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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Coach

7 Things No One Will Tell You About Forex Trading

stampThere are some aspects to trading that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. Especially, people trying to sell you expensive trading systems, some brokers, and other people who might have an interest in keeping some of the not-so-pretty parts of trading ‘under the covers’. Basically, not many other people in the mainstream Forex world are going to tell you many of the ‘ugly’ aspects of becoming a trader, so that’s a role I’ve decided to take on…

Today I want to share with you guys 7 things that no one ever told me when I began trading, and that I didn’t read on any Forex website. Indeed, the 7 points below are all things I figured out through good old trial and error, and in hopes of making your Forex trading journey a little smoother I’d like to share them with you now:

1: You don’t have to be exceptionally smart to trade successfully

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions that most people seem to have about professional traders is that they are ultra-smart Ivy-League math-wiz’s who have some super-human ability to make money in the markets. This is really not the case; in fact, many successful traders never even went to college or never finished, like myself, because being a successful trader takes a skill set that is not taught in most schools. In reality, being a successful trader is really more of a psychology-based skill than a technical or numbers-based skill like many people think. You don’t need a college degree to be a profitable trader, and you don’t need to understand calculus. What you really need is to make disciplined and patient trading a habit and a part of your daily trading routine.

So, don’t be overwhelmed by the endless amount of complicated trading systems and messy looking indicators that seem like something only Einstein could make sense of. You need to have emotional intelligence and the ability to control yourself in the presence of constant temptation, but you don’t need to be a mathematician, an economist or even a college graduate to be a successful forex trader.

2:  Humans are not naturally good at trading

Whilst it is true that some people are naturally a little better at trading than others, it’s also true that the habits and mindset we need to consistently pull money out of the markets is not something anyone is born with. Basically, we come pre-wired to suck at trading.

Evolution has had a lot more time to have an effect on our more primitive ‘fight or flight’ brain areas than our more advanced brain areas which have evolved much more recently and are the ones we need to be good traders. When we have our real money on the line in the markets, our brains basically behave as if someone or some animal is about to steal all the food we just worked really hard to kill and bring back to the cave. Thus, when we lose that food (money) we get emotional, because we know that we have to work to make that food back AND we are still hungry. Now, in the caveman days, our primitive brain areas would serve us well by urging us to go back out into the woods and hunt another animal…or we will starve.

Fast forward thousands of years and here we are in the 21st century sitting at our computers trying to multiply our hard-earned money (food) by pushing buttons. We have really only lived in the age of computers and modern-technology for about 50 years or so, and electronic trading on the internet is much newer than that. So, the point is that our brains are basically sending us signals as if we are cavemen while we are trading, and this is the reason why we immediately jump back into the market after a loss or why we take bigger risks after we hit a big winner. To overcome this, we have to use our most advanced brain areas like the prefrontal cortex, which are more recently evolved and more adapted to the tasks of planning and holding off near-term temptations for larger longer-term gains.

The point is that it takes a conscious effort to do this, you can’t just think you’re going to ‘run and gun’ in the markets and have no plan or no logic behind what you’re doing. If you do trade in this manner, like a lot of traders, there’s almost a 100% chance that you’ll be operating off of those fight-or-flight brain areas instead of your more highly evolved brain areas which require conscious effort and ‘work’ to make use of.

3: Pro Traders Don’t Think In % Returns

Risk-vs-RewardOne of the biggest ‘secrets’ of trading is that percent returns don’t really matter. Think about it, if someone tells you they made “100% on their account last year”, what does that really mean? It is not actually a relevant measure of trading performance because it could mean some amateur trader got lucky a few times and turned his $300 dollar account into a $600 account, or it could mean a professional trader followed his plan to the T and banged out a nice return at year’s end, also doubling his account. The point is this…percents don’t actually mean anything in the trading world because they are relative to too many other variables. Let me explain…

Professional traders are not typically reporting annual performance to a group of share holders; rather they are trading for profit on a month-to-month basis. They withdrawal money regularly and live off the profits…therefore their account balance is probably not a reflection of the cumulative profits they have made for that year, because they’ve taken a lot of profits out of the account. Essentially, pro traders don’t track their account value by how much ‘percent’ it is up because they take money out of it and the balance will fluctuate dramatically from month to month depending on profits and losses that occur.

