12 Essential Trading Tips to Make You a Pro Trader

This is not some self-help rubbish list that is meant to inspire. This is a down and dirty, harsh and truthful list.

12 Essential Forex Tips

1. Learn the Basics

learn the basics in ForexYes this is a simple one but it has to be said. A man in my position has the pleasure of talking to scores of newbie traders on a daily basis. If there is one thing I have learned it’s that most newbies forego the basic training and jump straight into the warzone. This is of course a fatal error, on their part, so if you’re a newbie LEARN THE DAMN BASICS!

How do you learn the basics?

Check out the Forex education section.

2. You Won’t Get Rich Quick, Experience Makes You Rich

the road to trading Forex is longIf you’re here to get rich quick you’re just a clueless tourist. Don’t be naive. Trading is all about experience. As is the case with any career, the longer you do it the more efficient you become. I am often asked “Nick, how did you make ninety pips when I only made seventy pips on the same trade?” It is all about experience. I have been trading for eight years so I am an efficient trader. I see things that newbie’s don’t because I have the experience.

The journey to becoming a trader is a long one so be prepared to stick it out for one to three years before you’re consistently profitable. Forex is a long road but it is well worth the journey.

Always remember, Forex is a career not a get rich quick scheme.

3. Experts Are a Joke

Forex experts are a jokeListening to expert opinions is great right? Of course it is!

The problem with financial markets is that every newbie who’s had a good week thinks they are an expert. The other, more pathetic, type of expert is the 30-60 year old guy/girl, in a suit, who claims to be a professional trader yet begs you to buy their book. These people are usually failed traders who make money teaching other traders how to fail. Self-proclaimed experts tend to:

  1. Regurgitate generic old information that just doesn’t work.
  2. Say they’re rich full time traders yet try to sell you books.
  3. Make outrageous claims like they turned $1k into $1mil in a month or some such rubbish.
  4. Try to prove they are profitable traders by posting pics of photoshopped account statements.
  5. Cleverly use maths to make themselves appear more successful than they are e.g. double counting wins and single counting losses.

So most ‘trading experts’ are a joke. Take what they say with a pinch of salt.

4. Do Your Own Analysis

don't be a brainless zombie do your own Forex analysisContinuing from the last tip, blindly following others will make you blind. Your goal should be to become a successful trader, not a pigeon following others around for scraps of information.

As a trader you need to pick a method and learn to analyse the market. Being able to do your own analysis will bring you closer to being a pro trader. Doing your own analysis allows you to:

  1. Be self reliant.
  2. Actually learn to trade.

If you choose to blindly follow some self-proclaimed guru all you are is a pigeon. How will you make the money when the guru stops giving tips or the tips stop working? Will you even understand why they worked in the first place and why they no longer work?
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5. The Demo Myth

If I wanted to be a professional boxer then I would go out and buy a boxing game for my PlayStation 3 and start my boxing training. Would that make any sense?? Well it makes just as much sense as trading demos in the hopes of becoming a successful Forex trader.

Demo trading for 3 months does not work for 2 reasons:-

  1. Demos give new traders false confidence and cause them to learn bad habits.
  2. Demo account performance is often superior to a brokers live account performance. This includes execution speed, stop hunting, and several other factors.

The best solution is to use a demo to learn the basics and test out, or find, a trading method. When it comes to actually trading you should only trade a live account. These days you can open an account with pocket change ($10) so there are no reasons not to trade live.

Oh and if you cannot afford to lose $10 you should not be trading anyway….

6. Kill Losing Streaks Early

the impact of a losing streak in ForexThis is by far the most important rule I have ever put to action in my own trading. Had I not stringently stuck to this rule I truly believe I would not be a successful trader today.

If you lose 3 trades in a row STEP AWAY from your charts. Take a few days off trading and come back with a clear head. Losing streaks are very dangerous and falling into one can lead to very big losses.

I cannot stress this tip enough.

