Automated / Robot Trading:
Software-based trading systems, also known as forex trading robots, are created by converting a set of trading rules into code that a computer can make use of. The computer will then run this code via trading software that scans the markets for trades that meet the requirements of the trading rules contained in the code. The trades are then executed automatically via the trader’s broker.
Discretionary Forex trading depends on a trader’s ‘gut’ trading feel or discretionary trading skill to analyze and trade the markets. Discretionary trading allows for a more flexible approach than automated trading but it does take a certain amount of time to develop your discretionary trading skill. Most professional Forex traders are discretionary traders because they understand the market is a dynamic and constantly flowing entity that is best traded by the human mind.
Technical trading, or technical analysis, involved analysis of a market’s price chart for making one’s trading decisions. Technical analysis traders use price patterns or ‘technical signals’ to trade the market with an edge. The common belief amongst technical analysis traders is that all economic variables are represented by and factored into the price movement on a price chart.
Fundamental trading, or news trading, is a trading technique wherein traders rely heavily on market news to make their trading analysis and predictions. Fundamental news does ‘drive’ price movement, but often times the market will react differently than what a particular news release would imply due to the fact that market participants often buy on expectations of future events and sell once the reality of said future event occurs. This is another main reason many pro traders rely more heavily on technical analysis than fundamental analysis, although many do use a combination of the two.
Traders who day-trade the Forex market are in and out of the market within one day. This means they typically buy and sell currencies over a very short period of time and they may enter and exit numerous trades in one day.
Scalping is similar to day-trading but it relies on more frequent and shorter-term trades than even day-trading does. It is a trading style that refers to jumping in and out of the market many times a day to ‘scalp’ a few pips here and a few pips there, generally with little regard for placing logical stop-losses. Scalping is generally not recommended by experienced / pro traders because it is essentially just gambling.
Swing Trading / Position Trading:
This style of trading involves taking a short to mid-term view on the market and traders who swing trade will be in a trade anywhere from a few hours to several days or weeks. Swing or position traders are generally looking to trade with the near-term daily chart momentum and typically enter anywhere from 2 to 10 trades per month, on average.
Range trading involves trading a market that is consolidating between obvious support and resistance levels. By watching for trading signals near the support and resistance boundaries of the trading range, traders have a high-probability entry scenario with obvious risk and reward placement.
Trend traders are traders who wait for the market to trend and then take advantage of this high-probability movement by looking for entries within the trend. An uptrend is considered to be in place when a market is making higher highs and higher lows, and a downtrend is in place when a market is making lower highs and lower lows. By looking for entries within a trending market, traders have the best chance at making a large profit on their risk. Traders who continually try to trade against the trend by trying to pick the top and bottom of the market, generally lose money quite quickly. Professional Fx traders are largely trend-traders.
Trends do indeed end, and if you are a savvy and skilled trader you can successful trade a counter-trend move, but this should not be tried until trend-trading has been mastered as counter-trend trading is inherently more risky than trend-trading and there can be many false tops or bottoms in a trend before the real one emerges.
Carry trading, or simply ‘the carry trade’ as it is called, is the strategy of simply buying a high interest-rate currency against a low interest-rate currency and holding the position for what is usually a long period of time. Forex brokers will pay traders the interest rate difference, or ‘swap’, between the two currencies for each day the position is held. The trick here is that higher-yielding currencies are susceptible to large sell-offs if the market loses risk appetite since these currencies are generally considered riskier than safe-haven currencies like the U.S. dollar or Japanese yen, so it’s a good idea to trail your stop loss up to lock in profit as the carry trade moves in your favor.