The Forex market is the largest trading network in the world with $1.8 trillion dollars being exchanged every day. There are dozens of different currencies traded but the big players to focus on are all traded with the US dollar and include: EUR (Euro), GBP (British pound), JPY (Japanese yen), CHF (Swiss franc), AUD (Australian dollar), NZD (New Zealand dollar), and the CAN (Canadian dollar). Each of these currencies is exchanged with the currency of other nations at different exchange rates—which are always in a state of flux because the market trades around the clock (Sunday through Friday). The volatility and sheer size of the market means that there is ample fluctuation to produce big profits—and losses. The challenge for the investor, as always, is to predict which direction the rates of currency pairs will fluctuate.
The beginning point in any investment strategy is determining what type of analysis will be used to help guide enter and exit decisions. Investors who use fundamental analysis look at a nation’s interest rates and other economic indicators when deciding to enter or exit a position. Fundamental investors tend to trade based upon news releases and economic data from the nations involved in the currency pair.
Briefly, technical analysis involves the interpretation of price performance and chart patterns—all historical data. Some technical indicators used in this type of analysis include:
• Moving averages including Simple & Exponential
• Breakout Points
• Lines of Support & Resistance
Technical traders do not believe that the past necessarily predicts the future—but that long and short term trends can be identified and exploited to help guide current decisions on entry and exit points on positions. Technical traders try to identify current trends in the Forex market to determine entry and exit points. If they are correct, they can ride a trend (in either direction) for a profit until an exit point is reached (when the trend is ending).
The most successful traders on the Forex tend to look for long-term trends and favor technical analysis. Fundamental traders have to enter and exit positions very quickly in order to capitalize in price fluctuations caused by news events (interest rate changes, release of economic data, etc.) and are therefore more vulnerable due to excessive trading. If there truly was “a secret” to trading success on the Forex, the top investors all tend to agree on the following:
1. Choose currency pairs involving U.S. dollar (has volume to produce the price fluctuations necessary for big profits and the liquidity to enter/exit positions at will)
2. Find currency pair through backtesting that has most profit potential (pip movement) and least volatility through use of technical analysis
3. After determining trends, set stops and exit points for both protection and maximum profitability
4. Review charts once per day (overtrading and day trading can hurt your portfolio)
5. Remain patient and exit positions once technical decision point has been reached
If there really is a secret to trading success on the Forex it has to be patience. Trading strategies are never perfect because the market will never be predictable 100% of the time. There will be times when any strategy fails and stop points are reached before profits are realized. Continuous back testing, remaining patient, and setting stops are the true secrets of Forex success.