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How Many Hours a Day do You Trade?


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How Many Hours a Day do You Trade?

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  #1 (permalink)
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How many hours do you trade..... ??

I was used to long hours working in the studio, so it's more of the same for me.

..just wondering....


I actually dream of trade entries / ideas....


AJ
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  #3 (permalink)
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Hey @tderrick

Good question!
Personally I am reducing to the max...
For some - even 24h per day are not enough.

To be serious - one has to find "THE" moment within a day to
place *the* trade and to get out.
If one has not found this specific time zone - overtrading will result.

My best time is after opening - and closing some hours later.
Not getting into the late afternoon to lose the gains from the morning.

Good trades!
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  #4 (permalink)
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8 hours (ish)

4-12 everyday. Not including research.

.
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  #5 (permalink)
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Crude opens at 9am Gold opens at 820am. I am done with my day by 1030am at the very latest and normally am done before the market opens at 0930am. I trade real money so all I do is get paid and get out. I actually turn the charts right off and just monitor & mange my open equities positions if need be.

Good luck in your trading

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  #6 (permalink)
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tderrick View Post
How many hours do you trade..... ??

I was used to long hours working in the studio, so it's more of the same for me.

..just wondering....


I actually dream of trade entries / ideas....

AJ, Its the $64,000 question. Personally I believe in the law of diminishing returns, the 80/20 principal and the Decision Fatigue syndrome.

What does all this mean...simple...work less. At lot less. Figure out where your optimum and ideal trade hours are, work those and quit. I mean walk away. No charts. Nothing.

For me, its about 30 minutes in the evening to see what happened after I left for the day then since I'm in AZ, I hit the charts at 5:30AM until about 8AM. Two and a half hours. Thats it. I try to make 50 ticks or so in that time frame and I try to make 100 or so for the week. This allows me some loser days in the week without freaking out over the loss.

For more detail, the law of diminishing returns says that at some point, the reward for additional work is to small to justify the extra work. Its like you have an option to work a 10 hour day and the first hour is worth $100 and each additional hour is worth $10 less. At some point, it gets to zero and you have to decide where in the continuum you decide the effort is not worth the money.

The 80/20 principal says that you get 80% of your results from just 20% of your work.

And the decision fatigue syndrome says the longer you are forced to make decisions, the worse those decisions become. This is why car dealers like to sell you all the crap after you've been there for 5 hours....anything to make the pain go away!

Many many many pit traders have said they would have made more money if they had quit trading after the first 2-3 hours of the day. They made it in the morning and gave it back in the afternoon.

And then finally, I believe very strongly in the idea of The Two Economies.....

Economy 1 is the Time based economy. You get paid for the time you put in, not the results. Traders make the mistake of thinking they live in this economy. Its a linear expression.....Time X $ = payday.

Economy 2 is the results economy. Your pay is not commiserate with the time put in. And thankfully neither is the size of the pay. You get paid solely for results regardless of time expended. Its an exponential expression. The reward is all out of proportion with the time expended. Results in ticks * # of lots = Payday. You then get to expand your payday by increasing your lots when appropriate.

As a trader, we live in the results economy. Therefore, our job is to maximize pay in the least possible amount of time.

For me, its the time I've laid out above. Those are typically CL's best hours and my best mental hours. This results in me being able to walk away with zero guilt about not trading longer. Its the confluence of factors that make it the best for me.

You will need to examine your instrument, your best mental hours, your desired results and then design a trading plan around those three things.

It also helps if you have a life away from trading....no life, then just trade 24/7 if you can avoid losing money most of the time.

Long answer to a short question. Hope it helps.

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  #7 (permalink)
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Over the last few weeks I have taken a leaf from the book of @GFIs1, cutting down hours significantly. Putting more emphasis on multiple shorter 1-2 hour sessions rather than one long day, taking plenty of breaks, making them real breaks, walking a lot, even restarting my old TM from uni days, forgot how good it was. Had only two really awful days in the last month, both absolute over-trading nightmares - the lesson is clear and damning.

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  #8 (permalink)
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I am in front of my screens 12 hours a day (btw, this is something I will be changing once I get to Ecuador).

I place several trades across several markets, usually in the morning. It doesn't take long because I've already mapped it out the night before.

But I think the real point of the question was how much time do I spend on trading as a whole. Between all the research and analysis, number crunching, chart drawing, Excel spreadsheets, database queries, etc it can easily be 4 or 5 hours of solid work. I multitask because I can't stand to work on one thing for that long so it takes me longer but I spread the work out around things like browsing the web, the forum, and lately stuff like floor plans for the house.

Throw in a few breaks, a couple of meals, and it is 12 hours.

Generally when it comes to actual trades, it's a set it and forget it for me almost always (unless something is really volatile). That means set it in the morning, and then don't touch it throughout the day, most days. But I am always watching, always stalking if you will...

