What Are Your Goals in Forex?

180+ Pips on AUD USD

180+ pips on AUD/USD

When people asks me what I do for a living and tell them I have a business called forex trading, people always jump out of joy and ask me to teach them how to do it. It seems that is rare for someone to encounter such a breed of people that you won’t be able to hide your joy and ask questions. It is a pleasure for me to teach. But it can quickly becomes a frustration when people don’t have the willingness to learn. Only the willingness to ask. There are a lot of forex tutorials, resources and beginner tools on the subject that its quite frustrating now to explain fibonacci, limit orders, SMA, margin and leverage to an average person. We all have those basic stuff online and for free. If you come across a forex trader in your life, do not scare him away by asking newbie questions. Educate yourself first so you can ask interesting question that would express your willingness to learn. You may build a good relationship with that person and might improve your trading.

In a business where your character will be tested, I think everyone should be willing to learn by themselves because after all, it is your money. First ask the question, what is your goal for trading forex. Is it to become a millionaire overnight? Is it to retire young? Or is it just a vehicle for you for wealth building?

Whatever your answer to this question ultimately lead to what kind of strategy you will utilize. Every person is different. And every person have a kind of threshold where he can take a loss and not quit. Everybody is different. So learn about yourself. And create your own strategy. Master the fundamentals and you’ll be able to learn faster. And most importantly, be patient and have self discipline.

I do have my personal goal in forex when I started out last year. I haven’t achieve this goal yet. But I’m seeing positive results now more than ever. And that’s because I never stopped learning.

Whatever your goals are in forex, I wish you good luck.

Forex Trading Rule #1: Never Lose Money

The most accepted adage, “Higher Risk is equal Higher Profit”, could be true for forex trading. But does it have to be that way?

I used to bet big on position only to find myself in a hole when the position becomes a lost. Ignoring the fact that if you want to be successful in forex trading, I think, the wisdom of the old rich people are still the best advice. Warren Buffett said “Rule #1 in making money is to never lose money. Rule #2 is never forget rule #1″.

This rule have been integrated into my trading system. Being contented in making small but sure profits instead of betting the house for a once in a lifetime lottery trade. Small but sure, consistent profits is much better than luxurious profits with high risk.

Week 33: EURCHF Consolidating

EURCHF is playing hard to get and is still consolidating. We might still have more consolidation for the next week. But if you are in this trade in LONG Position and it did move up, expect a great reward from this. After all, our stop loss is just at 1.200 which have a low risk with great rewards. On previous post, if you have entered the trade, you have around 10 – 12 pips of stop loss and we are looking at our first target if this breaks out at 120 – 150 pips. That’s x10 reward right there as our first target. We are actually buying at bottoms here.

Its time to test those patience. EUR/USD is looking very good on the short side though. But I wouldn’t enter personally at this time.. The stop loss would be too much of a risk for me. I’d like to be on top, being a contrarian trader. EUR/CHF is a better pair for us to trade at the moment.

While in consolidation, protect your money. You don’t want to lose money at this time because after consolidation you know what happen… A breakout. You want to be on the sidelines or hold any position so you can survive the whip saw of the price until you earn a payday on the breakout. Its time to practice patience guys.

Of course, all this is for educational purposes only. Trade at your own risk. :)

Forex Trading Small First Before You Go Big

People are greedy. That’s a fact. But its the emotion that keeps us wanting more and always wanting to have the things we want. Makes us think of ways on how to get it. Don’t fear greed. Make use of it. Master it.

Most newbie traders, me and my friend, talked about the profits in trading. One of us will argue that to have great profits you need to have large amounts of pips in a winning trade. Ok. Fair enough. More pips = more profits.

Think about this, you have $1M in your account as capital. And your target profit in terms of pips is in the 200+ pip range. Sounds like a lot money to be made when you get that 200+ pip. But think of the risk you will get and also the time before you get to profit. In forex trading, there are fluctuations, can you stay calm when your account displays -100pip because of its initial retracement? Can you still decide if the trend is against you or its just a retracement? Remember, earning that kind of pip will require you to hold the trade from 1 hr to 1 day. Can you handle the pressure?

