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The Invincible Disciplined Trader

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Guest profile

Ralf K Dean is a professional FX trader and has been trading since 2005.
At one time he was rated the number 1 FX trader on the Collective2 website, a platform that provides a signal provider service from the thousands of traders registered on the site.
Ralf’s background is in I.T. and used to have his own software company providing commercial solutions for small and medium sized business.
He has retired and devotes most of his time to the Ogilvy Project, a project backed by one of the largest blockchain groups on Earth to inform the public about cryptocurrency and encourage people to adopt cryptocurrency which he believes is the future of finance.

1.When did you first get into trading? Was it self-taught or did you have a mentor?

Ralf :I stumbled across FX trading in 2005 whilst living in Thailand.
I saw a YouTube video of taking 20 or 30 pips out of the market with what he called his Tornado Trading method and I thought that it looked easy enough and I was sure I could do the same. Never did I expect FX trading to dominate my life for the next 16 years.
Although I initially adopted his Tornado Trading approach which was nothing more than using 2 moving averages I seem to remember, it was abandoned as my trading experience grew.

2.What is your starting capital for trading? What is the current size of your trading funds? What is the situation of your first profit and first loss?

Ralf :I keep my accounts at around $5000 and withdraw whenever I have around $6000 to withdraw. In my experience the more funds you have available the more likely you are to become casual and accept a larger loss than desirable.
By sticking to strict money management principles which mean trading at nothing more than a 1% to 2% loss and moving stops on trades to break even at the first opportunity, it’ s relatively easy to take enough pips out of the market to be able to bank a regular profit.
For $5000, I will trade at .50 of a standard lot which would be $5 per pip and look to have a 20 pip stop. This wouldn’t be necessary usually as my trades either move the way I expect or I close them out early.
I’m never frightened to lose a trade. This is the most common problem for inexperienced traders – hanging on to losing trades. It’ s never worth it. It’ s always better to accept the loss and move on.

3.What is your biggest profit or loss in trading?

Ralf :Hard to remember. I’ve blown up many accounts in the early days of learning to trade. I used to measure my success by the frequency I need to add more funds to my account. When I first started trading I decided that if I ever lost $10,000 in total then I would cease trading.
Most FX traders realize that this is a forlorn promise.
If you fund your account for the first time and you lose all your money then that is the only time you will ever walk away from trading.
Fund your account again and that’s game over.
You’re hooked and if you have the funds available then you will always refund your account because it stops being a matter of winning money but more a desire to beat the broker.
In your heart you will believe you will find that elusive trading strategy that will provide an income for you and you will never have to be concerned about earning money ever again.
Unfortunately, very few people ever reach that level but no-one stops trying.
In the early learning days of trading, when I had to refund my account after 3 months of trading , then after 4 months, then after 6 months then I didn’t need to refund and my account was growing and not diminishing, I knew I could make it as an FX trader.
Every trader has ridiculous levels of self-belief. Mostly misplaced.
But without it, you wouldn’t trade.
We all think we can beat the broker.

4.Do you prefer technical analysis or fundamental analysis? Which trading instruments are you good at? Can you describe your trading strategy or trading style in detail?

Ralf :On my website and YouTube channel I detail my trading method.
Whilst you should always be aware of the fundamentals, they are largely irrelevant when trading in my opinion. You cannot time an entry on the outcome of UK CPI numbers. Only technical analysis should be used to trade FX although its imperative that you are aware of news events especially the major regular monthly news events like the first Friday of every month when the Non-Farm Employment, Unemployment Rate and Average earnings are released. This is always the major news event of the week so if you go short without a stop on EUR/USD at 12:25 p.m. UK time and the Non-Farm numbers come in at 194k against expected 455k then you are potentially going to be looking at a huge loss on your account if the USD tanks 120 pips in a heart beat which it could well do.
So fundamentals are key in that you need to be aware of news and you can potentially trade the news if you are experienced enough but for novice and less experienced traders, I would advice waiting for news to be announced and then waiting a further hour or so before looking for new positions.
Trading would be a lot easier if there was no news and unexpected news can be a killer.
I was trading in 2008 when Bears Stearns collapsed and the USD fell 2000 pips in minutes and I was also trading on January 15th 2015 when my platform froze.
Across the world ALL trading platforms suddenly stopped.
When the news broke that the S.N.B. (Swiss National Bank) had unpegged the EURO and let it fall beneath the 1.200 floor that everyone thought was in place. This heralded a catastrophic event in trading.
Anyone buying EUR/CHF at 1.2040 believing they could do this in complete safety knowing the S.N.B. would step in to prop it up should it fall to 1.2000 found to their horror that the price had dropped to .85 EUR and their accounts had been wiped out.
Unfortunately brokers like Alpari had to stand these losses on their clients accounts and they were forced into insolvency.
Fortunately these are rare events but it does emphasize the reason why you should always trade with a stop loss.

5.Many of your transactions have made considerable gains. What do you think is the core factor that leads to such good trading results?

