Where Have I Been?

April 28, 2008

It’s been a while; a little over two weeks in fact since my last blog post.  

My last trade was 18 days ago and today was the first time I opened up a chart since then.  

Am I quitting? Has the forex market taken its’ toll on me?

No and no.

I started a new job about two months ago and it has been so draining mentally and physically that I just haven’t had anything left for forex.  Trading forex has since fallen to the bottom of my priority list next to watering my cactus.  The unfortunate thing is that I took this new job because I thought it would give me more time to concentrate on forex.   

I feel like my added responsibilities are started to loosen a bit though as I become more acclimated to my new full-time job.  The fact that I’m finally posting something on my blog for the first time in two weeks may be evidence.   

The question will be whether I jump head first back into trading forex or ease my way back in.  Either way, I’ll probably wait until May 1st for psychological reasons.  I’m up 2% for the month and I’d rather not threaten this by trading hastily before month end.  

Stay tuned.  I’ll be back soon.  Hope everyone else is still chugging along making progress and money. 

What Do You Think Is Holding You Back?

April 13, 2008

"You have been at this forex thing for a while now and still are not
achieving the results you had originally hoped you would achieve. What
do you think is holding you back?"

Simple question but nevertheless a good one that made me think.

I have been forex trading for almost three years, not a sophomore and
not a senior.  Three years ago I had high hopes of trading full time
within one years time.  These hopes faded as the reality quickly sunk
in.  The results I was hoping to achieve back then were just totally
unrealistic.  I’m a firm believer that trading takes experience so
there really is no way of rushing the learning process.  The more you
rush, the more chance you have of getting so discouraged that you want
to run as fast as you can away from the market.

After rethinking my initial goals, I limped around for quite a long
time.  I couldn’t even put together a profitable month.  During this
time, I got extremely discouraged and couldn’t even hope for achieving
anything.  I was probably two months away from quitting.  

Then about six months ago, I got my motivation back and wanted to
give it one more shot.  A lot of things seemed to come together quickly
for me and I felt good about my trading.  This was the point where I
felt like I could start setting realistic goals and I did.  Since then,
I think I’ve made great progress toward reaching these goals.  In fact,
I think I’ve surpassed the expectations I had six months ago.  

So in response to the comment, I think I’ve achieved the results
that I had hoped six months ago not three years ago.  In response to
the question, the only thing holding me back now is my renewed
motivation to excel in my non-trading occupation.  This was a bit
unexpected but one must have a backup plan.  I worked hard to get where
I am and I don’t want to throw it all away.  Ultimately, I want to work
for me and I think trading gives me the best shot at doing that.   

What Is More Important In Forex Than Making Money?

April 9, 2008

I haven’t been able to make any progress monetarily in about a
month.  I’m up about 4% this month but breaking my account balance
all-time high has been a struggle.  I’m pretty much stuck where I was
around this time last month.  I’m not all that concerned and shouldn’t
be considering I was preaching patience a couple of days ago.  It’s
just that everytime I open my trading platform, the account balance is
just staring me in the face. 

It’s more important that I
progress as a risk-aversed trader.  For newer traders, it’s very
important for you to understand that learning methods to control your
risk should be a priority.  Making gains monetarily is obviously
important but making gains and strides elsewhere are more important. 
When I first started trading mostly with demo accounts, I had some
unbelievably profitable trades but my strategies were random and my
risk and leverage too high.  A lot of this is just pure luck and not
going to take you to the next level.  Your account balance shouldn’t be
used as a guage for success.  Some questions to ask yourself to guage
your success may be:

Have you managed to minimize your risk and maximize your reward?

Have you maintained consistency?

Have you been able to control your emotions?

Have you developed a complete trading system that you’ve been able to follow without deviation?

If you haven’t been profitable, have you at least been able to turn those gushing drawdowns into slow bleeders?

