Forex Factory is entirely focused on providing high-quality information to forex traders. The nature of this information is primarily real-time (i.e., focused on what's happening right now), and the scope ranges from economic data to analysis from members. You can read more about the Forex Factory website, and the company behind it, on the About page.
Forex Factory hosts seven products: Trade Explorer, Forums, Trades, Calendar, News, Market, and Brokers. There's a link to each of these products in the header of every page, except for the Trade Explorer which is located on our member profile (once created).
If you need assistance with something not covered in this user guide, you can get help through the following channels:
|Help with the website:||Submit a help request|
|Help with your membership:||Send a private message to Twee|
|Help with your trading:||Search the website or post your questions on the Forums|
|Report a member:||Submit a 'Cleanup Report' ( |
|Report a website bug:||Submit a bug report|
Time Zone Settings
To synchronize the website with your local time, click the clock (
There are two settings that affect the synchronized time — 'DST' and 'Time Zone.' You should explore a combination of these two settings to get the correct synchronized time. The DST option (stands for "Daylight Saving Time") complicates the time setting process, but it's essential for those living in DST-abiding countries.
The default time of the Forex Factory website is New York time. This is EST (GMT -5) or EDT (GMT -4), depending on the time of year. When you're logged out with cookies cleared, this is the time you're viewing.
Why is my synchronized time one hour off?
If the time is off by one hour, you most likely have the DST option on the wrong setting. If DST is On, turn it Off, or vice versa. If that doesn't work, try to find a combination of DST and Time Zone settings that will result in the proper synchronized time..
Why does the synchronized time change every few hours?
If you're a Forex Factory member, your synchronized time should never change. If your time appears to change, make sure you're still logged in (e.g., see if your username appears in the header), because when you're logged out the time will revert to default. If you're still having problems with your time zone settings, please submit a help request.
The following is a partial list of actions a member can perform (which a guest cannot):
- Post in the Forums
- Submit stories in the News
- Create a Trade Explorer
- Manage a member profile
- Subscribe to threads, stories, and members
- Private message with other members
- Shout on members' profiles
- Retain settings across multiple computers/devices
Forex Factory is built on the concept of easily-accessed information, and therefore your profile and most of what you post on the website (e.g., replies in the forums, comments on news stories, shouts on profiles) is publicly visible. And in many cases it's a permanent record that cannot be deleted. However, it's possible (and encouraged) to remain completely anonymous by never revealing your personal identity on the website. As long as your posts and username do not reveal your identity, your activity on Forex Factory will never be connected to you personally.
If you choose to connect your personal identity to your Forex Factory username, you're effectively making everything you post on the website a permanent public record. Only members who understand how to manage this risk (e.g., commercial services) should make this connection.
Forex Factory has no financial relationship with members, and doesn't request personal information from members. The only information required for membership is a username and a working email address. You're encouraged to conceal any information that could be used to connect your username to your personal identity.
Some aspects of the website are clearly kept private, like the Private Messaging system and Trade Explorers set to 'Me Only.' Any interactions you have with Forex Factory staff will also be held in confidence. Forex Factory also takes the following measures to improve privacy:
- Your information and activity will not be sold (see 'Revenue model')
- Your email address will never be shared
- Trade Explorer data is not stored after you delete it
- Private messages are not stored after you 'permanently delete' them
How do I change my username?
If you've made less than 20 posts, you can change your username by submitting a help request. If you have more than 20 posts, your username cannot be changed unless there are substantial privacy concerns.
How do I delete my username?
If you've made less than five posts, you can have your username deleted by submitting a help request. If you have more than five posts, your username cannot be deleted, as it would disrupt the conversations in which you've participated.
Impact Ranking System
| ||= High Impact Member = Top 2%|
| ||= Medium Impact Member = Top 5%|
| ||= Low Impact Member = Top 10%|
To illustrate, a member displaying a high-impact icon (
MIRS considers both 'Buddies' and 'Subscribers' (found in profile 'Network' box) to be a subscriber, since buddies are simply mutually-subscribed members. However, there are some subscribers that do not count, as explained in the following 'Caveats' section. Also, commercial members are excluded from the system at this time.
