Do You Want to Trade Stocks For a Living?

I do not trade for a living. I get emails from traders wanting to start a trading business. They want me to tell them how to trade for a living. My standard answer is this: "I don't trade for a living." Their reply?

"Why don't you do this full time? Don't you want to quit your job?"

And then it hits me...

This person is sick and tired of his "job" and wants to do something that he loves to do - trading stocks! I currently own a small business (not related to the stock market) and believe me - one is plenty! I don't have the desire that this person has because I don't work for someone else. I work for myself.

I can understand the desire to want to trade stocks for a living. I used to have a "job" and to be quite honest - it sucked!

Having a job versus owning a business

Having a "job" is the worst method of generating income and the most inefficient way to make money.

Why you ask?

Because your salary is based on time. You can see the problem right away. There is only so much time in a day! In order to make more money you have to invest more time. This makes you miserable, tired, and cranky!

Some other problems associated with having a job..

  • You can never get paid what your really worth.
  • You have to work long hours to make someone else wealthy.
  • You can't make more money unless you beg for a raise.
  • You have no freedom.
  • You have no leverage.

And the number one problem? You have to work in order to make money.

Yep. I can see why so many people want to trade stocks for a living!

Now let's look at owning a business. Time is no longer a factor. How much time you spend running your business is up to you. You get paid for the value that you provide to your customers. This is usually in the form of a product or service. If you trade stocks for living, then you are providing liquidity to the markets. This is very valuable. Without traders, the stock market wouldn't work!

Now let's look at the benefits of having a business:

  • You get paid what for what you are worth.
  • You get paid to make yourself wealthy.
  • You decide how much money you want to make.
  • You have freedom.
  • You have leverage.

And the number one benefit? You do not have to work in order to make money. You can put on a trade, type in your stop loss order, and go fishing. Assuming the trade goes in your direction, you will make money without working.

As I type this on my computer, I am making money with my current business, even though I'm not doing any work there.

Another thing to consider...

When you own a business, you can get paid over and over again for a one time effort. Let me explain: Let's say you decide to trade stocks for a living. You buy a stock on Monday. This will be a typical three or four day swing trade. When the stock moves in your favor, you will continue to make money over the course of several days, for just that one time effort you put into it on Monday!

This is the same way with any business.

So, when you go into work tomorrow to that dreadful day job, tell your boss that you would like to get paid over and over again for the effort you put in last Monday. He will laugh and think you are crazy! But, HE will get paid over and over again for YOUR efforts!

Doesn't seem fair does it?

Trading stocks for a living

Well, I hope I haven't upset you by the above comments. But hopefully it will inspire you to make a change.

Like I said at the beginning. I do not trade stocks for a living but I am observant. I own a business so I can see what other professional full time traders do to make a living.

There a several things that I know you MUST do before you begin a trading business:

  • You must eliminate all of your personal debt.
  • You must be well capitalized.
  • You must have a logical trading system.
  • You must follow strict money management rules.

This is true for most any business. You have to have your ducks in a row before you even begin.

But there is one major problem that I can see if you decide to trade stocks for a living. This is no small problem either:

You will have draw downs. Every professional trader goes through periods where they lose money. Anyone that tells you otherwise is a liar! How will you deal with this?

How do professional traders deal with this? The answer is right in front of you but I bet you never noticed it.

They teach others to trade, sell books, and create a myriad of other products and services related to the stock market. They create multiple streams of income to compensate for the harsh realities of draw downs.

Think about it. Look around the internet. Every one of them has a product or service to sell. There is nothing wrong with this if what you are selling is valuable and helpful to other stock traders. That's what a business does. It sells value. If it succeeds, then it becomes a total win-win situation for both the business owner and the customer.

Heck, you don't even need a product or have to sell a service to make money on the internet! I know of a couple people who make a living selling other people's products. Not only do they make a living but they make a very nice living.

Check out some of these success stories from the company that I use to build this website. Yes. They make a living from their website. You'll be shocked but inspired.

Anyway, back to my point. If you want to trade stocks for a living you would be wise to come up with other ways to make money to compensate for draw downs. A lot of professional traders do it. Very smart.

In conclusion...

Like I said in the beginning. I do not trade stocks for a living.

The thought of staring at a computer screen watching candles form on a chart does not excite me! But, I wanted to write this page to give you some perspective on it from a business owners point of view - without the hype.

Do not start a trading business just because you want to quit your 9 to 5 job.

Do it because...

You love to trade stocks!

I certainly do.

Beginners: Learn the Basics

Intermediate: Trading Strategy

Advanced: Swing Trading Tactics