How Do The 5% Of Retail Traders Make Money?

you 4 years into this and still asking question how do? you upsetting me
there must be something wrong

Trading is a hard job which tests your emotions on several occasions. You have to take every profit and loss quite seriously in order to learn a good lesson from it. It is the trait of the successful traders! Am I right?

Originally it didn’t include the word ‘retail’, that was added later


Poor attempt at trolling after all these years trying. You upsetting me there must be something wrong

Nice answer! By the way, welcome back Carlos; after a lot time.

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Can you please add more words in this issue? I am really interested to know more.

This reminds me of the quote from Bruce Lee

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10 000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10 000 times.”


Originally the thread was “How do the 5% of traders make money”, then it was changed to Retail Traders - I.e. not professional traders, banks, institutions etc

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Wow, now I got it! Surely, the success rate is much higher in institution payers.

Well, it seems that even from retail forex traders, only about 30% can make money. I’m not sure whether there is any more recent hard data available but I’d estimate an even lower proportion for 2018.

Thanks for that link @James.F

I guess that is an undergraduates “disserttion” rather than a Doctoral thesis, because of the lack of clarity of thought involved ;
a) - they say 30% “make money” - they do not consider the cumulative effects of the 5% who “stay” v the 99% who disappear over multiple time periods
b) - they say “retail” are pretty good at “entries” - over 50% winners - but they take no account of the fact that if you trade 20 pip “take profits” against 500 pip “stops” - you WILL “win” more in any Random entry system !
c) - The bar charts of “winning bets” - exited early v “losing bets” held longer - bear out what I said in “b” above and do Not consider the effects of the distance of movement alluded to therein.
i) The random entry system will produce results similar to those “found” in the “exit winners early” -" let losers run" they hypothesise as the “reason” for their (Wrong) assessment that 70% are losing money.
ii) the bar chart of “profitable trades” v “losing trades” - considers the set of “Traders” as a whole. To be of any benefit for our purposes, it Must be split between the sub-sets - to compare and contrast the behaviour of “losers” v “winners”. Such a split would of neccessity be posstble to “Query” on the database used to prduce tthose figures - but was negligently ignored ! Such a split could have taught us something meaningful for the intentions of this thread. I don’t know whether you have access to the data or to those who did the “project”, but perhaps that could be rectified if you do ?

We are interested in what “the winners do” - rather than endless “blaming the victim” posts about "what the losers do " !

In conclusion then, we already know that “90% of retail lose 90% of their accounts in 90 days” - this thread is interested in what the 5% do differently as defined by @eddieb - that is what makes this thread a bit “special” and I would invite progression in that direction from the dissertation you posted.

However, as I said THANKS for posting it - we don’t see enough “statistical” stuff on this subject :slight_smile:


We ahve at least one “ex- institution player” contributing to this thread in @anon46773462 and the impression I get is that “they” undergo significant psychological and psychometric tests as well as being excellent “brains” because of teh selection process. Even then, many of “them” “drop out” during the training process. A process we know nothing about, but which would involve the best “true” education in the realities of “how to do it” as examined and refined to a state of excellence by the “educators” in their own institutions.

Ergo - they are WAY better equipped than “US” before they ever start ! :wink:

The basis of the conclusions here seems a little odd to me. They state that “The survey request was placed on two FX online forums, Forex Factory and MyFXbook” - which to me suggests all the respondents were currently trading?

And yet, it continues, “More than 50% of all traders answering the survey, stated they had been trading for more than four years” and that, “more than half of the traders had experienced faced margin calls that have led to account-closing losses.” - In other words, these are current traders who have previously blown accounts but then continued with a new account (at least once).

This therefore suggests to me that the respondent base here probably omits traders who lost and gave up totally, because they surely would not be following these forums any more to have noticed this survey? When one considers this, together with the tiny sample size here, then one could anticipate that the losing rate is actually much higher……….

But enough of that, as @Falstaff reminds us:[quote=“Falstaff, post:81, topic:149861”]
this thread is interested in what the 5% do differently as defined by @eddieb - that is what makes this thread a bit “special” and I would invite progression in that direction from the dissertation you posted.

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I won’t say a lot about this as many years have rolled by since I was employed by a commercial bank and the trading world has moved on considerably since then. But I guess the core elements are pretty much the same! :slight_smile:

I don’t believe that trading is as hard as the loser statistics tend to suggest. When there are no restrictions on who can trade, what training is required or any professional mentorship then it is not surprising that so many learn through a painful process of trial and error. And if one adds to that the dangerous, inexperienced application of leverage to a very small balance, then it is no big surprise that many small accounts get wiped out and severely distort the reality of these statistics.

But one big difference between institutional traders and retail is that they are not trading their own limited funds. Although their salaries may well be affected by their overall success, their individual trades are not so personally emotional as with a retail trader!

There is probably a lot more that could be usefully considered here - I will have to think about it! :slight_smile:

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you silly :grinning::joy:

This right here. Is pure Gold… I’ll have it printed and pasted on my desk… Thanks @anon46773462 l, as always… you’re spot on again.

Hi folks.

Some interesting comments in this thread, if we ignore those that dwell on exact percentages of winners/losers (which is pointless).

By way of encouragement to new traders out there, I have just completed my year-end accounts (I work on April-March, not the exact dates HMRC work on), and I am delighted to be able to say that I grew my account by 68% year-on-year.

To those who set out with targets of 10-20% per month, my 5% monthly may not seem much, but I am very pleased with it. Certainly better than sticking it in a bank for the 1% per annum rates currently on offer, plus I enjoy trading.

I was hoping to complete the whole year without any losing trades, but February let me down and I finished with 2 of these out of 44 total trades.

Anyhow, that’s all in the past now. Time to start looking ahead to a (hopefully) successful 2019/20


They make money by practicing proper risk management, so that what they have already made is not swept away from their accounts in wrong trades. They do not care to take risk since they understand the concept of no pain no gain. They make trading plans and stick to them


They make money by simply trading right and following instructions. They do not let greed and a big ego overtake their sense of reason like failed traders do, and they get the right information about trading. They follow the trend but do not get consumed in what other traders do


Those are really good returns. I can only wish to get the same!

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