Part Time Work: Spread Betting

Perhaps you have a job, and are looking for a way to supplement your income; or you need a modest amount of earnings and do not want to be busy making money all day long. Either way, part time work spread betting can be the answer, as you set your own hours and commitment while working from home. In particular, today thanks to the ease of access provided via laptops and mobile apps together with WiFi one can trade and invest from practically anywhere and in many cases this can be done in less than 20 minutes a day.

Some of the reasons that spread betting can be the answer for part time work include –

  • You are not catering to the needs of any people, as in so many other part time businesses, so you can set your own timetable;
  • There is little investment required because spread betting leverages your resources;
  • You can learn and implement strategies at your own pace, improving as quickly as you want to, but without any rigid framework.

I think one common theme that arises is that those of us who are not under pressure to make money probably perform best when trading the markets. When I started I was not short of money and had a clear run at the learning curve without fear of the breadline. As it turns out I came out running but there was no certainty of that.

Having said that getting a good balance between work and home life is already tough without putting trading into the mix. Meanwhile, more and more individuals are choosing to add trading to their part-time endeavors in hopes of a source of extra income, with spreadbets providing an accessible entry level for many to the exciting world of financial trading and investing.

“The idea of financial independence and being free of the day to day imprisonment of being in the rat race keep me at it. Now that I am consistently making a profit, I have a healthy feeling of empowerment.”

Here, it is important to understand that spread betting requires an investment of your time since there is a learning curve and naturally you have to understand the market mechanics to make that you are at least taking educated guesses when you place your bets.  Having basic things like a trading plan, trading strategy and sensible risk management is essential for success. Things like working out profit targets and maximum losses you are willing to take, your trade sizes and setting up entry and exit points into and out of the market using orders helps you to manage your account. If you are not prepared to do this, then you will find that spread betting is also an easy way to go broke.

The principles behind spread betting are easy to comprehend. You place a bet on what you think the price of some publicly traded financial asset is going to do. The range of assets that you can bet on is vast and increasing every year – not only stocks and shares, and the Forex market, but more unusual exotic markets like the prices of commodities and property. So most people can find some market that they know about and is of interest to them.

The mechanics of spread betting require you to decide whether the price is going up or down, and bet appropriately. If you are correct, then you can win much more than your initial account size. Of course, you can also lose, particularly if you do not know what you are doing and avoid making the effort to learn. This is because with spread betting being a leveraged trading product, it involves more risk when compared to normal share dealing. This is due to the fact that whilst you are only required to deposit a small margin to place your a spread trade, your real exposure still amounts to the full value of your trade. This theoretically means that you could stand to lose more than the amount of funds that you may hold in your spread betting account particularly if you don’t utilise stops or bet the farm on just one market!

“Stalin used to de-motivate prisoners by getting them to dig ditches and then forcing them to refill them once again. Most people are working a job that is the equivalent of this. They never seem to get ahead or fulfill their life’s purpose. A lot of people are unfortunately working a job that very much fits this description. Is the perceived security you get from your job really worth selling your soul for?”

In any case if you are serious about part time work spread betting, then you should read and understand everything that you can lay your hands on. There is a lot of good information available on the Internet, and most of it is there for the taking.   What is more important than the cost, however, is that you make sure that you can trust the writer, because there is also a lot of misleading information.

For many traders, trading is a part-time pursuit. However, keeping track of the markets and organising your spread betting account can prove difficult to manage around your work and your daily routine. And it doesn’t help if you aren’t able to react to market changes – because, say, you are busy at work or or spending time with loved ones – fortunately here mobile trading comes to the rescue.

The thing is that even if you are only interested in part time trading, you need to start spread betting in a serious way. Some traders advocate the use of demo accounts or starting with very low amounts like spread betting at £1 per point. I digress. Personally I am not sure about this £1pp stuff. For me it has to be meaningful when winning or losing or else it is way too easy to fool yourself into doing the wrong thing when losing while not capitalising when things are going well. More important is discipline in cutting losses but the biggest thing of all is knowing your edge – not so much having a mechanical system but having an approach that you are confident will make money over time.

A few individuals will turn out to be so successful that they may even decide to give up their full-time employment and concentrate on making a living from spread betting, and it is important to keep this opportunity open. You can make a living from spread betting BUT it isn’t easy. More than 80% of day traders lose money. It would be a terrible mistake to assume they are fools. They too are intelligent, diligent people with a bit of knowledge of business. It literally can take years in front of a screen, many hours a day, to even begin to get the hang of it.

If this doesn’t put you off the first step is to review and study a spread betting guide, which will give you pointers towards what it takes to do well in the business, and what you should look for in a spread betting company. If after you try it, you find that spread betting appeals to you then there is no limit to how far you can take it. If on the other hand you find that you are unable to react quickly to market movements, it may be sensible to try switching to less frequent trading (say, swing or position trading).

Apart from technical analysis there are other ways of taking on the higher risk (higher reward) you might be looking for with changes to money management and leverage. I believe it gives far better odds than short term technical trading and means that you don’t need to screen watch so and you can run it alongside full/part time work until you build enough capital and confidence to run it full time or scale down the risk.

