The world of Forex trading can be an exciting and heady place to be – but there are emotional issues, which you need to be aware of if you are to trade successfully. A number of different Forex technical trading strategies exist and you need to be able to recognise which one is likely to suit you best. Whilst Foreign Exchange trading gurus can ably teach you about the marketplace itself, the currency pairs, the trading fundamentals, use of technical indicators and their own preferred trading strategies, at the end of the day it will be up to you to decide which way is the best-suited to you.
There is presently an enormous amount of hype surrounding Forex trading, but one of the issues, which is sometimes overlooked or (in some unscrupulous cases) deliberately avoided, is the emotional aspect of trading. Many people are comfortable with the learning process involved to acquire the basic fundamentals of technical training and to learn the usage of the most common technical indicators. These same people are usually also comfortable with learning and where possible demo trading the particular strategies being taught, whilst, of course, dreaming of the profits that they are going to make. And these profits are there to be made – there’s no doubt about that.
However, many of these same people will not be aware of the emotional pressure and feelings of near panic, which can be encountered when you press the button on a live trade. Therefore, you need to understand the type of person you are emotionally and what sort of trading strategy is best for you, to ensure that you don’t de-rail your trading before it’s properly started.
Broadly speaking, there are four main categories of Forex trading (or indeed general financial trading): Inter-Day, Intra-Day, Scalping and Automatic Trading…
Inter-Day or End of Day Trading
Inter-Day traders place a trade on one day, which will usually not close that day and may be held open for days, weeks or in some extreme cases, months. Traders who use this methodology need to be comfortable with watching the inevitable up and down swings, which will accompany each trade in the belief that the market overall will move in their particular desired direction. They will probably check on the position only once or twice per day and make adjustments to stop-losses at the end of each day if necessary. Quite often this requires a level of detachment, which more anxious traders might not be comfortable with and similarly quite often the initial stop-losses on these kind of trades can be necessarily quite large. Watching a trade move 100 or 200 points into a loss-making position before going into profit might severely test the nerves and pockets of many new traders.
Intra-Day or Day Trading
Intra-Day traders place and close trades all within the same day and depending upon their chosen time-frame, may close trades within 30 minutes to a few hours of opening. The initial stop-losses tend to be less than for Inter-Day trades, but a good level of emotional control or detachment is still required, as there will be potential swings in the market during the trade time, and a trade could, for example, make an initial profit and then fall back into a loss-making position, before resuming the desired direction and go back into profit. The feelings of anguish when you decide to cut a trade short in its losing phase (to minimise your loss) only to watch it turn round and make a big profit are not quickly forgotten!
Traders who employ this strategy are looking to make a fast kill from the market, maybe 10 -20 points, and average trade times are often only a few minutes. The upside emotionally is that stop-losses tend to be tight and you do not have the same amount of anguish in the trade, because it will normally only be of short duration. Many newcomers favour this method because of the limited financial and emotional exposure involved, and some use this as a confidence-booster before attempting longer term trading methods.
Increasingly over the last twelve months, the markets have seen the advent of Automatic or Robot Trading Packages, where with the aid of specific software, traders set parameters on their computers and the Trading Robots trade automatically on their behalf twenty-four hours per day, five days per week. From an emotional standpoint, this takes the involvement and fear out of the actual trading process altogether, because you are completely hands-off. However, you are, of course, completely reliant on the particular Robot Trading Package technology to place and manage the trades and therefore on the effectiveness of the package itself, which for some would induce a completely different type of fear and anxiety!
Understanding your own emotional make-up will help to prevent you from choosing the wrong Forex trading strategy and from experiencing the fear, which can be so potentially destructive to your early trading career. But if you choose the right one, you could be at the start of a whole new way of life.