Why You Don’t Need To Be Smart To Be a Trader
Many people think that you need to have a Master’s degree in Finance or be some Albert Einstein math-wiz to be a successful Forex trader. Well, I am living proof that you don’t need some fancy college degree or a doctorate in mathematics to be a skilled trader in the Forex markets. I started trading when I was in high school and shortly after getting out I started to become successful as a trader. I never finished college, and I don’t claim to be the “sharpest tool in the shed”. However, what I understand, and what other consistently successful Forex traders understand, is that trading success is not only about knowing you need to control yourself and your actions in the market, but actually doing it.
I know that sounds simple, but being a successful Forex trader really does boil down to these two main points:
1) Understanding that you must consciously control your interactions with
the market so that you always do what is logically and objectively the best thing for your trading account at any given time.
2) Actually doing number one; it’s not enough to just understand….you have to actually DO. Remember, as Yoda said in Star Wars, “No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
A good analogy for this concept is the fact that some doctors smoke cigarettes, I personally had a a doctor who I knew was a smoker when I was kid. Now, it’s pretty safe to say that all doctors UNDERSTAND they should not smoke or do anything to damage their body. So…it isn’t that they aren’t smart enough…it’s that they just don’t have the proper habits and (or) they aren’t disciplined enough to carry them out.
The same thing can be said for many Forex traders; it isn’t that they aren’t smart enough to understand how to trade properly….it’s that they just don’t DO WHAT THEY KNOW NEEDS TO BE DONE.
– Long-term success vs. short-term satisfaction
Successful Forex traders understand that their trading success is measured over a large series of trades, not just a few. This is not a difficult concept to understand; you don’t need a genius IQ or a degree in finance to understand this. So, once again, we are seeing exactly why you don’t need to be super smart to be a successful Forex trader. What you DO need is some common sense and the ability to act on what you know is true.
So, a key element to becoming a consistently profitable Forex trader is aiming for long-term success, rather than short-term satisfaction. Giving into short-term satisfaction is the main reason why most Forex traders lose money. It isn’t enough to just know that you shouldn’t give into short-term satisfaction in regards to your trading; you have to actually not do it. Amateur traders end up over-trading and risking too much because they cannot overcome the temporary satisfaction that these actions bring to them. You have to be able to ignore these temptations with the knowledge that exercising patience and discipline is the only way to become successful over a longer period of time. What good is winning a few trades really quickly if you give all your winnings back the next week or the next day? Traders who give in to short-term satisfaction are constantly experiencing very volatile changes in the equity curve of their trading accounts, this usually ultimately ends in disaster with a blown out account.