The vast majority of retail FX traders are part time; typically they’ll be holding down part time or full time jobs, whilst either attempting to learn how to trade, or continuing their successful trading. It’s tricky to establish the exact numbers from authorities such as ESMA, but retail traders are unlikely to be scalpers, or day traders. From a logical standpoint, scalping or day trading is an extremely difficult trading style to engage in, unless you have access to your platform and the markets throughout the day. And if you’re in a full time job, your colleagues and boss won’t be impressed, if your attention is constantly elsewhere.
Novice traders are guilty of critically underestimating the time and effort required to become proficient and profitable at trading markets. Naturally, if you’re attempting to achieve success as a part time trader, it’ll take far longer than if you completely dedicate yourself to the task, on a full time basis. The much used reference is that it can take 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in a complex field. Perhaps using the examples of athletes or musicians, is a reasonable analogy; if you dedicated 30 hours per week to your passion, it would take 333 weeks to become an expert. Measured in years, this would represent approximately six and a half years.
Now presented with that calculation, many traders would immediately give up, before trying. However, the 10,000 hours is used as an example to become arguably elite level athletes and musicians. You’re not aiming to be a concert pianist, or a trading savant, you’re looking to become highly efficient and successful in a sector and industry that rewards dedication and precision, not elite level performance. You can shorten your learning curve dramatically, without taking reckless short cuts.
There are many forums you can engage in to improve and increase your trader education, there’s many books you can buy on the subject of trading. You could subscribe to various trading courses (on line or in a trader school setting) and subscribe to many newsletters and daily briefings. But in reality, the vast majority of retail traders don’t come from a trading background, they’re self taught and they’ll learn through trial and error. They’ll initially fail and learn how to fail better, before eventually developing profitable methods and strategies.
Novice traders have to be incredibly quick learners during their apprenticeship period, as the complexity involved in trading can be extremely daunting. Experienced traders will quickly forget the baptism of fire they endured to become highly proficient and successful. They’ll also deeply bury some of the intense, emotional experiences they endured, as they learnt to cope with the losses and growth pains, during their trader evolution.
You have to become familiar with a vast array of new vocabulary and unique concepts, you also to learn how to trade off a highly specialised trading platforms. You have to develop economic calendar data translation skills and begin to unravel the complex phenomenon known as “technical analysis” (TA). And all the time, whilst you’re trying to cope with this bewildering multi tasking, multi disciplined regime, you’re also trying to be profitable. A task that is impossible, until you’ve become efficient at effectively applying and managing, all the afore mentioned factors.
Discovering a profitable method and strategy resulting in a trading edge, that you can repeat time after time, to extract profit from the FX markets, isn’t an easy task. That edge has to fit in with your lifestyle and as a consequence is generally a highly personal construct. The edge you might eventually develop, will be uniquely suited to your personal circumstances and (to a degree) your character and personality. You’re unlikely to stumble across it, you’re most likely to develop it, after years of practice and endeavour.
Once you’ve passed through your apprenticeship stage, then it becomes obvious that the only natural trading style fit, if you’re employed, is as either a swing or position trader. These are the only two trading styles that are unlikely to compromise your employment situation. And let’s be quite frank here; you shouldn’t be be disrespecting your colleagues and the firm who employs you. Your initial (part time) trading should be regarded as an extremely enjoyable and potentially profitable hobby.
Your approach to part time trading has to be respectful to your current employment, and you should not consider putting your position with your employers in jeopardy, in order to peruse your personal trading ambitions.
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