Why Don’t You Get a Life.

Trading foreign currencies isn’t the easiest business to get involved in, especially for beginners or those with limited trading experience.  Your most successful traders undoubtedly have several years combined experience in the Forex and other financial markets.  Expert traders and those traders that make a living trading the Forex often advocate that beginners take a methodology similar to students beginning an advanced degree program at any one of the different types of professional schools (e.g. vocational, college or university, graduate school).

My time served in the arena of higher education has confirmed that moving ahead in such a program requires some level of commitment to reading, studying, and maybe even attending a study session related to the given field.  To move to the top of that class, however, requires even greater discipline and more time committed to learning the course curriculum.  I gained this “knowledge” strictly by not doing than by doing.  I left the “doing” up to the “smart” kids in class; I won’t lie.  At that time, the level of educational excellence at which those kids were working was higher than what I was willing to work for.  And as you can image, the results at year end were justified.  The smart kids were still smart kids, and I was, well, not.  And I hated them for it.  Funny how that works, huh?

Was I right to hate the “smarties”?  Sure, why not!  They got the good grades!  They had the good hair!  They studied hard and long.  They gave up evenings and weekends of partying and fun for… the library.  They actually read the homework assignments.  I mean, what’s not to hate?.  They probably attended Harvard or Princeton, and then went on to create a social networking site, which they sold to the highest bidder for billions, only to… let me stop my ranting.

Like school, learning to trade currencies is very similar in the type of commitment required to be successful.  The best and the brightest of the Forex world have put in the time and effort, gaining invaluable skill, and becoming seasoned traders.  Going into school, medical and law students know what’s required to succeed in the program, so limiting their social lives to better focus on developing their skills becomes a necessity.  All efforts are centered on learning about their field, often at the sacrifice of hanging out with peers or living the “normal” life.  The life balance is tipped dramatically in favor of work over play.

But is this balance the only way to become a successful Forex trader (or pediatrician, or nuclear engineer, or angio-radiologic technologist), one who is at the top of their game?  Would you be mad at me if I said “Yes, it’s the ONLY way!”?  One school of thought thinks so..  My thought is that it depends on the level of happiness in your life you want to retain during your educational journey.

Forex trading can be time consuming when you factor in the beginner’s learning curve, strategy creation, demo trading, learning to read, back testing, figuring out how to use your mouse and the list goes on.  The more time you spend learning Forex, the more you are exposed to the workings of the Forex market.  With time you start to build a good skill set for trading, and your experience grows with every trade.  But with time spent learning and trading Forex, time is taken away from something else – your family, your friends, your other job, your toe nails, your dog, your lawn, your social life.  My answer – to each his (or her) own.  There’s no right or wrong answer here, folks. 

Yes, you’re money is on the line (that’s if you’ve taken that big step to trading real money), but that doesn’t necessarily translate into ALL OUT FOREX OPEN 24/7!  The most successful traders will tell you that trading isn’t only about that winning trade, but it’s also about what you learn along the way.  There’s the mental challenge of trading.  There’s the benefit of learning how others make money trading foreign currency.  There’s the excitement of learning new investment strategies.  It’s the process, man, the process!

You can be dedicated to learning and developing your skills as a trader, but a balance must be struck between your trading and the rest of your life.  Stress outside of your trading has a way of finding its way back in.  Stay happy.  Get a life.

Give me your thoughts in the comments section if you have time.  Are you an addict or wish you were (Forex addict, that is)?

  • kien27

    Dear Pipsychology,

    First and foremost i thank you soo much for all your entries i have read every single one and some 2 or 3 times. I very much enjoy your work and come here often so to check your blog for new post.
    I totally agree with you on this post trading is very lonely like a nerd at the library on the weekends. I as a trader can understand the benefits of trading and the sacrifices you have to give up to become a successful trader. Getting your life partner to appreciate your time and efforts in trading is another story, they seem to never understand and it’s a challenge. I wonder how to keep a balanced life especially when your trying to start up you trading career?.

    thanks and love your work

  • method765

    I have been to the point of giving up to many times to count, you just have to keep at it, even when you feel like you have tried everything and you still fail, and then fail some more. Eventually things will click and you will start to see opportunities presenting themselves to you, you just have to become extremely patient, and stop trying to make trades happen. A long lesson learned, but is now paying off. I have become a forex addict, I don’t see how you can be profitable in this market unless you are one.

  • kien27

    Dear Pipsychology,

    First and foremost i thank you soo much for all your entries i have read every single one and some 2 or 3 times. I very much enjoy your work and come here often so to check your blog for new post.
    I totally agree with you on this post trading is very lonely like a nerd at the library on the weekends. I as a trader can understand the benefits of trading and the sacrifices you have to give up to become a successful trader. Getting your life partner to appreciate your time and efforts in trading is another story, they seem to never understand and it’s a challenge. I wonder how to keep a balanced life especially when your trying to start up you trading career?.

    thanks and love your work

  • TalonD

    good point but like all generalized ideas it lacks the specifics. But where is this intensive forex college? Where you can bury yourself in the study of forex forsaking a normal life? Lets face it, babypips school is just the basics, it’s all kindergarden, where’s the real education to come from if not from doing?

  • method765

    I have been to the point of giving up to many times to count, you just have to keep at it, even when you feel like you have tried everything and you still fail, and then fail some more. Eventually things will click and you will start to see opportunities presenting themselves to you, you just have to become extremely patient, and stop trying to make trades happen. A long lesson learned, but is now paying off. I have become a forex addict, I don’t see how you can be profitable in this market unless you are one.

  • BeerMonster

    It’s a very good point, a trader needs to keep their mind fresh and up for the challenge. I aim to trade about 2-3 times per week simply to ensure that I am up to it, this helps plan and execute trades according to plan with no hesitation.

    Any more than 2-3 times and I think it would fry my brain and reduce my win ratio (85%).

  • TalonD

    good point but like all generalized ideas it lacks the specifics. But where is this intensive forex college? Where you can bury yourself in the study of forex forsaking a normal life? Lets face it, babypips school is just the basics, it’s all kindergarden, where’s the real education to come from if not from doing?

  • BeerMonster

    It’s a very good point, a trader needs to keep their mind fresh and up for the challenge. I aim to trade about 2-3 times per week simply to ensure that I am up to it, this helps plan and execute trades according to plan with no hesitation.

    Any more than 2-3 times and I think it would fry my brain and reduce my win ratio (85%).

  • efelicia14

    I agree with you on this it’s taking me a year to learn not to be in the market all hours of the day and/or week… But I am a winner in trading now and I am happy.. The main reason why I do it is because I love doing it…

  • efelicia14

    I agree with you on this it’s taking me a year to learn not to be in the market all hours of the day and/or week… But I am a winner in trading now and I am happy.. The main reason why I do it is because I love doing it…

  • PaulValentine

    Well, as a forex newbie with a little too much money to “blow”, I jumped right in there thinking I could do it like the pros, but as time kept on and my acct lost a few ridiculous trades, I have buried myself into this art of forex, I sit for countless hours in front of my computer learning and watching price action and all of the other goodies one must know to be successful. The internet has countless hours of forum postings, strategies, ideas, lessons and most of all, support. Forex is wonderful because if you are as self motivated as any good business owner should be, than you can and will succeed. You can get all of your trading resources for FREE!!! You have to sacrifice your time with the kiddies and wifey to be a winner. But, just like any other business, once you get rolling, it gets easier, your acct grows, and you can enjoy yur family and friends that much more!!! Dont quit being a forex junkie, just save it for the right time.

  • PaulValentine

    Well, as a forex newbie with a little too much money to “blow”, I jumped right in there thinking I could do it like the pros, but as time kept on and my acct lost a few ridiculous trades, I have buried myself into this art of forex, I sit for countless hours in front of my computer learning and watching price action and all of the other goodies one must know to be successful. The internet has countless hours of forum postings, strategies, ideas, lessons and most of all, support. Forex is wonderful because if you are as self motivated as any good business owner should be, than you can and will succeed. You can get all of your trading resources for FREE!!! You have to sacrifice your time with the kiddies and wifey to be a winner. But, just like any other business, once you get rolling, it gets easier, your acct grows, and you can enjoy yur family and friends that much more!!! Dont quit being a forex junkie, just save it for the right time.

  • Lordpipi

    All I really have to say is that am enjoying every bit of it…I just see FOREX traders as SNIPERS in the battle field….waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a trade… Its highly pulsating when you carrying out the act, and to be sincere with you all, you really dont have to stay long in the market trading or, just like the SNIPER, your position will be discovered and you will be marked….Summary of it all, get in, take one or two shots, get your kill and get out…..It works for me…..thank you all for making this forum coooool

  • Lordpipi

    All I really have to say is that am enjoying every bit of it…I just see FOREX traders as SNIPERS in the battle field….waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a trade… Its highly pulsating when you carrying out the act, and to be sincere with you all, you really dont have to stay long in the market trading or, just like the SNIPER, your position will be discovered and you will be marked….Summary of it all, get in, take one or two shots, get your kill and get out…..It works for me…..thank you all for making this forum coooool

  • harachel

    Like always your writing keep my spirit up doc, thanks a lot. Yeah, I feel what you wrote and I wish I am able to be a forex addict only when I open my chart and when I closed it I am back to my normal life. Once again thanks for the ‘therapy’ Doc!

