- Scalpers look to trade session momentum
- Scalpers do not have to be high frequency traders
- Anyone can scalp with an appropriate trading plan
The term scalping elicits different preconceived connotations to different traders. Despite what you may already think, scalping can be a viable short term trading methodology for anyone. So today we will look at what exactly is scalping, and who can be successful with a scalping based strategy.
What is a Scalper?
So you’re interested in scalping? A Forex scalper is considered anyone that takes one or more positions throughout a trading day. Normally these positions are based around short term market fluctuations as price gathers momentum during a particular trading session. Scalpers look to enter the market, and preferably exit positions prior to the market close.
Normally scalpers employ technical trading strategies utilizing short term support and resistance levels for entries. While normally fundamentals don’t factor into a scalpers trading plan, it is important to keep an eye on the economic calendar to see when news may increase the market’s volatility.
High Frequency Trading
There is a strong misconception that all scalpers are high frequency traders. So how many trades a day does it take to be considered a scalper? Even though high frequency traders ARE scalpers, in order for you to qualify as a scalper you only need to take 1 position a day! That is one of the benefits of scalping. You can trade as much or as little as you like within a giving trading period.
This also falls in line with one of the benefits of the Forex market. Due to the 24Hr trading structure of Forex, you can scalp the market at your convenience. Take advantage of the quiet Asia trading session, or the volatile New York – London overlap. Trade as much or as little as you like. As a scalper the choice is ultimately yours to make!
There are always risks associated with trading. Whether you are a short term, long term, or any kind of trader in between any time you open a position you should work on managing your risk. This is especially true for scalpers. If the market moves against you suddenly due to news or another factor, you need to have a plan of action for limiting your losses.
There are other misconceptions that scalpers are very aggressive traders prone to large losses. One way to help combat this is to make scalping a mechanical process. This means that all of your decisions regarding entries, exits, trade size, leverage and other factors should be written down and finalized before approaching the charts. Most scalpers look to risk 1% or even less of their account balance on any one position taken!
Who can Scalp?
So this brings us to the final question. Who can be a scalper? The answer is anyone with the dedication to develop a trading strategy and the time to implement that strategy on any given trading day. If scalping is something you’re interested in, continue your education on the topic by reading through The Definitive Guide to Scalping on Dailyfx.com
Then when you’re ready, try out your scalping strategy on a Free Forex Demo account with FXCM. This will allow you to get comfortable with the market as well as see how your scalping strategy is developing in real time!
---Written by Walker England, Trading Instructor
To contact Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter at @WEnglandFX.
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