September Special: Get 45% Off Nial Fuller's Forex Trading Course & Daily Trade Ideas Newsletter (Ends Sep 30th)
Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

To Be In The Top 5% Of Traders, Do What The Bottom 95% Won’t

author thumb
By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on April 18th, 2019 | 60 Comments

I was having a conversation recently with an old friend of mine and we were talking about money and wealth and why some people obtain it and others (most) do not. My friend asked me “What do you think is the main reason why only a small percentage of people end up wealthy in this world?” Whilst that is a somewhat loaded question that could take a while to answer, the main answer is simply that MOST people are just not mentally prepared to do what it takes, consistently, to become wealthy. And it’s the same exact way in trading.

Most traders end up losing, just like most people end up staying middle to low-class, economically speaking. The reasons why are very, very, very similar for the most part. When you exclude variables that really aren’t fair, like being born in an economically depressed part of the world or being born with a severe physical or mental handicap, the primary reasons why 95% of people fail at things like trading and business and wealth-creation, are pretty much the same across the board.

So, What do the Top 5% of Traders Do Differently From You?

Stay in Trades Longer

The top 5% of traders, I guarantee you, are staying in trades much longer than you are. I’ve written about this topic many times but perhaps the most important lesson for you to read on it is the one I wrote on how time is the single most overlooked trading component.

Use time to your advantage in the markets. Don’t be anxious to close trades too early. Let them ride and give yourself a chance to catch a big move in the market that will net you some serious profits; this is partially how the top 5% of traders got to where they are.

Place Your Stops Properly and Intelligently (not greedily)

Properly placing your stop losses is truly one of the key factors that can or break you as a trader. Certainly, the top 5% of traders have mastered the art and skill of stop loss placement and you will have to as well. Perhaps the most helpful piece of advice I can give you on this matter is to use a wider stop loss than what you think you should. Most of the time, traders have the right idea of market direction or they pick a good entry signal, but their stop is too tight and it gets hit just from the natural daily price fluctuations that happen. They key is to place your stop outside of these daily price ranges and beyond nearby key levels.

Trade With Clean Charts and Focus On the End of Day Data

Traders who are making consistent money, over a period of years (not just a few lucky months), know that in order to see the most accurate view of the market, they need to focus on clean end-of-day charts. That means, they are focusing on higher time frame charts, mainly the daily time frame and they are primarily using THAT time frame’s price action data to make their trading decisions. You will be very hard-pressed to find any long-term successful traders who solely look at the short time frames and scalp them. Scalping or day trading is a fool’s game that not only makes the entire process much more difficult, time-consuming and stressful for you, but lowers your odds of long-term consistent trading success.

Utilize a Clear Arsenal of Trading Strategies

Professional traders know exactly what they are looking for in the markets. They have a defined set of setups, of trading strategies, and they wait patiently for things to line up just right for their entry signal to form. You must have a CLEAR arsenal of trading strategies to succeed, you cannot just “wing it” and think you’ll “figure it out”. All you will “figure out” is that you were wrong and you lost money.

You need to make a trading plan that includes print outs of the best setups that you’re looking for. So, if you’re trading my price action strategies, you would have a print out of the pin bar signal and it’s variations, for example, amongst other price action signals. You will want to have a checklist of sorts, that you go through everyday before analyzing the charts and before taking a trade.

Apply Sound Risk / Reward Per Trade

The top 5% of traders got to that position because they understand risk reward. They understand the math behind risk reward and also how to practically make it work by placing their stops and targets properly.

Part of risk / reward is actually realizing the risk / reward and you do that by letting the trades play out without your constantly interfering with them (like the bottom 95% do). When you learn to set and forget your trades, you will start seeing your trading performance improve slowly but surely.

Look For Confluence

Anytime you have multiple factors of confluence in a trade, it adds “weight” or “authority” to that trade setup, meaning it should have at least a slightly higher chance of working out in your favor. Professional traders know that they need to tilt the odds in their favor and one way they do this is by knowing what pieces of “evidence” on the charts constitute “confluence” and then waiting for those things to come together to form a high-probability entry. Essentially, you want to find as much technical chart evidence as possible to back up the trade.

