As a part-time trader, time management is as vital to success as picking stocks or managing my portfolio. Over the years I have developed tricks to streamline what used to take me up to 4 hours a night, down to about 45 minutes.
Over the next week I will share some of these tips.
Time Saving Tip #1: Create a Weekly Focus List
As a swing-trader, I spend most of my time building watchlists. Watchlists can provide a number of beneficial functions. Of course, the primary function of a watchlist is to find stocks to trade. However, well built watchlists also can provide insights into areas such as market sentiment and sector rotation.
My watchlist is organic and can have anywhere from 100-300 stocks, depending on market conditions and how many different setups I am trading. However, I rarely trade more than 5-10 stocks at any given time. Most of the stocks in the watchlist are a few points away from ideal entry points, so it is a waste of time to go through the list every day.
Now, instead of wasting valuable time analyzing a few hundred stocks daily, I create a focus list every Sunday, after my sector review. I go though my watchlist and pick the 20-30 best setups, and put them in the focus list. This is the list I trade from during the week.
The focus list saves me an hour each night. That's about one extra day of "time" every month, time better spend analyzing my past trades, researching setups or just relaxing and having fun.