How Long Does It Take to Become a Profitable Forex Trader?

by Justin Bennett  · 

August 17, 2018

by Justin Bennett  · 

August 17, 2018

by Justin Bennett  · 

August 17, 2018

Man standing on top of mountain

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

This week’s question comes from Kishon, who asks:

How long does it take to become a profitable Forex trader?

One year? Three years? Maybe five years or more?

It’s a question everyone wants answered. I get that.

Who wants to devote time and effort to something without having some idea of how long it might take to see results?

Not anyone I know. But the truth is, it’s an incredibly subjective topic.

You see, the amount of time it takes you to become a profitable Forex trader depends on several factors. Some of those you can control, and others you can’t.

However, the good news is that there are things you can do to speed up the process. In other words, you can learn from my mistakes—and I’ve made plenty.

If you want to learn some methods for fast-tracking your Forex journey, you’re in the right place.

I’m also going to share a few questions you need to ask yourself along the way. Some may be difficult or even uncomfortable to face, but it’s important that you do.

Let’s jump right in!

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions...

Man holding three question blocks The determining factors for how long it will take you to become a consistently profitable Forex trader fall into two categories.

  1. That which you cannot control (the natural ability you’re born with); and
  2. That which you can control (decisions you make throughout your career).

Which do you think has more influence on how long it will take you to succeed?

If you said number two, I’d agree.

There’s no doubt that some individuals are wired to learn how to trade Forex faster than others. Given that it took me nearly a decade to get it right, I’ll assume I’m not one of them.

That proves my point though. Successful traders aren’t born with it. Even those with natural ability have to put in the time and effort to get to the top.

So, natural talent aside, what factors determine how quickly you can become a profitable Forex trader? Let’s take a look.

Question #1: How passionate are you about trading?

This happens to be a topic I deal with on a daily basis. One of the most common questions I receive is how much money can I make trading Forex?

You can see how this question ties in nicely with the subject of today’s post.

I don’t mean to scare you away, but unless you absolutely love trading, you’re going to find the journey to consistent profits to be an incredibly painful one.

Not many people are going to tell you that, but it’s true. I didn’t choose trading as a career because of the money I can make. I chose it because I love watching how the market ebbs and flows, regardless of whether I stand to make money or not.

It’s a game for me, but one I take very seriously because it’s also my business.

Passion is the only thing that will get you through the tough times. Not a desire for money, exotic cars or fancy watches.

Question #2: How much time can you commit?

The amount of time you commit to Forex has a direct impact on the amount of time it will take you to become profitable.

That may go without saying, but it’s surprising how often we forget the simple truths.

All else being equal, the trader who commits four hours per day to studying the markets is going to develop faster than the trader who only devotes one hour per day.

The notion is simple enough. The more time you spend studying something, the faster you absorb the content. You can also cover more ground by studying for four hours per day versus the trader who spends one hour per day.

However, there’s also an x-factor here called your subconscious mind.

If there’s one truth I’ve learned during my own Forex journey it’s that the subconscious mind plays a much greater role than you may realize.

Learning about pin bars and channels is great, but nothing helps more than spending time in front of your charts. Not necessarily trading, just observing and documenting market behavior.

That’s why I’m a fan of journaling. It’s a great way to train your subconscious mind. The more time you spend studying your charts each day and journaling your observations, the sooner you’ll achieve consistent profits.

Question #3: Are you willing to invest in your education?

The biggest difference between trading and just about any other profession is the education and qualification process.

Allow me to explain…

Whether you want to be a teacher or a brain surgeon, there’s a process you must follow.

A school isn’t going to hire you without some form of a degree to prove you’re qualified. Similarly, no hospital will hire you as a brain surgeon without the prerequisite degrees and hands-on training—at least I hope not.

Forex, on the other hand, requires no degrees, training or even experience on a demo account. If you have a pulse and identification, you can open an account with a broker and have it funded in 24 hours or less.

Think about that for a moment. Just about every other professional career requires years of schooling and often tens—if not hundreds—of thousands of dollars in education.

Yet here we are as traders, getting the green light to begin trading with real money in 24 hours or less. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

If you want to know why becoming a profitable Forex trader is so difficult, you just read one of the top reasons.

The bottom line is that trading the Forex market is a career. That means you have to spend the time and money educating yourself as you would with just about any career path.

