Save 25% Off Life-Time Membership To Nial Fuller's Pro Trading Course & Trade Ideas Newsletter, Ends November 30th -
Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

How to Trade Like A Hedge Fund Manager

author thumb
By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on | 66 Comments

You might be shocked to hear this, but there aren’t many differences between you and a professional hedge fund manager. The only real differences are the balance of your trading account and your ability to control yourself.  

The world’s top money managers all started on a path similar to yours; they had to learn how to trade just like you, they had to master their craft, fine-tune their strategy and learn to master their emotions and control their behavior in the market. Mastering one’s emotions and controlling behavior is probably the biggest thing that separates the pros from the amateurs. 

With enough screen time and experience, if you stick around long enough, just about anyone can begin to call a market quite confidently. But as many of you will all know by now, that alone isn’t enough.    

As I mentioned, what really separates the ‘men from the boys’, is the ability of the pros to treat each trade as just another execution of their edge, without little to no emotional connection to it. Trading multi-million or billion-dollar hedge funds is certainly no easy feat and definitely not for the weak-minded.  

The only way anyone could successfully trade these huge sizes and successfully trade for high net-worth clients, is by having complete and utter control of their minds and actions in the market.  

Remember, it’s just zeros.

The ability to change how you think about the money in your trading account is what you really need to succeed at this game.  

What professional hedge fund traders know and do, is think about the accounts they trade as score boards, keeping score in a giant world-wide game. The score is the trading account balance and to them, it’s nothing more than digits on a screen, the more zeros they rack up after the first couple digits the better they are doing. 

Imagine managing a billion dollar position the same as you would manage a $1,000 position? The only way to accomplish this is by remembering it’s all just zeros; it’s just digits on a screen. If you start allowing yourself to truly “feel” the power of the money, you have already lost.  

The ONLY true weapon you have as a small retail trader, is not allowing yourself to be affected by the money you have at risk in your account. This can be accomplished a number of different ways: 

  • Don’t trade with money you really can’t afford to lose. 
  • Know your overall net-worth, liquid money left over after debt. 
  • Risk a very small amount of your liquid money per trade.  
  • I like to do the “sleep test”; if you are able to sleep with your position on, then you’re good.

If you are doing all of the above, then the final step to trading your account like a hedge fund manager lies in how you think about the money you’re trading. 

I can tell you from personal experience, that the only thing more potentially nerve-racking than trading your own real money, is trading someone else’s money. Thus, a hedge fund manager needs to have ‘ice in their veins’ (discipline, self-control), otherwise they are not going to get above average returns for their clients. 

How do they do this? 

By thinking of the money in your trading account as “just numbers”, a trader with a really big “baller” sized account, can remove the emotion from their trading decisions. They are simply thinking about their money differently than you are, and as a result, they are able to function in the market essentially as if they’re trading a demo account.  

Have you ever traded a demo account successfully and then when you transitioned over to a real account you blew it out in a month? Why did this happen? Well, it’s simple; you were letting the money control you on the real account rather than you controlling how you thought about it (like you did on demo). Don’t let it affect you. You do this by following the 4 bullet points above and then remembering it’s just numbers, nothing more, just zeros on a computer screen.  

You have to take the power back from the money, don’t let the money control you, you control you and as a result, you control the money in your account.  

This might sound like some type of gigantic cliché motivational speaker type stuff to you, especially if you’ve just come off a bad streak of trading losses. But, I am telling you, from personal experience, that it’s a FACT that how you think about the money in your trading account directly influences whether or not you succeed or fail at trading.  

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. 

I don’t want to get all Tony Robbins on you (I do like him though) but your mindset really has everything to do with your trading performance. Whether you think you can become a successful trader or you think you can’t, you’re probably right. The first step in achieving anything in life is convincing yourself you can do it and really believing it.

In trading, you really have to “fake it till you make it” because that is the only way you will stay consistent and disciplined in your approach.  

Let me explain… 

Do you think a hedge-fund manager or simply a trader with a million-dollar account is sitting in front of his screens everyday, day trading? Would you do that if you had a large trading account?  

No, you wouldn’t, and here’s why… 

First, anyone who’s been around the trading world long enough knows that day-trading is the hardest way to make money and the most stressful. Put simply, there just aren’t a lot of high probability trading signals each week in the market to make a day-trading something that is more skill than gambling.  

