Mini Forex Trading

Forex Mini Account Trading

Forex mini accounts are ideal for just about anybody who is starting out in forex trading. You would have to be very rich or very confident to start right out with a standard account if you are a retail trader (i.e. somebody trading on their own account from home). A mini account lets you get started without risking so much money and this makes it a very attractive option for most people.

Mini forex trading accounts generally allow you to trade with just one tenth of the normal lot size. This usually means 10,000 units of currency instead of 100,000.

Of course you do not have to have this much in your account. Currency trading works with leverage. If you are using 100 times leverage then you need $100 to control $10,000 in your mini account or $1,000 to control $100,000 for a standard account.

$100 or 100 units of other currency per trade is enough for most people to commit to a trade when they are starting out and that is why the mini trading account is so attractive.

The pip size is also usually smaller in a mini account. Pips are units in which you will measure your profits, losses and costs (the spread). Their dollar value can vary depending on the currency pair that you are trading, the lot size and other conventions of your broker, but a common standard pip size is $10 and mini pip size is $1.

Some brokers are now quoting prices to 5 decimal places which technically would make one pip 0.00001 of the quoted price, but we will continue to use the standard 4 decimal place pip for this example.

So if you have a standard forex account you can expect to put up $1,000 on each trade, be involved in trading lots of $100,000 and measure your profits in $10 units.

If you have a forex mini account you can expect to commit $100 on each trade, be involved in trading lots of $10,000 and measure your profits in $1 units.

Of course you can set stop losses so that you do not have to risk all of the money that is committed to the trade. But your losses will be measured in terms of pips so these too will be 10 times greater in the standard account.

If you are successful and your fund grows, you may want to move up to trading greater sums. You can still do this in your mini account by trading more than one lot at a time. So if you want to trade a standard lot size you would just trade 10 mini lots. This has the advantage of still giving you the ability for fine control of your stops because your pip size is still just $1.

The standard account used to be all that was available before so many people had powerful home computers and high speed internet connections that made it possible for the ordinary person to trade from home. The forex mini account is a development that has opened up the market to people who have the technology but not the money for standard currency trading investment.

If you want to risk even less of your money, you could look at forex micro accounts which allow you to make even smaller trades. Be aware though that the spread is often a little high and you might find it difficult to profit with a micro account. It may be better to use a demo account until your confidence builds and then open a forex mini account for real trading.

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Sunday, June 21st, 2009 Strategy No Comments

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