Why are you not successful in your trading?

Hoping to start a bit of a discussion between new and old and hopefully destroy some limiting beliefs that I believe all traders go through…

If you are not yet consistently profitable yet, why do you believe that is?

Some common ones I have read…

  • Forex is rigged
  • Retail traders can’t make money in the long run
  • Don’t have the right strategy
  • Don’t have the time to dedicate to trading
  • I’m too emotional
  • I can’t stick to my rules

For those that have achieved consistent profitability from Forex, what was the main hurdle that held you back initially?

Looking forward to the responses :slight_smile:

(The ones I listed were all beliefs I told myself over the years)


I think true knowledge of the market will clear all doubts. Those who make consistent money from Forex know exactly what they put their money into. If you don’t understand the whole concept of Forex, don’t even bother using a live account.



Forex isn’t rigged exactly but there are many conflicts of interests.

Much of the crap that is taught by brokers and their paid off trading educators is aimed at getting you to trade large and often

They’ll pool all the new or losing traders into one large loser pool of liquidity and take the other side.

And because 90% of traders lose basically they’ve got a 90% chance of winning - they will earn money in other ways too from you.

The obsession with scalping is all meant to get you to trade often nothing more

There is never a good enough reason to trade every day unless your a market maker

But beginners are sold on the dream - and fall right into the trap laid down by the industry



Completely agree. If you venture into the cesspool of forex on facebook it is a never ending flood of telegram groups with ‘free signals if you sign up with my broker’. Is disappointing for the industry.



Of course there are other reasons too

One of my biggest was not giving a system enough chance to work before moving on to another one

You can include overtrading into that as well

Ironically one that didn’t really affect me was letting losers get out of hand.

I knew that if I let losses run I’d be out of the game for good - i mastered that quite quickly.

I think one factor that is never discussed is being able to adapt to other markets

I give you an example - for probably 5 years I traded silver and only silver - at one point silver entered a bear market and tech stocks took off

But because I was so focused on the silver market I completely missed a stock bull market.

Missed opportunity cost is massive - if you catch a trending market that is going up for fundamental reasons it can make your year.

Im not talking about long term timeframes here either - it can be any timeframe - it’s always easier to trade a market than is in a cyclical trend

If all you do is day trade the EUR/USD and volatility dries up for a year or more, then how do you make money?

Even beginners need to start looking at what is going on in other areas, trading needs to be more than just looking at squiggly lines on 5 minute charts

We need to be continually looking out for where the next easy money is going to be made


Reason #1: Thinking it’s easy. You need to read this. …

Reason #2: Analysis paralysis. …

Reason #3: Going round in circles. …

Reason #4: Poor risk management. …

Reason #5: No plan to exit losing trades. …

Reason #6: No trading plan. …


i think your all reason not to be successful is completely correct, from all i think poor risk management is foremost because every faction in this trading place contains huge risk.



Interesting points. I have only ever traded FX, never really ventured into commodities but you have a good point. I have sat on the sidelines while gold has rallied from below $1000 - all because “I only trade FX’”. Massive opportunity cost when I think about it… :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Kind of a limiting belief I didn’t realise I had…


If you always depend on another person to give you signal so that you can trade then trading will be tough bcz trading is not easy and brokers don’t tell you that bcz they want to incentivize you into their platforms for their own gain. The best thing is to be an independent thinker who can make decisions and accept the outcome therefore learn from them and see how he can improve.


And it’s sooooo easy to get caught up in that, with the “instant gratification” mindset most of us have these days. I know I hate waiting more than an hour or two to find out if my trade has won. Watch a trade spin out over a week’s time? Shudder. No doubt this is a character flaw I’ll have to overcome…

Really? Even if your an intraday trader? Granted, I’m learning not to force a setup if it’s not there, but I would have thought that there’s likely opportunity to be found nearly every day for short term trades.

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I was paraphrasing a quote from the classic ‘Reminisciences of a stock operator’ when I say the words there are not enough reasons to trade everyday

The original quote was in reference to the Wall Street sucker class who thinks he or she can make money everyday as if it’s a normal job.

There are traders who make money each day, but they are few and far between - and most likely use other trading tools besides the usual lines and indicators.

It’s a belief of mine that these traders also use level 2, market depth or some other auction process

And unless your at a large bank this data is not readily available in forex.

I’ve said before that while forex is not rigged, retail brokers most likely make their best money taking the other side of beginners trades - who happen to lean towards day trading.

With beginners using all the standard tools taught by the very same brokers (and introducing brokers) who get paid when their clients lose money.

The original scalpers were market makers trading on the floor of the commodity exchanges. They knew who was buying and who was selling and these market makers took a piece of the action as they matched up orders.

They would trade their own book and front running orders - all this at a time when market inefficiencies were high.

If you were one of these open outcry traders you could hit pay dirt.

Linda Raschke, Paul Tudor Jones and Monroe Trout all learned their craft on the trading floors.

But many open outcry traders could not making a living day trading markets away from the floor.

Scalping and day trading now are totally different now - and I’d say it’s main purpose is to add to the bottom line of the investment banks and exchanges who provide finance to the retail brokerages.

It’s a harsh assessment I know, and Im always careful to say, some do in fact succeed, but the reason why retail trader success rates are so low is in big part because of intra day trading.

The vast majority here on Babypips want to day trade or scalp, I understand I was also like that, but it’s a hard slog for most, and in my not so humble opinion should be avoided when possible

My own trading isn’t exactly buy and hold, my short term trades last a few days only - in the old days this would be considered quick.

But it’s interesting that in such an instant gratification world the needs of so many are wrapped up in 5 minute bar charts these days


I imagine undercapitalization plays a big part in that, in addition to impatience. If a new trader only has a $1000 stake to work with, well, with the wider stops the longer timeframes require, you can’t open much of a position and still keep your risk low. So you sit there for days and watch your trade move by a few bucks. It’s aggravating. I know I’m supposed to be focusing on process rather than profits, but the temptation is still there to equate success with how many percentage points my account grew this week. Even if it’s only pretend money in a demo account. At least getting in and out of trades quickly gives one the illusion of progress. Pity we forget that being busy does not in and of itself make a successful trader.



You are correct on all counts - I did think though that most brokers offer micro accounts now though?

True. Oanda, f’rinstance, lets you literally open a position with one unit if you want to. So even with a small account you can practice good risk management. It’s just slow going trying to grow the account. Easy to get frustrated with trades that take days or weeks to spin out. You may gain a lot of pips but when you’re only risking 40 or 50 units it doesn’t make much difference in your balance.



True - which actually goes to the heart of the topic.

It’s funny though, bringing down the barriers to entry (lower account opening balance needed) have probably made it harder to trade

There was a time you needed a few K, now you don’t - but it leads to scalping

Maybe barriers to entry should be harder than they are, but hey brokers need a constant supply of new cannon fodder!

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Lol ain’t that the truth! Lowering the bar never does anybody any good. If you don’t have that drive to succeed and work to make something of yourself, making it easier to get in on the action only makes it that much easier to fail.
“I never got a trophy just for showin’ up!” - President Business