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SolutionsI’ve been trading long enough to know the most common mistakes that hold traders back from making money in the market and how to fix them. In today’s lesson, I’m going to give you 7 simple solutions that you can start using right away to slowly start start changing your trading results from bad to good, and then hopefully to ‘great’.

If you’ve been struggling to make money in the markets recently and you feel like you need a “reset” button to clear the frustration and emotion from your brain, today’s lesson is for you. If you’re a struggling trader, you might think you need to drastically change your trading approach or that you need to read some “secret” book about trading that will show you the path to riches. In reality, even if you’re struggling to make money in the market or you’re losing money, you’re probably not that far away from being on the path to success. A professional trader really just thinks differently about trading than you do, and if you combine the correct trading mindset with an effective trading strategy that you’ve mastered, you really have everything you need to start making money in the market. Here are 7 very simple things that will improve your trading IF you do them:

1) Take a week (or two or three) off from trading

Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply clear your mind and get a fresh start. Unfortunately, in trading, it’s REALLY easy to turn into a frustrated, emotional trader who is glued to the screen around the clock trying to make back lost money or trying to make a quick buck. No matter how disciplined you are or how well-prepared you are, that little red “devil” on your shoulder is always competing with the little white “angel”; the angel is telling you to stick to your plan and remain patient while the devil is always telling you to trade when you shouldn’t and jack up your risk.

Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a break from trading for one or two weeks. By that I mean, completely removing yourself from anything market-related for that one or two week period. When you come back to the market you will feel refreshed, focused and a lot more likely to stay disciplined and patient. Taking a break from trading will let the “dust” settle in your mind and will give you a fresh start and a chance to regroup and trade how you know you should rather than how the little “red devil” is telling you to.

2) Sit down, figure out your dollar risk per trade, and stick to it

Many traders are confused about how much they should be risking per trade. I know, because I get emails about this almost every day. There are really two very simple ways to determine how much you should risk per trade:

1. Risk an amount that you could lose 20 trades in a row on and still have enough money in your account to continue trading.

2. Risk an amount that TRULY allows you to “set and forget” your trades and sleep WELL at night.

The bigger the position you have relative to your account size, the less likely you will be to stay calm and let the trade play out. There’s a positive correlation between the size of your position and the amount of emotion you feel for a trade; meaning, the more money you have at risk per trade the more emotion you will feel during a trade. This is why, after a certain dollar risk amount relative to your account size, you will probably start losing money overall. You have to keep your dollar risk per trade at a level that allows you to think clearly and rationally and not become clouded by emotion and fear. This might take some “trial and error” to figure out in the beginning, but you will soon know how much money you are comfortable with potentially losing per trade. Once you figure that out, all you have to do is not deviate from that dollar risk amount. This is a much more realistic and effective way to determine your risk per trade than using a pip or percent measurement, and it’s why I wrote an article on why you should measure your risk in dollars, not pips or percentages.

3) Don’t increase your risk per trade until you’ve doubled your account

mmMany traders make the huge mistake of increasing risk per trade after a winning trade or even after every winning trade. This is a very dangerous thing to do. One or two trades doesn’t matter and doesn’t really reflect your ability or inability to trade, if you don’t understand why then read here; one fact about trading you need to know. However, doubling or tripling your trading account on the same dollar risk per trade says something about your ability to trade the market. The point is this; it’s illogical to think you’re going to exponentially increase your risk per trade forever and for no reason other than you “won the last trade”. If you maintain your risk per trade at a constant dollar amount until you’ve doubled your account or more, it will instill discipline and patience in you and you’ll avoid becoming emotional about trades because you won’t have over-leveraged. This is really one of the easiest things you can do to improve your trading.

Remember; a few trades doesn’t really mean anything, so you should not increase or decrease your risk amount based only on a small handful of trade outcomes. If you double or triple your account over time via following a proven trading method and remaining disciplined, that is a solid indication that you know what you’re doing and gives you a logic-based reason to increase your dollar risk per trade.

