I have been working with Nick and Forex4Noobs for quite a few years now and have seen a wide range of traders join our community. During that time, I have primarily focused on helping newer traders find their feet in the world of forex trading—something that is deceptively difficult to do.
I myself have transitioned from a beginner trader into a moderately experienced one (5–6 years) and learned many lessons throughout this time that I think would be useful to pass on.
Whether you have just started checking out forex trading or are 1–2 years in, the tips I have listed below will help you become a better trader in a shorter amount of time, hopefully propelling you to financial independence and freedom.
1. Look Forwards, Not Backwards
When you trade forex every day, you’re bound to make mistakes, lose trades, or miss out on opportunities. Simply put, you will not be able to avoid these things, and they will have an impact on your trading.
So what to do about it?
Well, from what I have seen during my work at Forex4Noobs, traders that are able to accept these realities and move forward with trying to mitigate these mistakes often find success much faster.
A mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn anything from it. Nick himself makes mistakes regularly, but the difference between an experienced trader making mistakes and a new trader making them is that the experienced trader will be unphased.
More opportunities and more trades are right in front of you; all you need to do is keep looking forward to the next trade opportunity.
Succeeding in trading requires practice, time, and a bit of experience—all things that you won’t rack up if you simply stop trading. It happens. Paralysis by analysis, fear of trading, and fear of losing—these are all problems that a lot of new traders struggle with.
You have to keep looking forward, apply the skills you’ve learned, and come to understand your own style of trading. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and part of the learning process is figuring out yours.
That being said, don’t neglect looking backwards. You can learn from your mistakes, but the key is to not let those mistakes sit in your mind and corrode your confidence and trading mindset.
The best way to do this is through a trading journal, so you can look back at your collective results and make adjustments based on your collected data. So don’t fret over every detail of every trade; if you have made a mistake, take note of it and apply what you have learned to the next trade.
2. Best Time Frames to Trade
One of the most common issues I see with new traders is deciding on a time frame to trade in. Some of us prefer higher time frames; others prefer lower time frames; both of these are fine, but the key is to choose one and stick to it.
If you are flip-flopping between the two, you will stunt your growth by a considerable amount.
Even though price action is still basically the same, there are important differences between trading on higher and lower time frames that will confuse you if you don’t have enough experience.
The first year of trading is the most important year of your trading career. This time period is the one in which you are most likely to drop everything and walk away from trading.
You do yourself no favors by slowing your progress down, and that means you need to choose the best time frames to trade for you and stick to them for your first year.
Your schedule may also make it necessary to pick one or the other, which is fine! You will have time in the future to explore other time frames once you have found your feet. But make sure you learn how to walk before trying your hand at running.
3. Transitioning From Demo to Live Trading
One of the more subtle aspects of forex trading is the transition from demo trading to live trading.
There are quite a few obstacles here that are worth noting so that you can avoid making mistakes that will make the transition more difficult.
The first of these is that your trading will change slightly, simply because demo trading is not the same as live trading. We encourage demo traders to take a trade instead of not taking one if it looks a bit risky. This is because you are testing the limits of trading on your demo account.
So live trading will typically require a bit more patience and risk management consideration. Don’t be trigger-happy in live trading because that is a quick way to lose your capital.
The second obstacle is a mindset one, which is harder to pin down. Let’s face it: when you trade with real money, you are going to be in a different headspace, as it will impact you much more when you win and lose trades.
Problems of overtrading and overconfidence come about through strings of wins, and fear of trading or losing and paralysis by analysis come about through losing streaks. Be aware of how your mindset changes when you live trade, and you can prevent these problems from taking over your trading process.
The third problem is deciding whether or not to keep trading after you look at your past results.
Based on what I’ve learned from hundreds of Mastermind students, I’ve found that new traders should make the switch slowly.
So let’s say you have looked at your 50 demo trades and had good results with a 50% win rate. You don’t need to scrap your demo account and exclusively focus on your live account.
Keep taking trades on your demo account, and when you feel you have some strong setups, take them on your live account. Gradually, you can fully transition over to your live account, and doing so will help you adjust and keep your momentum.
4. Invest in Charts!
Look, a frustrating reality about forex trading is that most brokers have subpar charting software.
It is not a smooth experience; it often does not have enough customizability and generally slows down and harms your analysis.
If charting doesn’t give you what you want and is hard to understand, your analysis is likely to suffer. So take a look at TradingView or brokers that have their own platforms and try them out.
It is definitely worth your time to look at multiple brokers and see how their charting differs, what you prefer, and which ones give you the best experience.
A lot of your trading time is spent looking at charts so make sure you are not holding yourself back by being restricted by your charting software. More often than not, it is worth the investment in better charting software as you will be using it every day you trade.
5. You Are Your Own Worst Enemy…
This final tip is the most important and relates to all aspects of trading. Forex trading is often a solitary and independent endeavor, and as such, only you know all the mistakes, wins, losses, and ups and downs you go through.
It can be very overwhelming if you don’t have any ways to deal with your work in this way.
One of the biggest problems I see in newer traders is a lack of confidence in themselves and their progress. You have to realize that you are your own worst enemy, your own biggest critic.
Negative thoughts can build up and make you feel less confident, which can stop you from trading at your best.
Find some way to process your trading and the emotions around it—and believe me, you will have a wide range of emotions, in both directions, so make sure you acknowledge that fact so you can prepare yourself.
In addition to confidence problems, you are your own worst enemy in that your mindset will dictate your trading behavior unless you dedicate time to understanding when you are vulnerable to trading poorly.
For example, if I have just lost a trade that was very close to hitting my target but turned around and stopped out, I know that my mindset after something like that will effectively be in the toilet. Revenge trading was something I struggled with a lot, and by chasing lost trades, I became my own worst enemy and was solely responsible for further losses.
Understanding yourself and your weaknesses is more important than understanding your strengths. The name of the game in forex is to protect your capital, and if you are aware of your weaknesses, you will excel at protecting your capital and growing your account.
There you have it, my top 5 tips for beginner forex traders. Let me know in the comments section below what you have struggled with, and I will be happy to answer any questions and help out where I can. Forex trading has such low barriers to entry in today’s digital world, so if you have been thinking about giving trading a try, I say go for it—you have nothing to lose!
“If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
- Warren Buffett
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