Are Free Economic Calendars Quick Enough?

If you're trading news events, then most free calendars online will not be sufficient. If you're a longer term trader, then the free calendars are all you need.
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We have a very quick question here from Abid, asking us whether the free economic calendars available on the internet can deliver news fast enough.

Well, Abid, it all depends on what you’re going to be using that data for. There are plenty of useful free economic calendars out there.

There is Forex Factory, the one that you mentioned in your question. There’s also the Bloomberg calendar. There’s also that has one. There’s also Myfxbook, that has a calendar.

So, there’s a couple of calendars available, especially from the free resource side. There is a great feature to use as part of your analysis and resources. So, if you’re planning to use economic data points to just do your general analysis, your general fundamental and macroanalysis, then these calendars are helpful tools to have.

However, the free calendars are not going to be as quick with data releases as the paid calendars that are available. 

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We use Meta Stock Xenith, which is a paid subscription that gives us access to real time news. That means there is no lag in the data. If there is a lag in the data, it simply means that there’s a lag from the agency that releases that data. But normally the data is very quick. Here you can see, we have a countdown running into the current events coming up right now, for the U.S. and Canada. And whenever that clock hits 14:30, you will immediately have access to that data.

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They also have another useful feature, which is polling. So, they’re basically poll a couple of analysts for all of the upcoming economic event or for certain of the event. And that gives you a consensus view of the expectations as well as the minimum and the maximum expectations. And that is very useful, as it tells us when the data comes out with very big deviations. And Xenith usually signals a very big deviation with these little Lightning bolt symbols.

So, that’ll tell you whether the market within the actual data is coming above or below the minimum or the maximum expectations.

Another cool feature is getting access to the historical data. Now, there are free sites that you can also get an access from, to historical data. But you have to download them manually, which can take a lot of time. And with Xenith, you actually get a Excel plugin, which allows you to pull the data with formulas that update automatically, which saves you a lot of time.

So, do you need this, do you need Xenith, the quick data that it provides. If you are doing just general macroanalysis, then probably not.

If you’re planning to trade out of news events however, and you’re planning to do that the moment that it hits, that it gets released, then you will probably want to have something like this. But many traders use the free sources for day trading and they are happy with it. So, it’s not a must have. It’s just a really nice to have in terms of the speed of the data that it gives you.

So, that’s just a quick update on the calendars, the one that we use, and our opinion on the speed, in terms of the free calendar that’s available on the market as well.

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