Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of having a trading plan
  • The role discipline plays in executing your trading plan effectively
  • The importance of risk management in reducing losses 


Financial trading is an attractive source of revenue, and it appeals to a wide range of people. Some professionals may choose a career in financial speculation due to a vocational passion for analyzing the markets and charting price patterns. Others may see trading as a side hustle, useful for supplementing a primary source of income. Then there are the traders who see an enormous appeal in the flexibility and independence offered by the trade: all you need is a laptop (or smartphone) and an internet connection, and the world is your office.

8 Common Reasons New Traders Fail

Not everyone “makes” it as a trader, however. The markets can be unpredictable, and no algorithm can account for all variables and the impact of human behavior on economies. Trading can be a fast-paced environment where decisions must be made under pressure, and not everyone is suited to these working conditions. Here are the 8 common reasons new traders fail:

1. Lack of a Plan

One of the main reasons new traders fail is that they do not have a well-defined trading plan. They often jump into the market without a clear strategy, no predefined entry and exit points, and no plan to protect their assets.

Solution: Having a trading plan is crucial for successful trading because it helps traders stay disciplined and focused on their goals. A trading plan outlines a trader’s strategy, including entry and exit points, risk management rules, and other key parameters. By following a trading plan, traders can avoid emotional decision-making and impulsive trades, which can lead to losses. A well-designed trading plan also helps traders structure their entry into the markets, evaluate their performance, and adjust as necessary.

2. Poor Risk Management

Poor risk management: Many new traders do not realize the importance of risk management and end up taking on too much risk in their trades. This can result in significant losses that could wipe out their trading account.

Solution: Trading and risk go hand in hand, and even the most expert traders will experience losses. The logic behind a risk management plan is not to avoid all risks but to learn to balance potential profits and losses. Successful traders learn to manage risk and therefore protect their capital by avoiding excessive losses using tools like stop loss and limit orders. Seasoned traders come to understand that risk management is not just about avoiding losses but also maximizing potential gains while minimizing risk.

3. Emotional-based Trading

New traders often lack the discipline needed to stick to their trading plan and avoid making impulsive trades. They may get caught up in the excitement of the market and make trades based on emotions rather than sound analysis.

Solution: Discipline is the best counter to emotion when it comes to trading the markets. Traders with a clear trading plan that outlines entry and exit points and manages risk will be able to structure their approach to the markets and thereby leave emotions at the door. In other words, unprofitable emotions such as fear, greed, excitement – and other feelings that could cause impulsive trades – will have less impact on traders focused on meeting their goals and recording their progress.

Of course, some emotions are not only useful but crucial in trading: resolution, determination, and a certain amount of bravery are required to stake one’s money on the markets. Simple methods such as taking breaks, staying hydrated, and practicing meditation and mindfulness can help traders avoid impulsive trades. In sum, traders need to learn to control their emotions – and not be controlled by them.

4. Overtrading

Overtrading is another common mistake new traders make. They may feel the need to be constantly active in the market, leading them to make too many trades and take on too much risk.

Solution: It is a common mistake to believe that investing requires constant action. In fact, when it comes to trading – especially as a first-timer or beginner trader – inaction is action. The law of inaction states that even when no action is taken or a choice is made, this is both an action and a choice. Excessive trading will lead to impulsive decisions, excessive losses, and burnout. Traders need to recognize when to trade and when to sit back and analyze the markets. In other words, do not be afraid to “take a beat.”

5. Failure to Adapt

The markets are constantly changing, and beginner traders need to be able to adapt to these changes. Those who fail to do so may find themselves using outdated strategies that no longer work. No matter how sophisticated the technology is, no machine algorithm can accurately predict the future. Yesterday may inform tomorrow, but past market performance will not dictate future ones.

Solution: Traders can learn to adapt to a changing market by continuously improving their knowledge and skills through education, research, and experience. Firstly, keeping up to date with market news, trends, and economic data can help traders anticipate changes in market conditions and adjust their trading strategies accordingly.

Secondly, learning new trading techniques, such as technical analysis, fundamental analysis, or sentiment analysis, can help traders identify and capitalize on market opportunities. Thirdly, analyzing past trades and reviewing trading performances can help traders identify patterns, strengths, and weaknesses, and adjust their trading approach accordingly.

Lastly, being flexible and open-minded, and adapting to new situations and market conditions can help traders stay ahead of the curve and achieve long-term success in the markets.

6. Lack of Knowledge

There is a lot to be said about the value and importance of experience in learning any trade. New traders will simply not have the backing of tried and tested strategies or years of familiarity with an asset or market. Without understanding their importance in practice, beginner traders may dismiss key concepts such as technical analysis or fail to learn how to interpret market news.

Solution: New traders can make up for their lack of experience by investing in their education and taking a disciplined approach to trading. Firstly, they can educate themselves through books, online courses, webinars, or mentorship programs to gain a solid understanding of trading principles, techniques, and strategies. Secondly, they can start small by practicing on demo accounts, testing different trading strategies, and gradually scaling up their trades as they gain confidence and experience.

Thirdly, they can stay disciplined and stick to a well-defined trading plan that includes risk management strategies and predetermined entry and exit points. Lastly, they can learn from their mistakes, analyze their trading performance, and continuously seek feedback and advice from experienced traders to improve their skills and knowledge. By following these steps, beginner traders can mitigate their lack of experience and increase their chances of success in the markets.

7. Unrealistic Expectations

Traders just starting out may have unrealistic expectations about how much money they can make in the market. They may believe that trading is a “get-rich-quick” scheme and fail to realize the amount of work and dedication required to succeed.

Solution: Contrary to many online claims, trading is not an instant source of capital. There is no single strategy to “hit the jackpot” and “beginner’s luck” is best looked for in a new sport, not the financial markets. That said, with the right discipline, plan, and mindset, many traders do collate significant profits over a relatively short time – the high profit/time ratio is what attracts many people to trading in the first place.

Nonetheless, new traders would benefit from learning that long-term efforts in learning technical and fundamental analysis, creating and back-testing strategies, and retrospective analysis of past performances will be the real road to riches.

8: Impatience

Finally, beginners often lack the patience needed to succeed in the market. They may be looking for quick profits and fail to recognize that trading is a long-term game that requires patience and discipline. New traders who are impatient to grow their accounts will be susceptible to poor investments, and common trading errors, and be vulnerable to taking unreliable advice from online sources (who may have their own agenda).

Solution: When it comes to trading the markets, research is king. Know your market, back-test your strategy, and take advantage of demo accounts and virtual trading. Finding a reliable broker is key, and new traders should look for platforms with excellent customer support and learning resources.


New traders will always be disadvantaged by their lack of experience. Nonetheless, this does not have to be a handicap if traders take the time to research the markets, do online courses or webinars, and read up on financial investment. Inexperience can be counteracted with enthusiasm and dedication to a new industry with the fresh eyes of a beginner and the zest for knowledge relevant to the field.

Ideally, beginner traders should start small, test a variety of strategies, and seek a transparent and fair broker with a supportive and available team. Keep the above 8 common reasons new traders fail in mind and remember the simple motto: “Plan your trade and trade your plan.” In other words, stay disciplined, manage your emotions, and stay focused on your long-term goals.

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