Well, there are many answers to that question, some of them profound, but I’m going to answer it from the standpoint of ‘What’s my background and how did I get into Forex trading’.
The Early Days
After ‘A’ levels, an incredibly long time ago, I went to the University of Liverpool and did a degree in Environmental Biology. After that I spent two years in Norfolk doing agricultural things. I started out with a 6-month contract doing soil sampling, checking for potato eelworm. Oh yes, folks, I was the queen of the glamorous job. After that I worked for an agricultural research station, doing things like 1000-grain weights (as exciting as it sounds) and hand lifting sugar beet.
During this period I met some friends of my then boyfriend. Neil worked for a grain merchant, and it sounded like a really interesting job. I got the yellow pages out and wrote to all of the grain merchants in the area (this was Norfolk, remember, so there were loads) asking for a job. Many didn’t bother to reply, but a small, family-run firm did respond and invited me for an interview. I got the job, and started learning the business of the grain trade.
How it Started – Grain
One of the things that fascinated me was the buying and selling of grain, principally wheat and barley, on the spot and futures markets. Back then – the late 1980s – there was no trading from your PC. You had to phone your broker and put the order in. I was barely able to even use a PC at this time. My boss sent me on a course, which I loved, and I bought a book called Trading in Commodities off the back of it. Many years later I bought a course on trading commodities, but sent it back as you needed an unfeasibly large pot of cash to start.
I left Norfolk and the world of agriculture, for a couple of reasons, and drifted into IT. My Dad worked for Rolls-Royce at the time and got me an interview for an analyst/programmer role. “What’s one of those?”, I had to ask him. I spent 7 years at Rolls-Royce and then went freelance.
Fast forward nearly 20 years. I’d had some interesting experiences as a freelance IT consultant; a year working in Mallorca was definitely the highlight. I’d also made some good friends, and the money wasn’t bad. Work was starting to dry up, though. I was finding I was having more, and longer, periods between contracts. I was also getting pretty fed up of the 5:00 get-ups and an hour’s commute to a job I didn’t even enjoy any more. So, I started dabbling on the internet. I must admit, back then I was looking for get rich quick programs. During my dabblings I came across a lady whose Skype profile described her as a Forex educator. I pricked my ears up! All the old excitement came flooding back and I thought, of course! Why hadn’t I thought of it before? Forex trading was the way forward.
I contacted this lady and it turned out she and her husband were South Africans living in Wales. They’d met in London, which is where they had learned to trade, and were now making a living from trading full time. They also ran a trading academy. I signed up for a weekend residential course, where I and another student had their undivided attention for two days. She was a great cook too, incidentally.
I went home and started demo trading – I was ‘between contracts’ at this point. They had developed a system that used several indicators and had got a programmer to put it all together in a package that you applied to MT4 on your PC. I was making some progress with this, but I found that more often than not I was too late getting into trades. Before I could master the system, though, I found myself back in work and then I had a problem. I obviously couldn’t download a trading platform to my work PC, and I couldn’t install their software. So, that left me a bit scuppered. I did try just trading in the evenings and doing longer term trades, but that didn’t really suit my personality.
Not long afterwards I had a marketing email from someone plugging a trading system. I had no interest in joining but, just for interest, I thought I’d have a look for reviews on the More Money Review site. All of the reviews said this system was rubbish, but several people suggested trying another lady’s system. They were full of praise for her system – which she gave away free on her website. You could also join a waiting list for her paid service, where you got 3 emails a day.
Now, I was intrigued by this, so I took a closer look. The system itself was pretty simple. It used pivot points and round numbers/mid points to set up the framework for the day. You then just used price action and bought at the lower edges and sold at the higher edges. I did join the paid service and I stuck with it for two years. Although I had some good days, and even a few successful weeks, I never managed to be consistently profitable. I also blew my trading account twice. This wasn’t a fault of the system – it was all down to my lack of discipline and failure to master the head game. The second time I blew my account was down to a buy trade of GBP/JPY, with no stop loss, right before the Brexit vote. Sheer stupidity. I think you can probably remember what happened to all the GBP pairs at that time? Yep, they fell off a cliff.
So, I hung my trading boots up for a while. About a year, in fact.
At the time of my Brexit disaster I’d been out of work for almost four months. There was no sign of any more work on the horizon, so I went back to the internet. I was sure the answer had to lie there. I flitted from one thing to another, but I was coming from a place of fear and desperation, so nothing worked. Because I was under pressure to earn some money quickly, I was trying things that might make a quick buck. My heart wasn’t really in it, though, so I didn’t stick at anything.
Then, around February of this year (2017), one of the marketing guys I was following on Facebook announced he was having a go at this Forex thing. Oh yes, I thought, well, I’m very interested to see how you get on with that. His American business partner had been telling him for ages about his buddy who – as a complete newbie – was crushing the Forex game with the help of some company or other. Paul had resisted and resisted as he had no interest in, and zero knowledge of, Forex trading. Eventually, though, Arnold’s phenomenal results prompted him to take a look and he decided to give it a try. He announced that he was going to attempt to double his $800-odd account in a month. He posted his progress every day or so and showed us what he was doing.
Paul actually doubled his trading account in 20 days.
Now, I suspect he was pretty aggressive with his risk strategy there. Nevertheless, he smashed his goal. I was wary of diving into something else, though, as I really couldn’t afford to lose any more money. So, I continued to watch Paul’s progress from the sidelines. Having watched for about 3 months I then decided that this was too good not to get involved in.
I joined the company (you can check this page, Who Are iML?, for more information) at the end of May. They offer a suite of tools and training for a monthly fee, ranging from fully automated mirror trading at one end to Forex education at the other. I was about to embark on a 3-week road trip to Austria in an 80-year-old car, so knew I wouldn’t have time to start studying before I left. I did, however, want to get the mirror trader set up so I could be earning hands free while I was away.
Where I Am Now
On my return I then spent July demo trading and going through the education. In August I took the plunge and started trading with real money, albeit with the smallest stake that I could. August went really well and September was phenomenal – the best trading I’ve ever done. In October, though, my cowboy-trading bad habits caught up with me and my account crashed and burned. As I write this, it’s November and I’ve gone back to demo to come up with a better strategy and work on my discipline. I’m going to detail my wins and my mistakes in the blog posts, so keep reading.