How To Mystify People With Your Forex Trading Skills

Last week I met with a good friend Mike, for lunch.

He’s one of the best intraday traders I know, who decided to stop short-term trading because it was taking too much of a toll on his physical and emotional health.

In the end, he settled for a job as a car salesman and is currently doing very well at it. Mike is hardworking, and VERY street-smart.

Mike In Action

As I met him at the car showroom, I had the chance to watch him in action.

Just as we were about to leave for lunch, a couple walked in and started looking at the cars.

“Hang on for a bit” he said to me, “this won’t take long. They’re not buying a car today.”

I looked over at the couple – they seemed just like any other regular couple.

“How do you know?” I asked. “Is it because this is the first time they’ve been here?”

“Nah.” He answered, “There are plenty of people who buy a car on the first visit.”

“Then how can you tell they’re not looking to buy a car now? I continued.

“When you’ve been doing this as much as I have, you can just tell. You develop a kind of sixth sense for these things.”

Being the gentleman that he is, Mike wasn’t going to treat the couple any different, no matter what he thought of them.

I watched as he went on over to greet them.

“Hi, is there anything I can help you with?”

“Umm, what model is that car?” The man pointed at a silver Mazda. “Do you have one in white?”

“Well that’s a 2011 Mazda 3, and all the cars you see in this showroom are pretty much what we have. But if you want it in any particular color we can get it sprayed for you for a small fee.”

“Hmm… what about the one over there?”

“That’s a 2010 Hyundai Avante. It’s one of the most fuel efficient cars in the market right now.”

“Does it come in dark blue?”

“Nope, the stock car comes in white, silver or black. If there’s a blue one, it’s probably because the previous owner got it sprayed over. Again, we can do that for you if you want. No problem.”

“Okay… thanks. We’ll think about it.” The man turned and continued walking around the showroom.

I stared in amazement. Everything the guy said indicated that he had no idea what he wanted.

The final evidence came when the man asked, “what would be a good car to buy these days?”

“Well that really depends on your budget and preference. Is there any car in particular that you’re interested in?”

“Oh no, that’s all right thanks…” the man took one last glace around the showroom, turned and walked out.

I was surprised at how accurately Mike had read the situation – it was like a game of poker where he knew exactly what the other guy was thinking the moment he stepped in.

That Night

As I thought more about what I’d seen that afternoon, I realized it wasn’t really all that amazing after all…

It just came down to plain experience.

Mike was right. When you do something day in and day out for a sustained period, you learn to pick up the subtle cues and characteristics that are invisible to outsiders.

Maybe it was the way the man walked into the showroom, or maybe it was the time of day he came in. Who knows? It could be a dozen subtle indications Mike saw, which led him to conclude that this was a window-shopper.

The difference was that he knew what to look out for, while I had absolutely no clue.

Being Good At Something

If you want to be an expert bread maker, bake a thousand loaves.

If you want to be smooth with women, go on a hundred dates.

If you want to be a world-class musician, practice every day, for years.

It’s as simple as that.

Simple Does Not Mean Easy

Today I checked my inbox and got another one of those emails: “Trade Forex without any prior experience, with zero risk!”


I suppose that the reason I keep getting these emails, is that people respond to them. After all, it’s much easier to talk about making money without effort or experience, than actually doing it.

Keep Practicing

Any trading method that does not require thinking or decision making is fundamentally flawed, because the market thinks and decides, regardless of whether you do or not.

And the only way to be exceptional at something is to spend a lot of time on it. To get extraordinary results, you need extraordinary effort.

What do you think? Comment below and let me know.

By |2019-03-10T17:52:02+00:00March 10th, 2019|General|12 Comments


  1. Marc October 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    A very good point chris. I think this applies to any area in life. Far too many people enter the FX arena thinking that with minimal guidance they will be successful. Is this how you would do a doctorate? Not likely. In the highly competative world of FX trading why would someone think that this would be any different. I have developed that sixth sense in the markets, but it did not come without tens of thousands of hours of study. Often I know what the market is going to do before it happens. That is called experience where I know where other traders put their positions and stops putting me on the “smart money side”. I do have a lot of people who follow me successfully but the point being….if I die tomorrow…so does their edge in the markets.

    • Chris Lee October 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Marc,

      What would you suggest for a trader who’s completely new to trading?

