(My Secret Trading Weapon) – The Most Important Ingredient to Trading Success
Today I want to share with you one of my ‘secret trading weapons’. This is something very real and practical … Something that, if applied, can make a positive change in both your trading results and your personal life. There is one thing that I consider to be my ‘secret weapon’ for trading the markets successfully. It is something that all of us have the ability to develop and employ in the markets, it does not cost any money and it’s the single most important ingredient to trading success…
What am I talking about here? Well, in all areas of life there is something that separates winners from losers, achievers from underachievers, and those that reach their goals from those that don’t. The ability to plan ahead and not let emotional decision-making rule your life is something that allows people to excel in their personal relationships and in their professional lives. One of the most important and prevalent defining characteristics of people who achieve success in their lives is that they have patience. Patience is perhaps the MOST important habit that a Forex trader can develop.
It is the patience to sit on your hands and wait for only the best trade setups that separates the winning traders from the losing traders. Patience is the defining characteristic of what sets humans apart from all other species in the world. When we employ patience we are using the most advanced frontal-lobe area of our brains that is responsible for planning and forward-thinking, and when we employ emotion we are using the older and more primitive limbic system area of the brain which evolved for use in fight or flight situations. So, which trader will you be; a patient trader who uses the more highly evolved areas of their brain, or an emotional trader who essentially trades like a monkey?
Patient Forex traders make money faster than impatient traders
Want to make money as fast as possible in the markets? Stupid question? Maybe. But, most traders do the exact opposite of what they should do to make money in the markets. The problem is that most traders trade with little or no patience because they want to make money now and have a skewed concept of what ‘making money fast’ actually means. They do not think about 1 year from now or 2 years from now. What good are you doing if you trade now with little or no patience and as a result your trading account value increases and decreases like a roller coaster of emotion only to end up negative at year’s end?
What you need to do is think about trading as a year-long process. Think about how you can build your trading account over the course of a year, not over the course of one day or one week. By slowing down and realizing that you need to have patience to trade only the most obvious setups and thus to not over-trade, you will inevitably build your account faster than if you enter numerous trades each day in a futile attempt to ‘force’ the market to make you money. You see, the market does not care about you, so you have to care about it by taking what it gives you and waiting until it shows you its cards by forming an obvious price action trading setup. If you can do this consistently for one year I promise you that your trading account will be larger than if you trade every day and over-analyze the markets for hours all day and night.
Allow your trading edge to work in your favor by employing patience
Having patience to let your trades play out in order to see the true probability of your trading edge is something most traders don’t do because they voluntarily lower the probability of their trading edge by meddling with their trades too much. Let me explain that in simpler terms…
Do you move your stop losses and targets around multiple times after entering a trade? Do you get stopped out at breakeven all the time only to see the trade take off in your favor? If you are doing these things you are likely trying to control the market and by doing so you are voluntarily decreasing the probability of your trading edge.
This is a concept that is a little difficult to grasp because most traders feel the need to move to breakeven or manually close out a trade that is moving against them instead of letting the market run its course. But, think about this, if you simply set and forget all your trades and let the market play out by either hitting your stop loss or your target, you are allowing your trading edge to work and after a large enough samples of trades you will see your trading edge pay off. Most traders take smaller profits than what they had pre-determined before entering, or they make the huge mistake of moving their stop loss further from entry and taking a larger loss than they had pre-determined. (Note: there are times when moving your stop or target is warranted, see my article on Forex trade management for more)
All of these mistakes are born out of a lack of patience, and until you understand that you do not need to meddle with your trades after they are live, you are going to lower the probability of your trading edge. Consider this; if you save yourself 2 losses by moving to breakeven and then you decide to move the next two trades to breakeven after getting up a small profit, but then these two trades also got stopped at breakeven when they would have been winners, you have just lowered the probability of your trading edge…even if you would have taken the 2 losses. Look here:
Risk = $100, Reward = $200
2 potential losing trades stopped at breakeven = $0
2 potential winning trades stopped at breakeven = $0
2 losing trades = -$200
2 winning trades = $400
Net profit of just ‘setting and forgetting’ and letting the market play-out by having patience to not meddle in your trades = $200
Now, this is a small example, but it shows you why moving your stops around and getting out at breakeven all the time or even manually closing your trades for small losses or gains BEFORE they hit your pre-determined stop loss or target can and will lower the overall probability of your trading edge and will thus cause you to have a very difficult time making money. The underlying point here is that you need to always make sure your actions in the market are in-line with the FACT that you never know for sure what is going to happen. By pre-defining your entry and exits and letting the market then play-out you are trading in-line with the fact that you do not know what will happen. But, when you move your stops and targets all around after the trade is live you are ignoring the fact that you do not know what will happen and you are acting as if your actions in the market will somehow cause the market to do what you want it to. Here’s the point: master your Forex trading strategy, develop a trading plan, then trade your plan and let the market do the work.
