The One Trade per Week Forex Trading Strategy
In today’s lesson I am going to show you how you could possibly make 100% on your trading account in one year by only trading one time a week. Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not, and if you simply learn to trade like a sniper instead of a machine-gunner, and manage your money properly on every trade you take, you could approximately double your trading account in one year using solid money management. That is obviously not a guarantee or a promise, but I am going to teach you today that by simply being disciplined and following a well thought-out trading plan you could make a very decent return each year in the markets. I must inform all of you that this lesson provides examples of aggressive money management tactics, thus I strongly suggest each trader decide how much money they want to risk per trade according to their own risk tolerance and personal circumstances. In reality, it would be hard to double a small trading account without taking risks, but as we all know, without risks there is no gains. Just do me a favor and don’t rush out and start trading this strategy until you’re confident and fully understand it.
The main points to consider in today’s lesson are the following:
1) Focusing on quality of trades over quantity of trades is the quickest way to make money in the markets.
2) By preparing your trading strategy and trading plan before you begin trading with real money you will put the odds of success in your favor while diminishing the chances of becoming an emotional trader who loses money.
3) The keys to making the one-trade-per-week strategy work for you are being disciplined and patient.
The 1 trade per week strategy: Example
Let’s first take a look at the math behind the 1 trade per week strategy to see how it can lead to a very decent yearly return. Remember, this strategy is about trading with patience, if you do not believe that being a patient trader can pay off in the long-term; all you need to do is look at the examples below:
Please Note that your starting capital /account balance and what you decide to risk per trade can be ‘any figure’ you choose and are comfortable with. Some people may be more aggresive and some people may be more conservative with their capital risk management. Please understand that you should only risk an amount per trade that you are completely comfortable with. I will say that many people teaching forex promote 2% risk per trade, I DON’T agree or believe that 2% is enough risk per trade to make any amount of substantial money long term with this particular strategy. The below figures are just an example of how placing one trader per week could grow your account using several different risk reward and win rate scenarios.
Starting account balance = $5,000
Number of trades per week = 1 (average over one year period)
Risk / Reward per trade = 1:2
Risk per trade = $500
Reward per trade = $1,000
Assumed winning percentage = 40%
Assumed losing percentage = 60%
52 trades in a year =
52 x .40% winning trades = 20.8 winning trades
52 x .60% losing trades = 31.2 losing trades
So, let’s say 21 winners and 31 losers over the course of a year.
21 x 1,000 = $21,000 profit
31 x 500 = $15,500 loss
Total profit = $5,500 (110% return)
So, we can see in the above example that if you only traded 52 times in a year (1 time a week on average) and you used a risk reward of 1:2 on every trade while winning 40% of the time and losing 60% of the time, you have made a $5,500 profit on a $5,000 starting balance over the course of a year. This is a 110% return on your investment over a one year period, a very acceptable return by any professional’s standards.
Of course, you can always aim for more than 1:2 risk reward and this will actually allow you to trade even less frequently than once a week or have a losing percentage over 60% and STILL be profitable. For example (assuming risk of $500 and reward of $1,500):
52 trades: 36 losers and 16 winners = 70% losing rate and 30% winning rate (approximate):
1:3 risk reward:
16 winners x 1,500 = $24,000
36 losers x 500 = $18,000
Total profit = $6000 (120% return)
Now, let’s dissect this a bit so that you understand the significance of these examples. Note that in both of the examples above you could have made over 100% on your trading account in one year by just trading 1 time a week. I’m willing to bet if you go look at your trading account history right now you have executed way more than 52 trades in the last year. In fact, some of you have probably executed 52 trades just this week or month.
In the second example we see that if you have a risk reward of 1:3 you can actually lose on 70% of your trades and STILL make a 120% return on the year! Just so you guys know, making 100% on a trading account in a year is up in the realm of top-performing hedge-fund managers and bank traders. (Read my Forex money management article to learn why I measure risk in dollars and not pips or percentages.) This strategy of only trading an average of once a week can really work for you if are willing to take the next steps…
How to make the 1 trade a week strategy work for you
It’s one thing to discuss a hypothetical example scenario, but it’s another thing to actually make it work for you in reality. So, what do you need to do to really make the one trade a week strategy work for you?
