Most of us traders know what Forex Factory is, but do we know how to use it to improve?
Forex Factory is a goldmine of information and resources. It’s the largest trading forum out there.
However, there is a lot of subpar information to wade through. I’m going to help you use it to your benefit. This article will give you multiple ideas on how to use Forex Factory and ultimately improve your trading.
In this article you will learn about:
- The forex factory economic calendar
- How to set up the forex factory calendar
- How to use the forex factory calendar
- What economic news events mean
- Using sentiment in your trading
- Using forex factory for live charts
- Finding trading strategies on forex factory
- Finding indicators on forex factory
- Using forex factory as a trading journal
- Networking on forex factory
- Tracking your trades with forex factory trade explorer
Using the Forex Factory calendar
First and foremost, if you don’t have a provider for your economic news, forex factory is arguably the best. It’s customisable and user-friendly, perfect for tailoring it to your own trading.
Even if you don’t ‘trade the news’, I believe you need to be aware when the key events are taking place. Nobody wants to be caught out by key events just because they couldn’t be bothered to read a calendar for 1 minute.
Find the Forex Factory calendar
Firstly, you want to load up the forex factory calendar. Which will look something like this before you customise it:
Get the right trading time zone
Depending on where you live or where you base your trading time zone off of, you need to change the forex factory calendar. You need to click the clock in the upper right hand side and configure the settings to what you want.
It is paramount that you do this, otherwise the events will be labelled incorrectly on the forex factory calendar.
Among the time settings, you must pick if you would like 24h clock setting and also whether or not your country has Daylight Savings. (I’m in the UK and we do).
You also have the option to automatically match the timezone to your PC.
When you have configured the calendar to how you want it, click ‘Save Settings’ and go back to the main forex factory calendar screen. The time in the upper right should now be correct.
How much news do you want to see?
This setting allows to you select how many days of news you would like to view on the main page.
If you only want to see today’s news appear or the whole week, change the setting in this left had side bar.
Whichever amount of days you choose will depend highly on which timeframe you trade. Consider this as well as how long you usually hold trades for.
What news do you want to see?
A very important question. Depending on what instruments you trade, this customisation is essential. It can reduce clutter and improve the usability of the forex factory calendar.
In order to get to the customisation page, you must click ‘Filter’ in the upper right hand corner of the calendar.
Clicking filter will then cause the page to tab down, where you can select the countries, event types and expected impacts that you want.
This is completely down to you. If you have noticed that certain events don’t have any effect, you may want to get rid of them. I only have orange and red news on my own calendar, as I’ve found that other news has little effect.
What do the news events mean?
Luckily you can find out on the forex factory calendar. By clicking on the folder icon next to a certain event, you can read more about what it is and what the previous results were.
This tab shows you the previous results, how the news is measured, why you should care about it etc. It even links to news articles on the particular subject.
These details aren’t essential but are certainly an advantage of using the forex factory calendar.
Find the sentiment on Forex Factory
If you’re a trader who likes to know the overall sentiment of what other traders are thinking, you can use the sentiment section of forex factory. I’ve put this under the economic calendar section as I feel it relates to it.
Just click the ‘Trades’ tab at the top of the page. Then scroll down slightly to find the sentiment section of forex factory.
Some traders like to watch and be aware of what traders in the retail space are doing.
Most people know that the majority of retail traders are wrong for the majority of the time. They buy tops, sell bottoms and make bad decisions, by and large.
This enables sentiment based traders to capitalise. People use the positioning and sentiment gauge to adapt a contrarian approach.
Being a contrarian means going against the ‘herd’ – long when they’re short and vice-versa.
Looking at GBP/JPY on the screenshot above, you will notice that we have 39% of traders long, with 61% short. This is edging towards and extreme balance. Knowing that these traders are likely to be wrong, we would probably want to assume a long position. (Against the 61% of people who are short).
If you have an entry ‘setup’ or pattern that you can easily recognise, you could use sentiment as a way to add confluence to your trading.
It is essential that you still have a valid reason for getting into a trade, not just entering based on the forex factory sentiment levels.
Live charts on Forex Factory
If it so happens that you don’t have forex charts on your phone in 2018, you can use forex factory for charts instead!
You don’t want to be using your phone every 15 minutes to check trading positions – use the forex factory charts. You can easily check where the market is and have it on a background tab if needs be.
