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FOREX Trade Real Money Early

Currency trading is getting "hotter" by the day: just try to count how many forex broker ads you see on the internet. While some of these firms strictly focus on trade execution, others offer online seminars, message boards and trading advice for novices. One such tip I've recently read said this: "Start trading real money early." Here's the rationale behind it:

Trading a demo forex account is a game. Your real risk is zero, and so is the degree of your emotional involvement with each trade. When you put real money at risk your attitude changes - and often for the worse. Your confidence collapses, and your emotions run wild. As a result, 90% of all forex traders lose money, 5% break even, and only 5% "smile all the way to the bank." Trade real money early, summed up the article, but trade small, and consider losses part of your "trader education expense."

What an excellent piece of advice, I thought. It resonates with what Robert Prechter, EWI's founder and CEO, wrote about paper trading years ago. Hardly a novice to trading, in 1984, Mr. Prechter set an all-time record in the U.S. Trading Championship by returning 444.4% on a monitored real-money options account. Here is a quick excerpt from his article "What a Trader Really Needs to Be Successful":

"Paper trading is useful for the testing of methodology, but it is of no value in learning about trading. In fact, it can be detrimental, by imbuing the novice with a false sense of security in 'knowing' that he has successfully paper traded the past six months, thus believing that the next six months with real money will be no different. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

"Why? Because the markets are not merely an intellectual exercise. They are an emotional (and in extreme cases, even physical) one as well. In short, you must conquer a host of problems, most of them related to your own inner strength in battling powerful human emotions. The School of Hard Knocks is the only school that will teach it to you, and the tuition is expensive."

Very few people can win in the forex consistently. If you ask them, they'll usually tell you it took them years of practice to get to that point. Proper preparation is hard. But even if you have developed a personal system of money and risk management, that's not all - now you have the have the discipline to actually follow it.

The other half of the trading battle is forecasting the markets correctly. Strictly a probabilities game, it is nevertheless possible to find a method that will help you stay on the right side of the trade. To learn where Elliott waves say currency markets are headed, you can read our latest forecasts right now.

By Vadim Pokhlebkin
Elliott Wave International