The obvious trait that is required here is self-discipline. You need to be disciplined enough to only trade the most obvious trade setup each week, and this might mean you don’t trade at all some weeks. Also, you may have to endure strings of multiple losing trades, so you need to have the discipline to not over-trade or over-leverage even if you have just had 5 losing trades in a row. You must understand that we are leveraging the power of risk reward combined with a mastery of your trading strategy to make money, but since we never know which trades will win and which trades will lose, we have to have discipline to remain calm and follow our plan even in the face of inevitable strings of losing trades.
The point here is that you want to think longer-term about your trading and try and set an approximate goal of only trading 4 times a month, which will result in about 52 trades a year. Remember, this is not a concrete trading rule; I am just trying to show you that by trading less frequently than you probably are right now you can make a very decent return by learning to be a disciplined price action trader.
Next, you need to have patience to make the one trade a week strategy work for you. Perhaps the best way to become a patient trader is to master one Forex strategy at a time, this way you will have total confidence in your trading ability and you will know exactly what you are looking for in the market. When you know what you are looking for in the markets there is no reason not to wait for your trading edge to appear, other than being an emotional trader. Thus by thoroughly mastering an effective trading strategy like price action you will naturally infuse a certain amount of patience into your trading mindset.
However, you must do more if you want to make patience a permanent part of your trading mindset; you must make a conscious effort to be a patient trader until it becomes a habitual part of your trading routine. The best way to do this is to create a Forex trading plan around the one trade a week strategy, this will give you a tangible reminder of what you overall approach is for trading the markets and will work to continually reinforce what you need to do to reach your trading goals.
Questions and Answers:
Before we end today’s lesson I want to answer two questions that I get a lot of emails about and that I’m sure many of you will have regarding this article, so here goes:
Q: Won’t it be difficult to make a lot of money only trading once a week?
A: What is a lot of money to you? Is a 100% return in one year a lot of money to you? Obviously, if you have a $500 trading account a 100% return is only $500, not really a lot of money. However, if you have a $25,000 trading account than a 100% return is $25,000 in a year, this is a decent chunk of change to make for only trading an average of once a week.
But, if you are trying to get rich quick in Forex you are probably only going to lose your money even quicker. You need to understand now that the way you make money in the markets on a consistent basis is by learning to trade like a sniper and not a machine gunner. Yes, your account size does limit the amount of money you can expect to make in a year. But if you can grow your trading account 100% in a year, you will have no problem finding people to fund you. You HAVE TO manage your risk effectively on every trade otherwise you will lose all your money before you give your edge a chance to play out in the market.
Q: I don’t have enough money to only trade once a week, what do I do?
A: This is a question I get often. It seems that many beginning traders equate trading smaller time frames with being the necessary course of action for trading a small account. In fact, traders with small accounts need to trade higher time frames more than traders with large accounts. The reason is that the lower time frames are naturally going to have more false signals and whipsaws, this is going to cause you to over-trade and (or) over-leverage, and on a small account it does not take long to have a full account blow-out once you start over-trading and over-leveraging. Remember that trading more does not mean you are going to make more money, trading less frequently but with more precision gives you a better chance.
I can assure you that thinking you are going to make money faster by trading a small account on the small time frames is probably the fastest way to losing your money in the markets. I believe aspiring traders need to learn how to trade the daily charts first, as they reflect the most practical and accurate view of the market for my price action trading strategies, as well as act as a natural filter for the random market noise of the lower time frames.
If you would like to learn more about the ‘one trade per week trading style’ and other concepts discussed in today’s lesson – please check out my price action trading course and members’ community here.
73 Comments Leave a Comment
hi nial. what if you get a second setup for the week, which looks extremely good? do u trade it, or stick to only 1 trade for the week?
great article thank you
I think the key issue is being patient enough to filter the high probability set up. It is even possible to get 3 to 7 good set ups in a week!
