As you know I’ve been trading Forex on and off for more than 10 years now. It has been a long time where I have just about seen everything. One thing I have experienced is Live Trading Rooms. I’m actually in one as I type this. It is on my 2nd monitor with the moderator yapping away in the background. Not really interested in joining their program but there are times I like to see what other traders are doing and how they are looking at the markets. One other reason is that sometimes trading can be a very lonely lifestyle, especially if you are a sole trader just trading from home. Not sure about you guys, but none of my personal friends or family are Forex Traders, so I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it. Therefore forums and trading rooms can sometimes get you involved in a like minded group. There are thousands of retail traders around the world, and with the internet these days, the world is a small place.
Now to the Live Trading Rooms. Other than the trading banter and the feeling of being involved in the market, are they a good thing? One thing about them is that they mainly involve short term trading, usually taking trades off charts 1hr and below. So basically they are either scalping or taking smallish swing trades that are session based. So if you entered a room at the start of the London session, then you would normally trade this entire session and possibly into the US session, and about 10hrs later you may call it quits. You would probably finish up with no open trades. In the process you may have taken 2-20 trades during this period. On the odd occasion you may have a trade left open that has taken off in your favour big time, so when you go to bed, that trade is in a position that it can’t lose no matter what happens when you are asleep. Does happen, but not that often.
The problem with trading in live rooms is that it requires plenty of chart watching and plenty of concentration. Trust me, I know this as I have done it plenty of times in the past. It is hard work, especially at home when there are plenty of other distractions like TV, kids, housework and your significant other wanting to spend quality time with you. It would be much easier if you actually left the house and went to an office to join the trading room, or even went and physically sat in a trading room. More like a real 8hr a day job. Another problem for me is my time zone, as being in Australia the London session starts around 6pm local. Great time with regards to sleep etc as normally I could trade until 2am quite easily and then call it a day. But from 6pm is normally the time everyone else is getting home from school/work and it is time for dinner/social events. Even worse if you have a normal job during the day and then want to trade during the evening. This is mentally and physically draining and not healthy for you. Again, I’ve been there and burnt out big time. Gone are the days I had a bed in my home office..
So what’s the solution? I would strongly suggest that you ditch the live trading rooms. Have a look and maybe learn a technique or at least get some ideas from them, but don’t become addicted to any one room. I would say the same about forums. Good to have a look every now and then, but don’t get hooked into them as they too can be quite addictive. They are also a little dishonest for my liking due to the anonymity of the internet. Don’t believe everything you read! What I have found that works for me and gives me a much more balanced lifestyle, is trading off the 4hr charts. I have a fairly simple system that uses my own EAs for entry on multiple pairs. As these are on the 4hr charts, it gives me plenty of time to monitor the charts at my leisure, where I can then manually manage the trades as I see fit. This can all be done around a normal job and your normal sleep patterns. So basically I check my trades whenever I get a chance, but I won’t get too stressed if I can’t get to them for several hours. And the beauty of modern technology is that I can do this from any of my mobile devices whether it be my laptop, iPhone or iPad. I don’t have to be at my desktop computer. I am a MT4 trader and have 4-5 live accounts with different brokers on the go at any one time. All my broker’s platforms are set up on my VPS account which costs me about US$50/mth to run (cost of doing business) and using my Logmein App on any of my devices, I can access my desktop computer, which in turn gives me access to my VPS platform. If I can’t be bothered with that, then there is the Metatrader App on the iPhone and iPad. Great app if you are a MT4 trader.
Ever since I have gone out to the longer time frames, my trading has become way more relaxed with minimal stress. I’m not saying there are no losing trades (I wish!) but due to the fact that you have way more time to make trading decisions, you actually have more time to make a better decision without being rushed or put under the pump. Obviously your position sizes maybe smaller, but having said that, your stops maybe further out but so are your profit targets. It is all relevant and works out in the wash. Sure it is not as exciting as trading off the 5 min charts as there may be days without any trades, so it can be like watching paint dry at times. That’s the trade off.
If you are interested in learning more about my trading style, you can either ask me directly via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can just continue reading posts on this blog as I’ll eventually spill the beans on it. I’m happy to share my custom MT4 indicators or any of my EAs with anyone that asks. These are free just for being a reader. So, what sort of forex trader are you?