A Day In The Life Of A Stock Market Trader

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Since beginning my £1 million Challenge, I've had a few messages asking what it is I do all day.

So, for those interested, here's an average type day for a bloke trading the stock markets, playing Superman with his son and running a make money from home website.

Bouncing Out Of Bed

My alarm goes off at 5.45am. No this isn't because I feel the need to check what's been going on in Tokyo. At this time in the morning I couldn't give a damn. It's actually an attempt to get a bit of breakfast done and watch a bit of sports news before my little boy wakes up (usually before 6.30am). My wife has a lay in. She's really not a morning person. I mean REALLY NOT.

This way I can get him fed, clean his teeth, have a play and stick him in front of his morning show.

This gives me time for...

The Pre Market Check

7am - Time for a cup of tea (or coffee - I like to mix it up a bit) and a chance to check the lap top for any news announcements. Companies always announce their trading updates or results and sometimes some other sort of statement.

First I check any shares I own for any news. If there's some news I'll have a look and set a plan of action. If I think the statement or numbers don't look too great I may cash in my profits, if they're good then possibly think about adding a few more.

Then there's the shares I've been keeping an eye on but haven't bought. Again, I'll make a judgement and see if I need to take any action today or not.

I also have a look at a few more companies announcements to see if anything takes my interest and research later on.

My next stop is the London Market reports and what the markets look like beginning at. Up or down.

A quick check of my emails and make a note of anybody I need to get back to later on.

Once this is all done, my boy flies around the room to the tune of Superman for a bit. Just stopping in time to make sure there's no nasty throwing up episodes.

My wife enjoys her sleep. So waking her up is approached with the same caution that you might take if told to wake up a tiger in the wild. A long broom handle, a quick prod, leave the boy to distract her and a quick sprint to the office.

And We're Off

The markets open at 8am and my computer screen lights up with activity. I generally stay out of the action until it all calms down after about half an hour, unless I really need to make a trade. I check my holdings and any I've been following to see what they're up to.

I check my screens on Stockopedia to see if there's any new shares that have passed my checklist.

Stockopedia has a great tool where you can create your own checklist of criteria and only shares that pass each criteria show up on your screen. You can also view screens from the so called "Gurus" of share trading to see what shares pass their criteria. 

It saves me having to waste time trying to find good looking companies for investment.

Just because they turn up on the screen doesn't mean I'll buy them, but I'll research them, pick the best ones and set a price I'd be keen to buy them at.

The little man heads off to nursery 3 days a week. If the markets aren't busy, sometimes I'll take him to have a stretch of my legs, but my wife usually takes him. 

That's the beauty of working from home. I get to join in with the family stuff. Something I missed out on all the time when I was working and commuting from 7am to 7pm most days.

Though, if I get really busy, I just keep the door closed and crack on.

Time For A Cuppa

A lovely brew mid morning and time to catch up with my emails and any writing I need to do.

I love reading emails from people asking about the markets or work from home ideas and I always answer everyone. When I started my website and my trading challenge I didn't expect any interest at all. 

I've always got something to write about as well. There's usually a million things going on in my head, the majority unpublishable.

So, usually up until lunch I'll be writing something while I glance out the office window at our lovely little garden. It's a very relaxing time of day.  

A spot of lunch?

The little one comes crashing in for lunch just after midday and we'll sometimes make something and stay at home. If it's a nice day and the markets aren't doing too much, we pop out for a quick lunch at a local cafe. I have a phone app to check and make trades if I really have to.

It's good to get out of the office and join the real world for a bit and catch up with my family. Sometimes I'll even meet up with a friend for lunch and if I've had a few beers with them I'll try and stay away from the trading screen. Everything looks like a decent investment after a touch of alcohol.

Probably why I don't do that too often. I'd get nothing done.

Back to the hard graft

If you believe it's hard graft, you'll believe anything.

It does take quite a bit of research, a lot of patience and discipline. You need to keep a very cool, calm head on your shoulders. You can never get emotional about anything otherwise you're doomed.

At 2.30pm the American markets open which usually triggers some activity and the UK markets more often than not go in the same direction as our friends over the pond.

If nothing particularly interesting is happening then I'll usually grab my chance to have a little work out.

I used to be involved in running quite a bit and ran the London Marathon and Toronto Marathon and many other smaller runs. But I damaged a disc in my back wrapping a sofa at work one day, endured 3 years of pain after many misdiagnoses and ended up needing back surgery to cut the disc away from my nerve. I can't run anymore as it just causes too many problems, so any workout now involves a bit of Yoga, some low-impact cardio and some body strengthening. Nothing too hard.

The Markets Close

The run down to the market close starts at 4pm and the activity picks up again for the last half hour.

I go through my holdings and make notes of any others that could be a possible buy later in the week.

4.30pm brings the close and I just make a final chack over my holdings. See if I'm up or down.

Then it's a run down the stairs and some good fun with my son before we have some dinner, give him a bath and get him ready for bed. 

To think I used to miss out on all this.

Making Money From Home

It really is a wonderful freedom to work from home. Life just seems better somehow.

Weekends used to be just a recovery for me (if I had a weekend off) and there never seemed to be enough time.

If you are interested in share trading you can download your FREE "How To Select Shares Guide" here for more info.

All the best



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