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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Coach

5 Mistakes Preventing You From Making Money Trading

trading mistakesSo you’ve just funded your trading account again, and this time you feel confident that you will start making money in the markets. After all, you ‘know’ what you did wrong on that last big losing streak that blew your account out and you’re confident you won’t make the same mistake again. You feel disappointed that you lost a lot of money but the new funds in your account give you a fresh start and you feel like you are ready to tackle the markets head-first and get on the right track.

Sound familiar? Many traders have been in this same situation, usually multiple times. A lot of traders get a false sense of hope by adding additional funds to their trading accounts or by just thinking that ‘this time will be different’. Unfortunately, neither of these things are actual solutions to the reason(s) why you blew out your last trading account. It’s time to stop glossing over your trading mistakes by refunding your trading account, reading economic reports, or buying some new trading system. The REAL reason you are losing money time and time again is lodged in the gray matter between your ears.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common mistakes that prevent traders from making money in the forex markets and consider some solutions for fixing them:

1. You’re obsessed with trading

Are you a trading junkie? Do you eat, sleep, and breathe the Forex markets? Do you forget to pick up your kids from school or leave food in the oven because you can’t stop watching your charts? This is reality for some traders who are obsessed with their trades; I have actually received emails from traders telling me they forgot to pick up their kids from school because they were so fixated on the markets…

While you may not have quite that strong of an obsession with trading, I’m willing to bet that if you are losing money consistently you probably have an unhealthy attachment to the markets, at the very least. If you are thinking about your trades all the time, checking the markets on your phone while at work, or not sleeping well at night because you are worried about your trades, you are probably overly-attached to your trades.

• Why are you obsessed with trading?

Do you feel every pip for or against your position? Are you finding any little reason you can to enter or exit trades, move stops, etc? All of these things are the result of being too emotionally attached to any one trade.

The reason you are emotionally attached to your trades is because you have put too much ‘need’ into making money from the markets. You’ve put all your eggs in the Forex trading basket; you see no other way to find happiness in life. These feelings cause you to risk too much per trade, and / or to over-trade your account. Once you start doing this you are DOOMED. You have to WAKE UP and accept that there are no short cuts; you have to actually practice proper forex money management, you have to be patient, and you have to be disciplined. If you can remove the emotional attachment to each trade you enter, you will be on the path to making money in Forex.

2. Interfering with trades

Success-Failure-SignThere’s a very good reason why I stress “set and forget trading” in my education course and members’ area, and why it’s a core part of my trading philosophy. Simply put; it works…

Here’s why:

Remember when you demo traded and you felt no emotion because you had NO MONEY ON THE LINE? Well, the same is true when you are flat the market on your live account; you feel no emotion, and because of this your decisions are much more objective and logic-based.

So, this means when you are flat the market and planning your trades and waiting for the perfect forex price action setup to form, it’s the most objective and effective you will be in regards to analyzing the market. Once you enter the market you immediately have a haze of emotion clouding your thinking patterns. Even if you are managing your risk properly, you are still going to be slightly less objective and logical after a trade is on than before.

This means that fiddling with your stops and targets after the trade is live or adding to positions is generally the wrong thing to do…because these decisions contain more emotion than decisions you made prior to the trade. So, we can say that your brain is at its peak trading performance whilst you are NOT IN THE MARKET, and thus your trading decisions carry the highest probability when they are made before entering the market. In short, setting and forgetting your trades is the best strategy for forex trade management over the long-term.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times when trailing your stop or closing out a trade based on a huge reversal signal doesn’t make sense. But, the point is that more often than not you should simply set and forget your trades, and beginning traders should always set and forget until they have reached a high level of trading skill and success.

3. Over-analyzing and over-thinking

overanalyzingDoes the following scenario sound familiar? You doubt whether or not the trade you just entered was a good idea, so you go read some current economic news to see what analysts are saying about global markets. You think you better close your position because you are reading news reports that seem to contradict your trade. You close your trade out and feel a sense of relief for 5 minutes, only to check the market again and see that it has rocketed off in your favor…

This is called second-guessing yourself; it’s the result of not having confidence in your trading abilities and / or not believing that the chart reflects all variables of the market.