I find myself spending more and more time away from charts and crunching numbers, generating spreadsheets, basically doing research to generate trade ideas. Lots of these are for my automated strategy work which is an ongoing hobby of mine. It helps keep me occupied during the day, and prevents me from overtrading.

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  #9 (permalink)
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tderrick View Post
I actually dream of trade entries / ideas....

BTW, I do this all the time (not entries, but trade ideas). My phone is nearby and I use Google Now to email myself "notes" for ideas I think of at night when trying to sleep.

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  #10 (permalink)
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After many years of most of my time awake in front of screens, I just recently started trading for 2-3 hours, then leaving. There are certain times of the day that are better for certain setups. Faster directional moves are what I have decided I prefer, and I burn out in "sideways" markets.

I watch charts from around 8:30am until I am done with the morning, maybe 9:30, maybe noon. Then sometimes back in for the 1:30-2:30 move, depending on how the morning went. Then 7-9pm forex news moves, if I am in.

I have shifted to the "less is more" camp, and find the open is most often rubber-to-the-road type of motion that can make your day in a few hours or less, if read correctly. And if not, there is another good time slot ahead.

Urgency is not real, and there is always another trade, but, when I can get my head in the game quickly and react to the morning surge, I find that best for life in general.

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  #11 (permalink)
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tderrick View Post
How many hours do you trade..... ??

I was used to long hours working in the studio, so it's more of the same for me.

..just wondering....


I actually dream of trade entries / ideas....

For most of 5 years, I spent every available moment in front of screens. 6am until midnight sometimes. Even took a laptop to bed and put it on the nightstand so I could wake up thoughout the night and look at it... lol

Crazy.

We come into trading not having a clue, and the ones that are there are hidden with the rest of info-infinity, so many times traders watch and watch and watch... And I believe that is a required process. It is good news for opthamologists.

That lifestyle becomes addicting, and the psychology that goes with it begins to feel desperate. "One more" becomes the mantra, and also the reason many fail. But, screen time is possibly the only way to learn how you want to trade, what you want to trade, what "trading" really is.

What starts as something fun and exciting becomes something obsessive and debilitating. And then, maybe, you work your way back to fun and exciting.

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  #12 (permalink)
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I think it is also very prudent to have a money goal. Once your money goal is met BOOM you're out. I know I am. I don't want to have my personal money OR my profit money I take off them in the live market for any longer than is needed to get my money goal. Right now I take out $200 and I am otttttta there.

Whether it takes 1-2 trades doesn't matter. Done is done. Turn off the charts and leave or do something however DON'T turn those charts back on until the next days session opens and you are ready to mark them up for the day's work.

I think once the money goal is met you're good. The rest is over trading and being in the market JUST to be in the market is a recipe for disaster.

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  #13 (permalink)
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I used to monitor the market 12-14 hours a day when I first started out. My trading method evolves throughout the years and I no longer need to do that now.

I would observe the pre-market situation 1 hour before the market start and usually would be done by 2-3 hours into RTH.

I do spend time outside the trading hours to do trades evaluation, ways to improve on my methods; lots of time on excel and of course reading futures.io (formerly BMT) to get keep myself updated.

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  #14 (permalink)
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Indeed,

CL is quite good 8:30am est up to 'round about 11am 'ish' est--sometimes inventory day up to 11:25am 'ish.' Take that wonderful 2.5 hour lunch and do what you like.

I prefer Tues-Wed-Thur. for 1:25pm est up to 2:28pm est for CL p.m. session trading (if I trade CL @that time). No Friday p.m. session in CL (seems like gambling). Monday p.m. session 'can' be okay--depends on volume and what is happening in equities/forex/interest rates/volatility on the day.

Now you got it, right?

peace/hedvig

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just a couple hours a day after the opening bell. If the market isn't cooperating sometimes setting sound alerts at certain prices will help you save time and catch up on other things while price is sorting itself out.

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  • 4 hours watching the charts in the morning
  • 1 hour evaluating my trading of the day in the afternoon
  • 30 minutes analyzing/preparing for next day in the evening

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There are (with any instrument)
weeks...
days...
hours...
minutes...
ticks...
--------->>> TO GO

as well there are
weeks...
days...
hours...
minutes...
ticks...
--------->>> TO AVOID

FIND them out and you will SAVE a LOT
of TIME and MONEY

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Actual trading, usually around two hours. However, I'm in front on my screens by 4:30 AM and aside from water refills and bathroom breaks, there until around 4 PM.

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  #19 (permalink)
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This is something im trying to find a balance with. Currently I do some form of market related activity (trading, webinars, excel stats, reading etc) for 12 hours a day. I trade the full London session plus the morning of the US session. So although I dont sit staring at my charts for 12 hours, im pretty much at my computer doing some form of market related activity. I try to take short breaks every hour or two.

