If we were to compare FOREX trading with any other skills-based activity, no matter how difficult or important that may be, trading would always score higher on complexity. This is because no matter how good one is applying technical analysis, or reading charts based on experience or being the world’s most informed and intuitive market participant, the truth is none of it will ever be enough to achieve a good and consistent performance.

This is because the market may be like a living organism, but unlike how a medical professional can rely on some fundamental knowledge of how the human body works, the trader cannot. That is, the market changes in real time and what once worked without fail can at any moment betray the most skillful and experienced trader by behaving differently, irrationally and with no pattern of any kind.

Trading is more about technical tools, experience and fundamental knowledge. It’s more than money and risk management. It takes a multifaceted approach to be a good, profitable trader and the most important aspect of it is patience.

You have to be patient in becoming good at reading the charts. You have to be patient in actually being able to read the market. You have to be patient to learn good risk and money management. You have to be patient to align all of these skills. You have to be patient to apply all of it and become profitable. When, finally, consistently in the black, you have to be patient to learn not to trust the false sense of confidence all this brings, in order to avoid veering off, away from all you have accomplished. When you do veer off into the red, you have to be patient not to give up. You have to be patient to re-start the long, sometimes painful, ascent into your once conquered highs. How do you do that? You guessed it, patience.

Finally, you have to drill it into your mind. Nothing is ever guaranteed in FOREX trading. Patience is the only way out of a tough spot.

Personally, it took me about eight years to learn it takes patience to get consistently profitable at currency trading. I’m still in the beginning of these newly conquered highs in my live account trading. I still find it very difficult to exercise patience. There are lapses and I see the consequences in my capital. The performance might still be good and I may still be profitable, but the difference in capital is stark. It makes you mad knowing what a difference it makes, if only you could be patient.

I believe consistent practice can help one exercise patience as consistently as is human possible for a FOREX trader, like establishing a good habit. The more you practice, the easier it gets.

Dr. Alexander Elder touches a little bit on the subject of patience as he talks about the three stages of a trader’s development in his book “Come Into My Trading Room*”. Three stages which take over years of a trader’s journey until he manages to reach the Pro level, with among a number of other things, discipline. In my view, in order to achieve the discipline aspect of trading what you need the most is patience.*1.“Come Into My Trading Room, A Complete Guide To Trading”, Dr. Alexander Elder, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002
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