If you’re looking to learn forex trading strategies, you’ve come to the right place. At Trade With Precision, we love to trade forex and forex trading strategies are our specialty.
Around USD5 trillion passes through the forex market every day, and they are open 24 hours, five and half days a week, making it easily accessible.
Traders don’t need to capture the biggest or all of this market’s movements to make a good, consistent living. But you must have solid forex strategies before you enter the forex market. Unfortunately, there are many people that just play around on the fringes of the foreign exchange market after having attended a forex webinar or two, the majority losing their capital. It is a commonly touted fact that up to 90 per cent of retail forex traders lose money over the longer term.
Here at Trade With Precision, it is our aim to teach you via our forex trading education to learn to trade and how to become part of the 10% of traders who DO make consistent returns from the market and how you can become the best trader you can be. We use a holistic approach to currency trading by combining technical analysis, trading strategy and fundamental analysis such as economic news (e.g. Central Bank interest rate changes).
The videos on this web page, from some of our top traders reveal why forex trading strategies are so important, and how you can develop and successfully execute them to get consistent results.
Developing forex trading strategies
Developing a trading strategy is a key element in becoming a successful trader. New traders often confuse strategy with technical analysis and the various indicators.
Over the years, the industry has developed many shorthand descriptions for the various shapes that appear in our charts. New traders work to master technical patterns such as double bottoms, double tops, triangles, symmetrical triangles, ascending triangles, bull and bear flags, the great variety of candlestick patterns – dojis, hammers etc. These patterns are all part of technical analysis.
Traders also learn about indicators – and there are hundreds, including MACD, Stochastics, Bollinger bands and RSI. These too are part of technical analysis.
By working their way through the different types of technical analysis and indicators, they think they have acquired a strategy. For example, a trader may say his strategy is to trade double bottoms. Or it might be that he trades MACD crossovers, or moving averages, or bounces off support and resistance. And so the trader hits the markets, without even a basic understanding of risk management, and seeks to buy and sell currencies based on the various shapes and patterns, only to find it doesn’t work. He then goes on to the next pattern, the next indicator or the next trading system.
However, to be successful, a trader needs to effectively combine the technical patterns and indicators. For example, experienced traders may say they focus on trading breakouts. But in fact, based on their strategy, they only trade them when all the indicators are in agreement with the trade envisaged by the strategy. In other words, only when the oscillating indicators are converging, when moving averages are in alignment, and the candles are small and compact around the flat, breakout level and that there is agreement on multiple time frames.
So, in order to create a trading strategy, it’s not enough to attend a forex webinar, open a trading account, subscribe to a trading platform and simply learn and serially trade the various patterns and indicators. We need to pull together a checklist that effectively combines technical ingredients and indicators. After that, we can tweak and refine the strategy as we go, to make it better as we strive for the ultimate goal, which is being able to achieve consistent results.
Consistency is key
One of the key elements for successful trading is consistency. If we don’t trade consistently, we actually don’t know whether we should be changing, what we should be changing, or how we can improve.
What normally happens is that people put a number of factors together and think they’ve developed a strategy. They assume that their combination is better than just trading on the basis of one piece of technical analysis. But when they put their various factors together and place a few trades, they find it doesn’t work. So they change their strategy. And that doesn’t work either. They end up stumbling from one poorly conceived strategy to another, looking for the one that works.
Now, that’s like me going and picking out a golf professional and saying, teach me your strategy. And I go out there, and I do 10 different swings, and none of them work – the ball finds every hazard and tree on the course. So I go to another golf pro and ask him to teach me his strategy. But it still isn’t working for me. So I keep on changing swings and approaches until I eventually reach a point where I just give up.
That is what happens with a lot of golfers. And it also happens with traders. They are out there, flipping from one strategy to another, flailing away and failing with each one. Until eventually, inevitably, they give up.
So why do we need to stick with a strategy once we develop one? Because we need to achieve consistency. If we get really good at the strategy, and then we consistently and flawlessly execute it, we start to see consistent results from our investment of time.
By consistent, I don’t mean winning on every trade: nobody does that. I mean, that we get to a point where we’re winning on, say, 4 out of 10, or 6 out of 10 trades. It might be 4 out of 10 with an average reward-to-risk of 2 to 1, meaning we win twice what we lose. That means we have a good, consistent strategy that we can keep on applying.
But it might be we’re getting 4 out of 10, and we’re only making the same as we lose, in which case that strategy is not working for us. We might be able to tweak and adjust something to get it to the point where it either makes a bit more money or wins a bit more often. If we’re getting, say, 6 out of 10, if we’re winning the same as we lose, then we’re making money. And we might be able to look for small tweaks to make it better.
But what we don’t want to do is make drastic changes quickly. The key to trading is consistency. We need a trading strategy applied consistently and flawlessly executed to give us consistent results.
Using simple technical analysis to develop a strategy
A basic trading strategy can be built on some really simple technical analysis. To illustrate this simplicity, let’s consider an example. First, we’ll take trading with the trend – an obvious form of price action trading.
