Forex Trading: a Beginner's Guide The forex market is the world's largest international currency trading market operating non-stop during the working week. Most forex trading is done by professionals such as bankers. Generally forex trading is done through a forex broker - but there is nothing to stop anyone trading currencies. Forex currency trading allows buyers and sellers to buy the currency they need for their business and sellers who have earned currency to exchange what they have for a more convenient currency. The world's largest banks dominate forex and according to a survey in The Wall Street Journal Europe, the ten most active traders who are engaged in forex trading account for almost 73% of trading volume. However, a sizeable proportion of the remainder of forex trading is speculative with traders building up an investment which they wish to liquidate at some stage for profit. While a currency may increase or decrease in value relative to a wide range of currencies, all forex trading transactions are based upon currency pairs. So, although the Euro may be 'strong' against a basket of currencies, traders will be trading in just one currency pair and may simply concern themselves with the Euro/US Dollar ( EUUSD) ratio. Changes in relative values of currencies may be gradual or triggered by specific events such as are unfolding at the time of writing this - the toxic debt crisis. Because the markets for currencies are global, the volumes traded every day are vast. For the large corporate investors, the great benefits of trading on Forex are:
Enormous liquidity - over $4 trillion per day, that's $4,000,000,000. This means that there's always someone ready to trade with you
Every one of the world's free currencies are traded - this means that you may trade the currency you want at any time
Twenty four - hour trading during the 5-day working week
Operations are global which mean that you can trade with any part of the world at any time
From the point of view of the smaller trader there's lots of benefits too, such as:
A rapidly-changing market - that's one which is always changing and offering the chance to make money
Very well developed mechanisms for controlling risk
Ability to go long or short - this means that you can make money either in rising or falling markets
Leverage trading - meaning that you can benefit from large-volume trading while having a relatively-low capital base
Lots of options for zero-commission trading
How the forex Market Works As forex is all about foreign exchange, all transactions are made up from a currency pair - say, for instance, the Euro and the US Dollar. The basic tool for trading forex is the exchange rate which is expressed as a ratio between the values of the two currencies such as EUUSD = 1.4086. This value, which is referred to as the 'forex rate' means that, at that particular time, one Euro would be worth 1.4086 US Dollars. This ratio is always expressed to 4 decimal places which means that you could see a forex rate of EUUSD = 1.4086 or EUUSD = 1.4087 but never EUUSD = 1.40865. The rightmost digit of this ratio is referred to as a 'pip'. So, a change from EUUSD = 1.4086 to EUUSD = 1.4088 would be referred to as a change of 2 pips. One pip, therefore is the smallest unit of trade. With the forex rate at EUUSD = 1.4086, an investor purchasing 1000 Euros using dollars would pay $1,408.60. If the forex rate then changed to EUUSD = 1.5020, the investor could sell their 1000 Euros for $1,502.00 and bank the $93.40 as profit. If this doesn't seem to be large amount to you, you have to put the sum into context. With a rising or falling market, the forex rate does not simply change in a uniform way but oscillates and profits can be taken many times per day as a rate oscillates around a trend. When you're expecting the value EUUSD to fall, you might trade the other way by selling Euros for dollars and buying then back when the forex rate has changed to your advantage. Is forex Risky? When you trade on forex as in any form of currency trading, you're in the business of currency speculation and it is just that - speculation. This means that there is some risk involved in forex currency trading as in any business but you might and should, take steps to minimise this. You can always set a limit to the downside of any trade, that means to define the maximum loss that you are prepared to accept if the market goes against you - and it will on occasions. The best insurance against losing your shirt on the forex market is to set out to understand what you're doing totally. Search the internet for a good forex trading tutorial and study it in detail- a bit of good forex education can go a long way!. When there's bits you don't understand, look for a good forex trading forum and ask lots and lots of questions. Many of the people who habitually answer your queries on this will have a good forex trading blog and this will probably not only give you answers to your questions but also provide lots of links to good sites. Be vigilant, however, watch out for forex trading scams. Don't be too quick to part with your money and investigate