One of the most popular questions new and experienced traders have is "How do I become a full time trader?", now there is no right or wrong answer to this as each traders journey will be different. What we can do is cover the points that apply to all traders.
All Traders will need to have a trading system, now the word system is a very broad term that includes many different moving parts. First off you will need to have a back tested strategy that shows you ( the trader) that this system is profitable. Next you will then need to trade said system for a period of time to prove that it actually works.
There is no right or wrong answer to how long you should trade a system before going full time, just know that it is ideal to experience all market types. This includes bullish,bearish and ranging markets. Not to mention fast and slow moving bearish/bullish markets.
Once you know your strategy works and it is profitable and proven it self over time, its then ready to move onto the next steps.
Behind the Scenes
Going full time is often a dream many traders have, due to the fact they dream about sitting at there computer collecting money. What many traders don't dream about are the realities behind the scenes.
First off anyone looking to go full time will first need to have a large amount in savings. This is your security net, in case anything happens you should have a minimum of one years expenses plus ten percent. The plus ten percent is encase of anything unexpected coming up.
Next is how are you going to fund your account? If you account is already funded then you wont need to worry about this until you lose a large portion of your account. Ask your self "If I lose 50% of my account can I add funds back in?", if the answer to that is no then it looks like you will need a larger amount in your savings.
Make sure to have all your debt squared away and covered in your savings. Don't plan on going full time and living off a credit card until you make it big. Some debt wont be able to be avoided, such as a morgatge or thousands in student loans. The best way to handle debt if your going to become a full time trader is to have as little as possible. This is one less headache you have to worry about and one less item that can put pressure on your trading.
Support & Everyday Life
One of the biggest hurdles traders run into is support from there partner/family. If you plan on leaving a good paying job, be ready for a few hard conversations with your partner. The best way to address this situation is to let him/her know you need there up most support. Trading full time is stressful enough on its own, add an upset partner and it gets ten times harder.
One of the best ways to get your better half on board is to use him/her as an accountability partner. The whole idea behind this is to bring them along so one they know whats going on and to get another set of eyes on your problems/issues.
Everyday life is a topic many traders who dream of going full time over look. How much time do you need for analysis in the morning,when are you going to start, do you have to look after the kids,how late do you work,what are you off days? These are all extremely important questions and it barely scratches the surface. The best way to deal with everyday life when your trading full time is to make a routine and stick to it. If you have a partner then it would be extremely wise to bring him/her on board and build this routine together so all parties are supporting it.
Becoming a full time trader is a difficult task on its own, add in everyday life and what goes on behind the scenes and it gets ten times harder. Don't let that discourage you, if anything let it open your mind to items that you may have been over looking. Trading is a marathon and you don't just decide to jump into the game one day, it takes lots of preparation and work to get ready. If you have your mind set on becoming a full time trader, then stop reading this and get to work!