Is Rob Booker Forex Training Any Good?

August 29, 2008

This is a question I receive often and unfortunately I can no longer give an honest answer which is the only answer that I ever want to give. This is due to the fact that I haven’t dedicated myself to Rob Booker’s training since 2006 making my experiences outdated. The good news is that over the coming months, I will be able to give you an honest opinion because I am in the initial phases of giving his tutelage another go. This is possible because he has no expiration date on his training. According to his training contract, "You have as long as you need. You never have to pay me anything again…."

At first glance, there have been many changes to his training. His chart school, which are Rob’s trade ideas for students in video format appear to be more interactive. He provides a web conferencing platform where any of his students can attend and ask questions via messenging or voice. Other basic course materials seem unchanged such as the course introduction, FX basics, backtesting, support and resistance, moving averages, and similar topics. These are really basic though and I don’t see any reason why these would ever change. The course materials are also for the totally inexperienced forex trader, someone who has really never explored Forex outside of this course.

His primary trading system which has many components to it is called the Arizona Rules. He was just developing this system back when I lost interest in his training so I haven’t really explored it. If anything, it seems like Rob’s attempt is to provide his students with a well tested and possibly profitable trading system while also providing a comprehensive trading plan and system that one can take knowledge from to develop their own forex trading system.

I’m just getting involved again so I cannot comment further at this time but keep checking back here in the upcoming days and weeks for more details on Rob Booker Training. You can also read my previous and new experiences at http://www.forexproject.com/category/rob-booker-training/.

Top 500 Forex Websites

August 29, 2008

Forex on Top was updated today with the latest traffic rankings for what has now grown to 500 forex websites. Their is no doubt that Google is the best place to search for specific forex content but if you’re looking for websites that you can sink your teeth in, this is the place to find them. You can also browse the top 20 movers to find upcoming forex sites that might be worth exploring.

http://www.forexontop.com

Does Your Forex Trading Plan Encourage You To Overtrade?

August 27, 2008

Welcome Ryan, the author of this Forex Project guest post. Ryan trades from a quiet country lake house and helps traders through his blog at http://www.ryanokeefe.com.

Does your trading plan encourage you to over trade?

Recently I started a survey on my website asking traders to answer this question:

“What is holding you back from trading successfully?”

Currently the number one answer is “I make some money, and then I give it all back.”

Multiple factors contribute to this result however over trading is the most frequent concern struggling traders email me with. I have some thoughts to avoid over trading I hope you’ll find useful.

Consider Your Trading Plan

Over trading may be baked into your trading plan without you realizing it. I received an email from a concerned trader who struggled with taking too many trades although they were following their trading plan. I asked to look at their trading plan and found it was built around the 60 minute chart, the opening of each trading session, support and resistance levels plus the MACD indicator. How many opportunities do you think their trading plan generated on a daily or weekly basis?

I’m a big fan of slowing things down with longer time frames. Using a longer time frame automatically reduces the number of trades you will consider which reduces your trading plan’s built in propensity for over trading. You won’t be tempted to take a “valid signal” 10 times a day trading a daily chart. The vast majority of my trades are planned on the daily chart with the entry taken on a four hour chart.

Consider a Weekly Goal

In my trading plan I have a weekly goal of 50 to 100 points. This is a realistic goal for me to achieve and having the number written down reminds me that once I’ve made my weekly goal there is no reason to place it at risk. When the goal is achieved it is time to do anything other than trade. If you’re trading a lower time frame I think setting a weekly goal is even more critical because as we have discussed, shorter time frames offer more “trading opportunities” which place your profit at risk. I’ve had this weekly goal established for years and it works well against over trading.

Some traders may think a goal of 50 to 100 points a week is too low but keep in mind there are as many ways to configure a trading account as there are ways to trade it. With the right mix of leverage, lot size and risk capital you can do a lot with a goal of 400 points a month. Most important is to set your goal according to your personality; whatever you believe you can achieve and doesn’t stress you out in the process is best.

Do you really need to take that trade?

Before I open a trade I ask myself this question every time without fail. It seems obvious but so is lowering the landing gear before landing yet some pilots still manage to land with the gear up. Consider your emotions before you take a trade. Are you tired? Are you angry? Did you miss a good trade and now desperate to make some pips? Have you made your weekly or monthly goals? If you have met your goals you don’t need to trade, period. If you can honestly answer this question with a “yes” then pull the trigger but if not, don’t put your capital at risk.

Be accountable to somebody other than yourself.

Rob Booker pitched this idea in a presentation I watched online and I believe it is the strongest action you can take to eliminate any propensity you have to over trade. Whoever you report to should have a basic understanding of your trading plan and be able to question you on each trade in a constructive setting. This is a full disclosure exercise so find somebody you can trust.

I report to my Wife every Friday morning with a print out of our account statement. We go through every trade while I explain what system I used, why I took the trade, what mistakes I made and what I could do better next time. We also discuss what I should be doing during the upcoming week if goals are already exceeded.

If knowing you need to explain why you put hard earned profit at risk for an unnecessary trade at the end of the week can’t keep you from pulling the trigger, nothing will.

The Good News About Forex Automated Trading

August 26, 2008

I’ve received positive and negative feedback from a lot of you who have experienced forex automation. I don’t want to talk about the bad news quite yet. So what’s the good? Unfortunately, the good news mostly involves available API’s for developing your system and brokers that support automation. I haven’t heard of many success stories relating to forex automated trading. Here are some recommended API’s and brokers and some comments on whether I will explore them further.

