5 Forex Trading Lessons I’ve Learned in 2015

I realize it’s been ages since I put out a trade review, so I decided to take a look at ALL of my forex trade ideas this year and list down the hard lessons I should keep in mind for next year.

I had a tough time consistently putting on trades in 2015, partly because of coffee shop duties and partly due to being a scaredy cat when it comes to risking real money especially around major market events. Guess I forgot that volatility can be a forex trader’s best friend if you’re prepared enough.

Anyhoo, I’ve managed to dig up my trading journal and have tracked down the trade ideas that I did make throughout the year. A quick look tells me that I had more canceled trade ideas than Star Wars has fans! Okay, maybe not. Still, after spending an afternoon going through my trade setups while sipping my hot, freshly-brewed java, I have narrowed down the main forex trading lessons that I need to remember going into 2016:

1. Focus on attendance first.

You simply can’t take advantage of opportunities you don’t know about. No matter how many non-trading-related tasks you have, you have to put in the necessary hours to familiarize yourself with the markets and stretch your trading muscles.

When you’re always updated (or at least aware) of what’s happening in the forex market and you keep your trading skills sharp, then you’ll react better to opportunities when they come along. Unless, of course, you have an EA that does all the work for you. In this case, please contact me via my Facebook, Twitter, or this post. Kidding (maybe).

2. Consistency is key.

I only have to look at my short list below to remind me that I haven’t been consistent in my trading efforts this year. Next year I think it would help a lot to consistently churn out new trade ideas. For one thing, this could train me to spot trade opportunities quicker, keep me on my toes for emerging market themes, and practice my existing trade strategies. It also doesn’t hurt that consistency would provide me a better foundation of measuring my trading progress.

3. It’s okay to put on multiple trades.

A lot of my canceled trades listed below stemmed from either being too cautious ahead of a major event or simply not wishing to add to my risk exposure when I already have something cooking. Next year I’d like to remind myself not to shy away from taking multiple trades, especially when I have my risk management plans in place.

4. Don’t wait for that perfect trade.

Not the first time I’m putting this out there, but still a good reminder for next year to not be afraid to make mistakes. I’ve missed out on A LOT of good trade opportunities in 2015 because I wanted that perfect trade. You know, good retracement entries; nice, round numbers; and perfectly visible break-and-retest scenarios.

Unfortunately, a lot of opportunities came in the guise of shallow retracements, slow breakouts, and solid trends that you were sure would end tomorrow (most of them didn’t). Next year I’d like to focus on execution rather than planning so I’ll be more confident about taking less-than-perfect trade setups.

5. Plan the trade. Trade the plan.

Bottom line is that I have to take more trades, so I can have a better chance at turning those trades into winners. Definitely not an easy task for someone who’s struggling with taking on risks. Still, I think someone who is trying and making mistakes is a bit ahead of those who aren’t trying at all. Next year I’ll start with making trading plans and focusing on executing them. With regular trade journaling, this could help get me build my trading confidence and get me back on the trading grind.

How about you? What trading lessons have you learned this year?

2015 Trade Ideas:

Trades Notes
01/07 Is USD/JPY Ready to Come Back Down? Missed a good move by closing at BE ahead of NFP
01/30 USD/JPY’s Short-Term Range Trade not taken (looked at other pairs instead)
02/06 EUR/USD’s Upside Breakout? Trade not taken (setup didn’t materialize)
02/12 Getting on USD/JPY’s Uptrend Trade not taken (setup didn’t materialize)
02/27 GBP/USD’s Rising Channel Trade not taken (Cable’s channel was broken)
04/08 Quick Forex Trade on USD/JPY Profit target hit (+0.50%)
04/17 EUR/USD’s Range Trade not taken (price broke above the range)
05/01 Retracement on GBP/USD? Trade not taken (retracement deeper than expected)
05/29 Retracement on EUR/USD? Trade not taken (price broke above retracement levels)
06/12 New Short-Term Trend for USD/JPY? Closed when price isn’t trending lower as expected (+0.05%)
06/25 Start of EUR/USD Downtrend? Trade not taken (retracement too shallow)
07/14 Time For A EUR/USD Rally? Trade not taken (setup didn’t materialize)
07/23 Mid-Channel Bounce on USD/CHF Trade not taken after missing initial bounce
08/12 Retracement From USD/JPY’s Uptrend Stopped out (-0.50%) after news event market entry
08/28 Time to Sell USD/JPY? Trade not taken (setup didn’t materialize)
09/30 Small Range Play on EUR/USD Trade not taken (setup didn’t materialize)
10/02 USD/JPY’s Range Still Intact Trade not taken. There wasn’t enough volatility for a good R:R
10/07 GBP/USD Reversal in the Works? Trade not taken (reversal turned out to be a fakeout)
10/15 Trading USD/CHF’s Downtrend Trade not taken. There was no retracement
10/21 Time for a Cable Retracement? Trade not taken. There was no retracement
10/23 USD/JPY Ready for Another Uptrend? Missed trade
10/28 USD/JPY’s Uptrend Still Intact Missed trade idea because it’s ahead of an FOMC event
10/15 Trading USD/CHF’s Downtrend Trade not taken. There was no retracement
11/05 Cable Triangle Breakout in the Making? Legit breakout worth 300+ pips but backed out because I didn’t trust the volatility
11/17 USD/CHF Breakout Setup Trade not taken (retracement didn’t show until a week after)
11/18 EUR/USD Retracement in the Works? Adjusted SL hit (+0.30%) after the ECB statement.
12/09 Is USD/CHF in For More Gains? Closed with small loss (-0.08%) ahead of a Fed event.

Thanks for reading this review and hope you’re having a good holiday season!

XOXO,

Huck

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