Patient traders know exactly what they are looking for in the markets
If you know exactly what your trading edge looks like and how to trade it there is no reason to not be a patient trader. In fact, by thoroughly mastering an effective trading edge like price action trading, you will find that you naturally increase your patience in the markets because you will know what constitutes a high-probability trade setup and what does not. Some traders decide to trade with no patience and thus gamble all their money away, other traders become skilled trading ‘snipers’ and perfect their trading strategy and trade the markets with a high-probability trading edge that is realized through the consistent application of patience. Remember, this is only possible if you are totally clear on exactly what your Forex trading edge looks like and how to trade it. For more on trading like a sniper check out my trade forex like a sniper not a machine gunner article.
Patience is critical before, during, and after a trade
We have talked about having patience while your trade is live and briefly about having the patience to pre-define your entries and exits. We have not talked about patience after a trade however, and it is at this time that you really need a lot of patience. Most traders feel some level of emotion after a winning or losing trade, the emotions are different of course, but no matter how much money you put on the line you probably feel either euphoria or disappointment, depending on whether you won or lost on the trade.
It is at this time, directly after a trade closes out, that you really need to step back and separate yourself from the market. You need to have the patience to not jump right back into the market on the emotion you are most likely feeling after a winning or losing trade. This is something you can write into your Forex trading plan. At the very end of your trading plan you can include a line that says something like “I will close down my trading platform and remove myself from the markets for 12 to 24 hours after any trade closes out”, or something similar. This will help to make this a habit and will work to reduce the amount of emotion-based trades you make.
Learn to enjoy and embrace being a patient trader
Sitting on the sidelines is a profitable position….by having patience and not trading, you are further ahead than you would be had you traded and lost…never be in a rush to trade because the market will always be there tomorrow…when in doubt stay out because it is a much more lucrative position to be in than to lose money.
Learn to enjoy and embrace the patience that is necessary to trade successfully. Once you begin to think of patience as the ‘most important ingredient’ to trading success, and actually understand how and why being a patient trader can actually make you money faster, you will have no problem waiting for the best trade setups, because you will feel like you are actually making money by not trading, which technically you are if it means you are avoiding low-probability / losing trades. So, you need to ‘trick’ your brain into believing that patience is how you make money…not trading a lot, because as humans we are naturally wired to want to trade a lot, thus you need to use your frontal lobe / planning part of your brain to allow logic and common sense to develop the positive habit of patience into your wiring, then it will become second nature and your trading will be relaxed and profitable. To learn how to trade simple yet effective price action strategies off the higher time frames that will allow you to relax and develop a patient trading mindset, check out my Forex trading course and members’ community here.
79 Comments Leave a Comment
THANKS NIAL,PATIENCE IS LIFE ITSELF,WITHOUT IT YOU CANT LIVE A REWARDING LIFE
very nice and useful article, thanks nial,,,nowadays, i practiced very patient in the market, and achieving what i expected,so happy
Wonderful trading ingredient, also useful nuggets for real life situations
where can i get this patience,and how much does it cost.Is this patience system really works.
Nice food for thought! keep it up
Thank you very much Nial for your advice and education; all your articles are very helpfull, and also inspirational, I have improved a lot following them and I am very happy beeing member of LTTTM.
Thanks Nial, your articles have been very helpful.
Yes!The secret indeed=]
It’s really hard Nial to do it, however I’ll endeavor to practice it for the sake of successful trader.
Usually I am a short tempered guy with hypertension. After reading this article, I am now trying to have patience in trading as well as in real life also.
I practice patience while waiting in the doctor’s clinic, during power cuts, waiting for bus etc. My wife wonders how I suddenly became like this?
