My Personal Morning Routine – Tips To Having A Productive Start

morning routine
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I’m a morning guy. I like to wake up early and get started right away on the day’s work. I just feel more productive in the morning and as some of you know, it’s not rare that I’m emailing members at 6am or even 5am sometimes. That’s just me of course.

Every option trader has a routing in the morning to prepare for the day’s trading. Some people are more serious than others because they have more to lose. Since I trade at home and my income depends on my trading, I take this very seriously.

And others just don’t have the time in the morning with kids and work to get a lot done – I understand that as well. But regardless of where you are in your trading, you need to make a schedule so that your morning is productive (given whatever time you have). If you want to trade for a living or even start just making some additional monthly income then you have to commitment now.

Here Is What My Typical Morning Looks Like...

-> Wake Up Early Before The Market Opens

I’m on the east coast here in Virginia and so the market opens at 9:30am here. I’m usually up by at 6am at the latest. For those of you readers out west (and Hawaii too) then you just have to go to bed early and wake up even earlier I’m afraid. Waking up early and eating a quick breakfast is great for me and allows me to prepare for potential market surprises, or create a strategy for the day.

If you are up three minutes before the bell then you won’t have time to do anything.

-> Respond To Member Emails

If I haven’t already, I’ll respond to emails from you all. Most of the time I think I do a good job of working through the emails each day but sometimes there is just not enough time. I have created some awesome relationships with the readers here and I really do enjoy trading ideas and thoughts back and forth.

Keep them coming and be sure to stop by our Facebook Fan Page as well which boasts nearly 4,000 members now!

-> Read Today’s News

I like to check out FINVIZ for the major market headlines each morning just to get a feel for what’s happening in the market. I don't read everything (who could) but I do breeze over the articles and pick and choose.

I also read the only publication worth delivering each day - The Wall Street Journal. This is the most read newspaper and therefore I want to read what the herd is reading as well. Plus they do the best job (I think) of provide great market information and analysis.

As always with any news source, be sure to take everything objectively and with a grain of salt.

-> Pre-Market Futures Trading

Both currencies and futures trading through the night and this is almost a necessity if you're a day trader. For the options trader, the main purpose is to get a preview of what stocks are moving and where any “trouble” might be if you have close positions. If you have to go to work for a living, then checking the pre-market futures can help you place contingent orders to take profits or you can move up your stop-loss orders and lock in more gains.

-> Check The Economic Reports

For members, we offer this cool economic calendar that gives you fresh information each morning on the day’s reports. What is also cool is that it gives you the past numbers, charts, and current expectations.

Most of the time I glance over these quickly each morning but as a trader you do need to know when the more important reports are coming out: Jobs numbers, Fed interest rate decision, etc.

-> Analyze My Current Portfolio

Each morning I take a hard look at my current positions. Where can I reduce risk? Where can I take more profits? Should I close this trade early? It’s this analysis AFTER I have done my morning research that has been very beneficial for me.

If you look at your portfolio and then check out the news, market data, etc – you are probably going to have to go back and re-adjust your thinking. Even if you have positions that are clearly going to be profitable you can always look for more options to make your money work better.

Once you feel good about your current portfolio start looking for more trades according to your trading plan.

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-> Walk Away From The Computer!

I clearly want to see the market open each day and avoid trading during the first 30 mins. But after that I like to walk away from the computer for a couple hours and clear my mind. I don’t need to follow each and every tick because I’m not a day trader.

And if you “schedule” time to NOT trade then you will become much more efficient and productive.

-> Go To The Gym, Read A Book, etc.

The whole idea behind trading in the first place is to make money right? Have a solid plan in place, trade the plan, and let the market move already. Sometimes I go to the gym early in the morning (yes DURING the trading day as crazy as it may sound to some of you) and other times I’m just doing other things around our house. I give myself some freedom to do the things I want to do and I don’t let the markets control my day.

Staring at the screen all day is not going to make things happen faster. Plus you are going to become even more attached and emotional. What’s the point of trading if you are just trading the day job you hate to be tied to your desk at home all day as well?

What’s Your Morning Routine?

Add your comments below and share your morning routine! What has or hasn’t worked for you?

About The Author

Kirk Du Plessis

Kirk founded Option Alpha in early 2007 and currently serves as the Head Trader. In 2018, Option Alpha hit the Inc. 500 list at #215 as one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Formerly an Investment Banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group for Deutsche Bank in New York and REIT Analyst for BB&T Capital Markets in Washington D.C., he's a Full-time Options Trader and Real Estate Investor. He's been interviewed on dozens of investing websites/podcasts and he's been seen in Barron’s Magazine, SmartMoney, and various other financial publications. Kirk currently lives in Pennsylvania (USA) with his beautiful wife and three children.