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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

(My Secret Trading Weapon) – The Most Important Ingredient to Trading Success

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By in Forex Trading Articles Last updated on | 79 Comments

top secretToday I want to share with you one of my ‘secret trading weapons’. This is something very real and practical … Something that, if applied, can make a positive change in both your trading results and your personal life. There is one thing that I consider to be my ‘secret weapon’ for trading the markets successfully. It is something that all of us have the ability to develop and employ in the markets, it does not cost any money and it’s the single most important ingredient to trading success…

What am I talking about here? Well, in all areas of life there is something that separates winners from losers, achievers from underachievers, and those that reach their goals from those that don’t. The ability to plan ahead and not let emotional decision-making rule your life is something that allows people to excel in their personal relationships and in their professional lives. One of the most important and prevalent defining characteristics of people who achieve success in their lives is that they have patience. Patience is perhaps the MOST important habit that a Forex trader can develop.

It is the patience to sit on your hands and wait for only the best trade setups that separates the winning traders from the losing traders. Patience is the defining characteristic of what sets humans apart from all other species in the world. When we employ patience we are using the most advanced frontal-lobe area of our brains that is responsible for planning and forward-thinking, and when we employ emotion we are using the older and more primitive limbic system area of the brain which evolved for use in fight or flight situations. So, which trader will you be; a patient trader who uses the more highly evolved areas of their brain, or an emotional trader who essentially trades like a monkey?

Patient Forex traders make money faster than impatient traders

Want to make money as fast as possible in the markets? Stupid question? Maybe. But, most traders do the exact opposite of what they should do to make money in the markets. The problem is that most traders trade with little or no patience because they want to make money now and have a skewed concept of what ‘making money fast’ actually means. They do not think about 1 year from now or 2 years from now. What good are you doing if you trade now with little or no patience and as a result your trading account value increases and decreases like a roller coaster of emotion only to end up negative at year’s end?

What you need to do is think about trading as a year-long process. Think about how you can build your trading account over the course of a year, not over the course of one day or one week. By slowing down and realizing that you need to have patience to trade only the most obvious setups and thus to not over-trade, you will inevitably build your account faster than if you enter numerous trades each day in a futile attempt to ‘force’ the market to make you money. You see, the market does not care about you, so you have to care about it by taking what it gives you and waiting until it shows you its cards by forming an obvious price action trading setup. If you can do this consistently for one year I promise you that your trading account will be larger than if you trade every day and over-analyze the markets for hours all day and night.

Allow your trading edge to work in your favor by employing patience

Having patience to let your trades play out in order to see the true probability of your trading edge is something most traders don’t do because they voluntarily lower the probability of their trading edge by meddling with their trades too much. Let me explain that in simpler terms…

Do you move your stop losses and targets around multiple times after entering a trade? Do you get stopped out at breakeven all the time only to see the trade take off in your favor? If you are doing these things you are likely trying to control the market and by doing so you are voluntarily decreasing the probability of your trading edge.

This is a concept that is a little difficult to grasp because most traders feel the need to move to breakeven or manually close out a trade that is moving against them instead of letting the market run its course. But, think about this, if you simply set and forget all your trades and let the market play out by either hitting your stop loss or your target, you are allowing your trading edge to work and after a large enough samples of trades you will see your trading edge pay off. Most traders take smaller profits than what they had pre-determined before entering, or they make the huge mistake of moving their stop loss further from entry and taking a larger loss than they had pre-determined. (Note: there are times when moving your stop or target is warranted, see my article on Forex trade management for more)

patienceAll of these mistakes are born out of a lack of patience, and until you understand that you do not need to meddle with your trades after they are live, you are going to lower the probability of your trading edge. Consider this; if you save yourself 2 losses by moving to breakeven and then you decide to move the next two trades to breakeven after getting up a small profit, but then these two trades also got stopped at breakeven when they would have been winners, you have just lowered the probability of your trading edge…even if you would have taken the 2 losses. Look here:

Risk = $100, Reward = $200

2 potential losing trades stopped at breakeven = $0
2 potential winning trades stopped at breakeven = $0

