It is true that a successful Forex trader can enjoy more freedom than someone taking a more traditional career path (i.e accounting employee), however, becoming a successful Forex trader and gaining that freedom requires a willingness to sacrifice other things. For example, you may have to wake up at the crack of dawn to prepare for market-open or to trade in markets outside your time zone. You will have to be emotionally prepared to live without a safety net; if you make a mistake you don’t have an employer to assume the consequences of that mistake.
Are You Ready to Become an Entrepreneur?
Deciding to trade in Forex markets is really deciding to become an entrepreneur. You are putting your own money at risk in order to generate a greater return (monetary, lifestyle, etc.) than you expect from an employer. Being an entrepreneur is like leveraging up your own life; if things go well you capture more upside and if things go poorly you suffer more downside (relative to being an employee). In relation to the question of freedom, if things go poorly and you cannot pay your bills or support your family, are you really more free? A better way to view the issue is to ask yourself whether you are comfortable taking these extra risks for the added upside that comes with success. A critical part of that question is determining how much discretionary spending you have to risk in the endeavor of becoming a Forex trader. Someone living paycheck to paycheck with a family to support has no business taking on such an endeavor. Alternatively, someone who is single and has ample savings available may be in a position to take the risk.
Freedom Takes Discipline
For those that are willing to take the risks outlined in the previous section, a tremendous degree of discipline will still be required. Not having a boss, meetings, or co-workers is a double-edged sword; it means greater freedom but it also requires an internal discipline to replace the pressure of an employer. When a trade is going against you, there won’t be any boss to tell you to unwind the position. When you’re eating lunch and a massive news story is released relating to your position, no one will tell you to rush to your computer. When you model out a strategy and mistype one of the numbers, no one will be there to correct it. All of these responsibilities will fall squarely on the shoulders of the Forex trader.
Does Freedom Mean Leisure?
In the context of one’s personal life, a Forex trader will have the freedom to construct their own schedule and will theoretically be able to take a vacation, go for a run, or grab a bite to eat whenever they want. The reality is that the most successful traders carry their work with them everywhere. They are always thinking about improving their process, no matter where they are. Additionally, every hour of leisure is one less hour of research and a lower chance of nailing your trades. It’s almost a paradox in that you will have more freedom in your personal life but you will actually end up spending less time on leisure.
Summary of a Forex Traders’ Freedom
- More theoretical freedom but more responsibility.
- More financial freedom if successful but no safety net if unsuccessful.
- Internal discipline and commitment are required to maintain freedom.
- Work never ends. You’re never on the clock but you’re always thinking about your next move.