• Nial Fuller

    NIAL FULLER Nial Fuller
    Professional Trader, Author & Coach

    Why Professional Traders Make Money & You Don’t

    Pro vs Amateur 1I’m sure you’ve wondered what professional traders do to succeed over the long-run. It’s easy to hit a few winners, but how do you parlay that into more consistent, longer-term trading success that you can turn into a full-time income? What are professional traders doing differently from you?

    The typical day in the life of a pro trader is probably very different from yours. From what they think about to what they do, there’s a lot you can learn from the daily habits of a professional. The novice trader is racing to look at the charts, desperate to find a trade, whereas the professional is calmly going about his or her routine because he knows there’s no rush. The novice trader is constantly thinking about the live trades they have on, whereas the professional trusts the process and the trading plan so there is no need for them to worry.

    The mind of a pro trader and how they think

    Professional traders understand their own minds and how their own personalities may interfere with their trading success. They have identified and worked on solving these mental issues, becoming a better trader and person as a result. Some of these issues are over-trading / gambling in the market, being afraid to enter a trade, being greedy, revenge trading, to name a few. Developing a profitable trading mindset is a requirement to become a professional trader. It’s something you must work on, it doesn’t just ‘happen’. It begins with education, with learning about common trading pitfalls and understanding why you make them, then developing a plan of action to combat them and hopefully, to defeat them forever.

    • Professional traders know they may not always be in a trade

    The bulk of pro traders are not day-traders, because quite frankly, day-trading is extremely difficult to succeed at. Most pro traders are patient, calculating swing traders who know what they’re looking for. So, professional traders do not think about the market from the mindset of needing or wanting to be in a trade. They think about it much more objectively; “Is my trading edge present? If so, then I execute my trading plan, if not, then I don’t trade, no big deal either way”. The primary difference in mindset between an amateur and a professional trader is that the professional has no urgency in his trading approach. He or she is simply playing the game because they want to win at it, not because they are ‘trying’ to make money. Making money is a by-product of doing everything well enough to win.

    • Professionals trade when most people are too afraid to trade

    Perhaps more than anything else, the hallmark of a professional trader is that they trade when others won’t. Perhaps more specifically, a professional trader will typically be on the opposite side of a trade than an amateur.

    As an example – A trend might seem very ‘old’, like it ‘should’ end any day now, but the professional knows that markets can go much further than people think; even when it looks ‘too’ high or low, markets can continue to extend. Thus, the professional trader will have no problem buying into a ‘very high’ up trend or selling into a ‘very low’ downtrend, whereas the amateur trader will be trying to pick the top or bottom and continuously get stopped out for losses as the trend inevitably continues.

    The strategy of a professional trader

    Professionals wait patiently for their trading edge (trading strategy) to setup. This may not always be as black and white as just a price pattern or an EMA crossover; some professionals just know when market conditions are ripe for an entry. This could be a combination of technical and fundamental knowledge or just one or other. The point here, is that a professional knows what they are looking for and they don’t waste energy and money going after anything that isn’t exactly what they’re looking for. They’ve developed their trading edge through years of learning and trial and error, which has developed a strong gut feel to compliment chart reading and market analysis.

    They have confidence in their trading strategy and they don’t doubt whether it works or if they should keep using it. If you aren’t trading your strategy with 100% confidence in it, then you need to re-think that strategy and perhaps learn a new one.

    • The crocodile and sniper metaphor

    I obviously can’t speak for every professional trader out there, but I do know a common thread that all our strategies have in common. We all take a sniper-like approach to our trading, which basically just means we only trade if our edge is present and we do not waste ‘bullets’ on less than obvious targets. Another good metaphor to explain the strategy and mentality of a professional trader is how a crocodile behaves. A crocodile is a finely-tuned killing machine. It has developed its hunting strategy through millions of years of evolution, to the point where it has become habit. It doesn’t hesitate. It waits patiently because it knows what it’s looking for so well, it can feel it. For more on what crocodiles can teach you about trading, check out my article on crocodile trading.

    Capital management and managing risk

    Professionals have a risk and money management plan. You, most likely do not, if you’re losing money that is. Do you understand why risk management is so important? Do you understand capital preservation? Do you understand the importance of having a proper exit strategy in place for every trade you take? Professionals do understand these things and they do have plans for them.