I have been on daily chart frame and I use .02 for my $3,000 demo account and made 10% returns in just 2 weeks. With this lot size I am able to trade any good set up that come my away without worrying about the amount I will lose. So far this month I have lost three trades of -25.82, -26.92 and -90.74 (gbp/jpy) due to Brexit whereas my best trade gave me 231.81 (gb/nz), followed 188.18, 158.18 and 3 others. Just stick to price action, daily chart frame and good money management and I believe one can achieve 300 or 400% and above in a year depending on the volatility for that year because that is another strong consideration.
I did exactly this last year and made 120% Trading the daily chart only. Then I got a little cocky and greedy and started trading on the smaller time frame charts and sure enough I started to lose money. I’m now back on track trading the daily only and growing my account again. I would also like to add that I now pyramid trade ( see Nials article) and I’m very sure I will get a greater return than last year.
Trade Once A Week Really An Amazing Concept But Before It We Should Have Patience as well as we trade.
Just adding a few probabilities to Nial’s first example (40% success/trade, 1:2 ratio, 10000 account, risk 1000 per trade, 52 trades):
– Probability that the account blows up is about 3.5%
– Probability that the account size is less than 10000 after 52 trades is 17.5%
– The most probable (11.2%) account size after 52 trades is 21000.
– Probability that the account size is larger than 36000 is about 3%.
And the same for 104 trades:
– Probability that the account blows up is about 3.5%
– Probability that the account size is less than 10000 after 104 trades is 7.6%
– The most probable (7.9%) account size after 104 trades is 32000.
– Probability that the account size is larger than 56000 is about 3.8%.
I think discipline in the key to success in forex, a virtue that’s lacking in most of us. But I feel knowing that I can make millions with these virtue, there’s no turning back. I just have to work on it. Thanks Nial for making us believe in ourselves.
In the example above how would you double an account with $25000 or $50000. To trade once a week and get a 100% return means you risk 2500 or 5000 per trade. That is going to give you sleepless nights. Please put some light on this.
Sunny, Remember this article is the raw theory of the concept, for educational purposes only. In the real world you would trade an amount that you are comfortable risking per trade, and you may trade more or less than 1 trade per week.
Great Article ..thanks once again Nial
NICE ARTICAL. THANKS NAIL
Thanks Nail for converting me to the higher time frame trade set up and few trades per week. I must say that i have practiced it over and over only to find out that it is more profitable than the crazy many trades of scalping just a few pips everyday. I risk 10% with not more than 2 trades a week and i will only place the second trade when i place a break even point on the earlier trade. Am in profits with this strategy for over 1 year and 6 months. Nail , you are my Forex mentor and am indebted to you.
In my humble opinion, what we should be asking ourselves is what we’d be comfortable risking on a per trade basis if our next 5 trades were all losers. The answer to that question should be what drives our decision as to what we put on the line for every trade.
My 0.02 worth
Danny. On one comment here you have said you prefer the idea of the percentage of account money management concept, and now your saying we should risk ‘what we are comfortable risking on a per trade basis’. You can’t have it both ways :)
i am intrested in one trade per week.let me know the strategy.pls.
Really nice article.The market is always unpredictable.The disciplined traders gets the money from undisciplined traders. this article is real eyeopener for the indiscipline traders who lose money in the market.
I 100% agree with you! It depends on the size of our trading capital! When I traded my $5K account, I risked about 3%-5% per trade, however, I rarely risked 10%.
I have been trading 4 years the chart patterns and when I found your sites, I started making much more thanks to a solid win rate. I think that the price action is the best way to trade. I do not know what is your trading capital, though, if I risked more than 1% per trade, the investors would probably say to me goodbye. I trade an 8-digit account and cannot imagine risking 10% per trade.
How much do you personally risk per trade? I had 8 losses in a row since January 1, 2013, and If I had risked 10%, it would have been an 80% drawdown. I trade off of the dailies only and had a lot of false signals on AUD/USD.
According to Mr. Brandt, we should start at least with an $100,000 account. What do you think about it? I must agree with him if we want to live off trading FX.
I respect you as my mentor and thank you for your effort!
Wow….I love to trade a huge account like yours in the near future.