Hedge-fund traders do a lot of research, they have access to information that regular retail traders do not. They take a macro view of events and then check for opportunities via the price action on the charts. They are not just diving in and out of the market all day because some line crossed over another line (sounds stupid because it is).  

The advantage that you have as a smaller retail trader, is price action is the great equalizer, the true footprint of money on the charts, it literally shows you what the hedge funds are doing. Then, you can combine that price action analysis with sickening self-control, consistency and discipline in your trading. This is literally the ‘recipe’ for retail trading success and the only way it’s possible, trust me, I know.  

Where does the “fake it till you make it” come in you ask? Simple… 

You literally have to trade your small trading account AS IF it’s a big account! How would a hedge-fund trade a big account? Slowly. Consistently. Masterfully. This is what I teach, this is how I trade.  

You aren’t looking for quantity, you’re looking for quality of trades. One or two good trades a month is all you really need. You may have to wait patiently like a crocodile for days or even weeks either for an ideal trade to form or maybe for one you entered to play out. Either way, this slow, methodical approach, is what works. Using price action and intense self-discipline is how you will make your money as a smaller retail trader. 

You aren’t going to ramp-up a tiny account into something you can live off of overnight. So, you have to fake it, until you make it. Trade that $1,000 account only risking $10 – $50 per trade for a year or two. Then, if you’ve proved to yourself you can do it, maybe you’ve doubled it. $1,000 profit may not sound like a lot over a year or two, but that’s a 100% return. Now, add a few zeros onto that $1,000 account and tell me if THAT amount matters?  

You see, if I can get brutally honest with you for a minute… 

Where most traders fail is in not understanding this simple point… 

Until you can trade a small account successfully over a significant period of time, you will not be able to trad a larger account successfully. Thus account size, simply doesn’t matter.  

Here’s what matters: 

Bring it all together 

You know that dream you have in your head? The one where you are trading from a beach and making thousands of dollars per week without having to be stuck in traffic or talked down to by some a-hole boss? Don’t give it up. Don’t even think about it. I’m here to tell you, as living, breathing proof, that it IS possible. I have done it, and so can you.  

What you have to understand and truly believe, is that trading is a game that is almost entirely mental. This is why I don’t just teach you how to analyze price charts in my trading course and I am not just teaching a trade entry system. Whilst that stuff IS important, what you do with the trading method you use and learning how and when to implement it, is more important.  

What professional hedge-fund managers either instinctively know or have learned through much trial and error, is that the trade entry is not the hardest part of trading. The hardest part is what happens after that; how you process the feelings that come along with trading, your thoughts, your hopes and fears.  

I have spent the better part of my adult life being intimately connected with global financial markets, trading and investing is quite frankly my life-force. The lessons I share with you on this blog and in my trading course and members area, are literally what keeps me going. My entire existence and happiness is pinned to the idea of sharing my experiences with aspiring traders so that they can feel what I feel every day. The feeling of not having to be to work “on time” or having to answer to some boss who doesn’t really care about you, the feeling of being able to make money from a beach or from a coffee shop, that is what keeps me going. I want you to have that feeling and am telling you that it is possible if you simply change how you think about the money in your trading account and remember that you have the power to control how you feel and how you behave. Once you take that power back, you are on the right track.

What did you think of this lesson? Please leave your comments & feedback below!     

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. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
  1. erick November 6, 2018 at 7:22 am

    it`s nice and great article.
    honestly you may have remove the barrier that stop me from keep going forward.

    Reply
  2. Paul November 2, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Absolutely spot on.

    Reply
  3. Благодарность October 27, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Magnificent article, very informative, thanks Mr. Nial!

    Reply
  4. K. Logeswaran October 20, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Well said.
    Thanks for your support..

    Reply
  5. Jo Bendik October 18, 2018 at 6:09 am

    Great article. Inspiring.

    Reply
  6. Innocent Abanobi October 18, 2018 at 3:49 am

    Wow it’s cool..I have been trading for the past 5months now though I haven’t made any tangible profit but I refuse to give up am pushing on…I have been day trading and it didn’t help me so am gonna follow this professional advice concocted out of years of experience…thanks sir..

