Anyone successfully daytrade futures @ work?

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by Jocke, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. Jocke


    My ultimate goal is to become a full time trader.

    Right now I'm developing my plan and strategies. At present I only paper trade. As a result I have to work at a "regular job" (non financial) for income. Also once my strategy becomes successful, I will have to trade at work before I could take the step to pro trading.

    My typical day:
    9.30 am - noon @ work
    noon - 2 pm @ commute + other stuff
    2 - 4 pm @ home

    So I have about 2 1/2 hours potential trading time at work. I would like to benefit from this time. "Everyone" says that trading the opening is easy, and I would not like to miss out on an opportunity if such arise.

    I sit around a lot at my desk, but quite often I have to attend meetings, meet customers etc etc. Also I like to keep this a secret to my colleagues. That means hitting the "panic button" as soon someone enters my office.

    Based on my present situation I think this will be my strategy:
    - Daytrading only
    - Try to find entry signals
    - Auto exits (for example using Bracket-Trader) placing target and stop after entry.

    Any successful @ work daytraders out there? Any suggestions? /J
  2. My guess is that anyone "successful" at trading futures at work, would have done as you planned and quit their job to focus on trading once their strategy became successful..

    You want to trade the open, but this is precisely the time you cannot because it coincides with your time at work. If you feel you have to play the open, find another job with different hours. Otherwise, why not get started trading during your 2-4 pm time at home. And futures trade basically 24 hours, so you aren't even limited to that. If the success of your strategy absolutely depends on playing the open, arrange it so your time at work is anything but 9:30am-12:00pm.
  3. Hi Jocke,

    Phantom Trader raised some good interesting points.

    Jocke, I don't know your family situation (if your single or a family person)...

    I know a few traders that moved to the Pacific coast or NorthWest or at least into the P.S.T. time slot so they can trade that first few hours after the open and then go to work to their other jobs and work full or part-time.

    (latest guy I know went to a prop firm and the guys and gals before him are retail traders)

    This is how I started in 1989 as a retail trader in the P.S.T time slot (one of the main reasons for moving there)...eventhough I had been an active investor in the markets 5 years before that.

    It helped take a lot of pressure off me (financially) along with removing a lot of psychological stress from trading while I was learning the trading business.

    I don't think trading the open is easy...but I do think its easier than trading in any other intraday cycle.

    What I mean by trading the open is the first hour of trading.

    There's also a reason why they call it it "Amateur Hour" because the veteran traders will take most newbies money during that first hour...reason why so many books from years past said to NOT TO TRADE the first hour...mainly because there were so many other consistent profitable opportunities later in the intraday cycle during the bull market.'s market dynamics are completely changed in comparison to the days of the bull and missing the first hour can leave a trader missing some good consistent profits...

    depending of course on that trader's trade methodology.

    Just some thoughts you may want to explore.

  4. That's my strategy as well.

    My decision to quit my day job was easy, since it was making me sick. Not that being at home doesn't make me sick ...

    My schedule is as follows:

    6:59:50 - 7:00:00 commute to work
    7:00:00 - 8:58:00 gathering of information and occasional pre-market trading
    8:58:00 - 9:00:00 commute to post office
    9:00:00 - 9:03:00 transactions at post office
    9:03:00 - 9:05:00 commute from post office to work
    9:05:00 - 4:15:00 work = fun
    4:15:00 - 4:15:10 commute home
  5. hi

    I live in the UK, trading the UK markets during the day is not possible for me so I found an overseas market to trade ie the US. Perhaps you could find an overseas market that would enable you to manage your time better, daytraing futures whilst doing something else at the same time sounds risky to me. However good luck with your venture

  6. Jocke


    LOL. I envy you.
  7. Jocke

    You envy me for living in the UK, have you ever seen the rain here


  8. nitro


    Here is a more realistic day:

    7:00 AM - 7:30 - 8:15 Turn on CNBC and Bloomberg and get a feel for what is moving the markets. Bloomberg is better for overseas stuff. Browse the pages of the WSJ for anything that pops out. Eat breakfast while reading/watching. Finally, scan Yahoo finance for any numbers that have or are coming out today. If you trade bonds, the 7:30 time frame is important because lots of numbers come out during this time and is a good way to get into the trading day.

    8:15 - 8:25 Walk to your trading station(you may already be there.) Browse for upgrades/downgrades. Go into the chatroom and see if there is anything being said there that you missed. Jibe some with friends in the chatroom, as the trading day is very lonely day in and day out.

    If you are a stock trader, get your OO ready to send in. If you are a spoos trader, get a feel for how the minis are moving pre-cash open. Look at the bonds (I look at yields) REPO announcements etc.

    8:30 - 9:30 We are off. I am usually trading ES furiously at this time, and continue to do so for about an hour. During the whole time, I am looking for clues in sectors and thinking about what was said in the papers/news/overseas relates to what is going on in the markets. Also, constantly watch big cap stocks for clues as to where the next move might come from. Watch NQ all during this time to see who has leadership over whom. Keep an eye on the EURO/OIL/GOLD.

    9:30 - 12:00 I sit in front of my computer trading very thin issues most of the day, waiting for fish to get caught in my net. In the meantime, I patiently wait for a spoo entry. When it comes, it is fast and furious and I pick up a c-note. This can be quiet painful on some days, and I have slammed my head against my desk because I fell asleep waiting for something to happen. I will often take lunch by ordering it and picking it up. I find that taking a break from looking at my screen and getting some fresh air is good for me.

    12:30 - 2:00 More of the same...

    2:00 - 3:00 See how the spoos trade when the Pit traded bond contract closes. Sometimes, nothing much happens, sometimes, it moves violently. This is another time to get ready to pump it up.

    3:00 - 5:00 Study what is happening tomorrow

    5:00 + go to ET and look for interesting posts

    later - collapse do all over again

  9. rs7


    Nitro, are you central time? Or trading spoos pre-market?

  10. ewile


    this is a link to a topic that I started about a week ago. It discusses a trading system that I use at my job. I trade stocks (most often the smh and once in a while the dia single stock future).

    I'm in NY so I'm at work for pretty much the whole trading day. I like my system because it takes hardly any time. About 5 minutes to place my orders at 10:05. I'm finding that on the best days for my system an order has been filled by the time I check back in at 10:45 and in fact often there has been enough profit to either close out the trade or sell half and get on with my work day.

    Good luck!
    #10     Jan 19, 2003