What is Forex Trading

What is Forex Trading ?

The chart shows the past. Indeed each tick shows the very recent past as well, thought for a retail trader it is effectively the present, as is any trend or pattern forming. It can be said that on shorter term time frames, a more effective gauge of this 'present' can be seen. So the present can be defined, not as the most recent tick, but as what pattern is forming. This is because without a pattern forming, the trader does not really have anything to interact with. However this pattern forming or deforming in fact reflects the future. This is because it consists of beliefs about what will happen in the future, a projection of the pattern into the future.

However for various reasons, different market participants will have different projections, for of course the essence of a forming pattern is that it can be a number of (superimposed) patterns. Put in practical terms, will a pair break out or reverse back down, for example. Different traders may be using different kinds of analysis to suggest different outcomes. There are very few if any patterns forming which are certainties, such that everyone agrees what will happen (the essence of a market). In fact a wide range of views is to be expected. However beliefs can coalesce, even if not with certainty: for example as trends build. However that belief can also fork into other paths at any time.

A question can be asked does the market itself shape anything, does it have constraints on the way patterns can form and trends can build or collapse. If it does, then it can be seen that there can be a stability to market events, which indeed is how they seem, that shores up a pattern or reduces the potential to have different outcomes. Where would this come from ? Perhaps from the imposition of logic onto the market, despite what it can (or can't) do. That is to say there can be a tension between beliefs and operations in the market which work agorithmically, that is which make decisions in a way designed to impose a belief on the market.

It has to be said though that strategies in general aim to do this, even if not implemented as computer programs. A strategy which cuts losses and look for a success to outweigh the losses will tend to be doing this. It looks for patterns forming, applies filters and then applies an expected outcome. Sometimes it may be right, sometimes wrong. So many approaches to trading do not really have a belief about the future outcome of the market. They use past events and try and find it repeating itself. Hence why regularities are important in Forex trading.

The reality may be that there are so many possible outcomes at any given time, given a number of factors including the wide range of market participants and their different strategies, expectations, goals and indeed time frames, that filters need to be applied to avoid the indeterminacy and try and find spaces where repeating market outcomes may appear. This can include news trading or trading around market open and closes. But of course that uncertainty can be found here as well. What works in the market is arguably the unexpected: a trend which appears and keeps on building, a news trade which keeps on going and a range which keeps on ranging. But these are not the norm. However they do exist.

Filters can be applied based on market conditions, which may help indicate when events may occur, but then they are not so unexpected. News trading is a clue that the unexpected can work well, as the better news event outcomes tend to be (but not necessarily are) ones which have a number of factors aligned, producing a significant surprise, that the trader is on the right side of (i.e. in effect a low probability trade). But the reality of a news trade can be an oscillation, just as the reality of a trend or range can be volatility.

So trading has this feature: it is a hunt for repeating patterns in a market which does not like to repeat itself but there are many possible constraints which can be looked for (including perhaps in indicators) which may limit the tendency not to repeat. For of course the market does have patterns which re-appear, it is just when they appear in unexpected. However the more constrained a market events, the less may be expected from it. Does the future projection in a forming pattern matter in the Forex market ? It may as it does help to constrain an outcome. Because analysis can consist of attempting to see which outcome is possible and which is more likely.

So to sum up: trading consists of establishing constraints on possible outcomes. These constraints can be algorithimcally established, or perhaps with more flexibility can be established by the trader in real time (in effect adjusting an algorithm whether a computer program or a trading rule). However different markets may have different characteristics which thus need to be understood, as this can help establish a landscape within which patterns may form (e.g. does the market tend to be determined by by trends which appear and end, on the longer term, or does it tend to be composed of less regular longer term structures).