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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

Bring Your Trading Account Back From the Dead

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By in Forex Trading Tutorials Last updated on | 70 Comments

backfromthedeadSo you’ve lost 50% or more of your forex trading account and you feel like you either want to give up trading all together or just start going crazy and trading everything you see because you ‘don’t care’ anymore.

Has this happened to you? Is this happening to you now? If so, you’re not alone, many forex traders end up in a similar situation early-on in their trading careers, and it’s what they do at this point that has a big influence on whether or not they sink or swim in the markets.

The most important thing to understand is that you CAN CHANGE whatever it is that you did (or are doing) to cause so much damage to your trading account. The most important thing I can tell you is that if you are willing to listen and accept help you CAN become a successful forex trader and you don’t have to throw in the towel, and you definitely should not take the ‘I don’t care anymore because I lost so much money’ attitude with the remainder of your account…I assure you this will result in you fully blowing out your account and after that happens you will feel like a full-fledged gambling junky who just maxed out their credit cards at the casino. Let’s look at 5 things you can do to ‘bring your trading account back from the dead’…

Step 1) Ask yourself honestly, “How did I do this much damage to my trading account?”

The first step in recovering from a near-account-destroying series of trades is to stop trading with real money and then take some time to reflect on how you were trading just before you lost all that money. You’ve got to remove yourself from the markets when you do this first step. Heck, if you need to, close your trading account altogether and then reopen it at a later date when you know what you’re doing and feel confident in your approach.

I can almost 100% assure you that the reason you lost a lot of your account, nearly blew it out, or did blow it out, was the result of one of these three things:

1) You were not following a strict risk management plan or you were not focusing properly on the fact that you can lose on any trade you take. Essentially, you probably were risking more than you should have per trade and you probably knew you were doing this but ignored it. You probably were not behaving as if you can lose on any trade.

2) You probably traded too much, gambled, over-traded, whatever. The fact is, most traders blow out their trading accounts either from risking too much money per trade, trading when no high-probability edge is present (over-trading), or a combination of the two. Usually it’s a combination of the two, although either one alone can certainly do massive damage to your account or cause you to blow it out all together.

3) The other big reason why many traders lose large chunks of their trading accounts or blow them out all together is because they simply don’t have a trading strategy or they don’t really know what they’re looking for in the market. Maybe they haven’t really ‘mastered’ their trading strategy yet either, whatever the case, if you are going to risk your hard-earned money in the markets, you better be DAMN SURE of what your high-probability entry edge is, otherwise you are just gambling your money away.

Step 2) Understand that you’re going to HAVE TO focus more closely on risk

focusThe next thing you need to do after figuring out what caused you to lose so much of your trading account, is to understand that going forward you’ll have to focus more closely on how much you are risking per trade. Furthermore, you need to also be consciously aware that ANY trade can lose and that your trading edge has a random distribution of winners and losers. Being aware of this fact whenever you’re thinking about entering the market should keep the temptation to risk too much at bay. Traders who lose a lot of money trade as if they are ‘sure’ every trade is going to be a winner, this causes them to ‘load up’ and trade with position sizes that are too big and induce emotion within them.

Bringing your trading account back from the dead is going to be a slow process, you’ve got to understand that. Since you’ve lost so much of your money you won’t be able to trade as big of position sizes as you could before, and this is just something you’re going to have to accept. You need to understand that if you focus on the mechanics and the process of successful trading now, later you will be able to make increasing amounts of money. It’s called ‘delayed gratification’ and it’s basically the key to long-term and consistent success in any field, including trading. Unfortunately, trading appeals to our evolutionary need for ‘instant gratification’, putting us in a constant of state wanting to do the wrong thing for our trading accounts simply because the wrong thing is usually what feels good and tickles our ‘instant gratification’ brain area.

So, you’ve got to understand that whenever you risk more than you know you should, you are behaving in an ‘instant-gratification’ / more emotional manner, and this is the opposite of what creates long-term success  in the markets. Thus, one of the keys to rebuilding your trading account is understanding that you need to delay gratification by managing your risk to a level that allows you to trade emotion-free or nearly emotion-free on every trade you take.

Step 3) Don’t trade until you KNOW what you’re looking for in the markets!

Next, you need to be aware that unless you are 100% confident of your trading strategy and you’ve turned it into a comprehensive forex trading plan, you really should not be trading with real money. Whilst you’re taking time off from the markets to regroup and fix your trading problems, make sure you not only understand and know how to trade your strategy, but also that you like it. If you’re currently trading a strategy or system that you find messy or confusing, ditch it and learn a new one. Obviously, I recommend you trade with price action, because it’s clean, simple, and effective, but it’s ultimately up to you how you decide to trade.

One of the best ways to really get familiar with your trading method and to really ‘master’ it, is to take one aspect of it and master that before moving on to the others. For example, if you are a price action trader you might focus all your efforts on spotting inside bar strategies with the trend on the daily charts of the major Forex currency pairs. This would be your PRIMARY FOCUS until you are seeing consistent profits over a period of two or three months. Once you achieved this you could then move on to other setups and implement other aspects of price action trading into your trading arsenal.

