Many forex traders attempt to trade using the very short term 1 minute and 5 minute charts, but most of these traders will inevitably end up losing money. So why is this, and why is short-term trading so difficult to make consistent profits from?

Well forex trading overall is quite difficult, but I've personally always found short-term trading using 1 minute and 5 minute charts to be even more difficult. The trouble you have is that you can have the best system in place that will find a perfect high probability trade for you, but then the pair may only move 5-10 points in your favor at most before reversing again.

So you can make a winning call a lot of the time, but because you're trading over such a short time frame, the movements will often be very small. You also have the spread to contend with because with a spread of 3 or 4 points on a lot of pairs, you need a decent sized move just to break even, let alone make a profit. Plus there's also the fact that a lot of forex brokers do not like scalpers and will often ban merchants who do this.

If, however, you use a longer time frame you could use the very same system to trade the 1 hour or 4 hour charts, for example, to make a lot more points profit because the moves would be a lot bigger.

It's also of course a lot less stressful trading the longer time frames because you have more time to analyze the markets and plan your entries and exports. If you're trading lots of intraday positions it can be very stressful because you have very little time to think and react to situations. You also have instances of requotes and broker downtime which can destroy an intraday position, whereas these things will not have as big an impact if you are trading the longer term charts.

Of course there are traders who make money from very short-term trading, but they are few and far between. The majority will always be wiped out not matter how effective a particular trading system may initially appear.

In my opinion you're better off looking at 1 hour charts at the very least because the longer time frame you use for your charts, the more reliable your chosen technical indicators will prove to be in general. You can still be a profitable daytrader trading several times a day using 1 hour and 4 hour charts, and the moves will generally be a lot bigger as well, so there really is little point, in my opinion, in basing your main forex trading strategy on the 1 minute and 5 minute charts.

Source by James Woolley