How often have you heard that story, or been tempted to tell it yourself? One of the many risks of trading Forex is something called slippage. No, it’s not your broker cheating you (well, that’s up for debate, but seriously, don’t make excuses for your lost trades). It’s something you need to be aware of and compensate for during your trades.
What is slippage in Forex? Slippage is when you place an order at a quoted price, and your order gets filled at a different (worse) price than the one you were quoted. Slippage can be minor enough not to impact your trade outcome at all, or it can be major enough to stop you out the moment you’ve entered the trade! You can lose a lot of money through slippage, so it’s something to be wary of and to avoid if at all possible.
Why is there slippage in Forex? Slippage tends to result during times of great volatility, and also in response to fundamental events like reports being filed, etc. Slippage almost always happens when the market opens each weekend on Sunday nights! If you stay in a trade over a weekend, be very wary. Sunday nights are unpredictable—in general this is not a good day to trade.
If you do place a Forex trade which you’re going to hold over the weekend, or set up for a trade on the weekend which might get triggered when the market opens again, compensate for that potential slippage. Place entries a little farther out than you usually would (testing will help you choose a good amount of buffer to leave). You may also want to move your stops out a little farther than usual too if you are already in a trade.
Do some Forex brokers deliberately make money through slippage? Probably, but slippage is a fact of life, even with good Forex brokers. It’s best to learn to deal with it than to complain and blame someone else for your failure. There are bad brokers out there though, so if you’re concerned you might have one, look up their ratings and find out about other traders’ experiences.
On a related note, you can set up most broker platforms to show you the spread. This should help you to understand spread and slippage better and thus make better trading decisions. Spread widens and shrinks in different market conditions—during volatile ones it tends to widen (which is how slippage usually occurs). By setting your charts to show this spread, you’ll be able to visually see the days of the week and the times at which the spreads widen the most. Then you can compensate in the future by following the previous suggestions to avoid slippage in Forex outright or work around it.
Learn to apply Fibonacci ratios to calculate price targets in stocks
October 06, 2011
By Elliott Wave InternationalThe Fibonacci ratio can be an invaluable tool for calculating price retracements and projections in your analysis and trading. This excerpt from The Best Technical Indicators for Successful Trading explains the origins of the Fibonacci sequence and how you can apply it to the markets.
You can read the entire Fibonacci section -- plus 7 more lessons on how to use technical indicators to improve your trading for FREE -- see below.
Leonardo Fibonacci da Pisa was a thirteenth-century mathematician who posed a question: How many pairs of rabbits placed in an enclosed area can be produced in a single year from one pair of rabbits, if each gives birth to a new pair each month starting with the second month? The answer: 144.See charts that show the application of Fibonacci ratios, plus 7 other lessons on technical indicators, by accessing your free report now.
The genius of this simple little question is not found in the answer, but in the pattern of numbers that leads to the answer: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and 144. This sequence of numbers represents the propagation of rabbits during the 12-month period and is referred to as the Fibonacci sequence.
The ratio between consecutive numbers in this set approaches the popular .618 and 1.618, the Fibonacci ratio and its inverse. (Relating non-consecutive numbers in the set yields other popular ratios - .146, .236, .382, .618, 1.000, 1.618, 2.618, 4.236, 6.854....)
...In addition to recognizing that the stock market undulates in repetitive patterns, R. N. Elliott also realized the importance of the Fibonacci ratio. In Elliott's final book, Nature's Law, he specifically referred to the Fibonacci sequence as the mathematical basis for the Wave Principle. Thanks to his discoveries, we use the Fibonacci ratio in calculating wave retracements and projections today.
How to Identify Fibonacci Retracements
The primary Fibonacci ratios that I use in identifying wave retracements are .236, .382, .500, .618 and .786. Some of you might say that .500 and .786 are not Fibonacci ratios; well, it's all in the math. If you divide the second month of Leonardo's rabbit example by the third month, the answer is .500, 1 divided by 2; .786 is simply the square root of .618.
There are many different Fibonacci ratios used to determine retracement levels. The most common are .382 and .618. However, .472, .764 and .707 are also popular choices. The decision to use a certain level is a personal choice. What you continue to use will be determined by the markets.
...It's worth noting that Fibonacci retracements can be used on any time frame to identify potential reversal points. An important aspect to remember is that a Fibonacci retracement of a previous wave on a weekly chart is more significant than what you would find on a 60-minute chart.
On a Forex backtest spreadsheet you will want about six columns. The first will state whether each trade was a buy or a sell. The second column should list the date, and the third column the reason for the trade. The fourth and fifth columns should be the entry and exit prices respectively. The last column will be the sum of pips you gained or lost from each trade. The column where you list the reason you entered the trade can be a good place to take specific notes along with the triggers which caused you to enter. Those notes will come in handy later, so be detailed, especially on trades you lose. Later you can look back and find patterns which will help you to refine and eliminate losses.