In reality account size and % returns are very arbitrary in professional retail trading, the most important thing is overall risk reward…as in how much you risked vs. how much you gained, and that would be the truest measure of performance and a more genuine benchmark to compare one trader to another. Thus, professional traders are always thinking in terms of risk reward; how much money did I risk last month and how much money did I make?

4: It takes time to become a successful trader

You probably aren’t going to hear this one from anyone in the mainstream Forex world either. Most brokers and people selling “magic-bullet” Forex trading systems really want you to think that trading is easy and that soon you’ll be pulling a full-time income out of the markets.

I am not here to discourage you, because you CAN make money in the markets, I personally know quite a few traders who do, including myself. But, the ones that I know who make money in the markets were willing to put in the hours of trial and error to get to the ‘other side’. They were willing to fix their trading problems which very often meant ‘fixing’ their own mental problems that were preventing them from making money in the markets.

I believe that anyone can be a successful trader if they are willing to work for it. But you have to consciously put in the effort to only trade when your edge is present and to not risk more than you should per trade, and for many traders doing these things consistently is almost impossible.

Trading is not for everyone; even if you manage to make a living in the markets, it’s not a 9 to 5 job and you never know for sure how much you will make any given month, some people don’t like this uncertainty, actually most people don’t. This is why some traders try to set goals to make an exact dollar amount each month. But that’s not how the market works…you’ve got to trade to the best of your ability and take what profits you can get. Some months you might make a lot of money and some months you might just breakeven or lose a little bit as a pro trader.

5: Successful Forex trading should be somewhat boring

You probably won’t hear that a consistently profitable trader’s job is boring, because everyone just assumes it’s super awesome and filled with sports cars and a fast life-style. That isn’t always the case.

As a natural result of doing the things that it takes to trade successfully, like being disciplined, patient, having a trading plan, etc, you aren’t going to experience the high highs and low lows that many amateur traders experience on the way to blowing out their trading accounts. Instead, a pro trader is rarely surprised by any result in the market; win, lose or draw; they were prepared for any outcome because they had a plan before they entered.

I am not saying that being a professional trader isn’t fun or an awesome job and lifestyle; I’m just saying it’s quite different from what you might think. It should essentially be a non-emotional event if you are doing it right, like going to work each day. You don’t get super emotional at work every day do you? Once you reach a level where you have eliminated the emotions from your trading and you don’t feel your heart rate increasing when you enter a trade and you don’t get angry after a loss, you will be on the right track.

6: The more you ‘need’ to make money in the markets, the harder it becomes

relax buttonPerhaps the best way to explain why many traders lose money over the long-run in the markets is because they put too much pressure on themselves to make it. One thing you need to come to grips with early on in your trading career is that it’s YOUR fault if you are losing money, not your brokers, not your trading buddy who told you to “buy the EURUSD because I’m sure it’s going up”…it’s all your fault if you lose money. The only person you are really in competition with in the market is YOU and more specifically, the mental variables flying around inside your head.

For most traders, they come into the markets because they think it’s an easy way to make some fast money, quit their jobs and live on the beach. Unfortunately, the reality is quite a bit different. The reality of trading is that it’s essentially a big paradox. By that I mean, the more you want and need to make money in the markets the less likely you are to do so. Whilst it’s OK to be passionate and enthusiastic about trading, for most traders they simply let those feelings influence their trading decisions too much. When you are excited about a trade, you’re emotional about it…you don’t want to wait 2 years and see your account grow at a respectable pace, instead you want to make exponential gains each week and watch your trading account make you rich. But, again, these feelings are actually causing you to lose money in the markets. You are putting too much pressure and ‘need’ on yourself, and this causes you to try and ‘force’ money from the market by trading too much and risking too much.

Instead, you have to take what the market is offering you, and if it’s not offering any good trading opportunities for a few days, or even for a week or two….THEN IT’S NOT. Just accept that the market is not going to provide you with a high-probability / obvious trade setup every single day, if it did then everyone would be rich. You’ve got to understand what I am telling you here…which is that the real ‘work’ and skill of being a great trader lies in sitting on your hands and having  a very discerning eye and good timing for when to enter and when not to enter. Good traders also know that when in doubt, it’s always better to just not enter a trade.

