You don't need to be perfect to trade profitably - FTMO
Trading Psychology

You don't need to be perfect to trade profitably

Forex traders sometimes feel that they have to make their strategy, entries and exits perfect, otherwise they cannot be profitable in the long run. However, the relentless pursuit of perfection often has exactly the opposite effect.

The fact that most novice traders want to find their holy grail in trading that will ensure 100% profitability has been mentioned in our articles several times. That there is no such thing is also a known truth. However, the problem for some traders is that they are still trying to find the perfect strategy that will generate the most profitable trades possible. In short, they strive for perfection at all costs, not realising that it actually costs them money.

Perfection is the enemy of good

There is a famous aphorism that "perfect is the enemy of good". Simply put, this means that striving for perfection can be futile because perfection does not exist. Striving for the perfect solution only leads to failure, and clinging to perfection prevents us from improving.

This is true in everything, including trading. The trading environment is admittedly quite specific and traders often feel that they have to hone their strategy to a perfection that would allow them to trade without emotion and make regular returns. In reality, however, there is no such thing as a perfect approach to the markets. You will never be able to time your trades to achieve the perfect entry and exit.

You should get used to the opposite, where you may well end up with more losing trades than profitable ones. Or, in short, you reduce your RRR and accept lower profits so that you don't have to worry about a large number of losing trades.

Don't over-optimise

For some traders, the pursuit of perfection and strategy tuning can lead to them being virtually unable to open any trades. In short, their strategy is so over-optimised that it is actually unable to give the trader enough signals to enter the market. Yes, moderation is welcome in the markets, but limiting the number of trades often results in a trader simply trying to be too perfect, this is more likely a mistake. And then when a trader looks at how many "imperfect" signals he could have turned into profits, it can affect him psychologically in a very negative way.

The problem also arises when a trader has a tested strategy that works, but a series of several losing trades make him doubt it. He starts tinkering with the strategy, tweaking and improving it so that it eventually becomes unusable. Yet all he would have to do is accept a few losing trades, or lower his profit expectations and quietly realise smaller profits.

From perfection to paralysis

An even worse case of striving for perfection is when the trader can't handle it mentally. The trader has all the rules down, following risk management is no problem for him, but he is unable to enter a trade because his last few trades have accidentally failed. These may not have been bad trades, but sudden events in the markets led to good signals ending up on Stop Losses. Striving for perfection simply leads to an unnecessary lack of confidence in one's own abilities.

And again we must remind you that you don't have to be a trader who trades at all costs, and overtrading will never be an approach we would endorse. But not trading at all because you are not perfect is not the solution to the problem either.

Average as a basis for long-term profitability

In reality, you just need to be sort of average. It will be quite enough if you succeed in 5 to 6 trades out of ten, or if you have an RRR slightly above 1:1 in favour of profits. It will be quite enough if you make one or two trades a day (if you trade intraday), or just a couple of trades a week (if you are willing to hold trades overnight). When you want to be perfect, you treat every losing trade as a personal loss, adding unnecessary stress. When you let go of the quest for perfection, you start treating losing trades as "training", an opportunity to learn. Eventually, you will enter trades with a much more balanced mind, and you will be pleasantly surprised by your increasing success and profits.

Accepting that you don't have to be perfect will actually go a long way in making you happier and more balanced, both in trading and in other aspects of your life. If we think of it like grades in school, you don't have to get a perfect grade, you just have to be good. And being good at trading is great, isn't it? Trade safe!

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