20 Uncommon Forex Tips For Finding Success In The Markets
One cannot throw a stone on the internet without hitting a "Forex Tips" articles. We wanted to present you with one but we hope these tips will fall in the category of not quite as well known. There are a couple of commonly addressed principles in this list, but with some thoughts about them that are different from what you will normally see. Many of these tips are aimed at the new trader; but there are some things that experienced traders may find useful as well.
1. It is worth watching the 200 EMA with almost any strategy
The 200 EMA can be relevant to any trader in any higher time frame due to price often reacting to it because so many traders reference it. If a signal should appear near the 200 EMA, the trader would do well to wait until it passes cleanly through or get in on a potential reversal. You can test this by adding a 200 EMA to higher time frame charts and looking at how price reacts historically when it drew near the 200 EMA.
2. USD traders should be interested in NY close 4 hr/daily charts
Several traders who set out to trade the 4 hr or daily charts do not always realize that the close of their charts matter. Charts that close at midnight GMT have a small fraction of a bar on them which sets signals slightly off. If you intend to trade a 4 hr or daily chart with any USD pair you would do well to ensure your broker closes the candlestick right after the NY session; as this is considered the standard for people that trade those pairs to analyze. Ask your broker's support if you are unsure of their close.
3. The Asian session often has false movement
Part of the reason USD traders analyze and place trades between the NY close and Asian open is the influence of false movements. On many occasions, price will pull back during the Asian session and then rebound during New York. A trader should be aware of this to prevent getting knocked out of trades with tight stops or face premature triggering of their orders.
4. Scalping features shorter trades but requires more attention
Scalping is often advertised as a great means to spend just a few minutes involved with the markets to build profit. The reality is a bit different. Yes, the trades are much shorter than multi-day trades, however the participant needs to pay attention and analyze the charts for longer chunks of time to find multiple, perfect set ups for their strategy. That often requires a greater degree of focus and attention than long-term trading strategies.
5. Daily charts are the easiest to learn on
A trader who is new or hasn't quite made it into profitability should keep in mind that Daily charts are the best time frame to learn on. They aren't too long but they are long enough that they don't suffer from a lot of noise like lower time frame charts. Signals tend to have more strength behind them because they are aggregating a larger body of information. The 4 hour chart also features strong signals but has a bit more noise to it than the Daily.
6. Too many indicators can sabotage your success
Trading can be a complicated beast depending on what kind of strategy you decide to embrace. Developing your own strategy when you don't have an in-depth knowledge of the markets and indicators is extremely difficult. Many traders make the mistake of trying to incorporate too many indicators into their strategy thus they either miss opportunities because of conflicting information or execute on circumstances that don't relate due to how their indicators work in tandem.
7. Not all trading strategies are created equally
A trading strategy is often more than a collection of indicators; it tends to be a reflection of the creator and their trading philosophy. A calculated, methodical trader will probably favor a calculating, methodical strategy. Traders that are easily excitable are not likely to find success scalping as it is high-stress and requires immediate decision making to be profitable. The trader should strive to find the strategy that meshes best with their personality and trading philosophy.
8. Traders often spend exceptional energy on finding good entries; but neglect exits
Determining Stop Loss placement is normally part of a well-developed strategy. The point that traders often neglect is when to exit from a profitable trade to ensure they are securing and building onto their profit. The right exit criteria will often depend on the trader's personal risk appetite and goals. Exits will have to be shorter for a scalping strategy than for a daily time frame. A scalper may go for a 1:1.5 profit while the long term trader may go for 1:2 or greater risk versus reward. There are some long-term strategies that aim even higher than that but place very few trades. They may aim for 1:6 or greater but only place a handful of trades per month.
9. There are good times and bad times to execute trades on the calendar
The run up to the week or so before Christmas until after the New Year is typically a very low volatility time. Signals may regularly appear but go absolutely nowhere because there is simply not enough participation in the forex markets during the holidays. Scalpers may be able to ply their strategy and eke out a profit but long-term traders will likely be better off hanging up their accounts for a couple of weeks and taking a break until things pick back up.
10. Support and Resistance are drawn as lines on a chart but they act more like zones
Experienced traders will read this and probably think "no kidding"; but this point isn't hammered on nearly enough in material meant for new traders. The higher the time frame, the wider you should considered the Support/Resistance zone to be. This is an important bit of information for placing effective Stop Losses. If you're likely to hit Resistance at 1.1000, then you will want to put your stop at 1.1025 so there is enough breathing room.
11. Price often slows down while heading into a Support or Resistance area
Sometimes you can see momentum slowing and traders piling out several pips before it actually reaches the technical zone. A trader can make an estimation of how much counter-trading is happening on the lower time frame charts. Is there clear, dominant movement toward the level? Or is there a lot of pull back as traders close out their positions? If you are looking to set a Take Profit; then you should aim several pips before you will hit the zone.
