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Adaptation to the Realities of the Market - Joe Ross


June 2004
by Joe Ross
www.tradingeducators.com
Hey Joe!

Do you think adaptation to the realities of the market is the most important thing?

 

  Many times in the past I’ve written about the need to adapt, the need to be able to change your behavior relative to the market because the markets are ever changing.

I’ve stated that mechanical systems may be workable, but for only a short time relative to the life of markets. You must learn to trade what you see and to understand what you see on a chart.

When I first began trading there was no such things as futures contracts for foreign currencies. Why didn’t they exist? Because there was no need for them! In the 1970’s all that changed when the US dollar went off the gold standard and began to float against other currencies. Following that, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange began to create currency futures to provide a place where currency traders could hedge the risks associated with dealing in foreign currencies. Some of these risks are direct and some are indirect. Direct risk is involved for those who deal directly in foreign exchange. Indirect risk involves companies who export or import and receive payments or make payments in the currency of another country.

Ever since currency futures were created, they have been in a state of flux. More recently, for purposes of futures trading, currency gyrations have centered on a massive move away from currency futures to more direct trading in the forex markets. Currency futures, while maintaining their volume and open interest figures, are actually less liquid than they had been previously. Volume and open interest do not reveal the picture of what is happening in the currency futures pits. Volume and open interest levels are being maintained by fewer and fewer futures traders.

In the period from 1992 to the present, we’ve witnessed currency futures moving from “red-hot” to “cool” and now hot again insofar as speculators are concerned. Foreign exchange, which in 1992 was one of the hottest plays, first turned dull and then back again to exciting.

That this has happened can be seen in areas of which most futures traders are ignorant. Five years ago foreign currency traders were being paid huge salaries and anyone with a track record could virtually name his price. Following that, currency traders were no longer in great demand. Now, again, there is a huge demand for successful currency traders.

 

Currency futures are but a small representation of the $1.5 trillion dollar foreign exchange market. Professional currency traders use forex, forwarding contracts, derivatives of all kinds, and the futures pits, to deploy their various trading and hedging strategies. Looking at only the futures is like the blind man trying to tell what an elephant is like by feeling only the tusks.

 

In past years, foreign exchange desks at banks, insurance companies, brokers, and other institutions were seen closing down and firing hundreds of employees. Today, they are again looking for currency traders.

by Joe Ross

www.tradingeducators.com

 




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