Write your Forex trading rules at the top of your spreadsheet. They will help you focus and also remind you of what your rules were on this backtest when you look back on it later. If you make changes as you go to your system, note those changes and the historical dates on which you implemented them.
Some statistics to calculate from your data, which will be useful to you, include net pips from your entire Forex backtest, along with the values of your average win and average loss. You’ll want to tally how many wins and losses you have, and what your win percentage and win to loss ratio is. Remember that the spread will cost you some profit on every trade, and breakeven trades are technically at a very small loss as a result. You can calculate an adjusted net which takes these losses into account. Take note of your biggest losing streak, and how many losses in a row you endured. Also find out your average net winning trades per month, week, day, or whatever is an appropriate unit of time for you to overview your trading. Another good quotient to add up is your net profit divided by your maximum loss. This will tell you how many of your largest losses you could endure before blowing all your profits.
Forex backtesting can be pretty overwhelming at first, but eventually you’ll get used to it and get into a rhythm. And it can be incredibly rewarding—it can make the difference between whether you blow your account in real life or become a profitable trader.
For many people, trading overnight is just a given since position traders who trade longer term charts like weeklies are going to be in trades for many days on end. These timeframes move slowly though and are easier to keep an eye on during the daytime than other trades on faster timeframes. What if you trade the dailies or hourly charts? You could be stuck making critical trading decisions in the dead of night.
Unfortunately many FX traders arrive at the solution, “I’ll just not sleep.” This is the road to disaster though. You cannot function without sleep. You need sleep to be healthy and also to keep your mind sharp and fresh. Trading on a sleep deficit is like trading inebriated. It’s just a really bad idea; it’ll destroy your health and your finances. So you have to sleep. How do you balance sleep with currency trading at night?
The trick is to set up alerts in such a manner that you can maximize your rest, minimize the complexity of your decision-making process, and maximize your returns. You want to only have your alerts wake you up at critical junctures, and you want those junctures to be clear cut. Making difficult, complex decisions in the dead of night will rob you of sleep and also harm your judgment, resulting in losses. The alerts should wake you up in order to make simple, straightforward decisions.
One technique you can use to trade during the night is to set alerts at pivot zones. Different techniques will be appropriate for different Forex systems, but if for example you exit trades partially based on support and resistance, then you will want to identify important pivot areas and set alerts in those areas. Choose a sound to signal when a trade is moving toward profit and another sound to signal when it is moving away. That way if you hear the “good” sound in your sleep you can roll over and go back to sleep (or get up and trail your stop). If you hear the “bad” sound you can get up and choose whether to exit. By letting the sound itself give you information, you can optimize your sleep. Also make sure to have the alert beep at you more than once so you don’t miss it in your sleep the first time.
Trading the foreign exchange market at night is one of the most challenging real life integrations you can do, but with some tweaking you should be able to make it work for you. You don’t have to move to another country or quit your job to trade during the day if you can learn how to trade at night and get adequate sleep!
Have you backtested a fantastic system over hundreds or even thousands of trades, and achieved a high win percentage and otherwise excellent statistics? If so, you may be tempted to go live. Some traders struggle to bring themselves to actually take their Forex systems live, but for others it is impatience and not trepidation which is the enemy. If you are thinking of taking this great system which you’ve backtested live without demo testing, think again. Backtesting and trading in real life are completely different, and you may have quite a bit of work ahead of you to achieve the same kind of results in real time as you did backtesting.
The first thing a lot of us discover while demo testing is that we completely forgot that in real life we do stuff like work, eat, and sleep. Something which worked fine in backtesting may be impossible to fit into our real life schedules, or take some very serious workarounds. You may need to learn to trade using a cell phone if you are at work during trading hours for example. Or what if your Forex trades tend to fall in the dead of night? You’ll need to trade in your sleep, and that means setting a lot of price alerts. Those alerts will have to wake you up at useful times though, and even figuring that out can be like designing an entirely new system. The wrong system of alerts can cause you to lose the same trades you’d have won while demo testing!
Another difference you’ll discover quickly is the role which time plays in your trading psychology. When you move the Forex charts forward a candle at a time and make trading decisions in a few seconds or minutes while backtesting, you don’t have a lot of time to second guess yourself. The same trades though, spread out over a time period of hours, days, or even weeks, can cause a lot of traders to experience a wide range of conflicting emotions. Many times we ask ourselves “What decision would I have made backtesting?” only to discover that we don’t know anymore! It takes a lot of practice to find out how timing is impacting your trading. You may find you need to trade on a different timeframe, or just get a grip on your emotions.
