[FOREX Real Money Balance Update] After depositing $496 into my Forex Account at the beginning of this month, today I officially doubled my account balance and crossed over $1k due to $443 in Net Profits this month. I still have 1 more trade idea tomorrow, but I'm proud of my accomplishments so far!
Forex trader I meet is offering me a real money account to play with and I have no experience.
I met a forex trader at work and he offered to set me up with a training account and depending on how I do he said that he might set me up with a real money trading account. He also said that he would eat any losses. Is this normal or should I be wary about anything. I work at a computer repair store and have never done any trading but im very interested.
Hi, I’m 16 borrowed 1k from my parents. I was confident i can be profitable after studying and trading paper money for 4 months. Basically after months of trading on a live account I blew up my 1k account. It was a good experience and somewhat knowledgeable. For the past few weeks I was up +500 then down -400 then finally I blew up my account. Shortly after blowing my account I’ve realized, trading might not be my thing or I just need more practice. This made me realize how much greed and how much trading is more of a psychological warfare. It was easy to stick to your trading plan using only 1-3% of your account per trade when your not using real money. My plan for now is to just try and get a job and return the money i borrowed (still scared to say i lost all the money) and keep paper trading for 6 months or longer. Edit: Thanks for the advice and helpful comments as well as for the criticism. I’ve been reading the comments and getting the most value out of them. I’ve decided to follow some of the comments I think made the most sense. So here’s my plan:
Get a part time job
Pay back my parents
Learn, practice, learn forex
Also a lot of people have asked me how in the world did I manage to trade when I’m only 16. Answer to that is my parents agreed to open an account under their own name. Also thank you again for going out of your way giving advices. It really helps me out a lot.
I have an 89% win rate over 18 trades, with a 27% profit. How many trades should I do before going live?
So I've been doing some scalping on pairs with high spreads in cryptocurrencies previously with great success, but I finally figured I'd give forex a real shot (was into it a few years ago, but didn't go live). Last time I scalped in crypto, I had 14 out of 14 successful trades, but only about a 10% profit. I haven't heard about anyone scalping the way I do in crypto, but I find my method extremely reliable when I just find the right pair to trade. This is just to say I have some experience with trading, but I'm by no means an expert. Now, I've been scalping the past few days with a paper trading account on TradingView. I've mostly been trading the US Currency Index, S&P 500 and some crypto pairs thus far. I'm scalping on the 1m time frame using bollinger bands and looking at trends, price action and stoch RSI for confirmation on my entries. I started out with 100k a few days ago and first doubled my account to around 200k and then did a 1,3 mill trade, but I was running like 500-1000 USD per pip, so if the market turned against me, I'd be liquidated real quick. While the trades were good, I figured I was disconnected from the risk I was taking because it isn't real money, and I wanted to try doing more conservative and realistic trades, so I reset the account yesterday. Edit (more trades done): Since the account was reset, I've done 45 trades where I've lost on two of them. If my math serves me right, that's about an 95.5% win rate. I'm up around 77.5% currently. I did lose 1500 on one trade, but that's because I by mistake placed a sell order when I was supposed to add another buy order double down on my long position, so I'm not counting that one in (but I'm not counting the 1500 I lost as profit either). I have a very strict strategy I'm sticking to when doing these scalps. I realize 45 trades is not a huge sample size, but that is kinda why I'm asking: How many trades should I do on the paper trading account before I should run it live with confidence? For anyone who might be interested, here's my account history: https://imgur.com/a/zuRSWwd Edit: here's 6 trades more: https://imgur.com/a/CmbyU6n Edit2: some more trades: https://imgur.com/a/q9xqVyq Edit3: I think we're up to 45 trades now: https://imgur.com/a/CsWZEN7
