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NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

How to Trade Successfully with a Small Trading Account

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By in Forex Trading Articles Last updated on | 41 Comments

imagining-success-as-a-traderYou may feel as if you’re at a disadvantage starting your trading career with a relatively small trading account. But, as we will discuss in today’s lesson, that feeling is simply an illusion that stems from focusing on the wrong things.

One of the biggest challenges that most of you face as you trade is thinking that if you ‘only had more money’ you would somehow become a profitable trader faster. If you measure you profitability over one or two weeks, sure you may get lucky on a big account and make a good chunk of change real quick, but if you give it all back right after that, what does it matter? Profitability should be measured over a much longer period of time; at least six months to one year.

The point is this; if you don’t know how to trade profitably on small account, you won’t trade profitably on a big account either. Simply having more money to trade with does not mean you will become a successful trader faster. In fact, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can mean just the opposite; that you can lose MORE money faster than if you had a small account.

You should read the rest of this article because it will help you…

I know exactly how you feel, I’ve been right where you are myself. You feel like you take one step forward and two steps back with your trading. You feel like ‘if only I had more money I could just make a bunch of money real quick in the market and quit my job’.

Sadly, my friend, it doesn’t work that way…

Do you think if you gave a $100,000 trading account to someone with absolutely no trading experience, they would do well with it? I’m sure you’ll agree they would probably not do well, at least not over a period of six months. In fact, they’d probably be down to 50k or less within a few months.

So, why do you believe that if you ‘just had more money’ it would dramatically improve your trading results? Not that you have ‘absolutely no trading experience’, but it’s safe to say if you’re reading this article, you probably are looking for some help for one reason or another and you haven’t quite become a master of your trading strategy yet. So, the problem is not money, the problem lies within you, and until you fix it, you will continue to experience disappointment and loss in the market.

You should actually consider yourself lucky if you don’t have a large trading account right now, because it’s better to learn and make mistakes on a small account than on a big one where there’s potential for greater financial and emotional loss / stress.

Change your mindset

The first thing you need to do is adjust your mindset from one of ‘I want to make a lot of money trading’ to one of ‘HOW can I make a lot of money trading?’ Once you do this, you will experience a change in what you are focusing on…

Think about this…how WOULD you think IF YOU DID have a big trading account? Well, you would not be thinking ‘if only I had a big trading account’…because you have it, so you would instead be focused on learning to trade properly and developing a successful trading strategy and plan.

Thus, you NEED to think ‘as if’ you have a big trading account already, because if you don’t trade ‘as if’ you will never make money. Instead, you will be constantly forcing the issue by risking too much and over-trading, since you believe so deeply that ‘money’ is the issue.

Your trading mindset NEEDS to make a switch from ‘money’ to ‘the process’. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you want to become a successful trader you have to focus on the process of trading, not on the money.

So, if you have a small trading account…

Here’s where the ‘rubber meets the road’, so to speak…

If you are going to trade as if you’re a millionaire, THEN you’re going to have to accept some realities of the situation…

Those are,

  • You will be trading small position sizes on a small account, that is if you want to manage risk properly, and trust me, you do want to do that, you NEED to do that to not only build your account up but to stick around long enough to learn proper trading skills.
  • Money cannot motivate you at this point. Instead, be motivated by learning proper trading processes and habits, i.e., staying disciplined and patient / following your trading strategy to the T.
  • You cannot think about ‘recovering’ your losses…that’s the wrong mindset and it will only lead to more losses.

Why it’s ‘so hard’ to build a small account

As I mentioned earlier…you probably feel like you take one step forward and two steps back sometimes with your trading. On a small account this can be maddening because you feel like you’re never going to build it up.

Well, you need to also focus on holding onto profits. Don’t give back your winnings on the very next trade because you over-traded and were greedy. Imagine you are trading a 100,000 account…let’s say you made 10 grand on a trade…how would you feel if you immediately gave that much money back? Well, if you are giving back $100 winners on small account, you would be giving back $10,000 winners on a big account. You need to get all of these issues fixed before you trade bigger amounts of money. So, once again, be glad you don’t have a big account yet and focus on the process and on becoming a good trader.

Conclusion

Trading a small account is not a disadvantage, especially if you’re relatively new to trading and you aren’t yet a consistent trader. How big your trading account is plays no importance in your overall trading performance or trading skill. Sure, if you have a bigger account you can trade larger position sizes and potentially make more money, but if you don’t know HOW TO TRADE, all the money in the world won’t do any good.

So, learn how to trade first, focus on the method and enjoy the journey. Stop worrying about ‘making money fast’ or ‘getting rich and quitting your job’, because the less you focus on those things the more likely they are to happen.

Note: Trading Course SpecialUntil October 31st, Save 35% Off Nial Fuller's Professional Trading Course, Daily Trade Setups Newsletter, Live Trading Forum & Email Coaching - Click Here.

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 20,000+ students since 2008. Checkout Nial's Professional Forex Course here.
  1. Dollie July 18, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I’m so glad I found my soutoiln online.

    Reply
  2. Alexander June 10, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Live trading with micro lots is probably a better way to learn to trade than trading on a demo account.

    Reply
  3. Kamil March 5, 2016 at 8:33 am

    You need to make gradual progress otherwise you’d be unprepared.

    Reply
  4. Matthew January 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Nial, what do you consider as small trading account ?

    Reply
    • Nial Fuller January 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Matt,
      it’s relative to your own financial net worth, small account for one person could be in fact a large account for another.

      hope that makes sense.

      Reply
  5. Patrick Jemitola January 9, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Thanks Nail, Just what I needed to hear:

    Reply
  6. Chijioke Ajaero December 29, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Amazing article!

