Traveling & Trading

Traveling & Trading

Written by Katie Gomez

At some point in life, everyone needs a vacation. Trading can be a full-time job, but the beauty of it is that traders can work remotely from anywhere in the world. While day traders can sell their positions and cash out to pay for the trip, swing traders are not as lucky. If you are a swing trader going on vacation, you will likely have positions open and cannot walk away from your trades entirely. 

If you desire to keep your trade positions open on your trip, you can have the best of both worlds if you are willing to work a little when you travel. There are a few tricks to enjoying your vacation while still effectively managing risks. In this post, I’ll go over some of the best tips to enjoy your vacation without unplugging completely. 

If you are a day trader, unless vacation looks like carrying on with your normal workload in a new location, I suggest you sell your positions and enjoy your time off. On the other hand, if you are a swing trader, you will likely find it hard to sell or leave your open positions unattended for a handful of days. So here are some tips to help you find some peace of mind on your trip: 

Tip #1 Set a hard stop (and don’t look back).

You must take advantage of the hard stop feature and use it to get yourself out of the stock if it tanks. You will not have time to keep refreshing charts whenever you are traveling because you may not have access to the high-speed internet, wifi, or computer software setup you have at home. Use the stop to set your limits, so it can do the worrying for you and get you out if the time calls for it. This way, you can check in periodically and keep some semblance of control.

Tip #2 Trim down any stocks you are worried about before leaving.

You shouldn’t have to worry about creating hard stops for stocks you are unsure about. If you’re questioning a stock before you leave, just sell and save yourself the worry. The best thing you can do for your sanity during the trip is to liquidate your portfolio down far enough to be able to sleep at night. If you find yourself debating a stock that will keep you up tossing and turning at night, sell it.

Tip #3: Don’t initiate any new positions right before, especially not on your trip.

The best way to travel and trade is to solely manage your existing portfolio and sort out any potential issues before you leave for the airport. 

Tip #4: Bring your laptop; you will still want to check in.

As much as we would love to unplug altogether, our racing minds do not react well to cold turkey. Save yourself the trouble of trying to find a computer with internet once your sanity starts to leave, and bring your own computer. You only need one screen on vacation, so your laptop will be fine. Fortunately, you can find even more comfort trading while traveling through the same software screen as your desktop back home just by uploading your layout from the Cloud. 

Trade Ideas’ Save to Cloud feature allows you to save your layout from your desktop at home and load it on any computer. So you can have the same windows you’re accustomed to while enjoying better scenery. Once you save the screen layout to the Cloud with Trade Ideas, you can use your laptop anywhere with wi-fi and trade away.

Tip #5 Make sure you set a time in the morning to check in on your stock and then detach to enjoy the rest of your day (let your stops do their thing). 

Especially if you are one of those traders who cannot stay away, training the mind to allot a certain amount of time each day will help you satisfy that urge.

Tip #6 Remember to enjoy your vacation or trip.

If you follow these tips, nothing worse than what could happen at home can happen. Remind yourself to breathe, sleep in, and disconnect from other distracting media. You might get lucky to find something good happened on your trade because you waited long enough. 

Think of trips or vacations as mandatory for your mental health and quality of work. When you allow yourself a few days or weeks to mentally check out and let the stocks do what they do, you reclaim that portion of your life that the market previously controlled. You will come back with a refreshed perspective and get back to what is most important: finding joy. This time is essential for you to take a break to journal, think, and clear your mind. 

Whether your vacation looks like drinking piña coladas on the beach or just visiting family out of town, enjoy time to recharge your batteries and deal with the market when you get home. I think you will find not only your mindset to improve but your portfolio might as well. It feels incredibly freeing to have that newfound sense of peace to return with; coming back fresher, sharper, and happier to return to the work you love and start trading. You might even network, gain insights, and learn things in your time away without even realizing.

In conclusion, if you are a day trader, do not try to continue trading on vacations; sell your positions, and leave your laptop at home to avoid temptation. If you are a swing trader, follow these tips and trust that the market will be waiting for you when you get back; it will look different, but you will fall right back in with a fresh mindset and charged battery.