I'm trading for 11 months with pretty good success. I never traded metals and forex before, just stocks. Today when gold started to consolidate at the last hour, I decided to scalp short it with a large amount, so I opened 100 lots. I haven't realised, in forex 100 (lots) doesn't mean "100 pcs", because I used to stocks and I went full retard without knowledge. Seconds later, I realised it means 10 million dollars (1 lot = 100.000, and I had 500x leverage). It moved up a bit and immediately I was down £4000. I scared as fuck and rather than closing the position quickly I hoped maybe I could close break even. The market closed, and I waited for the Asian session. The gold popped like never before, and I lost all my life savings (£55000) in less than two hours. (including the 1-hour break between sessions). If I count that I lost all my earnings as well, I lost around £85000. Here is the margin call https://imgur.com/a/XY5m4ZA https://imgur.com/a/VSgmCSs https://imgur.com/pRWl5g9 IC Markets closed my position partially in every 1-2 minutes until I shut it myself at £35. You know the rest of the story. I'm depressed, crying and shouting with myself. Yes, I know I was stupid, thanks. I just wanted to share this with you. Edit: WOW THANK YOU, GUYS! I haven't expected this, but you help me. Many of you asked the same questions, I answer it here: - I live in Europe, and we usually trade CFD's, not futures. - Currency in GBP. - As you can see, this account made on IC Markets. They not just allowing you a 500x leverage, it's the default. - You can ask me why I went against the market. Because gold is way oversold? Because I expected institutions would sell their shares before gold is hitting £2000, leaving retails hanging there. Also, as I said, I wanted to scalp, not riding the gold all the way down. If I had a loss of £100, I would close the position immediately. But when I saw the £4000, my heart is stopped, and my brain just freezes. - I went for a revenge trade with my last £2k, and I don't have to say what happened. I uninstalled the app, and I give up trading for a while. - Again, in the past months, I was cautious, I lost a significant sum in March, but I managed to recover. Made consistent gains, always with SL. This is just an example of how easy is to fuck up everything you did. - I didn't come here for some shiny digital medals. I can't tell about my losses to anyone who I know in real life. I would make a fool of myself. - Anyone who attacking me that it is a scam. Well, think what you want. I feel terrible and the last thing is to answer all the messages saying "You fucking karma whore". I don't give a shit about karma.
Got an offer from a Forex account manager, highly sceptical about this whole thing
So I'm 19 and a university student, I got a DM from this "account manager" from Forex, who went into a long spiel about the merits of trading, and so on. From what I've read in this sub, around 90% of people who trade their money through Forex lose more money than they invest. The only way to be part of the successful 10% is to basically study how the stock market works, which takes months (if not years) to get the hang of. What do you guys think? Is my judgement accurate?
hi guys.. i’m actually 17 about to turn 18 in a few months, for about 6 months now i have been putting in hours and days learning forex trading and everything in between. when i’m 18 i get 10k to play with for forex. now my question is should i spread the 10 all over different brokers or one account with 10k in it. Also since i’m at my step fathers place i don’t have topay anything like expenses, rent, etc etc, i want to be able to move out around 21 years old achieving this thru forex profits is the ideal scenario. I think this is very possible... what do you guys think? what should be realistic expectations?
My MIL literally showed me and my SO her vagina, AND PATTED IT!!!
