Mistake

Forex Trading Signal Providers: What To Look For

As the popularity of trading the currency exchange markets online from home increases, the number of forex trading signal providers is increasing too. In fact they are proliferating to such an extent that it can be very difficult to know how to find the best one.

Signals are the main source of information for some traders who do not have the time, experience or inclination to analyze the markets for themselves but do not want to trust their trading to a robot. Equally they can be a useful source of additional information and trades for those who mainly make their own trading decisions.

You usually have to pay to subscribe to a forex signal service. Fees may be charged per month or per signal. Some companies offer a trial period where you can test their service on a demo account. If not, you will be paying out money from the start so to have a chance of making profits, you need to be trading at a level where you can expect to make more money from the signals than they are costing you.

The first thing that most people look at when considering forex trading signal providers is their recent results. This can be a mistake. Recent results are not as important as performance over the long term. So do not be seduced into signing up with a company who make a huge deal of their last month’s good results but will not tell you what their signals have made over a full year. Also remember that when they show their profits, they do not have to take account of the cost of the signal service itself.

Remember that most traders starting out in the forex markets lose money. Forex is a risky form of investment and you should be prepared for this. Losses are not always the fault of the information. Even if you are receiving profitable signals, you can make losses if you do not have a clear plan for managing your funds. It is very easy to take bigger risks than you should, so that an unexpected loss has a big impact.

Most companies who offer forex signals will send them to you by email and/or SMS text message. It is best to get both, although SMS alone can be enough for some people. The only problem with SMS messages is that it is very frustrating when one arrives and you are too far from a computer to access your account. If you are a serious forex trader relying on signals, you may want to get your PDA hooked up to your trading account so that you can deal with those signals that arrive when you are stuck in traffic or having lunch with a client.

Remember that the foreign exchange is a 24 hour market. Be prepared to be woken in the middle of night by your cell phone bleeping with an SMS that you need to act on right away. You may want to check how your spouse feels about this too. Even the best information from the top forex trading signal companies is probably not worth getting a divorce for!

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Monday, July 6th, 2009 Strategy No Comments

FX Technical Analysis: What Is An MACD Indicator

The MACD indicator is one of the most useful tools of FX technical analysis but it is not usually well understood. This is a pity because many traders could probably use it more effectively if they understood it better.

The letters of its name stand for Moving Average Convergence Divergence. It is true that the name sounds rather complicated and unfortunately this is often enough to put people off from wanting to know more. So they only use the very simplest applications without understanding the power of the tool itself.

Like most forex tools, this indicator is used to show us when a new trend is forming, so that we can get in on it and make money. The MACD does this by plotting the relationship between two moving averages.

Settings

The settings are usually expressed as three numbers. Commonly you might see 12,26,9.

Traders using FX technical analysis often make the mistake of thinking that the first number on the MACD indicator (12 in this example) relates to the faster moving average line, the second number (26) relates to the slower moving average line and the third number (9) relates to the histogram at the bottom of the chart. That is not quite correct.

In fact the first two numbers (12 and 26) indicate the number of periods used to calculate two moving averages. The faster moving average line, which is often green on the chart, measures the moving average of the difference between the 12 period and the 26 period moving averages.

The slower moving average line is often red on the chart. This line plots the average of the last 9 (or whatever is the third number) periods of the faster moving average line. It usually shows smoother curves because its effect is to smooth out the fast moving average line.

Divergence And Convergence

The histogram that measures convergence and divergence is the series of blocks stretching above and below an axis near the bottom of the chart. This simply records the difference between the faster and slower moving averages.

As the two moving averages separate from each other (diverge), the blocks of the histogram will become longer. As they get closer (converge), the blocks become shorter. If the two lines cross, the blocks of the histogram will switch from stretching above the line to dropping below it or vice versa.

So the histogram measures the convergence and divergence of the two moving averages. And that is why this tool for FX technical analysis is called a Moving Average Convergence Divergence or MACD indicator.

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Saturday, July 4th, 2009 Strategy No Comments