I often get asked about giving up your day job for trading. It’s a dream for many traders and there seems little information around to make an informed decision about the consequences of full time trading. It’s important to know what you’re in for before such a serious decision is made.
Here I discuss 4 major considerations to the decision to give up your day job for trading. Be informed and make the right decision at the right time for you.
1. Account Growth Is Slowed By Your Lifestyle Expenditure
When you leave your job, likely you’ll become totally reliant on your trading returns for your everyday living. For some traders those commitments may be large with family dependents and for others, more lean.
While you’re in a day job you can let your net profits compound with an increasing trading account, as you’ll not need to regularly use your earnings for everyday commitments. This can accelerate your progress towards a larger and larger account.
Do the math and make sure that trading full time will deliver the results you want and grow your trading account.
2. Variable Returns Will Add To Your Stress
You may be trading one trading strategy or multiple trading strategies. One trading product, or many trading products. Whatever you’re doing it’ll produce a portfolio equity curve.
Portfolio equity curves come in many shapes and sizes, but I haven’t seen one so straight that it looks like it’s drawn with a ruler. There’s often jagged bumps, skydives, rockets heading skyward and all manner of irregularities that may make it stressful if you’re relying on it as a main source of income.
Cash flow diversification, such as having income from another job, makes it easier to let risk play out for a superior return. The delivery of superior returns can require you to exercise delayed gratification in the receipt of your returns. Relying on them may make it harder to be patient, putting pressure on your behaviour.
The more variable your equity curve the greater the stress. Is your equity curve a slope and shape you’d be happy to rely on or is there still work to be done to improve it before full time trading?
3. Ask Yourself The Big “Why” And Whether That Will Be Met
All of us get into trading for different reasons. For many of us the image of trading can take on dream-like status. The reasons are as different as we are from each other.
Many traders are seduced by the money and/or the freedom. There are no limits to what trading can offer like other endeavours, although the size of your trading account can put the brakes on in early days.
What’s your passion, what’s your why? How are your wants and needs going to be met by full time trading?
4. Social Connections And The Workplace Culture May Be More Important To You Than You Realize
There are certain day-to-day experiences in the workplace that we take for granted, that when taken away, may cause a meaningful feeling of loss.
Like conversations with workmates, the meetings where you put your opinion forth and be heard, the ego rush associated with the position you hold and the externally imposed deadlines that keep you achieving at pace.
Newer traders who can consider full time trading have usually been successful and made their inital trading account in other careers. The greater the heights you’ve achieved in another career, the more humble a trading job may feel when you set off as a solo-preneur trader.
Successful traders come from all kinds of backgrounds. So any feeling of loss of a life before will be personal to your own experiences. Think about your present circumstances. Are there aspects of your current job that mean a lot to you that you’ll miss dearly? It can be easy in daily life to become focussed on the negative aspects of a job, so try and take a balanced approach.
If you’re going to be a private full time trader, it can be a lonely occupation where you must self manage to achieve your own goals.
How will you set up your week so that you achieve, are disciplined and have your social needs met? How will you hold yourself accountable for results?
Plan this socially based transition to ensure you’re fulfilled in your new circumstances and are happy to accept them.
Will full time trading let you grasp your specific dream of the future, or is having a second income from trading more fulfilling? Perhaps it’s not a question of if you will trade full time, but when. Only you will know what choice is right for you.
Act to be the person that pinches yourself to check you’re real when you’re living the life you dreamed of. Plan well, know yourself and go after your goals with a passion to see your dreams realised.
Let’s get thinking
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About the Author: I’m Rachel Hunter, TraderRach, a Forex Trader who helps traders achieve the life they love with forex. Be strategic and design your trading business for sustainable success and have fun! That’s my mission. Join many traders’ gaining the edge with “10 Powerful Lessons for Forex Trading Success” plus other goodies. Years of precious learning specially packaged up for you. My background before trading is as a Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer. I know what it takes to make a trading business rock on. It would give me great pleasure to make a difference to your success.