    Reply
  7. Gh Ghanim October 12, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you from all my heart , you are a wonderful human being ,

    Reply
  8. Azhar S M October 6, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Very informative topic .

    Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  9. Temi October 6, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for making forex trading inspiring and excited for me, keep up

    Reply
  10. Josh September 26, 2018 at 2:56 am

    THANK YOU NIAL…
    YOU INSPIRED ME!

    Reply
  11. Sanele September 7, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    If it wasn’t for this platform, I would have been some where gambling the hell out of my account…or out there telling people that that Forex isn’t real. Your articles are very interesting..and since I ain’t got lot of things to do on my free time, this blog is where i run to instead of watching charts all day and over trade.

    Reply
  12. Azmi July 24, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Hi Nial,

    Words u use are so direct and simple and its easy to follow through.

    Here we are as newtraders trying to get as much of ur energy as possible.

    Hopefuly, once we understand the core concepts ur sharing, we hope to materialize the actual trade strategies.

    Thanks again.

    Reply
  13. Kashif Khan July 18, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Hi Nial,

    It’s my first time on your blog, I have read so many posts in a day, it’s nice weather here, rainy night, I am enjoying reading.

    Thank you!
    Stay Blessed

    Reply
  14. Nnaemeka Bund July 17, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I love you so much Nial Fuller,If i say;Your articles are inspiring,that will not be enought,instead,i rather say;YOUR EXISTENCE alone is an INSPIRATION.God bless you Dear.Oh sorry,REMAIN BLESSED BY GOD.Lol…Bund Nnaemeka.

    Reply
  15. Ulebor Great July 11, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Very inspiring and educative, thank you very much

    Reply
  16. Mutiu July 10, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Very useful and educative. Thank you

    Reply
  17. CARLA July 10, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Thank you Neil..I want to learn trading so bad. I am new to this but its my dream to be free to live my life the way I want to..finally. This was a great article.

    Reply
  18. Shirl July 10, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Nial, your articles and sharing are getting better and better each day. Thanks so much !

    Reply
  19. Felix July 9, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Thank you very much for these eye opening lessons. I’m going to travel with it

    Reply
  20. Thozamile July 8, 2018 at 9:00 am

    This blog is thee best site I’ve ever visited… Will be browsing and learning more THANK YOU Mr Fuller

    Reply
  21. Chukwudi July 8, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Thank you sir ,

    Reply
  22. john oklu July 8, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Thanks Niel for the life changing articles you always post

    Reply
  23. O’sinachi Ojukwu July 7, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Discovering this core educative forex blog of yours is so far one of the best things that has happened in my trading career. Since then, I’ve been trading like a sniper (hedge fund manager) following your directives, rather than a machine gunner! 😀Many thanks Mr. Nial

    Reply
  24. WLT July 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Thanks Nial for this wonderful great lesson. It’s what I always wanted to do “the feeling of being able to make money from a beach or from a coffee shop“

    I tears reading thru’ the lesson.

    Thank you for being brutally honest.

    Reply
  25. Leke July 7, 2018 at 6:29 am

    I just can’t believe that I don’t have to trade everyday. As you have written, what I need to bear in mind is consistency, discipline and low frequency trading. I will try my best

    Reply
  26. Andrzej July 7, 2018 at 3:55 am

    When I started trading, I had an adviser on the phone. Every few days he said what to buy or sell. For about half a year, a regular profit accrued automatically.
    The position reached a profit level of about a week and automatically closed. I did not have to do anything. I just checked how it goes.
    First, the adviser taught the platform’s operation and when he showed the STOP LOSS button, he said that he would explain to others what it is. But I already knew and said that it is not OK, because it is proper to risk up to 3% of capital.
    He replied that he knew about it, but it is also possible. So it was trade without SL.
    There were advantages and disadvantages.
    I did not have to do anything, but I did not learn anything, irritated phones at different times of the day. I was dependent on the adviser.
    The last gold transaction lasted about two weeks. Day by day I lost my previous profit and waited for the adviser to call. When I called, someone else answered. I closed the trade, when almost all six months of profits melted and only some remained. I also paid out all the money from the bill and then the consultant called.

