5 Questions You Need To Have Answered Before You Back-test Your Forex System
As 90-95% of new forex traders lose money within the first 3-6 months this article helps to guide new forex traders by asking 5 questions that the forex trader needs to know prior to back-testing their forex system.
Let us jump right in...
1. What data type are you using (or going to use)?
I know this sounds strange, especially if you have experience from another market such as stocks as their generally is only one type of data source available. However, in the forex market you can have up to 4 different data types: bid, ask, mid and indicative. Each have their own little nuances.
If you would like to know more about the data types then visit the article written about the perils of indicative prices. As this will save me from having to repeat the information again and boring those who've already read it.
So, if you know you have indicative prices then you know you're in for some good results! However, if you have any of the other three you need to be careful on how stop and limit orders are placed.
As an example: If we had bid price history and we were looking to place a buy entry stop at 0830 EST according to the day's high, then we know that the bid price will not accurately reflect what the actual price of our order should be. You would have noticed that if you placed a buy entry stop at the exact same price as that of the day's high you would have entered prematurely - you would have entered 4 or 5 pips before the high or the low of the day was touched (the exact same amount as the spread your broker offers!).
This leads me into the next most important question...
2. What spread is your broker offering on the currencies you are bask-testing?
You need to know this as this can help you set your slippage settings on each currency.
As our example in question 1 pointed out. We found that our buy at the day's high method did not exactly work because we bought at the BID PRICE high, not the ASK PRICE high - the price that we need when we place our order TO BUY.
Therefore, we enter in a slippage setting representing the spread that would be exhibited by this trade on this currency.
But knowing at what price to buy is only half the problem... how do we know what quantity to buy?
3. What margin does your broker offer?
If we know at what price to buy our currency at we need to inform our broker on what quantity to buy to fulfill the order. We only know what quantity to buy by the margin that the brokerage firm offers.
Most brokerage firms offer 100:1 leverage, however, some firms offer mini accounts with 200:1 leverage, others only 50:1 leverage.
Find out the margin required.
4. What restrictions does your broker impose?
Now, I don't just mean margin and spread restrictions as I have mentioned above. These are important in their own right, what you need to find out are the details.
This is probably the most important question of all as the fine line between success and failure can be found in the details. Now you can have this questioned by one of two ways:1. You can find out through experience (generally the most expensive way unless done through the demo account!); or2. You ask your broker (the cheapest and best way).
Why is this so important? I hear you ask. Well let's say you have a system that trades any gaps that might form on Sunday at 1700 EST, but your broker does not open until 1730 EST. You either need to factor this restriction in to your system, or move onto another system completely. Or, you may have a system that has 10 pip stops, but you find out that your broker will only let you place 15 pip stops from your initial entry price. Once again you will need to change your system to see whether it still performs well, or throw out your system (or change your broker)!
In fact one of the most devastating restrictions imposed by FXCM is that they do not accept stop entry orders if price never happens to trade at your entry stop price! FXCM will honor and "take the loss" of your OPEN stop positions, but if the liquidity is not there and price has shot straight through your stop price then you will miss out. This can have disastrous effects on your system results as you are left wondering on trades where you made good returns - "Would FXCM have got me in?". You may want to read of some of the quirks I use when placing entry stop orders on FXCM that could be of huge benefit to you to help you possibly get around this problem.
The restrictions by your broker are only half your systems' success, you also need to find out about another more important restriction... yourself. This leads me to the final point...
5. What restrictions do you have?
This is a vitally important question. Most people test their systems and fall in love with the results but find when they trade their system they have lost their account and that most of the best signals occurred while they were sound asleep!
As the forex market is a 24 hour market, you need to put into place restrictions in your system that will be realisticly conducted by you during the course of a normal trading day. There is no use operating a trailing stop method that changes your stop points during times when you are asleep and cannot possibly do so.
I hope this article has made you aware of some of the important things that need to be known prior to testing your system.
Article written by Ryan Sheehy from Currency Secrets.com. Where you will find reviews on forex data vendors, signal providers, brokers, and popular forex resources, along with more quality articles... all for f*ree!
Risk And Stock Trading Fees: The Two Barriers To Overcome If You Want A Successful Trading Career.
You know the old joke:"How do you make a million in the stock market? Start with two million?"There is no way around it, risk and stock market fees are a part of trading that you can`t avoid. But, you can manage your risk. You can also manage the brokerage stock trading fees that eat away at your trading float. All it takes is some planning and making good choices.If you think you`re ready to start trading, look carefully at where you`re getting your money from. Maybe you`ve been considering trading for a while and built up some savings. That`s good planning. Or maybe you`re considering borrowing money. This is generally a bad idea. Maxing out your credit cards is a quick and easy way to get cash, but the...(related: Currency Trading)
Day Trading The Index Futures - How To Judge Good Entries
QUESTION: If the SP futures fall through support and go straight down for another two points, and I want to get short, should I a.)enter immediately, b.) two points below support, or c.)should I wait for a pullback and then try to get short?You've got to be patient enough to wait for entries that have two things: first - a high probability of immediate gain, and second - a small potential for loss if the worst happens and your hard stop gets hit. This principle applies to all entries, and it...(related: Currency Trading)
Forex Made Easy For Everyone
Forex made easy is as simple as you would want it to be. The foreign exchange market is a worldwide market and according to some estimates is almost as big as thirty times the turnover of the US Equity markets. That is some figure to chew on. Forex is the commonly used term for foreign exchange. As a person who wants to invest in the forex market, one should understand the basics of how this currency market operates. Forex can be made easier for beginners to understand it and here's how.Foreign exchange is the buying and the selling of foreign exchange in pairs of currencies. For example you buy US dollars and sell UK Sterling pounds or you sell German Marks and buy Japanese Yen. Why are currencies bought or sold? The answer is simple; Governments and Companies need foreign exchange for their purchase and payments for...(related: Currency Trading)
Long TermLong term traders will work from end of day data and look to hold trades for a few weeks up to many months. Usually trend trading.AdvantagesNo need to watch the markets intraday.Fewer transactions means lower commission costs.<...(related: Currency Trading)
E-currency Exchange Trading
If you are reading this article you are probably one of the many people who have spent countless hours searching for unique ways to make money on the internet. Very few people have gone on to succeed a...(related: Currency Trading)
Day Trading Course Or Day Trading Technique Seminar: Learn Day Trading Education
Profitable day traders recognize that momentum trading is among the fastest & most effective ways to harvest BIG piles of cash in the stock market.The problem is that if you don't know what stocks to look for and how to approach them while limiting your risk, you won't even get close to making some profits.You don't necessarily have to trade momentum hot stocks all the time. But you can learn how to take advantage of them when you encounter the best opportun...(related: Currency Trading)
Trading Profitably On The Foreign Exchange Market
You may be asking yourself "how does one begin to trade profitably as a currency trader?".First, it is important to closely monitor foreign equity markets to attempt to predict or model how their respective currencies will perform against other currencies, ideally, currencies that are not very closely related, nor proportional, to t...(related: Currency Trading)
An Evaluation Of The Devaluation
A Minister of Finance is morally right to lie about a forthcoming devaluation and a woman has the right to lie about her age. This is the common wisdom.Rumours about a devaluation of the Macedonian Denar versus the major currencies were in the air during the last few weeks. Still, no government official had to lie. The market just did not believe it. The unofficial exchange rate stayed put at 27 MKD to the Deutschmark even as the devaluation was taking place.This is strange. Devaluation rumours are usually reflected in the street exchange rates. The MKD has held its turf against other currencies in the last three years. A devaluation s...(related: Currency Trading)