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Nial Fuller

NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

How to Trade Successfully with a Small Trading Account

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By in Forex Trading Articles by Nial Fuller Last updated on | 42 Comments

imagining-success-as-a-traderYou may feel as if you’re at a disadvantage starting your trading career with a relatively small trading account. But, as we will discuss in today’s lesson, that feeling is simply an illusion that stems from focusing on the wrong things.

One of the biggest challenges that most of you face as you trade is thinking that if you ‘only had more money’ you would somehow become a profitable trader faster. If you measure you profitability over one or two weeks, sure you may get lucky on a big account and make a good chunk of change real quick, but if you give it all back right after that, what does it matter? Profitability should be measured over a much longer period of time; at least six months to one year.

The point is this; if you don’t know how to trade profitably on small account, you won’t trade profitably on a big account either. Simply having more money to trade with does not mean you will become a successful trader faster. In fact, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can mean just the opposite; that you can lose MORE money faster than if you had a small account.

You should read the rest of this article because it will help you…

I know exactly how you feel, I’ve been right where you are myself. You feel like you take one step forward and two steps back with your trading. You feel like ‘if only I had more money I could just make a bunch of money real quick in the market and quit my job’.

Sadly, my friend, it doesn’t work that way…

Do you think if you gave a $100,000 trading account to someone with absolutely no trading experience, they would do well with it? I’m sure you’ll agree they would probably not do well, at least not over a period of six months. In fact, they’d probably be down to 50k or less within a few months.

So, why do you believe that if you ‘just had more money’ it would dramatically improve your trading results? Not that you have ‘absolutely no trading experience’, but it’s safe to say if you’re reading this article, you probably are looking for some help for one reason or another and you haven’t quite become a master of your trading strategy yet. So, the problem is not money, the problem lies within you, and until you fix it, you will continue to experience disappointment and loss in the market.

You should actually consider yourself lucky if you don’t have a large trading account right now, because it’s better to learn and make mistakes on a small account than on a big one where there’s potential for greater financial and emotional loss / stress.

Change your mindset

The first thing you need to do is adjust your mindset from one of ‘I want to make a lot of money trading’ to one of ‘HOW can I make a lot of money trading?’ Once you do this, you will experience a change in what you are focusing on…

Think about this…how WOULD you think IF YOU DID have a big trading account? Well, you would not be thinking ‘if only I had a big trading account’…because you have it, so you would instead be focused on learning to trade properly and developing a successful trading strategy and plan.

Thus, you NEED to think ‘as if’ you have a big trading account already, because if you don’t trade ‘as if’ you will never make money. Instead, you will be constantly forcing the issue by risking too much and over-trading, since you believe so deeply that ‘money’ is the issue.

Your trading mindset NEEDS to make a switch from ‘money’ to ‘the process’. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you want to become a successful trader you have to focus on the process of trading, not on the money.

So, if you have a small trading account…

Here’s where the ‘rubber meets the road’, so to speak…

If you are going to trade as if you’re a millionaire, THEN you’re going to have to accept some realities of the situation…

Those are,

  • You will be trading small position sizes on a small account, that is if you want to manage risk properly, and trust me, you do want to do that, you NEED to do that to not only build your account up but to stick around long enough to learn proper trading skills.
  • Money cannot motivate you at this point. Instead, be motivated by learning proper trading processes and habits, i.e., staying disciplined and patient / following your trading strategy to the T.
  • You cannot think about ‘recovering’ your losses…that’s the wrong mindset and it will only lead to more losses.

Why it’s ‘so hard’ to build a small account

As I mentioned earlier…you probably feel like you take one step forward and two steps back sometimes with your trading. On a small account this can be maddening because you feel like you’re never going to build it up.

Well, you need to also focus on holding onto profits. Don’t give back your winnings on the very next trade because you over-traded and were greedy. Imagine you are trading a 100,000 account…let’s say you made 10 grand on a trade…how would you feel if you immediately gave that much money back? Well, if you are giving back $100 winners on small account, you would be giving back $10,000 winners on a big account. You need to get all of these issues fixed before you trade bigger amounts of money. So, once again, be glad you don’t have a big account yet and focus on the process and on becoming a good trader.

Conclusion

Trading a small account is not a disadvantage, especially if you’re relatively new to trading and you aren’t yet a consistent trader. How big your trading account is plays no importance in your overall trading performance or trading skill. Sure, if you have a bigger account you can trade larger position sizes and potentially make more money, but if you don’t know HOW TO TRADE, all the money in the world won’t do any good.

So, learn how to trade first, focus on the method and enjoy the journey. Stop worrying about ‘making money fast’ or ‘getting rich and quitting your job’, because the less you focus on those things the more likely they are to happen.

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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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