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.

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