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10 Steps To Becoming A Day Trader

10 Steps To Becoming A Day Trader

For some people, the world of stocks, trading, and high finance is an exciting prospect and a great career option. However, becoming a day trader isn’t for everyone. There are many things to consider before choosing this type of career. Here are 10 steps that you need to consider before you decide to break into this exciting field.

1. Know the Type of Trader You Want to Be

There are different types of traders, so you need to decide which is the best career choice for you. The options are flow traders (buying and selling for bank clients), proprietary traders (buying and selling for banks), and sales traders (work as go-betweens for clients and the market).

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2. Get an Education

In order to get hired as a day trader, you will need to have an educational background in business and finance. If you are choosing your university degree, and trading is interesting to you, look for degrees that involve business and finance.

3. Do an Honest Self-Assessment

In order to be a successful day trader, you need to have a particular mix of skills, knowledge, and personality traits. You also need to be committed to the lifestyle of a day trader. You need to have good math skills, an excellent background in finance, and understand behavioral psychology. You need to ask yourself if you are ready to work long hours, be constantly learning, take risks, and be totally committed to your career.

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4. Do an Internship

Companies are looking to hire day traders who are experienced. One of the best ways to gain experience is to work as an intern. You may even get lucky and find yourself a paid internship, but don’t pass on the non-paying ones. You may not get a salary, but you will earn valuable experience and knowledge. Another way to learn is to practice, and you can do this at BoilerRoomTrader. It’s a game which helps you to invest in real companies with fake cash.

5. Get Some Money

Before you can start working as a day trader, you need to have money.  Even though you will be working with other peoples’ money, there will be times when there are losses, and you have to cover those losses. You need to have working capital.

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6. Know the Markets

No matter how much education you have, you must be constantly learning because the markets change all the time. You need to know the markets and be able to anticipate changes. Even the simplest details, such as regular trading hours and what happens during holidays, need to be in your head at all times.

7. Pass the Test

Once you have your training, you need to pass a Series 57 certification exam. No matter how much knowledge and training you have, you can’t get a job until you pass this exam and become a licensed trader.

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8. Know What Securities to Trade

Different types of trading methods are used for stocks, options, mutual funds, futures, and ETF’s, and you need to understand each one in order to know which securities you should be trading. The less you know, the more problems you are going to end up running into.

9. Get a Charting Software and Trading Platform

Once you are ready to begin trading, you need to choose the best charting software and a trading platform. The software and platform must support your style and strategy, and not the other way around.

10. Get Your Office Set Up

Finally, all that is left to do is get your office set up so you are ready to work as a day trader. You will either be working at a firm’s physical location or from home. Either way, you need to have space to work, the right software, and a quality computer and monitor.

Featured photo credit: PIX1861 via pixabay.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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