Beginner’s Overview of Foreign Currency Exchange

Foreign currency exchange trading can be very rewarding, but can also be very intimidating to a beginner. To get started, you will need to know some basics:

1. What is foreign currency exchange?
2. How is it traded?
3. What are the benefits?
4. What are the risks?
5. How can I get started?

What is Foreign Currency Exchange?

The Foreign currency exchange (FOREX) market is a cash (or “spot”) market for currency. Unlike the stock exchange, the FOREX market is not located on a trading floor or centralized on an exchange. Instead, it is entirely electronic within a network of banks and runs 24 hours per day Sunday evening (5:00 pm EST) through Friday evening (4:00 pm EST), excluding some holidays. The fact that it is all electronic means that you can tap into it from your computer.

How is it traded?

FOREX is traded in currency pairs, for example EUR/USD is the Euro base currency and the US dollar counter (or quote) currency. There are six major pairs: EUR/USD, GBP/USD (Great Britian pound vs. US dollar), USD/JPY (US dollar vs. Japanese yen), USD/CAD (US dollar vs. Canadian dollar), AUD/USD (Australian dollar vs. US dollar), and USD/CHF (US dollar vs. Swiss Franc).

Currencies are traded in dollar amounts called lots. For a “standard” account, one lot (called a standard lot) is $1,000 and controls $100,000 in currency. For example, when you place an order to buy one lot of EUR/USD, you are buying the EUR and simultaneously selling the USD. The margin you must put up to place the order is $1000 (for a standard lot). You are going long the EUR and expecting it to strengthen against the USD. For every increase of $0.0001 in the EUR, you make one “pip” (price interest point) equivalent to $10 per lot traded.

Similarly, for a “mini-account” when you place an order to sell one mini-lot (one-tenth of a standard lot) of EUR/USD, you are selling the EUR and simultaneously buying the USD. You are going short the EUR and expecting it to weaken against the USD. The margin requirement is $100.00 per mini-lot. For every decrease in the EUR of $0.0001 you make one pip equivalent to $1 per mini-lot traded.

Note that unlike trading stocks, there are absolutely no restrictions on short-selling in FOREX. Short-selling is exactly like buying – except that you’re selling of course.

The pip value and amount per pip per lot differs when the USD is not the counter or quote currency. For example, when buying the USD/JPY pair with a ask price of 109.00 (meaning 1 USD equals 109.00 yen), a change in the Japanese yen of 0.01 yen is equivalent to 1 pip or $9.17 per pip per lot traded ($9.17 = $100,000 x 0.01 / 109.00).

The broker makes money off the spread which is the difference in the quotation ask and bid prices. You buy the base currency at the ask price and sell it at the bid price. Generally, the major currency pairs have relatively low spreads. The EUR/USD is commonly two to three pips and the GPD/USD is commonly four to five pips. For example, the current bid/ask price for EUR/USD is quoted at 1.2322/1.2324. This means that you can buy 1 EUR (the base currency) for $1.2324 USD (the counter-currency). You buy at the ask price. You can sell 1 EUR for $1.2322 USD (you sell at the bid price). You will pay the broker the spread or $1.2324 – $1.2322 = $0.0002 = 2 pips. For a standard lot, the broker fee (in this example) is $10 x 2 pips = $20 per standard lot for a roundtrip trade (1 buy and matching sell or 1 sell and matching buy). For a mini-lot, the fee would be $1 x 2 pips = $2 per mini-lot for a roundtrip trade. The broker fee is automatically deducted from your account.

Obviously, if you buy (go long) a currency pair, you expect the base currency to increase in price. Your objective is to sell later at a price higher than you purchased and make a profit. On the flip side, if you sell (go short) a currency pair, you expect the base currency to decrease in price. Your objective is to buy later at a price that is lower than the price you originally sold, and thus make a profit off the difference.

There’s more to it than can be explained in this overview, but you should get the basic idea.

What are the benefits?

1. With FOREX trading, there is no inventory, no employees, and no customers. Your overhead can be as minimal as a home computer with internet access.

2. You can get started with a “mini-account” investing as little as $300.

3. Currency prices tend to repeat in relatively predictable cycles creating strong trends. Once you learn how to trade properly, you can compound your money, and potentially turn a little into a lot.

4. You can trade for a few hours per week, or much more if you want to. It’s all up to you.

5. The FOREX market is very liquid, with trillions of dollars traded every day. On its slowest day, orders can usually be placed within a few seconds if you stay with the major currencies. Instantaneous execution (1 to 2 seconds) is the norm during normal trade volume days (for the major currencies).

6. You can trade from just about anywhere as long as you have a computer with internet access to your account.

What are the risks?

