Types of insurance
1- Broker Selection. This may seem strange since there are hundreds of Forex brokers. Not to be to negative, but the selection of the wrong broker can be very costly. For example, if the broker has “market makers” between you and the real market, there could be a considerable conflict of interest. Why? Because when one places a trade the “market maker” could be taking the opposite side of the trade. Therefore, if you win the “market maker” loses on the trade. See the potential conflict. This does not always happen but could.
Also, if the broker does not provide good currency price spreads (i.e. the bid ask spread), one may not find safe trades. This may not seem important but one should have as many items on their side as possible to make money. There are brokers that both provide good price spreads and direct access to currency trades, without “market makers” in the middle. Slippage and off quotes may also produce trading problems.
2 – Realistic Plan Or Expectations. This is an interesting area. Many people invest in stocks individually or through mutual funds. Most generally accept a 15% per year gain as fairly good. Also, declines, similar to what the market has experienced recently, i.e. about 50%, are considered bad but many people just accept this as a part of the “buy and hold” approach. This is a mindset that has been around for a long time.
When trading with a program and buying stocks or currency the expectation seems to change. All of a sudden one seems to expect returns of 100% per month or else something is wrong with the program or system they are using. Realistically a return of about 10% per month (120% per year) is reasonable with the best automated Forex software. This level of return would be considered unrealistically high with most stocks or mutual funds. Returns of 40-50% per month are possible with certain Forex software.
3 – Automated Forex Software Programs. This is the third leg of the stool. While the other two are very important, the correct software program is perhaps the most important.
The software should be simple and have the ability for the owner to modify settings as market conditions warrant. For example, if the software is optimized for multiple currency pairs one should be able to modify settings for each currency pair as conditions change. The software supplier should provide initial settings.
Positive back test trading results, when evaluating the purchase of software, are important. However, live trading results are much more important. Back test results are easily manipulated and may provide information that is positive but not realistic, when compared to live trading. Be certain to look for live account trading results. If you do not see live results consider passing on the software. Additionally, longevity of results are important. Look for months or years of live results not just a few days or weeks.
Novice traders often rely on only a small number of trades to make a decision on software. As with any trading system, one is looking for settings that provide a high probability of success. A consistent 100% success rate is not possible, therefore, negative trades are likely. If only a few trades are used to evaluate the software a higher proportion of negative trades are possible within the testing period.
A good Forex software program should be able to be set to trade independently and require a minimum amount of monitoring. However, one should review results and settings to help optimize performance. Forex trading signals are not good enough. The software should be able to enter and exit the trade automatically, using your settings as a guide.
The software supplier should offer an evaluation period. During this period one should have adequate time to set up the software and have at least 30 trades to evaluate the software in demonstration mode before final purchase. After adequate demonstration one may then move to live trading.