Okay, you guys I’m sorry this is so long and the formatting is messed up, this is my first time writing on Reddit, but PLEASE strap on with ya girl through this rollercoaster of my SO’s family, I just need an ear to vent to for a while. So I’m a 22yo Black American and my SO is a 27yo Nigerian who’s been in America for a going on 6 years now. We’ve been knowing each other maybe 4 years but we’ve only been together for 2, because I moved away for college to California (my home state) from Houston (my mom is a traveling nurse so I use to move around all the time as a kid.) But throughout this time, we always talked, even argued a bit but he was always “the one that got away” for me. So during this time we both got into shitty relationships that caused us to both look at ourselves, take accountability where it was needed and grow from the situation. Maybe 6 months after my relationship with my ex, my SO calls me and we get back talking and he flies my out to meet him, and the rest has been history. I left school on my third year and became a housewife for my SO (he’s a traveling wind turbine technician, so yeah I’m still everywhere.) So here’s where shit gets real. So keep in mind how I told you he was Nigerian and I was Black American (apparently 2 different races) Yeah so, his mom met me for the first time, this lady was exceptionally nice, I felt like we even bonded over the fact that we freaking look alike. I mean if we were to go to outside of her house together people would just believe that she was my mom, not the other way around. So we meet this first time (this was like 2 years ago so strap in baby, I’m about to give you the full jist) and I personally believed things went great until maybe a few weeks after that, her and my SO have an argument and she tells him that I’m going to trap him into being a baby father because I’m an Akata (Akata = Africans slur towards black Americans) (SN: If this heifer would have even TRIED to get to know me she would know I don’t even want no damn kids, UGH) But she says all this and my SO takes up for me then hangs up on her, not even a week later this horrible retched human being calls and just acts like nothing happened. My SO was just like whatever cause at this point every time they would get on the phone they would argue so he didn’t want to feel like the person constantly bringing the static. So we were paying their rent ($1890) while his mom was going to school to be a nurse, (she’s 64) under the stipulation that this would stop as soon as she got a job. So she got a job, told us we didn’t have to worry about paying the rent anymore, then called us 2 freaking days before their rent was do to tell us she couldn’t afford it. So we paid it again, and this went on for 5 months after. Until my SO just told her no more. After we paid her rent for the last time, we told her it was the last time and she would need to figure herself out. I mean she has a husband that doesn’t work, he takes her money and spends it on stocks and forex, he will win a little but the will loose everything EVERY FREAKING TIME and this lady still gives him her money. Okay so the second time I went over was after being called a baby mama but before we stopped paying the rent, and I am just like it’s my SO family I’m going to try and show them me, and let them see who I am. But literally on our way to his house his older sister, who I hadn’t met before this, calls and tells him that we shouldn’t stay at his house because we’re not married. So we say whatever to that even though we were paying rent, and we bought a hotel. So once we get to Houston we go to the hotel and then his mom calls and asks where we are and my SO tells her we came to a hotel because of what his sister said. Then his mom tells his is sister doesn’t run nothing so come there, he tries to be like no it’s fine we’ll stay here to keep the peace, this lady literally breaks down crying so my SO is like okay okay we’ll go, so the next day we went, and went we fucking did. Literally as soon as we walked in and got the pleasantries over and then sit down to eat lunch, they began talking shit about this other family that moved from Nigeria to California but couldn’t stay there because it was too expensive and they had to move to Houston. They were saying things like the other family is stupid, they should be able to stay anywhere “I mean it’s America”, how could they not afford their rent (while me and my SO are paying their rent), things like that. So being from California myself I took it upon myself to take up for this other family and explain to his family that staying in California is ALOT different from staying in Houston, from gas prices to rent prices to even cleanliness, it’s a whole different space. So from me saying that his sister began to straight up argue with me about this, she was speaking over me, not letting me finish, everything I hate in an argument and the whole time I sat their and tried to get my point across as best I could without being the loud ghetto black girl, and I applaud myself for this because MY OWN FAMILY don’t even speak to me the way his family has. (I’m literally shaking as I’m writing this OMG I HATE THESE PEOPLE) His sister was saying things like, she can’t stay in a place in CALIFORNIA where people in her apartment building are sagging, she would go to the mid level worker, IN FUCKING CALIFORNIA, and figure out what they do to make it and she would still be there chugging on along. Even after I tried to explain to this girl over and over again that’s not how life works, especially not in California, she still didn’t get it, so my SO just calmed the