I am spread betting and trading for few extra quid, no big bucks so trading part-time suits me. just a bit of extra pocket money if I can make it. More short term (daily or few days). I don’t mind holding on to these for long term, but need to make a few extra quid if I can and I thought through spread betting I can. Happy to research and read. I read FT weekends, ADVFN bulletin boards, Bloomberg and the Evening Standard on the way home from work, to try and get tips and ideas of stocks to buy or spread bet on and to keep up to date on events. But I’m struggling and feel like I’m just taking a punt to get in on the action! Rio was going up a lot past few days, I was too chicken to buy in and the day I do it starts to fall. ahh I was reading Copper was high in demand because of the recent earthquake…etc – Sheena

Sheena – consider your objectives and financial situation. Mining shares have the ability to move rapidly and beyond rationale at times, but if you want a quick “play”, there’s usually plenty going on. If I were you I would try to first deal with the smallest possible size you want to take – say deal at – say £5 per point = 500 shares, = £17,500, then halve it, and then consider rounding down again – when stocks like Rio get “whippy” they can move miles very quickly – we’ve seen 1000 points in an hour at least once in the past 3 years, several times within a day- so if you were £5 the wrong way, that’s going to hurt. And to be frank if you’re new to short term trading I think mining is about the last sector to go for. Best of luck anyway.

I am 23, and work in recruitment and have done for the last 2 years since leaving university, I am now regularly at least doubling my basic salary in commission and I am looking for ideas of how potentially I can invest some money…I already have an ISA and a saving account but am looking for something else, something that I can invest reasonably small amounts (say £100 p/m) that is not a saving account and can actually make my money work for me…do you know of anything / can suggest a fund / investment whatever…etc?

Forget funds – the annual charges will massively reduce any gains.
Forget self-funding pensions. Pensions are only a good idea if your employer is matching your contributions. Might be an idea to find an employer who offer a pension scheme. At your age you want something which you can access fairly easily – you never know when you might need a deposit for a flat, buy a car etc.

In any case ignore everything the government tells you is good. It will be designed to keep you poor and controlled. With such a modest amount of 100 per month you’re not really going to go far but you’re smart to start your mind on the investment path. The key is to keep control and get some kind of return that is consistent. Keep building and keep going. Once you get more funds concentrate on cashflow NOT capital gain. Forget about investing for some unknown gain 10 or 20 years from now. Remember superannuation using your own money is a scam. The other thing to consider is to spend some money learning new skills. Skills for which there is a demand NOW or in the close future. Exploit those needs. Keep building and go for cashflow.

Above all ignore the government and CNBC. IGNORE WHAT THE GOVERNMENT TELLS YOU IS GOOD. That’s the first rule. It’s the same worldwide, Chinese government encourages its young people to go abroad and get a masters degree. There are now so many masters degrees in china they no longer have value. In Australia the government allows students to go there and tells them to do this course and they will gain points towards gaining permanent residency. So many students follow that advice and when they graduate there are too many for the vacancies. Guess what- they return to where they came from to an overcrowded jobs market because 100,000’s of student took the same promise.

Clearly, if there are 1000’s going onto the scrapheap you have to ask why? Probably because the government gave some kind of incentive or advice to get these skills. I don’t know what skills will be in demand where you live. You gotta open your mind. In Australia at the moment and at least for the next 5 years any building type trades person with half a brain and a good work ethic can become a millionaire due to the huge demand. So look around. Where’s the demand and the lower competition? Fill that need (except the need of the modern employer to work for the minimum wage!). Get the skill. You will need to change skills many times in your work career. Accept it.

I have a full time job, and in between I manage to use lunch, mornings and evenings and weekends’ to place trades via spreadbets and via a dealing and ISA account. As to success – well it’s been mixed but I am getting much better and much more informed. It’s not contributing a significant part of my income, but does help, and if I look back 4 years I am so much more knowledgeable about the subject than I used to be. I now use Share Scope and publications to help me generate ideas and assess options. But I am far from expert.

I have come to realise that unless you have a hundred grand or so TO PLAY WITH -not as core savings, but purely at your disposition – then making a comfortable life from trading is at best going to be a massive struggle – and god forbid if one has kids and family and aspirations to grow that wealth. Personally I wouldn’t want the stress of trying to find £600 each month from the market just to cover rent, when my consulting job allows me to comfortably earn a much better wage, and easily too. But given time I’d like to switch into trading full time, of course.

Ideally I want to get into a position where I have core professional skills in my career, but over time develop my ability to make sucessful stock picks and currency trades and build my capital. Rather than take a gamble and quit work to trade.

My spread betting account has been like a roller coaster: making money, losing money, losing more, coming back to even, going net up, going back down and now more stable but 50% down still.

My dealing account is largely flat but I have had some stupid buys previously where in hindsight I can look back and wonder what the hell I was doing, but also some excellent picks where I have made 50, 100% etc. And this has not been rare either. Slow and steady wins the race anytime.

Spread Betting Beginner: “I prefer to retrain as a teacher and make up extra £ on the markets. Better to have a decent consistent paying job AND spread bet or trade on the side. I still mostly trade and buy the shares (much less risky) and spreadbet with about £5k – 10k . I have a controlled risk only account with IG Index, that way the gambling habit doesn’t get out of control on margin I don’t have. Plus you can only play with your money NOT on credit”.
Spread betting is all about timing when you buy and when you sell. In and out within 3 months, take your profits and start again. Good luck and plan every trade very carefully indeed and don’t rush.”