Forex Daily Topic

How Does Trading Forex Differ From Trading Stocks?

Many people think of trading as a giant single entity that comprises Forex, Indices, Metals, Stocks, and more, when in reality each of the elements within the idea of trading is completely separate. Forex and stocks as an example are often thrown into the same bucket, but there are a lot of differences between them. In fact, the only similarity between them is that you are buying or selling them, pretty much that is it, everything else has differences. Some differences are large, others are quite small, but they are there. We are going to be looking at the differences between trading forex and trading stocks, there are a lot so we may not go over all of them, but you will surely get the idea that they are quite different beasts.

The first difference is the opening times of the markets, the time that the markets are open and you are able to place new trades. The forex markets are open 24 hours a day 6 days a week, only closing over the weekend and on certain holidays. This makes it hugely accessible, able to trade from anywhere in the world and at pretty much any time that you want. Share and stock trading are a little bit different, the trading times for stocks are often linked with the opening times of whichever particular exchange that the stocks listed on. These often close in the evening and open again in the morning, meaning that you are limited to trading during the day, extended hours are coming into play that allows you to trade outside these hours, but otherwise, you are more limited in the time that you can trade when trading stocks over forex.

Another major difference is the liquidity in the markets. Liquidity for those that do not know is about how easy it is to place trades, how much money is going through the markets at any one time. The forex markets are the most liquid in the world with over $5 trillion being traded each day. This makes it incredibly easy to put on trades. No matter the size of your trade, you will be able to put it on almost instantly without any issues. When it comes to stocks, there is a considerably lower number when it comes to the amount of money being traded and there are far fewer trades being made each day. Certain stocks like Facebook or Apple will have a lot more trades occurring each day, but other smaller companies will have far fewer which can make it a little harder to trade with potential delays on each transaction.

Volatility is a major difference, the forex markets are known for their volatility, their ability to move and to move a lot, this is where the profit potential comes from, but also the risks. There can be huge movements up and down, it can also move quickly. When it comes to the stock market, the volatility of the markets and the movement are often far more stable than when it comes to forex. This means that there is far more profit potential when it comes to trading forex, but if you are looking for a more stable and safer trading experience then stocks may well be the better option for you.

When it comes to trading, you have probably heard about leverage, this is the ability to kind of borrow money from the broker that you are using in order to trade with larger trade sizes than your account would otherwise allow. Forex is full of leverage, in fact, some brokers are offering as high as 2000:1 when it comes to leverage, which is incredibly high, a little too high. This does, however, give you the ability to make a lot more money than you otherwise would have been able to, it does of course also increase the risk and potential losses at the same time. When it comes to stocks, there are actually some brokers that are offering leverage on stocks, but it is far lower, normally not any higher than 10:1 if even that high. This means that the profit potential is limited when you compare it to forex trading. Many brokers offer no leverage at all when it comes to stocks, so the money that you have in your account is all that you have to trade with, some would argue that this is the best way of trading and the safest way.

The last difference that we will be looking at is the types of trades that you have., When it comes to forex, you can buy or sell, you are able to profit on the markets moving both up and down, it doesn’t matter, you do not have the physical asset so you are simply speculating on the price movements. When it comes to stocks, traditionally, you could only profit when the price rises, buying low and selling high. This has changed slightly these days, with the ability to treat them more like stocks, but you will need to find the right broker that lets you both profit on the buys and sells.

So those are some of the differences when it comes to trading forex and stocks. There are a lot of similarities between them in regards to the way that they are traded, and the opportunities that they give you, but there are a lot of differences. If you are looking for a faster-moving and more volatile trading experience then you would need to look at trading forex due to the volatility, liquidity, and leverage that is on offer. If you are looking for a more stable, slow-moving, and far safer trading experience then stock trading would be the right way for you to go. Of course, would then be limited to trading at specific times when the markets are open. Whatever you choose, you can also diversify and trade both, giving you the best of both worlds.

Forex Daily Topic

Meet the Steve Jobs of the Forex Industry

Traders that make money are rare. Traders that become famous have a unique advantage few can actually replicate. Listening to what they do when trading can be difficult, their trading is self-designed to suit them, not you. But, these giants have a thing or two that could inspire you on your quest to make a great strategy. The guy we are going to present in this article is not famous, does not use popular trading methods, and does not have any interest to make money out of his forex trading portal, it is all free. He is, of course, a professional trader with a proprietary company but there is something very different with him compared to all other popular traders in the forex industry. He is almost a completely technical analysis trader, still, this guy has a lot to offer to any beginner or veteran traders using arguments and easy content that can be applied right away. His name is Patrik Victor, or just VP as he likes to sign his blog articles on

VP Trading Approach

As mentioned, his trading is based mostly on indicators of various kinds. However, he emphasizes the analysis itself is far less important than the rules you have to make. Rules are an essential part of the strategy that together create easy to follow money management principle. Additionally, VP places focus on psychology, the right mindset all traders need to get above breakeven. Interestingly, psychology topics are his least popular content. Despite this, VP still decided to publish a book on trading psychology in 2020, not about his, now known, technical analysis structure. As he likes to point out, technical analysis and even great money management cannot realize if your head is not right. 

His first material about forex is about the contrarian approach to trading, doing what the majority does not, going against the masses, and criticizing the most popular tools used in chart analysis. The arguments for this are mainly about big banks’ activity on their playground called Forex. They know how the masses are trading and would just move the market in the other direction. He exposes this by using the sentiment indicator on the most liquid currency pairs, while assets or markets not completely in the big banks’ control, such as crypto, do not exhibit this phenomenon. Some could say this soft conspiracy approach is good clickbait, however, the true value of his selfless know-how sharing is making professional traders with beginner-friendly guidelines.

VP Style

Our trader of choice for anyone who needs some guidance does not sound like the guys from TV. His portal and other channels do not have anything fancy, everything is done by him from his home studio. Once you hear him there will be no question he is a charismatic and down-to-earth guy. His style is easy-going just like his trading, and that is what is a very good recipe for making people listen to you. VP certainly did his homework to get noticed but we could not say anything he does not blend to his nature.

The blog has humor, but more importantly, he does not go around the bush. You get a flow of information that does not twist much and can be easily used in your trading. Each subject is deep without withholding anything that could make you a better trader. VP likes to back up his claims and opinions, however, be ready to drop anything you might know about trading if you want to follow his ways. Even though the content is easy to consume, it is not for anyone who likes to use some of the more popular trading styles. 

VP Background

According to his story, VP started as the rest of the beginner traders, they want to make some additional income aside from the average Joe jobs. He followed sports and did some betting so he has a knack for the upside and downside probabilities gauging. Rest assured, he did not become the top dog overnight, he lost a few accounts before starting his slow way of building the system. Only after a few years, the results became visible and yet a few lessons had to be learned the hard way. All of his mistakes made him a master of risk management and developing a universal technical system eventually spreading out to many other markets besides forex. More importantly, the mindset followed by experience paved the way to many other goals. 

The best part of his sharings is that the structure he developed resembles the idea that could be characterized as a contrarian. A kind of movement against the globally accepted systems where you work your 9 to 5-day jobs and do it all over again for the next few decades. Until you retire and pass on the same mindset to your children. Go to school, learn how to work the same 9-5 day job, and do a similar loop. According to the VP, this realization was a game-changer in what he wanted to do, inspired by the book “Rich Daddy Poor Daddy”. He quit his waiter job and focused on forex trading relentlessly for a few years before becoming pro. 

VP Teachings

VP gained experience and translated to other markets but he wanted to share his findings of the forex market where he felt at home. His channel starts with the contrarian view, criticizing popular tools most traders use even though there are much better gadgets and strategies. Obscured but not hard to find, he layouts a structure after very well explanations of how to prepare for trading psychologically. In the podcast series, he also answers the followers’ questions and goes deep into what is the right mindset that essentially answers their other issues too. One of the most valuable lessons is his precise and practical money management plan which is backed up by measurements of volatility. He does this using the Average True Range indicator and the volatility index for the Euro, the $EVZ. Some of this structure is covered on our website in detail. 

The technical side of his trading is about controlling the optimal risk, but also having dedicated indicators for each part of the trading. So he sets the structure with exit indicators, trend confirmation, and also volume and volatility indicators that blend in as trade filters and position size referents. The list of his worst and most used indicators will likely turn away some traders that have experience with them. 

Additionally, VP advocates trend following type trading on a daily timeframe. The daily timeframe is how he eliminates the psychological pressure and allows more free time to do other things – no more working till sunset. If you like trading reversals and do the price action things you could listen to him why he thinks this is nonsense before scratching his method altogether. Lately, he is on to other markets like cryptocurrencies and portfolio investing, mixing long and short-term trading with other markets. The advice and the resources are a gold mine for every trader, not to mention the discord community made by his followers. After a few months, VP teachings made several professionals according to the testimonials list on his blog. 

VP Motive

Many do not quite understand why one would share very deep knowledge about forex, analysis, and the resources for free, without any obvious interest to become famous. Actually, becoming famous would elevate his way of trading which is not quite good for a contrarian trader. The motive is to share what rarely anyone does – free knowledge about trading without any makeup, nonsense, and marketing. Also, say what nobody is telling about forex trading. A hard-to-dig true trading resource that will ultimately change the game. However, only the most persistent will endure and apply his methods, but that hard work translates into an unlimited upside.

Forex Daily Topic

What You Need to Know About Forex Spreads

In this article, we will talk about the spread, which is actually an English term that means differential. And this is precisely what it means: A difference between the purchase price and the selling price of a given currency pair on the Forex market.

When trading on forex, our broker will offer us two prices for the same instrument. One of them, called “bid”, is the price at which you will buy the currency pair when we, as traders, decide to sell it. The other price, called “ask”, represents the price at which the Forex broker sells when we decide to buy.

Of course, the bid price (bid) will be a few points lower than the demand price (ask). The broker will always buy at a lower price. Well, the spread is neither more nor less than the existing range between the “bid” price and the “ask”. We will analyze this concept so significant for trading in the Forex market in more detail.

What is a Forex spread?

When entering a purchase order in currency pairs, you should look at the ask price, which the broker sells to. If immediately, after the purchase you decide to sell (without even allowing time for the asset to fluctuate), you would close the deal with a small loss. If you do the same operation, but in the opposite direction (short), the result would be the same.

This loss comes out of the difference between the two prices, that is, the spread. And it is precisely its meaning: it is the cost of trading in the market. It is the broker’s fee for executing our purchase and sale orders. Even if the position develops in our favor and we make profits, we will always close that position by assuming this cost, which is deducted from profits or added to losses.

All financial intermediaries make some kind of charge for offering those services that allow the trader to trade in the market; the spread is just a way to collect them.

Types of spread

Basically, there are two types of spreads in Forex: fixed spread and variable spread.

Fixed spread: This is a spread that remains unchanged, despite fluctuations in assets in the market. If, for example, the EUR/USD pair quotes as follows:

Bid: 1.0964

Ask: 1,0967

We can deduce that the existing spread is 0.0003 points; or what is the same, 3 pips difference. When it is a fixed spread, vary what the price of EUR/USD varies, the difference between both prices will always be 3 pips.

This type of spread is usually offered by those brokers that act as a direct counterpart to the trader’s operations (the broker buys when the trader sells and sells when the trader buys, assuming the opposite position with its possible profits or losses). These types of brokers are known as Market Makers. Each currency pair may have a different spread, however, it will remain constant no matter how much the price fluctuates.

Variable spread: In this case, the spread does not remain unchanged, it can vary depending on the conditions in the market at a certain time. Following the above example of EUR/USD, when it is a variable spread, it will not always be 3 pips. Depending on market conditions (liquidity and volatility), the spread may vary.

As a general rule, when the broker offers variable spreads, these are usually lower than in the case of a fixed spread. But, the trader knows the risk that the cost will increase at specific moments in the market (little liquidity or a lot of volatility).

This type of spread is usually offered by those brokers who transfer the trader’s orders directly to the market, not acting as their direct counterpart; this type of broker is known as ECN or STP. Depending on the supply and demand prices they obtain in the market, the spread is established.

How to collect the spread on Forex

Although it depends on the conditions of each broker, normally, the spread is loaded at the same time as opening a trading position. Whether it is a purchase (long deal) or a sale (short deal), as a general rule, our deal will start with a small loss. As I was saying at the beginning of the article, this loss is the amount of spread that the broker has loaded.

At the time of closing the position, a counter-opening order will be issued, but the spread has already been cashed and will only execute the order at the price that the broker marks at that time. Thus, the gains or losses of the operation will have the cost of the spread incorporated at the time of closing it.

Difference between the commission and spread

Commissions also involve the commissions of the broker to be able to carry out their work. The most important difference is to know how to collect this fee. A commission is charged by the broker each time an order is opened in the market, in other words, it is charged both when closing and when opening a trade; Then, we see how the costs related to trading are doubled. We are talking about that it can be a fixed amount or it can also be a percentage applied to the volume of money of the operation.

In the meantime, the spread is usually cashed only once and is calculated based on the value of each pip (we will soon see how spread can be calculated in Forex). Then, the spread is always measured in pips, not an amount or a percentage of the amount to invest.

How to view the spread in MetaTrader 4?

As I was saying, the spread is nothing more than the difference between the offer price (bid) and the demand price (ask) offered by the broker. Therefore, if we look at these two prices, we can calculate the difference and set the spread points (pips). The natural thing is that the spread is known when establishing the relationship with our broker since it is one of the commissions that the trader must face. You must inform us of this parameter, among other things, of your terms of employment.

In any case, the spread can be checked on MetaTrader 4 (and other trading platforms) simply by looking at the prices of each financial instrument. These values appear in the “Market Observation” window, which, by default, is located on the left side of the platform (can be switched manually). It is convenient to check to ensure that the broker meets the agreed conditions.

How to calculate the spread on Forex

Spread is measured in basis points of fluctuation in the market (the minimum movement an asset can make). These points are called “pips” in the Forex market (Point In Percentage). A pip, that is, the minimum exchange rate variation between two currencies, corresponds to the fourth decimal (0.0001). The pairs in which the Japanese yen appears are quoted to two decimal places only, so their minimum variation is 0.01 (the second decimal represents a pip).

In summary, to calculate the spread, in principle we must calculate the value of each pip. Subsequently, we should only multiply it by the difference pips between the bid and ask price, that is, the spread. The monetary value of a pip is expressed in the quoted currency (the second of the pair). Beware, if this currency is not the local currency, we must keep in mind the exchange rate between the two to make the exact calculation.

A pip can have a value based on the amount we decide to invest. Thus, if we open a one-lot transaction (100,000 units of currency), the value of a pip will be 10 units of the quoted currency (100,000 x 0.0001). If we operate with two lots, 20 currency units; if we operate with a mini-lot (10,000 currency units) it will have a value of 1 currency unit; etc.

If the spread is 3 pips, for example, and the value of each pip is two units of the quoted currency (since we have traded with two mini-lots), its value will be 6 units of currency. To calculate how much it represents in euros, we must make the exchange between both currencies.

Factors Influencing Forex Spread

When the spread has been calculated, one of the most important factors that can influence when establishing the spread is the commercial policy of the broker in question. In other words, we know that there is a competition between intermediaries and also other marketing factors, each broker will set the differentials they think are appropriate. The trader, therefore, can contract with these conditions or look for another broker.

When we talk about variable spreads, the broker will set its prices depending on the prices that are in the market (the prices provided by liquidity providers at all times). Then, the factors that most influence the spread establishment in each currency pair of the Forex market will be the following: (whether fixed or variable spreads)

The volatility of the asset: if volatility is high, the spread increases. It usually happens when economic news publications are produced. The more volatile a financial asset is, the higher the spread the broker will charge us.

Market participants: in other words, the liquidity of the asset in question. If we see that there are a greater number of sellers and buyers it will be easy to marry the orders and consequently the differential will be smaller; the broker will have, in this way, suppliers in the market in more convenient prices, and this fact is transferred to the trader itself.

How do spreads work?

Once you’ve seen everything you need to know about the spread, let’s review it through an example to get a complete understanding of how spreads work. For example, suppose we carry out a long transaction in EUR/USD. The prices offered by the broker are as follows:

Bid (Offer): 1.1044

Ask (Demand): 1,1046

The spread is 2 pips (the difference of both prices)

If the trader wants to buy the pair EUR/USD you will have to pay 1.1046 dollars for each euro purchased. If you wish to sell it, the broker will pay you $1,1044 for each euro sold. Suppose the trader wants to buy three micro-lots (30,000 euros). The value of each pip will be 3 dollars (30,000 x 0,0001). If the spread is 2 pips, its value will be 6 dollars. This amount will be charged to your account at the time of opening the transaction. Therefore, your income statement will show a loss of about €5.43 (depending on the EUR/USD exchange rate).

This loss will be initial, it is necessary to allow the transaction to develop to generate sufficient profits that allow the trader to cover it. When the pair has advanced 2 pips to its advantage, the trader will find himself at the dead-end of the trade, the balance of it will be 0. From there, the trader will start to make profits. If, on the other hand, the transaction develops against you, the own losses of the position will be on this initial loss.

The transaction will be closed immediately when the trader decides, and this cost will be a reward obtained by the broker for providing the service that allows the trader to trade in the market. In this case, we have given as an example a spread of 2 pips, but depending on the currency pair that is intended to trade, it can be much higher and the price must fluctuate more to get to the deadlock.

The importance of understanding spreads

Knowing the spread is of great importance because it is one of the greatest costs that the trader has to face to operate in the markets. Keep in mind how much our broker charges us if the price is in line with the existing conditions in the sector if the service that it provides us justifies the cost of operation if the broker complies with the agreed conditions, etc., is essential. These issues can make the difference between success or failure in our trading.

On the other hand, it will be useful to know how to check and calculate the cost of the spread to define if the conditions are adapted to our style of trading (if we open or close several operations throughout the day or operate with longer time periods) and the assets we normally operate.

Remember that the Forex market does not have a single place, it is traded in different places. It is a decentralised market with no clearinghouse. The trader must contract with reliable and reliable brokers: those that are regulated by prestigious bodies. Keeping in mind everything related to the spread on Forex, as we have been dealing with in these lines, will be of great help to you in order to protect your interests before the broker itself and the aforementioned regulatory bodies.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading Algorithms IX – RSI Failures System

Trading the naked RSI system depicted in this series’s previous video as an overbought/oversold signal generator is too risky, and its long-term results questionable. The system is profitable only in sideways movements. Thus, a trending filter or a detrending step will be needed to avoid the numerous fake signals.

Divergences and Failure swings

Welles Wilder remarks on two ways to trade the RSI: Divergences and Top/Bottom failure swings.


A divergence forms when the price makes higher highs (or lower lows), and the RSI makes the opposite move: lower highs (or higher lows). RSI divergences from the oversold area show the market action starts to strengthen, an indication of a potential swing up. In contrast, RSI divergences in the overbought area show weakness and a likely retracement from the current upward movement.


An RSI Top failure occurs with the following sequence of events:

  1. The RSI forms a pivot high in the overbought area.
  2. An RSI pullback occurs, and an RSI pivot low forms.
  3. A new RSI pivot high forms, which is lower than the previous pivot high

Fig 1 – RSI TOP failures in the EURUSD 4H 2H Chart

An RSI Bottom failure occurs with the following sequence of events:

  1. The RSI forms a pivot low below the oversold area.
  2. An RSI pullback occurs, and an RSI pivot high forms.
  3. A new RSI pivot low forms, which is higher than the previous pivot high.

Fig 2 – RSI Bottom failures in the ETHUSD 1H Chart.

According to Welles Wilder, trading the RSI failure swings can be more profitable than trading the RSI overbought-oversold system. Thus, we will test it.

The RSI Failure algorithm

To create the RSI Failure algorithm, we will need to use the Finite State Machine concept, presented in this series’s seventh video.

