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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

How to Become a Full-Time Forex Trader

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By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on | 9 Comments

fulltime traderBecoming a full-time or ‘professional’ Forex trader is something that almost every trader wants to achieve but that very few ever do. If you want to have a realistic chance at making a full-time living from the markets you are going to have to approach your trading with a disciplined and patient mindset, that is perhaps the single most important piece of insight I can give you. Also, you need to understand that there are no “magic-bullets” or “Holy-Grail” trading systems, despite what you have probably read  on other Forex websites.

I teach traders how to trade with simple yet high-probability Forex price action setups on this website. There are no guarantees and no promises of trading from the beach next month while making a million dollars a year. If you want honest and relevant education on how to trade the markets, then continue reading, if you are looking for a “quick-fix” then I suggest you leave now.

Here are some of the critical steps you’ll need to take if you want to make your living trading the markets:

1) Be realistic and honest with yourself

The first thing you need to do if you want to make a full-time living trading the markets is to simply be realistic and honest with yourself about what is possible at the current moment given the size of your trading account.

For instance, if you’ve got a $2,000 trading account, you’ll have to set your sights a little below ‘full-time trading’ right now, and just aim to supplement your income each month via your trading. You have to learn as soon as possible that you can’t ever risk more than you are comfortable with losing per trade, and if your trading account is relatively small you have to expect to trade smaller position sizes to accomplish this. A small account means trading small position sizes to properly manage risk, at least until you’ve built your account up over time. So, the first step to full-time Forex trading is to simply sit down and say “OK, I have this much money in my account, realistically I am emotionally OK with losing this much of my account per trade, so this is what my position size will be”, then you have a starting point.

You can’t worry about getting rich quick or fret over making less money than you want. Focus on being a good trader whilst your account is small and I promise you the money will follow later. Traders who put too much emphasis on the money in the beginning of their career are the ones who end up losing and quitting.

2) Make sure you know the basics of Forex

This step is sort of a no-brainer, but I’m always surprised at how many traders email me saying they’ve lost a bunch of money and based on the comments in their email it’s apparent they don’t even have a basic education on Forex or Forex trading. So, make sure you understand what the Forex market is, why it exists, and basic trading styles BEFORE you start trading with real money, you can take my free forex beginners course here.

3) Master an effective Forex trading strategy

Bruce-LeeYou only need to master one trading setup to be a consistently profitable trader. Screen time will allow you to master one setup. After you have mastered one setup and “own it” you can add another setup. This can be an ongoing process developing your own style.

The best price action setup to begin with is the one that you see and understand easiest. If you are forcing yourself to learn a setup because you believe another person is successful using it you may be taking the longer route to profitability. We are all different. Our brains and personalities will gravitate to different setups. This is also true of exit techniques. Most traders I hear from lengthen their road to profitability by trying to apply too many concepts before owning the first one. They have studied a myriad of techniques but have yet to master any. This allows them to talk about trading but they are unable to consistently trade profitably.

The first decision to make is; do you desire to be a counter-trend trader or a trader who trades with the trend? Eventually, you can be both. At the beginning, or at a new beginning perhaps, you will do best by choosing to master trading one setup with the trend. If you have been at this game for awhile and are not yet consistently profitable you know what I am saying is correct.

This site contains trading techniques and setups with the intent that it will aid you in creating your own personal trading style. My personal trading style is a combination of various styles and setups. I trust this website will be an exercise in my personal understanding of my own style allowing all to benefit. So, learn what I teach here and then “make it your own”, every trader will trade price action a little bit differently, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you keep it simple and remain disciplined.

4) Make a Forex trading plan (and use it)

Next, you need to solidify your mastery of your trading strategy by creating a Forex trading plan around it. If you learn from me you are going to learn my price action strategies, thus you’ll need to build a price action Forex trading plan before you start trading the markets. It’s really not that difficult to make an effective forex trading plan, click on that link to the left to learn more.

A trading plan is a critical element to becoming a full-time Forex trader because it acts as a guide for you to follow and as a constant reminder of how to trade your strategy. This helps you to stay focused and disciplined and helps you to avoid over-trading, over-leveraging your account or generally trading emotionally. Emotional trading is the reason why most traders lose money in the markets, and by creating and using a Forex trading plan you can give yourself  a much better chance at avoiding turning into an emotional trader.

5) Make a Forex trading journal (and use it)

You also need a Forex trading journal so that you can track your trades and see your trading performance over time. The reason I said “and use it” in these last two sections, is because many traders create a Forex trading plan and forex trading journal and never use them, or they use them for a day or two and then upon their first losing trade they forget about them. You’ve got to have more discipline than that, understand and accept that you aren’t going to win every trade and you’ll have a far easier time sticking with your plan and using your trading journal religiously. Don’t treat trading as a game, because it isn’t, it’s a business, and if you’re trading with real money you need to treat it like a business. Businesses have plans and they track their costs vs. their profits, you need to do the same with your trading business.

6) Demo-trade

After you have mastered an effective trading strategy and forged a trading plan around it and have your journal ready, you can start practicing your trading strategy on a demo account. Do not blow-off demo trading as something you don’t need to do, because you most definitely do need to do it. Demo trading allows you to get familiar with your broker’s platform if nothing else, and this is important because many traders make silly trading errors just because they aren’t familiar with how to input or close orders, and when trading with real money this can cost you dearly. I suggest any serious trader practice their trading strategy on a demo account until they are consistently profitable for 3 months or more before even thinking about trading with real money. It’s true that there is a difference between demo trading and live trading because there’s no emotion involved in demo trading, but if you treat your demo trading like a live account it will do a good job of preparing you for real-money trading, which can save you tons of money and time.

7) Risk Management

Managing risk should be seen as your number 1 priority if you want to become a full time forex trader, because if there’s one thing that full-time Forex traders do exceptionally well, it’s manage risk effectively. Simply put, you CANNOT become a full time or professional Forex trader if you don’t properly manage your risk. Managing risk properly means NEVER risking more than you are comfortable with losing per trade as well as never funding your account with money that you aren’t truly OK with losing.

You need to understand the power of risk reward and you need to also understand position sizing, as these two things are crucial components to correctly managing your risk in the Forex markets. Amateur and struggling Forex traders by definition do not manage their risk properly, and it’s one of the main reasons why they don’t make consistent money, not because they haven’t found the “perfect” trading system yet. No trading strategy or system will work if you don’t use it in conjunction with an effective risk management strategy.

8) Trading Psychology

Finally, the fundamental difference between beginning / struggling traders and professional / full-time traders, is that full-time traders think differently about trading. Struggling traders tend to gamble in the markets whereas professional traders view trading as more of a business and take calculated risks. It’s very easy to become over-confident after a winner or a few winning trades in a row, and it’s also very easy to become vengeful after a losing trade and want to jump back into the market to try and make back the money you just lost. However, when you have these feelings, you must understand they are not logical and they are not part of your trading plan. Indeed, it is HERE that your Forex trading plan comes into effect. After every trade you take, whether a winner or a loser, you should go and read your plan to make sure you stay focused and don’t jump back into the market for an emotional reason. Check out this cool article on developing the proper Forex trading mindset for more, and if you want to learn more about learning price action trading strategies and how to formulate them into an effective trading plan, checkout my price action Forex trading course and member’s community.

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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.
  1. Dmitriy September 16, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks a lot, Nial!
    That was a truly beautiful lesson!

    Reply
  2. Sunday September 14, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    what to know more about risk management
    if I want to risk 1$ on a pair what will be my lot size and pip value to set as a Stop loss

    Reply
  3. Zinnur June 2, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Important lesson. Thanks

    Reply
  4. Благодарность October 30, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Magnificent article

    Reply
  5. Rahmat February 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Almost every articles content and language from Nial are really giving positive effects including this one.
    So thank you Nial.

