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Avoiding Three Common Mistakes in Forex Trading

Jun 6, 2008
Forex trading may seem simple enough once you get the hang of it. Buy a currency at a low price and then wait a while and sell it at a higher price. This apparent simplicity is deceiving.

While forex trading may seem simple it actually is a demanding professional activity. To trade at a profit over long time periods demands a lot of knowledge, skill, and discipline.

No matter how simple forex trading may be as to the basic mechanics most forex traders make frequent mistakes that cost them money. The reason is that human emotions often get in the way of common sense and judgement. A successful forex trader often has to have the ability to make independent decisions and fade, go against, what the average trader is doing.

At critical times the profitable forex trader has to have the ability to not run with the crowd. He has to be able to step in and sell when it seems like the rest of the world is buying. And to buy when the market has sold off on a wave of selling. Not many people are able to do this as it is against human nature.

So before you get into the business of forex trading, be sure that you have enough information about the forex markets and that you have an understanding of economic and emotional forces that move the market. Above all have a good understanding of your own trading strengths and weaknesses and be able to constantly strive for improvement.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that novice forex traders often commit.

1. Over reacting to the news:

There will be too much news every day. From the television, the newspapers, the radio and the Internet. You will be flooded with news that is related to forex trading in some way. But remember that there is news and there is important news. You have got to know how to separate the facts from embellished background noise and important data from ordinary data releases. When important news does break you if you are inclined to trade it you must be able to react swiftly. Keep in mind that most important news is unexpected news. It is surprises that are major market movers.

This is very crucial in this field because currencies can be highly volatile. A simple news report that catches the market by surprise can trigger a large move. Following daily news stories and reports about currencies is something that forex traders should be careful about. What they should do though is to learn how to read forex charts and learn what are important support and resistance levels.

2. Getting involved in day trading:

Day trading involves the buying and selling of currencies within the same 24 hour day. This takes advantage of the numerous fluctuations of the currencies that happen within a day trading period. Do not do this unless you are a very disciplined skillful trader. For most traders day trading may provide small short term gains but in the long run it will cost you to miss major moves where the real money is made.

3. Entrusting someone with your money:

One of the very common mistakes that people do when forex trading is to entrust one person with your money and follow their advice. This may be good in some cases as having the right mentor in the business to teach you about the ins and outs can be helpful. However, putting your faith in one person and just following their advice like a robot with no thought or effort to learn the business for yourself is not the way to develop your own skills.

Forex trading offers the opportunity to make large amounts of money in a short period of time. But like most professional activities realizing that potential is not as easy as it may at first look. Avoiding common trader mistakes will help you to stay in the game while you develop your trading skills.
About the Author
Gerald "Taipan" Greene is a retired forex trader and portfolio manager who worked in Asia for over 20 years. The nickname was acquired in Hong Kong and is now used for a number of financial, political, and Internet business related blogs. One of them is at Learn to Trade Forex
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