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build accountGrowing your trading account into something respectable can seem like quite a daunting task if you’re new to trading or struggling just to keep your account above water. Too often, when you search for information on how to build your trading account you don’t find any type of methodical guide that you can follow nor practical information to assist you; it all seems to be vague and general information like “cut your losses and let your winners run”, etc. What you need is some practical and honest insight into what it takes to build a trading account from the ground up, because most traders simply have no clue how to do this since it’s so hard to find solid information on it.

In today’s lesson, I am going to lay out some guidelines that will help you build your trading account and that will remove a lot of the “mystery” of what it takes to start growing your trading account…

1. Stop trying so hard to turn your small account into a big one

The main attraction to trading for most people is the notion that they can make some fast money. The thought of taking one or two thousand dollars and turning into tens of thousands is extremely enticing to most people, and it’s this very type of thinking that sucks most people into the markets and also spits them back out.

Most retail traders with relatively small trading accounts have what I call “small account mentality”, and it’s this mentality that is the reason they struggle and continuously fail to make money in the market.

Traders with big accounts do not feel pressure or a “need” to trade…they are more relaxed and patient, and this results in them making money faster than the small-account mentality trader who is constantly looking for trades and desperately trying to force money out of the market. In essence, you have to play a “trick” on your mind and just mentally add two or three extra zeros on the end of your trading account balance, if you do this it will take a lot of the “urgency” out of trading that you might be feeling now.

It’s a funny thing that feeling this urgency and pressure to make money in the markets actually causes traders to lose money, but it’s all part of the game and in the end it really just comes down to the fact that urgency and pressure create emotional / impulsive trading decisions whereas relaxation and mental clarity create logical trading decisions that ultimate make you money faster and more consistently.

If you have twenty thousand dollars to throw around in the market, you can make some very decent money each month off that account size IF you’ve first learned how to trade properly. However, if you have a two grand account, you’re not going to make a lot of money each month even if you know how to trade properly, simply because you can’t trade very big position sizes on such a small account, assuming you want to manage your risk properly that is. However, what you need to do is think of your two grand account AS IF it’s a 20 grand account…because the mental and physical processes involved are EXACTLY THE SAME. What you need is a “big account mentality”….even if you’re trading a small account.

You should know that if you do trade a two grand or similar smaller-sized account very well and you end up making a solid return on it over a year’s time of sticking to your trading strategy and being disciplined, you will naturally attract more money to yourself. I would invite any of you reading this to study up on the “law of attraction” by Napoleon Hill, you will see that it really applies to trading in that the more you follow the right trading path and operate with a positive trading attitude, the more you will attract money to yourself. That can mean you attract investors to fund your trading, because if you are making solid returns over a year’s time even on a small live trading account, I can promise you that it’s a very big thing to have on your trading resume and will instantly earn the respect of anyone in the trading world and of anyone with money to invest.

So, the first thing you need to do to build your trading account is to simply stop trying so hard. By that I mean, stop trying to force money out of the market by ineffective means such as “loading up” on a trade or trading when you know you shouldn’t. Instead, trade in a disciplined and patient manner and follow a logical strategy like my price action trading methods and be realistic….this way you are trading “naturally” and not forcing the issue. This creates positive habits and a solid foundation that will serve you well as your account does start growing over time. Traders who get lucky on a few trades and make some fast money, typically see all their profits vanish very soon after making them because they got them on poor trading habits and out of greedy emotional trading behavior.

2. Focus on the “forest”, not the “trees”

sjTo say that most traders put too much emphasis on any one trade is a big understatement. Most traders treat each trade as if it’s a lot more important than it really is…and if they’ve risked too much money on the trade it might actually be a lot more important than it should be. But, it’s important to understand the fact that your trading success is not determined by any one trade, but instead by a series of trades over time.

The other thing that traders put too much focus and mental energy on is making money. I know it sounds like a paradox, but it’s true that traders who focus and think too much about money, profits and rewards, have a much harder time making that money than traders who focus more on actually learning to trade.

Typically, traders who think too much about making money in the markets end up “forcing” the issue by risking more than they know they should or over-trading. By focusing too much on the money they actually create the opposite of what they want and that means losing money rather than making it. You have to understand that there is no big “short-cut” in the markets; you have to put in the time to learn how to trade and then you have to manage your risk effectively according to your account size (which we will discuss next).

