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176: Can the family breadwinner become a full-time trader? — Alex, @TAGRtrades

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176: Can the family breadwinner become a full-time trader? — Alex, @TAGRtrades

Aaron Fifield Podcast 1 Comment


This episode takes on a slightly different format to normal. Essentially, it’s a response to an email that I received from a listener…

The email comes from a gentleman who’s 38 years old with a full-time job, his wife is currently studying and he has three kids. He also has the goal to transition out of his current career into full-time trading, though he has a family who are dependent on his income. And that’s the part he has questions about.

Therefore, I asked Alex (@TAGRtrades) if he’d be willing to join me on this episode and share his thoughts on the matter. Alex is a full-time day trader, who has developed skill for trading long side momentum in U.S. equities. He’s also appeared previously on episodes 119 and 157.

Click image to view full size.

Summary of episode:

Starting out and becoming profitable.
  • Build good foundations and processes to protect yourself from major blow ups, i.e. daily loss limits.
  • Trading a demo account is good for learning your platform, though trading a live account is better practice and experience.
  • While books (etc) can be helpful, you’ll learn more from being in the market and “feeling” trades.
  • Trial and error, experiment: Take plenty of trades—with very small size and predefined risk—and track results.
  • As you gather more data, identify trades that improve/worsen your results.
Swing trading with a full-time job.
  • Swing trading can be a practical and viable approach to take, while continuing to work a full-time job—and it’ll allow you to take losses better.
  • Make swing trading your “side hustle” and use it to build confidence before making the jump to full-time trading.
  • Having a safety net of savings in the bank is most important before transitioning.
  • Still set on being an intraday trader? The crypto market could be a good learning ground: easy access, low capital requirements, volatile, 24/7 market.
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Swing trading skills to develop.
  • Learn basic technical analysis methods, i.e. support and resistance. Use it as a tool for managing risk and making better entries/exits.
  • Build skill with repetition—see patterns play out over ‘n over again.
  • Don’t try to create a massive playbook of setups right away, or shoot your bullets everywhere. Start with one thing, get consistent, then build out.
Realistic timeline to full-time trading.
  • Giving yourself 6-12 months to transition is a short runway and kinda naive.
  • You should feel comfortable and confident before making the switch. If you’re not these things, your trading will likely reflect this.
  • Not impossible to trade full-time, but very difficult…
Education and mentoring.
  • The difference between paying for a service and a true mentor relationship.
  • An alternative to seeking a mentor: get a few buddies who are into trading, catch up frequently, exchange ideas, grow together.
  • If prop trading, a mentor may be more accessible, as the firm has a vested interest to improve your bottom line.
Proprietary trading.
  • The two categories of prop trading firms and the difference between each.
  • Don’t be afraid to call or email a firm to show interest and initiative—find out what types of skills they’re seeking.
  • Do your research as the culture between firms can vary greatly—some are very focused on development, some will leave you to your own devices.

Links and resources mentioned:

READ ALSO  183: Jim Simons—the pinnacle of trading greatness w/ Gregory Zuckerman




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