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5 BIG Mistakes Losing Traders Make 

Last Updated: August 1, 2019

By Rayner Teo

You’re excited about the possibility of making consistent profits in the markets.

You have the freedom to do the things you love, better provide the needs of your family, and never be a slave to your job again.

Or perhaps, you just want to know you’re the top 5% of traders who consistently beat the markets.

Whatever the case is, you know it’s a definite possibility — but it isn’t easy.

So to get you started on the RIGHT track, you must avoid these 5 costly mistakes that most traders are unaware of…

You’re trading the wrong timeframe

Here’s the thing…

You probably have a full-time job or you’re running your own business — working 10 to 14 hours a day.


After a grueling day at work, you go home and rush to your trading platform.

You scalp the markets for a few pips while having dinner in front of your monitor.

Before you know it, you’re feeling the heat as your position is moving against you — and your losses are getting LARGER.

3 hours have passed…

It’s almost bedtime, but you’re in a losing trade and refuse to take the loss.

So, you hold up another hour and see if it improves.

It doesn’t.

Eventually, you bite the bullet and take the loss so you can go to bed.

The next day, you wake up for work and rinse repeat the process over again.

And all these while you miss the opportunity to spend time with your family and friends.

Is this what you want?

So here’s the deal…

If you have a full-time job, don’t day trade or scalp the markets — it’s a sure way to kill your relationships and mental health.

You don’t have this most important thing in trading

I used to think…

Trading is 80% psychology.

Trading is about following your plan.

Trading is having proper risk management.

And it’s true.


It’s USELESS if you don’t have an edge.

Let me explain…

Imagine you’re going to gamble in a casino.

You adopt proper risk management and keep your bets small.

You psyche yourself up with positive affirmations like…

“Lady Luck is shining on me!”

“I will make a killing today.”

“I’m unstoppable!”

Well, guess what?

You’re still going to lose.


Because you don’t have an edge over the casino.

Without an edge, even the best risk management and psychology won’t save you.

The bottom line is this…

If you want to be a consistently profitable trader, you must have an edge.

Loneliness is killing you

Remember when you were in school?

You had a teacher for every subject to learn from.

Outside of classes, you had a coach (whether it’s football, basketball, and etc.) to provide feedback so you can improve your game.

And even when you’re “chasing” the girl of your dreams, you have buddies (who are expert at the game), giving you advice, tips & tricks on how to win her over.

Clearly, at every stage of your life, you had someone experienced to give you feedback, advice, and knowledge.

But when it comes to your trading career…

…you’re doing it alone.

And by figuring things out yourself, you face questions like…

“Does this trading strategy work?

Do I have an edge in the markets?

How do I know what works and what doesn’t?”

Now, I’m not saying you can’t make it on your own.

You can… with hard work, determination and paying HUGE fees to Mr. Market.

But imagine:

How much time, effort and MONEY you’ll SAVE if you have a mentor?

In case you’re unaware…

Paul Tudor Jones had Eli Tulis as his mentor.

Jerry Parker had Richard Dennis as his mentor.

Stan Druckenmiller had George Soros as his mentor.

Every one of these legendary traders had someone to guide them to take their trading to the highest level.

What about you?

You’re focusing on the wrong things — and no it’s not your strategy

Can you imagine building a house without designing a plan first?

I sure as hell won’t want to live in that house — not even for a night!

You don’t build a house without first drawing up a plan, a “blueprint” for how the house will look, where the rooms will go, and so on.

And it’s the same for trading.

Many people start by trying different strategies, patterns, indicators they might have learned online.

But, they don’t see the “bigger picture”, so these only get them limited results.


What you need is a process to follow, which serves as a “blueprint”, so you can see how every element fits together — just as a house plan shows you where every room in the house fits together.

You don’t have the correct expectations — here’s the reality

Let me share with you a secret…

During my university days, I had a dream of becoming a full-time trader straight after graduation.

No bosses to answer to.

No need to work for any company.

No need to participate in any politics.

My plan was to take my entire savings of $5,000 and borrow another $5,000 from my dad (for a total of $10,000) to trade full-time.

I figured if I could make $3000 per month, then it’s enough for me to survive and fulfill my dream.

And that’s what I did.

But 6 months into my “trading career”, things didn’t work out the way it’s supposed to.

Not only was I bleeding my trading account, I relied on my parents for financial support.

It’s then I realized I didn’t have the correct expectations to start with.

