Friday, July 8, 2011

Forex Trading Tips

Why do hundreds of thousands online traders and investors trade the forex market every day, and how do they make money doing it?

This two-part report clearly and simply details essential tips on how to avoid typical pitfalls and start making more money in your forex trading.

Trade pairs, not currencies — Like any relationship, you have to know both sides. Success or failure in forex trading depends upon being right about both currencies and how they impact one another, not just one.

Knowledge is Power — When starting out trading forex online, it is essential that you understand the basics of this market if you want to make the most of your investments.

The main forex influencer is global news and events. For example, say an ECB statement is released on European interest rates which typically will cause a flurry of activity. Most newcomers react violently to news like this and close their positions and subsequently miss out on some of the best trading opportunities by waiting until the market calms down. The potential in the forex market is in the volatility, not in its tranquility.


Unambitious trading — Many new traders will place very tight orders in order to take very small profits. This is not a sustainable approach because although you may be profitable in the short run (if you are lucky), you risk losing in the longer term as you have to recover the difference between the bid and the ask price before you can make any profit and this is much more difficult when you make small trades than when you make larger ones.

Over-cautious trading — Like the trader who tries to take small incremental profits all the time, the trader who places tight stop losses with a retail forex broker is doomed. As we stated above, you have to give your position a fair chance to demonstrate its ability to produce. If you don't place reasonable stop losses that allow your trade to do so, you will always end up undercutting yourself and losing a small piece of your deposit with every trade.

Independence — If you are new to forex, you will either decide to trade your own money or to have a broker trade it for you. So far, so good. But your risk of losing increases exponentially if you either of these two things:

Interfere with what your broker is doing on your behalf (as his strategy might require a long gestation period);

Seek advice from too many sources — multiple input will only result in multiple losses. Take a position, ride with it and then analyse the outcome — by yourself, for yourself.

Tiny margins — Margin trading is one of the biggest advantages in trading forex as it allows you to trade amounts far larger than the total of your deposits. However, it can also be dangerous to novice traders as it can appeal to the greed factor that destroys many forex traders. The best guideline is to increase your leverage in line with your experience and success.

No strategy — The aim of making money is not a trading strategy. A strategy is your map for how you plan to make money. Your strategy details the approach you are going to take, which currencies you are going to trade and how you will manage your risk. Without a strategy, you may become one of the 90% of new traders that lose their money.

Trading Off-Peak Hours — Professional FX traders, option traders, and hedge funds posses a huge advantage over small retail traders during off-peak hours (between 2200 CET and 1000 CET) as they can hedge their positions and move them around when there is far small trade volume is going through (meaning their risk is smaller). The best advice for trading during off peak hours is simple — don't.

The only way is up/down — When the market is on its way up, the market is on its way up. When the market is going down, the market is going down. That's it. There are many systems which analyse past trends, but none that can accurately predict the future. But if you acknowledge to yourself that all that is happening at any time is that the market is simply moving, you'll be amazed at how hard it is to blame anyone else.

Trade on the news — Most of the really big market moves occur around news time. Trading volume is high and the moves are significant; this means there is no better time to trade than when news is released. This is when the big players adjust their positions and prices change resulting in a serious currency flow.

Exiting Trades — If you place a trade and it's not working out for you, get out. Don't compound your mistake by staying in and hoping for a reversal. If you're in a winning trade, don't talk yourself out of the position because you're bored or want to relieve stress; stress is a natural part of trading; get used to it.

Don't trade too short-term — If you are aiming to make less than 20 points profit, don't undertake the trade. The spread you are trading on will make the odds against you far too high.

Don't be smart — The most successful traders I know keep their trading simple. They don't analyse all day or research historical trends and track web logs and their results are excellent.

Tops and Bottoms — There are no real "bargains" in trading foreign exchange. Trade in the direction the price is going in and you're results will be almost guaranteed to improve.

Ignoring the technicals- Understanding whether the market is over-extended long or short is a key indicator of price action. Spikes occur in the market when it is moving all one way.

Emotional Trading — Without that all-important strategy, you're trades essentially are thoughts only and thoughts are emotions and a very poor foundation for trading. When most of us are upset and emotional, we don't tend to make the wisest decisions. Don't let your emotions sway you.

Confidence — Confidence comes from successful trading. If you lose money early in your trading career it's very difficult to regain it; the trick is not to go off half-cocked; learn the business before you trade. Remember, knowledge is power.

The second and final part of this report clearly and simply details more essential tips on how to avoid the pitfalls and start making more money in your forex trading.

Take it like a man — If you decide to ride a loss, you are simply displaying stupidity and cowardice. It takes guts to accept your loss and wait for tomorrow to try again. Sticking to a bad position ruins lots of traders — permanently. Try to remember that the market often behaves illogically, so don't get commit to any one trade; it's just a trade. One good trade will not make you a trading success; it's ongoing regular performance over months and years that makes a good trader.

Focus — Fantasising about possible profits and then "spending" them before you have realised them is no good. Focus on your current position(s) and place reasonable stop losses at the time you do the trade. Then sit back and enjoy the ride — you have no real control from now on, the market will do what it wants to do.

