As a trader, I am sure that at some point you have run out of time and missed a trade. When it’s a one-off situation, you don’t need to worry about it.
But what if it’s not?
Maybe you have other commitments, like another job or a family. The situation above is a regular one that you could find yourself in and trading quickly becomes an afterthought. There is simply not enough time in the day for you to trade the forex market…
Or is there?
Throughout my trading career I have had varying degrees of available time to trade. In the last 5 years, my schedule has become the busiest it has ever been!
Yet I am still trading like I used to. Trading forex around a busy schedule is possible – and in this article I am going to show you how.
The Best Trading Strategies to Use
I have gone over my own strategy a lot so I won’t go over it all again. But within my Price Action strategy you have access to some different strategies and styles of trading that are better suited to traders that have limited time.
If you have another strategy you use, that’s great. There are tons of different styles and preferences and no strategy is perfect for everyone.
So what styles and strategies should you be using on a tight time budget?
1. Swing Trading
This is the best type of strategy for traders with little time. These are trades you take that can last a few days or even a week or two. It is a popular strategy that is used across multiple financial markets. If you have little time and are trying to scalp trade, you are not going to get very far. Your profits will be low and you will find progressing much harder as scalp trading requires a decent chunk of dedicated time.
2. 12 Hour and Daily Time Frames
As you are swing trading, your focus will be on higher time frames – typically the 12 hour and daily charts. You are looking for longer, bigger moves that will take a few days to hit your targets. This gives you breathing room in the sense that you don’t have to micromanage your trades and you can be away from your charts for hours at a time without it impacting your trade.
3. Set and Forget Strategies and Trend Following
As I just touched upon, the higher time frames mean you can leave your charts without it impacting your trade. This means that you are looking toward set and forget strategies. Likely, it will tend toward following the trend on the trades you are taking. Following the trend is a less risky trade setup for these longer trades that last a few days or more. This doesn’t mean you can’t trade counter-trend, but it is important to recognise that doing so will require you to manage your trades a bit more closely.
Trade Using a Smartphone!
Look, in 2019 we are pretty much all in the camp of owning a smartphone. There are a ton of options nowadays, varying from pretty cheap to pretty expensive. I actually have a separate guide to mobile trading if you want to take a look.
If you are tight on time, trading with your smartphone is going to be one of the best ways for you to tackle this issue. It doesn’t require you to be glued to your phone so don’t worry.
Whichever smartphone you have, there will be multiple options for you when it comes to trading apps.
The first one I recommend is the Trading View app. Not everyone will have Trading View but as a side note, Trading View will save you a bunch of time in and of itself. The charting software makes MT4 and MT5 look archaic and the tools you have access to cut out multiple steps.
So to view your charts, I recommend Trading View – you can look into a free 1-month trial if you want to.
You don’t need it though, as MT4 and MT5 are available on your phone. You may also have the option to download your broker’s platform – either way, you need to download one of these three as it is what you will use to execute a trade.
Lastly, I recommend getting a forex calendar on your phone. There are a bunch of different options for this so just try a few out and see which one you prefer.
Now, just having the apps is not going the answer to utilising your time to its fullest. There are a few extra things we need to do in order to get the absolute best use of our time when we are running low on it…
Use Chart Alarms
Chart alarms are your new best friend.
Used correctly, chart alarms will make your trading more efficient, more profitable, and much less time consuming.
Alarms are how you know when to check your charts at critical moments. With a busy schedule, you can’t afford to look at your charts every hour and perform analysis for 20 minutes.
Instead, we need to utilise chart alarms in order to tell us when we need to take a look and make some decisions.
Want to know when price is nearing your entry level? No problem, set an alarm to trigger close to the level so you can easily and quickly hop on to your charts when price reaches it.
You don’t need to look at the pair for the rest of the day if your alarm is never triggered – price isn’t at your entry level. Immediate time-saver.
Let’s say you enter that trade. Why don’t you set an alarm at a level that is halfway to your stop loss? That way, if your strategy incorporates exiting early, you can look to do so without having to check your charts every hour.
You can do the same with your target. Maybe you have a 2 risk-to reward ratio on this trade. You could set an alarm at the 1.5RR level and see if you want to extend your TP.
Chart alarms save you time and the time you spend trading is much more productive. You won’t be looking at your charts when you don’t need to be.
You will only be on your charts whenever something needs to be done to a trade. Streamlining your time in this way will help you to trade around a busy schedule.
Also, depending on your broker, you can get these alarms sent to your phone.
So back when I was telling you that you should use a smartphone – this is another reason why. If your trading is organised on your phone for when you are on the go, you will never miss an alarm and you’ll always be able to check your trades with whatever app you have chosen!
Learn Your Order Types
I am always surprised at how under-utilised pending orders are by traders. Perhaps it’s because the different types of orders can be confusing.
But if you want to keep streamlining your trading, pending orders are an absolute must. These will trigger automatically at a predetermined price level that you decide on!
You set the entry, your target, your stop loss, and that’s it.
These trigger without you having to go back to your broker’s platform and re-insert the information. There is a lot of customisation when it comes to how you want to organize these so make sure you take a look at what your broker offers.
All in all, there are 5 main types of order. You have your market order which is what you use most of the time, the current ask and bid being offered by your broker.
Then we have a Buy Limit order and a Sell Limit order.
A Buy Limit order is where you put in a pending long trade to trigger below the current price level.
A Sell Limit order is where you put in a pending short trade to trigger above the current price. These are the best order types for trading on the go (Limit Orders) so make sure you look into these more if you need a more thorough explanation.
The other two are a Buy Stop order and a Sell Stop order.
A Buy Stop order is where you put a pending long trade to trigger above where the current price level is.
A Sell Stop order is where you put a pending short trade to trigger below where the current price level is. As you can see, these different order types are just allowing you to trade on either side of the current market price for long and short trades.
Organise Your Charts & Analysis
My last tip is a pretty straight-forward one and may seem boring; but I promise you that if you follow it, you will save a whole bunch of time.
When you conduct your pair analysis, organise potential setups and pairs you want to keep an eye on. On Trading View, you can tag pairs with coloured flags which makes this incredibly easy. Use a notebook otherwise where you can jot down the pairs you have as a priority.
And when you check your charts, try to do it when the candle’s close. So for the 12 hour, check when the candle closes and use that time to check your charts. You should also be checking your charts a minimum of twice a day.
That may feel like you don’t have time, but when you have a list of pairs to check, you save some decent time.
Place your pending orders and alarms when you are doing your analysis too. This way, you don’t need to keep going back to you charts to place orders or alarms.
Streamlining your analysis in this way will reduce your overall time spent on the charts massively.
Overall, it is more than possible to trade forex around a busy schedule. When you first implement these tips, it will take some time to reach your most efficient working speed. Any new change takes time to settle into and learn how to navigate.
So give these tips a go for a couple of weeks – you may even come up with a few of your own! We all trade the charts differently and something that works for one person may not work for the other.
What’s important is that you try new methods out and see what works for you. After all, with forex trading you are your own boss!