Here’s why…

No proper skill set

Here’s the thing…

I attempted to trade full-time without having the proper skill set.

Let me ask you, would you allow a surgeon to operate on you if all he/she did was read a few books?

Heck no!

Lack of trading capital

If you think about it, I needed a return of 30% each month to meet my living needs (which isn’t realistic).

This resulted in the “need to make money” syndrome and caused me to break my rules — and led me to take on losses larger than expected.

Bottom line?

Trading isn’t a get rich quick scheme.

It’s a money-making skill to grow your wealth steadily — in bull and bear markets.

At this point:

I’ve covered a lot in this post and shared with you some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my trading career — and how you can avoid it.

In my next post, I’ll share with you my 3 biggest secrets that transformed my trading completely (and it’s not trading psychology or risk management).

For now…

Leave a comment below and share with me the biggest mistake you’ve made in your trading career.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Leave a reply

  • Hi))
    Thank you for your advice, hopeful, I will improve my carrier my following your teaching materials.
    My problem always is overtrading caused by greedy. That is my big challenge I have. I was in deep thinking how can I overcome it.

  • I have not been a long time reader of your posts, but you appear to have made many of the mistakes I have. I hope you have and will continue to share your tips to enable my success. Fred

  • Not being patient and following my plan. Being optomistic and expecting my entry to work out.
    Often to make some pips and then get nervous when the retracement happens.
    Setting stops too close because I wanted to minimise my losses however I gathered a string of small losses and only a few wins.
    Hesitating when my setup was spot on then trying to join the move late.

  • My weaknesses are:

    1. Small capital
    2. Lack of a mentor
    3. Hurry for fast results
    4. Too near Stop Loss
    5 Net result – severe bleeding!!

  • Hi Rayner,

    Thanks for the article.
    It’s true that one shouldn’t try to do scalping while holding a full time job.

    That was my mistake at the beginning.
    It was exactly what I did a few years ago when I started forex trading after attending a 3 day seminar paying about $5k.
    I thought it was easy until I busted my first trading account of $10k.

    I realised it was not easy to have a full time job and trade successfully at the same time.

    The second mistake I made was that I committed to trade on too high a capital when I was a newbie.
    I thought I wanted to recover the cost of my training asap, like the trainer said we could but it was not that easy.
    I then reduced my trading capital drastically to less than $1,000 and it wasn’t so bad when I busted the account because the amount was small- something I could really afford to lose.

    The third mistake was overtrading.
    I opened several sob acccounts with this trading firm that allowed clients to open more than 10 sub-accounts and I tried putting in small amounts in each account up to almost 10 .
    I lost control of them especially when the currency pairs started to be volatile and I got maargin closeouts quite often because I set a ‘mantal stop loss’ instead of a fixed stop loss keyed into the trading platform.

    Now, after 3 years of experience it was so much better and the annual profits have been reasonable, like the whole of 2017, I was positive.
    Thank you for all your weekly training videos.
    I learned a lot of good trading tips from you.

  • Hi Rayner

    My biggest problem has been lacking confidence in myself i started trading in 2012 but am still nowhere, reason being i trusted wrong people to trade my account for me hoping they will make me money but all of them ended up blowing my accounts, i would say that trading requires a free mind but as for me my mind is always busy and too impatient too and i think it’s because of the losses which i have had in the past oh lastly i lacked a mentor as well even though i had thought that i couldn’t make it by myself but i continued

  • My first time into trading 20 years ago I made a HUGE faux pas! I suspected orange juice would be going down based on the charts and seasonality. I shorted the market and watched the market go limit up THREE DAYS IN A ROW! Freeze warning wiped my small account out! Of course the juice dropped like a rock for 2 weeks after that. Moral of the story… STAY OUT OF MARKETS WITH NO LIQUIDITY!!!!

  • Very good post Rayner!

    My first mistake: not having a plan (a written plan, not just mental plan), covering all trading aspects (market to trade, timeframe, entry criteria, position sizing, exist criteria, stop loss, etc.). Work in progress…

    My second mistake: having too closed stop loss. I entered in the right direction in many cases, but stopped out too early. I have not yet fully solved this (I have a win/lose rate around 30%)…

    My third mistake: I trade just only one market (local stock market) which was not giving me enough trading opportunities when trading on medium-long term as a part time trader. Not yet fully overcame this…

    So after 5 years (I’m a patience guy) I’m still break even, but I have learnt a lot during this journey, and I’m still committed to successfully trade for a living!

