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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

The 9 Secrets to Profitable Forex Trading

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By in Forex Trading Articles Last updated on | 71 Comments

new-top-secretToday I am officially letting the “cat out of the bag”; I am going to give you my 9 BIG secrets to profitable trading…OK OK, they aren’t really “secrets”, but they are 9 very important things I personally do or have done that have helped me become a better trader. Unfortunately, there are no “secrets” to making money in the markets, but there are things that you need to do that you most likely aren’t doing, which will greatly increase your odds of becoming a profitable trader. So, without further ado, here are my 9 not-so-secret secrets to successful Forex trading:

1) PICK ONE trading method and keep it clean and simple. Don’t go wasting time trying to make sense of 15 indicators plastered all over your charts like a piece of abstract art. The truth about trading strategies is that finding one that gives you a high-probability edge in the market is not that difficult. But if you over-complicate it and confuse yourself in the process, you are going to do a great deal of harm to your trading account. Look, your trading strategy should make sense and it should be effective, but it should also be so simple that you could explain to a 5 year old, I’m serious.

The trading method that I have used for years is price action (duh); it’s simple, effective, and flexible, and it doesn’t take rocket science to understand or implement. If you want to master trading you can pick one price action strategy and learn how to trade it in every market condition; make it your bi$#!….REALLY master it before moving on.

For example, say you choose to learn the pin bar setup first, the best way to learn this setup is to trade it from key levels within the structure of a trending market, do that first, and make sure you are consistently profitable for 3 months or more trading only that strategy before moving on.

2) ANTICIPATE your trades and follow some kind of written plan. What I mean by “anticipate” your trades is to make sure you never jump in the market on a whim or without any pre-defined reason. You want to always make sure you are basing your trades on logic and objectivity, not irrationality and emotion (like most traders). So, you should have all the key levels drawn on your charts, and assuming you have mastered price action trading, you can simply sit back and wait for a setup to form at a key level in the market. This is called “pre-empting” your trades…instead of randomly jumping in and out of the market, you are watching pre-defined areas in the market and waiting for price action setups to form near them. Once your trade setup forms, you plan your entry, enter the stop and target, and then let the market do the “hard work”. Seriously, go play golf or something, don’t sit there and think about your trade after you enter it, stop thinking for a while and you might just make some money in the markets.

3) MAKE A DIARY OF YOUR TRADES to keep a written on-going track record of your progress. I cannot tell you guys with enough emphasis how important your trading journal track-record is, except to say that if you don’t keep a trading journal or at least regularly analyze your trading history and equity curve, you are extremely unlikely to ever make consistent money in the markets.

The actual process of updating your forex trading journal will help you stay disciplined and organized. This is part of developing the positive trading habits that are so crucial to becoming a long-term profitable trader. I don’t care if you think updating your journal is boring right now, stop complaining and start doing the things that YOU KNOW you need to do to become successful. I can promise you that if you keep screwing around by being unorganized and half-assing it, you are never going to pull the sort of money from the market that you want. You NEED to look at your track record on a regular basis to see something tangible that reflects back to you your ability or inability to trade. This will work to keep you on top of your game.

FLtradingoffice4) DON’T LISTEN TO ANYTHING BUT THE CHART, because the chart reflects everything! That’s right, the price movement on a raw, indicator-free price chart, reflects all variables that affect a market. So, don’t get bogged down analyzing economic news and watching CNBC, just learn to read the price chart and then let the price action dictate your trading decisions, not what some talking head on TV thinks. Also, NEVER trade what you think is going to happen, only trade what you actually see happening in the charts. What I mean is this, just because you “think” the EURUSD is going higher doesn’t mean it actually is, and your thoughts have no bearing on the EURUSD or any other market. The only thing that matters is what the price chart is telling you, so learn to read and trade from that instead of outside sources.