The Easylanguage code of the RSI system failure is the following:

inputs:  Price( Close ), Length( 14 ), OverSold( 30 ), Overbought( 70 ), 
takeprofit( 3 ), stoploss( 1 ) ;
variables: state(0), state1 (0), state2(0), state5 (0), state6(0), rsiValue(0),
 var0( 0 ), rsi_Pivot_Hi(0), rsiPivotHiFound(False), 
rsiPivotLoFound (False),rsi_Pivot_Lo(0)  ;

rsiValue = RSI(C,Length);

If rsiValue[1] > rsiValue and rsiValue[1] > rsiValue[2] then
         rsiPivotHiFound = true;
         rsi_Pivot_Hi= rsiValue[1];

     rsiPivotHiFound = False;

If rsiValue[1] < rsiValue and rsiValue[1] < rsiValue[2] then
         rsiPivotLoFound = true;
        rsi_Pivot_Lo = rsiValue[1];

     rsiPivotLoFound = False;

If state = 0 then
        if rsiPivotHiFound = true and rsi_Pivot_Hi> Overbought then
             state = 1    {a bearih setup begins}
           if rsiPivotLoFound = True and rsi_Pivot_Lo < OverSold then
                 state = 5; {a bullish Setup begins}

{The Bearish setup}    

If state = 1 then
         state1 = rsi_Pivot_Hi;
         if rsiValue > state1 then state = 0;
         if rsiPivotLoFound = true then
             state = 2;
If state = 2 then
         state2 = rsi_Pivot_Lo ;
         if rsiValue > state1 then state = 0;
         if rsiPivotHiFound = true then
         if rsi_Pivot_Hi< 70 then state = 3;

If state = 3 then
     if rsiValue < state2 then state = 4;

If state = 4 then
        sellShort this bar on close;
        state = 0;

{The bullish setup}

If state = 5 then
       state5 = rsi_Pivot_Lo;
       if rsiValue < state5 then state = 0;
       if rsiPivotHiFound = true then
             state = 6;

If state = 6 then
         state6 = rsi_Pivot_Hi;
         if rsiValue < state5 then state = 0;
         if rsiPivotLoFound = true then
             if rsi_Pivot_Lo > OverSold then state = 7;


If state = 7 then
     if rsiValue > state6 then state = 8;

 If state = 8 then
         buy this bar on close;
         state = 0;

If state > 0 and rsiValue < OverSold then state = 0;
If state > 0 and rsiValue > Overbought then state = 0;    

{The Long position management section}

If marketPosition =1 and close < entryprice - stoploss* avgTrueRange(10) then
    sell this bar on close;

If marketPosition =1 and close < entryPrice + takeprofit* avgTrueRange(10) then
    sell this bar on close;

{The Short position management section}

If marketPosition =-1 and close > entryprice + stoploss* avgTrueRange(10) then
     BuyToCover this bar on close;

If marketPosition =-1 and close < entryPrice - takeprofit* avgTrueRange(10) then
     BuyToCover this bar on close;

The results, measured on the EURUSD, are not as brilliant as Mr. Welles Wilder stated.

The trade analysis shows that the RSI Failures system, as is, is a losing system. This fact is quite common. It takes time to uncover good ideas for a profitable trading system. In the meantime, we have developed a practical exercise using the finite state machine concept, handy for the future development of our own trading ideas.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design -Creating Your Strategy with Tradingview’s Pine Script – Part 2

In part 1 of this article series, we have created the Stochastic RSI indicator as part of our idea for a scalping strategy. Now that we have it functional, we will make the bull/bear phases and visually inspect whether it captures the turning market’s turning points.

Possible ways to create bull/bear slices

Our Stochastic RSI consists of two lines, k and d, and two trigger lines, ob and os. Therefore we can use multiple variants that may allow the creation of bull/bear price legs. Let’s consider the following 3

Variant 1 – The transition occurs at the SRSI entrance of the oversold or overbought regions.

Bull: The d-line crosses under the ob-line, which indicates it is into the overbought area
Bear: The d-line crosses over the os-line, indicating d‘s entry into the oversold area.

if crossunder (d, os)
    SRSI_Long := true
    SRSI_Short := false
else if crossover (d, ob)
    SRSI_Long := false
    SRSI_Short := true 
    SRSI_Long := SRSI_Long[1]
    SRSI_Short := SRSI_Short[1]

This code creates a condition SRSI_Long at the cross of d under os, which holds until d crosses over ob and reverses it, creating an SRSI_Short state. This condition is only modified by d crossing under os.
The else statement ensures the condition does not change from the previous bar.

Once we have defined the bull and bear segments, we can color-shade them to visualize them in the chart. To do it, we will use the bgcolor() function.

bgcolor(SRSI_Long ? na)
bgcolor(SRSI_Short ? na)

The first statement asks the condition of SRI-Long ( the ? sign). If true, the background color changes to green. Otherwise, no change (an). The second statement behaves similarly for SRSI_Short.

Let’s see how this piece of code behaves in the BTCUSD chart.

Variant 1 triggers the transitions too early. We see that on many occasions when the stochastic RSI enters the overbought or oversold region, it is more a signal of trend strength than a turning point.

Variant 2 – The transition occurs at D and K’s crossovers if in the overbought/oversold regions.

Bull: the k-line crosses over the d-line, if below os ( inside the oversold region. We ignore crosses in the mid-area)
Bear: the k-line crosses under the d-line, if above ob ( in the overbought area. We ignore crosses in the mid-area)


// creating the long and short conditions for case 2

if crossover(k,d) and d < os
     SRSI_Long := true
     SRSI_Short := false

else if crossunder(k,d) and d > ob
     SRSI_Long := false
     SRSI_Short := true
     SRSI_Long := SRSI_Long[1]
     SRSI_Short := SRSI_Short[1]
// bacground color change
bgcolor(SRSI_Long ? na) 
bgcolor(SRSI_Short ? na)

The last section for the background change is similar to Variant 1.

Let’s see how it behaves in the chart.

Variant 2 is an improvement. We see that the bull and bear phases match the actual movements of the market, although entries are still a bit early, and in some cases, it missed the right direction. It can be useful as a trigger signal, provided we can filter out the faulty signals.

Variant 3 – the transition occurs when d moved to the overbought or oversold region and, later, crosses to the mid-area.

Bull: the d-line crosses over the os-line
Bear: the d-line crosses under the ob-line.

if crossover (d, os)
    SRSI_Long := true
    SRSI_Short := false
else if crossunder (d, ob)
    SRSI_Long := false
    SRSI_Short := true 
    SRSI_Long := SRSI_Long[1]
    SRSI_Short := SRSI_Short[1]
// bacground color change
bgcolor(SRSI_Long ? na) 
bgcolor(SRSI_Short ? na)


And this is how it behaves in the chart.

Variant 3 lags the turning points slightly, but this quality makes it more robust, as, on most occasions, it’s right about the market direction. This signal, combined with the right take-profit, may create a high-probability trade strategy.

Let’s try this one. But this will be resolved in our next and last article of this series.

Stay tuned!

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design -Creating Your Strategy with Tradingview’s Pine Script – Part 1

As promised, in this article, we will go through the steps to create a custom strategy, from the initial idea to the implementation of signals, stops, and targets.

The skeleton of a trading Strategy

To create a strategy programmatically is relatively simple. We need to define the Parameters and the trade rules first, followed by the position sizing algorithm, the entry commands, and the stop-loss and take-profit settings.

Visualizing the idea

Human beings are visual. We may think our trading idea is fantastic, but translating it into code may not be straightforward. It is much easier to detect the errors if we see our rules depicted on a chart.

With the parameter declarations and trade rules, we can create an indicator first, so we can see how it appears. After we are happy with the visual 

The idea

For our example, we will use a simple yet quite exciting indicator called Stochastic RSI, which applies the Stochastic study to the RSI values. This operation smoothes the RSI, and it reveals much better the turning points on mean-reverting markets, such as in Forex. Let’s see how it behaves as a naked strategy.

Diving into the process

First, you need to open an account with Tradingview. Once we are in, we create a new layout.

Then we open the Pine Editor.

It appears in the bottom left of your layout. Click on it… and it shows with a basic skeleton code.

The Stochastic RSI code.

As said, to create the Stochastic RSI indicator, we will make the RSI and then apply the stochastic algorithm to it.

1 study(title="Stochastic-RSI", format=format.price, overlay = false)

This first line declares the code to be a study, called Stochastic-RSI.  

format = format.price is used for selecting the formatting of output as prices in the study function.

Overlay = false means we desire the RSI lines to appear in a separate section. If it were a moving average to be plotted with the prices, overlay should be set to true.

RSIlength = input(14, "RSI-Length", minval=1)

We define the RSI length as an input parameter called RSI-Length.

src = input(close, title="RSI Source")

The variable src will collect the input values on every bar. The default is the bar close, but it may be modified by other values such as (o+c)/2.

myrsi = rsi(src, RSIlength)

This line creates the variable myrsi that stores the time series of the rsi.

This completes the calculation of the RSI. 

smooth_K = input(3, "K", minval=1)
smooth_D = input(3, "D", minval=1)

These two lines create the smoothing values of the stochastic %K and %D. Since it comes from input, they can be changed at will.

Stochlength = input(14, "Stochastic Length", minval=1)

This code defined the variable lengthStoch, computed from the input parameter.

k = sma(stoch(rsi1, rsi1, rsi1, Stochlength), smooth_K)
d = sma(k, smooth_D)

These two lines completes the calculation of the stochastic rsi.

plot(k, "K", color=color.white) - Plot a white k line 
plot(d, "D", - Plot a red d line.

To end this study, we will plot the overbought and oversold limits of 80 and 20, filling the mid-band with a distinctive color.

t0 = hline(80, "Upper Band", color=color.maroon)
t1 = hline(20, "Lower Band", color=color.maroon)
fill(t0, t1, color=color.purple, transp=80, title="Background")

The complete code ends as:


// This source code is subject to the terms of 
// the Mozilla Public License 2.0 at
// © forex-academy
study(title="Stochastic-RSI", format=format.price, overlay = false)

RSIlength = input(14, "RSI-Length", minval=1)
src = input(close, title="RSI Source")
myrsi = rsi(src, RSIlength)

smooth_K = input(3, "K", minval=1)
smooth_D = input(3, "D", minval=1)
Stochlength = input(14, "Stochastic Length", minval=1)

k = sma(stoch(myrsi, myrsi, myrsi, Stochlength), smooth_K)
d = sma(k, smooth_D)

plot(k, "K", color=color.white)
plot(d, "D",

t0 = hline(80, "Upper Band", color=color.maroon)
t1 = hline(20, "Lower Band", color=color.maroon)
fill(t0, t1, color=color.teal, transp=80, title="Background")

This code is shown in our layout as

Stay tuned for the second part of this article, where we will evolve the Stochastic RSI into a viable strategy.


Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – A Summary of your Best Options to Code your Strategy

In our latest article, we have seen that manually backtesting our strategy is cumbersome if performed correctly. Also, It is usually subjected to errors and the interpretation of the trader. Therefore, a basic knowledge of trading algorithm development and computer coding is a desirable task for any trader. The good news is, nowadays, there are many easy ways to do it since high-level languages are very close to natural language.

High-level languages to quickly build your Forex strategies.

MetaQuotes Language (MQL4/5) 

In this respect, the primary language we could think of to build your strategy in Forex is MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4). This language is a specialized subset of C++ , holding an extensive built-in library of indicators and trading signals.

Spending your time and efforts to master MQL4/5 is worthwhile because Metatrader 4 includes a suitable trading strategy tester and optimizer.

If you are new to programming, you could start by analyzing and modifying existing free-available EA’s. Starting with simple strategies is excellent because they will be easier to understand and change. Also, in trading, simple usually is much better than complex.


Python is the reference language for data science. Its popularity and its extensive library on data science are well-known. What is less known is, Python also has comprehensive packages dedicated to trading.

As an example, you can have a look at this list taken from Open Source Python frameworks:

With Python, you can go as easy as backtest your strategy with three simple lines of code using the fastquant package.

from fastquant import backtest, get_stock_data
jfc = get_stock_data("JFC", "2018-01-01", "2019-01-01")
backtest('smac', jfc, fast_period=15, slow_period=40) 

source: Backtest Your Trading Strategy with Only 3 Lines of Python

Of course, first, you have to create the code for your strategy.

Market Data 

For backtesting purposes, you will need to download your historical market data with the necessary timeframe. The file, in CSV or Excel format, can be easily read by your Python code.

If, later on, you are going to apply your EA live, you will need a real-time streaming data feed. If this is the case, you will need to create an interface to your broker through an MT5 TradeStation (MT4 is not equipped with it).

Easylanguage and Tradestation / Multicharts

Tradestation and Multicharts are dedicated high-level trade stations. Easylanguage, a specialized subset of Pascal, was developed by the Tradestation team to create indicators and trading signals. Both platforms are terrific places to develop trading algorithms, and backtesting is straightforward.

Easylanguage, as its name indicates, was designed to make it as close to natural language as possible. The ample set of its built-in library makes coding simple, so the developer’s primary focus is the trading algorithm.

As this example, please read the code of an adjustable weighting percent blended moving average.

inputs: period1(50),period(20),factor(0.5);

variables: slow(0),fast(0), blended(0), var1(0), var2(0);

slow= average(close,period1);
fast= average(close,period2);

var1 = factor;

if var1<0 then var1=0;
if var1>1 then var1=1;

var2= 1-factor;
blended= (slow*var1)+(fast*var2);



You will see it is relatively easy to understand and follow. Anyway, it would be best if you dedicated some time to really master the language, to avoid or at least minimize coding errors.

Pine Script and Tradingview

Pine script is another specialized language to easily program your own studies and trading strategies if you have an account on Tradingview (which you may open for free). As in the case of Easylanguage, Pinescript is designed to be easily understood. 

Pine studies are used to display indicator information and graphs on a chart. It is preceded by the study() declaration. If you wished to create a strategy for backtesting, you have to use the strategy() declaration.

As with other languages, the best way to begin is by reading other people’s code and modifying it for your own purposes.

Coding strategies in pine script is similar to Easylanguage or MQL5. You create a code taking in mind that it will cycle on each bar in the chosen timeframe. 

We took this example of a MACD indicator from the Pine script quick start guide:



fast = 12, slow = 26
fastMA = ema(close, fast)
slowMA = ema(close, slow)

macd = fastMA - slowMA
signal = sma(macd, 9)


Backtesting in Pine script is easy. But, there is no way to perform automated optimization. You will have to do it manually. You should go to the performance summary and the list of trades to find the causes of the lack of performance, apply parameter changes, and see if you get any improvement of that adjustment.

In our next article, we will go through the steps to develop a strategy using the Pine script.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – Manual Backtesting your Trade Idea

We have a potential trading idea, and we would like to see if it is worthwhile. Is it really critical to code it? No. But very convenient? Yes.

Manual historical backtesting

There is no need to code the strategy to do an initial validation test. All we have to do is pick a chart, go back in time and start performing trades manually. But how to do it properly?

  1.  Use a trading log spreadsheet, as the one provides.
  2. Thoroughly describe the methodology, including the rules for entry, stop-loss, and take-profit settings. 
  3. Use a standard 1 unit trade size ( 1 lot, for example) in all the trades.

Once the rules of the game have been set, we position the chart, start moving the action one bar at a time, and trade the chart’s right side. It is critical to take all the signals the strategy offers. Cherrypicking spoils the test.

Market Condition

The financial markets move in phases. We should think it has two main phases and three directions.



The two main phases are impulses and corrections.

The three movements are Upward (Bullish), downward (bearish), and sideways (consolidations).

Bear and bull directions are mostly similar in the Forex market because currencies are traded in pairs, so the quote currency’s bear market is the base currency’s bull market and vice-versa. 

With commodities, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies against fiat, this does not hold.

To properly test your strategy, you should apply it in all market directions and phases. Even better is performing a different evaluation for each market state. That way, your evaluation will tell you in which market conditions it works best and in which is not acceptable to apply it; thus, you could create a complementary rule to filter out the market phases in which the strategy fails.

Different markets

You must apply the strategy to all markets you intend to trade using it. As with the market conditions, you should test each market separately. After having all markets tested, you will find useful information regarding how markets the strategy works best and the correlations among markets when using it. That applies, of course, if you use the same timeframes and periods in all markets, which is advisable.

If you do it as said, you can also perform the summation of all markers date by date and assess the overall performance, its main parameters, and system quality.

Pros & Cons of manually backtesting 


  • No programming skills are required.
  • It helps you perceive how a real market evolves trade by trade.
  • You will find the potential logic errors, such as stop-loss wrongly set, take profits too close to the opening, thus 
  • You will be able to correct most of the gross mistakes of the strategy.



  • Cherrypicking. Discipline is key. If you start cherrypicking, you no longer are testing your original idea.
  • Most people doing manual backtesting do not properly trade all phases and markets. Not always thoroughly test all markets and their conditions, as it would require a lot of time. Thus the test is incomplete.
  • Time-consuming. A complete manual backtest takes much longer than a computer-generated backtest.
  • Awkward optimization. Optimization is also tricky and time-consuming. That is so because a parameter change would need another backtesting.

Final words

Manual backtesting allows us to have a first impression of how a new trade idea would fare in real trading, but a thoroughly manual backtest and optimization are time-consuming. Therefore, serious traders should start developing basic programming skills to automate both processes.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/AUD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

GBP/AUD Exogenous Analysis

  1. The UK and Australia Current Account Differential

In this case, the current account differential is derived by subtracting Australia’s current account balance from that of the UK. The current account shows the net value of a country’s exports. Remember that the value of a currency is determined by its demand. Theoretically, the country’s domestic currency with a higher current account balance will have a higher demand. Therefore, its value will be higher in the forex market than in currencies with lower current account balances.

In this case, if the current account differential is positive, it means that the GBP is in higher demand than the AUD, hence a bullish trend for the GBP/AUD pair. Conversely, if the differential is negative, the GBP/AUD pair will have a bearish trend.

Australia had a $7.5 billion current account surplus in Q3 2020, while the UK had a $20.97 billion deficit. The current account differential is -$28.47 billion. Consequently, the current account differential between the UK and Australia has a score of -4.

  1. The interest rate differential between the UK and Australia

This interest rate differential is the difference between the interest rate in the UK and Australia. Typically, investors prefer to buy currencies with a higher interest rate. Therefore, if the interest rate differential for the GBP/AUD pair is positive, it means that the UK offers higher interest rates than Australia. Traders would then sell AUD and buy the GBP, which implies that the GBP/AUD pair will have a bullish trend. Conversely, if the interest rate differential is negative, Australia offers a higher interest rate. Thus, traders would sell the GBP and buy the AUD, which will force the GBP/AUD pair into a downtrend.

In 2020, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% and finally to 0.1% in December. The BOE cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.1%. As of December 2020, the interest rate differential for the GBP/AUD pair is 0%. Thus, we assign a score of -1.

  1. The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Australia

The differential in GDP growth rate measures the difference in domestic economic growth in the UK and Australia. It is expected that the domestic currency of the country whose GDP is expanding at a faster pace will appreciate faster. Therefore, if the GDP growth differential between the UK and Australia is positive, we should expect a bullish trend for the GBP/AUD pair. Conversely, we should expect a downtrend in the pair if the differential is negative.

The Australian economy has contracted by 4% in the first three quarters of 2020, while the UK has contracted by 5.8%. Thus, the GDP growth rate differential is -1.8%. Hence, the score of -3.


Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and Australia Current Account Differential -4 10 A differential of – $28.47 Australia has a current account surplus while the UK is running a deficit. The differential is expected to increase as COVID-19 restrictions ease
The interest rate differential between the UK and Australia -1 10 0.00% Neither the RBA nor the BOE intends to change the interest rate policy in the near term. The differential of 0% is expected to persist in the near term
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Australia -3 10 -1.80% The Australian economy contracted slower than the UK’s

Since the cumulative exogenous score for the GBP/AUD pair is -8, we can expect the pair to continue a bearish trend.

According to the above picture’s technical analysis, this pair is trading below the 200-period MA and attempting to breach the lower Bollinger band, supporting our fundamental analysis. Cheers.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/AUD Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2


This analysis will look into endogenous factors that influence economic growth both in the UK and Australia. We will also analyze the exogenous factors that impact the exchange rate of the GBP/AUD pair.

Ranking Scale

We will conduct correlation analysis, which we will use to rank the endogenous and exogenous factors on a scale of -10 to 10.

In ranking the endogenous factors, we will conduct a correlation analysis against the GDP growth rate. If the score is negative, the endogenous factor has resulted in depreciation of either the GBP of the AUD. Conversely, if the score is positive, then the factor has resulted in an appreciation of the local currency.

When the exogenous analysis is negative, the factor has resulted in a decline of the GBP/AUD exchange rate. If the score is positive, then the factor has led to an increase in the exchange rate.

Summary – GBP Endogenous Analysis

-15 score indicates that the Pound has depreciated since the starting of 2020.

Summary – AUD Endogenous Analysis

A score of -8 indicates that the Australian dollar has depreciated as well since the beginning of 2020.

Indicator Score Total State Comment
Australia Employment Rate -3 10 61.2% in October The employment rate hit 20-year lows during the pandemic. It’s expected to continue recovery as the economy recovers
Australia Core Consumer Prices 2 10 117.49 in Q3 2020 The inflation rate still lower than Q1, but the demand is increasing in the economy
Australia Manufacturing Production -3 10 Q3 projected to drop by 3.5% Q2 dropped by 6.2%. Production expected to improve in Q3 as business operation resume some normalcy
Australia Business Confidence 6 10 NAB business confidence was 12 in November It’s the highest level since April 2018. This shows that businesses are highly optimistic about their future operations
Australia Consumer Spending -3 10 Was 253.648 billion AUD in Q3 2020 Q3 levels still lower than Q1 domestic expenditure. Expected to increase further when the economy recovers to pre-pandemic levels
Australia Construction Output -3 10 Q3 output dropped by 2.6% Q3 drop caused by a reduction in residential and non-residential construction, engineering, and building works
Australia Government Budget Value -4 10 a budget deficit of 10.974 billion AUD in October The government budget deficit is improving. This shows that the revenue stream is improving as businesses resume operations
  1. Australia Employment Rate

This indicator shows the number of working-age Australians who are employed during a particular period. As an indicator of growth in the labor market, the employment rate shows if the economy is adding or shedding jobs. Thus, it is used to show periods of economic growth and contractions.