4) Stop reading economic news

One of the biggest things that causes many traders to struggle and lose money in the market is that they simply try to analyze too many variables. Reading economic news each day is something that many traders do, and it typically only causes them to second-guess themselves and (or) enter trades they otherwise wouldn’t.

The other big reason not to waste time reading economic news or focusing on fundamental analysis is that it’s all reflected in a market’s price action anyways. So, if you just learn to read the raw dynamics on a price chart you don’t need to read anything else. Yet, many traders make trading significantly more complicated than it needs to be by trying to analyze every economic report under the sun. Cutting these variables out from your daily trading routine is another very simple way to improve your trading by reducing the number of variables you’re trying to analyze and make use of.

5) Take everything off of your charts

Similar to the above point about analyzing too many economic or fundamental variables, many traders analyze too many technical variables. If your charts look like a piece of modern abstract art because you have 10 different multi-colored indicators on them, the simplest thing to do is to just remove all that junk.

Many of you are probably still using an RSI or a MACD or something, in combination with what you’re learning from my site. Honestly, the sooner you cut yourself off from those indicators the sooner you’ll see a positive change in your trading results. Almost every trader that I know, myself included, has gone through a process of looking for the “holy-grail” trading system to gradually using less and less indictors until they finally realize that the natural price action of the market provides them with all the analytical tools they need to develop a high-probability trading method. The faster you ditch unnecessary indicators the faster you’ll start to realize that simplicity is a big part of trading success and you’ll wonder why you ever tried trading with indicators before.

6) Get off the intra-day charts

Intra-day charts (any chart below the daily chart time frame) are often the killer of many trader’s accounts. Most traders tend to over-trade primarily because they are too fixated on intra-day charts. I’m sure you have probably caught yourself sitting there staring at the 30 minute or 1 hour chart like it was your key to instant-wealth, mesmerized by its every move; this is exactly what causes many traders to trade too much. As humans, we are really good at picking out meaningless patterns in things, and especially in the markets. The more you sit there looking at the intra-day charts tick by tick, the greater your chances become of talking yourself into a trade that doesn’t really agree with your trading plan or trading strategy. Ignoring the intra-day charts is a very simple solution to getting back on the right trading path, at least until a time when you are consistently profitable on the daily charts.

7) When in doubt, stay out

success-and-failure-signFinally, perhaps the simplest solution for most of your struggles in the market is to simply not enter a trade if you have even a tiny bit of doubt about it. Professional traders know when they should enter a trade and they know when they shouldn’t, that might be thee biggest difference between a pro and an amateur trader. The easiest way to make sure you don’t lose money in the market is to simply not enter a trade. The majority of people who keep losing money in the market do so because they don’t really have a trading strategy that is effective and that they’ve mastered. They continue to look at the market with no real plan and no real strategy, entering trades on a whim; they are over-trading. If you are not 100% confident in your trading strategy and your ability to trade it, yet you still enter trades, you are probably over-trading.

A professional trader doesn’t over-trade because they have mastered their trading strategy to the point where they no longer have any doubt. Also, if there are no trade setups that qualify according to their trading strategy, then they are fine with not trading; they have the discipline to not trade. Having the discipline to simply do nothing in the market is perhaps one of the toughest things that you will face. You have to remind yourself that not trading also means you will not lose any money, and you should never lose money due to trading just because you “felt like it”. You should make a deal with yourself that you will only put your hard-earned money at risk when your trading strategy is telling you to. I personally know when one of my price action trading setups is present in the market, and I know when and how to trade it…because I’ve mastered them. Thus, when I scan through my charts each day it is something that is devoid of doubt….I KNOW what I’m looking for, and if there’s no setup present then I simply don’t trade, and I’m happy to not trade if there’s no reason to. That’s the point you need to get to.

If you enjoyed this trading lesson, check out my Price Action Trading Course for further education.

