Friday, September 18, 2009

Forex Glossary

ADX (Average Directional Index) — standard technical indicator that measures the strength of a trend.

Ask (Offer) — price of the offer, the price you buy for.

Aussie — a Forex slang name for the Australian dollar.

Bank Rate — the percentage rate at which central bank of a country lends money to the country's commercial banks.

Bid — price of the demand, the price you sell for.

Broker — the market participating body which serves as the middleman between retail traders and larger commercial institutions.

Cable — a Forex traders slang word GBP/USD currency pair.

Carry Trade — in Forex, holding a position with a positive overnight interest return in hope of gaining profits, without closing the position, just for the central banks interest rates difference.

CCI (Commodity Channel Index) — a cyclical technical indicator that is often used to detect overbought/oversold states of the market.

CFD — a Contract for Difference — special trading instrument that allows financial speculation on stocks, commodities and other instruments without actually buying.

Commission — broker commissions for operation handling.

CPI — consumer price index the statistical measure of inflation based upon changes of prices of a specified set of goods.

EA (Expert Advisor) — an automated script which is used by the trading platform software to manage positions and orders automatically without (or with little) manual control.

ECN Broker — a type of Forex brokerage firm that provide its clients direct access to other Forex market participants. ECN brokers don't discourage scalping, don't trade against the client, don't charge spread (low spread is defined by current market prices) but charge commissions for every order.

ECB (European Central Bank) — the main regulatory body of the European Union financial system.

Fed (Federal Reserve) — the main regulatory body of the United States of America financial system, which division — FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) — regulates, among other things, federal interest rates.

Fibonacci Retracements — the levels with a high probability of trend break or bounce, calculated as the 23.6%, 32.8%, 50% and 61.8% of the trend range.

Flat (Square) — neutral state when all your positions are closed.

Fundamental Analysis — the analysis based only on news, economic indicators and global events.

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) — is a measure of the national income and output for the country's economy; it's one of the most important Forex indicators.

GTC (Good Till Cancelled) — order to buy or sell of a currency with a fixed price or worse. The order is alive (good) until execution or cancellation.

Hedging — maintaining a market position which secures the existing open positions in the opposite direction.

Jobber — a slang word for a trader which is aimed toward fast but small and short-term profit from an intra-day trading. Jobber rarely leaves open positions overnight.

Kiwi — a Forex slang name for the New Zealand currency — New Zealand dollar.

Leading Indicators — a composite index (year 1992 = 100%) of ten most important macroeconomic indicators that predicts future (6-9 months) economic activity.

Limit Order — order for a broker to buy the lot for fixed or lesser price or sell the lot for fixed or better price. Such price is called limit price.

Liquidity — the measure of markets which describes relationship between the trading volume and the price change.

Long — the position which is in a Buy direction. In Forex, the primary currency when bought is long and another is short.

Loss — the loss from closing long position at lower rate than opening or short position with higher rate than opening, or if the profit from a position closing was lower than broker commission on it.

Lot — definite amount of units or amount of money accepted for operations handling (usually it is a multiple of 100).

Margin — money, the investor needs to keep at broker account to execute trades. It supplies the possible losses which may occur in margin trading.

Margin Account — account which is used to hold investor's deposited money for FOREX trading.

Margin Call — demand of a broker to deposit more margin money to the margin account when the amount in it falls below certain minimum.

Market Order — order to buy or sell a lot for a current market price.

Market Price — the current price for which the currency is traded for on the market.

Momentum — the measure of the currency's ability to move in the given direction.

Moving Average (MA) — one of the most basic technical indicators. It shows the average rate calculated over a series of time periods. Exponential Moving Average (EMA), Weighted Moving Average (WMA) etc. are just the ways of weighing the rates and the periods.

Offer (Ask) — price of the offer, the price you buy for.

Open Position (Trade) — position on buying (long) or selling (short) for a currency pair.

Order — order for a broker to buy or sell the currency with a certain rate.

Pivot Point — the primary support/resistance point calculated basing on the previous trend's High, Low and Close prices.

Pip (Point) — the last digit in the rate (e.g. for EUR/USD 1 point = 0.0001).

Profit (Gain) — positive amount of money gained for closing the position.

Principal Value — the initial amount of money of the invested.

Realized Profit/Loss — gain/loss for already closed positions.

Resistance — price level for which the intensive selling can lead to price increasing (up-trend).

RSI (Relative Strength Index) — indicator that measures of the power of direction price movement by comparing the bullish and bearish portions of the trend.

Scalping — a style of trading notable by many positions that are opened for extremely small and short-term profits.

Settled (Closed) Position — closed positions for which all needed transactions has been made.

Slippage — execution of order for a price different than expected (ordered), main reasons for slippage are — "fast" market, low liquidity and low broker's ability to execute orders.

Spread — difference between ask and bid prices for a currency pair.

Standard Lot — 100,000 units of the base currency of the currency pair, which you are buying or selling.

Stop-Limit Order — order to sell or buy a lot for a certain price or worse.

Stop-Loss Order — order to sell or buy a lot when the market reaches certain price. It is used to avoid extra losses when market moves in the opposite direction. Usually is a combination of stop-order and limit-order.

Support — price level for which intensive buying can lead to the price decreasing (down-trend).

Swap — overnight payment for holding your position. Since you are not physically receiving the currency you buy, your broker should pay you the interest rate difference between the two currencies of the pair. It can be negative or positive.

Technical Analysis — the analysis based only on the technical market data (quotes) with the help of various technical indicators.

Trend — direction of market which has been established with influence of different factors.

Unrealized (Floating) Profit/Loss — a profit/loss for your non-closed positions.

Useable Margin — amount of money in the account that can be used for trading.

Used Margin — amount of money in the account already used to hold open positions open.

Volatility — a statistical measure of the number of price changes for a given currency pair in a given period of time.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) — virtual environment hosted on the dedicated server, which can be used to run the programs independent on the user's PC. Forex traders use VPS to host trading platforms and run expert advisors without unexpected interruptions.

An Analysis of Secular Bear Markets and Secular Bull Markets since 1900

From a historical perspective since 1900 there have been 3 Secular Bull Markets and 3 Secular Bear Markets as shown by the tables below of the Dow and S&P 500. As you can see during a Secular Bull Market the Average Annual Return (highlighted in red) is considerably higher than during a Secular Bear Market (highlighted in blue). Thus the long term Buy and Hold strategy that worked well in the 1980’s and 1990’s for investors may have not worked very well during the Secular Bear Markets of 1906-1921, 1929-1949 and 1966-1982.

Secular Bear Markets vs Secular Bull Markets and Dow Performance

The big question is now are we in the beginning stages of a 4th Secular Bear Mark

et which started in 2000. The average length of the previous 3 Secular Bear Markets was 18 years with a minimum of 16 years and a maximum of 21 years. Thus if you add 18 years to the year 2000 and take + or - 3 years on either side then the next Secular Bull Market may not begin until sometime in the 2015 to 2021 time period if we are now entering a 4th Secular Bear Market. However I would like to point out that even in a Secular Bear Market there can still be Bull Markets lasting a year or two as the longer term charts of the Dow show below.

Notice after the Secular Bull Market of 1922-1928 which was followed by a Secular Bear Market from 1929-1949 that the Dow still had impressive gains during the early to mid 1930s (points A to B) before going through another Bear Cycle prior too and during World War II (points B to C). This was then followed by another Bull Cycle from 1943-1946 (points C to D). However from the early part of 1937 (point B) until the end of 1949 (point E) the Dow virtually had a net gain of 0% as its basic overall pattern was a series of up and down movements which pretty much cancelled each other out.

Meanwhile after the Secular Bull Market from 1950-1965 the Dow once again went through another Secular Bear Market from 1966-1982. Notice after the Dow peaked in early 1966 (point F) that it had a lot of upward and downward movements from 1966 through 1982 but it basically went nowhere and actually was lower at the end of 1982 (point G) versus its peak in early 1966 (point F).

Looking at the current chart of the Dow shows that it has been exhibiting a choppy pattern similar to previous Secular Bear Market environments after experiencing a Secular Bull Market from 1983-1999. One has to wonder during the next 10 years or so whether the Dow will continue to exhibit a similar pattern that occurred from the mid 1960’s through the 1970’s in which it had a lot of downward and upward moves but the overall net gain was negligible.

