How to Be a Forex Trader

There is a big difference in learning to trade the forex market and learning to be a forex trader. A concept in which a lot of people struggle with so they confuse the two. What you need to ask yourself is “What kind of a forex trader do you want to be?”Because there are many different types and they hang out all over the place online. They will flock together with like minded people so that their beliefs are proved to be right. The problem with this attitude is that if you are not doing your best, you never will. So, let’s look at some Trader Types, according to their levels of success.


1. I Just Haven’t Found My Strategy Yet, Forex Trader – 

This I’m afraid is the most common forex trader, whether or not they want to admit it. They are continually looking for the “Holy Grail”, the strategy that works for them. They fail to realise that they are the reason each strategy they try doesn’t work, not the strategy itself. 90% of these people will give up, blaming everything external to themselves. Or they will just eventually run out of money and move into the next category and suffer in silence. The only hope for this type of trader is to recognise the importance of Trading Psychology, And then to Invest in themselves.

2.  Suffer in silence Forex Trader – 

You don’t spot this rare breed very often for obvious reasons they keep their pain to themselves. They lurk in the back of forex forums trying to copy successful traders. Trying to gain free knowledge and free advice, the problem of course with this attitude is you don’t know where the advice is coming from and it varies a great deal from site to site, and forex trader to forex trader. They will remain here unless they gain the assertiveness to Invest in themselves.

suffer in silence forex trader


3. Don’t do it Forex Trader – 

This trader has peaked at the same level as the job they quit. They’ll be just making enough money to survive. They normally work the same or more hours than they did with their previous job. And sometimes they will make themselves feel better by trying “to save” other people from their pain. By trying to talk people out of ever starting a Forex journey, claiming all teaching academies are scams. And successful forex traders are liars. They will associate only with other traders who struggle so their belief of the Forex Market and Forex Trading gets continually re-enforced.


4. I’m doing OK Forex Trader – 

These guys earn a wage, spending slightly less time forex trading as they were working at their previous 9-5 job. They actually earn slightly more so they are better off and they work from home so they do spend more time with the family. These guys and girls do promote forex trading to a certain degree, but explain that it takes a certain type of person to be able to make money like they do. These forex traders will drink to calm their nerves, won’t take proper vacations and are never truly out of the market.


5. Trade from the beach Forex Trader – 

Beach traders have their strategy nailed and use trading as a vehicle to travel. For these forex traders it was never really about the money, it was always about the freedom trading the forex market brings to your life. More now than ever before. As trading on your phone with basic wifi has never been easier. They might even teach a few other trades on their journey around the world. These traders are often found in forums and can be extremely helpful in parting good encouragement and knowledge. They make money as they need it.


6. The Successful Trader – 

The successful forex trader tends to make his money in under 10 hrs a week. He may have spent years building up his trading muscle, but once there it’s now habit. He barely thinks about what he is doing, it’s all habit. His subconscious has taken over the majority of the work. Because he created his own strategy, his own trading plan, they spent hours doing their routines and completing their checklists. Some still do, others have just allowed the subconscious to do it’s magic. They have time on their hands which they know they need to fill in order to not over trade or over complicate their perfectly working strategy. Have been known to manage close friends and family money. They usually have expensive hobbies.


7. The Elite Forex Trader –

 The Elite Forex Trader tends to go one of two ways, sometimes both. They will become Fund Managers for their own company dealing with big money or they will teach forex trading. Just like the successful forex trader his works takes him less than 10 hrs a week so as to be considered passive income. Although they treat it like a business and trade completely professionally, it’s not a job, to them it’s a hobby because they love doing it. Elite Traders have made every part of their trading a system. Their rules and plans may be complex, their systems however are not.

These professionals plan and practice for every eventuality, so as to never be surprised or stressed by any event. They understand the importance of their health in their ability to perform at peak state for long periods of time. They’ll have fitness coaches, nutritionists, life and success coaches. And they practice yoga and mindfulness. They are not just Elite Forex Traders, they are Elite people.



What Type of Forex Trader Do You Want To Be ?

So before any one can teach you how to be a forex trader. You need to decide what kind of forex trader you want to be. If you are still under the marketing spell that trading consistently profitable is easy, then you are in for a very hard and bumpy round. The journey to becoming even a I’m doing ok forex trader is not an easy one. It will be an emotional rollercoaster, you may have success for days, weeks and possibly even months.

You will start to think you are the king and you have managed where so many others have failed. And then in less than six weeks you will have given back most or all of your profits, some will have lost most or all of their account. You will lose your confidence in not only your strategy but yourself. Your consistency will wain as your ill discipline gets more often… Why? Because you have focused on the success and not on the systems.

You have to have systems in place to keep yourself in check. As a forex trader you are the most important part of your trading machine, even if you branch into automation or even copy trading. It will be you who decides your fate. If you haven’t done the work on yourself, you will be extremely lucky to reach the I’m Ok trader status.

There are numbers banded about that I have no idea if they are correct or not. I’m not entirely sure how you would check. But let’s presume they are. These numbers state that 95% of retail traders lose money. That’s you and me if you’re not sure what a retail trader is. That means  only 5% of us retail traders make money trading the forex market. Let us also consider the fact that I’m doing OK trader is in fact making money so they are in fact in this 5%. That means that 95% of retail traders fall into the first two categories, because all the rest have just given up.


So, How Do I Learn To Be a Forex Trader ?

With a lot of hard work, commitment, perseverance and a lot of determination and self examination. Let’s not beat about the bush here. I know of no one who has become a consistently profitable forex trader without some sort of coach mentor and an education of some sort. It just doesn’t happen.

So, if you decide you want to be an Elite Trader what do you need to do?

In order to be an Elite Trader you must first become an Elite Trader. That means you must think, act and do as an Elite Trader. Which is not as easy as it sounds even if you know an Elite Trader. because in order to trade like them you also need to understand them. You will need to know their significant Beliefs for each action they undertake in regards to forex trading. Added to this you will need to understand and replicate their vital mental states at each relevant stage of their trading process. And just for kicks you will also need to know their chief Mental Strategies and when to use them. Make no mistake you will need a mentor, you will need a coach, if you want truly want to be successful in this game.

And this is where the problem lies, this is why so many coaches fail to teach their students how to be a trader and thus how to make consistent profits in the market. Very few Elite or Successful Traders have had a good look at what they do internally. They don’t know what their beliefs are, probably never realised that they have specific mental strategies, let alone that they have precise mental states for each step of their personalised trading process. How can they teach or coach something that they don’t know that they are doing. Some of the best traders can’t teach trading for toffee.


Wasted Research


wasted research

So that begs the question, “When people are looking for role models, coaches, educational companies and trading guru’s. Why do they look for the best or most successful trader? Surely they should be looking for the most successful coach.”

And that is why we are different at Special FX Academy. I have dissected our resident Elite Trader, don’t worry I’ll put him back together again later. So that he now understands what it is that he does internally and so do I. I have modelled his behaviour, his beliefs, also his mental strategies and mental states. And together we have put it all in one place … The Elite Trader Program.

If you truly want to be a Forex Trader, i would strongly suggest that you start and end your research here ….



To Your Consistently Profitable Trading



P.S. What did you think of this Lesson? Please share it with us in the comments below!


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Callum McLean

Co-Founder and Trading Psychologist at Special FX Academy
Trading Psychology Coach and Certified NLP Coach. It is my belief that trading is 99% Psychological. And it is by understanding and improving your psychology, that you can be a successful trader. Success is a formula that everyone can and should learn.
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