MIRS has several ancillary uses as well. For instance, you can filter the Trade Feed by impact, posting in threads can be restricted by impact, and thread starting in the Interactive Trading forum is restricted to members with impact.
While rankings are 'based on the number of subscribers' a member has, there are two types of subscribers that do not count toward a member's rank:
Caveat 1: A subscription from a member who joined less than six months ago does not count. This defends against system abuse, and somewhat insulates the rankings from forex novices.
Caveat 2: A subscription from a member who's been inactive for more than six months does not count. This helps keep the rankings current by discounting the affect of inactive members.
The MIRS formula is completely transparent. Rankings are formulated through the following process:
- List all non-commercial members who have at least one subscriber or subscription
- Calculate how many subscribers each member has (both 'Buddies' and 'Subscribers')
- Exclude subscribers who joined less than six months ago
- Exclude subscribers who have been inactive for more than six months
- Order the list by number of included subscribers
- Divide the list into percentiles, with each percentile holding an equal number of members
- Rank members who fall into the 1st or 2nd percentile as 'high impact'
- Rank members who fall into the 3rd through 5th percentiles as 'medium impact'
- Rank members who fall into the 6th through 10th percentiles as 'low impact'
How many subscribers do I need to be ranked?
It depends on the current size of the membership and the activity status of your subscribers, but an approximate answer can be found by analyzing low impact members on the member list. That page also contains a 'Member Stats' box that tallies the number of members currently ranked high/medium/low.
What is "vouching"?
The vouching system was the predecessor to MIRS. Members vouched for others they thought were wise and experienced traders, but only those with four or more vouchers could vouch themselves. A member's current number of vouchers was signified by an icon next to their username, much like the MIRS impact icons (related blog post: MIRS replaces vouching).
Trader Code of Conduct
I. Focus on trading
Forex Factory is focused entirely on forex trading, and therefore the primary focus of every member should also be on forex trading. The amount of trading-related sentences a member posts must far outweigh the non-trading sentences. While non-trading topics will naturally be mixed into discussions, the foundation of every discussion and debate should be related to forex trading.
This code is essential to maintaining a high-quality trading environment. Not only does trading focus keep the environment pure, but with members from every nation, religion, and political party, trading is the only thing everyone has in common. Focusing on what unifies the membership results in a superior trading environment.
II. Respect fellow traders
Theoretically, all members are at Forex Factory for the same purpose: the pursuit of trading profits. Therefore, members should treat each other like professional colleagues. Members should not be mean-spirited, harassing, or otherwise show hatred toward a member. Unresolvable personality conflicts should be managed using the 'Ignore' (
III. No bickering
While trading-related debate is encouraged, members should not engage in mindless arguing, battling, or trolling. Not only does bickering distract others from trading, but it wastes energy for the bickering participants. Unresolvable personality conflicts should be managed using the 'Ignore' (
IV. No nationalism or racism
With members from every nation and race, members should be sensitive to how they speak about other countries and ethnicities. Members should never show hatred for or be derogatory toward a country or a race of people. Generally, countries should only be referred to in terms of economics or market impact, and with an unbiased financial tone. Humorous tones, however, are generally accepted.
V. No politics or religion
Politics and religion should not be discussed unless it's in direct relation to their market affect. Politics play a big role in the markets, and therefore it's inevitable they'll be discussed — members who participate in these discussions must ensure they're not letting their partisan bias into the conversation. Generally, a member's political or religious affiliation should not be obvious from their posts.
Politics and religion are among the most controversial topics in the world. At best, both topics are a distraction from the pursuit of trading profits, and at worst they boil emotions. Minimizing these topics minimizes the negative commotion they typically invoke. Humorous tones, however, are generally accepted.
VI. No personal agendas
Forex Factory may not be used for personal agendas such as ego boosting, gaining attention, or exacting revenge. These agendas, even when tied to trading topics, can cause large-scale distractions that take focus off trading.
VII. No commercial agendas
Members may not use Forex Factory to promote a product or service, either their own or someone else's. This includes products or services that are planned for the future. If a member's posts can link them to a forex-related company, they're in violation of this code.
