charts that agree with the daily trend?
Typically, I will watch the AUDUSD and EURUSD, as those are the pairs I tend to trade most. I will also glance at the U.S. indexes and the local SPI index and plot some key levels and note any obvious price action on the charts. This is just the initial ‘skimming’ phase of my daily trading routine that I do in the morning to bring myself up to date with what is going on in the markets.
Next, if I see a potential trade setup I will consult my Forex trading plan to see if the conditions on the chart match up with my plan. Checking the setup against my Forex trading plan is the final ‘screening’ phase that I use to ensure I have a valid trade, if the trade does not meet my pre-defined trading plan parameters I won’t take it. Most importantly, I am looking at key market levels, short-term momentum and trend, price action, and confluence, if you want to learn more about how I trade check out my Forex trading strategies.
If I decide there is a setup worth trading that meets my trading plan specifications I will place an order. Most of the time I try to place limit or stop orders, these are standing / pending orders that allow you to get the entry price you desire, as opposed to just entering at market. Stop orders allow you to take advantage of breakout patterns from price action signals and limit orders allow you to get in on retraces of price action signals, I discuss these concepts in-depth in my course and the specific entry strategies and techniques that I use are beyond the scope of this article.
9:00 AM –
Now, unless you have been living under a rock, you all know that I run this website full-time along with my trading activities, and thus I have website responsibilities to attend to as well. So, around 9 in the morning I will use all the notes I took on the markets in my notepad and begin drawing up my analysis with annotated charts to post in the daily members’ market commentary. I have found that writing this commentary actually helps me with my trading by keeping me in-touch with the daily ebb and flow of the markets. By creating a daily journal of each day’s market activities, signals, trends, levels, and other observations, I am able to reinforce discipline and routine and thus forge positive trading habits. I will then post the commentary and go on to the numerous emails that have flooded in overnight and try to get to all of them before lunch.
10:30 AM –
Now it’s about 11 am or so and I am ready to take my mid-morning break for a couple hours and go out and do something. Hell, I hate being in the office for hours on end, who doesn’t? I need to get out and move around or do something to take my mind off the markets for a while. You should do this too…try breaking up your day so that you are not too caught up with analyzing the markets and staring at your computer screens, you should build time away from the markets into your daily trading routine / plan.
Unless I am traveling overseas or on holiday, at this time I will usually do one of two things:
1. Pick up a book to expand my mind or do something else mentally constructive like watch a seminar or something educational on the Discovery channel. I love reading and learning and it’s important to always strive to improve your knowledge base to keep your brain healthy.
2. Every two days my wife likes to go shopping and I will take the laptop to the local shopping mall and plant myself in my favorite coffee shop while she goes and does her thing. At the coffee shop I am not really trading or watching the markets intensely, I am reading blogs, magazines, or books and maybe checking the markets every hour or so for an update.
The key point here is that I am NOT watching the screens often and I am not obsessing over my trades or becoming emotional, I am literally ‘doing other things’ when I have trades open or pending…it pays to keep your mind off the markets. I learned the lessons early in my career that led me to hate screen watching, I fell into the trap of staying up all night watching the charts until my eyes literally burned and I fell asleep at my computer desk. I find changing this behavior is one thing that most traders just don’t do or don’t understand how to do…watching the screens for hours on end is going to K I L L your trading account and probably your self-esteem, happiness, and maybe even personal relationships if you let it go on for too long.
2:00 PM –
OK, so now it’s well after lunchtime, and I have finished my personal activities. I will now make a point to get back to my office sometime mid-afternoon and go over the daily charts briefly on the major currency pairs and indexes once again. Usually, not a lot has changed from morning since the Asian trading session is usually the slowest. If any major change has occurred I may edit or cancel some orders, but I won’t ever CHASE a market or CHASE a trade. If I miss a trade, then I missed the trade, it’s really that simple…I don’t care or let it make me emotional because I know the market is going to provide me with plenty of opportunities in the coming days.
Remember, my trading style is all about relaxing and not becoming emotional, and yours should be too, Forex trading success is not measured by one trade or over one week, it’s measured over a period of years and a large series of trades, so don’t become emotional over any ONE trade. The best way to not become emotional over any one trade is to never risk more than you are comfortable with losing.