Your goal should be to transmutate your brain energy from thinking about money and reward into thinking about the actual process of trading and managing risk. If you do this, you will see your trading account slowly start to grow.

3. Understand risk reward and the importance of money management

Obviously, to build your trading account you need to understand how to manage your risk appropriately, but you might not be 100% clear on what that means.

As I just alluded to, many traders tend to focus most of their brain energy on profits and winning percentages when trading, and unfortunately for them these are all the least important topics in trading. In fact, I recently wrote an article on why winning percentages are irrelevant. What’s critical to a trader’s longevity and success in the market is focusing on controlling their risk per trade and overall money management.

Here are some practical money management tips to get you started on the right track:

• First, determine how much you are comfortable with potentially losing per trade. Remember that ANY trade could be a loser so don’t ignore the real risk involved with every trade you take. Risk only an amount that allows you to really “set and forget” your trades, if you’re thinking about your trades all the time then you’ve probably risked too much.

• Once you’ve determined your 1R (risk amount per trade), make sure that you NEVER lose more than that amount on any one trade. Your first goal should be to make sure that any one individual trade has a maximum dollar loss point, and you ONLY lose that much OR LESS on any losing trade.

• ALWAYS determine the most logical stop loss placement for a trade before calculating how many lots you can trade. After determining the best place for your stop loss you then calculate how many lots you can trade while staying below your 1R per-trade dollar risk amount that we discussed above. Many traders seem to arbitrarily pick a place to put their stop loss and trade position sizes that are way too big for their accounts. You might get lucky a few times trading this way, but I can promise that it will lead to much larger losses than you are comfortable with which ultimately leads to a blown out trading account.

4. Take profits: don’t worry about catching the whole move

Far too often, traders fail to secure solid profits because they are hoping for a bigger move, in other words they are being greedy. A simple reality of markets is that they tend to rotate a lot, meaning they don’t typically move in straight lines for very long before retracing. I would much rather take a solid 1:1.5 , 1:2, or 1:3 risk reward than let that profit go simply because I wanted more money.

Obviously, there are times when you can try to let your profits run, such as in very strong trends like we are seeing in the yen pairs right now. Gauging when to let a trade run and when to take the profit off the table is something you’ll improve through training and screen time, but it’s worth noting that the majority of the time you are going to be better served by aiming for a realistic profit of 2 or 3 times your risk.

One good way to begin building your trading account is to take profits as they are available; start taking 1R or 1.5R gains as they are available. In other words, you’re taking profit when you’re up 1 times your risk or 1.5 times your risk. This is not really a good long-term way to make money in the markets, but for a beginner it can be a good way to build confidence and their trading account at the same time.

5. Hold on tight to your profits!

profitsPerhaps the most critical step to building your trading account is to not give back profits after a winning trade. It seems to be that humans are wired to want to jump right back into the market after a winning trade and “play around” with the money they’ve just made. Since making money on a winning trade “feels” easy after you’ve secured the money, your perception of risk in the market gets altered. I have even personally struggled with the feeling of wanting to jump back into the market after a good winning trade. However, it’s at this time, after a winning trade, that we are most vulnerable and exposed to the temptation of over-trading.

I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about here and have experienced this for yourself. So, I’ve written out some affirmations that you can use to remind yourself of how vulnerable you are after a winning trade and give you some ideas to help avoid over-trading after a winner…

Post-trade affirmations:

After a winning trade (or losing trade), remind yourself of these very important facts:

• “Despite how disciplined and unemotional I’ve been recently, I am at my MOST emotional right now after this trade has just ended. In order to completely eliminate the potential to lose money from an emotion-based trade, I need to remove myself from my trading platform for at least 24 hours”.

• “I have just made (or lost) money on a trade, is there a valid reason to enter another trade that agrees with my trading strategy and trading plan? If not, then understand that the market is not going anywhere and close up my platform until tomorrow, other opportunities will arise in the near-future. There is no sense in entering a trade based on euphoria or revenge.

• “The outcome of my last trade has no bearing on the outcome of my next one. Do not enter the market just because I “feel” like I’m on a winning streak, my trading edge has a random distribution of winners and losers so there’s absolutely no reason to be influenced by the outcome of my previous trade.”