Members who are focused on a product or service, or new members who mention a little-know website, are generally suspected to be company shills. Action may be taken against suspected shills without conclusive evidence, as they compromise the integrity of discussions and can be difficult to prove conclusively.
Members who wish to promote a commercial product or service must be designated a 'Commercial Member' and are expected to abide by the Commercial Code of Conduct.
There's currently an exception to this code for brokers who advertise on Forex Factory (listed on Brokers) — they are allowed to host a thread and respond to traders in the Broker Discussion forum.
VIII. One username at a time
Traders should only operate one Forex Factory username at a time. Controlling multiple usernames simultaneously is prohibited, regardless of the intent, because it compromises the integrity of discussions.
Forex Factory employs a sophisticated system for detecting the use of multiple usernames. It goes far beyond simple IP address matching to ensure that no one is manipulating discussions with multiple users. Usernames that are found to be duplicates are marked with the 'Additional Username' status, and blocked from further posting.
Commercial Code of Conduct
Please note that Forex Factory's Commercial Membership rules and functionality will be revamped in 2014. Your patience with the current system is appreciated.
I. Be transparent
Members who are associated with a product or service should make that fact obvious. There's zero tolerance for cloaking a company association with the intent of promoting a product or service (e.g., pretending to be a happy customer, etc.).
II. No Spam
Commercial members should not spam Forex Factory by posting duplicate content, bumping their threads, or flooding the website with worthless posts.
III. No Scams
Products and services that are built upon bad intent (i.e., the seller knows the service is not worth the price) are not allowed to be promoted on Forex Factory. This generally includes signal services, multi-level-marketing, and get-rich-quick schemes.
While Forex Factory does not evaluate every product or service promoted by Commercial Members, if one comes to the staff's attention, it may be disallowed if discretionarily deemed to be a scam.
Product: Trade Explorer
The Trade Explorer was designed for experienced traders. Statistics are reported in the same industry-standard format used by CTAs and hedge funds, pips are used to describe market movement (not profit), and all metrics consider open-trade equity (related blog post: Trade Explorer: for pro traders). Calculation accuracy is of is of paramount importance, with significant and ongoing efforts deployed to to ensure data integrity.
You can create up to eight Trade Explorers from the Trade Explorer creation page. You can also click 'Create Trade Explorer' (
When creating a Trade Explorer, all historical trading data is imported from your brokerage account. To keep the data current, Forex Factory's servers securely and automatically connect to your account every few minutes to grab any new data. Therefore, Trade Explorer data is only delayed from real-time by the duration since the last synchronization ('Last Sync' time denoted in the header).
Sometimes the automatic synchronization only occurs every few hours (e.g., accounts with no recent trading history), however, a manual sync can be issued at any time by clicking the 'Sync' button (
In trading, equity is the value of an account including open trades, and balance is the value excluding open trades. The Equity|Balance toggle allows the Trade Explorer to be switched between displaying equity-based metrics and balance-based metrics.
For example, with the 'Equity' option selected, the metric 'Return This Month' will measure the account equity at the start of the month (with open trades marked-to-market) against the equity at present (again with open trades marked-to-market). When the 'Balance' option is selected, the metric will measure account balance at the start of the month (open trades ignored) against the current balance.
While balanced-based metrics can be useful for understanding some aspects of your trading, measuring performance in terms of equity is a more professional approach (related blog post: Trade Explorer: for pro traders). The open profit/loss on an asset is critical to understanding its value, and with open profit/loss is hidden, returns can look fantastic while the account is near a margin call (think martingale strategy with huge open losers).
The Trade Explorer considers a pip to be a change in the second or fourth decimal of a currency pair price, depending on the pair. For example, a change in EUR/USD from 1.3000 to 1.3001 would be considered one pip, and a change in USD/JPY from 100.00 to 100.01 would also be considered one pip. The decimal beyond the pip level is considered a "pipette." This definition is required because some brokers consider a pip to be the smallest movement of a currency pair, which Trade Explorer considered to be a pipette.
