fx trading

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 Currency Trading: An Introduction

Forex, foreign exchange and fx trading are all different names for currency trading, where one currency is exchanged for another in the hope of making money when the exchange rates change. These rates are constantly changing due to market news, national events or a knock on effect from changes in the stock exchange.

At the most basic level, imagine you exchanged some US dollars for British pounds. You might give $100 to buy £65. Then the rate changes in your favor so you exchange them back again. Now with the new rate you get $102 for your £65. You just made $2 or 2% of your investment.

Currency traders do this kind of thing all of the time with the aim of increasing their funds through many small trades. They trade on margins so that they can control larger amounts with only a small investment. In the above example, you might only have to hold $10 in your brokerage account to make the purchase even though the amount is $100. The broker covers the rest on the assumption that the market is unlikely to change by more than 10% in a short time.

Forex trading has been around for over 30 years but until the rise of the internet it was almost entirely in the hands of banks and other institutions with large investment funds. These days ordinary people can get involved on their home computers although the financial institutions are still the major players. When I tell you that around US $4 trillion changes hands every day on the currency trading markets you will understand that only a small part of this belongs to ordinary people like you and me.

Foreign exchange is a worldwide market and because of the different time zones around the world you can trade almost any time. Sydney, Australia is the first currency exchange market to open each day, and by the end of the business day in New York the Sydney market is open again for the next day’s trading. So for 5 days per week this is truly a 24 hour market. It only closes on weekends.

You are not limited to dealing in your own country’s currency so if your national economy is in a very unpredictable state you can switch to trading two other currencies that are a little more stable. While it is true that a volatile situation with big fluctuations can give you big profits in a short time, it is extremely risky to get involved in a currency that is experiencing a crisis.

These days brokers are going all out to attract the new type of home investor who does not have a lot of capital, so you can get started with just a few hundred dollars. They will provide you with software that allows you to make trades on your account, and real time market information including charts to show you the direction of movement of the different currency pairs.

With so much money changing hands every day, foreign exchange is a high liquidity market. This means that your capital will not be tied up for the long term as it might be if you bought certain kinds of stocks.

Apart from some funds to invest, the main things that you need to get started with currency trading are good money management skills, self discipline, a profitable system to follow and perhaps a forex robot to apply your system for you. When you have these in place, currency trading can be fun and quite profitable.

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 Introduction No Comments

Fx Online Trading: A Brief Introduction

For a novice, forex currency trading or international currency trading as it is sometimes known, may seem to be a whole new world but the nuts and bolts of the system are relatively straight forward once you have learnt the basics. You initially just need to get an understanding of the terminology and trading terms to see how the markets work.

 

Making big money quickly is what forex currency trading is all about. It is possible for investors to make big profits very fast because the rates of exchange on the forex market can rise and fall very quickly. This means of course that it is risky and there is also a chance of losing big, just like most things that have the chance of big returns on your investment.

 

As you will know if you have ever exchanged currency for a vacation, the rates constantly move, even throughout the day. For example you may change $100 into Euros before your European trip, and then find that you have not spent it all when you return so need to change it back to US Dollars. The exchange rate will probably have moved whilst you were away and you could have made a small profit after charges once you have changed it back.

 

Foreign currency trading is all about changing currencies hoping to make a profit all of the time, but instead of changing money at the bank they use a broker or more often these days an online currency trading system. There are actually many similarities to stock trading where your small deposit can be used to leverage much bigger deals. One difference from stock exchange trading is that fx traders are not limited to dealing in one country.

 

You can trade any two currencies wherever you live. This means that the market is truly international. Due to the various time zones around the world, the forex trading hours are all day long from Monday morning in Australia to Friday afternoon in New York.

 

Each of the major currencies is represented by 3 letters: USD for the US dollar, EUR for the Euro, GBP for the British pound,  CHF for the Swiss franc, JPY for the Japanese Yen, , CAD for the Canadian dollar, AUD for the Australian dollar etc. The exchange rate between two currencies may be expressed like this: USD/GBP 0.68. This means that to buy one US dollar you will need 0.68 British Pounds.

 

If you want to start out in fx trading you will need to look for a broker that you think are trustworthy that can set you up with a currency trading account. It is worth shopping around and checking the forex trading forums for tips and recommendations. Check out how long the company has been in business and what your rights and liabilities will be. Read all of the fine print so you are not surprised by additional charges that you were not expecting.

 

You will probably also want to use a bot to do your trading for you. This is automated forex trading software that can trade 24 hours a day according to the rules and restrictions that you set for it. There is usually a demonstration option so that you can paper trade with the online currency trading system for a while before you actually bite the bullet and trade with real money. There are many forex robots on the market and most of them come with full instructions and currency trading tutorials.

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Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 Introduction No Comments