Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Forex Fun and Profit with Correlations

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Forex trading? I'm willing to bet that it isn't fun.

Well, recently I've been enjoying trading a little more than usual.

While doing a bit of reading I found a link talking about currency correlations. Go take a look at the charts provided (scroll down a bit). Notice anything? Generally, when a currency pair you are holding rises or falls, there is another currency pair that is moving in a different direction.

I know, this shouldn't be a revelation to anyone, should it?

However, if you open positions in two currencies that have a high negative correlation you will often see one of them being profitable in the near term. Then, if you are careful, you can pick good moments to close and reopen your offsetting positions. Furthermore, if you generally participate in carry trades, as I do, you'll have an ability to enter more positions with less variability in your drawdown.

Of course, don't get me wrong, this does entail a higher level of risk. At the very least you must be aware that a correlation present now may suddenly disappear or reverse at any time. Alternately, once you open or close a trade at what appears to be an opportune moment, the market may move unexpectedly while you don't have an offsetting currency pair. This is nothing new, but if you are trading a higher percentage of your NAV you will be exposed to higher risks.

Personally, I use an account with a small relative balance for this type of trading. When I am making profits I siphon much of them out into an account that is not exposed to such a high level of risk. As a bonus, highs and lows demonstrated in the correlations account indicate good entry points in my less risky accounts.

So, where's the fun? The fun is in seeing profitable positions a majority of the time. It's in having just about any move, and it's reversal, present an opportunity to you in one currency or another. The long periods of waiting and boredom are reduced. All you have to do is be willing to accept some risk on an account set up for this purpose.

Addendum: In the last 12 hours the NAV on my high risk account increased by 5.66%! Now that's fun. I've closed all open trades as it's time to start the work day...

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