Even if we go through another Secular Bear Market over the next several years there will still be plenty of smaller Bull Markets and if taken advantage of properly will still lead to some excellent investment opportunities in the future.


Bob Kleyla

The Importance of Identifying Favorable Stock Chart Patterns

The Importance of Identifying Favorable Stock Chart Patterns

To be a successful investor it’s important to look for those stocks which are forming a favorable chart pattern such as a "Cup and Handle", "Double Bottom" or "Flat Base". In 2002 some of the best performing stocks exhibited the above mentioned chart patterns before breaking out and undergoing significant price appreciation.

Here are a few stocks that exhibited a "Cup and Handle" pattern before breaking above their Pivot Points on strong volume. CBZ formed a 7 month Cup from July of 2001 until February of 2002 and then developed 3 week Handle (H) before breaking above its Pivot Point in early April on strong volume. After breaking out of its Handle CBZ appreciated nearly 155%.

FSTW formed a 1 year Cup from January of 2001 until January of 2002 and then developed a 9 week Handle. FSTW then broke out of its Handle and above its Pivot Point in April accompanied by strong volume. After breaking out of its Handle FSTW appreciated nearly 225% over the next few months.

HL formed a shallow 9 month Cup from May of 2001 until February of 2002 and then developed a 4 week Handle (H). It then broke out of its Handle and above its Pivot Point in late March on good volume. After breaking out of its Handle HL gained nearly 275% over the next few months.

MWRK formed a 5 month Cup from September of 2001 into the early part of 2002 and then formed a 4 week Handle (H). MWRK then broke out of its Handle and above its Pivot Point in early March. After breaking out of its Handle MWRK gained nearly 200% over the next several months.

Another chart pattern to look for is the "Double Bottom" which looks like the letter "W". Here is a stock (CFI) that formed a Double Bottom pattern from May of 2000 into the early part of 2002 and then developed a small 3 week Handle (H) before breaking out in March accompanied by strong volume. After breaking out in March CFI gained nearly 170% over the next four months.

The third type of chart pattern to look for is called a "Flat Base". Flat Bases form as a stock basically trades sideways for several weeks or months. CVU formed a Flat Base for nearly 6 months before breaking out in April on good volume and appreciated over 300% over the next few months.

TENT is another example of a stock which formed a Flat Base for 10 months before breaking out in the early part of 2002. After breaking out TENT appreciated nearly 450% over the next 6 months.

These are some of the chart patterns you should be looking for when deciding which stocks to invest in. Investing in a stock which doesn’t have a favorable looking chart pattern can lead to poor performance while other stocks which are breaking out of a favorable chart pattern ("Cup and Handle", "Double Bottom" and "Flat Base") undergo significant price appreciation. Also if you examine the stocks mentioned above they all broke out of a favorable chart pattern on strong volume as well.


Bob Kleyla

How to Win the Forex Battle

Every trading activity is in fact participating in a battle. Winning the battle is a matter of knowledge, skill and experience. If you miss any of those you are going to join the long line of losers. Some says that 95 to 99 percent of the traders are lining up on the loser’s side.

How to win the battle in the currency market? It is easy to answer that question, based on the above approach – prepare yourself for the battle. If you treat currency market activity as a hobby you’ll ultimately lose all investments there. If you treat it as a business you still may loose everything.

The correct approach is: consider each pressing of the Buy/Sell button as entering a battlefield. If you enter it without having a knowledge, skill and experience on how to win, you are destined to fail. You may have some lucky trades in the beginning, though. That, by the way, is the worst case scenario for the rookie in trading.

The earlier you get your “bad” lessons, the better for your overall experience. No mater how good you consider yourself prepared, after demo trading lessons, you have no idea of the forces ruling on the real market.

In fact the worst enemy you are going to face in the very beginning is not hiding behind the walls of the global currency trading centers. Your most dangerous foe is hiding deep inside of you. That enemy is so powerful that you will be amazed how quickly it will wash away all your carefully considered decision.

No one has been able to evade the force of that destructive power. No one can understand or realize that force unless it has been confronted face to face. Start trading with real money and you will face it too. Fear, Greed or Hope are some of the names of that power.

Fear forces you to sell near the bottom and buy near the top. Greed forces you to get out of the market prematurely. Hope will keep in the trade until you loose everything. Fear may save you but hope may wreck you completely. Greed will never make you rich.

It is easy to give advice to trade without emotions and use the logic, only. How you can achieve that if you never have been there. You need to go through that turmoil, pick up your loses due to your emotional decisions and than analyze.

Study all your “bad” trades, because they are the most precious gifts on the way to proficiency in trading. Growing as an experienced trader is possible only after getting your losses in the beginning. Then sit down and carefully study the lessons they brought to you.

One thing traders never want to do is to admit of being wrong. The market is a constantly changing and it demands flexibility in taking decision. That implies monitoring and constantly adjusting, changing your decision and action. When your logical analyzes suggest that you are wrong – get out, quickly.

Once you overcome the emotions, concentrate on developing your signature way of trading. You can start with following different advisors and system and picking from them the things you like. Demo trade and test your ideas until you find the trade system which is matching completely your personality.

Now, you have to go back to emotion in a controlled way. Every time your system suggests a trade look inside you and see how you feel about this trade. You feel bad – discard it. If you feel good – keep it.

Here comes the final step: Looking for the final approval sign before submitting the trade. Here is the time, where the mastership shows up. Your weapon is loaded, the target is clearly seen on the visor and the finger is on the trigger. You have to make that final exhale, get the target over the cross point and shoot it.

How much knowledge, skill, experience and patience you need to build within in order to reach that very final stage of trading proficiency? Only you’ll know that and only you can do it. The rest is just numbers in your bank account.

Building a fortune by trading currency is not a mirage in the desert of live. There are hundreds of traders who are making living of that business and you can do it too. Study all you can find on the net and follow the steps of the best if you want to win that battle.

Teo Gee

The Seven Most Traded Currencies in FOREX

Currencies are traded in dollar amounts called “lots”. One lot is equal to $1,000, which controls $100,000 in currency. This is what is known as the "margin". You can control $100,000 worth of currency for only 1,000 dollars. This is what is called “High Leverage”.

Currencies are always traded in pairs in the FOREX. The pairs have a unique notation that expresses what currencies are being traded. The symbol for a currency pair will always be in the form ABC/DEF. ABC/DEF is not a real currency pair, it is an example of a symbol for a currency pair. In this example ABC is the symbol for one countries currency and DEF is the symbol for another countries currency.

Here are some of the common symbols used in the Forex:

USD - The US Dollar EUR - The currency of the European Union "EURO" GBP - The British Pound JPN - The Japanese Yen CHF - The Swiss Franc AUD - The Australian Dollar CAD - The Canadian Dollar

There are symbols for other currencies as well, but these are the most commonly traded ones.

A currency can never be traded by itself. So you can not ever trade a EUR by itself. You always need to compare one currency with another currency to make a trade possible.

Some of the common PAIRS are:

EUR/USD Euro / US Dollar "Euro"

USD/JPY US Dollar / Japanese Yen "Dollar Yen"

GBP/USD British Pound / US Dollar "Cable"

USD/CAD US Dollar / Canadian Dollar "Dollar Canada"

AUD/USD Australian Dollar/US Dollar "Aussie Dollar"

USD/CHF US Dollar / Swiss Franc "Swissy"

EUR/JPY Euro / Japanese Yen "Euro Yen"

The listed currency pairs above look like a fraction. The numerator (top of the fraction or "left" of the / however you want to SEE it) is called the base currency. The denominator (bottom of the fraction or "right" of the /however you want to SEE it) is called the counter currency. When you place an order to buy the EUR/USD, for instance, you are actually buying the EUR and selling the USD. If you were to sell the pair, you would be selling the EUR and buying the USD. So if you buy or sell a currency PAIR, you are buying/selling the base currency. You are always doing the opposite of what you did with to base currency with the counter currency.

