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daedalus

The Truth of Trading

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..

 

it takes all kind to make this world, and we are nothing more than a statistic in a normalized demographic study.

 

quote of the week/month/year

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Found this post on a blog comment and was blown away by what was said. I think there is a LOT of truth in the following paragraphs. Well worth every struggling traders time.

 

Daedalus,

 

Sounds like a a guy who thinks he can walk on water. He appeals to the trader's sense of insecurity. However, he's just another trader who apparently claims to have had a good year.

 

Always a sceptic.

 

 

MM

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Sounds like a a guy who thinks he can walk on water. He appeals to the trader's sense of insecurity.

 

Oh, MM...always so negative! :) Your posts remind me so much of ET...

 

I thought the article was very good, however, my only criticism would be the title of this thread...the truth of trading...THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH IN THE MARKET (or, in my opinion, in life). The "truth" is whatever works (think about that). That's a problem with a lot of traders/people...since it's this way for me, it's this way for everybody...

 

If you just read Market Wizards (any of the 3 books), you will read about a selection of highly successful traders, some of whom disagree on virtually everything...and for each common trait/advice/method you find, there is almost always an extreme exception...yet they are all extremely successful.

 

I thought it was a very good post, and I disagree with MM's post...but I think it's a little much to call it the truth...

 

:2c:

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Oh, MM...always so negative! :) Your posts remind me so much of ET...

 

I thought the article was very good, however, my only criticism would be the title of this thread...the truth of trading...THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE TRUTH IN THE MARKET (or, in my opinion, in life). The "truth" is whatever works (think about that). That's a problem with a lot of traders/people...since it's this way for me, it's this way for everybody...

 

If you just read Market Wizards (any of the 3 books), you will read about a selection of highly successful traders, some of whom disagree on virtually everything...and for each common trait/advice/method you find, there is almost always an extreme exception...yet they are all extremely successful.

 

I thought it was a very good post, and I disagree with MM's post...but I think it's a little much to call it the truth...

 

:2c:

 

So there are no aboslute truths and but there are people who walk on water? What exactly do you disagree with that I posted if you do not agree with the main jist of his post?

 

Or, do you simply want to disagree with me?

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So there are no aboslute truths and but there are people who walk on water? What exactly do you disagree with that I posted if you do not agree with the main jist of his post?

 

Or, do you simply want to disagree with me?

 

First, I admit, I do enjoy disagreeing with you MM. :)

 

I only disagreed with how you perceived the poster's intent...I felt there was no good reason to doubt that the poster was genuinely trying to help and offering what he felt was sound advice. I never got the impression that the guy thought he walked on water, etc.

 

I suppose anyone offering advice could be perceived as arrogant, because it's implied that the person giving the advice believes that he or she may know something that the person receiving advice does not. However, beyond the fact that the poster was giving advice, I didn't think he came across as particularly arrogant.

 

I enjoyed the post's perspective, most of which I tend to agree with concerning my own trading...I just thought it was a little much to call it THE TRUTH...not sure if the title was from the OP of this thread or the OP of the quoted post...

Edited by TMBTC

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First, I admit, I do enjoy disagreeing with you MM. :)

 

I only disagreed with how you perceived the poster's intent...I felt there was no good reason to doubt that the poster was genuinely trying to help and offering what he felt was sound advice. I never got the impression that the guy thought he walked on water, etc.

 

I suppose anyone offering advice could be perceived as arrogant, because it's implied that the person giving the advice believes that he or she may know something that the person receiving advice does not. However, beyond the fact that the poster was giving advice, I didn't think he came across as particularly arrogant.

 

I enjoyed the post's perspective, most of which I tend to agree with concerning my own trading...I just thought it was a little much to call it THE TRUTH...not sure if the title was from the OP of this thread or the OP of the quoted post...

 

Admittedly, I enjoy being disagreed with.

 

 

He is claiming to have netted 150k, quadrupling his account, doing so by taking small initial risks, never having a losing month, and is pretty new to trading. If he did do it, then he should at least consider, since he is so new, that is was the result of extraordinary circumstances, but it seems to me that he wants us to believe that he walks on water.

