Self control and discipline can be nurtured and strengthened over time and are extremely valuable qualities to develop. In this article we’ll talk about how these qualities relate to current and projected future developments in the Forex industry.
Manual Forex trading is a time-tested and market proven method for trading Forex. There is no doubt that manual Forex trading is here to stay. Many of the most skilled full-time Forex traders prefer this method. The key words here are skilled full-time traders.
You see, manual Forex trading can be time consuming. While the process of Forex technical analysis gets a bit easier and more efficient with practice in manual Forex trading it can never be completely eliminated. Manual Forex traders will always need to complete their technical and perhaps even fundamental analysis prior to executing their Forex trades.
As you know, fundamental Forex analysis has to do with looking at economic indicators within and between nations. Fundamental Forex indicators such as Consumer Price Index, Non-Farm Payroll, Gross National Product, Industrial Production, Producer Price Index, Retail Sales, Balance of Payments and Interest Rates are many of the most common fundamental Forex indicators traders seek to incorporate in their analysis.
Needless to say using both fundamental and technical analysis is quite complex and can be a very time consuming challenge. Except for “news” traders many Forex traders default to primarily using Forex technical analysis.
A prime example of “news” is the Non Farm Payroll announcement. This announcement normally takes place on the first Friday of each month at 8:30am Eastern Time. Forex traders who trade the news position themselves in the market to capture as many PIP’s as possible during the market corrections that take place just after a “news” release. Forex traders who trade the news rely quite a bit on fundamental indicators in making their trade decisions.
New Forex software programs that gather and interpret Forex fundamental indicators have been around for a while and they will continue to improve their accuracy with time.
Speaking of Forex software programs, one of the most rapidly developing forms of Forex software are “Expert Advisors”. Forex Expert Advisors (EA’s for short) are software programs that operate within your Forex trading platform. So far, the industry leading Forex trading platform for EA’s is the Metatrader 4 Trading Platform designed by ODL Securities.
There are several advantages to using an EA. Perhaps chief among these advantages is the fact that the “on-board” programming of the EA eliminates the need for the Forex trader to spend a lot of time doing technical analysis. Once an EA is properly initiated, it will automatically trade a specified Forex pair, or pairs, using a predetermined strategy or Forex trading approach.
This can be a huge time-saver.
With an EA the Forex technical analysis is handled by the Forex trading logic programmed into the EA. The EA functions off of a set of predetermined “rules” which guide its operation. The EA enters the Forex trade when the entry conditions are met and exits the Forex trade when the exit conditions are met. Each EA has a different set of predetermined rules. Each rule is typically controlled by one or more user adjustable “switches”. These switches are optimized at the time the EA is delivered to the user and can be saved as a switch settings profile. Once the default switch settings are saved, the user can make changes to the switch settings if they wish. It is important to remember that the best way to determine EA switch settings is through the back testing process.
Back testing is a process by which each switch or set of switches are methodically tested using actual past market data from your Forex trading platform. While back testing takes much less time than forward testing it is still a painstaking and time consuming process but the results can be very revealing and informative. This process will tell you such things as, for example, which time frame(s) and currency pair(s) are the most profitable to trade.
Back testing is absolutely necessary in order to optimize the settings for an EA and as such it is very valuable process but the process is not perfect. Data mismatches can occur during the back test process which can degrade the results somewhat. The source of these data mismatches is not known at this time but it is an industry wide problem and the solution to the mismatch problem is being vigorously pursued.
Even with its flaws the back test process remains of utmost importance when it comes to optimizing the performance of any EA.
The time saving nature of using an EA coupled with the stress reducing effect that it has on the Forex trader has boosted the popularity of this kind of Forex trade automation.
It is just this kind of Forex trade automation that is helping to fuel the explosive growth of the retail Forex market. It is no longer necessary to stay glued to your computer monitor and “baby sit” your Forex trades. Not only that but a properly designed EA can perform functions that even the most skilled and experienced Forex traders find difficult. For example, there are EA’s on the market today that can trade multiple currency pairs simultaneously. Other EA’s can trade multiple Forex hedge trades at the same time!
We are in the midst of a quiet revolution toward increased Forex trade automation. It is safe to say that the trend toward Forex trade atomization is likely to continue and strengthen over the next several years. Because the advantages of using an EA outweigh the disadvantages, the popularity of using EA’s is at an all time high and likely to set new records in the near future.
Even though EA’s are reducing the need for Forex technical analysis they are not reducing the importance of self-control and discipline. It is common for Forex traders who are new to EA trading to have an urge to “manual” trade using the EA. This is a mistake, first of all it defeats the purpose of the EA and second it can result in preventable loses.
With EA trading the EA is your Forex trading method. The EA trader is well advised to allow the EA to do its work without trying to manually over-ride it (Plan your trade – trade your plan).
If possible, examine the back testing and forward testing results of an EA before you purchase it. Always demo trade with a new EA to confirm its operation before using it in a live account.
EA trading is gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds. EA trading is part of a major trend toward increased automation in the world of Forex. This trend is expected to expand and strengthen in the years ahead.
Being skilled in Forex technical analysis is always an asset but EA trading relies more on the Forex trading logic of the EA than it does the technical skill of the trader.
Self control and discipline are equally important whether you are Forex manual trading or EA trading. Combine the personal qualities self control and discipline with using a well designed EA and you are on your way to profiting in Forex – the world’s largest market.
Disclaimer – This article is for educational purposes only. It is not offered as investment or legal advice. The reader assumes all responsibility for any and all profits or losses incurred by his or her trading activities.