7. Following the Pack

do not follow the pack in ForexHave you heard that 90% of new traders fail? Like most statistics that one is probably bull. However it is fair to say that the majority of newbie’s coming into this market fail.

I believe the secret is to break away from the pack and do your own thing. That doesn’t mean you should segregate yourself from the trading community. It just means you should rely on yourself. Get enough knowledge/experience to be independent and not simply a follower.

Think about this one logically:

  1. The vast majority of new traders fail.
  2. If I follow the majority I become part of the majority.
  3. If I am part of the majority I am likely to fail with them.

Become independent DO NOT remain a follower.

8. Stick to Your Method

Every trading method has its ups and downs. No trading system, method or style will be 100% profitable, all year round. My method, for example, has on average an 80% success rate. Some periods of the year I will win only 6 in 10 trades (60%). Other periods in the year I win 100% of trades for a month or two.

I know each year, I will have some bad periods in which case I lose more trades than normal. I do not lose faith though. I stick it out and keep on trading. The problem with most newbie’s is they will give up on a method after its first bad week.

Don’t abandon your method when times are tough.

9. Keep It Simple

This is an easy one. Keep it simple!

There is no reason to complicate trading. For example, my trading method is extremely simple yet extremely effective. I spend 2-5 hours per week trading and the rest of the week enjoying life.

Your method does not have to be incredibly complex to work. Keeping it simple will allows you to:

  1. Work much more efficiently
  2. Work less
  3. Speed up your learning (KISS)

If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this…..

Keep it simple!

10. Trade Only One Pair

The key to making that transition from newbie to pro is keeping your trading simple.

One of the easiest ways to keep trading simple is to trade only a single currency pair at a time. This is so damn obvious I am surprised more people do not do it. Trading one pair helps because it allows you to concentrate all your efforts on learning that pair, therefore allowing you to understand how it moves.

If you try and trade 5 pairs at the same time, learning to trade becomes much harder. You will have to learn the unique characteristics of all those different pairs and each pair is unique. Each currency pair:

  1. Reacts differently to news.
  2. Moves at different rates, some fast some slow.
  3. Moves more rapidly at different times of the day.
  4. Has to be managed differently when holding an open position.

As a newbie, jumping into the deep end with multiple pairs adds a lot more stress and slows the learning process.

So start off with a single pair. Once you’re profitable you can add as many pairs as you think you can handle.

11. Trade Only One Time frame

As above, picking a single time frame keeps things simple.

Looking at a single time frame has several benefits:

  1. Allows you to concentrate on learning one time frame, therefore removing a lot of the confusion that comes with learning multiple time frames.
  2. Gives you less charts to look at and allows you to concentrate more energy on analysing a single chart, therefore improving efficiency and the quality of your analysis.
  3. Stops you from overanalysing your pair. Looking at too many time frames can give you conflicting signals.
  4. It just makes your life easier.

Remember it’s all about keeping it simple. If you have a single timeframe and a single pair it means you’re looking at a single chart. As a newbie you do not want to juggle multiple charts. Stick with one chart, until you become consistently profitable.

12. Clean Charts

Most newbies pile as many indicators as possible onto a chart, when they first start trading. Indicators help with your trading (apparently) so the more the better, right? Wrong!

As traders gain more experience they start figuring out that less is more. The more indicators you have on your chart the more confusion you will have. Every extra indicator:-

  1. Adds to the clutter making your charts harder to read.
  2. Gives you more to think about therefore clouding your judgment.
  3. Increases the possibility of giving you conflicting signals.
  4. Looks pretty damn ugly…

Indicators are not essential. I personally trade with no indicators and have an 80% success rate. I am not saying you need to remove all indicators but limit it to a max of 2 at a time on your chart.

I trade with no indicators, simply a few support and resistance lines and candlestick patterns.

