Foreign Exchange Trading: Making Money With Cash

Archive for June, 2009

Foreign Currency Trading Software: Shop Around For Best Results

There is a wide choice of foreign currency trading software for the forex market. When you are just getting started with forex trading you will need to shop around to find the platform that will suit you best. But what types of program are available and what features should you look for?

Online brokerage accounts are always run through forex software. Your broker may either give you access to a platform that runs on their server or you may have something that runs on your own computer.

Brokers may have their own custom forex trading platform or they may use a generic platform which they can have tailored to their company. This should provide you with many features including a wide variety of charts, tools and analytical capabilities that can indicate changing patterns and trends in the price movements. There may also be a forex alert feature or a running commentary on the financial news.

In some cases you can customize your desktop view of the software. This is more useful than you may realize at first. It can save a lot of time to have your preferred settings or combination of tools and charts load automatically when you log in.

If you choose to use automated foreign currency trading software, otherwise known as a forex robot, this will need to connect to your brokerage account to make the trades. Most robots use the platform Metatrader 4.

If you are running a program yourself, be aware that this usually means that your computer must be switched on and connected to the internet at all times while you have open trades, stop losses or orders to open a trade at a certain point. If your internet connection is often broken by storms or other factors, or if your internet provider automatically cuts the connection any time there is no activity from your machine for more than a certain time, you will not be able to trade effectively unless your instructions have already been passed to your brokerage account and are stored there.

The software should be simple to access and use. Clear instructions plus an FAQ page or manual that you can go to for reference are essential. Beyond that there should be some kind of support, either live or by email, when you need more detailed help or cannot find the answer to your question in the documentation.

Forex trading is risky and you can make losses as well as gains. In this very fast moving market it is vital to have all of the information that you need at your fingertips, plus the power to make your selected trades fast. Automated foreign currency trading software can help you massively and you need the best that you can get your hands on.

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 fx trading software No Comments

Forex Trading Strategies: 3 Golden Rules

When you have read a few forex books or visited a few online currency trading forums, you will quickly realize that there are almost as many different forex trading strategies as there are traders. People have their own style; but more than that, in currency trading there are many different ways of making money.

So there is not one top forex system that you must follow to profit from foreign exchange trading. However, there are some guidelines that apply to the way in which you approach your trading and these are true for just about anybody. I call them the golden rules of trading.

1. Follow The Trends

Most forex trading strategies and systems focus on identifying trends and there is a good reason for that. Whether the trend shows a rise or a fall, get in to go long or short as appropriate and do not go against it. Bucking the trend will see you losing money fast.

2. Safeguard Your Funds

Risking too much on one trade has been the downfall of many a promising trader. Never risk a lot of money on a single trade, however strong your feelings may be that this one cannot go wrong. They can all go wrong.

So how much do you risk? It depends on your strategy and how much it matters to you if you lose all of your funds, but never more than 5% of your balance. 2% per trade is a safer option.

Some people maintain the percentage as their funds increase, so that they gradually risk more in real terms on each trade. That is up to you but consider carefully before you do this. When you have more money in your account, you will probably be more unhappy if it is wiped out, so you may want to keep the same position size (reducing your percentage risk) as your funds increase.

3. Set Goals For Each Trade

Have a clear profit goal for each trade, so that before you enter, you have already decided when you will take the profit and close. Do not get greedy and try to stay in there for more and more.

In the same way, if it turns bad, do not try to hold on in the hope that the market will turn back your way. Cut your losses and get out. Using stop losses to do this automatically is a very wise strategy.

Those are the first three golden rules of currency trading: the guidelines that can help you develop profitable forex trading strategies, whatever your system.

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Monday, June 29th, 2009 Introduction No Comments

The FX Market: The Facts

The forex or FX market is the currency trading market where foreign currencies are exchanged. It is not located in just one place. By its very nature it is a global market and trading happens all over the world.

In a sense there is a separate market for each currency pair. Every possible combination of currencies has its own price. Although these are related in some ways there is not necessarily a direct connection between them. Obviously if a country is doing very badly in economic terms, then its currency is likely to fall in comparison with most other countries. But another country might be doing even worse and then the opposite would show on that particular currency pair market. For example the dollar could be falling against the euro while at the same time it is rising against the yen.

The biggest participants in the FX market are banks and other large financial institutions who have a lot of money to invest. They employ professional currency traders who do this for their job. But the markets are so huge and access is so easy that anybody can get involved these days.

All you need is a computer with a high speed internet connection. Do not try trading over a dial up connection! You will find it very frustrating. Prices will change too fast for you to act and you will probably lose money.

You will also need access to a broker who will cover your trades by offering you leverage. This means that with say $100 of your funds you can control $10,000. The broker handles this amount, but you can get started with just a few hundred dollars in a mini FX trading account.

