Two traders can use the same exact forex trading strategy yet one of them makes money consistently and the other loses consistently. To what can we attribute these seemingly perplexingly different outcomes? There really can be only one variable that is different if the trading strategies and everything else is exactly the same. The difference in the outcomes can be explained by the fact that a winning forex trader thinks fundamentally differently from a losing forex trader. That is to say, that the difference between winning and losing forex traders is entirely in their heads. This article will discuss how a winning trader thinks about various aspects of forex trading vs. how a losing trader thinks about them. Hopefully, you will gain some insight into what you are doing wrong and how to fix it as a result of reading this article. Enjoy!
• Realistic expectations –
Winning traders have realistic expectations about how much money they can logically make in the markets with the amount of money they have to start with and they don’t think they will get rich quick. This mentality actually helps them make more money faster because they don’t make the emotional trading mistakes that losing traders make as a result of trying to control the market by over-trading and over-leveraging their accounts.
Losing traders typically have unrealistic expectations about how much money they can make given the amount of money they are trading with. Many traders come into the forex markets thinking they can deposit $250 into their accounts and turn it into $10,000 in a few months. Having this mentality is going to naturally make you risk too much and (or) over trade, which will eventually cause you to lose money even if you get lucky for a while and hit a few big winners. Having realistic expectations about how much money you can make each month given the amount of money you have to trade with, while practicing effective forex trading money management, is a crucial component to successful forex trading.
• Managing risk –
Winning traders know how to effectively manage risk, they are comfortable with losing the money they have on the line and this allows them to trade emotionally detached. Losing traders typically begin with good intentions regarding risk management, but it all goes out the window once they hit a few losers OR winners. Winning traders know how to continue managing their risk no matter how many losers or winners they have in a row. They know that every moment in the market is unique, and essentially anything can happen at any time, this causes them to be consciously aware of the error of over-leveraging their account just because they think they stumbled onto a “sure-thing” trade. Winning forex traders never trade with money they can’t afford to lose, while losing traders often trade with money that they shouldn’t be risking in the markets, this causes them to worry about their trades and to be in a constant state of overly-emotional trading.
Losing traders by definition do not know how to manage risk effectively, they might say they are comfortable losing the money they have on the line for any given trade, but secretly they are mentally fixated on their trades and cannot stop thinking about them, sometimes even staying up all night staring at the computer screen. Losing traders react to each winning or losing trade they have by trying to control the market through the amount of money they risk or by trading too much; if they win on a trade they will typically risk more on the next trade out of euphoria or they will start over-trading because their confidence is up, when they hit a losing trade they will again jump back in the market and over-leverage or over-trade their accounts in a vain attempt to “make back” the money they just lost. So, in essence, losing traders do not have the same emotion-control mechanisms that winning traders have, or rather that they have developed, these emotion-control mechanisms are basically conscious patterns of thought that are formed out of discipline, they keep winning traders in check after each trade they win or lose, thus eliminating the emotional mentality that losing traders possess.
• Taking profits –
Winning traders take profits with a pre-defined strategy, losing traders don’t take profits, or they take small profits compared to their losers. Winning traders understand risk to reward and how it is the key to making money in the markets. A trader’s main job is to manage risk, not to take profits, profits come naturally if you understand risk to reward and how to properly maintain your poise and manage your risk on each trade. This includes not “meddling” in your trades when it is unnecessary, and taking a set-and-forget forex trading mindset. Winning traders know that you must believe in your trade, they know that you are the most objective and level-headed when you are NOT in the market, so if you plan your trades while you are flat the market there is no sense in messing with them once they are live because you won’t be thinking as clearly as you were in the planning stages.
Losing traders take small profits relative to their risk, they do this because they don’t plan their profit taking strategy prior to entry, and they also usually risk too much so they are more likely to take a premature profit or close a trade out at break-even because they are over-analyzing it from being worried about losing the amount of money they have on the line. When you take a profit that is less than what you have risked on a trade, you essentially make it very difficult to succeed because you are putting yourself in a position to be required to win on a high percentage of your trades in order to make money. Winning traders know that they only have to win about 35-50% of their trades to make money consistently because they understand risk to reward ratios and they know that taking anything less than 1 to 2 times your risk on a trade is simply counter-productive to a long-term profitable forex trading strategy.
• Trading strategies –
Winning traders know simple strategies like price action trading work best because what really separates the winners from the losers is how well they manage their emotions and remain disciplined, not having a super-complicated or fancy looking trading strategy. Therefore, winning traders know there is no sense in over-complicating one’s trading strategy when you can learn to trade with a simple and effective method like price action. Winning forex traders master the setup(s) they trade, one at a time, as a result of this they know when to trade and when not to trade. Losing traders jump the gun because they don’t master their setup(s); they switch from one strategy to the next on a never-ending futile search for the “perfect” trading strategy that will allow them to win on nearly every trade.
Winning forex traders know they must develop and implement a patient mindset with the trading strategy they use, as a result they don’t rush any trade, they let the market show them its cards, instead of trying to “out think” or control the market. Losing traders typically manifest trading setups that aren’t really there, they over-analyze the market and try to digest as many market variables as they can in a vain attempt to predict what will happen next, once they convince themselves they are right about market direction they will risk too much simply because they think they have covered all angles and they can’t possibly be wrong. Winning traders know that the market is an untamable beast and that the only variable they can consciously control is how they react to what the market offers them. Price action trading gives winning traders a high-probability entry method so that when the market shows them its hand they can take a trade setup with confidence and clarity because they have been patiently waiting instead of actively over-analyzing.
Nial Fuller is considered a leading ‘Authority’ on Price Action Forex trading strategies. If you want to learn more about harnessing the power and simplicity of Price Action Trading Strategies please visit Nial Fuller’s Forex Trading Course & Traders Community Page Here. Nial’s Students get lifetime access to all of his advanced price action Forex Courses, video lessons, webinar tutorials, daily trade setups newsletter, live trade setups discussion forum, traders support line & free ongoing course updates. For more information visit the Forex Course page here.