You know how to build a good support system for your job as Forex trader – you have a broker you can trust, you have forums and websites where you learn and discuss ideas, you may have several trader friends with whom you converse on a daily basis. Maybe you attend conferences and seminars regularly. All of this professional support will contribute to your success.
But your non-professional, personal support system is just as critical to your success. Maybe even more so.
If you have a spouse or partner who does not trade, it’s imperative that he/she understands exactly what you are doing, and how he/she can help.
First of all, does he/she understand what you need in terms of atmosphere? Do you require complete and total concentration? All day, or only at particular times of the day? Must you monitor your trade closely, or can you set your entries and exits and then leave the computer?
Many work-at-home people discover that their partners have unclear ideas of what they do while they are home, and form unrealistic expectations because of that. For example, many work-at-home women, with partners who work outside the home, find that they are expected to cook and clean and otherwise act as though they do not have a job at all, simply because “they are home.”
It is not an uncommon situation for a partner who has been at work all day, to come home with the expectation that dinner will be ready and the table set, just because the work-at-home partner was “home all day.”
This can cause a huge amount of misunderstanding and hurt, so these expectations must be addressed very early in the trader’s career. Just because you are home all day, doesn’t mean you are doing nothing. You are working very hard, and your partner needs to understand that.
In this case, an agreed-upon division of labor can really help. Negotiate the situation, and choose chores that you *can* accomplish – you might not be able to cook dinner because you are concentrating on the last hour of the trading day – but you can wash up afterwards, after the market is closed.
Traders also sometimes have very unusual schedules. If your trading plan involves the European session, and you live in California, you will be getting up at 1:00 AM, and will likely be going to bed at 5:00 in the afternoon. This could really cause a lot of misunderstanding with a partner who works 9:00 – 5:00 and wants to spend the evening with you.
Trading can be a very emotional job, and there will be times when the market gets you down. No matter how strongly you try to control your feelings, there will just be some bad trading days that might cause you to shy away from socializing, or even from being close and intimate with someone else.
The sooner you explain possible situations that may arise to your partner, the more likely he/she will be understanding when something actually comes up that affects you negatively.
Likewise, you may get angry, and you want to be clear upfront that your anger is not directed toward your partner. Your partner needs to understand that, just because you don’t want to talk about it, doesn’t mean that you are excluding him or her.
Remind your partner that in situations where the market has made you angry or upset, that he/she needs to be especially patient with you. Likewise, you need to be sure to keep your feelings in check, and not take out your frustration on your partner. Keep your business and personal emotions separate.
A little bit of conversation prior to these events will hopefully prevent them from becoming terrible misunderstandings in the future, and will go a long way toward relieving your mind, and allowing you to relax and focus on your trading, rather than on what your partner may or may not be thinking or feeling.
These are just a few tips for ensuring the support of your partner, but the subject is definitely worth a closer look. With your partner’s full and unconditional support, you have eliminated one more important barrier to your trading success.