  • fxrox

    I suppose from time-to-time throughout the years I’ve appeared addicted to the trading especially as friends and family seemed concerned. Although, come to think of it…they were cheering me on, “Go Go Go”!!!… my little Forex co-dependents. ^^ I feel that I was just enjoying the submersion and the learning process itself. In the beginning of one of my learning curves…ok, so I’ve had a few recovery periods, the “potential” of the forex was so enticing you would have thought I super-glued my forhead to the monitor. So, am I addicted to the Forex? …nah…

  • harachel

    Like always your writing keep my spirit up doc, thanks a lot. Yeah, I feel what you wrote and I wish I am able to be a forex addict only when I open my chart and when I closed it I am back to my normal life. Once again thanks for the ‘therapy’ Doc!

  • fxrox

    I suppose from time-to-time throughout the years I’ve appeared addicted to the trading especially as friends and family seemed concerned. Although, come to think of it…they were cheering me on, “Go Go Go”!!!… my little Forex co-dependents. ^^ I feel that I was just enjoying the submersion and the learning process itself. In the beginning of one of my learning curves…ok, so I’ve had a few recovery periods, the “potential” of the forex was so enticing you would have thought I super-glued my forhead to the monitor. So, am I addicted to the Forex? …nah…

  • ichweissnicht

    From “Lordpip”, “All I really have to say is that am enjoying every bit of it…I just see FOREX traders as SNIPERS in the battle field….waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a trade…”

    i could not agree with it anymore….!!!

    I read an article before, it points out that trader (regardless which markets you are in) have to think a question when they feel tired, when they wanna give up, when they feel disappointed by the market…

    the Quesiton is “In order to get a job which can earn over millions dollars, how much effort do you commit to pay?”
    it is really hard and harsh when we are still “learning” to trade fx…

    Patience, Stop-Loss, learning and reviewing keep us alive in the market!

  • ichweissnicht

    From “Lordpip”, “All I really have to say is that am enjoying every bit of it…I just see FOREX traders as SNIPERS in the battle field….waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a trade…”

    i could not agree with it anymore….!!!

    I read an article before, it points out that trader (regardless which markets you are in) have to think a question when they feel tired, when they wanna give up, when they feel disappointed by the market…

    the Quesiton is “In order to get a job which can earn over millions dollars, how much effort do you commit to pay?”
    it is really hard and harsh when we are still “learning” to trade fx…

    Patience, Stop-Loss, learning and reviewing keep us alive in the market!

  • pipchaserguy

    I have been demo trading since the beginning of 2009, and have experienced the foolishness of losing about $700 in real money. Ouch. But like you said, you have to put major time into learning forex if you really want to be sucessfull. Right now i feel much more comfortable with trading currency then i ever have been, and for me it’s a matter of finding the right overall risk management strategy that agrees with my desired rate of earnings. I feel that eventually i will achieve my goals here, and i believe most of the fun is in getting there- the learning curve.

  • pipchaserguy

    I have been demo trading since the beginning of 2009, and have experienced the foolishness of losing about $700 in real money. Ouch. But like you said, you have to put major time into learning forex if you really want to be sucessfull. Right now i feel much more comfortable with trading currency then i ever have been, and for me it’s a matter of finding the right overall risk management strategy that agrees with my desired rate of earnings. I feel that eventually i will achieve my goals here, and i believe most of the fun is in getting there- the learning curve.

  • Lordpipi

    Like I always say my fellow PIP SNIPERS… what is life without precision, what is power without control…I could aim a 50 pip snipe and hit bulls eye, get greedy and trying to take another shot I loose 30 pips….. Lets face it, a rookie takes a snipe and hits 20 pips and then calls it a day…he would be far better than a professional that snipes 150 pips, but on the second shot looses 140 pips….Always remember, its not how many shots on the pips that brings down the kill, but where the bullet of your riffle sinks and how well you are contented with your performance…..love you all

  • Lordpipi

    Like I always say my fellow PIP SNIPERS… what is life without precision, what is power without control…I could aim a 50 pip snipe and hit bulls eye, get greedy and trying to take another shot I loose 30 pips….. Lets face it, a rookie takes a snipe and hits 20 pips and then calls it a day…he would be far better than a professional that snipes 150 pips, but on the second shot looses 140 pips….Always remember, its not how many shots on the pips that brings down the kill, but where the bullet of your riffle sinks and how well you are contented with your performance…..love you all

  • TonyIommich

    I’ve sat at the desk for 12 hours at times. Sometimes I overdo it though. See, I’m sitting here on babypips after I swore to myself that I would take a break from anything trading related – its Friday night for goodness sake! Thank God the market doesn’t trade on Saturday and most of Sunday, lol. I think the most important thing, though, is the QUALITY of the time you spend doing your work. I’m still working on that part of it.

  • TonyIommich

    I’ve sat at the desk for 12 hours at times. Sometimes I overdo it though. See, I’m sitting here on babypips after I swore to myself that I would take a break from anything trading related – its Friday night for goodness sake! Thank God the market doesn’t trade on Saturday and most of Sunday, lol. I think the most important thing, though, is the QUALITY of the time you spend doing your work. I’m still working on that part of it.