I say, pip size doesn’t matter. How much you risk in each trade matters. Playing with small profit pips will reduce risk. And also, having a profit target that’s small will minimize risk. Smaller pips means, shorter time inside a trade which means lesser risk, less pressure from greed or fear.

Pip size doesn’t matter, volume does. Increase your volume once you got the thing going. Increase more to profit more, while still maintaining the same pip per trade profit. And always remember, don’t overtrade. Take a time out. Every businessman needs his vacation once in a while.

Good luck!

10 Misconceptions About Forex Trading

A lot of people will enter the market with the wrong misconception about the forex. Diving in, nose first without the proper mindset on what they are getting into. I hope this list will clear your mind and hopefully give you a healthy dose of forex trading success.

Forex trading is never easy… What is easy anyway? Picking your nose perhaps?

  1. Forex trading is easy. Many people that want to dive into the world of the foreign exchange market believe that the Forex trading is easy — you just read a book or two and then you will be able to earn daily profits with just 2-3 hours trading daily. Others think that they can buy a profitable strategy and it will make them rich in Forex. In reality that’s just a myth. Succeeding in Forex isn’t easier than mastering any other profession — it takes time, money and a lot of practice.
  2. “I will make money in Forex, if I can trade stocks successfully.” Success in stock market doesn’t imply that you will get success in Forex market — there are many differences between trading stocks and the spot currencies. First of all, Forex market requires a lot of hard work and dedication as this market is open for 24 hours a day. You cannot just sit in front of your computer for the whole day and night, so the best way is that you should find the most suitable time periods for trading. Second, “buy&hold„ strategy simply won’t work in Forex market. Third, you don’t have that much information about currencies as you can get from the companies’ reports and statistics.
  3. “I can make profit whenever I want if Forex market is open 24 hours a day.”Once again, you won’t be sitting in front of your PC for the whole day to be able to trade 24 hours. You’ll have to develop automated trading software to get the advantage of 24 hours a day working schedule.
  4. “I can be a successful Forex trader just following someone else’s signals.” Many beginning traders get burned by the blind signal-following. That’s like putting away the whole responsibility for your actions to someone else. That may sound cool, but in reality you end up with the huge losses. Learn to rely on your own knowledge and skills. Remember that there were no great signal-followers in any financial market.
  5. No commission is to be paid in Forex market. You only have to pay the spread, but you don’t have to pay the commission. And what’s spread? It is the difference between the buy and sell price of the currency pair at the same moment. You may end up with the major part of your profits in the broker’s hands if you plan to rely on the short-term trading.
  6. Forex is a scam. Some skeptics and disappointed traders think that Forex is just some new fad to scam people for their hard earned money. Although there are many scams that are hiding behind the “brand” of Forex, that doesn’t mean that the Forex itself is a scam. There are many institutional Forex brokers, regulated Forex account managers and other solid companies in the market to whom you can trust.
  7. “I need to exactly predict the market outcome to be profitable in Forex.” There is no scientific method to know something in advance in the market with a 100% certainty. There would be no Forex market if you could know the exact currency rates beforehand. Trading is not the game of certainties; it’s a game of odds. One of the first things that new traders learn is to think in the terms of probabilities and risk-to-reward ratios.
  8. “I need to use a very complex strategy to be successful in Forex.” It’s a popular myth, in which many on-line sellers would want you to believe. The main requirement to be successful in Forex is a self-discipline and money management. There are many traders that make consistent profits with rather simple and old strategies.
  9. “I need to have a lot of starting capital to get profit in Forex.” Big capital investment won’t help you in Forex. You don’t need a lot of money to diversify in currencies and you can’t move the currency rates with your trading orders (you’d need billions of dollars to do that). Actually you can trade with a very a little capital, because Forex trading is almost always leveraged with the broker’s money.
  10. Forex is gambling because it’s completely random. Although there is no certainty in Forex (as in any financial market) it doesn’t mean that it’s completely random. And it’s certainly not a gambling, since your success in this market depends mostly on your skills and experience, not on your luck.

