If you approach forex day trading by just looking at the 5 minute and 15 minute charts there is a strong possibility your account will evaporate sooner rather than later.
In order to get a feel for the market and an indication of the current trend it is necessary to do an analysis by looking at multiple charts on different time frames starting with higher level charts first.
Rather than having the charts cluttered with numerous indicators and signals which can cause signal paralysis, I recommend just two:
1. MACD (with default settings)
2. 200 EMA (Exponential Moving Average)
Now examine your charts using a top down approach:
- 4 Hour
- 1 Hour
As you check each chart take note of these two factors:
- Has MACD crossed down or up and is it above or below the water line?
- Is price above or below the 200 EMA?
While it is not crucial to have them all lined up on these three time frames for successful forex day trading, if you want to be a cautious trader and go for high probability trades then certainly MACD on the 4 hour chart and 1 hour chart should be in agreement as also should price in relation to the 200 EMA.
The daily chart can be useful in seeing the larger picture and for noting key levels of support and resistance. They stand out on a daily chart so if price is within 100 pips of a crucial level of support or resistance as seen on the daily chart, make a note of the figure.
Then scale down to the lower time frames and see if this level matches with other indicators such as pivot points or Fibonacci levels.
Once you have done this groundwork, NOW you can look at the 15 minute and 5 minute charts for a suitable entry point.
Remember, for successful Forex day trading you need to adhere to the No. 1 commandment: Buy The Dips and Sell the Rallies!
So avoid chasing the market and going with the flow. Instead, wait for price to come the level you want, set your entry order, and let price pull you into the trade.
The Danger With Lower Time Frames
Just concentrating on the 15 minute and 5 minute charts will not give you the bigger picture. You could see what looks like a perfectly good trade and set your stops and limits only to find you get blown out within a few minutes.
By looking at the higher time frame you would probably have seen you were close to a key support or resistance level and either not gone into the trade or adjusted your stops and limits accordingly.
For the novice, Forex day trading can involve a huge learning curve. Include this simple daily top down analysis approach to your trading and protect yourself against making trades you wish you didn't!