Along with fundamental analysis, technical analysis is one of the two main methods of informing oneself and building a stronger position to profit from the Forex market. While fundamental analysis allows you to predict the movement of a currency by looking at the political and economic position of a country, technical analysis has more to do with looking at collected market data and using it to predict future movement. This is an approach that is very commonly used on the stock market, for example, where historic data is the single most important part of predicting future performance.
While a fundamental analysis will look at the reasons for market movement – allowing us to know why something happened – the technical analysis of the same market will tell us exactly what happened. That is to say that it will give us the raw data. Fundamental analysis requires an extremely broad view and, for those who are disinterested in politics, can be overly time-consuming. If these people are strong technical analysts, they can usually learn enough from the movements themselves. Whatever the reason for a movement, the fact is that currency prices follow trends.
Regardless of anything else, people know that patterns have emerged in how foreign currencies behave, patterns which have held true for more than a century. These patterns mirror human behavior – one of the few constant things in the world – and therefore are an excellent way of predicting the future. You may not know who the President of a certain country is, but if you know how its currency performs over a period of time you are well within your rights to not care.
It is broadly accepted that there are two ways to analyze the Forex market. These are described as “fundamental” and “technical” analysis. Which of these methods works at which time? To help understand how and why, this article will look at fundamental analysis. This is a style of analysis that looks at political and economic conditions which affect exchange rates. Most commonly, these factors include employment rates and economic policies of a governing party. It therefore stands to reason that a general election in a country will have some bearing on the Forex rate for that country’s currency.
Fundamental analysis, as the name suggests, gives a broad overview of the way currencies move, and enables an understanding of where a certain currency is going. The role of fundamental analysis is to strengthen your strategy by giving it an underpinning of sound, concrete factors which have been proven, time and again, to govern how a currency will perform.
To understand the present behavior and confidently predict the future behavior of a currency, it is worth knowing things like interest rates (considered to be an indicator of continuing strength in a currency) and economic factors such as GDP and foreign investment. If a company invests in factories, offices and labor in a foreign country, it brings wealth and potential to that country, and is likely to give its currency a boost. Knowing that a country has foreign investment in the pipeline can enable confident prediction of its currency strengthening and remaining strong.
It has been said by many experienced traders that Forex is a more volatile market than any of the available options. The theory goes that it is difficult enough to judge a single company’s value at a given time and in the future, just imagine how hard it is to do the same thing with a whole country. This philosophy takes the point of view that analyzing the Forex market relies on careful reading over a period of time. Some knowledge of world affairs is also advantageous, as it allows you to be aware in advance of the timing of important announcements which can cause market volatility.
Others will treat the Forex market exactly like they would treat any other stock market, and take a more technical approach to analyzing their next step. This is not as simple a process in Forex as it is in the stock market, as the Forex is a 24-hour market, and the data-gathering systems require some modification to work effectively on Forex. Nonetheless, where these methods of technical analysis have been correctly applied, they have proved to be an effective way of making a profit on the Forex market just as their original forms proved on other markets.
While the first method is more of a global, evidence-based approach and the second tends towards techniques and patterns, both have been proven to be successful if correctly applied. It is highly advisable, though, to recognise which one to apply at a given time, as confusion can easily arise around what exactly the data tells you. Pick the method that you require and use the other to supplement it. That is the only way you can confidently operate in the long term.
Forex is a complicated system which still often confounds people with years of trading experience. Knowing how a situation usually resolves itself does not mean that you will be able to correctly predict how it will resolve itself every time. The market data is an excellent way of judging what the situation is at any given time. It is also as good a way as you will find of predicting future market behavior. Nonetheless, it is not a guaranteed predictor and consequently even the most experienced traders sometimes make a mess of things.
The less experience you have – in anything – the more likely you are to have the wrong reaction to a given situation. If this is in a golf match, then all that rests on your mistake is a little personal pride. On the Forex market, it can end up costing you real money. It is therefore massively important that you have as much knowledge to back up your every decision as you possibly can. One way of accruing knowledge without making costly mistakes and potentially bankrupting yourself is to start by playing online Forex games. These are a kind of simulator which closely reflects the real-life market and tells you how good your instincts are – without ruining you if you make a mistake.
There are Forex games available on the Internet which run entirely free of charge. There is obviously some variation in quality, and you should ensure that you check out more than a couple before committing to one. The more experience you gather before playing for real, the better your chances of making real money in the future.
Of all the different trading markets available in the world, there are some which are highly specialised and only attract the real niche experts, and others which attract a broad range from occasional traders to people who do it for a living. Of these two categories, the Forex market falls very much into the latter, and there are a number of ways that you can get a good grounding in the ways of the market without risking any of your own money. There is a dizzying amount of money spent on the market in any given day – upwards of three trillion dollars – and money traded on the market makes a big difference in the world of finance.
While its seriousness as a market ensures that the more experienced traders will keep a close eye on the Forex, it is also seen as an accessible way to get involved in trading for people who have never tried, or have tried but found other markets to be way too complicated. With the Forex, everyone knows what they are trading – “Dollars” and “Euros” are not exactly obscure brand names – and this allows them to understand it more before they get deeply involved.
The truth is that anyone can play the Forex market, although it goes without saying that the more skilled and more experienced you are as a trader, the more money you can stand to make. It is certainly a trading market that is easier to understand than many, and this has its blessings and its drawbacks.
Being able to read the comprehensive and constantly-updating information that flashes across the screen in any investment banking firm or hedge fund is tantamount to forgetting the English language and learning to speak it all over again, from scratch. There is so much complicated information on the screen at any given time that it can be rather daunting for a novice or even for someone who feels that they know quite a lot about private finance.
Learning to decipher the data in the forms in which it comes to you can be a test for anyone. It is important to find, first of all, something that makes sense to you in its present form. From that it is often possible to extrapolate a little bit more information. Before really throwing yourself into Forex trading though, it is hugely important to read everything you can find on all the different ways of collating data, how to arrange the information and what parts of that information to set the most store by.
Some charts will tell you how the market has been changing over the last day, and sometimes it will also include information on how the price has trended over a period of five, ten, even twenty days. There is data that allows you to predict when a market will stabilise or fall, or even rise, and how to arrange your investments in reference to that information. Knowing how to read all this information won’t make you a billionaire, but it will help you to get a head start.