2 losing trades = -$200
2 winning trades = $400
Net profit of just ‘setting and forgetting’ and letting the market play-out by having patience to not meddle in your trades = $200

Now, this is a small example, but it shows you why moving your stops around and getting out at breakeven all the time or even manually closing your trades for small losses or gains BEFORE they hit your pre-determined stop loss or target can and will lower the overall probability of your trading edge and will thus cause you to have a very difficult time making money. The underlying point here is that you need to always make sure your actions in the market are in-line with the FACT that you never know for sure what is going to happen. By pre-defining your entry and exits and letting the market then play-out you are trading in-line with the fact that you do not know what will happen. But, when you move your stops and targets all around after the trade is live you are ignoring the fact that you do not know what will happen and you are acting as if your actions in the market will somehow cause the market to do what you want it to. Here’s the point: master your Forex trading strategy, develop a trading plan, then trade your plan and let the market do the work.

Patient traders know exactly what they are looking for in the markets

If you know exactly what your trading edge looks like and how to trade it there is no reason to not be a patient trader. In fact, by thoroughly mastering an effective trading edge like price action trading, you will find that you naturally increase your patience in the markets because you will know what constitutes a high-probability trade setup and what does not. Some traders decide to trade with no patience and thus gamble all their money away, other traders become skilled trading ‘snipers’ and perfect their trading strategy and trade the markets with a high-probability trading edge that is realized through the consistent application of patience. Remember, this is only possible if you are totally clear on exactly what your Forex trading edge looks like and how to trade it. For more on trading like a sniper check out my trade forex like a sniper not a machine gunner article.

Patience is critical before, during, and after a trade

We have talked about having patience while your trade is live and briefly about having the patience to pre-define your entries and exits. We have not talked about patience after a trade however, and it is at this time that you really need a lot of patience. Most traders feel some level of emotion after a winning or losing trade, the emotions are different of course, but no matter how much money you put on the line you probably feel either euphoria or disappointment, depending on whether you won or lost on the trade.

It is at this time, directly after a trade closes out, that you really need to step back and separate yourself from the market. You need to have the patience to not jump right back into the market on the emotion you are most likely feeling after a winning or losing trade. This is something you can write into your Forex trading plan. At the very end of your trading plan you can include a line that says something like “I will close down my trading platform and remove myself from the markets for 12 to 24 hours after any trade closes out”, or something similar. This will help to make this a habit and will work to reduce the amount of emotion-based trades you make.

Learn to enjoy and embrace being a patient trader

Sitting on the sidelines is a profitable position….by having patience and not trading, you are further ahead than you would be had you traded and lost…never be in a rush to trade because the market will always be there tomorrow…when in doubt stay out because it is a much more lucrative position to be in than to lose money.

11419relaxLearn to enjoy and embrace the patience that is necessary to trade successfully. Once you begin to think of patience as the ‘most important ingredient’ to trading success, and actually understand how and why being a patient trader can actually make you money faster, you will have no problem waiting for the best trade setups, because you will feel like you are actually making money by not trading, which technically you are if it means you are avoiding low-probability / losing trades. So, you need to ‘trick’ your brain into believing that patience is how you make money…not trading a lot, because as humans we are naturally wired to want to trade a lot, thus you need to use your frontal lobe / planning part of your brain to allow logic and common sense to develop the positive habit of patience into your wiring, then it will become second nature and your trading will be relaxed and profitable. To learn how to trade simple yet effective price action strategies off the higher time frames that will allow you to relax and develop a patient trading mindset, check out my Forex trading course and members’ community 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. jennifer February 6, 2013 at 6:33 am

    THANKS NIAL,PATIENCE IS LIFE ITSELF,WITHOUT IT YOU CANT LIVE A REWARDING LIFE

  2. arun January 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    very nice and useful article, thanks nial,,,nowadays, i practiced very patient in the market, and achieving what i expected,so happy

  3. Rotimi Daniel December 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Wonderful trading ingredient, also useful nuggets for real life situations

  4. sam November 19, 2012 at 12:48 am

    where can i get this patience,and how much does it cost.Is this patience system really works.