The Trade Explorer will report trades in non-currency instruments, such as gold or oil, but will not treat their market movements as pips. Therefore, pip totals and pip calculations (such as 'Average Trade Pips') will not include trades made in non-currency instruments. This approach is taken because non-currency instruments have vastly different tick values, which can distort pip-based statistics.
Lot Size Defined
The lot size of the connected brokerage account is defined on the 'Trade Report' tab, and that size is reflected throughout the Trade Explorer. For example, if you're trading standard lots (100K), '2 lots' reported on the Trade Explorer means two standard lots (200K). Likewise, if your brokerage account is set up to trade mini lots, when the Trade Explorer reports '2 lots' it means two mini lots (20K).
Throughout the Trade Explorer you'll see help icons (
Visibility and Permissions
There are four settings related to the visibility of your Trade Explorer. The 'Visibility' setting determines who can see the Trade Explorer — you only, only your buddies, only members you're subscribed to, only Forex Factory members, or open to the public. The other three settings hide specific information from those who can see your Trade Explorer. For example, if 'Visibility' is set to 'Public', but 'Money and Lots' is set to 'Buddies Only', a visitor to Forex Factory would be able to see your Trade Explorer, but there would be a lock icon (
Money and lots are grouped in one setting because if either is known, the other can be calculated. For example, if you were able to hide money and keep lots public, money could be calculated from the lot values.
During creation you'll specify a time zone for which the Trade Explorer will abide. The time zone can be changed via the settings. For example, if your Trade Explorer is set to GMT+2, periods such as 'Today' and 'This Month' will show the same GMT+2-based timestamps to anyone viewing your Trade Explorer. The time zone is decoupled from your Forex Factory global time zone setting to allow you, for instance, to match the time zone to your broker. It also makes for consistent communication with others viewing your Trade Explorer.
Change Investor Password
If your brokerage account uses the MetaTrader 4 platform (i.e., connected via Investor Password), you can change your credentials by clicking 'Change Investor Password' (
Delete Trade Explorer
When you delete a Trade Explorer it's permanently deleted from Forex Factory's server infrastructure, and after one month it will not even be stored on database backups. Deleting a Trade Explorer is not reversible, although a new one can be created with the account.
This setting allows you to specify a date that your Trade Explorer begins including brokerage account history, thereby truncating old trading history that may not be relevant to the current strategy or period (related blog post: Get a fresh start with Trade Explorer).
Position and Placement
These settings allow you to specify where the Trade Explorer appears on the website, and in what position it appears when you have more than one.
Security and Privacy
MetaTrader 4 Investor Password
Trade Explorers connect to the MetaTrader 4 platform using use your account number and “Investor Password.” The Investor Password was developed by MetaQuotes (creator of MetaTrader) to allow traders to show their account to others without allowing the ability to make changes (i.e., read-only access).
The Investor Password allows:
Allows viewing of pending orders
Allows viewing of historical trading performance
Allows viewing of money balances
The Investor Password does not allow:
Does NOT allow opening/closing of positions
Does NOT allow any alteration of open positions or open orders
Does NOT allow viewing of your personal information
Does NOT allow viewing of Expert Advisors running on the platform
Most MetaTrader-based brokerage accounts come with a preset Investor Password which is included in the registration mail. The password can be changed within the platform via Tools > Options > Server > Change. If you change the Investor Password, Forex Factory’s servers will not have access to your account until you update the password in the settings. Forex Factory does NOT retain the Investor Password whatsoever after you change it or delete your Trade Explorer.
In your Trade Explorer's settings you can specify who can view it. Choose between 'Public' (everyone can see it), 'Members Only' (only Forex Factory members can see it), 'Subscriptions Only' (only members you are subscribed to can see it), 'Buddies Only' (only your buddies can see it), or for the utmost privacy you can choose 'Me Only,' so only you can see it. You can set permissions on certain types of information as well, such as money, lots, stop losses, and profit targets.
Below are the most common issues experienced with the Trade Explorer. If you have a problem not covered please submit a help request.