You will make money faster by trading less frequently, because over the long-run your ability to use discretion in finding a high-probabiltiy price action trading strategy is going to get more and more refined and you’ll naturally filter out more and more potential trade setups, leaving behind the higher probability ones. But, until you have developed this discretionary trading skill to its fullest, you’ll have to err on the side of caution by not trading if you have any doubt about a particular setup.

 7: You Don’t Need Fancy Software or Multiple Trading Screen Setups

Most trading websites are not going to tell you that you really don’t need fancy trading software or multiple trading screen setups to be successful in the markets. The fact is, you don’t need this stuff, and you can actually trade very successfully just from your laptop and a free charting program like metatrader 4. I personally trade from my laptop most of the time as I am on the go a lot and I travel often.

The most important tool in your trading arsenal is you, or more specifically your brain, not trading software, indicators, or multi-screen trading rooms. If you can manage to conquer yourself and your own mental mistakes that are causing you to lose money in the markets, you will be about 80% closer to making consistent money in the market. If you combine that self-mastery with a high-probability trading strategy like price action, you will have everything you need to become a successful trader. You can learn more about price action trading by taking my Forex price action trading course.

Good trading, Nial Fuller

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Nial Fuller

About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader, Investor & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. His blog is read by over 200,000+ followers and he has taught 25,000+ students since 2008. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
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  1. Naseema

    Excellent advice Nial! I’m super impressed with your honesty and tell it like it is! Quite refreshing!

    This is what every beginner should start with…

    Thank you very much!

  2. water

    Exellent article.But Nial I confess I cannot put any of your advice into practice.Once I am infront of my computer ‘That Caveman’ in me is in full controll and he moke Nial or anybody other than me.Under a false impression that I am the smartest I trade with impulse till my account completely wash out.Then repentance and I come back to your site and take some solace.And again went for trading and repeat the same mistakes again and again and again.

  3. ForexForever


    So many people should thank you for sharing your good practices.

    You saved a lot of newbie accounts, like mine.
    And when i doubt, i come back here.

    The biggest point is the discipline. I have to fight myself… I know it because i make a weekly diary with good hints but when i am trading it iscdifficult to follow all of them…

    Many many thanks. If i make money i will take your courses.

  4. Elmer

    Thank you Nial! It’s excellent philosophy simply put, I especially love the sentence “The only person you are really in competition with in the market is YOU and more specifically, the mental variables flying around inside your head.”

  5. nsibande mzabalazo

    Highly appreciated

  6. slivester

    hi nial,
    once again thousands thanks for the great article.u always teach me the reality of trading in forex.waiting for what the market offer to me and not to push the market to do what i want…so so great lesson….
    god bless u..

  7. Rahim Aziz

    Nial Perfect Article to me for sure. My level of confidence is building now I have a very small live account and still I have demo too. I am not hitting very hard at this time. Learning never ends and obviously good teacher or mentor can change many lives. Thanks!! Much!!

    Best regards,
    Rahim Aziz


    Nial, you are just good, man! perfect article.

  9. ravi varma

    very very good
    Thank u for sharing ur article to world….

  10. Cisco

    Trading on lower timeframes like 5 min is also very possible (price is price), doesnt matter and also more opportunities. If you have a good risk reward then getting rich fast IS possible. Anyway this is a very good site.

  11. saniyo

    More grees to ur elbow mr nial ,i dicovered that after reading your price action setup i improve greatly in my traading and not only that most of my analysis and yours are almost the same most at time

  12. Idowu Ayodeji

    you are right on point. Humans are not naturally good when it comes to trading. I know Forex is far more difficult than some people portray it to be

  13. Gloria

    Hey Nial, really like your article! I didn’t know about not having to use a multiple screen setup… more money for the trading account!