 

He does tell you that he is successful, but all he tells you about how he does it is that what most other traders are doing is completely wrong and by inference he is right. So, it seems to me that his post wasn't about helping you or me but was more about making you feel badly about what you are doing and making you want to wish you were as smart as him or something like that.

 

Personally, I can't stand when people do that.

 

 

MM

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Admittedly, I enjoy being disagreed with.

 

 

He is claiming to have netted 150k, quadrupling his account, doing so by taking small initial risks, never having a losing month, and is pretty new to trading. If he did do it, then he should at least consider, since he is so new, that is was the result of extraordinary circumstances, but it seems to me that he wants us to believe that he walks on water.

 

He does tell you that he is successful, but all he tells you about how he does it is that what most other traders are doing is completely wrong and by inference he is right. So, it seems to me that his post wasn't about helping you or me but was more about making you feel badly about what you are doing and making you want to wish you were as smart as him or something like that.

 

Personally, I can't stand when people do that.

 

 

MM

 

All right, MM...you've convinced me that your conclusion was not totally unreasonable.

 

I guess the fact that I agree with 99% of what he's saying for my own trading caused me to perceive it differently than you.

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Just as an extra - history is littered with "truths"

religious teachings, scientific techings.

Even in economics - the truth for a long while was that the markets are efficient. These truths were taught at the leading institutions of their day.

The teacher may be poor in how they express something, but it does not mean their message does not have some value.

 

When it comes to any education the best way to approach it is with an open mind in order to take what you can out of it by understanding both sides of the argument.

 

Thats why these forums can actually be so valuable.:2c:

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I really liked that post. Its why you can take the same exact setups and give them to two traders and one will be profitable and the other wont. Because the profitable one will know when not take the setup, when to cut the trade early, and when to stay in the trade longer. The profitable trader has learned to read the market. I thought it was excellent.

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I really liked that post. Its why you can take the same exact setups and give them to two traders and one will be profitable and the other wont. Because the profitable one will know when not take the setup, when to cut the trade early, and when to stay in the trade longer. The profitable trader has learned to read the market. I thought it was excellent.

 

There is a school of thought that would conclude the reverse! The trader that follows the set up unemotionally without second guessing it will be the profitable one. The one that messes with the system based on other factors will be the one that won't. It is my strong suspicion that the reason most traders fail is for not sticking to a system. The 'experience to know when things aren't right' argument is generally used by people that are essentially winging it.

 

On the other hand I do think that most successful traders have developed an implicit understanding of price action (learn't tor read the market if you like) whether they use that formerly or not.

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There is a school of thought that would conclude the reverse! The trader that follows the set up unemotionally without second guessing it will be the profitable one. The one that messes with the system based on other factors will be the one that won't. It is my strong suspicion that the reason most traders fail is for not sticking to a system. The 'experience to know when things aren't right' argument is generally used by people that are essentially winging it.

 

On the other hand I do think that most successful traders have developed an implicit understanding of price action (learn't tor read the market if you like) whether they use that formerly or not.

 

Blowfish,

 

If either school of thought were right, then the market would be totally predictable which it is not.

 

If you could find a system that you can trade that would give you an edge like a casino, then you would have stumbled upon the holy grail.

 

If you could tell when your set up wasn't going to work, and only take the trades when they were going to work, then you are the holy grail.

 

Most people don't fail at trading, they simply can't make enough money to sustain themselves because they do not have enough capital. They tend to stop after a losing streak and possibly quit when they are down, but if they had quit when they were up by an equal amount, it would still be best to quit since the amount they made ( instead of lost ) wouldn't have amounted to much.

 

The main reason most people stop trading is, simply, because they run out of time.

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IMHO, the setup itself must contain all critera for entry. Or you may distinguish between a setup and a trigger within this setup, but again, the trigger must be defined. In other words, the decision when to take the setup and when to pass must be contained within the setup definition. If it is not, then the definition is not complete.

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IMHO, the setup itself must contain all critera for entry. Or you may distinguish between a setup and a trigger within this setup, but again, the trigger must be defined. In other words, the decision when to take the setup and when to pass must be contained within the setup definition. If it is not, then the definition is not complete.

 

The additional decisions or rules may make you feel better, but in the end, you'll probably find that the additional rules you add to the entry and exit will keep you out of winning trades that you would have taken when you were "dumber" and still get you into losing trades anyway.

