Sunday, September 9, 2007

Your Forex Trading Style - The Spider Or The Cat Approach?

Forex trading is a very individual activity and each trader has a particular Forex trading style depending on their personality type.

Being able to objectively analyze our own trading style is a great asset. We can then develop our style into a more consistent trading method by identifying positive and negative characteristics. The following analogy from the natural world is a tool we can use for self-analysis.

The Cat Versus the Spider

What's the difference?

Cat's Chase Their Prey

Cats by instinct chase their prey. They may stalk for a while and then pounce and chase, following their prey.

Applied to the foreign exchange markets, this type of Forex trading style involves watching for a price breakout or a substantial move in one direction and then joining it, effectively chasing the market.

Some traders like to have this confirmation that price is definitely moving in a particular direction before joining the momentum.

Spider's Net Their Prey

A spider on the other hand spins a web and patiently waits for the prey to come to them. The unsuspecting fly gets caught in the net and the spider gets a meal.

This analogy, as applied to a Forex trading style, exemplifies the trader who carefully examines price action in relation to previous support and resistance levels and anticipates where price is going to stall.

This trader now places an entry order at the strategic level and waits for price to come to them. When it does and fails to break through, instead retracing or bouncing, the trader gets paid!

Advantages Of The Spider Forex Trading Style

While many traders are successful in going with the momentum there are decided advantages to the spider method.

Entering a trade once price has already moved in a certain direction by 20 or 30 pips exposes one to the risk of a retracement. A bigger stop is necessary to cover the possibility that price may go back 20 or 30 pips to retest a previous line of support or resistance.

Also, price may abruptly stop just after we enter a trade moving rapidly in one direction and then retrace taking out the stop for a loss.

On the other hand, after carefully assessing major lines of support and resistance by looking at the higher time frames and seeing where price highs and lows have been over the last few days, we can predict where price is likely to stall or retrace.

Using Fibonacci calculations along with pivot points we can sometimes see 2 or 3 layers of support and resistance. If price has already moved a substantial number of pips during the trading session, it is likely to stall at a key support resistance level. Entering a trade at this point means we can set a smaller stop and we are nearer to getting our profit.

On the other hand, price may have moved a substantial number of pips, perhaps 30 or 40 in one direction, and is now retracing. By looking at the previous high or low, and by using Fibonacci, especially the 50% retracement level, we can predict how far price is likely to retrace before continuing in the direction of the trend.

Submitting an entry order to get into the market at that key retracement level often means we can set the stop just 20 to 25 pips away, beyond the price swing or high for safety, and collect a good profit of 25-40 pips at the Fibonacci 127% extension level.

The One That Gets Away

Of course, the spider will sometimes see a powerful fly go straight through the web and knock a hole in it! That's the one that got away.

The spider Forex trading style will sometimes see price go straight through a strong support or resistance level and not hesitate at all. Again, that's the one that got away!

However, more often than not, price will react at key support and resistance levels. By adopting a patient waiting attitude, allowing price to come to you rather than chasing it, a safer trading approach can be developed, one that can contribute to consistent substantial profits in the long run.

Once you have identified your personal Forex trading style, see if there are lessons you can learn and adjustments you can make using the cat and spider analogy. Try to develop the habit of netting your profits as opposed to chasing them!

Learn how the MACD indicator can help you avoid much anxiety:

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Currency Trading Systems - 5 Tests to Find the Best Systems

Heres a startling fact: Over 95 percent of the currency trading systems promoted by vendors cause traders to lose their money.

So, how do you find one of the 5 percent of trading systems that make money better yet, make big consistent profits.

Here are 5 tests you should apply, in order to find the best systems to incorporate in your Forex trading strategy - thus helping you and achieve big currency trading gains.

1. The Track Record

As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating - and the first place you need to start with any trading system is the track record.

Look for a system thats been used by the vendor - and made real dollars, in real trading.

The problem is, you wont find many systems that qualify.

Youll normally be given a hypothetical track record. Although these systems havent actually been traded buy the vendor, you can see if theyll work for you, by paying attention to the following points:

. Is it tracked in real time? Some ratings agencies do this and calculate profit and loss. This is almost as good as a real time track record - and well worth considering.

. If the system isnt tracked in real time, then dont buy it - move on!

Anyone can produce a track record knowing the closing prices - and most vendors do this - and hope youre naive enough to buy it. The track records are simply made up, and not worth your consideration.

In conclusion, a currency-trading system either must make real profits, or be tracked in real time - to show that the logic that provides the trading signals is soundly based.

2. The logic

Make sure you understand the logic (even if the system is successful). The reason for this is, you must have confidence in the trading systems ability to make money even when it hits a losing streak.

If you dont understand the system, then you wont have confidence in it - and youll lack the discipline to follow the system. If you dont have the discipline to follow a Forex trading system, then you dont really have a system at all!

3. Personality

Some systems require you to make subjective judgements, whilst other systems are totally objective - you must decide which suits you the best. In addition, are you a patient trader? If so, a long-term system will suit you. If youre impatient, then go for a swing trading system.

You also need to look at the worst peak to valley drawdown, using the systems track record. What is the worst loss you would have taken? - And how long did it take to recover?

Are you comfortable with it? Always assume the worst drawdown is to come - and be prepared for it.

Finally, how much work does the trading system need to operate - and do you have sufficient time to operate the system?

4. Find out about the vendor

How long have they been in business? Are they traders themselves?

Ask many questions - and carefully analyse the responses - to see if the vendors answers makes you feel comfortable.

Are they the type of people who you are comfortable working with? Do you think that youll get support when you need it? Start asking questions and youll soon find out!

5. Guarantee

Never buy a currency trading system without a guarantee of satisfaction.

Most vendors who have confidence in their system will give you a money back guarantee and sufficient time to test the system. You should also carefully check the terms and conditions of the guarantee and if you're not happy with them, pass the system by. Somebody will be offering another new trading system for sale before long!

Final Words

Successful currency trading systems are out there - you just have to find them. If you do find a good trading system, it can pay back the purchase price hundreds, maybe even thousands of times over.

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