Bulls and Bears – oh my!

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

Anyone who has flicked through the financial channels on their cable TV box without really stopping to listen to what is being said will probably be occasionally confused by references to “bulls” and “bears”. These terms are common parlance in trading situations, and can be heard or read in any market analysis if you stay tuned long enough. They are not references to sports teams, nor to a traveling zoo visiting a trading floor, but rather to styles of market.

A “bull” market is, in short, a market on the rise. It is characterised by a great deal of investor confidence, which can carry on for an indefinite period of time. When a currency breaks its resistance level, it is expected to continue rising, to move with a singularity of purpose. This is much like the way a bull is characterised. Additionally, it triggers herd behavior, as more and more investors will join in and invest more. The term “bull market” is therefore a good definition of a market behaving confidently.

“Bear” markets, on the other hand, are the exact opposite of bulls. Where prices fall and the investor mood is negative, the support level may be broken and the price will continue to fall. The most common explanation for the terminology here is that when a bear attacks its prey, it tends to do so by striking downwards. For a true bear market to be declared, a majority of currencies need to fall, however a single currency can be described as behaving “bearishly”.

Support and Resistance – the two key words

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Featured, Forex Tips

To really understand the behavior of a currency on the Forex market it is important to see how it has behaved over a period of time. Taken over the course of a very short space of time, it is possible to make data mean just about anything. This, in turn, means that the data will be almost worthless. Over a longer period of time, however, patterns always seem to assert themselves, and establish a firm basis for predicting the future behavior of a currency price. Among the most important figures that appear in a pattern are the support and resistance points.

The point of “support” for any currency is the price level beneath which a currency never trades – effectively its market “bottom”. Whenever the price reaches this level, it almost always bounces back upwards, and for this reason many people will invest when a currency hits that point. Conversely, the “resistance” point is the traditional high point of a currency price, above which it never trades. If you are looking to cash out, this is a good reference point.

Of course, the old saying “there’s a first time for everything” exists for a reason. There will come a time when a currency breaks its support or resistance levels, and this is seen as hugely important. When a currency does this it will be expected to continue this trend, possibly for an extended period of time. It is therefore a good time to get “in” if it is rising or “out” if it is falling.

The reliability of trending data

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

When making an investment in the Forex market – or indeed cashing out of one – it is common to use the trending patterns of the currency that you are trading. This is data that has been collected over a period of time – in many cases over the course of years, even decades. Knowing how to read the data effectively can make you a lot of money, or save you from making a catastrophic loss. The way that you go about investing can make a big difference, and it is advised that you do not ignore the lessons of history. However, can it be said that the historic data is foolproof?

Well, the only true answer to that question is “no”. Very few things in this world are 100% certain, and anything that is so certain is not going to be a sound basis for investment because it will never move in terms of value. As far as is possible, the most popular methods of data analysis within the Forex market can be very reliable and aid a profit strategy, but you must accept that they carry a certain risk. That risk is reduced the longer a period of data collection continues. However it is important to be aware that the lower the risk, the lower the potential reward becomes.

It is fair to say that any sound strategy needs to have a basis in data. The more data you have, the more comprehensive your strategy. You need to be aware at the point of investment however that there is a chance your strategy will fail, no matter how much data went into creating it. This does not mean the data was bad, just that on this occasion the market won.

Technical Analysis of the Forex Market

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

Along with fundamental analysis, technical analysis is one of the two main methods of informing oneself and building a stronger position to profit from the Forex market. While fundamental analysis allows you to predict the movement of a currency by looking at the political and economic position of a country, technical analysis has more to do with looking at collected market data and using it to predict future movement. This is an approach that is very commonly used on the stock market, for example, where historic data is the single most important part of predicting future performance.

While a fundamental analysis will look at the reasons for market movement – allowing us to know why something happened – the technical analysis of the same market will tell us exactly what happened. That is to say that it will give us the raw data. Fundamental analysis requires an extremely broad view and, for those who are disinterested in politics, can be overly time-consuming. If these people are strong technical analysts, they can usually learn enough from the movements themselves. Whatever the reason for a movement, the fact is that currency prices follow trends.

Regardless of anything else, people know that patterns have emerged in how foreign currencies behave, patterns which have held true for more than a century. These patterns mirror human behavior – one of the few constant things in the world – and therefore are an excellent way of predicting the future. You may not know who the President of a certain country is, but if you know how its currency performs over a period of time you are well within your rights to not care.

Analyzing the market to your advantage

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Featured, Forex Tips

It has been said by many experienced traders that Forex is a more volatile market than any of the available options. The theory goes that it is difficult enough to judge a single company’s value at a given time and in the future, just imagine how hard it is to do the same thing with a whole country. This philosophy takes the point of view that analyzing the Forex market relies on careful reading over a period of time. Some knowledge of world affairs is also advantageous, as it allows you to be aware in advance of the timing of important announcements which can cause market volatility.

Others will treat the Forex market exactly like they would treat any other stock market, and take a more technical approach to analyzing their next step. This is not as simple a process in Forex as it is in the stock market, as the Forex is a 24-hour market, and the data-gathering systems require some modification to work effectively on Forex. Nonetheless, where these methods of technical analysis have been correctly applied, they have proved to be an effective way of making a profit on the Forex market just as their original forms proved on other markets.

While the first method is more of a global, evidence-based approach and the second tends towards techniques and patterns, both have been proven to be successful if correctly applied. It is highly advisable, though, to recognise which one to apply at a given time, as confusion can easily arise around what exactly the data tells you. Pick the method that you require and use the other to supplement it. That is the only way you can confidently operate in the long term.

