Friday, October 26, 2007

Forex Scalping Information

Okay, I've been trying to find information on forex scalping and the pickings are mightly slim indeed. In fact, the so-called information on the net is so bad I'm going to write up a small post of my own... because I'm sure if you found this page you are desperately looking for some real information.

What Is Scalping?
Quite simply, very short term trading.

Why Don't Brokers Like Scalping?
Well, some brokers don't like scalping because of how they are set up. If they are not able to execute your trades quickly or efficiently enough then they risk being the source of your profits.

Does Scalping Work?
I've seen some people claiming that it works great as well as others claiming that it is impossible to do profitably. The reality is that if you can predict the direction that an equity pair will move, either up or down, then you can hop into the market and grab a few pips when it happens.

How Easy Is It To Predict Equity Pair Price Changes?
Well, that's the million dollar question! I don't have any books to sell or anything, but a lot of people claim to have solutions for you. Personally, I think if they really had solutions that worked they wouldn't waste time telling you about it, they'd be busy trading. However, in an effort to be informative, when you spend enough time watching a market (which is quite boring) you'll get a feel for it's current state and how it is moving. Often, until conditions change, you can be fairly accurate with your predictions.

Can Anyone Do This?
If you find a market maker that doesn't mind scalping, you can try. However, you must know how to place stop and limit orders with their trading platform. In particular, it would be very nice if you were able to have someting known as a trailing stop. As well you will want to understand the concept of leverage as it applies to a forex account. Basically, I'd suggest throwing $100 at a starter account and playing around, carefully, until you've made enough bad decisions to learn how things work. After that, you should have the tools needed to try out various strategies.

How Much Effort Is It?
Scalping is very time consuming. You have to spend a lot of time watching the markets, to the point that it would be difficult to do well if you had an existing full time job. Also, scalping is very demanding from a psychological point of view, as you will have large amounts of your capital ready to put into play, but you may have to wait hours before you spot a good entry point. Then, upon entry, you might find you are back out with a small loss in no time. Alternately, you might get a small profit, take it, and then watch the market skyrocket after your exit. The shorter your trading is the more attention it will take and the more nerve wracking it will be.

Are You Scalping?
I'm thinking about it. I've been opening up a grid strategy to catch swing trades, but I have noticed that using half of the scalping mentality to accumulate positions in trends may be able to have a significant positive impact on my results. I guess I'll end up letting you know how things work out.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Grabbing Some USDCAD Pippage

Well, it's about time!

It looks like there is some strength in the USD happening (or perhaps it has already finished happening) at this point. Am I vindicated?

Who knows. As I've seen posted here and there a few times, everyone trades alone. You have your convictions, systems or maybe even a dartboard, and you play as your guidance and resources dictate.

However, recent weakness in the USD does make it hard to determine where the real bottom may be. Is it at 0.9650, 0.9600, or 0.9500? Have we hit it? Only time will tell if we have truly found the bottom or not.

As I was saying not too long ago, eventually we will be at the bottom of what will become a large uptrend in the USDCAD. Presumably, at some point, we'll be back in a position where the exchange rate hits 1.0000, 1.0500, 1.1000 or more. Sometimes things move quickly, but it might take years.

What to do?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

USDCAD Is Playing By My Rules

Okay, I've blogged recently about the USDCAD approaching a low.

I know there are always skeptics out there, and I'm not trying to sell you anything, but I will suggest that this pair is now fairly easy to trade.

When it shows signs of weakness, dropping significantly, buy it. When it approaches parity, sell it. It may or may not be at bottom yet, but nobody really believes that the Canadian dollar should be valued much above parity with the US dollar.

So, now that I'm in a long term play on the pair, it's time to scalp some profits out of movements below and back to parity. I don't care how long it takes the greenback to recover as long as I can make my pips over and over again while I wait.

The trick, or so I think, is to find relatively safe ways to squeeze cash out of the market when everyone else hasn't figured it out yet. Once everyone is trying to do exactly the same thing... it will stop working.

Widening things out a bit, where do you think we are with the USD? It has fallen to lows that haven't been seen in thirty years. Do you believe the USA is going to fall out of prominence and become a third world country over the next few years? I don't.

Guess what that means! That means we are sitting at the beginning of a very long rising trend, but we just don't know when it is going to start. It might start in a month. It might start in a year. Who can say? However, if you are a swing trader, it might be time to start sneaking in a bit of cash on the greenback when you spot moments of weakness. If you are patient I'm sure there will be lots of little dips and spikes you can exploit.

If you are a long term player, you may even want to consider some USD based carry trading strategies...