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Can Part-Time Forex Trading Be Profitable?

May 14, 2008
Forex trading can be difficult at the best of times. Even if you're doing it full-time and sitting at a computer screen all day closely monitoring your positions, it can be really tough going. So can you really make money from forex trading on a part-time basis?

Well I am a profitable forex trader overall and although I do sit at my screen for most of the day, most of this time is spent working on my various websites. The actual time spent staring at charts is minimal in comparison.

My relaxed attitude to forex trading is down to the fact that my main trading method is based on the 4 hour charts of the major currency pairs. As well as using a number of technical indicators for guidance, one of my most tried and trusted methods is to wait for crossovers in short-term EMAs (Exponential Moving Averages). This generally only requires me to glance at my charts every so often to see if a crossover is imminent.

Admittedly, however, this isn't really a true definition of part-time trading. I still have to be at my monitor for most of the day either looking for new positions or keeping an eye on any open positions.

Part-time trading really means only trading forex for a portion of the day, for example only during certain hours, or taking a hands off approach and setting entry and exit orders (including stop losses and limit orders) that will be triggered automatically if a certain price is achieved some time in the future when you are away from your computer.

This sounds even more difficult but it is actually quite possible to make profits this way. For example if you are only going to trade for a portion of the day and take a shorter-term approach, you could do a lot worse than only trading during the opening hour or two of the London session, ie 8.00-9.00 UK time. I often trade the 5 minute charts during this time and make decent profits because prices of the major currencies, particularly the GBP/USD and the EUR/USD trend strongly during this busy opening hour.

Another method of trading is to only trade the daily charts. For example, if you are working full-time your best bet would probably be to devise a strategy that monitors daily support and resistance levels and looks for possible breakouts the following day. This way you could set your orders the night before and they will be triggered if a certain price is met.

So to sum up, it is most definitely possible to trade the markets on a part-time basis. In fact you will often find that traders who only trade during certain busy periods of the day do just as well, if not better, than traders who trade all day long.
About the Author
James Woolley runs a forex blog which includes trading tips and strategies, a review of FXcast and a Forex Club review.
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