Yes, boring. In fact if you aren’t ready to fall out of your chair due to boredom you may be doing something wrong.
Okay, that may be a bit extreme. But good trading should absolutely be both effortless and boring to a large degree. If you find yourself stressing, feeling excited or frustrated, your mental stability has likely been compromised and your trading performance will suffer.
The good news is that there is a basic principle that will help make your trading more boring and ultimately more profitable. The not-so-good news is that, like most things when it comes to trading, it takes time and effort for this principle to begin having a positive impact on your trading.
In this article we will look at a common misconception of what it means to be a “good” Forex trader. We will discuss why trading should be boring as well as a simple idea that many traders overlook but one that is absolutely critical to your success. Let’s call it, “getting back to basics”.
But first, let’s talk about what it really means to be a good Forex trader.
A Common Misconception
Most people associate trading with films such as Wall Street. They see a Bud Fox type of character yelling at the telephone, waving his hands in the air in an attempt to get orders placed at the most favorable price.
The reality is that good Forex trading is boring. If you find yourself doing just about anything you see floor traders doing in the movies, something has gone terribly wrong. Those are the guys you see shouting, jumping and shoving others out of there way to get orders placed.
I should mention that even those days are gone as trading on the floor of the major exchanges has been reduced to a single touch of the screen on a handheld device. But I digress.
The idea that trading is this fast-paced, adrenaline pumping activity couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact it should be the complete opposite.
However let me be clear, just because good trading should be boring does not mean it should be any less fulfilling. I love waking up every morning knowing that I get to do what I love, but I also know that my trading performance suffers on the days when my trading is not boring.
Finding Your Equilibrium
Equilibrium is defined by dictionary.com as, a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.
Any trader will tell you that the key to consistent profits is the ability to control, or balance, your emotions. To tie in the definition above, we can refer to these emotions as “forces”.
No person on earth is devoid of emotions nor completely immune to their effects, not even the best trader in the world can claim that title. Which brings us to an interesting conjecture.
Becoming a successful Forex trader is not about learning how to completely prevent forces like greed and fear from entering the equation. That is a battle you can’t win, nor do you need to in order to see consistent profits.
Rather, becoming a successful trader is all about learning how to curb these forces so as not to be influenced by any one of them in a way that would adversely affect your trading. In other words, finding and maintaining an equilibrium.
So how do you find the discipline necessary to balance these forces? That’s a question that has a myriad of answers. But in my experience it comes down to setting a strong foundation and then building your confidence as you move along. Remember, successful Forex trading is a process, not a project.
What kind of strong foundation, you ask? Let’s take a look…
Success Breeds Success
Have you ever heard the saying, success breeds success? It means that finding success in any endeavor in life often comes in a series of events, where each victory snowballs into another victory that is often more significant than the last.
To be clear, I’m not referring to a winning trade as a victory. While that is the name of the game so to speak, it’s far more important to focus on the small victories that come with setting a strong foundation as a Forex trader.
In order to experience those small victories, you first need to find a trading strategy that resonates with you. It must fit your personality, otherwise you will find yourself jumping from strategy to strategy without actually committing the time and effort necessary to see positive results.
I’m sure many of you reading this can appreciate that sentiment. If you are currently jumping between several different trading strategies, chances are you have yet to find one that really connects with who you are on a deeper level.
Having traded the Forex market since 2007, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that learning how to trade price action was the best decision I have ever made, not only as a trader but as a person. It has completely changed my life for the better.
But again, finding a style of trading that fits your personality must be your number one priority. That doesn’t mean you need to find something completely different than what I use, but you do need to tweak it over time so that it compliments who you are as a person.
A great example is someone who tries again and again to trade the higher time frames, yet they continue to use the 5 and 15 minute charts after more than a year of trading. Perhaps that is telling them that they are better suited to a trading strategy that works on the lower time frames.
Or perhaps that same person cannot stand holding a position for more than a day. This could be yet another sign that they aren’t cut out for trading higher time frames. It certainly isn’t for everyone, however I would be remiss not to mention that all of the hedge fund managers I know trade from the higher time frames.
At the end of the day it’s a completely personal decision and one that requires time and effort to make, but it starts with determining what you are most passionate about. It could be price action, something that is indicator-based or perhaps even something that incorporates fundamentals. Whatever it is, it must resonate with you.
As Jack D. Schwager once said, “There are a million ways to make money in the markets. The irony is that they are all very difficult to find”.
They are “difficult” to find because it requires self-reflection, something that human beings are inherently bad at doing. But it is absolutely doable and something that is required to build a strong foundation as a Forex trader and ultimately make your trading more boring.
Of course if you are set on price action trading (as I am) then you are in the right place. 😉
The key to balancing the forces of emotion and remaining calm during adversity in the markets starts with finding a trading strategy you can believe in. It must resonate with who you are as a person, otherwise you are likely to abandon it at the first sign of trouble.
Good trading should be boring and effortless. If you find yourself struggling with emotional decision-making, there is a good chance that you aren’t trading a strategy you believe in or perhaps you simply need more time to build the necessary confidence.
Either way, the key to keeping emotions in check is by having complete confidence in your abilities as a trader, an ability that can only be realized once you find a trading strategy that fits your personality.
Have you found a style of trading that fits your personality? If not, what are you finding to be the most difficult part of the search?
Leave your comment or question below. I look forward to hearing from you.
You’re very welcome.
Glad I could illustrate a different point of view. 🙂
Hi Justin, loved the post, and for me i `m having trouble find out which kind of trader am i. I know that it has to be price action, because im loving it,but the real problem is which timeframe is appropriate to me? How can i know that?
Thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear you enjoyed the post and are also finding a fit with price action trading.
As for the “best” time frame, I have always preferred the daily and 4 hour. But if you want something that is going to be reliable and easier to trade, especially in the beginning, stick with the daily chart.
You may want to have a look at my recent article on the subject, which can be found at the link below.
Hope that helps. 🙂
Thank you for the tip and for the article. It helped me to see in another perspective.
You’re welcome. Glad to hear it was helpful. 🙂
I never knew I would voraciously be opening tans over tbs from one website learning everything could and actually making notes. I have wandered all over the internet but never have I found someone who has taught me to understand forex like you.
I have bought worthless signals where the guy would often say [ sorry we didn’t catch it, we will next time” at the expense of my account being blown. Now I realize I can actually study and trade for myself. Thank you!