The Million Dollar Decision

One of the most important life lessons I've learned is this: There isn't just one path to greatness.

Focusing on one thing is good.

Believing in one path is bad.

Last week, we talked about how to turn $10,000 into a million. In that example, I used just one robot to show how the transformation can be done.

Which begs the question: How do I know which robot to trade?

The answer? Pick what you like.

Okay. How do I do that?

The first thing you have to do is identify which currency pair you like the best.

So, which one is your favorite?

Don't say you don't know. If you say you don't know, I will punch myself in the face.

Everyone has a currency pair he/she likes.

Maybe you like a currency pair that's most active when you're awake. Maybe you like a currency pair that tends to take its own sweet time. Maybe you like one that moves quickly. Maybe you like one that trades a lot. Maybe you like one that only trades a little.

Regardless, if you really think about it, you have a favorite.

I've traded up to 15 currency pairs live, and I definitely have favorites.

For instance, I don't like CAD pairs. They're slow-moving, erratic, and prone to moodiness. I generally don't like CHFpairs. The spreads are wilder than other currency pairs and it tends to become manic at times. I really don't like the AUDUSD. It's slow, mostly pattern-less, and ridiculous. And I have a love/hate relationship with the AUDJPY.

But I like the USD. It tests well and trades well. When I watch USD-flavored robots, I can get a feel for how it's going to turn out. They respond well to testing and trade a reasonable amount of times.

Specifically, I like the USDJPY.  The main reason I started testing it years ago was the spread. The spread is very small which lowers trading costs. And it trades pretty often. Plus, news in the United States tends to affect this pair, so it's easy to pay attention to important macro events (even though I don't care much about important macro events).

The biggest reason I like it, though, is that the USDJPY tests well. It gives me data I truly enjoy.

Now you may feel differently. Guess what? That's okay! The first step to picking one robot is to pick what you like.

The next characteristic you have to decide on is how a robot operates in a live market. You have to like how often it trades, the maximum drawdown it suffers, and the profit it produces.

As you research those items, start to throw out the ones that make you impatient because they don't trade enough. Throw out the ones that make money but incur uncomfortably deep drawdowns. And throw out the ones that have good stats but only make a little bit of money.

Now you should be left with a small group of currency pairs to choose from, or possibly you've narrowed it down to just one.

Even then, you still may have work to do.

For example, in my testing archives, I have over twenty versions of the USDJPY robot (I told you I liked this currency pair!). Of those twenty, I have at least five robots that I trust, probably more, and they all have similar statistics.

So even though we've whittled it down, we're still back to the original question: How do we pick just one?

I've talked a lot about the USDJPY, and I'm happy to trade only that one. But keep in mind I have other currency pairs that have nearly identical results. I definitely like the data (and live trading) on the GBPUSD, EURAUD, GBPJPY, and USDCHF. All of those would do practically the same thing the USDJPY can do, and I would be happy to trade any of those by themselves.

The truth is, once you get this far in the process, it doesn't really matter what you choose.

To illustrate, let's say you've thought about what your perfect day looks like, and after weeks of thought, you've pruned your list down to three things.

You would love to take a long walk in a beautiful national park and have a picnic. You would love to go to a world-class restaurant in Vegas followed by a show. Or you would like to take a relaxing drive down the California coast and walk on the beach.

If you could only do one of those things, which would you choose? The answer is: it doesn't matter. Any of those would be fantastic, and you would never be sad you didn't choose one of the others because the choice you made was so good.

The truth is there isn't just one robot that can help a small account turn into a big one. There isn't just one trading system that can substantially grow your money. There isn't just one guru who has all the answers.

There are many ways to get to the finish line.

As long as you diligently do your research and sincerely choose what you like, you'll do fine.