Monday, 16 September 2019

MYTHS OF ONLINE FOREX TRADING

Abiola Akinyele, General Manager, FXTM Nigeria
Abiola Akinyele,
General Manager, FXTM Nigeria

Over my decade-long experience of trading the forex market, I have met many individuals with different ideas of what the market is. This includes both people with firsthand knowledge, as well as those with only a limited understanding of how the market works. It is not only beginners who believe in the myths of the market - surprisingly, some experienced traders do too. In this article, I will share and unravel some of these myths.

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The myths are all those rumours that you usually read in online forums. Although it is a golden rule not to believe everything you hear, these types of myths can often take root in a trader’s mindset and can generate fear or distrust of the forex market. Some are misconceptions stemming from mistakes made by beginners who have most probably misused the trading platforms and who therefore spread exaggerated stories based on specific cases. For obvious reasons, they are not representative of how the forex market works. So, let’s explore these myths.

Myth #1: Trading is extremely easy
This is the quintessential myth par excellence and one which many new traders tend to believe. The process of downloading and opening the software to start operating is relatively easy since you can start practicing on a demo account using virtual money. All you need is a computer, internet access and a desire to start. However, earning a lot of money quickly is another story. Although there are some lucky traders who succeed as soon as they start trading, this kind of beginner’s luck does not apply to everyone.

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Successful forex trading requires practice and a lot of invested time. You cannot expect to be profitable as soon as you start trading, even if you have been practicing for some time. It is one of the reasons why I would strongly recommend that anyone who intends to start trading or has a desire to learn about the forex market should attend forex training seminars, such as the ones held in our various offices in Nigeria. Another useful source of information is the FXTM website, where you can join any of our webinars and check out our online educational materials.

Myth #2: Forex trading is gambling
Although it is quite easy to compare gambling and trading because of the risk factor, they are not the same. Forex traders have access to a lot of macroeconomic information to help them make informed trading decisions. This is why education, understanding the markets and having a suitable trading strategy are so key. While there is always risk involved in trading, these factors make it significantly different from gambling.

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Myth #3: You need an economics or finance degree to trade
This myth is one of the most widespread and it is, of course, false. It is not necessary to be a university graduate or have many degrees to be a trader. The only technical barriers to entering the markets are the need for a computer, internet connectivity and a strong desire to succeed – however, the willingness to learn is vital for anyone interested in forex trading. It’s essential to explore well-grounded education courses before beginning to trade, and I strongly recommend visiting the education section of the FXTM website.

Myth #4: The more complex the strategy is, the more profit it produces
Normally traders start with a simple strategy and only see little performance. Therefore, they assume that if they continue to make an adjustment to their system, taking into account some other variables, they will increase their profitability. But what they do not understand is that this is not how trading works. A winning strategy adapts to both your type of trade and your trading personality. In short, it is not something that depends on how complicated the strategy you use is. In fact, if you use a very difficult strategy that you do not know how to manage, it is likely that you will simply lose money.

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Myth #5: Forex is a scam
It is true that there have been cases where individuals have had very negative experiences in the forex market, either due to the broker they have chosen to work with, due to lack of education on the forex market, or due to the wrong trading strategy. But this doesn’t mean that forex as a whole is a scam. Forex is a real currency market where anyone can trade for themselves and also be responsible for their own trading decisions and their losses. Individuals also need to be careful of people who are looking to defraud traders, whether that be by including them in pyramid-scheme businesses that seek to take away profits, or due to them being unreliable and disreputable brokers. However, it is necessary to emphasize that the market itself is NOT, by nature, fraudulent.

Myth #6: Following what other traders do leads to success
DO NOT ever follow what other traders do just because they look like they know what they are doing. A trader must develop their own skills and learn from their mistakes. They can listen to other traders, of course, and even follow the strategy of a trader they trust through copy trading, but keep in mind that every individual’s experience of forex trading is different. You should take your own trading style and goals into account and always carry out your own research before committing your capital. Experienced professionals can greatly help new traders; however, this should be part of an informed and educated decision. Do not simply believe in everything people say, no matter how experienced they may look.

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Myth #7: You need to watch your computer all the time
It is humanly impossible for a person to focus on one thing all the time, especially to constantly watch their computer screen. Most professional traders monitor the market movements before closing their positions. Traders could also leave standing orders with forex brokers which automatically close the order for them.

So, no; in order to be a forex trader, you do not have to be stuck on your PC 24/7, but you should be able to devote a considerable amount of time to watching the markets.

Myth #8: Money management means placing a stop
The handling of money is one of the most important factors with regards to the success of a trader. In fact, I consider a proper understanding of money and risk management the most important skill for a successful trader to have. However, money management does not mean just placing a stop order on a trade, it also involves the amount of the total account that will be risked by each trader. When focusing on what money management is, the trader must take his operations to the next level. For that reason, it is something that should not be ignored because if it is done, even using the best strategy, it will fail.

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Myth #9: The more pairs you exchange, the better
Trading many pairs at the same time may distract you and that could lead to many losses. Trading more pairs does not always mean that you will have more profits; it actually means more work and less time to think rationally.

Therefore, the best option is to be patient and wait for the pairs you are trading to bear fruit— especially if you are a new and inexperienced trader.

Professional traders already have the currency pairs that they are familiar with and they know how to manage their strategy and their time.

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Summary
It is important for a forex trader to do their own research to understand what it really means to work with the fast-moving markets. Much of this learning will come from experience since not everything can be taught through courses, articles and guides.
Myths in the foreign exchange market are very dangerous and harmful for traders. Therefore, you should always fact check everything you read or hear and keep an open mind and try things for yourself.

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