  14. Tom

    wow really this article is very good, sometimes it’s very important to have references how are you to do things better and more in forex it is an issue that speaks well above. thank you very much

  15. Naiteek Vikamsey

    Great stuff buddy. As i have spent lot of years trading, i understand your points very well, and i can very well relate it to myself.. Thank you for posting this wonderful stuff.. Cheers… :-)

  16. khosro

    Very useful
    Thank you

  17. lawal bolanle

    thanks alot its good to be truthful my sense of imagination simply tells me that u are saying the truth,the real thing.

  18. livia

    I always find great and invaluable lessons from every single the article you wrote .
    Thank you Master, I personally owe you much Niall.

  19. julius

    Dear Nial,

    I am also a victim of myself, ignorance, aggressiveness and greed. You were right, I’m one of those 95% failure in forex trading until I stumbled your articles. these saved me to further financial destruction. Thank you!

  20. DannyV

    This article is all we need. Only now do I realize that its not about the strategy. But it’s about your head. Thank you Nial, one of the best articles you’ve done.

  21. Sean

    A Brilliant lesson.Brilliant!!
    Thanks Nial.Been a member for quite
    a while now and signing up to your site
    has been the number One reason why my trading
    account has been growing ever since.
    Love the Daily Commentary.Thats the first
    thing I look at with charts.
    Thanks so much

  22. martin

    Thank you for that article it was very good especially for us who are trying to build straregies.since a lot of triel and erro is requried for one to build a system.Thank you for your flunk article.

  23. Mike

    Excellent article
    This particular paragraph helped me to confirm what I have anticipated.
    “Do not trade when in doubt”

  24. Bigfrancis

    You’re very right, Nial. Unfortunately, most to-be traders do not always want to hear these truth.

  25. Andrei

    Thank you Nial! This is a great article, very interesting and useful. Regards.

  26. Charles A.

    As a member, I have received the benefit of all the features your site offers. I especially enjoy the Trade Setup Forums, and the great advice provider by members and mentors. Overall, it has been a great experience. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people who has demonstrated the patience and others skills necessary to sustain a long term commitment to trading. This has almost nothing to do with your course, and everything to do with my psychological and emotional disposition. Although I haven’t blown out my account–I’ve only lost 10% in total–I am constantly in turmoil over not following through on my trading plan, and taking risk where price action doesn’t exist. I may choose to sit on the sidelines and trade a demo account for awhile and see if I can get it together.

    Overall, I give your site and your course material high marks. Keep up the great work.

  27. naveen

    Absolutely fantastic article as usual Guru.

    After coming to your web site, Last month I switched to Daily Chart and never turned to lower time frame charts.

    I am greateful to you. Thank you once again.

  28. kejmil

    Nice article Nial…

  29. buserah

    Great article.Thanks Nial.

  30. Jeriah

    One of the best articles on trading psychology yet along with “Gun to the head Forex Trading”. Thanks!

  31. David Lehane

    Great stuff, after suffering a long string of losses, I made the decision it was soon time to through the towel in, with the reasoning of “Trading is too hard and not for me!”
    However after reading your great, straight to the bone article(s) I can see (what I already know deep down, but am not yet fully aware off………) ALL the mistakes I am making CAN be managed and controlled by myself.
    I must say Nial, your course is good, but your wisdom and nice open honest style of writing in these extra lessons is great and what really helps me.

  32. Lewis

    Great article Nial, nice to see some realistic trading information. Hard to find these days.

  33. Frank

    Actually, I was thinking around that topic for quite some time. While I fully agree with you about the psycho side of trading (very good summary!) I do not agree in full about item 1. By my own experience you do need a certain understanding of probabilities and how it is derived from the math ground. The same applies for statistics, other wise you fail doing your own conclusions based on the raw material, which is – stats. And, even your articles tell about that crucial point of finding your trading edge, which is nothing else then the result of having found a high probability pattern. But, correct, this must not necessarily coming from any fancy expert advisors, or hyper-complex indicators. That said, let’s simply focus more on how simple probability models work. I am sure you can teach alot to us here.
    Again, you are one of the very few outstanding teachers in this field. Please continue!
    Regards, Frank

  34. Moses

    Thank you for the article. It indeed instills hope in many amateur traders.

  35. moyam

    thank you very much .. this is helped me a lot.

