Starting forex trading career is an exciting journey. The mind-blowing financial challenges, economic riddles, potential sky rocking profits and psychological effects – all assembled together in one profession. As a new forex trader you need to recognize the universal mistakes which can easily turn your forex trading adventure into unnecessary, costly ride. What are the common mistakes traders make and how can you avoid making them?
15 Most Common Forex Trading Mistakes
Here is the summary of slip-ups every trader should avoid:
1. Risking Too Much
There is no way of getting rich quick in forex trading. You have to be consistent and disciplined, and by no means try to compare forex to gambling. Every dollar you invest in forex must be a dollar you can afford to lose, a dollar which will not leave you butt naked on a street. Every successful forex trader protects ones capital, and therefore instead of risking too much and praying for it to turn into a goldmine, it is more important to focus on good entry techniques and understanding of trend.
Most new traders think that in order to make huge profits you have to trade all the time. It is important to realize that forex market is volatile and changes direction all day long. You cannot expect profitable trades from every price movement. It is so easy to get addicted to winnings which can lead to sloppy trading. Depending on your trading style, the opportunity to profit strikes a few times a day and it is your job to figure out when it happens. After each win, give yourself a time out to ensure that you make right decisions based on your trading plan and not on the luring crave to win again! As soon as you learn to ignore all market swings, control your emotions and focus on profitable movements, you will become consistently profitable trader.
3. Errors in Order Entry
There is a time in every forex trader’s life when the wrong order entry is made. Whether the clumsy fingers or lack or alertness are to blame, awkward errors happen to all of us. To save yourself a lot of stress, avoid heart attack and evade losing money, take two extra seconds to check that everything is correct before you click!
4. Not Having Your Own Trading Plan
I believe that every trader is unique and requires different set of approaches when it comes to forex trading. Just because other traders succeed in scalping, for example, it doesn’t necessary mean that it is suitable for you. It is your responsibility to figure out what kind of trader you are. Are you a quick thinker or rather analytical? Are you aggressive or rather patient? Can you devote enough time to forex or you plan to trade part-time? What is your investment capital? Do you have a full grasp of fundamental analysis? What are your psychological weaknesses? The sooner you figure out who you are, the faster your trading plan will materialize and the better forex trader you will be.
5. Losing is The End of the World!
There is no such thing as forex trading system that works 100% at a time. You can become crazy rich by being right only about 10% of a time. Kick the perfectionist out of your mind and open mind to a larger picture. The most important thing in forex trading is win/loss ratio. It doesn’t matter how many times you win or loose; what really matters is how much money you gain when you win and how much money you loose when you lose! Concentrate on monthly profits, and not on every single trade.
6. Ignoring Money Management
Money management is very important in forex trading. The purpose of money management is to protect you from risking too much and therefore grow your profits in a stable, consistent manner. Without a proper money management technique, you can empty your trading account within 5-10 clumsy trades.
7. Ignoring Psychological Issues
Psychology is a big part of forex trading. You have to train yourself to control your emotions, deal with losses and understand that success does not depend on every trade. Many traders keep a journal and write down not only the trading outcome, but their feelings and emotions during the trading hours. This can significantly help to analyze yourself and avoid, for example, overtrading, revenge trading, greed trading, ego trading etc.
8. Constructing Complicated Indicators
Simplicity is the best way in forex trading. You don’t have to keep adding indicators or come up with extraordinary trading plan. Many indicators only add chaos and unnecessary information. Try not to overdo it; the basic idea behind indicators is to give hints to direction of a trend, support/resistance levels and buying/selling pressure.
9. Trading News
Unfortunately, in most cases even the most straightforward news releases are used as a tool to affect the investment psychology of the crowd. This is, in a way, a manipulation used by governments and traders. Analyzing only the news can be quite problematic, since often a forex market that seems extremely bullish can actually be an undercover bear! It is close to impossible to predict how the market will react to the news. I personally have seen markets going down more than 100 pips in one second and rising 100 pips back up within couple of more seconds. That’s like playing a Russian roulette!
10. Using Too Much Leverage
The beauty of forex trading is the ability to use leverage or margin, however too much leverage can be extremely harmful. Having a small trading account and making big trades using leverage can turn into a complete disaster whenever the market moves against your positions by just a tiny swing.
11. Demo Trading The Amount You Don’t Have
Most forex brokers offer demo account for practice. My personal advice is to trade demo account with the amount of money you actually plan to invest. Usually practice account comes with hundreds thousands of dollars, so in order to actually learn how to trade and understand the forex market reality, it is important to demo trade the amount of your actual capital. It doesn’t make much sense to practice trading with thousands while you plan to invest $500.
12. Switching Strategies Like Pair of Gloves
You shouldn’t jump from one strategy to another the moment you experience couple of losses. Your forex strategy should not be discarded the moment things get rocky. Every strategy need time to be optimized. Changing strategy from one to another will not turn you into successful trader. Give it time, consider losses as a down payment for the future wins.
13. Seeking Shortcuts to Learning about Forex
There is no shortcut – you have to learn. Most successful forex traders know exactly what is happening in forex market. You have to read, learn, practice and analyze all the time in order to be up to date and make profits. Forex trading is a lifelong learning career. Since forex market is complex and very flexible, a lot of learning is needed in order to adobt to new changes and become a skilled trader.
14. Ignoring Stop Loss
Ignoring stop loss is a no-no! You need to have a clear entry/exit plan. Decide now many pips you want to make, what is your loss limit, what are the reasons for entering a trade in the first place. Sometimes you have a feeling that if you want a little more your luck will turn around. No, this is a very bad idea. Stick to your plan and always set stop/loss targets. There is no such thing as a “trade of a life time”. If you miss one, there Is always a set of new trades right around the corner!
15. Deciding on Forex Broker Too Quickly without Reading Reviews Online
Choosing the right broker takes time – so get ready for a long ride. There are hundreds online forex brokers today and all of them are attractive in one way or another. It is important to figure out which broker is most suitable for you. A broker good for one trader might not be the best choice for the other. There are many factors to consider, including:
¨ Trading Platform (download, online, metatrader 4, use-rfriendly, graphical etc.)
¨ Regulation (regulated brokers are usually more reliable)
¨ Features (news, daily analysis, mobile trading, free seminars, bonuses etc)
¨ Technical and Customer Support (it is important to have all the contact information for the broker including phone number, online support and email address. I also suggest testing all of the contact methods before making a deposit with the broker – Do forex broker representatives answer the phones? How fast does the broker respond to emails? Is online support proficient and professional?)
¨ Terms and Conditions (always go over terms and conditions you agree to with a forex broker. You might find nasty hidden costs involved or certain unprofitable trading conditions)
¨ Spreads or fixed price (the lower the better, of course!)
¨ Free Demo account for practice and get to know the trading platform
¨ Minimum Deposit Requirements (How much are you planning to invest?)
¨ Payment Methods (how are you planning to deposit/withdraw? Wiretransfer? Credit Card? Paypal? Skrill?)