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!
With the tools provided on the website, it is extremely helpful.
You can get the following completely free:
Forex Market News with indications of impact
Trade Explorer – Record your own trading 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 Economic Calendar.
Forex Factory Calendar – How To Set It Up
Admittedly, the Forex Factory Economic Calendar is 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 of the forex factory calendar is “glanceable” meaning, you can take a quick glance of 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
In-Depth Detail – what the data means and it’s impact + source of the data
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
Orange = Medium Impact
Yellow = Low Impact
The forex factory economic calendar will be updated automatically, usually within seconds of the official data release.
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.
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 forex factory economic 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 set your time zone. Once changed, it will be reflected on the 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 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 trading 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 forex factory 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 trading session.
This single tool alone can improve your trading knowledge and help avoid bad timings, so we recommend you give this tool a go.
What The Forex Factory News Is & How You Can Read It Quickly
Now you can use the forex factory calendar and the market tool to read the markets going forward and get an understanding of market behaviors surrounding the data releases, Forex Factory provides a great news stream which also shows the impact a news story may have on the markets.
In this section, you will learn how to read forex factory news so you can quickly digest and understand what exactly the impact is on 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 forex factory news is very simple.
You can find this section updated in real time. If the news article 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 economic calendar’s 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 impactful news that can help or hinder your trading activities.
Having a quick glance at the Forex Factory 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 in forex trading.
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!
Now you will be presented with a chart which will display the price action of the EUR/USD (default asset). At the bottom, you will see the News 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. 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, 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
We provide an awesome trading planner for free (click here to get it), but if you want to have something in the cloud and tracked, Forex Factory provides this service via their Trade Explorer.
Yes, you can save our planner to an iCloud account of Google Drive, but this offers another solution.
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 trading 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 worlds largest forex forum.
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 with Forex Factory – this is completely free.
How To Set up The Forex Factory 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 Forex Factory Trade Explorer and it will automatically pull your trading 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.
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. 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!
Although the tools available can be used to gauge market participation we must highlight one tool that you should understand is misleading.
This tool is the market sentiment tool – which 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 Trade Explorer tool to output this 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.
Forex Factory Wrap Up
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.
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.
If there is one thing you take away from this post, we hope it’s the downloadable best trading plan pdf we made available to you. This will certainly help you improve as a trader and quickly eliminate your common trading mistakes.
Let us know how you get on.
If you are learning how to trade the forex or looking to sharpen up your trading skills, we provide a whole bunch of golden nuggets in our free forex trading course.
You can find out more about our free forex course by clicking the image below.
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