 

I am speaking completely from experience.

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^^ I have to agree with this. I have a defined rule set for a trade entry these days, but it is a very basic concept, rather than a set of X, Y, Z, doing something, and this and that have to happen by the 3rd bar, and if it doesn't do Y by the 10th bar I need to bail...

 

Just like its easy to fall down the rabbit hole of indicators and technical analysis, I feel its equally easy to fall down the hole of constraining the market into predefined rules.

 

I've had much better success with a general concept mildly defined for entry and trying to let the trades work without my interaction. Thats not to say that you don't use money management, or don't have rules in place to allow for par stops and taking profit, but like most things in life there is a delicate balance that needs to be reached for optimum effectiveness IMHO.

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I think you should have a plan with well defined setups and areas where you are looking to take action. But ultimately it comes down to how you read the market. If you could trade like a machine and take every single setup, then machines could be programmed to make money and I have not seen any that do.

 

Also regarding winging it. If you only take trades that meet your setup criteria or trigger and skip on a few because of what experience has taught you, then you are not really winging it, since your are NOT taking trades which do not meet your criteria. Just my opinion.

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I think you should have a plan with well defined setups and areas where you are looking to take action. But ultimately it comes down to how you read the market. If you could trade like a machine and take every single setup, then machines could be programmed to make money and I have not seen any that do.

 

Also regarding winging it. If you only take trades that meet your setup criteria or trigger and skip on a few because of what experience has taught you, then you are not really winging it, since your are NOT taking trades which do not meet your criteria. Just my opinion.

 

I find to my horror that I must support blowfish.

 

The "those who win intuit; those who don't get hammered by losing setups" argument is appealing but essentially wrong. Mark Douglas identified in TDT the real issue - those who got hammered picked and chose amongst entries and exits because of actions caused by painful emotional reactions to the market. Or they didn't have a decent set of rules in the first place.

 

Sure an experienced trader operating in their zone can improve by skipping some now recognizably weak entries - but that's not usually how they reached that point.

 

First, learn to execute mechanically while you wait for your emotions to decline and learn to trust the right things. Until you do the noise of your emotions will overpower any valid intuition. Then, and only then, you may intuit with some reason to hope it will improve your results.

 

Second, as an experienced programmer I must take you up on the "if you could define setups then machines could execute them." This is also untrue. If it was true then speech recognition would be listening and typing for me and computers would be doing excellent visual recognition just like you and I. And after billions of dollars and decades of work they are not.

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Blowfish,

 

If either school of thought were right, then the market would be totally predictable which it is not.

 

If you could find a system that you can trade that would give you an edge like a casino, then you would have stumbled upon the holy grail.

 

If you could tell when your set up wasn't going to work, and only take the trades when they were going to work, then you are the holy grail.

 

Most people don't fail at trading, they simply can't make enough money to sustain themselves because they do not have enough capital. They tend to stop after a losing streak and possibly quit when they are down, but if they had quit when they were up by an equal amount, it would still be best to quit since the amount they made ( instead of lost ) wouldn't have amounted to much.

 

The main reason most people stop trading is, simply, because they run out of time.

 

Well we must respectfully disagree (again). I am not sure what your interest in trading is to be honest, you see to have a terribly negative view of it. I honestly can't imagine anyone making a go of it with some of the the beliefs you expound.

 

I do agree that most people are under capitalised. they also have un realistic expectations. Thats a couple of things we agree upon at least :)

 

If you don't believe you can find something that can give you a small edge then of course no one would succeed beyond a lucky streak. (which is not going to get you very far at all). If this is sincerely your belief I wonder what your motivation is wasting any time on trading related activities? Incidentally if you do not have a positive edge it can be mathmatically demonstrated that you have a best chance of capital gain using all your margin on a single large bet. (other wise the laws of large numbers will slowly work against you to whittle away your account)

 

Anyway you seem to have miss my point, no matter.

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Well we must respectfully disagree (again). I am not sure what your interest in trading is to be honest, you see to have a terribly negative view of it. I honestly can't imagine anyone making a go of it with some of the the beliefs you expound.