5) DON’T GET GREEDY or you will never make a profit. Greed is perhaps the most prevalent reason why most traders fail. The late Rene Rivkin, a famous Australian stock broker and trader, had a classic line about greed: “Leave some for the next guy”. Here are some tips on how to avoid letting greed get the best of you:

• Aim for a target before you place the trade – Yes, that’s correct; you should already have a target in mind before you enter a trade, and it’s best to pre-define your exit before you enter. Exiting is not an exact science, and there are times when deviating from your initial exit plan makes sense, but you should always decide before you enter a trade what your ideal exit strategy is and then try to stick to that plan as much as possible. Don’t change your exit strategy once your trade is live just because you “think” the trade is going to charge on in your favor forever, only change it if you have a very obvious price action-based reason to do so.

• Never move your stop loss further from entry – What I mean by this is entering a trade and then the market starts to move against you immediately, do you move your stop further away from the market price, or do you hold it in place? Obviously, the only logical course of action is to accept your loss and hold your stop where you pre-defined it, yet many traders email me saying they have moved their stop away and now have a very big open loss they don’t know what to do with. The answer is you have to take the bigger loss because you did not take the smaller loss…always take the smaller loss by not EVER moving your stop further from entry.

• Be happy to take a logical profit – If you have a nice 1:2 risk reward profit and there is no obvious reason to try and trail your stop, then by all means take the profit! Don’t just leave a trade open because you are mesmerized by the potential for the market to move further in your favor. Come back down to reality and realize the market ebbs and flows and it’s more likely going to move back against you soon then move in your favor if it’s already given you 2 times your risk.

• Only trail stops once your trade is well into profit – I only attempt trailing my stop if my trade is up about 1.5 times my risk and I am in a runaway trend or a strong breakout move that clearly has potential to keep going. Don’t start moving your stop up just because the trade pops in your favor the first 10 minutes you enter. Give the trade some room to grow and breath. Trading is like a garden, you have to give it time to grow to taste its fruit.

• Don’t live in hope – I like to think of hope as the catalyst for greed. Traders often hope that their trades will go on forever in their favor, or they hope that if they move their stop loss just a little further away, the trade will come back for them. While hope is generally a good thing in every other area of life, in Forex trading it can cause you to do irrational things that destroy your trading account.

6) GET SOME BALLZ, because trading is not for the emotionally weak or for wussies. That’s right, if losing 5 trades in a row makes you cry and whinge, then forget about becoming a trader. Don’t trade if you don’t have the money to lose, it’s really that simple. You can lose money in trading, many beginners seem to forget or ignore this fact. So, you should not be trading with money that causes you to treat every trade like it’s life or death, you really should almost not care at all if you lose on one trade, because ONE trade DOES NOT define you as a trader. Your success as a trader is the result of many months of trading results, not just one or two. Don’t get all excited if you win a trade either, or a series of trades. Instead, stay neutral and act like a strong minded professional with skill, rather than a little school boy who just won $100. You need to be strong to be a successful forex trader; you to focus and believe in yourself, and it’s OK to bet a little harder on a trade if you are confident, but keep in mind this is only advisable if you are 100% sure you have mastered your trading strategy already.

7) DON’T CHANGE YOUR METHOD> STICK TO IT< BELIEVE IN IT, because all trading methods will have losses and losing periods. So, don’t run away and freak out in the face of some losing trades. Instead, you need to hang in there and tough it out, just make sure you are consistent with your strategy and that you are using something like price action that is simple, logical, and has proven itself over time.

A random entry method based on flipping a coin would probably make more money than a trader following 3 different trading methods and running around looking for the Holy Grail every day. The Holy Grail to long term success is in fact…sticking with something, believing in it… and not hesitating when the opportunities present themselves.

homer-sleep18) MAKE SURE YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT, because if you are having trouble sleeping due to your trading, it means you’ve risked too much. Don’t take a position size that you know is too big, because then you almost certainly will be too emotionally involved with the trade which will result you in not sleeping and becoming even more emotional. Not to mention, your frazzled and obnoxious existence from risking too much will probably make your wife or roommates want to kill you or send you to the loony bin.

You need to learn to RELAX…the market is not going anywhere, you need to trade a position size that you can handle emotionally, not one that causes you to have a near melt-down every time the market moves against you by a pip or two. If you find you are waking up over and over to check the latest quote on your laptop or iPhone, you know you are IN OVER YOUR HEAD. Some people risk too much money for the “rush”, some do it out of stupidity or greed, whatever the case, make sure you are risking a decent amount, but not an amount that makes your heart pound, and not an amount that causes you to fall asleep at your computer desk!

