Brokerage

Why Start Trading Currencies?

Trading currencies has been attracting more and more retail investors in recent times. Foreign exchange or forex is an OTC (over the counter) market where anybody can get involved. All you need is an internet connection, a good system or the time to learn and develop your own system, and some money to invest.

You do not necessarily need very much money. Brokers now offer mini forex trading accounts and even micro forex trading accounts which you can open with just a couple hundred dollars. However, it is better to have a little more, even if you do not put it all into the account in the beginning. Forex trading is risky and if you only have a couple hundred dollars to spare, you probably should be doing something safer with it.

But assuming that you have the funds and you have decided that you want to make money with some kind of financial trading, let’s look at why this could be a better option for you than stock or commodity trading methods.

1. No commissions and no fees.

If you have experience of the stock market you know how your profits can be eaten away by brokerage, exchange and even government fees. The free world nature of the forex market means that you do not have to pay any of these. There are no middle men. Brokers make their money through the spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask prices of a currency.

2. No fixed lot size.

In commodity futures markets, the size of a lot or contract is set by the exchange and you cannot buy or sell less than one lot. But in spot forex trading you can theoretically set your own lot size. Brokers tend to use their own standard sizes but if you know that you will want to trade small amounts you can look for a broker who offers small or fractional lots.

3. It’s a 24 hour market, five days a week.

From the beginning to the end of the global business week, the forex market never sleeps. This is great for people who need to trade outside of normal business hours. You can go work for the boss from 9 to 5, come home and start trading currencies in the evenings. Or you can start whatever time you wake in the morning, even if it is 5 a.m.

4. High leverage.

Forex brokers will offer up to 200 times your margin deposit in leverage. This means that you have the chance to make a lot of money from only a small deposited fund. You only need $50 to control $10,000 dollars in a trade. Provided you have good risk management and always remember that high leverage also means high risk, this can be a very attractive option.

5. A huge market with high liquidity.

The forex market is huge, so there is no chance of any single institution getting control of it. Even the banks, big as they are, have limited influence. Insider trading is not the issue that it can be in stock trading. And high liquidity means that you can always make the trade at the moment or the price that you want. You are never stuck unable to close a trade, and you can even set an automated trading system to close your position for you at a certain level of loss or profit.

6. Free tools and information.

Brokers are going all out to attract more retail traders and the competition between them is great for you as an investor. It is easy to find a good broker who will offer you a demo account where you can practice your trading, hone your skills and learn the basics before you start using real money. They will also give you the charts that you need to identify trends, and access to breaking forex news, all for free.

7. Low start up costs.

A computer with a high-speed Internet connection is all that is needed to begin trading currencies. If you want to use a robot for your trading you can find one for $100 to $200. A lot of information on trading currencies including advice on systems is available for free online.

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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Introduction No Comments

Metatrader 4 Expert Advisor: What You Need To Know

The Metatrader 4 expert advisor range is the most popular range of forex autopilot software. There is a wide choice of expert advisors designed to run on this free downloadable platform or framework that sets a structure for EAs to be built on. Whichever expert advisor (EA) you choose will act as a robot on the forex market, trading for you according to the boundaries that you set.

Clearly this has many advantages over making all of the moves in a trade yourself. The EA does not need breaks for eating, sleeping and human contact. Neither does it suffer from human weaknesses such as fear and over optimism which can distract us from our systems and lead us to exit a trade too soon or not soon enough. Once you have set it up it will obey your system to the letter all the time that it is online.

An EA will often protect your interests when you could not do it yourself. The opportunity to set a trailing stop is one example. A trailing stop automatically moves up with rising prices but stays in place if the market falls. This means that on a successful trade it protects a part of your profits without exiting too soon. On an unsuccessful trade it protects you from heavy losses just as a standard stop would do.

Some of the functions of an expert advisor depend on having it constantly connected to the internet. This because MT4 and the EA run on your own computer or server, not on your broker’s servers. For example if you have set a trailing stop, MT4 sends a message to your broker account to move the stop each time and it has to be connected to the internet to do that.

This means that to make the most of the potential of a Metatrader 4 expert advisor on a home computer you have to leave your computer online 24 hours Sunday night thru Friday unless you happen to have exited all of your trades before you stop work on any particular day.

Any break in the connection will mean that no more messages are sent to your brokerage so the trailing stop will be left where it was last set. It will still protect you from a large loss but it will not move up any more so you will have lost some of the advantage of having a system that works while you sleep.

However, some EAs can be hosted remotely. This means that you can set them up on an internet server instead of your own computer. This could be your own or a facility offered by the EA company. They may offer this option as an upgrade after you order their Metatrader 4 expert advisor.

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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 fx trading software No Comments