Trading For A Living

How many times have you said to yourself, "I'd like to quit this job and just make a living trading in the stock market"? Well, maybe you can, BUT...

There a few things to consider.

First, you have to have enough money to generate the income you need for your daily expenses and that amount is going to vary considerably depending upon the trading system. Shorter term methods will require less starting capital than longer term trend following or momentum systems. I am not an advocate of day trading. It takes a certain type of a very disciplined personality. Even though I was an exchange member I did not stand in the pit and makes scores of trades each day. The long term worked for me.

How much income do you need? $50,000, $100,000, more? Based on your starting capital what kind of profits can you expect?

Once you have decided on any system you must get to know it and should paper trade it for 6 months before putting real money on the line. Assuming you have a successful method you then must have the discipline to follow its rules even when you think they are wrong. You must take every trade. There are hundreds of systems and the magazine Futures Truth follows about 300 and prints their returns every 2 months.

The easiest method is a momentum system with stop-losses built in to reduce your draw down during a bad trade. Even the best system only wins 50% of the time or less. The closer (more frequent trades) you get to the market the more random it seems. That is called noise and it can drown you out.

You won't need expensive overhead as you can work from home, but you will need a high speed computer, maybe more than one, with good software. In some places brokerage companies will provide a workstation for active traders.

The most important thing about trading is having a good exit strategy. Staying with a losing position will break you every time. You must keep losses to a minimum.

The size of the position you take is another factor. If you decide never to risk more than one or 2% of your total assets on any trade that will determine the number of shares you can buy. If you have $100,000 and limit your risk to 2% ($2,000) using a 10% stop loss then you can buy 10,000 shares of a $2.00 stock or 200 shares of a $10 stock as your 10% loss will come to $2,000 (2%) in each trade.

There are many other considerations to trading for a living and one of the most important is your emotional stability. How will you handle those losses? Can you stand 5 or 6 losing trades in a row? Or more?

I know the answers to all these questions because I have been there and done that and I do not recommend you quit your job to do it.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.