The Australian labor market has been recovering from the coronavirus pandemic shocks when the employment rate hit a 20-year low of 58.2%. In October 2020, Australia had an employment rate of 61.2%, up from 60.4% in September. However, it is still lower than January’s 62.6%. Australia’s employment rate has a score of -3.

  1. Australia Trimmed Mean Consumer Prices

This indicator is also called core consumer prices. It measures the price changes of goods and services that are frequently purchased by Australian households. The computation of the trimmed mean consumer prices excludes goods and services whose prices are volatile.

In Q3 2020, the core consumer prices in Australia rose to 117.49 from 117.04 in Q2. Q3 levels are also higher than the 117.17 points recorded in Q1. This shows that the economy is recovering since an increase in prices implies an increase in domestic demand for goods and services. We assign a score of 2.

  1. Australia Manufacturing Production

This indicator shows the YoY change in the value of output from the manufacturing sector. The Australian economy is heavily dependent on industrial production; hence, manufacturing production changes provides invaluable insights into the domestic economic growth. It also shows how the economy is recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

In Q2 2020, the YoY manufacturing production in Australia dropped by 6.2%, compared to 2.7% growth in Q1. Q3 YoY manufacturing production is expected to drop by 3.5%. Consequently, Australian manufacturing production has a score of -3.

  1. Australia Business Confidence

Business confidence in Australia is measured by conducting a monthly survey of about 600 businesses. They include small, medium, and large companies operating in non-agricultural sectors. The survey gauges the businesses’ expectations in terms of profitability, trading volume, and employees. The index is derived by considering the percentage of respondents who have good and very good expectations and those who have a bad and very bad outlook.

In November 2020, the NAB business confidence increased to 12 from 3 in October, which has been the highest since April 2018. Australia’s business confidence has a score of 6.

  1. Australia Consumer Spending

The indicator records the quarterly change in the value of goods and services consumed by domestic households. It includes expenditure by non-profit organizations that provide goods and services to Australian households and the value of backyard productions.

In Q3 of 2020, consumer spending in Australia rose to AUD 253.648 billion from AUD 235.131 billion in Q2. Although it’s lower than Q1 expenditure, domestic demand in the economy is rebounding from the slump of COVID-19. Consequently, Australian consumer spending has a score of -3.

  1. Australia Construction Output

This indicator shows the quarterly change in the value of construction work in Australia. The total value involves both private and public sector building and engineering work.

In the third quarter of 2020, Australia’s construction output dropped by 2.6% from a 0.5% growth in Q2. This drop was caused by output drop in residential and non-residential construction, engineering, and building works. Thus, we assign a score of -3.

  1. Australia Government Budget Value

The government budget value measures whether the Australian government has a budget surplus or deficit. A budget surplus implies that the government’s expenditure is less than its revenue. Similarly, a budget deficit means that the government spends more than it collects in terms of revenue.

In October 2020, Australia had a budget deficit of AUD 10.974 billion, up from a deficit of 33.613 billion in September. We assign a score of -4.

In the next article, you can find the Exogenous analysis of the GBP/AUD currency pair and also our forecast on its price movement in the near future. Cheers.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – The pathway to Success

This article outlines the steps needed to find, create, test, and verify a trading system. We have to bear in mind that there is no way to create a forex trading system with an equity curve straight upward. Well, yes, it can be made. I’ve made it, but only optimizing it so much that expecting it to continue performing like this under real trading would be silly. Most trading bots advertise curves like this. If you believe them, your money will be in jeopardy.

It would be best if you’re proficient in coding on a trading platform such as MT4/5, Ctrader, Tradestation, Multicharts, or Ninjatrader. Not all traders can do it, so we will approach this for anyone willing to create a DIY trading system without programming. It would take longer, but the added benefit is you will learn a lot while doing your testing. This methodology will also create simpler and less prone to over-optimization systems.

The results obtained will vary, and not always will we get sound systems. Of course, we should not expect great, drawdown-free equity curves. But, there is no need for that. We will show you that what is necessary is only long-term profitability.


The Idea


The first step to creating a trading system is an idea that will provide us with an edge. Among the most basic concepts are,



  • Breakouts from a range or Fading breakouts from a range


  • price above/below a moving average


  • Moving average crossovers


  • Overbought/oversold conditions using an indicator such as the MACD, the RSI, or the Stochastic



  • Volatility spikes



  • Support/resistance levels


Please bear in mind that the market already knows all these key concepts. Therefore, their direct application would probably fail.


Testing the Idea

The first step to see if the idea has merit is to test it in a historical sample under the market conditions it was supposed to operate. Of course, a trading idea is almost always referring to a market entry, as the concept is supposed to time the market. This entry is usually combined with a stop-loss and a take-profit to create a complete solution.

But, to test the efficacy of the idea, we should forget the stop-loss and take-profit and use a standard exit, be it,

  • After n bars
  • After a percentage profit
  • A random exit.

If you don’t have the means or skills to code, the best solution is closing after a determined number of bars. You can even register the results of closing after 5, 10, and 20 bars, so we test the predicting power at increasing time intervals.

You could also use to perform the test; therefore, we recommend you open a free account there. The free account gives most of the capabilities of a pro account but is limited to fewer indicators.

There are four kinds of testing:

  • Historical backtest
  • Out‐of‐sample test. Also called forward test
  • Walk‐forward test
  • Real‐time testing

Historical backtest

The Historical backtest is the simplest test. You will need to create a spreadsheet with the required fields and computations.

After defining the rules of the trading idea, you define a start date, for instance, one year ago. For initial testing, it is recommended not to register the trades with spreads and commissions. Just the brute profit.

  1.  Set the desired timeframe and move your chart so that the initial date is near the chart’s right end.
  2. From there, you shift your chart one by one.
  3. When you spot an entry point, you write it down in your trading log:
    1. Trade #
    2. Entry date and time
    3. Trade size: enter one lot
    4. Entry price
    5. Expected stop-loss: use a standard 2 ATR
    6. Expected target: use also 2ATR
    7. Exit price
    8. Exit date and time
    9. Maximum Adverse Excursion: Written down after the trade ended.
    10. Maximum Favorable Excursion: Write down the next pivot point higher/ lower than your exit.
    11. Compute the profit of the transaction.
  4. Continue the test until you reach at least 100 trades.
  5. Compute the statistical figures of your exercise
  6. Average profit: Sum of the profits / N, the number of trades
  7. The standard deviation of the profit = STD (profits)


After 100 backtested trades, the developer has enough information to detect the basic mistakes of the strategy. Maybe the entry has a large lag that hurts profits, or, worse, it is too early, thus triggering the stop-loss too often.

We could also spot if the stop-loss can be improved. Maybe it’s too close, so the percent winners are low or too far. The use of the Maximum Adverse Excursion info will surely help in deciding the best placement.

On the profit side, we can use the Maximum Favorable Excursion to check if the system is leaving money on the table. The idea is to adjust the profit target, so most of the trades end close to the MFE level.

Walk-forward Test / Real-time trading

After optimizing the strategy’s main parameters, we could begin a forward test, using a demo account and live market data. We should proceed as if it was a real trade. In this stage, if we use a demo account, you’ll be able to add the costs of the trade: Spread, slippage, and commissions.

This last stage before committing real money should last at least one month, preferably two or three months, during which you should continue detecting errors, improving the strategy, and having a feel of its behavior. In this stage and the coming use with real money, the trader needs to be disciplined and accept all signals the system delivers. You cannot cherry-pick the trades because this introduces a random factor that will change your system’s parameters, so you’re losing information about it.

Changing the parameters of the system

When trading it live for several trades, you may feel you need to optimize your system. This is wrong. Of course, you may adapt the system to the market, but modifying it too often is a mistake. You need to have statistical evidence that something has changed and the system is now underperforming. Therefore, at least 30 trades must occur before doing a change. In fact, since the distribution of results is not normally distributed, it would be optimal to wait for about 60-100 trades for a measure with statistical significance.

Starting light

That means you need to start slow, risking no more than 0.5 percent on every trade, or whatever you consider is small for you. That way, you won’t be affected psychologically, follow the system for the required time to have propper stats, and get a grip on the normal behavior of your strategy.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Trading System design – Basic Concepts

In previous articles, we explained the importance of a plan to succeed in Forex and described its general features. In this article, we will describe the concepts that need to be considered when designing a trading system.

A trading strategy is what most traders call a trading system, but it is not. A trading strategy is just a set of loose rules discretionary traders use to trade. A trading system is a set of closed rules used to systematically trade the market, usually through a computer EA, although a disciplined trader could also use it.

Traders, especially novice traders, get emotional and lose money because their emotions interfere and stop making rational decisions in the battle’s heat. Thus, the first thing to avoid is discretionary trading. Please read the article Know the Two Systems Operating inside Your Head. That’s why what we aim to create is a trading system that should be systematically traded.

Price imbalances

There are plenty of criteria to find these imbalances. There are two visual clues we can think of. The first one is a rubber band. The rubber band idea describes the price as if it was a rubber band or spring. When it moves far away from equilibrium, we expect the force to pull it to its center to increase and eventually drive it back to equilibrium.

The second visual clue is looking at the price moving in waves. Since there are numerous traders, their goals set in different timeframes, we can expect waves of different periods and amplitudes. A trend form when the combination of different waves are in sync, and chaotic moves occur when waves desync.

The main idea of a trading system is to find imbalances in the price and profit from it. Essentially, it takes the form of “buy low and sell high,” “sell high to buy back low,” or its variants “buy high sell higher,” “sell low, sell lower.”

The Effect of timeframes and a portfolio in the trading results

In their book Active portfolio management, Grinold and Kahn described the fundamental law of active management. The formula has two variables: The manager’s skill (IC) and the number of investments performed (N).

We could think of IR ( Information Coefficient) as a quality index of the results.

If we analyze the equation, we see that IC measures a trader’s ability to produce profits, since if N is constant, IR grows if IC grows.

But, if we keep the IC constant, we see that IR grows with the number of trades (N).

This explains that a portfolio of assets will be more profitable than only one asset. It also explains why shorter trading timeframes would produce higher results. Of course, with very short timeframes, the trading costs would eat a growing portion of the profits, so there is a limit to how short we could go.


Diversification is a key concept to reduce the overall risk in trading. The idea is simple. Let’s say we have a long position the EURUSD with an overall dollar risk of 10 pips. If the dollar moves up and drives the pair southwards, we lose $100 on every lot. If we have an equivalent long position on the USDJPY, we will cover the risk on the EURUSD with the gains on the USDJPY, driving it to zero or, even, being positive overall.

If the assets are uncorrelated and the risk on each trade is similar on all trades, the overall basket’s risk will less than 50% of the sum of all open trades risk.

The profitability rule

Two parameters define the profitability of a system: the percent winners and the reward risk ratio.

The formula that tells the minimum percent winners (P) required with a determined reward/risk ratio (Rwr) for the system to be profitable is:

P > 1 / (1+Rwr) 

Conversely, below is the formula of the minimum reward/risk ratio needed with a determined percent winners figure on a profitable system:

Rwr > (1-P)/P

If you play with the second formula, you will see that at reward/risk ratios below one, the system should grant winners higher than 50 percent. Furthermore, Systems with high reward risk ratios would need less than 50% winners to be profitable.

The conclusion is we must look for systems with high reward/risk ratios to protect us from periods of low winner’s percent.

Assessing the quality of a trading system

There are several methods to measure the quality of a trading system. We propose the use of Van Tharp’s SQN, which is a variation of the chi-square test, a well-known method to evaluate the goodness of a sample against a random distribution. The SQN test is a Chi-square test that is capped to 100 samples so that the length of the sample does not modify its value.

  SQN = 10 x E / STD(E)

Where E is the expected profit on each trade, which is the sum of all profits divided by the number of trades, and the denominator is the standard deviation of E.

But if the sample is less than 100 instead of 10, the multiplier is the square root of N, the number of trades.

SQN = √N x E / STD(E)

Systems below 1 are bad. systems of 1.5 to 2 average, and from 2 to 3 good and over 3 excellent.

Elements of a Trading System

We can decompose a trading system into its several elements, although not all of them need to be present.  We have already discussed this, but let’s describe its basic elements.

A Setup: The setup is a market state where we think there is an imbalance in the price, or a condition we expect can be resolved with a price move, for example, the price reaching a top or a bottom of a channel.

A permissioning filter: This forbids trading under specific market conditions: Low volume, extreme volatility, particular hours or days.

Entries: This the stage that times the market. It can be a breakout, a candlestick pattern, or an indicator signal.

Stop-loss: This defined an invalidation level, under which the trade is likely no longer profitable. This level will limit our losses and save our capital for further trades.

Take-profit: It defines our planned profit. It may be set using support/resistance levels or any other sign the current trade movement is over, such as a reversal signal or the crossover of averages.

Re-entry rule: You may also consider this rule in your findings. For instance, a market failing to do something, for example, continue moving up, may signify it will move down. Thus, you could stop and reverse instead of close the position. Also, if you got out of a position, you could consider re-entry if the market flags a continuation of the previous movement. That way, you could tight your stops keeping most of your profits and reenter instead of loose stops, which may eat a large portion of your hard-earned profits if the market does not recover.

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Building a Trading System: Elements of a Trading Plan

Now that we know the importance of having a plan, let’s discuss the necessary components of a trading plan.

A trading plan should consist of at least these elements:

  1. A basket of instruments
  2. A trading system consisting of timeframes, permissioning filter, entry rules, trade management: stop-loss, take profits.
  3. A position sizing methodology
  4. A trading record
  5. Trade-forensics analysis.

In this article, we will provide an overview of these elements.

A basket of Instruments

Every asset has its characteristics, and its market movement differs from others on volatility, liquidity, and ranges. Therefore, professional traders track a limited basket of instruments to trade. A few, even, specialize and trade just one instrument.


The best criteria to decide which are best are:

  • Liquidity: It means how much trading volume it moves. Illiquid assets are easy to manipulate, spreads (the difference between the bid and ask prices) are wider, and the trading rules fail more often.
  • Price Action: The instrument should have enough swings in the trading timeframe to merit trading it. Instruments that do not move or move too erratically are prone to failed trades. A security that trends are the best.
  • Familiarity: As said, your trading results improve if you’re familiar with how an asset moves, its usual support and resistance levels, the typical length of swings, and so on.
  • Economic Data: Economic news releases affect the security and trading signals fail at the time of the release. Therefore, it is advisable not to trade it in the vicinity of a news release.

The Trading System

As said in our previous video, financial markets are unbounded territories where each trader needs to set his own rules; otherwise, they will be influenced by his emotions and fail. A trading system is their set of rules that enable them a long-term success.



The chosen timeframe should match the availability to trade. A trader with a day job would need to select a daily or a 12-hour timeframe, whereas a full-time trader could use shorter frames, such as 15-min, one, two, or four-hour timeframes.

Similarly to asset selection, the trader must familiarize himself with how his assets move in these timeframes and evaluate the liquidity and range at different times and weekdays to choose the best periods to trade.

Permisioning filter

A permisioning filter is a way to avoid trading under determined circumstances. It can be a filter that allows only trading in the direction of the primary trend or an overbought/oversold sign that should be on for a determined candlestick or pattern formation to be valid.

The key idea of the permisioning filter is to screen the trades and pick the ones with the best odds of success.

Entry rules

Entry rules can be technical or fundamental rules to time the market, although we will focus on technical rules.


There are two philosophies regarding entries.

  • Enter on the trend’s weakness

This methodology aims to profit from pullbacks of a primary trend to optimize the price entry. Different indicators and patterns may help time the entry: MA crossovers, Oscillators, or reversal candlestick patterns such as the engulfing pattern or morning star and evening star.

  • Enter on the trend’s strength.

Enter on strength aims to profit from an increasing momentum of the price. We acknowledge the trend’s strength is increasing and recognize the trend will continue for a while. Technical indicators such as the Momentum, RSI, and MACD may help time the entry. Price action patterns, such as range breakouts, are quite useful too.

Trade Management

Trade management is a vital element of any trading system. It is responsible for getting out of unprofitable positions, trails the stops to break-even, and above to optimize profits or close the trade when the target is hit or when a technical signal warns of a trend reversal.

Many top traders value more trade management than entries. The money is won on exits, they say.

Money management should be consistent with the concept of cutting losses short and letting profits run. A sound trading system should present an average reward/risk ratio at least over 1.5, and ideally above 2.

Position sizing

Position sizing is the part of your plan that tells you how much risk you should take on a trade. We have had a complete video section on this subject, which we encourage you to study. To summarize it here, position sizing is the tool to help you reach the trading objectives and put drawdown under the levels that fit you. Finally, proper position sizing enables you to minimize the risk of ruin while optimizing your trading account’s growth.

The trading record / Trade-forensics

The path to improvement is an analysis of past results. Nobody is perfect, and, also, markets aren’t immutable but changing. A trading record is necessary to evaluate your system’s performance, detect and correct weaknesses, such as stops or target placements, errors in timing – too late or too early on a trade, and evaluate how permisioning filters work. Finally, the trading record will help traders know their system’s key parameters: the average profit and its standard deviation, percent winners, and average reward/risk.

Key Elements of the trading record:

The main data you should record on the spreadsheet record are:

  • Entry date/time
  • entry price
  • trade size
  • entry level
  • stop-loss level
  •  $risk of the trade
  • planned take-profit level
  • Exit price
  • Exit date/ time

Other desirable parameters that would help optimize stops and take-profit targets are:

maximum adverse price of the trade if there were no stops.

maximum favorable price of the trade if not considering the take-profit

The first one would help you find better places for the stops, and the second one will show you the best place for the take-profit placement.

Main Parameters:

With the suggested trading record entries, you will be able to measure the key parameters of your system:

Average profit: Total profits/ number of trades

Standard deviation of profits: Use Excel’s Standard Deviation formula

Percent winners: Nr of Winners/ total trades x 100.

Average Reward/ risk:  Sum of Profits / sum of $risk

You may find an example of a trading record in this article. Furthermore, since we consider it an essential element to your trading success, we offer you to download our freely available trading log. You are free to adapt it to your taste and needs.


After the closure of a trade, you should analyze its quality, regarding execution and goals. A losing trade does not have to be of low quality if executed according to your system’s rules. But it is necessary to determine if you’re acting according to the rules and assess how much of the available profit did you take.

Points to consider

  • Percent of the available profit ( if any)
  • percent of the loss you’ve taken ( if any)
  • Timing: has it been right, too early, or too late?
  • Exit timing: right, too early, or too late?
  • Stop-loss: Can stop-loss settings be improved?
  • Take profit: Can they be improved?
  • Average Reward/risk: is it according to your settings?

Also, after  a determined number of trades/weeks, you should assess:

  • Is the system improving or worsening over time?
  • Losing streaks: are normal for the system you’re using or due to bad stop-loss settings?
  • How many trades could be on profit if you’ve loosened your stops?
  • How much profit could you pocket if your take-profit levels were moved here/there, based on the maximum favorable price data?


This ends our overview of the main elements of the trading plan.

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Building a Trading System: Why do you need a trading plan?

The necessity of a trading system has been discussed many times. Still,  new traders don’t consider it important when, in fact, it is a crucial element.  Could you conceive building a bridge without a project, playing tennis, or chess, with no strategy?






The trading profession is alike. If you take this business seriously, you’ll need to have a plan. Else, you’ll be in the loser team, in which are 90 percent of traders.

Reasons for a trading plan

1.- The financial markets are not deterministic

A market is a strange place where you cannot predict an outcome. An engineer can design a bridge, knowing that he can predict the bridge’s strength and behavior under heavy loads with proper calculations.  In the financial markets, you don’t have the benefit of an analytical formula to success. All you can expect is a small edge. Not following your plan is comparable to random trading; thus, losing the edge.

2.- Not following a plan weakens you psychologically

When you buy a lottery ticket or play roulette, you’re entering a bounded game. You know the cost of your ticket, the reward associated with a successful bet, and you don’t need to make any other decision. All parameters of the play, including the exit time, are fixed.

The financial markets are different. Everything there is unrestricted. The trader decides when, how much, exit time, stops, and target levels.  With so many parameters, a trader needs to define his rules and stick to them. Otherwise, he will be shattered by his emotions and lose money.

3.- The need to measure

Traders need to record and analyze their trades for many reasons.  The first is the need to analyze their performance and see if it has improved or not. Also, if the system performs as expected or lags its past performance. The most important reason is that traders need to know the strategy’s main parameters: percentage of winners, reward/risk ratio, the average profit and its standard deviation.

A trading plan that fits you

New traders don’t know much about statistics, and trading is about odds and their properties. One of them is streaks. There are winning streaks and losing streaks. The point is, streaks are mathematically linked to the ods of the system.

Let’s think of a system as a loaded coin, in which the odds of a winner can be different from 50 percent. Let’s say the odds of a system is 60 percent instead.  That means there is a 60 percent chance the next trade is a winner, and, consequently, a 40 percent chance it is a loser.

But what are the odds of a loser after a previous losing trade (a two-losing streak)? For the second trade to be a loser, the first one should also be a loser.  So the odds of two consecutive losing trades in a row is 0.4 x 0.4 = 16%. The odds of three successive losers would be 0.4×0.4×0.4 =6.4%, and so on.

