5 Uncomfortable Truths About Trading

Do you still think you can reach your trading goals? Do your back-testing and forward-testing systems work as well as they could?

Don’t worry if you’re upset with how well you did. You might have forgotten a few simple facts about trading.

Let’s look at some facts that not many traders will tell you, but that will help you on your trading journey:

Money is needed to make money.

Even though many traders have had success with small accounts, they have also had to deal with the problems that come with them.

For example, the risk of a margin call goes up when you trade with positions that are too big and have too much leverage.

If you care more about the P/L of each trade, you might also make more trading psychology mistakes than you would if you had a bigger account that you could afford to lose.

Don’t get me wrong—you CAN start trading with just a little bit of money. Bad traders can lose a big account just as quickly as they can lose a small one.

Trading, however, is not a hobby. It’s an enterprise. And, like most businesses, if you want to make a lot of money, you need money. Don’t think that your $50 account will earn you hundreds of dollars per week.

You have to be where the action is.

One of the most common pieces of advice about trading is to take advantage of opportunities at the time of day when you have the most time to trade.

This is a good plan. If you are just starting out and want to get your feet wet.

If you want to get better at trading and build your confidence, you need to trade when the market gives you the most chances. Most traders do this by trading during the London and New York trading sessions.

Just like a doctor would see a wider range of illnesses in a tropical third-world country than in a first-world suburb, traders who trade during the busier trading sessions will probably improve their skills faster than those who trade during the quieter sessions.

You’re going to make a mistake. A lot.

And because no single system can make money in ALL trading conditions, even your tried-and-true mechanical systems will be wrong a lot.

So, how do you keep making money even if you’re wrong?

Keep in mind that a trader doesn’t have to win a lot of trades to make money. Some traders can make money even though they don’t win very often, as long as their average win rate is high enough.

Instead of trying to win, you should try to learn how to “feel” the market.

A trader who can quickly recognize how market conditions are changing and who can manage his or her risk exposure at the same time can make money consistently.

In trading, there is no holy grail.

In case you missed any of the 57,219 memos we’ve sent, I’ll say it again:

There is no “holy grail” or one indicator, method, strategy, or system for forex trading that will always make you money.

Now write it down or put it on a T-shirt!

Even though there is no holy grail, that doesn’t mean you can’t make money. Many traders already do it full-time, and even more are happy as long as they keep making money.

The key is to keep your risk in check. Since you can’t get rid of it, the least you can do is keep it under control.

Not everyone should trade.

There are many reasons why 95% of traders who start out fail in the long run.

For one thing, becoming consistently profitable takes TIME, EFFORT, and a lot of PATIENCE. Those who can’t or won’t give all three will probably be among the 95% before the end of the year.

It’s also possible that someone isn’t good at trading. This isn’t a bad thing for the person or the business. You wouldn’t make someone join the army or learn to play the piano if they didn’t want to or aren’t good at it, would you?

Still, you won’t know if trading is right for you until you’ve tried it long enough and worked hard enough to try to make money consistently.

“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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