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Today’s lesson is the result of years of experience “in the trenches” of the markets (as well as about 7 espressos), and I think you will find some very helpful insight in the following 5 points. If you really take this lesson seriously and actually read and implement the 5 steps below, I am confident that you will see a very positive change in your Forex trading performance. Ready? Let’s get to it…

1. Become passionately involved in tracking your trading progress

enthusiasmPerhaps the most important step to successful Forex trading is developing a trading journal or diary to track your trades and your trading progress. I know I have written about keeping a trading journal before, and a lot of people just hear this point and blow it off, but this is the wrong thing to do. You need to really get interested in tracking your trading progress and in following your equity curve, because it is this aspect of trading that truly defines and separates the disciplined and organized traders from the rest of the herd who continually lose money and blow out their trading accounts.

Every time you enter a trade you will fill out your Forex trading journal, and every time you exit a trade you will update it. Over time, you will build your own track record and an equity curve….these are VERY important tools in gauging your performance and skill as a trader. Traders who do not keep a trading diary or don’t bother to keep records of their trades have no idea where they have been, and as the old cliché goes “you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been”…

Many traders seem to forget that Forex trading success is defined by the end result of a series of trades over time…not the end result of ONE trade. Many traders also seem to decide what their next move in the market will be based almost entirely on their last move…this is just insane! Instead, we need to passionately follow our Forex trading plan and our trading progress over time by regularly maintaining our trading journal and viewing our equity curve….and let these factors dictate our next move in the market. You need to become passionately involved in following your trading progress over time by making it a visual part of your daily trading routine.

For example, within your trading plan you would include a step in your daily routine that requires you to visually analyze both your trading journal and your account equity curve both before and after every trade you take. For those of you trading with the MT4 trading platform, you can see your account equity curve by opening up the “account history” tab within the “Terminal” window, then right click within the account history tab and choose the period of time you want to view and then click “save as detailed report”, you will then see an equity curve along with a listing of all your trades for that period of time and some other useful information.

2. Get your personal life in order

improve-personal-lifeI am going to let you all in on a little secret: most traders think that trading the markets is going to somehow “fix” their life and magically solve all their financial problems. Whether they admit it or not, MOST traders think this at some point when learning to trade. The problem with this thinking is that it is essentially the complete opposite of how you really need to think in order to become a successful trader…

Successful Forex traders ALREADY have their personal, financial, and professional lives in order, for the most part. I am not saying you have to be some perfect person in every area of your life, but if you are sitting around your apartment with old pizza boxes stacked up and playing video games in your underwear, you probably do not have the proper trading mindset. Here are some things to make sure you have in order BEFORE you start trading the markets:

• Relationships – If you are in an emotionally stressful relationship it is probably going to negatively affect your trading, so don’t try trading real money until all the relationships in your life are relatively calm and supportive, rather than turbulent and conflict-filled.

• Finances – This one is CRUCIAL to trading success…I get emails everyday from traders telling me they want to join my trading community and take my course but they are totally broke or have no job. If you are in a bad financial situation you simply should NOT be trading the markets. When you are struggling financially you are obviously going to become emotionally attached to all of your trades, this is probably the fastest way to blow out your trading account. You have to trade totally unattached to the money you have at risk in the markets. Do not put pressure on yourself to make money in the markets, you need to feel like you REALLY don’t care if you lose or win on any one trade. If you have a lot of debt but still want to trade, you need to plan out a way to pay off that debt in a methodical manner….as well as stop acquiring new debt.

• Life routine / discipline – What is your daily routine? Do you have one? If you are a largely undisciplined person, you probably won’t be a good trader right now. That’s not to say you won’t ever be a good trader, but I am just telling you that if you don’t know how to navigate your daily responsibilities in an organized and efficient way, you will likely never navigate the market in an organized and efficient / effective way either.

• General psychology / mindset – If you have the above three points in order, you will be on your way to forging the proper trading mindset. The point here is that obtaining and maintaining the proper Forex trading mindset, is really the result of having the rest of your life in order. These are all points that no one else but you can take care of, so get to work on them now if you want to have a shot at trading the markets profitably.

3. Treat your trading account like it has 1 million dollars in it

This point is really big because so many traders get caught up over-analyzing the 15 minute (or other low time frame) charts, and just generally doing all the wrong things when it comes to trading the markets. You see, whether you are trading $1,000 or $1,000,000, the principles are the same…your emotions should not change, you need to learn to FORGET about the money and instead focus on the PROCESS OF TRADING.