Simply click the ‘Market’ tab at the top of the page to access multiple free forex charts.
You don’t need to login or have an account, yet you have simple live forex charts. It also shows you when trading news events are (red tabs at the bottom of the chart).
Use forex factory to find good trading strategies
I know what you’re thinking. When people talk about trading forums I often hear ‘the blind leading the blind’ and ‘retail traders lose consistently’. That can be true to an extent.
However, don’t ignore the huge amount of ideas that are being thrown around on a daily basis. Not all of those ideas are going to be bad.
Finding trading strategies on forex factory
Some people like to share when they’ve found something good. They go to great lengths to explain their trading strategy from the ground up and answer any questions on it.
This can be a good framework for building trading strategies.
Some of the threads have been in existence for years, with numerous people trading some of the strategies. If you can find any profitable strategies, it is probably worth your while.
Use forex factory to find bad trading strategies
This may seem counter-intuitive. However, if 80% or 90% of traders lose consistently, why not go against what they do?
You could scour forex factory forums and find a really bad trading strategy. Just do the opposite. A bad enough trading strategy flipped on its head will be a good trading strategy, or so the logic goes.
Be wary though, traders posting on forums will often try to deceive readers by only posting a portion of their results and charts. A consistent trader who always loses will likely not post in the first place.
Be sure to have diligence, this goes for following ‘winning’ traders as well.
Using forex factory to find indicators
Being one of the best trading resources, forex factory has a wealth of homemade indicators for trading platforms. However, these are mostly mt4 indicators.
You can find almost any trading indicator you need on there.
I recently found an indicator and modified it to my own liking, after spending quite some time wondering how to do it. You can find that article here – How to change all chart timeframes on mt4.
If looking for forex trading indicators a simple google search will often lead you to forex factory. Failing that you can go to the platform tech forex factory forum.
Using forex factory as a trading journal
Having a trading journal is a trading essential in my book. But trading journals don’t always have to be just numbers.
While I think you need to keep track of the quantitative elements of your trading strategy, some aspects can’t be put into digits.
Keeping a trading journal is an aspect of trading that alludes many beginners. For whatever reasons, a lot decide against keeping thorough records.
So why not start now?
Why start a journal on forex factory?
Learning from other traders
If you put your personal journal on a forum, people are probably going to comment. This could be both a help and a hindrance.
Whether the comments are good or bad, they will often help to provoke thought about your own trading.
Having your strategy questioned by others can very much help you to internalise your strategy and ask yourself questions about it.
Sometimes you may have a specific problem which you haven’t even noticed. Often, outside eyes can see it more clearly than you yourself. It’s a journal with feedback from traders and other forex factory users!
Keep yourself accountable
If you’ve started a journal online and you have people interacting with it, you’re more accountable.
It’s easy to skip a day of writing your journal because ‘you didn’t feel like it’. With people watching, it’s not so easy to shirk your duty. Your public trading journal has become a commitment to yourself and to the people reading.
Finding other traders and networking on forex factory
Trading can often be a lonely endeavour. Having a network of people to talk to and share ideas can be a good idea.
Finding traders who trade similarly to you (or the same) can be a big help. Not missing trade setups and being alerted to when there is something to watch is never a bad thing.
You can also help to keep each other to account and talk over any problems you may have. Helping others is also a good way to inadvertently help yourself. Talking about trading can lead you to think more about what you’re doing.
Finding trading firms on forex factory
Sometimes, writing about trading and putting yourself out there can lead to positive interest. I’ve heard numerous stories of people being offered interviews and jobs just through exposure online.
Using forex factory in a positive way may help you experience the same.
Especially if you….
Track your trades on forex factory
Forex factory gives you the option of tracking your trades in real time. It then displays your live trades to other users.
This is a badge of honour for many forex factory users and can help you garner positive attention.
Taking a random account from forex factory forums, you can see that this user has tracked live trades. (These trades can be real or demo). This is another way that forex factory can increase your accountability.
To create a trade explorer on your profile, simply click your username in the top right hand side, scroll down, then click ‘Create Trade Explorer’.
This will then appear on your profile, giving you the chance to showcase your results.
Next time you have a a spare moment in your trading day, need an economic calendar or are trying to craft strategies, you can just go to forex factory instead.
It’s a fantastic resource with a wealth of information, as long as you know how to use it correctly – hopefully this article has given you some ideas.
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