Forex trading is a complicated profession and it sure isn’t easy as a pie to become successful in forex. How long does it take until one becomes consistent in making profits? How much time does a beginner need to reach success in forex? 

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The answer to this question isn’t so black and white. The success in forex trading varies from one person to another. Most traders, however, agree that become stably profitable cannot be done in a short period of time. From the moment you decide to learn the basics of forex trading to the point when you consistently make profits – when can you consider yourself successful? 

Even after 1 year you can still find yourself trying. Despite the overall achievements in using indicators, calling moves or reversals, spot the right time to enter and exit trades, etc., you still find it difficult to really be a full-time trader due to emotional or psychological negative aspects. No matter how much you have already learned about you and human nature, no matter how hard you try to work on it, under certain circumstances the emotions continue to pull you back. In my opinion, the true success in forex trading comes when you separate yourself from emotions, face the psychological issues and possess the ability to overcome these issues before, during and after trading.   

Becoming a professional forex trader means to be in control and stop chasing after losses and lost “possible profit”. Yes, the effects of not making the expected profits can hurt just as much, if not more, than the actual loss from a bad trade. Understanding and finding the way to defeat the psychological suffering can spare trader from wretched trades with no rationale and no analysis.    

I believe that the “real trader” should possess an ability to handle the psychological and emotional weaknesses faced in forex trading, since these weaknesses, and not financial exposure like many beginners think, are the true risk.  

Forex trader becomes successful when each and every new experience becomes learning. Analyzing trading mistakes and therefore learning the lesson makes a trader one step closer to be a real professional.  

Like any other business, forex trading needs a plan. You need to set the goals, patterns and trading targets. If you aren’t sure the trade will go your way, money shouldn’t be invested yet. If you are seized by panic attacks after every trade, you are still not confident enough in your method. Panic will subside after you start making consistent profit. Before you up the money on a trade you have to know that your plan will work and that you also have plan B for those trades that fail to reach the target set. No matter what trading method you adopt, you cannot trade without emotions and therefore professionally until you have a solid, reliable forex trading plan. 

A trade either makes a profit or it doesn’t. Even if the trade doesn’t bring cash you have to move on without crying over the spilled pips! At the end of the month you calculate your losses and profits and if you are in minus, the trading method needs improvement and rethinking. Sooner or later you find a way that works.  

A real forex trader has a good system which works day in and day out. The psychological issues are big thing when you are a beginner; however after years of studying trading you realize that it is not so much the psychology. It is about trust, and by trust I mean trusting your trading system. Some traders are unable to execute their system because they simply don’t believe in them.  

Well, that was just my opinion. What do others think? ForexExplore team has released previous month survey results “How long did it take you to become a successful trader?”. Below is the data obtained: 

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  • less than half a year:      20%
  • 6 months - 1 year:         32%
  • 1 year - 3 years:            24%
  • 3 years - 5 years:           8%
  • more than 5 years:         4%
  • no idea. I am still struggling: 12%