Never Risk More Than 2% Per Trade

Never Risk More Than 2% Per Trade in Forex Trading

How much should you risk per trade? This is probably one of the frequently asked questions by forex newbies. Well, the answer is to try to limit your risk to 2% per trade. But that might even be a little high. Especially if you’re newbie forex trader.

Here is an important illustration that will show you the difference between risking a small percentage of your capital per trade compared to risking a higher percentage.

Risking 2% vs. 10% Per Trade

TRADE #TOTAL ACCOUNT2% RISK ON EACH TRADETRADE #TOTAL ACCOUNT10% RISK ON EACH TRADE
1$20,000$4001$20,000$2,000
2$19,600$3922$18,000$1,800
3$19,208$3843$16,200$1,620
4$18,824$3764$14,580$1,458
5$18,447$3695$13,122$1,312
6$18,078$3626$11,810$1,181
7$17,717$3547$10,629$1,063
8$17,363$3478$9,566$957
9$17,015$3409$8,609$861
10$16,675$33310$7,748$775
11$16,341$32711$6,974$697
12$16,015$32012$6,276$628
13$15,694$31413$5,649$565
14$15,380$30814$5,084$508
15$15,073$30115$4,575$458
16$14,771$29516$4,118$412
17$14,476$29017$3,706$371
18$14,186$28418$3,335$334
19$13,903$27819$3,002$300

You can see that there is a big difference between risking 2% of your account compared to risking 10% of your account on a single trade!If you happened to go through a losing streak and lost only 19 trades in a row, you would’ve gone from starting with $20,000 to having only $3,002 left if you risked 10% on each trade.

You would’ve lost over 85% of your account!

If you risked only 2% you would’ve still had $13,903 which is only a 30% loss of your total account.

Of course, the last thing we want to do is to lose 19 trades in a row, but even if you only lost 5 trades in a row, look at the difference between risking 2% and 10%.

If you risked 2% you would still have $18,447.

If you risked 10% you would only have $13,122.

That’s less than what you would’ve had even if you lost all 19 trades and risked only 2% of your account! The point of this illustration is that you want to set up your risk management rules so that when you do have a drawdown period, you will still have enough capital to stay in the game.

Can you imagine if you lost 85% of your account?!!

You would have to make 566% on what you are left with in order to get back to break even!

Trust us, you do NOT want to be in that position. You’d start looking a lot like Cyclopip. Do you wanna look like Cyclopip? Didn’t think so!

“What Do I Have to Do to Get Back to Breakeven?”

Here is a table that will illustrate what percentage you would have to make to break even if you were to lose a certain percentage of your account.

LOSS OF CAPITAL% REQUIRED TO GET BACK TO BREAKEVEN
10%11%
20%25%
30%43%
40%67%
50%100%
60%150%
70%233%
80%400%
90%900%

You can see that the more you lose, the harder it is to make it back to your original account size.

This is all the more reason that you should do everything you can to PROTECT your account.

Not sure how well (or poorly) your trade went? Use our Gain & Loss Percentage Calculator to help you know what percentage of the account balance you have won or lost. It also estimates a percentage of current balance required to get to the breakeven point again.

By now, we hope you have gotten it drilled into your head that you should only risk a small percentage of your account per trade so that you can survive your losing streaks and also to avoid a large drawdown in your account.

Remember, you want to be the casino… NOT the gambler!

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