Forex Factory: 5 Free Tools That Will Improve Your Trading
How To Use Forex Factory Trading Tools For Free
Forex Factory is one of the few websites that hold high quality, reliable information for traders for free. As individuals learn how to trade, costs associated with trading can eventually add up, which means one has to trade better!
Which is always a positive whilst forex trading.
With the tools provided on the website, it is extremely helpful.
You can get the following completely free:
- Economic Calendar
- Forex News with indications of impact
- Explorer – Record your own results
- Forex Market Scanner
- Forex Factory Forum
All of the above can quickly help you analyse the market’s bigger picture for just a few minutes a day work.
Now don’t get us wrong, this article isn’t the definitive be all and end all in terms of research – there is a lot more to cover with different topics to highlight that.
We will also highlight some of the information on the website that is slightly misleading – for example the market sentiment tool they have. More details on that later.
Let’s get started with the main free tool – the Forex Factory News Calendar.
Forex Factory Calendar – How To Set It Up
Admittedly, the Forex Factory News Calendar provides a fantastic resource because it is so simple yet incredibly informative.
Ideally from a trader point of view is you want to be able to digest the entire data and log it to memory in seconds of reading it, which is achieved here.
As you can see from the image above the layout showing the forex factory news calendar is “glanceable” meaning, you can take a quick glance at the calendar to get an idea of an impact of an economic data release.
- The Date & Time – When it is released
- The Currency Affected – Where the announcement will come from
- It’s Impact – How much impact it could have on the market
- The Name
- In-Depth Detail – what the data means and it’s impact + source of the data
- Actual Result
- Previous Release
And as an added touch, it plots the graph for you of the historical data – which is super useful as you can generate trends from the data.
As a quick reference;
Red = High Impact – Major News Event
Orange = Medium Impact News Event
Yellow = Low Impact News Event
The forex factory news calendar will be updated automatically, usually within seconds of the official data release.
Which is great for major news events.
Now, all this being good there are two downsides of using the forex factory calendar in its default state:
Potentially the wrong time zone – default is based on Eastern Time US
Shows all data points by default on the news calendar.
These can be resolved and personalised to your needs in seconds.
Below you can just read over or get your hands dirty and apply the information to personalise the news calendar.
To change the time to your own time zone, simply click the time at the top right corner (no need to login).
This will then allow you to define your time zone. Once changed, it will be reflected on the news calendar immediately.
As you can see above, we have switched it to our local time zone and preference, including 24-hour format. You will see the changes immediately.
Next, you can choose the timely view of the data – whether you want it day by day or have a weekly view. Because in the next section we filter out the data, we keep this at a weekly view.
Technical Note: This will be saved in a cookie so you won’t have to keep changing the time zone back, but once you clear your cache/cookies it will revert back to the default time zone.
The next thing we can change is the type of data we see in the news calendar.
To do this go to the right-hand corner again and hit the filter.
As a forex trader, you want to select the red and orange impact because these events can cause volatility during your day.
Keep all the event types.
Select the following currencies as a minimum:
CNY, EUR, GBP, USD. The rest are optional depending on what you trade – for example, if you trade JPY crosses then include JPY news events.
Click apply and you will have a new, more concise news calendar.
Now you have this tool in place, you can quickly glance each morning what news has been released, what data will be released today, and keep notes on what to look out for during your session.
This single tool alone can improve your knowledge and help avoid bad timings, so we recommend you give this tool a go.
To view the tool, click here: https://www.forexfactory.com/calendar.php
How To Use The News Feature, Easily.
Now you can use the forex factory calendar and the market tool to read the markets going forward and get an understanding of market behaviours surrounding the data releases.
(You can use this with the currency strength meter too)
Forex Factory provides a great news stream which also shows the impact a major news event may have on the markets.
In this section, you will learn how to read news events feature so you can quickly digest and understand how the news event impacts the markets.
As you can see in the image above, some articles have the same impact symbols as the calendar. This is great, quick insight, into the news before you have even clicked into it.
Now, understanding news tool is very simple.
You can find this section updated in real-time.
If the news event has a symbol next to it that is either red, orange, or yellow – this indicates that it may have an impact on the markets.
The symbols are the same as the forex news calendar so you will know what they mean instantly.
From this you can deduce it’s potential effects on the markets, therefore allows you to focus only on an impactful news event that can help or hinder your activities.
Having a quick glance at the News tool every so often should be as common as looking on social media to see what is going on.
Keeping on top of news & data flow as a trader is important.
Ignorance is not bliss when trading forex.
If you missed out on a piece of high impact news, that has just been reported to the market – yet the market, seconds before gave a valid signal to enter the market – you could have simply lost the trade for not being away of the recent news flow.
As exciting as technical analysis is, it pays dividends to know about fundamental analysis too.
No matter the time frame you choose to trade in, whether it is the daily time frame or the 1-minute chart.
You should always check-in on the forex news calendar frequently.
You can view the news section here: https://www.forexfactory.com/news
How To Use The Market Scanner Tool
Now you know about the upcoming data and what to expect, wouldn’t it be cool if you could see what happened during previous news events and how it impacted the price?
You can do that too.
The importance of this is to signify how the market reacted to certain events, knowing the movements from the data helps you to understand the impact and where the market is now pricing in the data.
To do this, simply click on the Market tab at the top – click here to go directly to it now: https://www.forexfactory.com/market.php
Now you will be presented with a chart that will display the price action of the EUR/USD (default asset).
At the bottom, you will see the News event indicators.
The Forex Factory News indicators show when the data was released, it’s impact, and what the news was.
You can then simply look at the chart to see if there was any impact or not on any time frame.
This will help you generate a real-time idea of how the market is pricing in the information.
