Forex Signal Providers - What To Consider

By: Tk Kearns

With the growing popularity and easy access to the foreign exchange (ForEx) market, more and more people are drawn to it as their financial vehicle of choice. Along with this popularity come all the extras. This includes all kinds of software, trading systems for sale, books, videos, and third party signal providers. Today I'm going to touch on a few points when seeking out a third party forex signal provider.
Before we get into choosing a provider we need to have a good understanding of what a third party signal provider is. A signal provider is a trader or analyst that generates trades that in turn get placed on your account. You can have several signal providers trading your forex account or just one.
Like anything else, all third party signal providers are not created equal. At first glance a trader may look like a home run. That same trader may well end up completely torpedoing your entire account in one afternoon. To help make sure this doesn't happen we'll set down a few guidelines. These guidelines will give us something to look for when choosing our third party signal provider.
1. The first thing I look at is whether the trader is a winner or a loser. This may seem obvious to nearly everyone, but I often see losing signal providers with 50-100 people trading their signals.
2. The next thing to look at is how long the trader has traded profitably. You don't want a brand new trader without a track record trading your real money account.
3. Have a look at the amount of draw down the account has generated in the past. This is the furthest that their equity has dropped from their high water mark. Some traders cannot stand to book a loser. This means that they will hold onto trades indefinitely when they are in the red. They often close out trades for a very small profit but tend to accumulate massive draw downs. These are not traders that you want trading your account.
4. You should be able to spot any traders that meet our first three guidelines. Once you have some traders that you are considering using you should take a closer look at some of their stats.
a. Look at their actual trades. Do they have a good win rate because they have opened a ton of trades all at the same time on the same currency pair? They may have 20 winners in a row. This looks great, but if you look a bit deeper you will see that its really only 1 winning trade places 20 times. Not as impressive is it?
b. Have a look at how far they let their trades get away from them. Is your signal provider letting trades get 300 pips or more against them at times? Do they close trades the minute they turn into profit? If so this is a trader who does not understand risk and reward and should not be considered to trade real money.
c. Do they add to losing positions? A trader who constantly adds to losing positions hoping it will turn for them is not someone you want trading your account.
5. The most important thing is to choose a signal provider that you can live with. If you are risk adverse than an aggressive trader will probably more than your stomach can take. Its OK to let your account grow at a more modest pace if it helps you sleep at night.
These are just a few things to look for when choosing a third party signal provider to trade your forex account. You should always trade a demo account before opening a live account with real money. Remember it's your account. In the end you choose the signal providers, and you are responsible for what happens.

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