    This shows that there is a very important reason for motivation. Usually, this is your own ambition to create an elite school or business, etc. for which volunteers are needed. Because they generate profits, they are especially taught for all-day trading.
    It’s the same as being an employee and working day after day. This is how it happens.

    It’s best if the teacher does not need those he teaches about his business and does not need to teach anyone if he wants to.
    He has a different source of livelihood, and teaches motivated by joy or to see the joy of others. This happens to exceptional enthusiasts who are so good at their profession that they are not afraid of money and are exceptionally generous.

    Reply
  27. Toni July 7, 2018 at 2:19 am

    Thank you Nial.

    Reply
  28. Tom July 6, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Really enjoy your articles, Nial. Many thanks.

    Reply
  29. James Nkalubo July 6, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Nial,
    With the “How to trade like a Hedge Fund Manager ” lesson/post, you have hit the nail on the head as far as trading is concerned. If one doesn’t get the picture perfectly now, he will never get it.

    Reply
  30. Enoch Ofori July 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Another masterpiece from the price action Doctor. Quality over quantity of trades is the lesson i am picking from this piece. Thank you Nial

    Reply
  31. fawaz bamakrait July 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    thanks Nial ,awesome article .

    Reply
  32. Jeremiah Michael July 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Am an ardent reader of your post, though am a trend follower using indicator’s but in a ranging market i tend to take trades base on price action. But your money management and psychology articles are my best…your articles after my morning prayers are sure the next thing i read before going to work as i hope to someday stop work and be my own boss… thanks Niall God bless you richly for this knowledge and experience shared. Hope to visit someday….

    Reply
  33. Anastasia July 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    This is a powerful article, without controlling our minds in the markets we will never make it .I am always ‘taking it simple stupid’.
    Thank you sir may God bless you.

    Reply
  34. Anastasia July 6, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    This is a powerful article ,without controlling our minds in the markets we will never make it .I am always thinking about ‘ taking it simple stupid’
    Thank you sir may God always bless you.

    From Anastasia

    Reply
  35. Vuyisile July 6, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Hi, I’m new to trading, six in the game. After trying most strategies and indicators I realized the end of my account is near, I started trading naked price action as per your previous lessons. I’m slowly starting to see redults, also my emotional approach has tremendously improved. I believe l can and will be successful with the your learnings.thanks

    Reply
  36. Nicholaus July 6, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    thank you for good and motivational lesson.

    Reply
  37. Barrio July 6, 2018 at 7:34 am

    well spoken, Thanks Nail

    Reply
  38. Oyelakin Isaac Damilare July 6, 2018 at 6:57 am

    God bless you Nial, your points are loaded

    Reply
  39. Enéias Nascimento July 6, 2018 at 6:23 am

    If more traders read your articles, they would be able to make money at the market.

    Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  40. KRISTOFA OKENTA July 6, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Following you has been a blessing in my trading.
    The real FACT is: ‘Practicing these acts is not easy when one trades like an addict.
    Many may not accept this’, Thank you for all these LESSONS you give us
    free of charge.

    Reply
  41. Colin July 6, 2018 at 6:08 am

    Thank you for the lesson. For me it has been incredibly potent. You have certainly nailed it when you expressed that as traders “we have to take the power back from the money”.

    Doing this is “work in progress for me”. I am only human. Thanks again.

    Reply
  42. Kwanele July 6, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Ever since I started your articles. I’m a better trader than I was

    Reply
  43. Godfrey Victor July 6, 2018 at 3:54 am

    Nial Fuller
    You are really God’sent to me and ever since I found your blog my confidence in pinpointing support and resistance levels has increased and I haven’t taken your course yet but something has started coming up and may God richly bless and give you more wisdom to keepon going deeper and deeper in your teaching.

    Reply
  44. Jacob Serage July 6, 2018 at 2:24 am

    The article is informative and educative, it has opened my eyes to the control of emotions, how I should relate with money, how to deal with greed and above all, how important is self-control and self-discipline not forgetting money management. Thank you Nial

    Reply
  45. imraaan July 6, 2018 at 1:43 am

    Thank you Nial. Every article you publish is a must read for me. Its so inspiring yet educational at the same time. Appreciate every bit………..

