Lessons Learned after I Lost Sh2 million Trading Forex

May 31, 2021

Rufas Kamau is a research and markets analyst at non-dealing forex broker, Scope Markets Kenya.

He shares some valuable lessons about fx trading, money, and entrepreneurship that he has picked up along the way.

Learning to manage my portfolio and earning profits by trading currencies and stocks online is my biggest milestone so far. It took me a long time to learn various strategies from the internet without a professional to guide me. In my early trading years (2013-2017), I would read books, tutorials, attend live webinars, listen to podcasts, and practice the information on my live account. Sometimes I would make profits, sometimes I would lose everything in my account. I never gave up. Eventually, I learned risk management and improved on my trading discipline. This is what transitioned me from a noob to the trader I am today. In my early trading days, I would depend on my forex trading account to pay bills and that did not go very well. In a bad trading month, I would find myself paying my bills from my invested capital.

I used to invest my surplus income after spending. Let’s say your monthly income is Sh70,000. Spending this money on your bills and then investing the remainder is not right. The best way includes determining the investment amount first, setting it aside, and then surviving on the balance. Before I realised this, my surplus income, the one destined for investment, would be sometimes negative.

I once lost Sh2 million trading forex. I attribute the loss to my lack of discipline in my early trading years. I had built the portfolio up from Sh300,000 and was very excited to have reached Sh2 million. This made me overconfident, and I began taking bigger trades with larger risk exposure. I learned that your own emotions and expectations can be your enemy in trading.

I still have a challenge saving money. This is because I tend to view every single shilling lying in my bank account as investable. I feel like this money should be making me more money. Sometimes I fall into liquidity traps when I have used my savings to buy a stock and then a cash emergency forces me to get a small loan from a bank or mobile app to survive. Step by step, I am learning to build an emergency fund.

Investing early is like making your own gold in the backyard. New technologies are coming up every day that are changing the way we live and interact with each other. People who invest in these technologies are most probably going to be the millionaires of the future. Buying shares of these industry-changing leaders may create enormous wealth in the next 10-20 years. Don’t invest in ‘One day’; make it ‘Day one’ instead.

I have done both business and employment. Entrepreneurship is marketed as the best since there is a huge potential for income growth while job salaries tend to be viewed as stagnant. However, I tend to view employment as the base foundation where most entrepreneurs learn and build themselves before venturing out. If you have the funds and the entrepreneurial skills, go for it. It’s okay to get employed to build capital.

Courtesy/ Saturday Magazine

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