Ways to Fast-Track Your Success

Drawing straight line through maze Now that we’ve covered some of the broader topics that affect how fast you become a profitable trader, let’s discuss some specifics.

Below are a few ways you can fast-track your success. These are things that have helped me immensely throughout my Forex journey that began in 2007.

Only trade with money you can afford to lose

Do you need the money in your trading account to pay bills or put food on the table?

If so, you’re going to find it incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to control your emotions. Uncontrolled emotions are what lead to mistakes like overtrading and risking too much per trade.

Of course you’re free to do as you wish, but if you’re in this position I urge you to stop. Get yourself to a better place financially first, and then think about funding a trading account.

The good news here is that just because you don’t have disposable income doesn’t mean you can’t learn. In fact, there’s no better time to spend studying your charts and training your subconscious mind to recognize various patterns.

Trade from the daily time frame

This site is called Daily Price Action for a reason.

Some think it’s because I release price action setups daily. And while that may be true, I named it that because most of what I do revolves around the daily time frame.

Since 2002 when I started with equities, I’ve tried every time frame available. I’ve used the 5-minute time frame, the 1-hour time frame and everything in between.

There was even a time when I was attempting to use the 1-minute chart. My thinking was that the lower time frames produce more setups, and more setups equal more profits.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

What I didn’t know at the time was that quality trumps quantity. When I think back on it, what I do today is the exact opposite of what I used to do on the 1-minute chart.

Back then I had a “more is more” mindset. Now I know that less is more. The less I trade each month, the more I often earn.

I’ve now taken this approach to the extreme. Instead of taking five to ten setups each month, I’m down to two to five per month. In fact, in the last seven weeks, I’ve taken a total of four entries on just two currency pairs.

But here’s the thing…

I just booked nearly 300 pips on one pair and I’m sitting on a total of more than 1,000 pips on the other. If it reaches my target, which seems increasingly likely, I’ll net more than 2,000 aggregate pips from a single trade idea.

Trading from the daily time frame won’t be for everyone, but I can tell you that it has done wonders for my trading and helped thousands of my members and visitors alike.

I truly believe that the daily time frame helps level the playing field. It brings us retail traders eye level with the institutions that would otherwise control the game.

Learn how to use price action

In addition to trading from the daily time frame, using price action is what turned my trading around many years ago.

There are too many Forex traders focusing on the wrong thing. Most spend their time searching for various strategies and indicator combinations.

After a while, their screen is so cluttered with indicators that the actual chart has all but disappeared.

I remember the first time I removed all indicators from my charts. It was a moment of clarity but a little frustrating at the same time.

I had spent so many years focusing on indicators, and all I had accomplished was covering up the answer to my problems.

Don’t make the same mistake. I’m not saying all indicators are bad as even I use the 10 and 20 EMAs.

However, in my opinion it’s best to start with no indicators at all. Learn how to use the various candlestick patterns and chart formations I teach on this site.

Only once you’ve mastered those should you even think about adding an indicator or two, and only if they add value.

Enjoy the journey

Becoming a profitable trader is a process. There is no end result because you’re always learning and improving.

Even after more than a decade I’m still learning every week. The mere act of analyzing charts for the daily and weekly setups I publish is a learning process for me. That’s what keeps it fun.

I bring this up because I see far too many traders focusing on the end result. They see images on social media of fancy cars and expensive watches and think that’s the end game.

So what do they do? They rush the process and cut corners which inevitably leads to a blown trading account, not to mention all of the bad habits these traders develop along the way.

Whatever you do, be sure to take some time each week to enjoy the journey. Trading Forex can be incredibly rewarding financially, but I’m here to tell you that your personal achievements are the true reward, not expensive cars or fancy watches.

Final Words

There is no universal answer to how long it takes to become a profitable Forex trader. It depends on your natural ability as well as on the decisions you make along the way.

The best advice I can give you is to enjoy the journey at every turn. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the end result, because there isn’t one.

Becoming a profitable trader is a process. After more than a decade I’m still learning and improving every single week.

And you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world (no pun intended).

I can all but guarantee that if you focus on the process of good trading and stop trying to make money, you will achieve success. And learning to enjoy the process is the best way to ensure you stay on track.

Your Turn: Ask Justin Anything

I’d love for this weekly Q&A to be successful and provide an invaluable repository of answers to common Forex questions.

To do that, I need your help.

