Part-time trading – The best paying side job you could have

I’m going to tell you a little story.

In March of this year I was looking at the markets, reviewing the price charts to see if there was anything worth trading. In this particular instance it was the foreign exchange (forex) market I was scanning and I did come across an interesting development.

You see, the Euro was setting up to making what looked to be a big break higher against the Dollar. Based on my analysis, which took all of about two minutes, I saw a pattern forming which told me to prepare for an uptrend. Now I don’t want to imply that in two minutes I found a great trade. It probably took me 30 minutes to go through all the charts that day. Oh, and since I actually wrote up the analysis of the trading strategy for my report subscribers, you can add on maybe another 30 minutes. That makes an hour.

The strategy I devised that day had me buying the Euro against the Dollar at about $1.21 (meaning each Euro was worth $1.21). That was mid-March. About two months later I exited the position at around $1.28. If you are familiar with forex trading, you will know that’s a nice profit. If you don’t have forex experience, let me explain.

Let’s say that I bought 100,000 Euros against the Dollar. That’s a position size of about $121,000. Because forex is a leverage market, I would only need a margin deposit of maybe $2500 to put on that trade – potentially less. At the time I exited the trade, the 100,000 Euros had increased in value to approximately $128,000. That’s a gain of $7000, which is not a bad return at all on the initial $2500 deposit.

Now let’s say I checked on the trade once per day during the time I held it. That’s about eight weeks, which is forty trading days. If I spent five minutes each day looking at that trade – which is probably quite a generous figure – then I accumulated 200 minutes of trade monitoring time. Add that to the sixty minutes I used identifying the trade and creating a strategy and you have 260 minutes. Rounding that up, we’ll call it 4 1/2 hours.

So if I had put on a 100,000 Euro position I would have spent 4 1/2 hours to make $7000 – more than $1500 per hour. That’s one heck of a part-time job!

This story isn’t about telling you how great a trader I am. Rather, the point is that I was able to make those kinds of profits in the market without having to spend hour upon hour in front of the computer screen watching the charts and trying to interpret news events. This is something you can do as well.

Let’s face it. There are a heck of a lot more people who trade part-time than full-time. The day traders, though, account for more of the noise and they have a great many people convinced that one has to be dedicated heart and soul to the markets to make good returns. That just simply isn’t true.

Part-time traders are at least as capable of doing well in the markets and making a positive contribution to their financial well-being as those who spend long days focused on the market. It is just a question of managing their time well and finding an approach which suits their situation.

About the author
John Forman is a near 20-year veteran of analyzing and trading the markets. He is author of the Top Selling book The Essentials of Trading (Wiley – April 2006), and the soon to be released Time Crunch Trading, which focuses specifically on part-time trading.