A while back I added a time of day study to my stats spreadsheet. This was about 2 months ago and the stats since then have continued in roughly the same trend:

It came as no surprise that the majority of my profits are coming from the US morning session. The problem is that when the US session starts ive already been at my computer for 8 hours. So im mentally exhausted even though I dont admit it to myself and just 'power through'.

I have finally come to the realization that I need to force myself to take one large significant break mid day (in addition to smaller breaks). So starting next week I am going to trade the first 2 hours of the London session which is another good profit time for me. Then take a 2 hour break doing something physical (mountain biking or something like that). I will then come back and trade till about 30mins or so before the US session at which point ill take a 30min break until the session starts. The idea being that I will be fresher for when it really matters, ie: London morning and US morning.

This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. Because my mind is constantly thinking about trading and even if im not actively trading then I watch webinars, read trading books etc. Im constantly on a search for more knowledge, more screentime, more, more, more. But I feel that coming into the US session fresh is important and lately i've been exhausted by that point in the day.

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  #20 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
This is something im trying to find a balance with. Currently I do some form of market related activity (trading, webinars, excel stats, reading etc) for 12 hours a day. I trade the full London session plus the morning of the US session. So although I dont sit staring at my charts for 12 hours, im pretty much at my computer doing some form of market related activity. I try to take short breaks every hour or two.

A while back I added a time of day study to my stats spreadsheet. This was about 2 months ago and the stats since then have continued in roughly the same trend:

It came as no surprise that the majority of my profits are coming from the US morning session. The problem is that when the US session starts ive already been at my computer for 8 hours. So im mentally exhausted even though I dont admit it to myself and just 'power through'.

I have finally come to the realization that I need to force myself to take one large significant break mid day (in addition to smaller breaks). So starting next week I am going to trade the first 2 hours of the London session which is another good profit time for me. Then take a 2 hour break doing something physical (mountain biking or something like that). I will then come back and trade till about 30mins or so before the US session at which point ill take a 30min break until the session starts. The idea being that I will be fresher for when it really matters, ie: London morning and US morning.

This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. Because my mind is constantly thinking about trading and even if im not actively trading then I watch webinars, read trading books etc. Im constantly on a search for more knowledge, more screentime, more, more, more. But I feel that coming into the US session fresh is important and lately i've been exhausted by that point in the day.

__________________
Not sure how old you are, though you might want to halve the mountain biking or 'something' like that and do 'some' Yoga/meditation/hiking instead~~oh, breathe more.

This will begin to calm your mind over time. It does work--give it enough time and don't 'tabulate' the results. Just process it w/o keeping score.

Good luck!

peace/hedvig

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researcher247 View Post
__________________
Not sure how old you are, though you might want to halve the mountain biking or 'something' like that and do 'some' Yoga/meditation/hiking instead~~oh, breathe more.

This will begin to calm your mind over time. It does work--give it enough time and don't 'tabulate' the results. Just process it w/o keeping score.

Good luck!

peace/hedvig

Funnily enough I actually do currently do Ashtanga yoga twice a week. However this is outside of trading hours (Saturday morning and Monday night). Lol,...guess what my mind jumps to when it's time for Savasana at the end,...trading! But I agree with you, yoga is an excellent addition to balance out trading. However I am yet to be able to calm my mind. It's a work in progress

thanks for the suggestions.

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  #22 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post

What starts as something fun and exciting becomes something obsessive and debilitating. And then, maybe, you work your way back to fun and exciting.



How incredibly accurate.

I am just exiting stage 2....


AJ
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  #23 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Funnily enough I actually do currently do Ashtanga yoga twice a week. However this is outside of trading hours (Saturday morning and Monday night). Lol,...guess what my mind jumps to when it's time for Savasana at the end,...trading! But I agree with you, yoga is an excellent addition to balance out trading. However I am yet to be able to calm my mind. It's a work in progress

thanks for the suggestions.

My wife studied yoga and became an instructor, I studied trading and became a full time trader (we are both now officially 25 again). There were many analogies about how the two were similar. Balance, calm mind, strength to hold a pose/trade, precision in the positioning...

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researcher247 View Post
Indeed,

CL is quite good 8:30am est up to 'round about 11am 'ish' est--sometimes inventory day up to 11:25am 'ish.' Take that wonderful 2.5 hour lunch and do what you like.

I prefer Tues-Wed-Thur. for 1:25pm est up to 2:28pm est for CL p.m. session trading (if I trade CL @that time). No Friday p.m. session in CL (seems like gambling). Monday p.m. session 'can' be okay--depends on volume and what is happening in equities/forex/interest rates/volatility on the day.

Now you got it, right?

peace/hedvig

Ditto, except for Friday pm if there is obvious and immediate geopolitical pressure.