    • Hey Georgio

      Great sharing!

      I agree that setting stops too tight will get you out of the trade way too early.

      Thus, you can consider giving it more buffer.


  • Hei Rayner

    Thank you for sharing. Really nice of you as others would charged money for all the stuff you present.
    I have done nearly all the mistakes you mention in your posts . As having limited time and tried out far too many different setups and following all sorts on twitter. Puuhhh.
    Rally looking forward to your premium trading course. And I am sure I will be happy to pay for it:)

  • One of the biggest problems i faced and still face now is lack of Patience and discipline.
    This made me jump form strategy to strategy from book to book always looking for the “holy Grail” that simply does not exist.
    With time I have been getting much better. Self discipline and patience is KEY in this business.
    Stop chasing the perfect indicator, the perfect set up or the perfect strategy.
    Stop wasting time and learn to trade.

  • This piece is actually directed to me. I have lost great amount of money and sleepless nights and I want to learn your strategy…

  • Hi Rayner,
    I always read your post because you give me valuable idea in trading and it reflects to my trading styles. Thank you for your advice.

  • Hi Rayner,
    Your blog is filled with things that can be related easily with most traders including myself who has been losing money.

    Looking forward to read more as to how you become profitable.

  • Hey Rayner

    Great post! It made me realize that i’m not alone in this not to get it right the 1st time.

    My mistakes in trading are:

    1. I’m too quick to take profit on my winning trades especially when i experience a retracement.

    2. Sometimes i rush to enter into a trade/for the fear of missing out.

    3. My risk management is not proper/lot size i use is not aligned to my account size.

    4. I’m impatient to wait for set ups aligned to my trading plan which eventually leads me to taking trades with less ticks of my checklist.

    5. Lastly is i’m setting my goal too high in terms of wanting to make more money monthly because i wanna leave my current job & trade full time!

  • Rayner excellent post! Thank you for sharing and giving us hope and sound advice in our trading careers. Your words are great inspiration to let us know that there is always hope. Thank you very much for your help!

  • You are seriously on point bro. I started off with every wrong steps/actions (no defined strategy, trading without a defined system, over reliance on multiple indicators, trading the wrong time-frame) as you have rightly mentioned and that left me with zero capital. Now i have gone back to demo trading which i should have started with in the first place. I agree with you on the place of mentor ship too.

  • Thanks for sharing yours experience with us, I also makes all being said mistakes… No need for repeating.
    But what I think we new babies in trading don’t do is that we don’t give it time to demo trade, it’s when you do a lots of virtual training and trading that you will pick your skills and experience.
    Have lost a lot of money but I went back to demo and their I learnt to keep it calm, I learnt d best time frame for myself, how to place stop loss and how to exit! And since then having doing well with my real acct. Even still I have both real and demo accounts.its really help.
    Adekunle from Nigeria

  • Thanks Rayner

    These are indeed are the practical disciplines I lack which in turn causes abundant sum of losses.

    -Due to exaggerated return of investment expectations
    -High value money planning before adequate market edge and financial knowledge
    -Proper Risk Management (Following your strategy)

    Please kindly share factors to consider when designing a trading strategy that will give you an edge on the market and ensure financial substainability.

    Forever thankful for your insight.

  • Rayner, Thank you for an insightful and practical post that says ot like it is. I have viewed all your videos and learned so much. I will be viewing them again and again until I get your message. You are a fantastic teacher and sincere person. Just following your tip on letting winners run has changed my trading. May the Almighty bless you for your selflessness and multiply your blessings. And all the best to every trader that posted.

  • A very good article. Thank you for replicating the life of a typical day trader. Very often, I do have a plan in place but I don’t follow they when I trade. I get carried away with the news and enter into the trades which I have not planned and end up loosing money. Please share the tips of a trader psychology and how to ensure we stick to our trading plan what ever may be the situation.

