Stochastic: What’s it Really Showing You?

Ever heard the expression “getting ahead of the curve?” In trading, this cliche perfectly reflects what every trader wishes they could consistently do. In addition to fundamental analysis, you might turn to charts to forecast price moves. A big part of using charts to make sense of the markets are indicators, but are they really any good? Many traders turn to the Stochastic indicator to check overbought or oversold levels, so just what insights does Stochastic analysis really offer, and how can you use these insights to determine when to open a position?


Here’s an overview of this popular indicator, why you might be struggling to use it, and some top tips that will help you avoid misinterpreting market moves.

Get free access to our trading platform and hundreds of indicators

Overbought and oversold

The terms overbought and oversold describe a period where there has been significant movement in price without much pullback or reversion. Simply put, a rise or fall that doesn’t deviate far from the trend line.

What goes up…! You know the saying. Price trends can’t last forever. They eventually reverse, and trading close to that point of reversal is one way you can maximize your profits. In traditional technical analysis, traders expect overbought or oversold currency pairs to reverse, but that’s not always the case and it can be quite an expensive realization. To constantly set your trades based on the Stochastic indicator will yield mixed and likely disappointing results.

How to read the Stochastic

If you’ve already signed up with Exness, then you have access to a trading platform and a risk-free demo account. This is the perfect way to get familiar with any of the free and paid indicators available. Open up your platform and go to the Navigator pane on the left. Scroll down and then drag the Stochastic folder to the chart. A section will appear below the price chart with two lines tracing along, above, and below a central range.

The concept is fairly simple. The lower horizontal line represents a value of 20. The upper horizontal line is 80. Whenever the tracing line breaches 80, it indicates a possible overbought status, and traders expect a price correction. Likewise, if the lines cross below the 20-mark, it signals a possible oversold status, and a reversal might be imminent.

In the above EURUSD example, a downtrend started on May 19 and crossed the 20-line on May 22 [yellow]. Traders using the Stochastic indicator would normally take this as a sign of overbought, and they would set a buy order with the expectations of a reversal. They would consequently be very pleased with the rise that followed. Just five days later, Stochastic indicated another oversold status [blue], but traders clicking the buy buttonprobably lost whatever profits they’d achieved the previous week. So, what’s going on?

Indicators are not fortune-tellers

FX News does not recommend using the Stochastic indicator as a stand-alone forecasting strategy. Indicators are best used to confirm theories, not to create them. Having said that, Stochastic is one of the best indicators a trader can use, but you might consider adding a little common sense to the mix. In the yellow example above, you can see that the price line and the Stochastic lines match rather well in the days preceding the oversold signal—and continue to do so after the fact. The perfect example of how a Stochastic indicator can forecast a reversal!

The blue example a few days later shows a clear divergence. The Stochastic line falls dramatically in a complete reversal from overbought to oversold, but the price line barely moves in comparison. Consider that a warning sign! Another common indicator is that the reversal usually comes when the rise or fall happens in a short period of time. Watch out for steep peaks and valleys that accompany the overbought/oversold range.

Top trading tips for advanced traders

Although we’ve used a price line to better illustrate the price moves in the chart image, FX News suggests using candlesticks when performing chart analysis. Moreover, Stochastic’s default %K period and slowing is set at 5,3,3, but cautious traders usually use higher numbers. On the top menu, go to Insert > Indicators > Oscillators > Stochastic Oscillator and set to 15,5,5. You can run both settings at the same time to see the differences. Certain settings may work better for certain pairs, so play around with the levels before committing to one.


Test Stochastic on your Exness trading platform

Open Exness Demo Account

Open Tickmill Demo Account

Open FXTm Demo Account


Do Forex Signals Really Work?

So, you’ve funded your trading account, and you’re ready to make some trades. Now it’s time to analyze the market and find some attractive trading options. Researching currency pairs can take a big chunk out of your free time, and it’s not uncommon to end your market investigation as lost as when you started. If that’s you, don’t despair. You’re not alone, which is why professional market analysts and A.I. programmers got together to create forex signals. But are those signals any good?

Why do traders use forex signals?

Technical indicators, news reports, fundamental analysis, who has time to analyze the dozens of trading instruments available on your trading platform? If your life is like mine, it’s hard to find time to properly research the market. But what if somebody or something could do all the research for us and then send a report with statistics and clear conclusions?

It’s so convenient. Forecasts that normally take hours to perform just appear in your inbox or MetaTrader message board in the form of a signals report, all thanks to a team of professional forex analysts working in concert with A.I. technology.