Don't trust demos — Demo trading often causes new traders to learn bad habits. These bad habits, which can be very dangerous in the long run, come about because you are playing with virtual money. Once you know how your broker's system works, start trading small amounts and only take the risk you can afford to win or lose.

Stick to the strategy — When you make money on a well thought-out strategic trade, don't go and lose half of it next time on a fancy; stick to your strategy and invest profits on the next trade that matches your long-term goals.

Trade today — Most successful day traders are highly focused on what's happening in the short-term, not what may happen over the next month. If you're trading with 40 to 60-point stops focus on what's happening today as the market will probably move too quickly to consider the long-term future. However, the long-term trends are not unimportant; they will not always help you though if you're trading intraday.

The clues are in the details — The bottom line on your account balance doesn't tell the whole story. Consider individual trade details; analyse your losses and the telling losing streaks. Generally, traders that make money without suffering significant daily losses have the best chance of sustaining positive performance in the long term.

Simulated Results — Be very careful and wary about infamous "black box" systems. These so-called trading signal systems do not often explain exactly how the trade signals they generate are produced. Typically, these systems only show their track record of extraordinary results — historical results. Successfully predicting future trade scenarios is altogether more complex. The high-speed algorithmic capabilities of these systems provide significant retrospective trading systems, not ones which will help you trade effectively in the future.

Get to know one cross at a time — Each currency pair is unique, and has a unique way of moving in the marketplace. The forces which cause the pair to move up and down are individual to each cross, so study them and learn from your experience and apply your learning to one cross at a time.

Risk Reward — If you put a 20 point stop and a 50 point profit your chances of winning are probably about 1-3 against you. In fact, given the spread you're trading on, it's more likely to be 1-4. Play the odds the market gives you.

Trading for Wrong Reasons — Don't trade if you are bored, unsure or reacting on a whim. The reason that you are bored in the first place is probably because there is no trade to make in the first place. If you are unsure, it's probably because you can't see the trade to make, so don't make one.

Zen Trading- Even when you have taken a position in the markets, you should try and think as you would if you hadn't taken one. This level of detachment is essential if you want to retain your clarity of mind and avoid succumbing to emotional impulses and therefore increasing the likelihood of incurring losses. To achieve this, you need to cultivate a calm and relaxed outlook. Trade in brief periods of no more than a few hours at a time and accept that once the trade has been made, it's out of your hands.

Determination — Once you have decided to place a trade, stick to it and let it run its course. This means that if your stop loss is close to being triggered, let it trigger. If you move your stop midway through a trade's life, you are more than likely to suffer worse moves against you. Your determination must be show itself when you acknowledge that you got it wrong, so get out.

Short-term Moving Average Crossovers — This is one of the most dangerous trade scenarios for non professional traders. When the short-term moving average crosses the longer-term moving average it only means that the average price in the short run is equal to the average price in the longer run. This is neither a bullish nor bearish indication, so don't fall into the trap of believing it is one.

Stochastic — Another dangerous scenario. When it first signals an exhausted condition that's when the big spike in the "exhausted" currency cross tends to occur. My advice is to buy on the first sign of an overbought cross and then sell on the first sign of an oversold one. This approach means that you'll be with the trend and have successfully identified a positive move that still has some way to go. So if percentage K and percentage D are both crossing 80, then buy! (This is the same on sell side, where you sell at 20).

One cross is all that counts — EURUSD seems to be trading higher, so you buy GBPUSD because it appears not to have moved yet. This is dangerous. Focus on one cross at a time — if EURUSD looks good to you, then just buy EURUSD.

Wrong Broker — A lot of FOREX brokers are in business only to make money from yours. Read forums, blogs and chats around the net to get an unbiased opinion before you choose your broker.

Too bullish — Trading statistics show that 90% of most traders will fail at some point. Being too bullish about your trading aptitude can be fatal to your long-term success. You can always learn more about trading the markets, even if you are currently successful in your trades. Stay modest, and keep your eyes open for new ideas and bad habits you might be falling in to.

Interpret forex news yourself — Learn to read the source documents of forex news and events — don't rely on the interpretations of news media or others.

by Fiorenzo Fontana

5 Things You Must Do If You Want To Attain Financial Freedom Through Forex Trading

With the amazing growth of the forex market, you are going to see an astounding amount of traders lose all their money. Unfortunately, they haven't followed the simple steps I have laid out for you. Go through these steps and give yourself the greatest opportunity to achieve your goals.

1. Have Faith In Yourself

To reach the level of elite forex trader, you must trust in yourself and your forex trading education. You must be willing to make all your trading decisions, instead of relying on someone else's thoughts or ability (or lack of). Of course, you will prepare yourself fully before every risking any money.

2. Accept Your Learning Curve

Unless you are a veteran trader, you will lose money trading the Forex market. This is a near certainty. I don't say this to talk you out of trading. In fact, quite the opposite. You will be trading against others that fall to this reality day in and day out. You, however, will not risk a dime until you have learned the skills you need to make money trading the forex.

3. Decide What Type of Trader You Are

There are many ways to trade the forex. They range from very active to very patient. You must decide which style suits you best. The best time to learn this about yourself is while you are trading a demo account. There is no need to allow your learning curve to cost you money.

4. Get Educated

Education is the shortest path to elite forex trading. Regardless of your ultimate goals, you will reach them quicker with a great forex trading education. Take some time to review different options before deciding on who to trust with your forex trading education needs. A forex seminar will help shorten your learning curve drastically.

5. Continue to Get Educated

In order to achieve and retain elite forex trading skills, you must constantly be adding to you knowledge base. Your education should never end. In fact, one of the key points to look for in an elite forex trading course is ongoing education. It's nice to have an ongoing relationship with the person/people helping you to achieve your goals.


What separates an elite forex trader from all others is their desire and ability to be independent. Many traders are willing to follow signals, systems, strategies, or anything else you may call them. By taking this approach, however, these traders are only as good as the people they follow.

An elite forex trader will lead. Their decisions will be calculated and analyzed to near perfection. They will make decisions with no hesitation, and handle the growth of their account in a predetermined, intelligent fashion. Take your trading to their level and you will never look back.

by Eddie Yakubovich

How To Get Started In FOREX Trading

The foreign exchange market (Forex) offers many advantages to investors. But you need to know where to begin.
This short guide will give you the Forex basics, so you can quickly start participating in this fast growing market.
In the past, foreign exchange trading was limited to large players such as national banks and multi-national corporations. In the 1980's the rules were changed to allow smaller investors to participate using margin accounts. Margin accounts are the reason why Forex trading has become so popular. With a 100:1 margin account, you can control $100,000 with a $1,000 investment.



A Learning Curve
Forex is not simple, though, so you'll need some knowledge to make wise investment decisions. Although it is relatively easy to start trading on the Forex, there are risks involved.
Your first move as a beginner should be to find out as much as possible about the market before risking a dime.
Find A Broker
Forex traders usually require a broker to handle transactions. Most brokers are reputable and are associated with large financial institutions such as banks. A reputable broker will be registered as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as protection against fraud and abusive trade practices.
Open an Account
Opening a Forex account is as simple as filling out a form and providing the necessary identification. The form includes a margin agreement which states that the broker may interfere with any trade deemed to be too risky. This is to protect the interests of the broker, since most trades are done using the broker's money.
Once your account has been established, you can fund it and begin trading.
Many brokers offer a variety of accounts to suit the needs of individual investors. Mini accounts allow you to get involved in Forex trading for as little as $250. Standard accounts may have a minimum deposit of $1000 to $2500, depending on the broker. The amount of leverage (how much borrowed money you can use) varies with account type. High leverage accounts give you more money to trade for a given investment.
Trades are commission-free, meaning that you can make many trades in one day without worrying about incurring high brokerage fees. Brokers make their money on the 'spread': the difference between bid and ask prices.
Paper Trading
Beginning traders are strongly advised get accustomed to Forex by doing "paper trades" for a period of time. Paper trades are practice transactions that don't involve real capital. They allow you to see how the system works while learning how to use the various software tools provided by most Forex brokers.
Most online brokers have demo accounts that allow you to make free paper trades for up to 30 days. Every new Forex investor should use these demo accounts at least until they are consistently showing profits.
Forex Software
Each broker has its own set of software tools for making transactions, but there are a few tools that are common to all Forex brokers. Real-time quotes, news feeds, technical analyses and charts, and profit-and-loss analyses are some of the features you can expect to see on most online brokers' web sites.
Almost every broker operates on the Internet. To access a broker's online services you'll need a reasonably modern computer, a fast Internet connection, and an up-to-date operating system. Once your account is set up, you can access it from any computer just by entering your account name and password. If for some reason you are unable get to a computer, most brokers will allow you to make trades over the phone.
There are lots of ways to make money. Forex trading is just one more potential stream of income -- if you are prepared to learn and practice.
by Ron King

Futures Versus Forex (Foreign Exchange Market)

Todays current futures market is quite unlike the futures of the 19th century. Todays future market is a worldwide one that includes manufactured goods, financial currencies and treasury bonds, and agricultural products.

When you speculate on futures it is not the actual good that is speculated upon rather it is the contract for the goods that is traded as value. Every futures contract includes a buyer and a seller. The following is an example of a futures speculation: A farmer agrees to deliver 1000 bushels of corn to a baker at a price of $5.00 a bushel. If the daily price of corn futures falls to $4.00 a bushel, the farmer's account is credited with $1000 ($5.00 — $4.00 X 1000 bushels) and the baker's account is debited by the same amount. Futures accounts are settled every day.




Using the above as an example this is how the contract settlement would play out: If the price of corn futures is still at $4.00 the farmer will have made $1000 on the futures contract and the baker will have lost an equal amount. However, the baker can now purchase corn on the open market at $4.00 a bushel — $1000 less than the original contract, so the amount he lost on the futures contract is made up by the cheaper cost of corn. Also, the farmer must sell his corn on the open market for $4.00 a bushel, less than what he anticipated when entering the futures contract, but the profit generated by the futures contract makes up the difference.

