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psycological difference between trading demo and real

Psymon (psymon)
Apr 12 2011 at 14:54
61 posts
Hi all, I am relatively new to this forum but think that the ability to see peoples results is genius.

to the point, i have been trading on and off for a couple of years now, and having recently gotten back into trading and since november i have been trading demo accounts of various sizes with regular profits.

two weeks ago i started trading with a small $2000 account. and have successfully driven it into the ground! I know that there have been many cardinal sins committed by me! But i would greatly appreciate any feed back the members of the forum here could provide with a bare, no holes barred honest evaluation of where it all went wrong?

Apart from the glaringly obvious flaws i think it comes down to two things, firstly this 2k was all i had in savings, and i have recently lost my job. and i needed forex to pay bills straight away. I think that this made me put way to much pressure on the decisions i was making and caused me to second guess myself.

Secondly if a trade started to go against me i would without any reason just close it down, I got the fear. If anyone knows how to get over that please let me know!

Thanks in advance for any constructive criticism..

a link to my private account

its all down hill from here!
Apr 13 2011 at 00:37
423 posts

If everything are private, nobody can evaluate it.

Psymon (psymon)
Apr 13 2011 at 03:12
61 posts
Sorry, i've made everything public...
its all down hill from here!
Apr 14 2011 at 09:53
735 posts
Psymon, what do you think trading is? Isn't it just another profession, like a surgeon, a car mechanic or a teacher? Don't you need years of training and practice to become good in anything?

Take it easy, trade small (like 100 pips = 1 % of capital), and don't compare yourself to others. Don't tell anyone, but the top performers here have around ten years of experience and they paid their tuition fees too.
Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you and who have no agenda for your reform.
uda (uda7805)
Apr 14 2011 at 11:36
103 posts
Hello Psymon
I would be surprise if 1st timer trader like you and me did not face any loses...
Even my 4 years experience trader made loses and close the account.
I believe soon experiece traders will help you with the analysis....

all the best!

Hantam la labuuu. Harap rezeki kat FX nih...
Psymon (psymon)
Apr 14 2011 at 11:44
61 posts
speki, thanks for the feedback, of course your right. I only expect to get better! 🙄

I'm looking for some insight to the adjustment from trading demo to trading real in terms of mental factors (fear of losing mainly), and how to overcome these factors?

I'm guessing that my system is incomplete, because i have no confidence in the trades i'm placing. I'm currently re-assessing and re testing my money management and entry and exit strategy. If in the next couple of weeks the results i get from demo trading that are positive then i'll have another go at trading live.

I have identified a couple of flaws so far! one being the fact that i dont use stops in demo! as crazy as that sounds it works, of course i don't have the balls required to leave them out of a real account! so i'm practicing with placement now.

also i seem not to be able to trade as well when i am following twitter, cnbc, bloomberg etc. Too much information. I am more of a techie trader and will cut down on the amount of information feeds i have while trading.

I take profits too soon and dont let them reach the tp! this is what killed me in reality. having looked over my order history if i had let my trades run i would in most (about 70%) cases have extended my gains.

lastly i sometimes let the little voice in my head override my signals and convince me to trade the wrong way!

thanks guys for continuing to give feed back.

its all down hill from here!
Apr 14 2011 at 12:35
735 posts
No worries Psy. Why don't you go live with small (I mean really small) lots. Some brokers let you trade a single unit of currency - that would be 0.00001 lots. Heard about Oanda? Maybe there are others too. Why don't you try trading 1, 5, 10 units with real money?
You can experiment with your pain threshold. If it's too painful, cut back the size. If you can take losses lightly, you can raise the ante. No hurry. Haste makes waste.
And yes, it might be a good idea to stop following twatter, cnbc, bloomberg etc. if it's only a distraction for you.
Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you and who have no agenda for your reform.
Psymon (psymon)
Apr 14 2011 at 13:56
61 posts
@uda Hello, this is the first time i've tanked an account, about 4 years ago i started trading forex and did well in a couple of live accounts, after about 6 months of practice in a demo. I live in Indonesia and at the time i was in Jakarta, I made enough money to move to bali and take a couple of years off! always thinking that i could just drop back into trading without much hassle.

oh how wrong i was! lolz. I guess my memories are deceiving or maybe i was in a different mind set back then? Still i'll go back to my results and pick them apart until i feel more comfortable.

