Being a beginner in the forex market can be an exciting and challenging phase for anyone. Read More
Your trading strategy is working well
The first sign that tells you to think about opening a live account is that your strategy seems to work well. Not just in demo trading, but the backtesting results should also be favourable for assessing the profitability of your strategy. Besides the profits, you should also check the account drawdown, as that is a key metric for evaluating the performance of your trading system. But you need to keep in mind that the demo account has some limitations.
For instance, incidents like slippage and price re-quotes do not happen on a demo account, and there is no order queuing. All your trades get executed right away, irrespective of the market condition, which doesn’t happen on a live account, as they have to find a matching order for placing a trade in the actual market. Hence, you need to make sure that you prepare for such scenarios while comparing the demo account results.
Backtesting with historical data is also important to check the viability of your strategy in different trade scenarios. If you think your strategy is not giving the expected results yet, then you have to work on improving it by trying different techniques and approaches. You are free to make mistakes on a demo account, and I will advise you to continue with demo trading and optimise your strategy before going live.
You are consistent and have a good win rate
Being consistent and having a good win rate is another sign to confirm that you are ready to transition to a live account. Consistency is most important for attaining long-term success as a forex trader. You may get some wins here and there if luck is in your favour, especially on a demo account, but having a consistent win rate truly speaks a lot about your knowledge and skill level as a trader. It is not that you don’t encounter losses, but you are able to make a good amount of profits from the trades that you win.
Along with the win rate, you should also pay attention to your risk/reward ratio and profit potential, as sometimes traders with a decent win rate are unable to make enough profits, while those with a lower win rate end up making more profits with an optimal risk/reward ratio as their trades have higher profit potential. You can rely on tools like trading calculators to calculate the potential profits and any other trade-related metric with precision.
Now, if you are still struggling to get enough wins, you don’t have to beat yourself. You just have to figure out why it is happening and work on your weak points. Demo accounts are the perfect place to identify your mistakes as a beginner and develop your skills with continuous practice. The realistic environment of a demo account helps you to practise with different trading tools and become better over time.
You are driven by logic rather than your feelings.
The 3rd sign that you are ready to trade with real money is that logic rather than your feelings drive you. Emotions are seen as a trader’s enemy as they overpower our rational thinking at times, and we end up making poor decisions. You need to make sure that all your trading decisions are backed by logic based on market analysis before switching to a live account. Sometimes, we place trades just because a setup looks good and has no logic behind it.
Making decisions based on mere guesswork or intuition is a grave mistake for a trader. You should only trust the analysis and calculations instead of jumping to conclusions based on gut feelings. You cannot really predict the market direction without interpreting the current market situation correctly. Hence, you need to develop your analytical skills and focus on technical analysis before trading on a live account. For this, you need to learn chart reading, and the MT4 and MT5 platforms provide many charting tools that you can rely on for analysis.
Besides tools provided by the trading platform, you should also use other trading tools to place your trades smartly. If you know how much pips you need to earn in a single trade, how much margin to use and what should be the ideal lot size according to your capital, then you are in a much better position to make a profitable trade. If not profitable, then you can easily manage your losses.
You have traded through a change of season
The forex market is always moving, and it also experiences seasonal fluctuations. There are holiday seasons when the market is choppy, and such changes impact different currency pairs differently. Holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and more impact major financial markets, including the forex market. Hence, you need to have some experience trading in different seasons before going live. Otherwise, your strategy may stop working when there is a shift in the market situation, which can lead to losses.
That is why experts suggest staying on a demo account for 4 to 6 months, as you will get enough time to experience seasonal fluctuations during this period. Demo accounts replicate the real-time market conditions, and you will be able to observe and learn many things just by looking at the price charts during different seasons. This way, you will be better equipped to deal with such fluctuations, and hence, I would suggest you go live after learning about the market dynamics.
You can fight the urge to overtrade
When you are new to the world of trading, everything will look exciting and interesting. Being a curious beginner, you will be quick to jump on every trading opportunity that you come across. Most brokers provide $ 10,000 as virtual funds, and you will be able to place as many trades as you want with this amount. This can lead to over-trading and many times, such overtrading is unintentional, as you are not risking any real money on a demo account.
This trading habit does not harm you on a demo account, but if you have the urge to place more trades while live trading, that can become a problem. The main cause of over-trading is either a losing streak that makes us place more trades for getting a win or a winning streak that makes us greedy. Both stress and greed can lead to over-trading, and you must be able to fight this urge while trading on a live account.
For this, you need to follow a disciplined approach and focus on risk management even while trading on a demo account. Many traders don’t pay enough attention to risk management while trading in a demo account, making them incompetent when switching to a real account. Hence, you should only open a live account after building trading discipline with demo account practice.
You have sufficient funds
The last thing you need to check before signing up for a live account is the amount of funds you have for trading. You don’t need a huge amount of trading capital to start your trading journey, but you need to have enough to make profits. Some brokers allow you to open a live account with a low minimum deposit, and you can even try opening a micro account first if you don’t want to risk larger amounts at first. I also suggest you try trading part-time first to avoid the risk of full-time trading.
You should only risk what you can afford to lose and trade with the money that you can set aside after meeting your expenses and pay attention to money management along with risk management. If you think your financial condition is insufficient to risk money, you should continue with the demo account practice and go live after accumulating sufficient funds.
Finally, you need to remember that your performance or profitability on a demo account is not guaranteed success on a live account. But demo trading can help you prepare for live trading by testing your strategy in real-time market conditions. You will learn a lot more while trading with real funds, and patience is essential to overcome the challenges in your trading journey.