The general formula for the probability of a losing streak is

n-losing-Streak = prob_lossn

which is the probability of one loss to the power of n, the size of the losing streak.

What we have shown here is that streaks are inherent to trading. In fact, inherent to any event with uncertainty. Golf pros, football players, and spot teams are subject to streaks, which are entirely expected. Trading systems are no different.

So, what’s the problem?

There are a variety of trading systems. Some, such as the well-established Turtles Trading System, which is trend-following, have less than 38 percent winners, although with average reward/risk ratios over 5. Other systems show over 70 percent success but reward/risk ratios of less than 1.

The odds of a 10-losing streak on the Turtles system, assuming 38% winners or 62% losers, is about 0.84%. That means we can expect ten losers in a row every 120 trades.

On a 70% winner system, the odds for ten losers in a row are one every 200 thousand trades.

The rationale behind the turtle is to lose small and profit big. When a Turtle trader sees they are right, they add to their position, and on and on, following the trend.

People who use the later system are scalpers that jump for the small profit and get our fast before the movement fades.

Nobody is wrong. They trade what best fits their psychology. You need to know your limits, as well. Many wannabe traders move from system to system after only a five-losing streak, discarding a sound strategy when its first perfectly normal streak occurs. Also, most traders use sizes inconsistent with the expected streaks and lose their entire account.

By now, you should have learned the importance of having a plan that fits your psychology and trading tastes.

In the coming article, we will discuss the components of a trading strategy or system. Stay tuned!

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The Trading Log: Key Component for a Pro Trader

At, we understand that a trading record is a decisive component to be successful in Forex. That’s why we took the time to create a free trading log on an Excel Spreadsheet. It was designed to present all the needed information at a glance. Here we present its guide.

The Stats Section

The top of the spreadsheet shows the Main statistics of your trading record. 

Total net P/L: The net profits after the trading costs. You can set an average cost in the bottom right cell named “LOT Costs”. If you enter the lot cost, the sheet will compute every trade cost by multiplying it by the actual lots of the trade. Of course, you can set it manually on every trade with the exact costs your broker charged.

Gross P/L: The total profit without costs.

Total R won. R is the measure of your risk. The “R multiple” column converts the net profit into a ratio Net Profit/$Risk. R is a measure of the profit/loss for every dollar risked.  This helps you plan your objectives and calculate the risk needed to achieve them. For example, if you find that you are making 20R per month and plan to earn 3000$ monthly, you will need to risk $3000/20 = $150 on every trade.

% Winners: The winner percent figure.

% Losers: The percent of losers

AVG P/L per Trade: The average dollar won/lost. It is the Total net won/lost divided by the number of trades.

Avg % loss on losers: The average percent capital lost on losing trades.

Avg % profit on winners: The average percent capital won on winning trades.

Expectancy: A measure of what you can expect to gain in the next trade for every dollar risked. The example shown is 0.79, which means you can expect to earn $79 every time you trade if your risk is $100.

Expectancy’s Standard Dev: A statistical measure of the variability of the expectancy figure. You can expect that 95% of  Expectancy’s values are plus and minus two stdev from 0.79.

#winners: The number of winners.

#losers: the number of losers.

Hours Spent: this is a manual input of your time spent in trading.

P/L per hour: It will compute your profit per hour spent in trading.

Net Profits: These are the net profits on winning trades.

Net Losses: The losses on losing trades.

% Gains on account: The total sum of the percent gained on winning trades.

% Losses: The sum of the percent lost on losing trades.

Reward:risk: The average reward/risk of your trades.

LOT Costs: This is a manual entry for the average costs per lot your broker charges you.

Running Balance: The initial capital ( Cell B17) plus the total net P/L amount (on closed trades).  Please note that this balance does not take into account open trades.

Total costs: The sum of the cost of spreads and commissions of your trades. This parameter will help you understand how much of your money goes to your broker. It could be handy if you want to negotiate rebates or shift your business to another cheaper broker.

The trades

The cells in columns with a yellow heading are for you to enter manually. The rest were filled with the needed formulas to get the stats figures, so there is no need to touch them when trading.

The exception is The Trade Cost column. This column is also filled with the formula to approximate your costs if you supply the average cost per lot in the B12 cell. But you can also manually enter your true cost.

Entering a Trade

We have designed the sheet so that you have total control over your risk on every trade. Therefore, we should begin to enter the desired percent risk for the coming trade. Let’s say 1%.  With this figure, the sheet computes the dollar-risk based on your current account balance.

After entering the entry price and stop-loss level, it will also compute the recommended trade size in lots. You should then input the real lot number in the following column, “Real lots.” It was designed that way because we must take into account several open trades at the same time.

How the sheet computes the risk of the next trade?

When allowing several simultaneous trades, the model chosen to compute risk is to subtract the risk of the previous open trades to the available capital. That way, you risk a percent of the money not currently at risk.  But when you close a trade and record it, the sheet recalculates all cells. Thus, the sheet needs the “Real Lots” column, so the record does not get modified every time an open trade is closed.

After the trader decides the percent of his account to risk on a trade, the real lot size, and the entry and stop-loss point are set, the sheet also shows the leverage of that trade. That way, all the risk information is displayed. Please, beware that a risk of 3 percent corresponds with a leverage of 10, and that leverages over 10:1 should be avoided, especially when several trades are open on major currency pairs.

JPY pairs

The column JPY? was added for the right calculation of JPY pairs’ values, as these pairs’ pip value is in the second decimal place instead of in the fourth decimal. You should input Y on these pairs to get the right trade size, profit, and leverage. Please, note that pip values on non-USD quote currencies are approximate.

Entry and exit date and time

These are optional entries, but it is advisable to register these values to get observations about the average time on a trade and the average time for a trade to hit stop-loss and take-profit levels.

Trading results

Once the Exit price has been entered, the sheet displays the profit/loss (P/L), Net P/L, %P/L and R multiple of the trade. This will help assess essential parameters, such as the average Trade profit, the usual percent obtained, and the real reward/risk values (R), which is also the profit on a one-dollar risk.

Trade quality

Alexander Elder recommends traders value the quality of the trade based on one objective parameter: The percentage of the available profit you could obtain from the trade.

One possible scale is 0: less than 10%, 1: from 10 to 25%, 2: from 25, to 50%, 3: from 50 to 75% 4: from 75 to 90%  5: over 90%. This will help you see if, over time, you’re improving, maintain, or decrease the quality of your trades. It will reveal the best times of the session to trade.


These are to annotate the Maximum adverse excursion and Maximum Favorable excursion. These two parameters are important clues to improve stop-loss and take-profit levels. It will help you also analyze if your entries are too early or too late and take measures to correct them. For more on this subject, please read an MAE/MFE explanation here.


We hope this spreadsheet will help you be a better trader. Please modify and complete it at will for your purposes.  This trading log is not perfect, but it is a starting point.

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Forex Trading Algorithms Part 7 Elements Of Computer Languages For EA Design!

Trading Algorithms VII – Liberal sequences and exact sequences

Translating ideas into a trading algorithm is not always easy. When examining a particular trade idea, we could find two cases: 

  • the signal can be described precisely in a consecutive sequence of trading facts, or 
  • Several conditions with variable steps among each condition need to be spotted.

The first class is easier to program. To this class belong any kind of crossovers: 

  • price to MA: 

  • MA to MA :

Similar conditions can be created with indicator crossovers and level breakouts.


Trading Signals Using Pivots

But what if the idea is more complex?. Let’s consider we want to catch pivot points in the direction of the trend. Let’s say we want to open a buy trade in the second pivot reversal. Let’s follow Pruitt’s example:

Buy on the second pivot pullback if

1.- The second pivot high is higher than the first pivot

2.- The pullback is larger than 2%

3.- The sequence takes less than 30 bars


The Flag Model

Since these conditions happen with variable price-action sequences programming, this kind of entry is much more difficult if we employ just If-then-else statements. The employment of flags to signal that a specific condition was met helps in the logic but is not the best solution.

As we see, the flag model is awkward and not too flexible. Also, this method is prone to errors.


The Finite State Machine

The second method to this kind of problem is the Finite State Machine (FSM). Basically, we want to detect certain states following others, defining a state when the needed condition is met. An FSM is a machine with finite states. The machine moves from state zero or START through several states until a final one, which defines the ACCEPT state. 

We can imagine a state machine as a combination lock. We need to supply the lock with a combination of numbers until its final digit, which triggers its opening.

The first step is to create the states needed. Next, we create the conditions for the change from one state to other states. Once satisfied with the diagram, we can easily write the pseudo-code, or, even, the actual code directly.

As we can see here, the code is precisely subdivided into states, each state with the precise instructions to move to the next state or back to the start state. We can see also that this algorithm is executed from top to bottom on each new bar. We hope that this example will help you better understand how an entry algorithm can be created.

Stay tuned for more interesting videos on trading algos!

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Position Sizing Part 1 Drawdown – Why You Keep Blowing Your Account!

Position Sizing. Drawdown- The dark side of Trade


This video will be dedicated to explaining the relation between performance and drawdown.  It is an essential topic since most of the trading community ignores the fact that the drawdown of a trading strategy or system is not an independent value. It is position sizing dependent. Furthermore, the profitability of a trading system is also dependent on the size of the position.

Imagine several investors trying to choose a copy-trading service, and you need to rank the potential candidates. Which parameter do you think most of them would choose to grade the quality of that group of systems?  Total returns? Average trade return? Percent winners? Drawdowns?

The majority would rank them by total returns, without any further analysis on how the returns were obtained. This could lead them to select the worst candidate instead. 

The fact is that returns and risks are interlinked in all investments.  You cannot increment returns without increasing the risk. Consequently, traders and investors must analyze both simultaneously.

Let’s look at the characteristics of returns vs. drawdown using a simple position sizing method applied to the trades of one year using a sound system such as our Live Signals Service. 

Let’s see first how this system behaves using just one mini-lot size, which corresponds to $1 per pip gained or lost. 

The figure corresponds to a trader having $1,000 initial capital, using a constant one micro-lot trade. To compute the maximum drawdown, we created 10,000 synthetic account paths using Monte Carlo resampling. The corresponding max drawdown distribution is shown below.

The Average Max Drawdown is 1.94 % with a very tiny possibility a 8% drawdown.

Let’s see how this system performs under increasing lot sizes:

1 mini-lot size

The corresponding drawdown curve  is shown below:

In this case, the average max drawdown goes to 11.77%. But, there is a 30% chance (about one in three) that max drawdown goes to 20%, and in about 2.5% of the occasions, the max drawdown went as high as 40%.

Let’s use now one lot

And the corresponding max drawdown curve is

In this case, the average max drawdown is 40%, but there is a 20% chance of a 65% drawdown and a 5% chance of an 85% drawdown.  40% drawdown is about the limit a usual trader can endure, but inevitably a 65% drawdown would force most traders to stop trading, even when we can see that the system is profitable.

We can see that even using a constant trading size, the drawdown grows with the position size. Of course, we can observe that the returns also grow. Furthermore, profits grow at a much higher rate than risk.  From the preceding examples, any astute observer can notice that moving from one micro-lot to one lot, 1-year returns went from $1,158 to $115,840, a 100X increment, while the drawdown moved from about 2% to 40%, a 20X increase.  

Therefore, the theory behind position sizing is aimed at optimizing both return and drawdown. Of course, there is no single solution to this problem. The solution must fit the particular psychology of the trader. 

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Forex Academy’s Guide to Position Size

After completing our series on position size, we would like to summarize what we have learned and make conclusions.

Starting this video series, we have understood that position size is the most crucial factor in trading. On Position Size: The most crucial factor in trading, we learned that deciding the position’s size is not intuitive. In an experiment made by Ralf Vince using forty PHDs with a system with 60 percent winners, only two ended up making money. Thus, if even PHDs couldn’t making money on a profitable strategy, Why do you think you’re going to do it right? You need to follow a set of rules not to fool yourself.

The Golden rules of trading

The trading environment seems simple, but it’s tough. You have total freedom to choose entries, exits, and the size of your trade. Some brokers even offer you up to 500x leverage. But you’re not free from yourself and your psychological weakness, Therefore, you need to set up a set of rules to stop the market to play with you. In “The golden rules of Forex trading” III, and III, we propose specific rules it is advisable to follow to succeed in trading. These include never open a position without knowing your dollar risk, defining your profits in terms of reward/risk factors, and limit your losses to less than 1R, a risk unit. We also advise to keep a record of trades and identify your strategy’s basic stats: Average profit, the standard deviation of the profits, and drawdown.

The dark side of the trade

In our video, The Dark Side of Trade, we explain the relation between position size, results, and drawdown, showing that position size plays a vital role in both aspects. In the video, We show that while results grow geometrically ( 100x), drawdown increase arithmetically, 10X. But the lesson here is that the size of the position must be chosen with the drawdown in mind. That is, we should choose a position size so that the max drawdown could be limited to a desirable size. 

The Gamblers Fallacy 

on Position Size – The Gamblers Fallacy, we explain why it is wise to consider position sizing independently of the previous results. We explain that a new trading result does not usually depend on prior results; thus, modulating the trade size, such as do Martingale systems, is not only useless but dangerous because winning or losing streak ends are unpredictable.

The Advantage!

Even when most retail traders don’t realize it, the “how much” question is the advantage or critical factor to achieve your trading goals because the size of the position defines both the trading results and the risk, or max drawdown, in your trading portfolio. We mention in Position Sizing III- The Advantage that in 1991 the Financial Analyst Journal published a study on the performance of 82 portfolio managers over a 10-year period. The conclusion was that 90% of their portfolio differences were due to “asset allocation,” a nice word for “investment size.”

In this article, we also presented the simplified MCP model to compute the right lots to trade as:

M = C/P, where M is the number of lots, C is the (Cash at) Risk, and P is the Pip distance from entry to stop-loss. The cash will depend on the percent you’re willing to risk and the cash available in your trading account. 

Equity Calculation Models

In our next video of this series, Position Size IV – Equity Calculation Models, We explain several models to calculate several simultaneous positions: 

  • The Core Supply Model, in which you determine the nest trade’s size using the remaining cash as the basis for computing C.  
  • The Balanced Total Supply Model, in which C is determined by the remaining cash plus all the profits secured by a stop-loss.
  • The Total Supply Model, in which the available cash is computed by adding all open position’s gains and losses plus the remaining cash.
  • The Boosted Supply Model uses two pockets: the Conservative Money Pocket and the Boosted Monet Pocket. 

The Percent Risk Model

The Percent Risk Mode is the basic position sizing model, barring the constant size model. on Position Sizing Part 5, we analyze how various equity curves arise when using different percent risk sizes and how drawdown changes with risk. Finally, we presented an example using 2.5 percent risk for an average max drawdown of 21 percent.

The Kelly Criterion

Our next station is  The Kelly Criterion. The linked article explains how the Kelly Criterion is used to find the optimal bet amount to achieve maximal growth, based on the winner’s percentage and the Reward/risk ratio. The Kelly criterion was meant for constant reward bets, and as such, it cannot be used in trading, but it tells us the limit above which the size of the position increases the risk while decreases the profits. We should be aware of that limit considering that most retail Forex traders trade beyond it and blow out their accounts miserably.

Optimal fixed fraction trading

Optimal fixed fraction trading, Optimal f for short, is the adaptation of the Kelly criterion to the financial markets. The optimal f methodology was developed by Ralf Vince. In Position Size VII: Optimal Fixed Fraction Trading, we explain the method and give the Python code to find the Optimal fraction of a stream of trading results. The key idea behind the code is that the optimal fraction is the one that generates the maximal growth factor on a set of trades. That is, Opt F delivers the maximal geometric mean of the trading results.

Optimal f properties

But nothing in life seems easy. Optimal f has dark corners that we should be aware of. In Position size VIII – Optimal F Revisited, we analyze the properties of this positioning methodology. We understood that, due to the trading results’ random nature, we should find a safer way to find the optimal fraction to trade. This article presented a safer way to compute it using Monte Carlo resampling and take the minimum value as optimal f. This way, the risk of ruin is minimized while preserving the strong growth factor Opt f provides.

Market’s money

Traders define their recent trading gains as “market’s money. A clever way to profit from the usual winning streaks is to use the market’s money to increase the position size in a planned manner. In Position Sizing IX: Improving the Percent Risk Model-Playing with market’s money,

we present the N-Step Up position sizing strategy, an innovative algorithm that adds the gains obtained in previous trades to boost the profits. This way, it could increase the profitability by 10X with a max drawdown increase of roughly 2.8X, from 8.02% to 22.5%. This article analyzes four models: one, two, and three steps with 100% reinvestment and three steps with 50% reinvestment.

Scaling in and out

Our next section, Position sizing X: Scaling-in and scaling-out techniques, is dedicated to scaling in and out methods. Scaling in and out are techniques to increase the position size while maintaining the risk at bay. They work best with trending markets, for instance, the current crypto and gold markets. The main idea is to use the market’s money to add to our current position while trailing our stops. 

System Quality and Max Position Size

System quality has a profound influence over the risk, and, hence, over the maximum position size, a trader can take. In Position Sizing XI- System Quality and Max Position Size Part I and part II, we presented a study on how the trading strategy’s quality influences the maximum position size a trader should take. To accomplish this, we created nine systems with the same percentage of winners, 50 percent. We used Van K Tharp SQN formula to compute their quality and adjusted the reward to risk on each system to create nine variations with SQN from 1 to 5 in 0.5 steps. 

Then, since traders have different risk limits, we defined as ruin, a max drawdown below ten preset levels from 5 to 50 in 5-step.   

 Our procedure was to create a Monte Carlo resampling of the synthetic results, which simulated 10 thousand years of trading history on each system.  

Since a trading strategy or system is a mix between the trading logic and the trader’s discipline and experience, we can estimate that the overall outcome results from the interaction of the logic and the treader. Thus, we can accurately associate a lower SQN with lowing experienced traders and higher SQN to more professional traders. The study’s concussions suggest a limit of 0.5 percent risk on newbies, whereas more experienced traders could boost their trading risk to an overall 4.5%.

Two-tier Optimal f Positioning

After this journey, we have understood that Using Ralf Vince’s optimal f position sizing method means maximally growing a portfolio. Still, the risk of a 95% drawdown makes it unbearable for any human being. Only non-sentient robots can withstand such heavy drops. In Position sizing XII- Two-tier Optimal f, we analyzed the growth speed of a 1% risk size, and we compare it with the Optimal f. We were interested in the average time to reach a 10X final capital. We saw that on a system with 65.5% winners and a profit factor of 2 ( average Reward/risk ratio of 1.1), using 1 percent risk, it would take650 days ( about two years) on average, whereas, using optimal f sizes, this growth was reached in 42 days, less than one-tenth of the time!.

The two-tier Optimal f positioning method uses the boosted supply model, and is a compromise between maximal growth and risk. The main objectives were to preserve the initial capital while maintaining the Optimal f method’s growth characteristics as much as possible.

The two-tier optimal f creates two pockets in the trading account. 

  1. The first pocket, representing 25% of the total trading capital, will be employed for the optimal f method. The rest, 75%, will use the conservative model of the 1 percent model.
  2. After a determined goal ( 2X, 5X, 10X, 20X), the account is rebalanced and re-split to begin a new cycle.

In Position sizing XII- Two-tier Optimal f part II, we presented the Python code to accurately test the approach using Monte Carlo resampling, creating 10,000 years of trading history.

 The results obtained proved that this methodology preserved the initial capital. This feat is quite significant because it shows the trader will dispose of unlimited trials without blowing out his account. Since the odds of ending in the lowest possible scenario are very low, there is almost the certainty of extremely fast growths.

Finally, we also analyzed other mixes in the two-tier model, using Optf / 10, Optf/5, and Optf/2 instead of 1%, with goals of 10X growth to rebalance. These showed extraordinary results as well while preserving the initial capital. B.


The trader should also consider the drawdowns involved before deciding which strategy best fit his tastes because, while this methodology lowers it, in some cases, it goes, on average, beyond 60%. We have found that the best balance between growth and risk was the combination of 75% Optf/10 and 25% Optf, which gave an average final capital of $21.775 million with an average drawdown of 37%.

To profit from this methodology, the trader must ensure the long-term profitability of his system. Secondly, he must perform a Monte Carlo analysis to find the lowest optimal f value. Finally, he should create an adequate spreadsheet to follow the plan.

Final words

After reading all this, we hope you know the importance of position sizing for your success goals as a trader.

One caveat: We have left some topics out, such as martingale methods, which many traders use and are the main cause of account blown out. Please adhere to the philosophy that position sizing should be thought of as a tool to reach your goals and handle your risk and drawdowns. As shown in The Dark Side of the trade, position sizing should be separated from the previous trades’ results.

Crypto Daily Topic Forex Daily Topic

How to Trade Forex Anonymously with Bitcoin

Anonymous trading used to be a reserve for high-profile investors. But with the increasing acceptance of crypto in forex trading, anyone can trade anonymously now. There are both advantages and limitations to trading anonymously. If you choose to trade forex anonymously, you could use Bitcoin or any altcoin accepted by your broker. 

In this article, we’ll look at what it means to trade anonymously, why you would do it, and, most importantly, how to use Bitcoin in this endeavor.