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  #25 (permalink)
Nashville, Tennessee
 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
This is something im trying to find a balance with. Currently I do some form of market related activity (trading, webinars, excel stats, reading etc) for 12 hours a day. I trade the full London session plus the morning of the US session. So although I dont sit staring at my charts for 12 hours, im pretty much at my computer doing some form of market related activity. I try to take short breaks every hour or two.

A while back I added a time of day study to my stats spreadsheet. This was about 2 months ago and the stats since then have continued in roughly the same trend:

It came as no surprise that the majority of my profits are coming from the US morning session. The problem is that when the US session starts ive already been at my computer for 8 hours. So im mentally exhausted even though I dont admit it to myself and just 'power through'.

I have finally come to the realization that I need to force myself to take one large significant break mid day (in addition to smaller breaks). So starting next week I am going to trade the first 2 hours of the London session which is another good profit time for me. Then take a 2 hour break doing something physical (mountain biking or something like that). I will then come back and trade till about 30mins or so before the US session at which point ill take a 30min break until the session starts. The idea being that I will be fresher for when it really matters, ie: London morning and US morning.

This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. Because my mind is constantly thinking about trading and even if im not actively trading then I watch webinars, read trading books etc. Im constantly on a search for more knowledge, more screentime, more, more, more. But I feel that coming into the US session fresh is important and lately i've been exhausted by that point in the day.

-------------------------------

This is exactly where I am and why I started this thread.

I have been trying to come up with a schedule since I have gone full time trading.

I love the London NQ, as the volume, pace and risk management are
perfect for my strategy and I have been able to earn a living with the profits gained there.


I have been at the point for some time that I will make my profits by the US open and then just watch the
larger volume of RTH work. It is very difficult to make it past lunch, as that is closing in on 12 hours up and 10 hours
in front of the charts. It's just impossible to focus for that long.

So now, I think I have a trading plan for the US open and my original strategies work fine for after the London close
as Volume takes about 1/3 off the madness...

I think it is simply time to start shifting the schedule so that I have more brain power for the US open.
Currently, I have close to a normal work day under my belt by then - crazy.

With my method, the risk is not that much more, but the profit potential is exponential . The London hours
are typically "capped" by the prior day range - it rarely moves out of it or across all of it.
The RTH movement is unlimited - even if the market is range bound, it can travel back and forth across
the whole range before settling in somewhere around Y close. That's big ticks. - I said TICKS


There are some days, however, the ON move is a long and classically structured trend, built for
scaling in - Only to see the RTH become a huge mash of choppy goo. So I think always catching the back
1/2 or 1/3 of the ETH is good, just to lock in some calm, easy profits. Then, just see if you can lock into
a huge RTH move or two... It would be worth the RR in the long run, I would think.

We shall see


______________________________________

So I think I will try a 430 to Lunch type of bag for a while.
If I need to, I can always come back for the last couple of hours on into the ETH which can be quite exciting
at times.

It's just time to scale it back and focus on the good earnings areas.


Thank you guys, so much, for the input.

futures.io (formerly BMT) - the best trading community on the planet


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


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  #26 (permalink)
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
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13.5 M-F and 8 Sat and Sun

all the time I am not sleeping, doing chores, buying groceries meals, washroom, shower, shave etc.
An exception to this is on mornings I am on schedule and up with my alarm 2:45am.
Then I go for a run at the track 3-4am.

Most hours are mostly number gathering, analysis, updating my spreadsheets, hand charts etc.
Actually placing the trade is not of course much time. If I have done this correctly (faint hope that) the stop and closing order are OCO placed at the time of trade entry.

In theory I wouldn't need to do anything else until the alarm goes off (at the target zone), but with a small account I am usually tense and tend to watch the trade like a hawk until I am 5pts in-the-money, at which time I can adjust the stop to BE.

I hope/plan to change this when I have enough money to hire people to do the spreadsheet updating and to pursue new research ideas that come from time to time.

..........
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  #27 (permalink)
Ljubljana, Slovenia
 
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Normally traded CL between 9:00AM to 11:30AM. Before trading I have no special preparations because my motto is: trade what you see, not what you think it will be happen.
When trading options, the situation is completely different. Traded in the first half hour after the market start, and half an hour before closing markets, it is most likely that I fill my open positions. In the meantime, of course, watching with one eye what's happening in the stock market. Years ago, I watched the market ten, twelve hours a day. Now I'm doing all the things a lot faster and more efficient. So, I left a lot of time for other things.
Happy trading for all.

Jan

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Legendary Market Wizard
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2 hours or less. Some days there's nothing to do but check in on trades that are already going.

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  #29 (permalink)
danville ca usa
 
 
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I trade from the futures market open for about 3-4 hours....


toucan

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  #30 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
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Due to my regular day job, I can only trade the US afternoon sessions for about 2 hours...

"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." - Jim Rohn
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  #31 (permalink)
Rome, Italy
 
 
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A couple of hours (including webinars, backtesting and stuff like that). I'm a 100% mechanical trader, and my only daily need is to doublecheck that the strategies work correctly throughout the US cash session.