Here’s what you can do to get involved and have your question answered in next week’s post:

  1. Ask questions. Post them in the comments below or Tweet them to me @JustinBennettFX
  2. Help me answer questions. If I missed something or if you have something to add, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Continue Learning


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  1. My challenge now is dealing with stoplosses. On Thursday close,i entered a short trade on the udscad. And about 10 hrs later decided to move my stoploss to BE. Only for the market to move against me and then reverse. What should I look out for before moving to break even?

    1. The simple answer is don’t move your stop loss to breakeven so quickly. Give the market room to breathe. If you moved it because you were afraid of taking a loss, that’s a sign you need to reduce your position size.

      On a somewhat separate note, the USDCAD has been a mess lately much like the USDJPY. It isn’t surprising that your breakeven stop was hit given the amount of back and forth price action of late.

  2. Hi Justin. I was wondering what your favourite candle stick patterns are.
    And which one do you think is the most powerful and promising signal if used at the right time?

  3. Hi Justin,
    Great article and always on point as usual! I can truly say that since becoming a member and completing the course, trading has become a passion. The journey is relaxing and enjoyable. Once I started focusing on learn how to trade and less on making money, making the dollars became easier.

    You have transformed my trading life from frustration and ready to quit to having fun, patience and discipline.

    You are truly the best coach (and my last)!!!

    Great job and thanks a million

  4. Your forex trading tips seems to make sence, thanks for the info, i relate to your story how you began trading, i have tried amost everything including trading news spikes, londan open,binary options etc and i have managed to blow up my account offen, as you have said mind set is so important in trading, having the wrong mind set of forcusing on result rather than the process is dangerous,,,,,, so i have a question, can i use daily price action trading long term binary options? Thank you

    1. Binary options are a zero sum trade… you win or you lose by a little as one pip. Forex pays you for each pip. Binary options are only profitable with price action heros… if this is the instrument of choice. I other words, you can not succeed in binary options until you master PA (price action).

      To answer you question, yes!… when you master daily PA analysis.

  5. Hello Justin.
    You have great number of pips knitted together.How do you ensure you do not loose them incase the market turns against odds, do you move your stop loss you had set earlier when you got into the trade?

  6. Thank you Justin – such good advice. Going through your trading course on a regular basis has been a wonderful tool for me.

  7. I believe that I am currently undergoing the classic Forex baptism of fire in the context of my consistent losses not for want of want to get rich quick, but trying to understand price action behaviour…I am learning from every single lossing trade and attempting to master the skills of trading the daily time frame….I strongly believe that my Entry and Exit strategy is improving daily but my biggest concern believing and having Faith in the price action…as I keep ignoring what is very obvious on the chart and also lacking in patience to let the trade to its own thing

  8. All had been discussed were true and I loved most is the Passion in trading makes one profitable. It contains all the criteria of being successful traders. In any field, considering enjoying what you are doing that’s for me is Passion…..and that’s lead to the possibility of success. Hoping to be one like you, Justin.
    Thank’s for enlightening us.

  9. Awesome Justin… thanks for all your hard work. You have excellent strategies posted weekly and daily, thank you for sharing your with us.

    Lifetime member of DPA
    (cause I’m sure I’ll be a lifetime trader!!)

  10. Hi coach, your setups have been tremendously helpful. I have never come across any other setups that are as accurate as yours. The setups did not only teach us how to enter and exit trades but they often teach how to draw the future setups ourselves as well. Good job sir

  11. Hello Mr Justin I really appreciate how you took your time to explain this. About price action, I still don’t understand the meaning of it. Is price action is the same thing as key support and resistance level?

    1. Hello Mr Peter, I am in the same boat like you as I am not very clear about between Price Action and Support & Resistance. Also I am so young in this huge industry. Hope our highly respected coach Mr Justin Sir will clear us about it with his great kindness.Many thanks for your question.

  12. Your advice if most vital and for me as a new trader , I learn a lot from you.

    I would like to know if you do sometimes trade indices? Like US30 ( Dow Jones ) , how can you advice me if I have interest in trading indices?

  13. I am newbie, I trade forex coz i thought it is an easy way to make an income but then end up blown couples of small accounts. It is harder than it looks cause it just like a fly or else, flying where it want to.

    I cleared all indicators cause they often give false signals. News , support resistant can give a bit of a guide but “Timing” playing a major role too.