If this seems confusing then you’re in luck. You can always get by with just thinking of the entire pair as one item. Then you are just buying or selling that one item. Thinking like this will still enable you to place trades. You only need to be aware of the base/counter concept for Fundamental Analysis issues.

So why is it important to know about the base/counter currency? The base/counter currency concept illustrates what is actually taking place in a Forex transaction. Some of you reading this, know that short-selling was restricted in the stock market *(Short-selling is where you sell a stock/currency/option/commodity first and then try to buy it back at a lower price later). But in the FOREX you are always buying one currency (base) and selling another (counter). If you sell the pair you are simply flipping which one you buy and which one you sell. The transaction is essentially the same. This allows you to short-sell with no restrictions.

You want to be able to short-sell with no restrictions so you can make money when the market drops as well as when it rises. The problem with traditional stock market trading is that the market has to go up for you to make money. With FOREX trading you can make money in all directions.

Omar Vargas
FOREX Trader and Freelance writer.

Forex Technical Analysis

The difference between forex technical and forex fundamental analysis is that forex technical analysis ignores fundamental factors and is applied only to the price action of the market. Forex technical analysis primarily consists of a variety of forex technical studies, each of which can be interpreted to predict market direction or to generate buy and sell signals. The technical analysis works by correlating the results and moves of current markets to create a short-term outlook for currencies. The rolling data that is produced throughout the trading day creates the interest in the markets and informs traders of the strong markets to back.

The Trend is Your Friend

Forex technical analysis is largely based around forex market movement trends, thus creating the widely used phrase ’the trend is your friend’ amongst traders. Buying and selling at the right time is the key in maintaining good levels of profits, following a trend is also about knowing where to entry a trade and more importantly where to exit.

Support and Resistance

Support and resistance is the basic of forex technical analysis. Support and resistance levels are points where a chart experiences recurring upward or downward pressure. A support level is usually the low point in any chart pattern (hourly, weekly or annually), whereas a resistance level is the high or the peak point of the pattern. Buying and selling at the support and resistance points makes a greater profit margin as long as they remain unbroken.

History Tends To Repeat Itself

Another important idea in technical analysis is that history tends to repeat itself, mainly in terms of price movement. The repetitive nature of price movements is attributed to market psychology; in other words, market participants tend to provide a consistent reaction to similar market stimuli over time. Forex technical analysis uses chart patterns to analyze forex market movements and understand trends. Although many of these charts have been used for more than 30 years, they are still believed to be relevant because they illustrate patterns in price movements that often repeat themselves.

What is The Law of Charts™?

The Law of Charts was discovered by Master Trader Joe Ross. As he likes to say, "It was there all along. It just happened to fall on my head much as the law of gravity was discovered when an apple fell on Isaac Newton’s head."

The Law of Charts defines four basic formations known as 1-2-3 lows and highs, Ross hooks, trading ranges, and ledges. These occur in all time frames because the depict human action and reaction vis-à-vis price movement.

What makes these formations unique is that they can be specifically defined. The ability to formulate a more precise definition sets these formations apart from such vague generalities as "head and shoulders," "coils," "flags," "pennants," "megaphones," and other such supposed price patterns that are frequently attached as labels to the action of prices.

A 1-2-3 high or low comes at the end of a trend or swing. It forms as the result of a change in the direction of prices. The 1-2-3 low forms as the result of buying pressure overcoming that of selling pressure. The 1-2-3 high forms as the result of selling pressure overcoming buying pressure.

A Ross hook™ always forms as the result of profit taking in an trend or swing.

A ledge forms as a result of profit taking, uncertainty about future price direction, or both. You might consider it as a pause in the overall movement of prices in a single direction.

A ledge is the smallest of a number of consolidation formations: it never consists of more than 10 or less than 4 price bars. It is denoted by containing two matching or nearly matching highs and two matching or nearly matching lows.

A consolidation consisting of eleven to 20 price bars is called a congestion, and a consolidation consisting of 21 or more price bars.

As simple as these definitions are, the have been found to constitute a "law." Any data that contains both a high and a low, will form these patterns; even data that has nothing to do with markets and trading.

Learn more about The Law of Charts, it is a free resource on our website. Study it as much as you want. And while you are visiting take a look at the Traders Trick™ entry.

by Joe Ross

Forex Fundamental Analysis

The two primary approaches of analyzing Forex markets are technical analysis and fundamental analysis. Fundamental analysis comprises the examination of economic indicators, asset markets and political considerations when evaluating a nation’s currency in terms of another. The focus of fundamental analysis lies on the economic, social and political forces that drive supply and demand. There is no single set of beliefs that guide forex fundamental analysis, yet most fundamental analysts look at various macroeconomic indicators such as economic growth rates, interest rates, inflation, and unemployment.

Here we look at some of the major Forex fundamental factors that play a role in the movement of a currency:

Economic Indicators

Economic indicators are reports released by the government or a private organization that detail a country’s economic performance. These economic indicators can be released on a weekly basis, but the more common report is monthly. Indicators are based around a number of economical situations, of which the two primary factors are that of International trade and Interest. Subsidiary factors also include Consumer Price Index (CPI), Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), Durable goods orders, retail sales and Producer Price Index (PPI).

Currency’s Interest Rates

One of the major indicator factors, Interest rates, are a key economic function of any nation. Generally, when a country raises its interest rates, the country’s currency will strengthen in relation to other currencies as assets are shifted to gain a higher return. Interest rates hikes, however, are usually not good news for stock markets. This is due to the fact that many investors will withdraw money from a country’s stock market when there is a hike of interest rates.

International Trade

The trade balance portrays the net difference (over a period of time) between the imports and exports of a nation. A trade deficit can be an economic disaster for a government and a currency. A deficit may appear when a country is importing more than it is exporting, meaning that more money is leaving and less is coming in. In some ways, however, a trade deficit in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. A deficit is only negative if the deficit is greater than market expectations and therefore will trigger a negative price movement.

W.D. Gann Trading Methods - Genius Trader or Overrated Guru

W.D. Gann is one of the most famous traders of all time, and has a huge devoted following - however the fact is, Gann never made the huge profits many of his disciples claim.

He did not have a success rate of 90%, as is often claimed - the logic his methods are based upon are unsound, and his predictive methods don’t predict - they leave everything to subjective opinion!

Let’s examine his theories of investment in more detail and see.

Let’s look at some common myths about how great a trader Gann actually was:

Many sources quote Gann’s trading profits at $50 million dollars, however this is not true.

An interview that Alexander Elder had with his son tells the truth.

Firstly, his son confirmed that when his father died in the 1950s his estate was valued at just $100,000 - and that included his house.

Secondly, his son confirmed that Gann was unable to make enough money from trading, and therefore supplemented his income by writing and selling courses.

W.D. Gann’s Predictions

Many sources quote he had a success rate in all his trades of over 90% - again not true. We can easily deduce this from the value of his estate.

If he could make money trading and had a 90% success rate, he would have made hundreds of millions in his trading career - and he clearly did not - that’s why he had to sell books and courses.

The only evidence of a 90% success rate came from a small number of trades - and was not representative of them all.

Gann’s Methods are Predictive

Gann came to the conclusion that all natural phenomena are cyclical - including financial markets. This is true, but this is an obvious statement - we all know we’re going to die but when exactly?

A predictive theory is not a predictive theory if it can’t predict.

If Gann’s theory really is predictive, then there would be no market - as we would all know the price in advance!

Gann’s theory is subjective - and he really had no way of predicting the future with accuracy. It’s all subjective analysis and this is NOT a predictive theory.

Gann’s Logic

The basis of Gann’s theory is the principle that price and time must balance.

His methods are based on the squaring of price with time - this occurs when a unit of price equals a unit of time.

Gann for example would take a prominent high in the market, convert that dollar unit into a specified period of time and project it forward. When that time is reached, price and time are squared - and a market turn is due.

What? - How can one unit of price equal one unit of time? If you think about and answer this question for yourself, you will see how absurd the connection is.

This isn’t the only inconsistency used in his analysis - we also have the legendary Fibonacci numbers which are supposed to work with stunning accuracy - but they don’t, and neither do all sorts of astrology and geometry, that appeals to the far out investment crowd.

As we have seen, Gann was a trader who had modest success, and claimed to have discovered a predictive theory - which predicts nothing with accuracy.