The Perils of Over-Reacting

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

Trading on the Forex market is something that can be quite thrilling, such is the potential for making real money. For many people, the thing that attracts them about the Forex market is exactly the same thing that can turn them off it – that is to say the high stakes which exist. Successful trading can make you very rich very quickly, but a bad trade can wipe your profit out in the blink of an eye. Having a negative experience early on can cause a trader to decide not to return to the trading arena. Even the fear of something going wrong can put the brakes on a promising trading career.

It is completely human to be cautious early on in your trading career, in fact, being over-cautious is better than being reckless, because as beneficial as a daring strategy can be, if you suffer a major loss early on in your trading career it can put the thought of failure in your mind on every future trade. You will, in all likelihood, lose leverage from your broker, and you may also become prone to a kind of paralysis which prevents you from trading at all. However, this does not mean that you should react hastily to any drop in the market because every market undergoes corrections from time to time. A short drop is not always the precursor to a crash, and judging the right time to stop your loss is something you will learn to do with experience.

Don’t assume that you know everything

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

If there is one piece of advice that should be issued to every potential Forex trader before they go anywhere near the trading floor (virtual or otherwise) it is this: “You may well arrive at the conclusion that you are always right. Get that idea out of your head now before it is proved to be dead wrong.”

The fact of the matter is that even the most experienced traders, and the most successful of those, have made mistakes in the past. In fact, the ones who have continued to trade for years and made a lot of money will very often be the ones who didn’t get overconfident. There is only one thing that can come from absolute confidence, and that is a rude awakening. Allow yourself to consider the phrase “the only thing that I truly know is that I know nothing”. Although it may not be quite true, it at least allows you to keep reasonable expectations.

The simple truth is that a bit of confidence is always worthwhile – it pushes you to make decisions that can be risky but are manageable. Too much confidence however is always bad. It does not allow you to keep an open mind. Without an open mind you will not be able to play the market successfully, as it will often be too late to react and make quick profits. The race, as corny as it sounds, is only against yourself, so take the time to learn its course and you will benefit.

Learn the lessons of history – good and bad

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

The world in which we live is constantly changing. Physically, morally, financially, things which we held to be true ten years ago have in many instances ceased to be the case. However, this does not mean that we cannot learn from the past. After all, a wise man once said these words, or something close: “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. In other words, unless you learn from your mistakes you stand an excellent chance of making the same mistakes again. In fact, one could go further and say that you should also learn from the mistakes of other people. It is true that you can learn much more from a mistake than you can from something flawless.

It is, then, an excellent idea to keep a watch for the same data cropping up time and again in the Forex market. Where before you might have been led to believe that a certain market was going a certain way, and followed what the data suggested, you may well have found that that action was ill-advised. When the conditions reoccur you should be highly cautious of reacting in the same way – the potential drawbacks for you could be just as negative, if not more so.

It is much better for you to do your research and be initially cautious when it comes to trading on the market. After a while of intelligent conduct you may well have earned yourself enough money to put by for security, and let your instincts dictate your actions for a while to see if they make you as much money as you expect.

Don’t get carried away – consistency is the key!

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

When trading on any stock market it is easy to look at early positive results and think yourself bullet-proof. In fact, the world’s impression of stock traders in many cases tends to picture them as extremely sure of themselves and convinced that they alone hold the secrets that create wealth. This is due in no small part to the fact that, not all that long ago, that was exactly how the typical market trader behaved. It would be easy to sneer at people for behaving in that way, but the stakes involved in the world’s big markets create that kind of attitude. If your every decision can mean several figures of profit or loss, you need to at least appear confident.

There is a fine line between self-assurance and over-confidence. There is an equally small space between the relatively self-assured confidence of a trader who has just had a moderate success and the complete blind panic of someone who has just seen their positions tumble. As far as possible, you have to remain constant in your emotions when trades are live. Most traders will set stop-loss and take-profit positions on their trades, which enable them to get out while there is still time to protect some money, or to cash out before a rising stock hits difficulties. These are cautionary steps, and can be very worthwhile.

Never assume that you alone hold all the secrets. It only takes one thread to be pulled for the whole thing to come apart, and make you look very stupid. It is better to be cautious and have a house, than be impulsive and homeless.

Things to keep in mind for Forex traders

February 25, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Forex Tips

There is plenty of risk involved in trading on just about any market. Hostile conditions can leave you high and dry if you do not have the knowledge required to get out of a risky position at the right time. On the other hand, over-reaction to a temporary situation can put you in an equally tough situation, so it is worth keeping some things in mind

  • Firstly, remember that you are trading with borrowed money. Before you make your first real trades, open a demo account and use that to test your instincts. Once you are making profits consistently you can switch to trading real money – and will be much less likely to lose it. If you have encouraging early results, do not be tempted to jump right in – this is not the time for high risks.
  • Be consistent. It is easy to get carried away if you feel that a position is destined to bring you a profit. You may think inwardly that you have a stop-loss point of no return, but when the currency hits that price you flinch and convince yourself that it is coming back up. You might as well not have set the limit in the first place, then. Have realistic targets and stick to them.
  • Choose your broker wisely. There are some Forex brokers who use legally or morally questionable tactics to guarantee a profit and there is no-one they will not sell out – yourself included. Ask around for tips, and follow the advice that keeps coming up.

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