December 03, 2021

All forex traders desire consistent profits, however many fail to accomplish their dreams. Why it is so difficult to become successful in forex trading and what are the ways to make a living trading online?

can you make a living with forex trading

Making a living from Forex trading is challenging

Beginners in forex wonder why it is so hard to become successful despite all the incredible efforts. Success in forex trading is closely related to understanding yourself and your psychological weaknesses. Sometimes it takes time for forex trader to objectively evaluate trades that went wrong. Even with the strongest, clearest strategy, fear and greed play major role in forex trading. 

To become successful forex trader you have to invest a lot of time. Even professional full-time traders spend more than 8 hours per day researching, learning, analyzing and practicing. Determination is an important piece of the success puzzle.  

Before we get into what it takes to become a successful full-time Forex trader, it’s worth taking look at some of the common misconceptions behind the Forex failure stories because, again, these are the expectations that many people have when wondering, if can anyone trade Forex for a living. Here are some of the most popular mistakes new traders make:

  • They believe success will come to them even if they have no experience;
  • They think the payout they’ll get at the initial stage will be sufficient for their expenses;
  • They fail to recognize the fact even if they have the experience, Forex trading is still risky and when someone succeeds, others usually fail;

and in general: 

  • They don’t have experience/knowledge;
  • They don’t have proper expectations.

Fear strikes the minute forex trader experiences losses on the way. The key to success is to stay positive, stop blaming yourself for every lost cent and always believe in yourself. Without self-confidence you will not only continue to blame yourself for every unfortunate trade, but also skip a lot of opportunities out of fear and lack of self esteem. 

Mistakes in forex trading should always be treated as lessons, as a gained experience, as the down payment for much larger profits. A wise trader will analyze what went wrong, make sure not to get into the same trouble again and move on. Sometimes taking time out of trading makes you look clearly at strategies and faults. I suggest including “time out” in the trading plan. This way you can look at what went wrong without emotional barrier. 

One of the main weaponry in forex trading is your trading platform. It is important to find a reliable trading platform with no hidden costs, tight spreads, live quotes, forex news, fast withdrawals and deposits, sensible terms and conditions, professional technical and customer support. Since trading platforms are offered by forex brokers it is your responsibility to find a broker you can trust. I suggest looking for a forex broker that offers unlimited demo account (meaning that it doesn’t expire after 30 days or so). This can help you tremendously in properly testing your trading strategy. 

It is true that there is plenty of spam out there. Not everyone who offers coaching is qualified to do so. However, keeping that in mind, forex coaches, trading courses and mentors can help tremendously in understanding what forex is all about. You don’t have to learn forex basics in solitude – visit forums, talk to other traders and even pay for a successful trading guru. In the long run paid lessons and guidance saves you thousands of dollars from mistakes you are bound to make as a beginner. 

Developing a good system takes time. Don’t try to squeeze it or copy others – it won’t work. Every trader is different whether financially, physically and/or psychologically. Whether you like it or not, you have to develop your own system. Sometimes it takes years to eventually develop the right strategy that fits your trading style. So, once again, patience is a virtue!  

Once you have a system that works, start exercising your nerves and emotions. It is easy to follow the trading plan for a while. However once your trading account starts doubling in size, so does the stress level. Increased amount of fear and greed makes a trader deviate from the system.  

Hypothetical Scenario

Assume a trader has $5,000 in capital funds, and they have a decent win rate of 55% on their trades. They risk only 1% of their capital or $50 per trade. This is accomplished by using a stop-loss order. For this scenario, a stop-loss order is placed 5 pips away from the trade entry price, and a target is placed 8 pips away. 

This means that the potential reward for each trade is 1.6 times greater than the risk (8 pips divided by 5 pips). Remember, you want winners to be bigger than losers.0 

While trading a forex pair for two hours during an active time of day it's usually possible to make about five round turn trades (round turn includes entry and exit) using the above parameters. If there are 20 trading days in a month, the trader is making 100 trades, on average, in a month.

Honestly speaking, there is no such thing as part-time forex trading. If you cannot invest enough time, better leave the idea of becoming a trader for good. You have to watch the graphs most of the day and if you already have a full-time job, it is barely possible to keep up with both. 

Once you have a good trading system, which you demo tested for as long as possible, it is time to go live. I suggest opening live account with small deposit for starters for test drive. Now you can really compare the live trades with demo trades to make sure strategy is working properly and things are running as expected. Bear in mind, however, that live trading outcomes always slightly differ from demo account.   

Most importantly, be patient. I have said it many times before, but in order to increase your chances of success, you have to take things slow. Forex trading is indeed dynamic environment and you can earn thousands in couple of minutes, but rushing things can only hurt your ability to think clear and follow the trading plan. Some things never change – patience is the necessary ingredient in forex trading recipe. 

This simple risk-controlled strategy indicates that with a 55% win rate, and making more on winners than you lose on losing trades, it's possible to attain returns north of 20% per month with forex day trading. Most traders shouldn't expect to make this much; while it sounds simple, in reality, it's more difficult. 

Even so, with a decent win rate and risk/reward ratio, a dedicated forex day trader with a decent strategy can make between 5% and 15% a month thanks to leverage. Also remember, you don't need much capital to get started; $500 to $1,000 is usually enough.