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Be Your Own Boss: Trading E-mini Futures for a Living

| March 8, 2024 | By

According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, the United States ranks 19th internationally in terms of “happiness.” Six metrics were used to craft this ranking: income, freedom, generosity, life expectancy, trust, and social support. Although the United States didn’t come in dead last, countries such as Finland, New Zealand, Iceland, and Canada ranked well ahead of the U.S.

At first glance, one may think that the 19th ranking is skewed because of generally disenfranchised individuals. The truth is quite the contrary. Studies conducted by Gallup, the Lumina Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation show that more than 50 percent of professionals harbor negative sentiments toward their jobs. Feelings of being underemployed, underpaid, and working a dead-end “gig” were the most common reasons given.

If these sentiments sound familiar, then it may be time for you to investigate a career in the markets. And, if generating a regular income is your goal, trading E-mini futures for a living may be just what the doctor ordered. Below are a few of the lifestyle benefits that attract legions of new traders to E-mini futures every year.


As anyone who has worked a full-time job will tell you, the grind can be exhausting. Remember, there are only 168 hours in a week. Assuming a standard eight hours of sleep per night (for many, that is a pipe dream), only 112 waking hours remain; not a whole lot of time if you are on the job 40+ hours per seven days!

One of the key benefits of trading E-mini futures for a living is that your work schedule is what you make it. The high degree of personal freedom is possible because of the following

  • Extended market hours: E-mini futures are available for trade on a 23-5 basis. Aside from a daily 45-minute break, the markets are open for business.
  • Consistent volatility: In the case of E-mini equity index futures, such as the E-mini S&P 500, there are periods every day that regularly exhibit pricing volatility. Two such times are the minutes surrounding the traditional NYSE open (9:30 a.m. EST) and close (4 p.m. EST). In fact, some futures professionals actively trade the NYSE open/close and little else.
  • Product diversity: The E-mini lineup of products on the CME has something for everyone. Regardless of your expertise or interests, there is very likely a suitable E-mini product.

Flexibility is one of the most frequently cited upsides of trading E-mini futures for a living. You are truly free to conduct your professional life any way you see fit.

Personal Fulfillment

No doubt about it: The concept of self-reliance can be daunting. Many people enjoy the security of traditional full-time employment, no matter how tough it is to get out of bed in the morning. For others, however, the payoff isn’t worth the pain.

Successfully trading E-mini futures for a living can be an extremely fruitful endeavor. Below are two of the biggest rewards:

  • Personal gratification: Generating a consistent income in the markets is no small task. Pride and self-fulfillment are some of the byproducts of accomplishing this goal.
  • Financial independence: Futures are leveraged products, meaning there is a chance of earning extraordinary returns. Although active trading is certainly not a “get rich quick” scheme, it can be a viable way to boost your income.

Being financially independent and self-made are two of the largest benefits professional traders enjoy. Although achieving success is no small feat, it is possible. Through proper planning, due diligence, and dedication, establishing a career in the markets is a great way to be your own boss.

Start Trading E-Mini Futures for a Living with StoneX

Though the term “happiness” is a catch-all, generic label for personal well-being, “unhappy” is an emotion that most people can relate to. If your unhappiness is rooted in the workplace, trading E-mini futures for a living may be the remedy.

For more information on how to get started in futures, contact the industry pros at StoneX. With more than two decades in the markets, the team at StoneX has the experience and know-how to help make your venture into futures a positive one.

Download the eBook: Futures and Options Strategy Guide