The process of becoming a full time trader

Actually, according to my perspective, trading for full time is a bit risky because you know how uncertain the market is. It’s beyond predictable. To trade Forex as a full time trader, I have to leave the other profession or job I have.

So, I don’t feel like leaving my current job considering the unpredictability of forex market.


I think you want to hear what you like and then quit your jobs and sources of income and start trading, and after 6 months, you’ll be broken as hell!
So typically, I tell you the first thing you need is to be a patient trader, and the rest is being profitable! Are you profitable in consecutive months, or do you just want to consider forex as a full-time job?
Sorry for being that honest!


I’m not a full time trader, and not sure I want to be. But surely the process is something like:

1 - trade small account profitably.
2 - increase funds and remain profitable
3 - stay profitable over many years
4 - trade sizes that would be needed to achieve the income you need and stay profitable.
5 - quit your job and stay profitable.

I’d recommend you have enough savings to last a few months so you’re not panicking about providing for your family.

I’m sure people go much faster than that, but if I was to do this for a living, I’d want to be making more money than my job before I quit. I think that’s a pipe dream, so until the kids grow up anything I can make is a bonus


I suggest you look up

Your question is so on point. I’ve been in that boat, and it’s like navigating through a crazy mix of excitement, uncertainty, and a million questions.First off, let’s clear something up, There’s no one-size-fits-all timeline for becoming a full-time trader. It depends on so many things, your financial situation, your comfort with risk, how quickly you learn, and so on. But you’re already on the right track with learning and practicing, and keeping your emotions in check. Those are major wins! Next up, you want to have a solid trading plan and stick to it. That means knowing exactly when you’re going to enter and exit trades, how much you’re willing to risk, and what market conditions you’re looking for. It’s like having a roadmap for your trades.As for when to take the leap into full-time trading, that’s a personal decision. But here’s a tip, Some people wait until they’re making consistent profits over a certain period of time, like six months or a year. And it’s also super important to have a cushion of savings to fall back on, just in case.Another thing is that when you do go full-time, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Trading can be intense, and you don’t want to burn out. So make sure you’re also taking time for yourself, for exercise, hanging out with friends, and all the stuff that keeps you feeling like a balanced, happy human being.Anyway, those are just a few thoughts. Remember, this is your journey, and you get to decide how it goes. Just keep learning, stay patient, and trust your process. And keep reaching out with questions - we’re all in this together!


I agree with all the points you mentioned here but quitting job will be risky for anyone. Even though a trader cannot be a full time trader without quitting his job.

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There are several steps and tricks that will help me to achieve my goal to be a full time trader.

I started with drastically decreasing my spendings. The pandemic helped with that. I managed to save a lot of money during my 2,5 year trading journey. Money that is now available to increase my trading size. I even started to work part time to be able to trade more setups and spend time with my family after work.

I build my strategy so that it fits my needs. I can’t sit on my ass all day and watch charts. I only trade 2 hours a day, one hour in the morning, one hour in the afternoon and thats it.

After seeing consistent months of success i now start to increase trading size in a controlled manner. The money that is required to go full time is not very much because:

I decreased my spendings and my wife who also works will have a huge tax cut because i won’t earn anymore money through labor and she is the only supporter of our family in the legal sense.

I only have to earn 60% of my part time income, so that we can hold our current lifestyle.

I am able to take 15 years of unpaid vacation with my employer. This regulation is of course suited for mothers who want to take a break to raise their kids. But i surely take advantage of this claim of mine to become a full time trader while still being able to immediately come back to work if it doesn’t play out.

So i were very disciplined the last years and i know very useful legal regulations that i can use to my advantage.


I think you just need to work on being profitable and having a deep understanding of your risk management. If you want to take a profit month on month you’ll also need to ensure you have the ability to read the market and you have various trading systems that you can deploy depending on the market conditions. You could just have one kickass system but you may go months without being able to use it. You also need enough money to trade otherwise you’ll have to risk a huge amount of your balance to get trades that’ll have big enough returns to pay the bills.

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If after every loss hits for every months, leaving each months x2 return of your monthly salary, then you might consider full-time trading.

Simple right?