For example, if the market doesn’t move or continues in direction usually means the outcome was already priced in, and thus not a shock, so the market can continue as it were.
Whereas if the market flipped the other way and reversed, it usually would indicate the market was caught by surprise and it was switching its positions aggressively.
Although you are looking at past data, you can use it to gauge how the market participants are reacting to certain data releases, which can give you an edge in the future.
How To Record Your Own Trading Journal Using The Trade Explorer
The key behind having a trading journal is that it will keep track of all the past trades you have made, with a description of whys and outcomes.
This is important if you desire to improve quickly as you can begin to see trends in your results; what are the common patterns for your success and what patterns are causing your losses.
The information generated from a journal is vital for an up and coming trader to succeed.
Here are our top 4 reasons why you should keep a trading journal:
Trading can be fast and furious some days and as slow as a sloth the next day. You’ll get punched daily by market moves that are unexpected from time to time, so it is important to note down mistakes that you made with trades that resulted in a loss.
Imagine having a notepad that had all your wins and losses in and you can learn from it each week, you bet you will become a more profound trader.
When you trade each day you can forget the little trades your lose and avoid realizing what led to the mistakes. By having a journal, you can stick it in there and manually watch your growth, day-by-day, as a trader.
This will give you a tremendous boost in confidence and experience with dealing in certain market conditions.
By the end of it, you want to be looking and reacting to opportunities with certainty.
Not looking for opportunities, double-checking it on your notes and worksheets, react to the opportunity late, and dealing with uncertainty.
Track Successful Patterns
Similar to point one, but success breeds success. Every time you succeed, note down the one-key thing that helped you; this can then be formed as a habit of success.
Enhance Opportunities To Learn
Every time to track your trades you can reflect on how accurate that flag pattern was, or whether or not it is a supply zone. This forces your brain to wire to memory the solid, successful, patterns and results then chuck out the poor examples of losing trades.
The Difference Between Our Planner & Forex Factory Journal
The key difference between the two is that with the online trade journal is that you are publishing your comments, analysis, and results on one of the world’s largest forex forums.
This means anyone who is interested can read and follow your journal.
This may sound daunting, but this holds you to a commitment of completing the journal and respond to other traders who open up a discussion with you.
You may receive helpful comments when you are doing something wrong and learn from the community. Equally, you may be informing others on what they are doing wrong.
Teaching is the best way of learning too.
How To Set Up A Forex Factory Journal
To do this, you will need to open an account – this is completely free.
Direct Link to get a better idea: https://www.forexfactory.com/forumdisplay.php?f=49
Once you have opened an account and fill out your profile, you can open up a journal thread by clicking Start New Thread.
There you can lay out what you want from the journal, how long you will write for and what your goals/expectations are of providing a journal.
Then each day, return to your thread and update it after your day.
It is as simple as that!
Or you can use ours:
Go here to learn how to use it: https://www.alphaexcapital.com/free-forex-trading-course/best-forex-trading-plan/
How To Set up The Trade Explorer For Automated Trading Reporting
Sometimes life can get in the way of always reporting back to trading stats and check-ups using the journal.
You can plug in your Metatrader 4 account to the tool and it will automatically pull your data to their platform and generate statistics based on your performance instantly.
This is really useful if you want to understand the granular aspects of account performance, plus all it takes is 5 minutes to set it up and get going.
How To Set It Up.
Go to the following URL: https://www.forexfactory.com/tradeexplorer.php
You’ll be presented with the above. Simply fill out the information as instructed.
With the correct information entered and verified, you’ll be able to automatically update your performance via the website.
Here is an example, of the output:
Forex Factory Forum – A Huge Trading Resource For Free
The Forex Factory Forum is one of the largest forex forums on the internet with over 500,000 active members a month communicating trading tips, strategies, and news.
It would be a good idea to have a browse of the forum every so often as there are a lot of traders who openly discuss their trading strategies that you can learn from and test.
In addition, there are plenty of other free resources within the forum for you to view at your own leisure.
However, never commit to a trading strategy or service you may come across without testing it previously before you go on a live account.
(That should be obvious!)
Not only that but you can become part of a community, make friends with traders and interact different trading ideas with one another.
Don’t forget, it is better to learn from one another, but if you are already profitable – don’t change your own rules and strategies to think someone else does it better.
Don’t change up to or down time frames because someone is having more success on a lower timeframe.
If you are happy with a daily time frame and profitable, then stick to it.
At the end of the day, it is your money at risk – not theirs!
One cool feature that you can use for free is when you discuss something or discover a particular thread or strategy you enjoy reading about or want to store a back up of the strategy you have been learning about – you can download the thread as a PDF by clicking on the “Printable Version” of the thread. Simply save this as a PDF then voila!
You can view the forum here: https://www.forexfactory.com/forum.php
Market Sentiment Tool (Free)
Although the tools available can be used to gauge market participation we must highlight one tool that you should understand is misleading.
This tool shows you briefly what percentage of traders are long/short on an asset such as EURUSD.
You must be made aware that this information is not on the WHOLE market, but instead of all the active traders who are using the Explorer tool to output this trade data.
Therefore, we recommend to ignore this tool and hence why we have inserted this warning in case you thought they showed you if the market was net-long or net-short an instrument.
If you must review this trade data, then you can use it as a sentiment reading through the website.
That’s a wrap…
So we hope you found this post helpful and impactful.
The tools mentioned above are all for free and can be used by anyone to take advantage of.
The calendar and news flow is probably the most important tools available for you to simply take advantage of each day.
They can work with every time frame from 5-minute time frame to daily time frame and upwards.
Don’t worry too much about doing everything at once.
Do things in your own time and move forward only when you are confident enough.
Let us know how you get on.