  5. Abok Patrick November 13, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Nice food for thought! keep it up

  6. Jose Maria Cueva November 6, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Thank you very much Nial for your advice and education; all your articles are very helpfull, and also inspirational, I have improved a lot following them and I am very happy beeing member of LTTTM.
    Best Regards.
    Jose Maria.

  7. Marvin October 18, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Thanks Nial, your articles have been very helpful.

  8. Ser October 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Yes!The secret indeed=]

  9. livia October 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    It’s really hard Nial to do it, however I’ll endeavor to practice it for the sake of successful trader.

  10. naveen September 3, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Usually I am a short tempered guy with hypertension. After reading this article, I am now trying to have patience in trading as well as in real life also.

    I practice patience while waiting in the doctor’s clinic, during power cuts, waiting for bus etc. My wife wonders how I suddenly became like this?

  11. Eddie July 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I will improve my patience level. Thanks Nial..

  12. waterman June 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Hai Nial ,I find myself a trader having no patience at all after a winning trade and enter successive trades and miserably become a loser.I have to train my brain a lot.I doubt myself addicted to trading. Thanks a lot

  13. Griff June 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Great article. Great advice. Thanks Nial

  14. Johan June 8, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Very true but hard to apply

  15. Samm May 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    personally.this is my best article..Thankss sir Nial..for this timely article..

  16. chibuzor May 26, 2012 at 6:56 am

    yea, patience is the key. A proverb in a Nigeria language says patience has its reward…

  17. SWISS CHF May 14, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I must give 5 ★★★★★
    top note: but no matter how much money you put on the line you probably feel either euphoria or disappointment, depending on whether you won or lost on the trade.
    It is at this time, directly after a trade closes out, that you really need to step back and separate yourself from the market.

  18. Indra March 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Nice article. Patience…. is the key. Not everybody has this kind of attitude. Thant’s why most of traders lost their money fast.. :)

  19. Ivor February 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Great article!! Thank you so much!!!

  20. Brendon February 13, 2012 at 2:52 am

    EASIER SAID THAN DONE. I was very impatient when i began trading. Over time, sim trading everything, journaling what works and what does’nt forgiving myself over and over, gave me the experience and confidence to wait for my sets @ support or res. levels only. My trading excelled, my discretion and intuition improved,I became more comfortable with uncertainty around my market reads. I work on my patience more than anything when i interact with the market!

  21. Mike January 24, 2012 at 4:50 am

    I have read allot of your articles over the years Nial but
    I must say what you have said in this article is the key to the lock of success!!
    This article over all other articles that Nial has written has to be taken on board, If not then you are fighting a losing battle I’m afraid!!

    Many thanks Nial for such a well written article.

  22. Matthew January 21, 2012 at 4:44 am

    I’ve been reading all your articles and all your videos, and I gotta say, you really know what you’re talking about. Everyone on the web advertises “600% gain in just 3 months automatic trading software” and if you don’t win 600%, then it’s because you didn’t follow the program and it’s bogus, because if it really does, then they would bet all their money. I’m slowly (no pun intended) learning to be patient and realizing the power of waiting for a the good setups… shoot like a sniper, not a machine gun!!!
    Thank you Nial!

  23. Dennis S from Orlando January 21, 2012 at 4:33 am

    I consider not having patients the third nail in the coffin for most traders, the other two would be Greed and Fear.

    Thanks Nial

  24. Jiri M January 20, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Thanks Nial

  25. GioRoma January 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Simple… very simple concepts but so valuable as usual !!! I wish I’d knew about you and your valuable advice sooner…
    Thank you very much for sharing with us.

  26. futama January 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    patience….. You are absolutely right…

  27. Sher January 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks once again Nial, always insightful….always on the ball. You are a true gift to the trading community.

  28. ALAN KLEEGER January 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Will the Pin Bars also work in the commodity market on one hour time frames. I am considering poneying up for your FX course. AK a yan

  29. jatinder January 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

    The strongest warriors are these two… time and patience. thanks Nail
    jeet

  30. Gurpal January 17, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Hi Nial,

    Hope you are well. Thank you very much for this fantastic lesson. You are so right that patience really is the key to trading success.