Now, I do make a note on my notepad if something has triggered or been missed, I will then be sure to keep a watch on the 4 hour chart during the European trading session to potentially get into the same trade. By the time I finish going over the charts it’s still only 4pm or earlier. As you can see, my market analysis and screen time is a small amount of time, hopefully you are ‘listening’ and seeing a pattern. After this, I will check the email inbox and do some emails, and maybe post something in the members’ forums if I see anything happening.
3:30 -4:00 PM –
It’s time to pick up the son from pre-school. He comes home and for the next few hours it’s all about him; I will take time away from the markets and business and play with him, read him some books or watch some cartoons, anything really. Children are good fun if you don’t take yourself too seriously, you have to be a big kid at heart and think like them, I find the trick is to give them plenty of attention into the afternoon and before you know it it’s dinner time and almost ready for his bed time. We have a strict routine with him.
7:00 PM –
It’s now about 6 or 7 p.m. and the London / European trading session is underway. Around this time I will grab the laptop from the office and go into the lounge room to spend time with my wife and see what’s on TV.
I will have the charts open; browsing the 4 hour and daily charts of the major Forex currency pairs while looking for possible price action signals. Again, I will have my notepad and pen with me, taking any relevant notes and keeping track of what is happening. It’s important to understand that I will have a closer look at things if earlier in the day there was activity on the daily charts from a signal that had formed, remember I would have noted this, so when it comes to the evening I know what to be looking at on the radar.
So, I will be talking to the wife, watching a movie or a TV show and glancing at the screens every hour or so just to keep track of things and see if anything is forming. Honestly, I consider myself finished trading for the day by the evening, and will casually keep in contact with the London session and open of New York trading.
I rarely enter a trade in the evening, but you do have to be there to find them. You DON’T have to trade 4 hour charts, and for those with full time jobs or business’s, I don’t suggest it as it is a tad more mind intensive and time consuming; it requires more commitment and will test your emotions more.
On any given day I will usually be in a position or have orders waiting to be filled to enter a position. By 11 PM to 1 AM I am in bed, and when I am sleeping the trades ‘bake’ and when I wake up I will generally be greeted with a stop loss that has been hit or a nice profit, it’s really one or the other.
My version of ‘set and forget trading’ is basically the concept of placing trades and letting the market work itself out, either stopping you out or reaching the profit target area. Sleeping allows for true set and forget trading, and since I am in Australia most of the action takes places in the USA when I am sleeping.
Maybe there is a lesson in that for everybody…Completely avoiding the market for a 12 hour period could actually be one of the key ingredients in determining your success or failure in the markets, in other words…place your trades or place your orders and then stay the hell away from the computer; remove all emotion and let the trade work itself out. By watching it you CAN’T change the outcome, you will probably just drive yourself insane.
I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into my life and my world, and I trust you have learned something from today’s article and picked up some pointers to help your own trading.
108 Comments Leave a Comment
Thank for sharing your daily Forex routine grootman.
Thank you! Great article!
After I learn price action from your articles ….I ditched fundamental analysis ….altogether no news nothing …..only price action applied with some moving averages ..that sit ………One trade a week ………that’s all my trading routine is boring ………but I released the boring the profitable ….
Cool routine, Nail.
Nial, question: according to set and forget strategy, so you do not monitor while price is struggling on important level (ie: support/resistant area). What if the price cannot break these level and go against you? How do you manage them?
two ways the market can go its either go to your take profit area or stop loss area the way you can manage that is with proper risk management set and forget mean leave the computer after you place a trade you can Not do nothing after that let the market work for you….
I love your routine. I signed up for your course from last year and it has been a blessing.
Nice article. Living the dream life. The only issue for most people is that in order to trade the way you describe you must have income coming in to pay the bills since you could wait a week or month or more and have no trades, losses or small profits while the bills keep piling up. You might even have reasonable profits to pay the bills but requires an equally large account balance which for most people is out of reach.
Hi Nial….I like your set and forget style.. concentrating on trading the Daily charts ….and getting out of your own way!! Thanks for the insight into your Daily life and trading habits.. very inspirational…regards
Terima kasih banyak Mr. Nial. Salam sejahtera buat anda dan keluarga.
Thank you Nial. It’s wonferfull, your lessons!
I like the relaxed but disciplined lifestyle you encourage. Appears to be a healthy way to go about trading the market.
