Time management - Trading around a day job

Hi everyone,

I’ve been trading on demo off and on for about 2 years now. Im caught between trying to approach trading with the dedication and professionalism it deserves, whilst also trying to maintain a day job. My day job howevever often is much more as I’m a serving member of the armed forces.

My long term business plan is to be on my way to a sustainable income for when I leave the military, in 3 years. I’m not looking for huge pips, but conservative repeatable trades to allow me to lead the lifestyle I desire.
One of the big areas im having consistent trouble with is actually finding the time to trade. Being based in the UK, you would think I’m gifted a great trading day, but because of work being from about 7 am to sometimes late at night, I miss out on the majority of the liquid hours.

I’ve tried getting up for the pre-london session, staying up late for Asia, but if I keep at it I hit burn out pretty quickly, and my ability to conduct sensible analysis declines. My lack of a consistent routine with regard to my trading I feel is stopping me from feeling like I’m making much progress, and I am rarely able to take the analysis I’m conducting through to a trade plan, subsequent entry and suitable management.

If anyone has any advice, experience or points of wisdom on how to deal with this issue, or if anyone has battled with it in the past and sucessfully navigated a way to conduct both sensible trading and a day job, I would be most grateful to hear how you got there!

Any help, kindly appreciated.
Regards and happy trading

Hi KestralFX,

I’d recommend using a longer term trading strategy which doesn’t require as much of your time. Check out longer term trend trading. You can set stops and limits for your trades and easily maintain your day job.


Hey Kestral, I’m sure the dilemma you’re in will be shared by many. I would suggest a few things.

First of all, stick to the higher time frames like the daily and weekly charts. Second, if you’re in England then the trading day finishes at 5, but the New York trading day finishes at 10pm. These are the two most liquid markets, so if you develop a plan that revolves around daily closing prices then you will only need to monitor the charts at the end of the day between 5 and 10. Lastly, limit the currency pairs you trade. Try trading only USD pairs (EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD etc) These pairs all move together (more or less) so if a signal comes up on one, there’s a good chance there will be a signal on another giving you a choice. All these things put together should cut down the amount of time you have to spend analysing the markets, and if you enter longer term trades like Louie suggests, then it should make it easier for you to trade.

Scalping on the lower time frames is definately out, and day trading sounds like it will be very difficult in your situation. Therefore, longer term trades looks like way the forward. I generally hold my trades for anywhere between a day to a week and it’s no problem. I’ve developed a plan the revolves around my lifestyle, and if you want trading to be as stress free as possible, I recommend you do to.

I hope that helps you out.

Yes, the solution is to trade on the 4 hour chart or higher. Ryan O’Keefe has a good book about trading around your day job. You may want to check it out.

Hey Kestral

There is a way around it and it may be better in the long run for you.

That is to trade longer time frames. I would recommend end of day charts.

It also depends on your strategy as well. Some strategies are better suited for small time frames while some for longer time frames.

I only trade 30 minutes a day at most and i use end of day charts. There are many benefits with using end of day charts. Like you want get analysis paralysis, less likely to panic and go into flight or fight mode, you can stay calm, don’t have to be glued to the computer screen and over trade.