Reading everything you can find related to your trade and analyzing every chart in order to find “evidence” that supports your trade is simply counter-productive. You and I both know that you can find just about anything if you look hard enough on the internet. The same is true in trading. If you’re long the EURUSD, you’re likely to find some analysts citing reasons why the market is about to tank whilst others are talking about why it’s strong. If you look for it on the internet, you will find it, but that doesn’t mean it has value.

The way out of the over-analysis and analysis-paralysis syndrome is to simply accept that the chart reflects all market variables, and then learn how to read and trade the raw price action strategies that form on it. Once you gain confidence in your chart-reading skills you will forget about all the contradictory news reports floating around the web. Trust yourself, not some over-paid analyst…after all he is an analyst…AKA probably a failed trader.

4. Searching for the “Holy-Grail” trading system

I have a big secret for you guys. I know what the “Holy-Grail” of trading is. It’s called patience. It’s true; patience is the most important ingredient to Forex trading success. If you know what you’re looking for in the markets, and you only trade one time a month, but you make say 5% a month…what’s wrong with that?

Too many traders are trying to double their accounts every month in some vain attempt to get rich quick. This is what fuels the futile quest for some “Holy-Grail” trading system, then when traders realize there is no perfect trading system they simply revert to gambling because they simple can’t stop trying to get rich quick.

I am telling you that patience is the closest thing to the “Holy-Grail” that you will find. Patience comes when you have mastered your trading strategy and have built a trading plan around it, because then you will KNOW 100% what your trading edge is and when to trade it. You have to commit and believe in one concept at a time, master it. Don’t chop and change every time you lose a trade or two. Your doubt, greed and uncertainty need to be controlled; otherwise you will never make consistent money in the markets.

5. Trading with confusing programs, indicators, or other ‘magic’ methods

Recently, we had to shut down a thread in our members’ forum that was getting out of hand because it was based off a confusing and complicated trading technique. People seem to have an innate tendency to be drawn to complex and confusing trading systems; it seems to be in our human nature.

Simply put, mechanical trading systems, EA’s, and indicators are B.S. trading strategies, here’s why:

• The markets are dynamic and constantly changing, a rigid set of trading rules cannot effectively trade a dynamic market over a long period of time. Market conditions change, whereas computer systems are programmed according to a rule set, and they cannot re-program themselves every time market conditions change. This is why your brain wins the battle of the human mind vs. computers in Forex trading, over the long run.

• A computer does not know when to have patience and when to not have patience. A finely developed sense of discretionary price action trading will beat a computer every time, because there are a lot of subtle ‘clues’ that only the human eye and mind can pick up on. If a computer or EA sees that its pre-programmed conditions are present in the market, it will issue a buy or sell signal regardless of any other variables that may clearly imply to stay out of the market.

• Human emotions and perceptions of ‘fair price’ of a market are the main drivers of price movement in any market. Therefore, why would you attempt to read or trade the market with forex indicators or robots? In other words, a human is clearly going to be the best candidate for reading and making sense out of human-derived price movement.

simplifyHumans make the best traders, provided they simplify their trading approach and don’t get carried away with indicators, robots and other overly-complex ideas.

For some odd reason, most people just can’t accept that making money in the markets does not need to be technically complicated. The markets are a lot simpler than most people think; they are really just reflections of human behavior as plotted by the price action on the charts.

This price action tracks the thought process of all market participants and reflects their aggregate view of the market. Thus by learning to read the simple price action of the markets we can find patterns and setups, and predict price movement with a high enough probability to profit; simple works.

Ask yourself why so many traders fail so often with quick-fix, complex, and outrageous ‘magic’ trading methods like Elliot wave, Fibonacci extensions, and indicators like Stochastics, MACD and RSI…this stuff is haphazard at best and catalysts for blowing out your trading account at worst.

