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How Long Does It Takes To Become A Successful Forex Trader?

February 27, 2007

Most people approach the need to learn forex trading with a measure of trepidation or fear of the unknown. For those who are undergoing a period of self education and instruction by gathering relevant training materials and tools, and practising new skills in the comfort of home, one common question of the unknown would usually linger in their minds : "Would my self learning be sufficient to make me a successful forex trader?". For those who have chosen to learn under a mentor, a common question is this: "Will the mentor reveal all his secrets to me so that I, as the understudy, can trade successfully on my own?"

Indeed, when will a novice trader be able to know exactly the timing of his metamorphosis from a learner to a skilled trader, and so that he can proceed to trade on his own?

There are some who believe learning to forex trade is an effort that spans an entire life. This group of people believes that learning and education never stops. A forex trader reacts to the news, and to his setups, and trading is always different every day. To this group, learning is a lifelong process. They would look at their trades daily, analyse them to see what made certain trades work, and why certain trades were failures. In this manner, they are able to extract good lessons out of bad trades, and would become wiser, never to repeat these mistakes again.

The main difficulty for this group of new traders is finding the most appropiate time for them to say, " I have learnt enough, and it is time for me to go into the battle field and to fight the good fight of the faith. I will start to trade!"

Speaking from the viewpoint of a trading coach and a professional trader, here are two suggestions.

Firstly, maintain a trading log even when you are learning to trade. This trading log will serves as your trading diary in which you record all your trades, even during the times of learning which may involve your paper trading or your testing of certain forex trading strategies. Record your personal experiences - why a simulated trade was taken, what was the prescribed action you should take based on the trade setup, and what was the outcome. In this way, you will be able to document and record your experiences, and be able to gain a high degree of confidence from seeing repeated results from taking certain stipulated action arising from similar trade setups.

Secondly, you can adopt a cut-off point where you can start to trade on your own when after a period of paper trading, you find you are consistently having a higher win-loss ratio. In other words, when you find there are more winners than losers in your simulated trades and this is repeated consistently as recorded in your trading log or diary, you can consider moving out to trade on your own.

Needless to say, in whatever self study, it is of the greatest importance that you find the most effective trading strategies and systems, and master not only the trade setups, but also your trading psychology, and be able to pull the trigger to trade. Learn from real traders, who are able to pass on their skills to you. You are there to trade, and convert the head knowledge into real trading skills.

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