Conclusion

Building your trading account can seem like a difficult task if you are trying to “force” money out of the market. However, it doesn’t have to be this way; if you just relax and focus on learning to be a good trader, your account will start to grow “naturally”. I have to be frank with you, if you have a small trading account you aren’t going to be able to build it “really” fast, but if you follow the tips in today’s lesson and combine them with an effective trading method like the price action strategies I teach in my trading courses, you will be on the track to slowly but surely building your trading account.

nialfuller

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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80 Comments

  1. sajjad says:

    A practical and more realistic approch to trading and showing traders true face of actually what it is. Great work and everywhere pieces of truth i found after being lost in the bewilderness of forex jungle over a decade. Will soon join without any doubt in my mind as and when my head comes above water from financial perspective. GREAT WORK

  2. kiki says:

    Hi Nial,

    Learning one tip of yours every day. Thank you very much

  3. kim says:

    Great Article, Mr, Nial!

    This is something I can relate to. I opened a live account with only $200 dollars and I hope I could grow this into significantly bigger amount. And If I have gained profits, I will surely subscribed in your Forex Course. But for now, I would follow your advice on price action trading, risk management, and money management methods.

    thank you Sir.

  4. Gloria says:

    This article is very encouraging, thanks Nial.

  5. Sergey says:

    Very accurate and right direction for any trader!
    Thank you very much Mr. Nial Fuller!

  6. Elochukwu says:

    Thanks Nial for sharing

  7. sbonelo says:

    Another good article indeed nial…thanks for sharing

  8. alpha1 says:

    As usual, another article from Nial, and another gemstone to add to my trading arsenal…. thanks a lot nial…Cheers.

  9. Ramli Ibrahim says:

    Thanks Nial,

    Excellent article.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Jono says:

    Naill is an amazing writer and he is always spot on! I have been involves forex for few years and I do realised that trading in 4hr or daily is the best methods than anything less than 1 hr.

    I have been tried most of them such as 5 min, 15 mins etc and it gave me more stress and not good for my health. It can affect my family.

    Recently, I start concentrate on daily and it made my life more easier and relax. That’s exactly the same thing if you invest some money into any investment trust for a long term and then get good return at the end!

    The number one question…Why do we rush it for?…..Just flow with your life and taking easy!

    Thanks Naill for your brilliant lessons! :)

  11. Doug F says:

    Excellent article as always and I’m probably THE poster child for this subject. Thanks for the help.

  12. Lindsay says:

    Thanks very much for the article Nial. We can never be too sure of the outcome of a trade so getting our 1R right and position size to reflect 1R or less is very important. Timely article for me, as I really need to pay more attention to my 1R (and other areas).

  13. Amir Farokh says:

    I think both group of account holders, small account and big account holders, should care about their marketing method and planning. If they don’t care, both will lose money and it will be worse for the big account holders. So the main important thing is following the instructions of marketing taught in this community.
    Lots of thanks to Nial for his help and advice.

  14. Gedas says:

    Its everything what I was doing wrong, now I can make changes and start make a profits. Thanks Nial so much for a lessons.
    Changing my mentality and star to focus on forest :)

  15. Galen says:

    Good sound information to take to heart
    I just started live after a few years of
    studying the forex market. I made $1100.
    in three hours and now I am scared sh-tless.

  16. Justin Meredith says:

    Thanks for the article and insights.

  17. olaoye says:

    pls how can i eliminate fear in trading life,cos some time i we see good entry point & i we be afraid to enter.pls what can i do to stop this monster?

  18. Steve says:

    Great article. Always gets me back to the fundamentals.

  19. MannyBogz says:

    Again, awesome article Nial! I’m so lucky I found your website and learned from it first beforehand. Your teachings inspired me to become a successful trader someday and yet it kept my feet on the ground for I understand the reality of trading the market that it takes a lot of patience to wait for my edge, discipline to follow my trading plan and risk/reward management and the right amount of courage to enter the trade but not too much so i don’t overtrade. ;-) keep it up Nial!

  20. Rony says:

    Awesome. Nial Really Really Wonderful Article.

