Contrary to what you’ve read on many websites across the web, Forex trading is not going to take your $10,000 account and turn it into $1 million. The amount we can earn is determined more by the amount of money we are risking rather than how good our strategy is. The old saying “It takes money to make money” is an accurate one, Forex trading included.
But that doesn’t mean it is not a worthwhile endeavor; after all, there are many successful Forex traders out there that trade for a living. The difference is that they have slowly developed over time and increased their account to a level that can create sustainable income.
I hear about traders all the time targeting 50%, 60% or 100% profit per year, or even per month, but the risk they are taking on is going to be pretty similar to the profit they are targeting. In other words, in order to attempt to make 60% profit in a year, it’s not unreasonable to see a loss of around 60% of your account in a given year.
“But Rob, I am trading with an edge, so I am not risking as much as I could potentially earn” you might say. That’s a true statement if you have a strategy with a trading edge. Your expected return should be positive, but without leverage, it is going to be a relatively tiny amount. And during times of bad luck, we can still have losing streaks. When we throw leverage into the mix, that’s how traders attempt to target those excessive gains. Which in turn is how traders can produce excessive losses. Leverage is beneficial up to point, but not when it can turn a winning strategy into a loser.