 

I do agree that most people are under capitalised. they also have un realistic expectations. Thats a couple of things we agree upon at least :)

 

If you don't believe you can find something that can give you a small edge then of course no one would succeed beyond a lucky streak. (which is not going to get you very far at all). If this is sincerely your belief I wonder what your motivation is wasting any time on trading related activities? Incidentally if you do not have a positive edge it can be mathmatically demonstrated that you have a best chance of capital gain using all your margin on a single large bet. (other wise the laws of large numbers will slowly whittle away your account)

 

Anyway you seem to have miss my point, no matter.

 

Blowfish,

 

Your point was that there is a school of thought that thinks you will be profitable if you do not second guess your trades; however, you do believe that most successful traders have learned to read the market. You also point out that you believe that most traders fail because they do not stick to a system.

 

Did I get it right? Or perhaps you intended to convey something other than what you typed?

 

Perhaps if you read what I typed instead of trying to figure out why I would ever want to trade, you would have seen that I simply made comments on the points you made.

 

IMO, the forum threads are so much more pleasant to read when there are no personal attacks or attempts to defame.

 

Trading is not betting. It may have a similar look and feel, but it is not the same duck as betting. Mathematically, yes, you should walk into a casino and plop all your money on red or black or pass or don't pass, etc, and you will then have your greatest chance of walking out with the most money. In a casino, there are predefined odds, and a predefined house edge. The house edge will whittle your money away, no matter how small it is.

 

In trading, there are no predefined odds or edges. You do not know, and cannot know, before you take a trade whether or not you have the "edge" this time or what the payout is going to be. That changes the game tremendously.

 

You can certainly try to read into my statements, again, and wrongly conclude that I do not think you can make money trading.

 

 

MM

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Kiwi,

I totally get what you are saying. But when you say "First, learn to execute mechanically while you wait for your emotions to decline and learn to trust the right things. Until you do the noise of your emotions will overpower any valid intuition. Then, and only then, you may intuit with some reason to hope it will improve your results."

 

This is sort of what I am saying, but I mean that by executing mechanically you will not necessarily be profitable. Learning to execute mechanically will teach you to recognize your setup. However you must get to the point where your emotions decline like you say and learn to trust the right things. At that point are you executing ALL your setups?

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^^

I've had much better success with a general concept mildly defined for entry and trying to let the trades work without my interaction. Thats not to say that you don't use money management, or don't have rules in place to allow for par stops and taking profit, but like most things in life there is a delicate balance that needs to be reached for optimum effectiveness IMHO.

 

I tend to think this works well and also agrees with Kiwi and blowfish from the point of view of dont think too much about it initially.

Look for a general series of setups without too much extra thought that will get you looking for the holy grail etc; BUT then execute and manage the trade mechanically.

eg; have a predefined stop, position size off this, either take profits at a pre determined level, or let run until another general setup.

Its a bit along the lines of saying dont focus too much on the entry but rather focus on the trade management.

As you improve you can then improve the entry.

 

Its the very simple approach of looking at a chart and squinting the eyes and saying "up trend or downtrend", then saying buy or sell, and then mechanically managing. You may loose, you may win but the focus is not so much on trying to get the perfect entry.

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Kiwi,

I totally get what you are saying. But when you say "First, learn to execute mechanically while you wait for your emotions to decline and learn to trust the right things. Until you do the noise of your emotions will overpower any valid intuition. Then, and only then, you may intuit with some reason to hope it will improve your results."

 

This is sort of what I am saying, but I mean that by executing mechanically you will not necessarily be profitable. Learning to execute mechanically will teach you to recognize your setup. However you must get to the point where your emotions decline like you say and learn to trust the right things. At that point are you executing ALL your setups?

 

Yes you are.

 

Thats what I mean about programming computers being on a par with speech and visual recognition. As you mechanically execute you'll find issues with your plan. And the issues should lead you to suspect "context." So rather than acting on intuition you build a hypothesis, then you go back and test it, and then improve your rules. Then you continue trading ... and find out if you improved or otherwise.

 

At the end of that process you will be profitable (if you are ever going to be) and there will be no intuiting in your trading. There will be guesses about issues - but rather than act on them in real time you take the guess, build on it, test it and improve your process. Its scientific method at its simplest and best. :)

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Blowfish,

 

Your point was that there is a school of thought that thinks you will be profitable if you do not second guess your trades; however, you do believe that most successful traders have learned to read the market. You also point out that you believe that most traders fail because they do not stick to a system.