9) ALWAYS PAY YOURSELF, because if you don’t, who will? When you make money in the markets you need to pay yourself, don’t re-invest all your profits in some vain attempt to grow your account to infinity. Let’s be honest here, you are in the markets to make money so that you can buy things, whether it’s a house, a car, or trying to buy freedom from your job, you aren’t going to buy anything if you keep all your money in your account. Pay yourself and reward yourself, it will help to motivate you and will reinforce positive trading habits.

Now that the “cat is out of the bag”, and you guys know my 9 “secrets” to profitable trading, you have nothing to hold you back but your own fear and lack of motivation. So, get off your butt and drink a few coffees, or do whatever you need to do, but if you really make an effort to implement these 9 tips, you will see your trading improve. If you want to learn more about my price action trading strategies, check out my Forex price action trading course.

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. San Htat February 1, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Very helpful article that made me think. I have confidence and now it has improve my skills to profit. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  2. vicky March 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    thanks boss..for sharing this..u made this clear that its not about always winning , its also about losing.i like this part…beginners can keep this in mind.

    cheers,
    vicky

    Reply
  3. ประตูม้วน February 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Excellent post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..

    Reply
  4. themba January 30, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Wow great secrets for sure.
    Thanks a lot

    Reply
  5. peri October 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    We are very lucky to be here in this forum ! Great !

    Reply
  6. Eddie July 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks..c

    Reply
  7. Surya July 16, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Awesome articles Nial. I do not trade forex. I only trade Equity/Index derivatives. Going through the articles in this site has made a huge difference in my trading. Thank you.

    Reply
  8. asmitha June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    this is simply great

    Reply
  9. gab May 28, 2012 at 5:38 am

    awesome stuff!

    Reply
  10. sam April 7, 2012 at 6:16 am

    thanks be bless and do more us.

    Reply
  11. Gurpal March 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Hi Nial,

    Hope you are well. Thank you for another superb article.

    Thank you for all your help

    Thanks and Regards

    Gurpal

    Reply
  12. Zahid Khan March 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    A very nice article as usual. Thanks Nial

    Reply
  13. John Amotsuka March 15, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Excellent write up am an advocate of money management and you just justified my conviction

    Reply
  14. stuart nurse March 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    There is nothing i can say really that hasn’t been covered by everyone else! just thankyou for being who you are. Stuart.

    Reply
  15. Jiri M March 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Thanks Nial,good stuff.

    Reply
  16. Trader9 March 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I have used your nine secrets as the foundation of my trading plan. If all secrets aren’t present and incorporated then the plan is weak. I think all your readers should go through their trading plan (if they have one) and check that all nine secrets are present. Probably the best thing they could do today.

    Reply
  17. kotijett March 13, 2012 at 6:05 am

    thanks Nial… awesome article!

    Reply
  18. Danny N March 13, 2012 at 5:02 am

    It’s never enough information that you share with all of us. I’ve been using one of your methods you taught in one of your lessons and I’ve already made some serious pips over time. Keep sharing the knowledge.

    Thanks,
    Danny N.

    Reply
  19. zhuying March 13, 2012 at 3:54 am

    A great article,great help,Thanks

    Reply
  20. HjMahmood Ali March 13, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Dear Nial,

    A really great articles and can make a useful guide to all members. Regards

    Reply
  21. Eric March 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    WTG buddy.

    Snarly jack and me will be in town last week of march. Throw a shrimp on the barby.

    E.

    Reply
  22. Phil March 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us Nial
    Great help for us just learning to trade the market, much appreciated.

    Reply
  23. Sola March 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Prof Nail,honestly,you made my day.This is monday morning in Nigeria.what a great way to start the week.Once again,thanks a million for the article and keep the good work up.
    To your Success,
    sola.

    Reply
  24. Desiree March 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you Nial, a great article to start the week.

    Reply
  25. Irfan gani March 12, 2012 at 5:31 am

    thanks Nail, Now I am starting again

    Reply
  26. Jimmy March 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Dude, is that your work station?! Great article by the way.