I love it, Thank you Nial
Dear Nial, such a short and neat article, very perfect trading and day plan, nice nice, keep it up
Thanks for the insight Nial, though I’m surprised that exercise doesn’t seem to form part of your routine. I find it is one of the most beneficial things for my sanity and therefore my trading performance.
Excellent Article Nial!! Calling it an article is really understatement – The pattern should be a way of life for a trader!
Awesome article Nial! It really helps an aspiring trader to learn what the pros are actually doing with their day! Thanks so much! BTW I love your website!! Cherie
That is a form which i will apply. Thank you so much Nial.
I really needed to read this lesson. With this you have given me guidance on how to structure my trading day. I had no particular routine or sequence and felt a bit lost as to what was the right thing to do, but not any more. Thank you Nial. You are very generous to share this with us all.
I LOVE THE WAY YOU JUST RELAX AND TRADE
Nice one Nial,simple and straight forward.
Hi Nial,done the stay up all night thing,now coming to grips with Set and Forget trades.Trading much less often,and better results.Absorbing all your lessons into practice.
By going through this article, I think I also need a major change in the style of trading that I currently do.I have made up my mind to follow most of your pattern of dealing with trading and I hope I will have positive results soon.
Thanks a lot for your invaluable information and guidance.
you r living d dream l long fo;making money while in control of my time,bcos l always want to be there for my wife n kids…indeed you r a role model,not just theorectically but also practically…no regrets coming across your path Nial,not at all…cheers!!!!
I have enjoyed this article very much.
Thanks Nial you inspire me.
Adam from Montreal Canada
Very worthful article. Especially, I like your statment “If I miss a trade, then I missed the trade, it’s really that simple…I don’t care or let it make me emotional because I know the market is going to provide me with plenty of opportunities in the coming days.” I think that is a one of key trues that a succesful trader has to to know. Thank you Nial for dealing with your daily routine.
Nice one, Nial.
hi nice article Nial…
about set and forget…
in Average: how many day to hold the trade
in order to still profit…?
Nial, Really helpful to have a sketch of your day. It can help me to visualise and create how I want my days to look. I, too, live in OZ. However, I am going to a full-time job each day and on most days, I have to leave for work a little before the New York close. When I get home, it is usually just a bit after the European open. So, I’d like to ask you what my best approach might be. Would it be better to plan my entries based on the morning candle formation even though it won’t close for another hour or so? Or is it better to wait until later in the day and risk that price action may have moved the market away from a possible morning setup? How critical is this sort of timing? Really appreciate your response and look forward to seeing it.
Very educative article!
Hope you are well. Thank you so very much for sharing your insight on your daily routine, very helpful and very appreciated.
Thank you for all your help
Thanks and Regards
Thanks for another great article Nial.
Thanks Nial… nice to get a glimps of what your life is like as a trader… it inspires me to keep processing and working at my trades with the goal to eventually do this fulltime!
Thanks for sharing with us your daily routine. Its very encouraging particularly anyone who has just started and thinks they need to spend loads of time glued to a computer screen. My trading has improved by less screen time.
thanks nail,wonderful article
I lived in Oz for 2 years and reading this article today has made me remember the chilled out layed back lifestyle over there not to mention the weather.What am I doing back in Ireland?haha
Great insight into your life. For me, I just trade the daily chart and my trading routine is very straight forward. I go over the majors in the evening before the NY close (for me that’s 10pm in UK) any potential setups I will make a note, highlight the particular currency pair. At the close I will see if their is any price action setups, with confluence and ensuring it meets my trading plan. If so I put an order in or enter the trade and then close the screen I’m usually playing cash poker in the evening for a few hours so this coincides nicely with my routine. In the morning I check the trade to see what has happened. Whether my stop is hit or the trade has made a profit I don’t give it much thought. The next time I check the charts is the evening time or sometime in the afternoon. I record any loosing/winning trades in a journal, then move on to the same routine of looking for any potential trade setups. Simple really! I am not often trading the 4hourly charts so at the moment I have minimal contact with the markets. The rest of my day revolves around my family, keeping fit and other business commitments, Of course I make sure I have time to check this great site out for any info that can help me become a better trader.
Again something to think about in order to improve my trading!
