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starbucks_coffee_shopHere at Learn To Trade The Market we are introducing what we call the “Coffee Shop Traders Movement” today. This idea came to me recently as I was – surprise surprise – trading from my laptop while in a local coffee shop. I began thinking about how my trading has morphed over the years from messy, complicated and having a big trading desk with multiple monitors, to its current form which is mobile and minimalistic. Trading in this manner actually helps me to keep emotion and over-trading at bay, because rather than walking into an over-the-top trading room with 10 flat-screen monitors where I might feel compelled to enter a trade, I have everything I need to trade successfully on my pencil-thin Ultrabook laptop.

I have found over the years that if there’s what I call a “damn obvious” price action signal on any given day, I will be able to spot it and trade it just fine with only my laptop, whether I’m at home, at a friend’s house or at a coffee shop. I began to think about how trading in this manner meshes perfectly with the simple scaled-back approach that price action analysis brings…it really completes the package of minimalistic trading. This is in contrast to the façade of the stereotypical “trader” analyzing and trading the markets on a big stack of flat panel monitors while pouring over countless economic news reports and technical indicators all day.

The Coffee Shop Traders Movement is really a metaphor for the way that I trade the markets, and the way that many other traders now trade. Not only is it a metaphor, it can actually describe the way you really trade; from a coffee shop, if you want. That’s the beauty of it; simplicity in all aspects of trading leads to more freedom, flexibility, time and ultimately, money. Not only does it work to de-clutter your charts and your mind, but it’s also conducive to developing the trading habits that lead to success and will help you avoid emotional trading mistakes. Let me explain:

Why you should become a “coffee shop trader”

Recently, I’ve adopted a “minimalist” approach in my personal life that I had already been using in my trading for years. The way that you become a trader who can trade from a coffee shop, a sofa, or anywhere else, is by simplifying your trading, from the strategy you use all the way down to the hardware and software you trade with. I actually got the idea to “simplify” my personal life from the way that simplicity and minimalism had improved my trading. Just as reducing the clutter and variables on my charts worked to increase my time, money, and overall success level in trading, it had virtually the same effect on my personal life.

With global economic news constantly flooding our minds through the internet, TV and other mediums, a trader faces a near mountain of potential market-moving variables each day. By taking a minimalist approach to our trading, we can cut-through all these variables by simplifying our trading to the point where our market analysis and trade execution can be carried out in as little as two quick ten minute sessions per day, anywhere with an internet connection. As most of you know by now, the trading strategy I use is price action, and specifically I like to trade price action strategies on the 4 hour and daily chart. Once you get this technique down, you really don’t need a lot of time to check the markets each day for your setups.

Trading is perhaps one of the only professions in the world where doing “less” is better for you. Many people have trouble when they start trading because they are used to working long hours, studying long hours, and generally doing as much as possible at their job or school each day. Thus, it’s natural to assume this philosophy should apply to trading as well.

The problem with this is that your actions have exactly zero effect on the markets…all you can do is analyze them and trade a high probability strategy. After you have learned how to trade your strategy and you feel 100% confident with it, all that’s left to do is open up your charts two or three times a day, look for your trade setups and then either enter a trade, possibly adjust stops or targets from a previous trade, or walk away. This notion that you have to read forex news reports and sit at your computer trying to make sense out of 5 different indicators, Elliot Wave and what the guy on CNBC is telling you…is just ludicrous, unnecessary and counter-productive! So stop it!!

How to become a “coffee shop trader”

imagesBecoming a “coffee shop trader” is really the end result of simplifying your trading strategy, minimizing the time you spend analyzing the markets each day and generally just taking a calm and scaled-back approach to trading. Most traders start off in a somewhat haphazard manner, excited to get started but not yet certain of exactly what they are doing. Over time, we either figure out that less is more, or we give up all together. What I mean by that is that most traders over-complicate the trading process and experience a period of trial and error that is usually defined by losing money. They then either reach a point where they give up on trading all together, assuming it’s too difficult for them or that it “can’t be done”, or they come to the realization that all they need to do is chill out a little bit, solidify and simplify their trading strategy and just stop trading so damn much.