Ralf :Method. You need to find a method that works and stick to it.
My method has always included pivots and Fibonacci. Pivots especially are by far and away THE most useful indicator in FX because they are set at the start of the week.
If you know where WR1 pivot lies (Weekly Resistance Pivot) and the price is approaching this key level then there’s a high likelihood that the price will react to this level.
If enough traders close long trades at WR1 pivot and set sell stop orders at this level then the price is going to meet selling pressure.
This may or may not be enough for the bears to assume control of the price but it’s a clear head’s up that they might.
I have a special indicator that I use which I call the Disciplindicator – the Discipline Indicator.
This is invaluable to my trading as it gives you a snap shot of the market across 30 trading pairs and carries information such as where the price is in relation to key pivots, distance from the 200 EMA (another key indicator), value of the RSI across all time frames and much more essential information.
Anyone who wants a copy of this indicator can have a copy. Its free and details are on my website and YouTube channel.
If you have the discipline to use it then its an invaluable trading help.

6.When you first came into contact with trading, which trading books helped you the most? Can you recommend it to readers?

Ralf :There is so much available on YouTube and so many free .pdf downloads on forex. It’ s impossible to pick any one out and say its better than any other. Any book on FX is usually worth taking a look at. One for novice traders I would recommend is Forex for Beginners “How to Make Money in Forex Trading” by James Stuart.
It has only 40+ pages but its content is very good and describes half a dozen trading methods.

7.In your past trading career, were there any unforgettable things for you? Can you share it with readers?

Ralf :My most unforgettable trading experiences, I’ve already mentioned – when the Financial Crisis of 2008 began and when the S.N.B. unpegged the Euro.
You tend to remember missed opportunities in trading and the most obvious one (always obvious in hindsight) was the vote on whether the UK should leave the European Union.
Nearly everyone was predicting that we wouldn’t leave the Union but I remember when the first vote came in which I think was Sunderland South (can’t recall exactly, I know it was the N.E of England) and the vote came in to remain but the expected majority of 12% was reduced to 2%.
For around 2 minutes the GBP stayed where it was.
This was a golden opportunity to short the GBP and although I was short on one or two GBP pairs and I should bet the house on shorting GBP/USD as it was clear that the polls were wrong and that there was a high probability that we would have a leave vote.
When the next result was declared and it went to Leave, the GBP tanked.
As a remainer myself it was tough to bet against the result I wanted but its was a missed opportunity.

8.What will you do if there is a loss in the transaction? Do you usually set a stop loss for trading? How do you think about stop loss?

Ralf :A stop should always be employed and it’s a good habit to get into. There is always a temptation to trade without a stop as if you believe the market is headed in one particular direction and it moves in the other direction, you will tell yourself that this is temporary and let the trade run against you in the belief that the price will turn round.
This is where traders get into trouble.
The price will move 20 pips against you and you will start to see support below the price or resistance above. When price reaches that support or resistance and keeps on going and you’re now 40 points down you will again see area where you will tell yourself the price will turn in your favour.
This is how you are soon 100 pips down and then 150 pips down and so it goes.
Forex is ruthless and relentless if you have a losing trade. The Forex Gods will never be on your side and this is how accounts are blown up.

9.In your mind, what qualifies an excellent trader?

Ralf :Discipline. That’s all you need. Its more important than method. If you use proper money management and never expose you account to a greater than 2% risk you’ll be able to trade stress free.

10.Does the trading work affect your normal family life? How do you deal with the balance between the two?

Ralf :I don’t find any issues in my family life and my trading. Most of my time I now dedicate to cryptocurrency opportunities like the Ogilvy Project, so I rely on my Disciplindicator to find me trades so I’m not staring at charts 8 hours a day like I used to.

11.Which do you think will help a trader grow faster, learning from others or exploring on your own ? Please talk about your understanding.

Ralf :All traders should be open to learn from professional or expert traders.
There is no one way to trade, so learning new techniques is key to being successful and developing as a trader.
Whilst its true that you should find a method that works for you and you should stick to it, it’ s also important to see how other traders trade and potentially build their approach into your method.

12 .Please use a few sentences to briefly summarize your current transaction status.

Ralf :I am currently running an exercise to trade £250 to £1000.
Although there is a place for demo accounts I believe they can give a false picture. Brokers will keep spreads tight and you’ll suffer no slippage on a demo account and therefore its not “real” trading.
Far better to have a live account with $250 or £250 and trade using microlots.
If you can grow an account from $250 to $1000 then you can grow a $5000 to $20,000 but you need to prove to yourself that you have the discipline to grow a small account.

13.Under the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, what trading strategies or suggestions do you have?

Ralf :Same as always. The FX market is immune to viruses. Good solid method based on sound technical principles are key.

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  • Very good trading experience and story, I hope I can also like Ralf, let trade become a part of life.

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  • Very solid trading skills, 16 years of trading experience, incredible.

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  • An admirable trading guru. I plan to look online for some of the study tools he mentioned.

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  • Very good content, thanks Ralf for sharing.

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  • Learning to trade can learn the methods of others, but ultimately it needs to be applied in combination with its own characteristics.

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  • I admire these old traders very much. They have been in the market for decades and persisted until the end. This kind of spirit and quality is very worth learning.

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  • Quantifying trading discipline as an indicator is indeed an original creation.

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