  21. Ameer says:

    Really helpful thanks

  22. oyekunle semiu says:

    ur timely and useful articles always display how great u are, than 4 ur tiredless effort,to me U ARE D BEST.

  23. Josh says:

    I have to say this is a very straight-forward article that every trader should read. I am very impressed with your stuff here Nial keep it up man.

  24. mane says:

    Hi Nial , thank you for this lesson now i know about majors, crosses, exotics and which to trade

  25. Boris says:

    You are amazing! Thank you for all the great articles!
    “Start taking profits” is one of the greatest advices. Most of the trades i open are going in my favour but the will for even bigger profits blows out my profitable trade and sometimes becomes a losing trade. I believe i have lots of things to learn like trailing stops and other techniques. So far i am growing my account slowly, not losing anymore :) i hope after the priceless knowledge you gave us on this article i’m gonna improve my trading and start building faster.

    P.S. : this article gave me the feeling that i have finished a book. Feels like there’s nothing else you can add to your free articles section… It’s complete :)

  26. pedson says:

    u ve talked about everything that kills traders; thats it man; the greatest article for the month

  27. Olisa says:

    Powerful article from a genius. Thanks Nial,you’re wonderful.

  28. Henry says:

    Thanks Nial for this useful teaching!

  29. Asuquo says:

    You’ve advised wisely, the intelligent will know what to do from ther

  30. Gye Bennetts says:

    Thanks Nial, As usual you answered a few more questions and helped me see a few more parts of me, Gye

  31. cons says:

    thanks Nial,i’m a beginning to slowly understand trading the market because of your articles and videos.

  32. Siyabonga says:

    Thanks Prof. Nial

    This article was great!!!!!

    I realised that I needed to trade like a millionare.

    It’s relaxing and at the same time you make money.

    If you think and trade like a millionare on your account,

    you are likely to become one!

    Thanks Prof. once again.

  33. Mara says:

    Thanks Nial – a very timely reminder. It’s when I try to make the big gains, or trade again after a successful trade, that I end up trashing my account. At least I am beginning to recognise it as “cowboy trading” & now have a micro account to play with, for those times I just can’t stay away from trading!

  34. Shon says:

    Thanks Nial, solid content.
    It’s taken some time but I can see why your articles deal more with trading psychology than technique. Case in point was today’s great article.

  35. John S. says:

    I struggle with my Pride when trading. I think I am right and don’t hold to sound money management sometimes which cost me. Thanks for the reminder that I am acting “foolish” and need to do better. You did not say that, but that is how I feel when I read your sound advice.

    I always learn from your lessons. Thanks, John

  36. Bill says:

    I needed to read this article- i realize many of the mistakes I’ve made and
    Mostly has to do with needing a plan,strategy,discipline and patience. One step at a time. Thanks

  37. Roger Lim says:

    Hi Nial,

    Thanks for the wonderful piece of advice for aspiring traders like us. It is really hitting the nail on the head!

    Cheers,
    Roger

  38. chyd says:

    God bless you, my man.

  39. Nick says:

    thanks for reminder…

  40. rahwa says:

    your article is wonderful as always. May God bless you and your whole family.

  41. Geetha says:

    Hi Nial,
    The most valuable part of this article is about post-trade affirmations,
    thnx for the wonderful article

  42. Tommy says:

    keep em coming!

  43. Quang says:

    Thank you very much Nial. The “Post-Trade Affirmations” to there just on my noteboard!

  44. Beanfx says:

    Very precious for the losers as me :)

  45. Robert says:

    I like your great reminder statement about, “relax and focus on being a good trader.” You addressed risk calculation; I appreciate the method to create the formula; very clear now.
    Much success to you.

  46. Marina says:

    Excellent article! Thank you!

  47. Dimitri says:

    Nial you are the bomb !
    You should be every newbie trader’s mentor.

  48. dandi says:

    i have said and done all those things, but not this time! i have the money to increase my account size but am not going to do it. i am going to focus on what you are teaching with small trades. that way i will have a solid method by the time my acct increases. thanks Nial.

  49. samuel says:

    You got me!I have been looking for big accounts to trade whereas i only need a big account mentality to start with focus. Thanks Nial.

  50. Tshepo says:

    What a wake-up call!
    Honest & straight to the point.
    thanx Nial.

