With any market you trade, the amount of profit you can generate is hugely influenced by the capital you are trading with. If you start out with less than $1,000 it will take you much longer to earn $5,000 than if you started out with $100,000.
The more capital you have, the more capital you make.
So it makes sense that you would want to grow your account quicker if you have less capital. This can be a very slippery slope though…
How much risk are you willing to take, and how much risk is too much?
Risk Per Trade
There are two key areas of your trading that you need to have solidified in your trading plan if you want to grow your account quickly and keep your risk in check.
The first area you should concern yourself with is your risk per trade.
I always recommend my students to risk no more than 2% on each trade. This may seem like a small amount but it is critical to stick to this limit.
We know that the more capital you have, the more capital you make, so it goes without saying that you want to hold onto the capital you already have. If you lose too much of your money, you’re just making the entire process of growing your account take longer.
There has to be a balance between the risk you take and the protection of your capital.
2% per trade means you can take a couple of losses and it won’t break your bank account. Sustainability in forex trading is not talked about enough and this amount of risk will give you just that.
Most new traders quit within their first year of trading.
I wouldn’t define that as being sustainable. Don’t make those same mistakes – you want to be a long-term player in the market.
The Forex market is not a casino and it is certainly not a get rich quick scheme.
Your goal should be to achieve a sustainable income stream and keep growing your account.
In order to grow your account at a faster pace, we may need to risk more than 2% though…
Maximum Risk Exposure
2% risk per trade is not the maximum amount you can risk at any one time for your account.
There is something called your maximum risk exposure.
For the majority of traders limiting themselves to one trade at a time is not feasible, nor is it necessary.
One week in February, 2021, saw 9 active trades at one time! Getting into 2, 3, or even 4 of those trades is possible and very profitable.
But in order to do that, we have to manage our risk in a sensible way that simultaneously protects our account and enables us to grow it quickly.
The method to achieve this is your maximum risk exposure.
Let’s say you are entering three trades. You can then divide up that 5% risk across those three trades.
So you could enter two trades at 2% each (total of 4%) and the third trade at 1% which would take you to 5%.
You might prefer to have two trades risking 1.5% each and 2% on the third trade.
You get the idea – you can divide your risk however you want.
What is key to remember here is that I am not breaking the 2% risk per trade rule. Sticking to that rule is crucial if you want to prevent greed from taking over your trading.
This is how you can grow your account at a good pace whilst simultaneously protecting your capital.
But what about a different kind of risk, one that concerns taking your profits?
At the start of every trading year I forecast what I think are the best setups you should focus on.
Riding these trends can prove to be very low risk and very high reward, with target extension occurring frequently when compared to other trade setups, like reversals.
So our concern of managing risk here is when the best time to exit your trade is.
Do you exit once the price hits 1.5 Risk-to-Reward ratio (RR)? Price is trending so if your target is reached quickly, extending it is definitely a consideration.
But that would only be a reality if you actually exited the trade…
Looking at this chart, it is easy to let greed take the wheel and dictate your decision-making. Price has broken resistance multiple times now – what’s to keep it from stopping?
Well, every trend and every push has to end at some point…
This is such a large turn around that if you didn’t have a trailing stop and were still in the trade, you would have lost out on a lot of profit.
Correct placement of your stop loss and exiting at a smart time are crucial to finding success in trading.
You don’t need to risk the profits you have made by letting greed keep you in the trade. An RR of 5 is incredible to get off of one trade, even an RR of 3 is fantastic.
Target extension is one of the best and simplest ways to increase your profitability, but you need to make sure that you don’t let greed takeover and actually end up losing some of your profits!
“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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