Finally, we have so many subjective indicators cobbled together, that the theory can prove anything in hindsight, but if you want a tool to trade the markets look elsewhere.

For those of you still not convinced - I recently saw on the Internet, Gann’s trading methods selling for under $1,000!

Sounds like a bargain to get trades with 90% accuracy - I wonder how many serious money managers have it on their bookshelf.

Enough said.

New! A valuable FREE Currency Trader CD containing 9 critical trading reports, tips, strategies and trading systems info. Visit our web site now and grab your CD

Forex Trading: The Perfect Forex Trading System

Trading the Forex market has become very popular in the last few years. But how difficult is it to achieve success in the Forex trading arena? Or let me rephrase this question, how many traders achieve consistent profitable results trading the Forex market? Unfortunately very few, only about 5% of traders achieve this goal. One of the main reasons of this is because Forex traders focus in the wrong information to make their trading decisions and totally forget about the most important factor: Price behavior.

Most Forex trading systems are made off technical indicators. But what are technical indicators? They are just a series of data points plotted in a chart; these points are derived from a mathematical formula applied to the price of any given currency pair. In other words, it is a chart of price plotted in a different way that helps us see other aspects of price.

There is an important implication on this definition of technical indicators. The fact that the readings obtained from them are based on price action. Take for instance a long MA crossover signal, the price has gone up enough to make the short period MA crossover the long period MA generating a long signal. Most traders see it as "the MA crossover made the price go up," but it happened the other way around, the MA crossover signal occurred because the price went up. Where I’m trying to get here is that at the end, price behavior dictates how an indicator will act, and this should be taken into consideration on any trading decision made.

Trading decisions based on technical indicators without taking price action into consideration will give us less accurate results. For example, again a long signal generated by a MA crossover as the market approaches an important resistance level. If the price suddenly starts to bounce back off that important level there is no point on taking this signal, price action is telling us the market doesn’t want to go up. Most of the time, under this circumstances, the market will continue to fall down, disregarding the MA crossover.

Don’t get me wrong here, technical indicators are a very important aspect of trading. They help us see certain conditions that are otherwise difficult to see by watching pure price action. But when it comes to pull the trigger, price action incorporation into our Forex trading system will definitely put the odds in our favor, it will generate higher probability trades.

So, how to create a perfect Forex trading system?

  1. First of all, you need to make sure your trading system fits your trading personality; otherwise you will find it hard to follow it. Every trader has different needs and goals, thus there is no system that perfectly fits all traders. You need to make your own research on various trading styles and technical indicators until you find a concept that perfectly works for you. Make sure you know the nature of whatever technical indicator used.

  2. Secondly, incorporate price action into your system. So you only take long signals if the price behavior tells you the market wants to go up, and short signals if the market gives you indication that it will go down.

  3. Third, and most importantly, you need to have the discipline to follow your Forex trading system rigorously. Try it first on a demo account, then move on to a small account and finally when feeling comfortably and being consistent profitable apply your system in a regular account.

Forex Signal Trading Gives the Traders One More Analytical Tool

Forex signal trading has emerged as an important support service for forex traders. This service is run either by forex brokers or by independent analysts who monitor and analyze the forex market. These analysts identify forex trends using several indicators. Based on this analysis, they suggest profitable entry and exit points to forex traders for a fee.

Most analysts offer signals for only the most popular currency pairs, such as EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD and USD/CHF. However, there are some specialty services also that offer signals for the lesser-traded pairs.

The charges for these services vary from analyst to analyst, and depend upon the range of services bought by the trader. For instance, a basic subscription service offers email alerts of entry/exit opportunities to traders while a more comprehensive service provides this information through SMS, cell phone or pager alerts also.

Some signal trading services also provide live charts for the traders to make their judgment. Irrespective of the level of service, a trader should be prepared to pay a minimum subscription fee of $100 a month.

However, the success of a forex signal service should not be measured in isolation or over a relatively short period of time. The traders should use these signal services only as an extra indicator, as one more tool in their trading toolbox. A good way to judge the analytical skills of signal trading service is to ask for historical data. This can expose the claims of trading signal service.

The biggest benefit of signal trading services is that they save the traders the bother of analyzing or crunching data. However, this does not mean that the traders should depend upon them exclusively to maximize their profits or minimize their losses. This should happen only when the traders develop sufficient trust in certain signal trading services. Otherwise, the traders should use their own judgment and market grapevine to decide the trades.

While Forex signal trading gives the trader’s one more analytical tool, each trader must use his or her best judgment before making the trade. Forex signal trading software is a great tool, but should never be used solely to base the trade decision upon. You would be better off relying on your past experience and gut instinct when analyzing signal trading data. You will also want to rely on your basic fundamental analysis. Forex traders using fundamental analysis rely on news reports to gather information about unemployment rates, economic policies, inflation, and growth rates.

By Matthew

Fibonacci Trading Techniques

Introduction to Fibonacci trading techniques.

First, a few words about Fibonacci himself…

Leonardo Pisano (nickname Fibonacci) was a mathematician, born in 1170, in Pisa (now Italy). His father was Guilielmo, of the Bonacci family. His father was a diplomat, as a result Fibonacci was educated in North Africa, where he learned "accounting" and "mathematics".

Fibonacci also contributed to the science of numbers, and introduced the "Fibonacci sequence"

The Fibonacci sequence is the sequence 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, introduced in his work "Liber abaci" in a problem involving the growth of a population of rabbits.

Aside from this sequence of number where every next number is the sum of the proceeding two, 0, 1 (0+1), 2 (1+1), 3 (2+1), 5 (3+2), 8 (5+3), 13 (8+5), etc.

There are the "Fibonacci ratios".. By comparing the relationship between each number, and each alternate number, and even each number to the one four places to the right, we arrive at some fairly consistent ratios.. The important ones are .236, 50, .382, .618, .764, 1.382, 1.618, 2.618, 4.236, and for good measure we include 1.00 ..

It turns out that the ratios are mathematical principles prevalent in nature around us, and is also in man-made objects. There are many interesting, entertaining, and poetic observations about Fibonacci numbers and ratios in the universe (see the reference section below). Fibonacci numbers appear in ancient buildings, in plants, planets, molecules, the dimensions of human bodies, and of course snails… But of what use is all that to the lowly trader?

What really interests you, the application of Fibonacci techniques in the trading environment..

Traders usually study charts! Fibonacci ratios may be applied to the Price scale, and also to the time scale of charts. I study the price scale. My focus here will be on the price scale for now, perhaps in the future I’ll add some time-scale studies.

Prices never move in a straight line. Look at any chart, you will see many wiggles, as price advances and retraces.. Stocks, Futures, Forex, all instruments which are liquid, will often retrace in Fibonacci proportions, and advance in Fibonacci proportions. Not always, and not precisely to the penny. But very often, and reasonably close! This happens often enough that profitable trades can result. I will show you some examples below.

I used Fibonacci ratios with a few simple indicators to help determine probable price turning points, optimum entry, exit and stop-loss levels. My complete techniques are available in on-line video seminars, in-person seminars, and via my real-time on-line chat facility. For more details, see the this web page

The application of Fibonacci to trading can be very complex, and take much time and experience to perfect. Many traders enjoy making the process as difficult and as complex as they can tolerate.. I do the opposite, I try to simplify, try to bring clarity.

Fibonacci example - Microsoft Weekly chart.
This lesson demonstrates a very basic way to use Fibonacci levels. You just read about Fibonacci ratios. We will use just one of those ratios for now, the .382 Fibonacci ratio. In this chart MSFT made a high of (approximately) $59.97 in December of 1999. After that, it moved down to make a low of $30.19 in May of 2000.

The down move was $29.78 (59.97-30.19), quite a substantial amount.

Projecting from that low in May, and using a Fibonacci ratio, we can calculate 29.78*.382=$11.37 . So 38.2% of 29.78 is 11.37 . If MSFT were to rally 38.2% of the down-move it would reach $41.57 (11.37+30.20). I’m using rounded numbers in my calculations, the chart above calculates it to be $41.564, we don’t need that degree of accuracy!

