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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

How Long Does it Take to Become a Profitable Trader?

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By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on December 30th, 2016 | 46 Comments

timetoprofitabletradingOne of the most common questions that I receive on the email support line from beginning traders is “How long does it take to become a profitable trader?” Whilst this is a very normal and obvious question to ask at the beginning stages of your trading career, from the view of an experienced trader it reflects the need for more knowledge and training.

As with most things in life, if you become overly fixated on the destination (profitable trading) and forget about the journey, you will lose sight of what matters and of how you actually attain what you are aiming for. Thus, the question of “How long does it take to become profitable?” is actually the wrong question to ask, here are the right questions you should be asking right now and the answers to them…

The right questions to ask….

What does a trader need to do to become profitable?

The first and most important question you should be asking is “What does a trader need to DO to become profitable?”. This is a far more important and practical question to ask than the question in the title of this article.

The reason it’s so important is because you cannot become profitable or worry about “How long…” until you first figure out HOW to become a profitable trader. If you don’t know how to trade the market properly, you of course will never make money trading it. Therefore, what you need to do to become profitable is first learn how to trade properly.

I have a number of articles that get into the topic of learning how to trade properly so please follow the following links to get more information on the answer to this all-important question…

Get Started Learning How to Trade

How to Be in the 10% of Successful Traders

Master One Trading Strategy at a Time

What does it take to become a profitable trader?

The next question you should be asking is “What does it take to become a profitable trader?” This question deals more with the mental / psychological aspects of trading and how to master them. Trading is an intensely solitary and psychology endeavor and if you don’t have the proper trading mindset you will never stand a chance at becoming a profitable trader.

The truth is, not everyone has what it takes to be a trader. In other words, trading isn’t for everyone and before you really start putting money into it, you need to decide if you think you’re a good fit. You need to honestly answer questions like, are you ready to remain disciplined in the face of constant temptation? Are you ready to be patient when you REALLY don’t want to be? Are you read to accept the reality of the market, which is that the market does not care about you or your desires?

Check out this article that asks Do you have what it takes to be a trader?

So, how long DOES it take?

I can hear your thoughts almost, you’re still thinking “OK, Nial, that’s all well and good, but I still want to know how long it will take to become a profitable trader.” Fair enough. I will give you the best and most accurate answer to that question I can. The answer is, there is no definitive answer because each person’s ability is unique.

I know that may not be what you want to hear or what attracted you to start reading this article, but it’s the honest truth and anyone telling you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or is trying to scam you.

So, how long it takes YOU to become a profitable trader depends entirely on, well, YOU. Some people will just have an easier time understanding and applying the trading concepts that I teach in my price action trading course than others. It is true that some people are born with a brain that is better wired for trading and all the pitfalls it comes with than others. That doesn’t mean that you can’t become a profitable trader if you aren’t naturally talented at trading, it just means you may require more study and more time than other traders perhaps.

Here are my final words of wisdom on this topic as I sign off from this trading lesson…

Greed will get you ‘slaughtered’ in the market because it means you will be trading like a pig instead of a bull or bear. Remember, bulls make money, bears make money but pigs get slaughtered; it’s on old Wall Street saying that’s been around for centuries but it is still very true and worth repeating to yourself each day as you analyze and trade the markets.

The mindset that you induce when you ask and worry about “How long until I become a profitable trader?” is a very limiting one and one that hurts your ability to grow and succeed at trading. This question of how long until you become profitable really boils down to one thing, greed. When you’re overly focused on “when will I become profitable?” (essentially being greedy), it causes you to commit trading mistakes like trading too frequently and risking more than you should per trade. These mistakes actually cause you to LOSE money and put you much further away from your goal of becoming profitable. So, you see, focusing on the destination of “being a profitable trader” will actually cause you to become a losing trader, whereas focusing on the journey of learning how to trade properly is actually HOW you become a profitable trader. How long it takes should become irrelevant to you.