One of the most respected Forex and commodity traders, Peter L. Brand, who has been trading over 30 years, recommends that we should never risk more than 1% per trade. He also says that drawdowns about 50% are insane. I think if we risk 10% per trade, it is quite possible to have a drawdown about 40%-50%. Peter has never risked more than 1% per trade within the 30 years. He has audited results where you can see his performance over 30,000% during the 30-year period. I trade a great deal of money of private investors and I cannot imagine risking 10% per trade!
Pavel – The 1% rule in my opinion is nonsense. I guess we have different opinions on that. When your trading huge money, the risk per trade will be much less I agree on that. Realistically if a trader with under $25,000 trades 1% per trade, he won’t make much money. I think traders who have smaller accounts need to be more aggresive if they ever want to grow their account size.
I am a member of your site and I respect and appreciate what you teach…it has really helped my trading and how I view the markets. But as someone who is not completely new to the trading arena I just can’t see how the 1% rule is nonsense. If you have a 25K account and you’re risking 1% per trade with a 50% win rate and a 1:2 risk/reward, then trading 52 times per year would give a 26% return. I guess opinions as to what constitutes a good return are all relative, but there are many who would say that this is not half bad at all. If you compound that on an annual basis over the next 5 years, then the 25K will have grown to 80K. Maybe not aggressive enough for someone who’s in a hurry to build an account to trade off of for a living, but again, this is a phenomenal return.
Danny, I am saying that if a trader chooses to use the percentage of account money management concept, it is arbitrary. Risk per trade can’t just be plucked out the air and based on what is in your margin forex account.
“I think traders who have smaller accounts need to be more aggressive if they ever want to grow their account size.” Interesting mountain statement. I am a gleaner in your fields @Sir Nial – I carefully follow behind you as you scatter the seeds. Thank you for depositing yourself into another generation of pro traders.
Hi Nial, compliment of the season, wishing you all the very best of the season & regards to all your friends & families……..in JESUS NAME AMEN.
Just to let u knw that you have really drive my spirit fully back to FX biz. I do read your articles on forex on daily basis since i discovered your site. You have really given me hope
More grace to your elbo, keep the good work you’re doing flowing, by this youhave transformed so many ppls life around the world & not just in Australia alone. God bless you 4life.
Great work, Nial …
Each reading makes it more appreciated
Very wise and sensible explanations.
Yeah, in my experience as of today.. 10 or more losses in a row shows you are amazingly unlucky or more than likely doing something that is plain wrong. Anything is possible in the markets but if you ever loose around a third of your whole account you need to stop trading immediately and go back to demo mode and thoroughly look at the trades you have made. Replenish you account funds and keep demoing until you have turned a profit for 3 months, then go back to real fund trading. If you keep accurate records in a trading journal and review them often it will become very clear if you are doing anything wrong.
Great article Nial but it strikes me that 10% of account per trade is very high. If you have a $5000 a/c & trade $500 per trade. Then 10 straight losses of the total 31 losses in your example wipes your A/c. That’s certainle possible in my experiece.
If you lose 10 trades in a row, your clearly doing something very wrong, also this lesson is just an example, it’s main lesson/idea is about trading less often and with precision.
Hope you are well. Thank you very much for another awesome lesson, very much appreciated.
Thank you for all your help
Thanks and Regards
Thanks Nial for todays lesson. Always a constant learning curve with today being just as important to your previous articles. Great work! Inspirational.
I swear your phsycic Nial,I’m trading this way myself and you can get more than 1 trade a week you simply find a good trade,set and forget then start hunting down your next trade while your waiting!
I started with £1000 and stuck with £50 per trade. This was what I was most comfortable with at the start. I traded the most obvious price action setups and aimed for a minimum of 1:2 ris/reward. I had demo traded this for about a year prior to going live so I was very familiar with PA setups and got to the stage where I could filter out the best ones and could see potential trades of more than 1:2RR. During the first 5 months of going live I more than doubled my £1k starting funds using the £50 per trade. a fair few of the trades were 1:3/1:4 and even managed to follow the trend with a trailing stop and gain a 1:9. By the end of the first 12months I had just under £4000 in my account. This was not that difficult and was quite stress free using the set and forget method on nearly all my trades apart from the one where I monitored my trailing stop as the trade was trending. Prior to trading PA and using the daily charts I used to look at 5/15 minute time frames and it was a freaking nightmare, the level of stress and over complications I put my self through was ridiculous. Just read all the articles on this site and keep re-reading and apply strickly what it says. This is where its at and no need to learn anything else in order to turn a profit in the markets.
