Forex Howto

24 Jul, 2009

Trading the slide in the US Dollar

Posted by: Milton In: Misc

Have been doing a bit of trading and it’s been quite good for me getting 60-150pip profits with relative ease.

This success has come by buying the tips in AUD/USD, EUR/USD and the bounces in the USD/CAD, essentially shorting the USD. I’ve been using Heiken Ashi charts on different timeframes to pick the changes in short term trend to hopefully get good entry points. I don’t have a lot of time to sit infront of the computer so not always perfect, though it’s been going ok thus far.

I’ve generally been using a trailing stop (a really cool feature Oanda has introduced) on approximately 1 days ATR. Not such a success in the photo below… oops.

Stop loss on the EUR/USD

Stop loss on the EUR/USD

03 Jul, 2009

Dipping my toes into the water

Posted by: Milton In: Directional

I’ve been a bit unwell recently and spent some time in the hospital with a nasty staph infection. I’m on the mend now though I’ve got a fair bit of time spent sitting at home in bed.

I received a message on twitter from one of the people involved in saying if I get back into proper trading then I should get in touch to checkout their site. While their site looks good I don’t really have enough time to trade properly so I’ll have to pass on it for now. What it did do though is convince me that I should really log back into Oanda and have a look at the markets.

I’ve logged in (it’s been so long I had actually forgotten my password!) and have put on a few miniscule trades with some success. All short term trades and I’ve been using Heiken Ashi charts to try to guage when pullbacks were weakening and it was time to jump in. I haven’t quite made a million dollars yet though they seem to be working nicely for the most part.

I’ll probably slow down again when I get back to work though it’s been enjoyable.

13 May, 2009

Working like a …

Posted by: Milton In: Misc

I’ve been extremely quiet on the trading and blogging front for the last few months. The reason for this is that I’ve started a new fulltime job which is enjoyable though has been keeping me a little too busy.

On the trading front, I haven’t logged into my account for a LONG time.

I will get back into it, though for the time being the focus is on the new job.

16 Jan, 2009

Shipping rates hit zero as trade sinks

Posted by: Milton In: Macro

I think my market predictions for 2009 are well and truly out.

I just read a story which scares me.

Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe have fallen to zero for the first time since records began, underscoring the dramatic collapse in trade since the world economy buckled in October.

Shipping rates hit zero as trade sinks - Telegraph.

02 Jan, 2009

My market predictions for 2009

Posted by: Milton In: Macro

Last year I was pretty confident in my predictions, this year my theme is pretty flat.

  1. The US will hurt, a recovery probably won’t happen in 2009, certainly not in the first half of the year,
  2. The UK will hurt as well.
  3. Some oil rich countries will hurt.
  4. I’m expecting a major plunge in the USD, though I’m still uncertain as to whether it will happen in 2009 or 2010.
  5. Strength in EUR.
  6. Weakness in GBP (relative to EUR).
  7. Some strength in AUD.
  8. Some small recoveries in Commodities.
  9. Do I think we’ve seen the end of this financial meltdown? not a chance. More coverups and failures in 2009.
  10. I’m expecting major problems in markets which have thus far managed to get away unscathed… Credit Card debt is an obvious though by no means the only one.
  11. The IMF will be busy saving countries.
  12. Caution will be a key theme of 2009.

I’m aware that they are pretty weak positions that I’m taking… a lot of fence sitting…. I think that will be most peoples position for most of 2009 hence no strong opinions.

16 Dec, 2008

Looking back at my market predictions for 2008

Posted by: Milton In: Macro

At the beginning of 2008 I made some predictions on another of my blogs which is no longer online about where I thought the markets were going.

