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Forex Trading in Kenya.
Someone posted on here a few days ago asking about forex and forex trading in Kenya, I have gone through the responses and clearly, most people don’t have an idea. It is 3am in the morning and am in a good mood so let me make this post. This will be a comprehensive and lengthy post so grab a pen and paper and sit down. We’ll be here a while. FIRST OF ALL, who am I..? I am a forex trader, in Nairobi, Kenya..i have been actively involved in forex since I found out about it in Feb 2016 when I somehow ended up in a wealth creation seminar (lol) in pride inn Westlands, the one close to Mpaka Rd. Luckily for me, it was not one of those AIM global meetings or I’d be on Facebook selling God knows what those guys sell. I did not take it seriously till August of the same year and I have been active ever since. I don’t teach, mentor or sell a course or signals, I trade my own money. I am also posting from a throwaway account because I don’t want KRA on my ass. What the fuck is forex and forex trading. In simple plain English, forex is like the stock market but for currencies. Stock Market = Shares, forex = currencies. If you want more in-depth explanation, google is your friend. These currencies are pegged on specific countries, united states- dollar, UK- pound, euro zone- euro, Switzerland- Swiss franc, Kenya- Kenya shilling.. you get the point. Now, there are specific events and happenings between these economies that affect the movement and values of the currencies, driving their value (purchasing power up and down). Forex trading exploits these movements to make money. When the value is going up, we buy and vice versa (down –sell) Is forex trading illegal in Kenya? Is it a scam? Illegal, no. scam, no. All the banks in the world do it (KCB made about 4 billion from trading forex in 2019) Have there been scams involving forex in Kenya? Yes. Here is one that happened recently. This one is the most infamous one yet. Best believe that this is not the end of these type of scams because the stupidity, greed and gullibility of human beings is unfathomable. However, by the end of this post, I hope you won’t fall for such silliness. What next how do I make it work..? Am glad you asked. Generally, there are two ways to go about it. One, you teach yourself. This is the equivalent of stealing our dad’s car and hoping that the pedal you hit is the brake and not the accelerator. It is the route I took, it is the most rewarding and a huge ego boost when you finally make it on your own. Typically, this involves scouring the internet for hours upon hours going down rabbit holes, thinking you have made it telling all your friends how you will be a millionaire then losing all your money. Some people do not have the stomach for that. The second route is more practical, structured and smarter. First Learn the basics. There is a free online forex course at www.babypips.com/learn/forex this is merely an introductory course. Basically it is learning the parts of a car before they let you inside the car. Second, start building your strategy. By the time you are done with the babypips, you will have a feel of what the forex market is, what interests you, etc. Tip..Babypips has a lot of garbage. It is good for introductory purposes but not good for much else, pick whatever stick to you or jumps at you the first time. Nonsense like indicators should be ignored. The next step is now the most important. Developing the skill and building your strategy. As a beginner, you want to exhaust your naivety before jumping into the more advanced stuff. Eg can you identify a trend, what is a pair, what is position sizing, what is metatrader 4 and how to operate it, what news is good for a currency, when can I trade, what are the different trading sessions, what is technical analysis, what is market sentiment, what are bullish conditions what is emotion management, how does my psychology affect my trading (more on this later) an I a swing, scalper or day trader etc Mentors and forex courses.. you have probably seen people advertising how they can teach and mentor you on how to trade forex and charging so much money for it. Somehow it seems that these people are focused on the teaching than the trading. Weird, right..? Truth is trading is hard, teaching not quite. A common saying in the industry is “Those who can’t trade, teach” you want to avoid all these gurus on Facebook and Instagram, some are legit but most are not. Sifting the wheat from the chaff is hard but I did that for you. The info is available online on YouTube, telegram channels etc. am not saying not to spend money on a course, if you find a mentor whose style resonates with you and the course is reasonably priced, please, go ahead and buy..it will cut your learning curve in half. People are different. What worked for me might not work for you. Here are some nice YouTube channels to watch. These guys are legit..
After a short period of time, you will be able to sniff out bs teachers with relative ease. You will also discover some of your own and expand the list. Two tips, start with the oldest videos first and whichever of these resonates with you, stick with till the wheels fall off. How long will it take until things start making sense Give yourself time to grow and learn. This is all new to you and you are allowed to make mistakes, to fail and discover yourself. Realistically, depending on the effort you put in, you will not start seeing results until after 6 months. Could take longeshorter so there is no guarantee. Social media, Mentality, Psychology and Books Online, forex trading might not have the best reputation online because it takes hard work and scammers and gurus give it a bad name. However, try to not get sucked into the Instagram trader lifestyle as it is nowhere close to what the reality is. You will not make millions tomorrow or the day after, you might never even make it in this market. But that is the reality of life. Nothing is promised, nothing is guaranteed. Your mentality, beliefs and ego will be challenged in this market. You will learn things that will make you blood boil, you will ask yourself daily, how is this possible, why don’t they teach this in school..bla bla bla..it will be hard but growth is painful, if it wasn’t we’d all be billionaires. Take a break, take a walk, drink a glass of whatever you like or roll one..detox. Chill with your girl (or man) Gradually you will develop mental toughness that will set you up for life. Personally, I sorta ditched religion and picked up stoicism. Whatever works for you. Psychology, this is unfortunately one of the most neglected aspects of your personal development in this journey. Do you believe in yourself? Can you stand by your convictions when everyone is against you? Can you get up every day uncertain of the future? There will be moments where you will question yourself, am I even doing the right thing? the right way? It is normal and essential for your growth. People who played competitive sports have a natural advantage here. Remember the game is first won in your head then on the pitch. Books: ironically, books that helped me the most were the mindset books, Think and grow rich, trading for a living, 4 hour work week, the monk who sold his Ferrari..just google mindset and psychology books, most trading books are garbage. Watch and listen to people who have made it in the investing business. Ray Dalio, warren, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn. This is turning out to be lengthier than I anticipated so I’ll try to be brief for the remaining parts. Brokers You will need to open up an account with a broker. Get a broker who is regulated. Australian ones (IC Market and Pepperstone) are both legit, reliable and regulated. Do your research. I’d avoid local ones because I’ve heard stories of wide spreads and liquidity problems. International brokers have never failed me. There are plenty brokers, there is no one size fits all recommendation. If it ain’t broke..don’t fix it. Money transfer. All brokers accept wire transfers, you might need to call your bank to authorize that, avoid Equity bank. Stanchart and Stanbic are alright. Large withdrawals $10k+ you will have to call them prior. Get Skrill and Neteller if you don’t like banks like me, set up a Bitcoin wallet for faster withdrawals, (Payoneer and Paypal are accepted by some brokers, just check with them.) How much money can I make..? I hate this question because people have perceived ceilings of income in their minds, eg 1 million ksh is too much to make per month or 10,000ksh is too little. Instead, work backwards. What % return did I make this month/ on this trade. Safaricom made 19.5% last year, if you make 20% you have outperformed them. If you reach of consistency where you can make x% per month on whatever money you have, then there are no limits to how much you can make. How much money do I need to start with..? Zero. You have all the resources above, go forth. There are brokers who provide free bonuses and withdraw-able profits. However, to make a fulltime income you will need some serious cash. Generally, 50,000 kes. You can start lower or higher but if you need say 20k to live comfortably and that is a 10% return per month, then you can do the math on how big your account should be. Of course things like compound interest come into play but that is dependent on your skill level. I have seen people do spectacular things with very little funds. Taxes..? Talk to a lawyer or an accountant. I am neither. Family? Friends? Unfortunately, people will not understand why you spend hundreds of hours watching strangers on the internet so it is best to keep it from them. Eventually you will make it work and they will come to your corner talking about how they always knew you’d make it. The journey will be lonely, make some trading buddies along the way. You’d be surprised at how easy it is when people are united by their circumstances (and stupidity) I have guys who are my bros from South Africa and Lebanon who I have never met but we came up together and are now homies. Join forums, ask questions and grow. That is the only way to learn. Ideally, a group of 5-10 friends committed to learning and growth is the best model. Pushing each other to grow and discovering together. Forex is real and you can do amazing things with it. It is not a get rich quick scheme. If you want a quick guaranteed income, get a job. And now it is 5am, fuck. This is oversimplified and leaves out many many aspects. Happy to answer any questions.