Contrarian Forex Trading

USD/JPY right after the Dollar Sell off, I placed a buy trade. Contradicting the market sentiment and news. And it paid off greatly with minimal risk.

There are a lot of forex traders out there and hundreds more forex trading system to choose from. But why I settled with contrarian trading is more of its match to my personality than any amount of percentages any system can deliver.

I would not promote my system to be the best trading system nor all other analysis are crap. I won’t even go far to say that one system fits all. The points of having the best forex trading system lies within the individual. Its like finding your soulmate, it must be a match.

A match to your personality. And that’s the beauty of trading, its both an art and a science. Its a science because you can explain all the data with numbers and predict some events that may occur based on that data, but its art to express your views of the world based on your strategy. Its a wonderful feeling. So finding the right strategy, system or method based on your world views and personality is the best forex trading system that you can use.

Stop searching for the holy grail. Stop going from one forex trading system to another. Know thyself and pick the right system for you. Make it your own then customize it to better fit you.

I am a contrarian trader. And has always been a contrarian all my life. I am the problem employee and the jerk in the group. My strong point is, I know what am. So I know what fits me. I don’t go pretend I’m a sheep just to be accepted. And forex trading is the best vehicle to express that view and be rewarded. When the whole world frown upon who thinks differently and does not conform. In the market, you get to be rich for thinking differently while staying anonymous in the process. Got to love that!

Forex Trading as Gambling vs Forex Trading as Odds and Probabilities

I admit that I have been guilty of the title Forex Trading Gambler. During my first few years and quite some of the time, I trade forex because of the adrenaline rush and the thought of easy money. I get excited on every high risk trade that turns out to be a winner. It was my high. I was addicted to the feeling. Like a gambler who doesn’t care about the risk, odds or the probabilities of winning or losing. He just wants to experience that same high that got him hooked.

As if I were a junkie.

Then comes the realization, I continue to lose and I kept increasing my trading size. Only to burn even faster. With that good feeling that you miss, you just want to trade more and more, larger and larger, only to experience the bottom faster. Trading this way will not work.

It is not about the feeling in trading. How much money you made or how much you lost should not be the basis of trading. The more I trade, the more I realize that. Money doesn’t matter in trading. For me, being right matters most.

Its all about the odds and probabilities. Its all about timed aggression and patience. A little bit of luck may help. But don’t depend entirely on luck. Because even though luck is involved, there is a reason why the final table have so many familiar faces.

It is a different kind of feeling that the thrill of winning big. Being right is better than breaking the bank. This is not a sprint, its a marathon. Trading larger size may give you great gains, but also great drawdown, and greater risk to go bankrupt. What we want is to make the right decisions each and every time.

The more I read about the stories of successful traders, the more I realize that trading is much like poker. Some people treat it as gambling, some treat it like a sport, a mental sport like chess. Some play poker just to have fun, feel the rush, some play poker as a profession, as a business. We should approach forex trading the same way. Its all about the odds and probabilities. Its all about timed aggression and patience. A little bit of luck may help. But don’t depend entirely on luck. Because even though luck is involved, there is a reason why the final table have so many familiar faces.

Happy trading!

5 Mental Things You Need Before You Start Forex Trading

Job Security is an Illusion.

Many people want to be a forex trader. And I know a lot of people in my social circle who wants to be a trader. I even teach them how. Recommend them books, websites and strategy. But there seems to be people who is just damn scared to let go of their day job. Afraid to take the plunge. Afraid to be laughed at. Afraid to make something happen in their life.

They are just too contented by the way things are. Perhaps, too fucking contented… Safe, secure… “But I really want to be a millionaire trading forex”. Do you see what’s wrong there? There’s a lot of contradiction in that statement. Being a millionaire is NOT synonymous to being safe in a day job. Being a millionaire is synonymous to risking, having the balls to follow what you want in life and most importantly, its ignoring what other people may say to you. Be it “bat shit crazy for quitting a high paying job.”