Good trading, Nial Fuller

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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.
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  1. Matt July 1, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    The number one thing Nial has said here and something that you must 100% listen to, adhere to, is that if you want to see profits.. you must have patience.
    Before you take any of Nials other expert advice and tuition you must learn to be patient.
    Nothing ever happens quickly, and yes while there is lots of opportunity to make profit, you must be patient.
    A new house takes 3 months minimum, a university degree takes 4 years.. the point being the end goal needs patience..
    The best analogy I can say is that 4x is like leaening a new language. You need to learn the basics before a sentence.. a sentence before a conversation.. a conversation before writing a paragraph..
    You WILL make mistakes in 4x, you WILL lose some trades, but if you follow the golden rules, ..Positivity Patience and Persistence, …if you listen and learn all Nial has to teach, then go over it again and again.. then you will see profits..
    Another bit of advice for new traders.. after your first successful trade, no matter if its 2pips or 200pips, then walk away from the market for 3days, or however long it takes for you to not be excited by the success of that trade because as Nial also teaches, you will most likely give all those profits back if you rush in on a high looking for the next trade..

  2. Dan July 1, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    After 13 months unsuccessfully trading forex I finally landed at yourself. And thanks to you. Things are already rapidly turning around. Have a fantastic weekend and thankyou for everything. Your course. Your rapid email response. Your daily feed everything. Extremely valuable

  3. kittipong May 3, 2017 at 12:48 am

    thank you . brother

  4. Jan Pretorius February 10, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I was referred to you yesterday by Haroon Kola and although l have just began looking into all the products , etc you are offering , I am as a beginner with very little knowledge already very impressed and exited . I can’t wait to begin , but I understand that there is a road first to be walk . Thank You .

  5. jayadipa February 5, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    thank you for insight…hope to learn from you more…
    jayadipa dot top

  6. KRISTOFA OKENTA January 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for always being “Truthful” with trading lessons to your followers.

  7. Shaher Rawashdeh January 8, 2017 at 6:52 am

    it really comes down to having a consistent trading strategy and being really patient… if you stick to a strategy and repeat daily that should get you used to trading for years…

  8. Brandon January 5, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I agree that you have to love and enjoy the process, because once a trader becomes profitable they will have to stay profitable. It is one thing to get a few lucky trades, but to be able to do it year in and year out, a trader will need to always be refining their skills.

  9. Glenn January 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Verg good Nial. I personally have been involved in this forex trading on and off for more than 8 years. Thanks to you I am finally beginning to understand a little fx trading. I do have your course and I am sold on price action trading.

  10. Elijah January 3, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Complete and to the point. Well done Nial.

  11. Gustav Chuene January 3, 2017 at 12:42 am

    I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat, you are the “holy grail” in forex trading. I have followed and read your articles religiously and every time I learn so much. I agree that a lot of us concern ourselves too much with the destination and not the journey.

    Thanks Nial

  12. A follower January 2, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I think it is also the time investment of the aspiring wannabe trader and lonely time spent to backtest strategies and find great filter rules to make sure that edge is present and execute with confidence. Understanding the math behind.

    With your PA lessons I am optimistic to get a nice step forward this year. Thank you so much.

  13. Itumeleng January 2, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Mr Nail,thats the good questions,if i had to know about trading,thanks

  14. Sthembiso Nzuza December 31, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Love of trading should be above all, then one will be able to develop what it takes to be a trader.

  15. Md. Munjur Ali December 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I am learning how become a profitable trader with price action setup. Now I am understanding what is inside bar trading strategy and how it trading downtrend and uptrend market and also key support and resistance level. Thank you for your free teaching/coaching/learning website

  16. yas December 31, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Nice article Nial, it’s so true although I am still learning on it

  17. Abdul December 31, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Great and inspiring as usual.
    Trading is like growing an apple tree.
    You have to be patient and disciplend before getting the fruit.

    Discipline is key to success in trading

  18. Catherine December 31, 2016 at 11:28 am

    So true, again an excellent well teaching articles.

  19. Keith Clifford sproson December 31, 2016 at 10:58 am

    So true , one must learn to play the game before one can become a successful player. Gaining the correct skill is paramount

  20. Mike Coe December 31, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Wise words, as always. I feel I am beginning to grow into your philosophy – and it feels good; highly liberating, in fact. Thanks for everything you do. Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year!