  36. Abe

    Thanks Nial. I look forward to reading your article each weekend to put myself in a positive and realistic state of mind for the coming week. I should sign up for your course. Very much appreciated.

  37. Rundhir

    Nial Brilliant article .

  38. John

    It’s a great rewarding articles from you. Thanks Nial.

  39. Victor Damane

    Thanks a million times Nial! You are star! I have learnt so much from your articles including this one and I begin to reap the fruits/benfits of listening to you and learning from your trading strategies. But I believe I am missing a very strong trading link todate: i.e I have yet to take & learn your Price Action Trading Course.

  40. Sinnah

    Perfect reality of trading; this explained my weakness..

  41. Tariq Khan

    excellent article nail, every word of this article is true.

  42. swilen

    Thanks Nial! Good article.

  43. roslidamia

    thank nials, no. 6 always punnish me. thank for your lesson

  44. slivester

    once again…a thousand thanks for the great article…i wish to b ur follower…

  45. Herve

    Thank you, Nial!
    for the truth you share with us

  46. userkami

    As usual a very nice article.


  47. Pham

    Great article, thanks Nial for sharing your experience and tutorial.

  48. GlobalTrader

    Hi Nial, great as always…another masterpiece to finding the path to success!!! No website is as great as this one!!! Thx again and looking forward to your next great article) greetings from Germany

  49. Surya

    Another great one.. Thank you Neil.. Waiting for the next article..

  50. Greg

    Angela said,
    September 21, 2012 @ 8:34 pm
    Dear Nial,
    A very well presented summation of the challenges to achieve success in trading. I am just starting to achieve success after 4 years of study and “finding my way” with a price action based strategy. I can personally validate every point of your discussion from my own personal experience.

    Hi Angela.

    I agree. I have been studying FX for a little over a year now, and i can see that it may take me at least another year or more to begin to have enough screen time, and experience, to begin to make money. But i am patient, and loving this price action journey. Greg.

  51. Greg

    Good on you buddy. Great stuff. I suspected you were an honest, straight up sort of bloke, and this article cements that opinion.

    Safe travel’s, Greg

  52. The Big A

    Yes getting emotional while attempting to trade successfully definately blows accounts,I once beleived you always had to have trades on at any given time.My account (now predictably)got hammered.Staying out of the market until high probability trades presented themselves was hard for me to get my head around in the past,But when I did master this part of trading psyche everything changed & profits soon followed.Thanks again for your guidance Nial,Your wisdom has been invaluable.All the best-Andrew T………

  53. Emil

    Nial – just to let you know that I appreciate your weekly commentaries and your intra-week trade set-ups. You really have helped me a lot.

  54. woody

    Hi Nials, that sums it up nicely.
    Cheers W

  55. juan

    nial love it, im a beginner its just get better everytime i read your article,just the person i need for forex thanx

  56. tony

    Hey Nial,

    you can t get closer than the reality,that is so true but frustrating.


  57. Michael

    Thank you Nial

  58. kotijett

    Thanks for sharing todays lesson Nial much appreciated.

  59. Jude Erameh


    Jude Erameh

  60. Michal

    Great article Nial, I was bit suprised by point 3, as I always thought that % is the indicater but we learn every day in our lives and you are a great coach. thanks

  61. James mboho

    Nail, what you said are true and facts. Thanks. Have a great day.

  62. vothienphu

    I have decided that you will become my forex master. Your lessons is awesome and helpful. I have recently created and developped an forex trading plan due to your price action trading strategie. When it makes extra profit, I will present it to you. I’m just a vietnamese poor boy at the age of 19. My family doesn’t have enough money for me to go to school. Fortunately, I found forex and you, my master. My dream is become a professional trader. Someday, I will travel to Australia to meet you. Thanks so much.

  63. Mithun

    The true sense u explained many i have came over in my own trading. Thank you Nial for your valuable comments ! Seee u soon !!

  64. dev

    Thanks Nial,great information really appreciate your deep understanding of how to crack the forex markets with price action and u dont need fancy software and as u mentioned laptop and internet is all u need ,with game set mind.truly appreciate your education

  65. Tayo


  66. mark

    Another great article Nial.