situation and we went up to his room. After a couple of minutes I left outta his room to go to the restroom and this same bitch that I just met for the first time and got yelled at by over shit she didn’t even know about, who also told my SO that I shouldn’t go to their family house because we’re not married, she asks me if I’m comfortable there. In order to hold myself from cussing her the fuck out. I literally just look at her and kept walking to the bathroom. So on the same trip, one of his mother’s older friends came over (to get FOR FREE NOW my SO old fucked up car because she didn’t have one) and we were cleaning the kitchen because we had a little pressure cooker mishap, so my SO was doing something and this lady was talking to her sons in their language and then says Akata to her sons, I didn’t think anything of it I’m just like whatever she not be talking about me. But as she was leaving this lady gave me the deadliest look, so hard my SO was like okay bye now to get her attention off of me, cause I just smiled at her, (old bitter bitches can’t break my happiness.) So after they leave my SO is like WTF was that and I told him how I also heard her say Akata and he’s pretty pissed I didn’t say anything while she was there, but was like whatever I will tell my mom. We tell his mom, and she is just like, no I don’t believe she would do that, and just left it at that. Yeah so that was my last time going there for a long while. During me not going my SO didn’t go either because this man would legit loose his head if I didn’t always keep it in purse. This is when we stopped paying the rent and the arguments started as well. (SN: We smoke marijuana and that’s a problem for his family as well (he smoked weed before we even met), his family LITERALLY have called us druggies on multiple occasions, while still asking us for money. What kind of druggies would you ask for money?) So yeah now I have caught up to year 20 fucking 20. During our hiatus from Houston, my SO was keeping in small contact with his family and I have always kept in contact with his little sister, she would call me and we would literally be on the phone for hours but that slowed up a lot and and so did his family from telling us their hardships, so in our minds everything was chill, they were learning we have our own minds and way of living and they were becoming okay with it. THE FUCKING LIES I THOUGHT. Nope the whole time they were just talking shit about us behind our backs and then come and ask us for shit. CRAY. So my SO has stuff that we just left at her house because he is a traveling wind turbine technician and we literally just didn’t have anywhere to put them, he had another car in her garage and we had like clothes and just things from other apartments and places we’ve been and we just couldn’t keep taking it around with us. So his mom said something about them moving houses and us having to come and get our stuff. Totally fine so we make plans and literally the next weekend we’re there grabbing our stuff. When we get there his mom then tells him there not gonna move so he can keep stuff there, so we’re like whatever because we were already having problems with the storages, so we just took his little sister driving and then I went shopping while they stayed back in the hotel to play VR and talk. I wasn’t there for this talk but from what my SO told me, his little sister was mad about the way he speaks to his mom, she was telling him her health is bad so he shouldn’t be yelling at her and all of this other stuff and he replied with something to the effect of if she’s doing fucked up things in front of y’all, why is no one else yelling. (I haven’t said what they have been arguing about because it’s a lot of different BS but it always has something to do with his mom chasing money and forgetting logic.) But they have a whole conversation about it or whatever and he tells me that his little sister was agreeing with what he was saying and everything. But the next day when we went to his house to grab our stuff, we realize it’s the complete opposite. I didn’t go in with him first off because I went shopping the day before and I had HELLA bags and shit the back of our truck so I had to move stuff around and make it neat so we could add the stuff from the house. During this time, unbeknownst to me, his little sister and mom are in the back arguing to my SO about who? ME! Saying things like I’m low class, dirty, I didn’t know how to pronounce the name of my university (?????), and that I have no ambition because I don’t have a job. They also talk about us smoking weed and then his little sister (16f) asked my SO what are your 10 year goals. Like WHAT?!?!?!? So after I finish moving all of this stuff I go into the house and the “daddy” then tells me to go to the back room cause that’s where everyone is. I had no idea what was going on and as soon as I walked inside of the room everyone stopped and looked at me. I could tell me SO was pissed but I thought their conversation was about what him and his little sister were talking about the night prior. So when I walk in his mom begins saying her greeting and then complimenting me on my clothes and I then told her how I sewed them myself because I learned how to sew recently, (this whole no ambition thing really fucks me up because I literally know so many skills, I don’t have to pay anyone to do anything for me, from my hair to my fucking acrylics to building furniture, it’s really fucking asinine to me.) So after all of the pleasantries are done, my SO begins helping his dad move stuff around and his mom begins to talk to me about smoking weed. At