Things I wish I knew before I started Trading Forex

In life, there are good times and bad times, which are typically marked by wins and losses. The majority of the time, it is our losses that present us with the most possibilities to learn. They allow us to evaluate what we did well and where we went wrong in order to better our performance in whatever we're doing.

But, especially when money is involved, as it is when trading the Forex market, this chance isn't necessarily obvious at the moment. In fact, it can take days or even weeks for us to perceive a setback as a teaching opportunity. However, regardless of how long it takes to realize it, there is always the potential to learn.

Everyone comes to the forex market for a different motive, ranging from pure entertainment to becoming a professional trader.

1) FOREX IS NOT A GET RICK QUICK OPPORTUNITY

Contrary to what you’ve read on many websites across the web, Forex trading is not going to take your $10,000 account and turn it into $1 million. The amount we can earn is determined more by the amount of money we are risking rather than how good our strategy is. The old saying “It takes money to make money” is an accurate one, Forex trading included.

Things I wish I knew before I started Trading Forex - Learning Journey Basic Guide Tutorial

But that doesn’t mean it is not a worthwhile endeavor; after all, there are many successful Forex traders out there that trade for a living. The difference is that they have slowly developed over time and increased their account to a level that can create sustainable income.

I hear about traders all the time targeting 50%, 60% or 100% profit per year, or even per month, but the risk they are taking on is going to be pretty similar to the profit they are targeting. In other words, in order to attempt to make 60% profit in a year, it's not unreasonable to see a loss of around 60% of your account in a given year.

"But Rob, I am trading with an edge, so I am not risking as much as I could potentially earn" you might say. That's a true statement if you have a strategy with a trading edge. Your expected return should be positive, but without leverage, it is going to be a relatively tiny amount. And during times of bad luck, we can still have losing streaks. When we throw leverage into the mix, that's how traders attempt to target those excessive gains. Which in turn is how traders can produce excessive losses. Leverage is beneficial up to point, but not when it can turn a winning strategy into a loser.


2) LEVERAGE CAN BE A WINNING STRATEGY TO LOSE MONEY
This is a lesson I wish I had learned earlier. Excessive leverage can ruin an otherwise profitable strategy.
Let's say I had a coin that when heads was hit, you would earn $2, but when tails was hit, you would lose $1. Would you flip that coin? My guess is absolutely you would flip that coin. You'd want to flip it over and over. When you have a 50/50 chance between making $2 or losing $1, it's a no-brainer opportunity that you'd accept.
Things I wish I knew before I started Trading Forex - Learning Journey Basic Guide Tutorial

Now let's say I have the same coin, but this time if heads is hit, you would triple your net worth; but when tails was hit, you would lose every possession you own. Would you flip that coin? My guess is you would not because one bad flip of the coin would ruin your life. Even though you have the exact same percentage advantage in this example as the example above, no one in their right mind would flip this coin.
The second example is how many Forex traders view their trading account. They go "all-in" on one or two trades and end up losing their entire account. Even if their trades had an edge like our coin flipping example, it only takes one or two unlucky trades to wipe them out completely. This is how leverage can cause a winning strategy to lose money.

3) USING SENTIMENT AS A GUIDE CAN TILT THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR

There are Trading tools that tells us how many traders are long compared to how many traders are short each major currency pair. It's meant to be used as a contrarian index where we want to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Using it as a direction filter for my trades has turned my trading career completely around.

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES
If I could tell my younger self three things before I began trading forex, this would be the list I would give. Ultimately though, if you are just starting out in the forex market, the best thing you can do is take time to learn as much as you can, starting with the basics. Read guides, keep up to date with the latest news and follow market analysts on social media.