Trading Forums and Communities
There are an increasing number of trading forums on the web. Can a lot be gained from using them, or should traders steer well clear? James Hughes, chief market analyst, Alpari (UK) responds…
What should traders look for in a forum?
JH: Forums can have many pitfalls in the retail trading space and as a user you need to be wary, and take a lot of things you read with a pinch of salt. They can be a place for disgruntled clients of every broker to have their say about their ‘disgraceful treatment’ at the hands of their broker, or they can be a useful place that will provide the information needed in order to make decisions about which platform or broker to use and also what techniques they should use when they finally do get to trading.
There are many forums out there and with the emergence of social trading they are becoming more and more popular.
Any pitfalls to look out for?
JH: Do not take everything you read as the gospel truth! Forums can be a place where a lot of complaints are first aired and in a world where people inevitably lose money at some stage of their trading journey it will usually be the losing trades you hear about on forums rather than the winning ones. I would steer clear of any discussions that are just bad mouthing one broker (unless this a broker you intend to open an account with or already trade with).
The most useful threads in forums tend to be the ones talking about trading strategies and how best to make money during the current trading climate. These tend to have educated traders in them who are only out to help each other be the best traders.
Steer clear of forums created by the brokers! Any broker trying to create a good bit of publicity will create a comment on their own thread, so for the most relevant topics and threads and unbiased information try and steer clear of these.
Which ones would you recommend?
JH: I would mainly recommend those forums on websites a little more specialised. If you are a forex trader forums on Forex Factory and Forex Pros tend to have great information.
A new way people are looking at forums is through LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you the ability to pick and choose your forums by the kind of people you are associated with through the site. Many forums on LinkedIn will not just let anybody join, so the members are monitored and the threads tend to be insightful and packed full of useful information rather than various traders moaning at their broker because they lost money on a trade.
All in all forums can be very useful. There will of course be the odd topic or thread full of broker bashing, however with the emergence of social trading sights forums are becoming a much more popular.
The best way for a new trader to get into trading is to see what his/her peers are doing and gain confidence from knowing that they are not the only one in their position.