New traders always want to know which time frame is the best for them to use for trading. It makes sense that people would want to know about this. After all, the more that we know about which timeframes we should use for trading, the better off we will be in terms of selecting how to trade properly on those frames.

The good news is that a lot of the choice of which timeframe works best comes down to who you are as a person.

Check out the table below to see what some of the difference timeframes are used for by typical Forex traders:

TIMEFRAMECATEGORYPROSCONS
LONG-TERM
  • Primary timeframes are daily and weekly charts.
  • Entries on daily chart with long perspective in weekly.
  • Holding positions for weeks or months.
  • Not glued to the charts all day.
  • Fewer positions equals fewer spreads and commissions.
  • More time to consider and develop trade positions.
  • Have to weather large swings.
  • Larger account balance needed to weather those swings.
  • Sound psychology needed to cope with large down swings.
SHORT-TERM
  • Primary timeframes are hourly charts, 1- and 4-hour, for example.
  • Entries on hourly charts with long perspective in daily.
  • Holding positions for several hours or several days.
  • More trade setups.
  • With frequent trades, there's a lower chance of losing for long periods of time.
  • Higher number of trades means diversified risk and less reliance on a single trade.
  • Higher trasaction costs in spreads and commissions.
  • Watch out for overnight risk.
INTRADAY
  • Primary timeframes are minbute charts, 1-, 15-, or 30-minute, for example.
  • Entries on minute chart with long perspective in hourly and daily.
  • Holding positions for minutes or hours with all exits by close of day.
  • Tons of trade setups.
  • No overnight risk.
  • High variance means lower chance of long losing periods.
  • High aggregate transaction costs with more spreads and commissions to pay.
  • Deal with the psychology of quick changes in bias and momentum shifts.

It is also extremely important to think about the amount of capital that you have available to trade. If the amount that you have available is limited, then you might want to trade on a shorter timeframe. This is because the longer timeframes require you to have wider stops on your trades, and that means you will need more capital in order to facilitate those trades. Thus, you will need to think carefully about how much you are willing to commit to any given trade.

The timeframes that you ultimately decide to use will largely come down to how much you can afford to spend and also how much patience you have with the market. This is to say that you need to be prepared for the fact that you may have to wait some time before some of your trades are able to come to bare fruit for you. This is incredibly important to remember because you need to make sure you are trading on the right frame for yourself.

It is best to practice your trading strategies on a demo account until such time that you are fully confident in your strategies and in your ability to trade on the timeframes that you need to trade on. If that is not the case, then you need to keep working on it until you get to the point where you are fully confident in your abilities with any given trade.

All of this will certainly take you some time to figure out, but you can do it. Just make sure you keep working on the demo until you have complete confidence in your abilities. Otherwise, you may put too much money at risk when you are still not fully confident in your abilities as a trader.