    Tired to predict where it might go and lately I have a silly idea ” If I can’t predict it so why not just follow it ” but then end up with a question ” How ?” ^^,)

  14. As usual, thanks for your concern for the struggling traders and your invaluable insights to better trading. My question is how can I trade as little as $120 on daily time frame intending to risk only $6 per trade? I love your approach to trading sir.

  15. Hi Justin,do you use Strong V Weak currency in your trading and have you any opinion about trading using that method please.

  16. of the truth the time spent learning all that is needed to become a better trader have a huge relationship to the time it will take u to become a successful trader. this is my eight months [8] in forex trading and for the past 3 months i have been feeding from my profits from trading. though it wasn’t easy, i saw hell.
    after i lost all my business capital to arm robbery, somehow along the line i got my self to forex trading through one marketing site, without trading demo for up to a week i signed up a live account, and subsequently i lost everything , i became penniless. but i didn’t give up i spent not less than 17 hours a day studying chart, reading trading blog, trading books and luckily i came across this site [daily price action] and Neil Fuller’s site. they both made me fall in love with the forex market.
    even though am still very much under capitalize but am trying my best not to be greedy and to always have my emotions on check

    1. Hi Mate, Don’t give up. I am very sure you will get back later to your all; you know why because we are so lucky that we got fund such a benevolent site and mentor like Justin Sir! So don’t worry, stay in Price Action to work for you and every body in our trading community.

      Thanks for sharing your experience; by the way, please don’t think you are the only one, we most have the same story in our trading life I hope. So don’t give up, stay learning and studying and enjoy the trading process……

  17. Hy sir, thanks so much sharing your knowledge with us and making us good one more question please how I can find long term trade which chart time frame I must study for long term.

  18. Hello Justin, thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    It happens very often that the market goes in my favor 1R 2R gains and just before my target, the market turns , at the end, i losing my gains, my stop is hit,, and I finish with a loss.
    What can you suggest to me to improve his bad positions?

    thanks, good continuity ,,, Robert

  19. Thanks again for your priceless info.
    As per your analysis which pair would you say you might trade soon maybe coming week.

  20. Hey Justin…You are the bomb. You are one of the few forex traders that is telling the truth about trading and it is helping us newbies a great deal. The surprising thing is you do all these for free. May God continue to enlarge your coast Sir…Thank you pretty much. I sincerely look forward to coming over from Nigeria to spend some real quality time with you to sharpen my trading skills.

  21. Your Webinars and comments always allow me to grow my knowledge bank. As I am in Australia trading NY time and working proved a challenge but the penny dropped during your webinar. Working on the daily charts I can place my set up to commence as the price action reaches my entry point with stops in place. This will make a substantial difference to my trading. Many thanks

  22. Dear Justin Sir,

    Simply I would like to express my heartily wishes as the God gives you the empowerment to deliver such a true message to our trading community to rectify ourselves to become a consistent profitable traders from this great knowing.

    Thank you so much once again for the writing and your benevolent support.

    1. Examples of Price Action (Signals) are Pin Bar & Engulfing candles.

      In the lesson JB teaches he says there are three factors required before entering a trade.

      TLS: Trend, Level & Signal.

      When these Price Action signals happen at the Key Levels (Support & Resistance) and your trade is aligned to the trend then the probability of success is higher.

  23. This is very helpful!
    I nearly quit forex last week up until I learned Price action, your article is adding more information and giving me confidence.

  24. Justin is copy cat. Show your success first and then talk about success you bum. Did you ever trade on forex? Do you have a real account? You bum

  25. yes you well said, There is no universal answer to how long it takes to become a profitable Forex trader. It depends on your natural ability as well as on the decisions you make along the way.

    The best advice I can give you is to enjoy the journey at every turn. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the end result, because there isn’t one.

    Becoming a profitable trader is a process. After more than a decade I’m still learning and improving every single week.

  26. The first thing that triggers your mind when you think about forex trading is high volumes—loads and loads of funds flowing from one country to the other. It voices concerns about economic related issues in society. this article is very useful

  27. My challenge is staying discipline to trading rules I set. And I keep defaulting and refining my trade rules. Once refined. I usually put myself under pressure for the outcome and I end up breaking my rules. I guess it is more or psychology I need to improve on, as I know I am very knowledgeable with trading. Just need to work on my discipline. Do you have psychology materials I can digest? SO I can meditate daily with them until it becomes second nature and I trade with less emotions…

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