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Finding The Optimal Risk % In Forex Trading

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Introduction

Calculating risk is one of the most important parts of Money Mangement. Many novice traders or traders with limited experience won’t be aware of the amount of risk they can tolerate. In this article, we shall focus on determining the appropriate risk % that fits your trading style. The goal of risk management is to gain control over three things:

  • Emotions
  • Leverage
  • Sustenance

Furthermore, by limiting the loss per trade, a trader can ensure that his/her trading capital is not wiped out in one single trade. Having this discipline systematically reduces the loss per trade and provides an opportunity for the trader to re-look at the situation.

Calculating the risk

One can determine the risk based on the following factors:

Win rate

Win rate refers to how often a trader takes profitable trades relative to the trades that result in a loss. Win rate is determined by using the risk-to-reward ratio (RRR) and is calculated by the following formula.

Win rate = 1/(1+RRR)

The above-given formula is also referred to as the Minimum win rate. If any trader is trading with an RRR of 1, then his/her minimum win rate will be 50%. So out of 100 trades, we require a minimum of 50 trades to end as winners to compensate for the losing trades.

This will help a trader in deciding their maximum risk based on the win rate. This formula can also determine if a trade can be taken or not. For example, if someone has a win rate of 25%, he/she will not be able to take trades that have a risk-to-reward ratio of less than 3.

Nature of the market

Depending on the market situation, the risk can vary substantially. In a trending market, like the one in the below chart, risk should be reduced as much as possible by using a stop-loss order. We are recommending this idea as you would most probably be trend trading, and there is no point in risking more than the usual (can be lesser).

Trending Market

In a market that is trapped in a range (below image), the risk is always higher. This means anyone who trades the consolidation market is essentially increasing their risk. This would mean increasing the stop-loss, thereby reducing the risk-to-reward ratio (RRR) of the trade.

Ranging Market

Maintaining a risk of 1% constantly, regardless of the market conditions, will help the traders to sustain the loses and stay in the game even after a series of losing trades. This is a conservative method that reaps fewer rewards, but the risk is certain.

Conclusion

The aim is to achieve some level of consistency in trading by allowing yourself and your trading strategy to fight the evil forces of the market. We would say in all circumstances, a max risk of 1% appears to be the winner if you are a conservative trader. When the risk increases, it is said to impact not only the capital of the trading account but also the psychology of a trader. Hence it is better to keep risk at a bare minimum in times of uncertainty.

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