29 Forex Traders Discuss their Desert Island “Must Have” Tools

Forex tools

Have you spent hours trawling signal forums for advice on the “must have” trading tools to support your Forex trading?

Have you signed up to trial after trial of software that promised the earth but was only ever as clear as mud?

Like you, I’ve been in this situation many a time before so I thought it was time to get to the bottom of it. And instead of writing up countless reviews on the plethora of trading tools available to professionals and amateurs alike, I thought it best to go straight to the front lines.

I emailed 100 top Forex traders I could find on Google and Twitter and posed them this simple question:

“If you could only use 3 tools for Forex trading, which 3 would you choose?”

Now I’m not in my trading infancy anymore but two things struck me as I was sending out these emails:

  1. If I’d had this information when I first started, it would have been a lot easier to get things off the ground.
  2. Even now as a seasoned trader I’m always keen to know how I can improve. Comparing my trading approach to my peers is like a health check up on my Forex life.

Whether you fall into category 1 or 2, the insight our experts offer into picking the right tools is both useful and refreshing as a reminder that keeping things simple, following a plan and picking then sticking to a few key tools is the ultimate recipe for prolonged Forex trading success.

 

The Top “Must Have” Trading Tools (according to the experts)

  1. Daily Charts (9 votes)
  2. Economic Calendar (8 votes)
  3. NewsFeeds (6 votes)
  4. EAs (4 votes)
  5. MACD (4 votes)

Keep reading to see which 3 each of our experts are partial to, and take note of how they apply each to their trading strategy. Jump straight to your favourite trader’s reply with the links below or put down your candle charts, minimize your meta trader (for now), and invest an hour or two in core insight that will give your trading strategy the shot in the arm you’ve been looking for.

 

Alex Siew – alexsiew.com

I believe in creating our own unique tools, and I don’t use any tools offered by brokers.

The three types of tools I would use are:

  1. An indicator tool that tells you of potential direction movement, based on a pair’s relationship with other pairs in related products, i.e. Correlation tool.
  2. An indicator tool that tells you exactly what entry and exit points to use i.e. ARIMA modelling.
  3. An indicator that tells you the date and time of high volatility i.e. measures Economic Calendar’s impact on FX market eg. GARCH Modelling

 

Suwandy Wijaya – wlforexblog.com

I love to look at information on www.FXStreet.com, things like Currencies at Glance, Forecast Currencies Poll,  and Currencies Heat Map. Of course I’m also using a Technical Indicator.

My Selection of Indicators are:

  1. Bollinger Band’s main chart
  2. Zig – Zag’s main chart
  3. ADX with Alert as for my indicator window

 

Jim – accurateforextrader.com

The 3 things I would need to survive as a trader are probably more technical orientated than anything.

  1. Definitely a good reliable VPS service, which goes hand in hand with being able to access my accounts via any device, hence my big use of the Logmein software.
  2. No.2 would be having access to a good Programmer for my EAs or semi auto EAs.  I use Christina Li from Wise EA and she is excellent.
  3. No.3 would just be something like market volatility.  For my style of trading I need the markets to move.  I don’t care which way, as long as they move.  Hence I like trading pairs like EUR/NZD and GBP/JPY etc.

Not sure if that is what you are after.  Sure indicators are handy, as is the news calendars, but you can trade successfully without these.

 

Jeff Pierce – zentrader.ca

  1. Think or Swim because of their charting ability
  2. RSI Indicator
  3. ADX Indicator

 

Alan Lee

  1. Moving Averages
  2. Candle Stick Patterns
  3. Daily Charts

 

Andriy Moraru – earnforex.com

  1. Forex Factory’s economic calculator
  2. My ChartPatternHelper EA
  3. MetaTrader’s chart objects

 

Jordan Lindsey – jcls-forex.com

  1. Forex Factory’s Calendar – Filtered to high impact news events
  2. Feedly RSS Newsfeed
  3. A trade copier software to link my accounts across several brokers

Bonus: I also use my own True Trend indicator

 

Chris Lori

  1. Price Action
  2. Price Action
  3. Price Action

After that I use Monetary Policy and Live audio news feeds

 

Cam W – forextosuccess.com

To answer your question, the top 3 tools I use are:

  1. Earn Forex’s position sizing calculator
  2. A Forex calendar to watch out for big events
  3. Very little EA in MT4

 

Peter Mathers – tradinglounge.com.au

  1. Money Management – how one handles the money is more important than the trading strategy.
  2. Trading Levels – using Fibonacci as price ratio, this also incorporates the market psychology, that is, certain numbers /price points attract larger orders, therefore price points become support and resistance, creating places for trade setups and price points to trade to. The trading levels concept places each and every price in an order of strength related to the next price point
  3. Volume – Volume creates the price. The volume are orders and more orders would be triggered at certain price points than others, there would be more orders sitting at 8 than there would be at 9 as an example and you would definitely not place stops at whole numbers, because the whole trading game is a numbers game, traders need to understand the importance of each and every number as price.