Look at it like this; do you think Jimi Hendrix was only a good guitar player on a very expensive guitar? Or do you think he would make even a $50 dollar guitar sound amazing?? We all know the answer here…he would blow most peoples’ minds on the cheapest guitar you could buy. The point is that a good trader, who has truly mastered price action trading strategies, as well as their emotions and overall trading mindset, will trade a $1,000,000 account with the same skill that they would a $1,000 account. Obviously, they would not make as much money per trade on the smaller account, but the key point is that since they are operating in the same manner, the CONSISTENCY of their results will be there. 0’s are just numbers… forget about how many 0’s you have in your trading account balance and you will likely see them multiply a lot faster than if you continually dwell on the money instead of the process of trading Forex like a sniper.

4. Be realistic

Traders who continually lose money in the markets all have at least one thing in common: they fail to accept the reality of trading. I know traders who haven’t even begun making consistent money yet in the markets when they go out and buy a $3,000 4-screen monitor system and a juiced-up computer simply because they think that it will make them a better trader. The point is that trading success begins in your mind, and does not depend on what kind of computer you have or how many computer screens you have. Sure, it’s great to have a nice trading office and a good atmosphere will help you maintain the right trading mindset, but don’t go blow thousands of dollars on computers and monitors or trading software before you actually know what you are doing in the markets and are seeing consistent results.

I also know traders who make consistent money every month in the markets who simply trade from their laptop at a coffee shop or a hotel room. Like I said before, successful Forex trading begins and also ends in your mind.

5. Clean up your trading strategy

simplify-to-doIn case you haven’t been around the last 100 years, this entire blog is about price action trading, because this is the trading style that I personally use and believe in. The main point that I wanted to convey in today’s article, is that simplicity and discipline will positively affect all areas of your life, including your trading. Removing the clutter and confusion from our charts and the preconceived notions in our minds, and approaching the markets with a clean slate is what works. Try looking at a couple currency pairs with nothing on them and just reading the market for what it is…the most complex I get these days is a few horizontal lines and a 21 day EMA to find dynamic support / resistance and trend. The point is that cleaning up your trading strategy by learning to trade Forex with price action goes right along with cleaning up the personal aspects of your life that we discussed earlier, and both of these things are paramount to cleaning up your trading mindset and achieving consistent success as a Forex currency trader.

Related Lessons:

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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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49 Comments

  1. Ravi says:

    Hi Nial,

    You have mentioned about trading journal a few times and it seem to be very important to develop discipline.

    It will be great if you can share the format of the journal and how you use it on regular basis for improvement will be an invaluable insight.

    Thank you.
    Ravi

  2. Gurpal says:

    Hi Nial,

    Hope you are well. Just one word explains this article ”awesome”. Thank you for sharing this amd for all your continued help.

    Thanks and Regards

    Gurpal

  3. Wibowo says:

    Very good lesson … ! Tks a lot

  4. stuart nurse says:

    Thankyou. It seems that just when i realise i need a boost and a reality check you produce an outstanding article that addresses my problems. So pleased i joined your course, Thanks again.

  5. tunde says:

    this is a nice piece.

  6. denisa says:

    Thank you. Positive thinking (but realistic) and a balance in our lives influence not only our accounts but also everybody around us. You are an excellent trader, teacher, psychologist, simply a proper guru! Thanks again.

  7. SUNIL says:

    Excellent. I was reading your lesons for last few months. Thanks

  8. ifa mantofani says:

    inspiring….Thank u Nial

  9. Galen says:

    Hello Nial

    As your student I have drank from your wisdom on many occasions and here too I fill my cup with your experiential knowledge. I am in no hurry and will not trade until I follow the guidelines that our put forth by you Nial, or I am just kidding myself. The right mind set is near. After almost two years I still demo.. Why? Because immaturity and ignorance are still factors in my life with the forex.

    Always
    Galen

  10. Peter K says:

    A balanced holistic and practical article that rings true to the real world of the FX-Trader

  11. Bambang m says:

    Nial, you explain the truths about to be a success trader in the forex market with this simple guide

  12. The Big A says:

    Great article Nial,A reminder to remove “distractions” from other areas of life is crucial to maintaining the right mindset to achieve success in trading.Nice one !!!!!!!!!

  13. Oscar says:

    i just recently found out about nial and his way of trading, so far so good. Nail thanks for share this valuable information.

  14. Paul says:

    Thanks Nial,

    More great medicine from the Doctor. Really appreciated.

  15. Nikos (Athens) says:

    With this simple guide you gave the traders the opportunity to THINK and protect themselves. Thank you.

  16. Joe says:

    Thanks Nial!
    All you lessons are like no one elses, and give me confidence that I too will be successfully trading with my toes in the sand.

  17. Jiri M says:

    Thanks for another Great Lesson.

  18. henry says:

    u have done what other people could nt do in the forex market(to achieve success in trading). Thats why u are still the best out there. Thanks nial!

  19. Nabil says:

    For beginners or advanced traders, you are the best Forex mentor ever… and I followed many of them ;-) Thank you so much.