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are. TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details. This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.
For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX! I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose. This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem. I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.
I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:
I'm using the stop entry version - so I wait for the price to trade beyond the confirmation candle(in the direction of my trade) before entering. I don't have any data to support this decision, but I've always preferred this method over retracement-limit entries. Maybe I just like the feeling of a higher winrate even though there can be greater R:R using a limit entry. Variety is the spice of life.
I put my stop loss right at the opposite edge of the confirmation candle. NOT at the edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. I'll get into this more below - not enough trades are saved to justify the wider stops. (Wider stop means less $ per pip won, assuming you still only risk 1%).
All my profit/loss statistics are based on a 1% risk per trade. Because 1 is real easy to multiply.
There are definitely some questionable trades in here, but I tried to make it as mechanical as possible for evaluation purposes. They do fit the definitions of the system, which is why I included them. You could probably improve the winrate by being more discretionary about your trades by looking at support/resistance or other techniques.
I didn't use MBB much for either entering trades, or as support/resistance indicators. Again, trying to be pretty mechanical here just for data collection purposes. Plus, we all make bad trading decisions now and then, so let's call it even.
As stated in the title, this is for H1 only. These results may very well not play out for other time frames - who knows, it may not even work on H1 starting this Monday. Forex is an unpredictable place.
I collected data to show efficacy of taking profit at three different levels: -61.8%, -100% and -161.8% fib levels described in the system using the passive trade management method(set it and forget it). I'll have more below about moving up stops and taking off portions of a position.
And now for the fun. Results!
Total Trades: 241
TP at -61.8%: 177 out of 241: 73.44%
TP at -100%: 156 out of 241: 64.73%
TP at -161.8%: 121 out of 241: 50.20%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 5.22%
TP at -100%: 23.55%
TP at -161.8%: 29.14%
As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker. EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.
A Note on Spread
As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits. Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way). However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades. You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term. Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.
Time of Day
Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either. On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
7pm-4am: Fewer setups, but winrate high.
5am-6am: Lots of setups, but but winrate low.
12pm-3pm Medium number of setups, but winrate low.
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate. That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.
Moving stops up to breakeven
This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers. Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability. One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)? Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 5.36%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): -1.01% (yes, a net loss)
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right? Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 46.4%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 17.97%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 65.97%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 11.60%
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert. I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall. The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.
2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops
Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it. Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL. Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.
As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular. Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system. This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here). Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses. Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels). Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant. One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak. EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
Total Trades: 75
TP at -61.8%: 84.00%
TP at -100%: 73.33%
TP at -161.8%: 60.00%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 53.33%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 53.33% (yes, oddly the exact same winrate. but different trades/profits)
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 18.13%
TP at -100%: 26.20%
TP at -161.8%: 34.01%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 19.20%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 17.29%
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system. This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions. There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated. I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful. Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.
What I will trade
Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
"System Details" I described above.
TP at -161.8%
Static SL at opposite side of confirmation candle - I won't move stops up to breakeven.
Trade only 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm signals.
Nothing where spread is more than 25% of trade width.
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Other Technical Details
ATR is only slightly elevated in this date range from historical levels, so this should fairly closely represent reality even after the COVID volatility leaves the scalpers sad and alone.
The sample size is much too small for anything really meaningful when you slice by hour or pair. I wasn't particularly looking to test a specific pair here - just the system overall as if you were going to trade it on all pairs with a reasonable spread.
Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.) I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.
I'm on the East Coast in the US, so the timestamps are Eastern time.
Time stamp is from the confirmation candle, not the indecision candle. So 7am would mean the indecision candle was 6:00-6:59 and the confirmation candle is 7:00-7:59 and you'd put in your order at 8:00.
I found a couple AM/PM typos as I was reviewing the data, so let me know if a trade doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.
Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes
For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:
Pair - duh
Date/Time - Eastern time, confirmation candle as stated above
Win to -61.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -61.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -100%? - whether the trade made it to the -100% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -161.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -161.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -61.8% and -100% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -61.8%, but before hitting -100%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -61.8% to -100%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -100% and -161.8% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -100%, but before hitting -161.8%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -100% to -161.8%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Trade Width(Pips) - the size of the confirmation candle, and thus the "width" of your trade on which to determine position size, draw fib levels, etc.
Loser saved by 2 candle stop? - for all losing trades, whether or not the 2-candle stop loss would have saved the trade and how far it ended up getting if so. "No" means it didn't save it, N/A means it wasn't a losing trade so it's not relevant.
Spread(ThinkorSwim) - these are typical spreads for these pairs on ToS.
Spread % of Width - How big is the spread compared to the trade width? Not used in any calculations, but interesting nonetheless.
True Risk(Trade Width + Spread) - I set my SL at the opposite side of the confirmation candle knowing that I'm actually exposing myself to slightly more risk because of the spread(stop order = market order when submitted, so you pay the spread). So this tells you how many pips you are actually risking despite the Trade Width. I prefer this over setting the stop inside from the edge of the candle because some pairs have a wide spread that would mess with the system overall. But also many, many of these trades retraced very nearly to the edge of the confirmation candle, before ending up nicely profitable. If you keep your risk per trade at 1%, you're talking a true risk of, at most, 1.25% (in worst-case scenarios with the spread being 25% of the trade width as I am going with above).
