Timezones & The GMT Offset
The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log allows you to set up each broker with its own GMT offset, since this often varies from broker to broker. Setting this up accurately at the start will allow you see your trades properly assigned to the time they were taken.
The Trade Log stores all time information about your trade in GMT. If you change your GMT offset under Accounts you change the fundamental information of each trade you enter.
How your trades are displayed is based on the selections you make in the Date and Time settings menu dialog. If you change anything about your date and time preferences in the Settings menu it is only cosmetic to the appearance of the time. You can change that around all you like without influencing how time is stored relative to each trade entered.
Do not confuse the essential Account setting of the GMT offset with the DISPLAY settings available to you in the Settings menu.
Each broker has its own offset from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Setting this up correctly means you can look at all your brokers’ reports together and have them be correctly matched for time.
How To Figure Out Your GMT Setting
Use just one trade to set the GMT offset of a broker account. It is much simpler to work with one trade until you get things right. You will compare the time this trade opened to the time shown in the Trade Log and make adjustments until you get it set correctly.
Set your best guess for the correct GMT offset when you first create your account, then follow the steps below to see if it is right or if you need to correct it. We show one way to estimate your broker’s time in the following video:
1) Look at your broker’s statement and find the time the trade was opened, like this:
2) If you are on an MT4 broker, import that trade. If not, manually enter the trade, making sure to use the same time as shown on the statement.
3) Go to the Analysis tab and look at the one trade you just imported or entered.
4) The time it shows will be your local time. Hover your mouse over the time to see the BROKER’S time instead, like this:
5) Comparing these two screenshots we see that the time of 14:32 of the statement matches the 14:32 of the rollover hint. If the two times match (broker statement and rollover hint) you are done. Your GMT offset for that broker was correctly set.
6) If the times do not match, repeat the following 6 steps until the times do match:
(1) Take note of how many hours off you are.
(2) Delete the trade.
(3) Go back to on the Account tab and change the GMT offset by as many hours as you saw you were off.
(3) Import just the same one trade into the Trade Log again or manually enter it again.
(4) Compare the time of the rollover hint on the Analysis tab to the broker’s statement again.
(5) If the two times match you are done.
(6) If the two times do not match, go to step (1) and try again.
What happens if GMT is not set right
Setting GMT up incorrectly for a broker may mean some of your trades don’t even show up on your Summary or Progress Tracker tabs until a day after you take them!
Problems encountered by an incorrect GMT setting are based on the fact that the Trade Log is trying to find what trades match ‘today‘ when you ask for that on the Summary tab, but it figures out what today is based on the GMT offset. This is particular to each broker you use, not just where you live.
If you have trades that are not matching the times, you can delete them and re-import them or re-enter them after you have corrected the GMT offset for that broker. Ideally it’s something you want to test with the first trade you import or manually enter, to make sure you’ve got it right before you proceed too far.
The following video documents the problems that may occur if you do NOT set the GMT offset correctly:
Daylight Savings Time Shifts
You’ll see that you are able to set up each broker with its own unique GMT offset in the Trade Log. These values are not automatically shifted for you with daylight savings time, because each broker handles this differently. Some shift their charts. Some do not – and then too this is further complicated because the UK shifts at a different time than the USA – yikes it gets complex. That’s why we built that option in on a broker-by-broker basis. You can shift it as you need to, before importing trades for that upcoming season. Then shift it back after the daylight savings ends, if you are using a broker that does indeed shift.
Question: Forex Factory tells me my GMT is -12 but the Trade Log menu only goes to -11
Time is like that image of a dragon eating its own tail…
If you think of GMT 0 as 1 unit, then account for the 11 units to either side, you have then accounted for 23 hours – and then you’re back on top of yourself (there being 24 hours in a day).
If you play cards, it would be like those games where you can have a run that goes 10 – jack – queen – king – ace, in which the ace (1) is a continuation of the 10-11-12-13 run. You hit the top then looping back to one again.
In the case of your -15, that is comparable to GMT-5. Try the offsets on the opposite side of the continuum and you’ll hit upon the right match.