Congrats Robert, very clever and disciplinated man….1000 account into 4000 in one year is 400% return… envyable for all profissionals traders!
What price action setup did you master or use in your trading?
Also the first reply from Dan.
I’ve been there and done that as well.
Not a real-good feeling.
Like wanting jump off the harbour bridge(Sydney).
This is by far your second best article ever.
It was apleasure reading it.
Dear great teacher thank you for being simple and sincere.
Great stuff Thanks.
Thank you very much nial
Hi Nial. Like always, another insightfull article on the KISS principle. I respect your work and enjoy your wonderful articles.
GOOD ARTICLE. Ofcourse not everyone is so risk averse or has that kind of funds so they will start with less and trade a smaller size per trade. The point here is to keep the trade size the same until you have doubled your account or until you have reached a figure where you can increase the trade size slightly more. A fixed percentage of 2% is very small and once you have some loosing trades the initial 2% becomes and even smaller amount you are trading with. In theory it sounds safe and wonderful but this is how most traders never end up making any long term profits. It just keeps you in the game longer and with over trading you are just making money for the broker via the spread.
Another great lesson. Thank you…:-) Will sleep on it and try to implement it. For me it is one step forward and two backwards. I have to change that pretty soon or there won’t be any future for me trading forex. My entries are mostly good i think. And I am a sniper .:-)but i struggle with stop loses. They get hit and they decimate my account time and time again. And then I miss the run of course. Is it 10/5/2% or as most other sites always suggest highest/lowest previouse bar?..? then that percentile would be different every time you trade or am i missing something here? And on daily chart that can be huge – zillions of points. Very confused.
Do a manual backtest on a mt4 platform or whatever platform you use with prefferably ny close time from jan1 to dec 31 2011 with your favorite trade setups as nial points out and trading one position in dollars —lets say only the major pairs.Shouldn’t take long to do this on the daily charts. It’s very possible to get these returns if your discipline.
Brilliant Nial. Nice article- good logic. Also good feedback and including Dan’s comments. Keep up the good work Nial.
Great Sir, you r the real motivator.
Good stuff as always Nial.
I have a third question to add to the two in the article.Once I’ve made the money how do I manage it in such a way that I can scale up my business efficiently and pay myself a regular ‘salary’?
Thank you Nial for great lesson again. As far as I establish from my trading,biggest problem in examples like the one you describe is to achieve 1:2 R:R in each and every winning trade. My avarage at the moment is a bit more than 1,so this math her for me is not working yet. Hope I could stil improve to get to 1:2 R:R or even better.
If I had only traded daily s this month I would be in profit arround 2x my monthly profit target. It has been the undisciplined entry of lower time frame trades, that has me sitting on my profit target now. It’s is such a journey to become black belt. I have a long way to go. Nial you have a good knack at sending these lesions at just the right time.thanks
Real eye opener, just makes so much sense. Thanks Nial.
Agree with your sniper way of trading is the way to go.
However, in your example, isn’t risking 10% per trade too much to absorb, a string of lossess may wipe you out.
In reality, I’m sure we are interested to know how much you risk per trade?
My plan is to trade 5 good trades per month. If my success rate is 3 out of 5 means 60%. Risking 2% for each trade will give the following and aim 2R:
3 Winnings – 3 x 4% = 12%
2 Losses – 2 x 2% = 4%
Net win = 8% per month, 96% per year.
Hence, I feel that 2% can achieve the target too.
Just my views. Hope to hear more from you.
Great advice and accurate. I started using a spreadsheet several years ago where I simulate various W/L ratios and Risk percentages. I concluded then, have have been self proving that earning 10% or more per month is not so unrealistic if one practices patience and strong money management. I manage risk by adjusting each trade position size to the expected $dollar risk based on pre-defined stop levels.