While all this may again sound simple in theory, most traders discover Forex demo testing presents a lot of unexpected situations which need resolution before they can go live. We highly recommend that you demo test until you are profitable for at least 2-4 consecutive months before you go live with your system. There is no reason for you to lose a dime in this business unnecessarily since you can demo test for as long as it takes for you to master your trading, completely free! Your drawdown live should reflect your backtesting figures, but it won’t unless you invest some time and effort demo testing and finding out how to integrate trading into your real life first.
On your path to becoming a profitable trader, you will test many different methods for entering and exiting trades. At some point you may find a method which works pretty well for you and which you feel comfortable using. You may take a lot of great trades using this method, only to find that one day your method just stops working. What happened? Did your system break? Will you have to start all over?
Sometimes the answer to questions like this is simpler than you might expect. A lot of traders pay attention to entry triggers like moving average crossovers, price action patterns, and other indicators lining up on their charts, but don’t pay as much attention to what the market is doing on a given day. The market does slowly transform, and like any other living system it will evolve with time. Some things about Forex will never likely change, but others are sure to do so. The “mood” of the market can change considerably as the years go by, and a system which worked great in one context may fail in another—or simply need an adjustment to keep working.
If you are in a situation like this and your system has abruptly “failed,” you may want to ask yourself if this is what has happened to you. Has the economic climate changed substantially since you were last profitable? If so, then perhaps the context around your trades has stopped being quite as optimal as it once was. You may have been placing trades in an excellent context before without even knowing it or attempting it by complete coincidence. And now that the context isn’t as great, your trades aren’t working out.
Here are some questions to consider. Ask yourself, “Am I trading against the trend?” This can often work against you. “Am I trading in a choppy market?” Choppiness kills a lot of traders. If there are a lot of fake outs, sometimes you need to take a break and wait for the market to even out a bit before you come back in. “But I’ll have to wait forever,” you might say. If this is the case, then look at more currency pairs. If you only trade a couple of pairs, and great setups are coming half as often in the current market climate, then think about looking at twice as many pairs each day. This phase of the market, like all others, will pass. It doesn’t mean your system is broken, it just means that right now it’s a little harder to make it work than usual. All traders face this sometimes. Once in a while you may indeed find you need to go back to the drawing board, but more often than not it’s a waste of time to start all over. If what you have makes sense and it works often enough, than you probably should just adapt to the market conditions and stick with what you’ve got.
Develop a technique to find the best setups in the best locations. Great Forex traders point out that finding excellent setups is like using a rifle, not a shotgun. They’re right—good trades don’t take good setups, they take great setups.
The Single Most Reliable Indicator
In this video excerpt, Elliott Wave Financial Forecast Editor
Steve Hochberg explains one of the most important things to keep in mind when
assessing a market, "Extreme opinions, shared widely, constitute the single
most reliable indicator of an impending change of direction for a market." Enjoy
your video excerpt.
series: Learn the Why, What and How of Elliott Wave Analysis. This 3-video series
is a great way to get started with the Wave Principle. You can watch these
videos free with a Club EWI Membership.
Watch the Club EWI video series: Learn the Why, What and How of Elliott
Wave Analysis. This 3-video series is a great way to get started with the Wave Principle. You can get these videos free with a Club EWI Membership.
The market's collective sigh of relief is also reflected in authorities' stress testing of 91 European banks. In case you missed last Friday's results, their message is clear: relax.
|FREE REPORT: Discover what Europe's debt crisis means for the future of the continent and your investments. Get your FREE 6-page report filled with unique analysis on Europe, the PIIGS and the sovereign debt crisis. EWI's European Financial Forecast editor Brian Whitmer gives you the context for what's happening in Europe and gets you up to speed on the reality of the situation. Download your free report now.|
Here's anothr free lesson on how deploy the Elliott Wave Princple in your trading plan...
A Free Lesson on How to Combine Technical Indicators with Elliott Wave Analysis
July 11, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
"Rather than using technical indicators as a means to gauge momentum or pick tops and bottoms, I use them to identify potential trade setups."
"Out of the hundreds of technical indicators I have worked with over the years, my favorite study is the MACD [which] uses two exponential moving averages (12-period and 26-period). The difference between these two moving averages is the MACD line. The trigger or Signal line is a 9-period exponential moving average of the MACD line."