Perhaps the best way to get started as a minimalist “coffee shop trader” is to focus on the higher time frames, and more specifically the daily chart time frames. Focusing on the higher time frames works to smooth out the price action of the market for you, and it also provides you with a more pertinent or useful view of the market picture. Traders who focus on lower time frame charts often end up spending hours upon hours in front of their computers, analyzing the charts and watching their trades progress, tick by tick. It’s really easy to over-trade on low time frame charts, the more you look at them the more likely you are to think you see a trading signal that’s nothing more than random market “noise”. My mindset as a trader is that quality of trades is something I am far more concerned with than quantity of trades. This leads me to trade far less than most traders but it also allows me to have far less losers, smaller account draw downs and a lot more peace of mind, and most of all, more time.

I have found that the simplest approach, and the most effective one, is to simply wait patiently for my price action setups to form on the daily chart or the 4 hour chart (occasionally the 1 hour). I then execute my trade if my edge is present or walk away if it’s not. Most of the time I just let the market do the “work” and give my edge it’s proper time and space to play out, rather than messing around with the trade because I “think” the market will stop me out. It’s a funny thing that many traders have a solid trading edge but then through voluntary interference they fail to give their trades proper time to play out and this likely lowers the probability of their trading edge over time.

Trading higher time frames and low-frequency trading is much more conducive to most people’s on-the-go modern lifestyle. The idea with my “coffee shop traders” approach is that by taking a more relaxed and slowed-down approach to trading, a trader will work to forge the correct trading mindset and trading habits. This is in contrast to the frantic pace of day-trading and trading with messy charts or overly-complicated trading systems that many traders seem to prefer (to their own detriment). The majority of retail traders are people with full-time day jobs, and when they try to be “scalpers” or “day-traders” they simply put themselves in a very difficult situation right out of the gate since they don’t have the time they need to dedicate to trading short time frames. My opinion is that all traders should first master higher time frame trading and only after having found success on the 4 hour chart and above should they consider day-trading or scalping. Most traders seem to go in “reverse” by first getting attracted to day-trading and then later moving to the higher time frame charts after they find out that trying to make money on a 5 minute chart is something only a very experience professional trader should try.

Conclusion

working-in-a-coffee-shopWhereas trading is sometimes thought of as a complicated profession that mainly the Ivy-league elite excel at, I teach my students to scale-back their involvement in the markets to the point where they can trade comfortably from a coffee shop or their own home with nothing more than a wireless internet connection and a laptop or iPad. Taking this simplified approach to trading actually helps most traders improve their performance since trading is a highly psychological profession that tempts many traders to become over-involved with the markets, giving rise to emotional trading mistakes.

The statistics suggest that somewhere around 90% of all traders fail in the long-run, thus, mainstream trading strategies and ideas, as well as the people teaching them are most likely leading traders down the wrong path. I believe that the way I trade and the methods I teach my students truly buck the trend of the cliché day-trader sitting at his or her charts all day basically gambling their money away in a very high-stress manner. The lure of Forex and futures trading sucks people in very quickly and inexperienced novice traders can very easily develop addictions to the wrong trading styles and habits. Sadly, these addictions can be very hard to break and often aren’t broken until the trader loses a painful amount of money.

Being a “coffee shop trader” is not something that just happens overnight. It really is the end result of having your trading strategy mastered to the point where you are 100% confident in your ability to trade it. This means, you can open up your charts, scroll through them quickly and easily determine whether or not there’s something worth trading. You aren’t sitting there for hours stewing over economic news, Elliott Waves, MACDs, Stochastics, or any other messy and unnecessary analysis tools. The coffee shop trader simply needs his Ultrabook/Laptop PC, an internet connection and his own finely-tuned trading skills.

If the “coffee shop trader” approach interests you, but you just need a solid strategy to get started, then I suggest you look at my price action trading course. Once you have learned everything I teach in it and truly mastered it, you’ll be able to flip open your laptop and almost instantly know if there’s a trade setup worth risking your money on or not. This is how I personally trade and I wouldn’t recommend any other approach to anyone, it sure as hell beats sitting around staring at the markets all day (and night) wasting your time and becoming confused and frustrated. If you follow my members’ daily trade setups commentary, it will act as an effective guide to the daily charts of some of the major Forex pairs each day and it’s an excellent daily companion to the relaxed style of “coffee shop trading” that we’ve discussed here today.

Good trading, Nial Fuller

nialfuller

About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 15,000+ students since 2008.
Checkout Nial’s Professional Forex Course here.

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81 Comments

  1. coffeeshoptrader says:

    i was a coffeeshoptrader before it was cool

  2. Ahmed says:

    Thanks Nial,

    Great article

  3. Dhani says:

    Hi Nial..

    This article are inspiring and refreshing. I planned to have multiple monitor on the wall in my house for future trading monitoring so that during walking, sitting, I am able to monitor chart update.