anything very well before you shell out any hard-earned! The forex Trading Systems While you may be right in being cautious about any forex trading system that's advertised, there are some good ones around. Most of them either utilise forex charts and by means of these, identify forex trading signals which tell the trader when to buy or sell. These signals will be made up of a particular change in a forex rate or a trend and these will have been devised by a forex trader who has studied long-term trends in the market so as to identify valid signals when they occur. Many of the systems will use forex trading software which identifies such signals from data inputs which are gathered automatically from market information sources. Some utilise automated forex trading software which can trigger trades automatically when the signals tell it to do so. If these sound too good to be true to you, look around for online forex trading systems which will allow you undertake some dummy trading to test them out. by doing this you can get some forex trading training by giving them a spin before you put real money on the table. How Much do you Need to Start off with? This is a bit of a 'How long is a piece of string?' question but there are ways for to be beginner to dip a toe into the water without needing a fortune to start with. The minimum trading size for most trades on forex is usually 100,000 units of any currency and this volume is referred to as a standard "lot". However, there are many firms which offer the facility to purchase in dramatically-smaller lots than this and a bit of internet searching will soon locate these. There's many adverts quoting only a couple of hundred dollars to get going! You will often see the term acciones trading forex and this is just a general term which covers the small guy trading forex. Small-scale trading facilities such as these are often called as forex mini trading. Where do You Start? The single most obvious answer is of course - on the internet! Online forex trading gives you direct access to the forex market and there's lots and lots of companies out there who are in business just to deal with you online. Be vigilant, do spend the time to get some good forex trading education, again this can be provided online and set up your dummy account to trade before you attempt to go live. If you take care and take your time, there's no reason why you shouldn't be successful in forex trading so, have patience and stick at it!
Hey all, First time poster, long time lurker. Just learning until I think of useful/interesting post. I just finished Babypips school. No this isn’t another, “What do I do next?!” eager to consume posts. More just introducing myself and share methods as I progress and chat more in this sub. It’s been a super helpful research tool with just the sidebar alone, but the interactions are also generally positive and research engaged. Forex was on my list of active/sidehobby/internet ideas to try. (Along with selling on Ebay and learning/teaching languages) I’ve always been into stocks/finance and I’m open still open to continuing learning past forex into futures and/or cryptocurrency. Forex to me is kind of an intro to price action and charts for me. Also the physics of it all that I’m hoping to apply more as time goes on. Anyways , started forex 2 years ago. Saw I needed disposable income you could lose (which I didnt have at the time) and put it off. Now I’m about 3 months in with my rediscovery of it with a lot more financial cushion/discipline.I finished the babypips school and try to practice 25-45 mins a day of something forex related the last 90 days or so. Here is my routine and some things I”ve learned since starting. Demo Trading is overrated. And then it becomes the best thing ever. I’m gunna just go out and say it. IF you’re trading for 9 months on demo you should’ve stopped 8 months ago. I mean don’t get me wrong 9 months, that shows alot of persistence in your habits, but you’re spending time on a variable that doesn’t exchange certainty in the real system. I only even say this because you could be like me. Trade demo all this time then find out the leverage you wanted isn’t even available in your country. (U.S here) So I felt like a dummy from the jump, but that’s part of the learning curve you should be doing sooner rather than later. This does not mean fund your account fully. No, put just $200. I trade with my initial capitol @ $200 and I won’t add a penny more until I’ve developed a profitable system with what’s already in there. A good investment is a good investment and throwing more money doesn’t actually add value to the growth return on your investment.