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Strategy Video: Don't Avoid a Quiet Market, Take Advantage

Strategy Video: Don't Avoid a Quiet Market, Take Advantage

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist

Talking Points:

• Most traders seek out volatility as if it were a compliment to their trading strategy

• Volatility is the statistical equivalent to uncertainty, a factor that most professionals attempt to avoid

• The low volatility of current trading conditions can actually support a well-developed trading strategy

See what live coverage is scheduled to cover key event risk for the FX and capital markets on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

Volatility is the siren call for the speculative rank. There is an unspoken belief that the markets need to see strong swings to hasten what is assumed to be a high probability setup. However, most traders are more generous with their assumptions of success than statistics or reality would practically bear out. Volatility is at its core a reflection of uncertainty - the likelihood of large moves with the clear absence of a clear direction. Presuming this erratic state would support our bias or existing trade is beyond ambitious - it is inviting greater risk into our trading. And yet, the presumptions persist.

Rather than lamenting and avoiding volatility or presuming an unreasonable command over this elemental force, a practical approach to volatility would serve as a meaningful filter or directive as to the type of trading to be pursued. The risk of a sudden surge of activity that turns the market in an unexpected direction requires a very specific type of approach from the investor. Not only do we need to be more mindful of reducing risk and being more pragmatic for the returns we pursue, it is important to alter our preference for tech patterns; the fundamental course followed; the duration of trades; nearer objectives; etc.

When the objective is filtering out the erratic volatility and prioritizing the technical patterns without obvious fundamental charges to worry about, we better adjust to the market conditions that are offered up. In current trading conditions, short-term trading opportunities that minimize the dependence on short-in-supply fundamental themes or are otherwise unencumbered by high-profile event risk are the most appealing options. This is a semi-regular discussion on DailyFX, but we reiterate its importance in matching trade approach to market type in today's Strategy Video.

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