Traders of all levels and experience use signal provider services and their associated apps. While some forex signals services are free, others have a fee; there are hundreds, so choosing which one to go with takes time and investigation. Moreover, some work better than others.


Which forex signals providers can you trust?

This question is difficult to answer. Forex signals get constant updates and performance changes with each update. Signal performance and accuracy also varies from brand to brand. From as low as 60% up to an unconfirmed 92% win/loss ratio. One forex signal provider’s performance might be strong during the time of writing this article, but things can change in a matter of days. Keeping current with the top signal providers can take up as much time as keeping current with the forex market. Fortunately, there is a solution.

The easy way to choose a signal provider

To make sure you’re getting the latest forex signals, just stick to the more established and popular services. There’s a reason they are so popular! One signal provider worth considering in 2019 is the award-winning Trading Central. For almost 20 years, Trading Central has been supporting investment decisions for forex traders, and it is a consistent leader in the industry. Professional analysts monitor Trading Central’s tried and tested algorithms, and their performance and reputation is solid, which is why Exness gives free access to Trading Central signals directly on your trading platform.

Top tip: Some signal providers have had better performance percentages than Trading Central, but their consistency is lacking and not really worth mentioning. Try comparing multiple signal providers. Keep a diary of the signal forecasts then go back and check to see which ones gave better signals. If the majority of signal providers are saying the same, then you might be onto a sure thing.

As always, FX News recommends that you understand every order you make, and not blindly follow forex signals or forecasts. Find time to conduct your own market research and learn and grow as you go.

Try signals trading and see if it’s right for you!


Open Exness Demo Account

Open Tickmill Demo Account

Open FXTm Demo Account


Want To Trade Forex Like An Expert? Control Your Risk

Want to step above the crowd? Knowing when to cut your losses and being consistent and disciplined about doing so can help you truly elevate your trading game.

Why Controlling Risk Is Key To Developing As A Trader

At first glance, this sounds rather obvious, doesn’t it? It may surprise you, but far too many traders lose more money than they can afford by sticking with bad trades in the hope that things will turn around for them. In reality, this rarely happens.

Smart traders, in contrast, set firm stopping points with their broker before ever opening their trades. If their losses drop below the level set, they understand that the best thing they can do is to walk away.  While this sounds easy enough to do, actually doing it consistently in real life can be quite hard. It’s basic human psychology to try to hold on to what we perceive as ours and to recoup losses. Fighting through that urge and learning to walk away will put you head and shoulders above many traders, however.

Top Tip: Planning Is Key

Have a plan about how and when to cut your losses and be disciplined and consistent about sticking to it. For example, determine what percentage of your equity can you afford to lose before making a trade and set a stop-loss order to ensure you don’t go beyond it.

Open Exness Demo Account

Open FXTm Demo Account


How To Develop Your First Forex Trading Plan

The ability to create and follow a forex trading plan is one of the most important things a forex trader must learn. Many new forex traders fall into the trap of either not creating a plan or failing to stick to the ones they do create. Doing either is a big mistake and leads to irrational, hasty, and emotional decision-making (very bad things when it comes to forex).

The process of creating a forex trading plan will help you understand your trading strategy thoroughly and serve as a blueprint for making trading decisions. If you design your trading plan correctly, the unexpected should not be an issue  – you should have already thought out and have a course of action for just about anything that might occur.

So how do you create a plan? In this post, we’ll take you through it from start to finish.

Oh, one thing to note before we go any further:  

Having a trading plan alone is not enough. You should also be keeping a detailed trading journal to help you keep track of how consistently you are following your trading plan. In the following article, we’ll take you through the steps of creating your first plan.

1. Determine What Kind Of Trader You Are – And How Many Trades You Should Make

The first step to creating a forex trading plan is to determine what kind of trader you are based on the frequency of your trades and the duration over which your trades run. If you are a day trader whose trading style revolves around scalping, then you should plot your trading plan with a 24-hour timeframe. On the other hand, if you are a swing trader whose trades usually span several days, you should use a week as your planning horizon. To determine the number of trades that you should make within your trading horizon, you should add up all your winning trades  over your chosen time period and then multiply them by 1.2. For example, if you make 15 trades a week and only five are winning trades, you should not make more than six or seven trades each week. The idea is to increase your win rate and your chances of being an effective forex trader.

2. Maximize Your Opportunities

By limiting the number of trades that you make on a daily basis you limit your opportunities in the markets. This is not a bad thing. Limiting the number of trades you make on a daily basis should allow you to focus on finding the best trade setups that match your trading plan. By making fewer trades, you will be able to focus more on analyzing your trades and on making trades that have a beneficial risk/reward ratio.


