If you are new to the world of Forex trading then, before you even think about making your first trade, you need to sit down and draw up a Forex trading strategy. The foreign currency market is one of the most exciting and lucrative markets in the world, but it is also extremely fast moving and volatile and, while you can make tremendous profits, you can also make substantial losses if you don not have a very clearly defined game plan.
There are a number of different strategies which you can adopt for trading in the currency markets and you will need to come up with a strategy that suits you. At the end of the day exactly what strategy you decide to adopt is largely immaterial but, what is important, is that have you a strategy before you start to trade.
Many traders today choose to base their strategy on a technical approach to trading while others prefer to follow a fundamental approach. Both approaches are fine but the truly successful traders will tell you that the real secret lies in not selecting one or the other but in combining the two.
Technical analysis holds that prices follow trends and that markets possess clearly identifiable patterns which can be recognized if you know what you are looking for. Both knowledge and experience play an important role in technical analysis but here it is a case of knowledge and experience of not just the patterns in the market but of working with the barrage of tools which are know available to the technical analyst.
Within technical analysis many traders like to work with what are called support and resistance levels. In this case a support price is a low price to which a currency repeatedly returns, effectively representing the bottom of the market or the price at which it supports the market. By contrast, a resistance price is the high price which a currency reaches from time to time but above which it tends to resist rising.
The importance of these two levels is that once a currency price drops below its support level it will commonly continue to fall and, similarly, once the price exceeds its resistance level it will continue to climb.
It is also common for technical analysts to make use of moving averages which show the average price of a currency over a given period of time within a longer period. This is extremely useful for eliminating short term fluctuations in a currency price and producing a clearer picture of the movement of a currency over time.
These of course are just two of the many tools available to Forex traders who are following a technical approach and there is a wide range of far more complex and powerful tools available today.
In addition to technical analysis, many traders also believe strongly in fundamental analysis which holds that currencies move in response to a wide range of factors including political events, changes in trade agreements and trading patterns, economic numbers, interest rates, employment figures and much more.
Fundamental analysis is clearly a complex area which requires considerably knowledge and experience to master, which is probably one reason why many new traders are fairly easily drawn towards technical analysis and tend to use fundamental analysis to a limited degree at first while they acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to put it to work effectively.
Both technical and fundamental analyses are of course not in themselves trading strategies but are the foundation on which you will need to build your trading strategy. Your starting point should be to decide upon the basis on which you are going to analyze the market and thus make your trading decisions. Once this has been done you then need to look carefully at the mechanics of your trading and it is detailing just how you intend to trade that forms your trading strategy.