As a beginning forex trader, you can easily get lost, confused or overwhelmed with all the information you are bombarded with on the internet about trading. The best thing to do is to just take it slow, learn how to trade properly from an experienced professional and don’t rush it.
The following 10 forex trading tips are things that I wish someone had told me when I first began trading. So, with that in mind, I am giving you ten of the most important trading tips for a beginning (or any) trader to absorb before getting started in the market.
10. Learn the basics first
Many beginning traders try jumping right into the market with no real background knowledge on the markets they are trading. To build a solid trading foundation, you need to take the time to learn about how the Forex market works (or any market you’re trading) and really get a solid understanding of all the jargon, etc. before you actually dive in and start learning a trading strategy. You can gain this knowledge by taking my free beginners forex trading introduction course.
9. Learn one trading strategy, stick with it.
One of the biggest mistakes I see beginning traders make again and again, is changing trading methods too often. If you are using a logical, common sense trading method like my price action method, you need to really learn it and master it before you do anything else. If you jump from method to method because you think you’ll find some “Holy Grail” trading strategy, you are simply operating on false hope and being illogical, and you will lose money.
Also, don’t switch methods just because you had a few losing trades. Any method will have a certain amount of losers over a sample size of trades, this is normal and part of trading. You cannot let losing trades affect you too much; you really do need ice cold discipline to excel at trading.
8. Don’t get overwhelmed
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with information and trading strategies as a beginning trader, it happens to all of us in the beginning. The best way to limit this or avoid it altogether, is to find a mentor, someone to learn from, and piggy back off their success. I have laid out all my trading strategies for you to learn in my price action trading course and in my opinion, the best thing you can do is block everything else out, forget everything you’ve learned, and start over with my teachings from a clean slate and focus only on that until you really know what you’re doing.
7. Don’t freak out when a trade moves against you
This one is big, because most traders, especially beginners, freak out or over-react at the first sign of a trade moving against them. This is much more of a problem in live trading than demo trading, due to the differences in emotion between them, but it is a problem and it needs to be addressed.
A trade moving against you is NORMAL. I’ve had trades move to within 5 pips of my stop loss and go on to be HUGE winners after that. If I had freaked out and closed them out before they hit my stop loss, I would have not only lost money, but I would have lost a lot of profit too. This is the main reason why you need to let your trades play out and not close them out early ONLY because they’ve moved against you.
It’s really pretty simple: Set your stop loss in a logical / safe place (more on this later), manage your position size so that your dollar risk is at a level you’re OK with losing, and LET THE TRADE GO. Don’t micro-manage your trades, just let the market do the work and you go play a round of golf, go to the gym or go to sleep…then check on the trade the next day. Doing nothing with your live trade is usually the best (and most lucrative) move, meaning set and forget it.
6. Focus on the price action.
There was a time once, believe it or not, when people traded without computers. Hard to believe I know, but it’s true. How do you think they did that? It wasn’t with RSI, MACD’s, Stochastics or some automated trading software obviously…it was with PRICE ACTION. They used to read the tape at the exchanges, or they would have the price movements posted up on big boards to read and interpret. They were interpreting price changes or price action. This method is the only ‘natural’ trading method and it’s been around since the 1700’s when Japanese rice traders invented candlestick charts to predict changes in rice prices.
It works, don’t over-complicate it. My unique take on price action trading has worked well for me and if you follow what I say in my course and use extreme discipline and logical thinking along with patience, it can work for you too! No need to clutter up your charts and mind with a bunch of messy and over-complicated indicators or news events. I don’t do it and neither should you because it’s a waste of time, mental energy and ultimately, your money.
5. Be realistic
Perhaps the hardest but most important thing for a new trader to do, is to be realistic. I’m sorry, but I have to tell you that you aren’t going to be able to quit your job and go work from a beach with a $2,000 trading account. If any other site or person is telling you something like this, you need to RUN from them because they are scammers and have no clue what they’re talking about.
Can you make a boat load of money trading the markets? Sure, of course. Perhaps no other profession in the world has as much upside potential as trading. But, that comes at a steep cost; it’s not easy, at least not mentally easy.
You are going to encounter all kinds of mental ‘traps’ and self-sabotage mistakes along the way on your trading journey. Being grounded and realistic is what will keep you on the path to trading success. If you start getting dollar signs in your eyes you’re going to over-leverage (risk too much) and over trade your account and lose money instead of make a lot of money. You don’t want that.
4. Don’t trade a lot.
Slow and steady wins the trading race, it’s cliché I know, but it’s so true. Trading with high frequency opens you up to a world of emotional trading mistakes that will destroy your trading account and your self-esteem.
I’ve written many articles on this topic, and I know that for many of you this will unfortunately not register in your mind until it’s too late, but you do not need to trade a lot to make a lot of money. To understand why more clearly, check out this article on high frequency vs. low frequency trading.
3. Focus on the daily chart
You need to learn how to interpret and trade the price action on the daily chart time frame before you do anything else. I’m not going to get into this too deeply here, because I have several other articles on it which you can check out here:
The best time frames to trade
Daily chart time frame; the ‘Holy Grail’
How trading daily chart will improve your trading results
2. Don’t put stop losses too close
This one is big, and it takes most traders a while and a lot of lost money to figure it out; you have to place your stop losses at a ‘safe’ distance away from your entry price. If you place them too close you will get stopped out for a loss before the market really had a chance to move in your favour. In other words, your trade idea may have been right, but because you placed your stop loss too close, you got stopped out before the move you were anticipating occurred.
Here are a couple of articles to help you with stop loss placement:
How to place stop losses
How to use the ATR for stop loss placement
1. Don’t just jump in with no education
It’s always amazing to me how many people want to risk their money in the market without having obtained any training or trading education. Then later, after they’ve lost a bunch of money, they decide to get some education. This is backwards, it’s like trying to fly an airplane without going to flight school, then you crash the plane and almost die, then after all that you decide to go to flight school…many traders do this exact same thing with their trading accounts, don’t be one of them!
Save your money first for trading education; learn how to trade properly before anything else and the money will then become ‘attracted’ to you. Don’t try flying the plane before flight school!