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -61.8% - not going to go into huge detail, see the spreadsheet for calculations if you want. But, in a nutshell, if the trade was a win to 61.8%, it returns a positive # based on 61.8% of the trade width, minus the spread. Otherwise, it returns the True Risk as a negative. Both normalized to the 1% risk you started with.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100% - same as the last, but 100% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -161.8% - same as the last, but 161.8% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100%, and move SL to breakeven at 61.8% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then full TP at 100%.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread take off half of position at -61.8%, move SL to breakeven, TP 100% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you took of half the position and moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then TP the remaining half at 100%.
Overall Growth(-161.8% TP, 1% Risk) - pretty straightforward. Assuming you risked 1% on each trade, what the overall growth level would be chronologically(spreadsheet is sorted by date).
Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:
Date range: 6/11-7/3
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
Demo Trading Results
Since this post, I started demo trading this system assuming a 5k capital base and risking ~1% per trade. I've added the details to my spreadsheet for anyone interested. The results are pretty similar to the backtest when you consider real-life conditions/timing are a bit different. I missed some trades due to life(work, out of the house, etc), so that brought my total # of trades and thus overall profit down, but the winrate is nearly identical. I also closed a few trades early due to various reasons(not liking the price action, seeing support/resistance emerge, etc). A quick note is that TD's paper trade system fills at the mid price for both stop and limit orders, so I had to subtract the spread from the raw trade values to get the true profit/loss amount for each trade. I'm heading out of town next week, then after that it'll be time to take this sucker live!
Date range: 7/9-7/30
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 20.73%
Starting Balance: $5,000
Ending Balance: $6,036.51
Live Trading Results
I started live-trading this system on 8/10, and almost immediately had a string of losses much longer than either my backtest or demo period. Murphy's law huh? Anyways, that has me spooked so I'm doing a longer backtest before I start risking more real money. It's going to take me a little while due to the volume of trades, but I'll likely make a new post once I feel comfortable with that and start live trading again.
How do I choose a currency pair for Forex trading?
Here are some steps that you can take to choose the best currency pairs to trade in forex: 1- Open charts of at least seven currency pairs This could be your morning coffee time read. Before getting distracted by the news and the noise from the media, it is always best to take an unbiased look at the charts to see how the markets are doing. Which pairs are under pressure? Are any of them consolidating? Which pairs are moving up? Is there a specific currency that is behaving the same against most other currencies? This initial, unbiased interaction with the currency pairs on the forex dance floor is important because it will help you prepare for the next step of choosing the best currency pairs to trade in forex. 2- Skim through the latest market news: Now that you have your heart set on a few currencies, you can quickly listen to the latest global news on your local news media, to see if there are any unusual market updates. This can include a Chinese stock market drop, a (lack of) interest rates hike, or a Swiss Franc jawboning). Reading the news will help you discover the latest market sentiment and the risk-off/ risk-on situation of the best currency pairs to trade in forex. We would typically want to avoid currency pairs that are facing huge volatility risk because even though one could argue you can find trading opportunities in volatile markets, I would argue chances are the market chaos and lack of a solid direction would kick you in the butt with unexpected surprises. Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to investing your hard-earned cash! 3- Check out Invest Diva’s blog for the latest forex trading strategies Now that you have the breaking news on hand, you can turn to our blog for the longer term, solid trading strategies on select currency pairs. If you find the currency pairs you had your eyes on, great! Read on and find out if these are the best currency pairs to trade in forex right now. You should also determine if these pairs are suitable for your portfolio at this time. It is important to note that we don’t publish forex trading strategies for every currency pair, every day. The reasons include our goal to cut down on market noise, as well as avoiding to mislead forex traders to trade more than they should. We have noticed that traders with larger risk appetite tend to jump on any trading signal we publish, whether it is suitable for their portfolio or not. So, in order to promote responsible trading, we have limited our trading signals to only 3 per week. Anything more than that needs a thorough consultation with your truly, to analyze your current account, open positions, available margin, investment portfolio, and more. Eagle I Markets is an award winning forex and commodities broker, providing trading services and facilities to both retail and institutional clients. Through its policy of providing the best possible trading conditions to its clients and allowing both scalpers and traders using expert advisors unrestricted access to its liquidity, Eagle I Markets has positioned itself as the forex broker of choice for traders worldwide. visit: https://www.eagle-imarkets.com/
Shorting Noobs - Style Adaptions and the Search for Sustainability
Part  So in the first week of this an account initially funded with $10,000 got to around $40,000 / $45,000, but it was wild. The drawdown swings were large. Equity swings were what I would describe as problematic. My broker agreed. I got a call from them and it went a bit like this; "Hi, Whatthefx (yes, me and the broker are on first name terms). One of your new accounts has done a lot volume this week. I was wondering if you're going to continue to trade so aggressively? Can we expect the same volume this week?" I replied; "Of course not. I started last week with $10,000 and now there is $40,000. It would be fair to assume I will trade four times as much volume this week". They advised me if I did this, in the near future we'd be having a discussion about re-evaluating how much leverage the broker would offer me. I told them I could not believe they'd speak to me like this after all we'd been through. "You've changed, man" I ruefully muttered into the phone. He told me risk compliance was getting edgy, and they felt the best solution would be to reduce my leverage. I told them to a hammer everything looks like a nail. They told me this hammer was about to come down. Long story short, compromises has to be made. I decided to split accounts and reduce risk acceptance on both of them (dramatically on the larger of the two accounts). I started an account with $25,000 running a very similar but slightly watered down version of the initial strategy. I then started another account with $50,000 and used this to trade against people who consistently bet against trending moves. Vrs scalpers results: https://preview.redd.it/f2ixgaz8lsh31.png?width=923&format=png&auto=webp&s=2aa495b2df70e32cd49d7ce6786a8dac652c928c As a recovered "Trend doubter", I understand the mindset of people who fade the trend too aggressively. There is a fine line between being an effective contrarian and just being dumb enough to think you're smarter than the entire market. When you're the latter, you come to learn the infallible truth in the saying "A fool and his money are soon separated". I take a bit of time to snoop on those I am reverse copying from. Through some statistical analysis and good old fashioned reading through their feeds on platforms they promote themselves I seek out the ones who have die hard doubt on the existence of strong trends and also with some ingrained belief that the fib levels are irrelevant. I find the ones most die hard against these things. It's easier to find committed doubters of fibs than it is of trends. I find those who are the most extreme on this bell curve. Some of them are practically evangelical about how sceptical they are of fibs. I take these people and pay particular attention to their trades. Most specifically I run analysis to see how the trades they make at important fib levels perform. I have a few I look at but the most important one for basic trend following is the 61.8% fib (explained in previous post). I find an extremely high correlation between the people who know so much better than us who like to use fibs and them consistently making losing trades at important fib levels. https://preview.redd.it/vxu0ehnrlsh31.png?width=266&format=png&auto=webp&s=cc5692b1677ae4a4af1c5ac7c177c4f3cc6680b3 This is all I need to feel confident sticking some money on this. I make some filters to allow me to copy their mistakes and dodge the times they are more likely to be correct. I add some other ways to identify strong trends. I include some aspects of ATR, ADX and MAs. I also do some lot sizes rules to prevent them from martingaling against me. I do not want to let them accumulate larger and larger positions against me on the slight breakouts of the 61.8% level, because there is a high chance of there being a retest of that level. If they close all their positions there, this will give me a net loss. Vrs trend faders results: https://preview.redd.it/bz7mp4xelsh31.png?width=913&format=png&auto=webp&s=91f17d291a135a772bbf5048a72b038fcba0c5a4