  51. Charles says:

    Good message.

  52. Erika V. says:

    Nial, Thank you once again for this great article which helps keep us on the straight and narrow to success. Newbies like myself tend to do exactly what you say we shouldn’t. And I have experienced losses by just wanting to trade and don’t take the time to really learn what you teach. I promised myself many times to get down to basics, it’s time I did just that.

    Every time I see an article from you in my inbox, I am anticipating another great piece of advice.

    Thank you for taking so much time to teach your followers. Unless one is a moron, none of your followers will ever leave you unless they are on their way to becoming wealthy.

  53. Atlas says:

    Your email came just at the right time…thank you.

    You put things into perspective for me once again. If there’s any post that small account holders have to read, this is the one.

    I’m mastering one of your methods Nial and i will show you my journal at the end of the year.

    Keep doing what your doing:)

  54. slivester says:

    i wish to get success one day..thanks sir….

  55. Kasuan says:

    Sticking to your instructions have transformed my trading and taken it to the next level. Gone are blown accounts. All new bees should start here.Its indeed a gold mine. Salute !

  56. slivester says:

    thank nial….

  57. Felix says:

    Thank you Nial,
    This is the time to Take it Easy.

  58. emmanuel says:

    Hi Nial,

    Believe it or not,you are a Breath of Fresh Air!!Honest and frank to the letter concerning this process of trading,am sure those Forex vendors are cringing their wrists and gnashing their teeth,because every time you reveal the real world out there and the truth about the process of trading,l just laugh at the various deceptive emails l receive about making it trading Forex..Please keep up the good work..cheers!!

  59. Genc says:

    You are great man Nial…Thank you

  60. Jonah William says:

    Wow!
    Thanks Nial,this article is really an eye-opener!
    I’ll never forget these truths revealed in this article.
    You are a bomb!!! :-)

  61. Neil says:

    Thanks again Nial,
    you must be reading my mind every week,

  62. Ugbobor says:

    THANKS FOR THAT ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!

  63. Sabelo says:

    Very straight to the point I’m so happy about these lessons well done Nial.

  64. Michael Adekola says:

    Gracias nial

  65. Clive says:

    Hey Nial,
    You absolutely hit the nail on the head. Your article is
    what some professionals takes 1 hour to say what you are saying. Totally Agreed with what you are saying. More Kundos to you. Always gems coming from you.

  66. Nonso says:

    Thanks a bunch gaffer! ….surely worth a million. Gratias!

  67. KRISTOFA OKENTA says:

    “Growing your trading account into something respectable can seem like quite a daunting task”. Exactly, your opening shows that you understands this market much. But also your encouragement for us to be focused translates the whole message better. Anyone following religiously all your teachings will be the best trader around the neighbourhood.
    Thank you for this timely advice.

  68. Azizul Haque says:

    Salute Mr. Nial! I just kept nodding my head in agreement all through the article! Great!

  69. Michal says:

    Very good article Nial, expecially for newbies like me. I just needed something like that to relax and focus on learning how to trade rather then trying to make money. thanks M.

  70. Joven says:

    These are golden rules to live by. Pips be with you! Thanks!

  71. anbui says:

    Great, you’re the best

  72. Fino says:

    Hi Nial
    Great article came at the right time refocused my thinking back on trading rather than trying to make money

  73. lyte says:

    Thanks Nial. I have read “law of attraction” by napoleon hill…,priceless! And I appreciate the affirmations post trading. Today’s lesson has definitely put me in a better place..

  74. Nabs says:

    it´s always the impatience to win, which lead us to failure

  75. barrichell0 says:

    Well said Nial.
    I have been learning a lot with your articles and strategies.
    Thanks a lot..

  76. Haroun Kola says:

    Thanks Nial

  77. John Liddiard says:

    Thanks Nial for another really useful article. Particularly the ‘Post-trade affirmations’ which are so important.

  78. babatunde says:

    tanks somuch nial…………….anytime i get ur inboxes,am always happy because i know its worth the time and once again you proved me right…you are the best

  79. CSCFX says:

    Finally ! Our friday motivation forex article

    Thanks NIAL !!!

  80. Sachith says:

    WOnderful Article.
    thanks nial

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