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  #32 (permalink)
Temecula, CA
 
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Daytrader999 View Post
Due to my regular day job, I can only trade the US afternoon sessions for about 2 hours...

Same here except trade in the morning before work watching the US opens. Out sick today and there is a lot of research about other markets I would like to do but alas no time. Need to just stick with CL until its figured out, then I can branch out.

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  #33 (permalink)
Madison, Wi
 
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Trade from 8:00 - 11:30, 4 markets. After that my brain turns to mush. Sometimes catch the cash close of CL or close of ES. Spend about an hour at nite getting prepped for next day. Took a while to find that balance.

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  #34 (permalink)
Mumbai
 
 
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I trade for 8hrs and take on an avg 2-3 trades per day. That's it! So in between those 8hours, i try to meditate for few minutes to regain my concentration. Another 1 to 1:30hr for my journaling which includes video journal, spreadsheets and my Mental Trading Account(idea taken from van tharp's teaching)

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  #35 (permalink)
Philadelphia
 
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Phantom View Post
I trade for 8hrs and take on an avg 2-3 trades per day. That's it! So in between those 8hours, i try to meditate for few minutes to regain my concentration. Another 1 to 1:30hr for my journaling which includes video journal, spreadsheets and my Mental Trading Account(idea taken from van tharp's teaching)

Just out of curiosity, what is the average time length you stay in your trades?

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  #36 (permalink)
Mumbai
 
 
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Itchymoku View Post
Just out of curiosity, what is the average time length you stay in your trades?

My losing trades lasts no more then 10min as i keep scaling out and when the market moves in my favour, i see to it that i ride it to maximum extent. So winning trades lasts for 1-2 hrs approx. Sometimes i hold for more then 6hrs. Depends on strength of the trend.

I hope that was of some help to you.

Thanks and Regards.
Phantom

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  #37 (permalink)
Cleveland, OH
 
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I am not a day trader so I am at the computer from 8am est to 5pm M-F. Maybe 4-5 hours on the weekend.

Gathering data for spreadsheets, balancing accounts with statements, researching, lots of researching. I am a fundamental trader so research is very important.

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  #38 (permalink)
Quebec, Canada
 
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On most days, I am trading from 7:30/8:00 AM EST to 6:00/7:00 PM.

Too much.

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  #39 (permalink)
Fort Worth, Texas
 
 
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well, if you include prep time as part of the whole of trading (which I do - in my view execution is the absolute last step of the trading process), I would guesstimate around 7-8hrs, like any other job. Lunch is either eaten after the close, or over 10 minutes during a lull, no breaks for the vigilant few!

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  #40 (permalink)
Brisbane, Australia
 
 
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Initially to get my algo model up and running it was 12 hour days for 5 months then once it went live it's basically 1 hour a day to monitor at certain time and then pull the historic data and run the P&L. Sadly, the hours never really decrease as you continue research and monitoring, testing.
Theoretically I would hope the best reason to build an Algo it to reduce the hours and screen time....

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  #41 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
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DetroitMoney View Post
I think it is also very prudent to have a money goal. Once your money goal is met BOOM you're out. I know I am. I don't want to have my personal money OR my profit money I take off them in the live market for any longer than is needed to get my money goal. Right now I take out $200 and I am otttttta there.

Whether it takes 1-2 trades doesn't matter. Done is done. Turn off the charts and leave or do something however DON'T turn those charts back on until the next days session opens and you are ready to mark them up for the day's work.

I think once the money goal is met you're good. The rest is over trading and being in the market JUST to be in the market is a recipe for disaster.

I knew somebody who had a very similar philosophy. Once he made $X he logged off and went to play golf etc. Other days he sat there all day and made nothing. Too me that's backwards. If you've already made $X in the first hour of trading, chances are that it's one of those days where you could make 2X, 3X, 4X etc if you trade all day. On the other hand if you've made nothing in the first several hours, thats probably a good day to log off and go and do something else. Maybe it's just me, but I find that I make 50% of my money on 10% of my trading days.

Saying that I trade 9.5-10 hours a day, every day. That's time spent in front of screens watching markets, running algo's, checking margins/PnL, updating spreadsheets etc etc. On top of that I probably spend 5-10 hours a week, reading, researching and thinking.

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  #42 (permalink)
London, United Kingdom
 
 
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I trade the DAX so usually at my desk for 6.30 GMT ready for the open at 7. Usually wrap up around 4pm, with an hour off for lunch. Need to get better at taking some small 5 min breaks every now and again, not very good at that.

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  #43 (permalink)
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If one can focus all their energies on trading than by all means trade during this time period. Once the energy is divided you can only expect to make poorer decisions. That being said, time is irrelevant because you can make a bunch of great trades in the first few hours and then lose it all in five minutes if you're not careful.