You have some of the best trading advice around for new and frustrated traders.
Totally agree; I’ve been having consistent success on dailies taking perhaps 4-5 trades a month for the last year or so with your method.
Going off even the H4 has helped me and actually after being on the dailies for a year I’m much better at analysing the lower timeframes ( though I still never trade below daily).
Patience! Isn’t it wonderful! I have been applying after quite some time with you your strategy on mastering one “Price action” at a time. I like your article..
I am Very Impressive, I just definitely have to take your advice, I think it is the only way this can work for us. I apply your recommendations in my demo and guess what? It worked, but it is too bad to say that I did not apply your strategies in my real account and I am losing money. So, I am taking a serious resolution right now, I am going to apply your advices in my real account, I will not be an emotional trader otherwise, I will be killed in this market and my real intention is,at least, to survive this market.
Thanks for your great advices,
Your first 10 positions are losing trades = blown account
This example illustrates that a 10% risk per trade is too high for any sized account, a greater starting balance and a smaller risk % per trade would allow this strategy to work.
Fantastic article Nial!
Im going to print this one out and leave it staring at me in my trading room!
Many thanks for another great article, it ALL keeps coming together.
Yep dead right Nial, you have got to have patience. Its the hardest part for me, but thanks to you and the forum I’m getting there.
Happy New Year Nial and all.
This has come at a great time for me who at the moment has lost all confidence in trading. This however has kept me out the markets and given me time to reflect on my previous mistakes which will never happen again! New year, new approach, thanks again Nial.
I always enjoy reading something that says you can be a loser 70% if the time and yet still be a winner! Every time I read that I just think of one word….Genius!
p.s. John I think that was just a little example although I certainly know some people who risk 10% of there trading account on one trade! So wasn’t bad example either.
Nial, great article, but start with 10% risk is too much for me, could you explain better this choice?
Hi Niall, I have so enjoyed the past two issues, the one where you showed how you analyze a trade (USD – AUSD) was fab (I didn’t take the trade, unfortunately!!) but it was so educational and beneficial to me for where I am at. Thanks for your transparency.I learn when I see trades placed by an experienced trader and hear the analysis.
The one today was encouraging and helped me evaluate where I am going in my trading and showed that it is possible, just to work within my parameters of comfort and account. Thanks for all you do Niall.
Are we taking 10% per trade or $500 per trade? If it’s 10% per trade, then it will scale up & down following your balance. If it’s a fixed $500 per trade, then it takes only 10 trades to wipe you out. And, it’s not even consider the margin required to execute your last few trades. The probability of 5 losing trades in a row it pretty high.
Thanks Nial! The thing I realized is that I must focus on being more disciplined. I just had an experience that really really woke me up and being able to catch up on your lessons (old and new) at any given time, really encourages me.
I really like your article and you have managed to address many fears many traders who stay away from your style of trading!
Just a question, Nial:
Is ‘one trade a week’ realistic for any beginners trading with your approach on daily chart only? My experience on the market is that the the good trades tend to be miles away or coming out at you all at once…
What I love is the simplicity, it’s great if you eventually start to listen and follow the path, just follow the lights
Great article yet again. Well done ;)
Great article! Lot of insights.
Your risk/trade in that example is 500/5000=10%, which is way too much for me personally.
Magnificent article Nial. All you need is at least one good trade per month, depending on how much your risk reward ratio is, and over a year, nice profit. Trade like a sniper is the way to go. Thank you mate
Great post. I actually sat down today (before finding this) and did up a 10 year plan for myself. By starting with $5000 and making about 6.0% PROFIT a month you are effectively doubling your money each year. And in about 8 years you could quiet easily be a millionaire. 8 years i hear you say? Its very very realistic. There are a lot of factors in that (not regarding tax, losses etc etc) but it shouldn’t matter what you start with.
Its all about the right foundations and the right trading philosophy. As Nial says, become a sniper… Take it from someone whos overtraded, blown up my account big time once and committed all the sins of a greedy trader. Slow and steady will get you there much faster over time than trying to climb mount everest in one single step!