Today’s Forex Lesson is “Awesome”. In fact, It’s probably one of my best trading lessons I have ever written. It took me at least 2 days of brain power and probably 20 coffees. Please pay it forward, share it with others. Enjoy.
A sniper in the military has an edge over his or her enemy; their edge is unwavering patience, mastery of their weapon, and the ability to remain consciously in control of their mind and body for long periods of time in high-stress situations. We can apply these same concepts to Forex trading…
Forex trading is very similar…you need a trading edge (weapon), you have to master this edge, you need to develop and maintain rigid self-discipline and control, and you have to execute your edge flawlessly in the face of constant temptation to over-trade and over-leverage. Now, trading is nowhere near as stressful as war, but it still requires conscious control of mind and body.
Those traders who learn to pick and choose their trades wisely, trading like a Forex “sniper”, are typically the ones who succeed long-term, whereas those traders who act like machine-gun traders by shooting at everything they see (trading too much), tend to run out of ammo (money) very quickly and fail to accomplish their goals in the market. Let’s discuss how you can learn to trade like a sniper instead of shooting at everything (taking every trade) that comes your way…
• Accept that less is more in Forex trading
One of the things that we traders can learn from a sniper in the military is that in certain situations less is indeed more. Forex trading is definitely a “situation” where less is more. However, it is very common for beginning traders to feel that more is better; more Forex indicators, more trades, more analyzing, more money on useless trading robots, etc.
What is the result of such misinformed beliefs? The result is almost always over-trading; indeed, most beginning Forex traders are like machine-gunners; spraying bullets (money) at everything they deem to be a trade and likely causing more damage to their trading accounts than good. The first step that you need to make if you want to trade more like a sniper and less like a machine-gunner, is to truly accept that less is more in Forex trading.
Just like a sniper waits patiently for his or her pre-determined target to come into view; you need to learn how to wait patiently for your pre-defined trading edge to show itself in the market. As price action traders we have a very effective trading edge that allows us great opportunity to trade the market with sniper-like precision, and the daily charts provide the best “battleground” for us to execute our edge on.
• Higher time frames
As I mentioned previously, the daily chart should be your “battleground” for developing your ability to become a Forex sniper. Why, you ask? Because it is the daily chart that gives us the “highest value” or highest-probability targets when compared to any time frame below it. Weekly charts are also accurate, but they don’t give us enough targets each month and they are less practical to trade than the daily chart.
These targets are price action setups, and you should think of them as higher-value on the higher time frames, because in reality the higher the time frame the higher-probability the setup becomes. This is the primary reason that trading higher time frames drastically increases trading success. Think about it this way; a sniper is on a pre-planned mission to take out high-value targets that can change the course of a war, and in Forex trading you should be looking for the highest-probability trade setups that can have the greatest positive impact on your track record.
Machine-gun trading the lower time frames is not going to do anything but cause you to lose all your ammo or money a lot faster than you think. There is really no sense in ever trading any time frame below the 1hr chart since the value or probability of the targets or setups decreases dramatically as you move lower in time frame. You want to stick to the high-value or high-probability setups of the daily chart as much as possible, and especially while you are still learning to trade.
If there is one thing that a sniper in the military definitely IS, it’s patient. Patience is like the “magic” ingredient that makes everything work for a sniper in the military, and it is also the “magic” ingredient that you will need to use if you want to become a Forex sniper. Most beginning traders lose money in the markets, and most beginning traders are also anything BUT patient. See the connection here?
There is a tendency for traders to want to “force” the issue of trading by manifesting signals that aren’t really there or by jumping into a signal that has not closed out yet. When it comes to money it is human nature to be impatient, this is otherwise known as greed, but if you don’t learn to become a patient Forex trader, you will never forge the type of overall self-control that it takes to succeed as a Forex trader and become a Forex sniper.
• Mastery of strategy
A sniper will train for years to sharpen and perfect his or her shooting skills, and a sniper knows exactly what their target looks like and pulls the trigger without hesitation. Similarly, you will need to “train” with the particular Forex trading strategy you choose to employ in the markets so that you know EXACTLY what you are looking for every time you open your charts. However, you will need to do more than that; you will need to truly MASTER the Forex trading strategy that you choose, because if you don’t master it, you will never achieve your full potential as a Forex sniper.
Mastering a trading strategy begins with education. If you choose to employ high-probability price action trading strategies, I can provide you with the training education you will need. However, you must put in the time and effort to learn and master it; I cannot do this for you. You need to be realistic about this, it will take time; it takes time to become a master at anything, and Forex trading is no different. But, if you put in the necessary time and take advantage of the insights discussed in this article, you will begin trading like a sniper sooner than you might think.
• Developing a sniper-like Forex trading mindset
Sniper-like Forex trading breeds confidence and discipline. The more you strive to trade like a sniper and less like a machine-gunner, the more your Forex trading confidence and discipline will improve. This is because you will be rewarded for patience, and as you start to see your patience pay off over time, you will want to maintain it.
It is the initial stages of developing a sniper-like Forex trading mindset that most traders fail at, usually because they do not understand the power of patience and discipline. It tends to feel better to be a machine-gun trader because you feel powerful and “in control”. The problem with this mindset is that you can never control the market, in fact, the more you try to control the Forex market the more it will actually control you. The only thing you CAN control is yourself by learning to trade like a sniper, and if you do this you will significantly increase your chances of success as a Forex trader.
Trading Like A Sniper is part of my ‘core trading philosophy’ that I teach my students. If you want to learn more about becoming a disciplined price action Forex “sniper”, check out my forex trading course and traders community here.