The fact of the matter is that every trader is likely to lose a lot of money unless he understands the basics of effective money and risk management. The article shall discuss eight of the most important points to always remember regarding the forex risk management.
1) Accept that Chances of Failure are always there:
We all fail in life. We even fail in things we know best. It is important to understand that success in FOREX does not mean not losing at all. Even the best of the trades can go wrong. This fact acts as the foundation of risk and money management strategy. It has implications at so many levels, for example, a trader is unlikely to invest a huge amount of money in a single trade if he is aware of the fact that things can go sour at any time.
2) Consider yourself a “Risk Manager”:
Most traders consider their most important job in FOREX to be act as a money maker. In reality, however, your job should be that of a risk manager. It is usually a positive approach to focus on reward rather than risk in life. However, this is an extremely risky approach in FOREX. An absence of risk awareness, even for few minutes, can be damaging for your capital.
3) Follow the Position Sizing Rule:
No discussion on risk and money management can be completed without understanding the basics of position sizing. Position Sizing is among the most basic and fundamental rule and it should be understood and used by each and every investor. It implies that a trader must be aware of the maximum amount of capital that he is willing to invest in a particular trade (order volume). A trader is more exposed to the risk if he invests more capital for one single position.
Position sizing is important for every trader. It does not matter if you are a newbie with just a few hundred dollars in your account or you are a FOREX giant with few million dollars. Similarly, it does not matter whether you are trading a higher or smaller time frame chart.
TIP: Our useful Forex Pip and Position Size Calculators can be used when deciding what order volume should you place in accordance with your deposit and risk management.
4) Greed is a Curse:
Any story you might have heard is either false or a pure stroke of luck. Getting greedy means risking a very big portion of your capital and it is not recommended by any FOREX professional trader.
5) Understand Hedging and Correlation Techniques:
Detailed discussion of hedging techniques is outside the scope of this article. However, it is strongly recommended to learn some hedging techniques as soon as you enter the world of FOREX. Hedging protects your capital for getting to much exposed to potential risk. Some of the popular hedging techniques include diversification of portfolio and buying currency options.
Regarding correlation - when two currency pairs are closely correlated it means that these currency pairs will move exactly the same or exactly opposite way most of the time. If you will buy the two currency pairs that move most of the time in the same way, it simply means that you are doubling your risks or potential profits. So in general, it is good to know how various currencies correlate to each other - to avoid these situations of doubling risks. When exploring correlation between various currency pairs, our free correlation indicator can be used.
6) Always use Stop-Loss:
A considerable loss can be avoided by setting a Stop-Loss with your broker. Basically, it is an advance order placed with a broker which allows broker to sell any security as soon as the price reaches a certain level.
For example, you have set your Stop-Loss at 2% per trade (this can mean for example 20 pips depending on your order volume / stop-loss needed based on current market volatility). This means that if the price of currency falls by 20 pips from the price where you bought, your broker will sell it. It will save you from incurring further loss if the price continues to fall.
Remember that closing a loss is just another opportunity to open a profitable trade for a better price. However, if you will not close the loss, then there will be no more opportunity to open another trade.
7) Don’t overuse your leverage:
Leverage allows you to take a FOREX position for a much greater amount than your deposited capital. This is obviously a great way to multiply your profit. However, it comes with severe risk. It is common for new traders to get carried away by over-leveraging their trading account simply by opening too big orders. It is crucial for long term success to understand the true purpose of leverage and respect it by not overusing it. Moderate leverage in general is a good thing, but it has to be used very wisely.
8) Know when to get out:
Another common mistake beginning traders make is they either get out too early from a trade and fail to realize all the potential profit or they wait too long to neutralize the extra profit. As a new trader, you are not expected to learn this trait from the day one as it comes with practice and experience. However, be sure to always learn from your experience and get ready as soon as you can.
Related education and FX know-how:
Forex Education - Basics:
Forex Education - FX Brokers:
Forex Education - Technical Analysis: