There’s a thin line between trading and just gambling

The statement above can be very true for many people. It was also very true for me too for so many years. It is very easy to adopt a gambler’s mentality when trading the financial markets, especially when you are expecting trading to be exciting and you are viewing it as some cash slot machine. How you view your trading account makes all the difference and has an impact in your performance. There are a number of contributing factors which may lead a Forex trader into becoming just one more gambler without even being aware. On this post, I want to focus on this one big factor listed below.

Trading psychology

From the day a Forex trader decides to go from a demo to a live account, things change in so many ways. The trades that they do become emotion based instead of logic based. They become indecisive about so many things, like when to take profits, or when to cut the losses and whether to enter the market or not. If you start to feel like that, you have just discovered the effects of trading psychology. It is just a phase that is likely to pass if you really want it to pass. What you do after that, will determine whether you’ll succeed or you’ll become a gambler.

How does this affect your trading?

It actually clouds your judgement. There are two most important emotions that I am sure every trader has experienced in their trading career, these two are:

  • Fear
  • Greed


Fear can either cause you not to place a trade even when opportunities are plenty in the market, or it can make to you to close good running trades prematurely without giving them a chance to actually be profitable, and it can also cause you to hold on to a losing trade even when there is no hope for that particular trade, for the fear of being a loser. As long as one stays in the market, this emotion will at some point affect them. We all go through it at some stage of our trading journey or career.

The good news though is that it does get better with time. Actually, it does disappear completely. Think of the first time you had to be in the car driving alone and think of yourself now when driving alone. The fear that you had is no longer there. But if you stopped driving on that first day just because you became too scared and you ended up crashing your car, you would not be as experienced today. What made you become better was the fact that you never stopped driving and you faced your fears head on. That gave you strength to keep on trying and improving. You did not park your car and go back to public transport. It’s not just driving, there are so many other situations when you had fear and today you are a master in that area of your life simply because you did not give up.


Greed is the most dangerous zone, you don’t want to find yourself here. This emotion can cause you to take trades that are too risky with an aim to score big or to make massive profits in a short space of time or it can also be just about trying to appear clever and impress the crowd or even to be seen as the best. Greed can also make you to not close winning trades hoping that you can still make more out of them.

This emotion causes a trader never to be satisfied even when they make profits. They keep on holding on to a trade until they sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the markets. When they are finally on the wrong side of the markets, they want to trade even more by opening more trades in the opposite direction to make up for a loss.

The good news again is that this emotion can be dealt with effectively as long as you are willing to put in the work that is needed. A good mentor/ coach is able to assist with such issues. I work together with my mentees to help them deal with these issues and I have had successful cases (but only where there was willingness and commitment from a mentee) Should you need private lessons, mentorship and coaching, you can enrol here.

Just like any other business whether online or offline, risk becomes part of it, but it should be a calculated risk because if it is not, it can eventually lead to the business closure. In closing, we can all be profitable traders as long as we understand that we never lose but learn, and we focus more on being consistent and getting it right because by getting it right, the profits start pouring eventually. Thank you for stopping by. If you find value in this post, kindly share with your peers and subscribe for weekly publications. You can also download the App on Google Playstore for a quick read and weekly tips which are only posted on the App.

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