A major part of being an order flow trader is about getting and consuming information. In this article we will examine some tools and resources for the order flow beginner to start with.Exploiting order flow is essentially about getting up to date about news and events, and staying updated, so that you can identify the patterns.
The market operates 24 hours a day. As humans we need our 8 hours of sleep everyday, so the first part in information gathering is to have access to sources of information that summarizes events while one is sleeping, as well as provide a roadmap for important events that are coming up.
It is important to analyse the news in the context of market reactions, not just in the instrument that you are trading but related ones too. A good rule of the thumb of charts that you should be looking at are: various currency pairs of the country you are focusing on, the 10 year bond of the country, the stock index of the country, and some commodities.
So for example, if I am trading the emini S&P (ES), I would be looking at the following charts as well: AUD/USD, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AU/USD, light sweet crude oil, and 10 year US treasury notes. I usually use the futures contracts as proxy.
In summary, don't be too greedy in having too many sources of information. One should aim to have just enough sources to get up to date and stay up to date on important information. The exact number would probably depend on personal preferences.
There is a great news service for order flow trading at Vertex Trading Systems that offers an event calendar, proprietary research, order boards, a trade alerts service, and more. It is definitely worth registering a free account.