this point, I was still on the let me respect this old bitch level not knowing what was said about me seconds before. So I let her go on and on, with just a few things where I was like wait but that’s not right and then she would then go on and on on how it was right, when all of her explanations were stupid, and to just keep the peace I just kept saying yes ma’am, okay, all of that. When I say dumb shit I mean dumb shit she was telling me how we shouldn’t be eating out all of the time, when the only time we eat out is when we’re in Houston because knowing that I’m vegetarian they still cook everything with meat so I have to go buy food,which is fine, but don’t then hold it against me you insane crazy crazy bitch. She was even talking shit about my SO about how he is like the bad child, when his brother literally smokes weed too but he’s just too much of a pussy to say anything. So finally we leave, and then my SO tells me about all of this, it’s a 7 hour drive back to where he is stationed and the WHOLE drive I was yelling, I literally lost my voice. So at this point, I am just like fuck it, I need to state my peace. Again I will tell y’all MY OWN FAMILY knows better!!! I can’t allow somebody else’s family to treat me nor my man no type of way. Not at all. So two weeks later (literally last weekend) we go back to Houston once and for all to get all of our shit, move his car and cuss them the fuck out. So when we get to his house we just get busy getting out shit cause him mom wasn’t getting off work until the next day. So we get the stuff and come back the next day and here is again where shit gets the mostest realest OMG!!!! OMG!!! So we get there right before they’re leaving for church, give them little pleasantries or whatever and then we get down to business, my SO started then tossed the mic to me, so I begin VERY VERY calm and started to tell her how my SO told me what they have been saying and I don’t believe it’s right for them to just make assumptions about me without knowing me. This insane crazy bitch, tells me she doesn’t care about me because I’m not her child or her concern. And I say well why have you been talking about me. This woman says she doesn’t remember saying anything and for ME to tell her what she has said. So I was like well for starters you said I was going to make my SO into a baby father. She says, I don’t remember that, and after both my SO and I say YES YOU DID. She says Well it’s true.... (WTFFFFFFF I DONT HAVE CHILDREN I SWEAR I DO NOT HAVE A CHIL) At this point all calm is out, I’m yelling BITCH I DONT HAVE NO KIDS CRAZY, and I also begin walking toward her, now I’m not gonna hit this old ass bitch I just wanna yell in her face a little. And she starts saying oh are you gonna hit me and all of this and by this time I feel like I blacked out because I honestly have no idea what I was saying but I know I called her an old dumb bitch multiple times. But my SO comes in as I’m walking up to her and calms me down so I shut my lips and just let him go in. She was talking shit about me not having a job, he started talking about her husband, his dad, RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, calling him a deadbeat because he doesn’t have a job and literally doesn’t do shit and he wastes her money while I save my SO money. His dad literally didn’t do shit. His mom said she was gonna call the police my SO said he will call immigration (his daddy have literally been in this country illegally for over 10 years and she mad that we smoking weed, the fucking nerve.) So through all of my SO yelling and stuff we moved locations into the entryway and she’s telling us to get out but my SO is getting out everything that he’s been feeling. In the fucking mist of them arguing, she’s yelling as well, she begins to pull down her fucking panties (I am just a bystander at this point and I’m listening to the argument and once the panties began coming off, I swear to GOD it was was like a fucking car crash, I couldn’t look away. My brain was trying it’s fucking damnedest to make sense out of fucking nonsense.) This woman strips out of her fucking panties, lays flat backed on the fucking ground and spread fucking eagle shows me and my SO her puss. She literally starts smacking her puss while yelling to my SO that he came out of there. YAAAALLLLLL!!!! In all of this my SO is still yelling, he just turns his head to the side to where he can’t see her and just keeps going. After about 5 more minutes of her standing up then laying back down to show puss, I just told my SO let’s go and we walked out, with her yelling at ME, not to come back to her house. The next day his sister calls him and says their mom said he took me over their house to fight her, she even tells his sister that she showed us her puss, and his sister calls him asks him what happened and he starts telling her and she says well you are a druggie, nothing about the old bitch pussy popping for her son and his girlfriend. He hangs up in her face once she made the druggie comment cause honestly you’re insane if you’re mad at your brother for smoking a little weed but not your mom for popping pussy. These are just tips of the iceberg moments, not even everything I have went through in these SMALL 2 years. I don’t know how to finish this up other than, just pray for me and my SO.
I would like to reduce the Beta dependency for my investment. As a way of achieving it, I am think about investing in Forex, Future. But yet I have not found accessible API, whereas in Stock there are some popular options like Alpaca, TDAmeritrade, Ally etc. Can you guys share your experience in non-equity market?
