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Nial Fuller

Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

Snowball Your Trading Success and Stop Losing Money

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By in Forex Trading Tutorials Last updated on | 41 Comments

snowball your trading successThe market has been somewhat difficult to trade in recent months; many of the major currency pairs have been rather erratic and “choppy”, and until recently, very quiet. There is ONLY ONE SINGLE THING that kept the profitable trader from losing money during market conditions like these: PATIENCE. The most IMPORTANT thing that I have learned over my 10+ years trading the markets, is that patience really does pay, and what’s more, a lack of patience will make YOU pay.

The “Snowball effect” is a very good metaphor to explain the importance of patience to a trader and also the how a lack of patience can quickly destroy trading accounts…

Wikipedia defines the phenomenon known as the “Snowball effect” as “…a figurative term for a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and also perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle, a “spiral of decline”), though it might be beneficial instead (a virtuous circle).”

Here’s what I would tell you if we were trading side by side:

Imagine me ‘banging on your trading desk’ trying to get this point through to you: THE SINGLE BIGGEST REASON YOU’RE EITHER GOING TO MAKE IT OR BREAK IT AS A TRADER IS BEING ABLE TO WAIT, WAIT, WAIT…and then wait some more….and THEN you POUNCE and go hard when you see a setup that is so obvious you literally don’t have to think about whether or not to take it.

In choppy trading conditions, when the market is behaving erratically or simply ‘backing and filling’ on itself, the primary thing that separates successful traders from struggling traders, is the ability to muster and maintain extreme patience, following a trading plan with obsessive discipline and executing trades without hesitation.

Poker, chess and other strategy games are won when the opponent ‘walks’ into your trap. The great mind games like poker, chess and trading, are all won through strategy, discipline and execution without hesitation. The strategy part is where patience comes in, having an effective trading strategy means nothing if you do not have the patience to wait for your strategy to provide you with high-probability entry signals.

Having this patience as you trade, will work to “snowball” your trading success by reinforcing the fact that trading with low frequency is not only easier, far less stressful and time consuming than high-frequency trading, but is also the “key” to trading success for most traders. Conversely, traders who have little or no patience end up creating a “snowball” of increasingly worse trading, because they grow increasingly desperate and emotional the more they over-trade and lose money in the market. Thus, your job is to make the snowball effect work for you rather than against you, and the way you do that is by simply sitting on your hands until a “damn” obvious trade setup comes along…

A case study of patience in “action”

key to trading successThese days, I am so relaxed in regards to how often I trade, that I may only trade one or two times a month. Part of this is because I’ve been very busy recently with redesigning my website as you may have noticed and with planning a seminar in Singapore for my members. However, a funny thing hit me as I was so busy recently, I noticed that whilst I was still staying in-touch with the markets each day, I was not analyzing the charts as often as I usually do and I also was not really seeing any obvious trade setups.

Then, on Monday of this week, a very very obvious pin bar reversal / false-break signal formed on the Kiwi/Dollar daily chart at a key level of resistance up near 0.8105 which we had been discussing and watching in the members’ community over the previous weeks.

I had not traded for about a week before this signal formed, I had simply been busy doing other things while casually scanning the markets for setups each day; nothing intense or over-analytical. Then, when I saw this setup in the NZDUSD which we talked about in our August 19th commentary, I knew that it was a valid trade and something I wanted to risk some money on, so I acted quickly to setup my entry order, stop loss and profit target and then went to bed. The trade actually hit my target as I was boarding a plane to Singapore the next day.

Now, just a little “inside info” here, personally, I approach trading from the mindset of trying to do everything to not be in a trade. A good trader will try to find things wrong with a trade setup before entering it…if you have a difficult market with a lot of chop, staying flat on the sidelines is a no-brainer for the successful trader. Conversely, these are usually the exact same times when the amateur / struggling trader cannot keep his or hands in their pockets and continues to try and “force” trades out of the market, eventually giving back any recent profits they may have made. I discussed a “case study” of this common trading error in my article on how to find your trading ‘mojo’. Just remember; in a quiet market, patience is the only thing that will save you, that is the most important thing to take away from today’s lesson.