Thank you very much Nial for this excellent insight, absolutely gold!!!!!
Like your kid and ways of your life, really beautiful! Thank you Nail!
Thanks for the insight into your trading day Nial, most helpful.
nail, your everyday life very comfortable. There is no pressure so that make everything run smoothly. I have to be like you by adopting everything you teach.
Great sharing Nial…I agree that a successful traders stay out from the market more..while newbie trader stay in the market most of the time….
On daily basis I always find something to keep me busy and stay out from the market..and this technique has brought me into 20% profit per month from the market consistently..
WOW!!! I haven’t started trading yet cause I’m still learning the system, but your lessons have me excited to start taking control of my financial future. This article is great…..thanks.
Sounds wonderful, my only problem is the size of the risk-stops when thinking of daily sized trades.The daily volatile movements seem to demand much more risk,and consequently large potential limit s[ace. Appreciate your thoughts.
Great Article Nial! Thanks for the insight!!!!
Yes, Nice to know how to structure the day.
New York closing a bit too early for my time zone, but let me try this coming week. Perhaps my chart candles will then match those of your. I use the Oanda Platform.
Glad you shared your typical day schedule with us.
was on Euro/Us o/night and shit it can be hard to forget, I think the first thing i thought when i woke was..grab the iphone and check the trade. this process will take time and as Nial says, patience. I’ve let two like this go to s&f and two profitable trades acheived..
Ps: the market isn’t going anywhere soon, protect your account cause it can go south real fast.
Thank you for offering the window into this part of your life. I gleaned lots of lessons from it.
Thanks n great
That is my dream! To be able to put a trade in, go to sleep and wake up with a profit (or lose)…:-) as I STIL work full time like a dog – 8 2 5 I can’t do what Nial is doing in the morning – checking and making notes – as I am to busy packing/taking my kids to schools…lovely to see his set up though..:-)…heaps new ideas here…thank you
Dear Nialyour article is very iinterestin. gand inspiring
LOVED this article. Thanks for all your fantastic teachings. Best thing that ever happened to me!
thanks so much for sharing both the lesson and your personal life with us. as always, nial, all the best…r
“The Holographic Universe” is an awesome read. Highly recommended. ;)
Thank you Nial
I really appreciated this article and found it educational and entertaining at the same time.
Great article. Nice to see the normal side of life and trading.
No rain on Australia Day how good was that!
Very good Nial, you give me a lot of idea.
Nial, Great to hear about your day and your family. When are you going to going to teach your two year old to trade? In the brokerage TV ads there is a kid a lot younger than two, that is already trading. (Smile)
That was a good read, thanks for writing it. Set and forget makes a lot of sense and is what I hope to learn some day.
An interesting life u live,feels like a movie.10x Nial
Thanks! Nial for sharing…..
Another great article,
Nial,I especially like set and forget and dont go back to your charts till the end of the day make this a habit and let the trade do its thing! MeI have to go to work so I make sure I resist the temptation of getting the charts up on my phone and wait till I get home.I think I’ll have to move to OZ as I like the idea of not having to worry about a trade because I’m asleep!!
Nice article…thank u so much..
Thanks Nial, Love your time schedule
Thanks for that. A day in the life. Very Insightful.
Great Article – as always!
I think it would be great to see a scan of one of your pages from your notebook.
Thank you for writing this article! It was very illuminating!
It’s really helpful to see an example of the structure of your typical trading day.
Thank you for all your guidance. I feel I’m beginning to make some great progress since I started learning about PA trading with you.
Thank you Nial, It is very helpful and inspiring for us to see what you do on a daily basis. It is really a very helpful for the newbi.
Nice post, Nial.
It is nice to see the more “human” side of a successful forex trader.
It gives a very natural and relatable view of how Price Action Trading must be done and how balance in life is the best way to go about it.
I like your lifestyle. Full of family and money as well :)
P.S. Happy Australia Day :)
Your best yet Nial.
good stuff Nial!
It is very helpful and inspiring for us to see what you do on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing that.
Thanks Nial, I really enjoy the part of your day when you just go shopping and do nothing. One day I really want to enjoy my days like you do. Alex
Speaking from limited experience (about a year now), anything below a 4hr chart seems to be a total crap-shoot!!!
I think daily ‘set and forget’ is the way to go.
