How to make money in forex?

I’m often mystified in my educational forex articles why so many traders struggle to make consistent money out of forex trading. The answer has more to do with what they don’t know than what they do know. After working in investment banks for 20 years many of which were as a Chief trader its second knowledge how to extract cash out of the market. It all comes down to understanding how the traders at the banks execute and make trading decisions. 

Why? Bank traders only make up 5% of the total number of forex traders with speculators accounting for the other 95%, but more importantly that 5% of bank traders account for 92% of all forex volumes. So if you don’t know how they trade, then you’re simply guessing.  First let me bust the first myth about forex traders in institutions. They don’t sit there all day banging away making proprietary trading decisions. Most of the time they are simply transacting on behalf of the banks customers. It’s commonly referred to as ‘clearing the flow”. They may perform a few thousand trades a day but none of these are for their proprietary book

Investment banking and forex traders

How do banks trade forex?

They actually only perform 2-3 trades a week for their own trading account. These trades are the ones they are judged on at the end of the year to see whether they deserve an additional bonus or not.

How investment in forex

So as you can see traders at the banks don’t sit there all day trading randomly ‘scalping’ trying to make their budgets. They are extremely methodical in their approach and make trading decisions when everything lines up, technically and fundamentally. That’s what you need to know! 

As far as technical analysis goes it is extremely simple. I am often dumbfounded by our client’s charts when they first come to us. They are often littered with mathematical indicators which not only have significant 3-4 hour time lags but also often contradict each other. Trading with these indicators and this approach is the quickest way to rip through your trading capital.

forex charts

Bank trader’s charts look nothing like this. In fact they are completely the opposite. All they want to know is where the key critical levels. Don’t forget these indicators were developed to try and predict where the market is going. The bank traders are the market. If you understand how they trade then you don’t need any indicators. They make split second decisions based on key technical and fundamental changes. Understanding their technical analysis is the first step to becoming a successful trader. You’ll be trading with the market not against it.

What it all comes down to is simple support and resistance. No clutter, nothing to alter their trading decisions. Simple, effective and highlighting the key levels.  I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of where they actually enter the market, but let me say this: it’s not where you think. The trendlines are simply there to indicate key support and resistance. Entering the market is another discussion all together.

Correct technical forex analysis

How to make money in forex?

The key aspect to their trading decisions is derived from the economic fundamentals. The fundamental backdrop of the market consists of three major areas and that’s why it’s hard to pin point currency direction sometimes. 

When you have the political situation countering the central bank announcements currency direction is somewhat disjointed. But when there are no political issues and formulated central bank policy acting in accordance with the economic data, that’s when we get pure currency direction and the big trends emerge. This is what bank traders wait for.

The fundamental aspect of the market is extremely complex and it can take years to master them. This is a major area we concentrate on during our two day workshop to ensure traders have a complete understanding of each area. If you understand them you are set up for long term success as this is where currency direction comes from. 

There is a lot of money to be made from trading the economic data releases. The key to trading the releases is twofold. First, having an excellent understanding of the fundamentals and how the various releases impact the market. Secondly, knowing how to execute the trades with precision and without hesitation. If you can get a control of this aspect of trading and have the confidence to trade the events then you’re truly set up to make huge capital advances.  After all it is these economic releases which really direct the currencies. These are the same economic releases that central banks formulate policy around. So by following the releases and trading them you not only know what’s going on with regards central bank policy but you’ll also be building your capital at the same time.

forex opportunities

Now to be truly successful you need an extremely comprehensive capital management system that not only protects you during periods of uncertainty but also pushes you forward to experience capital expansion. This is your entire business plan so it’s important you get this down pat first. 

Our stringent capital management system perfectly encompasses your risk to rewards ratios, capital controls as well as our trade plan – entry and exits. This way when you’re trading, all your concerned about is finding entry levels. Having such a system in place will also alleviate the stresses of trading and allow you to go about your day without spending endless hours monitoring the market. 

I can tell you most traders at banks spend most of the day wandering around the dealing room chatting to other traders or going to lunches with brokers. Rarely are they in front of the computer for more than a few hours. You should be taking the same approach. If you understand the technical and fundamental aspects of the market and have a comprehensive professional capital management system then you can.

From here it just takes a simple understanding of the key strategies to apply and where to apply them and away you go. Trust me you will experience more capital growth then you ever have before if you know how the bank traders trade. Many traders have tried to replicate their methods and I’ve seen numerous books on “how to beat the bankers”. But the point is you don’t want to be beating them but joining them. That way you will be trading with the market not against it. 

So to conclude let me say this: There are no miraculous secrets to trading forex. There are no special indicators or robots that can mimic the dynamic forex market. You simply need to understand how the major players (bankers) trade and analyse the market. If you get these aspects right then your well on the way to success.

The risk of loss in Forex trading can be substantial. You should, therefore, carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in the light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage that is often obtainable in Forex trading can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Education feed

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD pressured below 1.1900 amid virus concerns, USD rebound

EUR/USD is trading under pressure below 1.1900 amid US dollar rebound. A softer risk tone, Powell’s upbeat comments extend support to the greenback. ECB Panetta's remarks kept the euro bulls on the defensive and capped gains.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD falls toward 1.3650 amid stronger USD, risk-off mood

GBP/USD pair is extending losses toward 1.3650, as the US dollar recovers ground across the board amid risk-aversion. Worries about the AstraZeneca covid vaccine and unrest in Northern Ireland further weigh on the spot.

GBP/USD News

USD/JPY flirts with session lows, around mid-109.00s

A softer risk tone benefitted the safe-haven JPY and exerted some pressure on USD/JPY. The ongoing decline in the US bond yields further contributed to the intraday selling bias. A modest pickup in the USD demand should help limit any deeper losses, at least for now.

USD/JPY News

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD pressured below 1.1900 amid virus concerns, USD rebound

EUR/USD is trading under pressure below 1.1900 amid US dollar rebound. A softer risk tone, Powell’s upbeat comments extend support to the greenback. ECB Panetta's remarks kept the euro bulls on the defensive and capped gains.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD falls toward 1.3650 amid stronger USD, risk-off mood

GBP/USD pair is extending losses toward 1.3650, as the US dollar recovers ground across the board amid risk-aversion. Worries about the AstraZeneca covid vaccine and unrest in Northern Ireland further weigh on the spot.

GBP/USD News

$1,730 holds the key for XAU/USD bulls amid a modest USD strength

A modest pickup in the USD demand exerted pressure on gold for the second straight session. The risk-off mood, softer US bond yields extended some support and might help limit losses.

Gold News

Dogecoin pauses before continuing 35% ascent

Dogecoin breached an ascending triangle pattern on April 11, triggering a bull run. DOGE spiked nearly 17% in a single candle on the 12-hour chart hitting $0.080. Now, a retracement to the immediate support level at $0.071 seems likely before it starts to climb again.

Read more

S&P 500 Week Ahead: Bears hibernate as records keep getting smashed, earnings season awaits

Equity markets continue to set new records as the Nasdaq plays catch up. Fundamentals are backing bulls as Fed doves dampen inflation concerns. Earnings week ahead will likely add more fuel to the fire.

Read more

RECOMMENDED LESSONS

7 Ways to Avoid Forex Scams

The forex industry is recently seeing more and more scams. Here are 7 ways to avoid losing your money in such scams: Forex scams are becoming frequent. Michael Greenberg reports on luxurious expenses, including a submarine bought from the money taken from forex traders. Here’s another report of a forex fraud. So, how can we avoid falling in such forex scams?

What Are the 10 Fatal Mistakes Traders Make

Trading is exciting. Trading is hard. Trading is extremely hard. Some say that it takes more than 10,000 hours to master. Others believe that trading is the way to quick riches. They might be both wrong. What is important to know that no matter how experienced you are, mistakes will be part of the trading process.

Strategy

Money Management

Psychology