    Reply
  6. Olawa February 18, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Nial is my preferred Forex mentor anyday

    Reply
  7. DERRICK February 16, 2018 at 12:54 am

    all i can say is thank you so much

    Reply
  8. Tha Mathabzo Zulu February 15, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Thank Nial

    Reply
  9. Duncan February 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks Nial;

    This was a great post which actually helped me rephrase my thoughts after my losses.

    I am still not very profitable at this stage but every time I lose, I look back to see what I could have done better and learn to minimize my losses maybe exit at a small profit rather than a loss!!

    However; after having read this, I also now appreciate the fact that losses are a part of it as well and I feel less discouraged before taking the next trade than before. Things sometimes are easier said than done – true – but after reading these guidelines, I learn a lot and appreciate it heaps. I am learning a lot and the best part of it is that I am enjoying it.

    Thanks for spending the time to post such valuable guidance!

    Duncan

    Reply
  10. Peter Miller February 15, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Another good lesson. As they say ” life is what you make it “and that goes for trading also, think before you act and know that never one day (or life is ) is the same as the last one, so treat as Nial says each trade as a new beginning. Thanks .

    Reply
  11. rudra February 15, 2018 at 6:24 am

    good one sir

    Reply
  12. Khesiwe February 15, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Excellent article pactice makes perfect I’m going to practice every advice in this article thanks Nial

    Reply
  13. Winston Roy Longbottom February 15, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Nial, I for one admit that I was influenced by previous success and could not see the next trade through that; I was brought back to reality with some quick losses, however I puuled my thoughts together and looked at my next trade with confidence and considered every possible angle before taking it and I am now back on track. This article has since reassured me of that fact and I must disregard any previous trade before attempting the next. Your articles help keep sanity in the trading game and also leads to further success. Many Thanks. Winston

    Reply
  14. farzad February 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Every word in this article is like gold…

    Thanks AGAIN Nial.

    Reply
  15. Olamide February 14, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Thanks Nial. That’s reminds me of a trade some years ago before I quit trading. I bought EUR/USD on $0.05 lots with $20 risk and i made a profit of $183 on that trade so that winning recency bias got into my head and I felt overconfident, then i went ahead to trade $0.10 lots on my next two trades and I lost both. That’s how I gave back the profit I made from that EUR/USD to the market. Fear start to catch me then I reduce my lots to $0.01 which definitely reduced my profit that I would have make on some trade. Though I just came back to the market since two or three years ago that I quit but am still using demo account to test my trading strategies before trying to come back live. Thanks once more.

    Reply
  16. Wandera Moses February 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Nial thx for this one also. i have improved alot in trading just by reading your articles. thx alot

    Reply
  17. ampurirag February 13, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Excellent and timely. Thanks Nial.

    Reply
  18. Seiso February 13, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Typical of Nial’s mail’s. I am not in anyway surprised to find this post hitting the nail on the head as it does and so timely as well. I always find Nial’s post as informing, factual and educating like this one. Thanks to Nial, from now I am no longer going to be enslaved to my last trade’s results.

    Reply
  19. Colin February 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for the trading insight. Particularly about training our brains to behave properly.

    Reply
  20. Hettie van der Vyver February 13, 2018 at 5:12 am

    this makes sense!!

    Reply
  21. Thoko February 13, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Well I am a true novice,I have not started trading yet. If I understand well briefly you say if one is a trader one must bury the past.That is my motto
    So I feel l Iam going to do well.

    Reply
  22. Wasantha February 13, 2018 at 4:45 am

    This article explains what happened when I first started trading forex. After reading many of Nial,s writings on the subject of trading I feel that I am expanded in my knowledge and confident about my trading decisions.I really appreciate Nial,s works,

    Reply
  23. kris February 13, 2018 at 2:59 am

    i noticed today after one loosing trade that it can’t reflect, the other running trades .
    After that i checked my emails and i saw your email as first .I have read it and then it was like you would heard what i sayd before It was simmilar to :

    If you just lost, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a winner.
    If you just won, it has no bearing on the fact that your next trade might be a loser.

    thank you for your work .
    traders mindset ..

    have a nice day.

    Reply

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