Saturday, January 03, 2009

How to Formulate a Profitable Trading Plan In The Forex Market

Investments & Trading

There is no magic formula that ensures profit on any type of investment. The forex market is no exception to this, but there are some steps you can take when devising your own personal investing plan that will not only make profit a more likely result, but will insulate you somewhat from disaster.

* Select Your Term: There are three basic time frames within the forex market dealing with the length of time a position in a certain currency is held. They are long term, medium term, and short term. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The short term position holder, sometimes known as a scalper, will be making rapid fire trades often exchanging currencies back and forth within a single day. The long term trader will hold on to his currency for months or even years. The medium term trader usually holds his positions for a few days or a week. The advantage of the medium term is that it requires the least amount of capital to realize profit. Leverage is only needed to boost that profit, whereas in both long and short term trading, it is needed to both protect the investment, and insure any chance of profit. Although medium term is recommended for the beginning investor, and involves less risk, you need to identify which is right for your personal plan, and stick to it. A plan that tries to use all three at once will most likely lead to confusion.

* Learn to Use Technical Analysis: The forex market lends itself very well to statistical analysis. Trend following is an example of a type of analysis that can guide the investor in making profitable decisions. Technical analysis of the market includes monitoring price movement as well as a large number of indicators. There are programs available where this large amount of data can be crunched in any way that fits your own individual plan and your own needs. You are going to need to find the right way to access and organize the data required for the execution of your own individual investing strategy.

* Learn to Perfectly Time Your Trade: One of the features of the forex market is the ability of the investor to insulate himself from drastic market swings. This is partly because of the 24 hour nature of the market. With the exception of weekends, there is a forex market operating somewhere day and night. A good trading plan should include both "stop loss" and "take profit" orders. These are simply instructions to change your currency position when either your profit or your loss reaches a certain point. The stop loss order is more easily understood. This is simply bailing out before things get too bad. The take profit approach usually meets with more resistance, and it is true such an order might prevent you from making even more profit should a volatile change keep propelling the value upward. Volatile is volatile, however, and what goes up fast may come down faster. As you can not monitor your account twenty four hours a day, you want to know that if your profit point is reached while you are soundly sleeping, at least your expected level of profit will be realized.

One of the biggest advantages of the internet age regarding forex trading is the ability to freely use demo accounts - which are basically virtual forex games. These programs give you a chance to invest virtual money and see how well you do. Once your personal trading plan is formulated, execute it using a demo account. By doing this you will get a chance to see how it works, iron out any bugs, and fine tune your entries and exits, before you risk a single penny.
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