Good on yer!!
set and forget… sounds so easy…
i agree, it’s a lot of discipline
pl.maintain such wonderfull living style forever and pay us sugession for future
As always, a great article and one that many of us
have thought about from time to time.
Many thanks to you!
man! this article really puts the cherry on top of all your other great writings! Thank you.
a very helpful article, giving insight into a pro-trader’s day. Thank you for posting it.
great insight. thanks for sharing
Love this one Niall , I bet there are quite a few envious of your talent,
Got to be one of your best !
Thanks Nial, I live in Brisbane so this article was sooo relevant. I don’t think I’ve ever read or understood what a full-time trader’s life is like but what strikes me the most is the routine and no different to the self discipline required to run your own business of any kind. It’s not a gamble or random effort required but a specific set of tasks to be completed way beyond just putting on a trade. The preparation and journal make sure that any position entered has been executed with pre-meditation and skill and definitely not rushed into and later regretted. A lot to be taken away from this article and I thank you for your openness and honesty. You offer great value every day. Cheers!!
Very good Nail,
You inspire us- keep it up….It all comes down to Patience.
very nice article nial. ive been wishing since a long time to get a glimpse of one day of your life as a trader and here we are. hats off.
Great lesson, as always!
With your advice, I have really learned to trade as it should be done after over 5 years struggling BIG TIME.
I live in Finland and we have New York session close 0:00 local time, so daily chart price action trading has to be very focused in order to get enough sleep before next mornign daily work.
Basically I do trade screening at reverse order compared to you Nial.
-first scan through 18 pairs and check if there is pinbar, insidebar or insidebar fakey candles. At the same time I make a quality check of my own yesterdays actions.
-then I look if there is support/resistance confluence with candle patterns
-then I check reward/risk must be over 2:1
-These 3 screens limits todays intressting pairs from 18 to 0-3 per day. Its about 15 minutes spend so far.
-then I check other confluence things and plan the trades and submit orders and document everything to my trading journal.
If there is not any setup worth taking, it takes under 30 minutes to complete daily routine. An other half hour is spend if there is something to be taken more seriously.
Then go to sleep at 1:00 am and meet the markets next time 0:00. Set and forget.
I couldn’t care less which Euro-zone country is going bankrupt or issuing bonds, and I don’t care what Oil country in the middle-east is starting a civil war; this stuff does not help a price action trader and it does not influence or concern me.
I agree 100%
thank you for these insights!
Superkool and Realy best article ever I have seen, realy helpfull for every one to shirtime with family and with great way how to deal with market.Amazing,Bless u and hope u will keep it up………….. Thanx so much. Azhar u.k
Thanks Nials for breaking up into details the daily routine of a pro trader.
Great insight for new traders. You dont get many gurus telling your their daily routine by a long shot.
great article nial!
Nial, thanks for this personal touch. I have kids too, 3 by now :-). I take the idea of taking notes by hand in order to be able to come back to them. I will put my trading plan on the first page of the notepad and then a few pages for each paire. cheers Nial.
It’s good to know there are great traders out there with an active family/social life…. inspires me to win at trading and have a life like this!
I learned a lot from your daily routine, dealing with the markets:the best part of it being “set and forget”.
God bless your 2 year old,your wife and you.
A great article.thanks sir Nial for this piece..
This is pretty much my daily schedule living in Japan right now but with more language study and exercise. I find as a full time daily fx trader you need to have other mentally stimulating and fulfilling activities as well. Great article totally relate to what your saying.
I like it.
Btw, when your take your trading journal ?
Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing your trading routine! This is probably the most genuine article ever.
Very organised Nial. I sure have learned a few things from this article: 1) Time away from the screen is necessary, 2) Keep notes. Thanks for sharing!
All I want to say is that you are just an inspiration to me. Will make sure I join your course. Thanks a lot, and my regards to your beautiful family.
best article I have ever seen :)
simply, true and very clever :)
thank you Nial, have a nice day and trades :)
Thank you so much for such an in-depth detail on how you go through the day in regards to trading. Very informative. I must say, you spend more time with your family and yourself than the market which is very important.
Again thank you.
Thank you Nial for sharing. I was curious (like others here) to get a look in to see how you structure your day. Appreciated.
Great article. Very pertinent point re set and forget!
Thank you for this insight ino your life.