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.
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.
One pound on Monday can bring you 1.19 euros. On Tuesday 1.20 euros. This tiny change may not seem like a big deal. But think about it on a larger scale. A large international company may have to pay foreign employees. Imagine what this can do for a practical purpose, if, as in the example above, a simple exchange of one currency for another costs you more, depending on when you do it? These few kopecks add up quickly. In both cases, you, as a traveler or business owner, can keep your money until the forex course becomes more favorable.
You might want to consider the following example as a point of reference if you start to doubt yourself: Dr. Alexander Elder, in one of his lectures spoke about a story of an old friend of his, a private trader who was inconsistent and experienced periods of wins and losses alike. In a couple of years this trader's name ended up on the US list of top money managers. When Elder asked ''How, what changed?'', the trader said, ''I am using the same trading strategy that I always have''. ''What changed is that I stopped trading against myself and my strategy''.
Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.
Revenge – Traders experience a feeling of wanting “revenge” on the market when they suffer a losing trade that they were “sure” would work out. The key thing here is that there is no “sure” thing in trading…never. Also, if you have risked too much money on a trade (starting to see a theme here?), and you end up losing that money, there’s a good chance you are going to want to try and jump back in the market to make that money back….which usually just leads to another loss (and sometimes an even larger one) since you are just trading emotionally again.
You need to not over-trade. Most traders trade way too much. You need to know what your trading edge is with 100% certainty and then ONLY trade when it’s present. Once you start trading just because you “feel like it” or because you “sort of” see your trading edge…you kick off a roller coaster of emotional trading that can be very hard to stop. Don’t start over trading and you will likely not become an emotional Forex trader.
The foreign exchange market is where currencies are traded. Currencies are important to most people around the world, whether they realize it or not, because currencies need to be exchanged in order to conduct foreign trade and business. If you are living in the U.S. and want to buy cheese from France, either you or the company that you buy the cheese from has to pay the French for the cheese in euros (EUR). This means that the U.S. importer would have to exchange the equivalent value of U.S. dollars (USD) into euros. The same goes for traveling. A French tourist in Egypt can't pay in euros to see the pyramids because it's not the locally accepted currency. As such, the tourist has to exchange the euros for the local currency, in this case the Egyptian pound, at the current exchange rate.
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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.
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.
For traders—especially those with limited funds—day trading or swing trading in small amounts is easier in the forex market than other markets. For those with longer-term horizons and larger funds, long-term fundamentals-based trading or a carry trade can be profitable. A focus on understanding the macroeconomic fundamentals driving currency values and experience with technical analysis may help new forex traders to become more profitable.
Most retail investors should spend time investigating a forex dealer to find out whether it is regulated in the U.S. or the U.K. (dealers in the U.S. and U.K. have more oversight) or in a country with lax rules and oversight. It is also a good idea to find out what kind of account protections are available in case of a market crisis, or if a dealer becomes insolvent.
The content has been prepared by Traders4Traders Inc, which is the training arm of T4TCapital, for general information and educational purposes only and is not (and cannot be construed or relied upon as) personal advice nor as an offer to buy/sell/subscribe to any of the financial products mentioned herein. No investment objectives, financial circumstances or needs of any individual have been taken into consideration in the preparation or delivery of the content. Financial products are complex, entail risk of loss, may rise and fall, and are impacted by a range of market and economic factors, and you should always obtain professional advice to ensure trading or investing in forex instruments is suitable for your circumstances, and ensure you obtain, read and understand any applicable offer document.