R.I.P. Joseph Bach (Itchymoku), 1987-2018.
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  #44 (permalink)
Frankfurt Germany
 
 
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For me the trading time is dependent on a reasonable daily goal. I think we trade to achieve a certain daily goal. Once that goal is met then the reason for continuing to trade will probably due to some other reason such as practice etc. and you change to simulation mode. I can usually make my daily goal in 2 - 2.5 hours from the open. If you decide to increase your daily goal, then simply increase your position size and continue to trade the same number of hours. Be careful when you choose to increase your position size that you do not exceed your risk tolerance. I increase my position size only as I grow the account and keep the risk tolerance the same. I think if increasing your position size causes you to increase your risk tolerance, then you will tend to trade differently and probably impact your performance negatively.

Steveo

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  #45 (permalink)
Malaysia,Kualalumpur
 
 
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It takes me at least 12 hours a day (including European and usa session ) .
the hardest action is sitting behind the screen all the time...

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  #46 (permalink)
Memphis Tennessee
 
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Hey all! New to this forum, but have picked up some good info in the short time here.

I trade shortly after 8:30AM CST and try to shut it down by 12:30-1PM CST. I'll spend about 2 hours before and after close to review my day trades and plan for next session.

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  #47 (permalink)
Nashville, Tennessee
 
Experience: Intermediate
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skz75 View Post
Hey all! New to this forum, but have picked up some good info in the short time here.

I trade shortly after 8:30AM CST and try to shut it down by 12:30-1PM CST. I'll spend about 2 hours before and after close to review my day trades and plan for next session.


Greetings from Nashville from another AMP / CQG cat


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


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  #48 (permalink)
Russia, Rostov region, Rostov
 
 
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I am trading 12 hours, and then my robot system look at the market and send me sms if have an interesting point.

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  #49 (permalink)
Quebec, Canada
 
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krazyanyway View Post
On most days, I am trading from 7:30/8:00 AM EST to 6:00/7:00 PM.

Too much.

Thank God this has changed, hours reduced to 7:30/8:00 to max 4:00, with mandatory breaks

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  #50 (permalink)
London
 
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I trade the 1st hour of FTSE100 at 8am uk time, then I go to work. For me it's enough. But I also market replay the previous week during the weekend. I like to be be in and out of a trade and then its over until the next day. My average trade is 9mins. It seems to suit me. I'm not sure if I wold like to be watching charts all day.

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  #51 (permalink)
Miami Florida USA
 
 
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GaryD View Post
After many years of most of my time awake in front of screens, I just recently started trading for 2-3 hours, then leaving. There are certain times of the day that are better for certain setups. Faster directional moves are what I have decided I prefer, and I burn out in "sideways" markets.

I watch charts from around 8:30am until I am done with the morning, maybe 9:30, maybe noon. Then sometimes back in for the 1:30-2:30 move, depending on how the morning went. Then 7-9pm forex news moves, if I am in.

I have shifted to the "less is more" camp, and find the open is most often rubber-to-the-road type of motion that can make your day in a few hours or less, if read correctly. And if not, there is another good time slot ahead.

Urgency is not real, and there is always another trade, but, when I can get my head in the game quickly and react to the morning surge, I find that best for life in general.

Absolutely, I trade a couple hrs only, sometimes it feels very hard to walk away thinking money is being left on the table, but if i get back in, i slowly erase my gains.

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  #52 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
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Roystunna View Post
Absolutely, I trade a couple hrs only, sometimes it feels very hard to walk away thinking money is being left on the table, but if i get back in, i slowly erase my gains.

That's definitely a flawed way to think of the market. I've been there before! I like to think of it as a video game. You get in, you play your games and then you move onto other things. While you're doing other things you're not thinking, "oh man, I could be playing my game right now and winning more games!" That market is no different. You can't catch every move. You just simply catch the moves that are present when you are participating. If that means no trading that day, then there's nothing you can do. You must wait to play the game made for your strategy.

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  #53 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
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Massive l View Post
That's definitely a flawed way to think of the market. I've been there before! I like to think of it as a video game. You get in, you play your games and then you move onto other things. While you're doing other things you're not thinking, "oh man, I could be playing my game right now and winning more games!" That market is no different. You can't catch every move. You just simply catch the moves that are present when you are participating. If that means no trading that day, then there's nothing you can do. You must wait to play the game made for your strategy.

Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."
Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

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  #54 (permalink)
Calgary Alberta/Canada
 
 
Posts: 934 since Feb 2014

As a long term trader, I spend very little time actually making trades. In a month I might place 10 orders maximum and take only a few minutes to do so.

However, that does not mean I ignore the market and don't do a little research. I periodically monitor how well my portfolio is doing every day for about 10-15 minutes/3 or 4 times during the trading day. If I find a stock that concerns me, I will place a trailing limit stop-loss on it and raise it if it rises and wait til it is sold...which may be never if the stock rebounds strongly in a positive way.

