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Of all the world’s great capitals, London is definitely the most difficult one to navigate. Not only do the British drive on the wrong side of the street, but the streets themselves are a mishmash of twists and turns that often lead you in the exact opposite direction of where you intend to go. Ask a five year old in New York for directions and they will give you an accurate answer most of the time. Ask a life-long Londoner how to get to a particular street and they will look at you blankly even though the location you seek is often only 50 meters away.
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London, unlike New York does not have a grid system, but is simply a sea of sinuous streets tha sort meld into each other and then subtly change names, just to confuse you further. There is literally no straight angles in central London and the most amusing direction you get from the locals is “Just bear left, mate.”
For many years, my trips to London were contained to Canary Wharf. So I would just walked across the footbridge from the Marriott to the office, then to dinner and back. The visits never required any navigation so I never learned the lay of the land.
This time however, I found myself in center London at St. Pauls and had no choice but to learn to get around in this lovely but utterly screwed up city. As soon as I started to explore I realized I needed help from every source I could find. I used Google Maps, I got a paper map from the hotel concierge, I asked for directions from every policeman I saw, I downloaded apps and most importantly I walked and walked and walked until I could imprint the streets on my mind and become comfortable with the layout.
I soon realized that learning to navigate London is very similar to learning how to trade FX. FX like London is the most complicated market to master. Its price movements are often as confusing as the of the street plan of the city that gave birth to this market. That’s why if you want to learn how to trade FX you need to apply the same techniques that I used to learn to how get around in London.
To learn how to trade FX you can’t rely on just one source of information. You need to immerse yourself in the subject and seek help from everyone and everything around. Most importantly, there is absolutely no substitute for practice. You will never figure London until you get lost in its maze and claw your way back to your destination. Similarly in FX you will never become a confident trader until you have learned how to trade your way back from loses.
In my education of London I used, apps, maps, advice from the locals and my own hard won experience, In your FX education you should learn through charts, fundamentals, setups from gurus, advice from your fellow traders and most importantly your own trading experience.
In the end – the crazy quilt work of London streets finally started to make sense to me, and if you follow the same approach to FX, I believe the market will begin to make sense you as well.