Opportunities to make money online abound and Forex trading is one of them. Having received quite a number of inquiries about Forex trading (partly because I once traded Forex) I decided to chat up one of my FB friends, Ken Githaiga. He is very knowledgeable about Forex and he was kind enough to allow me to interview him. He shares his perspectives in this blog post. Here goes. Enjoy!
Hey Ken. I’m thrilled to have you on my blog. First off, how and when did you get started in Forex trading and what attracted you to it?
Ken: Thank you very much for inviting me here. It’s a great honor to feature in one of my favorite blogs. I started Forex in December 2008. At that time I had just left college and was looking for an opportunity to make money, but I was not really interested in an office job. I had this feeling that one can make money online but I didn’t have an idea how. Like most of us have done, I typed the words “make money online” on Google and that’s how my journey started. I got all online money-making ideas and I read almost everything I could come across on the topic: SEO, Affiliate marketing, CPAs, etc.
That’s also when I learned about online Forex trading. What really attracted me to it is that I would not need to spend lots of time on the computer, like it is the case with other online jobs. Another thing is that I love working with numbers, probabilities, charts and that kind of stuff, so when I saw about Forex, I knew from the start it was the kind of job for me.
Awesome! How did you learn how to trade? Did anyone teach you how to go about it or were you for the most part self-taught?
Ken: I learned how to trade mostly by reading articles online on forexfactory.com, and watching videos on YouTube. I’ve met many Kenyan Forex traders but none of them really taught me how they do it. I made very many trading mistakes which cost me a lot of money when I was getting started, but looking back I’m glad I made those mistakes because that’s when I learned the most important lessons. In fact, one of the reasons I decided to train people is so that they don’t repeat those mistakes.
How has trading changed your life and what have you learned about being a Forex trader?
Ken: Trading and working online in general has given me a lot of freedom to live life on my own terms. I don’t need to rely on anyone in order to earn a living. I have the freedom to move to any part of the world, without having to worry about my job. I also have the freedom to choose when to work, how to work, whom to work with, and also the freedom to choose what to wear.
So is Forex trading what you do full-time or is there something else you are pursuing?
Ken: First of all, Forex does not take much of my time. I look at the charts for 5 minutes at 7 am, 11 am, 3 pm, 7 pm, and 11 pm. I’ll also look at the charts at 3 am if I’ll be awake at that time. That’s a total of 30 minutes or less per day. In fact, I spend more time taking a tea break than I spend “working” on Forex. I am a trained accountant, so from time to time, I work on accounting/auditing projects from clients. I am also an Introducing broker for Hotforex.
Great to hear Ken. Could you please describe a typical day in your trading life?
Ken: Actually you can’t tell that I’m a Forex trader by looking at my life. I usually wake up at 6.45 a.m, check the 7a.m chart candle while still in bed. If there’s an opportunity to trade, I’ll open the trade, set my targets and go on with my other businesses for the day. I’ll then check the charts again at 11am, 3pm and 7pm as I had stated before. If I’m in the middle of an important meeting, I can still check the charts on my phone.
Just like playing chess, 99% of Forex trading happens in the mind and takes only a few seconds to move the pieces (i.e, clicking the “buy” or “sell” button). It doesn’t really take one’s time when you know what you’re doing.
Nice. So who do you consider to be a successful trader? A successful trader is one who…?
Ken: Hmmm… I’d say a successful trader is one who doesn’t lose sleep after he has had a bad trading week. One who keeps low draw-downs and has full confidence in his trading system in a way that he can have TEN or even TWENTY losses in a row and still continue using the same strategy, which eventually makes him a nice profit. A trader who doesn’t think making 1000 pips in one day is a big deal. To me that’s a successful Forex trader.
I once dabbled in Forex trading and I know that there are certain methods used in trading for example, fundamental analysis and technical analysis? What approach do you use to trade?
Ken: I’ve tested out both trading styles but technical analysis is the one which gives me the best results. I use only one indicator (The exponential moving average) with candlesticks on the four hour chart. It’s the same method that I share with anyone who’s learning Forex from me.