    I plan to follow the hard and tense way for trading, But this article remind me to use relax and easy way to trade.

    You have end me before I even start and get out of trouble I may face in future before I even experience them!

    Thank you so much

    Dhani Wijaya

  4. Abdul says:

    Thanks Nial, Great article and you are right..

    “Being a “coffee shop trader” is not something that just happens overnight. It really is the end result of having your trading strategy mastered to the point where you are 100% confident in your ability to trade it…”

    Very well said, we got to learn to crawl before we learn to walk.

  5. Tshepo says:

    Nial this article serves as a reality check for me. You said “…. your actions have exactly zero effect on the market”, that was an eye opener. Thanks once again.

  6. Adriana Ghidau says:

    Dear Nail

    Thank you so much for all you do and what you teach me :)
    I’ve never read so many hours in a row as I read your articles !!!
    You are the best and I’ll follow your lessons and articles forever ..

  7. Adriana Ghidau says:

    Hi Nail ,

    I never trade before .Now I’m just practising with a demo acount and I have to say that reading your article Nail I discovered I’m a coffe trader .I look my chart only 2-3 times by day and in 1 week trade I made good profit .
    Someone told me do not trade on my Ipod ! But go home and trade on my pc ..So today I’ve had the confirmation I’m doing well and I’ll not listen that “someone” !!!Am I lucky to be a coffe trader by nature ???!!

  8. Maira says:

    What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and
    article is really fruitful in support of me, keep up posting
    such content.

  9. Bram says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank You

  10. Colin says:

    I definitely like this idea. Good Coffee and an Ipad here I come.

  11. Mykleman says:

    Agreed 100%, I in fact use my Backberry playbook. No indicators. Just a vanilla daily chart. Though I am a shares trader, so I don’t get many signals/trades in a month. The same principle applies though. All that IT clutter just messes up the KISS, Keeping It Simple & Successful. I still execute my positions by phone… hahahahaha, seriously I do. Dinosaur I am. Fantastic site though. Quality content!

  12. Eve says:

    A am very happy for this article, actualy for all of them, but I read all when I already made or was making all this mistakes, and I have to figure out by my self, what is the right solution.
    And yes, I also came with idea to trade in a coffe shop or library.

    tnx

  13. Dan Paveliuc says:

    Nial , you are one of the best Forex Educators in the World ! Big Like !! +10

  14. naveen says:

    Thank you Guru. I am blessed to visit your site. Because until few months ago, I was not taking my dinner peacefully when I am in a trade. Now, even my wife doesn’t recognize whether I am trading or not?

    Trading is the ultimate business, which we do not need to get work from employees, manage firms and waiting for payments. We are the boss and we are the only servant.

  15. debaycisse says:

    Yep!…..you are right, keep it up Mr. Nial

  16. Robert Szymaniak says:

    Hi Nial,

    You speak my language bro :-) I thought I was the only one who’s sick and tired of all the fancy woodoo daytrading methodologies.

    I have a problem though. It would be difficult for me to become a coffe shop Trader because… I open my charts at 10 p.m! I guess there are no coffe shops opened at that time ;-)

    You run a great blog. I really enjoy it.

    I wish you all the best!

    Robert :-)

  17. Igor says:

    I have setup windows XP and MT4 on server and access it from my Ipad throuh vpn connection. Last 6 months I hardly access my win server with my home PC or lap top. Mostly I access it through my Ipad, where ever I am. It works fine for me and since I have my MT4 on server, running 24/7 I can also use Trailing stop loss and not have my home PC on 24 hours per day. Great article again Nial.

  18. Gbenga Oje says:

    Hi Niall i m very happy with ur lesson u sent to my email all de time i appreciated it Lord continue to bless u more.i

  19. Mohammad says:

    Thanks Nial,

    Obeying the instructions of this article
    will certainly make a good coffee shop trader of me.

  20. Moz says:

    Excellent artical. Trading EOD is the way most professional traders trade.

  21. Keith Loy says:

    Yeah – this type of trading definately suits my personality and I’ve noticed that there really does appear to be bigger returns trading this way rather than trading the small time frames – Good article Nial!

  22. Matthew says:

    This suits me well,as I spend half of my life at Starucks. Can’t live without Starbucks. lol

  23. Domingo says:

    I agree 100% in what Nial is saying. I had proven it myself. I’d wasted US$ 20K for wild forex trading, triggered by my emotion and looking for tips everywhere. But what Nial teaches is simple, easy to follow and really adds money to my account, not the other way around.