The forex market is highly liquid and very volatile. Liquidity is a measure of how easy it is to turn an investment to cash. Currency is already cash so it has high liquidity. What this means for you is that you can buy and sell at any time. You do not have to wait to find a buyer as you often do with stocks.

The high volatility of the forex market means that prices are constantly changing. This makes it a very risky investment but also potentially very profitable. The possibility of gaining or losing a lot of money in a short time is very attractive for people who are prepared to take the risks. Forex trading is exciting and can be very lucrative for the skilful trader.

Traders use charts and graphs to indicate trends in the movement of the prices. The aim of course is to predict whether the price will continue to move in its current direction or when there will be a reversal. These charts and graphs are normally provided by your broker.

At the same time it is important to stay alert to world events that might affect the financial markets. Many brokers also provide a live feed of forex news. This can be very useful if only to remind you to leave the FX market by closing your trades before major financial announcements are expected.

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Sunday, June 28th, 2009 Introduction No Comments

Finding The Best FX Trading Platform

Finding the best FX trading platform can be a challenge for both brokers and traders. Brokers will want software that is reliable, adaptable to their needs and easy for their clients to use. Traders are also looking for ease of use with good technical information.

Forex Platforms For Brokers

Many forex brokers, especially the larger organizations, will have a trading platform custom built for them. This is big business and a brokerage company will usually sneak a look at all of the platforms that competitors are using and then try to build something better. The cost of this is sure to be high. It can take a long time too. Software development, like construction, is something that always seems to take longer than expected.

Smaller brokers cannot usually afford to have all of the software designed for them from scratch. Instead, they may buy an FX trading platform that they can use out of the box. However, experienced traders will recognize this and may avoid such brokers. It is hard for traders to have confidence in a company that does not appear to be investing any resources in its trading software.

A compromise that works well for many brokers is to take a pre designed package and then have somebody customize it for you. The look of the program can be altered to include your logo, company colors and other factors. Better still, you could add more charts and offer any the technical analysis that traders are looking for but cannot get elsewhere. This way you can give the appearance of offering a unique trading platform without the cost of full scale software development.

Forex Platforms For Traders

Individual traders will generally use whatever software their broker provides. The platform is an important consideration when looking for a broker. For some traders, it is more important than cost. They may accept a bigger spread for the sake of the exact charts or information that they need to operate a system that they know is profitable.

In addition, traders who use automated systems or robots to trade the foreign exchange market will need a software platform on which their robot can operate. Experienced traders who have developed a profitable system of their own sometimes design a robot to automate their system for their own use. Most of the popular robots or expert advisors run on the Metatrader 4 platform. You need to download this for free in order to use most of the forex robots that you can buy today.

Automated trading software has many advantages, including the ability to automatically open and close trades when the market favors your system. Many forex traders are now moving into the world of robots and Metatrader 4 is probably the best FX trading platform for those traders.

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Saturday, June 27th, 2009 fx trading software No Comments

Forex Trading Training: Get What You Need

If you want to become a successful currency trader, then no matter what background you have, you will need forex trading training. Currency trading has its own rules and even if you have experience of day trading on the stock exchange there are a few things you will have to learn. So how do you go about finding training that is right for you?

One factor that you will want to take into account is the cost of your training. There is a huge range here from free information available on the internet to private mentoring from a successful trader that could cost you a thousand dollars a month or more.

Clearly, mentoring will only be of value to you if you intend to trade full time. Private coaching is most useful for people already profiting from forex trading but wanting to make more. Those people are also likely to be in a position where they can judge which coach or mentor will be most suitable for their own trading style. If you are just starting out, you would be better off covering the basics in some other way.

A good way to do this is to use a book or ebook. These are usually organized in a way that will be easy to follow and will cover the basics for beginners. Most will also cover more advanced aspects as you progress.

Ebooks have several advantages over printed books. First, you can download them right away. You do not have to go to the store or wait for them to arrive from Amazon.

Second, as well as the forex book itself, they often include other training materials such as spreadsheets, audio recordings or even video. Many people learn better from video than from the written word. When you are learning a new technique it can be very powerful to be able to look over somebody’s shoulder and watch while they show you how they do it. Video can offer you this experience and save you a lot of confusion.

Also, if you buy a forex ebook you will often find that you can get some kind of support. You may be able to email the author with your questions, or there might be a forum that you can join. You almost never get this from a printed book.

It is true that there is a lot of information available for free on foreign exchange websites and you can also pick up tips and tricks from free forex forums. However, the information you will get from free sites and forums is usually very disorganized and may be contradictory. You can see this very quickly if you look at the questions on any forum. One person comes along with one answer, and then another argues something different.

So free information is useful while you are deciding whether to get involved in forex trading at all. But once you have made up your mind, you will want some more helpful forex trading training.

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Friday, June 26th, 2009 Introduction No Comments