(In most cases) So what’s the big deal with Demo? Well for one you want to work with a system that’s tangible in your country. U.S is capped at 1:50 leverage. I don’t know other countries regulations but it’s something I wish someone told me to look out for before I started testing financial strategies. Another thing is the spreads are often very different from what you find in demo (attention scalpers out there) sometimes dramatically. (After NY close of the day /Weekends ) You have to implement all of these factors to your strategy. Now what is demo good for? Starting out! Learning how to set indicators, trades, stop losses and so on. I’d say 60 days max if you can’t donate much time. Even less than 60 days if you have more free time but then after that it’s time to get your feet wet. One other good thing about demo accounts is that it allows you to practice fundamentally different trading ideas out before trying them out on your actual account. An example would be a scalper trying a new position strategy he learned in demo to set some long term positions next year. I enjoy trading because it’s a discipline on your anxiety. When you deposit your first amount, any amount that's more than a new video game or dvd collection, your brain is going to fire off “Hey you bought something new that can make money let’s test it out! It could be making you money” You have to calm this voice first. IF you even can. This voice makes you check the charts 3x more than you did in demo and caused at least me to trade just so the money’s not going to waste. I lost 40% of my account the first week. I would’ve called myself mentally stable before this too. But that voice broke me and you have to confront it because it’s the impatience in all of us and causes you to force your view of the markets to fit your system. Demo is a great tool but shouldnt be held on longer than it’s purpose. Immersion This is going to be a little shorter than my last topic because this is more something everyone has to find and listen to. Don’t just study the same website or forum for forex everyday. Try to get a wide view of the financial markets as a whole and various media input. Subscribe to a couple good youtube channels maybe a visual representation of what you’ve been learning could help solidify it. Maybe a podcasts personality makes your brain react differently to topics where a bland textbook reading didnt excite you the same. Watch a documentary on trading one week and hell maybe even Wolf of Wall Street another week, whatever it is that gets your whole body involved in the feeling of trading so 1) you don’t get burned out on the topic and 2) you find more ways to connect with the information you find. Whether emotional or visually. Here are two recommendations of channels that help me break the norm of my study routine: “Two Blokes Trading” Podcast I discovered these guys a while back in a comment thread. I would recommend this podcast to beginners because you can start from the very beginning of their series and learn with them. They’re young, enthusiastic and open to exploring alot of areas to trading and different philosophies. So sometimes you can find gems in subjects you didn’t expect to encounter. They also bring in advisors and brokerage managers to feature on their subjects. And it’s not all forex focused. Check them out: http://twoblokestrading.com/podcast-episodes/ Barry Burns “Top Dog Trading” Barry Burns I like because you have him walking you through the charts on youtube. One of the few videos I watched on Price action were by him where the lightbulb went off. He offers a great free resource and sometimes I even feel guilty getting it on youtube for free before sharing it because it feels like the things he touches on and how he explains them, even paid classes probably couldn’t get right. He has so many videos on different markets and how to read them just apply them to the type of trader you are. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcjyImdSWDTCGCa7G24faIQ Routine ( final topic on this post) So every week I try to keep a basic routine of forex and ways to practice. I try to wake up early as I’m on the Pacific Coast so I get up 2 hours early before I have to head to work. 20-30 mins of this time I do something related to forex education. The rest of the time I gather my foundation for the week and arrange goals / meditate/ journal. I’ll look at the charts, when I still had Babypips to finish I’d set a time and study through what I could of the course through that time. Now that I’m finished I’ll either check this sub, watch a video/podcast or try to read something related fundamentally to trading or finance. (I’d like to get some more book ideas about trading and it’s psychology) So that’s one habit. You’ve got to be able to at least schedule 20-45 minutes a day to consistent study + practice time to acquire new skills. 