“As a beginner, you are very emotional with your wins and losses which may lead to psychological mistakes”

Beginners and less experienced traders often have troubles with managing their emotions. However, mistakes caused by poor psychological setting are not exclusive only to the newcomers. Our FTMO Traders Kevin, Thomas, Dirk and Andrew certainly had to deal with similar issues too and they shared their experiences gained while conquering FTMO Challenge.

Trader Dirk Matthijs: “If you’ve practiced enough (you know when you did), you know what to do.”

What was easier than expected during the FTMO Challenge or Verification?

Honestly, passing the challenge itself. I have been on and off demo trading for about 4 years and only traded real money two times and I didn’t really get anywhere at the time (about 3 years ago). I heard about the FTMO Challenge many times, but never really considered trying it until recently. I do know that I’m a good trader, but actually doing it for real did make me a bit nervous at the start. Once I realized I just needed to do the same thing as I have practiced, it went pretty smoothly.

How did you manage your emotions when you were in a losing trade?

I usually try to close losers early, unless I have a specific reason not to (like a smaller Stop Loss, for example). But I usually stay pretty calm about it because I know that my winners are bigger most of the time.

What was the most difficult during your FTMO Challenge or Verification and how did you overcome it?

In the first week I was a bit nervous and made a few trading mistakes. That was the most difficult part for me, to stay confident when it’s for real. I did some meditation a few times and I think that helped to get my mind in a quiet place.

Has your psychology ever affected your trading plan?

It did in the first week of the challenge, but after that I managed to stick to the plan.

What do you think is the key for long-term success in trading?

I don’t think there’s one key. There are so many ways to be a successful trader. But it’s really the mindset and confidence that makes all the difference for me. I know how to find a good entry and get good profits, but I have to believe it too and believe in my skills. I’m there now, but it takes lots of practice.

One piece of advice for people starting the FTMO Challenge now.

If you’ve practiced enough (you know when you did), you know what to do. Don’t deviate from your trading plan and strategy all of a sudden. Do what you’ve always done. Now go do it!

Trader Kevin: “Trust your trading plan, whether you are down 5% or 7%.”

What was the hardest obstacle on your trading journey?

The hardest part was to control my emotions when trades were not working in my favor. Mostly when I was negative overall, I did not want to lose more than I had already.

Do you have a trading plan in place, and do you follow it strictly?

Yes, I do have a very strict trading plan. I actually do not enter the market until I have certain pieces in place.

Describe your best trade.

The best trade was when I was analyzing US30.cash during my FTMO Challenge. According to my RSI and the moving averages I used; the market has a high probability to make a downtrend movement. So, very confident I took the trade, I risked about 1% of the account, and I ended up with a little bit over 10% back.

What was easier than expected during the FTMO Challenge or Verification?

The Verification process was easier than expected but just because we have more time to complete the profit goal.

How did you eliminate the factor of luck in your trading?

By studying the market over 10 hours a day, backtesting, and sticking to my trading plan.

One piece of advice for people starting the FTMO Challenge now.

Before getting into any challenge take advantage of the Free Trial challenges, and do as many as you wish, treat them just like if you paid for them. Whether you fail or not, look at what you did right and what you did wrong, so whenever you pay for the challenge, you do not make the same mistake. Trust your trading plan, whether you are down 5% or 7%, keep doing what made you succeed before, bad streak happens to all of us.

Trader Thomas: “Patience is by far the most important attribute for a trader.”

What was the hardest obstacle on your trading journey?

My hardest obstacle was being patient. I used to take trades that didn’t fit my plan in the hope that I would get lucky, however, I have now realised that it is better only to take trades that tick every box in my criteria, as this ensures that my edge is being carried out.

How would you rate your experience with FTMO?

I have enjoyed my experience with FTMO so far. I think the opportunity is great and I love how clean and easy the app and the website are.

Has your psychology ever affected your trading plan?

In my opinion, psychology will have affected every trader in their journey. This is because as a beginner you are very emotional with your wins and losses which may lead to psychological mistakes such as revenge trading or FOMO.

What was easier than expected during the FTMO Challenge or Verification?

I found it easy to stay away from the drawdown limits as I only ever went less than 1% from the starting balance in both FTMO Challenges.

What do you think is the most important characteristic/attribute to become a profitable trader?

Patience is by far the most important attribute for a trader in my opinion. You have to be able to go weeks without a winning trade and not let your strategy fold. You also need the patience to not take a trade when there is a setup which fits all but one of your criteria, as this would ruin your edge if you took it.

What is the number one advice you would give to a new trader?

Backtest your strategy and work out statistics such as, the win rate, the average win size and how long you have gone without a win. These stats will help you to stick to your strategy, as you know that you will be profitable in the long term if you stick to it.

Trader Andrew: “Keep psychology and emotion out of the way.”

What was easier than expected during the FTMO Challenge or Verification?

I wouldn’t say any of it was “easy” as such, the whole challenge is perfectly designed to test all your skills as a trader, and I loved every second of it. I’d say the thing I loved the most about the FTMO Challenge & Verification was how when you surpass the minimum day requirements after meeting all necessary targets, how you can move onto the next step. It makes the challenge & verification process quick and smooth.

Has your psychology ever affected your trading plan?

It used to. I’ve been trading for 4 and a bit years now and battling psychology, alongside emotion, were probably some of the most intense months of my life. However, once you overcome psychology in trading you see how it has no place and it will just intensify a loss more than it should and will make you miss out on potential positions.

How did you eliminate the factor of luck in your trading?

By trying and testing a trading strategy and a trading plan until I got every element perfect.

What was more difficult than expected during your FTMO Challenge or Verification?

I expected it to be difficult and, to be honest, what I expected came to pass. The FTMO Challenge and Verification are very well thought out and prepared so kudos to you guys at FTMO.

What inspires you to pursue trading?

Trading is something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. It’s a skill that not many can be asked to learn. So in a way, traders are unique. But for me, what inspires me to pursue trading is to teach others how to master this skill.

What would you like to say to other traders that are attempting the FTMO Challenge?

Don’t give up. I was in drawdown in both, the FTMO Challenge & Verification, by about 5%. Keep psychology and emotion out of the way, stick to your plan and as you can see you can recover any loss. And if you fail, you tried and you should be incredibly proud because some people don’t even try.