1. The market can be very volatile, especially during times of major news releases, also known as “fundamental announcements.” The time of these announcements is usually known in advance. Many traders simply stay out of the market during these announcements and wait until market volatility has settled back down.

2. If you use too much margin or risk too much on any one trade, your account could suffer badly on a trade that doesn’t go your way. Proper risk management, including sound placement of stops and not risking more than 2 percent of your account on any one trade, can alleviate this risk. Do not risk more money than you can afford to lose.

3. A major world event could trigger a huge volatility swing that could wipe out your account (or even more). However, some brokers limit the loss to the amount in your account. (Of course, a major world event could also cause the trade to go your way.)

4. Trader psychology (fear and greed) can play a big role in your success or failure as a trader. Trading education is one of the keys to overcoming these human flaws.

5. You could fail to place a stop loss with your order. A change in price could force a liquidation of your trade if your account falls below the required margin maintenance. To alleviate this risk, always set a stop loss when you place an order.

This list is not meant to be inclusive. There are other risks.

How can I get started?

You can easily open an online account by selecting one from many available FOREX brokers. You can, and should open a demo account to practice (and learn) for several months for free. The practice account makes simulated trades using real-time data. This is called “paper trading.” You should not trade your real account until you have proven to yourself that you can be profitable in your demo account.

Once you get started, you can trade currencies from just about anywhere. About all you need is a computer with internet access to your trading account. Many brokers also provide free charting software.

The Importance Of Timing In Forex And The Stock Market

When we make money from the Forex we are looking for economic data which will influence the price of currencies. But when we are looking for good companies to invest in on the stock market we have been told to “Buy the blue chips.” “Blue chips” are the big,reliable companies, and obviously these are listed for the most part on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Dow Jones Average is composed of blue chips, and since there are only 30 listed, at the same time that the average has been going up, it might seem a simple matter to toss a coin to see which ones should be bought out of this list of 30.

But let us get down to specific cases: Standard Oil Company of New Jersey is one of the largest, best managed and generally soundest corporations in the United States. Its earnings per share in 1958 were $2.72, in 1959 $2.91 and in 1960 $3.18. From 1957 through 1960 its dividends have been $2.25 per share each year. From the middle of 1957 to the end of 1960 the price trend of this stock was down. It declined from almost 70 to a point below 40.

Another giant on the list of 30 Dow Jones stocks is the highly successful General Electric. From a high in early 1960 of nearly 100, GE plummeted to a level of close to 60 in the spring of 1961 because of the actions of the United States government in connection with price fixing by the corporation.

There is some merit to the classical approach to the valuation of a stock by analyzing the underlying strength and prospects of the company, but this is only * An example of a high yield tax free bond is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Authority 5¾% bond. In 1961 this bond could be bought under 100 to yield almost 6% and this 6% is equal to 12% for a man whose top income is taxed at a rate of 50%.

one of the elements to look at. It, of course, should not be overlooked because in the long run, earnings per share will determine the price of a stock. The only question is, “How long?” While you are holding a sound company’s stock others may be moving up and you want to move up with them.

Determine the earnings trend of the company over the recent four or five years. It should be up in general, but stocks have moved up in price while earnings were declining.

Determine the position of the industry through reading the Wall Street Journal, the financial and business section of The New York Times, the Value Line Investment Survey, and the journals published by every industry and available in any library. The reason Standard Oil of New Jersey was not moving up more rapidly is due to the fact that the outlook for the petroleum industry was not as healthy as some of the other industries.

The most important piece of advice that can be given the investor in stock is that the price of a stock is the direct result of the forces which make the price of anything (stock, commodity or service) demand and supply. For a long time in the spring of 19611 thought GE was a good buy; that it might go up. I questioned a number of brokers and investment bankers about GE. There was a distinct lack of enthusiasm. Since these are the buyers and these are the people who recommend that customers buy the stock, it was evident to me that the demand was not there. It might change very quickly, but until it did I determined to buy other stocks.

It is important to emphasize this point once again: that the price of a stock is the direct result of how much of a stock is offered for sale and what the demand is. We will return later to this point with a striking example.

The next most important piece of advice is that you should buy a stock which is moving up, not one which might move up or one which is moving down and looks as though it might be a bargain. You cannot hope to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. If you try to buy at the bottom you have no assurance that the decline has stopped; and if you try to sell at the top you cannot be certain the rise will not continue. Buy just after a stock has demonstrated its willingness to rise for a few weeks, and sell after about two weeks of decline.