In my opinion, to make it as a trader we must go back to basics, wipe everything off the chart and go back to the ‘organic’ picture of a naked price chart. I know more successful price action traders than any other type, this speaks volumes. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

If you want to keep it simple and learn how I trade with price action, feel free to check out my advanced price action trading course & trading newsletter here.

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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.
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  1. MUNGE

    Some points to be highlight patience is key ,not interfering with trades

  2. Tom

    Thanks Nial.
    Am really encourage, though am new to FX!
    Great stuff, God Bless You.

  3. Dillon

    This is my first time here, and a lot of the information on your site fits me exactly! I have every single one of these problems…

    This article may have changed the way I look at the market, excellent stuff!

  4. Sonja

    You rock Nial, you are THE BEST mentor in the world!
    Keep it going!

  5. slivester

    thanks very2 much sir

  6. Todor

    You have my bow again, Nial! Everything you teach i find a piece of genius. I should only learn and apply. Thank you very much indeed!

  7. julius

    Nial, All that you listed were the things that choked me.Thank you for always being there. May God bless you.

  8. eileen khoo

    Thank Nial! You had just hit on my obsession and over-analyzing so much so that more often than not I just missed th trade. Will take note and work on that, thanks once again!

  9. Kevin(Zach)Harper

    Great Stuff Nial
    Have to totally agree….Be Patient…Be Patient….and then finally ask yourself …Is this really a quality trade setup ???

    Excellent Nial

  10. anton

    A++ Article. If you cant grasp the above points then their is no saving you from ruin.

  11. pecsen

    Very useful article again, thank you Nail for your effort!
    In many cases I tried to be patient, but I wasn’t strong enough, so I did some mistakes:
    I checked the charts during working hours, I checked it on mobile phone and modified stop, limit etc. Like others I also do try to reduce the number of my mistakes,
    so first of all I decided to remove the trader application from my phone (however it was perfect, I loved it, but don’t need it), and I started to use weekly charts and the daily. Nowdays I take pending entry (stop, limit) orders and I don’t check the charts for one or two days. I will try to not change the view of the charts to 4h candle, the daily is much stronger and contains everything I need.
    And I wait to close the daily candles. I already haven’t read articles about economy for x month, I’ve spent my time with much more useful things (want to improve my english).
    I’m sure If I’ll not violate these rules, I’ll be much more successful in trading (of course by Nail’s price action) with less effort and less stress and with better english :) Sometimes you have to be strict with yourself (others will not be) during the road to the main goal. Just my two cents! Good luck! :)

  12. Yusuf Hammed

    Nial you are a FX GURU you know how unsuccessful fx traders feel.Every FX trader most learn how to be Patient and looks for Good set up before they enter the market.I like you, you just keep it simple and make it simple.

  13. Jerry Snyder

    Hi Nial,
    as always you are right on – I know that I have to keep reminding myself and your timing is remarkable – thanks -jerry

  14. Amio

    Very true.What are the antidotes?

  15. DRS

    2 years is what it takes to work out the markets.

  16. sez elabor

    what can i say Nial? you are the epitome of a professional trader.. this artcle is splendid and good for traders.. you are the best Forex Mentor i have ever known.. thank you a million times..

  17. Robert Meinecke

    Thank You Nial for a Block Buster Article. This is exacttly what has happened to me and it is a wake up call for me. You really know how to hit home in such an easy understanding way. I really liked your “Holy Grail” desription about patience. Thank you again.

  18. Bhupinder

    Just Brilliant. Thanks for making things easier Nial.


    NIAL! Thank you for being pretty serious in your MISSION of helping Traders at large. For sure, many of us are improving/ developing the proper MINDSET to become a successful TRADER. Your ability to get to the MEAT of the subject is IMPRESSIVE. Please keep coming. THANKS & REGARDS. AMIN

  20. Jude FX

    your articles are very factual for anyone who can follow them. keep it up because you are changing lives!