I will improve my patience level. Thanks Nial..
Hai Nial ,I find myself a trader having no patience at all after a winning trade and enter successive trades and miserably become a loser.I have to train my brain a lot.I doubt myself addicted to trading. Thanks a lot
Great article. Great advice. Thanks Nial
Very true but hard to apply
personally.this is my best article..Thankss sir Nial..for this timely article..
yea, patience is the key. A proverb in a Nigeria language says patience has its reward…
I must give 5 ★★★★★
top note: but no matter how much money you put on the line you probably feel either euphoria or disappointment, depending on whether you won or lost on the trade.
It is at this time, directly after a trade closes out, that you really need to step back and separate yourself from the market.
Nice article. Patience…. is the key. Not everybody has this kind of attitude. Thant’s why most of traders lost their money fast.. :)
Great article!! Thank you so much!!!
EASIER SAID THAN DONE. I was very impatient when i began trading. Over time, sim trading everything, journaling what works and what does’nt forgiving myself over and over, gave me the experience and confidence to wait for my sets @ support or res. levels only. My trading excelled, my discretion and intuition improved,I became more comfortable with uncertainty around my market reads. I work on my patience more than anything when i interact with the market!
I have read allot of your articles over the years Nial but
I must say what you have said in this article is the key to the lock of success!!
This article over all other articles that Nial has written has to be taken on board, If not then you are fighting a losing battle I’m afraid!!
Many thanks Nial for such a well written article.
I’ve been reading all your articles and all your videos, and I gotta say, you really know what you’re talking about. Everyone on the web advertises “600% gain in just 3 months automatic trading software” and if you don’t win 600%, then it’s because you didn’t follow the program and it’s bogus, because if it really does, then they would bet all their money. I’m slowly (no pun intended) learning to be patient and realizing the power of waiting for a the good setups… shoot like a sniper, not a machine gun!!!
Thank you Nial!
I consider not having patients the third nail in the coffin for most traders, the other two would be Greed and Fear.
Simple… very simple concepts but so valuable as usual !!! I wish I’d knew about you and your valuable advice sooner…
Thank you very much for sharing with us.
patience….. You are absolutely right…
Thanks once again Nial, always insightful….always on the ball. You are a true gift to the trading community.
Will the Pin Bars also work in the commodity market on one hour time frames. I am considering poneying up for your FX course. AK a yan
The strongest warriors are these two… time and patience. thanks Nail
Hope you are well. Thank you very much for this fantastic lesson. You are so right that patience really is the key to trading success.
Thank you for all your help
Thanks and Regards
Thank you Nial, I am a money manager and i have registered good performance since i started trading higher time frames and applying set & forget rule. My clients are happy and i also have enought time to do other work.
Patience is vital in any endeavour. Waiting for the edge you have to show is the only way to be successful in any area
of life. No patience = little to no success long term. Great
I have been Trading for 3 years now. I have dedicated a large amount of time learning and mastering my trading approach. Nial provides very good articles for traders to build the “right” tools to succeed. The trading strategy is important however the greatest challenge is not on the charts, its in your mind. the ability to control yourself with patience and become emotionless is the hard part. Keep up the fantastic work Nial.
Thank you Nail, I start to learn to be a patient trader.And let patience to be in everything of my life.
thanks for todays message God will continue to enrich you amen
Patience certainly is as close to a trading silver bullet as we can get. Been price action trading for only 2 months and already ‘saved’ a lot through waiting – and hence made profits. Odd but absolutely true. Patience IS the most important ingredient to trading success. Especially gratifying to identify this when reviewing trades and those non-trades.
Thanks for a very good article Nial.
I wish to be like u in the near future n learning to be
patience every now n then.
Excellent article n thnk u.
Thank you Nial!
Patient plus planning equal consistently successful trader.
I added patience to my trading plan after reading this excellent artical. I agree it is vital to success in trading. Thanks Nail.
Patience,Patience,Patience.Wise words Nial!Thanks for this article.Great read on a Saturday morning to get the day started.
Hi Nial, patience is the key…thank you for making us realize this important “RULE”!!!
Once again…thank you Nial…!!!
Thank You very much Nial…you always make me feel better in my trade.
Thank you Nial, another great insight, kudos for giving us so much from your wealth of knowledge.