How to get started in Forex - A comprehensive guide for newbies
Almost every day people come to this subreddit asking the same basic questions over and over again. I've put this guide together to point you in the right direction and help you get started on your forex journey. A quick background on me before you ask: My name is Bob, I'm based out of western Canada. I started my forex journey back in January 2018 and am still learning. However I am trading live, not on demo accounts. I also code my own EA's. I not certified, licensed, insured, or even remotely qualified as a professional in the finance industry. Nothing I say constitutes financial advice. Take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but everything I've outlined below is a synopsis of some tough lessons I've learned over the last year of being in this business. LET'S GET SOME UNPLEASANTNESS OUT OF THE WAY I'm going to call you stupid. I'm also going to call you dumb. I'm going to call you many other things. I do this because odds are, you are stupid, foolish,and just asking to have your money taken away. Welcome to the 95% of retail traders. Perhaps uneducated or uninformed are better phrases, but I've never been a big proponent of being politically correct. Want to get out of the 95% and join the 5% of us who actually make money doing this? Put your grown up pants on, buck up, and don't give me any of this pc "This is hurting my feelings so I'm not going to listen to you" bullshit that the world has been moving towards. Let's rip the bandage off quickly on this point - the world does not give a fuck about you. At one point maybe it did, it was this amazing vision nicknamed the American Dream. It died an agonizing, horrible death at the hand of capitalists and entrepreneurs. The world today revolves around money. Your money, my money, everybody's money. People want to take your money to add it to theirs. They don't give a fuck if it forces you out on the street and your family has to live in cardboard box. The world just stopped caring in general. It sucks, but it's the way the world works now. Welcome to the new world order. It's called Capitalism. And here comes the next hard truth that you will need to accept - Forex is a cruel bitch of a mistress. She will hurt you. She will torment you. She will give you nightmares. She will keep you awake at night. And then she will tease you with a glimmer of hope to lure you into a false sense of security before she then guts you like a fish and shows you what your insides look like. This statement applies to all trading markets - they are cruel, ruthless, and not for the weak minded. The sooner you accept these truths, the sooner you will become profitable. Don't accept it? That's fine. Don't bother reading any further. If I've offended you I don't give a fuck. You can run back home and hide under your bed. The world doesn't care and neither do I. For what it's worth - I am not normally an major condescending asshole like the above paragraphs would suggest. In fact, if you look through my posts on this subreddit you will see I am actually quite helpful most of the time to many people who come here. But I need you to really understand that Forex is not for most people. It will make you cry. And if the markets themselves don't do it, the people in the markets will. LESSON 1 - LEARN THE BASICS Save yourself and everybody here a bunch of time - learn the basics of forex. You can learn the basics for free - BabyPips has one of the best free courses online which explains what exactly forex is, how it works, different strategies and methods of how to approach trading, and many other amazing topics. You can access the BabyPips course by clicking this link: https://www.babypips.com/learn/forex Do EVERY course in the School of Pipsology. It's free, it's comprehensive, and it will save you from a lot of trouble. It also has the added benefit of preventing you from looking foolish and uneducated when you come here asking for help if you already know this stuff. If you still have questions about how forex works, please see the FREE RESOURCES links on the /Forex FAQ which can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/wiki/index Quiz Time Answer these questions truthfully to yourself: -What is the difference between a market order, a stop order, and a limit order? -How do you draw a support/resistance line? (Demonstrate it to yourself) -What is the difference between MACD, RSI, and Stochastic indicators? -What is fundamental analysis and how does it differ from technical analysis and price action trading? -True or False: It's better to have a broker who gives you 500:1 margin instead of 50:1 margin. Be able to justify your reasoning. If you don't know to answer to any of these questions, then you aren't ready to move on. Go back to the School of Pipsology linked above and do it all again. If you can answer these questions without having to refer to any kind of reference then congratulations, you are ready to move past being a forex newbie and are ready to dive into the wonderful world of currency trading! Move onto Lesson 2 below. LESSON 2 - RANDOM STRANGERS ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU GET RICH IN FOREX This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but that random stranger on instagram who is posting about how he is killing it on forex is not trying to insprire you to greatness. He's also not trying to help you. He's also not trying to teach you how to attain financial freedom. 99.99999% of people posting about wanting to help you become rich in forex are LYING TO YOU. Why would such nice, polite people do such a thing? Because THEY ARE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM YOUR STUPIDITY. Plain and simple. Here's just a few ways these "experts" and "gurus" profit from you:
Referral Links - If they require you to click a specific link to signup for something, it means they are an affiliate. They get a commission from whatever the third party is that they are sending you to. I don't care if it's a brokerage, training program, hell even an Amazon link to a book - if they insist you have to click their super exclusive, can't-get-this-deal-any-other-way-but-clicking-my-link type bullshit, it's an affiliate link. There is nothing inherently wrong with affiliate programs, but you are literally generating money for some stranger because they convinced you to buy something. Some brokers such as ICMarkets have affiliate programs that payout a percentage of the commission you generate - this is a really clever system - whether you profit or blow your entire account, the person who referred you to the broker makes a profit off you. Clever eh?
Signal Services, Education & Training Programs, Courses - If somebody is telling you they are making a killing with a signal service and are trying to convince you to join it, I guarantee they are getting a piece of your monthly fee. And better still, these signal services often work...for about a week. Just long enough to suck a bunch of poor fools into it. You see people making money, you want in so you agree to pay the $200+/month subscription fee. You follow the signals and it looks like it's making money for a few days or weeks. Then it turns sideways, you start losing money hand over fist. Pretty soon you have lost most of your trading account because you blindly followed a signal service. And better still - when you go screaming at the person running the signal service they will be very quick to point you to their No Refunds policy. To add insult to injury, the buttfucker that referred you to the signal service in the past will likely listen to you getting mad, and then come back with something like "Sorry it didn't work out, but I just joined this other amazing service and it's working great, you should come join it to earn your money back. Here's my link..." You get the point here right?
Multi-Level Marketing (MLMs) - These people are scum. They are going to offer you training and education, signals, access to forex experts and gurus, and all kinds of other shit with the promise that you will live the dream and become financially free. They are also loading you into a pyrmaid scheme where you will be hounded to recruit other people and make money off them just like you got roped into it. A really prime example here is iMarkets Live (or IML for short). Don't touch this shit with a 10 foot pole. I don't care what they are claiming, you will lose everything using them.