Several weeks later, MSFT rallied and resisted right near that .382 Fibonacci level !!

So we were able to predict a future probable turning point (after the low of May 2000), using the Fibonacci ratio of .382!! If only it were always so easy.

The steps involved are:

  1. Calculate the total value of a significant price-move (high to low, or vice-versa).
  2. Calculate a Fibonacci retracement (in this case .382) of the prior move.
  3. Look for price to confirm, by resisting (or support in an up-move) near that predicted retracement area.

Fibonacci example - Microsoft Daily chart.
This chart shows how a different Fibonacci level (61.8%) predicted resistance and a market turn.

Notice how the market behaved at the .382 level (30.80 area). Initially the market spiked through, then fell back to that level (late October). We cannot expect a chart to retrace at every Fib level. We can expect some support/resistance as buyers/sellers enter the market at these levels, but we can’t always predict whether the market will actually turn at any particular level. Fibonacci techniques are used to alert you to a possible trade, if that price level does cause support or resistance. These techniques are not used as a trigger for entry. Other indicators are used in conjunction with Fibonacci studies to provide higher-probability entries..

As mentioned before, there are several Fib levels, .236, 50, .382, .618, .764, 1.382, 1.618, 2.618, 4.236, and 1.00 .. So there are several places to look for a market turn. They can be calculated in advance, but trading blindly at a fib level can be dangerous, because you never know for certain (in advance) whether the market will turn at any particular Fib level. I use other indicators to help overcome that problem, click here to learn how to determine which Fib ratio is likely to be strong enough to turn the market.

Important notes from this lesson:

  1. There are several Fib levels.
  2. It takes some skill to determine which Fib level is likely to cause the market to turn.
  3. There are some techniques to help you determine where a market is more likely to turn.
  4. Do not blindly anticipate a market turn at a Fib level.

More Fibonacci examples.

QQQ Weekly chart with a deep retracement to .618 and a weak attempt to rally after that. However, consider the daily chart and intraday traders. they would have enjoyed the rally from $75 to $100, after going long from a support level that could have been predicted in March!

QQQ daily chart. Multiple Fib levels timing the market perfectly in 3 consecutive waves up!

Intraday chart, QQQ 30-minute. Notice the two market Fib retracements (there are others in this chart too).. The rally from 29.26 stopped at 31.10, then it supported **twice** at 30.39, for two good scalps. The next highlighted Fib support is at a retracement of .618 from the move up 30.47 to 32.49 .. Both of these support levels were predictable before the market supported there.. Hint:--- See how the rally continued after the shallow retracement to 30.39 ... See how the rally after the deeper retracement to .618 near 31.25 was a weaker rally.. This is common, a deeper retracement often foretells a weaker rally... See the next lesson in the table of contents for more on these advanced Fibonacci trading principles.

Another intraday chart, S&P 5-minute.. The first Fib retracement is on a bearish move, an opportunity to short. The second is bullish, with a long entry near 999.25 .. Note that popular charting software will calculate Fibonacci to rediculous precision, we don’t need anything closer than one tick! Actually, you should allow some room don’t expect precision every time. Allow the trade some room to develop, or you will be stopped out too often.

More Advanced - Microsoft Daily chart.

By now you’re probably quite interested, perhaps applying all those Fibonacci ratios to many charts.. You should experiment with your own charts. As long as the instrument traded has a lot of liquidity (not a penny stock for example), you should start to see Fib support and resistance at work. You will start to notice that Fibonacci levels "work" sometimes and not others. Sometimes the trades are not profitable, or are less profitable than others. You need to develop the skills required to select better trades.
In this mini-lesson I want to show you how to evaluate price action based on which Fib levels it responds to, and how the market behaves immediately preceding the Fib support/resistance.

The chart below actually has many Fibonacci levels "performing well", providing support or resistance to the market. I want you to focus on the two that I have identified, for the purposes of this lesson.

The first up-move that I have identified topped out at $26.90, and then retraced 61.8% before supporting at that Fib level. There was a pause at the .382 level, but it was not sufficient to hold the market. Now look at the rally from the support level near .618, it rallied but did not exceed the prior high of 26.90 … As a general rule, a retracement to .618 or below indicates that the preceding up-move is losing steam. A shallow retracement which supports at .382 is more likely to rally beyond the prior high than one which has a deep retracement beyond .50 all the way to .618 ..

The impressive thrust from 22.55 up to 26.90 was negated by a quick move back to .618 at about 24.20, so a trader should not be too optimistic about a continuation of the initial up-thrust.

Similarly, the move up in June, from 23.50 to almost 26.50 would also not inspire much optimism for a huge rally above the high of 26.50 … In general a shallow support at .382 would indicate a probable rally beyond the prior high. However, if the up-move preceding the retracement was sluggish rather than thrusting, you also should temper your enthusiasm.

If the second rally which only retraced to .382 had the thrust of the first rally, it would be a more attractive trade!

These are not firm rules, instead they are used as a guide, to help you filter for better trades. Every Fib level is not equal, some are more attractive than others.

Important notes from this lesson:

  1. Not all Fib levels are alike.
  2. No technical study is perfect, you must develop the skills to filter out bad trades, and improve the odds of finding better trades.
  3. Price action just before a Fib retracement can tell you something about the future.
  4. Which Fib level causes the end of a retracement also can give a hint to future price action.
  5. No technical study is perfect, you must develop the skills to filter out bad trades, and improve the odds of finding better trades.

Good Trading

Best Regards
Neal Hughes

What is Forex ?

The Foreign Exchange market, also referred to as the "Forex" or "FX" market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average turnover of approximately US$1.5 trillion. Foreign Exchange is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another. The world’s currencies are on a floating exchange rate and are always traded in pairs, for example Euro/Dollar or Dollar/Yen.

Looking for Cup and Handle Chart Patterns before Buying a Stock

Cup and Handle

Favorable Chart Patterns to Look for before Buying a Stock

One of the biggest factors an investor should consider before buying a stock is what type of chart pattern the stock is forming. A company may have great fundamentals but if it has an unfavorable chart pattern then it may not be a good company to invest in. One of the basic chart patterns to look for before investing in a stock is called a "Cup and Handle" pattern. Typically a "Cup and Handle" looks similar to a coffee cup if you were holding the cup in your right hand.

Generally I look for stocks that take 3 Months or more to form a Cup and then develop a Handle for at least 2 Weeks. Some examples are shown below.

AMHC formed a Cup for 14 Months and then developed a Handle for 8 Weeks (point A). AMHC broke out of the Handle in December of 2001 and then preceded to rise from $8 to $37 a share over the next 12 months for a gain of over 400%.

cup and handle

EASI developed a 2 year Cup and then formed a 10 week Handle (point B) before breaking out in August of 2000. EASI then preceded to rise from $12 to $38 a share over the next 12 months for a gain of over 200%.

chart patterns

FRNT developed a 12 Month Cup and then formed an 8 Week Handle (point C) before breaking out in November of 2000. FRNT then preceded to rise from $12 to $26 a share for a gain of over 100% over the next 5 Months.


Finally TARO developed a Cup for 10 Months and then formed a 6 Week Handle (point D) before breaking out in October of 2001. TARO then rose from $17 to $50 a share for a gain of 190% over the next 6 Months.

stock chart

By focusing on companies with good fundamentals that are breaking out of a favorable chart pattern such as a "Cup and Handle" will allow you to find winning stocks even in a Bear Market environment. The purpose of our site is to help focus investors on those stocks that have good fundamentals which are forming favorable chart patterns such as the "Cup and Handle".


May 2004
by Bob Kleyla

Flat Base Chart Pattern

Stocks that have large price gains typically will stair-step upward and form Flat Bases before resuming their up trend. This action may occur several times as a stock remains in an up trend and could last from a few days to several weeks depending on the situation. Flat Bases are characterized by small daily trading ranges with volume being lower than normal. Although it doesn’t happen every time, the longer a stock remains in a Flat Base, the greater the price appreciation may be when the stock breaks out. Lets look at some examples below.

flat base patterns

Here is a chart of EMLX. Notice how it formed a Flat Base (small trading range) from July through mid-August and then broke out of the base in on increasing volume (point A). It then formed another Flat Base in September and broke out of this base in early October and skyrocketed from $80 to $200.