The most foolish piece of philosophizing that an investor can engage in is to say to himself, “I don’t need to worry about the declining trend in the price of my stock. It will come back.” Yes, it may, but when? And if you sold and simply held cash, you might for your cash get far more shares with which to ride the market up again. At the beginning of 1960 Shell Oil was well over 40. By the summer it was down close to 30, and by the spring of 1961 it was close to 45. The downtrend was clear and the uptrend was just as clear. A person could have sold early in the decline and bought early in the rise. My wife, being as good an analyst as I, if not a little better through”intuition,” hit the low point and advised buying at that point. A profit of 50% could have been realized in one year!

Next, follow the market and follow it every few days to determine trend. The closer you are to the market the better you are informed as to what to do. Do not worry about a decline of a few days or a sudden break in the market, no matter how sharp. Worry only about the trend of your stock and the trend of the market.

Use the stop loss order to protect yourself against losses and to provide you with peace of mind. When you purchase stock after careful study and consideration, you may not want to put in an immediate stop loss order which is an order to sell if the stock reaches a particular price below the present market. In the past I have placed stop loss orders, when I bought stock, at about two points under my purchase price. If I bought a stock at 501 put in a stop loss order at 48. Very often the stock went down to 48 and I was sold out. I lost both in the price of the stock and in the commission and tax I had to pay when I bought and when I sold.

Then I had the unhappy experience of seeing my stock rise above 50 and keep on rising. If an investor followed the rule of placing a stop loss order a few points under the purchase price, he could hardly ever purchase a stock that jumps around like O’okiep Copper.

This stock jumps up and down two points during one trading session.

If a stock goes up say 10 points, you may place a stop loss order three or four points under the market. This still prevents a loss and you have already made a good profit in the stock. The strict trailing stop loss order may hurt you not only by getting you out of a rising stock on a minor decline, but the use of trailing stop loss orders by the general investing public damages the market. A slight drop in price of a stock can touch off a series of stop loss orders which lower the price of the stock needlessly.

The major value of having a stock market is the provision of a place in which to buy and a place in which to sell with little delay and at a price which can to a great extent be known in advance. For this reason stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and on the American Stock Exchange offer a great advantage to the investor. He knows where he stands by looking at the daily paper, and he has liquidity. He can get his money out of the stock in a matter of minutes.

With the Forex our money is just as liquid and we stand to make more money in a shorter space of time, and we can put a stop loss to protect our position.

Good software will help us predict future price movements in currencies and help us time our purchases and sales of currencies for maximum profit.

Paper Trading And The Transition To Real Money Trading

Paper trading is widely discussed regarding its merits, and whether it is of value to a trader as they try to make the transition to real money trader. One viewpoint is that since paper trading is not real, the profits are meaningless, and are no indication of real money profitability. An opposite viewpoint would state that paper trading is an important step in the trader’s learning progression, and regardless of whether it is real, if the trader cannot ‘properly’ paper trade, then they will not be able to real money trade.

I began trading in early 1995, with the intentions of becoming an options trader; my first trading education was through an oex options teaching service. Besides options training, the service included ‘tape’ reading, trade management AND sp500 index futures trading – also included in the service was the prevalent attitude that paper trading was for ‘sissies’.

So I was a new trader, trying to learn and understand completely new concepts and ideas – what was called a trading method AND I was ‘practicing’ with real money – because paper trading was for ‘sissies’. What did I accomplish, besides a big draw down in my account? I quickly introduced to trading psychology and the related implications – something else I also knew nothing about. Losing money and a trading psychology ‘wreck’, both from the losses and thoughts like I was too ‘stupid’ to ever learn how to trade, became a combination which took me out of futures trading, and then unfortunately carried over into my options trading which I had previously been doing well with. I just couldn’t take it any more – I had to somehow start all over, or just quit for good.

Paper Trading Viewpoints

Consider: simulator fill prices are not real and won’t be attainable with real money. Even if this is correct, is it really an issue unless the trader intends to be a scalper, trading for very small profits, and thus each tick is critical? Granted, but shouldn’t a beginning trader be very selective, focusing on learning their method and the ‘best’ setups that method provides? This would be my viewpoint, and in this capacity paper trading fill prices are not an issue.

Consider: the trades are being done with no risk. No, there isn’t any financial risk in paper trading, but I actually haven’t met nearly as many profitable paper traders as one might expect. Why would this be the case if being able to trade without risk was such an easy thing to do? As well, what about self-esteem risk, and an attitude like – how can I be so bad that I can’t even paper trade? The risk feelings like these are probably greater than that of financial risk, and if they are going to surface, you would want to encounter them before trading real money. As well, even if the issue was only one of financial risk – wouldn’t you want to begin with the confidence of knowing that you were paper trading profitable? It would be hard to imagine a losing paper trading being able to profitably trade real money.

Consider: there is no emotion involved with paper trading. I was in our chat room watching a paper trader post their trades in order for me to give them feedback, and I noticed that one of their specific plan setups wasn’t done. When I asked why, the trader told me that they were ahead for the day and didn’t want to risk those profits. But the profits aren’t real – how can you not take a ‘base’ method setup when paper trading – isn’t that the point? Would you be in agreement, that if paper trading profits could be viewed in this fashion, that it has the ability to become very real and thus emotional to the trader? I would suggest that this is related to paper trading really not being ‘so easy’, and as mentioned above, self-esteem risk can be very emotional.

Besides examples like this, emotions can be added to the paper trading process. Throw away your simulator, and then go into a chat room and post all of your trades – no ‘youknowwhating’ around where you wait to see if the trade was profitable before you post it, like a number of traders that I have seen. What’s the point, and when you consider the underlying implications of ‘needing’ to do this – the issue certainly isn’t about whether paper trading is of value or not, but certainly best to find out before trading real money. You must post immediately and without lag, giving your direction and entry price, along with subsequent posts of any partial profits, and of course your exit, which ultimately is the determinant of whether the trade was profitable. There is no need to make any comments, or answer any questions regarding your trades – simply post the particulars as fast and real time as possible AND see if you feel any emotions doing this in front of the rest of the room while you go through a series of losses. Do you want to add even more emotions? Go through the same posting process, but do so where the rest of the room actually knows the method that you are trading, and what the trades ‘should’ be. You will quickly find out just how emotional paper trading can be – actually a very valuable exercise for the paper trader to do.

Paper Trading And Making It Further Beneficial

I have two predominant problems with paper trading, but this is with the trader’s approach, and not with paper trading by definition: (1) the trader does ‘things’ paper trading that they would-could not do with real money (2) the trader views paper trading profitability, instead of paper trading proficiency, as the guideline of whether they are ready to begin trading real money.

I have seen too many paper traders, continuously and knowingly, over trade ‘non-plan’ trades, with trading size that is greater than they could afford the margin for in a real account – let alone accept the risk of loss, while also holding trades for risk amounts that they would not accept with real money. Viewing paper trading as a ‘step’ in the learning progression and transition to real money trading, it is critical that the paper trader only trades exactly what, and how they would trade with real money. Don’t allow yourself to turn paper trading into a game, supposedly because there is no risk – the risk of making bad habits that you can’t correct is tremendous, and will circumvent any attempt to trade real money. This is the time to learn YOUR basic trading setups, and make necessary adjustments to them and your entry-exit timing, in order to then make money trading them – this is NOT the time to turn your simulator into a pinball machine flipping at any ball that comes near you.

There is a problem with focusing on trading profitability -vs- trading proficiency. To begin with, profitability places the focus on money instead of on plan. And what is profitability – if you take 10 trades and make $75 are you profitable? Technically, if you are net ahead you are profitable, but what if those same 10 trades had a potential of $1,500, and you only made $75 – are you really profitable? This is what I am referring to when I think of trading proficiency. Instead of focusing on the common metrics, such as win:loss or win size:loss size ratios, I am most concerned with the win size:potential win size ratio, and want to maximize this percentage to the extent that is possible. For instance, when a trader asks about adding trading size, taking the attitude that if they can make $100 trading 3 contracts, then they can make $1,000 by trading 30 contracts, the first thing I ask them is what is their proficiency ratio – why increase contract size and the corresponding trading risk, if you ‘should’ be able to make more money from smaller size? This is especially important for the paper trader, where they should not regard simple profitability as an indication of readiness to trade real money, but consider proficiency – for instance, begin trading real money when you are 60-70 percent proficient with your paper trades.

So What Is Your Viewpoint Regarding Paper Trading?

I never thought that I would ever make a dime trading, let alone be able to trade for a living or become involved with trying to teach others to trade – was this simply a function of starting over and paper trading? Granted that is too simplistic, however, I do know that it would have certainly changed the beginnings that I had, while very much shortening my learning curve, and reducing a lot of pain.

Clearly, I am on the ‘side’ that believes that paper trading is not only beneficial, but that paper trading is also necessary – however the value received will be dependant upon the trader’s approach and attitude. Needless to say, paper trading as described is something that I have always strongly recommended.

Things To Consider Before You Invest In Forex

There are several things to consider before you invest in the stock market or Forex.

Your Personal Situation: Your age, the state of your health, the number of dependents you support, the kind of job you have, whether you are a man or a woman, what kind of goals you have set for yourself all these, and more, are factors which will bear on your decision whether or not to invest.

There is no rule, no prescription governing these factors, either singly or in combination. Again, the decision is yours. It is well to wonder, however, whether your personal situation contains any elements which might conflict with your freedom, need, or desire to invest.

There is, for instance, no age more appropriate than another for investment. But it is conceivable that a young man might find family obligations, such as a new house, absorbing all his resources, that a middle-aged man might prefer to invest surplus funds in his business, and that an elderly man might feel he is too far along for the amount he is able to invest to bring him any significant return.

On the other hand, a young man, if he is able to invest at all regularly, can look forward to a fairly considerable estate in 30 or 40 years. A middle-aged man who finds the premiums for a new insurance policy higher than he feels like paying might decide that investments might help cushion the requirements of the years past 60. And an elderly man, with family responsibilities and obligations behind him, might decide that a sturdy stock returning a comfortable 5 or 6 per cent is better than the interest rate he can get at a savings bank.

As these, examples indicate, age—or any other single factor—immediately involves other considerations.

Good health helps guarantee steadiness of income. Poor health suggests the need for a larger-than-usual emergency cash reserve. A number of dependents may mean that there is nothing left over for investment, or that the surplus should be invested more conservatively than in stocks, or that the surplus, with reinvested dividends, could provide a college fund in 15 years.

The kind of job you have is important only in so far as it relates to steadiness of income. If you operate on a system of incentives, bonuses, and options of one sort or another, you may wish for more stability than stocks offer, in the kind of investment you undertake. If you have a year-in, year-out salary level, stocks may be just the thing to give you that wished-for extra edge.

Or it may be just the opposite. As a bonus man you may have learned to live comfortably with the prospect that one week may be up and the next one down. And, as a steady Joe, you may find it more alarming than it’s worth to have the price and value of your holdings vary.

Whether you are a man or a woman will not have much to do with your readiness to invest. For, surprising as it may seem, the Stock Exchange survey referred to earlier showed that there are more women shareholders than men. Out of the 12.5 million total, nearly 6.4 million, or 52.5 per cent, are women. For many, investment has become a normal and acceptable way to put money to work. There is no telling, either, how many women, having inherited stocks, have since taken a lively interest in investment as part of the responsibility of preserving their capital. Certainly brokers will tell you that women customers are no longer the rarity they once were.

The kind of goals you have will very often be bound up in just such things as whether you are young or old, in business or retired, childless or the chief of a tribe; and the achievement of many of them will require money. If that is so, investment is worth serious consideration. Some people, of course, may prefer to invest in books, or paintings, or travel, and for them the attention that must be paid to investment, or the attractiveness of the financial reward may just not be worth their while.

The story is told of the two salesmen who met in the club car on the train. “How’s business?” asked the first. “Oh, very good,” said the second, “and yours?” “Fine, fine,” said the first. “Got orders for a thousand gross last week. I sell buttons.”

“Really,” said the second. “I’ve had one order in the last three years.” “You call that good?” said the first. “Well,” answered the other, “you see, I sell suspension bridges.”
Like the salesmen, the investor must have a clear notion of his goals and expectations, must realize that what is normal and acceptable to someone else might not be what he would choose for himself.

The Kind of Person You Are: Consideration of your goals and their relation to investment brings up the final point of personal evaluation: yourself. For your goals are necessarily a reflection of your temperament and personality.

Go beyond your goals and see if you can pin down the traits and characteristics they stem from. Are your goals— and you—realistic? How do you regard money, and how do you handle it? Are you easy-come, easy-go? Or do you count the pennies? Are decisions involving money difficult for you to make? Are you on top of your budget, or always running to keep up?

When investing in the stock market, long term commitment is usually more successful and more money will be needed, but with Forex a smaller pool of money can be used for good results.

Forex is more speculative so you will need to be prepared for more risks and swings in your profit and losses.

Using good Forex software will help to limit your losses on Forex.

Acquiring a good knowledge of Forex

Trading has been in existence for many years. It’s been there ever since man has learned to make a way of living. Before, people traded goods for other goods; or goods for services and vice versa. All of these things are necessary for survival. But now, trading is not mainly about goods or services, it is much more than that.

Forex trading is not new in the market; in fact, it has been there for many, many years now. A lot of people find forex trading as a worthwhile and lucrative venture.

Forex trading basically involves the buying and/or selling of different foreign currencies in the global market, often referred to as the FX market. Having a portfolio filled largely with bonds, mutual funds, and stocks is simply not enough. Why not include different foreign currencies in your portfolio, this way you can have money in all its different aspects.

The financial market operates twenty four hours a day. The usual trading day starts in Sydney, Australia, and other markets around the globe follows. New York is the last market that opens.

You can find a lot of different currencies in the world. Almost every country has its own currency, but with regards to forex trading, the trading of currencies is only done with what is popularly called the majors. These currencies are highly regarded as majors because they are economically stable compared to other foreign currencies.

The major currencies that are traded in the FX market are Euro, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, American Dollar, Australian Dollar, Japanese Yen, and Swiss Franc.

People who don’t know anything about forex trading may find the business a bit strange, because typically, currencies are used to buy goods and services, and not currencies. May be its time for you to familiarize yourself with forex trading and engage in one yourself. Besides, it is a shame if you don’t know what this particular business means.

Don’t be left out, now you can even do forex trading in your home. You don’t need to go to the actual FX market, as long as you have an internet connection. Choose from among the many software programs available in the market. You can instantly get alerts about the market condition, the prices, and other important information. This software can even tell you when to buy and/or sell and get an instant profit.

There are a lot of things to consider when you start trading. It would be best if you can do a little research and learn what the business is all about; you must understand the whole process to avoid major losses. Forex trading may be a great way to make money, but when done in the wrong way, it can get very expensive.

Forex currency trading is risky compared to stocks and bonds. But it is also a lucrative business because you can actually gain a lot within a split of a second or a few minutes.

If you’re an ordinary individual, you can also take part in forex trading. Don’t think that only large organizations or banks take part in this huge financial market. People from all walks of life can be involved in forex trading as long as they know how to properly do it.

The next thing to do is to find the right system that works best for you. Again, do a bit of research; and you can take advantage of trial versions which are free of charge. Look for customer testimonials; and after carefully considering all the factors involved, you can choose one system that you can make use in your trade.

Another thing is to get a good broker who can effectively help you in your currency trading and together you can devise a strategy. And who knows, you might be the next person to earn a lot of money in the FX market.

If you think you can make it big in the forex market, make sure that you use all the available resources around you to be able to learn about the business. After you have gained knowledge about forex trading, and were able to devise an effective strategy, you are free to start currency trading as soon as possible.

Accepting losses with grace

The lack of a proper trading plan which includes precise rules for entering and exiting a trade will most certainly guarantee failure over the long term. Beginners usually suffer from the same common ailments. They abandon trading plans purely on impulse because things are not going exactly as how they had envisioned. Repeatedly they use unreliable methods that fail to produce a profit. Many traders hold on to losing positions telling themselves “it is going to turn” when every indicator says otherwise because they cannot bear the thought of a loss.

Why do they torture themselves? Why don’t they just identify what’s going wrong and make a change? For some people recognizing that a trade or even a trading method is not working and making a change is easy, but for others it’s very difficult. They have to look at their limitations admit that they have made a mistake and that’s hard because it hurts our ego. Psychologically it’s risky, it’s often easier to fool ourselves. Just keep going, living in a state of denial until your account is depleted. If you recognize any of these traits in yourself you must stop trading immediately.

Take a good look at what has been happening, try and identify the problem. If you look close enough you may see a pattern. This is why it is vital to record every trade and as much information about it as possible. You have to break out of old patterns and see things in a new light.

You will never be a successful trader if you continue to live in a state of denial. What can be done to return to reality? There is a lot you can do. First of all make sure you are not trading under stress. When stressed out you can’t see clearly, you become rigid and unable to see alternative views. One of the easiest solutions is to trade smaller. The smaller the trade the less the stress, especially for the beginner. If you are experienced and in a loosing streak reduce your contracts until you get your confidence returns. Some people need to take a break altogether. Get away from it all. Take your mind off the trading.

The second thing you can do is to make sure you have a life. Trading can be addictive especially when you are winning. Do not put all your emotional eggs in the trading basket. You need to have other roles that give your life meaning and purpose. By defining your identity in a variety of ways, you will not place un-natural importance on trading events. Therefore, you will be able to take losses in stride and look at your trading more objectively.

Finally, radical acceptance is a key mental strategy for coping with market uncertainty. Many traders make the mistake of thinking they can control the markets. Nobody can control the markets. We must learn to accept anything that comes our way and to trade accordingly. Adopt the attitude that trading is a journey and that all we can do is go where the markets take us.

To succeed on this journey you cannot afford to lose too much. Manage risk and just accept what you get and enjoy the ride. This way you will trade more freely and creatively. Don’t live your life in denial. Accept your limitations, work around them, and become a winning trader. Write out your trading plan with precise entry and exit points. Most important set your stops and mentally decide you will not break them. Test your system on paper and when confident test in real time with the minimum contract size. You will have losing trades, accept them with grace and go on to the next trade.

Do not lose your shirt with a margin account

The key to the FOREX market for the average investor is the margin. Without margin trading currency trading would be beyond most investors. I will explain what the margin is and how it works.
When you have a margin account you are able to control large amounts of currency with a relatively small cash deposit. When you have a margin account with a broker you are in effect borrowing money from the broker to control a larger lot of currency. Currency is normally sold in lots with a value of $100,000. A common term used when discussing margin accounts is leverage. Leverage is how much you can control with a certain amount of money. The leverage is usually displayed as a ration such as 1:100. That would allow you to control currency worth 100 times the amount of money you have invested.
To better explain this in a FOREX exchange with a 1% margin account you could control $100,000 worth of a currency while only investing $1000. Margin accounts can allow you to greatly increase your profit; they also allow you to increase your risk. With a margin account it is possible for a trader to lose more than their initial investment. With a little prudence though losses can be minimized. Most brokers will terminate a trade before the losses exceed the original deposit.

Benefits
As discussed before a margin account allows you to buy more with the money you have which can greatly increase your profit on successful trades. By controlling a $100,000 worth of currency for only $1000 the potential gain is greater. When dealing with large lots of currency even small changes can produce significant results.
Currency on the FOREX market is traded in far more precise units than actual cash is. As an example the American dollar is traded down to four decimal points. So when you were to quote the dollar against another currency you will see a price like $1.7834 instead of $1.78. A PIP is the smallest unit when trading currencies, when dealing with $100,000 lots then each pip is worth about $10.
If the price of the American dollar changes from $1.7834 to $1.7934, you have a net difference of 100 pips. If you have a lot of $100,000 then that 100 pips will translate to $1000 where as if you were not using the margin your original $1000 would only show a profit of $10. Hardly what most would consider a highly profitable trade?
In short the primary benefit of using a margin account is that it can greatly increase the profit margin of a trade.

Risks
Since there is such a significant increase in profit potential when using a margin account it only stands to reason that there is also an increase. In fact it is quite possible to have your entire margin account wiped out fairly quickly. When using a 1% margin account a shift in the currency of a single penny will cost you $1000.
The FOREX exchange has many safety features to help you reduce the risk of this happening. One example is a stop loss order. A stop loss order will automatically close out your position in a currency if the price crosses the point you have set. This allows you to limit your losses while still having the opportunity to realize a profit.
Another risk that many people overlook is that if the price nears the point where your losses are close to being equal to the value of your margin account your broker may close out your position. If you were trying to rid out a temporary downturn that you expect to turn around soon you could find that your broker has closed it causing you to lose your entire balance and have no option to make a profit if the price moves up again.

This is a basic introduction to margin accounts and how they work.

 

 

Can You Afford To Invest In Forex?

An important question for all investors is: Can I afford to invest?

America always has been a land of promise. Whatever the course of our economy in the years immediately ahead, it is likely that opportunities for investment will be both numerous and attractive. Energetic new companies will emerge, looking for venture capital. Solid old companies will come forth with exciting new products. One industry or another will enjoy a boom period relative to the rest. And, of course, there will be casualties, too. There inevitably are.

For the observant investor this activity, properly evaluated and properly timed, will bring rewards. There will be chances to buy stocks before they have called attention to themselves and begun to rise, or to buy a Blue Chip, temporarily out of favor, at a depressed price. There will be stock splits, dividend increases, new issues, mergers, spin-offs, as well as the tidal rise and fall of stock prices all of this characteristic of the restless life of the market as a reflection of American business.

If you have never invested before, you are bound to be tempted.

Whether or not you yield will depend on your answer to the first hard question about investing: Can you afford it?

It is a lonely question and only you can answer it, for it involves not only how much money you feel able to invest, but what kind of person you are. Actually, it is several questions wrapped into one. You are asking, first, whether your financial condition permits you to invest; second, whether you can assume the risk implicit in stock investment; and, third, whether the market is a safe place for you to be.

Let’s take them one at a time.

Your Financial Position: One point should be made clear at the outset: you don’t have to be wealthy to invest. Among outsiders you can hear it said that stock ownership is a rich man’s game. This can mean any of several things: that the market is too complicated for the little man, that brokers aren’t interested in small orders, that only the person who can lose a bundle without feeling it should invest. However persuasive these arguments, they are all untrue.

The fact is—according to a recent New York Stock Exchange Survey—that almost half of all shareowners are in the $5,000—$10,000 a year income bracket. The median income of the 3,860,000 people who have become stockholders since 1956 is $6,900.

This would seem to suggest that an understanding of market operations is not too difficult to acquire, and that an attentive, interested broker is not too hard to find. It can also be assumed that these are shareowners with a fair appreciation of the value of a dollar and in no position to laugh off losses.

The goals a small investor can hope to achieve and the pattern of investment possible within the limits of a modest income will be outlined further on. The conclusion to be reached here is that investment is not a matter of enlarging a fortune you already possess, but of making available some money, however small the amount, to start with.

Regardless of your salary or income level, investment is possible if three conditions can be met:

1. If you are assured of a steady income.

2. If you are meeting your current running expenses and obligations.

3. If you have a cash reserve with which to meet unforeseen emergencies.

These conditions are, first of all, safeguards made necessary by the inescapable fact that stock prices fluctuate. Your judgment of when to buy, when to sell, and how long to hold should never be dictated by outside circumstances. Investment should be undertaken only with funds you can honestly and legitimately earmark as extra. With a regular income and your monthly bills paid, you know where you

stand and what amount can be put aside, in reserve, for any investment opportunity that arises. Or, of course, for emergencies. A sudden demand for ready cash—to pay a hospital bill, an insurance premium, or your income tax—should come, if possible, from your reserve, not from cashing in your investments. Whether your stocks are up or down, you are likely to take a loss—on the downswing because you may be selling at less than you paid, on the upswing because you may be selling at less than the potential.

A reserve also enables you to pick and choose. The fact that you have a few hundred dollars lying idle does not automatically mean the time is ripe to buy stocks. There’s no hurry. As the professionals say, “The market is always there.” If the trend of the market isn’t to your liking, or the price of a stock is higher than you want to pay, a reserve allows you the luxury of waiting for a more favorable situation.

Finally, a reserve permits investment over a period of time rather than all at once. As you learn more about the market, you will hear both sides of this argument. Some experts feel you should back what seems to be a good situation with all the investment funds at your command. Others will warn against getting greedy, and advise partial investment here and there, at different times, to spread the risk. This is not the place to discuss the merits of these techniques. The point is to give yourself the flexibility of moving either way your judgment dictates.

Remember: your income need not be large, so long as it is regular and enables you to put aside a surplus after you have taken care of your bills and the possibility of trouble. The surplus need not be large, either. Saving, as has been said many times, is a matter of regularity. No one considers $5 too small an amount to put into a savings bank; don’t worry if that’s all you can save each week for your accumulating investment reserve. In most markets, brokers usually can suggest a number of sound, solid stocks, offering liberal yields, that sell for less than $20 per share.

There is no rule about the number of shares an investor must buy. If you can afford a single share (plus commissions), a broker will get it for you. As a matter of fact, through the Monthly Investment Plan you can buy a fraction of a share, although the Plan requires a minimum investment every month.

To invest in the Forex, you will probably need a float of around $400 and invest from $1 to $10 per pip to start with, then reinvest your profits.

So there is a much smaller outlay required to invest in Forex, although it is more speculative.

Good Forex software will help to reduce the risks involved and this you’ll find here in our shop.

Benefits Of Using Forex Software

As the Internet grows in popularity, more and more individuals are learning about the benefits of trading currencies on the Forex market. In recent years, Forex trading has become known as a great way of investing money. But if you do decide that you want part of the action, you should do some quick research on the Forex software packages on the market. They can help you trade easily and from the comfort of your home and office.

One great benefit about Forex software is that it can perform many tasks for you, and keep you up-to-date on the values of the currencies you are trading. If you had to do these tasks manually, you would have to spend many hours fiddling with newspaper reports, charts and graphs. But with the push of a button, you can know how and when to trade. With a general knowledge of where the currency is heading, you can allow your trades to run, or stop them as your position reverses.

But not only does Forex trading software allow you to manage your funds, it also provides you with the opportunity to withdraw or deposit money into your Forex account when you need to. This means you can leave your money in an interest bearing account until you are ready to trade. This way, you earn interest on your money and avoid having extra money sitting idly in your trading account.

Also if you want you can set up the Forex software so when the currency drops to a certain level or has reached a specified value, then it will automatically sell it for you. By doing this you are not only minimizing your risks, but it also means that you do not need to keep a constant watch and control over your profits.

However the best way of ensuring the software you are buying is right for your needs is to test it before you start investing your hard earn money. A good Forex software package will allow you to practice with the software using play money while you learn. Then once you are comfortable with trading, you can deposit some of your money into a trading account and start trading. It is best if you practice as much as possible before. This way you will be ready for any losses that may occur in the beginning. From the start it is best if you only invest small amounts of money when trading until you feel more confident with the software.

Forex software comes either as a desktop or Internet based package. The Internet software systems have several advantages over the desktop versions. One of these advantages is that you
do not need to deal with maintenance issues. The software seller often looks after these technical goings-on. Security is another issue you don’t have to concern yourself with.

The seller will already have in place more security measures than you can afford on a desktop version. The systems offer data encryption on a secure server and will therefore protect you for hackers and thieves. Plus, Internet based systems offer you more convenience than a desktop model. You can check your account no matter where you are in the world. All you need to do is key in your login and password information. You can then view your currency trading account in a secured environment.