The Biggest Trading Misconception According to This 17-Year Forex Trader

We have yet another exciting feature for today! A calm and collected voice on the forums, unafraid to embrace his mistakes, and make the most out of them, this is @ProfitPotential!

Although he just became part of the BabyPips community in 2019, @ProfitPotential openly shared his trading journey which began almost 17 years ago. His story is just like yours. He did not have a million-dollar trading strategy. There was no breakthrough trade that got him rich quick. Rather, his journey has been filled with ups and downs, wins and losses, struggles, and successes. But we’re sure that every time he failed, he chose to fail forward. Truly, his path towards becoming consistently profitable involved a lot of hard work and sacrifices. And this is what made him the trader he is today.

He believes that traders can’t make money consistently in the forex market by doing the same things that most people do. And today, he shares with us his approach to forex trading.

We know you are very excited to hear more about his journey.

So, without further ado, we give you @ProfitPotential!


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are your hobbies and interests?

I was born in London and have a degree in information systems development but I did not end up working within the field of my education. Since graduating from university, most of my professional experience has been in sales, which I really disliked in the beginning. Mainly because I wasn’t very good at it and all I was doing was making lots of calls.

Even though I didn’t plan to get into this line of work things worked out pretty well and I probably wouldn’t have changed much in hindsight. Maybe I would have chosen a different subject to study at university.

Trading has also been something I have been involved in for as far back as I can remember. It started with marbles in primary school. I never bought a single marble but managed to accumulate a duffer bag full of them starting with some that were donated to me by friends. I would trade them with the other kids or risk some by play games with them in the school playground. Then I moved on to trading football cards.

Many years later, I was trading on eBay when real profit was involved. I started on this platform by selling unwanted items lying around the house. Once those ran out, I started sourcing products from China and drop shipping items from the large retailers…

Apart from trading, some of my other hobbies and interests include reading (not fiction), going to the gym, and scuba diving. I generally like reading anything that is educational in nature but particularly in the fields of business and finance and personal development.

I also like animals but I don’t have any pets.

2. How were you introduced to forex trading? Was there something specifically attractive to you about the forex market?

I was aware of the financial markets as a teenager and was curious about them from then. However, since I didn’t have much money at the time to invest, I didn’t pursue the curiosity any further.

Soon after graduating from university, I landed a job as a headhunter at a recruitment consultancy. It was during my time there that a spark was ignited in me to pursue things further.

One of my (then) colleagues received an assignment to fill a position at a bank for an FX trader. He was really enthusiastic about it because of the high commission he would get. So I asked him; what’s an FX trader? When he elaborated that FX is an abbreviation of the words foreign exchange I got it. Then he mentioned the remuneration package and my jaw dropped. It was at that point that I was motivated to follow up with the curiosity I had before with the financial markets.

What attracted me to this was the opportunity of being able to make money from money without needing a product or service as the vehicle. It was also something I could start on the side. The time and money freedom aspect of trading was also highly appealing to me.

3. Are you a full-time or part-time trader? What do you like about being a full or part-time trader?

At the moment, I am trading part-time and I also do some freelance work for the other part of the time.

What I like about it is that I have time to do other things and it can be done around other commitments.

Trading Forex is an ideal business in the sense that, everything is digital, the overhead is very low, you can trade any time and it is scalable.

4. Please describe a typical day in your trading life.

A typical day for me would be to wake up and get ready for the European and London session. For the first three hours of this session, I am at my main trading computer following the action and looking for opportunities to trade.

At around mid-day, I take a break and do something else until the US session starts. That’s about 4 hours later so I might do some exercise, have some lunch, change the scenery or work on another project. This is my second window of opportunity in the day to trade.

I try to switch off from trading outside of these hours and do something else but I do check on any open trades and monitor what is going on from time to time. Although I am trading part-time I am somewhat plugged into the market all the time.

I have a hybrid strategy that includes day and swing trades but sometimes nothing worthwhile is setting up. When there are no trades to take, I simply go and do something else.

5. Do you personally know other successful traders? Have you learned or adopted strategy methods from them or do you always follow your own?

I do know one successful trader but our approaches to the market and trading methods are different. I have also spent a lot of time over the years consuming content posted by others online. I am of the opinion that everybody learned something from someone else at some point during their development.

With that being said, I also believe that you can’t make money consistently in the forex market by doing the same things that most people do. There is no competitive advantage or edge in that. There needs to be something different about what you are doing compared to most participants.

My strategy and methods are a culmination of existing methods and ideas. Which have been tested and either discarded or adapted somewhat so they have become my own.

Whenever I thought I have made a discovery that is unique, I researched the idea to see if any material already exists on it. You can usually find everything online if you search hard enough and know what you are looking for. Maybe not exactly the way you see it but something similar, which helps to expand on the concept or idea.

6. What do you feel is the most overrated trading advice that’s given to trading newbies? Why?

This is an interesting question because trading is full of contradictions. What works well for one trader might not work so well for another.

However, from my experience, I feel that the most overrated trading advice given to newbies is to move stop losses to break even…

Rarely, have I ever entered the market and the price has never come back to my entry price after showing some profit.

I have lost count how many times I have been stopped out of a trade prematurely at break-even because I was too defensive with my trade management. Only for the price to then turn around and move to a level that would have shown a greater profit than before.