There is a level in forex I call “level of profitabity”
I’m not a full time trader yet. But before sitting your boss down to tender your resignation letter you must arrive at that level.
To boast of been at this “level of profitabity” you must have traded for at least not less than 6months profitably without breaching your basic outlined plans. Thank you

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Well, the process is different for each person. Have you ever thought about the dedication and discipline it takes to be a full time trader? Do you have a solid framework for your trade?


Surviving in Forex is the most difficult job and what you just said I appreciate that continuation of profit and following risk management strategy is essential for being a full time trader.

Start by acquiring knowledge about forex trading and developing your skills. Practice with demo accounts and refine your strategies , that would be my two cents.

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Hello there!

Becoming a full-time trader is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. While learning and practicing forex trading and cultivating a disciplined mindset are essential, it is important to approach the transition thoughtfully. Relying solely on trading skills can be a risky move, so it’s wise to have additional sources of income to support your financial stability.

In my personal plan, which is still a work in progress, I am exploring the idea of incorporating other passive income streams alongside trading. For example, I am currently earning profits from two Airbnb properties, even though they are not my own, and I am also working on developing a product to sell online. This approach allows me to diversify my income and build a foundation that complements my trading activities.

I like to think of it as my “5-year Retirement Plan,” even though I won’t be retiring in the traditional sense. Instead, the goal is to gradually transition into being self-employed, where trading becomes a more significant part of my income generation. This approach provides a buffer and reduces the dependency solely on trading for financial stability.

Considering your own circumstances, it may be beneficial to explore similar avenues to supplement your trading income. This way, you can gradually build a solid financial foundation before making a complete career change. It’s essential to be patient and realistic about the time it takes to achieve consistent profitability in trading. The duration varies from person to person, depending on factors such as the amount of time dedicated to learning and practicing, the level of skill development, and market conditions.

Ultimately, everyone’s journey to becoming a full-time trader is unique. While my personal approach may not be a perfect fit for you, I hope it provides some inspiration and encourages you to explore additional income streams. Good luck on your trading journey!

Okay, I know you’ve already gotten a lot of responses so far, but I actually did it for a short time. You can read about my experience here:
[Forex a Great Hobby, But Not a Great Job]

It’s a bit negative, but things have changed since I wrote that post. If I were to give it another go, I would definitely go prop firm. The two best that I know of are Maverick and Lux. In my estimation, you will need at least 100K. Prop firms have it if you are willing to learn and put in the work.

All the best in your career as a trader.

You can still trade and work another job. You just have to get creative. A trader friend of mine makes half his income from trading and the other half selling his amazing artwork. Since more people are working from home now, it’s more of a possibility.

I wish it worked like that, but I tried it and it still wasn’t enough. The truth is, if you make 2% per month consistently as a trader, you are considered some type of superhero.

So, if you do the math on any account under 100K, you’re probably not going to make a living. That’s why trading for a reputable prop firm and also having a side job is the best route for enthusiastic traders.

Much expertise is needed first to take forex as a full-time profession. Capital backup is also an important factor.

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I think there are several steps to becoming a full-time trader. Full-time to me means “professional”, and you don’t get to be professional overnight. It takes years of training, education, practice, practice and more practice. You need to be prepared financially, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, etc. That having been said, most of us won’t be able to save the kinds of based funds necessary to meaningfully and realistically trade with our own money, so when we say “professional”, we are either talking about going to work for a major Wall Street fund manager, or, auditioning for and passing a prop firm audition. I will focus on the second option.

  1. Read all you can. Never stop learning. Heard of Bollinger Bands? Did you know they were invented by someone named “Bollinger”? If you didn’t, you aren’t ready. If you did, how much do you know about him or how he came up with this theory of trading? Can you understand the basic mathematical/statistical concepts behind the theory?

  2. Take $1,000 and start an account. Now, don’t use any stop-losses and start scalping. Click that Buy/Sell button until you have blown through your entire $1,000. Get the urge to click out of your system. Get rid of the mental anguish that comes with losing an entire account. Get rid of the impulse to reverse a trade on the first sign it’s going against you - because most of the time they will.

