What does it take to become a successful Forex trader? As a beginning Forex trader, you might think that the answer involves some combination of intellect and a great system — and maybe even luck. While all of these things play a role in Forex success, what you really want to do is rely on luck as little as possible. You can do that by cultivating personality traits that breed success — traits like consistency, patience, and self-discipline. There are some things that are more important than making money in Forex — and those are a few of them. You do not just want to profit — you want to profit consistently.
- Consistency. Which is better — a trade that wins and pays you nicely but violates all of your trade rules, or a trade that loses but conforms to your (tested and proven) trade rules? Any trade where you violate your trading method and your discipline is a trade you have lost — even if it makes you money, it costs you something else. Money won through luck can be lost through luck just as quickly, and if you trade arbitrarily, you will blow your account in no time. There is no such thing as a perfect system, but if yours brings in good, consistent profits, a lost trade is not the end of the world. Do whatever you can to never lose a Forex trade, and always be alert to whether changes in the market call for adjustments in your tactics, but never trade randomly, and do not expect perfection — it is unrealistic.
- Self-discipline. This is what it takes to maintain your consistency as a Forex trader. If you cannot develop self-discipline, even the best system in the world will not make you a profitable trader. No matter how smart you are, no matter how much you know about finance, you will not be able to trade for a living or achieve any other trading goal. Without self-discipline and consistency, you are only a gambler, and not a real FX trader.
- Patience. You are not going to become a great Forex trader overnight. You are not going to win all your trades that way either (unless of course you trade very short time frames!). You are going to have to learn to be patient while your trades are in progress — trading in real time is much different than backtesting, especially psychologically. You will also need to get used to the idea that it is going to take some time to get to where you can trade consistently and profitably. Many Forex traders take years to get to that place — so do not let yourself get discouraged if you have had some starts and stops along the way.
Making money is obviously one of your main goals trading Forex, but it should not be your only one, since you are not going to achieve it unless you can also achieve some other goals, like cultivating self-discipline, patience, and consistent returns. All of these are prerequisites to making money in the currency market or any other market.