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Focus Makes Trade Analysis of S&P 500, Dollar or Monetary Policy Viable

Focus Makes Trade Analysis of S&P 500, Dollar or Monetary Policy Viable

John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist

Talking Points:

  • When performing market or trade analysis, distractions that stray from the asset at hand can easily overwhelm
  • While some a natural ability to maintain undivided attention, it is more often the case that a strategy helps
  • We discuss how focus streamlines all trade analysis - but we use SPY, Dollar pairs and 'monetary policy' as examples

See the DailyFX Analysts' recently updated, 2Q forecasts for the Dollar, Euro, Pound, Equities and Gold on the DailyFX Trading Guides page.

Analyzing a single currency pair, stock or commodity can seem a daunting enough task for most. For those people, evaluating system-wide themes that can generate more and/or larger trades is simply impossible. And so, they decide to short-change themselves in order to keep it 'simple' and ultimately feasible. While knowledge and experience are certainly critical facets to any trade effort, a frequent limitation that keeps us from success in the markets is more fundamental: focus. Just as if we were studying for an exam, learning a new skill or attempting to adopt an exercise regime; it is our ability to keep our attention on the effort at hand that can be among the most critical aspects to our success in analyzing and trading the market.

A few studies over the past years attempting to measure the impact of distraction on focus suggest that it can take up to 15 to 25 minutes to return to the task at hand after being interrupted. For those particularly that trade part time, this could make trading near impossible. What could have been a diligent 30 minute review of a handful of options through application of a preferred strategy and analysis method, can balloon into hours of mere flashes of clarity and opportunity. Such confusion can make full confidence for a single trade on a single pair/share/asset extraordinarily difficult. The ability to comprehensively filter through an entire market or the financial system at large to spot better opportunities would be impossible with this fragmentation.

Improving your focus is like exercising a muscle: it takes repetition and is better done with a plan. There are many methods available for this - just do a Google search for it and you will find plenty - but what is important is to commit to a regimen. The strategy videos are a practice in this focused attention; so we use this opportunity to run through the evaluation of a particular benchmark with plenty of coverage (the SPY ETF representing the S&P 500), a comprehensive view of the US Dollar spanned over multiple crosses and the thematic scale of relatively monetary policy. Focus is the theme of today's Strategy Video, so try not to surf charts while watching.

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