Interactive Brokers has a free C++, Java, and .NET API. The C++ API does not come highly recommended from the one trader I received an email from but the API’s are free. He also goes on to say that, “Interactive Brokers is also good from a fund safety point of view, given they are one of the bigger brokerages. Commission is very cheap and they basically offer anything you can trade.” This seems to be the best option I’ve seen and definitely worth exploring further.

Another trader recommended Varengold Bank for trading via Metatrader. He says that he has “yet to find anything to come close to their service utilizing the Metatrader platform.” Varengold Bank is a German bank and has regulatory oversight by the German Federal Financial Services Supervisory Agency. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of experience with brokers or regulatory agencies outside of the United States yet this may be worth exploring if Metatrader is the platform of choice.

Interbankfx with Metatrader comes recommended also. A trader who just recently started using IBFX states, “I just started live automated trading this week… They seem to be very EA friendly and come highly recommended.”

MB Trader comes recommended due to their “well documented API and you can develop and test your system on their demo servers for free. MB Trading is a relatively well-known firm inside the United States so this could be yet another option worth exploring.

Ninja trader comes recommended and could be a “good option that allows for testing and development for free.” It’s also broker independent supporting Gain Capital, Interactive Brokers, MB Trading, and more. I like options and with the multiple brokerage support, I may look into Ninja Trader further.

Other options include FXCM’s FSS or Forex system selector. Based on what I’ve read though, you really can’t design your own system. You can select from their own designed forex systems. I don’t see the benefit to this at all.

FXTraderLink provides a facility for automatically trading your account based on signals from a portfolio of signal providers. I don’t want to rely on a signal provider to “provide” me with wealth plus I don’t trust them. I’m not a big fan.

I haven’t even begun to explore any of these options yet but I will regardless of the bad news I’ve received from others. Is it possible to make money with forex automation? Unfortunately I cannot answer this. I’ve had a tough enough time making money manually trading but at this point, I’d like to try something else.

How Do I Begin Trading Forex?

August 25, 2008

I’ll assume that you have some knowledge about Forex either from a book or website.  I’m not going to give definitions of a pip or explain what a base currency is.  There are plenty of places you can find this information.   What I want to provide are practical lessons for the beginner, lessons that can help straighten the learning curve.  

There’s a lot of information out there on forex, some of it good and some of it misleadingly bad.  Be careful.  Trading forex is many times portrayed as a way to get rich fast; a home-based business.  This is the furthest than from the truth.  Trading forex is risky and though it may be possible to turn it into a home-based business, you need a lot of capital and experience.  To give you an idea, a very experienced and respected currency trader had the following yearly returns: 71% in 2004, 433% in 2005, 53% in 2006, and 30% in 2007.  Let’s just say for a minute that you were as successful as this trader and started 2007 trading forex as a home-based business with $5000.  Could you live on the $1500 you made in 2007? I doubt it.  I’m not trying to discourage you from trying but I think it’s important to be realistic.  If you dive into currency trading with unrealistic expectations, you’re not going to get far.

Maybe you’ve read a book on forex, read something about trading forex on the internet or you went to a trading seminar.  This is something that interests you, something you want to commit time to, initially as a hobby and maybe one day for a living.  After you have this basic knowledge, where do you begin? 

  1. I’d recommend buying a book on forex because it contains a little of everything.  It explains what the forex market is and answers other basic questions.  In addition it should contain information on reading charts and technical analysis.  Read the book from cover to cover.  When you’re done, move on to step 2.
  2. Download and install Metatrader which is a free trading and charting platform.  You will prompted to open a demo account after installation.  You can download Metatrader from any number of places.  One such place is http://www.interbankfx.com.  Start playing around with Metatrader to learn what capabilities it has. You’re not going to find a Metatrader book in your bookstore but you will find online manuals on the internet.  There is also a huge user community around Metatrader.  You can find any one of these communities by googling "metatrader forums."
  3. Start applying some of the things you learned from the technical analysis sections of the book to your charts.  Draw some trendlines or add some indicators.  Start placing some trades also.  Don’t be concerned about how much you’re risking or whether you’re going to win or lose.  Just get a familiarity with how to place a trade.  There’s only two directions you can trade in, long (buy) or short (sell) but there are many currency pairs.  Try concentrating just for consistency on the EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, or the USD/JPY (the four most popular currency pairs.)

These three steps should keep you busy for quite some time.  Take some time to get familiar with it all then you can move on.   

Best Way To Automate Forex Trading

August 13, 2008

automated forex tradingI have never traded a forex strategy live using any advanced automated methods.  At the most, I’ve placed a limit order.  Most, if not all of my experience has been with expert advisors in Metatrader.  

I realize more than ever that if I could automate my strategies, this may take me to the next level of trading and keep me more involved in the market.   At this point, I need the motivation. The subject of automated trading has always interested me but my issue has always been with trusting a broker and the platform with a live account using an expert advisor.  Therefore I’m calling on everyone who has experience with automated trading to share your experiences.  If you’ve used Metatrader, have you found success with any particular brokers? I know there are other automated trading software available that mostly allow trading via an FXCM API but are they any good? I know Oanda also has an API but it costs about $600/mo.  If you could, please send any experiences you have to my email address at rich@forexproject.com and based on what comes in, I’ll put the information together and post it here. Thanks.

 

I Am Alive

August 11, 2008

forex back from the dead