Choosing between Automated & Manual Forex Signals: A Guide

forex signals
.31 Aug 2023
author avatar image Chad Smith

Table of Contents

In the pulsating arena of foreign exchange trading, precision, rapid reaction time, and informed decision-making are of paramount importance. It is on these pillars that the concept of Forex signals is built, a seemingly complex paradigm that, when understood, can significantly tip the scales of success in your favour. Whether you’re a novice to the forex market or a seasoned trader seeking to sharpen your competitive edge, unraveling the intricacies of both automated and manual forex signals can prove invaluable. Our meticulous exploration will journey through the workings of these signals, probe into the factors shaping your trading style and time commitments, scrutinize platform compatibility, and signal providers, and finally, arm you with practical exercises for signal testing.

Understanding Forex Signals

Understanding Forex Signals

Forex signals are essentially alerts or decisions that guide the trading decisions of forex traders. They provide pivotal information about specific currency pairs, indicating whether it’s a beneficial time to buy or sell. These signals are generated based on an in-depth analysis of forex market conditions and relevant economic indicators. The information provided by these signals is succinct and straightforward, saving traders the time and effort involved in conducting their own market analysis.

The Importance of Forex Signals

Forex signals play a crucial role in forex trading as they offer real-time market information that can help traders in making informed trading decisions. They can assist not just in recognising lucrative trade opportunities, but also in mitigating potential risks. These signals, which can be broadly classified into automated and manual signals, form a solid basis for implementing effective trading strategies, thereby optimising profit potential in the unpredictable and volatile forex market.

Automated Forex Signals

Automated forex signals are created by algorithms and trading bots. These use predefined trading strategies and mathematical models to scan the forex market for profitable opportunities. Once a particular criterion or set of conditions is met, automated signals spring into action and directly place trades on behalf of the trader without any human intervention required. They provide the advantages of efficiency and speed that are essential in the fast-paced forex market. Such signals also eliminate emotional trading, which can sometimes be detrimental.

However, they lack the ability to adapt to sudden market changes as they can only operate according to their coding. They also might have difficulties with interpreting complex financial events.

Manual Forex Signals

On the other hand, manual forex signals are generated by experienced human traders who analyze the market conditions, economic events and price action. As these signals are generated by professionals, they bear an imprint of their intuitiveness and years of trading experience. Manual signals allow for flexible and adaptive decision-making based on current events, something automated signals find difficult to achieve.

However, creating manual signals is time-consuming and can be influenced by the emotional bias of the trader. There’s also a higher possibility of human error in analysis and decision-making.

Choosing Between Automated and Manual Forex Signals

When deciding between automated and manual forex signals, consider your trading preferences, technical knowledge, the time you can allocate to trading, and your risk tolerance. If speed, efficiency, and removal of emotional bias are your priorities, automated signals would suit you. On the contrary, if you prefer in-depth, adaptable and intuitive analysis, you might find manual signals more helpful. Trading experiences can also be customised with combinations of both, which could provide a balanced approach to forex trading.

Illustration of Forex Signals, showing trading charts and currency symbols

Assessing Your Trading Style and Time

Recognise Your Trading Style

The first facet to consider when deciding between automated and manual forex signals is your individual trading style. Begin by identifying your risk appetite, whether you prefer short-term trades or long-term investments, if you prefer high frequency or low frequency trading, and so on. If you thrive on high-frequency trades and have an aggressive risk-taking strategy, automated forex signals might suit you better, because they can analyse multiple factors at high speed and execute trades swiftly.

Analyse Your Time Availability

Time availability is another defining factor. While forex trading can be quite profitable, it requires a substantial amount of time and dedication to monitor the market trends, economic occurrences and geo-political events. Automated forex signals are designed to operate round the clock, utilising technological advancements to analyse the market and execute trades when favourable conditions are identified. If you cannot commit sufficient time to track these signals on a consistent basis, relying on automated signals would be more pragmatic.

Observe Market Trend Understanding

Manual forex signals are handpicked by experienced traders based on comprehensive market analysis. This method often requires a deep understanding of the market trends and an ability to make timely decisions. If you have experience in forex trading, a good understanding of the market trends and can devote a significant amount of time analysing the market, manual signals would be more suitable. It gives you more control over your trades, allowing you to strategise and potentially realise greater gains.

Consider Your Personal Trading Preferences

Automated and manual forex signals have their own merits and demerits. It’s important that traders consider their personal convenience and preferences while making this decision. If predictability, convenience and time efficiency are a priority for you, automated signals would be the optimal choice. But, if the thought of ability to control, personal decision making and deeper analysis fuels your trading enthusiasm, then manual signals take precedence.

A picture showing a person looking at stock market charts and making trading decisions.

Reviewing Platform Compatibility and Signal Provider

Review Platform Compatibility

When weighing between automated and manual forex signals, it is essential first to decipher the compatibility of the signals with your trading platform. A signal may promise exceptional returns, but if it cannot be integrated with your trading platform, it will not be of significant benefit. Therefore, before deciding on the kind of forex signal to use, check its compatibility with your specific trading platform. Start by understanding the technical specifications of your platform. If it supports automated trading, for instance, it can easily integrate automated forex signals. Explore also the type of signals the platform supports; some support all signal types while others only a specific type.

Assess Signal Provider

Another crucial step is examining the credibility and reliability of the forex signal provider. This will enable you to validate the accountability and trustworthiness of the signals, therefore, enhancing your level of confidence in the trade.

Start by scrutinising their track record. Look at their past performance: the winning percentage, average stop loss and take profit, monthly return, and such. Beware of providers who only share winning trades and dodge ones they lose. Realistic providers are more trustworthy.

Next, evaluate their communication and support system. Good customer service is vital, especially in forex trading, where market dynamics can switch rapidly. Check if they offer support in your preferred method of communication, be it email, phone call, or live chat, and if they respond to queries promptly and accurately.

An essential point to remember is that even the best signal provider cannot guarantee returns because the forex market is unpredictable and is influenced by various global factors. Therefore, it is important to use forex signals as a tool to assist in decision-making rather than the decision itself. This way, you can balance between relying on signals and your judgement and experience.

Image depicting a person using a trading platform with forex charts and graphs

Practical Exercises and Signal Testing

Understanding Your Trading Style

Before choosing forex signals, it is important for one to ascertain their trading style. This involves determining how much time and resources you want to dedicate to forex trading. Manual signals may work for those who prefer to have more control over their trades and have enough time for market analysis. On the other hand, automated signals may suit traders who lack time for market study or simply prefer a hands-off approach to forex trading.

Signal Testing through Demo Trading

To test the reliability of both manual and automated signals, engage in demo trading. This involves using virtual cash to place trades in a simulated environment that mirrors the actual forex market. With demo trading, it’s possible to test both types of signals without risking real money. Note the success rate of trades based on each type of signals and gauge which aligns best with your preferred trading style.

You could also use this testing phase to understand the ease of use of each type of signals. For instance, you might find that automated trading is easier because it eliminates the need for constant market analysis.

Assessing Signal Speed and Accuracy in Real-time Trading

Following demo trading, the next step is to carry out a comparison between automated and manual signals on basis of speed. Speed is crucial in forex trading because the market is highly volatile and prices change within seconds. Hence, the signal must be quickly executed after it is generated to secure expected profits. Automated signals generally allow for faster trade execution than manual signals.

Accuracy is another important aspect to compare when considering forex signals. This refers to the accuracy with which the signal predicts the direction the market will take. You can assess the accuracy of signals by comparing the actual market outcome with the prediction provided by the signal.

Analysing the Impact of Signals on Trading Stress

Traders often cite stress as a significant aspect of forex trading, and how signals affect this stress factor should be a consideration in your decision. Automated signals can reduce trading stress due to the removal of the decision-making process, whereas manual signals could add to the stress of constantly studying market conditions and making trade decisions.


While the decision ultimately depends on your trading style and personal preference, these practical exercises should provide useful insight to help you make an informed choice between automated and manual forex signals.


Through diligent learning and practice, you are gradually forging a path to an elevated standing in forex trading, adeptly navigating the complex machinery of forex signals. You have acquainted yourself with the subtleties of automated and manual signals, identified your trading style, ensured platform compatibility, and have become proficient in selecting promising signal providers. Through rigorous signal testing, you have been equipped to make informed decisions poised to maximise your profitability. Remember, the process does not end here, continuous learning and adaptation to the ever-evolving forex market landscape remain an enduring imperative. May your journey in trading be a stimulating and prosperous venture.

author avatar image
Chad Smith

Chad Smith is the Director of Research & Analysis here at previously served as an Editor for a number of websites related to finance and trading, where he authored a significant number of published articles about trading and the impact of technology in transforming investing as we know it.Overall, Chad is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher with more than 15 years of trading experience, and you can find him teaching his dog how to trade in his free time.