Strong trending markets work best for carry trades as the strategy involves a lengthier time horizon. Confirmation of the trend should be the first step prior to placing the trade (higher highs and higher lows and vice versa) – refer to Example 1 above. There are two aspects to a carry trade namely, exchange rate risk and interest rate risk. Accordingly, the best time to open the positions is at the start of a trend to capitalise fully on the exchange rate fluctuation. Regarding the interest rate component, this will remain the same regardless of the trend as the trader will still receive the interest rate differential if the first named currency has a higher interest rate against the second named currency e.g. AUD/JPY.
To easily compare the forex strategies on the three criteria, we've laid them out in a bubble chart. On the vertical axis is ‘Risk-Reward Ratio’ with strategies at the top of the graph having higher reward for the risk taken on each trade. Position trading typically is the strategy with the highest risk reward ratio. On the horizontal axis is time investment that represents how much time is required to actively monitor the trades. The strategy that demands the most in terms of your time resource is scalp trading due to the high frequency of trades being placed on a regular basis.
Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.