Trading FAQs

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As you develop in your trading you're going to have questions - lots of them. Some you have right now, others you'll have later. Many of them are on this list:

Starting Points

  • How is trading different from investing?
  • Why should I trade and not just invest?

The Big 10

  • How much money can I make trading?
  • When do I know I'm ready to start live trading?
  • What books should a new trader read?
  • Should I quit my job and trade full-time?
  • Only professional traders make money, right?
  • Do I have to accept some big losses in the beginning?
  • How long does it take to make a stable trading income?
  • How do I start trading?
  • How difficult is it to trade?
  • What is the percentage of people who succeed in trading?

Trading Education

  • Is it worth spending money on educational resources?
  • If you know so much, why don't you just trade?
  • How do I avoid scammers?

Markets & Instruments

  • What is the best market to trade?
  • What's the safest market?
  • What should I trade?
  • Is forex trading a scam?
  • Is it better to trade spot forex or currency futures?
  • Should I avoid trading over the holidays?

Trading Mechanics

  • What is leverage and margin in trading?
  • How much money do I need to start trading?
  • Is live trading different than demo trading?
  • What's the difference between a stop and a limit order?
  • Where does the money I make in the market come from?
  • Do I have to pay taxes on my trading gains?

Market Analysis

  • Which type of market analysis is better?
  • What is technical and fundamental analysis?
  • What's the best technical indicator?
  • Why didn't the market rise on the positive news?
  • What is Support and Resistance?
  • What is the difference between discretionary and system traders?
  • What timeframe charts should I look at?
  • What charting package and/or data feed should I use?

Trading Systems

  • How can I create a good trading plan?
  • How do you backtest a system?
  • Where should I put my stop?
  • Should I buy this system?

Trader Psychology

  • How important is psychology in trading success?
  • How can I overcome my fear of pulling the trigger?
  • Why can't I follow my trading system?
  • Why isn't everyone trading in the same direction?


  • What's the best broker?
  • How should I select a good broker?
  • Is my broker trading against me?
  • Is my broker running my stops?

Trading Jobs & Careers

  • How do I get a job trading?
  • What types of trading jobs are there?
  • What is a proprietary trading firm (prop shop)?
  • What's better, an MBA or a CFA?
  • What kind of program should I do at school?

Written by John Forman

John Forman, the editor of this book and contributor of answers to most of the questions, is a 25+ year veteran trader and professional market analyst. He started trading stocks following the Crash of 1987and has since also traded forex, indices, fixed income, and commodities - pretty much anything an individual is likely to trade. As an analyst he has provided real-time commentary and trading advice for institutional fixed income and foreign exchange traders, with additional stints covering equities, and even the energy market.

John has authored literally dozens of trading magazine articles for publications around the world over the years. He has contributed content to numerous web sites, and is a former Content Editor for Trade2Win. John’s done a number of live seminar events, and has spent considerable time in the university classroom teaching trading to college students and helping develop related course materials. Closely related to his classroom work, John also spent nearly a decade coaching collegiate volleyball.

John's introductory trading book, The Essentials of Trading (Wiley, 2006) came directly out of his teaching work. It reached Amazon "Top Seller" status shortly after its release. He has also contributed to SFO Personal Investor Series: Psychology of Trading (W&A Publishing, 2007), and to Technical Analysis in the FX Markets from the publishers of The Technical Analyst magazine, as well as to academic research on automated trading systems.

John is currently a PhD student researching retail forex trader performance.


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I'm sitting reading your book and I just have to tell you that SO far it's REALLY good. It's invaluable really (and even after all this time spent there are things that are being made clearer to me simply by virtue of the fact that they're being CLEARLY explained by people who KNOW what they're talking about)!!!

Dale P.

I must admit to finishing the book within a few days of receiving it - From my perspective, being involved one way or another with the markets for nearly 10 yrs, and working as an analyst a bank, I found it a great compendium of much of the basic need to know lessons that most new traders won't learn for years - especially that if they are still in the game for that long they'll realize it's not a road to easy riches.

Aaron C.

As for your e-book, what a great idea! I especially like the fact that you bring in multiple points of view when answering the questions. And your team of contributors, what can be said about them but WOW. What an awesome assortment of industry traders and veterans! And like you've stated, you cover a vast array of topics - all the hot button items that first come to mind for a new trader. Good job.

Winston E.

John Forman has again put together The format is simple and convenient - just browse topics that look appealing and jump right to the section. There are a wide variety of great topics on trading - from the very practical (What is the difference between stop and limit orders?) to the more theoretical (How can I overcome my fear of pulling the trigger?). It's always interesting to hear multiple perspectives and that's what John has provided. A variety of trading experts weigh in on each topic with something to learn for each response. A great resource!

Dave M.

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