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What time frame should I use to trade?

To know that, you need to answer other questions first.

How much time do you have/want to trade?

How much time do you want your money to be exposed to the markets?

But first, let me tell you about my personal preference and why.

What time frame do I use to trade?

I and the traders from my trading school usually focus on the M2 time frame for day trading or scalping.

That’s a time frame that has 2 minutes per candle.

The action happens pretty quick.

You need to be trained to identify trading setups very quick.
The close of the trades should be very quick either.

But that’s not really a problem once you understand and train the trading strategy.

We make amazing drills on the trading school to train this.

Things just happen naturally.

It becomes part of your nature.

We opt to trade using the M2 time frame because we want our trades to last a specific amount of time.

For that, we use the 8 bar trading rule.

What’s the 8 bar trading rule?

That means that a trade usually lasts for 8-10 bars, regardless of the time frame chosen to trade.

So, using a 2-minute time frame for day trading, our trades will last on average something around 16-20 minutes.
But of course, this is only an average.

We choose to focus on just 20-30 minutes a day because that way we have 30 minutes to find a good setup, get in and get out of the market.

The day is done after that!

We may leave the trading room and live our lives!

Before continuing, check the following table to know the average time that your trade will last open on the market:

So, how do I decide what’s the best time frame to trade?

When you are choosing the time frame that you want to use to trade, you first need to decide:

  • how long do you want your money to be exposed on the market?
  • how much time do you have (or want) to trade every day?

If you have limited time and want to day trade, you should choose a lower time frame, like M2 or M5.

If you want to be with the markets the whole day, day trading, you can go to a higher time frame, like M15-H1.

If you only have time to watch the markets at night, then you should opt to choose a higher time frame, from H4 to Daily.
That way you only need to spend a few minutes every night to analyze the markets, your open trades and check for new opportunities on your trading charts.

Finally, if you only want to check your trading charts once a week, you should definitely opt to use the highest time frames available, like the Weekly, or even the Monthly.

Open your charts once a week to identify setups for opening new trades, and then let them run for a few weeks, or even months.

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Comments ( 6 )

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  • James Adam says:

    I prefer a short period of time if you:

    – Can stay in front of your tickets for a few hours during an opening session (London, US, Sydney or Tokyo)

    – Have a very good understanding of price action

    – Have not evolved too emotionally with the movement of each candle

    – Like quick results

    – Have a broker with whom you can have small stop losses (low spread)

    I prefer a high timeframe if you:

    – Works or does not have time to spend hours on your cards

    – Be patient and want to have time to fully analyze your chart before you start a transaction

    – I have just started trading and am learning about Price Action

    – Do you want to invest your capital slowly (works for weekly charts)

    – Like to trade around news events

    So, I recommend always trading the different time frames on a demo account, this is the best way to know which one is best for you;)

    • Pedro says:

      I totally agree with you.
      Although I believe that for someone that is learning, trading small time frames can increase their learning curve.
      Trading lower time frames, you get as many opportunities to trade in one week, as in one year trading higher time frames.
      You end up getting more experience in a shorter period of time.

  • oprolevorter says:

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