    Reply
  27. Jamie March 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Hi Nial thank you. you are my trading mentor. Thank you so much for all efforts in teaching truth about good solid trading.

    Never stop.

    Reply
  28. adewale March 11, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Speaking the truth in love.Thanks Nial

    Reply
  29. Todor March 11, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Wow, Nial, I love what you teach, I like the way you teach it, I like the way you talk, I feel it so close to me. My admiration and gratitude! Well, guys, I suppose we’re blessed to be part of this! Let’s take full advantage of it! Best regards to all!

    Reply
  30. Paul March 11, 2012 at 3:13 am

    IF Nial can’t teach/inspire someone to become a profitable trader then no one can!

    Is there no end to the incredible articles you write nial? This is another masterpiece of advice, wisdom and motivation that I have come to expect from you. Please dont every stop doing what your doing..

    Respect
    Paul

    Reply
  31. Dale March 11, 2012 at 12:15 am

    LOVED this article Nial, it was a complete summary of all the important factors that count towards success in the markets. Cheers.

    Reply
  32. Raj March 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Great stuff Nail, reinforces the discipline and simplicity. Your selfless service will be blessed by the almighty..

    Thanks Nail.

    Reply
  33. john March 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Nial
    you are number 1 ,thanks for the KISS system,
    keep up the good work, as always great artical.
    cheers

    Reply
  34. Ramli March 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing a secrets.

    Cheers

    Reply
  35. Tom Barasa March 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks Nial for that advise. 2,3,4, 6 and 7 really speak to me. Iam working to implement all this as I move along.

    Reply
  36. Frank Page March 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Correction to my previous e-mail I meant to say No Women!! Where are they? They are the sensible traders mostly!!

    Paul – Life has indeed changed a lot since the Middle Age! However I would not want to draw each of the 28 currency pairs I monitor. For each there is 3 time frames I use which means I would have to draw 84 chars – sod that!! Computers have provived a real boost! Did you have pens in those days or you a quill dipped in ink? As for indicators i only sometime glance at 2 i.e. momentum and macd. Most of the time they don’t enhance the chart.

    Reply
  37. Frank Page March 10, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Hi Nial,

    Good article, read all this many times before but it’s still good to be reminded!

    I notice there are replies from the women traders. I’d be concerned Nial why do you only attract the men ha…ha!!

    Reply
  38. Paul Stevenson March 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Dear All,

    I have 25yrs of trading experience, and have seen everything. When i first began we had to have the chart paper posted to us and draw our own candles. Just think about that!!!!, now think about all those lagging indicators you can so easily place on your charts these days with the click of a mouse. We could never plot them when were drawing our own charts. Computers have made this too simple and hence the reson so many people loose money trying to trade from them. By drawing our own candles was a great way to learn price action. Perhaps try it.

    Having not done Nials course and read much of Nials trading method, which is very similar to my own. I am so impressed that i am referring traders here, simply because this works.

    If you are reading this, you are the lucky few in the right place to succeed.

    Really appreciate all you have done Nial. Great Stuff mate.

    Reply
  39. Gary March 10, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Nial,
    I want so much to buy you a beer my friend! Keep up the good work… The articles you write are so inspiring! Thank you! Now, what can I do for you in return? I would carry you across the deserts of Hell if you asked me to… Well, perhaps after we’ve had our first or second beer! Cheers…

    Reply
  40. Matthew Agbo March 10, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Hi, Nial,
    Thanks a lots for your humorous facts on trade.God bless you.

    Reply
  41. Lionell Dixon March 10, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Great stuff Nial! Thanks!

    Reply
  42. Pavel March 10, 2012 at 4:24 am

    Thanks again mate,its pretty enjoyable :)

    Reply
  43. AMIN MALIK March 10, 2012 at 3:36 am

    NIAL! Thank you so much.Your 9 Tips are The CRUX of the
    whole- Trading- Strategy.Few of these may be difficult t0 adhere to for sometime, BUT are NOT IMPOSSIBLE,If followed
    in true letter and esprit.

