If your Forex trading is not going the way you want it to and you feel overwhelmed by the amount of market data bombarding your brain every time you sit down to analyze the markets, you probably need to readjust your trading strategy so that your primary focus is on the daily charts.
If you are currently experiencing any of the following trading problems you will benefit significantly from making the daily chart your primary trading time frame:
• Over-trading – Trading too much due to a number of reasons; greed, indecision, no trading plan etc.
• Fear of placing trades – You feel un-confident about which trades to take and which to pass on, this results in you getting “stage fright” and not trading at all, thus missing out on some good opportunities.
• Over-analyzing – You find yourself spending hours upon hours looking at numerous time frames and 20 different currency pairs. Eventually, you get tired and decide to enter a trade for no solid reason besides the fact that you have confused yourself to the point of exhaustion.
• Addiction to trading – You find yourself preoccupied with the market and with your trades all the time, it’s starting to affect your work life and your family life, all the while you are still losing money. You wonder why you are losing money while pumping so much time into your trading.
• Trading inconsistently –You have some good weeks and then some very bad weeks that erase your good weeks.
How not focusing on the daily charts can cause the above trading problems:
• Over-trading – When you look at every time frame available to you, you are naturally going to find more “signals”. However, signals on the lower time frames are naturally less reliable than signals on the daily chart because the daily chart works to “smooth” out the noise and randomness that can occur on time frames below it, thus showing you a more accurate picture of the market. This means you will trade less on the daily chart, but the trades you do take will naturally be higher-probability. So, in essence, you lose quantity, but you gain quality when trading the daily charts, not a bad trade-off when you consider your hard-earned cash is at stake.There are good signals on lower time frames like the 4hr and 1hr chart, but you need to master the daily chart before you can have any chance at successfully trading the time frames below it. Also, I never trade or look at any time frames under the 1hr as my years in the markets have proved to me that these time frames are totally counter-productive due to the inherent noise they contain and confusion they induce. There are many false signals on lower time frames and so you have to know how to properly trade the daily charts before you can understand how to properly trade the lower time frames. Also, once you start the ball rolling of over trading in Forex, it becomes an emotional roller coaster that is very hard to detect and stop.
• Fear of placing trades – When you are inundated by a vast amount of market data from news sources and numerous different chart time frames, you are naturally going to self-impose a certain amount of indecision and doubt into your trading. Also, when you do not have a trading strategy mastered like price action trading on the daily charts, you are naturally going to be more confused and thus less confident than you otherwise would be. In essence, you want to limit the number of variables you use to make your trading decisions in the market, because there are essentially an unlimited amount of variables that traders can confuse themselves with. Not focusing on the daily charts as your primary technical analysis time frame usually leads to confusion, indecision, and ultimately fear.
• Over-analyzing – Many traders spend hours upon hours analyzing fundamental data, technical data, and anything else they can get their hands on that they erroneously believe will give them more insight into the future track of the market. The problem with this thinking is that ALL variables are ultimately reflected via the simple and natural price movement of a price chart. The daily chart gives us the most pertinent view of the market in my opinion, so if you are not focusing mainly on the daily chart, you are probably spending too much time on other less-pertinent market variables that are only going to confuse you and cause you to enter trades that are based more on “guessing” than on sound price action trading logic of the daily chart.
• Addiction to Trading – This one is pretty simple; traders seem to think that by looking at lower time frames they are somehow getting a more accurate view of the market, simply because more data is coming their way. Well, they are right that they are getting more data, but they are wrong that they are getting a more accurate view of the market. Simply put, not every move in the market is significant; in fact, there are a lot of useless price formations and price action setups on small time frames, simply as a result of the nature of the markets. We have to move up to higher time frames like the daily chart to see what all the movement on the lower time frames actually means.
Many traders simply lose sight of the fact that higher time frames are more accurate and so they spend countless hours analyzing and checking their trades. Eventually they are so preoccupied with their trading that they are checking intra-day charts at work and constantly thinking about the markets. This is what happens when you don’t put the majority of your focus on the smoothed-out and more relevant view of the daily charts.
• Trading inconsistently – If you are confusing yourself by focusing on many different time frames and not focusing on the daily charts as your main time frame, you are very likely getting inconsistent trading results, at best. Traders who jump around from the 5 minute chart to the 30 minute chart and back again, are naturally less likely to have a consistent and smooth long-term equity curve than those traders who put their focus mainly on the daily charts. This is because traders using lower time frames are naturally going to be taking many more low-probability trade setups than traders focusing on the daily charts, and low time-frame traders are also more likely to over-trade, this means significantly less consistent trading results over the long-term.
How focusing on the daily charts can FIX the above trading problems:
• Over-trading – Daily charts help inhibit over trading because you get fewer signals but they are more accurate. Most traders over-trade from focusing on lower time frames. Thus, by moving your focus to the more reliable daily chart, you will have a natural guard against over-trading, that is assuming you are disciplined enough to only trade obvious signals on the daily chart that you have mastered previously by mastering one Forex trading strategy at a time.
• Fear of placing trades – Patience is very important in Forex trading and discipline as well, waiting for the best signals on the daily charts influences you to develop these positive trading habits. When you become a patient and disciplined Forex trader, you will naturally foster a confident trading mindset and this will work to eliminate the fear of trading that you may have experienced recently. The key to waiting for the best signals is of course knowing exactly what signals you are looking for.
• Over-analyzing – Daily charts provide for set and forget Forex trading and this allows you to spend less time staring at your charts and less time analyzing the market and all its variables. This is a good thing, more is usually not better when it comes to Forex trading, in fact, after you learn to trade effectively, you are better off spending as little time as possible analyzing the market and looking for trades. 30 minutes a day is all you need if you are focusing on the daily charts, this is of course after you have mastered an effective trading strategy like price action.
• Addiction to trading – Once you accept that all trading signals are stronger and more significant on the daily charts than any time frame below, you will be less likely to get addicted to staring at your charts and analyzing the market. People become addicted to lower time frames and watching the price movement, this is counter-productive and simply a huge waste of time. You want to trade like a sniper and not a machine gunner; the daily charts give you this ability.
• Trading inconsistently – All trading signals are stronger and clearer on daily charts than on time frames below, thus it makes your trading more effective and consistent over the long-term due to the increased reliability of the signals. Remember, trading success is defined by consistency, and if you want to have a steadily increasing equity curve you will need to slow-down your trading activity and learn to analyze the market from the more pertinent perspective that the daily charts provide.
The “real” Forex market close
Trading daily charts that close at 5pm New York time is important because this marks the end of the current Forex trading day and the start of the new trading day as New Zealand trading opens. Closing prices are the most important price in the market because they show the settlement between the bulls and the bears, and because the New York trading session is the second biggest behind London in Forex trading volume, it’s very important to see this closing settlement at the New York close instead of at some other more arbitrary time.