Fund Managers - These people make my skin crawl. It's a classic scam and it works like this - somebody will post online about how much money they are making trading forex/commodities/stocks/whatever. Most of the time they won't explicitly post they are offering a trading service, rather they just put the message out there and wait for the ignorant masses (that's you) to contact them. They will charm you. They will lie to you. They will promise you the moon if you simply wire them some money or give them API access to your trading account. Care to guess what happens next? If you send a wire transfer (or Western Union...hell any kind of payment to them) they will vanish. Happens usually after they take a bunch of suckers for the ride. You sent them $2,000 and so do 9 other suckers. They just made $20,000 and are gone. With API access to your account, you will find your account gets blown super fast or worse - possibly leaving you open to persecution by the broker you are using.
These are just a few examples. The reality is that very few people make it big in forex or any kind of trading. If somebody is trying to sell you the dream, they are essentially a magician - making you look the other way while they snatch your wallet and clean you out. Additionally, on the topic of fund managers - legitimate fund managers will be certified, licensed, and insured. Ask them for proof of those 3 things. What they typically look like are:
Certified - This varies from country to country, in the US it's FINRA (http://www.finra.org). They need to have their Series 7 certification minimum. You can make the case that other FINRA certifications are acceptable in lieu of Series 7, but the 7 is the gold standard.
Licensed - They need to have a valid business license issued by the government. It must clearly state they are an investment company, preferrably a hedge fund because they have some super strict requirements to operate (and often require $25,000+ in fees just to get their business license, so you know they at least have some skin in the game).
Insured - They need to be backed by an insurance company. I'm not talking general insurance for shit like their office burning down. I'm talking about a government-implemented protection insurance program - in the US I believe that is issued by the Securities Investment Protection Corporation (https://www.sipc.org/).
If you are talking to a fund manager and they are insisting they have all of these, get a copy of their verification documents and lookup their licenses on the directories of the issuers to verify they are valid. If they are, then at least you are talking to somebody who seems to have their shit together and is doing investment management and trading as a professional and you are at least partially protected when the shit hits the fan. LESSON 3 - UNDERSTAND YOUR RISK Many people jump into Forex, drop $2000 into a broker account and start trading 1 lot orders because they signed up with a broker thinking they will get rich because they were given 500:1 margin and can risk it all on each trade. Worst-case scenario you lose your account, best case scenario you become a millionaire very quickly. Seems like a pretty good gamble right? You are dead wrong. As a new trader, you should never risk more than 1% of your account balance on a trade. If you have some experience and are confident and doing well, then it's perfectly natural to risk 2-3% of your account per trade. Anybody who risks more than 4-5% of their account on a single trade deserves to blow their account. At that point you aren't trading, you are gambling. Don't pretend you are a trader when really you are just putting everything on red and hoping the roulette ball lands in the right spot. It's stupid and reckless and going to screw you very quickly. Let's do some math here: You put $2,000 into your trading account. Risking 1% means you are willing to lose $20 per trade. That means you are going to be trading micro lots, or 0.01 lots most likely ($0.10/pip). At that level you can have a trade stop loss at -200 pips and only lose $20. It's the best starting point for anybody. Additionally, if you SL 20 trades in a row you are only down $200 (or 10% of your account) which isn't that difficult to recover from. Risking 3% means you are willing to lose $60 per trade. You could do mini lots at this point, which is 0.1 lots (or $1/pip). Let's say you SL on 20 trades in a row. You've just lost $1,200 or 60% of your account. Even veteran traders will go through periods of repeat SL'ing, you are not a special snowflake and are not immune to periods of major drawdown. Risking 5% means you are willing to lose $100 per trade. SL 20 trades in a row, your account is blown. As Red Foreman would call it - Good job dumbass. Never risk more than 1% of your account on any trade until you can show that you are either consistently breaking even or making a profit. By consistently, I mean 200 trades minimum. You do 200 trades over a period of time and either break-even or make a profit, then you should be alright to increase your risk. Unfortunately, this is where many retail traders get greedy and blow it. They will do 10 trades and hit their profit target on 9 of them. They will start seeing huge piles of money in their future and get greedy. They will start taking more risk on their trades than their account can handle. 200 trades of break-even or profitable performance risking 1% per trade. Don't even think about increasing your risk tolerance until you do it. When you get to this point, increase you risk to 2%. Do 1,000 trades at this level and show break-even or profit. If you blow your account, go back down to 1% until you can figure out what the hell you did differently or wrong, fix your strategy, and try again. Once you clear 1,000 trades at 2%, it's really up to you if you want to increase your risk. I don't recommend it. Even 2% is bordering on gambling to be honest. LESSON 4 - THE 500 PIP DRAWDOWN RULE This is a rule I created for myself and it's a great way to help protect your account from blowing. Sometimes the market goes insane. Like really insane. Insane to the point that your broker can't keep up and they can't hold your orders to the SL and TP levels you specified. They will try, but during a flash crash like we had at the start of January 2019 the rules can sometimes go flying out the window on account of the trading servers being unable to keep up with all the shit that's hitting the fan. Because of this I live by a rule I call the 500 Pip Drawdown Rule and it's really quite simple - Have enough funds in your account to cover a 500 pip drawdown on your largest open trade. I don't care if you set a SL of -50 pips. During a flash crash that shit sometimes just breaks. So let's use an example - you open a 0.1 lot short order on USDCAD and set the SL to 50 pips (so you'd only lose $50 if you hit stoploss). An hour later Trump makes some absurd announcement which causes a massive fundamental event on the market. A flash crash happens and over the course of the next few minutes USDCAD spikes up 500 pips, your broker is struggling to keep shit under control and your order slips through the cracks. By the time your broker is able to clear the backlog of orders and activity, your order closes out at 500 pips in the red. You just lost $500 when you intended initially to only risk $50. It gets kinda scary if you are dealing with whole lot orders. A single order with a 500 pip drawdown is $5,000 gone in an instant. That will decimate many trader accounts. Remember my statements above about Forex being a cruel bitch of a mistress? I wasn't kidding. Granted - the above scenario is very rare to actually happen. But glitches to happen from time to time. Broker servers go offline. Weird shit happens which sets off a fundamental shift. Lots of stuff can break your account very quickly if you aren't using proper risk management. LESSON 5 - UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT TRADING METHODOLOGIES Generally speaking, there are 3 trading methodologies that traders employ. It's important to figure out what method you intend to use before asking for help. Each has their pros and cons, and you can combine them in a somewhat hybrid methodology but that introduces challenges as well. In a nutshell:
Price Action Trading (Sometimes called Naked Trading) is very effective at identifying when trends will start and finish. This gives you the advantage of staying ahead of the market and predicting when a change in trend direction will occur. It has the disadvantage of being really easy to screw it up if you don't plot your support and resistance lines properly and interpret the chart wrong. Because you can identify a change in trend direction, you'll generally make more profit on a new trend than a technical strategy will.
