Tips for becoming a successful Forex trader

Becoming a forex trader

Be aware of the dangers of forex trading. (Risk Warning)
Don't invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

Know the basics. (Forex Training) (Books on Trading)
Diving into Forex trading without any knowledge or training is like walking into a casino and risking all of your money. Trading rules are not complex, but you need to know them.

Know your broker's trading terms & conditions: It is important that you fully master the trading platform you are going to use, so you should first take a test-drive on a demo account. Trading conditions vary from broker to broker, so make sure that you know and understand your broker's trading conditions, such as leverage, margin call and stop out levels, swap and rollover charges, etc... If you're not sure about something, check out our forex glossary or broker comparison chart...or just go to the forum to ask any questions you may have.

Plan out some strategies. (Dow Theory) (Forex Trading Plan)
Use a demo account to come up with your strategy and find your own style of trading, according to your ability to manage stress. You might choose to trade a larger portion of your capital over a shorter period of time, or you might choose "swing trading" for the medium to long run. Successful traders anticipate their moves for when the market goes up or down, while unsuccessful traders try to predict what the market will do.

Always stay informed. (Economic Calendar) (Fundamental Analysis )
Economic statistics can have a strong influence on the currency market, so stay informed of figures such as unemployment rates, interest rate decisions, GDP, industrial production, consumer price indices, retail sales, etc...

Determine your maximum loss prior to investing. (Money Management)
Before you open a position, determine your profit objective as well as your maximum acceptable loss. Developing a method that only allows you to open winning positions is impossible. It is therefore very important that you keep these losses as low as possible.

Secure your profits.
Use Stop orders or Trailing Stops, which follow the evolution of prices.

Trade at the same time each day. (The Best Hours for Trading)
The behavior of the various currency pairs, liquidity and volatility evolve according to the time of day and the days of the week. Try to avoid trading when the market opens or closes.

Let your winning positions run and cut your losses.
The difference between a professional trader and a beginner is most often seen in the acceptance of losses. The sooner you learn to lose, the sooner you'll start to make money.

Follow trends.
Acting against market trends is suicidal, don't try to determine future market trends. Instead, follow the current trend and identify the inversion phases. You need to be able to recognise the trend within the time frame you're trading in.

Control your emotions. (Trader Psychology)
Trading requires keeping a cool head, the best traders succeed because they are able to control their emotions and think carefully before they make a move.

The market is always right, your ego isn't.
After a series of significant losses or gains, stop your day of trading so that you don't take any impulsive positions. Stand back and analyse your strategy.

Have enough capital.
Money is the trader's tool. The more money you have, the easier it will be to face the inevitable losses you'll encounter in Forex trading.

Try to figure out what the "big dogs" are doing.
Currency pair prices are not dictacted so much by individual traders as they are by professional traders. VSA (volume spread analysis) can be used to identify what institutional players are doing and which way prices are going to go. Video on volume spread analysis.

...Last but not least: 1) always use a stop-loss order, and 2) don't use leverage greater than 10 (it's tempting to quickly make $9,000, but you could just as easily lose $9,000).

 

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