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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

Foreign Exchange Market: Simple Glossary

The foreign exchange market has many factors that make it unique. It has been described as the closest to pure competition that can exist, even though the international banks attempt to control and manipulate it. But what makes it so special, and why might you consider that you are more likely to be able to make money on the forex market than other forms of investment trading such as stock trading?

Trading Volume

The amount of money traded on the forex market daily is immense. The average daily turnover across the world is almost $4 trillion, according to a survey by the Bank For International Settlements in December 2007. The biggest trading center is London, followed by New York and Tokyo. However, the US dollar is the most traded currency.

Liquidity

The liquidity of a commodity is its ease of conversion to cash without impacting the value. Money is already money, so it is more liquid than any other asset. This means it is very easy to trade.

A Global Market

Forex is not traded in one place but all over the world. This means that, while of course it is affected by national events in the biggest financial powers, the effects are balanced out. Currencies do not have absolute value: a currency’s value can only be measured in comparison with another currency. So if one currency falls in value, another will rise.

Compare this with the stock exchange where it is possible for the value of every company’s stock to drop at the same time. All you can do in a major stock market crash is to withdraw your investment. But in forex, you can switch from the falling currency to the rising currency and still make money.

A 24 Hour Market

Currencies can be traded in different parts of the world 24 hours a day, five days a week. The foreign exchange market opens at 22.00 hours UTC Sunday in Sydney, Australia, where it is Monday morning, and closes at 22.00 hours UTC Friday in New York, where it is Friday afternoon. So whatever time of day or night you like to trade, you will have the opportunity, unless your only free time is on weekends.

Leverage

Leverage is where a small amount of something can be used to control a larger amount. In forex trading, leverage is related to the practice of trading on margin. You invest a small amount in your brokerage account and your broker lends you the rest, so that you do not have to put up the whole value of your position.

Forex trading offers more leverage than stock or futures trading. You may be able to control up to 200 times your account balance, depending on the broker. Higher leverage gives you the chance of bigger profits, but of course, there is also the risk of bigger losses. You will not necessarily want to take the maximum leverage on the foreign exchange market, especially in the beginning.

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Monday, June 8th, 2009 Glossary No Comments

Forex Real Time News Trading

Forex real time news trading is a way of making money on the forex market from international events and upcoming current affairs stories. Predicting the way that these events will go and their effect on the currency markets can appear to be very profitable, at least in theory. The problem is that in practice things do not often go the way that you might expect.

The truth is that when it comes to financial news, the major international banks pretty much always make sure that they are the first to hear. When an expected report is released they will have people right there. The trade-from-home little guy, on the other hand, has to wait a few crucial minutes for the report to appear on the TV news or the internet. Even seconds can make a difference.

At times like this the markets will change so swiftly that you cannot really hope to jump in and make money. The banks will dominate the markets and although you may sometimes be lucky, you could easily be wiped out if the news goes against you.

In practice if you do want to trade on the outcome of an upcoming event such as an election or a financial report, you are more likely to try it by opening a trade before the announcement. You might have a strong belief that it will go one way or the other. However, you cannot really know for sure. When you think about it, opening a trade at this time is really nothing more than betting on the outcome.

It is at times like this that we tend to be easily carried away by our own ideas, hopes and emotions. It is can be very difficult to make a rational assessment of a situation where so much can ride on the outcome. Therefore, unless you are really in the thick of the financial news centers, it is probably best to avoid this kind of trading. A system that makes steady profits over a period of time is the best way for most small traders to operate.

Of course you must still keep one eye on the news while you are actively trading, but instead of aiming to make money from current and upcoming events, you are more likely to want to close out on your trades before certain reports are released. Critical times include the opening of the stock exchange in the countries whose currencies you are involved with, and announcements of interest rate changes in those countries. In addition, the USA is such a major player in the forex markets that events in the USA can affect all currency pairs, even if you are not trading the US dollar. You will probably want to avoid being caught with an open trade at all of these times.

For this reason, most traders who operate a sound forex trading system will avoid trading altogether in the extremely uncertain times preceding a major announcement or release of forex real time news.

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Sunday, May 24th, 2009 Introduction No Comments