BY ABIOLA AKINLEYE
Who is a forex trader? A forex trader is an individual who exchanges one currency for another in the global financial market. The financial market is an over-the-counter (OTC) market, where financial instruments are traded. It is considered the largest and most liquid market in the world, with a daily turnover of over 5.6 trillion dollars.
Anyone who wishes to become a successful trader is responsible for honing their skills through education and consistent practice. At FXTM, we believe educated traders are successful traders, which is why we run very detailed seminars and workshops, both at an introductory and advanced level at our offices and training centers here in Nigeria.
Anyone can train to become a disciplined trader, through self-analysis to see what drives their operations and also learning from their mistakes & forex psychology.
It is a fact that successful traders think and act differently. They usually have specific habits and usually, follow a series of steps or patterns which guide them daily as they trade in the markets.
When you start trading forex, you know that it can be very lucrative and rewarding, but this does not mean that you do not have risks, or that 100% of the time you will be successful. It is important that you master the basic concepts and understand the foundations necessary to excel to become successful.
To achieve what you want, you must focus on trading and make it part of your daily actions. You must also understand that behavior is an integral part of the trading process and thus your attitude and mindset should reflect the following attributes. Let’s have a look.
Manage your money
There is not a single successful trader who does not know how to manage their money. The art of understanding money management – knowing how much you can invest and afford to risk, in addition to being able to establish the appropriate losses and thus take profits at the right time, are skills that are indispensable and that you must acquire. You must preserve your capital always and at all costs, in order to possibly generate wealth in the long-term.
Manage your emotions
Remember that in forex trading there is no place for emotion of any kind. If both the winners and the losers act in the same way, the operations will be executed in a more professional manner and without drastic changes.
You can achieve this with calmness and dedication; for example, if you are upset because one of your trades is experiencing losses, try to take a break from the trade. You can reintegrate once you have calmed down.
Avoid making any emotional decisions, as this can lead you to commit commercial mistakes and disasters that will result in losses.
Take advantage of demo accounts and use them until you are ready
Demo accounts are usually a great way to test the waters in a place where it is not risky since you do not lose real money.
This applies above all if you are a newbie and so you can try different trading platforms. But once you feel very prepared to start a live account, you may try it, and take a chance.
Run your winners in order to have as many benefits as possible
Now, in the financial markets, there are many beginners who think that the best traders are the ones who are always right. This is a myth because in the world of trading, not everything is theory.
Then, once you have found an asset in which you are good, hold on to it and learn to polish that skill. You should always learn to obtain benefits that are significant enough as this is the only way in which you can cover your losses.
Cut losses early
By taking into account how difficult it is to be profitable in the competitive forex world, you must keep an eye on them and are willing to cut losses ahead of time, even if they are your profitable trades.
This means that when the market moves against you, you should not trust that it will return soon. Of course, unless there is a signal that is clear and precise and expresses what will happen in the market, in that case, leave soon and go to the next, always with the hope that it might be profitable.
Learn from your mistakes and see them as knowledge
You learn while doing it. That is why you should not allow a bad experience to truncate the path to success.
It’s a learning curve that would allow better decision-making in the future.
Find the perfect strategy and repeat
It is well-known that trading can be like a big battle to take money out of the market. And to be able to achieve this in the most appropriate way, you will need a repeatable and efficient strategy that works for you in the long run. The market is always changing, which means that you will sometimes need to make adjustments to your strategy. That way, you will might more chances to win if you can find a way to make your strategy works. Don´t waste more time.
Separate your life habits from the trading habits
It is important that you can make time and maintain a balanced lifestyle to your life outside of trading. Having a healthy and calm lifestyle requires that you take regular breaks from trading during the day. This will help you to make better trading decisions and as a result, you will have more chances of being successful.
Search and use methods that have been tested and you can prove it.
Do not believe everything you read and see on the internet, remember that it is a minefield of lies and people seeking profits on the backs of frauds.
That is why you should look for a real test of the methods that are being promoted to you and verify that they really work well.
This insurance process can include going with current trends, also reducing your losses, in case you are seeing a benefit, or letting go.
Never forget the risk/reward
Do not forget that there is always a risk before a reward. The ratio of risk to reward is not going to be the same all the time, due to the fast-moving nature of the financial market. There are times when it may seem that you are failing in the trade with the risk you see, only so that everything can become a reward in this way.
Then you can proceed to make your withdrawals and they can be about half of your returns or even less. You must pay attention and definitely not expect for every trades to produce profits every time.
Keep a trade journal
By having a trading diary, you can keep a record of your winning positions as well as the losing ones. It is also important to also point out the characteristics that led you to that position, and be able to analyse these results.
It is necessary to be very orderly in the life of a trader, since keeping a record of trades gives the trader a really objective platform and thus be able to better understand both their options and their decisions. All of these are important in order to improve the process of trading.
Take responsibility for your movements
This habit is linked to controlling your emotions, with the difference that this time you mustn’t just control your emotions, but that you have to accept them.
You must take responsibility for each of the movements/decisions you make, and you should not blame anyone for your losses. Equally, this means no one but you gets credit for your profits. Do not invest in more than what you can afford to lose.
It’s not just habits that make the trader, it’s the personality too
Habits are important because they form a routine for the trader and make them a person who follows certain steps that will lead him to their next gains. However, personality also plays one of the most important roles in being successful trader and it is the perfect complement for these habits to work in their entirety.
A trader must have a defined personality in order to predict a pattern of behavior that will not only help them to understand the market better, but also the way in which the same trader manages that market.
For example, there are traders who are calm and determined; in case they are not 100% sure of a trade, they may decide not to go ahead with it and thus maintain their current balance. In this way, they remain a cautious and patient trader.
At the same time, there are traders who take risks and this can lead them to have big profits, or big losses. Regardless of personality type, the important thing is that the trader knows themselves, knows what kind of habits are indicators for them and what their movements are in the market.
Finding at least one advantage in forex trading will help keep you in a superior position; having good trading habits can certainly be one of these advantages.
These habits that were explained previously serve for all types of traders, since if there is something that all successful traders have in common, is that everyone must maintain good habits in order to be successful. Organize yourself and create a routine with habits that could lead you to success.
Akinleye, general manager at FXTM Nigeria, writes from Lagos.