The Thrifty Trader: How This German Trader’s Savings Led to Forex Success

Meet one of our community’s remarkable members, a husband and father in his 30’s from Cologne, Germany and now residing in the region of Bavaria. You’ll find him going on exciting trips with his wife to visit their respective families. But there’s more to him than just forex and family travels. This dedicated trader also has a passion for professional road cycling that he has had since he was young.

His trading journey started during his wife’s pregnancy back in 2020, with a desire to secure a brighter future for his growing family. What followed was a transformation from being a spender to becoming a saver. He cut back on spending, adopted a frugal lifestyle, and even stopped his smoking habit. With unwavering determination, he saved enough to purchase a house while also reaching an important milestone in his trading journey. Recently, he decided to take a break from his regular job to dedicate more time and flexibility to explore and refine his trading strategy.

This member has not only been an active member of our community but has also contributed valuable insights and feedback to fellow traders. And if you’re curious about his trading strategy, "Worker Bee’s Journal: 5M Index Opening Strategy,” He’s got plenty to share about its development, challenges, and the lessons learned along the way.

Join us as we explore his journey, from being a novice to a seasoned trader, and how he balances it all with family life. We`ll also look into the ins and outs of his trading habits, the challenges he’s overcome, and the valuable advice he has for those new to the world of trading.

Without further ado, we welcome you, @Worker_Bee !

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

Well, I am a young husband and father in his early 30’s. I am from Cologne, Germany but moved quite a bit inside Germany since I studied law (LL.B.). Currently I am living in the south of Germany, in Bavaria. My wife is from France and this is why we are traveling as much as we can to visit our families. Apart from trading I am also interested in professional road cycling. In my youth I was an active club rider too, but unfortunately this sport takes a lot of time and I quit it when I finished school. But we are still making bike tours whenever we have the time, I love cycling.

2. How were you introduced to forex trading? How has it changed your life since?

When my wife was pregnant in 2020 I just felt the urge to do something better with my money than to go to the restaurant every two days, making weekend vacations every month and two big trips a year.

My parents are from the working class. I am the first in my family that achieved higher education. I knew nothing about investing or such things. But in 2020 I started learning about ETF’s. Quickly I got a lot of ads that promoted trading and so I started learning about that, too. I knew that, if I want to make money, I first have to save money. And this is why I dramatically cut my monthly spendings, slowly turning into a frugalist.

Of course the pandemic helped me to stop throwing my money out of the window. I even quit smoking! And although we bought a big house in 2020 and had to spend all our saved money to do so, I am already sitting on new savings, around a 1,5 years salary.

I recently stopped working (just for a year to see how it goes) because we are living so frugally that we can live off my wife’s salary alone. That gives me the time I need to trade and do some house work along the way.

So I would say, trading has changed my life a lot!

3. Can you tell us more about your “Worker Bee’s Journal: 5M Index Opening Strategy”?

Before I start: I will explain the strategy itself under 5, but I recently stopped trading it. Not because it was unprofitable. But because I learned that a strategy with a fixed risk:reward maybe doesn’t suit my personality.

I had a bad two and a half months with it. Bad in the sense that I traded around breakeven. During this time I was a mess and took some advice I got here on babypips more seriously than before. Especially @flamingoproxy’s advice, who is very skeptical about high (more than 1:1) RRR strategies. Hey, maybe you guys could feature him some time, too. I bet he has a lot to tell.

Looking back, I wouldn’t have had such a long breakeven time when I would have reduced my 1:2 RRR to 1:1,5. But with a fixed RRR system I can’t just change the RRR, you know what I mean? I did manual statistical research and concluded that this is the best RRR for this strategy. In the end I paused this strategy to create something that suits me better and is more flexible during changing market conditions.

4. What motivated you to develop this strategy? Did you encounter any challenges or make any modifications along the way?

When I started trading, I learned a lot from a stock trader on Youtube named Jared Wesley. His favorite strategy is called “3 Bar Play”. It is a price action strategy which profits on the opening momentum of an individual stock. His pattern consists of a momentum move - a little pullback or consolidation - and another, order filling momentum move in trend direction.

I didn’t start trading stocks because of various reasons. But I tried to recreate his strategy with stock indices. There is a market open and opening volatility. Indices will move at a set time of day.

I don’t want to be a daytrader, who sits on his a** the whole day, watching charts and waiting for price to do something he wants or to reach a point where something might happen. I don’t have time for that, I have a family. I want to sit down at 9am trading until 10am and then I want to switch my computer off. Everything I do, every strategy I create or follow has to at least give me that.

I tried to trade the whole day and it wasn’t good for me or for my relationship to my wife and daughter or my account.