    • Being aware of not trading correlated markets

    A professional trader is aware that trading correlated markets and not properly reducing risk, will result in taking on more risk than they are comfortable with. You must understand market correlations to a certain degree and make sure you are not doubling up a position by trading two markets simultaneously that are highly correlated, like the EURUSD and GBPUSD for example.

    • Being aware of current market volatility, stop distance changing

    Professional traders have a keen awareness of market volatility. They understand that volatility changes often and they know they need to adjust their approach accordingly. For example, you would not use the same stop loss distances or profit targets in a market that has very low volatility as you would in one with high volatility.

    Trading plan

    A professional trader has built his or her trading plan on a solid foundation consisting of the three main points discussed above: Mindset, Method and Money. I refer to this as the “3m’s of trading”. Without a firm understanding, mastery and development of all three of the M’s, you will not succeed. You must build your trading foundation on those 3 m’s. If your money management is off, even if your strategy and mental state are on point, you will fail. The same goes for the other parts, if one of the three is off, you won’t make it.

    Professionals Continue to Learn & Study

    Professionals learn from others, more experienced than them. I have a good article that I wrote recently that goes through 20 quotes from trading legends, check it out to learn more. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know it all and take instruction and insight from others who know more than you. The hallmark of an intelligent and successful person is not that they know a lot, it’s that they admit they don’t know everything and they are constantly learning more.

    A poor man is one who thinks they know all there is to know and does not continue to grow their knowledge. The rich man is humble and knows that to earn his fortune he must continue to study, his thirst for knowledge and personal growth is insatiable. So, if you really want to start making money trading, start by learning how to trade, keep learning and never stop.

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    Nial Fuller

    About Nial Fuller

    is a Professional Trader, Investor & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. His blog is read by over 200,000+ followers and he has taught 25,000+ students since 2008. In 2016, Nial won the Million Dollar Trader Competition. Checkout Nial's Professional Trading Course here.
    Nial Fuller Professional Trading Course Preferred broker 2020 v1
    1. peter

      thanks very much sir this article very powerful more power to your elbow for educating the amateur like us, i always enjoy write up on every trading stractage.

      Reply
    2. Mario Smith

      Thank you Nail this article is very strong and it’s true the poor no it all and stay poor but the wealthy is humble to learn more.I want to be a profesional trader and are follwing this guideline. Iam stil beginner but improving when I apply your teachings thanks alot God bless.

      Reply
    3. Ibrahim bello

      Hello nial…. this article is good… and i have past through many stages in forex…. i guess professional trading is all about experience because no matter how you tell a newbie to avoid such mistake they always do.
      A little advice i always give the newbies is learn from your failures , go live and trade very very small lot size with money you can afford to loose like $50 cent account trading,
      And never give up… it takes years of experience to be profitable

      Reply
    4. iqbal

      i wish i could have the mind of professional trader after several years of training

      Reply
    5. Roman

      Thank you very much, we will try to become professionals

      Reply
    6. imed dine

      Dear Nail, I been following your articles for months but this article is really commendable.
      Thanks for all your articles.

      Reply
    7. Sthembiso

      I choose to be a professional trader

      Reply
    8. Mangut K. Mafwalal

      This article is really commendable. You are indeed a reliable FOREX mentor. Thanks for all your articles.

      Reply
    9. waiswa ben

      Excellent article Nial. Keep it up!

      Reply
    10. kunle Feyisetan

      Dear Nail, my name is kunle Feyisetan and I have been following your articles for months but I have decided not to write you until I understand some issues about you methods but as at now I’ve understood at least 50% of what you are talking about . I will still continuing reading you article.Really you are a professional trader that I will like to follow.

      Reply
    11. richadi36

      Thanks Nial. It is VERY meaningful and expressive.

      Reply
    12. Fabio Di Gregorio

      Hi Nial, I’m on the way to become a pro daytrader, with some years of experience on my shoulders, and I would invite all your followers to print this article and attach it to the wall, aside their trading workstations. It’s full of common sense, and that is exactly what I have found over the years. Compliments, keep it up.

      Reply
    13. Rfeni

      This article was so timely for me….. thanks a million mr Nial fuller

      Reply
    14. Rfeni

      This was so timely for me and thanks a million

      Reply
    15. Felix Gates

      This informations are hard to come by. They can only come from someone as generous as you.