  • I recently got trained and wanted to make enough profit asap. however I discovered the following weaknesses:

    1. Too small initial capital
    2. Lack of a mentor
    3. Hurry for fast results
    4. Stop Loss not well placed
    5 lots of losses recorded on daily basis.
    6. Overtrading

  • Me and my husband went into trading without knowing a single thing about trading . We used to follow people’s calls with no stop loss in place . We rallied an account from 1200 to 48,000 . We thought this meant it’s all easy to trade . Then most of the indices went into correction we were in deep red and kept saying to ourselves the market will go up , you all must be reading this thinking what stupid peoPle . We kept adding money to the account to hold it before we knew it we had pumped in 121000 just to hold money we had borrowed from our parents and sister . The account had 142,000 in total . We had too many positions , and would hedge them at times when market was against us . Then remove hedges at a big loss coz we would hedge at a low or high at most times . Our losses brought us down to 108,000 . We then took more losses brought the account down to 78,000 . In desperation we found someone to help us with the account after 6 months through this tormenting period . We gave him access to the account and got our account statement , realized 21000 had gone to charges and commissions, it reached a point the account only had 10,000 holding all the negative positions . We never wanted to take losses ever so quickly . The guy adviced us to close everything and start over he will help us rally the account back from the 10k . First week he did so well rallied it to 13,000 . Following week he dropped the acc to 6k . We pleaded with him to trade small positions, he said he knew what he was doing next thing he wiped out the whole account . Now we only have £8 in the acc . I have got a job taking a year to learn how to trade so we can rally the account back and we are paying our debt slowly and will hopefully cover the rest of it after we have learnt . I have given myself a year to develop a strategy and learn four hours a day till am confident . This is the story of two dumb individuals wish us luck .

  • Thanks for the guide. I am currently at this point now. Have lost 10k dollars. Am at the point of giving up. But seeing that you passed through this stage and fixed it by discipline, I am resolved to get myself disciplined and follow the guide you will provide.
    I look forward to your next post.
    Thank you

  • Hi Rayner,

    Mind blowing article, really slap my face and mind. Been through numerous trading experience from stock market, forex, lastly binary trading…also joined various signal channel, trading guru channel from free to paid signal. All of them promise get rich quick scheme, 50%-100% per day profit, numerous screenshot of big profits they made each every day and etc. Then found your video, article, and advise….it wake me up. Will learn and do some hard work again, thank you Rayner.

  • Hi Teo I’d like your opinion on MEAN REVERSION.
    I read a lot about this but I like your comment on the matter.
    Thank you

  • Hi Rayner,

    Your post is really helpful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    May God bless you more for sharing your skills!


  • Dear Rayner, that was me before I retired(early) I was working a full time job and trying to day trade looking back on it I had many sleepiness nights, and lost lots of money. After I retired I decide to find the holy grail on which I went from strategy to strategy for a couple of years by paper trading. Read many, many books, but I notice my trading wasn’t getting no better. It was not until I realize that the Holy Grail of trading lies within me the person who I am then I could focus. On matters such as patience, money management, and processes. looking back at it I think my biggest problem was wanting to be right, and the fear of losing those are two demons in trading that are hard to over come. I am not where I want to be in trading but I am a long way from where I use to be. Rayner you have help me, and many other traders a lot a lot and I Thank God for you. Being retired I trade the micro currencies , longer term and can say 2017 was a profitable year.

    Thank You

  • Thanks Rayner . My hope to get it right is more now than ever. I thought the trade is easier as I was told during my seminar. I started with demo but I was eager to go live and prove my success in making extra income from forex. The first week was great even without clear plan , but my quick to take profit on winning trade and never want to close on loss blew my account. Mentorship is key to successful trade

  • Thanks Rayner
    I heard of forex not too long and I have decided to trade full time. I have actually read books to know everything about the whole forex market. Upon watching your videos and messages and the experience of other traders, I have learned and noticed the things I need to do to succeed in forex.
    I have actually made you my mentor and have adopted “the trend following strategy” as mostly used by you. I’m demo trading with it and following all the advice you give.
    I want to thank you very much for the training.

  • Hi rayner
    IV been trading from last 6 months.
    I’m improving bit. But I want to know how to hold onto winners and how to place perfect stop loss.
    My entry is good but im not able to hold for weeks .im seeing profits in my tardes but they are getting wiped out after couple of days.

  • Rayner,
    Thanks for your good thing that you shared, I’m Thai. Not trade forex but trade Thailand index future for 3 months, I’m losing money and try to find an edges. I know why I loss, I’m lacking discipline and hope the market come into my direction. Your story and youtube help me a lot. I will always follow your post. May be someday I’ll try Forex too.

    Thank you.

  • i dnt know how many pips should my trailing stop loss be? sometimes i make $30 from a trade of 0.01 but when the market turns back to hit my stop i gain $2 or $ many pips can i trail my stop

    • There’s no “correct” answer to it.