Another example of a stock that had a few Flat Bases was KIDE. Notice in May and June the small daily trading ranges with low volume. Then in early July the stock broke out with increasing volume (point A) and went from $10 to $30 by mid-August. KIDE then formed another Flat Base from mid-August though early October and then exploded out of the base on higher volume (point B). The stock then went from $30 to $90 in four weeks. The total gain from July to November was 800% ($10 to $90).

Another example of a stock that was in a Flat Base pattern for a significant amount of time was MCOM. Notice that it traded sideways for at least 3 months before breaking out of the base on strong volume (point A). In this case MCOM went from $10 to $55 in 4 weeks for a gain of 450%.

As you can see, finding stocks that exhibit certain chart patterns (Cup and Handle, Double Bottom and Flat Base) can lead to strong price appreciation when they breakout on strong volume.


Bob Kleyla
May 2004

Forex trading basics

Forex Market Basics

The Foreign Exchange market (also referred to as the Forex, FX market, "Cash" Forex or Spot Forex market ) is the largest financial market in the world, with more than $1.5 trillion changing hands every day — 30 times larger than the combined volume of all U.S. equity markets. Another major feature of the Forex market is that it operates 24 hours a day, corresponding to the opening and closing of financial centers in countries all across the world, starting each day in Sydney, then Tokyo, London and New York. At any time, in any location, there are buyers and sellers, making the Forex market the most liquid market in the world.

What to trade in Forex Market?

In the forex market, currency trading is always done in currency pairs, such as EUR/USD or GBP/USD. Accordingly, all trades result in the simultaneous buying of one currency and the selling of another. The base currency is the "basis" for the buy or the sell. It is useful to consider the currency pair as an instrument, which can be bought or sold.

Understanding Forex quote

  • Base currency: The first currency in the pair.
  • Counter Currency: The second currency in the pair. Also known as the terms currency.

The US dollar is the centerpiece of the Forex market and is normally considered the ’base’ currency for quotes. This includes USD/JPY, USD/CHF and USD/CAD. For these currencies and many others, quotes are expressed as a unit of $1 USD per the second currency quoted in the pair. For example, a quote of USD/CAD 1.1302 means that one U.S. dollar is equal to 1.1302 Canadian dollar.

BID and ASK Prices

When trading forex you will often see a two-sided quote, consisting of a ’bid’ and ’ask’. The ’bid’ is the price at which you can sell the base currency (at the same time buying the counter currency). The ’ask’ is the price at which you can buy the base currency (at the same time selling the counter currency).

Commission-free, but with spreads

Most Forex brokers offer commission-free Forex trading. Spread - The difference between the bid and ask price of a currency. Normally 3-5 pips on the Majors.

Rollover - What happens to my open positions at the end of the trading day?

Process whereby the settlement of a deal is rolled forward to another value date. The cost of this process is based on the interest rate differential of the two currencies. Most brokers will automatically roll over your open positions, allowing you to hold a position for an indefinite period of time.

Leverage & Margin

The leverage available in forex trading is one of main attractions for many traders. Leveraged trading, or trading on margin, simply means that you are not required to put up the full value of the position. Forex brokers provide more leverage than stocks or futures. In forex trading, the amount of leverage available can be up to 400 times the value of your account.

What makes a good Trading Strategy?

Ask most NEW traders, and they will tell you about some moving average or combination of indicators or a chart pattern that they use. This is, as the more experienced trader knows, an entry point and not a strategy.

Any trader who is more experienced will say a strategy should also include money management, risk control, perhaps stop losses and of course, an exit point. They might also say that you must let your profits run and cut your losses short. A well-read trader will also tell you that your strategy should fit with your trading personality.

BUT there is one other vital ingredient that many traders forget - and that is to fully understand the "personality" of what you trade. Some traders specialise in say, gold or Brent crude or currencies or they might specialise in a particular index such as the FTSE 100 or the Dow but many traders choose to trade shares. Indeed some traders dabble in a bit of everything. I think this is the area that causes many traders to fail or at least not reach their full potential.

In my view: You absolutely MUST specialise.

I am sure that on the surface most people would say that sounds sensible but here is why it is a MUST!

Superficially, many charts look the same. I bet if you had not seen the charts for some time and someone where to show you a chart of Brent Crude over 6 months and then a chart of Barclays PLC over the same 6 months you would be hard pushed to say which was which purely on the look of the chart.

However, I bet that if you found a trader who trades ONLY Barclays day in and day out and also found someone who trades ONLY Brent Crude day in and day out, both of them would easily identify which was which. WHY?

Because every share, index or commodity has it’s own "personality".

Some will be volatile intra-day, some will follow their sector or the main index (market followers), some will do their own thing, some will spike up and down regularly, some will stop at key moving averages and some will just plough through. Some will move by 5% on average before they retrace and some by 2%. Some will gap up or down regularly, some will not. You get the idea!

Therefore, no matter how good you are at analysing indicators, moving averages, trends and patterns, the same strategy WILL NOT work for everything. I would go so far as to say that a strategy that works well for Bovis Homes, for example, is likely NOT to work for BT Group - they have very different "personalities".

So let’s return to our question: What makes a good trading strategy? Let me answer with a series of ten questions that you need to find answers to, in order to build a REALLY GOOD strategy.

  1. What do you want to trade (share, index, commodity, currency, etc)? If your answer is shares (plural) I would urge you to pick one typical share at this stage to really specialise. You can add more later.
  2. What "personality" does that share, index etc have?
  3. What entry system is the most reliable for that share?
  4. What stop loss system is the most effective for that share?
  5. What average risk will a typical trade carry?
  6. What exit system works well for that share?
  7. What is your trading personality (attitude to risk, losses, discipline, how much do you worry etc) and can you trade that strategy without overriding it?
  8. What timescale do you want to trade? (Using intra-day or end of day data)
  9. How much data do you keep on past trades to help identify strategy weaknesses?
  10. How does all this fit with your trading objectives?

Once you have an answer to each question you need to do one final thing. Make sure all those things fit together and complement each other. For example, if the ideal stop loss position represents a big average risk and conflicts with your own attitude to risk, you need to start again. If you will override your exit point because greed makes you hang in for more, you need to think again. Perhaps you shouldn’t trade that stock in the first place - look for one with a different "personality" which will lead to a strategy you can trade comfortably.

It is a long and sometimes painful iterative journey. You might need to go round and round in ever decreasing circles over a long time. Testing and refining, testing and refining before you can truly have a reliable and repeatable strategy that REALLY WORKS for you.

THEN, you can look for other things to trade that have the same "personality" as your specialist stock, index, commodity or currency.

But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it right?

Good luck and enjoy your trading.

David Graeme-Smith
Short Swing Trading

Futures Spread Trading

How professional traders optimize profits

Futures spread trading is probably the most profitable, yet safest way to trade futures. Almost every professional trader uses spreads to optimize his profits. Trading spreads offers many advantages which make it the perfect trading instrument, especially for beginners and traders with small accounts (less than $10,000).

The following example of a Soybean-Spread shows the advantages of futures spread trading:

Example: Long May Soybeans (SK3) and Short November Soybeans (SX3)

Four Advantages of Futures Spread Trading

Advantage 1: Easy to trade

Do you see how nicely this spread starts trending in mid February? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced trader, whether you use chart formations or indicators, the existence of a trend is obvious. (If you are looking for a concept of how to identify a trend, we strongly recommend visiting Spreads tend to trend much more dramatically than outright futures contracts. They trend without the interference and noise caused by computerized trading, scalpers, and market movers.

Advantage 2: Low Margin requirements

Many spreads have reduced margin requirements, which means that you can afford to put on more positions. While the margin on an outright futures position in corn is $540, a spread trade in corn requires only $135 — 25% as much. That’s a great advantage for traders with a small account. With a $10,000 trading account risking 8% of your account, you can enter 6 corn spreads, instead of only 1-2 outright corn futures trade. How’s that for leverage?