    THANKS & REGARDS, AMIN

    Reply
  44. Jose March 10, 2012 at 3:30 am

    I Love your article. Nial you are the person everybody dreames to have as Mentor.

    Reply
  45. Norris March 10, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Hi Nial,
    what agreat article you wrote,very empowering!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  46. Ryszard March 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Some are not easy to apply but all will improve my trading. Thank you!

    Reply
  47. Elsayed Elshamey March 10, 2012 at 2:32 am

    The Best Part Was buy freedom from your job… lol
    I’ve been trading Forex for 2 years now I FOUND MY SELF :) in your amazing article
    Thx Nial

    Reply
  48. Terry March 10, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Thanks Nial,
    Great advice, this will help me how to stay track as I learn to trade each day.

    Reply
  49. Tuan Tran March 10, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Great post!

    Reply
  50. victor chiejine March 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Thanks for this article you sent is so fantastic
    me and my guys are realy working on them thanks NIAL.

    Reply
  51. PawPawRu March 10, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Nial, Your ability to get to the “meat” of the subject makes me a subscriber and a believer in your course.
    I especially love # 6 and # 9. Your comments avoids the fluff and tells us what we need to hear to be successful AND profitable traders.
    Many Thanks, PawPawRu.
    LIVE IN THE MOMENT, LIVE IN THE TRUTH, BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES.

    Reply
  52. Peter Miller March 10, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Thanks Nial , you are like a gaurdian angel watching over us to make sure that we are successful.And to think that i thought only “Red Bull” had wings!!!
    Regards
    Peter

    Reply
  53. Josef March 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Fantastic article. Already working on every of them. Thank You very much Nial. Josef CZE :-)

    Reply
  54. Sridhar Kumsy March 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Nial
    Many thanks for 9 not-so-secret secrets. You have boosted my confidence to commence trading.

    Reply
  55. Joe March 9, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Very nice nial and on the money, I like point 9 so true you should pay your self

    Reply
  56. Tony March 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Nial, I enjoy every word. Thanks.

    Reply
  57. Mohammad Kavoshnia March 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks Nial,

    All your lessons are beneficial and informative,each one of
    them better than the previous one.
    By your 9″secrets”you have truely let the”cat out of the bag” on FX market.

    Warmest regards
    Mohammad

    Reply
  58. Ezzywave March 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Nial

    I really enjoyed this article, it is full of good guidance in a very punchy style. I will keep referring to it until I am a consistently successful trader and even then I am sure I will keep referring to it.

    As a member of LTTTM I wish continued success to you Nial and your team.

    Good stuff & many thanks!

    Cheers

    Reply
  59. raphael peter March 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks Nial for this mind blowing patterns.I enjoyed it.

    Reply
  60. Tay Tiang Ho March 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you Nial, Good stuff.Will take note your 9 points seriously. Cheers!

    Reply
  61. emmanuel matsiko March 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    You are always giving us that need confidence.Thanks

    Reply
  62. samuel adesuyi March 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for this eye opening article.

    Reply
  63. Kevin March 9, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    A wonderful and honest article! I’ve been applying these secrets for a few months already and I must say you are right on the money! I guess we share similar success. Cheers.

    Reply
  64. Nigel March 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Clean, pure & simple, the only way to succeed in the market place, many thanks Nial

    Reply
  65. OKENTA KRISTOFA March 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    My dear ‘Prof’ Nial. You have given a great tonic this morning that will carry me through the day and the rest of my trading daysss.I am doing whatever you tell me. And I will keep doing it. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  66. Michael March 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Well said Nial. My most important food for thought is the 6th point. GET SOME BALLS. I just tend to always give up if i get a string of loosing trades. Thanks again.

    Reply
  67. J.R.Julius March 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Good Points. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  68. Ayo'Wumi March 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Trades just keep getting better… More grace with you, Nial.

    Reply
  69. GlobalTrader March 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I like this too…simple and very informative…Thx Nial)

    Reply
  70. Sanjay Hallan March 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    just woke up here and this is the first thing I read. what a great boost to my day… granted its friday..but some excellent points for a lifetime in trading

    thanks

    Reply
  71. Billy Seay March 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Good stuff Nial. Continued success to you!

    Reply

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