Thinking and Acting Properly in The Market

How you think and act in the market are the two overarching things that determine whether or not you will make money over the long run.

You cannot become overly emotional about your trades nor can you allow yourself to become overly influenced by your most recent trades’ results (recency bias). Part of thinking and acting properly in the market is trusting yourself and remaining cool, calm and confident even in the face of the constant temptation and adversity that IS trading. The top 5% of traders have thought and acted properly for so long in the markets, that they have developed a sort of “sixth sense” in regards to trading intuition and “gut feel” in the market; which is a result of years of thinking properly about the markets and acting properly within them.

Write a Daily / Weekly Market Summary or Journal Their Trades

In order to become one of the top 5% of traders, you need to get “in tune” with the markets so that you get a feel for what has happened, what is happening and what might happen next. I refer to this as “reading the market like a book”. Once you start writing a daily summary of your favorite charts, the charts will start to make much more sense to you, you will be following the footprint of money. To get an idea of how to do this, you can check out my members daily market commentary. Starting this daily journaling / commentary of the markets will take your trading to an entirely new level.

Treat Trading Like A Business

Professional traders treat their trading career like a business. It has costs / expenses (losses, computer equipment, internet data, etc.) and it has revenues (winning trades). Just as with any business, you make PROFIT when your revenue is larger than your expenses. Sadly, for most of the bottom 95% of traders, their expenses get far too big due to losing too much money from risking too much, trading too much and / or not knowing what they’re doing.

You need to start treating your trading like a business by doing all the things discussed in this lesson and acting “as if” you are already a wildly successful trader. Remember, trade like a hedge fund manager even if you aren’t one, yet.

Get Knocked Down and Get Right Back Up (confidence and resilience)

If you want to be a successful trader, I suggest you go watch the Rocky movies, because the way he took a beating and just keep getting up and coming back to fight more, is exactly what you have to do in the markets.

You’re going to have losses. You’re going to have winners that had you let them run longer, would have been huge winners. You’re going to have trades that just barely miss your target and turn around and stop you out. You’re going to have a lot of “near misses” and “losses” as a trader, but if you let those get to you and you get emotional about them, you are doomed. You have to be able to get right back on the horse and stay cool and calm. If you feel like you can’t do that, then take some time off from the charts until you are calmed down. You can’t get afraid or mad or sad just because you lost a trade, you’ve got to be able to get knocked down and get right back up, unharmed (mentally) and ready to go.


Perhaps above all else, the top 5% of traders understand that self-master is the road to mastering the markets. Ironically, the market is not something anyone can master, all you can do is master yourself and then you will begin to see your trading improve.

How do you “master yourself”, you ask? Start by accepting you are not perfect, you have flaws, just like everyone else in this world, and those flaws mean you are human and humans do some very, very stupid things in the market just due to how we are wired. However, through ongoing trading education, being open-minded and not accepting failure as an option, you will have a real chance at moving up from the bottom 95% of traders into the coveted 5% group. Remember, there is no “Holy-Grail” to trading success, there is only mastering yourself, sticking to the plan and goal and doing whatever it takes to achieve it.

Please Leave A Comment Below With Your Thoughts On This Lesson…

If You Have Any Questions, Please Contact Me Here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
Nial Fuller Professional Trading Course
Forex Course - Mobile ad
  1. Nick August 13, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    After the article, you understand how much you have to work on yourself.

  2. Venka June 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm


  3. Halilu Yahaya June 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    So educative as usual. The K Nial

  4. POLA P May 21, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    humans do some very, very stupid things in the market just due to how we are wired….
    Nice article!!!

  5. Ralph Spangenberg May 7, 2019 at 12:45 am

    Thank you Nial, we are our worst enemy.

  6. John May 1, 2019 at 4:55 am

    God bless you my mentor.

  7. Phila April 26, 2019 at 3:28 am

    What can I say Nial. You have a way of making me feel like I’ve made it already. If there was a drug to make one a winner in the fx market, you wouldn’t be far off from it. Keep doing what you do. You definately have me pumped up. Thank you

  8. Robert April 25, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Nial speaks my trading language. If you want to trade, shut out the noise all over the internet, the punks flashing cash, get zen with what Nial has to teach. You won’t be sorry.
    Thanks Nial.

