3 Stress-Free Ways to Handle News Events

06/09/2014 9:00 am EST

Focus: FOREX

Jeremy Wagner

Head of Daily FX Education, FXCM

Developing a plan before the event arrives is a is a good way to get a handle on it, advises Jeremy Wagner of DailyFX Education.

Major news releases can be stressful on traders. That stress can show up for a variety of trading styles.

Perhaps you are already in a good position with a good entry and you are afraid the news release may take a bite out of your good entry.

Perhaps you want to enter into a new position as prices are near a technically sound entry point, but you are uncertain if the technical picture will hold up through the volatile release. Therefore, you agonize over the decision of whether to enter now or after the news event.

Maybe, you like to be in the action and initiating new positions during the release. The fast paced volatility during the news release still gets makes your palms sweat as you place trades.

As you can see, news events stress traders in a variety of ways.

Today, we are going to cover three steps to trade news events.

Step 1 - Have a Strategy
It sounds simple, yet the emotion of the release can easily draw us off course. We see prices moving quickly in a straight line and are afraid to miss out or afraid to lose the gains we have been sitting on. Therefore, we make an emotional decision and act.

Having a strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember, staying out of the market during news and doing nothing is a strategy.

A strategy for the trader with a floating profit entering the news event could be as simple as “I am going to close off half my position and move my stop loss to better than break even.”

For the trader wanting to initiate a new position that is technically based, they may decide to wait until at least 15 minutes after the release, then decide if the set-up is still valid.

The active news trader may realize they need a plan of buy and sell rules because they trade based on what ‘feels good.’

Step 2 - Use Conservative Leverage
If you are in the market when the news is released, make sure you are implementing conservative amounts of leverage. We don’t know where the prices may go and during releases, prices tend to move fast. Therefore, de-emphasize the influence of each trade on your account equity by using low amounts of leverage.

Our traits of successful traders research found that traders who implement less than ten times effective leverage tend to be more profitable on average.

3 - Don’t Deviate from the Strategy
If you have taken the time to think about a strategy from step number one and if you have realized the importance of being conservatively levered, then you are 90% of the way there! However, this last 10% can arguably be the most difficult. Whatever your plan is, stick to it!

If I put together a plan to lose 20 pounds of body weight that includes eating healthier and exercising, but I continue to eat high fat and sugar foods with limited exercise, then I am only setting myself up for frustration.

You don’t have to be stressed or frustrated through fundamental news releases.

By Jeremy Wagner, Head Forex Trading Instructor, DailyFX Education

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