price of EURUSD may be 1.2055 bid and 1.2058 ask (or offer). When you buy, you buy at the ask, which is the higher of the 2 prices in the spread, and when you sell, you sell at the bid, which is the lower of the two prices.
If you use the chart price to determine an entry or exit, realise that when you place an order to sell when the chart price is say 1.330, then this is the price that you'll sell at assuming no slippage.
If on the other hand, you place an order to buy when the chart price is the same price, then you'll actually buy at 1.3333. A system will often determine whether your orders will be placed simply according to the chart price or whether you need to add a buffer when buying or selling.
Also note that on many platforms, when you're placing stop orders (to buy if the price rises above a certain price, or sell when the price falls below a certain price) you can select either stop if bid or stop if offered.
4. Realise that the times shown on the bottom of charts are set to the particular time zone that the provider's charts are set to, be it GMT, New York time, or other time zones.
It's handy to have a world clock available on your computer desktop in order to convert the different time zones. This is important when you're trading major economic announcements.
You'll need to convert the time of an announcement to your local time, and the chart time, so you'll know when the announcement is going to happen, and therefore when you need to trade.
5. Finally, check whether the times on your charts corresponds to when the candle opens or when the candle closes. Your charting software may be different to someone else's in this way.
The reason I mention this, is that if you need to trade major economic announcements, either by entering a trade based on the movements that happen after the announcement, or to exit a trade before the announcement in avoid getting stopped out during it, then you need to be precise (to the minute!) as these trades are performed according to what happens at the 1 minute immediately after the announcement, not the candle afterwards!
So there you have it.
You now have the 5 essential keys to how to properly read charts, which will help you to avoid the common mistakes which many beginners make when looking at charts, and which will speed up your progress when you're looking at charting packages, and trading systems that you want to trade!
Now that you know this, practice looking at charts with each of these 5 points in mind.
So get to it!
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