This article is timely for me,I need to apply it now!!!.
thanks again and God bless.
Great Article.Thank you
Patience and staying out of the market as an active position are golden rules for me now on the daily and 4hr. I can set and forget all day now confident the trade will play out properly. Thanks so much Nial!! Excellent article!!
Your timing is impeccable! Coming off of a horrendous trading week, I feel like the market was out to get me! I was making dreadful mistakes all week, and that was complicating the process because emotions started to creep in, and I found myself losing patience, taking trades on a whim, which made the trading experience very unpleasant. I am a firm believer in price action strategies, and I want to say that after this week’s experience, I am leaning towards learning how to implement those strategies using the higher timeframes. Cheers to you, my friend… Your article couldn’t have come at a better time… It is much appreciated!
you hit the nail on the head with this article patience is a commodity that most people lack, i am trying very hard to remain patient while trading its tough but rewarding.
I had a winning trade today, gbp/usd. I had my stop set and my profit target set and it started to look good going perfect and I was three quarters towards my target when it turned around fast this is where people start to panic but if you have the patience to not mess your trade up and let it run.My trade kept going against me past break even and then into negative territory then reversing again and reaching my target!I have found it best to trade of the daily or even weekly setups looking for a setup that jumps out at you,all you need is 4 trades a month and you will find you make more money than trying to trade all day and making more mistakes
wait till you see good setup PATIENCE!
I totally agree with this article, patience is the key to success. Thanks for the reminder Niall
It’s been the bane of my trading woes inpatience,…but with such articles ,…am getting better and being more patient with the market..Tanks Niall for your priceless insights
You are a truly good mentor.
Thanks for all your help and priceless insights.
I am happy that am a member of LTTTM
It is my best investment
I wish you all best in life
Well said! Patience is a strong biblical principal to be followed daily
as always another great post
and the best of any found on the net
dont know how you find time?!
…all things come to those who wait. Thanks for another great article.
thank you for your great work and dedication!
Thanks for your invaluable advice Nial.
In fact once one is able to add “patience” to one’s Forex Trading Arsenal, invariably one is able to add it to any other area in life!
For example if you are looking for a life partner, a business opportunity, a job or indeed for success in any discipline, patience is one of the “must have ” ingredient!
A big thank you again Nial!
Thanks Nail. i was just guilty of impatience today, though i didnt lose.
I will work on this
thanks a lot
This is an highly inspiring write-up.I will so much benefit from it.A big thank to you Nial
I have had a few hard knocks but am finally learning the patience thing. Last week I did only one trade and this week also one. I didn’t meddle and they took profit. It is exciting to finally see my account slowly increase. I am looking forward to becoming a professional trader with your help Nial. Thanks
patience really hard but worthwhile. thanks nial this is just at the right time
This article has taught me a lot like your previous one’s.
Thanks a lot Nial.
to see beyond our nose we must have patient. Thanks for this great advice.
Thanks Nial, great article and goes to the core of one of the most important aspects of trading.
Your time and expertise in sharing your skill in trading is greatly appreciated.
I think dis is my the best article from you so far. Thanks so much.
I don’t think patience is exclusive to humans. Look at the way big cats stalk their prey or the way certain predators wait at the bottom of the ocean, perfectly still waiting for prey.
Patience is utmost in our life to success.
I highly appreciate you for this wonderfully article .It’ll really aid me becoming the successful trader i desire.Thanks
Thanks for your time and your great lessons
Nial – great article as usaul!
Thanks Mate.. Always a pleasure to read your articals. Thanks for all your help and priceless insights.
My trade got better when I
realised that if am patient
enough, the market will
give me my setup to trade.
Opportunities will keep
coming if u wait enough.
Thank u Nial
I like this post, there is golden truth here.
Thanks for sharing.
Another excelent article, Nial!
You are a truly good menthor. Thank you very much!!!
I use a quote that I have heard as my Mantra in Trading and have never forgotten and geld to my personality, and is : “The patient cat on the block, is ALWAYS the fattest cat on the block!”
Magic Nial, you read into my mind, that’s what I was just thinking this week while not trading and just waiting an obvious setups to get. Same thing for preplan everything, set the position and just let the market do the job without interfere, because lose a win is worse than take a loss. Thank you for the beautiful article.
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