      Reply
    16. Pachiappan Ratnam

      Thank you. The above post was a good overview for beginers.

      Reply
    17. Mhlengi percival

      Great inspiration thanx for keep on motivating us

      Reply
    18. Eric haiara Haiara

      Thanks Niel,
      Another great article. Really appreciate your way of presentation, making things so simple and easy to understand. I just joined your group and hope to learn more.

      Reply
    19. Makitwork

      Thanks for sharing, very informative as usual.

      Reply
    20. Al

      What a articles
      That was awsome man. They are completly true.
      Would you please tell us how we can set these rulls up in our daily trading

      Anyway you’re generous.
      I like you man.you are a good guy.

      Reply
    21. Moses Cheruiyot

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for the great article. I remember the day I asked you questions on how to profit consistently, during that time I didn’t have the three major requirements to succeed as a trader, I went back to the drawing board, cultivated a proper trading mindset, trading method and managed the money in the account. Now am on the right track after losing $20000, thank the information.

      Reply
    22. David

      Excellent.

      Reply
    23. Jonas

      Hi Nial
      I just started trading on the Demo, but when I read your article I’ve realised that I still have a lot to learn and I believe that I will become a successful trader one day with your guidance

      Reply
    24. Mark Mwangi

      Thanks Nial, the wisdom above is priceless

      Reply
    25. arthur

      Follow your plan. Dont deviate.

      That is what I did not do. become that Sniper.

      Thank you.

      Reply
    26. raheel suleman

      Nial its me again….i am your regular follower….it was another great article highlighting some important aspects in your previous articles in a nice simple to understand way….. i wish i could talk to you on the phone but last time i called i could not reach you……pl respond to me by email at least personally so that i feel elevated that my mentor has responded to me….thanks.

      Reply
    27. Urshila Afrika

      Hi Nail thanks for the advice. Looking forward to the training.and more encouragements see n future to trade. Dream big and see me as a successful trader with your constantly help.

      Reply
    28. Caramia1

      Thanks Nial – all brilliant advice. So glad I am a member of the community.

      Reply
    29. Tshepo

      That’s inspiring Nial .

      Reply
    30. Алексей

      Thank you, Niall, for your invaluable work. Reading your article every time I open something new for myself. Isskrenne grateful.

      Reply
    31. Emmanuel

      Good write-up

      Reply
    32. Pete Johnson

      Thanks Neil,
      You are one of the only ones out there who truly teaches and not just in it for a quick money grab. I have been following you for a long time, been in the markets for a long time(without much success) I am looking forward to studying your program and becoming a professional trader down the road.

      Reply
    33. Fabio Restrepo

      • Woaoo Teacher. After I read and learn a lot of your wonderful teaching and training, when I think that I am finally understanding the whole thing, then I realize the truth of the greek philosopher teaching. THE ONLY THING I KNOW IS THAT I KNOW NOTHING
      • Woaoo Teacher. After I read and learn a lot of your wonderful teaching and training, when I think that I am finally understanding the whole thing, then I realize the truth of the greek philosopher teaching. THE ONLY THING I KNOW IS THAT I KNOW NOTHING

      Reply
    34. mzwa

      an insight to better trading plan is what u always offer me,,,,im a big culprit to such downfalls and still fail to make money,but lose constantly,,,thanks again bss

      Reply
    35. KRISTOFA OKENTA

      Thanks for having a ‘nice; heart, showing other traders the light of Trading.

      Reply
    36. OLATUNJI

      great nial.

      Reply
    37. Jim George

      As always, great advise.

      Thanks,

      Jim

      Reply
    38. Teodora Nikolaeva Aleksandrova

      Thank You, Nial, all this is so heart-felt, so great, time is approaching for me to soon be a life-time member of Your trading comunity. Regards

      Reply
    39. Idris Ahmad

      Mr Nial,thanks for making me forex oriented,I have been following your precious article and adhering strictly to it,that I have now started to feel yes,Forex Trading is real not an illusion as a lot if people considered it to be.thankse

      Reply
    40. Kate M

      Hi Nial. Another great article. I love how you bring out these kinds of articles when the market is faffing about!!! Ive noticed this a number of times. Good timing. Just waiting for the surf to pick up:)

      Reply
    41. Łukasz

      Your articles are very helpful to me. I read them for some time and I feel that I am well on the way to a professional trade.

      Reply

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