If you’re new to trading forex or have been trading for a couple of years, the #1 goal is to stay in the game as long as you can.  I’ve talked to many traders over the years and many of them have been in and outers.  They’ll jump in head first, blow up multiple accounts, and jump out never to be heard from again.  There are other traders I’ve known who couldn’t consistently turn a profit and instead turned into mentors or forex marketers.  Heed caution…  There are also others who couldn’t stand the non-regulation of forex and went back to trading futures or stocks.  There are a couple traders still around since I started but I can count them on one hand.  It takes years to become a trader and I can’t even say that for certain.  I’m still not there but I’m still around and giving myself at least 5 years.  If it doesn’t work out for me or you after 5 years, just think of the countless people who have gone to college and have never entered into the field of their degree.

Most Popular Forex Websites

April 6, 2008

Forex On Top was updated this afternoon and there are a lot of big moves.  Why visit?  The most informative sites tend to bubble up to the top.  With so many forex websites out there, it’s tough to disseminate the good from the bad.  Granted, there are a lot of broker sites in the top 50 but there are also a lot of non-broker sites mixed in that get just as much traffic.  This is impressive considering they’re competing without expensive advertising campaigns.  Check out sites ranked 1-50, 51-100, 101-150, and more.  You can also check out the forex websites that have increased their rank the most from last week at Forex Movers.

Be a Patient Forex Trader

April 6, 2008

Patience is a common trait among successful traders.  Unfortunately, patience isn’t inherent in many of us.  My belief though is that patience can be separated into two worlds for traders.  The first world consists of the patience you exhibit in your non-trading life.  I’ll be the first to admit that I absolutely hate to wait in lines.  I don’t discriminate against particular lines like waiting in line at the supermarket or waiting in line at the DMV to renew my driver’s license.  I hate all lines.  The second world consists of the patience you display when trading.  Here is where I show very good patience with intermittent lapses.  What I’m trying to stress here is that just because you don’t have patience in the first world doesn’t mean you won’t have it in the second.  I don’t believe they are conditional of one another.  So don’t assume that your won’t be a patient trader if you have no patience outside of trading.

With experience, you can learn tricks that will help you develop more patience.  For me, I just stopped watching charts.  I’ll scan them in the beginning of the day but I don’t have the desire or time to watch every tick.  I also stopped letting myself be influenced by what others were saying.  Every month I’ll hear everyone talking about trading the NFP report and every month I’ll ignore it.  Just because everyone is talking about trading it doesn’t mean you have to. Other things you can do and think are increasing your preferred time-frame (ie: from 30-minute to hourly) and knowing that there will be more plenty more trading opportunities in the future if you miss a trade.   Your trading patience doesn’t have to emulate your non-trading patience.  It may take some time to separate the two but you can do it.  

Other Forex Traders Had a Rough Month

April 1, 2008

David had a good observation in a comment post today.  He says:

"This may be coincidence but you, Colin at Forexspirit, Simon from Simon
Super Trader, and myself all had good Febuarys[sic]. But those same people
had a pretty bad March except Simon but he did say in his blog that he
had some very rough trades. Is this a coincidence or was the market
acting really different?"

Colin at Forexspirit was up around 8% in the middle of March.  I too was up over 6% on March 20th.  He ended March down over 17%.  He states in his post that he had a lot going on throughout the month and his energy level was depleted, something I can relate to.  It’s tough trying to become a competent forex trader when it’s not your primary job.  The best solution I had for this problem was to mold my trading strategies into and around my life keeping it higher up in my priorities yet not at the top.  Colin’s March forex trading review can be found at http://www.forexspirit.com/2008/04/01/march-2008-review/

Simon had a mixed month of trading hitting a losing streak but then recovered towards the end of month for a 180 pip gain.  In his March review post, he does bring up an excellent point about blogging forex.  He stated that he only had a certain amount of creative energy and a lot of it was being used at his full-time job.  This was leaving less creativity for his blog.  I too have had the same exact problem.  My new job has been creatively demanding also and it certainly does affect my quality of writing.  His March review can be found at http://simonsupertrader.blogspot.com/2008/03/march-review.html

I don’t know if David has a blog so I can’t give you any details on his results.  I can only imply that he had a pretty bad March.  I quickly scanned my charts over the previous three months and don’t see any major differences in market reaction.  Maybe you do.  If so, please comment.