Your Trade Explorer should automatically synchronize with your brokerage account every few minutes (must refresh the page to see latest data), or every few hours if there's no recent trading activity. You can determine the time of the last synchronization from the 'Last Sync' timestamp in the top-right of the interface. If your Trade Explorer is not automatically synchronizing (i.e., shows an old timestamp), there are a few possible causes:
1. Your Explorer was deactivated due to a long period of inactivity. In this case you'll see an alert at the top of your Trade Explorer which gives you the ability to reactivate.
2. The Investor Password on your MetaTrader platform has been changed. Your Trade Explorer needs the proper Investor Password in order to connect with your brokerage account. If you've changed the password on the MetaTrader platform, you'll need to update the password in the settings.
3. Your broker changed the server for your account. Sometimes brokers will move accounts to different servers for internal purposes. If you think this is the case, you can delete the Trade Explorer and recreate it, or if that's not desirable, you can submit a help request to have the server fixed for you.
Not matching another source
There are several reasons why the statistics and data shown on the Trade Explorer may not match similar tools, or even your trading platform itself. Many times the difference can be attributed to Trade Explorer reporting metrics in a more professional format, such as the consideration of open trade equity in every statistic (related blog post: Trade Explorer: for pro traders).
Other reasons include the treatment of swap and commission. The Trade Explorer treats swap and commission as part of each trade's profit or loss, whereas MetaTrader and most analytic websites account for swap and commission separate from the trade.
If you feel there's an error in one of your Trade Explorer's metrics, please submit a help request.
Thread Starter Controls
You can limit posting to members who've reached a desired impact rank (see Impact Ranking System) by setting an impact hurdle. Members you're subscribed to can bypass the hurdle, and you cannot be blocked from your own thread regardless of the settings.
To illustrate, if you start a thread and set the hurdle to 'Medium Impact,' the only members who can post in your thread are those who are ranked medium impact (
Members who you're ignoring (
Cleanup bad posts:
Avoid ALL CAPS:
Start threads in the appropriate forum:
Use descriptive thread titles:
It's difficult to trust price data in an over-the-counter market like forex – that's why MDS averages data from several industry-leading brokers. By combining data from multiple sources, MDS provides a more "true" price that can be used to benchmark the prices from individual brokers.
MDS has a direct feed to each broker's standard quotes (i.e., most traded), and it filters errors such as bad ticks and stale quotes. And while there's a lot of real-time processing involved in aggregating and cleaning the data, MDS is able to display quotes within a few milliseconds of being broadcast by the brokers.
All Market applications have a 'Live' option in their header — checking this option will enable the application to update automatically (i.e., no page refresh required). Please note that live feeds will persistently use your computer's processing power and network connection.
There's no official open or close time for the forex market since there's no central exchange. Like all over-the-counter markets, every broker sets their own market hours. For practical purposes, Forex Factory considers the forex market open from Sunday 5pm ET to Friday 5pm ET, and this period is referred to as 'FF market hours' ('ET' stands for 'Eastern Time' and it's the time zone for New York).
When it's 5:00pm in New York it's 6:00pm in your local time (assuming your time is synchronized). Therefore, FF market hours are 6:00pm to 6:00pm in your time zone.
Market applications operate according to FF market hours. The chart and quotes will stop updating when the market is considered closed, the chart's daily bars open and close according to FF market hours, and the chart's first 4-hour bar of each day opens according to FF market hours. Please note that the FF market hours range will shift by one hour with daylight savings time in March and November, as New York can be in either EST (Eastern Standard Time) or EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).
Both metric columns can be customized, and your settings will be remembered on your next visit. To change a column, click its header and select the desired metric and time interval. Both columns can display the pip change, percentage change, or high/low for the specified interval, and the interval represents a rolling basis ending at the current time.
For the 5M, 30M, and 60M periods, the change is calculated by comparing the current bid to the closing bid of the 1M bar X minutes ago (i.e., rolling basis). For example, the 30M change is the current bid minus the closing bid of the 1M bar that occurred 30 minutes ago.
For the 6H, 12H and 24H periods, the change is calculated similarly, except 1H bars are used instead of 1M bars. For example, the 12H change is the current bid minus the closing bid of the 1H bar that occurred 12 hours ago.
