In all my years of trading and talking to fellow currency traders, I have noticed that newbie traders are susceptible to five main psychological pitfalls. I have decided to highlight these 5 trading psychology pitfalls so that you don’t get caught in the same mess as other traders who have been caught in the same.
Let’s take a look at each one and examine them carefully. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be able to see them coming and stop them before they destroy your trading account.
Table of Contents
1. The desire for quick richness
The desire to be rich quickly manifests itself in many ways. The main ways are fear and greed and they inevitably lead to other problems. If you think about it the majority of the issues newbies are the desire to get rich quickly. Things such as:
- Poor money management by risking too much. You can avoid poor money management by using this tool Position Size Calculator.
Forex will not make you rich in the short term. It will likely take years before you’re trading well enough to leave your day job. Forex trading is a career and in the long run, if you’re successful, it can give you a very relaxed life.
However, if you started trading last week and you plan to quit your job in six months because you anticipate being rich enough to buy a Ferrar, you are delusional.
This is a career, not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you want to be rich quick, hit the casinos. You have a better chance of winning there.
2. Fear of losing
This is another common trading psychological pitfall for most traders. From a young age, we were conditioned into believing that success means having a lot of money. That losing money – the opposite of making money – means failure. This in turn causes people to be afraid of losing money.
Some newbies trade demo accounts for two years, never summoning the courage to open a live account. Some newbie traders with live trading account panic whenever they enter a trade and, in turn, make rash decisions.
I think losing some money to the markets is actually beneficial. It teaches you some very important lessons. What is damaging is the fear of losing money. That is why most of the time I really recommend my students to try to train with real money when practicing rather than a demo account.
The fact that you think about it increases the risk that you’ll make an emotion-based decision rather than a rational one. So get rid of those fears and worries, they will not do you any good.
The truth is you are going to lose money to the markets, it’s unavoidable. Every professional trader has lost money. Not every trade will be profitable.
The market simply doesn’t always work in your favor and, there are times, especially as a newbie, that you will be on the wrong side of a trade. If you end up blowing your first live account… so be it.
As long as you pick yourself up and try again, you will be a better trader for it. I myself blew seven accounts before I started trading profitably. I lost accumulatively over $20,000 but I would not wish the same to happen to you. That is why I set up an academy to train newbies.
3. The need to be right
This is a good one. Caleb opens his platform and enters a dumb, baseless, long trade. He targets 90 pips and has a 45 pip stop loss. The trade goes against him immediately.
It goes down, first ten pips, then twenty pips, and then thirty pips. When it reaches forty pips, Tom decides he doesn’t want to lose another trade and moves his stop loss down.
The price keeps falling and Caleb continues to move his stop loss. He moves 80, 110, and 140…
Eventually, Caleb decides to close out his trade and he has lost a huge portion of his account.
Caleb was not able to accept that he has taken a losing trade. He kept pushing the stop down in the hope that it would eventually turn around. The need to be right is an account killer.
4. Lack of discipline
I saved this one for last because, even though it is one of the most common and dangerous pitfalls, it is rarely discussed.
A trader who lacks discipline can never make it in this business. And many traders are guilty of lacking discipline for many different reasons.
The main culprits are what I like to call “System Jumpers.” These are traders that are constantly tweaking and changing their trading methods. These traders do not realize that learning to trade a system efficiently takes time.
System Jumpers are traders who lack the discipline to stick to, and learn how to trade, a system. They try it for a week and when it doesn’t work they jump to the next system or method.
Another common action of an undisciplined trader is abandoning a perfectly good trading method.
Every trading method has periods in which it performs below average. No matter how versatile a method is it cannot perform, at peak efficiency in all market conditions. A true trader has the discipline to stick it out through the hard times.
5. Lack of Patience
When it comes to financial trading especially volatile instruments one needs to be patient. Apart from the other four above this happens to be one of the common trading psychology pitfalls.
Most traders lack to patience to stick to trade either when they are right or wrong.
Let’s say you open a trade with a target a profit of 50 pips but once the trade runs for even 40 pips you decide to close it immaturely. On another hand, if you had a trade and you had a stop loss of 40 pips once the trade runs for 30 pips you close it.
So my question is how will be able to know whether your strategy is wrong or right? In my opinion, just stick to the trade not unless there are some important news events that are coming soon. This will make you be able to make the best decisions after some trading period.
Vincent Nyagaka is a Professional Trader, Investor, and Author who is considered ‘The Authority” on Price Action Trading. His blog is read by over 300,000 every month and he has taught over 5,000 students from all over the world since 2016. Check out Vincent’s Professional Trading Course here.