Trading From Home VS. Trading in an Office

In my trading career I have traded both from home and in an office. There are pros and cons to both trading environments and I will be outlining them in this article. I currently trade from an office space that I rent specifically for trading. This may not be the right choice for you but I will share with you why this works for me.

Trading From Home

If you are trading from home it can be great because there is no commute and you can work in your underwear if you want. If you do chose to work from home then there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. First, make sure you have a designated spot to make your home office, and this spot should be free from interruptions during the trading day. You want to avoid placing your office in a highly trafficked area such as the kitchen, unless you live alone. Trading is difficult enough without having distractions so be sure to think of this when you decide on a spot for your home office.

If you are trading from home make sure that someone will be looking after your kids other than you during the trading day. Trading takes a great deal of focus and if you’re worried that little Billie is drawing on the wall again, you will lack the focus needed to trade profitably. If you have too many distractions at home then it may be time to look into renting an office space. This is where it gets tricky because if you’re not a consistently profitable trader then it is hard to justify another expense, especially if you have no other source of income.  If that is the case then you will have to make other arrangements to ensure you are distraction free during the trading day.

Trading From an Office

Trading from an office gives you peace and quiet when you need to be focused, but you also increase your expenses and commute to work. Trading from an office makes you look more professional and people will take you more serious when you explain that you are a trader.  The first four years of my trading career I traded from home and I loved it. I never really had any distractions and I have a spare bedroom that I made into an office. After trading for four years, my son was born and I took some time off to help take care of him. It was never really a big distraction because I had my own space. When he started walking and talking it become difficult and that is why I decided to look for an office.

My son would knock on my office door and yell “dad”, “dad”, “dad” and I just couldn’t resist the little guy so I would open the door and let him in. I took a short break to play with him and return to trading. At this point, I was consistently profitable and I thought it was only a short break, what could happen? One day my son came knocking and I let him in like I usually do, but this time I had a position on in CL (crude oil) and it was nearing the close of the session. I got so caught up in playing with him that I totally forgot I had a position on and the market closed. I realized later and I ran back to my office to check on the markets.

The problem was not that the market moved against me the problem was liquidity. There was next to no volume trading and I wanted to get out. I was forced to liquidate the position and I was filled at a terrible price. This is why it is so important to stay focused during the trading session. After this happened I realized it is time to look for an office. I love trading from my office and I can’t imagine trading from home again, although I do miss my son from time to time.

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