Fluctuations

Currency Trading Basics

If you are thinking of investing in the money markets, you need to know currency trading basics. This way of making money is also known as forex or foreign exchange trading. You may even see it abbreviated to simply FX.

Forex trading involves buying and selling currencies according to your assessment of which country’s currencies are likely to rise in value and which will fall. You can judge this from financial news or from monitoring price movement charts for trends and patterns, or you can use both methods of analysis.

The foreign exchange markets are huge, with a turnover of around $4 trillion dollars every day. Most of this money is in the hands of the international banks and financial institutions but there is plenty of room for the small private investor. With this amount of money involved, plus the constantly fluctuations in prices (volatility), the forex markets are potentially the most lucrative market that you could get into.

You only need a small amount of capital to get started. The costs are low because brokers do not charge fees or commission, but earn their money from the difference between the buy and sell prices of a currency. This means that you can make many small trades without having to pay a fixed commission fee. Stock exchange trading is not so easy. These are just some of the reasons why more and more people are becoming involved in forex trading.

Another advantage of the forex markets is that you can trade 24 hours a day, five days a week. This makes it convenient for people who have other commitments during normal business hours. You can trade from any time zone at any moment, when it suits you. You do not have to be online in the day time.

As with any investment strategy that has the potential of large gains, there is also risk. Currency prices can change very fast and you can make a lot of money in a short time but you can lose it too, unless you are very careful. You should accept before you start that you may lose the money that you are trading with. At the same time, take your trading seriously. Do not treat it as a game. Keep clear records of what you did. However your trades turn out, look carefully at the results to see what you did right or wrong and learn from that.

You need a profitable system, clear strategies and the ability to stick to your decisions. You should not be constantly changing your tactics or acting from out of fear or greed. Consistent application of your system is vital.

When you are trading forex, you are in full control of your investment. You are not dependent upon the results of companies, as you would be with an investment in stocks. Of course prices will be affected by national and international events but you can often see these coming and exit the market before a major news announcement is due.

With good advice and a sound grasp of currency trading basics, you can begin to trade. Your financial future is in your own hands.

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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 Introduction No Comments

Candlestick Charts For Forex Traders

Among the many types of technical analysis available to forex traders, the single most useful and popular are probably candlestick charts. These were originally developed in Japan during the 18th century by a prominent commodity trader who used them to chart the fluctuations in the price of rice. For this reason they are often known as Japanese candlestick charts, and many of the patterns that they form have Japanese names.

Simple line graphs plotting the price of a commodity at regular intervals in time had been used for centuries, but traders were in need of something that could plot more variables within a two dimensional graph. The bar chart showing the opening, high, low and closing prices of a commodity was useful and helped traders to predict future price movements in a more reliable way than line charts, but candlestick charts were even better.

They were introduced to the American stock market and from there to the worldwide financial markets by Charles Dow at the beginning of the 20th century. Dow was the founder of the Wall Street Journal and co-founder of the Dow Jones company.

Candlestick Formation

The chart is made up of a series of ‘candlesticks’ which typically have a chunky body with vertical lines stretching up from the top (the upper shadow or wick) and bottom (the lower shadow or wick). The different points measure the differential in prices over a certain period of time, which might be 5 minutes, 15 minutes or longer.

The top of the wick is the highest point reached during the time period and the lowest point of the lower wick is the low. The top and bottom of the body are the opening and closing prices. If price rose during the period the body will be white (or green or blue if colored). The bottom of the body marks the opening price and its top marks the close. If the price fell during the period the prices are the other way around and to show this at a glance the body will be black (or red if colored).

How To Use Candlestick Charts In Forex Trading

A chart showing 5 or 15 minute candles over a period of several hours can provide the forex trader with many patterns on which he can base a system for determining when a trend is developing. For example, when the candle body is white or green and higher than the preceding candles, it indicates that buyers are very bullish. When it is black or red and lower than the preceding candles, it indicates that buyers are very bearish.

Being able to see these implications at a glance is vital in the fast moving forex markets where trading decisions often need to be made in a split second. So candlestick charts are one of the most useful visual aids for any forex trader.

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Monday, June 22nd, 2009 Introduction No Comments