  21. Aigars December 31, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Hi Nial you a right.

    Im in trading now little less than a year. From my experience i didn’t start with demo. Demo you can play if you don know anything.
    But to become profitable evolves a lot of study how to reed and analyze market and more you reed and practicing more faster you start to see profits.
    Simple like in any job first you have to learn how to…..

    All the best and Very Profitable New Year !

  22. Claudio December 31, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Nice words Nail!

  23. Abdul Hameed Butt December 31, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Really nice explaination and delivering knowledge for improving trading skill. really you deserve for thanks

  24. Thabo December 31, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Thanks Njal. I think I as newbie you should be worried about ‘ how long it takes to understand the trading techniques and understand the game’.

    Thanks once more

  25. Martin Aboagye December 31, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Your response was fantastic

  26. benny December 31, 2016 at 5:13 am

    Every word is correct. Thank you nial for the guidness and good view all this years. Benny from israel.

  27. Ali December 31, 2016 at 5:12 am

    This article is deeply instructive. Thank You Nial.

  28. Simon December 31, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Exactly. Anyone asking this has long way ahead of him. But 5 plus years might be good guess if you willing to stay and learn.

  29. Leslie Hoskins December 31, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Thanks Niall, it has taken me a long time to reach this initial step and I am enthused by learning to trade rather than worrying about ‘how much’ all the time!

  30. Awokose Yandex December 31, 2016 at 2:36 am

    Mr. Fuller wishing you an amazing and prosperous new years. Your articles on price action along with the references to the readings of the late Mark Douglas and other great traders has evolved my psychological approach and trading strategies into that of a patient professional trader. You are my Jedi Master of the trading force :)


  31. chydo December 31, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Good good

  32. chydo December 31, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Educative articles as always

  33. David December 30, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    When I first saw this article’s title in my email, my answer was “no one knows”. This is because no one has the ability to tell the future. Therefore, we can’t tell how many times we will trade in a specific period (day, week month etc) for we neither know how many times our trading edge will appear nor which trades will succeed or fail (probability). Thanks Nial for your articles. There are really up-building.

  34. John French December 30, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    You are correct Nial… the biggest obstacle for everybody is to get out of our own way.

  35. diego December 30, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Nial I am really thankful for the work that you are doing, i wanna ask one thing when is the right time to exit a trade. Thanks

  36. Mohammad Haghshenas December 30, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    Merry Christmas Nial,
    I’m looking for your wisdom and your experience.

    Mohammad Haghshenas

  37. nader naiem December 30, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    perfect, as i become worried about this question. now I know what I have to do

  38. faris December 30, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Useful article. Thanks

  39. Pier Felice December 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks Nial for this and all the previous articles.
    Due to your love for teaching I’ve learnt lot about trading psychology and by the next two weeks I’ll trade with real money. I’m sure 2017 will be a profitable year.
    I wish you and the staff a full of happyness new year.
    Pier Felice

  40. DAVID SABA December 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    First time reading and i am ready for more of these real talks..

  41. Adrian December 30, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    3 years I follow you Nial, and a lot of which I can be of what you are teaching, and gradually frequent transactions with a market has made me understand more about what is taught

    thank, Nial

  42. captain Kleen December 30, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    a truly motivating article – I believe you must ask yourself am i teachable, have i motivating factors then if you Love the process the outcome will look after itself. Happy new year Nial to you and all on the journey.

  43. Kate M December 30, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    This is a great article. I must be learning because I wasnt disappointed with your answer!!!:)
    Thank you for all the articles. They often seem to come at the best time to read them;)

  44. Marco December 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    So true… I think trading would be more easy if money were not involved on it. Traders must love to study the process of trading and the analysis of charts. Just when the love for the process overcome the love for money… then you will be in the profitable way.

  45. Md. Emranul Hossain Parvej December 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Excellent Nial. Carry on …….Always waiting for your learn-able article.

    Imran Parvej

  46. Buchi December 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Lovely write up.good psychologIical view to trading


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