    Thanks a lot Nial.

  24. bambang sudarto says:

    Even I don’t trade yet. I am 100% believe in your idea in trading. Thanks.

  25. Neil says:

    Another great article and very true, thanks again for the inspiration

  26. ChristianStahl says:

    “your actions have exactly zero effect on the markets”

    – straight to the point.

    Thanks Nial!

  27. Steven Tor says:

    I have just signed up as a member. I certainly look forward to learning more from you and these useful articles that you have written to guide traders in the right path of trading. Thanks Nail.

  28. Marc says:

    Great Article Nial! Low frequency but profitable trading is our ultimate goal.

  29. Sean says:

    I’ve totally switched to the Higher time frames,since
    I took the LTTTM course.Love the material.So true
    about spending to either finding a worthwhile
    setup or not.
    Thanks Nial

  30. along says:

    I used samsung hp to trade most of the time.
    Small enough to fit in my pocket, i can do trade even
    In the toilet :). Just used mt4 mobile with naked price
    Action.

    Good article NIal

  31. Mark says:

    It’s interesting how history repeats itself. London’s financial markets began in it’s coffee houses. It’s a bit fiddly but I sometimes use my iPhone.

  32. Matthew says:

    I often trade from my samsung galaxy 3. It is a very minimalist way of trading because I have to draw levels with my eye. I think the one temptation with having your trading so mobile is that is it oh so tempting to look and watch the noise. Mt4 mobile has no weekly charts either but it is usually easy enough to see the trend on the daily chart and it has a nice white background, very clean. I’m thinking of going back to the laptop though because it helps me to set and forget. I think the challenge with mobile trading is the record keeping, you need to be organised digitally.

    1. nial says:

      A laptop is required, you can’t analyze charts correctly on a mobile phone screen or app.

  33. Bobbletog Flartybart says:

    Nial,

    I have been trading coffee shop style for some time, from hotels and even work – don’t tell the boss! I would say that it does’nt really matter where you trade from. If you know how to trade you should make money. If you are no good you will lose money. Amen!

  34. John Brown says:

    Once again you have hit the jackpot

  35. Michael says:

    Like your article.

  36. Lyte says:

    Thanks Nial. I’ve personally come to except the daily and the 4 hour charts as being my favourite charts to analyse giving me more time to do other things knowing that I’m letting the market do the work for me. The results speak for themselves with your course the mindset couldn’t have been achieved.

  37. Phil Leiba says:

    Another great article!

  38. Hayes H. says:

    Thanks again for the much needed reminder of the importance of simplicity, Nial. I’ve been trading ‘off and on’ for about 8 years. I’ve actually given up a couple of times, but always mysteriously drawn back to the charts… I am dedicated to learning these methods, but the old habits are hard to break. need help.

  39. ifeoma chukwuma says:

    this is a great lesson for we the beginers, thanks a lot. i need more.

  40. Ruby Lou says:

    Another great article – thanks Nial.

  41. Mick Hill says:

    well said – too many indicators cloud the picture…then there’s fear and greed!!
    Great approach – thanks. I don’t trade FOREX just mainly calendar spreads on energies but it’s the same philosophy!
    Nice work
    Mick

  42. Dean says:

    Sound advice Nial. Thanks.

  43. ed says:

    nice! think lean

  44. Alex says:

    Get yourself on it mike! Since becoming a member my life has gone on a crazy roller-coaster that has finished up with me controlling it! My trading has depth and style now! I look back at my trading before LTTTM and can only think I made money on pure luck!

    Another Brilliant read, thanks Nial.

  45. Mithun says:

    Cooll Article .. it is the only profession gives this much freedom to business person.

  46. Pablo says:

    Every word sounds like music to my ears!
    Thanks Nial,

  47. Jeff says:

    Hello
    Great read. For a coffee shop trader (trading daily charts) typically how many methods do you typically recommend? Mostly pin bars?

  48. Keith says:

    Another great article. I have read so much contradictory stuff about trading. Your course is very clear, and makes perfect sense. This article just re-enforces the logic of keeping it simple.

  49. Brett Reynolds says:

    Nial, This isn’t a deal you’ve struck up with Starbucks…is it.!!?? ;-)

  50. Sachith says:

    Dear nial

    Grate article thanks.