Here’s an example of focusing only on the inside bar setup on the daily charts:

Step 4) See the forest for the trees

You need to focus on learning to be a good trader…not on how much money you can make IF you become a good trader…that really is pointless. It’s a bit like focusing on showing off your trophy after winning a big race without actually thinking about preparing for the race.

Yes, the underlying reason why most traders lose money in the markets is because they look at a price chart and they see dollar signs. What I mean by that is they don’t think about the long-term view, but instead they get caught up in trying to get-rich-quick or in trying to make ‘a lot’ of money on every trade they take. They forget about the FACT that they cannot make money on every trade, they are going to have losing trades, and that they never know what will happen on any one trade.

You’ve got to always have the bigger ‘forest’ picture in mind, and not get caught up focusing too much on the ‘trees’, or any one individual trade. Sure, you need to stay true to your trading plan and only take valid instances of your trading edge…so every trade you take IS important, but the point I am trying to make is that no one trade is going to make you a successful trader. You become a successful forex trader by being consistent and by understanding your success is defined over a large series of trades, or over a relatively long period of time. It’s not defined by two or three trades or over two or three weeks of trading.

By learning to think like this you should have an easier time managing your risk properly and not taking trades that you know are stupid. As you adopt this way of thinking, you will be more inclined to focus on the process of being a good trader rather than on viewing the markets as your own personal ATM. Focusing on the process of trading properly is what makes you money in the long-run. The things that ‘feel’ like they will make you a lot of money fast, like over-trading and risking too much per trade, will actually cause you to lose money and are probably why you are reading this article. In trading, we basically have to do the opposite of what feels good if we want to succeed over the long-run.

Step 5) Replace your old habits with new ones

habitsFinally, the number one thing that you need to do if you want to begin building your trading account back up and trading successfully is change your trading habits. The reason you lost control before and lost a lot of money in your account or blew it out, was because you did not have the proper trading habits. Habits take repetition and time to develop, so you have to follow the insight in this article and in my other forex trading articles and start following a positive course of action in your trading. If you do this consistently, eventually your old habits of gambling and generally trading in an undisciplined manner will be replaced by effective and positive trading habits.

The way that you begin to change your trading habits is to take action. You can’t just sit here and read this article and think by reading it and understanding it you’re going to magically wake up tomorrow with new trading habits. You probably have negative trading habits ingrained into your mind right now, and they developed over time and through repetitively being inconsistent and undisciplined, so it’s going to take time to replace them. You’re going to have to make an effort to be disciplined and consistent in your trading. This is something you need to consciously remind yourself of and be aware of, it’s not enough to just understand you need to do something…you have to ACTUALLY do it if you want to change!

Most people know they need to eat healthier and exercise to change their bodies, but just knowing something is not good enough to make it happen…you’ve got to take action from the information you know to be true, otherwise your trading results will not change, nor will anything else in your life that you want to change.

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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. MUNGE August 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

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

  2. Tom May 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm

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

  3. Dillon May 4, 2012 at 12:12 am

    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 May 1, 2012 at 6:51 am

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

  5. slivester May 1, 2012 at 1:47 am

    thanks very2 much sir

  6. Todor May 1, 2012 at 1:17 am

    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 April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm

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

  8. eileen khoo April 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    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 April 30, 2012 at 9:19 am

    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 April 30, 2012 at 6:33 am

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

  11. pecsen April 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    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 April 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    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 April 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

    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 April 29, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Very true.What are the antidotes?

  15. DRS April 29, 2012 at 5:45 am

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

  16. sez elabor April 29, 2012 at 4:25 am

    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 April 29, 2012 at 4:21 am

    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 April 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Just Brilliant. Thanks for making things easier Nial.

  19. AMIN MALIK April 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    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 April 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm

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

  21. Tay Jui Chuan April 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

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

  22. hamish April 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    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 April 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks n Cheers

  24. John April 28, 2012 at 11:20 am

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

  25. Colin April 28, 2012 at 7:54 am

    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 April 28, 2012 at 7:42 am

    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 April 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Great write up, thanks

  28. wilson April 28, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Nial excellent theme, the simple is better, thanks.

  29. Russ April 28, 2012 at 4:04 am

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

  30. dcsneeden April 28, 2012 at 3:19 am

    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 April 28, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Simply amazing!

  32. Zahid April 28, 2012 at 1:58 am

    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 April 28, 2012 at 1:36 am

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

  34. Pham April 28, 2012 at 12:59 am

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

  35. Jeevan April 28, 2012 at 12:33 am

    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 April 28, 2012 at 12:32 am

    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 April 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    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 April 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm

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

  39. ed April 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    #1 hits the nail on the head! thx

  40. cheetu April 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm


    Essentially it says get off the GRQ brain!


  41. Wes April 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm

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

  42. onesi John April 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

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

  43. samuel April 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

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

  44. Kenny R April 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    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 April 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    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 April 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    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.


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