    • Phila April 26, 2019 at 3:30 am

      For real

  9. Arpad April 25, 2019 at 2:49 am

    I had a position on AUDJPY that lasted for 2 months… from 6th Feb to 10th April… I was on the short side.. and finally got stopped out… but man … 2 months… the longest trade in the career. It was so exhausting… Now I.m back with more discipline and updating my excel every evening with the recent price actions.

    PS. I.m waiting for a pinbar forming at 6000 on Bitcoin… it should fall to 3000 after and if it forms😊

    Nial. Wish u a great and a Happy Easter together with the loved ones!

    • DuncColeman April 25, 2019 at 11:47 am

      Thanks always Nial
      You are the Obe One Kanobi of TRADING.
      Im 8 months since starting the LTTTM course and beginning to recognise the way of the Trading Jedi 😀
      May the Force be with you .

  10. Matt April 22, 2019 at 8:54 am

    thks boss, i appreciate ur generosity towards helping aspiring traders, am up in this business for a year and 4 months, honestly it has not been easy but i thk God for the journey so far. all that u writes in ur articles are all true about the market and i laugh at anyone who doubts ur professionalism about the market for the sake that ur selling courses and publishing new article ever month.
    Am so happy that finally i can now trade the market as a professional trader, to God be the glory. Hard work pays

  11. Jim watts April 21, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    once again , information just as I need it, and when I need it.

    I know what to do. The secret is actually doing what I am meant to do.

    Many thanks


  12. Daniel April 21, 2019 at 6:53 am

    this is insightful and succinctly express

  13. Bongani April 20, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Absolutely correct, we need to trade like professionals for us to be professional! I’m really seeing light since I took your course. Much appreciated Nial.

  14. Trillionaire April 20, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    great work. more strength and divine wisdom to you.

  15. Muna April 20, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Wow!!! Yet another great article from the Maestro himself.
    Thank you sir.

  16. Rahwa April 20, 2019 at 3:55 am

    wonderful article Nial. May God bless you.

  17. Sangaalo April 20, 2019 at 3:37 am

    What you taught is true

  18. Michael April 20, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Patience is my burden, or the lack thereof. Thank you for your article Nial. There is lots on information that applies to me in it.

  19. Guiton April 19, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    Great Article Nial, you read me Like a book and always publish appropriate to my position articles, once I can apply all I’ve learned from you properly, I will become the full time successful trader that I aspire to be ….

  20. Vincent April 19, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Wow… I will start treating my trades like a business.

    What an eye opening course….
    Thanks a lot Nial

  21. Ramesh Jha April 19, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Perfect Nial, slowly but steadily i have started following what you say in your blogs and it is bearing fruits now. Thank you Nial!!

  22. Nick April 19, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Thanks neil.i must say when I started reading your articles .my whole perspective on trading changed.clean charts are the best they give a clear view .thanks again

  23. Jonah William April 19, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    This piece is really educative and very inspiring!
    Thanks Nial.

  24. Kabole Puane April 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks a lot Nial you are so inspiring of telling the truth and saying realistic facts on point of success trading” risks reward”

  25. Sam April 19, 2019 at 10:01 am

    Thanks! Nial.

  26. Siya Tsandana April 19, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Very informative article as always. No lies about trading fantasies, just the good old plain truth. I Love reading your articles mate. They inspire me every time. I also like that they are free, but you need to do a spell check after you post it out, lol! Regardless….. ….Thank you Nial, cheers

  27. Moses April 19, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I liked the journal approach and handling trading like its a business .
    I value all of your articles , thanks .

  28. Gloria April 19, 2019 at 6:14 am

    God bless you…

  29. mohamed nasr elnajar April 19, 2019 at 5:41 am

    Niall , You this one is full of wide wisdom and honesty. I really feel I have benefited a lot from your writings. God bless!

  30. Pius April 19, 2019 at 4:57 am

    It’s motivational psychologically, but forex trading appears to be the most unpredictable engagement in the world!

  31. Laurent April 19, 2019 at 4:42 am

    What a beautiful and inspirational article. It shows us the right way to go.