Speculators profit by daily fluctuations in the futures market by choosing to buy from the seller (buying short) or from the buyer (buying long).

The FOREX market has advantages over the futures market. FOREX is the largest financial market in the world. It is a liquid market and stop orders can be executed more easily and with less slippage than in other markets. The FOREX market is open 5 days a week, 24 hours a day. Traders can take advantages of opportunities as they become available. FOREX transactions are usually instantly executed. FOREX transactions are commission free. Brokers earn money on the spread.

Some investors feel that due to built in safeguards that FOREX trading is safer than futures trading.

by Jeff Slokum

FOREX: What Is It And How Does It Work?

The Foreign Exchange market, also referred to as the "Forex" is the biggest and largest financial market in the world. It has a daily average turnover of US$1.9 trillion- just imagine that amount of money! Don't you want to join this trillion-dollar industry?


Forex is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another. Currencies are traded in pairs, for example Euro/US Dollar (EUR/USD) or US Dollar/Japanese Yen (USD/JPY). So basically, Forex is trading.
There are two reasons to buy and sell currencies. About 5% of daily turnover is from companies and governments that buy or sell products and services in a foreign country or must convert profits made in foreign currencies into their domestic currency.
The other 95% is trading for profit, or what you call speculation. Investors frequently trade on information they believe to be superior and relevant, when in fact it is not and is fully discounted by the market.
On one side of each speculative stock trade is a participant who believes he has superior information and on the other side is another participant who believes his information is superior.
For speculators, the best trading opportunities are with the most commonly traded (and therefore most liquid- meaning its in cash or convertible to cash) currencies, called "the Majors." Today, more than 85% of all daily transactions involve trading of the Majors.
A true 24-hour market, Forex trading begins each day in Sydney, and moves around the globe as the business day begins in each financial center, first to Tokyo, London, and New York. Unlike any other financial market, investors can respond to currency fluctuations caused by economic, social and political events at the time they occur — real time- day or night.
The Forex market is considered an Over The Counter (OTC) or 'interbank' market. This is because the transactions are conducted between two counterparts over the telephone or via an electronic network. Trading is not centralized on an exchange compared to stocks and futures markets.
Understanding Forex quotes
Reading a Forex quote may seem a bit confusing at first. However, it's really quite simple if you remember two things: 1) The first currency listed first is the base currency and 2) the value of the base currency is always 1.
The US dollar is the centerpiece of the Forex market and is normally considered the 'base' currency for quotes. In the "Majors", this includes USD/JPY, USD/CHF and USD/CAD. For these currencies and many others, quotes are expressed as a unit of $1 USD per the second currency quoted in the pair. For example, a quote of USD/JPY 110.01 means that one U.S. dollar is equal to 110.01 Japanese yen.
When the U.S. dollar is the base unit and a currency quote goes up, it means the dollar has appreciated in value and the other currency has weakened. If the USD/JPY quote we previously mentioned increases to 113.01, the dollar is stronger because it will now buy more yen than before.
The three exceptions to this rule are the British pound (GBP), the Australian dollar (AUD) and the Euro (EUR). In these cases, you might see a quote such as GBP/USD 1.7366, meaning that one British pound equals 1.7366 U.S. dollars.
In these three currency pairs, where the U.S. dollar is not the base rate, a rising quote means a weakening dollar, as it now takes more U.S. dollars to equal one pound, euro or Australian dollar.
In other words, if a currency quote goes higher, that increases the value of the base currency. A lower quote means the base currency is weakening.
Currency pairs that do not involve the U.S. dollar are called cross currencies, but the premise is the same. For example, a quote of EUR/JPY 127.95 signifies that one Euro is equal to 127.95 Japanese yen.
When trading Forex you will often see a two-sided quote, consisting of a 'bid' and 'offer'. The 'bid' is the price at which you can sell the base currency (at the same time buying the counter currency). The 'ask' is the price at which you can buy the base currency (at the same time selling the counter currency).
by Frederic Madore

Interested in FOREX Trading?

The Foreign Exchange Market (Forex) has no central exchange location yet it is the largest financial market in the world.


It is over 3x's the size of the stock and futures markets combined and operates via an electronic network of a banks, corporations and investors.
Foreign exchange consists of a simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another. Currency is traded in pairs, in other words, one currency is traded for another. The major currencies are:

USD — United States Dollar
EUR — Euro members Euro
JPY — Japan Yen
GBP — Great Britian pound
CHF — Switzerland franc
CAD — Canadian dollar
AUD — Australia dollar
There are 2 types of investors involved in the Forex market.The first type of investor is the hedger. The hedger is involved in International trades and utilizes Forex trading to protect their interest in a transaction from adverse currency fluctuations. The 2nd type of investor is the speculator who invests in currency solely for profit.
Currency prices fluctuate due to a variety of economic and political factors. The major factors are:

