How many of us have heard or used these phrases before?
“Gusto ko sana mag-invest sa stock market pero busy ako sa work e.”
“I can’t keep checking the stock market while I’m at work.”
“Marami na kasi akong inaasikaso e. Wala nang oras magbantay ng stocks.”
“I want to try investing in the stock market but I have a full-time job.”
There are so many Filipinos who want to start investing in the stock market but don’t because they think it requires too much time and attention—something most of us can’t give. But did you know that there are people who successfully trade stocks while balancing work, family, friends, and personal time? Yes, it’s possible! So, how do they do it?
Before we tell you our tips for trading stocks while working a full-time job, let us explain the difference between what most people THINK stock trading is vs. what it ACTUALLY is. One of the most important things you should know is that there are many kinds of traders who create different systems and styles to suit their own lifestyle. One common way of classifying them is into day traders and swing traders.
Day traders are those who buy and sell stocks multiple times in one day. They rely heavily on Technical Analysis and make money from price changes that happen within a few hours. This is why they have to monitor the market very closely and execute trades as soon as the stock hits a specific price. Day trading takes a lot of time, which is why most day traders are full-time stock traders—they are what people usually think of when imagining what a stock trader should look like.
Swing traders on the other hand are those who wait days between transactions, holding onto stocks for days or weeks before selling them. These traders rely more on Fundamental Analysis and hold on to the stocks for a longer period of time. Because this style requires less time than day trading, many swing traders work full-time jobs as well.
Swing trading is a great option for most beginners, simply because it is too risky for most people to become a full-time trader right away. Swing trading allows you to maintain your current income so that you won’t rely completely on the profits from your trades—which realistically won’t be a big amount when you’re just starting out. This will minimize stress and pressure that could negatively affect your performance as a trader.
Still, like anything in the stock market, swing trading carries its share of risks and rewards. So here are a few tips to help you get started on the right foot:
TIP 1: Find time to research and analyze
Swing trading may require less time than day trading, but you still need to do the work. No strategy will succeed if you just blindly buy stocks. The good news is that you can do your research and analysis whenever you have free time—before work, after work, or even on the weekends. Take the time to research and analyze thoroughly because the more information you have, the better you will be able to plan your strategy for the coming days.
TIP 2: Set buy and sell prices ahead of time
Once you have done your research and analysis, pick the stocks you want to monitor and identify the prices where you will buy and sell even before the market opens. Your goal is simply to buy low and sell high, so use your research and analysis to identify the acceptable prices beforehand. Not only will this allow you to execute quickly during trading hours (i.e. in between meetings and other tasks at work), but it will also help you avoid making trades based on emotion.
TIP 3: Use ranges instead of exact prices
As a swing trader, you won’t be able to monitor price movements every minute of the day. That is why you should use price ranges rather than exact prices. This will give you some flexibility, but be careful not to take it too far. You still need to be strict with yourself when executing your plan. You might get impatient when the price gets close to your defined range, but don’t be carried away by your emotions. That’s a recipe for disaster. Stick to your plan.
TIP 4: Stay consistent when executing your plan
Because you already planned your trades ahead of time, you won’t need a lot of time to execute them. Set aside even just 15 minutes of your lunch or merienda break to check on your stocks. If you see that the prices have reached the buy or sell range that you set during planning, then simply execute the trade. If the prices have not reached the defined when you were planning your strategy, hold your position and check the market again tomorrow. Do this once a day, five days a week.
TIP 5: Let technology help you monitor your stocks
Nowadays, you can access everything with just your mobile phone and an internet connection. There are many free services and apps like Investagrams that can help you monitor your stocks on the go. If you have a very demanding or unpredictable schedule, you can also avail of affordable services like InvestaWatcher so you can get SMS and FB messenger alerts whenever a stock hits your defined buy and sell prices. Either way, take advantage of the many free and affordable services to help you succeed.
With so much information and new technology available on the internet, investing in the stock market has become easier and more feasible than ever before—even if you have a 9 to 5 job. You still won’t make money without putting in the effort, but at least you have resources. You don’t even need a big amount of capital. For just P5,000 and a few hours a week, you can already start trading in the Philippine Stock Market. Just start small and stay disciplined. Stay consistent and keep learning, and your hard work will eventually pay off.
Do you have tips for balancing work, life, and trading? Let us know in the comments below!
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