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.

Now I want to hear from you! - Click Here to Leave a Comment

59 Comments

  1. Jags says:

    this is the best article. thanks & more Blessing to Share. (Gal. 6:9)

  2. Brent Rooz says:

    Master oneself to Master others.
    Trade with oneself to trade with others.

  3. gabstar says:

    u a like john the baptist to the world of forex GOD will strnghten u

  4. ADEWALE says:

    Thanks Nial, this Article came right in time for me as i had removed myself from the market close to two weeks. I came back refreshed and ready to follow my trading plan to the letter.

  5. Suresh says:

    Toooo good article

  6. Barth Emmanuel says:

    Great work,I appreciate it.u a great tutor.

  7. aaron says:

    hi Nial, thanks for your weekly newsletter they have been a real great source of motivation

  8. olatunde ademola says:

    A nice write-up.We appreciate you once again.

  9. Nabs says:

    Great article as usual !

  10. arun m kumar says:

    hi nial, such a very useful article, as you said more analysis on fundamental, and technical indicators confuused me lot, i will stay on your suggestion in future

  11. Piet Botha says:

    Thanks for the course as such and all the new things to learn.
    I’m only starting but can see that your way of doing it should put me on the right track, like all the other students.
    Regards, Piet.

  12. frank says:

    boy oh boy oh boy! this is truly my biggest challenge fighting the urge to trade,it is just not that easy.

  13. Khalif Kirwa says:

    You are God sent Nial, we connect at a deep fundamental level. Thanks for being my invisible Councillor in my council meetings from Napoleon hill’s Think and grow rich chapter 15. I am attracting the Lifetime Membership n joining soon!

  14. Lyte says:

    Thanks Nial. As always your articles continue to inspire with todays lesson reflecting on my own thought process and trading. Risk management and consistency being key.

  15. roy says:

    Hi Nial, Great!! your article came on right time. Thanks a lots.

  16. rajiv says:

    Hi Nial,
    Thnx for the article

  17. jotex says:

    3) Don’t increase your risk per trade until
    you’ve doubled your account.this point really sits me down.thanks Nial for your all time help and honesty.happy trading

  18. Nabs says:

    Great article as usual ;-)

  19. Peri says:

    Discipline & Patience plays a lot in going ahead for Solid Successful Trades ! Thanks NIAL ! !

  20. alanw says:

    Hi Nials, Never a truer word said in all seven items,well presented, great article. W

  21. KRISTOFA OKENTA says:

    Our humble Professor said something in this article that I suppose is a key to ‘my’ success,” Also, if there are no trade setups that qualify according to their trading strategy, then they are fine with not trading; they have the discipline to not trade. Having the discipline to simply do nothing in the market is perhaps one of the toughest things that you will face.” This sums up the whole story.
    Happy piping this week.

  22. ebere john says:

    nice lesson nail well learnt i still have a question what id your have a bullish pin bar setup in daily timeframe and in 4hr time frame is show no sign of bullish but bearish is it advisable to take the setup?

  23. Bram says:

    You the man Nial!

  24. Gye Bennetts says:

    I love these mini lessons, each one seems to let a new and very poignant point sink into my thinking and from that my whole thinking about trading changes (again!). Very valuable, thank you Nial, Gye :)

  25. Wajdi says:

    grrrreat

  26. Justin says:

    Every time, I resolve to follow great your lesson but not easy. As always, thanks a lot for the wonderful lesson.

  27. mohamed yossef says:

    nial i dont know how can i thank you i followed your article and your simple strategy , analysis and techniques

    and i trained on demo account four long time enough and after i lost many account i begin now the real account with only 25 usd and the results is very good

    many thanks my friend

  28. Steve Price says:

    Great info yet again Nial. Despite my trading intraday charts and indicators with some success, you’ve convinced me that price action trading on the daily charts is the way to go and I’ve just started trialling it out before commiting for real. One thing that concerns me though – do you have any thoughts and/or strategy for dealing with possible daily chart gaps that may follow after weekend news? Any info on this would be much appreciated. Thanks – Steve P.