12. A Trading Journal is a significant aid for long-term success
Many traders neglect keeping an informative Trading Journal. There are many easy to use spreadsheets available out there to keep track of the numbers. The trader should not neglect to take a screenshot of all relevant charts used for decision making, entry, and exit of the trade. Some spreadsheets or trading journal software packages allow easy linking between a trade and attached graphics. Other traders may find it easier to simply print off the charts and keep a three ring binder journal.
13. The shift from profitable Demo account to Live often ends in blown out accounts
Almost every trader has an "I blew out my account" story to tell. This happens a lot when a trader is confident with a successful Demo account, moves Live, and proceeds to lose their balance. Why does this happen? Emotion. It's easy to make decisions when you have play money on the line. It's an entirely different story when it's your own money. If you are ready to make the transition to live; do yourself a favor and open a micro account with a couple hundred dollars first to get used to the difference in conditions. Read section 8 of this post to see what I did when I first started out on a micro account.
14. Look for High Volatility events that may impact your trade before entering
There are numerous economic calendars available on the internet that will have a breakdown of important events that may impact forex in the coming days. It's not a good idea to enter the markets ahead of one of these events as the market response can be very unpredictable. A quick look at a calendar will note that there are regular speeches from government leaders or financial officials. These speeches are almost always tagged as "Low Volatility" and normally are. However, it is not uncommon for the relevant currency to make a drastic run in response to something they say or allude to in their speech. Always treat these events as "High Volatility" instead.
15. Avoid piling money on to pairs sharing a single currency
Not all forex traders keep an eye on multiple currency pairs. The trader that does should be wary of taking multiple positions in a shared currency. As an example; let's say a quality long signal appears on the EURUSD and GBPUSD. A trader that enters in a long position on both currencies is speculating that the USD will gain against both the EUR and GBP. Is that more likely to happen than at least one gaining against the USD? The trader mostly stands to either break even or lose twice as much if the USD happens to dive. Pick the strongest signal and trade that one into profitability before taking a second trade in a shared currency.
16. Stress is expected but should not be overwhelming
The trader that finds themselves struggling to sleep at night or constantly worrying about their positions should reevaluate their methodology. Are they using too much leverage? Are they risking money they cannot afford to lose? Are they risking far too much of their trading capital? One needs to eliminate as much stress as they possibly can from their trading so they can carry on with their lives as normal, not just for the quality of their life, but for the sake of making good trading decisions. Use whatever relaxation techniques work before analyzing or managing orders.
17. There is no "holy grail" or forex robot that will print out money
Automated trading is a tool that many experienced traders use to make their jobs easier. A forex robot can perform a number of functions for the trader to help make their analysis and execution easier. It is not a replacement for developing the skills and understanding needed to trade profitably. Products that are marketed as such are only going to make the person selling them rich. The fact of the matter is- you don't need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on robots and systems to learn to trade forex profitably. All of the information you need is out there on the internet for free.
18. A Stop Loss should never be moved back to permit more loss
This is a rather common tip but there is something else at work. Moving a Stop Loss back suggests that the trader does not have a solid risk management plan, is not strictly adhering to their plan, or does not know how to identify where the Stop Loss should be placed for their trading strategy. ALL of these points are a severe detriment to successful, long-term trading. The actual problem behind the action needs to be ferreted out and corrected so that the trader can find success. If you find yourself moving your Stop Loss back, take the time to figure out why and correct it immediately!
19. The markets will continue to be there in a couple weeks
Stress and emotional management are essential disciplines for forex trading success. A trader that is having a hard time in life, going through a rough spot, suffered some losses, or really anything that would throw them off their game should consider taking some time away from the markets to get rebalanced. Forex success is not built overnight and the world markets will be there when you are ready to come back to them. If you're getting frustrated or upset; take a break! Vacations are common in careers not only for the employee but for their mind to be cleared from thinking about work. It allows the employee to come back with a fresh mentality and hopefully fresh ideas. Make that principle work for you!
20. Pick a path to success and specialize as much as possible
There are traders out there that try and dabble around in different time frames with different strategies to find success. The reality is, not a lot of those traders end up making it. Why? Well, trying to master multiple, extremely complicated disciplines is hard. The trader ends up getting information mixed up or neglect gaining new information on a particular strategy to continue growing. Take the time to read through strategies until you find something that really resonates with you. Once you do, absorb as much information as you can on that strategy and implement it into profitability. Forex is a long-term journey of learning. You won't mastery your strategy overnight- but you will with plenty of time and effort invested in it.
Have any uncommon tips for us? We'd love to hear about it in the comments section!
This post was written by Dennis Heil, a private forex trader from Ventura CA.
Read more from Dennis here.