      It largely depends on the type of trend you want to capture, whether it’s short, medium, or long-term trend.

      Then you can use an appropriate trailing stop to meet your goals.

  • Hi mate your article is definitely helpful Im using it now although I have had lots of loosers and lots of winners.My problem seems to be the strategy that I have made works for a while then turns around and becomes not as reliable which I presume means that when the market changes its ugly head it becomes useless.I need to find a strategy that is profitable in all market conditions.The trouble is its very concerning how many scammers are out there and how many people are being scammed you must make sure you check the broker that you are considering using and make sure they are regulated in the country of their origin there is not enough discussion on this subject.Do not join the first broker that you find it will cost you dearly I know I have done it .Another thing is most people will tell you they have the best, for want of a better word system that works all the time BUT YOU NEED TO GIVE THEM MONEY and lots of it so they can tell you how to do trading correctly.There are a few out there who are genuine and my belief is Raynor is one of them, the amount of things he has explained FOR FREE is impressive.The biggest thing is don’t give up find a mentor that is genuine .Im using one of Raynors strategys now that being the double tops and double bottoms and so far so good .Thanks Raynor for helping the little guy the guy that needs all the help he can get and that means me as well .Happy trading everyone.

    • Hi Philip

      No market trends all the time.

      No range sustains all the time.

      No strategy works all the time.

      That’s why you MANAGE RISK all the time.

      And thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it.

  • Hi Champ, aka forex superman.
    thanks for the transforming article. I appreciate you and i rallied behind your advice.

    ‘Paul Tudor Jones had Eli Tulis as his mentor.

    Jerry Parker had Richard Dennis as his mentor.

    Stan Druckenmiller had George Soros as his mentor’

    I can confidently say i have you as my mentor. ever since i followed you, the game changed. i used 98% of your strategy, i am a profitable trader period.

  • Hi Rayner,

    My problem is closing profit too soon as I have experienced trades reversing from profit to hitting my SL. On the other hand, I let bad trades hit my stop loss hoping the trend would reverse back to my expectation.

    Looking forward to your pieces of advise.

    Thank you.

    • Hey Francisco

      That’s a common thing and the price you’ll have to pay if you want to catch a trend.

      A trade shouldn’t be judged as good/bad based on the outcome, but the process you follow through with it.

  • Hi Rayner.
    Wasted lots of time on strategies.
    Trading a lot of pairs and still losing.
    Being impatient was probably my worse enemy.

    I can advise new traders to diligently do what you say because you are honest with us.

    Have a great day and be blessed.

  • Hi Raynor and all those that contributed, I have wiped out a few demo accounts and heard and read much. I ave experienced most of what people have mentioned, I am more interested in the cryptocurrency markets which I get the gist are different and also not quite what you recommend by the sound of things due to volatility I would imagine.
    One thing has been puzzling me in respect to the time frame you mentioned I hope in another post you can elaborate on this a bit more please.
    Thank you so much I am glad I am learning before actua;lly loosing, it seems I have a lot to learn still.
    Very best.

  • Hi Rayner.
    my biggest mistake or mistakes rather are..
    1 I was not patient and i did not analyse the market properly
    2 I did not have a trading plan
    3 I Traded with emotion..meaning that i took losses very badly because all i wanted to do was to be in profit always…without having to analyse the market properly

  • Hello Rayner, the main mistake I made starting with this business was filling me with indicators (Holy Grail) and taking courses with people who never really traded once, but it was more profitable to sell courses.
    I have about 4 years of learning and the road has been tortuous, at first as lost came revenge, this torpedio in turn the family relationship, because I had hours on the PC.
    About a year and a half ago, I met the price action, I took two months of vacation, without metatrader in between and started again, under that new perspective, 100% improvement, although I did not earn, nor lost my new capital, small but So I began to study in real account, because I do not believe in the usefulness of the demo.
    I designed a strategy after reading so much, watching tutorials, etc., and working with exponential mobile averages of 21, 55 and 200 in 4H and 1H time frames, horizontal and dynamic supports and resistance and trend lines.
    I kept making many mistakes that had me on the verge of madness, not throwing in the towel, yes, three months ago I met Reyner by tweet and started to change everything, to clarify everything and see the light on the way.
    Here we go with a good roadmap, with some confusions but my improvement has been 80%, thank you very much for your tutorials and teaching which for me are of great value.
    Greetings from Colombia.
    Translated by Google

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