Interest rates
International trade
Inflation
Political stability
There are many reasons investors take a great interest in FX trading Some of the major reasons are:

No fees
No middlemen
No fixed trade sizes
Low transaction cost
High liquidity
Instant transactions
Low margin / High leverage
24 hour market 

Online access via online trading platforms
Always good opportunities to trade, unlike the stock market the market is never bullish or bearish.
No one entity can control the market
No insider trading can occur
To begin trading in the Forex market, an investor only needs a computer, a high-speed internet connection and an online trading currency account. A mini account can be opened for as little as $100.
These are some of the reasons why Forex trading has become quite popular in recent years. For more information on getting started in FX Trading visit http://www.fx-trading-guide.com/
by Jill Kane

Forex Trading — Understanding Commissions, Spreads and Trading Costs

The forex market is quickly becoming one of the most popular markets for trading.
Not only are the experienced traders looking to this market to maximize their trading returns, but many new, individual investors are now able to trade the Forex market — just as they do stocks and futures.
More and more individuals are seeing Forex not only as a new way to diversify their portfolio, but are also finding that it is becoming the most profitable component of their investments.


And that's because of the many advantages Forex offers over other markets like stocks or commodities. Here's what you will typically see advertized about Forex:
— Unparallelled liquidity. It is the largest financial market in the world by far. Almost $2 trillion being traded daily!
— Excellent leverage potential. Individual investors have access to leverage of 100:1 and even 200:1
— No Commissions (more on this later on)
— Low trading costs.
And yes, the Forex market really does offer all these advantages.
But the last two points above talk about costs, and that's what we'd like to focus on in this article.
Like any trading, there are costs involved, and, while these may be much lower than they used to be, it is important to understand what those are.
Let's start by looking at stock trading, something that most of us investors are pretty familiar with.
When trading stocks, most investors will have a trading account with a broker somewhere and will have investment funds deposited in that account.
The broker will then execute the trades on behalf of the account holder, and of course, in return for providing that service, the broker will want to be compensated.
With stocks, typically, the broker will earn a commission for executing the trade. They will charge either a fixed dollar amount per trade, or a dollar amount per share, or (most commonly) a scaled commission based on how big your trade is.
And, they will charge it on both sides of the transaction. That is to say, when you buy the stock you get charged commission, AND then when you sell that same stock you get charged another commission.
With Forex trading, the brokers constantly advertise "no commission". And, of course that's true — except for a few brokers, who do charge a commission similar to stocks.
But also, of course, the brokers aren't performing their trading services for free. They too make money.
The way they do that is by charging the investor a "spread". Simply put, the spread is the difference between the bid price and the ask price for the currency being traded.
The broker will add this spread onto the price of the trade and keep it as their fee for trading.
So, while it isn't a commission per se, it behaves in practically the same way. It is just a little more hidden.
The good news though is that typically this spread is only charged on one side of the transaction. In other words, you don't pay the spread when you buy AND then again when you sell. It is usually only charged on the "buy" side of the trades.
So the spread really is your primary cost of trading the Forex and you should pay attention to the details of what the different brokers offer.
The spreads offered can vary pretty dramatically from broker to broker. And while it may not seem like much of a difference to be trading with a 5 pip spread vs a 4 pip spread, it actually can add up very quickly when you multiply it out by how many trades you make and how much money you're trading. Think about it, 4 pips vs 5 pips is a difference of 25% on your trading costs.
The other thing to recognize is that spreads can vary based on what currencies you're trading and what type of account you open.
Most brokers will give you different spreads for different currencies. The most popular currency pairs like the EURUSD or GBPUSD will typically have the lowest spreads, while currencies that have less demand will likely be traded with higher spreads.
Be sure to think about what currencies you are most likely to be trading and find out what your spreads will be for those currencies.
Also, some brokers will offer different spreads for different types of accounts. A mini account, for example may be subject to higher spreads than a full contract account.
And finally, because the spreads really are the difference between bid prices and ask prices as determined by the free market, it is important to recognize that they are not "guaranteed". Most brokers will tell you that there may be times during periods of low demand, or very active trading when the spreads widen and you will be charged that wider spread.
These do tend to be rarer situations because the Forex market really is so large and demand and supply are generally quite predictable, but they do occur, especially with some of the lesser traded currencies. So it's important to be aware of that.
In summary then, when trading Forex, understand that the "spread" is truly your most important consideration for trading costs.
Spreads can vary significantly between brokers, account types and currencies traded. And small differences in the spread can really add up to thousands of dollars in trading costs over even just a few months.
So be sure to understand what currencies you are going to be trading, how frequently, and in what type of account and use those factors to help decide which broker can offer you the best trading costs.
by Rich Cochrane

Forex: Benefits of Trading the Forex Market

Trading the Forex market has become very popular in the last years. Why is it that traders around the world see the Forex market as an investment opportunity? We will try to answer this question in this article. Also we will discuss come differences between the Forex market, the stocks market and the futures market.
Some of the benefits of trading the Forex market are:
Superior liquidity.
Liquidity is what really makes the Forex market different from other markets. The Forex market is by far the most liquid financial market in the world with nearly 2 trillion dollars traded everyday. This ensures price stability and better trade execution. Allowing traders to open and close transactions with ease. Also such a tremendous volume makes it hard to manipulate the market in an extended manner.
24hr Market.
This one is also one of the greatest advantages of trading Forex. It is an around the click market, the market opens on Sunday at 3:00 pm EST when New Zealand begins operations, and closes on Friday at 5:00 pm EST when San Francisco terminates operations. There are transactions in practically every time zone, allowing active traders to choose at what time to trade.
Leverage trading.
Trading the Forex Market offers a greater buying power than many other markets. Some Forex brokers offer leverage up to 400:1, allowing traders to have only 0.25% in margin of the total investment. For instance, a trader using 100:1 means that to have a US$100,000 position, only US$1,000 are needed on margin to be able to open that position.
Low Transaction costs.
Almost all brokers offer commission free trading. The only cost traders incur in any transaction is the spread (difference between the buy and sell price of each currency pair). This spread could be as low as 1 pip (the minimum increment in any currency pair) in some pairs.
Low minimum investment.
The Forex market requires less capital to start trading than any other markets. The initial investment could go as low as $300 USD, depending on leverage offered by the broker. This is a great advantage since Forex traders are able to keep their risk investment to the lowest level.
Specialized trading.
The liquidity of the market allows us to focus on just a few instruments (or currency pairs) as our main investments (85% of all trading transactions are made on the seven major currencies). Allowing us to monitor, and at the end get to know each instrument better.
Trading from anywhere.
If you do a lot of traveling, you can trade from anywhere in the world just having an internet connection.
Some of the most important differences between the Forex market and other markets are explained below.
Forex market vs. Equity markets
Liquidity
FX market: Near two trillion dollars of daily volume.
Equity market: Around 200 billion on a daily basis.
Trading hours
FX market: 24hr market, 5.5 days a week.
Equity market: Monday through Friday from 8:30 EST to 5:00 EST.
Profit potential
FX market: In both, rising and falling markets.
Equity market: Most traders/investor profit only from rising markets.
Transaction costs
FX market: Commission free and tight spreads.
Equity market: High Commissions and transaction fees.
Buying power
FX market: Leverage up to 400:1.
Equity market: Leverage from 2:1 to 4:1.
Specialization
FX market: most volume (85%) is made on major currencies (USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD and AUD.)
Equity market: More than 40,000 stocks to choose from.
Forex market vs. Futures market
Liquidity
FX Market: Near two trillion dollars of daily volume.
Futures market: Around 400 billion dollars on a daily basis.
Transaction costs
FX market: Commission free and tight spreads.
Futures market: High commissions fees.
Margin
FX market: Fixed rate of margin on every position.
Futures market: Different levels of margin on overnight positions than day time positions.
Trade execution
FX market: Instantaneous execution.
Futures market: Inconsistent execution.
All this makes the Forex market very attractive to investors and traders. But I need to make something clear, although the benefits of trading the Forex market are notorious; it is still difficult to make a successful career trading the Forex market. It requires a lot of education, discipline, commitment and patience, as any other market.
by Raul Lopez

Learn Currency Trade — Intro to The FOREX Market

The Foreign Exchange Market — better known as Forex — is a world wide market for buying and selling currencies.
It handles a huge volume of transactions 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Daily exchanges are worth approximately $1.5 trillion (US dollars). In comparison, the United States Treasury Bond market averages $300 billion a day and American stock markets exchange about $100 billion a day.
The Foreign Exchange Market was established in 1971 with the abolishment of fixed currency exchanges. Currencies became valued at 'floating' rates determined by supply and demand. The Forex grew steadily throughout the 1970's, but with the technological advances of the 80's Forex grew from trading levels of $70 billion a day to the current level of $1.5 trillion.
The Forex is made up of about 5000 trading institutions such as international banks, central government banks (such as the US Federal Reserve), and commercial companies and brokers for all types of foreign currency exchange.
There is no centralized location of Forex — major trading centers are located in New York, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, and Frankfurt, and all trading is by telephone or over the Internet. Businesses use the market to buy and sell products in other countries, but most of the activity on the Forex is from currency traders who use it to generate profits from small movements in the market.
Even though there are many huge players in Forex, it is accessible to the small investor thanks to recent changes in the regulations. Previously, there was a minimum transaction size and traders were required to meet strict financial requirements. With the advent of Internet trading, regulations have been changed to allow large interbank units to be broken down into smaller lots.
Each lot is worth about $100,000 and is accessible to the individual investor through 'leverage' — loans extended for trading. Typically, lots can be controlled with a leverage of 100:1 meaning that US$1,000 will allow you to control a $100,000 currency exchange.
There are many advantages to trading in Forex, including:
— Liquidity: Because of the size of the Foreign Exchange Market, investments are extremely liquid. International banks are continuously providing bid and ask offers and the high number of transactions each day means there is always a buyer or a seller for any currency.
— Accessibility: The market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. The market opens Monday morning Australian time and closes Friday afternoon New York time. Trades can be done on the Internet from your home or office.
— Open Market: Currency fluctuations are usually caused by changes in national economies. News about these changes is accessible to everyone at the same time — there can be no 'insider trading' in Forex.
— No commission Fees: Brokers earn money by setting a 'spread' — the difference between what a currency can be bought at and what it can be sold at.
How does the foreign currency exchange market work?
Currencies are always traded in pairs — the US dollar against the Japanese yen, or the English pound against the euro. Every transaction involves selling one currency and buying another, so if an investor believes the euro will gain against the dollar, he will sell dollars and buy euros.
The potential for profit exists because there is always movement between currencies. Even small changes can result in substantial profits because of the large amount of money involved in each transaction.
At the same time, it can be a relatively safe market for the individual investor. There are safeguards built in to protect both the broker and the investor and a number of software tools exist to minimize loss.

Forex Trade: Main Drawbacks of a Forex Trader

Why is it that very few traders succeed in the Forex trading environment while the grand majority of traders fail to achieve success? Although there is no hard answer to this question, there are a few things that will put you one step ahead and will definitely put the odds in your favor.
The main purpose of this article is to guide you through some important aspects of Forex trading. But in a different way, instead of telling you what to do or the best way to do it, it will tell you what to avoid. Sometimes it is better to identify the main drawbacks on a discipline and then isolate them so we have the best results at a certain level of development.
The search for the Holy Grail
Many traders spend years and years trying to find the Holy Grail of trading. That magic indicator or set of indicators, only known by a few traders, that will make them rich in a short period of time.
Fact: Well, there is no magic indicator, nor a set of indicators that will make anyone rich in a short period of time. The main reason of this is because market changes, every single moment is unique. Every Forex trading system will fail from time to time. Our work here is to find a Forex trading system that fits our personality as traders, otherwise the trader will find it hard to follow it.
Looking for Easy Money
Unfortunately most traders are attracted to the Forex market for this reason. Mainly because of the publicity showing or rather trying to show how easy is to trade and make money in the Forex market.
Fact: Yes, it is very easy to trade, anyone can do it. It is as hard as one click. But the second part of it isn't that easy. Making money or achieving consistent profitable results is hard. It requires lots of education, patience, discipline, commitment, and this list could go to infinite. In a few words, it is possible to have consistent profitable results, but definitely it is not easy.
Looking for Excitement
Some other traders are attracted to the Forex market or any other financial market because they think it is exciting to be a trader.
Fact: Yes, it is very exciting to trade the Forex market. But if this is the main reason you are still trading the Forex market, sooner or later you will discover the most expensive adventure you have ever known. Do some thinking on it.
Not Using Money Management.
Most traders forget about this important aspect of trading. They think they shouldn't be using money management until they achieve consistent profitable results. They totally forget about the risk side of trading.
Fact: Money management allows your profits to increase geometrically, but also limits your risk on every single trade. Money management tells you how much to risk on each trade. Using money management is a must if you want to achieve your trading goals. By using money management you make sure you are going to be able to trade tomorrow, the next week, month and the following years.
Not Being Psychology Tuned
This is one of the most underestimated subjects when it comes to trading. One of the main principles of financial markets is that the price of each instrument is based on the perception of each individual participant "the crowd." In other words the price of each instrument is determined by the fear, greed, ego and hope of all traders.
Fact: Being aware of all psychological issues that affect the decisions made by traders will definitely put the odds in your favor.
Lack of Education
Education is the base of knowledge on every discipline. As lawyers and doctors require several years of college until they get their degree, Forex traders also require long years of study. It is better to have someone experienced to guide you through your trading, since some information could take you in the wrong path.
Fact: The market teaches us invaluable lessons on every single trade made. The process of education for a Forex trader could take for ever. That's right, we never stop learning. We should be humble about the markets and our knowledge; otherwise the market will prove us wrong.
These are some of the most important barriers every trader faces when trying to trade successfully.
Trading successfully the Forex markets is no easy task, it requires a lot of hard work to do it right, but with the right education, you will put yourself closer to your trading goals.
by Raul Lopez

What Is Forex Trading?

Forex trading is nothing more than direct access trading of different types of foreign currencies. In the past, foreign exchange trading was mostly limited to large banks and institutional traders. However recent technological advancements have made it so that small traders can also take advantage of the many benefits of forex trading just by using the various online trading platforms to trade.
The currencies of the world are on a floating exchange rate, and they are always traded in pairs. About 85 percent of all daily transactions involve trading of the major currencies. Four major currency pairs are usually used for investment purposes. They are: Euro against US dollar (EUR/USD), US dollar against Japanese yen (USD/JPY), British pound against US dollar (GBP/USD) and US dollar against Swiss franc (USD/CHF).
If you think one currency will appreciate against another, you may exchange that second currency for the first one and be able to "stay" in it. If everything goes as you plan it, eventually you may be able to make the opposite deal in that you may exchange this first currency back for that other and then collect profits from it. As a note bear in mind that no dividends are paid on currencies.
Transactions on the FOREX market are performed by dealers at major banks or FOREX brokerage companies. FOREX is a necessary part of the worldwide market, so when you are sleeping in the comfort of your bed, the dealers in Europe are trading currencies with their Japanese counterparts. Therefore, the FOREX market is active 24 hours a day and dealers at major institutions are working 24/7 in three different shifts. Clients may place take-profit and stop-loss orders with brokers for overnight execution. Price movements on the FOREX market are very smooth and without the gaps that you face almost every morning on the stock market. The daily turnover on the FOREX market is somewhere around $1.2 trillion, so a new investor can enter and exit positions without any problems.
The fact is that the FOREX market never stops; even on September 11, 2001 you could still get your hands on two-side quotes on currencies. The currency market is the largest and oldest financial market in the world. It is also called the foreign exchange market or FX market for short. It is the biggest and most liquid market in the world, and it is traded mostly through the 24 hour-a-day inter-bank currency market.
When you compare them, you will see that the currency futures market is only one per cent as big. Unlike the futures and stock markets, trading currencies is not centered on an exchange. Trading moves from major banking centers of the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand, to the Far East, to Europe and finally back to the U.S. it is truly a full circle trading game. In the past, the forex inter-bank market was not available to small speculators because of the large minimum transaction sizes and strict financial requirements. Banks, major currency dealers and sometimes even very large speculator were the principal dealers. Only they were able to take advantage of the currency market's fantastic liquidity and strong trending nature of many of the world's primary currency exchange rates.
Today, foreign exchange market brokers are able to break down the larger sized inter-bank units, and offer small traders like you and me the opportunity to buy or sell any number of these smaller units. These brokers give any size trader, including individual speculators or smaller companies, the option to trade at the same rates and price movements as the big players who once dominated the market.
by David Morrison

The 6 Advantages Forex Trading Has Over Other Investments

There are many different advantages to trading forex instead of futures or stocks, such as:
1. Lower Margin
Just like futures and stock speculation, a forex trader has the ability to control a large amount of the currency basically by putting up a small amount of margin. However, the margin requirements that are needed for trading futures are usually around 5% of the full value of the holding, or 50% of the total value of the stocks, the margin requirements for forex is about 1%. For example, margin required to trade foreign exchange is $1000 for every $100,000. What this means is that trading forex, a currency trader's money can play with 5-times as much value of product as a futures trader's, or 50 times more than a stock trader's. When you are trading on margin, this can be a very profitable way to create an investment strategy, but it's important that you take the time to understand the risks that are involved as well. You should make sure that you fully understand how your margin account is going to work. You will want to be sure that you read the margin agreement between you and your clearing firm. You will also want to talk to your account representative if you have any questions.
The positions that you have in your account could be partially or completely liquidated on the chance that the available margin in your account falls below a predetermined amount. You may not actually get a margin call before your positions are liquidated. Because of this, you should monitor your margin balance on a regular basis and utilize stop-loss orders on every open position to limit downside risk.
2. No Commission and No Exchange Fees
When you trade in futures, you have to pay exchange and brokerage fees. Trading forex has the advantage of being commission free. This is far better for you. Currency trading is a worldwide inter-bank market that lets buyers to be matched with sellers in an instant.
Even though you do not have to pay a commission charge to a broker to match the buyer up with the seller, the spread is usually larger than it is when you are trading futures. For example, if you were trading a Japanese Yen/US Dollar pair, forex trade would have about a 3 point spread (worth $30). Trading a JY futures trade would most likely have a spread of 1 point (worth $10) but you would also be charged the broker's commission on top of that. This price could be as low as $10 in-and-out for self-directed online trading, or as high as $50 for full-service trading. It is however, all inclusive pricing though. You are going to have to compare both online forex and your specific futures commission charge to see which commission is the greater one.
3. Limited Risk and Guaranteed Stops
When you are trading futures, your risk can be unlimited. For example, if you thought that the prices for Live Cattle were going to continue their upward trend in December 2003, just before the discovery of Mad Cow Disease found in US cattle. The price for it after that fell dramatically, which moved the limit down several days in a row. You would not have been able to leave your position and this could have wiped out the entire equity in your account as a result. As the price just kept on falling, you would have been obligated to find even more money to make up the deficit in your account.
4. Rollover of Positions
When futures contracts expire, you have to plan ahead if you are going to rollover your trades. Forex positions expire every two days and you need to rollover each trade just so that you can stay in your position.
5. 24-Hour Marketplace
With futures, you are generally limited to trading only during the few hours that each market is open in any one day. If a major news story breaks out when the markets are closed, you will not have a way of getting out of it until the market reopens, which could be many hours away. Forex, on the other hand, is a 24/5 market. The day begins in New York, and follows the sun around the globe through Europe, Asia, Australia and back to the US again. You can trade any time you like Monday-Friday.
6. Free market place
Foreign exchange is perhaps the largest market in the world with an average daily volume of US$1.4 trillion. That is 46 times as large as all the futures markets put together! With the huge number of people trading forex around the globe, it is very hard for even governments to control the price of their own currency.
by David Morrison