Technical Analytics (or TA) uses math and statistics to try and identify where the market is headed or confirm/reject whether a trend is happening. It has the advantage of being very math and stat driven which is hard to refute the numbers, but it has the disadvantage of being late to the party when it comes to identifying trends (hence why people call TA a lagging strategy). When people fail using TA, it's not because of the math - it's because you misinterpreted what the math is telling you.
Fundamental Analysis (or FA) uses news and macro scale events to predict what is going on. A really good example right now is Brexit, what a clusterfuck that is. Every time some major brexit news breaks it causes all sorts of choas in almost every currency pair. Fundamental trading has the highest potential profitability per trade but it also has the highest potential drawdown per trade.
Now you may be thinking that you want to be a a price action trader - you should still learn the principles and concepts behind TA and FA. Same if you are planning to be a technical trader - you should learn about price action and fundamental analysis. More knowledge is better, always. With regards to technical analysis, you need to really understand what the different indicators are tell you. It's very easy to misinterpret what an indicator is telling you, which causes you to make a bad trade and lose money. It's also important to understand that every indicator can be tuned to your personal preferences. You might find, for example, that using Bollinger Bands with the normal 20 period SMA close, 2 standard deviation is not effective for how you look at the chart, but changing that to say a 20 period EMA average price, 1 standard deviation bollinger band indicator could give you significantly more insight. LESSON 6 - TIMEFRAMES MATTER Understanding the differences in which timeframes you trade on will make or break your chosen strategy. Some strategies work really well on Daily timeframes (i.e. Ichimoku) but they fall flat on their face if you use them on 1H timeframes, for example. There is no right or wrong answer on what timeframe is best to trade on. Generally speaking however, there are 2 things to consider:
Speed - If you are scalping (trading on the really fast candles like 1M, 5M, 15M, etc) odds are your trades are very short lived. Maybe 10 minutes to an hour tops. For the most part, scalping strategies will produce little profit per trade but make up for it in the sheer volume of trades. Whereas swing trading may only make a few trades but each one could be worth a significant amount of money.
Spread (the fee you pay to the broker when you trade) - If you are a scalper, the spread is your worst enemy because you have to overcome it very fast to make a profit on your order. Whereas swing trading the spread hardly impacts you at all.
If you are a total newbie to forex, I suggest you don't trade on anything shorter than the 1H timeframe when you are first learning. Trading on higher timeframes tends to be much more forgiving and profitable per trade. Scalping is a delicate art and requires finesse and can be very challenging when you are first starting out. LESSON 7 - AUTOBOTS...ROLL OUT! Yeah...I'm a geek and grew up with the Transformers franchise decades before Michael Bay came along. Deal with it. Forex bots are called EA's (Expert Advisors). They can be wonderous and devastating at the same time. /Forex is not really the best place to get help with them. That is what /algotrading is useful for. However some of us that lurk on /Forex code EA's and will try to assist when we can. Anybody can learn to code an EA. But just like how 95% of retail traders fail, I would estimate the same is true for forex bots. Either the strategy doesn't work, the code is buggy, or many other reasons can cause EA's to fail. Because EA's can often times run up hundreds of orders in a very quick period of time, it's critical that you test them repeatedly before letting them lose on a live trading account so they don't blow your account to pieces. You have been warned. If you want to learn how to code an EA, I suggest you start with MQL. It's a programming language which can be directly interpretted by Meta Trader. The Meta Trader terminal client even gives you a built in IDE for coding EA's in MQL. The downside is it can be buggy and glitchy and caused many frustrating hours of work to figure out what is wrong. If you don't want to learn MQL, you can code an EA up in just about any programming language. Python is really popular for forex bots for some reason. But that doesn't mean you couldn't do it in something like C++ or Java or hell even something more unusual like JQuery if you really wanted. I'm not going to get into the finer details of how to code EA's, there are some amazing guides out there. Just be careful with them. They can be your best friend and at the same time also your worst enemy when it comes to forex. One final note on EA's - don't buy them. Ever. Let me put this into perspective - I create an EA which is literally producing money for me automatically 24/5. If it really is a good EA which is profitable, there is no way in hell I'm selling it. I'm keeping it to myself to make a fortune off of. EA's that are for sale will not work, will blow your account, and the developer who coded it will tell you that's too darn bad but no refunds. Don't ever buy an EA from anybody. LESSON 8 - BRING ON THE HATERS You are going to find that this subreddit is frequented by trolls. Some of them will get really nasty. Some of them will threaten you. Some of them will just make you miserable. It's the price you pay for admission to the /Forex club. If you can't handle it, then I suggest you don't post here. Find a more newbie-friendly site. It sucks, but it's reality. We often refer to trolls on this subreddit as shitcunts. That's your word of the day. Learn it, love it. Shitcunts. YOU MADE IT, WELCOME TO FOREX! If you've made it through all of the above and aren't cringing or getting scared, then welcome aboard the forex train! You will fit in nicely here. Ask your questions and the non-shitcunts of our little corner of reddit will try to help you. Assuming this post doesn't get nuked and I don't get banned for it, I'll add more lessons to this post over time. Lessons I intend to add in the future:
Why you will blow your first account and what to do when it happens
Trading Psychology (this will be a beefy one and will take a while to put together)
Exotics vs Majors and which you should focus on as a newbie (aka how to blow your account in a single trade with exotics)
[WallText] For those who really want to be forex traders.