"A Hook occurs when the MACD line penetrates, or attempts to penetrate, the Signal line and then reverses at the last moment. In addition to identifying potential trade setups, you can also use Hooks as confirmation. Rather than entering a position on a cross-over between the MACD line and Signal line, wait for a Hook to occur to provide confirmation that a trend change has indeed occurred. Doing so increases your confidence in the signal, because now you have two pieces of information in agreement."
|Learn more about other technical indicators that you can use to your advantage, as well as the other important lessons in the FREE 32-page eBook, The Commodity Trader's Cl|
A Four-Chart Lesson in Spotting Trade Setups
June 29, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
|This brief trading lesson is just a small example of the opportunities you can find once you learn to identify key market patterns. Learn more in your free 47-page eBook, How to Spot Trading Opportunities. This valuable eBook is regularly $79, but you can get it free through July 6. Download your free copy of How to Spot Trading Opportunities now.|
Club EWI's free "Independent Investor eBook, 2011 Edition" offers you an unorthodox view of the Fed's quantitative easing program
June 28, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
Can the Fed and Economists Forecast the Future? See This Startling Chart.
Elliott Wave Financial Forecast Editors Kendall and Hochberg on economists, the Fed and forecasting
June 27, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
Gabriel Wisdom: "Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, says the economy is slowing but there's faster growth ahead. Is he wrong?"
Pete Kendall: "Economists are extrapolationists. They tend to look at what's happening in the economy and extrapolate that forward. So here we have a situation where not just Bernanke but economists in general are looking at... what they call the 'soft patch' and somehow contorting that into growth later in the year.
"The chart makes it transparently obvious that analysts lag reality. They only change their minds when there is irrefutable proof they were wrong, and then only change their minds very slowly." (emphasis added)
What if you could look at a chart and see the potential trading opportunities?
Elliott Wave International (EWI), the world’s largest market forecasting firm, has just released a free eBook to teach you exactly that. How to Spot Trading Opportunities features 47 pages of easy-to-understand trading techniques that help you identify high-confidence trade setups. Senior EWI Analyst Jeffrey Kennedy will show you how some of the simplest rules and guidelines have some of the most powerful applications for trading.
Created from the $129 two-volume set of the same name, this valuable eBook is offered free until July 6.
Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to learn how to find opportunities in the markets you follow.
Download How to Spot Trading Opportunities now.
How to Set Protective Stops Using the Wave Principle
The 3 simple rules of Elliott wave analysis can help traders manage risk, ride market trends and spot price reversals
June 20, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
2. Wave four may never end in the price territory of wave one.
3. Wave three may never be the shortest impulse wave of waves one, three and five.
In order to be profitable in forex you must train your mind. It seems the more indicators you use the harder it is to trade. Keep it simple and remember the principal of trading. BUY WHEN THE PRICE IS GOING UP AND SELL WHEN THE PRICE IS GOING DOWN.
Can anyone tell me when the price is going up or down in this chart???
Think Lower Trade Deficit Is Bullish For the Stock Market? Now See This Chart
U.S. trade gap narrowed in April, and many will see that as a bullish sign
June 10, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
"The Dow rose nearly 1 percent Thursday... Investors were encouraged by a report that the United States trade deficit had narrowed, one positive point in a recent string of weak economic data." (June 9, 2011, Reuters)
By Elliott Wave International
A popular moving average setting that many people work with is the 13- and the 26-period moving averages in tandem. The figure below shows a crossover system, using a 13-week and a 26-week simple moving average of the close on a 2004 stock chart of Johnson & Johnson. Obviously, the number 26 is two times 13.
Learn to apply Moving Averages to your trading and investing by downloading Jeffrey Kennedy's free 10-page eBook. Here's what you'll learn:
- How to apply the three most popular moving average techniques.
- How to decide which moving average parameters are best for the markets and time frames you trade.
- How to avoid several common but dangerous myths about moving averages.
What Does a Fractal Look Like?
And What Does It Have to Do with the Stock Market?
May 26, 2011
By Elliott Wave International
by Robert R. Prechter
A classic example of a self-identical fractal is nested squares. One square is surrounded by eight squares of the same size, which forms a larger square, which is surrounded by eight squares of that larger size, and so on.
Scientists today recognize financial markets' price records as fractals, but they presume them to be of the indefinite variety. Elliott undertook a meticulous investigation of financial market behavior and found something different. He described the record of stock market prices as a specifically patterned fractal yet with variations in its quantitative expression.
How to Put the Wave Principle to Work
through a basic checklist of how to put the Wave Principle to work. This clip
was taken from The Wave Principle Applied webinar, originally recorded for Futures
of Trader's Classroom eBook
Would you like to learn more about trading with the Wave Principle? Get 45
pages of FREE practical lessons in Elliott Wave International's Best of Trader's
Classroom eBook .
Taken from Jeffrey Kennedy's renowned Trader's Classroom series, this
FREE 45-page collection offers 14 actionable lessons that will help you determine
entry points, stop levels and price targets for the markets you trade.
Download The Best of Trader's Classroom now