  20. Vanessa says:

    FANTASTIC article Nial – love your holistic training style. Just made my day and reminded me of all that’s important. You’re the best!!

  21. Ramli M.S says:

    Thanks Nial.

    great n Cheera

  22. bruce says:

    Being realistic.

    Is the one that comes to mind after reading the above. When i started trading (three years ago), Being
    realistic was the hardest thing to comprehend.

    I believed that I would make a fortune in next to no time.
    It’s actually taken me three long years to know what I’m actually doing when trading.
    Now with a trading plan and being totally realistic there is
    light at the end of my tunnel.

  23. quin says:

    The value of this course is not only your PA atrategy, but also these ongoing physo and strategy support articles. They are like mirror, reflecting my weakpoints and showing me the direction of further improvement. Now after more than half year’s learning, I am on my way finding out my own trading style which suits my personality and looking to be consistantly profitable in the coming year!Only thanks cant show my appreciation…

  24. Michael says:

    Nial:
    What charts do you use for your updates that you publish once or twice a week. They are different from the ones I use.

  25. Kerry says:

    Great article! 7 espressos too much.

  26. Destiny Nigeria says:

    thanks mate for this reminder. this year i will take my trading journal serous

  27. nisar says:

    rightly said you, a be a successful trader we must embrace these simplistic traits. very informative and eye opening article.
    thanks a lot for educating us without any greed.

  28. Wibowo says:

    Nial, you explain the truths about to be a success trader in the forex market. I really appreciate you …

  29. Billy Seay says:

    Nial,

    Simply Awesome. Life principles to live by even if you aren’t a trader. Your parents raised you properly.

  30. Trader Mark says:

    Great advise that should be followed by all traders. Trading is not easy (otherwise everyone would be doing it) and a disciplines ,simple approach is fundamental too success. Nial your blogs are always excellent – please keep them coming

  31. Lionell Dixon says:

    Thanks for another Great Lesson Nial! I always look forward to them week after week.

  32. Adam (montreal) says:

    Great read makes a lot of sense. Thanks

  33. sam says:

    you indeed helping thanks

  34. Michael D says:

    Very good article as usual Nial. Practical and real and to the point.

  35. Edward says:

    As usual … great advice

    Thanks for sharing your valuable experience.

    Edward

  36. steve kroesing says:

    thanks nial…. been a student a week or so….just reading your blogs does calm my mind down, still getting familiar/comfortable with your system, but i already see i am on my way to becoming a great trader…thanks again

  37. Daniel Howard says:

    Thanks Nial. Great info as usual.

  38. Zahid Khan says:

    Wonderful articles. Well done Nial. Keep it up.
    God bless u

  39. peter says:

    Good Man, u know these common challenges traders do encounter during the time of trading and this will help a lot to caution many. Thanks u’re good at it friend.

  40. Dave says:

    Great but easier said than done. But MUST do.

  41. Tay Tiang Ho says:

    Great articles. Thanks!

  42. Paul says:

    Hi Nial

    Your weekly lesson makes perfect sense as always. I committed to keep my journal religiously this year and to make less trades (target 1 a week)

    Only a few weeks in but am pleased to be able to report that I have written up every trade order (open, stop, target) in my journal before entering it in my trading platform. My average order per week is still too high though (3.5)

    I am already finding a psychological improvement though, as I don’t think about the markets anything like as often as I used to. I am able to concentrate much more on my ‘proper’ job and on my family time

    Be interesting to see what my account looks like at the end of the year

    best and have a great weekend

  43. EP says:

    thank you master jedi

  44. Eric says:

    I am always grateful to have you as my mentor Nial. Thank you
    once again and have a great weekend with family and friends. =)

  45. King says:

    Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!
    Thank you mate

  46. Dominik says:

    Great article – many thanks!

  47. Daniel says:

    I am now a consistently profitable trader after having purchased Nial’s membership course around 1 year ago – Keeping a journal has been very important for me and many other great traders in Nial’s forum record and evaluate their trades. It keeps us accountable to our method, highlights mistakes and shows the benefit of viewing trading as a series of trades rather than 1 trade at a time. If you are thinking about Nial’s course and really want to get serious about trading – Just buy it. Nial is a really genuine person and has made the course affordable for many people. His daily commentary is a sure way for you to begin to immitate his price action methodology and this is probably the fastest way you can start making the foreign exchange into a workable business. I have and so have many others – Put in the time and effort and yoy will get the rewards. I am an unashamed fan of LTTTM because it has given me a business skill that helps me achieve my other goals in life…

  48. hart says:

    Yep, I not only enjoyed reading but also felt the need to streamline my activities. The trading journal is still my weak point.. I got to be consistent in keeping record of every trade. I do miss out once in a while.
    Thank you for summing up all taht needs to be done.
    Good Day

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