  21. Tay Jui Chuan

    Hi Nial,
    Thank you very much for this timely article and a very timely reminder.
    Thank you very much

  22. hamish

    todays lesson is bang on and a must for all wannabe successful traders. great insite and knowledge to be gained for all. thanks Nial

  23. Ramli

    Thanks n Cheers

  24. John

    Banks and institutional traders sit on the side line, why shouldn’t we. Thank you Nial Cash is a position.

  25. Colin

    Thanks Nial thats the best lesson yet. It somes me up what I used to do, But slowly breaking all my bad habits. I am saving all these 5 lessons & will keep going over them just to help me through some rough patches Thanks Nial Great Lesson

  26. Oztrades

    Well said. Just topped up my account and am sitting. Missed the big pin bar on the AUD/USD 4 hrly yesterday….. waiting for the next bus to hop on.

  27. Isaac

    Great write up, thanks

  28. wilson

    Nial excellent theme, the simple is better, thanks.

  29. Russ

    Nail on the head Nial!!!! You are a truth bringer!

  30. dcsneeden

    Excellent article Nial! If feels like you know all my struggles or maybe you have experienced all of these challenges. I definately need more patience! Thanks.

  31. inder sachdev

    Simply amazing!

  32. Zahid

    Great article as usual. Scanned the brain, thinking and psychology of the newbi. I have learned a lot through it. Thank you Nial.

    Zahid Malik

  33. flash

    I dont often post comments, but it is warranted this time. This one is a duizzie! 10/10! Well done Nial.

  34. Pham

    Great article, very useful, I like it a lot, thanks Nial for that!

  35. Jeevan

    well said, a lesson to be followed and applied for each traders on their trade, as you always say keep it simple and short – is the key to success i always believe, nice work again,, may this lesson awakes someone

  36. Kimbo4x

    Great article. I believe overtrading is part of our “work ethic.”

    Many of us think that if we don’t trade today, we didn’t put in an honest days work. It goes against our “work ethic.” Deciding NOT to take a trade is WORK, too. Work smarter, not harder.

    Looking at Andy’s post, I would greatly appreciate feedback from Nial.

    Personally, I believe in setting pending entry orders. You must be careful, though. I reduce my position size, and I only choose trades where the risk reward ratio is quite high — in fact a set my entry level to increase that RRR (like using a 62% retrace instead of 50% retrace). Also, I only do this in early to mid Tokyo session so the limit order trade has a chance to grow throughout London and NY.


  37. AndyH

    Great article. Trying to internalize all these lessons. I often feel compelled to trade because I have a narrow window in which I can. 6PM to 1AM EST when things can be a bit slow. Nial, since we are most clear minded when we are out of the market, would it make sense for us to set up pending orders?

    ~ Andy

  38. YangL

    Technique, patience and discipline are key to win, thank you for your sharing!

  39. ed

    #1 hits the nail on the head! thx

  40. cheetu


    Essentially it says get off the GRQ brain!


  41. Wes

    Yea Man! Didn’t start being profitable until I learned patience.

  42. onesi John

    nice article, thanks for all ur service to the trading community

  43. samuel

    What an article! Thanks Nail,prof of price action.This is too good.

  44. Kenny R

    Great Great post Nial. I used to do all that before I learned Price Action trading on a naked chart. I’m making a killing using just one Price Action setup that I can call all mine now. Trading can get pre-school easy when you have a well defined strategy and plan with strict money management. Mix in some patience and discipline and BINGO!!! There’s your holy grail right there. Account is up 40% in 120 days taking a few trades a month of just pin bars! Love it!

  45. Chris H

    Good stuff Niall and I recognise some of thse. You deserve encouragement – there are some dreadful so called mentors out there. Keep it going m8!

  46. Chris

    An amazingly intuitive piece of work Nial. You really hit home. recently I was thinking about what the most powerful weapon in the forex asrenal is and maybe illogically came to the concusion that “you do not have to trade”. No-one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to trade. So patience, waiting for best opportunity to come along is everything.