I wasn’t worried about this NZDUSD trade after I put it on, as I said earlier, my profit target actually get hit while I was on an airplane to Singapore. I don’t worry about all the little intra-day movements against my positions, I just let the trades come to me and then execute my orders, if the trade results in a loss, then I can live with that because at least I know I waited for a good setup that qualifies under my trading plan and I didn’t over-trade. The only time you should feel regret about a loss is if you traded when you knew you shouldn’t have or you risked more than you were comfortable with losing.

Here’s the NZDUSD daily chart showing the pin bar / false-break sell signal that many of my members and I traded this week. I will sometimes wait two or three weeks for an obvious price action signal like this to form:

high probability trade signal

Several things are worth noting about this trade:

1) This was not a hindsight call. My members and I were discussing the key resistance near 0.8105 in the members’ daily commentary and in the forum for about one or two weeks before the signal formed there. This is called anticipating trade signals and is a key part of my trading approach and relates back to that whole “strategy in mind games” concept I discussed earlier in this lesson.

2) I could not fault this signal. If I cannot find anything wrong with a particular signal than I will trade it. Normally, I do indeed find things wrong with signals, and that approach has saved me countless amounts of money over the years whilst other traders who are less-picky were losing money on the same signals most likely.

3) I had not traded for a while before this NZDUSD signal formed, I was waiting in the “darkness” like a sniper waiting for his target, and then when it formed, I had been anticipating its arrival and so I acted with total confidence in the setup, win or lose.

4) As I was doing during the two weeks leading up to this signal; everyday, casually scan your watch list of markets that you prefer to trade, but do not sit there all day staring at them. Checking in at the end of the trading day will give you a clear picture of what happened that day, and the closing price on the daily chart is very important as it will help you see false-break type signals like the NZDUSD pin bar false-break in the chart above.

If you find yourself posting on forums asking other people if you should take a particular setup or not, you probably shouldn’t take it. I don’t risk my money in the market unless there’s a setup so damn obvious that I will feel stupid for not taking it, but when I do go in, as I said before, I will go in with a position size that is big, but that I’m comfortable with losing because I believe in the setups I trade.

How the lifestyle of a pro trader supports their trading success

lifestyle of a traderProper trading habits (trading with patience) breeds trading success which breeds a “trader lifestyle” which in and of itself works to further support trading success…it really is a “snowball effect”. Let me explain this more clearly…

The successful trader might choose to go play a round of 18 holes after putting a trade on, or maybe go fishing with his buddies, etc. Meanwhile, the struggling or failing trader is sitting in front of his computer screen biting his finger nails at every little pip that moves against his position. Which of these two traders do you think is trading in harmony with the market and trading with a stress-free trading mindset? Clearly, it’s the trader out enjoying his life and letting the market do the ‘hard work’.

He is doing this because he has long since figured out that what the amateur traders are doing; sitting in front of their charts, over-analyzing everything and over-trading, is both a waste of time and a lot less likely to make him money in the long-run.

The difference between an “obsessed” trader who needs to be in the market all the time and the successful trader, is simply that the successful trader has learned to ENJOY THE DISCIPLINE AND MODERATION and has realized that THAT is what is making him (or her) profitable. Meanwhile, the unsuccessful trader is still addicted to the “hope” of trading and cannot seem to believe that doing “less” will ultimately result in him making more money in the end. Thus, the struggling trader will trade away as if they have some type of addiction to the market. A very similar analogy can be drawn between alcoholics and those who drink socially and in moderation; the alcoholic allows alcohol to destroy their life whilst the responsible drinker has self-control and gets to enjoy a few drinks here and there and go about their lives successfully. In other words, just as you need to control yourself when drinking alcohol, you need to control yourself when trading the market, by having patience and not becoming addicted to being in a trade.

Good traders who get to enjoy the “trader lifestyle” also benefit from it, because living their life fills in the time and keeps them busy and makes them less likely to interfere with their trades or over-trade. Obviously, I cannot speak for “every” successful trader in the world, but this lesson has given you some very clear insight into what has worked for me over the years and I hope you use it to your advantage. If you want to learn more about my patient price action trading approach, checkout my trading course for more information.

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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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