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99 thoughts on “12 Essential Trading Tips to Make You a Pro Trader
  1. Excellent advice Nick. I have been involved with currency trading for about 5 years periodically and have never seen the hard facts produced in this way before on the internet. A big thank you. It takes an Aussie. Although, paragraph 11, in essence I agree but I find to get more accurate entries and exits it is best to go to a shorter time frame for the same currency. I have 2 charts open on my screen at once for this. I also like the look of two shorter charts on screen as against one big chart going across the full width of your screen.

  2. I agree with you fully. I too am a firm believer in keeping charts simple and trading one currency pair at a time.
    Thanks so much Nick, for sharing your thoughts with us.

  3. Interesting topic… i doubt you dont use idicators….but any way thanks for the information..i need all the help i can get..

  4. @Mystique: You doubt it? Have you looked at my method? You should probably do a little research before you open your mouth otherwise you could end up looking like an idiot…… you idiot.

    1. lol…i had to pick myself off the floor after reading your response to Mystique.
      oh boy, Ive still got tears of laughter….and sore back..lol
      Well done Nick.

  5. Nick, this is some great advices and also a great article. Keep up the good job.


  6. So true Nick. They obviously haven’t studied the method. As we all know, it takes many hours to write and publish an article as you have. @mystique summed it up in there last sentence. Needs all the help they can get.

  7. hi….

    good articles n tips….give me more picture how to become a forex trader,,,,,,

    still a lot of thing to study n xplore….

    your blog help me a lot

    mc newbie

  8. have tried forex but only in a very small way. FEAR seems to be my worst problem,

    actually entering a trade.I take on board all that you say and still cannot hit the
    buy/sell button.What can I do to get over this?
    also igindex has increased its level for entering a trade from 10 to 15 times
    the pip value. I know that if all the signals are good then I should make a
    succesful trade but still no action.
    Any help or tips would be great.thank you FRANK T

  9. Iam like Frank T. Will keep trying to get over this,as Iam determined to
    crack this nut. I like your style
    Regards and thankyou October 24th 2008 7:10pm

  10. Nick – Sometimes the obvious is clouded by details. What great advice here. I had a basketball coach that took us to state chmpionships for 4 years and he would never let us practice anything but the basics. He was right and you are too. I also admire in you Aussies what used to be so prevalent in America – do it your way, and you will therefore own it. Your independence is refreshing and right on! Thanks for the great site and advice.

  11. Thanks Nick,
    I once heard that being brilliant on the basics is very essential to success in any venture. Your article is so helpful. I have read your book and found it interesting, what I have found is that one can actually blend the ideas in it with any trading style. As a fresh trader I have benefited from your book. Thanks a lot.

  12. Great article, great advice. With all the websites that offer the magic system…….for only 599.99, it is extremely refreshing to read an article that is sincere. I am a definite believer in if you had the ultimate system, why would you be selling it? Anyway my man, I just wanted to say that you can always tell who actually knows what they are doing because…….the true experts are confident enough in their self to give it away for free.

    Thanks again

  13. Thanks Nick for the advise. I am new to the world of Forex. I read to many postings about people saying they can’t get their money from their brokers when they asked to withdraw some (GFT & FXCM). Any truth to that ? Can they actually hold your money from you?

  14. Your suggestions are great I just wish I would have read this earlier, because these are I things I’ve come up with through trial and error. (with a stress on error)

  15. Nick, interesting advice on demo accounts, i hadnt really thought about things like that it makes a lot of sense. nice 1

  16. Nick, again, fine job!!! I guess you are an Aussie from am reading. My Grandfather worked around the globe many years ago, heavy equipment, said Australia was his favorite place. The people were really friendly. I will get there one day.

  17. Sound advice Nick, will take it on board. Just read your book and like the confidence and conviction you have in your system, a system I might add, that is easy to understand. Also read your article about master candles, so you have given me lots to practice with on my demo account, I am too raw yet to go live. Thanks very much for passing on the advice.

