This is quite a common question, how long does it take to learn Forex trading, or indeed, any trading?
Well, it depends.
Great answer, Simon. Thanks for that…
Allow me to explain.
There are quite a few different things to consider when it comes to answering this question. The good news is the majority of things which dictate how long it’ll take you to learn how to trade are within your control.
I’m going to tell you about these things so you can think about them and work on them.
How Long Does it Take to Learn Forex Trading
Learning to trade takes effort
Sorry to all those who want to ‘get rich quick’ and are looking for major shortcuts to trading success. If you’ve been sold by laptops on beaches, piles of money in big villas and Rolex watches. If you believe the ‘Wolves of Instagram’, then I need to be a little blunt with you.
Get a grip.
Let me give you the analogy I use when providing trading education that tends to bring it home for aspiring traders.
If I sat you that plane’s cockpit, does that make you a pilot?
No, it doesn’t.
Just as opening a trading account doesn’t make you a trader. The difference is that you would immediately realise you have no idea what you were doing if I sat you in a plane (if you’re a pilot reading the imagine when you weren’t one!).
So why do so many aspiring traders think they can trade when they first start? Overconfidence is a big factor as well as trading being deceptively simple. It’s just buying and selling, right? This makes it looks a lot easier than it actually is. Add to that new traders are encouraged to start off on demo accounts which they often make money on (due to no pressures of risking real money) and beginners are set up for failure.
It’s more complex. Like any complex skill, you need to put in time and effort to acquire it, as well as be taught properly.
Questions you need to ask yourself
Have a good hard think about the following questions.
Trading isn’t easy. No one who succeeds thinks it is easy or was easy. If it were easy then you’d not have a 80+ % failure rate.
If you’re going to learn Forex or any other market, then it’s going to take a lot of time, effort and hard work. Now there may be those of you who are wanting to resist that reality because you want it to be true so badly. So many people want trading to be the solution to life’s problems. My suggestions, if you are one of these people, are the following:
- Change your beliefs around trading
- Go out and do some actual trading
The energy is non-negotiable. You have to be passionate and ‘love the game’, as they’d say in sport. If your only interest and motivation to make money then that motivation won’t last very long.
You have to enjoy the process of trading as well as the outcomes. You have to enjoy developing your trading psychology, fine-tuning profitable trading strategies and continuous improvement.
Depending on your strategies you will need to have an interest in politics, economics and world news. Basically, you’ll need to get stuck in to anything that’ll make your trading better.
Now the spend spent can be a little more flexible. Of course you need to dedicate time towards learning to trade or you’ll never learn to trade successfully. The question is what time you have available. There’s a world of difference between someone who works full-time, has two young children and other commitments etc and someone who doesn’t have those commitments, for example.
If you have less time it will take longer. That’s not a problem but it is a big variable and one you need to consider for your own circumstances.
Another thing to consider is the quality of the time. The time you spend learning to trade Forex or other markets needs to be focused on the task at hand. This isn’t something you want to multi-task with or only give half your attention to.
Yes, I am a trading educator who has products and services so you may be thinking, “Turkeys aren’t gong to vote for Xmas”. I’ll also add there are a seemingly infinite number of scammers and people who’ll sell you a false dream in this industry.
Regardless of those things, there’s definitely value in seeking paid education, but it’s about making sure you are getting the right education. I’m not going to go in to too much detail about what you need seek and need to avoid – you can find more of that in this mentoring article – but the golden rule is simply that ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true’.
Don’t fall for false promises. Be critical.
There is lots of great free content out there. Especially around the basics and theory. The level you need to be parting money with is where you’ll be able to see traders take actual trades (not just signals).
We have lots of blog posts for you to read on this site as well as our YouTube channel (remember to subscribe). For example, here’s a little known FX strategy that occurs now and again that can often make monster profits.
How much time to learn?
Ok, so let’s put come actual numbers together. These are based on teaching and mentoring thousands of traders over many years to provide rough but realistic estimate.
I’m also going to give you a process to structure your learning.
We’re going to assume the trader is spending 90% of their time learning something useful.
There are then three keys to being a successful trader that form the basis for your structure.
The fundamental thing here is to develop these three keys in parallel.
Without a range of trading strategies you cannot be profitable. We like to look at strategies that work on a range of markets. You may have first been introduced to Forex, but there are so many other markets out there to trade. For example a lot of professional traders (including us) will trade the DAX 30 (the German stock market). They’ll use strategies such as swing trades and breakout trades which work across a wide range of financial instruments / markets.
You need to spend your time learning, trying out and implementing trading strategies which suit your evolving trading personality and experience.
You can have the best trading strategies ever created, but if you can’t execute your trades correctly then you have no chance of successfully learning to trade. Please don’t under-estimate this area of importance. It is absolutely fundamental to your success.
The area of psychology you need to be looking at is called behavioral economics and you need to be reading books like this to learn about it.
Recording and analysis
You need to be recording and analysing your trades or you won’t have an objective reference point to make judgements. A trade log and trade journal are both essentials here.
You can record the hard data from your trades and also the subjective element of your psychology.
If you work on all three keys at the same time. You take a trade with discipline and you record it then you can greatly shorten your learning.
This is from a complete beginner’s point of view who can take regular trades. These don’t need to be day trades or short term trades. Longer-term / swing trades are fine here.
This is the where you want to start using a demo account (pretend money / paper money) and then transition in to using a live account and trading small amounts. The demo account will allow you to learn the mechanics of trading i.e. placing trades, orders and other basics.
The recording and analysis will start to develop your consistency and routine.
Once you move to a live account and are trading small (don’t run before you can walk – far too many people try to go too big too soon), your trading psychology will kick in and you will need to note what mistakes, emotions, feelings and temptations you face.
You will now have some experience in the markets and collected data on your trading and trading psychology.
Months 3-6 are to really drill down in to the areas for your development. Which of you strategies make money? Which markets do you prefer to trade? Which currency pairs do you prefer? GBP/USD, EUR/GBP, EUR/USD and so on and so forth. Which strategies do you prefer? Which are making profit and which are not?
In terms of your psychology, what are you struggling with? Running winners? Cutting losses? Over-trading? Hesitating? What do you need to drill down on to take your trading to the next level?
How good is your recording and analysis? What could you record more of? What is your data showing you vs your subjective experience / judgement?
This is where you really need to take your trading up a level. You should have a solid idea of how you want to trade and what you want to trade. You should have a consistent routine and you can start to increase your trading account size if you are trading in a disciplined manner.
You should not be making basic trading errors any longer. This includes running losses, cutting winners, averaging in to losing positions. Basically anything that is going to make you blow up your account.
Your recording and analysis should be focused and consistent. You should have a routine where you do daily, weekly and monthly reviews to identify areas for improvement and development.
At 12 months you should have learnt Forex trading, but there is still more to do.
Best place to learn Forex trading
The best place to learn how to trade Forex is in a live trade room. Adults generally learn by watching other adults do. The additional benefit of live trading is that it shows the people teaching you can actually trade.
Quick tip: If you’re looking to learn from someone who claims to be a trader, ask them if they’re willing to trade in front of you. Live, no hindsight. After all, they must be trading themselves? If they won’t, have a think why.
With some hard work and dedication, it should take you 12 months to learn how to trade Forex / trade other markets – it’s no coincidence our mentoring program lasts 12 months!
You will always be learning with the trading and must always be ready to adapt and change, but that’s part of the thrill and challened.
If you have any questions or comments then please contact us on WhatsApp or Telegram below and we’ll do our best to help.
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