4 Mistakes That Cause Traders to Lose Money

Why Forex Traders Lose Money in the Forex Industry

Many traders make mistakes that can cost them dearly when trading. Avoiding common pitfalls is the key to successful trading, and in this guide, you'll learn about four major errors that traders should be aware of and know how to avoid so they don't lose money.

traders lose money

4 Mistakes That Cause Traders to Lose Money


Over-leveraging is dangerous as it increases both potential profit and loss on a trade, thus increasing the likelihood of significant losses.
Leverage works both ways - magnifying gains and losses -
so traders should use caution when leveraging their trades. Consider your risk appetite and leverage accordingly to ensure you're not exposing yourself to high levels of risk.

Failing to Use Stop Limits

Stop Limits are essential tools for managing risk when trading. Stop limits set an amount beyond which the trader is comfortable to lose and will automatically close a position if it reaches that limit, thus preventing potential large losses from continuing to add up. Setting your stop-loss limits will go a long way towards protecting your investments in the long run.

Ignoring Market Timing

Many beginners take the approach that all trading involves equal levels of risk regardless of market timing. In reality, different types of market conditions actually entail different levels of risk which must be properly managed.
For example, trading during a bear market – when stocks have downward momentum – is much more prone to losses than trading during a bull market – when stocks are trending upward.
Being aware of the current state of the markets and how they affect potential trades will help traders minimize their risk.

Not Having an Investment Strategy

One of the most common mistakes for novice traders is not having a concrete investment strategy in place. This often results in trades that lack consistent structure, which can lead to major losses or failure over time.
To properly manage risk and increase return, it’s important to develop a trading strategy that outlines the conditions required for entry and exit from a trade.
Additionally, investors should define their risk tolerance prior to making any investments to better prepare them for serious situations when they arise.

Not Thinking Long Term

Making a killing on a single trade is appealing, but often overlooks the long-term implications of trading. Long-term investing requires traders to take into consideration opportunity costs associated with short-term churning and day-trading. While attempting to maximize short-term gains may appear successful, traders who don’t think long term risk not only missing out on higher return potential, but also increase their chances of losing money in the long run.

What percentage of traders lose money?

The percentage of traders who lose money is 95% according to Contentworks research and forex trading statistics.
Public data has shown that between 73% and 95% of the broker's clients lose money.
There is always a large percentage of traders that are not profitable but do not lose traders. So how many forex traders are profitable? In the retail industry, about 5%-10%, and in prop companies, about 80% of the merchants are profitable.

How many forex traders lose money?

According to available data from brokers, between 73% and 95% of all retail traders lose money in the forex market. Many brokers post this data on promotional banners so that the public can see how many forex brokers are losing money as a percentage. 

In the stock market, 90% of traders fail to be profitable every year. According to statistics from major brokers, 80 percent of traders lose, 10 percent of traders break even, and 10 percent make money consistently. Based on brokers' available data, between 73% to 95% of all retail traders lose money trading forex.
Many brokers publish this data on promotional banners so the public can see how many forex traders in percentage lose money.
In our article Can You Make Money Trading Forex? We explain the problem with a trader losing money.

But what does the science say about retailers?

In the article “Do individual forex traders make money?”, we can see that there are profitable traders in the forex market and also day traders. Risk taking is the #1 problem for all retail traders (Uninformative Comments and Risk Taking: Evidence from Retail Forex Trading) 
The real question is: can retail forex traders make money? 
Of course, retail traders can earn and corporate traders only if they follow risk management rules.
In practice, by managing a smaller amount of money (less than $1 million), retail traders can make higher profits (higher risk) than corporate traders.
The rules of risk and opportunity are not the same when you manage $10,000 and $1 billion. Experts claim that 95% of forex traders make losses due to abandoning forex trading. The DailyFX forex website found that although some forex traders are making a profit, new traders are still having a hard time becoming profitable.

Forex trading is a waste of time.

Some novice traders, after losing the strike, think that forex trading is a waste of time. Forex is a normal business just like stock trading or commodity trading.
Some traders think that trading is a waste of time because they have high expectations.
If the best traders and companies in the world have an average annual profit of 20% in trading, beginner traders cannot double the account every month and become rich because they read some super trading strategies on the internet forum. Trading is for patient people who know how to manage risk and make trading plans, scenarios and prediction models. Let's look at the reasons why traders lose money.

Most forex traders lose money.

According to broker research, between 73% and 95% of all retail traders lose money trading forex. Most forex traders lose money for the following reasons:
  • understanding the market
Many traders make the mistake of thinking that they can beat the forex market and make big profits with little capital. These traders can be very aggressive in trading, go against the trends and lose money. Instead, they must understand the market and try to make money with well-defined trends. 
  •  low capital 
Typically, traders start with forex trading to make quick money or get rid of debt. Forex marketers often encourage these traders to trade with high leverage and use larger lot sizes for higher returns, using small starting capital. In the short term, a forex trader can earn the high returns he seeks. 

However, since the risk is very high due to higher leverage and less capital, traders often get excited and time their trades at the worst possible time, with losses. Therefore, forex traders must have at least $1000 before trading; they are likely to lose. 
  • Risk management. 
As in life, risk management is important if a forex trader wants to survive. Qualified traders can lose their capital if they do not manage risk. The trader must first focus on protecting his capital before attempting to make a profit. Once the capital is depleted, the forex trader's ability to make a profit will be reduced. 

A recommended risk management practice involves placing stop-loss orders after the forex trader has made a reasonable amount of profit. Lot sizes should be small compared to the account's equity, and the trader should exit trades that are not viable. 

Some forex traders want to get the maximum possible profit from every move in the market. Traders who wait for the last pip before the rate change reverses may hold their positions for too long and lose profitable trades. 

Therefore, the trader should be happy with a reasonable profit and not wait daily to maximize the profit from him. It is possible to make profit by trading forex daily, so traders should not be too greedy. 
  • trade without plan 
Traders often find that the trade they have chosen is not immediately profitable, so they close the trade and reverse it, only to find that their market is moving in the opposite direction. 

The merchant will regret his decision. It is important to choose a specific direction for an operation and to be patient. Changing operations based on short-term trends will result in the depletion of invested capital. 
  • Predict the top or bottom 
Many new forex traders try to predict the turning point of currency pairs, often going against market trends. They may add more funds to the trade and result in a larger loss compared to what they predicted. Although it is not worth bragging about, it is safer to trade based on market trends. If traders want to choose the bottom, they must choose the bottom of the uptrend. Similarly, if you want to trade at a spike, you should trade when the market moves up, not down. 
  •  Refuse to accept mistakes 
Although most people want to be right all the time, forex traders need to accept that they made a trading mistake and continue to waste resources. This could deplete the balance in the forex account. It is always better to accept that the trade was a mistake, close it and look for the next opportunity to profit. 
  •  Buying Forex Trading Systems 
Many forex trading systems are widely advertised online, promising huge profits. Some traders make the mistake of investing money in these automated systems and yet they make a loss. New forex traders need to understand that there are no automated systems for trading forex with profit; every trader should develop his own method and strategy after understanding the forex market…

How much do forex traders earn per year?

Forex traders working in trading companies earn an average of $77K annually according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, a forex trader's salary depends on how large the managed portfolio is. Based on the managed portfolio, the best traders earn an average annual return of 20%.

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