5. Can you walk us through your typical daily or weekly trading routine?

This is my daily routine with the 5m Index Opening Strategy:

In my time zone the DAX opens at 9am. I am at my computer around 8:30. I check if there are major news releases scheduled. NFP, US interest rate decisions, US holidays, FOMC block trading for the day. Because I had the impression that DAX hesitates to move or moves untradeable for this strategy in the morning, when there are above mentioned US news releases in the afternoon or in the evening.

With my “5m Index Opening Strategy” I want to see a convincing 5m candle after open, as a signal bar. It must suggest further movement in the same direction.Convincing for me means for example that the 5m candle hasn’t a topping tail which is as long as the candle’s body. Unless it reverses completely from a big bull bar to a bear bar, that’s ok.

After I get my signal bar, I want to see a pullback of at least two 1m candles or a 1m consolidation of at least four 1m candles. When the signal bar was bullish, I placed a stop buy order 1-2 points above the high and a stop loss 1-2 points under the low of the pullback/consolidation. My target is always a 1:2 RRR, but as I explained above, maybe one has to make adjustments during different market conditions.

But the trade is only valid if the price has enough (at least 1R) room to move before the next pivot point or round thousands like 15000 or 16000. If not, then I wait for price to reach this point and trade the continuation on next pullback/consolidation or trade the other way round if there is a new signal bar suggesting a reversal.

Why only 1R room when my target is 2R? Because in the past I moved my stop loss to breakeven when I was 1R in profit. After several months I could see in my statistics that it would have been better to just leave my stop loss alone. I changed my approach and until now my statistical research on this matter is still valid, but I stuck with the rule that price has to have 1R room because if I would change that, then there would have been completely different trades and I couldn’t make decisions based on my research.

When I am in a trade I turn my computer off and do something else. At 1pm I will move my stop loss to breakeven if it is possible. Around 2pm I will close the trade if there are US news scheduled at 2:30pm. If not then I will close the trade around 3pm because US markets open at 3:30pm.

6. What’s the worst advice one could give to a new trader?

That something can’t be done. Just because I can’t trade with a 1:5 RRR doesn’t mean that it is impossible. If somebody wants to trade with a 1:5 RRR I can tell them why I don’t, but I would never dare to tell someone that it can’t be done.

7. How do you handle emotions such as fear or greed while making trading decisions, and what techniques do you use to maintain a balanced mindset?

I have to tell you that I am a very emotional trader. I am so emotional that I would go that far to say that I am not meant to trade at all. It is a very big weakness of mine. But I have strengths, too.

I have a great ability for self-reflection and I am good at learning a new process and following it no matter what.

In the past I overtraded, I didn’t take profits when I really should, I didn’t respect my stop losses, I saw “convincing 5m candles” because i wanted to see them aka “this topping tail isn’t that big at all” or “it is right under 16000 but it rallied so strong without pullback, resistance will break”.

A lot of mistakes you can erase with rules. I think about my mistakes, what caused me to do them and then I think about if there could be a rule that prevents me from doing them again. My “5m Index Opening Strategy” is my first profitable strategy. It has a fixed RRR for a reason. I only take one trade per open for a reason.

After trading 1,5 years (demo testing included) with it, I ran into another problem. Profitability was not worth mentioning anymore. I, good in following processes, traded the process changing nothing. After a while I realized that I am ready for a more flexible style of trading. I am not shaking when price runs in my favor anymore. I am not in severe pain when price turns against me. I am no longer inclined to widen or delete my stop loss, etc.

It’s an experience. I needed a very strict strategy with a lot of rules to gain experience so that I am able to control my emotions and trade with a flexible RRR. Currently I am trading a couple of new strategies and seeing immediate success with it.

8. You’ve provided valuable feedback and insights in various forum threads. How has participating in these discussions helped your own trading journey?

Well, if you share something on Babypips or ask a question, you are usually getting answers from more experienced forum members. Some answers you will like and some answers not, but you should think about every one of them. Babypips is the reason I stopped trading my strategy and hopefully evolve into something even better.

@ProfesorPips for example told me to diversify with more than one strategy. After I told him that I don’t have time for more than one strategy, I thought about it and now I try to diversify. I now have two major strategies, thanks to him. I told you about @flamingoproxy before.

Unfortunately there are only a few people who really share something here. It is a shame because I really think that it can’t hurt me or my account to post my strategy - someone else isn’t thinking like me, he or she will trade my strategy a little differently - but you will get very valuable responses that you can use to further improve as a trader.

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

I would thank my wife for supporting me and my (in her eyes) crazy hobby that changed our lives completely.

10. Non-forex related question: If you had to eat only three dishes for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Spaghetti alla puttanesca, chicken tikka masala and poke bowl.


This is a very good interview. Thanks to both of you for doing it!

I can definitely relate to this part.


Thank You for sharing another amazing and inspiring journey!


I love how trading has given you the freedom to do what you want with your time and that it is to spend more of it with your family!

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