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How to analyze currency movements w/o paying money for it

Did you ever feel the urge to look at a currency chart plotting in relationship to another currency? Well, we at felt it. Yesterday. And we tried to find a quick and easy solution to analyze it.
And we found a solution, of course, otherwise we would not be writing this investment blog.

So, suppose you want to plot the USD against the Eurofor the last month on a quick-glance graph…and eventually apply lots of extrapolation analysis to it. This seemed a simple idea at the beginning, which doitinvest tried to apply by searching the web for the forex sites. As trading platforms, the forex sites usually should offer lots of alternatives to analysis the market for a certain currency in deep detail. For free, since this is an easy solution.

We were a bit disappointed. Most of the foreign exchange trading sites required registration for a trial period (usually for one month) to have access to their infinite resources. For example, sites like Forex, ForexTrading or FXCM, which appear at the top of a google search on forex trading, all required a lengthy registration in order to give you access to the simplest graph. Apparently all have a wealth of information on their front page, but if you have a simple need (like the one mentioned above by the DoItInvest site), you could be very disappointed. All of these sites offer the spot rates and the trends for one hour or so for the last hour, but they do not present much information meaningful for a deeper analysis.

So much with the famous forex trading sites. Of course, the forex sites have a natural incentive to keep you logged on and to make you dependent on their sophisticated analysis systems – after all, they derive revenue from your actual trading, not from your internet curiosities. But for a company looking for forex information or for somebody interested in a pair of currencies’ evolution over a longer period, we at doitinvest think that those forex sites are pretty useless.

Then, almost accidentally, we realized there is a very nice tool which might just fulfill your analysis needs – this time for free. It is an online graph, updated automatically by others, which can be changed for various time scales at your convenience.

An example of it can be found on Google Finance. Yes, it is the same google finance you can use for your shares. And yes, it has included a nice currency update for almost every imaginable pair on earth.

The beauty of it is that it is well organized. On the middle of the screen you have an interactive graph which you can plot on various timescales (from 1 month to more than 10 years). The graph is so nicely laid out, that you can even see the so-called turning points – the moments in time where the quotations are turning in opposite directions from the previous trends…

And this is not all. On the right hand side there is a list of the most relevant news to be found on that currency – and this is mostly important when you need to analyze the trends. And of course, you can change the graph of your target currency by clicking on any of the major currencies on the lower left part of the Internet window.

Don’t know the exact name of the currency you need to research on? Don’t worry, google finance has thought of that – on the lower end corner you have a so called currency converter, which shows you the name of all the world currencies. Just type the name in the “Get quotes” menu (upper right) and the graph changes automatically to the evolution of the target currency to the USD.

And all this for free, online, 24 hours open, no bias. I would like to stress the “no bias” thing – if I would trade on a forex trading platform, I would naturally ignore the information they offer me, since they have a bias. And maybe the intention to influence the market on one direction or another, which is easy to do by sending out signals to your traders. It is known to any skilled investors that the biggest profits come when you go against the market, not with it, so why not using the google finance tool for information needs?

Of course, the tool has limitations. But at the end of the day, it is a reliable and quick way to get data on your currencies trends – and that’s all google finance is about, right?

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