20 minutes uninterrupted is enough. Wake up early if you have to. Then throughout the day you’ll find time to reflect or research more and soon the time will start to add up. This also works on the other extreme too. If you have alot of free time I’d say starting out 1 hour to 2 hours max is what you should dedicate to studying. Forex is a very mentally fatiguing process skill. You’ve got to let your brain recharge (need those MP potions it seems) the whole currency system is heavy and complex enough that starting from scratch you couldn’t learn everything in 24 hours straight. I’d say even a week straight wouldn’t work. It takes time and a habitual familiarity. It’s not dissimilar to learning a language. Where concepts become stacked on a foundation of understanding to be acted upon through your day to day. Even if you can name all the working parts, experience build with how much time you think in that language per day. There’s a reason I chose the word “Immersion” for my second topic. Moving along. Another part of my routine is backtesting 40-50 trades a week of my strongest system. This equates to a little under 10 trades a day. I completely journal and track profits like they were live. Some suggest using a simulator, while that is a great practice for timing entries, I’ve found just using the Metatrader 4 Desktop and using the F12 key to progress forward one tick at a time has been sufficient for my backtesting needs. Backtesting gives you an opportunity to practice way more trades in a week than live session will be able to provide. I’m using M15 - H1 intraday strategies and maybe pull off 5-6 trades a week. BUT I practice 10x that amount per week. Soon you’ll find your live performance is really only a display of how your last week backtesting went. It’s like football practice for the gameday. Now which system I test varies, like I said I’ll try my strongest, but that changes. Just grab any system you think you can pull off and backtest it. Babypips gave me my first few, then I created some ridiculous ones, but over time your experience of a system and how to get them to work for you grows by running test trades. Systems I’ve found and backtested that are online are: the “So Easy It’s Ridiculous” system and the Cowabunga System, both found on babypips and a simple google search. Easy. I know, and really a system is just supposed to make having trading decisions easier for you. But your participation and exit are equally important. Can you follow easy rules you or others make? No questions asked? So that concludes my post. I hope in the future when I’ve backtested 1,000 trades I can post some of my personal systems I’ve followed, right now they feel to amateur to even share. I am the humble fool, so any ideas on my style or feedback on where I should head are greatly appreciated. I’m open to questions and dialogue so feel free to send a PM or comment. Hearing from other traders is the reason I even started this account to post and interact. This post and future ones I have planned are kind of a new element I wanted to try of journaling that allows me some social accountability and feedback from a community rather than all my entries being hoarded in my notebooks, so my apologies if it’s more wordy than usual on here. Thanks everyone and have fun! -AP TL:DR Just browse over the bold sections
Hey everyone, first things first - I've already read through the sidebar & have done plenty o' research on my own. I started trading in April, worked with a coach all summer, and have been daytrading with a PDT account since August. I'm looking into expanding or switching to forex, and I'm hoping some of you could provide me with some insight into a few concepts. I've been papertrading w/ ToS this past week to see how applicable my strategy is. Before you tear me apart for using a demo account - this is the first demo account I've used, and I've built up enough emotional scar tissue to where money is now just numbers on a screen to me. I had a mild, big loss + stress fueled breakdown in September and had to take a brief sabbatical to contemplate and consider my life's path (a few days of heavy drinking, a few more of sobering up, and a week of self reflection), but I got all that figured out so yeah... Anyway!
Has anyone done real trading with TD Ameritrade? I already have an account with them so it would be sooo nice if I didn't have to open ANOTHER brokerage account (it would be #5 for me... too many to keep track of). In addition, I'm 20, so I'm not able to trade Forex with IB. Once I turn 21 I'll obviously be moving to them. For now, though, TD sounds alright because I know ToS inside and out, I've had an account with them for years, and the spread doesn't seem too bad as it's usually about 1 pip.
Is there an accurate, reliable, real-time source for volume data? Volume is of course a pretty important part of trading, but as far as I can tell, most brokers only provide volume data for trades placed through their system. I understand that this is a result of the lack of a central forex market, so what can I do to compensate? Is there an aggregation service that pulls volume from multiple sources? Or do I have to rely on volume approximations based on spread, time of day, ticks, etc?
Is there any sort of L2 for Forex? Again, a decentralized exchange problem.
For those who are profitable - what's your average hold time? I try to keep it under a day, and that's always worked for me.
Again, for those who are profitable - what's your thing? Order flow? Price action? TA? Not looking for specific strategies, just a general view of what works.
Has anyone made the switch from stocks to Forex? What was your experience like? How much did you have to learn/relearn to adjust to the FX market?
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