An uptrend is evident every time the market makes a higher high, pulls back to make a higher low than the previous one, then pushes on to a new higher high. When the market is trending in such a way, we have an uptrend. Conversely, a downtrend is revealed when we see lower highs and lower lows. This is a simple yet important piece of our strategy, which is easily tracked through our technical analysis.
Now let’s take another very simple and very popular form of strategy, trading breaks of flat levels – and yes, we need them to be flat. If you start connecting highs and lows to form sloping levels, then you are dealing in an extremely subjective form of technical analysis which can be difficult to profit from consistently. Remember, consistency is key! The signals we should look out for on a chart is price hitting the same price point multiple times to form a support or resistance level. We then trade breaks up through resistance, or breaks down through support.
We’ll only trade as price breaks up through resistance as long as price is in a well-defined uptrend, or as price breaks down through support in a downtrend. We’ve just combined two of the simplest, basic, and popular forms of technical analysis.
Let’s throw something else in the mix: moving averages. A popular moving average technique is for a shorter-term average to have crossed a longer one. Let’s imagine we have just pulled back, we’ve moved up, we’ve pulled back. A shorter-term average has probably crossed down through a longer-term average. As that crosses back up, that might be a very popular signal to trade.
Our preference is for averages to be fanning all in the same direction, with shorter-term and longer-term averages going the same way, pointed upwards if it’s an uptrend and downwards if it’s a down trend. Whichever way you like to use the averages, you can include one in the mix.
And if you don’t already use indicators, you could go and research one or two, and use whichever ones you want. For example, you could use the MACD indicator, and take a long trade when the indicator is in an oversold position, or to avoid taking a long trade if it is an overbought position. You can use whatever criteria you want, take them and combine them together. And we have now taken very simple technical analysis factors and created a trading strategy.
We can add more and more levels to it. But the key learning here is that we are not just looking for one technical factor to be happening at any one time – we might as well throw darts to pick an entry position. Instead, we’re looking to use multiple technical factors, all occurring at the same time to give us more of an edge, more chance of winning. That is a forex trading strategy.
Dealing with trading isolation
Forex trading strategies are not just about the charts, technical analysis and volatility caused by economic news. Having the right mindset can play a huge role in trading success. One of the key reasons why it’s so difficult for beginner traders to survive their early learning period, is down to one single fact. We’re trying to build a very important set of skills under pressure, and we’re doing it in isolation.
Trading isn’t a skill that is casually picked up. We need to become professional and fast, because both our lives and our livelihoods are likely to be impacted. Becoming a trader will also affect the people around us and could also damage our health. It’s not like learning a new language, or taking up a new sport.
All of these factors will weigh upon our mind. But the crucial issue is that we are trying to master this very demanding skill in isolation, when we really need as much feedback as possible.
How do we get really good at something that’s tricky to develop if we don’t know what we’re doing, and we have nobody else to talk to about it? Trading is a real world, real time learning environment – you can’t learn it at university. It’s both art and a science. There is no way you can just sit in that online environment and develop the skills instantly. And because you are mostly retail traders, working from home, you can’t sit in a bank trading floor and pick up the trade from experienced traders.
It really comes down to this: as new traders, we don’t know if we’re doing well. We don’t know if we’re doing the right stuff. Sometimes we stick to the rules, and sometimes we bend them a little. And then the results are inconsistent. Because we can make money when we bend the rules, and we can lose money when we stick to the rules. Or the opposite. New traders often don’t know where they stand (or sit).
There are a couple of solutions to this. First of all, if you’re with Trade With Precision, if you’re on our forex trading education program, you will be part of a supportive environment. TWP has a dedicated crew of full time, active traders. We are available, we are responsive, and we ensure we support and nurture each one of our retail clients and give them as much, or as little hand holding as each prefers. Our forex trading strategies, forex trading education and forex training has helped thousands of traders since the company began helping traders in 2006..
The other single most important thing traders can do to improve their game, is to keep a trading journal. Snapshot every single trade setup and review it afterwards. Develop a system for yourself that is easy to keep up and is low maintenance.
Your trading journal becomes your sounding board. It becomes a frame of reference and feedback, especially when you are reviewing those trades with your mentor. The journal should become an extension of your trading self. After all it catalogues the history of how you journeyed from a beginner trader through to achieving consistency – you keep the trading journal forever, because you will keep on getting better.
There is a point where you go from inconsistent results to breaking even – which in itself is a sign of consistency – to then starting to make money. You will have some wobbles as you go. But you will be able to correct a lot faster.
The journal helps develop the skill to be able to make sound decisions based on evidence. We are now – some argue – living in a world of alternative facts, where the truth is debatable. But we still have to survive.
The beautiful side effect of becoming an effective trader is that we learn how to think for ourselves and have faith in ourselves and make decisions for ourselves. Those are amazing skills to have, and to be able to pass on to the people closest to us.