“Attention traders, Welcome to your first day of Forex trading boot camp, if you are not prepared to do what it takes to become a successful Forex trader then please pack your bags and go home now”…
Today’s trading lesson is going to revolve around one simple question: “Do you have what it takes to be a trader?” Whilst I firmly believe that anyone can learn to trade successfully if they want it bad enough, it’s also true that there are certain skills and abilities that one must be willing to develop before they can become a successful trader.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know that I don’t sugar-coat anything, and today’s lesson is going to bring with it an extra-large serving of honesty and insight that will make crystal clear what you need to do to become a successful trader. So, dig deep and put your thinking cap on, and when you’re finished reading leave a comment and let me know if you think you have what it takes to become a successful price action trader.
Do you have what it takes to lose like a pro?
That’s right; the very first question you need to answer honestly is “are you ready to lose like a professional trader?”…Because you ARE going to have losing trades. So if you don’t want to fully accept that fact right now then you better stop wasting your time in the markets. If you accept that you are going to lose trades, then the next step is to figure out how to deal with the losses by integrating losing into your trading plan…in essence you have to figure how to lose trades properly.
The key to losing properly is to make sure you manage your risk properly on every trade by never risking more money than you are prepared to lose and also by not over-trading. If you do these two things consistently you will have a much lower chance of becoming emotional after a losing trade and impulsively jumping back into the market to try and “make your money back”.
Traders who try to fight against losing trades by trying to “avoid” them, inevitably end up losing more money than those traders who man-up and take the losses like a big boy. So, if you are ready and willing to accept the fact that you are going to have losing trades, then I invite you to proceed to my next question…
Do you have what it takes to have patience in the face of constant temptation?
Think about that point for a minute…‘Patience in the face of constant temptation’…yes, that’s essentially what successful Forex trading requires. It’s like having a fully-automatic AK-47 with your finger on the trigger and only being able to shoot 4 or 5 bullets a month…most people are going to fail at that task. So, are you ready to man-up and dig deep and refrain from firing your gun (entering the market) until a painfully obvious price action setup shows itself? Or are you just going to give in to that temptation and start shooting all your ammo away at everything you see? Your ammo is money, and I assume your money is a limited resource, so don’t waste it by trading just because you “want” to be in a trade. Instead, you need to have the patience to wait for only high-probability trade setups that meet the criteria you’ve predefined in your forex trading plan. So, if you think you have what it takes to look temptation in the eye and not succumb to it, then proceed to my next question…
Do you have what it takes to remain in control of your emotions?
In other words…are you going to trade like a calm and collected professional, or are you going to give in to each emotional temptation like a 4 year old? That might sound a little harsh, but many traders have absolutely no emotional control in the markets, they are like drunks at the casino…that is until their money runs out. If trading is nothing else, it is the ultimate test of one’s self-control and of their ability to remain objective while their money is constantly at risk of being lost. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the easiest way to make sure your emotions do not get the best of you in the markets, is to NEVER risk more than you are comfortable with losing on ANY trade, and NEVER over-trade. Not risking more than you should is pretty self-explanatory, but not over-trading involves mastering your Forex trading strategy to the point of having NO DOUBT of what you are looking for in the markets, as well as having a Forex trading plan and trading journal that you actually use. So if you are ready to put on your big-boy pants and put an end to your emotion-fueled trading binges, then proceed to my next question…
Do you have what it takes to be disciplined and organized?
Let’s face it, you’ve made attempts to get organized and to be disciplined before, but you quickly got off track or gave up. This happens to most people, whether it’s in regards to going to the gym regularly, eating healthy, or trading, most people just seem to lack the internal mechanism to follow-through with being disciplined and organized. When it comes to trading, if you do not make discipline and organization a part of your daily trading routine, you open the door just a little bit wider for emotional trading to sneak in and ravage your trading account. It is up to you to do everything you can BEFORE you start trading with real money to eliminate any chance of getting possessed by the demons of emotional trading. Forging the habits of being disciplined and organized will work to reinforce positive thinking and the proper trading mindset within you, so if you think you have what it takes to become a disciplined and organized trader, proceed to my next question…
Do you have what it takes to become a trader instead of a gambler?
Many traders end up gambling in the markets rather than trading. The markets can be an excellent vehicle for you to better yourself through, by learning to control your emotions and becoming a more disciplined person. However, they also offer people with addictive personalities a great place to do an immense amount of financial damage to themselves. If you have had gambling problems in the past or have an addictive personality, you need to move past these issues and develop a professional mindset and see the long-term picture, OR you will end up becoming a trading addict constantly needing a ‘fix’ from the market. So, are you ready to become a skilled trader instead of a gambler?
Do you have what it takes to swallow your ego and not try to control the market?
News flash: the ONLY variable you can control in Forex trading is yourself. Whether you want to believe that or not, it’s true. You can’t control other traders or their reactions to news events, you can’t control Ben Bernanke, and you sure as hell can’t control a bank trader on the other side of the world trading position sizes that would probably make you pee your pants. Stop trying to make the market do what you want by moving your stops and targets all around after you enter a trade, unnecessarily adding to positions, and manually closing out trades only because the market moved against you a little.
Instead, learn to trade with the market and let the market structure dictate your decisions. Learn to read and trade the price action in the market and stop reading 5 different economic news websites trying to “figure out” what’s going to happen next. Focus on reading and trading the price action on your charts and on controlling yourself, if you are ready and willing to accept that you can only control yourself in the markets, then move on to my next question, if you still think the market cares about you or that you can influence what it does in anyway, then it’s time to pack your bags…
Are you prepared to put in the hard work, study and practice?
Becoming a successful trader doesn’t happen overnight. It takes study, time, and practice, and you aren’t going to just buy a trading system or trading course and then wake up the next day with piles of money next to your computer. Instead, you have to actually commit to one effective trading strategy like price action, and REALLY learn it…master it. Don’t mess around jumping from one strategy to the next; pick a strategy you like and then “fall in love” with it. If you have given a particular strategy or system a solid try for a period of about 6 months or more, and you aren’t having success with it, then move on, but don’t be that guy who trades 5 different trading strategies at once thinking that they will somehow unlock the “secrets” of the market.
You also need to be prepared to demo trade and pre-empt your trading routine, you need to simply do the “hard work” before you start trading live, so that when you begin trading with real money you don’t have any big surprises or questions. Remember, by pre-empting and getting ready before you start trading live, you largely eliminate the potential to turn into an emotional trader or a gambler. So, are you ready to do put in the necessary work, study, and practice?
If you are still reading this article and you think you have what it takes to really commit to this and become a successful Forex trader, then come join us in my price action traders’ community and learn with other traders who have accepted the challenge. I only want people joining my trading community who really believe they have what it takes to succeed in trading. So if you are ready to face the obstacles discussed in this article, and overcome them, then come and check out my Forex trading course and members’ community.