Saturday, January 24, 2009

Currency Interest Rates

Now that I'm using the daily and weekly charts, with an entry planned off the 4 hour chart, I need to think about the interest rates of the various currencies.

Many brokers will credit or debit your account on overnight forex positions.
Interest is calculated using the difference between the two currency interest rates. For example if you trade Euro Dollar, the ECB (European Central Bank) and FED (Federal Reserve) are the banks you would need to look too for the current rates.. If the ECB's rate is 2.25% and FED's rate is 4.25% the difference is -2%. A long (buy) position on Euro Dollar will generate a 2% debit interest on your account, a short position will generate a credit interest of 2%.

To show you the impact of this, here are a few examples and a link to use this currency interest rate tool. This is also know as the carry trade.

You need to know what will have an impact on your trade, and what the impact will be in order to make an informed decision. Using the chart below yo can see that the interest is minimal for most small trades, but of coarse this depends on the pairs, the rates, and the length of time you are holding the trade open.
I'm using this tool to narrow down the pairs I will be trading, and noting in my trade plan the desired trade to be on the right side of the interest rate. This will help me make my decision to trade the pair without having to goto the tool every time. Part of the weekly ritual is to update that table, for the pairs I have chosen to trade.

1 week for $30,000

1 weeks for $100,000

4 weeks for $30,000

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forex Trade Journal

A Trade Journal is part of my trading plan. A comment was recently posted about journals so I thought I would share part of my journal. I plan to share the excel version once there are a few more trades in it. I started a new journal not long ago when I decided to do forex on the daily chart, explained a bit more below.

In books, on blogs, in the seminars, the experts tell you to keep a trade journal. Notice it doesn't read "trade log". The journal includes all items you would find in a "log" and more. You can read about journal all over the net. I have begun to trade forex daily and 4 hours charts with a simulation account using various set-ups. The only thing better than my little journal would be to actually print out the chart when entering the order and writing your thoughts on the chart as the trade progresses. I don't have a very good printer so I don't do that.

My journal started with a few column's and I have added and adjusted these as I went along. I wanted to not only record the trade details but also the reason I entered (what was the set up), the adjustments along the way as I checked the chart each evening, and once the trade closed I recorded my thoughts and comments on what I did wrong or things to watch out for in the future.

Here are the current columns I use.

Order Type
Reason for entry
Pips of profit
Date of Entry
Date of exit
Days in trade
Mod 1
Mod 2
Mod 3
Mod 4
Review of Trade and comment on result

Make the journal your own. I review mine after each week, both the current week and the prior weeks. This makes it stick in your memory.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Are you ready to quite?

There is a forex trader named Ryan O'Keefe. You may have visited his blog. He has a post up about traders who have started out with great intentions and have almost blown up their account. If this is you, your might be asking yourself is "Are you ready to quit?".

Even if you're not ready to quite, this is worth a read. The theme is simple but not stated. When your having a rough go at it, make your trading plan simple, dumb it down. Trade only one pair, use only one system, trade a demo for a bit, talk to someone about your trading if there is anyone available.

The biggest problem you'll have with this is patience and waiting. If your trading only one pair and one system, you may go quite some time, days or weeks before you get a signal. This is part of the training. Wait for the right time. If you miss it, wait for the next one.

I use a trading journal, it is a royal pain in the ass.... but I fill it out as soon as I enter an order, when the order triggers (now I'm in the market), as the trade progresses (still in the market, recording my thoughts as well as target and stop adjustments and why I made them), and when the trade exits. Once I'm out I look at the chart, using hindsight since it is 20/20, to see if I read the situation correctly, and managed risk effectively. I have noticed that the losses that hurt the most were the ones that I had placed the stops at a point to far away for my comfort zone.

Where to place the stop and target? This pretty much defines if I get decide to enter or not. I identify the target and initial stop first, if the risk/reward ratio is less than 2 I don't consider it. If it is greater than 2, I now look at the position size. Here is the problem I had with this.... IB has a minimum order size that I'm not comfortable with for some trades, the stop placement would be too much of a $$ loss. So I opened an account at MBtrading, they allow smaller lot sizes. I haven't placed any trades on their system yet. One I start it up I'll post some trades and ideas.

So the whole point to the post is to "get back to basics" and follow the rules you made up in your trade plan. That is why I am reading my trade plan tonight, and every other night, until it is burnt into my brain.

Good trading!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Remember this post of the USDCAD?
Price dropped to resistance that can be clearly seen on the weekly chart. I've shown 3 support / resistance levels with the white lines. After the third push to 1.3000 price fizzled down to the middle white support line and bounced.... twice. We are now in a channel. There are several ways to play this. Here are a few ways to play it at the 1.3000 level.
1. Buy once price goes over 1.3000, stop just under that level to your taste, and depending on how much of a bet your placed.
2. Buy as price approaches 1.3000 looking for it to quickly snap through 1.3000 for a quick profit, riding the momo and using a trailing stop. This method would work for you if you think it will be hard to get in once it snaps through the level.
3. Wait for the break, then the pullback. I won't be doing this since I don't see the USD and CDN being more lopsided than it is right now. But the market doesn't care what I think.
4. Don't play the upside. I'll be waiting for the upside break, but I don't think it will happen. I expect the bottom to be the favoured direction.
To get past 1.3000, there will probably need to be some sort of catalyst. Having said that, watch for the bottom white line to be broken for a downside move.
I should note that this is based on daily and 4 hour charts. I will not go deeper than a 4 hour chart now trading forex. I have scaled down my position size and will trade based on daily and 4 hour time frames. To scale down my position sizes I've had to open up another forex account at a different broker since Interactive Brokers minimum size is too large for me to use with wider stops.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


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