I don't understand why people say it's impossible to become rich in short time with forex. Let's assume we have a strategy that has a winrate of 50% with a r of 1:1.25 (not so strong or impossible, right?). We are daytrading it and we can open 60 operations per month. We risk 2% (a conservative approach) per trade of initial capital of the year, starting with 5000. With these numbers we are gaining 15% each month, let's lower that down to 10% because yes. Within a year we can make 120% of initial capital! Let's lower that down to 100% because, again, yes. After 8 years we would be more than millionaire. If we could bring up that r to 1:1.5 we would be millionaire in 5 years (and billionaire in 12!!!!). I don't understand why this is wrong, why people keep saying that trading isn't the Holy Grail. 1:1.25, 50% winrate is the lowest working strategy I could imagine and still would be extraordinary even though I've lowered that down even more. What's wrong with this? What am I missing? P.s I'm backtesting a strategy that is doing 45% winrate with 1:2 r and 80+ possible operations per month. I feel like I'm going to eat golden nuggets in few years! Please roast me!
If I use a leverage of 30:1 (maximum in the UK) and get a return of 0.03% (roughly 4 pips for EUUSD) every day while reinvesting my profits each day and compounding my gains, then I will get an annual return of 840%. If I then start with £1000, then I will have £7.7 million in just four years! Surely this can't be real. And because I live in the UK, I will not have to pay taxes on my gains by using a spread betting account. So does that mean it really is possible to become a millionaire in four years just by gaining 4 pips a day? I mean four pips really isn't a lot. It shouldn't be that hard to achieve, right?
Hi guys, I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert. I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning. When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions. The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts Part I
Why it matters
Using stops sensibly
Picking a clear level
Why it matters
The first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.” You have to keep it before you grow it. Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around. The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices. Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.
Capital and position sizing
The first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose. Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market. A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples. So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000. We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be? We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator". https://preview.redd.it/y38zb666e5h51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26e4fe569dc5c1f43ce4c746230c49b138691d14 So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital. You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk. Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later. The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work. As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you. Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints. For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly: https://preview.redd.it/q2ea6rgae5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=4332cb8d0bbbc3d8db972c1f28e8189105393e5b To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you. Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown. It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance. Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k. Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money. Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.
If you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number? The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round. This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet. Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin. Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips. Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds. Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this: Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically. If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss. So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%. Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit! With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not. Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account. Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see. This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders. Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
How many live trades have you done? Often they’ll have done only a handful of real trades and the rest are simulated backtests, which are overfitted. The model will soon die.
What is your risk-reward ratio on each trade? If you have a take profit $3 away and a stop loss $100 away, of course most trades will be winners. You will not be making money, however! In general most traders should trade smaller position sizes and less frequently than they do. If you are going to bias one way or the other, far better to start off too small.
How to use stop losses sensibly
Stop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them. A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter. The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’. This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK. Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty. You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter. Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders. A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not. Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”. It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong. Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.
Picking a clear level
Where you leave your stop loss is key. Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible. If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200. The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up. Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD. https://preview.redd.it/moyngdy4f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=91af88da00dd3a09e202880d8029b0ddf04fb802 If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend. So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level. There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section. There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high. https://preview.redd.it/ygy0tko7f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=34af49da61c911befdc0db26af66f6c313556c81 Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument. Here are some guidelines that can help:
Use technical analysis to pick important levels (support, resistance, previous high/lows, moving averages etc.) as these provide clear exit and entry points on a trade.
Ensure that the stop gives your trade enough room to breathe and reflects your timeframe and typical volatility of each pair. See next section.
Always pick your stop level first. Then use a calculator to determine the appropriate lot size for the position, based on the % of your account balance you wish to risk on the trade.
So far we have talked about price-based stops. There is another sort which is more of a fundamental stop, used alongside - not instead of - price stops. If either breaks you’re out. For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.
Coming up in part II
EDIT: part II here Letting stops breathe When to change a stop Entering and exiting winning positions Risk:reward ratios Risk-adjusted returns
Coming up in part III
Squeezes and other risks Market positioning Bet correlation Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits *** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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