Having been on all sides of this industry, and talked to way too many industry players over the years, while trying to educate the average trader on just how much misinformation they are hit with on a daily basis, I feel like I need to decompress a bit. Fortunately for me we needed some ‘Original Content’ to fill in the gaps on our new web site, so here goes…
The knife cuts both ways here, as not only do industry ‘talking heads’ like to throw around misinformation like used car salesman, but so do other traders via forums, blogs, and social media. Sometimes its funny, sometimes it’s scary, but the majority of time it’s just down right frustrating. I am going to try and tackle just two of these mistruths in this article, if for nothing else then some self-righteous therapy.
Keep in mind I am not speaking about trading advice here, we are in the business of speculation, and while some advice can be downright criminal, even a broken clock is right twice a day. No, what I am talking about are, what I like to call, the forex myths; a set of commonly believed untruths that nearly every single retail trader hears during their quest to actually make money in this market (quite the novel idea, I know).
I have to start off with my favorite, the one I deal with day in and day out, and the one that nearly all newbies cling to like flies on sh*t…
The Get Rick Quick Myth
So, this huge decentralized liquid market, that essentially powers global trade, and that has minted more bankruptcies then the dot com bubble minted millionaires, can be beat by some jackass with a 99 dollar ‘algorithm’, copied from some open source system that was released online 10 years ago, obviously because it ‘worked sooooo well’ for him in the first place?
Look, some very intelligent people have made some very intelligent trading algorithms that do in fact make money. Just like some very intelligent people have gone to college, graduated, gotten their doctorates, and went on to solve insolvable mathematical equations that have bewildered geniuses for centuries. It continues to amaze me that while no one would try their hand at brain surgery after reading a forum post on the top 10 ways to perform a lobotomy people have no problem betting away their life savings without even knowing what a pip is.
Forex, and the business of trading, has a steep learning curve. It should be treated as any other high level profession. And while you may not go to Harvard to study FX trading, you will pay your dues one way or another.
“I just don’t get it, I made a killing on my demo account. I mean if this darn broker would just give me 100 million in top of book liquidity at 0 spread with 0 latency I would make a killing.”
The way to make money in forex is not by buying the newest ‘proven’ money making system, strategy, or ‘insider’ webinar, its through consistency. A good trader can throw a dart at a board and go long or short depending on where it sticks and still be profitable. Why? Risk management. It’s all about discipline.
If there was such an established way to get rich quickly no one would be poor, there would just be ‘less rich’ folks walking around.
… which leads me to my next myth;
The Market is Out to Get Me Myth
This one has a special place in my heart, as it pops in my head every time I see a trade 0.01 pips away from a set take profit level… and it reverses. No matter how much I tell myself no one is on the other side of that trade, paying extra special intention to my specific position, laughing as they move the market the other way, toying with me just for kicks, I still can’t help but almost believe I’m wrong.
In realty, the market is out to get everyone, however it isn’t signaling you out, so you know, don’t take it personal, “it’s just business”.
The Forex Market, like any market, is built on two core principals; supply and demand. Without those two fundamental forces there wouldn’t be a market. The ebb and flow we call volatility is the constant fight between the givers and takers in the market who are both offering supply and buying up demand. The large players in the market, the industry term here is ‘banks’ in case your wondering, are either on the buy side or the sell side. This is why, contrary to popular belief, they don’t automatically make money when you loose and automatically loose money when you win. In fact, a well run market maker should make money regardless as they are in the business of ‘making a market’, and whether high or low or buy or sell, there is always a market to be made.
This isn’t to say that those banks don’t use their position in the market to their advantage, you bet they do, whether it’s by pulling liquidity to avoid risk, widening spread around news or high volatility to make it harder for participants to close a trade in profit, all these things happen on a raw feed… but, to play devil’s advocate here; traders have their own tricks to try and best the market, and sometimes they work, until they don’t. The market is a battle fought between market participants as they try and predict where the supply and demand pockets will push the prevailing prices. When you go up against goliath you better bring your ‘A’ game, because he isn’t going to make it easy to beat him.
The real truth behind those market pauses and reversals is that you only notice them when they cause you to miss an exit, an entry, or trigger a stop as you watch your now booked loss turn and reverse back into profitability. The fact is these knee jerk movements between price levels are simply our friends supply and demand at work. The distinct capital flows into areas of resistance (supply) and those distinct bounces off of areas of support (demand). Rather than understanding the mechanics of something it’s human nature to take the easy way out… invent a poorly structured conspiracy and blame the other guy.
Before I get some nasty emails about how ‘Bob’s Binary Bonanza’ manipulated pricing and stole some poor guys deposit… look, like in any industry, and in any legitimate market, there are dishonest players, who’s sole purpose is to find any possible way to move their client’s money into their own pocket. However, saying that this is the ‘Market’ itself is not giving the market and the honest players in that market their due. If some guy sells you a knock off Rolex outside of their flagship store in Geneva you can’t blame Rolex for that one… Due diligence is key here, not just regarding the system you wish to trade but where you are going to trade it.
Okay, before I get rolled into an all out promotional piece here I am going to call it a day. In the coming months we will be adding to our Forex Myths video series, and I hope you take a moment to have a look and watch some cartoon pigs dancing around on your office workstation while your co-workers gossip about what exactly is wrong with you.