  3. Now that you have lost real money, start with a small demo account. When I say small, I mean like less than $5,000. Have too much money in even a demo account and the financial and psychological barriers aren’t the same. You need to demo-trade with the same amount of money that you will have to trade with in real life. Anything else doesn’t’ create the right, same parameters you will face. It is too easy to look at a $100,000 demo balance and say, “I can risk that!” It creates a false sense of security that will bleed over to when it really counts.

  4. Keep a trading journal. Be willing to pay for a professional system that understands trading and trading mentality and has the tools necessary to actually create some level of accountability in your trading system. Don’t try to build your own Excel spreadsheet, etc.; you don’t know the right questions to ask let alone the right way to build a system of accountability. I would look at something like TraderEdge.

  5. Follow someone who is an actual trader in the market you want to trade in. If you are interested in Forex, don’t follow a stock trader. While we all use the same candlesticks and indicators and oscillators, there is a rhythm to the markets that you will need to have experience listening to and they don’t all sound the same. Just like Jazz and Classical use the same musical scales and notes (i.e. candlesticks, etc.), they have vastly different structures, tempos, rhythms, timings, etc. In order to play either one really well, you have to practice that particular style.

  6. Go blow another $1,000 account scalping. Really get it out of your system.

  7. Now that you know how to lose money, re-evaluate this question: “Do I really want to do this?” If the decision is, “yes”, then learn account and risk management. They are not the same thing. Begin to practice it EVERY DAY. The one day you don’t is the one day the markets will be so squirrelly you will lose all your realized gains and then some. Don’t be that guy who always provides liquidity to others.

  8. Start to build your own trading style based on your personality, psychology, financial goals, mentality, etc. Are you really willing to get up at 0500 EST (0200 Pacific Time) to get in on the London Forex market? Are you willing/able to relocate to a more amenable time zone? Build your trading style and methodology around your circumstances, otherwise you are going to be fighting yourself the entire time. You have enough stacked against you already - don’t add yourself to the mix.

  9. Come up with some theories of how you want to trade. Build indicators and charts and watchlists and oscillators and back-test the heck out of them. Refine your theories and re-back-test until you see satisfactory results. Then go demo that strategy on a small (see above) demo account until you have doubled it. Now you have a proven theory and the practical experience to put it into play.

  10. Take another $2,500 - $5,000 and open a small live trading account with the same Broker you have demo’ed with. Don’t switch Brokers. Again, it’s all about the rhythm. Like markets, Brokers have their own unique rhythm within their market. They have different spreads, time-to-market, etc. You need to play in a sandbox you are familiar with.

  11. Once you have started making money consistently with your live account, earmark a portion of your profits (don’t forget about taxes, etc.) for an audition fee with a Prop Trading Firm. Keep trading your own personal live account for more profit. You most likely won’t pass your audition the first time. Keep this account going so that you can go back after you fail.

  12. Now you should have enough experience to be able to pass a prop trader audition. There are many out there, so do your own due diligence and make a decision on which one fits you best. While you are auditioning, take the time to get to know the other Auditionees and actual traders - the ones who have passed. They will be invaluable to you as you take on your newly-funded account.

  13. Start with the smallest funded account option your chosen firm offers. Don’t get sucked into their higher account balance tiers. First of all, they are more expensive and will drain more of your seed funds in your personal live trading account, making it more difficult to recover from the inevitable first-round failures and reapply. Second of all, you aren’t used to managing that much money. The account management and risk management numbers are different - different psychologies, mentalities, rationalities, justifications, etc. It’s not simply a matter of mulitplying/dividing everything by x10, x100, x1.000, etc. Remember why 99% of all lottery winners are dead broke inside 5 years - they haven’t developed the mentality for handling that much money. You have to grow into it.

  14. Keep learning. Keep a journal, and pay for a good one. Keep networking. All successful traders know each other. They learn from each other, even if it is nothing more that, “Wow! I’m glad that works for you, but I wouldn’t trade like that for anything!” Different stroke for different folks.

  15. Be willing, once you have finally made it, to share your experience with other up-and-coming traders. Remember, the Markets will always be there, long after you’re gone. Or your account is blown. It’s your choice. I wish you the best of luck.

It is a journey. The destination is worth it, but the price is steep. You won’t get there overnight. Platitudes, platitudes, more platitudes. But it is a journey…

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Sufficient trading knowledge and handsome amount of capital are needed to step into full-time trading.