Cut losses short and let winners run

The Art of Cutting Losses & Letting Winners Run

For years, I was losing money because I didn’t get it. Not really. You hear it everywhere, it’s probably the best-known trader’s mantra in the world:

 

Cut Your Losers Fast And Let Your Winners Run

 

Often, people just skim over this line as something that’s probably true, without any second thought. We know what it means, but we don’t act on it. And we do this all the time in our lives: a smoker will occasionally think: “I should stop smoking”. Many people have this thought in their mind: “I should start exercising”. I should contact my friend whom I haven’t spoken in months. I should go on that world trip I’ve been planning for years.

 

I should cut my losses faster and let my winners run.

 

I really should

 

I should.

 

Yet, most of us don’t.

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EURAUD

The Exit: EURAUD 1H short

On the one hand, traders are being told over and over again that entries only account for about 10% of your overall trading success and I completely agree with that statement. On the other hand, traders (me included) make lists and lists of weekly analysis with the most interesting setups for the upcoming week.

 

How’s that for a contradiction?

 

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe that there’s value in my weekly forex outlooks. But if so much of the focus needs to be on trade management and how we exit a trade, why is this a topic much less talked about? Maybe because it’s much harder to talk about trade and exit management than to call a setup? Or maybe because many traders feel uncertain to give away how they actually manage their trades?

 

Of course, I get that I can’t make a forecast on the exits of trades that still need to happen. What I can do, however, is discuss how some of my past trades (both winners and losers) have worked out and go through the trade and my trading decisions in detail. This way, many of the common concepts such as “cut your losses and let your winners run” might become a bit more tangible and easier to grasp for everyone.

 

I’ve decided to call this series on trade management and exit management: The Exit.

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Trader development plan

Why you need a trader development plan

 

I’ve learned everything there is to know about trading.

 

Says no professional trader, ever.

 

Not improving is deadly in this business. Seeing your P/L go south kind of deadly. Every trader who has made it has done so because of continuous learning. A desire to get better at the trading game. Every single one of those traders has a trader development plan. But what exactly is that?

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Forex Trading Strategy

How to create a new forex trading strategy

When people are looking for a new forex trading strategy, what they really want to know is:

  • How do I create a strategy that works?
  • How do I develop the confidence to trade a strategy I believe in?

 

The first question almost goes without saying. Without a working strategy, there’s no use in attempting to trade in a consistent and profitable way. The second question, however, is more subtle. My opinion is that if you have a working strategy but don’t have a deeply rooted belief that you can trade this strategy, you will fail.

 

Confidence in a strategy will make or break your results.

 

Richard Dennis confidence in trading

 

Fortunately, there is an answer to both questions: testing.

 

Before I ever use a strategy, I will have tested it for weeks. For months. It’s not an extremely difficult process, but it does involve a lot of work. During the years, I’ve tested 100’s of strategies. Most of them failed. Some of them, I could make work. The best ones, I’m trading today. Here are the steps involved to make it happen.

 

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5 things holding you back as a trader

Top 5 things holding you back as a trader

I’ve been trading for almost 10 years now. Over the years, I’ve spoken to many traders who are on the verge of making it. Almost there.

 

Technicals or fundamentals knowledge, check.

Willingness to be consistently profitable, double check.

 

Still.

 

These traders are about 80% in their journey to become a consistently profitable trader. Even here, the Pareto principle is doing its magic.

 

They’re like a semi-pro football player almost making it to the Champion’s League. Or the aspiring actor trying to get that big breakthrough role. The trader is missing some essential, but not always obvious elements, and here’s the thing: without proper guidance, some of these traders will be stuck in this state forever. If nothing changes, the next step is gradually losing money and/or giving up.
Which is a shame. These are the traders that have put in considerable effort already, but are somehow missing that something to pull them over the edge of consistency. Do you recognise yourself in this profile? Keep reading. See, once you are at this level, it’s not about knowing how to draw a trend line. It’s not about chart patterns and price action. Most traders in this state of limbo usually even have some trading system.

 

But something’s holding them back.

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Reasons why most traders lose money

5 critical reasons why most traders lose money

“Why do I keep losing money?”

 

This question used to keep me up at night.

 

Have you ever wondered this too? I have, over and over again.

 

Losing traderWhen I was still struggling to become a profitable forex trader, I was desperate for the answer. Not only that, I wanted to identify the various pain points that made forex traders lose money. Find a structured way to tackle them. I wasn’t going to be a losing trader forever, no way. So I started researching.

 

 

Why do traders lose out?

 

The short answer is of course because it’s really hard to be consistently profitable.

 

But why? There are enough traders with a proven track record, so it must be possible. During my search, I’ve identified 5 of the most important reasons why traders lose out. I’m pretty sure that at one point or another, I’ve been through them all. But once I started working on them, I noticed a real turnaround in my trading performance! I couldn’t believe this, it really worked.

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sustainable profits trading forex

Is it possible to make sustainable profits trading forex?

Can I make sustainable profits trading forex? Anyone who’s been trading forex for longer than a couple of weeks has asked this question. I certainly have in the beginning of my forex career!

 

How about you?

 

Everyone does.

I enjoy teaching others how to trade forex and how to become profitable in forex. That is the exact reason why I started Smart Forex Learning. Another way that I often try to help people, is on the social Q&A site Quora. If the questions I’m asked there are any indication, people are quite doubtful about forex:

 

I get this question a lot.

 

It usually stems multiple things. People expect quick riches, but without actually putting in the hours. Research has shown that 80% of the day traders quit within the first 2 years. Usually, at a certain point they’ve lost too much money and either quit or (even worse) go shopping for a magical forex trading system.  Then they lose some more. People feel lost.

 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

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