  18. Nick, I can’t say thank you enough! I’ve been trading for over a year now…initially spent an embarrassing amount of money just to use a forex program (line graph). I’ve blown up my account again and again. A friend introduced me to the candlestick (yet found all the names confusing). I almost lost faith. Your system and advice are priceless. Thank you.

  19. Hi Nick…Thanks for the great info..As always it is very helpful to newbeesto re-think their process..I’m guilty of trying to trade multiple currencies with multiple indicators that I read about and very few seem helpful..

  20. Thanks Nick. I’ve been on demo for about 8 months. I found your site a few days ago, I’ve been reading the great material that is here and after reading this post, I decided to go live with a 100 USD account. you are right, I need to learn to do it in the real arena.

    Thanks again. Great site.

  21. i wish i had known this be4 wen are u going to give us candlestick part 2 cos amn really waiting.will it be written on the site?thanx alot for all ua info

  22. Hi Nick,

    Great list. Just one question – surely the only way to satisfy yourself that you have a solid system that you can believe in is to demo trade it for an extended period?.

  23. You’ve been through the learning curve and experienced the high’s and low’s along the way. So now you can talk from experience, honest strait talking, factual and how it should be done.

    So, in my humble opinion, you are a “MESSIAH” to the uninitiated like myself. And if one truly follow’s your teaching they, surely, should become a successful trader.

    I know that through you, I am becoming more consistant.

    So all your efforts are appreciated.

  24. I have been a trader for 9 years in and out, due to profession and familly duties. But have been trading now full time for the last 6 years with very good success, at least I reach my monthly target month in month out, and the pair i most trade is gbp/jpy and read Nickb book, what a load of crap.
    These so called traders that say are successful and stil need to sell rubbish books to earn a living….. just makes me wonder.
    I bet this email will not be posted. LOL


  26. I just wanted to say thank you for such a great post. I’ll be visiting your blog again and adding you to my reader ! Thank you again :)

  27. Thank you, Nick!

    Your thoughts and advice – and your patience with questions and questions and questions from us noobs – are very much appreciated!

  28. Nice website! This is true that complex indicators and chart lines are confusing and unreliable. Simple trading and price action is the way to go. Good advice and information!!

  29. Nick, all the real men and women out there have told you the truth. You are doing a WONDERFUL JOB. Please keep it up. I hope I get to your level inthis Forex Biz one day.

  30. Nick, all the real men and women out there have told you the truth. You are doing a WONDERFUL JOB. Please keep it up. I hope I get to your level in this Forex Biz one day.

  31. hahaha…it was fun to read the comments….moron,idiots and moronssss….haha
    Thanks nickb for the post…i wonder is there any gathering of best forex traders of the world…it would be nice to hang out with charts people..spreading love from malaysia.. :)

  32. I agree that trading only one currency pair or a maximum of two pairs is very useful. But looking at only one time frame, i don’t agree. You need to check the higher time frames also to check the trend.

  33. why people against each other instead to support each other ?
    if you dont like his post , keep it for yourselves
    if you feel your strategy is better then others and wont share with others. keep it yourselves.

    I only can say “keep practice mate, find the clue suit you.
    Larry william can tarde with his William R indicators, but its does not means all his student can do the same.

    when you wake up, you can see the best indicator inside your bathroom mirror

  34. Hi Nick,, nice info thanks. I have been trading for about 3 yrs now and have done just about everything you mentioned above. However, once bitten, twice shy, and now am starting to make some decent coin. I believe in learning all I can … so I’m really looking forward to more info. You can’t have too much GOOD info.