  29. Ashvin says:

    very true…

    accepted…//

  30. Siyabonga says:

    Thanks Nial

  31. Jubaer Ahmed says:

    Really great Helpful Topic I like it..

    Thanks Again Nial… :)

  32. Csízi Barnabás says:

    Thanks

  33. Shilpa kakadia says:

    Great article…very informative. Thank you much for all good lessons!!:)

  34. tochukwu ughadinjo says:

    this is a profesional touch to my career as a trader. this lesson is simply a tool that i need to grow in efficiency and returns as regards my trading career. thanks nial…

  35. kamal says:

    this is very useful Nial, thanks for Your Help

  36. Olisa says:

    Nice article Nial. Thanks for your selfless service to your fellow traders.
    God Bless.

  37. Eklavya says:

    Nile…… You are simple and humble…
    Great lesson.

  38. Paul Joseph says:

    I have to agree with you, although i dont like to say it, but you are right, because that makes me all wrong.

    its been many years now, since 2008, and i am loosing money. i need to learn more i guess.

    thanks a million.

  39. joe says:

    Thanks again Nial for refreshing me on the shoulds and shou
    ld nots

  40. emmanuel says:

    you are truly GOD sent, I do appreciate every part of your lessons. so wonderful.

  41. Valdi says:

    The Starting Point
    Should be read every time before trading
    Thank you.

  42. felix says:

    This article gives good advice to start creating good habits for when the time comes to start real trading.

    Thank you Nial

  43. rahwa says:

    Always fantastic article. May God bless you and your family.

  44. kumar says:

    It’s great Nial.Confidence is very important to getting
    our goal.

  45. Anh Le says:

    Helpful
    Thank you very much !

  46. Henry says:

    Thanks for the great lesson!

  47. Mehdi says:

    Dear Nial,
    Fantastic and useful.
    Thank you very much

  48. Brett Reynolds says:

    Good ‘Reinforcement’!

  49. rcm says:

    Thanks Nial,

    Another very good article to add to your suggestions about daily affirmations.

  50. Alan says:

    To all fellow traders. Pin this article to your wall. Thank you Nial.

  51. Stuart says:

    Great article Nial. Point number three has been a big help for me along with not trying to hit a home run on every trade. Newbies need to understand trading is not a get rich quick scheme! However with patience and discipline it can be a easy way to earn decent money. Without patience and discipline you might be better off going to a casino

  52. Tadeo Seruwagi says:

    Thanks Nail. Indeed the markets moved following the ECB president’s speech and yesterday after the us data. However, all has settled back into the price action frame work.

  53. Grant says:

    Thanks for another great article Nial, its good to be reminded of the small important things about trading.

  54. Juan says:

    Nice article, although in my newbie experience (3 months) I checked that fundamentals have a high importance in trading. See what it occurred last week on EURUSD. Thursday rose strongly, and Friday with US news, fell contrarian. To avoid these rallys you should set large stop losses.

  55. Horliquegold says:

    I have learnt not to trade below the daily chart, i have done alot of analysis and realized that even the 1hr n 4hrs timeframe can give many fake signals even with filters. So i stick with the daily chart with a 2% money risked per trade, i dont care how manytimes i will trade a month. Its more about quality than quantity to me.

  56. Haroun Kola says:

    Thanks for the article Niall. I’m starting my demo account trading, have a trading journal ready, and the trading plan on my screen. Looking forward to the journey…

  57. Thomas Kruger says:

    Great lesson Nial – as always.
    Thanks!!!

  58. Stephen says:

    I don’t want glote, but your strategy and harmonic patterns have gave me a great deal of confidence and success. I buy and sell off your principals of price action, with my own correlation of S/R and patterns. It’s a great deal, thank you!!!

  59. ali malik says:

    good
    thanks

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