Im sry if u find some grammatical errors, english is not my mother language. Let me know and i will fix it. First of all, look for at least half an hour without interruptions to read this manual. This is the system that has created trading professionals. He has done it and today he continues doing it, as it happened with me. It is not a system written in any forum, in fact I believe that it has been the first to collect all the ideas and create a structure to follow to carry them out, but these same ideas and procedures have been the ones that the winning traders have used during decades and will continue to use, since they are based on completely objective and real foundations. Let's go to it: Hi all. It is known that the observation time makes the patterns elucidate, and after some time in the forum and throughout this trading world I have found many patterns in the responses of the people, I have reasoned about them, and I have realized their failures, why they fail to be profitable. There are people who have put effort into this. Not all, but there are people who have really read a lot, studied a lot, learned a lot and tried a lot, and even then they are not able to achieve stable profitability. The question is: Is there enough in that effort? Is there a specific moment in the line of learning where you start to be profitable? The question is, logically. There are traders that generate constant profitability. Hedge funds, investment firms ... and the difference is in areas where people for some reason do not want to invest time. Why are there more messages in the strategy forums than in the psychology, journals and fundamental analysis together? As human beings, our brain is programmed to look for quick positive responses. In nature, the brain does not understand the concept of long-term investment. There is only a short-term investment made from the difference between what we think will cost us something and what we think it will contribute. If we think that it will cost us more than it can give us, we simply do not feel motivated. It is a simple mechanism. The market plays with these mechanisms. There are more scalpers created from the search for that positive emotion than from the search for a scalping system. In short, we are not programmed to operate, and there lies the fact that only a huge minority of operators are profitable. Among others, I have observed several patterns of behavior that make a trader fail, and they are: - Search for immediate pleasure: The trader wants to feel that he has won on the one hand, and on the other he wants to avoid the feeling of loss. Following this there are many traders who place a very low take profit and a very high stop loss. This is not bad if the probabilities have been reviewed before, the mathematical factor of hope, the relation with the drawdown .. but in the majority of the cases absolutely nothing of statistics is known. There is only that need to win. They win, they win, they win, until one day the odds do their job and the stop loss is touched, returning the account to its origins or leaving it with less money than it started. This does not work. - Search for immediate wealth: Again it is something immediate. People want good emotions, and we want them already. The vast majority of traders approach this world with fantasies of wealth, women and expensive cars, but do not visualize hard work, the sickly hard work behind all this. From there underlie behaviors like eternally looking for new robots or expert advisors that promise a lot of money, or new systems. The type of trader that has this integrated pattern is characterized by doing nothing more than that. Spend the day looking for new strategies Of course he never manages to earn constant money. - Think that trading is easy: Trading is not easy, it is simple. Why? Because when you get the wisdom and experience necessary to find yourself in a state of superior knowledge about the market and effectively make money, it is very simple; you just have to apply the same equation again and again. However, it is not easy to reach this equation. This equation includes variables such as risk understanding, mathematics, certain characteristics in the personality that must be assimilated little by little, intelligence, a lot of experience .. This is not easy. This is a business, and in fact it is one of the most difficult businesses in the world. It may seem simple to see a series of candles on a screen or perhaps a line, or any type of graphic, but it is not. Behind the screen there are hundreds of thousands of very intelligent professionals, very disciplined, very educated, very ... This business is the most profitable in the world if you know how to carry, since it is based on the concept of compound interest, but it is also one of the most difficult. And I repeat. It's a business, not a game. I think you'll never hear a lawyer say to his boss: "We're going to focus all our time on finding a strategy that ALWAYS makes us win a trial, ALWAYS." What does it sound ridiculous? It sounds to me just as ridiculous for trading. But you are not to blame, you have been subconsciously deceived through the advertising brokers and your own internal desires, to think that this is something easy. - Lack of discipline: Trading is not something you can do 10 minutes on Monday and 6 on Thursday. This is not a game, and until you get a regular schedule you can not start earning money. There are people who open a graph one day for 5 minutes, then return to their normal life and then one week returns to look at it for other minutes. Trading should not be treated as a hobby. If you want to win "some money" I advise you not even to get in, because you will end up losing something or a lot of money. You have to think if you really want trading to be part of your life. It's like when you meet a girl and you want to get married. Do you really want to get into this with all the consequences? Because otherwise it will not work. Visualize the hard work behind this. Candle nights, frustrations, several hundred dollars lost (at the beginning) .. enter the world of trading with a really deep reason, if you lose a time and money that no one will return, and both things are finite! - Know something and pretend to know everything: Making money in the markets is not based on painting the graph as a child a paper with crayon wax and pretend to make money. It is not based on drawing lines or circles, or squares. It is based on understanding the operation of all these tools, the background of the why of the tools of trading. A trend line only marks the cycle of a wave within a longer time frame, within a longer time frame, and so on indefinitely. In turn, this wave is divided into waves with a specific behavior, divided into smaller waves and Etcetera, and understanding that dynamic is fundamental to winning. It is not the fact of drawing a line. That can be done by an 8 year old boy. It is the fact of UNDERSTANDING why. There are traders who read two technical analysis books and a delta analysis book and believe that they are professionals, but do they really understand the behavior of the market? The answer is in their portfolios. After this explanation that only 10% will have read, I will try to detail step by step something that is 90% yearning, and that will have quickly turned the scroll of your mouse to find the solution to all your problems while supporting the beer in a book of " become rich ", rotten by lack of use. These steps must be carried out one by one, starting with the first, fulfilling it, moving on to the second, successively and growing. If steps are taken for granted, or not fully met, it simply will not work. I know this will happen and the person who did it will think "Bah, this does not work." and you will return to your top strategy search routine. That said, let start: 1º Create a REAL account with 50 dollars approximately: _ Forget the demo accounts. They are a utopia, they do not work. There is infinite liquidity, without emotions and without slipagge. These things will change when we enter the real market, and the most experienced person in the world will notice a sharp drop in their profitability when it happens to real accounts. And not only using a demo account has disadvantages, but using a real one has advantages. We will have a real slipagge with real liquidity. Real requotes and more. The most important: We will work our emotions at the same time. Because yes, we will lose or win a couple of cents, but that has a subconscious impact of loss. This means that we will begin to expand our comfort zone from the start. Using a demo account is simply a disadvantage. 2º Buy a newspaper in the stationery or in Chinese (optional), or write one online or in Word: A newspaper will be of GREAT help. You can not imagine, for those of you who do not have one, how a newspaper can exponentiate our learning curve. It is simply absurd not to have a diary. It's like taking a ticket of 5 instead of one of 100. In this diary we will write down observations that we make about the operations that we will carry out in points that I will explain later of this same manual. We will divide the newspaper into 2 parts:
1 part: The operation itself. We will write the reasons for each operation. The why we have done it.
2 part: How we feel. We will unburden ourselves without explaining how we feel, what our intuition tells us about that particular operation and so on.
How to use: We will read the newspaper once a week, thinking about the emotions we felt each day and in what situations, and the reasons. Soon, we will begin to realize that we have certain patterns in the way we feel and operate, and we will have the ability to change them. We can also learn from mistakes that we make, and keep them always in a diary. 3º Look for a strategy that has the following characteristics:
Make it SIMPLE. Nothing of 4 or more indicators or the colors of the gay flag drawn on the graph based on 1000 lines. Why? Because there is always an initial enthusiasm and maybe we can follow a complex strategy for a week, but burned that motivation, saturates us and we will leave it aside.
Therefore, the strategy must be simple. If we use metatrader, the default indicators work. No macd's no-lag and similar tools. That does not lead anywhere. And if you do not believe it, I'll tell you that in all areas of life comes marketing. In addition to trading towards MMA and now I do powerlifts, and there are 1000 exercises to do. However, the classics are still working and work very well. It seems that sellers of strange sports equipment do not share the same opinion, that the only thing they want is to sell! 4º Understand the strategy:
We must gut each process of the strategy and reason about it. What does this indicator do? What does this process? Why this and not another? Why this exit ?. Some strategies will be based on unspecified outputs. This does not suppose any problem because as we get experience in that specific strategy, we will remember situations that have occurred, we will see situations that are repeated (patterns) and we will be able to find better starts and entrances. Everything is in our hands.
5° Collect essential statistical information:
This part is FUNDAMENTAL, and no operator can have as much security in itself when operating as if it uses a strategy that has at least positive mathematical hope and an acceptable drawdown.
