Over and Under-Trading in Forex

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Following a system is a key component of succeeding at Forex, but there is really more to it than that. Your Forex system has to not only work, but be balanced-it has to be something which you can integrate into your real life, and which won’t cause you to trade in imbalanced ways. Two common problems which Forex traders face are under-trading and over-trading. While some Forex traders under- or over-trade because of trepidation, impatience or other psychological factors, many do it because their systems tell them to. How do you fix under- or over-trading when it’s built into your trading system?

Oftentimes, over-trading and under-trading are built into a system because of the context of that system. It isn’t necessarily your entry or exit rules which are causing you to take too few trades or too many — it may be that you’re looking at too many currency pairs or not enough currency pairs. Or perhaps you’re trading on a Forex timeframe which is too slow or too fast. It’s very common for new Forex traders to trade faster timeframes than they need to or should starting out, for example. If you trade a fast timeframe when you’re starting out, not only will you be inundated with more trading opportunities than you necessarily can handle, but you’ll have less time to make decisions in and, more relevantly, less time to patch up mistakes. Does this mean you have to trade a slower timeframe? Not necessarily; not every personality is suited to having all that time to think (and double guess). And again, not everyone over-trades. Many people under-trade Forex as well.

If you’re taking on more Forex trades than you can handle, consider dropping to a slower timeframe (test this first) or dropping a few currency pairs. If you don’t feel overwhelmed with information, just with trading, consider imposing some rules on yourself so that you only take a certain number of trades in a given timeframe. Then pick only the very best setups (which is what you should be doing anyway).

If you aren’t trading enough to turn a good profit and your system isn’t signaling you to take any more trades than you are now, think about moving to a faster timeframe (only if you feel comfortable doing so — and don’t forget to demo it first), or looking at more currency pairs. If you’re only taking A+ Forex setups, you’re on the right track, but you may be able to find more trades of the same high caliber simply by looking at more currency pairs or a faster timeframe where more setups form.

These are just a couple of ideas to consider which may help you to improve your Forex trading. A lot of people don’t think of simply changing the context of how they trade, and wonder if they need to revamp their whole system. It’s often not the system that’s not working, however. You may just need to change the way you apply it.