Is Forex a high risk-high reward kind a thing? Or does one need to be conservative in your opinion?
Ken: Forex itself is not risky. It’s the leverage that people put on their Forex accounts which makes the trades risky. A trader who uses a 1:500 leverage on his account will see Forex as a risky, get rich quick program because it’ll take very few pips to double (or lose all of) his money, but someone trading on 1:10 leverage will see it as a rather safe, slow but sure way of building a stable online business.
What are some of the typical trading mistakes that you see people making?
Ken: Traders get in the market with the unrealistic expectation that they’ll get rich overnight. They over-leverage the account in hopes that they’ll make a ‘killing’ by simply predicting which direction the price will go. The biggest mistake that traders make is over-leveraging their trading accounts, followed by trader’s failure to stick to one system. Many Forex traders will dump a system after a few losses and move on to search for another ‘holy grail’ system, which they’ll still dump after a number of losses.
Hopping from one system to another only brings losses and frustration. What most traders don’t know is that losing is part of trading.
Let’s say Jane Doe wants to start Forex trading. What advice would you give her? What are some things that she needs to consider? How much money should she invest? How much time? Is it advisable to take a loan to trade Forex?
Ken: I’d advice her to treat Forex like any other business and not like a get rich quick scheme. She should ignore all the internet noise about traders and marketers who have strategies that make millions overnight. Jane Doe should focus only on her Forex education. Let her read as many books as possible because the more she learns and understands market cycles, the easier it’ll be for her to make profits.
I also like to advice my students to lower their expectations on the kind of profit they’ll make during their first few months. The fact is, it’s almost impossible to make good (or any) profits as a beginner. The good news is, you cannot be a beginner forever. You’ll eventually move out of that stage and the profits will start tickling in and keep growing from there. Start off with a demo account and ONLY move to a live account after you’ve safely doubled your demo account.
About taking a loan, I wouldn’t advice a beginner to take a loan. However, in my
opinion, a seasoned trader who has a proven strategy that is making consistent profits can take a loan.
Which are some of the reputable Forex brokers that you recommend?
Ken: I can only recommend brokers I’ve traded with and liked their services. Hotforex.com is my favorite, followed closely by aaafx. XM.com in my opinion is the best broker for beginners/learners.
I’ve heard some people say that you’d rather start trading on a live account than on a demo account. That trading on a live account better replicates the reality of trading than using a demo account. What are your thoughts on that?
Ken: That’s good advice if the learner doesn’t mind losing a lot of money on trial and error methods. However, most people’s fear of losing money is greater than the joy of making profits. Starting out straight with a live account has its advantages, like overcoming the fear of monitoring a live account, but I feel like it causes more harm than good. It’s better to test out a system on a demo account, then trade live after you’ve identified all it’s weak points on a demo account.
[For the readers, a demo account is a practice account. Forex brokers offer such accounts so that you can practice with ‘fake’ or ‘virtual’ money before committing real funds to a live account]
I am aware that you train on Forex. When did you realize that you were good enough to start training others on Forex?
Ken: It’s only until when I started making consistent profits that I thought about sharing the knowledge with others. The flexible schedule that Forex trading provides gave me quite some free time, some of which I use to teach people my trading methods. It gives me great joy to see other people – especially fellow Kenyans – making profits from the market.
Great! Is it okay to have your contacts? Email? Skype?
Yes absolutely. Anyone can reach me via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to find out more about Forex trading, before investing your hard earned money, then this book is for you.
Simply set up an Amazon account online, save a credit card to the account and purchase the book. If you have a Kindle reader, great. If not, that’s not an issue either. I use the Kindle for PC and Kindle Android App.
Great topics such as ‘What pair of currency to trade,’ ‘Why you shouldn’t trade without a plan’ ‘How to develop a trading plan’ ‘What is technical analysis’ ‘All about candlesticks’ ‘How to identify trading opportunities’ ‘Managing risk effectively’ ‘Choosing your Forex broker’ and so much more are covered, with a good dose of humor.
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