 

Did I get it right? Or perhaps you intended to convey something other than what you typed?

 

Perhaps if you read what I typed instead of trying to figure out why I would ever want to trade, you would have seen that I simply made comments on the points you made.

 

IMO, the forum threads are so much more pleasant to read when there are no personal attacks or attempts to defame.

 

Trading is not betting. It may have a similar look and feel, but it is not the same duck as betting. Mathematically, yes, you should walk into a casino and plop all your money on red or black or pass or don't pass, etc, and you will then have your greatest chance of walking out with the most money. In a casino, there are predefined odds, and a predefined house edge. The house edge will whittle your money away, no matter how small it is.

 

In trading, there are no predefined odds or edges. You do not know, and cannot know, before you take a trade whether or not you have the "edge" this time or what the payout is going to be. That changes the game tremendously.

 

You can certainly try to read into my statements, again, and wrongly conclude that I do not think you can make money trading.

 

 

MM

 

I apologise, I should have limited my observations to your comments. Having said that they are generally of a negative nature re-iterating how it is virtually impossible to make money trading and if you do, don't expect to make enough to support your self or to reach the giddy heights of 15% per annum return.

 

I think what got my goat was your assertion that finding an edge was the 'holy grail'. It suggests that it is virtually impossible (impossible until someone does actually find or prove the existence of a chalice with miraculous powers). Essentially you are saying trading profitably is impossible (or at least virtually impossible). The more damaging implication of this is that a potential traders time is well spent looking for this grail, this elusive edge. Until a potential trader stops all the piddling around trying different systems and approaches in search of the mythical grail they have absolutely no hope.

 

The real problem is actually trading an edge with discipline. That's when things get difficult. It would seem that some people also have difficulty recognising an edge. Bizare as they are relatively easy to find.

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I apologise, I should have limited my observations to your comments. Having said that they are generally of a negative nature re-iterating how it is virtually impossible to make money trading and if you do, don't expect to make enough to support your self or to reach the giddy heights of 15% per annum return.

 

I think what got my goat was your assertion that finding an edge was the 'holy grail'. It suggests that it is virtually impossible (impossible until someone does actually find or prove the existence of a chalice with miraculous powers). Essentially you are saying trading profitably is impossible (or at least virtually impossible). The more damaging implication of this is that a potential traders time is well spent looking for this grail, this elusive edge. Until a potential trader stops all the piddling around trying different systems and approaches in search of the mythical grail they have absolutely no hope.

 

The real problem is actually trading an edge with discipline. That's when things get difficult. It would seem that some people also have difficulty recognising an edge. Bizare as they are relatively easy to find.

 

It appears that you have once again completely misinterpreted previous statements. No where did I say that earing 15% was the goal. Certainly you try to earn more than that, but if you end up at the end of a year with a 15% return, you have done better than most traders. Probably better than 99.9% of them. If you are expecting to on average double and triple your money every year, then, yes, my comment is negative.

 

You may want to define exactly what you mean when you say "edge".

 

When I say edge, I am referring to the way some use the term. A lot of people on these forums use the term edge to be synonymous with the edge a casino has. A casino's edge is the holy grail. If you think you have an edge like a casino does, then you think you have the holy grail. I do not know if someone has, in fact, fairly, attained an edge in trading like a casino has.

 

Regarding trading profitably, I don't think it is possible, I know it is possible. Saying I know it is possible couldn't be more non-negative. I think what you might mean to say is that if you felt that you could not find an edge, then you wouldn't see the point of trading. It might be right and true for you, but It's not for me. Also, if you ended up the year with a 15% return, then it wouldn't be worth it for you.

 

I went from break even to profitable when I stopped looking for the elusive edge. I am not trying to break even, but everyone else is welcome to.

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You said 15% per year is an awesome return and would put you in the top .1% of all traders on the race thread. Perhaps you forgot? I can't quite see how I misrepresented you.

 

I think we agree in what an edge is, a positive expectancy. You also keep saying that finding an edge is pretty much impossible. Without an edge you can not possibly hope to make money unless you have a couple of lucky rolls and quit well before probability and the law of large numbers does its job (emptying your account). Going back to the point about trading intuitively...that can be considered an edge. In this instance you would need enough data (live trades) to statistically determine the nature of your edge. Another reason it is particularly hard (hugely) to employ an intuitive approach when starting out.