    Thank you for all your help

    Thanks and Regards

    Gurpal

  31. SAMUEL January 16, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you Nial, I am a money manager and i have registered good performance since i started trading higher time frames and applying set & forget rule. My clients are happy and i also have enought time to do other work.
    Thank you.

  32. Drazik January 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Patience is vital in any endeavour. Waiting for the edge you have to show is the only way to be successful in any area
    of life. No patience = little to no success long term. Great
    article…as always!

    Cheers

  33. kotijett January 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks Nial

  34. Sal January 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I have been Trading for 3 years now. I have dedicated a large amount of time learning and mastering my trading approach. Nial provides very good articles for traders to build the “right” tools to succeed. The trading strategy is important however the greatest challenge is not on the charts, its in your mind. the ability to control yourself with patience and become emotionless is the hard part. Keep up the fantastic work Nial.

  35. Demian January 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Thank you Nail, I start to learn to be a patient trader.And let patience to be in everything of my life.

  36. Adewole Samuel January 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    thanks for todays message God will continue to enrich you amen

  37. Richard January 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Patience certainly is as close to a trading silver bullet as we can get. Been price action trading for only 2 months and already ‘saved’ a lot through waiting – and hence made profits. Odd but absolutely true. Patience IS the most important ingredient to trading success. Especially gratifying to identify this when reviewing trades and those non-trades.

    Thanks for a very good article Nial.

  38. rikus January 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Nial,

    I wish to be like u in the near future n learning to be
    patience every now n then.

    Excellent article n thnk u.

    Rikus

  39. wlee January 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Thank you Nial!
    Patient plus planning equal consistently successful trader.

  40. Al January 15, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I added patience to my trading plan after reading this excellent artical. I agree it is vital to success in trading. Thanks Nail.

  41. Mick January 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Patience,Patience,Patience.Wise words Nial!Thanks for this article.Great read on a Saturday morning to get the day started.

    Cheers!Mick!

  42. Topper January 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Nial, patience is the key…thank you for making us realize this important “RULE”!!!

  43. gt January 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Once again…thank you Nial…!!!

  44. Henry January 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Thank You very much Nial…you always make me feel better in my trade.

  45. ade January 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you Nial, another great insight, kudos for giving us so much from your wealth of knowledge.
    This article is timely for me,I need to apply it now!!!.
    thanks again and God bless.

  46. Manjula January 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Great Article.Thank you

  47. Monica January 14, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Patience and staying out of the market as an active position are golden rules for me now on the daily and 4hr. I can set and forget all day now confident the trade will play out properly. Thanks so much Nial!! Excellent article!!

  48. Gary January 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Nial,
    Your timing is impeccable! Coming off of a horrendous trading week, I feel like the market was out to get me! I was making dreadful mistakes all week, and that was complicating the process because emotions started to creep in, and I found myself losing patience, taking trades on a whim, which made the trading experience very unpleasant. I am a firm believer in price action strategies, and I want to say that after this week’s experience, I am leaning towards learning how to implement those strategies using the higher timeframes. Cheers to you, my friend… Your article couldn’t have come at a better time… It is much appreciated!

  49. tino rumac January 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

    you hit the nail on the head with this article patience is a commodity that most people lack, i am trying very hard to remain patient while trading its tough but rewarding.

    thanks Niall

  50. sniper jeff January 14, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I had a winning trade today, gbp/usd. I had my stop set and my profit target set and it started to look good going perfect and I was three quarters towards my target when it turned around fast this is where people start to panic but if you have the patience to not mess your trade up and let it run.My trade kept going against me past break even and then into negative territory then reversing again and reaching my target!I have found it best to trade of the daily or even weekly setups looking for a setup that jumps out at you,all you need is 4 trades a month and you will find you make more money than trying to trade all day and making more mistakes
    wait till you see good setup PATIENCE!