 

Theo – electrofx.com

Well, that is very easy for me to answer but I am of course biased 🙂
If I was limited to just 3 then I would have to pick the following:

  1. WavEFXv3_ZTM_EA; This EA enables me to retain full control of my trading yet only spend a few minutes per day doing so. I can tell it at which price areas I would expect what group of predefined triggers to occur and if they do occur at those chosen locations it will enter and manage everything for me also based on my chosen settings.
  2. WavEFXv3_v2Support_Resistance_I; This Indicator maps out clear areas of Supply/Demand Support/Resistance including mirror flips. The areas drawn out by this Indicator that I like and would expect Trades to occur from, can simply be renamed for  the above WavEFXv3_ZTM_EA to use.
  3. WavEFXv3_v2ServerRenkoLiveChart_Entry_I; This Indicator creates an Organic Timeless Chart for me the ever evolves with the current Market Volatility.

If I could have a 4th then it would be a News Release Indicator to remind me of important events. I would pick the NewsCal-v107 as it is simple and sounds an alert x minutes of your choosing before each event.

 

Hugh Kimura – tradingheroes.com

I appreciate you including me…

I would say:

  1. Forex Tester 2
  2. MT4
  3. TradeInterceptor for iPhone.

 

Vladimir Ribakov

  1. I would use www.forexfactory.com as calendar.
  2. I would use MACD to spot divergence/convergence combined with RSI.
  3. I would use Bollinger Bands for my profits levels.

 

Kevin – forex-trading-wins.com

Regardless of any and all trading tools it is important to be able to read price charts effectively. There is no software or tool that replaces the knowledge of technical trading or the confidence of being able to differentiate between a high probability trade setup from less suitable trading. That knowledge only comes from learning and study.

My suggestion is to steer clear of automated software trading EA programs unless you completely understand the price behaviour conditions under which that program effectively trades.

  1. OmniTrader – I use OmniTrader, a decision support trading platform, but do not take the trade entry signals from OmniTrader at face value to enter or exit trades.  OT has excellent price charts and the ability to configure those charts to my trading.
  2. RSI and DPO – My trading is mostly price reversals at severely overbought or oversold conditions. Many are a price divergence using either the Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) or De-trended Price Oscillator (DPO). Both of these technical studies have been around for at least 20 years. New, secret or other little known trading strategy equates to crap trading results. I’m trading with my hard-earned money and I want proven results, not wishful thinking.
  3. Money Management – There just aren’t any hidden or secret advantages in any regulated trading market. Stick to the tried-and-true and never trade larger than good money management for your account permits. I’d rather win multiple small trades that grow my account balance than risk large leveraged trades.

 

Nicola Delic – wave-power.net

Thanks for this opportunity, I appreciate it, here are 3 tools that I use:

  1. Motion WaveAt the top of the list I would say Motive Wave – Only platform build for Elliott wave, this platform really cut my working time at least 3 times than any other.
  2. RSI – Tool number two probably RSI, simple but powerful indicator that will help me to confirm my waves counts.
  3. Excel Spreadsheets – For the end I would say excel, because every trader need to calculate risk, like everyone who know are profitable know that good money management is a key for succeeding in this game. An alternate to Excel can be some good EA that will show you how to calculate risk.

 

Conway

I keep my method very simple as many over complicate trading and that is where they go wrong.

3 tools:

  1. Your Stealth EA.
  2. Accurate long term charts, 4hr and daily.
  3. Leverage used correctly.

 

Aldrich – laidtrades.com

  1. Trendlines
  2. Chart Patterns
  3. Simple Moving Average

 

Jim – poojim.com

The 3 tools I use are:

  1. Economic Calendar on My FX Book.
  2. Some EA to manage trades
  3. Some indicators (especially MACD, Stochastics and fractals for scalping).

 

James Rickets – A Pip Throwing Party

  1. NewsFeeds – As for tools, obviously you need to watch and trade around economic news as it is the fuel that makes the markets move.
  2. 5 Min Charts – 2nd I would trade off the 5 min chart using a few simple MA’s like 10/21 EMA and a 50 SMA to show trend.
  3. CCI or ADX – 3rd I would use either a CCI, ADX or RSI (on a low tf 1 min) showing when price is getting oversold or overbought so you know when to enter and exit trades.  The best tool is wait for the trend and trade WITH THE TREND and enter off of small pullbacks in price!!!  No trend, NO TRADING!!! I hope this helps someone…

 

Adam Button – forexlive.com

  1. A simple charting package
  2. A post-it note that says “The trend is your friend”
  3. A  rock and roll sound track

 

Carlos Diaz – foresightfx.com

The only 3 tools I’ll use are more skills than tools.

How to read Price Action structure for the market you will be trading at. This will offer you the main idea of the main trend.

  1. Learn to understand Elliott Waves Pattern: this will provide you with the most probable confirmation of the main trend. By having a rough ideas in which pattern you are, you can tell if there is an opportunity to participate, or wait for the move to finish, and position yourself into the right side of the market.
  2. Learn as much as you can about Fibonacci. This is a little more complete matter, but basically, understanding how to draw entrancement and projections, you can identify High probability reversal tops and bottoms. Then you just need to confirm these areas with 3) price action, and the next possible wave in the sequence.