  35. Dear Nick, I like your stuff it is all good for the most part. I am not a successful trader yet! But I fell I am well on my way. Thanks to you and other people I have found on the Internet. I do like allot of your stuff and some I have found very helpful. What turns me off is the way you talk to other people calling them idiots and dumb. This is not very professional at all. It has turned me from your website to look for others that are not as arrogant as you. You are not the only successful trader out there. Get out of your own head. I commend you for wanting to share your experiences with other people and help them out. But win you lash out at someone for a comment they may have made out of arrogance or lack of understanding how the market is, it makes me wonder if you and your system is worth taking a look at. I’m guessing this is because you are fairly young yet. But I for one am disappointed in you. You talk about all these other people selling books and such but you say you make no money from your site, But what of the huge GFT stuff all over your site makes me think they are your sponsors. Go figure. Get real!! C out!

    1. @Condor#1: I make money from my site through advertising and occasionally through selling Forex courses. I am pretty sure I have never said that forex4noobs does not make me money, I have only said it does not make me a living. There is a significant difference between ‘money’ and ‘a living’, I believe you have probably taken what I said out of context.

      You should probably ‘get real’ yourself and look at the date on the comments. Judging me or the quality of information on this site based on a handful of comments that are over 2 years old is small minded. Say what you want about flaws in my character but I believe you have exposed a major flaw in yours. I wrote those comments when I was 21-23, I have grown up since then. Anyway, thanks for this comment, it has been a great way to start off my birthday morning.

  36. I have found the cci to be a great tool on a 15 minute chart to trade the forex- I trade the extremes-below 200 i am long above 150-200 i am short-works well if you are prepared to lose 4-8 points off the batt to go for 15-25 ticks-just the way i trade

  37. I agree to your “stick to your own method”. Every trader has its own trading style. Even in choosing the a forex trading systems the trader must conform to his methods of trading. I’m still learning about forex trading. Recently, I just stumble to this blog:www.forexrobottradinghq.com

  38. I did about 70% of the school of pipsology course a couple of years ago and thought I knew it all ! I’m going to start again and this time I’ll get it right. Thanks for all your work Nick.

  39. I used to be very happy to search out this web-site.I wanted to thanks on your time for this wonderful read!! I undoubtedly enjoying each little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

  40. I strongly recommend novice or experienced traders to trade the signals provided by  Forex signal providers in demo accounts and then trade in micro account with cents per  pip. If you are satisfied in making consistent profits with their signals then go head  and trade in standard account. And also clarify the things about risk reward ratio and  absolute drawdown because some signal providers issue signals which needs to leverage  high and possibility of maximum risk to blowup the account.

  41. I did about 70% of the school of pipsology course a couple of years ago and thought I knew it all ! I’m going to start again and this time I’ll get it right. Thanks for all your work Nick.

  42. Really interesting info I was one of those that tried failed and gave up, nowafter reading your tips I think I will try again.  Lallie

  43. love all these tips to be pro trader. Most agreed on “Focusing only one pair”. Currently practising now.. no more headache .. no more emotional … only have my method .. my only single pair … my only single time frame to trade … and … my single time frame to look the trend. That’s all.

  44. Agreed that newbies should start off with 1 time frame and 1 pair first. Don’t try to look at too many charts, it will cloud your judgement.

  45. Agreed that newbies should start off with 1 time frame and 1 pair first.
    Don’t try to look at too many charts, it will cloud your judgement.

  46. I did all the above mistakes which i am learning one by one yo fix them first before i enter back in my trades. great advice.Thanks

  47. Solid information! I have 3 years experience now and could not agree more with Nick. I learned so much new after reading this. Experience matters!

  48. esta pagina es muy buena soy un trader novato y ahora estoy aprendiendo con mucho sufrimiento de todas las paginas la mejor te felicito quisiera mas informacion

  49. I,ve been trading over 30 years and this Guy tells it like it is No BS just the facts wish I would of had someone like him around when I Satarted. If your starting out do yourself a favor and Pay close attention to what this site has to offer

  50. Really good information about trading in general. Expecially one time frame, one currency..I would just add 13) good risk:reward (above 1:3 , preferably 1:5, the more the better..)

  51. What a lesson you gave me, I really appreciate. Looking forward to your email address to enhance communication with you. I live in South Africa very new and vulnerable in the game.