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Posted on Mar 13, 2019 at 05:00 AM
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What Exactly is Money Managment in Forex?

You have heard the term over and over again, how does it really apply to you as a Nigerian Forex trader? Let's break it down together.

Like dieting and working out, money management is something that most traders pay lip service to, but few practice in real life. The reason is simple: just like eating healthy and staying fit, money management can seem like a burdensome, unpleasant activity. It forces traders to constantly monitor their positions and to take necessary losses, and only few people like to do that. However, as Figure 1 proves, loss-taking is crucial to long-term trading success.

Amount of Equity Lost

Amount of Return Necessary to Restore to Original Equity Value

25%

33%

50%

100%

75%

400%

90%

1,000%

Figure 1 - This table shows just how difficult it is to recover from a debilitating loss.

Note that a trader would have to earn 100% on his or her capital - a feat accomplished by less than 1% of traders worldwide - just to break even on an account with a 50% loss. At 75% drawdown, the trader must quadruple his or her account just to bring it back to its original equity - truly a Herculean task!

The Big One

Although most traders are familiar with the figures above, they are inevitably ignored. Trading books are littered with stories of traders losing one, two, even five years' worth of profits in a single trade gone terribly wrong. Typically, the runaway loss is a result of sloppy money management, with no hard stops and lots of average downs into the longs and average ups into the shorts. Above all, the runaway loss is due simply to a loss of discipline.

Most traders begin their trading career, whether consciously or subconsciously, visualizing "The Big One" - the one trade that will make them millions and allow them to retire young and live carefree for the rest of their lives.

 In forex, this fantasy is further reinforced by the folklore of the markets. Who can forget the time that George Soros "broke the Bank of England" by shorting the pound and walked away with a cool $1-billion profit in a single day? But the cold hard truth for most retail traders is that, instead of experiencing the "Big Win", most traders fall victim to just one "Big Loss" that can knock them out of the game forever.

Learning Tough Lessons and Avoiding the “Big Loss”

Traders can avoid this fate by controlling their risks through stop losses. In Jack Schwager's famous book "Market Wizards" (1989), day trader and trend follower Larry Hite offers this practical advice: "Never risk more than 1% of total equity on any trade. By only risking 1%, I am indifferent to any individual trade." This is a very good approach. A trader can be wrong 20 times in a row and still have 80% of his or her equity left.

The reality is that very few traders have the discipline to practice this method consistently. Not unlike a child who learns not to touch a hot stove only after being burned once or twice, most traders can only absorb the lessons of risk discipline through the harsh experience of monetary loss. This is the most important reason why traders should use only their speculative capital when first entering the forex market.

When novices ask how much money they should begin trading with, one seasoned trader says: "Choose a number that will not materially impact your life if you were to lose it completely. Now subdivide that number by five because your first few attempts at trading will most likely end up in blow out." This too is very sage advice, and it is well worth following for anyone considering trading forex.

Now back to our first example, if you were given profitable setups to trade, would your money management style allow you stay profitable?The series is just beginning and I hope you have learnt something new today.

The next part of this article will be published next week and we shall discuss the various money management styles and how to implement them.

Would you like to get a reminder when it is published? Use the facebook share button at the top of this article, tag @instaFx Ng on Facebook and comment “done” on this article page after wards.

I will be sure to remind you when the next series is up. Make more profit this week!

 


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