KYC-Based vs. Anonymous Forex Trading

Unlike crypto trading, forex investment is a highly-regulated industry. For this reason, regulators require forex brokers to conduct extensive know-your-customer (KYC) processes before allowing traders in. Traditionally, exchanges have had no provision for anonymity. However, over time, many have switched to anonymous/hybrid trading practices. 

So, what is anonymous trading? Anonymous trading happens when investors choose to conceal their identity, although their trading activity remains visible in the order book. Usually, an investor will choose between trading on an anonymous (national) exchange or opt for the more private dark pools. 

Anonymous brokerage firms are still regulated and thus do not provide complete anonymity – regulators can still access personal information about a particular trader and their activity. On the other hand, dark pools are private trading platforms that are generally out of the investing public’s reach. They can be registered and operate legally, like conventional brokerages. 

Whether you’re trading in an open brokerage or a dark pool, crypto is particularly useful in keeping transactions identityless. 

With that, let’s find out why you would consider trading anonymously. 

Why Trade Forex Anonymously?

Motivations for trading anonymously may differ slightly between investors. However, the following are common reasons. 

  • Protecting identity – For personal reasons, you might opt to remain an unknown investor on the market. Sometimes one just desires privacy – be it to circumvent some restrictions, keep away stalkers, etc.
  • Protecting your strategy – If you’re a particularly savvy trader, your tricks will always be at risk of being copied. But if you trade with your identity concealed, you’re making it difficult for them to join the dots that make up your strategy. 
  • To conceal your intention – Crypto markets are sentimental, and if traders see you buying or selling in large volumes, prices can move, sometimes to your disadvantage. In such a case, buying or selling anonymously allows speculation to shape the course of price movements.

Using Bitcoin to Trade Forex Anonymously 

It’s very possible to trade forex using crypto. And while you can use any crypto to trade forex (as long as your broker allows it), Bitcoin has some advantages. Obviously, the main one is its wide acceptability. BTC’s volatility also makes it a suitable currency for investment. That said, this is how you can use Bitcoin to trade forex. 

#1. Get Bitcoin – Naturally, the first step is to acquire Bitcoin. For this, you will need to visit an exchange (not a forex exchange, though). Familiarize yourself with the likes of Coinbase, Binance, and Changelly. 

#2. Find a good broker – Not all forex brokers accept Bitcoin. Those that do may be referred to as Bitcoin deposit forex brokers. 

#3: Deposit Bitcoin with the broker and provide them with the finer details of the trade they should execute.

Of course, this is a high-level overview of the process. There are intricacies involved, such as how to evaluate brokers and the risks and the benefits of using Bitcoin to trade crypto that you need to be aware of. Let’s take a look at these below: 

Top 10 Bitcoin Deposit Forex Brokers

The list of Bitcoin deposit forex brokers is growing by the day. Some of the truly tried-and-tested include the following. Links go to a full review of the broker, where available.

#1. IC Markets – This broker is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. They accept deposits from $200 in any of the supported currencies, including BTC. With IC Markets, you can get a leverage of up to 500:1. IC Markets allows its customers to trade Forex, Metals, indices, bonds, stocks, and digital currencies.

#2. EagleFX – EagleFX is a beginner-friendly broker with whom you can trade from as low as $10. The platform offers fast account setup and supports over 55 currencies and 32 digital assets. Withdrawals are also pretty fast. With leverage of 1:500, experienced traders can equally benefit from the platform. One of the things making EagleFX stand out is that it appeals to all levels of traders – from beginners to seasoned investors.

#3. CedarFX – CedarFX is a rather interesting option, as it offers zero commission trading with very tight spreads. This broker offers traders six asset classes: digital assets, stocks, indices, metals, futures, and commodities. When trading with CedarFX, the best part is that investors get to choose from a wide array of options. CedarFX’s leverage goes up to 1:500 and also accepts a minimum $10 deposit.

#4. FX Choice – Just like IC Markets, FX Choice is an electronic communication network (ECN). They accept deposits from $100 in a range of crypto and fiat currencies. The broker offers maximum leverage of 200:1 and a variety of Forex pairs, metals, indices, and digital assets.

#5. Longhorn FX – This broker seeks to attract beginner investors with low minimum deposits starting from $10. You can get leverage up to 1:500 to trade with over 55 currency pairs. Withdrawals are fast and easy, which increases its appeal. 

#6. Cryptorocket – This broker allows investors to trade various instruments that include crypto, commodities, stocks, and forex. Leverage of up to 1:500 is possible, and it can be applied to trade some 35 crypto pairs, 55 fiat currency pairs, among other asset classes. The broker features institutional-grade liquidity that guarantees investors competitive pricing. Also, Cryptorocket uses straight-through processing – so you can be sure there will be no price manipulation.

#7. Think Markets – Think Markets is a market maker non-dealing desk kind of broker. You can start with any amount for your deposit, which is encouraging for new users. It is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (AU), the Financial Conduct Authority (UK), and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (ZA). 

#8. FXTM – FXTM is an ECN market maker regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius. You can start trading from a minimum of $5 (or its equivalent in any of the supported currencies). The broker offers maximum leverage of 1:1000.

#9. HotForex – HotForex is also a market maker that accepts deposits from $5. It is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and accepts several base currencies. The maximum leverage you can get is 1:1000. 

#10 Hugosway – Hugosway is a well-established broker with offices in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The broker accepts bank transfers as well as crypto funding while offering its customers fast times on deposits and withdrawals. It allows trading in digital assets, forex, indices, and metals.  The minimum deposit is $50 using credit card and bitcoin, and $10 using Vload.

Benefits of Trading Forex with Bitcoin

  • Increased privacy – When you trade forex using Bitcoin, you don’t need to share your personal financial info.
  • Increased leverage – Many brokerage firms offer leverage to Bitcoin traders. If you know how to use leverage, this can be hugely beneficial.
  • Potentially lower costs – Bitcoin deposit forex brokers are reportedly lowering brokerage fees to attract the new breed of BTC-forex investors.
  • Lower deposits allowed – Again, it appears like Bitcoin deposit forex brokers are using this strategy to attract new investors.
  • Easier cross-border trading – Thanks to Bitcoin being a global currency, you can trade with any broker from anywhere.

Risks of Trading Forex with Crypto

  • Volatility – Since Bitcoin’s prices change continuously, a broker may take advantage of traders by receiving their Bitcoin using the day’s lowest rate and exchanging it at the day’s highest rates. 
  • The leverage temptation – The special leverage used to entice BTC-forex brokers is a great risk to novice investors.
  • Mixing of asset classes – Bitcoin and forex are different asset classes. This use of an ‘intermediary’ currency increases trading complexity and risks.
  • Bitcoin’s inherent risks – Bitcoin, like all cryptos, can be easily stolen if not properly secured. A broker that is licensed and reputable ensures the safety of your funds.

Final Thoughts

Using Bitcoin to trade anonymously offers several benefits. You can take advantage of the higher leverage, lower deposits, lower costs, easier cross-border trading, and so on. There is also an ever-increasing number of Bitcoin deposit forex brokers you can experiment with. However, ensure to employ plenty of caution and thoroughly research brokers so you don’t lose money, and start slow, testing it with minimum deposits and thin trades. Overall, anonymous forex trading with Bitcoin is an exciting endeavor that you can explore – whether you’re a veteran or new to the game. 

Chart Patterns Forex Daily Topic

Chart Patterns: Ascending Triangles

Of all the bullish continuation patterns that exist, few are as sought after as the ascending triangle. Like all triangle patterns, their development and construction are dependent on two trendlines that intersect and form an apex. The two primary identifying conditions of an ascending triangle I a flat, horizontal top and an upward sloping trendline.

Ascending Triangle
Ascending Triangle

In addition to the two trendlines, there is a specific kind of behavior that the candlesticks must perform. The upper trendline and the lower trendline must be touched at least twice. Ideally, and according to Bulkowski, there should not be much open space inside the triangle. The same volume behavior that occurs in other triangles occurs here in the ascending triangle: price often breaks out in the final 2/3rds of the triangle, and volume decreases before the breakout. The psychology behind the formation of the ascending triangle is essential to understand. The pattern represents an apparent battle between longs and shorts. Short traders are under the impression that because the resistance level has been tested and has held, it will remain stronger. Long traders are under the impression that prices will move higher because of the formation of higher lows and an upward sloping trendline. Ultimately, shorts cover very quickly, just before or immediately after the breakout of the upper resistance.

Bulkowski recorded that, in equity markets, the breakout direction of an ascending triangle is upwards 64% of the time. Dahlquist and Kirkpatrick recorded that upwards breakouts occur 77% of the time. Interestingly, the performance of this pattern is roughly average across all patterns – this is contrary to the belief of many traders who self-report a high positive expectancy of upwards breakouts. Dahlquist and Kirkpatrick did warn that there are many false breakouts and that failure rates are between 11% and 13%.

As with any pattern, it is essential to pay attention to price action first and then find tools to help you filter whether an entry at the breakout is appropriate. Additionally, be wary of throwbacks as they are frequent over 50% of the time – many conservative traders wait for a retest of the breakout to confirm a valid break from the ascending triangle.


Kirkpatrick, C. D., & Dahlquist, J. R. (2016). Technical analysis: the complete resource for financial market technicians. Upper Saddle River: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Bulkowski, T. N. (2013). Visual guide to chart patterns. New York, NY: Bloomberg Press.

Bulkowski, T. N. (2008). Encyclopedia of candlestick charts. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley & Sons.

Bulkowski, T. N. (2002). Trading classic chart patterns. New York: Wiley.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Educational Library

Leverage and Risk

This is a small presentation about how, at Forex Academy, you could discover the secrets behind risk control; and how position size could affect your profits and your probability of ruin.


Forex Course Forex Daily Topic

180. Picking Accurate Tops & Bottoms Using the COT Report


Our previous lesson covered how you can use the Commitment of Traders report to trade in the forex market. In this lesson, we will learn how you can use the COT report to identify the tops and bottoms, i.e., the levels where a currency is overbought or oversold.

Any forex trader would know that the best timing for a reversal trade is when the market is at extreme levels. The COT report helps us understand the trades’ volume and how the different types of traders are positioned. In the previous lesson, we learned that non-commercial traders’ positioning could be used to determine the market trend. On the other hand, commercial traders accumulate their trades around extreme levels where they believe a market reversal could occur. Thus, the positioning of hedgers can be used to determine the market tops and bottoms.

Now, let’s see how you can identify these extreme levels in forex using the COT report.

How to identify Tops (Overbought Levels) Using the COT Report

It is worth noting that when the markets are rising, the non-commercial traders are buying, i.e., they are bullish. Conversely, the commercial traders (hedgers) are bearish when the markets are rising, meaning they are actively shorting the futures contracts in a bullish market. Therefore, in a bullish market, when speculators continually go long as the hedgers keep shorting, a market top will form.

However, it is almost impossible to predetermine a market top. The best way to spot a market top is to notice a reversal beginning to occur in the market when the spread between the commercial traders and non-commercial traders has widened.

The screengrab above shows a market top formed when the short positions by commercial traders were at maximum. Also, notice that the spread between the commercial and non-commercial traders was wider.

How to identify Bottoms (Oversold Levels) Using the COT Report

When the market prices are falling, non-commercial traders are bearish while the commercial traders are bullish. Therefore, a bearish market will reach the bottom when the non-commercial traders keep selling, and the commercial traders maximize their futures bullish positions.

The best way to spot a market bottom is to notice a bear market trend reversing while the spread between the commercial traders and non-commercial traders has widened.

The screengrab above shows a market bottom forming when the long futures position by the commercial traders was at the maximum. Also, note that the spread between the commercial and non-commercial traders was widest at this point.

[wp_quiz id=”89702″]
Forex Daily Topic Forex Risk Management

Position Size Risk and System Analysis


Some authors label this topic as Money Management or Risk Management, but this misses the point. Money Management doesn’t tell much about what it does, and Risk Management seems more related to risk, which has been discussed on the subject of cutting losses short and let profits run.

However, Van K. Tharp has hit the point: He calls it position sizing, and it tells us how much to trade on every trade and how this is related to our goal settings and objectives.

1.    Risk and R

In his well-known book Trade your Way to your Financial Freedom, Van K. Tharp says that a key principle to success in trading is that the investor should always know his initial risk before entering a position.

He suggests that this risk should be normalized, and he calls it R. Your profits must also be normalized to a multiple of R, our initial risk.

The risk on one unit is a direct calculation of the difference in points, ticks, pips, or cents from the entry point to the stop-loss multiplied by the value of the minimum allowed lot or pip.

Consider, for example, the risk of a micro-lot of the EUR/USD pair in the following short entry:

        Size of a micro-lot: 1,000 units
                Entry point: 1.19344
                  Stop loss: 1.19621
Entry to stop-loss distance: 0.00277

Dollar Risk for one micro-lot: 0.00277 * 1,000 = $ 2.77
In this case, if the trader had set his $R risk – the amount he intends to risk on a trade – to be $100, what should be his position size?

Position size: $100/$2.77= -36 micro-lots (it’s a short trade)

Using this concept, we can standardize our position size according to the particular risk. For instance, if the unit risk in the previous example were $5 instead, the position size would be:

$100/5 = 20 micro-lots.

We would enter a position with a standard and controlled risk independent of the distance from entry to stop.

2.    Profit targets as multiples of R

Our profits can be normalized as multiples of the initial risk R. It doesn’t matter if we change our dollar risk from $100 to $150. If you keep our records using R multiples, you’ll get a normalized track record of your system.

With enough results, you’ll be able to understand how your system performs and, also, able to measure its statistical characteristics and its quality.

Values such as Expectancy (E), mean reward to risk ratio(RR), % of gainers, the number of R gains a system delivers (R multiple) in a day, week, month or year.

Knowing these numbers is very critical because it will help us to achieve our objectives.

You already know what Expectancy (E) is. But the beauty of this number is that, together with the average number of trades, it tells you the R multiple your system delivers in a time interval.

For example, let’s say you’ve got a system that takes six trades a day, and its E is 0.45R. This means it makes $0.45 per dollar risked.

 That means that the system also delivers an average of 0.45×6R=2.7R per day and that, on average, you’d expect, monthly, 54R.

Let’s say you wanted to use this system, and your monthly goal is  $6,000. What would your risk per trade be?

To answer this, you need to equate 54R = $6000

So your risk per trade should be set to:

R= 6000/60 = $111.

Now you know, for instance, that you could achieve $12,000/month by doubling our risk to $222 per trade and $24,000 if you can raise your risk to $444 per trade. You have converted a system into an exponential money-making machine, but with a risk-controlled attitude.

3.    Variability of the results 

As traders, we would like to know, also, what to expect from the system concerning drawdowns.

Is it normal to have 6, 10, 15, or 20 consecutive losses? And, what are the chances of a string of them to happen? Is your system misbehaving, or is it on track?
That can be answered, too, using the % of losers (PL).

Let’s consider, as an example, that we have a system with 50% winners and losers.

We know that the probability of an event A and an event B happening together is the probability of A happening times the probability of B happening:

ProbAB = ProbA * ProbB

For a string of losses, we have to multiply the probability of a loss by itself the number of times the streak duration.

So for a n streak:

Prob_Streak_n = PL to the power of n = PLn

As an example, the probability of 2 consecutive losses for the system of our example is:

Prob_Streak_2 = 0.52
= 0.25 or 25%

And the probability of suffering 4 consecutive losses will be:

Prob_Streak_4 = 0.54
= 0.0625 or 6.25%

For a string of six losses is:

Prob_Streak_6 = 0.56
= 0.015625, or 1.5625%

And so on.

This result is in direct relation to the probability of ruin. If your R is such that a string of six losses wipes 100% of your capital, there is a probability of 1.56% for that to happen under this system.

Now we learned that we must set our dollar risk R to an amount such that a string of losses doesn’t bring the account beyond the maximum percent drawdown that is tolerable to the trader.

What happens if the system has 40% winners and 60% losers, as is usual on reward/risk systems? Let’s see:

Prob_Streak_2 = 0.62 = 36%

Prob_Streak_4 = 0.64 = 12.96%

Prob_Streak:6 = 0.66 = 4,66%

Prob_Streak_8 = 0.68 = 1.68% 

We observe that the probability of consecutive streaks of the same magnitude increases, so now the likelihood of eight straight losses in this system has the same probability as six in the former one.

This means that with systems with a lower percentage of winners, we should be more careful and reduce our maximum risk compared to a system with higher winning ratios.

As an example, let’s do an exercise to compute the maximum dollar risk for this system on a $10,000 account and a maximum tolerable drawdown of 30%. And assuming we wanted to withstand eight consecutive losses (a 1.68% probability of it to happen, but with a 100% probability of that to occur throughout a trader’s life).

According to this, we will assume a streak of eight consecutive losses, or 8R.

30% of $10,000 is $3,000

then 8R = $3,000, and

max R allowed is: 3000/8 = $375 or 3.75% of the account balance.

As a final caveat, to get an accurate enough measure of the percentage of losers, we should have more than 100 samples on our system history (forward tested, if possible, since back-tests usually presents unrealistic results). With just 30 points, the data is not representative enough to get any fair result.

You could do the same computations for winning streaks, using the percent of winners instead, and multiplying by the average reward (R multiple).

1.    Key points and conclusions

  • Position sizing is the part of the system that tells us how much to risk on a trade and is directly relevant to fulfilling our goals
  • The unit of risk R is a normalized symbol for dollar risk
  • You should measure, register, and be aware of the main statistical parameters of your systems: Expectancy, Percent winners and losers, reward to risk ratio, and the mean monthly-R (the average number of R your system achieves in one month)
  • You should compute the maximum R allowed by your system and account size for the max drawdown bearable for you, and not bet more than that amount.


Forex Daily Topic Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Jobs to Applications Ratio’


For any economy, one of the best indicators of health in the labor market is how quickly the unemployed get absorbed into the job industry. This would indicate if the current economy is expanding at par with the growing number of job seekers. Apart from showing the absorption rate in the job market, it can also be used as a coincident economic indicator.

Understanding Jobs to Applications Ratio

The jobs to applications ratio help to put into perspective the number of job vacancies available vs. the number of job applications made during a particular time.

The job vacancies, in this case, represents the totality of the existing Job Vacancies from the previous reporting period that haven’t been filled and the new vacancies in the current period. For example, the total job vacancies for October 2020 would include the unfilled vacancies from the previous months in 2020 and the vacancies that became available in October 2020. The number of job applications does not necessarily need to be those that directly applied for these vacancies. This number is the totality of job seekers who have registered with employment bureaus across the country seeking employment.

Therefore, the formula of the jobs to applications ratio is 

When the number of active job openings is higher than that of active job seekers, the jobs to applications ratio will be higher than 1. Furthermore, the jobs to applications ratio will increase if the number of job openings increases faster than that of active job seekers. Conversely, if the number of active job seekers is higher than that of active openings, the jobs to applications ratio will be lower. Similarly, when the number of active job seekers grows at a faster pace than that of active job openings, the jobs to applications ratio will decrease at a rapid rate.

In most countries, the number of graduates from tertiary academic institutions is usually high. For this reason, most jobs to applications ratio reports usually exclude new school graduates and part-time job seekers. The primary reason for doing this is to smoothen the data since it is not expected that the labor market will absorb all graduates.

Using Jobs to Applications Ratio in Analysis

The Jobs to Applications Ratio shows the health of the labor market and is also a coincident indicator of economic growth. The best way to use the jobs to applications ratio in the analysis is by viewing it as a time series. It will enable you to compare the change in the economy over time easily.

To understand the implication of the Jobs to Application Ratio, we must first understand how job openings and unemployment come about. When the economy is expanding, the unemployment levels go down. An expanding economy is mainly driven by an increase in demand in the economy. Usually, household demand is the primary driver of the increase in aggregate demand.

When the aggregate demand rises, producers of goods and services must also scale up their operations to take advantage of the increasing demand and to avoid distortion of equilibrium price. When they expand their operations, they will need to hire more workers; this is where the unemployment levels go down. Also, note that when the unemployment rate reduces, it means that households’ expenditure increases, which also leads to the expansion of the economy. It is a feedback loop.

It also means that when the economy is contracting, it is a sign of a decrease in aggregate demand. This decrease force producers of consumer goods and services to cut back their production, which results in fewer job openings and increased unemployment.

Now let’s see what jobs to application ratio has to do with all this. When the Jobs to Applications Ratio is increasing over time, it implies that the number of active job openings is growing faster than that of the active job seekers. If, for example, the jobs to applications ratio has been increasing steadily over the past couple of months or years, it would mean the economy has been expanding. This increase shows that increasingly more jobs have been created in the economy.

Alternatively, it could mean that the rate of job retention in the economy is higher since fewer people lose their jobs and begin seeking employment all over again. Conversely, when the Jobs to Applications Ratio is continually decreasing, it means that the economy is contracting and the economy is creating fewer jobs. It could also mean that more jobs are lost in the economy hence the higher number of new job seekers.

