Because currency exchange covers the entire world and all 24 time zones, forex is a 24-hour-a-day market. This is good in that it results in billions upon billions of dollars of transactions per day. But it also means that forex traders have a constant influx of information to keep track of, unlike the stock market, where once trading closes at 5 p.m., that’s it. So how do forex traders stay on top of things? Most of them use forex alerts of some kind.
Forex alerts are available from many online forex brokers and other companies. A forex alert is simply a message sent to the user informing him of the latest developments in the forex market, often recommending action of some kind. These alerts can be sent via e-mail or cell phone text message.
The idea behind them is that no one can follow all the markets all the time. Even if you limit yourself to just the “majors” -- U.S., Eurozone, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Switzerland -- that’s still 15 currency pairs to keep an eye on. What’s more, sometimes things are steady for long periods of time, while other periods are marked by great activity.
The sites that offer forex alerts go about it in one of two ways. Some simply send out alerts every 24 hours, offering the latest info on the forex market. Others send alerts only when something crucial happens. These systems use formulas of their own to determine what constitutes “something crucial,” and they may charge a lot more for their more specific alerts. And of course it’s still up to the individual trader to act on or disregard the information send to him in the alerts.
Some brokers include forex alerts as part of their service, while others charge for them. Some are part of a wider alert program that also handles your stocks and bonds. You can tailor the type of alerts you get based on whether you’re a conservative or aggressive trader, and how actively you plan to trade.
Serious traders who use forex alerts swear by them. No system is perfect, of course, and a smart trader will always do a little browsing on his own to make sure his latest alert didn’t miss anything. But alerts are an invaluable way for busy investors to go about their daily lives without having to constantly watch the forex rates.