Needless to say, any method that works is a good method. Conversely, any trading method that fails — however convincing the arguments behind it — is useless. While this is so, it’s often hard to characterize what success or failure is for a forex trader. A trade that was a failure when it was closed can easily become greatly profitable for you a short while later, and vice versa. Many times the losses suffered by forex traders are caused by emotional problems related to a lack of knowledge or confidence, rather than any flaw of the method used. Thus, when determining which method you would like to use and how to use it, you must first determine your own goals and capabilities, so you can choose the most suitable method for your trading goals.
It’s quite clear that for long-term, investment-minded traders, fundamental analysis offers the greatest potential return over a long period of time. Those who focus on fundamental analysis will be able to ignore the day-to-day fluctuations in the currency markets, and will also be able to avoid the pitfalls associated with whipsaws and similar sudden and unexpected movements. However, doing so requires a great deal of patience and emotional resilience — not to mention a significant investment in time and energy – before you have enough confidence in your skills, and can ride through the sometimes scary corrections and counter-trend movements. To be sure, the trader can gain the necessary confidence through study and patience, which means that success in the forex market requires no special talent or intellectual genius.
For short term investors who want to get into the thick of the action in the market and make sense of the nonsense out there, technical analysis is obviously the best tool. Those with experience in forex trading know only too well that in the short-term, even the most convincing news releases or statistics might fail to move the market in the anticipated direction, and in some cases, the market may react unfathomably to fundamental factors. Technical analysis is the tool of the financial rodeo rider, who wants to tame the raging beast of the markets, and we can only admire him for his courage and be astonished at his success when he achieves it.