Even the best trading systems will only be right about 60% of the time. So for every 10 trades, you will lose an average of four times. Even trading systems or certain trading setups with higher rates of return nearing 80% usually fall back to a more realistic 60% return when actually traded. This is because the rates of return on most systems tend to regress to the mean.
If you’re losing 40% of the time, you need to control risk. You can do so by implementing stops and controlling trade size. You never really know which trades will be successful, and as a result, you must control risk on every trade, regard- less of how profitable you think the trade will be. If you end up with more winning trades than losing ones, you can do very well with a 60% win to loss ratio. In fact, with effective risk control, you can sustain multiple losses without devasta- tion to your trading account and emotions.
By not controlling risk and by using improper trade sizes, however, traders can go broke in no time. It usually happens like this: They begin trading, get five losses in a row, don’t use proper trade sizes, and don’t cut their losses soon enough. After five substantial losses in a row, those traders do not have enough capital to continue. And it can happen that quickly.