Planning to ditch your job and go trade full time? Please don’t. Keep your job and grow a small trading account. You need to learn a lot before joining the trade.
Yes, it’s possible to swing trade with a full-time job. It won’t eat most of your time. It’s not like day trading where you need to spend most of the day doing market research and dealing with graphs.
Besides your monthly wage as the capital source, you need more things such as a trading platform, broker, time to trade, and more time to plan strategies.
Introduction to Swing Trading
The swing trading idea is to capture just one price swing. I’ll repeat, just one swing. Don’t get carried away.
Stock prices fluctuate and this moving behavior is represented by a series of bars called candles. Looking from afar, the candles look like a line graph that is constantly moving up and down. Your aim is to buy when the price is low, and sell when the price is high. Thus, it’s called swing trading.
How should I know exactly when to buy and sell? The fluctuation is not arbitrary. It follows a trend and you need to find out more about it.
How to Find Time to Swing Trade
When is the optimal time to swing trade with a full-time job? Look at the monitor and then go to work 9 to 5?
Try to squeeze in 2 hours before and after work. If possible, right before the market opens and a few hours before it closes. Even if it means waking up earlier and sleeping late at night.
Say no to social life with your colleague. Spend the two snack breaks and lunchtime to do research or trade. Use a smartphone or a tablet that will provide you a better view.
However, I don’t recommend watching the market closely during breaks. You may bet but be sure to set cut loss and close the app. It’s great if you take profit but it will be depressing to see your dollars going down.
Instead, use the work breaks to do market research. About 90% of the work happens outside market hours. You must know exactly what you have to do before the market opens. Read news and see how the market performs. Pick the stock you want to bet on.
Swing Trade with A Full-time Job with MT4, Metatrader4
MT4 is a popular trading platform developed by MetaQuotes Software, released in 2005 and licensed to brokers for their clients. The software has two components, server for brokers and client for traders.
Initially released for Windows and then later for Mac OS, Linux, Iphone, Ipad and Android. Some brokers have modified software to suit their services.
MT4 is great for beginners. It’s free and has all the tools you need. It also gives you the ability to write trading scripts and robots to automate trading.
Download MT4 directly from the Metatrader website or from a broker that provides. Installation is straightforward that it won’t add any unwanted software on the background nor require you to do tweaks.
The interface is a bit intimidating at first but don’t worry. You’ll surely get used to it. For starters, watch the included instructional videos.
The software gives you a demo account with 10,000USD. Use it to practice swing trade with a full-time job.
Let’s try it! Choose a currency pair on the default window and maximize it. If the market is open, as indicated by a vibrating horizontal line, click the “quick buy button”. It will create another horizontal line. Drag the line upward to set your take profit and drag again downward to set cut loss.
Watch the graph closely to see what happens. Repeat what you’ve done until you get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to test other buttons.
Examples of Swing Trades
While you’re at it, see and study the example of swing trades. If you see the same trend, don’t be afraid to test. It’s a learning experience.
Stuck in a box
It’s when the price is pretty much stuck in a range. It resembles a waveform with almost the same peaks called resistance, and almost the same bottom called support.
Buy right after the price bounces off the support and sell before it reaches resistance.
This strategy can have a small win or loss or could be break-even.
Catch the Wave
Use when the market is in uptrend like a staircase.
Although the trend is going up, your goal is to capture just one swing. Not to hold and wait for a higher margin. The price might plunge down abruptly taking your supposed profit down the drain. Holding on to a currency pair for too long is a bad way to swing trade with a full-time job.
Fade the Move
It’s a risky swing trade technique. Done when the price trend is constantly going down. But it won’t go down forever.
Observe and wait for signs that it’s likely to go up. It could be some buyers pulling up the price to a certain point which might cause a sudden upturn.
Once you see a sign that is strongly supported by market factors, buy then. If your assessment is wrong and forget to set a cut loss, your dollars will go down in a blink.
Swing Trade with A Full-time Job, do Proper Strategy and Risk management
Enough play. Let’s get more serious now!
Do paper trading before going live
Firstly, use virtual money to do paper trading on live charts. Spend enough time to learn all the mechanics. And treat it as if you are spending real money.
Practice only with the actual amount you can afford. Not with the 10kUSD virtual money the demo account gives. It will be frustrating to deposit only 500USD.
Treat graph patterns as a guide. Do thorough market research and be mindful of current events. See how the graph develops and analyze how it reacts to various economic factors.
Research and plan carefully before trading to win more than 50% of the time
As soon as the market opens, you shouldn’t jump out of bed and then do trade on a whim. Buy now and ask questions later, won’t work. You shouldn’t buy a rising currency pair just because you see it is going up. It might abruptly plunge right after your entry.
Planning consumes 90% of the time, and execution is 10%. Scout stock to buy, determine risks and rewards ratio, and set entry and exit points. Then strictly implement. No excuses. Don’t let greed and emotion get in your way.
The 100% win is impossible, even 70 to 90% is rare. However, you’ll be able to make educated guesses and win more than 50% of your bets. To achieve this, do a thorough market research and study about the company’s historical performance, future goals, and positioning strategies.
Set reasonable gains and cut losses to a minimum
Don’t let yourself to lose big by setting a 1% cut loss. Conversely, setting 3% as take profit is adequate.
Don’t bet more than 20% of capital on a single currency pair. To successfully swing trade with a full-time job, I recommend studying several options.
Bet more when the probability of winning is high and bet less when the probability is low. For a conservative example, bet 500USD when your data strongly suggests the price is going up. If there’s doubt, bet only 250USD, even if the data indicates an upward trend.
Don’t hold on to your entry, hoping the losing trade will go up. Or, keep it for too long just because it’s going up accruing you money. You might find yourself defeated in the end.
Similarly, avoid betting on the same losing stock day after day, trying to recover the losses. Move on if it’s hopeless. Select another more promising option.
Don’t scale up too quickly, have patience, and do not gamble
Life is good and you’re doing great. You want to scale up.
Wait, it’s not a good idea to scale up too quickly. Aiming for a higher profit of 50% to 100% a month, per week, or per day is not feasible. You’re just gambling which is no different from going to a casino and putting your money all in. You can’t sustain it.
Doubling or tripling your bet amount means new risk to manage. If you’re currently betting 500USD, adding a “0” at the end means 5kUSD risk. Maybe, you’re not yet emotionally prepared to lose that amount.
To swing trade with a full-time job, your aim is to get a reasonable return per month and do it consistently.
For example, with your 5kUSD capital that’s winning 10% every month. It will grow to 15kUSD in 12 months. Then, more than 1.5 million in 5 years.
Add little by little after mastering all the trade mechanics, and when you’re mentally and financially prepared.
Don’t blindly follow chat room alerts
Reading chatroom alerts is not that bad. In fact, it might be helpful if the sender can explain his idea, and you can fully grasp the situation. Else, because you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll end up blowing your account.
Avoid stress by walking away from the computer and taking a break
In case you start feeling stress, walk away from the computer to take a break. Shut it down if you need to. Unwind. Resume the next day after pulling yourself together. Study more and reinvent your strategies.
A permanent job is great. As long as you have it, you don’t have to worry about monthly expenditure and maybe your future too. However, that job, no matter how good and dedicated you are, is beyond your control. You may lose it anytime and so you need a backup. Swing trade with a full-time job now.
Treat swing trading like a business, not a hobby. The moment you decide trading is the moment you start the business. Think like a businessman, grow your business.
Don’t immediately rely on swing trading for income. Keep your job! It will be your capital source. It will also temper you from mental stress. Small losses won’t matter because your monthly wage can cover your expenses such as food, rent, and utility bills.
With enough perseverance, you can successfully swing trade with a full-time job. Then grow it to business slowly but surely. Then eventually, you can be one of the richest traders who started from scratch.