Advantage 3: Higher return on margin

Each point in the spread carries the same value ($50) as each point in the outright futures ($50). That means that on a 3 point favorable move in corn futures or a 3 point favorable move in the spread, you would earn $150. However, the difference in return on margin is extraordinary:
Corn futures - $150/$540 = 27.8% return
Corn spread - $150/$135 = 111% return
And keep in mind that you can trade 6 times as many spread contracts as you can outright futures contracts. In our example you would achieve a 24 times higher return on you margin.

Advantage 4: Low time requirements

You don’t have to watch a spread all day long. You do not need real-time data. The most effective way to trade spreads is using end-of-day data. Therefore, spread trading is the best way to trade if you do not want to watch or cannot watch your computer all day long (i.e. because you have a daytime job). And you can save all the money you would have had to spend for real-time data systems (up to $600 per month).
So where is the catch?
If futures spread trading is so fantastic, why does it seems that hardly anybody trades spreads? Well, it is not true that hardly anybody trades spreads: the professional traders do, every day. But either by accident or design, the whole truth of spread trading has been hidden from the public over the years.
The purpose of this website is to inform you about futures spread trading. In the following we will answer the four frequently asked questions:

  • What is a spread?
  • Why trade spreads?
  • What can you expect when trading spreads?

What Is a Spread?

A spread is defined as the sale of one or more futures contracts and the purchase of one or more offsetting futures contracts. You can turn that around to state that a spread is the purchase of one or more futures contracts and the sale of one or more offsetting futures contracts. A spread is also created when a trader owns (is long) the physical vehicle and offsets by selling (going short) futures. Furthermore, a spread is defined as the purchase and sale of one or more offsetting futures contracts normally recognized as a spread by the fact that the two sides of the spread are actually related in some way. This explicitly excludes those exotic spreads put forth by some vendors, which are nothing more than computer generated coincidences which are not in any way related. Such exotic spreads as Long Bond futures and Short Bean Oil futures may show up as reliable computer generated spreads, but bean oil and bonds are not really related. Such spreads fall into the same category as believing the annual performance of the U.S. stock market is somehow related to the outcome of the Super Bowl sporting event. In any case, for tactical reasons in carrying out a particular strategy, you want to end up with:

  • simultaneously long futures of one kind in one month, and short futures of the same kind in another month. (Intramarket Calendar Spread)
  • simultaneously long futures of one kind, and short futures of another kind. (Intermarket Spread)
  • long futures at one exchange, and short a related futures at another exchange. (Inter-exchange Spread)
  • long an underlying physical commodity, and short a futures contract. (Hedge)
  • long an underlying equity position, and short a futures contract. (Hedge)
  • long financial instruments, and short financial futures. (Hedge)
  • long a single stock futures and short a sector index.

The primary ways in which this can be accomplished are:

  • Via an Intramarket spread.
  • Via an Intermarket spread.
  • Via an Inter-exchange spread.
  • By ownership of the underlying and offsetting with a futures contract.

Intramarket Spreads

Officially, Intramarket spreads are created only as calendar spreads. You are long and short futures in the same market, but in different months. An example of an Intramarket spread is that you are Long July Corn and simultaneously Short December Corn.

Intermarket Spreads

An Intermarket spread can be accomplished by going long futures in one market, and short futures of the same month in another market. For example: Short May Wheat and Long May Soybeans.
Intermarket spreads can become calendar spreads by using long and short futures in different markets and in different months.

Inter-Exchange Spreads

A less commonly known method of creating spreads is via the use of contracts in similar markets, but on different exchanges. These spreads can be calendar spreads using different months, or they can be spreads in which the same month is used. Although the markets are similar, because the contracts occur on different exchanges they are able to be spread. An example of an Inter-exchange calendar spread would be simultaneously Long July Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Wheat, and Short an equal amount of May Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBOT) Wheat. An example of using the same month might be Long December CBOT Wheat and Short December KCBOT Wheat.

Why Spreads?

The rationale behind spread trading is one of the best-kept secrets of the insiders of the futures markets. While spreading is commonly done by the market "insiders," much effort is made to conceal this technique and all of its benefits from "outsiders," you and me. After all, why would the insiders want to give away their edge? By keeping us from knowing about spreading, they retain a distinct advantage.
Spreading is one of the most conservative forms of trading. It is much safer than the trading of outright (naked) futures contracts. Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of using spreads:

  • Intramarket, and some Intermarket, spreads require considerably less margin, typically around 25% - 75% of the margin needed for outright futures positions.
  • Intramarket, and some Intermarket, spreads offer a far greater return on investment than is possible with outright futures positions. Why? Because you are posting less margin for the same amount of possible return.
  • Spreads, in general, trend more often than do outright futures.
  • Spreads often trend when outright futures are flat.
  • Spreads can be filtered by virtue of seasonality, backwardation, and carrying charge differentials, in addition to any other filters you might be using in your trading.
  • Spreads can be used to create partial futures positions. In fact, virtually anything that can be done with options on futures can be accomplished via spread trading.
  • Spreads allow you to take less risk than is available with outright futures positions. The amount of risk between two Intramarket futures positions is usually less than the risk in an outright futures position. The risk between owning the underlying and holding a futures contract involves the least risk of all. Spreads make it possible to hedge any position you might have in the market. Whether you are hedging between physical ownership and futures, or between two futures positions, the risk is lower than that of outright futures. In that sense, every spread is a hedge.
  • Spread order entry enables you to enter or exit a trade using an actual spread order, or by independently entering each side of the spread (legging in/out).
  • Spreads are one of the few ways to obtain decent fills by legging in/out during the market Closing.
  • Live data is not needed for spread trading, saving you $$ in exchange fees.
  • You will not be the victim of stop running when using Intramarket spreads.

What Can You Expect?

Here is an example of what you can expect from Intramarket spread trading. We think you may be pleasantly surprised!!

This spread was entered not only on the basis of seasonality, but also by virtue of the formation known as a Ross hook (Rh). The spread moved from -69.0 to -7.5 = $3,075 per contract. The margin required to put on this spread was only $608, thus the return on margin is more than 500%.

Here is an example of an Intermarket spread. Look at the the following chart: Would you want to have been long live cattle from December until February?

But, what about a spread between Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle?

The spread moved from -10,200 to -7,200 = $3,000 per contract. The margin required to put on this spread was only $540. The return on margin is more than 550%.

Lastly, we show you another intermarket spread. This one was made between Euro and British Pound. Although you might have made money on a Euro trade, you would have suffered from serious whipsaw during the entire length of the trade.

What about a spread between the Euro and the British Pound?

You didn’t have to be in this spread for very long in order to take some fat profits: During February the spread moved from $32,500 to $36,187.50 = $3,687.50 per contract.

How do I start trading spreads?

We can barely scratch the surface of what is available in the almost lost art of spread trading. There are times when seasonal spreads, coupled with chart formations, make a lot of sense. Backwardation in any market often provides an excellent signal for entry into a spread.

All the best in your trading,
Joe Ross

Forex FAQ

What is Foreign Exchange?

The Foreign Exchange market, also referred to as the "Forex" or "FX" market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average turnover of approximately US$1.5 trillion. Foreign Exchange is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another. The world’s currencies are on a floating exchange rate and are always traded in pairs, for example Euro/Dollar or Dollar/Yen.

Where is the central location of the FX Market?

FX Trading is not centralized on an exchange, as with the stock and futures markets. The FX market is considered an Over the Counter (OTC) or ’Interbank’ market, due to the fact that transactions are conducted between two counterparts over the telephone or via an electronic network.

Who are the participants in the FX Market?

The Forex market is called an ’Interbank’ market due to the fact that historically it has been dominated by banks, including central banks, commercial banks, and investment banks. However, the percentage of other market participants is rapidly growing, and now includes large multinational corporations, global money managers, registered dealers, international money brokers, futures and options traders, and private speculators.

When is the FX market open for trading?

A true 24-hour market, Forex trading begins each day in Sydney, and moves around the globe as the business day begins in each financial center, first to Tokyo, then London, and New York. Unlike any other financial market, investors can respond to currency fluctuations caused by economic, social and political events at the time they occur - day or night.

What are the most commonly traded currencies in the FX markets?

The most often traded or ’liquid’ currencies are those of countries with stable governments, respected central banks, and low inflation. Today, over 85% of all daily transactions involve trading of the major currencies, which include the US Dollar, Japanese Yen, Euro, British Pound, Swiss Franc, Canadian Dollar and the Australian Dollar.