    Reply
  46. richadi36 July 6, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Thanks Nial,
    Very motivational and thanks for sharing your experiences,,,

    Reply
  47. samuelkken July 6, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Another masterpiece. A true guide

    Reply
  48. Mangut Kefas Mafwalal July 6, 2018 at 12:01 am

    This article is in fact educative. Thanks.

    Reply
  49. Daemon Blackfyre July 5, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Very well said Nial, to be honest, Price action trading is my breakthrough!

    Right now my life in trading became EASY and SIMPLE. I barely trade, my EUREKA moment arrived when I realized that there is no point of over-risking and over-trading in a day-trading, it’s just like a mere gambling. Right not, All I do is wait patiently for a VERY OBVIOUS Rejection signal (Price-action signal) in a very well defined trending market and key levels and aim for 3R, and that’s it!

    This is a very simple yet powerful approach! Thanks mate!

    Reply
  50. Tumelo July 5, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Now I am convinced that I want to go into trading.

    Reply
  51. Nick Denton July 5, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Awesome article Nial.
    It reminds me why I trade and that the lifestyle I am aiming for is possible with patience!
    Thanks again.

    Nick

    Reply
  52. Siyabonga Mkhize July 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you for the good lesson, much appreciated.

    Reply
  53. Rahwa July 5, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    whatI can say! wonderfull article. thank you Nial. May God bless you and your family.

    Reply
  54. Muna July 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Dear Maestro,
    That your entire existence & happiness is founded on empowering aspiring traders is just wonderful … and sounds like Nelson Mandela speaking. Have you ever met Mandela?

    You are numero uno. Thank you.

    Reply
  55. Collin July 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks Neil, for pointing out exactly what’s happening with my way of trading. I had $2500 that I opened my account with since mid April and as l’m writting to you $1941 is now left. I started trading three demo accounts in January 2017 and all of them were in profit. In between the time was saving money for opening a live account. My problem from what you said I’m like a hedge manager of that money how can I accept that it’s money that I can afford to lose just like that throwing away money you saved staying I can afford to lose? I believe in you and I know you are 100% correct I just have to adjust. Your articles helped me to be what I’m today.
    All the other things you mentioned I’m practicing them but what a great lesson this psychologically has helped me to be a great trader I want to be.
    Thanks
    Collin

    Reply
  56. Leszek July 5, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    As usual, everything is simple, understandable and honestly up to the pain. It is a pity that there is no translation of your course in Poland. Regards

    Reply
  57. Emeka Egwim July 5, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Like you rightly stated , this feeling and mindset of the hedge fund trader only comes with time. Time spent on thousands of charts, focusing on developing and perfecting a trading edge in the market, with the right psychology, will certainly get the newbie to this enviable ‘feeling’. Thanks again for this masterpiece straight from the heart.

    Reply
  58. Grigori July 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Very accurate and correct approach.
    Thanks!

    Reply
  59. Ahamefuna Izuchukwu Christian July 5, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Many thanks sir, this is the key to success in the market, ”being able to have control over yourself”

    Reply
  60. Ekene July 5, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Mental talk, is the key to success. Thanks boss for this pise

    Reply
  61. Rufus July 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Excellent lesson. Thanks for sharing your helpful trading experience.

    Reply
  62. mosese naivakasoro July 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    This article brings back my love and hunger to trade responsibly. I have blown my account a few but what you write has exactly changed my perspective about trading ( gain slowly) As a newbie this article really motivates and encourage s me to continue with patience and not jump in and out quickly as I am used to. Thanks Nial for this article and the other articles you write. M blessed.

    Reply
  63. Pedro July 5, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    As usual very sensible and great article.

    Reply
  64. Katlego July 5, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Well said Nial,

    Trading is all about the mental and no one could have explained it any better than you dear mentor. The idea that size matters is all a bugger of one’s trading journey which in turn leads to an account suffering (Blowing Accounts), psychological agony and a thrash of a prospective successful trader’s dreams. I for one have learned my lesson by blowing two accounts in just 6 months and I am thankful that you have the ability to penetrate my mind with these articles. Thank you, Nial.

    Reply
  65. SB July 5, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Could not be said better, this is my goal, mental approach is the key, along with fib levels

    Reply
  66. Loke Jun Mun July 5, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Thanks very much . The most important point is giving to me. I will make it done soon. Tq Very Much for Your Sharing

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *