Adam Button is the Chief Currency Analyst and Managing Editor at ForexLive.com, which stands among the most visited forex websites online. The site is popular among both retail and professional traders for its 24 hour coverage of news and astute market analysis. ForexLive.com was founded in 2008 and Adam joined the team in 2011. Adam also works alongside Ashraf Laidi at IntermarketStrategy.com, producing daily strategy reports for more than 25,000 subscribers. FXStreet recognized Adam’s contributions to the industry, naming him their Forex Person of the Year in 2014. Adam is a graduate of Ryerson University and currently lives in Peterborough, Ontario.
It’s been 9 years since you joined ForexLive. Can you describe what it was like in the early days of the site and what drove some of the major milestones in its growth?
The core of the site is more unchanged than different. When I think back to a decade ago, the changes I see are more about how the market has shifted and how the industry has revamped. Relatively, ForexLive has been an island of stabliity. At its core, we’re a few people offering running commentary on the markets, getting news faster than anyone. The value proposition has been the consistency and that builds loyalty and trust. As a result, traffic has just climbed and climbed.
Speed is the name of the game at ForexLive. Can you tell us about your focus on real time news why that’s important?
ForexLive was acquired by Finance Magnates in 2017. The two sites complement each other well. While Finance Magnates specializes in financial industry coverage, Forex Live is a leading source of forex market news and analysis. How has ForexLive evolved since the acquisition and are there any future plans you can share with us?
We have so many great things coming. The goal is simply to make the user experience better so whether that’s tools, education, usability, speed, it’s all in the works.
At Intermarket Strategy, you work with Ashraf Laidi, who was formerly Chief Market Strategist at CMC Markets and Chief Global Strategist at City Index. Can you describe the intermarket approach to analysis used there?
I began to work with Ashraf because I respected him so much. There was a time when I had access to all the research in the world and was reading it all and he was simply better than everyone else. He sees the big picture so well and he’s a very decisive communicator but he somehow still keeps it simple. Every time you add some additional layer to your analysis, you add layers of complexity. So the art is taking it all and translating that into the most simplistic thing: Buy or sell. That’s what he does.
You specialize in trading news. Can you give us some tips on news trading and tell us why it appeals to you?
A decade ago politics hardly mattered, now it’s ascendant. So you need to be able to change and you probably won’t do that unless you love learning about the world and new things. That’s how I’m wired. Within that, you need to develop a sense of what’s game-changing news and what’s noise. That’s not easy. At the end of the day, you need to either completely immerse yourself in it or read someone who does. We’re the people who are immersed.
As for a tip, this sounds crazy but it’s this: the techincals matter. They really do. Price action is everything and that’s why we have a guy like Greg Michalowski who focuses on that. Ultimately, you need to manage risk and you need the charts to confirm what the fundamentals are telling you. That’s the secret.
In an earlier interview, you recommended specializing in one currency and country and learning everything about them to gain an edge in the market. Do you have any preferred currencies and countries that you focus on?
Everyone has a bias to their home currency to some extent, even if that means hating it. That advice is about truly understanding one thing and the using that as a framework to build on. After all this time, I have a deep ‘relationship’ with all the major currencies but I have more of an interest in emerging market currencies than I let on. You can learn so much more about economics and news from those countries. More has happened in 20 years in Argentina and the peso than in 50 years in all the major currencies combined. The level of economic literacy even among the average Argentine dwarfs the average western person because they’ve lived it all.
Can you share some of your own preferred news sources?
For me the focus has shifted from sources to individuals because even within institutions, there’s such variance in the quality of reporting. For me, it’s a shift to primary sources rather than analysis. How many people read the full text of a central bank speech? I’d be surprised if it’s 100. I’m not kidding. I know everyone in markets and no one reads the full text. If you do it consistently you pick up on things. Stats agencies are also getting better and better at presenting data.
Which are your favorite technical indicators?
Everyone goes on the same journey with technical analysis where you start simple, get more complex and then reel it back in to some extent.
Increasingly, the major news sites such as Bloomberg and Financial Times are using paywalls. Is this something ForexLive has considered?
That’s not a path we’re exploring.
Gold prices have made fresh 7-year highs this week, edging towards the all time high of $1,917 an ounce from 2011. Do you think we’ll see new record highs for gold in the coming months?
There’s a huge industry in making long-term predictions and that’s not what we do. When the facts change, we change. So our views are variable. That said, the fact is that central bank balance sheets are growing and deficits are growing. I can’t see that changing and it’s unabashedly good for gold, as are the technicals.
Peterborough, Ontario looks like a beautiful city. Can you tell us about your decision to live there?
Montreal is a gorgeous city and that’s where I lived for 10 years before coming here. I miss it dearly. Peterborough is a nice, quiet, convenient place to raise a family so that’s why I’m here now. It’s my wife’s home town. Economically, I think small cities like Peterborough with easy access to major centers have bright futures.
Thank you very much for participating in this interview Adam and we wish you and the ForexLive team continued success in 2020.