Have The Balls to Follow Your Dreams

The hard working people that goes to the office everyday to work 9 hours a day. Be stuck at traffic, be soaking wet during the rainy seasons, are probably the most common. Talk to them and ask them if they want to have a business. 100% of the time they will answer something like this “I really want to have a business, but I don’t have any funds right now.” or “I want to have a business but I don’t know how or have no time”. Or whatever other reason they have. Its all wishy washy. I’ll do this after I do that then I pray to the flying spaghetti monster in the sky to let me win the lottery. Before they know it, they are 40 years old. Now, they have a different problem and a little different reason. “I’ll want to have a business but I’m not sure if I’m still young enough to learn all that.”

Hesitate and you will age. Run and you will die.

Ohh… How time flies…

Lose Your Ego

There’s nothing I enjoy more in watching other traders is their ability to talk about how confident they are in a market (stocks, bonds, commodities, forex). yet they can’t seem to accept the fact that they are wrong. And sometimes, which is more dangerous, they think they can predict where the market will go.

Forming a forum so you can exchange ideas (or persuade other traders) that your analysis is correct so you have a better confidence in your analysis. I don’t think that will do any good. Knowing first hand where your trade will go, before it even go there makes your mind closed. You are not open to the possibilities that your trade may reverse. Or it may give you a profit then reverse. The decision is based on ego that you are correct. And it will be harder for you to take a loss. And thus, you are fucked up inside. You can’t trade.

Think For Yourself

Does it matter if your friend is also LONG position on the same currency pair you are in? Does it matter if your technical trading mentor is SHORT on the EURUSD? Would you try to rationalize the idea that your LONG position on the EURUSD is wrong so you can join your mentor on the SHORT side?

This is the reason why I don’t like groups in trading. I think trading is like a boxing match. And I like it that way. You don’t need the spectator’s shout of advice. You are the one that’s getting hurt. Shouldn’t you worry about your own ass?

Have the Discipline

Of all things, discipline is probably the most important. It takes the most time to develop. And takes the most effort to practice. When lose control of yourself, you don’t even know. You sometimes don’t know that you are being greedy. Or being afraid. Self discipline makes you aware of those feeling and act accordingly. And most importantly, its the best skill to have if you want to learn a new skill. It is the trait of all successful trader out there.

Discipline is what makes the rich not use their money for parties or fancy cars. Not spend on hookers or drugs. Instead, use the money back into investing. That’s discipline. Focused on a goal. Whatever your goal is.

4 Useful Forex Tools and Resources

Hello my fellow forex trader. Today is my first post for the year 2011. It has been a late post because I’ve been busy. The usual boring stuff, business. Anyway, what I want to give you for today is a list of useful websites and tools that can help you learn or even master forex trading. The same tools and website I used to educate myself in this trade.

Before you spend your money on forex seminars here in the Philippines, read the list first. Most of the seminars that are offered locally are the same materials you’ll find online for free. Well… most of them. You want to save that money for investing. And in forex trading, you need all the money you can get.

#1 – Forex Education / Forex 101 / Forex Fundamentals

picture-3Babypips

There are a lot of forex education out there in the market and its for free. The one that’s particularly close to my heart is babypips.com. Simply because you have all the things you need to learn all in one place. And you won’t get overwhelmed by the information because you can learn at your own pace. Visit them and read some of their lessons. I’m pretty sure you’ll be spending a lot of time in babypips.

#2 – Forex Trading Journals

picture-4

MyFXBook

You need to keep track if you’re progressing or not. You need to know if you’re following your trading strategy. The use of forex trading journals is just that – to know if you’re diligently following your own rules. And to get into the habit of emotionless trading.