If you subscribe to some other pieces of trading advice, such as trading with the longer term trend, waiting for confirmation to enter the trade, and then letting your profits run, your entry price will probably be retested at some point before the move really gets underway.

Instead of moving stops to break even, I think it is better to take partial profits and letting the rest run.

7. How has trading changed your life and what have you learned about being a Forex trader?

Trading provides me with a sense of freedom. The time I have invested into trading has helped me develop skills that make me feel that I always have the means to make money.

In the early years, I sacrificed a lot of time studying and practicing without receiving anything in return. On top of that, I was also losing money. Most people would probably give up and move on to something else after several months of this. However, I endured the frustration of not making any progress for years. I chose to maintain the belief that I could make it work.

In time, I started to realize the paradox of it all. I got into this for time and money freedom but that seemed to be the price I had to pay without any guarantee that I would achieve it.

I learned to focus on the process and to never give up. I learned that the more you want or the faster you want to make money the less likely you are to make it. I learned to separate time from money.

What is required to be a successful and consistently profitable trader are similar skills one needs to be a high performing individual in any area in life. It doesn’t come easy and requires time and effort.

I wouldn’t say that trading has changed my life in a drastic way yet. The long term benefits of trading will far outweigh the negative ones from the earlier years though.

8. What do you think is the biggest misconception about trading?

I think the biggest misconceptions about trading are that you can make money quickly and the more often you trade, the more you can potentially make.

At face value, this seems plausible but they are also half-truths. Since you can make money quickly and trading more frequently does generally mean more opportunity to profit. However, what is often overlooked is that it is highly improbable that large and fast money can be sustained outside of the immediate short term. Furthermore, it generally takes a long time to achieve competence to be consistently profitable.

When I started, I was eager to trade and was under the belief that I was going to turn a small amount of money into something much larger by compounding it. So I gravitated towards the lower time frames because I thought it would be quicker.

Needless to say, the results were the complete opposite. I was losing money quickly, over-trading, and not following a plan that seemed to make sense.

In my mind, the right balance to be found in trading is to have a strategy that adapts to generate fast small profits or slow large profits or something in between.

Over the years, I have come to appreciate that less is more and the preservation of capital is more important than the return on investment. You can’t trade when you don’t have any money.

9. What is your current non-forex related goal at the moment?

My current non Forex related goal is to create more sources of income. I have three at the moment, which includes Forex but they need to be developed further.

I would also like to travel some more. I would like to go to Australia, a country in Asia and one in South America. Then I would have been to every continent.

10. If you could thank one person who contributed positively to your trading journey, who would you thank?

If I had to choose one person it would be Mark Douglas, because there is a scarcity of information and education out there related to the psychological aspects of trading. This was something I struggled with a lot. I had some trading demons that were sabotaging my performance for years.

At the time, he seemed to be a renowned expert in the field of trading psychology. And he probably still is.

Once I got a handle on the psychological parts of trading, everything else just seemed to fall into place.

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Excellent advice…thanks for sharing!

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Good.
I have been trading form 2016 when I was 15 in my father’s account.
I think I was the youngest then!

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Wow c’est beautiful :ok_hand: :ok_hand:

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Amazing story. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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An excellent post. Thank you for sharing.

I’ve been trading off and on for about 10 years now and agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding Mark Douglas. I’ve read ‘Trading in the Zone’ 3 times over the years - it is my go-to comfort when I feel that my trading psychology is not as strong as it should be.

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Persistence :100:

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Ahhh god bless Mark Douglas ,he saved so many souls from the pits of Hell

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Point 8 was excellent! So easy to over trade because you feel you HAVE to trade. This is driven by getting caught up over how much you make rather than how much risk you take

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Have you pin-pointed any trends in things that affect you mentally? Or what part of the mental game does Douglas’ book help you with particularly well?

Interesting advice, I try to do this but keep failing maybe I don’t need to do it after all. :sweat_smile:

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Indeed I have Billy Bob. The main element is the acceptance of loses. I have worked on the Baby Pips School of Pipsology mantra of 'Rock Solid Discipline’ where my rules relate. However, when you get stopped out by the odd pip only to see the trade make it in the direction you traded - several times and often in a row - it can be difficult to accept.

Apart from revision relating to the placement of stop losses, or research and back-testing on levels (which in themselves can help with psychology), I find I benefit from the Mark Douglas book generally. In particular, I find Chapter 7 of help, especially the ‘Paradox: Random outcome, consistent results’ section.

At the end of the day, we need some way to rebound from a series of losses if we start having our emotions rule. Overall, the book helps around developing consistency and not becoming too involved in the trades themselves.

Hope this answers your question.

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this is why short term trading/day trading is challenging , as oppose to wider stops and leaving trades over a day if need be

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Good read. Thanks so much for this.

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How about the strategy/strategies? Anything you care to share there? :slight_smile:

Good advice , Never Over trade one should wait for price to come to range in set up then can one’s position .

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the easiness of making money with little investments or effort is what makes forex tempting to many. Great interview.

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It’s great advice. I appreciate your efforts of sharing your experience.

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Exactly what I was thinking too. I would not say it keeps failing because it does get ‘some’ success but I tend to strangle some runs by moving SL to break-even too early.