With the current financial markets being so volatile, a lot of traders have switched from long-term investing to short-term trading, as there's potentially a lot more money to be made. However which is more profitable - forex or shares?
Many people are able to make short-term profits from both forex and shares. I myself do alright from both forex and share trading but in my opinion forex trading is the more profitable. This is mainly because the chart movements are more predictable and the major currency pairs conform extremely well to technical analysis.
When you trade forex you know pretty much when all the market-moving news announcements and economic data releases are scheduled, so you can plan in advance to be out of the market when these announcements are made. Therefore you can concentrate solely on technical analysis knowing that the price of the currency pair you are trading is not going to be distorted by any unforeseen announcements. There are very occasional exceptions to this rule such as major news stories or unscheduled interest rate announcements, for example, that can move the markets but these are rare.
Unfortunately this is not the case when you are trading shares. Although most trading statements are scheduled and known in advance, you can still get company-specific news releases, which may be positive or negative. For example, you might get an announced news release mentioning a new contract win which could dramatically lift the share price, or conversely you could get a profit warning completely out of the blue which could cause the share price to plunge in a matter of seconds or minutes.
So you can never entirely relax when you are trading shares because there is always the chance of a market-moving announcement being made about the company. Furthermore although a lot of share price graphs do conform fairly well to technical analysis, this certainly isn't always the case, and sometimes the price will be more affected by the wider market. So a top FTSE 100 share could be majorly oversold on a technical basis, but if the FTSE 100 index takes a dive, then the share price of the company in question could well continue to fall even further.
So overall my personal preference when it comes to short-term trading is to trade forex because you can focus entirely on technical analysis, and can base your trading around the scheduled economic data releases. Plus of course the forex pairs, in my experience, conform slightly better to technical analysis than individual shares.
James Woolley runs a forex trading blog where you can learn forex trading and read a review of Zulu Trade , the revolutionary forex signals service.