@speki, I've just tonight opened a micro account, with $100, trading micro lots. I'll have to focus more on the pips gain rather than the actual cash gain! (i know i should anyways!).

Hopefully $100 will be a small enough amount of cash for me not to develop fear and trade my system properly!

Thanks again for all your support

its all down hill from here!
Apr 14 2011 at 14:58
735 posts
Oh, my friend, you tanked only one account in 4 years? You're nowhere on the serial account blower toplist then. Absolutely nowhere. You'd be properly surprised if you knew how many accounts a single person can blow in a short time. A whole lot of accounts...

Surround yourself with people whose eyes light up when they see you and who have no agenda for your reform.
Apr 16 2011 at 23:42
202 posts

psymon posted:

Thanks in advance for any constructive criticism..

a link to my private account

You're not alone....when I started out in forex I drove a $1200 account into the ground.

I glanced over your trade history and the first problem is that many trades lacked a SL....rule #1: never trade without a stop-loss. In addition, you don't want your SL to be too close nor too far away.
Secondly, your position sizes are inconsistent. A good money management rule is to only trade ten times your account size in lots. So if your account is $2000 then you trade 20,000 size positions.

You are making too many small trades.....a couple pips of profit for each trade is honestly a waste of time. Even scalpers (which you, a newbie, should be avoiding) aim for more 10-20 pips per move, otherwise the spread takes away your profits.

I too had the problem with FEAR.....this usually comes about from watching the market TOO MUCH. Another good rule is to only trade at the top of the hour (which is when most banks trade anyways). Even recently (this past week in fact) I made the mistake of 'panicking' and thinking the trade was going to turn against me, so I quickly exited.....well turned out it was a false retracement and instead ended up rallying 150+ pips!!

Anyways, those are just a few tips. Seems to me like you just lacked proper money management (I know I did when I first started). It's not the end of the world. Rather than seeing it as a loss you should see it as an experience.

All that aside, you should never trade money you can't afford to lose.
fortress (fortress)
Apr 25 2011 at 02:29
7 posts
Hi Psymon, I had a look at your trades. Firstly, if you're expecting to pay the bills from profits of $2000, then you're going to be sorely disappointed. As you said you put way too much pressure on yourself and blew your account.

Before you start trading seriously/full-time, you have to ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I have a reliable/profitable trading system - How much back testing have you done?
2. What is your profit to loss ratio? Are your wins bigger than your losses?
3. What is your win to loss ratio? Are you winning more trades than losing?
4. Do you have specific stop and profit take positions before you enter a trade?
5. How much of your capital are you going to risk per trade? (personally I wouldn't recommend anything over 1%, but that's just me - I noticed you lost up to 20% on some trades, that is insane and a sure way to ruin!!!)
6. What is your biggest drawdown?
7. How many trades do expect to make over a week/month/year?
8. After figuring out all the above you should have a pretty good idea of how much you need to make, and how much you're going to make.

After figuring out the above you should have a crystal clear idea of what you expect from your system. All you have to do is trade it, this will completely take out all the emotion from your trading. At the end of each week/month, re-assess the above questions based on your results and keep trading.

FYI I've blown two accounts in the past because I didn't do any of the above. So don't feel so bad. I am concerned that the $2000 was your life savings though. I wouldn't have risked it if were me.

Anyway, goodluck! I hope you get back on your feet.
Gary Sharp myfxpt com
Aug 08 2011 at 23:00
345 posts
Don't go beating yourself over the head. Instead, congratulate yourself for actually DOING what many others only TALK about doing! You've taken the plunge, and like me, blown your account. Welcome to the forex initiation ceremony!

There is some great advice given above, and in particular that given by fortress.

You need to get the psycholgy right, and this means gaining a good working knowledge of money management. Your knowledge of money management, and the employment of trading parameters resulting from money management, will give you the ability to trade without fear, hesitation, and greed. In other words, good money management eliminates the psychological factors that cloud our decision making.

Don't give up!
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