The predictions I made are as follows with my comments now about each prediction in bold/italics:

  1. Oil is going UP… this has been my view for a long time now, and don’t see it stopping until there is a viable alternative fuel for cars.
    YUP… until it plunged
  2. Soaring oil prices will increase the demand for alternative energy, expect some fairly major developments. Though nothing to suddenly fix the worlds problems.
    Not such a good call
  3. The US is going to have more hard times this year, subprime was just the trigger (and it is far from over yet) that will see more pain for the whole US economy.
    Hey this was a great call! I’m pretty sure I meant for the USD to be lower though luckily didn’t put that in writing :)
  4. With the US going down Gold is going UP.
    Good call… sort of… it fell also and is about even now.
  5. US interest rates will keep falling.
    Good call
  6. Commodities in general will continue going up.
    Happened… sort of… until they plunged
  7. My bravest prediction is that the AUDUSD is going to get to parity with the USD.
    Not a bad call, got damn close.
  8. Expect strength in the EUR, JPY, CAD.
    EUR: Bad Call, JPY Great Call, CAD Bad Call
  9. Expect weakness in the GBP (particularly against the EUR), whether the EUR can maintain the strength for the whole year will be interesting.
    Good Call
  10. I see less political conflict for the year ahead. In the US elections the Americans will finally fix the mistake they made 4 years ago and the republicans will get their asses handed to them. Which will be a good thing for America and the world.
    That was a good call

Overall, I think I actually didn’t do too badly… I totally didn’t see the plunge in currencies and commodities and the massive climb in USD.

I will post another post soonish with my predictions for 2009, it should be an interesting year!

Bit quiet on my trading front lately, busy with real work mostly and the few times I’ve looked at a trade it hasn’t been quite right.

I just read an interesting interview with an analyst called Stephanie Pomboy talking about the USD with Barrons though I read it courtesy of 1440 Wall Street.

A key quote for me looking at the USD:

If we rely on foreign creditors to lend us the money to sustain our lifestyles—and that’s what we do—we need to compensate them for that risk of lending to us. As the economy weakens and our credit quality should theoretically be deteriorating, the only way we can really attract that same capital is by offering a higher interest rate or making our assets cheaper to them, in this case by having our currency be weaker.

Thanks to 1440 Wall Street for the cool title and excerpts from the interview.

I’m not sure I’ll have a lot more to write about between now and the end of the year (I expect everything to wind down a bit), so I should probably take this opportunity to say I hope you enjoy the break and have a happy and profitable new year.

I am regretting putting up my trading performance at the start of the month. No sooner did I publish it than I went into a big drawdown. I tried some trades later in the month though they turned out to be losers as well so I took a break from trading and had a fairly inactive last couple of weeks.

I’m rather disappointed with my November results at a bit more than -10%. It won’t discourage me, I like the strategy though it needs some better stop losses.

At present my strategy is still doing ok in the automated trading championships in 56th out of ~700 though the charts below are great at showing the reason it isn’t performing better, and also help to illustrate my November result.



Might be an idea to cap those losses at around -$2k

23 Nov, 2008

A great read

Posted by: Milton In: Macro

One of the books that I have stashed away somewhere yet to read is Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis. It’s a fairly old book which may be outdated now with the problems that have happened in the last year and a bit.

Anyway, there’s an excellent read (pretty long in on screen reading terms) written by Michael Lewis on It has a good look at the complete scam that has been banking and the unravelling of it.

I’d really recommend everyone to have a read through this story, it will take a while though well and truly worth it.

22 Nov, 2008

Next country to go bankrupt, Switzerland

Posted by: Milton In: Directional| Macro

This thought coming from outside where I was thinking though I find it very interesting, and they’re pretty solid arguments.

With Switzerland having a GDP of about $300billion, they can’t afford to bail out UBS and Credit Suisse, interesting times ahead.

More to read on FT Alphaville, and Crooked Timber.

Make sure to have a look at this chart which I borrowed from FT Alphaville… it is scary.

So… what’s the impact on currency… it would seem long USDCHF might be a good position to take… or perhaps even better if you (like me) think the USD is going to struggle in the coming years… long EURCHF?

I haven’t taken a position, though I might have a look at it as a possible trade.

About FOREX Howto

Forex Howto is a site that I setup some years ago, I neglected it for a couple of years and now it's back online.

It will have my progress as I explore the world of Forex trading and my experiences in trying to profit from it.

If you need to contact me, just leave a message on any of my posts and I'll be sure to read it.

About me: I'm a 31 year old aussie living in Sydney, Australia.

I work as a programmer and hope to someday use my programming skills and growing knowledge of FOREX and markets in general to run live automated trading systems (all going well they'll be profitable).

A couple of pages which might be of interest to new traders: