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Be very cautious about proceeding, especially when cooperating with third parties. Looking to trade specifically in CFDs? Advertising Disclosure: We may earn a referral bonus for anyone that clicks on some of the below links - see our Advertising Policy for more details. Your free guide to foreign exchange trading, thanks to BlackBull Markets BlackBull Markets is a multi-award-winning foreign exchange broker, founded, owned, and operated in New Zealand.
For more details, read our Blackbull Markets Review or visit their website. The pairs currencies are traded in are standardised. In the simplest sense, to make money trading forex, you need to predict which of the two currencies in a trading pair will appreciate against the other. The rate changes because either one of the currencies appreciated, or one of them depreciated, or appreciation and depreciation occurred concurrently. Many more factors are involved in a forex trade, such as leverage, commissions, spreads, swaps, margin, and more.
You'll also lose money if the currency you believe will rise later falls. How much you lose depends on how much it falls before you decide to sell your position. Most foreign exchange traders run multiple trades at once and monitor the performance of all the positions to maximise the profits. However, the process is high risk. Types of Forex Contracts. CFDs are the most popular, as they have the simplest settlement terms, do not have expiry dates to be concerned with, and are more flexible in terms of position sizing.
CFDs let you speculate on a change in the value of a foreign exchange rate. If you expect the rate to increase, you enter a long buy position. Conversely, if you expect the rate to fall, then you enter a short sell position. When you close the CFD, the difference between the entry price is settled immediately, by adding or removing funds from your account balance.
Futures allow you to lock in a fixed rate for an asset you want to buy or sell at some point in the future hence the name futures. Futures can be settled in cash, similar to a CFD. They also offer the option to receive a physical settlement. Options trading revolves around the concept of a premium, which determines how much you win or lose when the contract expires. Moreover, you have the option hence the name option to take delivery of the underlying asset, i.
Forex trading is a cost-effective way to get considerable exposure to the currency markets. However, if you lose money, it can be very expensive. When it comes to CFDs, futures and options, our view is that CFDs have the simplest mechanics and the easiest to understand. The commission is a fee charged for opening and closing a position. Brokers show commissions in various formats. In forex, a lot is , units of the base currency.
Most brokers allow you to trade mini lots 0. If you place a trade for 0. It is prorated for every trade you make, and the calculation is as follows: 0. The commission will be charged again later when closing the trade; however, it could be more or less depending on the exchange rate and value of the position when closing. The spread is the difference between the bid and the ask price. Spreads are important because the wider the spread, the further the price has to move before you reach break-even.
Swaps are only charged if you hold a position overnight. In this case, overnight means 5 pm on the East Coast of the United States. How much will I pay? The swap rate is derived from interest rate differentials between the two currencies. As interest rates change over time, so do the swap rates. Understand Margin, Leverage and Drawdown. Leverage is the fundamental characteristic that makes forex trading so appealing and dangerous.
Essentially what this means is your buying power can be multiplied by five-hundred. While that sounds extraordinary, it can be catastrophic if not used responsibly. Margin When you open a position in your trading account, part of your balance is reserved as margin and reduces your buying power.
How much margin is needed depends on how much leverage is being used and the size of the position. The higher the leverage, the lower the margin requirements. Drawdown is important because it consumes the margin used to keep your position open.
If the sum of the drawdown and margin used to maintain the position falls below a certain level, the position will be forcibly closed. Calculating margin requirements of a forex trade. Now suppose the price falls to 0. How a forex CFD trade works. When you trade forex, there are always two prices, a bid and ask price. When you go long, i. Whereas when you go short, i. There is almost always a gap between the bid and ask prices, which as stated earlier, is known as the spread. As you buy in the ask and sell on the bid, should you open a position and immediately close it without the prices changing, you would be at a loss; hence why the spread is considered a cost.
Example Here is an example showing the mechanics of a long and short forex transaction for 0. It consists of an opening order and a closing order:. The position was held for two days. Therefore, swaps were charged on both positions. A forex CFD position consists of two trades, opening trade and a closing trade, hence why a commission is charged twice. The profit and loss of the two CFDs were calculated in the following way: Long trade: 36, The fees reduce profits and increase losses.
Is forex trading for beginners? Any FX trader will need to have the experience to know when to place and how to manage trades. It means having a thorough understanding of risk management and reliable technical analysis methodologies, which comes from practice, rather than just studying. For every trade made, there is always a winner and a loser. The Financial Markets Authority has a published detailed guide on forex trading. We agree with their sentiments about the high-risk nature and the regular occurrence of scams.
Within a day, forex prices can move significantly. The larger your position, the larger impact small movements can have on your margin. Forex trading is not the same as investing in an asset like shares. Unlike investing in assets like shares , where your profit and loss correlate to the share price, if your forex trade is too large, the market may only need to move one cent to wipe out your entire trading account balance.
On the right side, we have our counter currency sometimes this is referred to as the quote currency. The exchange rate is 1. Now, when we buy a currency pair our expectation is that the base currency Euro in this example is going to increase in value, and the counter currency USD will depreciate.
The opposite holds true when we sell. A good way to remember this is to think, you have to look down at a short person, so going short must mean you think the market is going down! And then Long must be the opposite by the process of elimination. Going long buying , we expect the base currency to strengthen while the counter currency weakens - all at the same time relative to each other.
Alternatively, going long means a trader has a positive sentiment about the future and is bullish. Going short , we expect the base currency to weaken while the counter currency strengthens - all at the same time relative to each other. Now in terms of the actual exchange rate number, this is where it becomes really simple and all comes together. When longing we want the exchange rate to go up, and when shorting we want the exchange rate to go down. This is the bid and ask price.
The difference between those two prices is known as the spread. The reason these 2 prices exist is that this is one of the ways the brokerage makes money. What is Bid? In other words, the price at which you can sell the base currency, and buy the quote currency. What is Ask? In other words, the price at which you can buy the base currency, and sell the quote currency. What is Spread? You may notice, the price at which you can buy at ask is higher than the price at which you can sell at bid.
This mechanism means as soon as you click that buy button you will instantly be in a very small loss. The same holds true when you short. That small loss is 3 pips, or 0. They are a business after all Essentially a derivative of the actual asset itself.
This has excellent benefits, as it allows you to instantly buy and sell forex pairs, without having to own a massive safety deposit box to store all your cash! Can I still trade? Yes, you can by trading on margin and using something called leverage. One of the key benefits of trading CFDs is the ability for you to trade on margin. The easiest way to explain this is by breaking down margin into its components:. The initial margin is what you initially deposit into your trading account at the beginning.
It's essentially the collateral you place against a trade , to give the broker confidence you have the funds to open larger positions. Imagine this as a deposit you put on a house, so the bank knows you're serious about buying a house. In forex, this deposit if your initial margin, and gives the broker a sign that you're serious about open some trades.
The margin requirement is the amount your broker requires in order for you to open a. This is usually expressed as a percentage and is also known as leverage when expressed as a ratio. As a trader, this means you can hugely amplify your returns, but at the same time amplify the losses. He really knew his stuff that guy. It should all start to make a little bit more sense now on how money is made when trading forex.
The powerful tools of leverage and CFD's combined make trading one of the most profitable vehicles you can choose to drive. But before we can start making those returns, we need a plan. This will be your forex trading strategy A forex trading strategy is a plan you make to build a money-making portfolio. A good forex trading strategy will answer the following questions, no more and no less:.
The aim of the game is to try and predict which currency will gain strength and increase relative to another currency. In forex those questions can be replaced with the following steps:. In this step traders will determine the value of each currency, to determine if you want to buy it or sell it, based on its fundamental value. In this step traders check the current price, and historical price of the forex pair and compare it against your value calculation. If its below value, buy, if its above value, sell!
