Time and Date Functions
The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log has many settings to let you display time in a way that exactly corresponds to your broker and to your own trading. The Time and Date Functions influence how you see trades on the Trade Input Tab, the Summary Tab and the Analysis Tab.
Why is the Time dealt with in such detail and in such a sophisticated manner in the Forex Smart Tools Trade Log? To answer that, imagine you are trading with 2 brokers at the same time. One is in the UK and one is in Australia. One has their platform set to GMT +2 and one has their platform set to GMT -3 (It’s up to the individual broker how they choose to set it. Two brokers in the same country may use entirely different times for when the day rolls over to the next).
Now let’s say that you want to compare all your trades together to analyze a particular strategy you are using. How are you going to do that if their times are so different?
The good news: The Forex Smart Tools Trade Log standardizes all times as trades are brought into its database. Internally all trades are stored in GMT time. But they are displayed to you based on the settings you make in the Settings Menu in combination with the essential GMT offset you register for each broker.
If you get Time and Date set up correctly from the start your use of the Trade Log will be very easy and powerful. If you skip setting these up correctly, you invite a lot of confusion as you work with the Log… so a few moments of study to understand your options will pay off handsomely.
- Entry and exit times can be displayed in your local time zone or your broker’s time zone. The choice is yours.
- You choose Time and Date from the Settings menu at the top of the Trade Log.
- If you have not correctly set your GMT broker on the accounts tab, your times will not be right in the trade input tab (learn more).
The Trade Log provides considerable flexibility in managing dates and times. You can choose:
- the timezone in which to enter date and times,
- the timezone in which you want to view dates and times, and
- the timezone of the hints that appear when you pass your mouse over a date and time.
All of these can be the same, if you wish or each of them can be different.
Time and date on the Summary and Analysis Pages
On the Summary and Analysis tabs, date and time filters are based on the timezone you’ve selected for display using the Date and time format option on the Trade Log’s Settings menu. Summary and Analysis tabs always display your local time zone, as set up in this settings menu.
It’s also important to remember that date ranges for the standard reports are all based on the trade’s Exit time. (Only completed and closed trades will appear on the Analysis and Summary pages. If you wish to review your open trades, use the built-in preset on the Analysis Page: Open Trades. )
The dialog that opens from the Setting menu lets you pick how you want to see time displayed. Some of the settings govern every time display through out the Trade Log, such as date format and 12/24 hour clock.
The choice at the bottom of the dialog is specific to the Trade Input tab. The Summary and Analysis tabs always display the broker’s timezone as a rollover hint, but the Trade Input tab lets you choose if that’s what you want to see or if you’d prefer to see your own local time as the hint and the broker’s time as the main readout.
Daylight Savings Time
The Trade Log does not automatically shift your trade entries to adjust for daylight saving time shifts around the world. These vary too much from year to year, country to country, and even how they are handled from broker to broker. You may have to shift your GMT offset in your account setting to adjust for daylight savings time or in your settings for time and date to match the changes you see.This does raise the question about how trades are tracked then thru out the year, since the entry time of a trade will remain the same. Here is one way that you can deal with it if your trade strategy is on a shorter time frame and is sensitive to which session or when in a session you enter a trade.
Set up a parameter for session, and break each session down into as many sub-categories as make sense to you and your strategy. Each division might be 2 or 3 hours long, or may just bracket an entire session. As an example:
- Asia – open
- Asia – mid
- Asia – late
- London – open
- New York – open
- New York – mid
- New York – late
You could of course write the time in the session bracket as well, such as New York open 5-8
Then as you enter each trade assign it to which session it was taken in. For many styles of trading this is more relevant than the specific hour anyway. Think about your own strategy and what makes most sense.
These session assignments of course would not change as the time changes.