  51. James says:

    Great article Nial, I completely agree that the laid back approach method of trading is by far the best way to trade. I’ve been following your member’s area and articles for a year now, it’s taken a while to truly master the mind-set needed, but the more I do it the easier it becomes. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks on holiday, I’ve traded from a balcony overlooking the ocean, 15-20 mins max each evening, only 2 trades placed, 1 loss, 1 win, no stress, 4R total profit! Thank you for the continuous wisdom and knowledge you provide.
    James

  52. Young says:

    Like your article. Looking to become your student soon.

  53. Souto says:

    Ok Nial, thanks!

    Souto

  54. Tom says:

    I’ll take a tall double espresso latte,

    Thank You!

  55. Souto says:

    Hi Nial,
    another great article! This is the right espirit for trading,
    it is really possible to trade in a ultrabook 13”/laptop pc, macbook air 11” or 13” or even a iPad??? i think maybe it’s not very confortable, what apps do you recomend for this little machines?
    Regards
    Souto

    1. nial says:

      Ultrabooks come in 14 inch and 15 inch screens Souto, not just small screens.

  56. John Ibberson says:

    Hi Nial,
    For me your articles always arrive at the right moment of my learning curve, uncanny.

    Great Site,.
    Regards John

  57. Wajdi says:

    On point

  58. Samuel says:

    Dear Fuller,
    thanks a lot for this new piece, indeed to trade in simple manner is the best, reading your articles these days opened my eyes to something valuable

  59. chynado says:

    thanks man.

  60. Ellis Russell says:

    Nial Fuller is one of the few people I trust in this business. He is always spot on.

  61. xiucui says:

    Agree. “Trading is a highly psychological profession that te,pts many traders to become over-involved with the markets, giving rise to emotional trading mistakes.” This is excatly who I am previously.
    Now really enjoy Forex trading life:)

  62. Paul says:

    Hi Nial
    Surely you are making it seem too easy! Who wouldn’t want to “work” about a 3 hour week (from the comfort of their favourite coffee shop) and have all of that free time? If it were truely as easy as your article implies, wouldn’t everyone be doing it like that?
    Please note, I don’t wish to imply that this approach doesn’t work for you, just that it isn’t necessarily a ‘one size fits all’ solution
    All the best for a great weekend
    Paul

  63. Darren says:

    All the news you need to read is on the daily chart.

  64. Roman. says:

    Great! Magnificent article.

  65. Tim says:

    Great stuff Nial. I do most of my trades on an iPad. Great charts and execution. It is a wonderful world. Pin bars on the daily charts is all I trade now.

  66. Tom says:

    Fantastic!

  67. Innocent Mcebo Mlotsa says:

    This was an interesting Lesson Nial , i can’t wait to buy the trading strategic course that you provide.

  68. Stany says:

    Great,
    I also feel something changed about three weeks before in my mindset. Since that I opened only 3 trades all looking just perfect and 2 already targeted profit. While before I was many times in the market mainly becouse I wanted to feel that excitement of open trade.
    Now I just open my charts, write down notes of 4 pairs usually, then look again through all pairs I have chosen and trade just those where I dont havy any doubts.

    Thanks Nial, and have a nice day.

    Stany

  69. Ramli M Salleh says:

    Thanks

    Great article and advice.

    Cheers

  70. jeffrey jee says:

    Very useful articles for newbies like me to get better insight of Forex. Thank you

  71. Max says:

    A well written and inspiring article, Nial – Thank you!!

  72. Mark says:

    Couldnt agree more Nial. You might remember I emailed you a few weeks back for some advice as I was having a rough patch on the markets. Since then ive taken this approach to trading and ive made far better trading decisions because of it and as a result far more profitable

  73. kamal says:

    Great article Nial.

  74. Terry Witham says:

    This my kind of trading :)

  75. Cliff says:

    Zen Trading.

  76. Stuart says:

    Great article Nial. Again very consistent with what you teach and I really liked your quote on trading quality not quantity!

    All the best

  77. Nadeem says:

    Dear Nial

    Appreciate your article. I understand your working style with price action. Need some more information on false break up articles if you can.

    Regards,
    Nadeem.

  78. Kashy says:

    You finally found us ! Nothing like a coffee overlooking the surf with a good bfast and looking over charts

  79. Mike says:

    I like it! I have been practise trading FX for a year or so and with your guidance over the last 6 months. I am looking forward to what you membership offers. I have made some huge mistakes, have done it over and over and over which is great…but i feel i am at last learning from them and may be seeing a light! Thanks for your mentoring, website, comments, information to date…I hope to see you in the members forum after hopeful 2nd December birthday gift to myself

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