The Jobs to Applications Ratio can also show the business cycles and periods of recession and expansion in the economy. When the Jobs to Applications Ratio continually drops, it implies that the economy has been contracting over an extended period with a growing number of unemployed in the economy. This is a clear sign of economic recession. In Japan, for example, the persistent drop in the job to application ratio coincided with the coronavirus-induced recession of the first half of 2020.

Source: Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training

In times of economic recovery, businesses are presumed to gradually increase their operations, which means that the jobs to applications ratio will steadily increase.

Impact of Jobs to Applications Ratio on Currency

The value of the currency fluctuates depending on the perceived economic growth. Thus, the direct impact that jobs to applications ration has on currency is its inherent ability to show economic expansions and contractions.

The domestic currency will be expected to appreciate when the jobs to applications ratio increases. The increase in the jobs to applications ratio shows that the economy has been growing hence improved living standards.

Conversely, the domestic currency will depreciate when the jobs to application ratio are steadily decreasing. The continual decrease shows that the domestic economy has been contracting.

Sources of Data

In Japan, the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training is responsible for conducting surveys of the Japanese labor market. The institute publishes the data on Jobs to Applications Ratio monthly.

Trading Economics has a historical review of the Japanese jobs to applications ratio.

How Jobs to Applications Ratio Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training published the latest jobs to applications ratio on October 2, 2020, at 8.30 AM JST. The release is accessed from Moderate volatility is expected on the JPY when the data is published.

In August 2020, the jobs/applications ratio was 1.04 compared to the 1.08 recorded in July 2020. Furthermore, the August ratio was less than the analysts’ expectations of 1.05.

Let’s see how this release impacted the JPY.

USD/JPY: Before Jobs to Applications Ratio Release on October 2, 2020, 
just before 8.30 AM JST

Before the release of the ratio, the USD/JPY pair was trading in a subdued uptrend. The 20-period MA was only slightly rising.

USD/JPY: After Jobs to Applications Ratio Release on October 2, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM JST

The pair formed a 5-minute bearish “hammer” candle immediately after the release of the ratio. Subsequently, it traded in a neutral pattern before adopting a bullish trend.

Bottom Line

The Jobs to Applications Ratio plays a significant role in establishing the health of the labor market. However, in the forex market, the unemployment rate is the most-watched economic indicator when it comes to the health of the labor market.

Forex Basic Strategies Forex Daily Topic

Trading The Forex Market Like A Pro Using The Williams %R Indicator


In the forex market, the Relative Strength Index (RSI) is the most sought after technical indicator for measuring overbought and oversold conditions in the market. However, there are times when RSI can give misleading signals. To overcome some of these limitations of RSI, we use William’s %R (Williams Percentage Range) to help us identify when an asset is oversold or overbought.

Having determined that the asset has moved too much in one direction, we can position ourselves on the other side of the market after suitable confirmation. In today’s article, let’s discuss a strategy based on William’s %R indicator to identify when the market has become overbought or oversold. Let us first get into the specifications of the strategy.

Time Frame

The strategy works well on higher time frames such as ‘Weekly’ and ‘Daily.’ Therefore, the strategy is suitable for swing and long-term traders.


We use the following indicators in the strategy:

  • William’s %R
  • Simple Moving Average (standard setting)

Currency Pairs

The strategy applies to all currency pairs listed on the broker’s platform, including major, minor, and exotic pairs. This is one of the distinguishing features of the strategy.

Strategy Concept

The William’s %R indicator usually ranges between 0 to -100, where a reading of 0 to -20 tells us that the asset is overbought. On the other hand, if %R falls in the range of -80 and -100, the asset is said to be oversold. As with other technical indicators, %R generates accurate trading signals when used in conjunction with other analytical tools such as chart patterns and systems.

Just because an asset may appear overbought and oversold based on the %R, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the price will reverse. Hence, we include a few concepts of the chart pattern and price action to confirm that the reversal is real. The more we wait, the higher the confirmation. But this reduces the risk-to-reward (RR) ratio moderately. This depends more on the type of trader if he is more conservative or aggressive.

In the strategy, we firstly establish a trend that is mostly in the overbought or oversold situation. This means William’s %R should indicate an overbought situation of the market for a major part of the trend during an uptrend. On the other hand, in a downtrend, William’s %R should indicate an oversold market situation for a major part of the trend. When the trend remains in the overbought or oversold condition for most of the time, the reversal tends to be sharp in nature.

This is why the above condition is important for the strategy. Next, we wait for the ‘Bullish Engulfing’ pattern to appear on the price chart, in a reversal of a downtrend. Likewise, in a reversal of an uptrend, we wait for the ‘Bearish Engulfing’ pattern to appear on the chart. This is the first sign of reversal. The reversal is confirmed when the price starts moving above the moving average, in a downtrend, and below the moving average, in an uptrend.

Stop-loss for the trade will be placed below the ‘engulfing’ pattern in a ‘long’ position and above the ‘engulfing’ pattern in a ‘short’ position.

Trade Setup

In order to explain the strategy, we will be executing a ‘long’ trade in EUR/USD currency pair using the below-mentioned rules. Here are the steps to execute the strategy.

Step 1: The first step of the strategy is to identify the major trend of the trend. An easy to determine trend is if the price is below the simple moving average, the market is in a downtrend, and if the price is above the simple moving average, the market is in an uptrend. Here we need to make sure that William’s %R indicates an overbought/oversold market situation for the major part of the trend.

The below image shows an example of a downtrend that is oversold.

Step 2: The next step is to wait for the market to present the ‘Engulfing’ pattern on the chart. In a downtrend, the ‘Bullish Engulfing’ pattern indicates a reversal of the trend, while in an uptrend, the ‘Bearish Engulfing’ pattern indicates a reversal of the trend. If the second of the engulfing pattern closes above the MA in a reversal of the downtrend, the reversal will be more prominent. Similarly, if the second candle closes below the MA in a reversal of the uptrend, the reversal can be resilient.

Step 3: The rule of entering the trade is fairly simple. We enter ‘long’ when the price starts moving further above the moving average after the occurrence of an ‘engulfing’ pattern. Similarly, we enter ‘short’ when the price starts moving further below the moving average after the occurrence of the ‘engulfing’ pattern.

Step 4: Lastly, we need to determine the stop-loss and take-profit for the trade. In a ‘long’ position, stop-loss is placed below the ‘Bullish Engulfing’ pattern. In a ‘short’ position, it is placed above the ‘Bearish Engulfing’ pattern. The take-profit is set at a point where the resultant risk-to-reward (RR) ratio of the trade will be 1.5. However, partial profits can be taken at the opposing ‘support’ and ‘resistance’ levels that might be a hurdle for the price.

In our example, the risk-to-reward (RR) ratio of 1.5 was achieved after a period of one month since traded on the ‘Daily’ time frame.

Strategy Roundup

William’s %R is a very powerful indicator that helps us identify opportunities during a reversal phase of the market. It is important to note that %R should never be used in isolation. Combining the %R indicator with chart pattern, price action, and market trend gives us an edge in the market, which is difficult to get when applied individually. Trade executed using the above strategy can longer than expected to give desirable results since it is based on a higher time frame.

Forex Course Forex Daily Topic

176. Introduction To The Commitment of Traders Report (CoT)


In the previous lesson, we discussed market sentiment in Forex. Since you already know how the sentiment comes along, in this lesson, we will discuss how the forex market sentiment is measured.

What is the Commitment of Traders Report?

The commitment of traders (COT) report is how you measure forex market sentiment. One of the primary determinants of market sentiment in forex is the demand for a currency. The COT report tracks how commercial and non-commercial traders are positioned in the forex market.

As the name suggests, the COT report gives data about commitments made by big players in the forex market to conduct future trades. The report shows the totality of futures and options contacts in the forex market, which have not yet been settled. Thus, these future transactions can impact the price movement of the currency pairs in the spot market where most retail traders participate.

How does the Commitment of Traders Report work?

The COT report is published by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The publication is released every Friday at 3.30 PM ET. This report shows the total outstanding open positions in the forex futures market as of Tuesday of that week. The data in the COT report includes futures of the major currencies and most of the minor currencies.

According to the CFTC, the COT report is a breakdown of the futures and options market positioning of at least 20 traders. These are traders whose futures and options positions in the forex market are above or equal to the reporting levels set by the CFTC. In our subsequent lessons, we will further explain the type of traders included in the COT reports and the reporting levels.

It is worth noting that the majority of the transactions in the interbank forex market are private and are not made public. For this reason, the retail traders do not have a lot of knowledge about the significant transactions that occur daily in the forex market. Therefore, the COT reports play a significant role in publicizing the futures positioning in the forex market.


The forex market portion of the COT report shows the totality of the long and short futures position adopted by traders. These are speculative traders; whose primary objective is to anticipate future price changes and place their bets regarding a currency. Therefore, monitoring how these market players have positioned their future trades might increase your analysis of future trends in the forex market.

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Forex Daily Topic Forex Videos

Secret Techniques For Profitable Forex Trading Part 1!

Secret Techniques for Profitable Forex Trading I


Profitable Forex trading is an elusive goal for many traders. According to most statistics, over 75 percent of traders lose money. This comes for several reasons. There are well-known causes of this unfortunate outcome. Most traders get blown out because they bet too much and lose all when the market turns against them. Another source of failure is their psychological bias to let losses grow and cut their profits short. But today, we will focus on one key factor: How to assess entries and exits properly.

The States of a Market

Many people classify market action into over six states: Bul, Bear, Sideways with high or low volatility. Although this is usually correct, it does not offer enough simplicity to make decisions. The best way to look at market action is similar to what the Elliott Wave Theory states: Elliott stated that the market had impulsive phases and corrections of this primary impulse. We don’t need to be a genius to see that it is logical. Waves need to swing for it to form. But impulses and corrections have different properties. What works on one, it does not work on the other. Thus, the secret to master the trade is to
Assess which state the market is on
Apply the proper tools for entries and exits.

Impulse Properties

Impulses are characterized by directional movement. Bull or bear, we can see a steady price movement toward a new equilibrium, as impulses are created by an imbalance between supply and demand. The volatility on impulses is directional, and the tools to apply are moving averages and superior form of them such as instant trend, MAMA, MESA, and similars.

Chart 1 – Bitcoin 4H chart impulsive Phase

In chart 1, we show Bitcoin moving in its latest impulsive phase, although we can also see a glimpse of corrective structures. The main idea here is to follow the trend. The chart shows a ribbon formed by Ehlers Instant trend, an advanced indicator freely available on Tradingview but also MT4 and MT5 platforms.
We see that the indicator is right at delivering timely entries and exits. The chart also shows its 50 and 200 simple moving averages, heading up and supporting the trend. We can see that the touching of the 50-SMA line could be used as well to enter or add to the position, although the instant trendline seems to lead the 50-SMA. Tradingview’s Instant Trendline Indicator colorizes the candles’ body so the upward phases can be spotted with ease.

Corrective Properties

Corrective phases come at the end of an impulse. We have to realize that impulses come from a lack of equilibrium between buyers and sellers due to actions to find a new fair value. The fair price is unknown; thus, usually, the impulse creates overbought or oversold conditions. When some savvy traders spot this, they start to unload their positions in a profit-taking activity. That lowers the price to a level where it finds new buyers. The price moves up now, but the memory of traders who lost near the top makes more selling pressure ahead of this level, lowering the price and creating a cyclic path. Thus, the main characteristic of corrective phases is its cyclic characteristic, whereas the main feature of impulses is their lack or decline of cycles.

Since the cycle is the main component of corrections, The best way to time them is by using an oscillator, such as the Stochastic, RSI, or an advanced wave oscillator. If you’re price-action oriented, you may use support-resistance levels and breakouts to spot the right entries and exits.

Chart 2 – Bitcoin 1H chart Corrective Phase with Ehlers Stochastic CCI, Stochastic, and AutoCorr Angles.

As an example, we show on chart 2 the corrective phase of Bitcoin that started after a move up to $15,000 from the last consolidation of $13,500.
The image shows the stochastic oscillator( third curve) and two advanced oscillators buy the innovator of this century, John Ehlers, The Stochastic CCI, and Autocorrelation Angle. These two can also be found on and MT4 and MT5 platforms.
We see that the Ehler’s Stochastic CCI (second curve, following the price) can precisely time the cycles on the chart with razor-sharp precision. However, the Stochastic oscillator is not far behind and can be used to profit from these cycles or confirm a reversal candle.

The bottom image shows the Autocorrelation angles indicator.
Autocorrelation is an advanced way to spot the short-term memory of the markets. A sharp move on the angle will show a transition from bear to bullish and bullish to bearish phases. This indicator is harder to handle, though.

There are many others, such as the Even better Sinewave indicator, shown in the third chart. The Even Better Sinewave is designed to find the dominant cycle of the price action. Sometimes, the market loses its pace, as happens in the whipsaw (amber) shown. But most of the time, this advanced indicator can time the cycle changes accurately.

Chart 3 – Bitcoin 1H chart Corrective Phase with Even Better Sinewave Indicator

To conclude
Markets have two phases: Impulsive and corrective.
Each needs the right tools to find suitable entries and exits.
Traders need to spot first the state of the market.
If Impulsive, apply Averages or advanced versions of moving averages and follow the trend.
If corrective, use oscillators to spot turning points.
Don’t be conformist. Look for advanced tools and learn to use them. They will give you a better edge.

Forex Daily Topic Forex for Beginners

How To Trade The Markets Now- Joe Biden The President Elect Is In Play!

Joe Biden President-Elect? How might the markets react long term?

Thank you for joining this forex academy educational video. In this video, we will be looking at the present, with Joe Biden of the democratic party as President-elect.

At the time of writing, Joe Biden would appear to have an unassailable lead in the US presidential elections. No doubt, President Trump will use every tool and trick at his disposal to try and hang on to power, including legal intervention in what he calls fraudulent voting, which, according to the press, is totally unfounded.
However, with votes still being counted in a handful of remaining states, and with Joe Biden well out in front, it would appear ear that he has one foot in the White House already.
What would this mean for the financial markets?
The Democrats, headed by Joe Biden, have lambasted Trump’s policies over the last 4 years. They will likely try and reverse many of the policies implemented by the Trump administration. One of the Democrats’ election pledges was to impose extra corporate regulation, taxes, and healthcare spending, all of which would be negative for the stock markets in the United States unless, of course, they are healthcare-related, or in the green sector, where Joe Biden has pledged to spend more money, to reduce greenhouse gases. Joe Biden has pledged to give the country a leading role in global efforts to curb climate change, a reversal in direction from the Trump administration where Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement in 2017.
Another policy that has helped Joe Biden gain votes is his pledge to penalize companies, presumably by taxation, that moved jobs abroad. This will undoubtedly have been why the Midwest saw a surge in Democratic votes because it is the industrial heartland of America, the so-called Rust Belt.
In a twist, where investors might have bailed out of stocks due to a potential shift in policy under a new administration, with regard to higher taxes for corporations and more regulations, which would tie the hands of corporate companies and potentially affect their earnings capabilities, the markets have been airing on the side that a potential democratic party victory may be the quickest route to a generous government stimulus continuation package, and this of course, in the current economic uncertainties, would be a welcome thing.

In the lead up to the election, we can see here that the US dollar index, which is a measure of the dollar value against the basket of major currencies, the price has fluctuated between 92.00 and 94.00 since mid-August, with pressure currently to the downside at the time of writing.

One of the biggest gainers against the Dollar has been the Swiss franc, where the USDCHF pair fell below the 0.900 level on Friday 6th November as the franc was being bought as a safe-haven asset. The last time the pair hit this level was in 2014.

Another asset that is bought in times of uncertainty is the Japanese yen. Here we can see that also on the 6th of November, the USDJPY currency pair fell below the key 104.00 level to reach 103.37, and analysts will be looking to the low in March of this year where the pair fell below the 102.00 level and possibly a test of the 101.00 exchange rate.

And while the euro and pound have also made gains against the United States dollar, the Dow Jones 30 industrial index has flattened just above 28,000, as buyers try to figure out the actual winner of the presidential election, which as mentioned looks very much like Joe Biden, and what the democratic policies are likely to do for the American economy as previously stated.
Extreme volatility has prevailed over the last few weeks, and that is likely to do so in the following days and weeks until whoever actually wins the next president of the United States.
Longer-term, the markets will be looking at Democratic policies if they officially win the election and be looking for them, will they, won’t they, covid stimulus package to be agreed upon by the Democrats and Republicans.

Forex Course Guides Forex Daily Topic

The right ways to Stop-loss Setting

We, at Forex.Academy, try to help novice, and not so novice, traders the best ways to trade in this Forex jungle.  Many novice traders put their focus on entries, thinking that to be profitable, you need to be right. Right?

– Wrong!  in his book “Trade your way to your financial freedom,” Van K. Tharp proposed a random entry system as an example to show that trade management is more important than entries. The stop-loss setting is a key part of trade management, so let’s have a look at how to optimize them.

Stop-loss placement is the part of the system that decides when the current trade setting is no longer valid, and the best curse is to cut losses. Of course, there are lots of ways to do that, and we at have published several articles regarding stop-loss definition. This is a kind of entry point for you to have it easy.

Usually, new technical traders trust stops placed below easily seen supports or above resistance levels. If all participants see them, why would this be a good method? Surely not. Therefore, we suggested a better solution: ATR-Based stops.

An improved method for the ATR Stops is the Kase-Dev Stops. Kese stated that a trade is a bet on a continuation of a trend. The ideal trend is a straight line, but the market has noise. The aim of a well-placed stop-loss order is to set it away from the noise of the market.

Shyam, while writing the Forex course, teaches his learners that Fibonacci levels are not only meant for entries but serve quite well to define Fibonacci-based stop-loss levels.

Arthur Simmons, another of our excellent writers, explains how you can set stop-loss orders using point and figure charts.

Finally, if you are statistically oriented, you may be interested in the Maximum Adverse Excursion (MAE) stops. The concept of Maximum Adverse Execution was introduced by John Sweeney. The idea is simple: If your entry system has merit, successful trades behave differently than losing trades. The MAE level defines the point beyond which it is likely the current trade would belong to the losers set, and thus, it is the optimal level to place the stop-loss.

I hope this gives you nice ideas for your stop-loss orders and helps you avoid being a victim of the market makers and institutional hawks.

Good trading!

Forex Basic Strategies Forex Daily Topic

Trade Ranges Like A Pro with this Effective Forex Trading Strategy


The market does not move in random directions. It either trends or consolidates. As many would not know, the market is like a closed circle, and the same states keep repeating over and over again. Thus, in trading, one must learn how to become pro at reading these market states.

On that same note, we shall be going over an effective strategy when the market is in a consolidation/ranging state. However, before jumping right into the strategy, it is important to understand the basics and related concepts.

What is a consolidation phase in a market?

There are several ways to comprehend the consolidation phase of the market. There is logical reasoning behind the occurrence of this state, and is not simply a random pattern that shows up quite often.

The consolidation state is that phase of the market when the market moves in a sideways direction. This state is also referred to as a range. The reason for its occurrence is related to the strength between bulls and bears.

Comprehending a Range

There are two parties in the market – the bulls and the bears. Their strength is what describes the state of the market. In a trending market, either of the parties is powerful. For instance, if the market is going up, it simply means that the bulls control the market. In a consolidation state, both bulls and bears show equal strength. The bulls show strength by pushing the market higher, while the bears show power by taking the price right back down. As a result, the prices in both directions – which we refer to as a range.

How to draw a range?

To trade this range strategy, it is vital to understand how a range is drawn. A range is made up of two levels:

  • Support
  • Resistance

Thus, drawing the correct support and resistance levels will result in a perfect range.

Another point considered is the size of the range. The larger the range, the better. The other small consolidations in the market are ignored. Following is an example of how we pick an ideal range.

In the above example, both are ranges as the market is moving in a sideways direction. However, we do not consider range-1 as a range for our strategy. This is because a single line going up and down fails to depict the market’s price action.

Supply and Demand Range Strategy

What is the usual approach to trading a range? It is to buy at the support and sell at the resistance. But we’re going to step the game a little bit. The supply and demand range strategy uses the same principles of a typical range, in addition to other factors.

Step by step procedure to trade the Supply and Demand Range Strategy:

  1. Find a legitimate range in the market. Mark the Support and Resistance levels appropriately.
  2. Determine the direction of the market prior to the range.
  3. Find a potential supply/demand level.
  4. Get in when the market breaks through the range and reaches the supply/demand zone.

Buy Example

Consider the below chart of GBPCHF on the 4H timeframe. We see that the market has been ranging between 1.1902 and 1.1800. Observe that the support and resistance levels have been marked by cutting off the false market breakouts.

To trade this market, our job is not simply to hit the buy at the support and sell at the resistance. As mentioned, we take into account the preceding direction and the supply and demand levels around it.

The direction of the market prior to the range was an upside, indicating that the bulls were in control previously. A point to note is that, despite the market being in a range, it does not change the fact that the bulls are still powerful. Thus, we rather look for buying opportunities than shorting signals.

To do so, we wait for the price to drop below the bottom of the range and hold at any one of the demand zones. Once the market begins to reverse its direction from south to north around the demand zone, we can go long. The same scenario has been illustrated in the chart below.


Stop Loss – Well below the demand zone would be decent.

Take Profit – Top of the range would be an ideal spot to take profits.