In the meantime, I will look for an alternative stock to place the expected money from the sale. I maintain a watch list which I scour looking for a suitable candidate and if I find none on the list I will look at sectors that are doing well and try to source a good alternative there. This research on TA and Fundamentals might take 2-3 hours per day until that need is satisfied.

I also spend an hour or so testing new charting techniques and participating on websites such as this one.

So in summary, as a long term trader, I spend very little time placing orders, a few hours a week monitoring the state of the union of my portfolio and perhaps 10-15 hours a week researching TA approaches, maintaining a watch list and participating on stock websites such as this.

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  #55 (permalink)
Philly, Pa
 
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SMCJB View Post
Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."


Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

attitude is a small thing, but it's everything

you can't half-ass trading. anybody who thinks they can do this part-time or with minimal effort and knowledge, and still be successful, should re-examine their priorities. if i miss one day trading, it throws me off my game. i am instantly out of sync with the market and it can take me a while to get my rhythm and and feel back.

the best athletes are always the one's who practice the hardest and immerse themselves in the game. i've been around traders my entire adult life, and every successful one had this trait in common.

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  #56 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
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+1

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  #57 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
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SMCJB View Post
Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."
Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

I read that post and it's great. However, over the past 6 years trading has been my life. I have completely immersed myself in it. I've watched charts during the day and have woken up 3-4 times throughout the night for 6 years to watch it during globex hours. Trading is my life. I did all of that to get to the point I'm at now. Of course, I'm always thinking and trying to get better and better but what I've been doing for the past 2-3 years is pretty straight forward and I've approached the markets as I described above. I have my favorite hours to watch and trade but I'm not worrying about missed opportunities when I'm not watching the markets, which was what my post was referencing to the OPs quote. This isn't a past time for me. This is my career.

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  #58 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
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Dec 24th, Christmas Eve.
I worked over 6 hours today, but must admit to finishing an hour before Globex shut down so that I can go and get lunch with the wife & kids.
Wasn't anything going after the close though so I suspect I didn't miss anything.
Today was my 6th best day of the month (5 better, 12 worse) and accounted for 7.1% of my MTD PnL.
It ranked as my 58th best day of the year (57 better, 190 worse) and accounted for 0.54% of my YTD PnL.
I also spent almost 90 minutes on the phone with Trading Technologies trouble shooting a bug I have found. Would have probably been even better if it hadn't been for that.

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  #59 (permalink)
 
 
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Interesting guys, thanks. For my two cents I day trade about 7 hours but fit charting & backtesting etc. in during this.

I started live in August after 5 months study of the ES, I had a serious immobilising back injury early in the year and little else to do but study the action 20 hours a day as I first learned. I make between 2 and 20 trades daily depending on which if my three styles is best favoured or mix and match. I'm at GMT and I like to start charting etc. around 9.45am for the European session, ES opens at 14:30 here.

I trade to date for a charity I support which gives me some sense of duty to act responsibly. The most important duty to them and my good trading is to walk an hour a day even if its freezing. I have had likely embarrassing success and put a lot down to doing this for others so it seems like a normal job.

My most important 'chart' however is my USB pulse-oxymeter which (with some practice) tells me if I'm a. not breathing properly b. getting emotional c. fatigued... then time for that walk.

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  #60 (permalink)
New York NY
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: ES
 
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At 06:30 AM I look at the overnight session and how markets have evolved in Europe. I prepare my trading plan for the day.
I start trading from 08:30 until 16:15. If the market is very directional I might stay longer, but usually I do not.
Note that I do not stay if front of my screens, particularly when the markets are quiet. I set sound alerts and do something else.

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  #61 (permalink)
Geelong Victoria
 
 
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tderrick View Post
How many hours do you trade..... ??

I was used to long hours working in the studio, so it's more of the same for me.

..just wondering....


I actually dream of trade entries / ideas....

No start no finish from 8am EST monday morning to 8am EST saturday morning, obviously I sleep in there as well. Most of the time is spent watching mr market weave his magic, waiting to make any required adjustments to my positions, this can happen at any time, funnily enought this waiting can be the most stressful of all even when everything is going my way.lol. At the moment I am typing this with the market ticking over on the other screens, I keep several computers running managing different accounts, works as a good backup having several accounts, if one goes down I can at least hedge my positions on the other if I need to.
Cheers John

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  #62 (permalink)
Geelong Victoria
 
 
Posts: 113 since Jan 2015
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SMCJB View Post
Assuming we are talking about trading as career rather than as a pastime or hobby I couldn't disagree more.
I don't think many people approach a 9-5 job with that attitude never mind something as difficult and cut-throat as trading.

@tigertrader wrote an amazing post a few weeks back which I agree with (almost) in it's entirety.
I think it's the opposite sentiment to what you said.

