pips

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

Using The Fx Trailing Stop With MT4

The forex trailing stop is a stop that you can set in an expert advisor on the Metatrader 4 platform. It is pretty much what you might guess from the name: a stop loss that moves according to the current prices on the forex market. And a stop loss, of course, is a marker you set that will cause your MT4 expert advisor autopilot software (EA) to exit the trade when it goes against you to prevent you having any risk of a large loss.

But there are several things to be taken into account when you consider how to use the trailing stop. It is a little like a ratchet in that it can move up but not down. When you move into profit, it follows behind, moving up by the same number of pips that the market moved. But if the market falls, it stays where it is. So the market can rise and rise and you go on making more profit, but when it falls just a little way, the stop loss comes into effect and exits your trade with whatever profit or loss you made up until that point.

To give an example, you open a trade to go long. Of course at the moment of opening you are at point zero: 0 pips profit or loss. Let’s say you set your trailing stop at minus 30 pips. If you are unlucky and the forex market just falls and falls, the stop loss will kick in and close the trade for you at 30 pips down. But if the market rises, the stop loss will rise with it.

So when the market is 20 pips in your favor, your stop will have moved to 30 pips below that. If the market then falls and the price hits the stop, the EA would get you out with a loss of just 10 pips.

If the market rises to 40, the stop moves up to 10 above zero. You then have a guaranteed profit of 10 pips. In fact as soon as the market rises by the same number of pips as your trailing stop (in this case 30) you cannot lose.

Sure you could monitor the markets and operate this strategy yourself, but there is a risk of you failing to make your exit at the right moment and taking a greater loss than you planned, or having to exit a trade while the market is still rising because you have to sleep or whatever. So as long as you can leave MT4 running, an EA on autopilot relieves a lot of the pressure that would otherwise be on you in this situation.

The volatility of the market is the main factor in deciding where to set the trailing stop. You do not want to take a heavy loss but at the same time you do not want to have the stop triggered by random fluctuations in the market. A forex trailing stop that is too close to the starting price will be triggered so often that you could end up making constant small losses.

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Monday, May 18th, 2009 fx trading software No Comments

What Is Forex Currency Trading In The Fx Market

What is currency trading? It is something that sounds quite simple and many people speak about it as if the meaning is obvious, but not everybody knows what it really is and how it works.

Currency trading is also known as forex trading. Forex (sometimes written FX) is short for foreign exchange.

You probably know that the value of each country’s currency goes up and down according to how well the country is doing compared with others. So for example, the value of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar will be higher or lower depending on reports of the Canadian and US economies. The same thing happens with all other currencies.

Currency values are constantly changing, so a trader can easily deal in them to make a profit. He or she can buy when a currency is worth less and sell when it is worth more, just as a stock trader would do.

The difference is that where stocks have only one value, their value on the stock exchange, a currency has different values compared with each of the other currencies. So for example the Canadian dollar might rise in relation to the US dollar but at the same time it could fall in relation to the Japanese Yen, if the Yen rose even higher.

Principles Of Currency Trading

Most forex market trading is margin trading. This means that instead of buying the whole value of the currency, you can invest in only a percentage. This allows a small deposit to control larger amounts. The principle of it is that a currency is very unlikely to change in value by more than a certain percentage of its value.

To simplify trading, currencies are traded in what is called pips, or price interest point system. These are the units of trading. They give a standard for comparison as the currency values change relative to each other. So you will hear traders talk of a currency gaining or falling by a certain number of pips, rather than talking in dollar terms.

How To Make A Profit With Currency Trading

In order to make a profit with currency trading, you need to have some idea of the likely movements of currencies. This knowledge can be gained by analyzing the markets or by applying a system that experienced traders have figured out from their own analysis.

If you are a beginner it is probably better to be receiving your information and analysis from somebody with more experience at first. You can pick up a lot of different systems online and watch how each one does, or you can work with an automated system. These are known as expert advisers or forex robots, and they will make the trades for you when the time is right according to the settings that you have programmed.

If you use an automated forex system you do not need to know what is currency trading in so much detail, although as with all things, the more you know the more success you are likely to have.

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Sunday, May 17th, 2009 Introduction No Comments