Is Forex trading capital intensive?

No. FXA requires a minimum deposit of $250. FXA allows customers to execute margin trades at up to 200:1 leverage. This means that investors can execute trades of $10,000 with an initial margin requirement of $50. However, it is important to remember that while this type of leverage allows investors to maximize their profit potential, the potential for loss is equally great. A more pragmatic margin trade for someone new to the FX markets would be 20:1 but ultimately depends on the investor’s appetite for risk.

What is Margin?

Margin is essentially collateral for a position. If the market moves against a customer’s position, FXA will request additional funds through a "margin call." If there are insufficient available funds, FXA will immediately close out the customer’s open positions.

What does it mean have a ’long’ or ’short’ position?

In trading parlance, a long position is one in which a trader buys a currency at one price and aims to sell it later at a higher price. In this scenario, the investor benefits from a rising market. A short position is one in which the trader sells a currency in anticipation that it will depreciate. In this scenario, the investor benefits from a declining market. However, it is important to remember that every FX position requires an investor to go long in one currency and short the other.

What about terms like "bid/ask", "spread", and "rollover"?

FXA has an extensive Glossary that provides detailed definitions of all Forex related terms.

What is the difference between an "intraday" and "overnight position"?

Intraday positions are all positions opened anytime during the 24 hour period AFTER the close of FXA’s normal trading hours at 4:30pm EST. Overnight positions are positions that are still on at the end of normal trading hours (4:30pm EST), which are automatically rolled by FXA at competitive rates (based on the currencies interest rate differentials) to the next day’s price.

How are currency prices determined?

Currency prices are affected by a variety of economic and political conditions, most importantly interest rates, inflation and political stability. Moreover, governments sometimes participate in the Forex market to influence the value of their currencies, either by flooding the market with their domestic currency in an attempt to lower the price, or conversely buying in order to raise the price. This is known as Central Bank intervention. Any of these factors, as well as large market orders, can cause high volatility in currency prices. However, the size and volume of the Forex market makes it impossible for any one entity to "drive" the market for any length of time.

How do I manage risk?

The most common risk management tools in FX trading are the limit order and the stop loss order. A limit order places restriction on the maximum price to be paid or the minimum price to be received. A stop loss order ensures a particular position is automatically liquidated at a predetermined price in order to limit potential losses should the market move against an investor’s position. The liquidity of the Forex market ensures that limit order and stop loss orders can be easily executed.

What kind of trading strategy should I use?

Currency traders make decisions using both technical factors and economic fundamentals. Technical traders use charts, trend lines, support and resistance levels, and numerous patterns and mathematical analyses to identify trading opportunities, whereas fundamentalists predict price movements by interpreting a wide variety of economic information, including news, government-issued indicators and reports, and even rumor. The most dramatic price movements however, occur when unexpected events happen. The event can range from a Central Bank raising domestic interest rates to the outcome of a political election or even an act of war. Nonetheless, more often it is the expectation of an event that drives the market rather than the event itself.

How often are trades made?

Market conditions dictate trading activity on any given day. As a reference, the average small to medium trader might trade as often as 10 times a day. Most importantly, by not charging commission, FXA customers can take positions as often as necessary without worrying about excessive transaction costs.

How long are positions maintained?

As a general rule, a position is kept open until one of the following occurs: 1) realization of sufficient profits from a position; 2) the specified stop-loss is triggered; 3) another position that has a better potential appears and you need these funds.

I am interested in foreign exchange trading, but would like some additional information. Any suggestions?

In The Forex Market section we describe the foreign exchange market in some detail. In order to gain a practical understanding of foreign exchange trading, there is no better way than to open a demo account, where you can experience what it’s like to trade the Forex market without risking any capital.

Source : fxadvantage

Chart Topping Patterns to Avoid: Climax Top Off a Parabolic Move

This pattern occurs when a stock rises very quickly out of a base and gets overextended. Stocks in a Parabolic Move can double or triple in value in a very short period of time (usually less than two weeks). As an investor you certainly don’t want to be one of the last passengers on the train and get quickly thrown off. Some examples of this pattern are shown below.

Avoid Parabolic Move

Notice the quick move upward in MCOM back in July. In 5 trading days it went from $20 to $57 for a gain of 185%. Also notice that on the biggest volume day (point A) that it gapped up strongly to $53 and then closed poorly around $41. This was the Climax Top Off the Parabolic Move. As an investor you should have sold this day if you had bought the stock in the $20’s. Meanwhile you certainly should have not bought this stock this day. Notice how the stock eventually pulled all the way back to $20 by early August (point B).

Climax Top Off a Parabolic Move

Another example of a Climax Top Off a Parabolic Move is demonstrated by LWIN. This stock skyrocketed from $30 to $95 in 10 trading days for a whopping gain of 217%. The Climax Top occurred on the 10th and 11th days of trading as the volume peaked (point A). The stock then sold off and retreated back quickly to around $42 by late November.

As you can see stocks that go up very quickly, in a Parabolic Move, can also come down just as fast. My advice is if you buy a stock and it doubles or triples in value in a very short period of time (1 to 2 weeks) take your profits and congratulate yourself for a job well done. If you become greedy then you could lose most of your gains as the above examples indicate. Furthermore if your buying a stock in this type of move be very careful and watch out for the Climax Top if the stock is trading on its biggest volume day.


May 2004
by Bob Kleyla

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Explosive Profits: 7 Reasons to Trade Forex ..

There are many money-making opportunities out there and we've been involved with quite a few, namely property marketing, web development, residential construction security, multi-level marketing businesses etc.
We've come to a few conclusions with the help of some well-known properity coaches.
Often people with the income they desire don't have the time to enjoy it. Those that have time don't often have money. You don't have to sacrifice your life-style to earn an above-average income. If you focus on the for a few months you can make that dream a reality and create time and money to do what you REALLY want.
To earn a living money is given in exchange for a product or service rendered. It needs to be sold continuously otherwise your income stops abruptly unless it's a repeat type of product or service.
Money is a medium of exchange. There's no magical formula to possess it, you need to exchange something of value for it.
What if, you could have access to thousands of customers who are ready, willing and able to buy from you whenever you wanted? Wouldn't it be great to avoid any hassles like money collection problems (just had a delayed payment from my web business), keeping difficult customers happy (we all know what that's like), competition stealing your business without providing the same value etc.
All that is possible with . You can also trade from anywhere. Take your laptop with you, find an internet connection and away you go.
Another advantage is that you don't need experience to get started. Get a traditionally job involves accumulating specialized experience, having a well-polished resume and having the right contacts. With the right training course, you can get started straight away.
Here's 7 more reasons to trade :
1. It never closes. It's open around the clock, worldwide. Trading positions open at Monday 7am, New Zealand time and close 5pm New York time on Friday. During this time, you can enter or exit the market whenever you like. It's a continuous electronic currency exchange. This is great because you can trade whenever you have spare time.
2. Leverage. Standard $100 000 currency lots can be traded with as little as $1000. This is mainly because of the ease with which you can buy and sell, some brokers will leverage up to 200 times, so with $100 you can control a 200 000 unit currency position. It's the best use of trading capital around, even banks lending on property investments don't come close.
3. Accurately predict the outcomes. Currency prices generally repeat themselves in predictable cycles so you can see what the trends are. 'Technical Analysis' helps to see these trends and profit from them.
4. Low Transaction Cost. In other words, you mistakes won't cost you a fortune. Good brokers won' charge commissions to trade or maintain an account even if you have a mini account and trade small volumes.
5. Unlimited Earning Potential. has a daily trading volume of over 1.5 trillion, the largest financial market in the world. It dwarfs the equities market (50 billion daily) and the futures market (30 billion).
6. You can make money in any market conditions. Each market is one currency against another, so when you buy in one, you're selling in another so there's no biase towards either currency moving up or down. This means it's up to you to choose which currency to buy or sell with. Yu can make money going up or down.
7. Market transparency. This is an advantage in any business or trading environment. It means you can manage risk and execute orders within seconds. It's highly efficient and allows you to avoid unexpected 'surprises'..