#3 – Forex Backtesting

Forex BacktesterForex Backtester

Before you go all out on live trading. I recommend doing demo trading for at least 8 months. At least 8 months should be at least 8 months profitable. The thing about forex backtesting or demo trading is that for you to be confident on your system and also be comfortable with your chosen trading platform. I personally don’t want to demo trade now because of time restraint. What I do is purchase a forex backtesting software such as forex backtester and trade in my computer anytime of the day. What this forex backtester software do is to import all the trading signals that happened for the last 10 years and you have a lot of information to work with. A lot of signals to test your strategy on. If you don’t have the money, forex demo trading is still good, but if time is more important for you than money then a forex backtester is the best investment to make for your forex education. (Absolutely than any forex semiar in my humblest opinion.)

#4 – A Forex Strategy to Follow


japanese-candlestick

Japanese candlestick charting techniques

Personally, this one is the hardest one to find, practice and decide. There seems to be a lot of different strategy in trading. And I recommend you try them all. See what works for you. Try them on your forex backtester or try it demo. Your forex strategy will be your main weapon to live, survive and thrive in the world of forex trading. Don’t forget that during your first 8 months practicing, should be spent on testing what forex strategy fits your personality. The reason why there are a lot of forex strategy out there is because there are a lot of people trading forex and each one of them will have a unique strategy based on their personality.

Diving into the world of forex strategy could be overwhelming as there are thousands upon thousands of them to choose from. In my personal opinion, your quest should start with this book. And your strategy should be based on candle stick chart readings. It is a technical way to reading forex charts that has been proven to be very effective.

My Cardinal Rules in Forex Trading

The more I lose in forex trading, the more I learn. I learn more things from losing than from winning. And as time goes by, I learn to adjust my thinking and strategy and learn to have a fixed set of ideas about the market that I use to trade with. These set of ideas are based on rules to help you become more successful in trading. These rules have changed the way I trade for the better and I hope it change yours too.

#1 – Never Lose Money

Rule # 1 is the most basic. Never lose money. The more you trade, the more you lose. That is why, you need rule number 1 to be picky on trades that will only result in winning. Keep in mind this rule every time. Before entering, while in the trade and before exiting the trade. Never lose money. You’ll last longer and learn faster.

#2 – Think For Yourself

Learn a forex strategy then stick with it. You enter and exit by those rules defined only by you. What your peers or your guru tells you is irrelevant. If he tells you to enter the trade, you are not trading, but he is. You are now dependent on him when to exit. Will you ever know when that is? Will you ever sleep at night?

#3 – Use A Non-Negotiable Stop

Stop loss should be non negotiable. You do not use a stop then try to adjust it because it will be hit by the price then hoping that the price comes back. Stick to the plan. Have a defined amount of risk, accept that risk and don’t whine if it got hit. Man up, take the loss, move on to the next trade.

#4 – Let Your Profits Run

I used to have a take profit when trading. But I soon realized that it doesn’t make sense. Why would I settle with a fixed profit if the market is willing to give me more? Throwing your greed aside, putting your stop loss on break even, then letting the trade run is a 0% risk with greater profit potential. Its definitely better than a measly profit for small risk.

#5 – Define Your Risk and Forget About The Target

In any trading and investing books that I read, these lines always comes up “Cut your losses short and let your profits run”. Its a combination of #3 and #4. In my own words, this also means, never add to losing positions or adjusting your stop loss because you are “afraid” to take a hit and then defining your profit target instead of “risking” for a chance to earn more.

#6 – Take Note of Your Mistakes

Reflect on each losing trade. What made you lose it? Did you follow your plan? Is it you who messed up the trade because of greed and fear? Or is it some underlying factor that you might have missed like news? Whatever that is, always reflect if you are following your system and what is wrong or missing with your system so you can adjust and adapt to the ever changing market.

#7 – Victory Loves Preparation

Waiting for the perfect time to enter is what makes forex trading exciting. Its damn hard to sit still while you wait for the perfect time to make that order. And then wait some more for the trade to unfold itself. Trading is waiting game. Its a damn exciting game I must say and usually, the person who waits and “prepare” himself for the high probability trade would be the winner. Not being swayed by the crowd is the hallmark of a great trader.

I got burned a few times because I got in so early. And got frustrated when I got left out by the trend. Patience is a virtue they say, but in forex trading, patience is money.