A pretty rough start for my forex trades this year! I know I promised to take more trades in my trading reflections last year, but I guess I still have some way to go before I get back in the zone!
Here are my updates on my USD/CHF, GBP/USD, and USD/JPY setups. Got any tips for me going forward?
Original Trade Idea: USD/CHF Retracement Near Parity!
Back in early January I bought USD/CHF at market when a report about China brought USD/CHF down to what I thought was a nice retracement to the pair’s uptrend. Unfortunately for my trade, I didn’t know that it marked the start of a period of risk aversion. If that wasn’t bad enough, price had also JUST reached my stop loss levels before it started going back up. If that doesn’t remind me of my first trading days I don’t know what could!
Total: -98 pips / -0.46% loss
It doesn’t take fancy trade journal entries to know that I should’ve kept losser stop losses on this one. After all, I was trading a long-term trend and could have afforded a bit more wiggle room for volatility. Hopefully I can get a handle on my risk management skills in my next trades.
Original Trade Idea: GBP/USD Pullback in the Works?
Here’s another example of having the right bias but losing out to trade entry and exit placements. Two weeks ago I was looking at Cable for a possible retracement trade after the pair found some support from the closely-watched 1.4400 major psychological level. At the time I was confident that the pair had moved strongly enough that there’s bound to be a significant retracement. As it turned out, the bears weren’t quite ready to hand over the reins.
Looking back, I realized that I should’ve traded price action instead of my bias. As inviting as technical levels look like, price won’t reach those areas if forex traders are paying attention to other factors like fundamentals and sentiment. I should’ve paid more attention to the strength of the risk aversion the PBoC had wreaked in the markets and maybe shorted at market until price is actually showing a possible bounce instead of me anticipating it.
Original Trade Idea: USD/JPY Downtrend Still On?
This last bit doesn’t sting as much as the USD/CHF and GBP/USD setups, mostly because I did make efforts not to repeat my mistakes. For starters, I placed looser stop losses than in my USD/CHF setup and was a bit more flexible in my entry and exit levels than in my GBP/USD chart.
One mistake that I found is that I once again relied too much on technicals. I got too confident that the SMAs and divergence would sway price action in my favor. Unfortunately, I jumped on a trend when it wasn’t feeling friendly. Small recoveries in oil prices and easing concerns over China helped inspire profit-taking and risk-taking across the board and took yen pairs sharply higher.
Total: -121 pips / -0.14% loss
The trade flexibility part kicked in when I decided against expanding my risk exposure from 0.25% to 0.50%. At the time I wasn’t comfortable with how fast USD/JPY had popped up from its lows. I also watched the 118.00 handle closely and eventually closed the position when it was looking like the resistance level was turning into a support for the pair. One thing I could’ve done better is closed the trade when it made new highs or at least closed it at around 117.75 when it was retracing to the Fibs and SMAs on the chart.
That’s it for my first few trades this year! Still getting a few newbie mistakes, but hopefully I’ll do better on my next ones. Got any tips on how I can improve my trading performance? How are you trading the major currencies these days?