The New Trader and the Professional Trader

Embarking on a journey as a trader is an exciting endeavor, but it requires a shift in mindset and a commitment to continuous improvement. Many aspiring traders often wonder about the key differences between a new trader and a professional trader. In this article, we will explore the contrasting approaches of these two groups and shed light on the importance of risk management and profit potential in achieving long-term success in the trading world.

The New Trader’s Perspective:

New traders are often lured by the prospects of making quick profits. They may glance at a 5-minute chart, notice a downward movement in the market, and impulsively interpret it as a buying opportunity. The belief that the market cannot continue to decline indefinitely leads them to enter a trade. Suppose the market initially moves against them by 20 pips, only to reverse later and grant them a 10 pip profit. Fearing that the winning trade might turn into a loss, they hastily exit the position. After a series of three consecutive profitable trades, the new trader finds themselves up by 30 pips, feeling optimistic about their trading career. However, their confidence is shattered when the fourth trade results in a loss of 50 pips. Despite winning 75% of their trades, the new trader ends up losing money overall. This approach is far from what is considered successful trading.

The Professional Trader’s Approach:

In stark contrast, professional traders adopt a disciplined and strategic approach to trading. They begin by identifying trades in line with the prevailing trend, often using the daily chart as a reference. However, they do not rush into a trade. Instead, they zoom in to the 4-hour chart to pinpoint their entry and exit points precisely. The first step for a professional trader, after identifying the entry, is to determine the price at which they will place their initial protective stop order. This stop order acts as a safety net, automatically exiting the trade if the market moves against them. By defining the level at which they are willing to limit their losses, professional traders effectively manage risk.

Money Management and Risk-Reward Ratio:

Professional traders understand the critical importance of money management. They calculate the number of pips they are willing to risk on a trade, which allows them to determine the position size (number of lots) that keeps their total risk limited to 5% of their account balance. For example, with a $2000 account balance, they would risk no more than $100 at any given time. Furthermore, professional traders recognize that profitability in the long run requires them to make more when they are right than they lose when they are wrong. They aim for a risk-reward ratio of 1:2, meaning they seek at least double the potential profit compared to the amount they are risking. While they may only win half of their trades, they ensure that their winning trades yield twice as much as their losing trades. This approach allows professional traders to maintain a positive net gain over time.

The Coin Toss Analogy:

To better understand the concept of risk-reward ratio, let’s consider a coin toss. When choosing between heads and tails, there is a 50% chance of being right and a 50% chance of being wrong. However, if you win $2 when the coin lands on heads and only lose $1 when it lands on tails, you create a favorable position for profitability. Professional traders adopt this mindset, flipping the metaphorical coin with the odds in their favor. Even if the coin lands on tails multiple times in a row, they remain steadfast in their approach. However, it’s crucial not to bet everything on each toss, as losses are an inevitable part of trading. By implementing a risk management strategy and maintaining a favorable risk-reward ratio, professional traders consistently achieve profitability.


Becoming a successful trader requires a shift in mindset from focusing solely on potential profits to managing risk effectively. New traders often fall into the trap of chasing quick gains, only to face losses in the long run. On the other hand, professional traders approach the market strategically, identifying trades aligned with the prevailing trend and implementing a disciplined risk management strategy. By adhering to a risk-reward ratio of 1:2 and maintaining patience and discipline, professional traders consistently generate profits. To increase your chances of success as a trader, it is crucial to identify your risk before entering a trade and seek greater profit potential than the amount you are risking. Remember, trading is a journey that rewards those who approach it with patience, discipline, and a well-defined edge.