Hope this open your eyes on how really important is to combine different skills to create a sound and consistent system.

 

Ahmed Elagouz – forexwinners.net

I always like to use:

  1. Price Action
  2. Ichimoku
  3. Following important news

 

Marc Walton – forextrainingacademy.com and forex-fxtrader.com

Hi Rimantas,

  1. Forex factory calendar
  2. Candlesticks
  3. The 200 EMA!

 

Graham Blackmore – dnbforexpriceaction.com

My answer really would be:

  1. A laptop
  2. An internet connection
  3. Clean price charts

I trade mostly tool and gadget free with pure price action.

 

Rachel Hunter – traderrach.com

My 3 must have Forex trading tools are:

  1. Excel spreadsheets for trade and system analysis.
  2. The Forex Factory Calendar for information about upcoming scheduled economic news announcements.
  3. An adapted Fibonacci drawing tool to standardize price levels and extensions.

 

Andrew – forexeasystems.com

In my opinion, the most important tool would be the mt4 economic news indicator FxPulse 2.0. I would also choose some basic trend detecting indicators.

http://www.forexeasystems.com/forex-indicator-fx-pulse

 

Tim Racette – eminimind.com

My 3 tools for trading the Forex market would be:

  1. A standard candlestick chart
  2. Forex factory calendar
  3. Fibonacci line tool.

In this way, trading remains simple, clean, and you can focus on the price action, not the noise.

 

Jonathan – forexminute.com

The 3 tools I would use 100% are:

  1. Economic Calendar
  2. Quotes tool – rate on Forexminute or other leading financial website and if it has tech analysis featured would be great
  3. Regularly follow a financial news portal such as Bloomberg, Forexminute, etc.

The above is what every trader needs – I hope you enjoy this.

 

Boris Schlossbergbkforex.com

I would only use the calendar and pure charts. I don’t use indicators.

 

50pipsfx.com

  1. Price Action
  2. Price Action around key Support/Resistance
  3. Price Action around multi-confluence zones

As you may have seen on my charts, I do have some indicators on them but they are mainly to help explain the price action and highlight the commentary.

 

Recap

Well, that certainly is some wonderful food for thought. A very big thank you to everyone who shared their insight and expertise with us. Here’s a quick reminder of those top 5 as voted on by the pros.

  1. Daily Charts (9 votes)
  2. Economic Calendar (8 votes)
  3. NewsFeeds (6 votes)
  4. EAs (4 votes)
  5. MACD (4 votes)

 

You may well be familiar with some or all of these, but if you’re not, be sure to check them out and compare them to the tools you’re using at the moment. You might stumble across that missing jigsaw piece that will complete your trading tool box.

Why not let us know how your top 3 compares to the experts. Which tools could you simply not do without in your trading life?

About the author

Rimantas Petrauskas

First I am a father, a husband and then the author of the book “How to Start Your Own Forex Signals Service”. I am also a Forex trader, a programmer, an entrepreneur, and the founder of ea-coder.com Forex blog. I have created two of the most popular trade copiers and other trading tools for MT4 that are already used world wide by hundreds of currency traders.

15 Comments

Leave a comment
    • Hey Tim, thank you. I am glad you like this. In the future I am planning more roundups like this and would be very thankful if you give me your opinion what the next question for that could be.

      Regards,
      Rimantas

    • Hey Suwandy,

      thank you for your feedback. I am glad you like my work. And thank you for linking back to my site too.

      Regards,
      Rimantas Petrauskas

  • Good idea Rimantas,

    I have to be a bit curious about the honesty of some who voluntarily released their best tools, even didn’t put forward my top tools but put forward ones I could not do without. I think ‘Newsfeeds’ and ‘MACD’ would be what I am referring to in particular.

    It’s a known fact you cannot trade the news successfully as there are very few ticks or quotes from the banks that they will fill during the spikes, which means all that is left is trading the retracement which is not based on newsfeeds?

    Have you ever thought about adding a ‘Trades’ section on your site, like FF http://www.forexfactory.com/trades.php so your members can show their desert island tools in action?

    • Conway,

      thank you for your feedback. Some of the volunteers have posted their own tools which might look like advertisement to some, but if they use those tools and address to them as their top 3 then their answer is exactly what this post is about.

      I like the idea of FF Trades section, but this is only a roundup. If someone is interested in results that any of those currency trades have, I think the best way is to look at their websites or contact them directly.

      Conway, Thank you once again for your honest feedback. Maybe some of the participants will want to share their trades.

  • Hi Rimantas,

    I was given the link to this article by a trader who said you’re a great developer, so may i recommend my software?

    I created a news alert program (fxnewsalert.com) with ancillary widgets to monitor price momentum; it may be useful to some and compliments your list.

    N.B. It uses forexfactory calendar and has an alarm widget and countdown.

    • Hey there,

      thank you for warm feedback.

      You software looks great. It should be useful to currency traders.

      Regards,
      Rimantas Petrauskas

  • i think that one of the first things mentioned here, DAILY CHARTS, is going to revolutionize my trading business. I’ve heard it before but only just now did it HIT so hard! Thanks Rimantas–I am always glad to see the next article come out.

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