Sell Example

Consider the chart of CAD/JPY on the 15min timeframe shown below. The recent market price action depicts that the market is moving sideways. The market’s overall trend is down, indicating that the bears are in control of the market.

Since the scenario is opposite to the previous example, we wait for the market to break through the resistance and reach any potential supply level. In the below example, we can see that the price broke through the resistance twice reacted off from the supply, as shown. Thus, we can look for entries when the market begins to switch direction to the downside.


Stop Loss – Above the supply zone

Take Profit – Bottom of the range


The only way to trade a range is not by buying and selling from the top and bottom of the range. It can be professionally traded with the application of other factors. And this range strategy particularly dealt with the strength of the bulls and bears and the concept of supply/demand.

We hope you were able to comprehend our Supply and Demand Range strategy. Do test them out for yourself and let us know your results in the comments below. Happy trading!

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

How to Professionally Deal with Fake Breakouts!

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of an H4 breakout at the weekly low. The price consolidates after the breakout and produces a bearish reversal candle right at the breakout level. It is a matter of time for the sellers to go short and drives the price towards the South. Let us find out what actually happens.

The chart shows that the price makes a good bearish move. It finds its support where the pair is traded for a while. The pair closes its week by producing a bearish candle. By looking at the chart, it looks that the sellers are going to keep their eyes on the chart next week.

The pair produces a bullish engulfing candle to start its trading week. The buyers on the minor charts may push the price towards the North. However, the H4 chart is still bearish biased.

The chart shows that the price may have found its resistance. The price has been in consolidation for a while. The last candle comes out as a bearish engulfing candle. The price may make its move towards the South now.

The chart produces consecutive bearish candles and makes a breakout at the last week’s low. The pair is traded below the breakout level for two more candles as well. The sellers are to wait for the price to consolidate and produce a bearish reversal candle followed by a breakout at the consolidation support to go short in the pair.

The chart produces a bullish engulfing candle closing within the breakout level. The next candle comes out as a bearish inside bar. The sellers would love to get a bearish engulfing candle closing below the bullish candle’s low. However, a breakout at the consolidation support would signal the sellers to go short in the pair. By drawing Fibonacci levels on the chart with Fibonacci extension, we see that the price finds its support at the level of 38.2% and finds its resistance at the level of 23.6%. In a word, the stage is getting ready for the Bear to make a move.

The chart produces a bullish candle. It is not a good sign, but the sellers still have hope. If the chart produces a bearish reversal candle again followed by a breakout at the level of 38.2%, the game is on for the sellers.

Now, the chart produces another bullish candle and heads towards the North. The sellers must be very disappointed since it seemed such a nice trade setup for them. The reality is it often happens to all traders. No point in being disappointed, but it must be dealt with professionalism.

Forex Course Forex Daily Topic

160. What are Currency Crosses and Why Should You Trade Them?


Currency crosses are currency pairs from major and commodity currencies eliminating the US Dollar. Trading cross currency pairs require knowledge of the two countries’ economic conditions, which is not related to the USA.

Major Vs. Cross Currencies

More than 80% of the forex market transactions happen through the US Dollar as it is the reserve currency in the world. Most of the commodities and agricultural products are valued in US dollars.

Therefore, if we want to buy something from a country, we should exchange the currency into the US Dollar to make the transaction. As a result, most of the countries keep the US Dollar as the reserve currency. In particular, China, Japan, and Australia are the largest importer of oil; therefore, they keep a vast number of US Dollars in their central banks.

Because of the massive demand for the US dollar, major currency pairs have a higher trading volume, allowing it to have a decent movement. On the other hand, if we eliminate the US dollar from the major currencies, we will find cross pairs, which is also profitable.

Why Trade Currency Crosses?

Instead of trading at major Dollar based currency pairs, we can profit from trading cross pairs. The most significant features of cross currency pairs are that they are not bound to US Dollars and can make a decent move without any intervention of the US economy.

As a result, many traders trade in currency crosses to diversify their portfolio. Cross pairs can make a decent movement, while dollar-based pairs remain corrective. At that time, it is better to go with the moving market than sit back and watch the corrective price.

Moreover, trading cross pairs might be profitable if the trading session is favorable. For example, we can profit from the GBPJPY pair at Asian and London sessions rather than trading in the US session.


Based on the above discussion, let’s point the core parts of cross-currency trading:

  • Cross currency trading is similar to major currency trading.
  • There is no US dollar in cross currency pairs.
  • Cross currencies are from major and commodity currencies.
  • Cross currency pair can make a decent move without US session.
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Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Fibonacci Extension: How It Helps Traders

In today’s lesson, we will demonstrate an example of an H4 chart that makes a breakout heading towards the North. However, the chart does not offer entry. We try to find out the reason behind it.

It is an H4 chart. The chart shows that the price makes a good bullish move. Thus, the weekly candle ends up being a bullish candle. Let us proceed to the next chart to see how the price starts next week.

The first candle comes out as a bearish engulfing candle. However, the support level where the price had a bounce and headed towards the North is intact. The buyers may eye on the chart for the price to have a bounce and make a bullish breakout at the weekly high.

The chart produces a bullish inside bar. The candle is produced right at the level of support. It is not a strong bullish reversal candle, but things look good for the buyers.

The chart produces three more bullish candles breaching the level of resistance. The buyers are to wait for the price to consolidate and produce a bullish reversal candle to offer them a long entry.

The price keeps heading towards the North without having consolidation. In naked eyes, it seems that the price has traveled a long way. If it consolidates now, should the buyers go long?

The chart produces a bearish candle. It means the price may consolidate now. The breakout level is far away. If the price makes a bearish correction up to the breakout level, it will come out as a long bearish wave. This often changes the trend or makes the price get choppy, at least. Let us draw a Fibonacci Extension and explain it with the Fibonacci levels.

We know when the price makes a breakout; Fibonacci Extension can be used to determine the wave’s length. The breakout length is measured at 23.6%. The best level for the price to consolidate within 23.6% to 38.2% or 38.2% to 50.0%. Over here, the price consolidates within 61.8% to 78.6%. It means the price does not have much space to travel. Thus, the buyers may skip taking entry on this chart as far as the risk-reward ratio is concerned. The price may go up to the level of 100.0%, but it often ends up being choppy or makes a reversal in such cases. This is when Fibonacci Extension comes out as a handy tool with what traders can determine the trend’s potential length and calculate whether they should take an entry or not.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Understanding Slippage Effect in a Trading Strategy


Slippage is one of the hidden costs any trading strategy is exposed to. Usually, this type of cost tends to be overlooked from studies of historical simulation. However, a strategies’ developer must understand its nature and assess its impact on its performance.

Increasing Reality in the Historical Simulation

To properly create a historical simulation of a trading system, it needs to consider certain assumptions that, although they may seem insignificant, they are not inconsequential. Their omission could lead to the accuracy of the results obtained. The most critical assumptions that the strategy developer should consider are related to the trading strategy’s deviations.

Slippage in Price and Trade

Each executed trade has a cost that occurs when it is filled. This cost is made of two parts, one fixed and another one variable. The fixed cost is known as the commission, which corresponds to a broker’s fee when it places the order into the market.

The variable element corresponds to the slippage. Slippage can have a significant impact on the profitability of the strategy. The slippage’s origin and size depend on various factors, such as the order type, size, and market liquidity.

There exist three types of orders that the strategist can place into the market; these are as follows:

  • Market Order: this is an order to buy or sell an asset at a price quoted in the current market. This order is guaranteed, but not the level at which it is finally filled. Thus, slippage may be high.
  • Stop Order:  A Stop buy Order is placed above the current price, whereas a Stop Sell order is located below the market’s price. Stop orders can be employed to enter and exit the market. The problem with Stop orders is that they usually fill at a worse price than set by the stop level. This situation occurs because when the price touches the stop level, the order changes to a market order and is executed at the first available price.
  • Limit Order: A Limit Buy order is placed below the current price, whereas a Limit Sell order should be above the current price. Unlike stop orders, Limit orders are placed to get better fills than the current market’s price. But its execution is not guaranteed. However, when they are filled, they will at the same or better price than initially established.
  • Market If Touched (MIT) Order: this type of order is a combination of the limit with a stop order. In the case of a buy trade, an MIT order is placed at a price below the current level. In the case of a sell position, an MIT order is set above the current price. The MIT order seeks a desirable price by buying at declines and selling at rallies. In turn, MIT orders seek to ensure the order is filled at a price close to where the strategy identifies a desirable entry level. However, although MIT orders combine the best of both types, they are also subject to price slippage.

Opening Gap Slippage

Markets tend to have price gaps. Usually, a price gap happens from the current close to the next day’s opening. In most cases, this gap is not large enough to significantly impact the outcome of the strategy. However, there may be larger gaps caused by significant political or economic events, while markets are closed.

These high volatility situations can lead to large slippages, particularly on pending orders. Consequently, the strategist must consider the impact of this type of slippage on historical simulation results.

Slippage by Order Size

The size of the position has a proportional impact on the slippage. In other words, as the order size increases, the possibility of a higher slippage grows, since the order gets progressively filled at worse prices. In this case, the strategy developer should design a methodology to scale in and out trades to execute the desired total size with minimal slippage.


The slippage is a variable cost that cannot be avoided in the real market. It may not be significant in some cases, as on long-term strategies with fewer entry and exit orders.

However, it becomes more significant in high-frequency systems, characterized by being short-term and active. In this context, the developer must consider the effect of slippage and reflect it in the historical simulation process.

Finally, the strategist should not neglect the slippage impact since its presence can considerably reduce the profits a trading strategy can generate.

Suggested Readings

  • Jaekle, U., Tomasini, E.; Trading Systems: A New Approach to System Development and Portfolio Optimisation; Harriman House Ltd.; 1st Edition (2009).
  • Pardo, R.; The Evaluation and Optimization of Trading Strategies; John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition (2008).
Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Price Action Trading: Reasons to Skip Entries on Charts with Price Gap

Forex charts often have price gaps. It usually occurs in minor time frames. However, it sometimes occurs in time frames such as the H1, H4, daily chart as well. Since price movement is the key factor determining its next move for the price action traders, thus price gap creates confusion in price action trading. Thus, it is best to skip taking entries on charts with a price gap. Let us demonstrate an example and find out the reason behind it.

It is an H4 chart. The chart shows that the price produces a bullish engulfing candle right at a support level, where the price has several bounces. Thus, the H4-H1 combination traders may flip over to the H1 chart to go long in the pair.

The H1 chart shows that the price heads towards the North with good bullish momentum. The buyers are to wait for the price to consolidate and produce a bullish reversal candle to offer a long entry.

The chart produces a bearish engulfing candle. It is a strong bearish candle. However, the buyers may wait for the price to be held at a key level and produce a bullish reversal candle. Let us proceed to find out what happens next.

The chart produces a bullish reversal candle. It is an inverted hammer. Moreover, it is produced with a bullish price gap. Technically, the H4-H1 chart combination traders may trigger a long entry above the level of resistance. Here is an equation that must be considered if they are to determine risk-reward by using Fibonacci retracement. We find this out soon. Let us see how the price reacts now.

What a good bullish move it is! The price heads towards the North with very good momentum. The last candle comes out as a bearish candle. It suggests that the price may make a bearish correction. Let us now draw Fibonacci levels and explain the chart with some Fibonacci numbers.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Importance of Choosing the Right Chart

In today’s lesson, we will demonstrate an example of a chart that makes a breakout at the weekly low, consolidates, and produces an excellent bearish engulfing candle. It looks like a good short entry for the sellers. However, things do not go as the sellers would love to see. We try to find out what may be the reason behind it.

It is the H4 chart. The chart shows that the price action has been choppy for the last three weeks. The price has been roaming around within two horizontal levels. Ideally, the price action traders would love to skip eying on such a chart to trade at. Let us proceed and see the H4 chart of the last week.

The chart shows that the price makes a bullish move to start its trading week. Then, it makes a bearish move and closes around the level where it started its week. It seems that the minor time frame sellers are driving the price down.

The chart produces a bullish engulfing candle right at the last week’s swing low. The minor time frame traders may push the price towards the North. The H4 sellers, on the other hand, may wait for the price to make a breakout at the swing low to go short on the chart. This is what the breakout traders usually do. However, the question is whether they should do it on this chart or not? We find it out in a minute.

It seems that the Bear is about to make a breakout at the last week’s low. The last candle comes out as a bearish engulfing candle closing right at the level of support.

The price makes a breakout at the weekly low. The last candle comes out as a bearish candle closing well below the level of support. The breakout traders are to wait for the price to consolidate.

The price consolidates. The last candle comes out as a bearish inside bar. If the price makes a breakout at the last swing low, the breakout traders usually trigger a short entry. Let us proceed and see what the price does.

The chart produces a bearish engulfing candle. It is an A+ signal candle as far as the breakout trading strategy is concerned. The sellers may want to trigger a short entry right after the last candle closes.

The chart produces a bullish engulfing candle and heads towards the North instead. The Forex market is unpredictable. The price could go either way anytime. However, it looks strange after the chart producing such a nice signal candle. There is nothing wrong with the entry apart from the fact that the chart has been choppy for the last three weeks. It means either the pair is waiting for a high impact news event to find its new direction or traded based on a bigger time frame. In a word, the price action traders may skip eying on such a chart to trade at. For them, choosing the right chart plays a vital role. Today’s example proves it again.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Determinin Risk/Reward using Fibonacci Levels

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of a daily-H4 chart combination trading. We also find out how the price reacts to Fibonacci retracement levels and how Fibonacci levels may help us determine risk-reward. Let us start with the daily chart.

This is the daily chart. The chart shows that the price heads towards the North with good bearish momentum and crosses a long way. The last candle comes out as a spinning top with a bullish body. It is a bullish reversal candle, but not a strong one. Let us flip over to the H4 chart and see how it looks.

The chart shows that it produces a morning star. It is a strong bullish reversal pattern. The last candle comes out as a bullish inside bar. The buyers may wait for the price to find its support and produce a bullish reversal candle to go long on the chart.

The price heads towards the South to have a bearish correction. The last candle comes out as a Doji candle. It seems that the price may have found its support. It may not take long to produce a bullish reversal candle.

As expected, the chart produces a bullish engulfing candle closing well above the last swing low. Traders love to have a signal candle like this to trigger an entry. It usually attracts more traders to trade and brings more liquidity. However, here is an equation that we must remember. When the price makes a correction, it is good for the traders to have an engulfing candle as a signal candle closing within the last swing low. It offers the price to travel more space towards the trend. However, when the price consolidates, it must make a breakout at the last support/resistance, though. Let us find out how the price moves after that bullish engulfing candle.

The price heads towards the North with a sluggish pace. Moreover, the price gets caught within two horizontal levels for several candles. It seems that the price is struggling to go towards the North further. Let us draw Fibonacci levels and try to find out the reason behind it.

The chart produces the signal candle at the 61.8% level, which is fantastic. Usually, the price goes towards the level of 161.8% if it trends from the 61.8% level. Over here, the candle closes at 123.6% level, which means the price does not have enough space travel. This is why the price moves towards the North sluggishly. Fibonacci levels help us determine where to set stop loss and take profit. It also helps us determine the risk-reward, which we must not forget.

Forex Course Forex Daily Topic

150. The Easiest Way To Measure Market Volatility


Measuring volatility enables traders to accurately identifying the significant trading opportunities in the currency pairs. An increase in the volatility of a currency pair occurs due to any of the major changes in the economy of that country. Market volatility measures the overall price fluctuations over a specific period, and this information is used to identify the potential breakouts.

In the Forex market, the higher the volatility, the riskier is the currency pair to trade. A higher volatility means that the asset value can be spread out over a larger range of values. A lower volatility means that an asset does not fluctuate dramatically and tends to be more steady. A few indicators help us in measuring the volatility of the currency. Using these indicators will show us the accurate representation of the market’s volatility when looking for trading opportunities.

Bollinger Bands

We have discussed a lot about Bollinger Bands in our previous course lessons. This indicator is specially designed to measure the volatility of an asset. In this case, any currency pair in the Forex market. This indicator consists of two lines (bands) plotted above and below the middle line, a moving average. The volatility representation is based on the standard deviation, which changes as an asset’s volatility increases and decreases. Both these bands contract and expand according to market volatility. When the bands’ contract, it tells us that the volatility is low, and when the bands widen, it represents an increase in volatility.

Moving Average

Moving Average is the most common indicator used by traders across the globe. It measures the average amount of market movement over a specific period. If we set the moving average to 30 periods, it shows us the last 30 days’ average movement. In short, any Moving average tells us the average price movement over a specific period. If the MA line is above the actual price, that implies the market is in a downtrend and vice versa.

Average True Range (ATR)

The ATR (Average True Range) is another reliable indicator used to measure market volatility. This indicator takes the currency price range, which is the distance between the high and low in the time frame, and then plots that measurement as a moving average.

If we set the ATR to 40 range, it will tell us the average trading range of the last 40 days. The lower the ATR reading means, the volatility is falling, and we can expect fewer trades. On the other hand, the higher the volatility means the ATR reading is rising. It is an indication that the volatility is on the rise, and by using any directional indicator, we can gauge the potential trading opportunities.

These are the three best tools you need in your arsenal to measure the market’s volatility accurately. Make sure to take the below quiz before you go. Cheers!

[wp_quiz id=”92111″]
Forex Course Forex Daily Topic

149. Trading The Fakeouts In The Most Conservative Way


Breakout trading is prevalent among all types of traders. Professional traders make a lot of cash by trading these breakouts, while some novice traders fail to effectively trade them. While trading these breakouts, the pretty basic strategy is to pull the trigger when the price breaks above or below any significant level. But many times, the price tends to reverse its direction and cause immediate losses. This is one of the most frustrating experiences breakout traders go through.

Did this ever happen to you, and did you wonder why this happens? The reason is that you have no pre-planned entries. You are just reacting to the price action and chasing the markets purely based on your feelings, but you must accept that the market has no feelings.

How to Trade the fakeouts?

❶ Primarily, find the confluence level on the price chart. This is a place where most of the indicators point towards one direction.

❷ Avoid trading range breakouts as both the parties hold equal power when the market is ranging. In this state of the market, the chance of spikes is very high. So it is always advisable to trade breakouts only in a trending market.

❸ Wait for the price to break above any significant level in an uptrend and break below any major level in a downtrend.

❹ Right after the breakout, wait for the price to test above or below any major level to confirm the breakout’s authenticity.

Trading Strategies

Buy Example

The image below represents a breakout in the EUR/CHF Forex pair.

As you can see in the below chart, we waited for the price action to holds above the breakout line. We have only entered the market after we confirmed the breakout. If the price action fails to hold, it simply means that it was a fakeout, and we can ignore it completely.

In this example, prices held above the breakout, which confirms the validity of the breakout. We took entry at the breakout line and chose to go for a brand new higher high. The exit was purely based on the higher timeframe’s significant resistance area, and the stop loss was just below our entry.

Sell Example

The image below represents a sell breakout in the GBP/NZD forex pair.

In the below image, we can see the price holding below the significant resistance level, which confirms the breakout. Our entry was at the red candle at the significant resistance level. The price sharply rejects to go any higher. Now we can see a brand new lower low forming after our entry.

The stop-loss is placed just above the entry as the seller response was quite aggressive. When the price started to struggle and failed to go down further, we chose to close our trade.

This is one of the best ways to trade the fakeouts in the most conservative way. We hope you got a clear understanding of this concept. Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Cheers!

[wp_quiz id=”92087″]
Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Trading Within Last Weekly Range

In today’s lesson, we will demonstrate an example of a chart where the price is having a retracement within the last weekly range. The price produces a double bottom and makes a breakout at the neckline. It then consolidates but does not head towards the North as it normally does when it makes a breakout at weekly high/low. Let us proceed and find out the possible reason behind it.

The price makes a long bearish move and finds its support. Upon producing a bullish engulfing candle, it heads towards the North and comes back again. At the support zone, it produces a bullish inside bar. Let us see what happens next.

The price heads towards the North next week. It means it is trading within the last week’s range. The price is at the last swing high. If it makes a bullish breakout, the buyers may want to go long at its weakness.

The chart produces two bearish candles followed by a bullish engulfing candle closing within the last swing high. It seems that the price may consolidate more to find its way.

The price upon producing a spinning top followed by a bullish engulfing candle makes a bullish breakout at the last swing high. It is a neckline breakout of a double bottom. The buyers may keep their eyes on the chart to go long on its weakness.

The price produces a bearish inside bar followed by a spinning top with a bullish body. Then, it produces a bullish candle closing above consolidation resistance. Since it is a breakout at the resistance, it is supposed to be a buy signal. The question is whether the buyers should trigger a long entry or not. Let us see the next chart.

The price gets choppy, struggling to make a breakout towards the North. The buyers would not love to see such price action after triggering the entry. If the price makes a breakout at the last week high/low, traders wait for the price to consolidate and produce a bullish/bearish reversal candle to take entry upon a breakout. On the other hand, if the price trades within last week’s range, the price usually makes retracement (instead of consolidation) to offer entry. The Fibonacci level, such as the 38.2% and 61.8%, play a significant role in producing the reversal candle. In today’s chart, the price is in the weekly range. Thus, traders are to wait for the price to make a retracement to offer them entry. It rather consolidates, which ends up making the price choppy.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Weekly High/Low Breakout Trading: The Chart You May Want to Avoid

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of a breakout at a weekly high. The price consolidates afterward but fails to make a breakout at consolidation resistance. Thus, the price does not head towards the North. Let us find out how that happens and what lesson it holds for us.