3. Eliminate Emotional Trading

As a beginner forex trader, you should strive to avoid making trades based on your emotions by always sticking to your predetermined trading parameters. By limiting the number of trades you make each day, you can more easily avoid making ‘revenge’ trades. This can happen after you make a bad trade when you make further trades in an attempt to make up your losses. Many new traders succumb to the urge to make emotional rebalancing trades in order to make up for their losing trades. Most emotional trades usually carry higher risk because their main objective is to recoup the losses on a previous trade, which might be significant.

4. Set Entry Rules

Most beginner traders start out being very excited about the movements of the currency pairs they want to trade and will typically open new trades based on an instinct alone. This is not the best way to trade as, in many cases, traders end up with open positions that they have not fully thought through or researched. Your trading plan should clearly describe the signals that you will look for before opening a trade. You should include the different parameters that the indicators you are using must meet in order for you to enter into a trade. The more detailed your plan is, the better your results will be. Having a clearly defined entry rules will ensure that you remain disciplined in all your trading activities.


5. Set Exit Rules

Having exit rules is just as important as having entry rules because having predetermined exit signals helps you maximize the potential gains on your trades while limiting your losses. Your exit rules should be aligned with the maximum risk you are willing to take on each trade as well as the profit potential of each trade. For example, a trader with a 1:3 risk/reward ratio would be willing to risk USD 50 dollars for a profit of USD 150 on each trade. This means that the trader should exit a losing trade once their losses reach USD 50 and should look to exit a profitable trade with a  USD 150 profit.

6. Set Stop-Loss And Take-Profit Levels


Now that you know the importance of setting entry and exit rules, stop-loss and take-profit levels are  next. It is crucial that you set a stop-loss level on every trade that you make in order to limit your potential losses one every trade. You should think this through ahead of time and should tie your stop loss to the percentage of your trading account that you are willing to risk.



Now that you have a good understanding of how to create your trading plan, you should get to work creating one using a free Demo trading account The Demo account will allow you to test and refine your current trading plan on either our MT4 of MT5 platforms and will enable you to pinpoint weaknesses in your plan. Once you are satisfied that your plan works in you Demo account, you can consider using it in you live account. 

Open Exness Demo Account

Open FXTm Demo Account


3 More Economic Indicators You Need To Know

Forex indicators are crucial tools that can be used by all traders in order to improve to become more effective at what they do.

1. Bollinger Bands/Envelopes

Bollinger bands, also known as envelopes, were developed in the 1980s by John Bollinger to measure whether prices were high or low in relation to market volatility. Most traders use Bollinger bands to determine whether trend reversals are about to occur based on market volatility. Bollinger bands are made up of three bands with the middle band being the 20-period simple moving average of the currency pair. The values of the upper and lower bands are derived from the middle band (the upper band is calculated by adding two standard deviations from the middle while the lower band is calculated by subtracting two deviations from the middle). As a trader, you should stick to using the default values of the Bollinger bands as this is what most traders are using. Remember the price of a currency pair rarely strays far out of the Bollinger bands, which is why they are known as envelopes.

One of the most effective Bollinger bands trading strategies is the snapback to the middle band strategy, which is based on the fact that prices typically snap back to the middle band before heading in a specific direction.

2. The MACD Indicator

The term MACD indicator is an acronym for Moving Average Convergence Divergence indicator, which is a trend-following indicator used to measure momentum. Most traders use the MACD indicator to identify trend direction and to determine momentum and potential trend reversals The MACD indicator consists of the MACD line, the signal line and the MACD histogram. The MACD line and signal line move together although the MACD line is slightly faster than the signal line. As a trader, you can use the MACD indicator to generate trade signals, or to confirm trade signals generated by other trading strategies.

3. The ADX Indicator

The average directional index (ADX) indicator is used by most traders to identify whether a currency pair is trending or not. The ADX indicator was developed and introduced into the markets by J. Welles Wilder in 1978. The ADX indicator is used by forex traders to measure the strength of a trend, to identify trends and ranges, and as a filter for different trading strategies.

The ADX indicator is made up of the ADX line, the positive directional indicator (+DI) line and the negative directional indicator (-DI) line. The ADX indicator is calibrated from 0 to 100 with values above 25 indicating a strong trend while values below 25 identify ranging markets. You can also use the ADX indicator to confirm trades from other strategies as well as its own trade signals.


Tools like the Bollinger bands, MACD, and ADX can help you become a more effective trader and to make better trading decisions. While it is important to note that no indicator works all the time and to always apply proper risk management, learning about these three indicators is worth any new trader’s time.

Open Exness Demo Account

Open Hotforex Demo

Open FXTm Demo Account