Cofnas, The Forex Trading Course,2d ed.

Abe Cofnas, the author of Sentiment Indicators, Trading Binary Options, and The Forex Options Course, has substantially reworked his 2008 book Forex Trading Course: A Self-Study Guide to Becoming a Successful Currency Trader for this second edition (Wiley, 2015).

The book’s three parts look at the fundamental drivers of the forex market, technical analysis for timing forex trades, and, putting it all together, paths to success in forex trading and a 100-question quiz. As something of an afterthought, there’s a chapter on trading bitcoin.

Cofnas’s book takes an “everything and the kitchen sink” approach, which means that it’s a wide-ranging, surface-skimming introduction to currency trading. For instance, the fundamentals of forex include not only the obvious—interest rates and interest rate expectations—but also housing data, which Cofnas argues is a leading indicator. Then we have inflation, reflation, and deflation; economic growth (job data, petrodollars); the China factor; the commodities connection; and business confidence and consumer sentiment. He briefly describes the personalities of the leading currencies. In the final analysis, in the chapter on conducting your own fundamental analysis, he recommends that the trader undertake a sentiment review by creating a “balance of fears” list. Sentiment, in his view, underpins both fundamental and technical analysis.

The section on technical analysis again discusses a range of topics, from Renko charts to Fibonacci levels, from the Commitment of Traders Report to technical indicators (moving averages, RSI, stochastics, Bollinger bands, STARC channels, linear regression channels) and chart patterns.

In a couple of paragraphs each he describes trading styles one can adopt in Forex trading: the bounce trader, intraday trader, trend trader, scalper, set-and-forget trader, carry trader, sudden-event trader, news trader, prophet, volatility trader, break trader, and Fibonacci trader.

The Forex Trading Course is not so much a training manual as a menu from which to choose areas for further study or consideration. Menus are valuable, but when disguised as education they are ultimately disappointing.