  67. Christine

    I love to read your articles it really helps me to stay focus and trade like a sniper and not like a machine gun ;-)

  68. Mohammad Kavoshnia

    Thanks Nial,

    This article is very useful,informative and in short
    life changing,for non-pro-trader like me.

  69. John P.H

    You are right!!
    I always heard people say he/she just start FX for 2 weeks then start to earn many profits and publish on FB
    I’m just a beginner FX trader and your words bring a lot for me… Thanks

  70. JT

    I like where you wrote ”it’s YOUR fault”. Taking responsibility for our own errors is one of the hardest parts of all aspects of life. Nice post.

  71. Pierre

    100 % agree,thanks coach.

  72. Jusmijo

    thanks Nial!

  73. Terhile

    Thanks Nial for showing the light on the path you trailed so others don’t fall into same pit holes

  74. Brandyn

    Im glad you pointed a few of these things out, because ive already been trying to condition myself to do that! Thanks for the info, your honestly the only person i take advice from in trading!

  75. jimoh

    thanks so much for your advice. i agree with everything you have talked about and am really going to put them in use.
    please kindly send into my mailbox some of your write-up and video on price action strategy. more grease to your elbow

  76. Augustine Oscar

    Thanks Nial, i believe this work changing my trading styles soon, God bless.

  77. nkashama martin

    Am so delighted by your insight and bringing to light what we really did not know.I appreciate all your efforts to make me a successful trader.my great appreciation.

  78. alex

    what to say more…

  79. Rayh

    Many thanks Nial for your generosity in sharing your experiences and wealth of Fx knowledge , it is invaluable for me as a student.

  80. felipe

    thanks Buddy!

  81. Wes

    Yea man! If I may add… Once you can get to where you “expect” losses and you’re ok with it, you’ve just about won the battle. Of course I should say that also depends on ‘how you trade’. If you trade some kind of 1:1 ratio, I sure wouldn’t want too many losses!!! (o:

  82. Stuart

    Great article Nial, those sure are the cold hard facts about forex! Unfortunately I had to learn a few of these lessons the hard way but better late than never.

  83. Syco

    I read the 1st one and breathed a sigh of relief…i have a chance:-)

  84. Ramli M.S

    Thanks Nial.

    I already follow your footstep and gain the result.

    I encourage everyone follow suit and have full confident on Nial methodology trade.



  85. Peter Miller

    Great article as usual Nial.
    With all of this great information which is like no other that i have ever seen from a forex teaching/mentor, you should consider writing a book , it would sell like hot cakes!
    You deserve every bit of success.
    Thank you Peter Miller

  86. xback

    yup…that’s true…

  87. SkyObad

    Thank you Nial for the great work. i read all your work and so much appreciate. I would like to master the pin bars and moving average.

    Thanks again for the great work and keep it up pliz

  88. Moamen

    Excellent article Nial, Thanks

  89. eugene

    All thanks to you Nial for all your great lessons , my trading ability has really changed since the very day i started following your lessons . But I have a question and it that outside the pin bars are there other candle formations one can also look up to for a profitable trade ? Please I really need your help

  90. Farrakh Gilani

    Hi Nial,

    You are 100% right, i wish i had found about you earlier. I made all the mistake mentioned in this article, but since i have found your web site and become member my trading habits are changed and i am continously improving on daily basis. I have learned a lot about your trading starategies from your normal website but after getting your course and becoming member,i solved the missing link. There were lot of great artiles about your strategies and you explained them in a fantastic way. Now i write my daily report NY close time and then i check your daily commentry in member area and i am proud to say that i am becoming very good, and that is all thanks to your articles (About strategies). But the articles like this are worth much more because these deals with the mental and emotional side of the trading and with out conquering this side of the trading you can not become a successful trader. I lost lot of money before due to emotional and mental strength but now thanks to your articles i am improving on daily basis. God bless you Nial giving new traders like myself a clear picture and helping them to develop both technically and emotionally. Great article and have a great day.

  91. Angela

    Dear Nial,

    A very well presented summation of the challenges to achieve success in trading. I am just starting to achieve success after 4 years of study and “finding my way” with a price action based strategy. I can personally validate every point of your discussion from my own personal experience.