It is an H4 chart. The chart shows that the price makes a strong bearish move to start its trading week. Then, it gets choppy for the rest of the week. The chart closes its week, producing a bullish engulfing candle. Let us proceed to see how the next week goes.

The chart produces a bullish candle to start its trading week. However, it produces three consecutive bullish candles and makes a breakout at the last weekly high. The buyers are to wait for the price to consolidate and produce a bullish reversal candle closing above consolidation resistance to go long in the pair.

The chart produces two bearish candles closing within the breakout level. A bullish reversal candle closing above consolidation resistance is the signal for the buyers to trigger entry. They must keep their eyes on this chart.

The chart produces a bullish inside bar. It is a bullish reversal candle but not a very strong one. Since it closes within consolidation resistance, the buyers are to wait longer for the chart to produce a bullish candle closing above consolidation resistance.

The chart produces two more bullish candles. However, it has not made a breakout yet. It has been taking too long to produce the signal candle. Let us wait and see what it produces afterwards.

It produces a bearish inside bar at the consolidation resistance. It does not look good for the buyers. The price has a rejection at the level, and it produces a bearish inside bar. It means it is a double top resistance. A breakout at the last swing low may change the equation and attract the sellers instead. Let us proceed and see what happens next.

The price does not make a breakout at the last swing low, either. It produces a doji candle followed by a bullish engulfing candle at the last swing low. It means the chart keeps traders waiting for the next breakout. The bull holds the edge but weekly high/low breakout traders do not love to see such price action after a breakout. It is best to avoid taking entry on a chart like this.


Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Weekly High/Low Breakout Trading: Count the Breakout Candle’s Attributes

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of an H4 breakout at the last week’s high. However, the price does not head towards the North as it usually does. Let’s find out why that happens.

The chart shows that the price after making a strong bearish move gets choppy. The H4 traders may wait for the price to make a breakout at either side. A bullish breakout may attract the buyers to go long in the pair. On the other hand, the sellers may wait for the price to make a bearish breakout.

The price produces a bearish candle to start the next week. The price finds its support, and it heads towards the North. However, the last weekly high is still intact. The buyers must wait for the breakout at the level to go long.

The price finds its intraweek resistance. It comes down. Intraweek support holds the price and produces a bullish inside bar. It is not a strong bullish reversal candle. However, it is produced at double bottom support. Let us wait and see whether it makes a breakout at the neckline or not.

The price heads towards the North and makes a breakout at the neckline. The candle closes within the last week’s high and consolidates. It then produces a bullish candle closing above the last week’s high. However, the candle has a long upper shadow. Considering its upper shadow, traders do not usually get attracted to trade upon such a breakout candle.

As anticipated, the chart produces some bullish candles with long upper shadow after the breakout. The price heads towards the North with a sluggish pace. It then produces a bearish Pin Bar and drives the price towards the breakout level again. A bullish reversal candle closing above consolidation resistance may attract the buyers to go long in the chart again. Let us find out what happens next.

The chart produces a long bearish candle with long lower shadow. The pair is trading within the last week’s range again. The H4 buyers have lost their hope. They may skip eying on the chart to concentrate on somewhere else.

If we look back, a double bottom, along with a breakout at the last week’s high, do not push the price towards the North. Most probably, this is because of the breakout candle’s attributes. We may still keep an eye on such a chart, but it would be wise to concentrate more on those charts, which makes a breakout with a commanding candle.


Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Breakout at Weekly High/Low, Wait for Consolidation

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of an H4 breakout at the weekly low. The chart produces a strong bearish candle to make the breakout. The Bear looks good to make a strong move towards the South. However, the price does not head towards the downside. It rather gets choppy. Let us find out the reason behind it.

It is an H4 chart. The chart shows that the price makes a strong bearish move. It has a bounce at a level of support twice. If the price makes a breakout at the neckline, the buyers may look to go long in the pair upon bearish correction. On the other hand, the sellers may wait for the price to make a breakout at the week’s low to go short upon consolidation and getting a bearish reversal candle.

The chart produces a strong bearish candle breaching through the last week’s low. The breakout length is good as well. It means that the sellers may wait for the price to consolidate and to get a bearish reversal candle to go short in the pair. It seems that the sellers may dominate in the pair in this week as well.

The chart produces another bearish candle followed by a bullish engulfing candle. Producing a bullish engulfing candle to consolidate is not a good sign for the sellers. However, if the next candle comes out as a bearish engulfing candle closing below consolidation support, the sellers will be right on the track.

The chart does not produce a bearish engulfing candle. It rather produces another bullish candle. It seems that the price is having a bullish correction. When the H4 chart makes a breakout at the weekly low/high, the price is supposed to consolidate and produce a reversal candle to offer entry. If it makes a long bullish/bearish correction, it is assumed that the traders are not confident to take the price towards the trend. The chart shows that the price is obeying the level of support, where it has its first bounce.

The choppy price action continues. The H4 traders may wait for the price to make a breakout in the next week. The level of support becomes daily support now. Thus, weekly-H4 traders must wait to find the next direction.

We must remember when a pair trades within last week’s high and low, the price usually makes a correction. When it makes a breakout, it consolidates. If it takes too long or too many candles to make a breakout, traders may skip taking entry on that chart.

Forex Daily Topic Forex System Design

Designing a Trading Strategy – Part 5


In a previous article, we presented the effect of incorporating additional rules in a trading strategy during the design process. In particular, we intuitively proposed a rule that opens a position using a size considering a percentage level of equity in the trading account.

In this educational article, corresponding to the last part of the series dedicated to designing trading strategies, we will expand position sizing concepts.

Position Sizing

The determination of the position size in each trade corresponds to the third element of a trading strategy. This decision will determine the capital that the investor will risk in each trade.

The position sizing corresponds to the volume committed in each trade. This volume can be the number of contracts, shares, lots, or another unit associated with the asset to be traded. The complexity of the position sizing is based on the efficient determination of the position to ensure maximum profitability with an acceptable risk level for the investor.

Programming the Position Sizing

To visualize the difference between some methods of position sizing, we will apply the criteria to the strategy of crossing moving averages analyzed in previous articles:

Fixed Size: This method is probably the most typical when developing a trading strategy. The rule consists of applying a fixed volume per trade. For example, consider the position size of 0.1 lot per trade, the code for our strategy is as follows:

extern double TradeSize = 0.1;

   //Open Buy Order, instant signal is tested first
   if(Cross(0, iMA(NULL, PERIOD_CURRENT, Period1, 0, MODE_LWMA, PRICE_CLOSE, 0) >
 //Moving Average crosses above Moving Average
      price = Ask;
      SL = SL_Pips * myPoint; //Stop Loss = value in points (relative to price)   
         ticket = myOrderSend(OP_BUY, price, TradeSize, "");
         if(ticket <= 0) return;
      else //not autotrading => only send alert
         myAlert("order", "");
      myOrderModifyRel(ticket, SL, 0);
   //Open Sell Order, instant signal is tested first
   if(Cross(1, iMA(NULL, PERIOD_CURRENT, Period1, 0, MODE_LWMA, PRICE_CLOSE, 0) <
 //Moving Average crosses below Moving Average
      price = Bid;
      SL = SL_Pips * myPoint; //Stop Loss = value in points (relative to price)   
         ticket = myOrderSend(OP_SELL, price, TradeSize, "");
         if(ticket <= 0) return;
      else //not autotrading => only send alert
         myAlert("order", "");
      myOrderModifyRel(ticket, SL, 0);

Percentage of Risk per Trade: this criterion considers the account’s size given the account’s capital and estimates the stop loss distance needed to execute the trade according to the devised strategy. The common practice is to risk 1% of the equity currently available in the trading account. In this case, the implementation of the strategy is as follows:

double MM_Percent = 1;
double MM_Size(double SL) //Risk % per trade, SL = relative Stop Loss to
 calculate risk
   double MaxLot = MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MAXLOT);
   double MinLot = MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MINLOT);
   double tickvalue = MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_TICKVALUE);
   double ticksize = MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_TICKSIZE);
   double lots = MM_Percent * 1.0 / 100 * AccountBalance() /
 (SL / ticksize * tickvalue);
   if(lots > MaxLot) lots = MaxLot;
   if(lots < MinLot) lots = MinLot;

Position Sizing to Equity: this method executes the trading order according to the trading account’s equity. For example, the developer could place one lot per $100,000 in the trading account. This method will increase or reduce each transaction’s volume as the capital of the trading account evolves.

extern double MM_PositionSizing = 100000;
double MM_Size() //position sizing
   double MaxLot = MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MAXLOT);
   double MinLot = MarketInfo(Symbol(), MODE_MINLOT);
   double lots = AccountBalance() / MM_PositionSizing;
   if(lots > MaxLot) lots = MaxLot;
   if(lots < MinLot) lots = MinLot;

There are other methods, such as martingale and anti-martingale, discussed in a forthcoming educational article. For now, we present your definition.

  • Martingale: this rule is based on the money management of gambling. This method doubles the position size after each losing trade and starts at one position after each win. This method is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.
  • Anti-Martingale: this method opposes martingale, that is, doubles the position size after each winning trade and starts with a position after a losing trade. This method plays with what the trader considers to be “market’s money.” It is advisable to reset the size after a determined number of steps since the logic bets on a winning streak, which will end at some point. A 3-step is good enough to increase profits substantially. 4-step may be an absolute maximum on most trading strategies.


Position sizing is one of the critical decisions that the trading strategy developer must make. This choice will influence both the trading account’s growth and the capital risk to be exposed in each trade.

On the other hand, we have seen three examples of position sizing, representing a criteria guide that the trading strategy developer can use.

Finally, the developer of the trading strategy should explore and evaluate which is the best option of position sizing to use, taking into account the benefits of each of the impacts on the strategy’s execution.

Suggested Readings

  • Jaekle, U., Tomasini, E.; Trading Systems: A New Approach to System Development and Portfolio Optimisation; Harriman House Ltd.; 1st Edition (2009).
  • Pardo, R.; The Evaluation and Optimization of Trading Strategies; John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition (2008).
Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Count the Breakout Length

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of a chart where the price makes an H4 breakout at the last week’s low. However, the chart does not offer entries. It rather gets choppy. We will try to find out the reason behind that. Let us get started.

It is an H4 chart. The chart shows that the price makes a bearish move and had a bullish correction. Upon producing a bearish engulfing candle, it heads towards the South again. The market is about to close for the weekend, and the sellers are going to wait for the H4 chart to make a bearish breakout and go short in the pair.

The chart produces a Doji candle to start its trading week. The next candle comes out as a bearish engulfing candle. It seems that the pair is going to make an H4 breakout at the week’s low soon.

The chart produces a long bearish candle closing well below the week’s low. It does not consolidate but produces a spinning top with a bearish body. The chart looks bearish, and the sellers may love to wait for the price to consolidate and to offer them a short entry. The question is whether they should wait to go short in the pair or not.

Look at those two drawn lines. One at the above indicates the highest high of the current week. The other one at the bottom indicates the lowest low of the last week. The difference between these two lines is vital. It determines the length of the next move. Usually, the price travels twice the distance of that length with good momentum. Once it travels three times that distance, the price usually makes longer consolidation or correction. The price travels three times that distance here. Thus, it may make a long bullish correction.

The chart produces a bullish engulfing candle followed by another bullish candle closing within the last week’s lowest low. The chart then creates an inverted hammer and drives the price towards the South. Look at the pace of that bearish move. It has been sluggish, and it suggests that the sellers are not interested in going short in this chart. The price has been roaming around the last swing low for quite a while. In a word, the H4 traders must wait for the price to give them the next direction. Meanwhile, it is a chart not to invest money and time in.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Weekly High/Low Offers a Better Reward in the H4 Chart Trading

We are going to demonstrate an example of a trade setup on the H4 chart. The price, after breaches the last week’s low; it consolidates and produces a strong bearish reversal candle. It then heads towards the South with extreme bearish momentum. Let us find out how that happens.

It is an H4 chart. Look at the vertical line on the left. It is the beginning of the week. The chart shows that the price gets trapped within two horizontal levels. The pair is about to finish its trading week. The chart suggests that both the sellers and the buyers are going to keep their eyes on the chart next week to get the breakout and trade.

The pair produces two bullish candles consecutively to start its trading week. However, it produces a bearish engulfing candle and drives the price towards the South. Do you see anything here? Yes, the pair makes a breakout at the last week’s low. It means that the Bear may dominate on the H4 chart. Ideally, traders are to wait for the price to consolidate or make a bullish correction followed by a bearish breakout to go short in the pair.

The price consolidates. It produces some bearish reversal candles such as spinning top, hammer, Doji candle. However, it does not make a breakout at the last swing low. The sellers must wait for an H4 candle to close below consolidation support. Let us wait for more and see what the price does.

The chart produces a bearish engulfing candle closing well below consolidation support. The sellers may trigger a short entry right after the last candle closes. They may set their stop loss above consolidation resistance and set their take profit with 2R. This is the beauty of using weekly high/low and the H4 chart. It offers an excellent reward. Let us now proceed and find out how the entry goes.

The price heads towards the South with good bearish momentum. It produces three bullish inside bars in this move. The last candle comes out as a bullish engulfing candle. The sellers may consider closing their entry and come out with the profit. If we count, we find that the entry offers more than 2R reward. This is what usually happens when the price makes an H4 breakout at the last week’s high/low. Deep consolidation and a strong reversal candle add more fuel to its journey as usual. In our fore coming lessons, we will learn to integrate Fibonacci levels in this strategy to determine our target with better accuracy. Stay tuned.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

What Does A Combination of Double Top and Evening Star Do?

We know a double top is a strong bearish reversal pattern. When the price trends with a double top, it usually creates strong bearish momentum. At consolidation, if it produces an evening star, it creates more momentum that is more bearish since the evening star is a strong bearish reversal pattern as well. In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of that.

The chart shows that the price has been roaming around within two horizontal levels. It has several rejections at the resistance zone. At the last two rejections, it produces two bearish engulfing candles. Moreover, the last candle breaches through the level of support or the neckline. It means the chart may get bearish since it produces a double top.

As expected, the price heads towards the South with good bearish momentum. The sellers are to wait for the price to consolidate and a bearish reversal candle/pattern to go short in the pair.

It seems that the price may have found its support. It produces a bullish inside bar followed by a Doji candle. If the price makes a breakout at the level of consolidation support, the sellers may go short in the pair and drive the price towards the South.

The chart produces a bearish engulfing candle closing well below consolidation support. It is a strong bearish reversal candle itself. The combination of the last three candles is called the evening star, which is a very strong bearish reversal pattern. It suggests that the price may get very bearish soon. The sellers may trigger a short entry right after the last candle closes by setting stop-loss above the last candle’s highest high. We talk about the take-profit level in a minute. Let us find out how the trade goes.

The price heads towards the South with extreme bearish momentum. The last candle comes out as a bullish engulfing candle. It may make a bullish correction or reversal now. However, before producing the bullish engulfing candle, the price travels 2R. Even if the sellers close the entry at the last candle close, they make 1R profit.

When a trend starts with a strong reversal pattern such as the double top/double bottom, morning star, evening star, and it produces a strong reversal pattern at consolidation as well, the price usually produces a longer wave. Trade management is to immaculate, though. Thus, make sure that the trade is made relatively on a bigger time frame such as the H4, the daily, the weekly, etc.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Using Weekly High or Weekly Low in the H4 Chart Trading

The Weekly high or Weekly low plays a significant part in the H4 chart traders. In today’s lesson, we will demonstrate an example of how last week’s high works as a level of support and pushes the price towards the upside by offering a long entry to the buyers. Let us get started.

It is an H4 chart. Look at the vertical dotted line. The price starts its week with a spinning top having a bullish body. The price then heads towards the North and come down again. In the end, the price closes its week around the level where it starts its trading week.

The pair starts its week with a spinning top having a bearish body this time. The price heads towards the North and makes a breakout at the last week’s high. The price usually comes back at the breakout level to have consolidation and ends up offering entry upon producing a reversal candle. Let us draw the breakout level to have a clearer picture.

The drawn line indicates the last week’s high. Now, the H4 chart suggests that the price made a breakout, and the pair is trading above the level currently. The buyers are to wait for the price to consolidate and produce a bullish reversal candle to go long in the pair.

The chart produces a bearish candle closing within the breakout level first. The next candle comes out as a Doji candle. The buyers are to wait for a breakout at consolidation resistance to go long in the pair. Let us proceed to the next chart to find out what the price does next.

The chart produces three more bullish candles. One of the candles breaches through the level of resistance closing above it. The buyers may trigger a long entry right after the last candle closes. The buyers may set their stop loss below the breakout level. To set the take-profit level, the buyers may set their take profit with 2R. It is the best thing about this trading strategy. It offers at least 2R. Sometimes the price travels even more than 2R. Let us find out how the trade goes.

The price heads towards the North with good bullish momentum. Before hitting 2R, it produces a bearish inside bar. It continues its journey towards the North and travels more than 2R. The last candle comes out as a bearish engulfing candle. It suggests that the price may get bearish now.

The best things about using the strategy are

  1. Traders know where the price is going to consolidate.
  2. Which level is going to produce the signal candle.
  3. It offers an excellent risk-reward.
Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Keep an Eye at the Last Daily Candle’s Closing

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of the daily-H4 chart combination trading. In the daily-H4 chart combination trading, the daily chart plays a very significant role. As long as the price in the daily chart heads towards the trend, the traders may find the opportunities to take entry. Let us now proceed and find out what that means.

It is a daily chart. The chart shows that the price heads towards the North with good bullish momentum. The last candle comes out as an inverted hammer with a tiny bullish body. The long upper shadow suggests that the price has a strong rejection at a level of resistance. Nevertheless, the candle has a bullish body, and the candle closes above its last candle’s highest high. Thus, the daily-H4 combination traders may flip over to the H4 chart to go long in the pair.

This is how the H4 chart looks. It produces a bearish engulfing candle followed by a spinning top. It seems that the price may have found its support. If the price makes a breakout at the last swing high, the buyers may go long in the pair.

The chart produces two more bullish candles. The last candle comes out as a hammer with a bearish body. It seems that the price does not know where to go. Traders must be patient here.

The chart produces a bullish engulfing candle closing well above the last swing high. The buyers may trigger a long entry right after the last candle closes. It seems that the bull may make another strong move towards the North. Let us find out how the trade goes.

As expected, the price heads towards the trend with extreme bullish pressure. It hits 1R by the next candle. The candle closes with a thick bullish body. It means that the buyers still have control in the chart. Thus, the buyers may wait for the price to consolidate and get a bullish reversal candle followed by a bullish breakout to go long and drive the price towards the North further.

If we concentrate on the daily chart, we see that the last daily candle is not a strong bullish candle. However, consolidation and a bullish engulfing candle in the H4 chart attract the buyers to go long in the pair. As long as the daily candle closes above/below the last candles highest high/lowest low, the daily-H4 chart combination traders shall keep their eyes in the H4 chart for finding trading opportunities.

Forex Daily Topic Forex Price Action

Double Top and Evening Star Drive the Price Far Down to Consolidate

In today’s lesson, we are going to demonstrate an example of a double top offering an entry, not right after the breakout. It rather offers an entry upon finding its resistance, which is well below the neckline level. Let us find out how that happens.

The chart shows that the price gets trapped within two horizontal levels. It produces a bearish engulfing candle but heads towards the North upon having a bounce at the level of support. The last candle comes out as a Doji candle around the resistance zone. Let us find out what happens next.

The chart produces a bearish engulfing candle closing well below the neckline. The chart produces an evening star to make the breakout. It suggests that the price may head towards the South with good bearish momentum.

The price heads towards the South with three more candles. However, the price does not consolidate around the neckline. Thus the sellers in the chart may find it difficult to go short in the pair. Let us wait and see whether it consolidates or not.

The chart produces two bullish corrective candles. If the price finds its resistance and produces a bearish reversal candle, the sellers may go short below the last swing low.

The chart produces a bearish engulfing candle closing well below the last swing low. The sellers may trigger a short entry right after the last candle closes by setting stop-loss above the candle’s highest high and by setting take profit with 1R.

The price travels a long way towards the South. The last candle comes out as a bullish inside bar. It is a weak bullish reversal candle. However, the way the price has been heading towards the South; it suggests that the price may continue its bearish move. However, many sellers may want to close their entries and come out with the profit after the last candle.

Usually, traders wait for the price to consolidate and produce a reversal candle at the breakout level. However, when a trend starts with a strong reversal pattern, such as the morning star/evening star, the price may not consolidate around the neckline level. Nevertheless, if the chart allows the price space to travel, traders may wait for the price to consolidate and to get a reversal candle to trade. This is what happens here. The price finds its resistance, not at the neckline but somewhere else, and produces a strong bearish engulfing candle offering an entry.