In this step traders will work out at what price they're willing to take their profits, or minimise losses. A forex strategy must have a structured plan that encompasses valuation, optimisation and risk management, in a quick and easy fashion every week. To understand this, we need to look at something called fundamental analysis. This is where we consider a variety of economic variables to determine the supply and demand of a currency.
Simply, how much money is there in circulation in the economy. Each currency is backed by an economic region or country. Therefore, what we want to do is take a deep look into how well that economic region is doing to decide whether we want to buy or sell their currency. A lot of traders use things like a macro currency strength meter to do this for them, as it's not an easy task to do alone.
The first step to answering the questions of "what" we want to buy or sell, is to change the question to:. There are 6 key factors to consider:. These 6 broad categories are essentially how global macro traders, from investment banks, right the way to your stay-at-home novice value a currency. Once analysed, this will tell us, in the future, if there will be an increase or decrease in the supply of the currency for a particular region.
Then from this, we can answer our original question of "what" we want to buy or sell by understanding the basic principles of supply and demand theory The theory of supply and demand suggest the amounts of goods and services available for people to buy in comparison to the amount of goods and services that people want to buy. I think the best way to explain this is with a little example:. Once upon a time, in a small town, there was a Gold mine.
The miners were working for 2 weeks and found an almost infinite amount of gold, and it was easily accessible to the whole town. In this town, there was a massive "supply" of gold. As the gold was so easily available, the "demand" for gold was quite low. This made it cheap. Day After a month, there was a storm, and it flooded the mines, washing away all the gold that the village had, leaving a small stockpile that was in the Mayor's house. Gold has now become scarce, and the "supply" has become restricted.
As the gold was no longer easily available, the "demand" for gold has drastically increased. This made it a lot more desirable and more expensive. There are 2 rules we can gain from our story:. This same principle applies to currencies. By using our fundamental analysis, we can determine the supply and demand of the currency, and by net effect, its value.
And just like that, we know "what" we want to buy and sell, and "why" we're doing it The most powerful trading strategy there is and is used by nearly all investment banks and you soon enough you'll be using it too budding forex trader. But Marcus, how do we know whether there is more or less money in circulation? The trick is to use a scoring system for each economical variable which makes it easier for us to interpret the data. This is essentially what a macro currency strength meter would do to make it really easy.
Our macro currency strength meter has already considered if there is more or less money in circulation for the United States and Japan. It then computes the currency score on a scale of to on how strong or weak the currency is dependant on this. If we have a strong positive score for a currency, we would want to buy it the currency is in low supply, more demand. If we have a weak negative score for a currency, we would want to sell it the currency is in more supply, and less demand.
If you'd like to learn this in a bit more detail, we have a free web-class breaking it all down simply here. Now we know what we're doing, and why we're doing it The best traders answer this is with a traffic light system based on the current market sentiment :. If the market is against you - don't enter.
If it is neutral - wait longer. If it is supporting you - enter now. The question is, how do we know if the market is with or against us? The way we know this is by reading something called the Commitments of Traders Report, which is released once a week by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. This report tells you whether the Hedge Funds are also buying the U. If they disagree we don't enter and wait. We care about what the Hedge Funds are buying and selling as they have the exact same objective as forex traders:.
The difference between a Hedge Fund and your stay-at-home forex trader is that they have a lot more buying power. This means when they place trades, it gives the market "fuel" to push and influence the trade in your favor.
Think of it like this, if the hedge funds disagree with you, don't enter your trade. It doesn't mean your trade idea is wrong, it's just the wrong time. The rocket ship is just fuelling up before liftoff. Your job is to wait till it's ready! It's one of the most powerful trading tools traders will ever use to make money trading forex. If you'd like to learn how analyse the COT report so you can use this powerful timing tool, we have a full guide here.
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