The acronym K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. This acronym is as applicable to the field of Forex trading as it is to any. ‘Keeping it simple’ in regards to your Forex trading means keeping all aspects of your Forex trading simple, from the way you think about price movement to the way you execute your trades.
Simplicity is the most often and easily overlooked ingredient to profiting long-term in any financial market. I’m sure you have probably tried using complicated and (or) expensive trading methods at some point and subsequently realized that they weren’t working how you had thought. This article will help you understand why people tend to over-complicate Forex trading and how you can use the power of simplicity to your advantage.
The truth about Forex trading
So you’re excited about the latest and greatest programmed indicator that has been getting a lot of attention in the trading forums you visit regularly. You just know that this one will work because the returns that its creators have posted look absolutely brilliant, and you can’t wait to try it out. That last indicator-based method didn’t work as you expected it to, but this new one seems like it makes a lot more sense and all the testimonials you’ve read just can’t be wrong…
Many traders have had similar experiences to the one above; they think that by trying enough trading systems and forex indicators, eventually they will hit upon that one that is their automatic ticket to consistently profiting in the markets. This belief is exactly what causes many traders to blow out their accounts time and time again only to find themselves full of frustration and confusion. Simply put, there is no ‘free lunch’ in trading, still, many traders think by finding that one great trading system or indicator they can sit back and watch the money roll on. The truth is that nothing that is fully systematic will ever be a truly effective way to trade the forex market because the market is not a static entity that can be tamed through black box mechanical systems. It is a volatile beast that is driven from human emotion, and human beings vary in their emotional reactivity to specific events, especially when their money is on the line.
The fact is, that while almost all traders would say they want to make trading a simple process, they are going about it in the totally wrong manner. Trading can only become simple once you forget about the idea of finding a perfect indicator-based trading system that will work in all market conditions. Markets are just too volatile and complex to ever be dominated by a piece of software code or a mechanical set of trading rules.
How do you “Keep It Simple”?
How does one keep their Forex trading simple? Well, no pun intended…it’s actually pretty simple; STOP looking for the next “perfect” Holy-Grail trading system and START looking at the price bars on your charts. By learning to read price action on a raw, “naked” price chart, you are learning an art and a skill at the same time. The “art” part of the trading equation is what allows some traders to make a full time living in the markets while the masses who are struggling to find the next best indicator system continue to lose money by trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, so to speak.
Learning the art and skill of price pattern recognition will provide you with a perspective and not a system. This market perspective is what would be considered a trading “method”; many people use the terms “method” and “system” synonymously when referring to trading techniques, however, they are really two entirely different things. A trading method provides you with a way to make sense of daily market movement, whether the market is trending or consolidating, where as a trading system is a strict set of rules that allow for little to no degree of human discretion.
How did famous traders like George Soros, Jesse Livermore, and Warren Buffet make their millions (and billions) in the markets? Not through complicated trading software or lagging indicator based trading methods, but through a discretionary market perspective that was developed through an awareness of price dynamics and market conditions in the various markets they traded.
Clean vs Messy
The purpose of this article is to help you understand that you can use simple price action setups to successfully trade the forex market. Professional Forex traders all have one thing in common; they keep their trading as simple as possible because they know that they need a calm and clear mindset to make money in the market. However, most beginning traders, and many experienced but unsuccessful traders, take the complete opposite approach to trading the markets; they make it as complicated as possible.
The K.I.S.S method, as it relates to Forex trading, is built upon an understanding that the best way to navigate the market is by learning to interpret and trade the raw price action signals that form naturally in the market. By trying to force a set of strict indicator based trading rules around the unbounded arena of financial markets, many traders unknowingly make trading infinitely more complicated and difficult than it ever needs to be.
In the example chart below, we can see a clean and simple price action chart with no indicators.
In the example chart below, we can see the chart is very cluttered and messy with many indicators that will confuse you and distract you from the price action below…
If the power of simplicity in Forex trading was not clear to you yet, analyzing the charts above should make it more than obvious to you. I have seen many beginning and struggling traders try to trade with charts that look like the second one above with all the indicators on it. To be honest, I’ve seen traders trying to trade on charts that actually have more indicators than the example above…believe it or not.
As humans, we seem to have an almost innate tendency to make the easiest part of trading (chart analysis and finding trades) a lot more difficult and complicated than it needs to be. Once you accept the fact that chart analysis does not have to be difficult, it will help you to focus more clearly on the more difficult aspects of trading like remaining disciplined and managing your risk properly. Don’t be like the legions of other traders out there who waste a massive amount of time and money trying to figure out what a mess of different indicators and trading robots are trying to tell them. Learn to analyze the raw price action that the market naturally provides you with and you will be much further along the path to trading success than people trying to trade on charts like the one above.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the why and the how of the KISS method, you can begin to work on practicing its implementation. Practice trading specific price action strategies combined with support and resistance levels for at least 3 months on a demo account, or until you are consistently profitable, before attempting any of this on a real money account. Keep in mind that trading is inherently risky and this information is for educational purposes only and it is not met as a recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument. That being said, if you are dead set on becoming a profitable and consistent forex trader, stick with the KISS forex trading method and master the concepts outlined in this article and in my Forex trading course, and you will begin to see that profitable trading does not need to be complicated.