It is worth realising that retail forex trading is not actually trading foreign exchange at all. Your transactions are counterpartied by your broker and you do not actually purchase and sell anything. You are only taking a bet on the direction of the exchange rate between two currencies, you are not physically buying and selling them at all.
Also, although there are reputable brokers (which are regulated by reputable regulatory authorities), there are also many non-reputable brokers (which are either regulated by more dubious authorities or effectively not at all).
Therefore, you can see that there are opportunities for less reputable brokers to take advantage of customers who have been näive enough not to have done their due diligence before giving their money to such brokers.
However, there are reputable and well-regulated brokers that one can anticipate trading safely with.
But the other side of the “coin” is that there is hardly any serious regulation covering the traders themselves. Virtually anyone can start trading if their local laws allow it and they have some funds. There are no minimum requirements or entry qualifications or educational criteria.
This obviously means that there is a large number of Newbie traders that do not really have a clue what they are getting into, nor do they always have the basic intelligence or sense to be able to grasp the nature of trading, the risks involved or the meaning of money management.
Therefore, it is not difficult to conclude that many wannabe traders are totally capable of losing all their money without any need for their brokers to do anything to assist in this process.
Then there is a third group - a shadowy world of exploiters who are also in no way regulated. Just about anyone can start selling forex training courses, signals, advisory services, managed accounts and so on. Again, there is no mechanism to control or verify the authenticity of such people. So it is not surprising that there are many starters who also get swallowed by these waifs and strays. This site is a great target for such scammers precisely because it is designed for beginners such as yourself. But thanks to the active moderation of this site and the voluntary monitoring of more experienced members here (such as @dpaterso ) these are usually spotted at an early stage and shown the door.
But there are people who make money from retail trading - and from forex as well as from commodities and equities - and it is a question of learning systematically how to do it! This is not easy because there are no definitive training courses or establishments such as there are if one wants to be a doctor or dentist or a car mechanic or IT programmer etc. It is a very hit and miss process, usually evolving from a process of learning from one’s own mistakes on a demo account before even starting with real money.
So the point of all of the above is really just to show that there are many reasons why many people fail and that one should expect, under these rather unique circumstances, a lot of backlash against the industry from failed traders. And therefore the figure of 70% of traders losing money from trading is not a true measure of the complexity of trading as a profession - rather it is a reflection of the diversity of ways and reasons that amateurs and unsuited persons can be separated from their funds!
If we talk about trading as a supplemental activity then i think you stand a good chance of succeeding eventually. One of the most common categories of failure reasons are personal psychological factors - greed, fear, revenge trading, overtrading, impatience, and so on. By looking to trade as a sideline, it is easier to avoid a lot of these.
For example, if one starts with $100 and decides to risk about 2% of equity per trade then, if one trades carefully and prudently, you will soon be very frustrated with only earning maybe $10 by the end of a week’s worth of screen time and analysis - so one quickly decides that bigger positions will speed up the process…and…
Another problem is that most new traders start with day trading thinking that it is easier and doesn’t need such big stops and therefore less risk. But day trading is not so simple and it requires a huge amount of concentration and discipline and a sharp precision regarding entries and exits. Earning consistently from day trading is in some ways an “extreme sport”!
There are many things you will need to go through, and make decisions on, concerning how you are going to trade, what you will trade, what time frames, position size, risk and money management parameters etc. It is easy to make a lot of money on a trade - and it is just as easy, if not easier, to lose it, too - this probably describes the bulk of retail traders. But what you need to aim for is a consistent rate of earnings over an ongoing period of time.
Babypips is designed for beginners and is therefore a logical place to come to. And its basis course is good. But it is worth realising that the bulk of other members here are also new or finding their way - although that does not stop them from giving you advice. So take what is said with that proverbial pinch of salt - and that includes this post, too!
PS Sorry @dpaterso for more regurgitating!