The stock market is worth more than $49 trillion, so it makes sense that many investors want to get in on the action. That said, not everyone has the time to be a professional trader. Whether you’re dealing with another job or concerned about caring for a loved one, you may be wondering if the stock market is right for you.
Yes! Everyone who’s interested in the stock market should be able to take advantage of its possibilities. The real key is making sure you practice good decision-making. This means learning a bit about the stock market or putting your faith in a financial guru you trust. There are many resources available online for stock research. If you want to know what the market is doing, check the best stock picking services that provide API to other finance websites.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to consider if you want to trade stocks while working a full-time job.
Short-Term Trading vs. Long-Term Trading
To answer this question, we first have to distinguish between the two major forms of trading:
- Short-term trading – Investors are buying and selling stocks in a matter of days or weeks, with the intention of making money within a short timeframe.
- Long-term trading – Investors buy shares in a company with the idea of watching them increase in value over time.
Many long-term investors buy stocks while also being employed. In fact, this is a central feature of many retirement plans that companies offer. Short-term trading is where this question really comes into play: some short-term traders pay attention to the market every minute of the day, making trades designed to take advantage of breaking news before other investors have a chance.
As you can imagine, this form of trading is difficult if you’re trying to take care of a full-time job. That said, there are ways to mitigate this so you don’t have to watch the market every second of the day.
Day Trading vs. Swing Trading
So, is it possible for a full-time worker to make money by being a short-term trader? Yes, but we need to distinguish between two different forms of short-term trading:
- Day Trading
- Swing Trading
Day trading is highly technical and often relies on making many trades within the course of a single day. These kinds of traders get their name because they rarely hold a position overnight. Instead, they’re looking for enough small profits to make a living. This isn’t the sort of trading that people with full-time jobs would likely engage in.
It would be nearly impossible for someone working a 9-5 job since you need to be available to watch the market closely. While it could be possible for someone working a night job, it would be difficult to get sleep while juggling a job and the demands of day trading.
Swing trading, on the other hand, is doable for someone holding a full-time job. While swing traders are still focused on short-term trades, they’re typically taking positions that take days or weeks to show their full potential. This timeframe allows you to make the trades you need without requiring too much time away from the day job.
It also comes without the financial barriers that can prevent people from day trading (e.g., if you make a minimum of four trades within a five-day period, you need to have at least $25,000 in your account).
Finally, swing trading is more accessible because it doesn’t require as much mathematics. As opposed to the sophisticated modeling required for successful day trading, you can look at broader patterns when engaging in swing trading. You can also look at industry factors and the book of business behind the stock.
Can You Participate in the Stock Market If You Don’t Have Time to Trade?
Yes, even if you don’t want to trade stocks yourself, you can take advantage of the stock market. Some people do this with a broker, but there have been a number of recent innovations in the fiscal sector designed to expand access to the market.
Some of these apps allow you to buy a small portion of a stock and remove the barriers that can sometimes prevent traders from engaging in it.
It’s easier than ever before for people to start investing and trading in the market. If you’ve been sitting on the fence, now’s the time to get started.