Every trader dreams of making it to full-time trader status. Each one has different ideas about what they’d do with the money. But most want the freedom and flexibility of trading for a living.

Is it within any trader’s reach? Do traders who get to this milestone have special superpowers? Or is there a proven set of repeatable strategies they dedicate themselves to?

In this week’s SteadyTrade podcast, hosts Kim Ann Curtin and Stephen Johnson take an in-depth look at Stephen’s journey to becoming a full-time trader. 

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t easy. And there were many roadblocks along the way. A lot of them came from Stephen himself. 

And nobody knows them better than Kim. She’s coached him through many ups and downs and offered him new encouraging perspectives along the way. 

This week’s episode peels back the curtain on Stephen’s biggest struggles and standout successes. Check it out and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two. 

Are You Ready for Full-Time Trader Status?

Ask the average trader if they’re ready to trade full-time and chances are you’ll get a resounding yes. But that answer is probably based on emotions alone. 

Stephen thinks there are more pieces to the pie. One slice is how much you desire something. But desire alone won’t get you there, even if it comes with drive. 

He says ambition needs to be rounded out. Stephen wants to know: “Are you ready spiritually, physically, mentally, circumstantially, and financially?” 

What do all these buckets of readiness mean to the average retail trader? And how full do they have to be before you become a full-time trader? 

Kim says the book “You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World” by Michele Wucker opened her eyes to the fact that everyone has a different “risk fingerprint.” 

Risk isn’t a one-size-fits-all measurement. And neither is readiness. Trading will impact your emotions and your mindset. 

You will meet gremlins that challenge your sense of safety and self-esteem. And the strategies you come up with to overcome those challenges are every bit as important as the strategies you choose to trade stocks. 

Listen to today’s episode for the best ways to overcome hurdles on your way to trading success. 

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Do You Have a Safety Net?

Everyone needs a different level of safety before they’re willing to take on greater risk. 

Some traders think they need less only to find out they need more. Others might start cautious and realize they’re doing OK and it’s time to size up their trades.  

Stephen says there are all kinds of pointers out there. Tim Sykes once told him you should have $50,000 in trading profits before you choose to trade full-time. If you have a family, increase that amount to $100,000 in trading profits. 

There’s also the measure of time. How much screen time is ideal before you transition to being a full-time trader? Stephen shares a reasonable benchmark on the podcast.

Everyone starts with a different foundation. Some traders have help from their parents or an inheritance. Others have to hustle and work hard to build up their trading accounts. 

Stephen didn’t have outside help. He bounced between full-time work and freelance work for a while before he made the decisive leap. There were a few signs that showed him it was time.

Listen as Stephen lays out the three stages traders go through before trading full-time.

Are You Ready for Change?

It’s important to know why you want to trade full-time. It’s a decision that takes mental maturity, something Stephen admits to struggling with along the way. 

If you don’t know why you want something, you might change your mind about it when the circumstances change. 

Do you trade because it feels good? The thrills and excitement can boost your serotonin for a while. But after enough losses, your mood will come crashing down with your trading account. 

You have to know your why. And if your why isn’t coming from a healthy place, you have to guide it there. 

Stephen shares the only reason you should ever be in a trade if you want to be a consistently profitable trader. 

Kim is impressed with his hard-won lessons. And she pushes him to reveal all the steps on his journey to becoming a full-time trader. Which one finally made everything click for him? 

When he started doing this one thing, his trading game changed for good. Hear all the juicy tips and life lessons these two get into in this week’s episode. 

What Do You Think?

Are you eager to become a full-time trader? Do you have a plan to get there? How would trading full-time change your life? We’d love to hear what you think, so drop a comment. 

Remember: if we select your question or comment as an on-air topic, you could win a SteadyTrade mystery gift box. Leave a comment below or on YouTube!

Thanks for tuning in to the SteadyTrade podcast. Stay tuned for weekly episodes featuring the hottest topics for aspiring traders.

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Meet Our Hosts

Get to know Tim Bohen, Stephen Johnson, and Kim Ann Curtin here.

Follow our hosts on social media…

Tim Bohen

Twitter: @tbohen

Instagram: @tbohen

Stephen Johnson

Twitter: @Jonk87

Instagram: @stephenjonk87

Kim Ann Curtin

Twitter: @kimanncurtin

Instagram: @kimanncurtin


*Please note that any reported trading results are not typical. Most traders lose money. It takes years of dedication, hard work, and discipline to learn how to trade, and individual results will vary. Trading is inherently risky. Before making any trades, remember to do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.