Greed – There’s an old saying that you may have heard regarding trading the markets, it goes something like this: “Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered”. It basically means that if you are a greedy “pig” in the markets, you are almost certainly going to lose your money. Traders are greedy when they don’t take profits because they think a trade is going to go forever in their favor. Another thing that greedy traders do is add to a position simply because the market has moved in their favor, you can add to your trades if you do so for logical price action-based reasons, but doing so only because the market has moved in your favor a little bit, is usually an action born out of greed. Obviously, risking too much on a trade from the very start is a greedy thing to do too. The point here is that you need to be very careful of greed, because it can sneak up on you and quickly destroy your trading account.
Currency trading was very difficult for individual investors prior to the internet. Most currency traders were large multinational corporations, hedge funds or high-net-worth individuals because forex trading required a lot of capital. With help from the internet, a retail market aimed at individual traders has emerged, providing easy access to the foreign exchange markets, either through the banks themselves or brokers making a secondary market. Most online brokers or dealers offer very high leverage to individual traders who can control a large trade with a small account balance.
Before we move on, it's important to note that the best way of avoiding unnecessary risk when trading is to use a risk-free demo trading account. With a demo account you can trade on the live markets without putting your capital at risk, meaning that you can practice and get on top of your emotions, so that when you are ready to transition to the live markets, you have already conquered the biggest obstacles! To open your FREE demo trading account, click the banner below!
Just like stocks, you can trade currencies based on what you think about its value (or where it goes). But the big difference with forex is that you can trade up or down just as easily. If you think that the currency will grow in value, you can buy it. If you think it will decrease, you can sell it. With such a large market, finding a buyer when you sell and a seller when you buy is much easier than in other markets. You may have heard in the news that China devalues its currency in order to attract more foreign business to its country. If you think that this trend will continue, you can make a deal in the Forex market by selling Chinese currency for another currency, say, the US dollar. The more the Chinese currency depreciates against the US dollar, the higher your profit. If the Chinese currency rises in price when you have a sell position, your losses grow and you want to exit the trade.
You need to become an organized trader. If there is something that is the “glue” that holds all of the points I’ve discussed in this part together, it is being an organized trader. By organized, I mean having a trading plan and a trading journal and actually using both of them consistently. You need to think of Forex trading like a business instead of like a trip to the casino. Be calm and calculating in all your interactions with the market and you should have no problem keeping the emotional trading demons at bay.
The blender company could have reduced this risk by shorting the euro and buying the USD when they were at parity. That way, if the dollar rose in value, the profits from the trade would offset the reduced profit from the sale of blenders. If the USD fell in value, the more favorable exchange rate will increase the profit from the sale of blenders, which offsets the losses in the trade.
Since the market is made by each of the participating banks providing offers and bids for a particular currency, the market pricing mechanism is based on supply and demand. Because there are such large trade flows within the system, it is difficult for rogue traders to influence the price of a currency. This system helps create transparency in the market for investors with access to interbank dealing.
Fear – Traders become fearful of entering the market usually when they are new to trading and have not yet mastered an effective trading strategy like price action trading (in which case they should not be trading real money yet anyways). Fear can also arise in a trader after they hit a series of losing trades or after suffering a loss larger than what they are emotionally capable of absorbing. To conquer fear of the market, you primarily have to make sure you are never risking more money than you are totally OK with losing on a trade. If you are totally OK with losing the amount of money you have at risk, there is nothing to fear. Fear can be a very limiting emotion to a trader because it can make them miss out on good trading opportunities.
Forex trading psychology is a big thing. Often, it is the psychology, and not a lack of academic knowledge or skill in application, that is considered to be the primary originator of trading mistakes. Mistakes are constantly repeated by financial traders of various national, cultural, and social backgrounds, which suggests that it is the common traits shared among us as humans that lie in the base of those mistakes.
Confirmation bias is the one factor that is most common amongst professional traders. Looking for information that will support a decision you have made, even if it wasn't the best decision, is simply a way of justifying your actions and strategies. The problem is that by doing this, you're not actually improving your methods, and you're just going to keep making the same trading mistakes. Unfortunately, this can create an infinite loop in Forex trading psychology that can be difficult to break.
You need to always manage your risk properly. If you do not control your risk on EVERY single trade, you open the door for emotional trading to take hold of your mind, and I can promise you that once you start down the slippery slope of emotional Forex trading, it CAN be very hard to stop your slide, or even recognize that you are trading emotionally in the first place. You can largely eliminate the possibility of becoming an overly-emotional trader by only risking an amount of money per trade that you are 100% OK with losing. You should EXPECT TO LOSE on any given trade, that way you are always aware of the very real possibility of it actually happening.
This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.