Don’t be scared to lose. Never stop learning, to profit in FX

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I had a comment from Fast and was writing so much while replying that I thought I might as well stick it in a post.

Hello Ryan how many time it took You to become consistant-profitable trader
or maybe you are not consistant,wich one is better small everyday
or big profits 4 times a year for example

What is the best time frame for forex in your opinion (weekly ,daily)?

They say that consistant profits become after 2-3 years trading
and that in my country 15% people earn on fx(i dont believe)
once working at broker and we didnt have even 1 profit trader can you imagine 2000 clients and no one earn

i have concerns cause in this year it is not going my way :( i am too greedy and want 2,5-5k everyday
we know how it ends…

For me, it’s not that it took time to become consistent but that it took a long time to learn about how markets work and to eventually put that into practice.

I’m not the worlds best trader and still make plenty of mistakes. Everyday I learn something and never stop looking to learn. The day you stop is the day you lose your arse.

The key I always tell people is learn how NOT to lose money not how to make it. When I look at a trade I look for what can go wrong not what can go right. If you can judge that you can overcome the potential pitfalls and limit the risk then the profits will likely take care of themselves.

If you find yourself struggling to make sense of the markets or can’t seem to get your strategy right then step back and reassess what you are doing. If it’s becoming too much to look at and overcomplicated (which happens to me all the time as I find myself spending ages looking at 20 different things and end up doing nothing) then simplify.  Pick one or two pairs, pick one or two time frames, reduce your trade size and learn to read the prices. If you do you’ll start to see the levels worth trading without the need for lines on a chart or indicators.

Don’t go into trades with pound signs flashing in your eyes. Pick your targets and don’t make them extreme. It’s no good going long EUR/USD 1.3200 with a 20 pip stop hoping for 1.40 when we haven’t been anywhere near there for nearly 2 years. Be realistic in your targets and use the tech to define those points. Don’t put a TP over something like a 200 dma that has been holding for months. Don’t put a stop ahead of big tech level but use it as your final stand before your stop is hit.

Never be afraid to bail on a trade if you don’t feel it is conforming to your plan. Don’t become a rabbit in the headlights, unable to take a loss because you hope it will be ok later. If it’s not working get out. Hope will never make you money.

As for trading, I look at the longer term time frames , H4 and over. I mainly use them to define boundaries. Places to lower my risk or take profit. The longer the time frame the stronger the level is likely to be. Even so I don’t blindly trade the tech levels. I look at each price movement and the reason behind it. After that I make my decision to trade or leave it. I may miss lots of profitable trades by being over cautious but it also means I miss many more losing trades. You’ll never go bust doing nothing.

I wish there was a magic wand that could make people get this game. It’s taken me over 20 years and I’m a zillion miles from perfect. Everyday is different and so is each trade.

Never stop learning.

Author: Ryan Littlestone

Ryan Littlestone has been working in financial markets for more than 20 years. Wide-eyed, he stepped out of Bank station in London to join LME founding member Rudolf Wolff where he worked his way to the main order desk and brokered customer orders to the LME floor and across virtually every global market. An opportunity to help set up and run a new LIFFE floor operation saw him catch the trading bug and it wasn’t long before the pull of the pits was too great to refuse. He became a ‘local’ and has been trading his own account for more than 11 years.


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Ryan Littlestone


  1. I also use call or put options on single currency ETFs or ETNs .There are also some double short options on the Euro.This can also be used to hedge against other positions that you may have.


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