    Reply
  7. Chijioke Ajaero December 29, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Amazing article from the Pro

    Reply
  8. emilio December 12, 2015 at 9:15 am

    i like the said “rich don`t make it for money, just for process”.

    Reply
  9. Rafa December 8, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Thank you Nial for your ongoing education and invaluable advice. Anyone who do not believe you should try a $100, 000 demo account for at least one month to prove you wrong. Keep it up, you are so special to many.

    Reply
  10. Mqongwana Olwethu December 8, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Thanx Nial. This article helped me alot

    Reply
  11. Waddington December 8, 2015 at 7:59 am

    With you everything is possible, thanks

    Reply
  12. Alex December 7, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    That is so true well said

    Reply
  13. Paul odibeli December 7, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Thanks Nial, I use to inform people that success in forex is not measured,by the size of you account, or capital,but by consistency,of one’s good trades. One must learn to trade. The bible said”seek you first, the kingdom of God & its righteousness & all other things would be added onto you”. Its not just enough to seek the kingdom,What of its righteousness? So if one learns “How to trade & its processes” success & the money would follow. Thank you

    Reply
  14. Sujay December 7, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I think this is next step of paper trading, starting with small aaccount and testing trading strategy and ourself with real money.
    Article is very informative and to the point. I trade stocks in Indian market but your articles and strategy is applicable here also. Thank you !

    Reply
  15. Woodrow December 7, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Excellent reminder Nial. I needed to hear that.
    Thank you much

    Reply
  16. Guiton December 7, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Thanks Nial, you got to me just in time, I was about to over top up my account with a bigger amount, you just reminded me of a very important aspect of trading , It’s HOW that counts !!!

    Reply
  17. KRISTOFA OKENTA December 7, 2015 at 7:15 am

    This is worth learning. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  18. Penina December 7, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Nial i am happy i came across your content, you help me grow day after day, you build me and encourage me to the core, fueling me up to come out the best, you are the best

    Reply
  19. Michael C December 7, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Nial, the timing of me receiving this article is perfect. I’m still making my way through your course, preparing myself to trade smart, and to create the correct mindset for being successful – all according to your advice. My account will start small, but the more I study your material the more prepared and confident I feel. Thank you so much!!

    Reply
  20. Rosario C Songcuan December 7, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Thanks Nial , another great lesson to learn.

    Reply
  21. Abdul December 7, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Let the word to the wise be sufficient. This article is definitely words of wisdom for ALL Forex Traders. It’s not the size of your wallet, it’s how you manage it distributions. I tell my clients the same thing. Learn to become a profitable Trader first and the rest will follow. Becoming a consistent profitable Trader required both consistent time and effort, however, once you put in the required effort and work it the payoff is tremendously rewarding. If you can make consistent profits with $5K you should be able to duplicate with $50K. Remember this: “All Professional Athletes have coaches. Why should trading be any different?”

    Reply
  22. Chris December 7, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Once again great advice from Nial. Your articles especially on discipline and patience with risk reward is the corner stone of trading. Thanks for the invaluable mentoring.

    Reply
  23. Masese December 7, 2015 at 12:15 am

    It a wonder that I got this article. I am launching my trading account this week and I now know what to focus on.

    Reply
  24. Reginald S. Mngadi December 6, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Many thanks for the advice. In fact I have not started trading yet, and I have been worried that I won’t have enough money to trade meaningfully. Now I know I have to start small and learn the ropes. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  25. Patryk December 6, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Thank you Nial !

    Reply
  26. AIQ December 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Actually what has helped me has been to look at let say $1000 and maybe add two zeroes at the end of it then do the math of take profit or losses as if it were a 100k account. So a $10 profit would have translated to 1k profit on a 100k account. But $10 is a small amount to make over a trade I held for maybe over 6 – 12hrs or even days, you tend to overtrade trying to make “realistic profit” from that small trading account

    Reply
    • Nial Fuller December 7, 2015 at 1:32 am

      Exactly right.

      Reply
  27. Marco December 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Great article. I think the key concept is thinking in terms of probabilites. Master your trading method, not only knowing what to do and when to do it, but also what are the probabilites of your method, what are the profit in % per year. So you can trust in your method, knowing that in 1 year you will have that percentage of profit.

    What about looking for someone for funding your account? is this possible? I mean, if I keep a journal of my trades, may I give this journal to some rich guy and ask him for money to trade with?

    Reply
  28. Bader December 6, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I have to agee with evry word you said…. thanks Nial…

    Reply
  29. Dot December 6, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Just what I needed to read, thanks Nial

    Reply
  30. Tsitsi December 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Nial, thank you so much for this!! You are definitely right…. I have been focusing on the wrong things!

    Reply
  31. wong chun kang December 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks nail.you just read my mind.

    Reply
  32. Arash December 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Thanx Coach !
    that was awesome as always .

    Reply
  33. Zen December 6, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Wow. Think this is the 4th article where i started my comment with wow. Am starting to think that a thank you is not enough.

    Salute!!!

    Reply
  34. Matteo Foschi December 6, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    A M A Z I N G !

    Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  35. Marisa December 6, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Excellent article Nial, thank you

    Reply
  36. Stephen Law December 6, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Yep nice one Nial

    Reply
  37. Zin December 6, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you Nial! You read my mind!! That’s exactly what I’m feeling now. Now I know what to do and I’m glad I don’t have a big account yet.

    Thank your again for shedding light on the true mindset to be a good & consistent trader.

    Reply
  38. Mohammad haghshenas December 6, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Your article is very important and on time with me. I have used price action on my trading with small account and I have experienced this matter.

    Reply
  39. Shibli Shadik December 6, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Nice article, Thanks Nial.

    Reply

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