Forex traders: marksmen vs. machine-gunners

Think of a highly disciplined police marksman: he (or she) concentrates on a limited number of targets, has no intention of using a lot of bullets and is prepared to wait patiently, no matter how fraught the situation becomes, until the right moment arises. This may seem a slightly grim analogy, but the smartest Forex traders share similar characteristics.

EURO coins with forex trading bars on background.

By contrast, those whose Forex trading strategies resemble a Machine Gun Joe tend to exhaust themselves and their opportunities early on.

Marksmen traders never take a shot in the first few minutes. They might take hours, even weeks, before their target becomes visible and available for a clean hit. These highly disciplined traders, like marksmen, have to keep themselves alert and remain extraordinarily patient. Traders who can replicate half the amount of patience trained marksmen show take the long view. They’re far more likely to finish the year richer than they were at the start.

Marksmen live by three core virtues: patience, control and specificity. Traders who can control their emotions and who have specific goals are far better equipped to see things through to a fruitful outcome than people who let themselves go on an emotional roller-coaster ride, aiming at anything that seems to be moving. The marksmen trader knows which instruments to choose and when to use them – hence the need for specific goals.

For people starting to learn how to trade Forex, a useful tip is this: in Forex, less is often more. Machine Gun Joe traders don’t get this; they frequently try to profit from too many trades, hoping to get quick results. The marksman trader, however, knows that the fewer the number of targets, the bigger the opportunity and the reward. In the same way, the fewer the number of analytics, news feeds, market predictors and polls a trader has to contend with, the better the chances of focusing on that small number of specific goals and making money.