While we are waiting for the year to start I thought I would publish an article from long-term member & full-time trader Ken who is living the dream that many of you have.
So its all champagne and Porsche’s?
As Ken said in his notes “some of the things I wish someone had told me before I gave trading a go, both positive and negatively”.
So what does it mean to be a full time at home trader?
What image does that phrase conjure up in your mind? Is it even possible?
For someone like myself that has spent most of his working life working for others, trading from home and working for myself has always been a dream. When you are at work have you ever said “… If only I were in charge….” , well when you are the one making the trading decisions, the buck stops here and the results are all yours, good or bad.
So what are the Pro’s and Con’s to being a trader? What follows are a few thoughts I try to keep in mind to keep my eye on the prize and my mind focused on why I do this everyday:
* How many people do you know that get to do something everyday that they are passionate about and love to do while making a significant income?
As William Henley said
” I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
Everyday I set my schedule, my goals and I am in charge of my fate. I am not relying on another person or company to determine how much money I will make or how I will make it. The only opinion that matters is my personal bottom line or the results I achieve.
*The sense of accomplishment I get from planning my trades and then trading my plans successfully is very gratifying. Knowing you are in the 5% club, the small group actually making money is a great personal accomplishment.
* While many consider it boring, I never tire of trying to see the connections between market sentiment and price actions on a global scale. I am part of the ebb and flow of information and global commerce right here at home in front of my computers.
* The commute is just right, about 10-15 steps from my bed. I don’t waste hours and hours each week sitting in my car in rush hour traffic.
* I am living a web 2.0 life, I can trade from almost anywhere on this green planet. I am free to pursue any lifestyle I choose anywhere I want and still trade for a living.
So these are some of the reasons I enjoy being an at home trader, but if I stopped right there it would be all “puppies and rainbows” and as we all know there are some things that are not so great about trading at home. Here are just a few things to consider before you tell your boss to “take this job and shove it”, sell your jet ski and set yourself up as a full time trader.
* The results are all yours, meaning you have to bring your best effort to the table every time you click that mouse and put your capital at risk.
* You do not get to relax, just because you traded well today. You must constantly seek to trade well. This can become taxing when the results are not ideal. You must be able to cope with negative emotions or they will consume you and your capital.
* Trading is a lonely affair, while that may be a plus for some of us, in the long run we all need friends and social contact. You must find other ways to interact with people when trading at home.
* When I was the Manager for large commercial printing company, I received a certain amount of professional respect from others for my position. Now when I tell people what I do, I get that glassy eyed stare, like they have no idea what “Currency Trader” means, or the somewhat fearful look with a little bit of horror, like you are some wastrel, hiding in the basement gambling your days away along with the money your kids need to eat. Prepare to be misunderstood.
* You will need to manage your business, this means that you are responsible for taxes, computer repairs, software, scheduling withdrawals and dealing with brokers. Treating your trading like a business is not a luxury it is a requirement.
* Trading requires some capital, so while you can make a good living from it, you must continue to live well below your means, because you will lose at some point and unless you are willing to be taken out of the game completely you will need to save what you make.
* “Can you go to the store for me”? This is another area to consider, interruptions are a part of working from home. Being there for your family must be balanced against your need to trade and be focused on the task at hand. Many traders can’t do this and the divorce rate for traders is very high. So be sure to think this through and make sure your family is supportive of your trading and understands it is a business. The one thing I know is that if your life is a mess in terms of relationships and family your trading will most likely be the same.
Ok so enough of the dark side, after all, if it was all gloom and doom I would not be doing this for myself. I have no regrets, and consider trading to be one of the best opportunities that free markets provide to individuals. I feel blessed to be able to do what I love and be rewarded for my work and call myself a trader.
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