Length : 2.30 Minutes 

Risk Management (RM) - Drawdowns (Part 2)

Under the risk management topic we already covered the important topic of  “Diversification”. In this topic the second most important aspect of risk management, which is drawdowns will be covered.

Cannot ignore that losses in FX trading happen from time to time. There are basically two levels on which losses impact a trader’s performance:

1-Psychological impact of losses 



Percentage decline in the account equity is called “Drawdown”. For example, if you lose 3% of your account capital after one or few losing trades, your account drawdown now equals to 3%.

Why is it so important?


One has to consider that as the drawdowns becomes bigger, it becomes increasingly difficult to recover from it. When you lose 10% of your account balance, you have only 90% of your initial balance to trade with. And because of the smaller capital, now you need to generate higher return on the reduced capital in order to undo that drawdown. 

However, things can get very ugly, once drawdown becomes too large. In fact if you lose 50% of your capital due to excessive risk-taking or reckless trading, you need to generate a 100% return with the remaining 50% capital that you have left to climb back to the start.


Besides that, larger drawdowns tend to weaken a trader’s discipline. Many traders begin to trade more sloppily after losing 15% to 20% of their capital. It is a vicious cycle of risk-seeking trading behaviour, where a losing trader is psychologically driven to take higher risks as the difficulty of the recovery increases exponentially.

How to protect the account capital and prevent large drawdown?


In forex, your capital is your weapon to fight in the market. Protecting the capital is significantly important. Thus, It is important to implement a proper risk management strategy that consists of:


Right position sizing (will be covered in the next post)


Correct and wise Diversification. (Refer to the previous post for tips and tricks)


Having Strict Exit Strategy (Refer to the ATR post for tips and knowhow)


Use of Scaling out Strategies, eg. trailing Stops.


In the next topic, we will cover another important topic of RM (Position sizing).

After all trading is just like running a business, if the costs get out of control the business can sink and go bankrupt. Thus, in order to stay successful in the business of forex trading, you have to treat just like any other businesses and control your losses and protect your capital In forex trading first a trader has to learn to protect his account capital, and protecting it must be the first priority. Many amature traders, only think about how to make money once they start trading, and completely ignore the importance of capital and risk management by taking excessive risks to fulfil their 'holy grail" mentality.