      Just wondering.

  2. Trevor October 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris,

    I apreciate your “Mike” story. It is not an easy lesson to learn because it takes patience, discipline and vision. The markets do not always do what we expect of them however they often do. The wisdom (or 6th sense) to pick the right deal only comes from having done the hard yards. simple? Yeah.

    • Chris Lee October 9, 2012 at 1:26 am - Reply

      Hi Trevor,

      Yes exactly, that’s why whenever someone asks me what they can do to accelerate the learning process, I almost always say “get somebody who’s good at it to teach you”.

      There’s no shortcut to gaining experience, but a good teacher/coach can dramatically reduce the learning curve and time required to get there.

  3. Ross October 10, 2012 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Hi Chris.
    I read your article on Mike when you first published it and in a book which I received from you. I found it very interesting, but don’t understand realy why he gave it up. If he was successful, I would have thought he would have made some money, then traded longer time frames, so as to be less stressful. I would realy like to know what indicators he was using and how he applied them, and what time frames he was using. I also note you headed your email “Lunch with the best intratrader I have ever known”. That indicates to me he is still trading. Is that the case? What sort of money was (is) he making, and using how much capital?

    The way I see it, short term trading can be more profitable with less money, but having to monitor each trade closely, and being concious of spread costs, where as long term (As your planting pips is), is slow and steady, needing much more capital to cover the greater stops, but being more relaxing although capital is tied up for longer time.

    I have tried five minute charts with some wins, but now concentrate mostly on four hour charts as they generaly have a reasonable range, however I am not as happy as I would like to be with them, mainly through making silly mistakes and/or decisions.

    I don’t realy want to sign up for your Icaris programme, would rather buy Ebooks, if available, on trading ideas or plans, but find them difficult to obtain. ( I just don’t know who to trust out there), however If I did subscribe to Icaris would it be of benifit to me for using indicators etc and trading systems similar to what “Mike” used, or is it focused on risk, emotions, etc most of which I have been able to access on the net.

    I am curious.



  4. Chris Lee October 15, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Hi Ross,

    Mike was pretty much just following the price action, with the RSI indicator as support.

    He couldn’t transition to trading the longer time frames because what it takes to trade in the short term is very different from what it takes to trade in the medium term – so he even if he wanted to trade longer term, he’d have to start from scratch.

    At this moment Mike still looks at the market every now and then, but the intensity of short term trading is still fresh in his mind and he tells me that’s not something he wants to continue.

    Over time, I’d like to introduce to him the world of medium term trading and who knows, maybe he’ll join me here at the Pip Mavens blog. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that.

    I am in complete agreement with you about the online Forex industry, as it is filled with many (and I mean MANY) untrustworthy sources. Being in this industry myself, I’ve seen the lines some marketers are willing to cross just to make money and it’s not a pretty sight. It’s certainly not the type of environment I’d like to be a part of, which is incidentally what led me to create this site.

    About Icarus, we don’t use technical indicators, but we do operate with a technical framework (a grid system) that we take trades in. It focuses on completely avoiding the inevitable problems that traders typically experience, such as logical fallacies and emotional trading.

  5. Ross October 19, 2012 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Thanks Chris.

  6. uche October 27, 2012 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Hi, Chris,

    I enjoy reading your articles and I have enjoyed this one also. I am working hard at being a successful trader, and I wish to solicit for your co-operation.

    Some people talk about set-and-forget systems, but I think such a system can not generate profits consistently. The question then is how can one trade successfully without being glued to the computer? Also, can one make consistent profits as an intra day trader?

    Please reply.
    Wishing you more success.


    • Chris Lee October 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Hi uche,

      To answer your first question: get the Icarus trading course. The whole focus of it is to trade without being glued to your computer screen.

      To answer your second question: Yes it’s possible, but I find that it’s more difficult than making consistent profits on the longer time frames.

  7. Rodion November 7, 2016 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Very nice article. I beleive when it comes to role of intuition in trading, it isn’t much different from what this salesman does. Subtle nuances and our feelings about the trades is what makes all the difference.

    • Chris Lee November 8, 2016 at 4:48 am - Reply

      Yes, experienced intuition makes a big difference. On the other hand, inexperienced intuition can be dangerous.

      • Rodion November 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

        Yes, sure. Intuition is last step in development of a trader.

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