  51. Tony January 14, 2012 at 6:06 am

    I totally agree with this article, patience is the key to success. Thanks for the reminder Niall

  52. emmanuel January 14, 2012 at 5:53 am

    It’s been the bane of my trading woes inpatience,…but with such articles ,…am getting better and being more patient with the market..Tanks Niall for your priceless insights

  53. Nemanja January 14, 2012 at 5:34 am

    You are a truly good mentor.
    Thanks for all your help and priceless insights.
    I am happy that am a member of LTTTM
    It is my best investment

    I wish you all best in life

  54. Billy January 14, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Well said! Patience is a strong biblical principal to be followed daily

  55. Casinojim January 14, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Thanks Nial

    as always another great post
    and the best of any found on the net

    dont know how you find time?!

  56. Robert January 14, 2012 at 3:41 am

    …all things come to those who wait. Thanks for another great article.
    Regards,
    Robert.

  57. thomas January 14, 2012 at 3:30 am

    thank you for your great work and dedication!

  58. Abel January 14, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Thanks for your invaluable advice Nial.

    In fact once one is able to add “patience” to one’s Forex Trading Arsenal, invariably one is able to add it to any other area in life!
    For example if you are looking for a life partner, a business opportunity, a job or indeed for success in any discipline, patience is one of the “must have ” ingredient!

    A big thank you again Nial!

  59. ttw January 14, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Thanks Nail. i was just guilty of impatience today, though i didnt lose.
    I will work on this
    thanks a lot

  60. Siky January 14, 2012 at 2:27 am

    This is an highly inspiring write-up.I will so much benefit from it.A big thank to you Nial

  61. Ellen January 14, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I have had a few hard knocks but am finally learning the patience thing. Last week I did only one trade and this week also one. I didn’t meddle and they took profit. It is exciting to finally see my account slowly increase. I am looking forward to becoming a professional trader with your help Nial. Thanks

  62. dorcas January 14, 2012 at 1:55 am

    patience really hard but worthwhile. thanks nial this is just at the right time

  63. khalid January 14, 2012 at 1:15 am

    This article has taught me a lot like your previous one’s.
    Thanks a lot Nial.

  64. olajubbu January 14, 2012 at 1:11 am

    to see beyond our nose we must have patient. Thanks for this great advice.

  65. Terry January 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Thanks Nial, great article and goes to the core of one of the most important aspects of trading.
    Your time and expertise in sharing your skill in trading is greatly appreciated.
    Regards
    Terry

  66. segzy January 14, 2012 at 12:45 am

    I think dis is my the best article from you so far. Thanks so much.

  67. Kyaw January 14, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Agree

  68. Craig January 14, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I don’t think patience is exclusive to humans. Look at the way big cats stalk their prey or the way certain predators wait at the bottom of the ocean, perfectly still waiting for prey.

  69. Ramli M.S January 14, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Thanks Nial.

    Patience is utmost in our life to success.

    Cheers.

  70. TONY January 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I highly appreciate you for this wonderfully article .It’ll really aid me becoming the successful trader i desire.Thanks

  71. Robert January 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks for your time and your great lessons

  72. Lionell Dixon January 13, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Thanks Nial!

  73. Dominik January 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Nial – great article as usaul!

  74. Sanjay January 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Thanks Mate.. Always a pleasure to read your articals. Thanks for all your help and priceless insights.

    Sanjay

  75. John January 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Nice article.
    My trade got better when I
    realised that if am patient
    enough, the market will
    give me my setup to trade.
    Opportunities will keep
    coming if u wait enough.
    Thank u Nial

  76. Vittorio January 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I like this post, there is golden truth here.
    Thanks for sharing.

  77. Pedro Martins January 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Another excelent article, Nial!
    You are a truly good menthor. Thank you very much!!!

  78. Flash January 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I use a quote that I have heard as my Mantra in Trading and have never forgotten and geld to my personality, and is : “The patient cat on the block, is ALWAYS the fattest cat on the block!”

  79. prototipo January 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Magic Nial, you read into my mind, that’s what I was just thinking this week while not trading and just waiting an obvious setups to get. Same thing for preplan everything, set the position and just let the market do the job without interfere, because lose a win is worse than take a loss. Thank you for the beautiful article.

Comments are closed.