As a professional trader, I am often asked about the effectiveness of trading signals. These services promise to provide buy and sell signals for forex, stocks, and crypto assets, among other instruments. While some signal groups may appear tempting, promising high returns and consistent profits, I urge my students to avoid them at all costs. In this article, I will explain why using a signals service is a terrible idea, how signal groups work, and why learning technical analysis is the only way to generate long-term wealth.
What Are Trading Signals?
Trading signals are essentially trade recommendations provided by signal groups, which can either be free or paid. These signals indicate when to buy or sell a particular instrument, often based on technical analysis. The signal providers may use various technical tools, such as moving averages, trendlines, support and resistance levels, and candlestick patterns, to generate these signals. The signals can be delivered via various channels, including email, SMS, mobile apps, social media, and online platforms.
Why Using Signals Is a Terrible Idea
Despite the hype and claims of high returns, using trading signals is a terrible idea for several reasons. Here are the key reasons why signal services are not effective for consistent profitable trading:
The signals are not customized to your trading style or risk tolerance: Signal providers usually generate generic signals that may not suit your trading goals or risk management strategy. Following these signals blindly can result in losses, as you may be buying or selling assets that don't fit your trading plan.
The signals are not reliable: Most signal providers don't provide transparent performance records or back testing results. Therefore, you cannot verify the accuracy or consistency of their signals. Furthermore, many signal providers may manipulate their signals to boost their performance and attract more subscribers.
The signals don't teach you anything: Relying on trading signals means that you're not learning how to analyse the market or make your own trading decisions. This can hinder your progress as a trader and limit your ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
Signal providers have conflicting interests: Many signal groups make money from the monthly fees they charge their subscribers, rather than from trading profits. Therefore, their primary goal is to retain their subscribers, rather than to generate consistent profits for them. Additionally, some signal providers may dump their portfolios onto their members after advising them to buy certain assets, resulting in losses for the members.
Trading signals create dependency: If you become too reliant on trading signals, you may find it challenging to trade independently or trust your analysis. This can lead to emotional trading, where you may make impulsive decisions based on fear or greed, rather than sound analysis.
How Signal Groups Work
Signal groups often claim to have a team of expert traders or analysts who generate their signals. However, the reality is that most signal providers are market spectators who use technical analysis tools to generate their signals. Some signal groups may also use automated trading systems, which can generate signals based on predefined rules or algorithms.
Signal providers may also use different types of signals, such as market maker signals, elite signals, buy/sell signals, or options signals. Market maker signals are supposedly generated based on the actions of large financial institutions or market makers. Elite signals are usually more expensive and claim to provide more accurate signals than regular signal groups. Buy/sell signals are just another term that signals groups title themselves. Options signals are specific to options trading, where the signals indicate when to buy or sell an options contract.
Why You Should Learn Technical Analysis Instead
If you want to become a consistent profitable trader, you must learn technical analysis and develop your own trading strategy. Technical analysis involves studying price charts and identifying patterns and trends that can help you predict future price movements. It's a skill that takes time and practice to develop, but it's worth the effort in the long run. Here are some reasons why learning technical analysis is crucial for your trading success:
Technical analysis is objective: Unlike trading signals, which are subjective and open to interpretation, technical analysis provides a more objective view of the market. By studying price charts, you can identify key levels of support and resistance, trend lines, and other technical indicators that can help you make informed trading decisions.
Technical analysis is adaptable: As market conditions change, your trading strategy must adapt accordingly. Technical analysis provides a flexible framework that allows you to adjust your trading plan as needed. By learning technical analysis, you can identify changes in market sentiment and adjust your trading approach accordingly.
Technical analysis is personalized: Your trading style and risk tolerance are unique to you. By learning technical analysis, you can develop a trading plan that fits your personality and goals. This means you're more likely to stick to your plan and make consistent profits over time.
Technical analysis teaches discipline: Trading can be an emotional and stressful activity, especially when you're dealing with real money. Technical analysis teaches discipline and patience, which are essential traits for successful trading. By sticking to your trading plan and following your analysis, you can avoid impulsive decisions and emotional trading.
Technical analysis is a lifelong skill: Learning technical analysis is an investment in yourself. Once you've developed this skill, it can be applied to any market or instrument. This means you can continue to trade profitably throughout your lifetime, regardless of market conditions or economic cycles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best trading signals for forex?
A: There is no such thing as the best trading signals for forex. Trading signals are subjective and depend on the signal provider's expertise, technical tools, and market analysis. However, as discussed in this article, using trading signals is not an effective way to generate consistent profits. Instead, you should learn technical analysis and develop your own trading strategy.
Q: Are free trading signals reliable?
A: Free trading signals are often less reliable than paid signals because the signal provider has less incentive to provide accurate signals. However, the cost of the signal service does not necessarily reflect its accuracy or consistency. The key is to verify the performance of the signals before following them and to develop your own trading skills.
Q: What are the best forex signal providers?
A: As mentioned earlier, there is no such thing as the best forex signal provider. It's essential to verify the performance of the signal provider's signals and to consider their track record, transparency, and reputation. However, relying on signals from others is not the best way to become a profitable trader. Learning technical analysis and developing your own trading strategy is the most effective way to generate consistent profits.
Q: What are buy and sell indicators?
A: Buy and sell indicators are technical tools that generate signals based on market conditions. These indicators can be used to identify when to buy or sell an asset based on specific technical criteria, such as moving averages, MACD, RSI, or Bollinger Bands. However, like trading signals, buy and sell indicators are subjective and should be used in conjunction with your own technical analysis and trading strategy.
In conclusion, using trading signals is a terrible idea for consistent profitable trading. While some signal providers may appear tempting, promising high returns and easy profits, the reality is that 99% of signal groups do not live up to their advertised returns. The owners generate their income from the monthly fees or by dumping their portfolios onto their members after advising them to buy said asset. To become a successful trader, you must learn technical analysis and develop your own trading strategy. Technical analysis is an objective, adaptable, personalized, and lifelong skill that can help you make informed trading decisions and generate consistent profits over time. While it may take time and practice to develop this skill, the rewards are worth it. Don't fall for the trap of trading signals. Instead, invest in yourself and your trading education. With discipline, patience, and a solid trading plan, you can achieve your trading goals and become a consistently profitable trader.