The Tough Truth About Part Time Trading

part time trading

About the Author Kevin Davey

Kevin Davey is a professional trader and a top performing systems developer. Kevin is the author of “Building Algorithmic Trading Systems: A Trader's Journey From Data Mining to Monte Carlo Simulation to Live Trading” (Wiley Trading, 2014.) . He generated triple digit annual returns 148 percent, 107 percent, and 112 percent in three consecutive World Cup of Futures Trading Championships® using algorithmic trading systems.His web site,, provides trading mentoring, trading signals, and free trading videos and articles. He writes extensively in industry publications such as Futures Magazine and Active Trader and was featured as a “Market Master” in the book The Universal Principles of Successful Trading by Brent Penfold (Wiley, 2010). Active in social media, Kevin has over 15,000 Twitter followers. An aerospace engineer and MBA by background, he has been an independent trader for over 20 years. Kevin continues to trade full time and develop algorithmic trading strategies.

  • Ryan says:

    Another sensible article by Mr. Davey.
    I will need to keep this article link handy the next time I get asked the same question.

  • Kevin says:


  • Eric says:

    Part-time is a misnomer. Think of trading “part-time” successfully like a whole second job instead. And one that won’t pay well or at all for years! Just like being good at anything else, you have to enjoy the process or you won’t make it to the reward.

  • Curtis says:

    50k might be suggested because around 55k is the median wage in the US. Right, it sounds like they are looking for the same amount as a regular above average full-time income.

    First, I think it needs to be differentiated those who are serious and can only trade part time versus those looking for a temporary side gig. Now, if you’re looking for a side gig then I’d argue to just forget it and move on. There will be people who have exceptional results. But, if you’re talking about “part-time intensity” and “part-time hours” then there is simply no way. Even the people who I known who had exceptional results were working all day and night trading. There is simply no chance that’s going to work unless you have a PHD and are a genius– always exceptions!

    However, the focus should be that anyone who wants to trade needs to find a way to leverage their abilities. Some of the ways to leverage are pay to try out, offering a trading system for subscription, and/or sale a subscription or services.

    In the past, the try out options were really mediocre with only TST. But, there are new options like OneUp and another more established firm (not sure I can mention yet ) but they also offer ability to scale up futures trader to 25k account and trade on their floor they claim to be building out.

    As for selling your system, you can use a tracking service (like Striker). One potential problem is that you need a larger profit factor on tracked systems due to market orders and fees. So, not all systems are suitable. Alternatively, you can offer your signals outright or sell the system outright.

    I would say that normally even with the leverage up approach it will still take 10 years because you will need to develop your skills, acquire your capital, marketing, and most of all historically, especially for discretionary trader, it is very difficult to get funding. But, because of TST model and newer more serious entrants, I think that changes the equation perhaps significantly. With the new model, if you are talented then let’s say it takes you 1-2 years of study/sim trading and then 1 year to get funded and scale up, the timeline suggest 2-4 years– and that is very good from someone who’s been at this 10 years.

  • Babak says:

    After reading this article I think it is better for 99.99, not to enter trading world at all.Full or part time no difference.
    You need to have a good job to save money to deposit your account to make at most 20-30% return a year ! just stick to that job and invest in real state .

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