A Part-Time Trading Routine for People with Jobs
Meet Bill, an aspiring trader. Bill is a 32-year-old, full-time office assistant working in the city, trying to make the most of his life the best way he knows how. He has a passion for trading financial markets and one day hopes to turn that passion into a full time profession. He loves learning about the markets, trading, investing and finance etc. However, he feels he has a major problem preventing him from moving on to the next level of success; that problem is TIME.
Bill is working 40+ hour weeks and he feels like he is missing out on most of the best trade setups because he’s always working.
Don’t worry Bill, this article is for you and the many traders out there who feel just like you.
You see, you don’t have to be in front of the charts all day to trade profitably. In fact, not being in front of the charts all day should be seen as a huge advantage, for reasons we will discuss later in this lesson.
In this lesson, I am going to show you an effective part-time trading routine for people with jobs. You will see that just because you’re away from the charts a lot, you don’t have to worry, if you understand a few core points and know what to look for, you are not “missing out” on anything.
The “How” and “Why” of Part-Time Trading
Let’s start with the “why”. This one is easy. There are literally so many advantages to part-time trading it’s almost funny. I have written about topics such as “less is more” in trading and low-frequency trading as well as a set and forget trading approach, and all the advantages of this way of trading.
However, the main reason why you should consider part-time trading and learn a part-time trading routine is because it’s very easy to fit it into your already busy schedule. You don’t have to just give up on trading because you’re super busy with work, school, family or whatever it may be.
I have had the most success in my personal trading career by following the exact core principles in this lesson. It just so happens that analyzing the market less often and tracking your live trades less often is also much better for your long-term trading performance. More on this later.
How do you trade “part-time”?
Trading part-time is all about fitting your analysis and trading routine in around your daily schedule. So, if your job is a typical 9-5 work day, you can run through the charts twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. It shouldn’t take more than 10-20 minutes each time.
If you’ve followed my lessons for any length of time, you know the New York Close is the most important (and why you need New York close charts). The NY close is considered the “end” of the trading day, and we are primarily concerned with the daily chart time frames and more specifically, end-of-day analysis and trading.
Now, the New York close will vary based on what time zone you live in. If the end of the trading day falls when you’re at home and awake, you can check the markets on your laptop or other computer. As the New York close is so vitally important, if the NY close happens when you’re at work, you will need a laptop at work or a mobile trading platform to monitor the daily close. Even though I do generally discourage phone-trading, in this case, we have to make an exception as it may be the only option to catch high-probability end-of-day price action setups on the daily chart.
Essentially, your goal is to analyze the charts, potentially placing orders based on the market conditions or tweaking orders two times during the day. So, you need to make that part of your trading routine.
What else do you need for part-time trading?
Other than the proper New York close trading platform, you need to have a trading plan which is something you build after having mastered a trading strategy. It may also be a good idea to have the LTTTM members daily trade setups newsletter easily accessible for quick-reference if you’re at work. Make sure you know what time the daily New York close is in your local time, you can figure it out by checking out this time zone converter.
A Sample Part-Time Trading Routine
Let’s dissect a day in the life of “Bill”, our hypothetical trader from the intro. Bill has a full-time job and is a busy man, so he needs to trade part-time to fit it in around his schedule.
- Bill wakes up about 8am on work days, Monday-Friday. He lives London UK so unfortunately for him, that is about 3am New York time and the USA markets don’t get churning until about 8-9am NY time. So, he will already be at work when the best movement occurs. However, since we are not day trading, this is a non-issue, so please don’t view this as an issue, Bill.
- What Bill needs to already have prepared, before waking up on Monday morning, is his weekly chart analysis, which you can see an example of by viewing my weekly chart analysis. Essentially, you need to do your major market analysis on the weekend, when the market is closed. You are finding key levels, analyzing trends / market bias and taking notes for the upcoming week.
- So, when Bill gets home from work during the week, it’s usually about 6pm, which is 1pm NY time, he still has a a few hours before the NY close. He can go to the gym or do whatever. But, at 5pm NY time or slightly after, it will behoove Bill to get in front of the charts and analyze the daily chart time frames.
- At this point, he is checking to see what happened across his favorite markets that day. He is comparing the price movement against the key levels and trends he drew in over the weekend and seeing if any obvious price action trade setups formed that day. He is comparing the market’s movement against his trading plan, essentially.
- Bill may also want to check the Learn To Trade The Market members trade setups newsletter at this point, to see what trade ideas, if any, we have published for the day and to contrast this with his own analysis and trading plan. If he sees he is spotting a similar pattern / trade signal as something we discussed in our report, he may see that as an extra piece of confluence that there’s a potential trade.
- The next day, while at work, Bill may elect to check the market at the morning open, which is going to be about 11am for him. There is nothing wrong with checking the market once at work, either on your laptop or phone, just don’t make it an all-day thing. Remember, you should have 2 designated times a day where you’re checking the markets, ideally morning and evening. Make sure you stick to your pre-defined trading plan.
- This might mean you have a few good examples of ‘ideal’ trade setups with you whilst at work, so you don’t forget what you’re looking for. You should include this in your trading plan. I would even say, taking your trading plan with you to work is a good idea, to help you stay accountable and disciplined whilst away from your normal trading desk / office at home.
- Memorize the price action setups and different market contexts you want to trade. Unless those specific setups are occurring on the chart, then move on and don’t waste your time ‘hunting’ for something that isn’t’ there.
You may include example charts in your trading plan of high-quality trade setups like these:
Ideal pin bar trading pattern example:
Ideal inside bar trading pattern example:
Ideal fakey trading pattern example:
The ‘Hidden’ Treasure of Part-Time Trading
Not only will part-time trading allow you to trade around your day-job, it also has other, ‘hidden’ benefits…
I have written extensively on the value of low frequency trading, which you can read about in the previously hyper-linked article. But, to reiterate the point here, there is a sort of self-fulfilling cure for over-trading that comes with part-time trading. Since you’re naturally watching the screen less, it largely eliminates the dangers of over-trading. Traders who sit around watching the markets all day, especially with a live trade on, generally fall prey to emotional trade sabotage and trading addiction.
Part-time trading helps you avoid this for the most part, as long as you stick to your trading plan.
The real ‘work’ of trading lies in mastering the craft and learning to read the footprint of the market like a fisherman reads the changing sea conditions to better figure out where to fish.
Most of the time you spend ‘trading’ should not actually involve having trades on and pushing the ‘buy or sell button’. Most of the time should be spent learning and studying, not actually executing trades. You need to understand this early-on to save yourself a lot of time and money.
You don’t have to worry that you’re ‘missing out’ while you’re at work because you can trade part-time, around your day-job. This type of trading is also going to benefit you in other ways, especially with managing your emotions and not over-trading. I have long been a proponent of a “set and forget trading approach”, and part-time trading is nice complement to this.
Don’t dive into trading feeling like you must put all your eggs in one basket and trade “full-time”. You really can’t be a full-time, professional trader until you prove yourself as a successful part-time one anyways. Don’t put the wagon before the horse. Take your time, ease into this and learn, learn, learn.
The primary component of part-time trading is focusing on the daily chart time frame and learning to trade in an “end-of-day” manner, which is the core philosophy I teach in my price action trading course. Mastering this approach will grant you the flexibility to fit trading around any schedule, no matter how busy you are.
What did you think of this lesson? Please leave your comments & feedback below!
31 Comments Leave a Comment
it’s very helpful for me, I was thinking I’ll never be able to do part-time trading, but now I knew the benefits of part-time trading, thankyou you so much.
Hi Nial, does PA and your Strategies works on indian markets of future & options? ( European call & put is exercised) is there any other way to trade futures & options
to practice during holidays and free days.
can i practice the price action strategy on the lower time frame, like the five minutes?
Thanks for the article.
Unfortunately I am in Australia and when New York closes I am at work so it makes it difficult to trade the close of day.
I have thought about the lower time frames but during the day things can get missed so I am a little unsure how to approach this. Thoughts from others especially in the same position would be welcome.
New york close is 8am Australia, surely there is time to look at the charts during the morning.
Thank you for sharing this important and really good information for free! Also your Videos on Youtube helped me a lot.
Mr. Nial! thanks for article, I learn to trade on closing of day, strategy super and is emotionally much easier
Thank you Nial. This is exactly what i’m looking for. Thanks a lot
Perfecto….I like the idea of trading part time…with handsome profit… hehehe
Thanks so much Mr Nial .This lessoin has set me from the emotional sabotage in trading.
Nial your philosophy, course, and price action signals have been as good as gold to me. I’ve only been trading with you as my guide for about six months and I’m amazed at how well I’m doing (especially when so many people struggle and lose money when they try trading Forex). Thanks for everything! You’re awesome :)
I’m new to your site and info. And working full time, trading successfully has been an issue. So I enjoyed your article on trading for full timers, and I’ll take your advice.
Can you help me to do it please??
Great lesson & diagram for pin types. Thank you.
Thank you and I agree with this way of trading, I am currently doing this and I am feeling the easiness, all that pressure of wanting more is off my shoulders. I am enjoying watching my trade move without strain. Thanks a lot for highlighting this concept.
Thanks Nial, this lesson gave me a double coffee wake up :)
Thanks alot Niall, I’m doing a full-time job, and you just have me insight on what to do, I really appreciate your support
This would have to be the most informative article you have ever Nial. Its gold very very rarely do you read an article on trading with such a volume of information written so clearly and so valuable as this. To be successful its all in this one article. It has so much revision in it also. Many thanks Nial
Thanks Nial,I already use your set and forget strategy,best advice ever, , Glen
The article is saying what i am practicing and it works well for me. And, i still want to be a full-time trader in the future.
NAİL FÜLLER HARİKASIN. BU YOLDA DEVAM ET. SAMİMİ YAZILARINDAN DOLAYI SENİ TEBRİK EDERİM
Thanks Nial, this lesson has opened the whole way ahead of me!
Thanks Nial, this lesson has opened the whole way ahead of me!
Thanks Nial for providing this article it’s absolutely wonderful
what a blessed person you are Nial’s articles are full of fancy information and we read beautifully we would like to read it again I am addicted. I do not know, but are you a book author? I would love to do it. I hope one day I would have the fortune to meet with Mehmet from Turkey. I wish success, a good life with a healthy family.
I feel proud to be part of this wonderful blog
Hi question is what is beter move stop loss or close half position when it is in profit thenks
Thanks for yet another beutiful article coach.Learning from the best.
Great info on this blog. I had to incorporate the set it and forget it strategy to my trading also because of work. And you know what, I have better success not looking at the charts so much. I dont get to watch that noise sort a speak. My trading has improved tremendous. My biggest problem is my entry with this strategy. Once I get that to a science, I feel im going to be alright!
Thanks Nial for sharing info to us about this!
I think one should also consider working on (adding/editing) their trading journal at least once daily. For me, this is different than reading the charts and teaches me a lot by itself, and sometimes it takes more time than reading the charts. However, there’s always cross reading/checking between trading journal and charts required.