Step 1: To carry out this collection of information you need to test the strategy for at least 100 signals. Yes, 100 signals.
Assuming it is an intraday strategy and we do an operation per day, it will take us 100 days (3 months and 10 days approx) to carry out the study. Logically these figures can change depending on the number of operations that we make up to date with the strategy. I have no doubt that after reading this manual we will go for a quick strategy of scalpers, with 100 signals every 10 minutes where the seller comes out with a big smile in his promotional video. I personally recommend a system of maximum 2 daily operations to start, but this point is personal. Is it a long time? Go! It turns out that a college student of average intelligence takes 6 years to finish a career. It takes 6 years just to train, and there are even more races. This does not guarantee any profitability, and in any case most of Sometimes it will get a static return and not based on compound interest. I can never aspire to more. The market offers compound profitability, there will be no bosses, nor schedules that we do not impose. We will always have work, and we can earn a lot more money than most people with careers or masters. Is it a long time? I do not think so. As I was saying, we will test the strategy 100 times with our REAL account that we created in step 1. Did you decide to use a demo account? Better look for another manual; This has to be something serious. They are 100 dollars and will be the best investment of all in your career as a trader.
Step 2: Once with the report of the 100 strategies in hand, we will collect the following information:
How many times have we won and how many lost. Afterwards, we will find the percentage of correct answers.
How much have we won and how much have we lost? Afterwards, we will find the average profit and the average loss.
Step 3: With this information we will complete the mathematical hope formula:
(1 + average profit / average loss) * (percentage of correct answers / 100) -1 Example:
Of the 100 operations there are 50 winners and 50 losers, then the success rate is 50%.
Our average profit is 20 dollars and our average loss is 10 dollars.
Filling the formula: (1 + 20/10) * (50/100) -1 (1 + 2) * (0,5) -1 3 * 0.5 - 1 1,5 - 1 = 0,5 In this example the mathematical expectation is 0.5. It is POSITIVE, because it is greater than 0. From 0, we will know that this strategy will make us earn money over time ALWAYS we respect the strategy. If after a few days we modify it, then we will have to find this equation again with another 100 different operations. Easy? A result of "0" would mean that this strategy does not win or lose, but in the long run we would LOSE due to the spread and other random factors. You have to try to find a strategy that, once this study is done, the result of your mathematical hope is greater than 0.2 as MINIMUM. Finding this formula will also give a curious fact. The greater the take profit in relation to the stop loss, as a general rule more positive will be our mathematical hope. This has given many pages of discursiones about whether to place take profit> stop loss or vice versa. If our stop was larger than the take profit, then the other ratio (% earned /% lost) should be yes or yes positive. But this is just curiosities. let's keep going:
6° Expand our comfort zone:
We will not be able to work with operations of 10 million dollars overnight, but we can progressively condition ourselves to that path. Assuming all of the above, and with a real account, some experience in the 3 months of information gathering and a positive mathematical hope, we are ready to operate in real with some consistency. But how to carry it out? The comfort zone is the psychological limits we have before feeling fear or emotional tension. When we get into a fight, we have left our comfort zone and we feel tension, unless we have a psychopathic disorder. Every time we lean out onto a 300-meter balcony from a skyscraper, we move away from the comfort zone. Every time we speak to a depampanante woman, we move away from our comfort zone. Our brain creates a comfort zone to differentiate what we usually do and is not substantially dangerous, from the unknown and potentially dangerous to our survival or reproduction. And whenever the brain interprets that these two aspects are in danger, we will feel negative emotions like fear, disgust, loneliness, fury, etcetera. This topic is much more profound and you would have to read several volumes of evolutionism to understand the why of each thing. The only thing that interests us here is the "what", and the one, that is, that there is a certain comfort zone that must be expanded without any problems. With trading, exactly the same thing happens. The forex market is a virtual environment in which we lose or gain things, but our brain does not differentiate between reality and what is not, it only attends to stimuli of a certain type. We can lose food in the middle of the forest or also a crude oil operation. Our goal is to condition our subconscious so that it is progressively accepting lost and small benefits, and as time goes by, bigger. The exercise to achieve this is the following:
We will operate on that account of 100 dollars with our mathematically positive strategy for 3 more months.
After these three months, our account should have benefits, because of the mathematically positive strategy.
We will enter 200 dollars more and we will operate a month more raising the lots according to our risk management (I do not advise that the risk is greater than 2%)
At this point, I know how hard it is to resign myself to impatience, but follow those times and do not skip it even if you feel safe, but you will fail, it's simple. Let's keep going:
After that month, we will raise our capital again with a new income. This time we will enter 1000 dollars (save if you do not have 1000 dollars loose, you will recover later on, do you want to make money, enter 1000 dollars.
We will test the operation one month with this new injection. We probably notice difficulties. More blockages, more euphoria when winning ... how will we know when to move on to the next entry? When we do not feel ANYTHING or at most something very shallow, when win or lose If observing the wall and operating is for you the same from an emotional point of view, it is time to enter more money.
We will follow this procedure until we have a basic account of 21000 dollars. The amounts to be paid will depend on our ability to not feel emotions, a capacity that will be taking over time.
We will raise capital until we feel that we block too much. In that case we will drawdown to a more acceptable amount, and we will continue at that level until get discipline and lack of reactivity at that level. Later, we will go up.
If we want to earn more money, we will continue entering and entering. Always following the conditioning scheme of 1 month.
Why a month? A study conducted in the United States revealed that the subconscious needs an average of 28 days to create new habits or eliminate old habits. Emotional reactions are part of the habits. If we maintain some pressure of any emotion during the opportune time, in this case 28 days, will create tolerance and the subconscious will need a more intense version of the stimulus to activate. AND THAT'S ALL! Follow these steps and you will triumph. Here is the golden chalice, the tomb of Jesus or whatever you want to call it. There is no more mystery in the world of trading. This system will accompany you during the next year, year and a half. It's the one I used and it WORKS. Once done, you will have a very profitable system integrated into your being, since not only will it be mathematically viable, but you will also have the necessary experience to make it infinitely more profitable yet. In addition, you will have psychology fully worked on a professional level to have conditioned your subconscious gradually. Happy trading to all of u guys.-
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I've done some searching but am overwhelmed with all the results for "best forex scalping broker". So many options, wide range of dates, and don't know if any are even reliable. I'm working on an EA to scalp pairs on five minute charts. Based on Oanda's spreads, I've narrowed it down to 15 pairs with a spread less than 3 pips. I'm really hoping for spreads lower than that for a lot of the pairs (this can include the spread plus commission equivalent of < 3 pips). I'd also like a broker that allows $500-$1000 or less deposit, but that's not as important. Leverage isn't a big factor either. I guess another big "must" is Metatrader 4 compatible. In USA. Any scalpers out there have any recommendations? Are ECN brokers best for scalping?
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