8 Steps to Choose Best Currency Pairs to Trade in Forex
Best Currency Pairs to Trade in Forex - A Quick Guide
You've been doing it all wrong. There are so many different currencies and choosing the best currency pairs to trade in forex at the right time can often be confusing. A mistake in choosing the right currency pair could lead into a loosing trade. The good news is, as opposed to thousands of stocks out there, there are only 7 major currencies to choose from when it comes to online forex trading. It's your lucky 7, baby!
However, many forex traders have trouble pairing up the best currencies together. Or even identifying the best performing ones when they are ready to take their trading skills to the forex dance floor.
One of Invest Diva community's sweet members, Jeannette from the Land Down Under, asked me this question while I was visiting Australia. Jeannette has been following the current affairs of Australia, the US and the UK. But she has been confused if this is a good time to invest in the Aussie dollar. She asked:
“What are the best currency pairs to trade in forex? Should I avoid trading the Aussie dollar now that the Australian economy is having difficulties?”
Best currency pairs to trade in forex - Forex Dance Floor
Best Currency Pairs to Trade in Forex
As I have covered in our education video course, there are 7 major currencies that are most commonly traded globally. You must always trade them in pairs. You can make money on a rally as well as a down market.
So your choice wouldn’t depend on how well the economy of your currency of choice is doing. Your profit depends on what position you take on the specific currency pair. Active traders might get into trading positions with all these 7 currencies throughout a given trading day. Long term traders would wait to pick and choose the best currency pairs to trade in forex as opportunity arrives.
I will devote this response to traders like Jeanette who is more of a conservative trader. She balances trading with her career, and an attentive wife and mother of two. In our previous video I covered the best days to trade for long term traders. Let’s say it is Tuesday and you turn on your computer looking for some delicious pips on the forex dance floor. Here are some steps that you can take to choose the best currency pairs to trade in forex:
1- Open charts of at least seven currency pairs
This could be your morning coffee time read. Before getting distracted by the news and the noise from the media, it is always best to take an unbiased look at the charts to see how the markets are doing. Which pairs are under pressure? Which pairs are consolidating? Which pairs are moving up? Is there a specific currency that is behaving the same against most other currencies? This initial, unbiased interaction with the currency pairs on the forex dance floor is important, because it will help you prepare for the next step of choosing the best currency pairs to trade in forex.
2- Skim through the latest market news:
Now that you have your heart set on a few currencies, you can quickly listen to the latest global news on your local news media, to see if there are any unusual market updates. This can include a Chinese stock market drop, a (lack of) interest rates hike, or a Swiss Franc jawboning). Reading the news will help you discover the latest market sentiment and the risk-off/ risk-on situation of the best currency pairs to trade in forex. We would typically want to avoid currency pairs that are facing huge volatility risk, because even though one could argue you can find trading opportunity in volatile markets, I would argue chances are the market chaos and lack of a solid direction would kick you in the butt with unexpected surprises. Always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to investing your hard-earned cash!
3- Check out Invest Diva's blog for latest forex trading strategies
Now that you have the breaking news on hand, you can turn to our blog for longer term, solid trading strategies on select currency pairs. If you find the currency pairs you had your eyes on, great! Read on and find out if these are the best currency pairs to trade in forex right now.
You should also determine if these pairs are suitable for your portfolio at this time. It is important to note that we don't publish forex trading strategies for every currency pair, everyday. The reasons include our goal to cut down on market noise, as well as avoiding to mislead forex traders to trade more than they should. We have noticed that traders with larger risk appetite tend to jump on any trading signal we publish, whether it is suitable for their portfolio or not. So, in order to promote responsible trading, we have limited our trading signals to only 3 per week. Any thing more than that needs a thorough consultation with your truly, to analyze your current account, open positions, available margin, investing portfolio, and more.
4- Pair up strong currencies against weak currencies
Best currency pairs to trade are the ones trending. Since currencies are always traded against each other, the pair with the strongest trend is led by a strong base currency, and supported by a weaker quote currency. For example, the EUR/USD pair will move in a strong uptrend if the Euro is strengthening and the US dollar is weakening.
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The AUD/JPY pair will move in a strong downtrend if the Aussie dollar is weakening and the Japanese Yen is strengthening. Sometimes it also works if you pick a currency with a higher volatility against a currency that has been showing consolidation. This way you can base your analysis on the trending currency.
5- Conduct Technical Analysis
Return to your charts and do a quick technical analysis on your selected currency pairs to find trends or ranges. By doing this you can narrow your choices down to the best currency pairs which are inline with the strongest trends. Polish your technical analysis on these pairs to identify the support, resistance and pivot levels. Go over your portfolio and see if your open positions include the currencies you chose. You'd want to diversify your portfolio as much as possible. If you are already in a EUR/USD trade, it is best to choose a currency pair that doesn't include the euro.
6- Narrow down your currency pairs of choice
Depending on your portfolio, trading personality, and the recent global risk events, you can now work your way down to a couple of currency pairs. If you are able to monitor the markets frequently, you can pick the currencies whose economy has an upcoming event risk. If you are going on a vacation and won’t be able to follow the markets for a while, pick a currency whose economy is showing a more stable future. Do the same for the cross currency. Keep in mind that these are all probabilities and trading is never 100% certain. What we are doing here is making the odds work in our favor.
7- Calculate the pip value and your risk appetite
Some currency pair have a higher pip value than other. A higher pip value can increase your profit in winning trades, but can also increase your losses in a losing trade. Calculate your risk tolerance to set your stop and limit order levels properly. This will enable you to get into the market with confidence, knowing that even if the pair changes direction from your open position, you still won’t lose more than you can afford.
8- Go against the trading crowd, but follow your gut feeling
Studies show that the market participants are often wrong with their positions! While this is more of a probability math than a fact, we can sometimes use these indicators as a final step in choosing the best currency pairs to trade. Many brokers and social media (such as Scutify) reveal the most recent market sentiment in many trading instruments including forex. The idea is to trade against the majority of the crowd. So if the majority of forex traders are in a long position on GBP/USD, it may be a good time to short this pair and vice versa. This is mostly helpful with shorter term positions. Also keep in mind that contrarian sentiment analysis is a final touch up on your thorough fundamental and technical analysis, and should never be used by itself. Lastly, trust your gut feeling. If after all this you don’t feel safe getting into the market, then don’t force yourself. Remember, when you are having fun trading with a positive attitude, the rewards are greater than just money in your pocket.
That was my A to your Q Jeanette. Finding the best currency pairs to trade at any given time requires research and analysis. Never invest in ANY THING just because your best friend or some random dude on TV said so. Not only the markets are changing constantly, the trading strategy that works for others may not be suitable for you and your financial goals. Don't forget that we are always here to help! Submit your questions here, Tweet them here or Facebook them here. And as always, invest responsibly :)
The beautiful view in the video is from the Jack Rabbit Vineyard & Restaurant in Melbourne Australia.