Forex Trading Can Be Simple (If You Let)
By: Christopher Lewis
One of the biggest issues that can rear its ugly head in the world of the newbie trader is over complication. In fact, making things much more difficult than necessary is a staple of every budding trader’s early career it seems.
The biggest catalyst for this is twofold. The first issue is a lack of self-confidence. This makes sense, because by being new to the trading world it is easy to feel that you know almost nothing. The average new trader is constantly looking for “hints”, “tips”, and “tricks” when it comes to trading. This is easily understandable as they will know little about currency trading. After all, sound trading decisions are the result of experience, and they will have very little of that. What many people don’t understand is that experience is often the result of bad decisions!
The lack of confidence will lead to system-hopping, and the constant switching of indicators and timeframes. The thing that is risky at this point is the trader very rarely understands how an indicator works. They just simply know that you “buy when this line crosses the other one”, or something like that. The understanding of the mathematics involved makes using these indicators more effective in theory, because at least the trader knows what they are seeing. Of course, at this point in time, they may have several indicators on their charts and this can lead to what is known as “paralysis by analysis”, which leads me to the other catalyst.
The other catalyst is simply a fear or losing money. Most traders go into the Forex markets looking to get rich, and not understanding that you can’t always win. Yes, they understand that a 100% win ratio is a bit much to ask for, but they don’t emotionally understand that. It is one thing to understand something from an intellectual level, and quite a different one to understand it from a gut level. Taking a loss isn’t fun, but it is something we all do.
The “paralysis by analysis” syndrome comes about because of this. There is a point in the new trader’s career that they will pile on the indicators in order to “read the markets.” They may start with a moving average, and add an M.A.C.D. indicator as time goes on. Perhaps they have attended a webinar that featured the trader using the ADX and Keltner Channels. At this point in time, they are starting to add the indicators to the chart, and not seeing the most important thing: where price is going!
With a ton of indicators, it isn’t easy to understand where to go. You could have three indicators saying sell, while another two are saying buy. It is at this point the trader understands how difficult this is getting for them. They have made it overly complicated, and now it is getting to be frustrating – and that can lead to really stupid trading decisions over time.
Hopefully, they reach the point where one day they look at a chart and say something like, “Wow, if I only had sold USD/CHF over the last few years. It has gone straight down over that time.” While there are pullbacks, the trader sees that in general, they could have made a fortune selling this pair over the last several years. This is where the idea of trading with the trend comes into play. There are traders out there that will only trade in the direction of the overall trend, and refuse to take set ups in the other direction. Of course, this takes a bit of patience when the pullbacks come – but it does work in the end. While there are many different ways to trade, those who choose this method simplify a lot of the decisions they are forced to make as they already know what direction they want to be in. Their entries may vary from trader to trader, but they all tend to sleep a little easier at night as well.
There are those who will debate the whole “the trend is up on the 15 minute, down on the hourly, but also up on the weekly timeframes.” Nonsense. Currency pairs only have one trend, and that is the major one. The rest is noise, and if you focus on that – you can avoid a lot of trouble. If you are trying to figure out the trend, simply look at a weekly chart and see if the market is going from lower left to upper right. If it is, you are in an uptrend. If it is going from the upper left to the lower right, you are in a downtrend. Anything that isn’t easily identified isn’t worth bothering with, as there are plenty of pairs to trade.
By approaching the markets in this manner, trading really can be as simple as you let it be.