Part time forex trading is challenging
Most part-time forex traders like myself have very little time to look at our currency charts because of full-time work commitment. This may result in missed opportunities to either buy or sell. Even worst, we sometimes jump into the trade too early or too late likely resulting in losses. Not only is a mistake on this second ‘job’ costly, it is also psychologically draining.
Therefore a question that keeps going on in my mind is: what strategy or strategies can I employ as a part-time forex trader to make my trading my profitable but also manageable?
I am a working Singaporean, I am young, dynamic and I trade forex online part-time
First of all, let me briefly introduce myself. At the moment, I am an assistant buyer working in an American multi-national corporation. I am between 25~29 years old. I started employment in a Japanese MNC doing 12 hours shift work. The nature of this kind of shift work is that you sacrifice a lot of time to get the income you aspire. I have to work a lot of overtime hours, sacrificing my weekends to get that extra amount of money. I found that I have so little time for my family, my friends and also my hobbies. I play soccer and do weights in a gym. As I have to work on the weekends however, I miss my weekend soccer games regularly. Fortunately, I am still able to do my workout in the gym after work.
I first got to hear about trading when I went into my first national service in-camp training. I started to download forex trading applications in my iPhone. In the beginning, I did not pay much attention to it. During the 3 weeks of in-camp training, I felt so carefree, the tough in-camp training so much more satisfying than my job. To me, it was like a 3 weeks’ vacation. My friends were so keen to go back to work, but it was not the same for me. This was the time I started to dream of getting a second income and not have to rely on one full-time job only.
After the 3-week ‘vacation’, I had to return back to work. My dream started to fade. Coincidently after I got back to work, I realized my colleague Raymond was trading the forex market. He became a focal point for my dream.
I started to read up about forex trading in free websites like ‘babypips.com’, coming across indicators like ‘MACD’, ‘RSI’, ‘Stochastic’ and also support & resistance. After trying the indicators, I found that these indicators somehow give you a different trade idea when you switch the timeframes. For example, the ‘RSI’ indicator might show an overbought situation in the 4 hourly timeframe, but when you switch it to the 1 hourly timeframe, it shows an entirely different situation, an oversold situation. In my mind, I was thinking to myself: what the heck? Should I go long or short?
I told Raymond about my analysis on a particular pair and he told me that he cannot see any trading plan from my analysis. Feeling frustrated, I began to search through the internet for the best methodology. This was when I came across information about trading courses. I took up a course that was recommended by Raymond and started to pay more attention to price actions as the course basically focused on simple concepts like support and resistance. We did not look at indicators anymore.
The best trade I did was one on EURCHF that yielded me a massive 288 pips in 3 hours. Till this day, this is the best trade I have executed in terms of the number of pips in the shortest time. My largest lost was 150 pips because I moved my stop loss hoping the loss will reverse into a win. This is something I will never do again. I will always calculate my stop loss before initiating a trade. After that, I will only move my stop level when the trade goes my way.
Let me share one important piece of experience in forex trading I picked up
For a part time trader, it might be more feasible to trade based on the larger time frames. Basically, if you find triggers based on the 4-hourly charts, you only have to see the chart in 4 hour intervals. This makes trading less demanding as we do not need to be glued to the market.
In my opinion, I have only a limited amount of time to look at charts. I start work at 2pm and end at 11pm. Therefore, I can only study the forex charts before and after work. Even though I am trading part-time, it is my responsibility to perform my full-time job diligently during working hours. With this limitation, I look for larger price patterns, long trends using the weekly, daily, 4-hourly and only occasionally 1-hourly charts. This pace allows me to have peace of mind at work because my strategy prepares me to deal with noise in the market. In the long run, this peace of mind that comes with the work balance allows me to remain clear headed and make correct decisions when trading.
I avoid looking at anything less than 1-hour timeframe. Also, my trading methodology is based on price actions. For instance, I look for support and resistance, chart patterns and candlestick patterns at key support & resistance zones before I initiate a position. I wait for price to ‘come’ to these plotted ‘zones’ before I initiate a trade. By doing this I trade in a way to suit my lifestyle instead of ‘running’ after the market. In turn, it is less stressful as I do not obsess with price all the time.
It is my aspiration to have a high income but also a lifestyle that lets me enjoy family and personal time
I found forex trading a great way to make a second income for myself. Just as I started out looking for a ‘second job that pays well’ because I wanted to have a better work-life balance, it is important to pace myself and look at the balance I give to this second job as well as juggling my full-time employment. When I have achieved my target income, I would like to have the luxury of choice to work less for more. Until that day, I see this as a sustainable approach.