If you choose to become a trader, you can make a great living. However, the job is not suited for all personality types. It can be stressful and demanding at times, however just as rewarding at other times.

If you enjoy mathematics and statistics as well as reading charts, studying financial documents and following the state of the economy, then trading might be a great career option for you.

What will I be doing?

As a trader, you will be buying and selling financial instruments for either your customer or yourself.

Such financial instruments may include:

  • stocks
  • bonds
  • commodities
  • currencies
  • options

Where will I work?

As a trader, you will typically be working with investment banks, commercial banks, hedge funds and asset management firms. Unless, you are trading for yourself. In that case, you will be self-employed and you will trade on your own, wherever that may be in the world (your home office or perhaps at the beach). Some independent traders work in groups, either with friends or colleagues, so that they can benefit from their peers’ input. This is a great way to trade as the peer support you receive can be quite valuable in helping you learn how to trade.

Self Employment Options

Currency Trading has become quite popular in recent times.

Unlike stocks, the currency market is a fluid and volatile market, which makes for a great platform to trade on. You can trade the forex market on your own or within the scope of a job.

Keep in mind though, currencies are a very risky market to trade in so it’s important to learn how to trade on a demo account and develop strong trading skills. Once you do develop, skills the potential for earning a substantial income is high (as long as you’ve got a good amount of capital to begin trading with).

Many traders are turning to automation these days in order to advance past the steep learning curve much quicker. An automated forex trading system could cut down your learning time significantly, but nothing can substitute for the fundaments (such as developing great trading skills, making sure not to over leveraging your account, etc). Many traders try to get more out of the market than their capital can give them. For instance, they look for a forex trading system 96% winning trades but the reality is you do not need to win the majority of your trades to come out ahead. You only need to learn how to cut your losses and run with your winners. You can still loose 70% of your trades and profit from the remaining 30% left (see: Forex Trading Secrets in the resources below for excellent articles on this topic).

Weigh out the Life vs Work Equation

Whether you ultimately end up trading stocks, bonds, currencies or some other financial instrument, consider the lifestyle that goes along with a trading career. It can be a stressful job and it does tend to consume a lot of extra time. For some, it may still be worth it.

Balance out the demands of this job with what you want out of your life.

In the meantime, check out the resources below to help you further along in your research.

Resources:

The following are some insightful resources for you to look at to explore this career option further.

The Trader’s Job (as described by a Trader)

Investopedia – Trader Jobs

8 Reasons to not become a Trader
This article is to help you determine the reasons why you might not want to become a Trader. It focuses on day trading, which is a self-employed route, so it does not necessarily speak to a Trading job where you will have the interaction and support of your peers. That said, still consider the pitfalls outlined.

Forex Trading Secrets
This website has some great articles, from how to make $500/day trading the forex market to tips on how to get a 5-10% return every week in forex trading. A great resource.