The period represents actual time, not market time. Therefore, when the market opens for the week, the 24H period will look back to the previous day, not the last day the market was open. To illustrate, if you're viewing the '24H Pip Change' shortly after the market opens for the week, you'll effectively be viewing the change since the market opened (not a full 24 hours).
|5M||=||Change from 5 minutes ago|
|30M||=||Change from 30 minutes ago|
|60M||=||Change from 60 minutes ago|
|6H||=||Change from 6 hours ago|
|12H||=||Change from 12 hours ago|
|24H||=||Change from 24 hours ago|
"1.1234 | 36" is shorthand for "1.1234 bid, 1.1236 ask"
There are two error codes ( 'na|na' and '-|-') that may appear in place of a quote. If a quote is being displayed as 'na|na' it means the broker doesn't offer that specific currency pair. If a quote is being displayed as '-|-' during normal market hours it means that one of the fail-safes has triggered due to an erroneous quote, an error with the broker's data feed, or a lost connection.
If a quote is being displayed as '-|-' near market opening and closing times, it most likely means the broker has closed/opened before/after the FF market hours (see Open/Close Times).
Forex is an over-the-counter international market with no central exchange, and therefore has no official market hours. The sessions defined (Sydney, Tokyo, London, New York), and the begin/end times of each session, are based on OANDA's FXMarketHours tool. OANDA is sourced primarily because they're the only major broker to publish such data, and their listed session times are the generally accepted view.
The begin/end times of each session are as follows (displayed in your time). Please note that session times will shift by one hour in the Spring and Fall due to daylight saving time.
The liquidity gauge estimates the relative level of trading activity in the forex market. In other words, it indicates how much buying and selling is taking place. The liquidity gauge will display the percentage by which liquidity is above or below the average. For example, a reading of 'Liquidity is 28% < Avg' means the liquidity of the last ten minutes is 28% less than the average liquidity in the past 30 days.
The liquidity gauge is based on the number of price ticks and the average spread on all currencies from all brokers. The number of ticks in the last 10 minutes is divided by the average spread during the last 10 minutes to come up with a '10-minute liquidity' reading (10ML). The 10ML is then compared to the average 10ML over the past thirty days (30DL) to obtain the final liquidity reading displayed on Sessions. Below are the exact formulas used to calculate liquidity:
AvgSpread = Average spread for all currencies from all brokers during the past 10 minutes
10ML = NumTicks / AvgSpread
30DL = Average 10ML over past 30 calendar days
Liquidity% = (10ML / 30DL) - 1
In exchange-traded markets, liquidity can be directly observed via volume and open interest data provided by the exchange. However, in an over-the-counter market like forex there's no such information provided. In the absence of volume and open interest, the liquidity gauge is derived by dividing NumTicks by AvgSpread because tight spreads signify high liquidity, as does a high number of ticks. Likewise, wide spreads and low tick counts both signify low liquidity. By dividing ticks by spread, both metrics are reflected in 10ML.
Importance of Sessions
The sessions timeline presents information that can help traders better understand the Forex market. It's an indicator, but since it's not based on price (most indicators are just a math formula applied to price history) it can offer valuable insights into market dynamics. With the liquidity gauge estimating how active the market is, and the timeline displaying the time position of the market, traders can identify activity patterns and get a better feel for how the market behaves at certain times.
There are hundreds of questions that session data can help answer, here's a few:
- Does the first hour in London set the session's trend?
- How does the New York session react to high liquidity in London?
- Does the trend in Tokyo carry into London?
- Does low liquidity in Sydney predict liquidity levels for the rest of the day?
- In what part of the day is the forex market most active?
- Does low liquidity tend to produce a choppy market?
Data on the Market product is sourced from the above brokers. Forex Factory does not verify this data and disclaims any obligation to do so. Forex Factory and the included brokers expressly disclaim the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither Forex Factory nor the included brokers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the information provided by Market. All data and information is provided "as is" for personal informational purposes only, and is not intended for trading purposes or advice. Please consult several sources before executing any trade. Either Forex Factory or the included brokers have exclusive proprietary rights on the data provided by Market.