Thinking of Trading Crypto Full-Time? Keep These 10 Things in Mind
By CMM Team - 28-Sep-2023
Trading is not an easy job, but the freedom it promises has not stopped attracting new market participants who are determined to succeed as speculators. Eventually, every trader faces the decision of keeping trading as a hobby or escalating it to a career.
How should a trader decide what is right for them?
On Twitter, the CMM team asked friends and followers to share whatever advice they would give to a new crypto trader who is considering making trading their full-time job. The following sections of this blog post aggregate some of the key insights shared in replies to the question posed to Twitter.
Here’s a summary of the replies.
Be sure. Many of the replies said simply, “Don’t.” Some of these responses were serious and others were facetious. But the message from this one-word answer is that it’s not easy, and any aspiring full-time trader needs to make this career decision carefully and thoughtfully. But if someone isn’t fully sure and decides to make trading their career anyway, at least have a backup plan. There are no guarantees in trading, and most people fail at it. Having something to fall back on (at least, initially) is never a bad idea.
Be profitable. Traders should make sure their system is thoroughly tested over an extended period of time through different market environments with proven results (profit). If trading skills have not been demonstrated through hobbyist or part-time trading activity, there is no reason to believe a robust system will suddenly appear when trading becomes a full-time job.
Prepare financially. This part may seem obvious, but it’s important to have enough money to make a living from trading before trading full-time. Some traders recommend at least having a six-figure trading account balance before making a career of it. Beyond funding an account, it’s also important to have a financial safety net to cover daily expenses, emergencies, bills, etc. Stressing over daily expenses while trying to trade full-time will make success that much harder to achieve. Secure multiple months of savings in addition to a fully funded account before starting a career in trading.
Limit losses. Every trader needs to avoid letting their mistakes blow them out of the market completely. Learning how to calculate and manage risk is essential to survival. Making mistakes is a natural and healthy part of every trader’s journey, but when it becomes a career, trading losses need to be managed much more tightly than when trading is a hobby. One way to accomplish this is by setting a maximum drawdown limit. For example, an account drawdown of more than 10% could signal that something is seriously wrong and the trader should pause and reevaluate their system before taking a new trade.
Always learn. Mistakes are always the most effective way for traders to learn what they need to change or improve on, which means making mistakes – and learning from them – is essential. If an aspiring trader isn’t willing to put in the thousands of hours needed to learn, analyze, improve, and progress, they will be washed out of the market. Taking notes and studying previous trades is an important aspect of learning. Taking notes on everything – market conditions, emotions, news events, trade results, technicals and fundamentals – helps build a trading journal that’s rich with valuable insights for a trader to improve. Statistics and journaling produce confidence and an edge.
Be yourself, but make friends. Nobody will bet on someone more than themselves, so full-time traders need to bet on themselves and go all in with confidence. But trading can be very monotonous and boring – it isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, and many traders attest to it being one of the hardest and loneliest jobs they’ve ever chosen. Because of this dynamic, being a resilient trader also means making friends – don’t always be a “lone wolf.” Chat in small groups, make close friends, rant occasionally on social media, and engage with other traders. Camaraderie is healthy.