  32. Dwayne April 19, 2019 at 3:39 am

    Thank you so much for all the information you generously send out. I just recently closed out a trade because I was getting nervous that it was going on three days, I took a small profit, but if I would have left it for longer I would have made a 3R profit. This lesson has given me a broader understanding of how long a trade can take, so my next trade I won’t be so eager to close prematurely.

    Thank you again for everything.

  33. Elaine April 19, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Another effective motivating article. Thanks Nial.

    • Zinnur September 6, 2019 at 12:21 am

      Read it again. Strong article!

  34. Vance April 19, 2019 at 3:13 am

    Out of the 20,000 “students” that you’ve “trained”, how many of them are in the winning 5% of traders that you write about?
    Thanks, more frequently I read about 98% of failed traders.

    • Nial Fuller April 20, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      We don’t have that % figure, impossible to track.

  35. Zinnur April 19, 2019 at 12:15 am

    The motivating article! Thanks

  36. Roy April 18, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    thanks, nial.
    The part about time really is important. so many time I have closed a trade early only to see the trade go on for several hundred pips.
    a recent example was on the gbpaud at 1.8735 on the daily chart I closed it only after taking 100 pips. as of today, the pair is at 500+pips.
    I need to let the trades run.

    • Oderah August 22, 2020 at 1:11 am

      Hi… You can also check out Nial’s article on pyramiding. It will help you. Bye.

  37. Theo April 18, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Really appreciate your generous spirit, simple and straightforward approach. The part about setting right stops is very apt. I was in a trade on a demo account earlier this week (not your recommended trading platform) . The price after 2 days movement was 3 pips away from my stop but I got stopped out. Then it moved back in my predcted direction. I saw your post and was like that’s very correct.

  38. Anonymous April 18, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    You are are absolutely right Nial. It is a business. The business is all about risk management: The best tools for me are are a confluence of price pressure points, recognizable high probability setups, a high reward to risk ratio entry, prudence and confident resilience. Remember: You don’t have to be in the market all the time. Wait in ambush for the opportunity to show itself.It is not about the money. It is about you managing risk. Manage risk successfully and the money will come.

  39. Craig Howard April 18, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Well said, hits home with me

  40. john mosbrook April 18, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    I was just thinking as I read this lesson that the correct philosophical school for
    the trader is Stoicism popularized by Emperor of Rome Marcus Aurelius.
    I am employing the stoic philosophy, Principles and meditation. It has changed the way I trade
    and my approach to living–all for the better.

  41. Henry Eduardo Rodríguez Cardozo April 18, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Es tan importante recibir mensajes tan centrados de un profesional del trading. Lo admiro positivamente y aplicó concienzudamente su estrategia de Acción del precio, ajustada a mí visión personal del mercado. Gracias, por sus aportes y experiencia.

    (It is so important to receive such focused messages from a trading professional. I admire him positively and he applied his price action strategy conscientiously, adjusted to my personal vision of the market. Thank you for your contributions and experience.)

  42. Mohau April 18, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Great Stuff Nial time and not bay sitting trades is the key to mastery 100% agree with you

  43. JONHBULL EGHRERINIOVO April 18, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks Nial

  44. Jess April 18, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Very nice Sir… i will follow

    Thank you for this article

  45. sinu varghese April 18, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    excellent article Nial. too good

  46. Nkesi Ndamati April 18, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Absolutely loved this. Concise and enlightening.

    • Raphael Arrey April 19, 2019 at 12:26 am


  47. Dan April 18, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks for writing this article it will help those that listen

  48. MANVINDER SINGH April 18, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    Nial , Your this one is full of immense wisdom and honesty. I really feel I have benefitted a lot from your writings. God bless!

  49. Gbaluke April 18, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    That true, I have a demo account which when. I setup a trade I will close it and after a while it turns a winning trade but the other one a live account which I monitor a lot I lose more trade than. the one I set and forget

    • Theodore April 18, 2019 at 9:45 pm

      Off a truth this is what I need to be on top. Am inspired by this teaching and am sure of the 5% group if followed to the end. Thanks a $1m

  50. Mimi April 18, 2019 at 8:03 pm


  51. Ayoade April 18, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Do you have a platform in which one can trade? If yes how do one register


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *