I have been trading for so long that I hardly remember what its like to NOT be a trader. So I’ll share my experience as well as some of the stories I’ve heard from other traders.
First and foremost, it’s a pretty comfortable life. I know quite a few traders who have a separate office setup in their homes. They wake up early, put on a suit, they even pack a lunch before walking into their home office so it feels like they are at work.
The majority of traders I know share my opinion. We trade Forex so we don’t have to wear suits and sit in traffic! Obviously you need something that separates you from weekend life, so its nice to have a dedicated space or laptop for it, but I feel its more important to be comfortable and relaxed so you can focus on the markets and not worry about silly things.
My typical day, I would wake up quite early to help my wife and son get ready for their day. I’d help make his lunch, get him ready for school and so on. Then I’d drive my son to school and drop him off and head home. Because my main trading times start at 9am or 10am depending on daylight savings, I’d have some spare time in the morning.
Make some breakfast, coffee, watch an episode of your favorite series on Netflix or do whatever you want. Remember its important to start the day refreshed, at least that’s my excuse. About 30 minutes before my main trading time I’d pull up my favourite forex currency pairs as well as any pair that I had any open trades on.
For me this is the EUR/USD, CHF/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/JPY. I’d have a look over them and see what has changed compared to my previous day’s notes. I’d then visit JP Markets Economic Calendar and make a note of when the volatile (3 bull) news events are coming out.
Open trades I go ahead and adjust the stop losses and take profits if necessary based on the Forex market changes and upcoming news events.
So basically I’d spend those 30 minutes checking existing trades, checking the longer trend’s direction, making note of important news events times, and then look for trade setups. If I didn’t see enough trade setups with my usual basket of currency pairs then I’d start looking at the more exotic pairs. Once that’s done, you start looking at third party sites as well to see if there are any good potential trades you may have missed.
Then it becomes a bit of waiting game. When you’re still new to Forex trading, this is the worst part of the day. Because you start feeling the pressure to trade, and you start thinking that you have to place a trade. This is where beginners start making mistakes, but us pros we know what to do!
Once you have more experience, you can start predicting more or less how long it will take for a potential entry to happen. And then find something else to do.
I remember chatting to a fellow trading, sharing some things that we each do to help our trading. I had just told him one of the best things I purchased to help my trading was another monitor so I could leave the charts on there, and then use my other two for emails and watching movies. I thought to myself he’s going to chuckle at having a dedicated monitor for movies that helps my trading.
He told me the best thing he purchased that helps his forex trading was a dog! He had a very similar morning routine to me. But instead of watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones, he’d take his dog for a walk! He found it relaxing and calming, and when he walks back into his house he’s ready to trade. If there is a quiet morning where we both know there can’t be any good trades for at least an hour, he goes for a walk.
On his most stressful days, he takes his dog for a walk 6 or 7 times between Forex trades.
If I have closed off enough pips for the day by 1pm I will usually walk away from the markets for the day. It’s only if I feel like I am lagging behind for my weekly or monthly target that I will trade longer. Even then I rarely trade past 4pm.
I get to see my family far more than people with “real jobs”, I get to avoid traffic, the shops are always quiet, and my time is mostly my own.
This is why I tell people that Forex trading is not just about the money, but the life you can have. If you dream of living on a yacht and owning private jets, then sure this can work for you. If you just want more control over your life and what you do, then this is definitely for you.