Interestingly (and slightly off topic) if you reread tigertrader's post I think he explains why most traders fail and in fact why most traders are doomed to failure before they even start.
Reading it the first time I found it very sardonic. It was if he was explaining to everybody why they would better off reading something else rather than wasting their time trying to trade.
But maybe I just interpreted it differently than most.

I have to agree, I followed the links, he is telling it like it is, they are a reflection of my experience and belief system. I started trading stocks in the late 80s, no computers around for retail traders then, in the 90s I was trading SPI futures and options off a pager and end of day data that I would download, whilst having to ring in my orders. The markets were very different back then. During the 90s computers came to the masses not just the big players who could afford them, once this happened that edge was gone also. These days it's like the Americas Cup, a race for technology with the smartest/fastest taking the choice cuts, all that is left for the retail trader is the scraps if he can figure out how to get them but it won't be by out teching the whales. This is one of the rare times that I have seen someone discussing pure price action, this is how I approach the markets, anytime that I have mentioned this on a forum I have been ridiculed and derided, but it works at least for me. I have my computers running with charts in the background but simply for ease in watching the price but never use technical analysis when making trade decisions. Having said that, I came on here looking for a way to get access to a trading tool, this is the first time in many years that I have seen something of this nature that might help me in my trading.
Cheers John



"Well, in my book you either do it right or you get eliminated."
Gordon Gekko, Wall Street.

Read above

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  #63 (permalink)
Ottawa
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: IB, NinjaT/Kinetic
Trading: ES
 
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one should also factor in the risk of sitting for long periods, even if you are an exerciser:

Too Much Sitting Is Killing You (Even If You Exercise)

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  #64 (permalink)
Marketing Specialist
Portland, Oregon
 
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I currently only spend 2-3 hrs 'actively' trading. Around the open and around the close. I have cut the middle out because I found that was were I was the most 'stupid'. Errors, fatigue, losses mostly came during the middle or late in the day as I tried to manage or make something happen.

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  #65 (permalink)
Nairobi
 
 
Posts: 7 since Jun 2015
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my time zone is gmt + 3 . fits in so well...i wake up in time for london open.. scalp for 2 hrs then later in the even at open of ny scalp for 2 hrs

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  #66 (permalink)
Brussels / Dublin
 
Experience: Intermediate
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tturner86 View Post
I currently only spend 2-3 hrs 'actively' trading. Around the open and around the close. I have cut the middle out because I found that was were I was the most 'stupid'. Errors, fatigue, losses mostly came during the middle or late in the day as I tried to manage or make something happen.

Its funny you say that completely the same for me this week killed em in the morning got slayed afternoon on bund.

Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

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  #67 (permalink)
Houlton, Maine USA
 
 
Posts: 42 since Oct 2011
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I start at 7 am est. and will go till my goal is met , or 10 to 11 am . If I go past this time I find myself not waiting for the trade coming to me but me trying to make a trade happen .

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  #68 (permalink)
Sydney Australia
 
 
Posts: 13 since Jun 2016
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Resurrecting this thread because I wanted to know how many hours per day full-time discretionary traders spend on trade-related activities. This includes trading, research, organization, etc.

I know this thread has received a huge array of responses (from part-time/casual traders and auto/discretionary traders), but as someone who is planning on turning this specifically into a full-time endeavour I am curious to know how long other full-time discretionary traders spend on trade-related activity.

For me, 10-11 hours per day seems to be the limit before one reaches a point of being over-worked and prone to mistakes in either analysis or trading.

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  #69 (permalink)
Fletcher NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: nijia trader
Broker: A.M.P. I.Q. ....C.Q.G.
Trading: ym es
 
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i start getting burn out after 4 hours. less is more for me

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  #70 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Houston, TX
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Trading Technologies
Broker: Primary Advantage Futures. Also ED&F and Tradestation
Trading: Primarily Energy but also a little GE, GC, SI & Bitcoin
 
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I spent 11.75 hours today (7am to 645pm) at my desk trading and/or checking out at the end of day. Back again now (1015pm to double check statememt).

Most people based upon this thread would have called it a day at 815am and gone to play golf, having a good day under their belt. That would have been a huge mistake! (at least for me!)

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  #71 (permalink)
OC, California, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: IB, ToS, Kinetick
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Actual trade execution is only 15-30mins a day, but data processing, analysis, and operations adds on another hour or so. Then sometimes I am just watching, going through "what-if" scenarios in my head about what I would do if price does X, Y or Z. I have a variety of strategies I trade, some auto/algo, some manual but systematic, so it just depends on which ones are setting up nicely at the time. I would say usually no more than a total of 2-3 hours a day. Sometimes if I'm dealing with an options position on or near options expiration that can take up more of my time if I'm trying to get my position to expire worthless, I will spend more time watching and babysitting it.

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