Many trading strategies don’t require a full-time commitment. Unless you’re day trading, there’s no reason to be stuck behind a screen for eight hours per day. Mobile trading, real-time alerts, and advanced order types have made it easy to react to the market from almost anywhere with internet access.
There are even some advantages to not trading full-time: You don’t have to worry about emotion getting the best of you if you aren’t in front of a screen watching a trade move against you. Defining stop-loss and take-profit levels in advance can help you avoid many of common pitfalls.
Let’s take a look at how to balance part-time trading with a day job when both occur during the same hours.
Build a Pipeline of Opportunities
Most part-time traders do their due diligence on nights and weekends. Often times, this involves running stock screens, creating watch lists, and pouring through charts. You may also look at earnings or FDA calendars to identify upcoming catalysts for stocks on those watch lists or in your portfolio.
Real-time alerts can help you automate away some of this work and eliminate the need to pour through charts. While it’s easy to set an alert for a specific price, few platforms let you create an alert for a trend line or chart pattern since they have prices that change with the passage of time.
We built TrendSpider to solve this problem (and a few others). With a couple clicks, you can create a real-time SMS or email alert for any trend line or chart pattern. You don’t have to worry about watching a screen and waiting for a setup to materialize — you can rely on an instant notification.
You can even create alerts that combine multiple factors — we call them multi-factor alerts. For instance, suppose that you’re waiting for a trend line breakout, but you want to make sure that the breakout occurs on high volume or with a bullish candlestick pattern (such as an engulfing).
How to Trade During Work Hours
You may have a pipeline of opportunities and real-time alerts setup for each of them, but you still need a way to execute the trades in a timely fashion during work hours. Fortunately, mobile trading and automated trading systems have made it easier than ever to never miss an opportunity.
Most brokers provide mobile trading platforms available on smartphone devices. Using these platforms, you can receive an SMS alert to your phone, open the broker’s app, and immediately place a trade within a few seconds. There’s very little latency in the process for non-day traders these days.
Some popular mobile trading platforms include:
The only requirement beyond a mobile trading platform and real-time alerts are stop-loss and take-profit rules. If you’re placing trades at work, it’s important to pre-plan these price points for each trade. Multi-factor alerts also make it easy to dynamically receive stop-loss and take-profit alerts. For instance, you can create an alert for a breakout and a multi factor alert for another trend line that’s dependent on the breakout.
TrendSpider makes it easy to trade during work hours with all of these elements in place. When you receive an alert, you can login to any mobile trading app and place the trade. You can then receive additional alerts when the price reaches stop-loss or take-profit levels. That way, you never have to risk missing another trade again due to work getting in the way.
While TrendSpider doesn’t currently support fully-automated trading, we’re working on integrations with popular brokerage platforms to provide this functionality in the future and enable a completely hands-off approach for traders.
The Bottom Line
Most swing and position traders don’t need to go full-time, especially when they have the right tools in place.
Using TrendSpider, you can easily create real-time SMS and email alerts based on trend lines, chart patterns and hundreds of other technical factors. These capabilities, combined with mobile trading platforms, make it possible to never miss an opportunity — even when working at a day job.
Sign up for a free trial of TrendSpider to see how easy it is to get started and maximize your time.