 

There are loads of methods and systems that provide an edge, actually a somewhat better edge than a casinos (though some games like baccarat and certain craps propositions are quite high expectancy for the bank).

 

In short. Finding an edge.....trivial. Applying an edge consistently ... difficult. Grail hunting....recipe for failure.

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    • Yes trading can give as freedom but it has relatively high prices if you don't want to study learn from trading mistakes or fall into gambling. Trading success isn't something you can achieve quickly same as in other businesses. 
    • Date : 21st January 2022. Market Update – January 21 – Stocks Sink – Netflix & Peloton Crash. Stock markets sank again (Nasdaq -1.3%) Tech companies led the slide, (Peloton -24%, Netflix -18% post results. USD firmed as Yields & Oil dipped, Gold held onto to gains. Markets are nervous and risk aversion has picked up as investors eye shaky earnings, and waning confidence, with mounting tensions over Ukraine adding to geopolitical tensions. US Weekly claims hit a 3-mth high, EZ Inflation was an ATH and North Korea said it may resume testing its nuclear arsenal. Asian markets and AUD & NZD lower (AUDJPY -0.62%) ASX 200 (-1.2%), Nikkei 225 (-1.8%).   USD (USDIndex 95.65) ticks higher slips as Yields decline . US Yields 10-yr moved closed at 1.83% & trades at 1.785%. Equities – USA500 -50 (-1.1%) 4482 – USA500 FUTS lower again at 4467. USOil – Fell below $82.00 afrom highs at 87.95 on Wednesday, Inventories increased by 0.5m vs 2.3m drawdown. Gold – held on to gains topped at $1848 and holds $1838 now, holding the key 1830 support. Bitcoin under $40,000 back to test $39,000, FX markets – EURUSD back to test 1.1300 – 1.1322, USDJPY now 113.80 & Cable back to 1.3570, the week’s low. Overnight – UK Retail Sales plunged -3.7%, Consumer confidence slipped 4 whole points to -19 and Japanese core inflation was inline at 0.5%. European Open – The 10 US Treasury yield is up from overnight lows, Bunds are also finding buyers in opening trade, and the 10-year continues to shy away from turning positive, as ECB officials continue to push back against speculation of an early rate hike at the end of the year and market sentiment generally turns cautious. DAX and FTSE 100 future are posting losses of -1.4% and -1.1% respectively. Today – EZ Consumer Confidence, BoE’s Mann; ECB’s Lagarde, BoJ’s Kuroda Biggest FX Mover @ (07:30 GMT) EURNZD (+0.66%) Rallied from 1.6675 yesterday to breach 1.6800 now. MAs aligned higher, MACD signal line & histogram higher. RSI 73 OB but still rising, H1 ATR 0.0026 Daily ATR 0.0100. Always trade with strict risk management. Your capital is the single most important aspect of your trading business. Please note that times displayed based on local time zone and are from time of writing this report. Click HERE to access the full HotForex Economic calendar. Want to learn to trade and analyse the markets? Join our webinars and get analysis and trading ideas combined with better understanding on how markets work. Click HERE to register for FREE! Click HERE to READ more Market news. Stuart Cowell Head Market Analyst HotForex Disclaimer: This material is provided as a general marketing communication for information purposes only and does not constitute an independent investment research. Nothing in this communication contains, or should be considered as containing, an investment advice or an investment recommendation or a solicitation for the purpose of buying or selling of any financial instrument. All information provided is gathered from reputable sources and any information containing an indication of past performance is not a guarantee or reliable indicator of future performance. Users acknowledge that any investment in FX and CFDs products is characterized by a certain degree of uncertainty and that any investment of this nature involves a high level of risk for which the users are solely responsible and liable. We assume no liability for any loss arising from any investment made based on the information provided in this communication. This communication must not be reproduced or further distributed without our prior written permission.
    • Best way to make money is forex trading however it still requires a lot of hard work needed to build necessary skills which are required to earn money from forex.
    • I bet he was referring to acquire all the basic necessary skills needed to start earning money from the forex trading.
    • Yes agreed we can do forex trading as part time in the start and when we learn trading we can switch to full time trading.
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