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Foreign Exchange Basics: How To Handle Forex News

If you want to make money from the forex market then you will need to know foreign exchange basics. You may have a good mathematical understanding of trends and charts but it is also important to understand the foundation on which the currency trading markets are based. If you do not, you could enter a trade at exactly the wrong time.

The forex market is heavily influenced by national and international news and current affairs. This especially relates to financial news but other major events can have an effect too. These may be expected or unexpected.

For example a disaster such as a major earthquake or terrorist attack is usually unpredictable but could affect currency values. There is not much you can do about this except always to be sure to use stop losses.

A more predictable event would be the announcement that the Olympic Games will be held in a certain country. This could strengthen confidence in that country’s economy and lead to a rise in the value of its currency. At the same time the other major contenders for the Games may suffer a fall in currency values. So it is important for a trader to know when an announcement like that is expected, and which countries are involved.

Similar situations are the financial reports that are released almost daily in many countries. Less regularly, but usually foreseeable, there will also be announcements about interest rates, inflation, gross domestic product and other matters of national economic importance.

Try to avoid trading on rumors. You might see news reports or hear other traders speculating that an announcement will go one way or the other. Do not trade on the basis that they are right. First because they still could be wrong, and second because if it is such a sure thing, the price has probably already changed to take into account the rumors and you will not gain much even if they are right.

Do not forget that you are always trading on two nation’s currencies, not just one. If your own country is one of them, you will have much easier access to financial reports for that currency and it is easy to forget to check on events in the second country. This is particularly true for Americans because dollar news tends to dominate the forex alerts anyway. It is even more true if you are trading the dollar against a minor currency. You may have to take positive steps to ensure that your information is not one-sided.

Even if you are just beginning as a forex trader, it is important to keep in mind these aspects of fundamental analysis for the forex market. Exiting the market before any major announcement is usually the best move for a beginner. As you become more experienced you may develop a system based on this type of forfundamental analysis, but it is important to become familiar with all of the foreign exchange basics first.

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Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 Introduction 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

What Are The Risks With Fx Managed Accounts?

Forex managed accounts present an attractive opportunity for people who want to make money from the lucrative currency trading markets but cannot or do not want to learn to trade for themselves. With a managed account you do not have to do any trading at all. Instead, you entrust your fund to the management company who will act for you.

There are two basic types of forex managed accounts.

1. Standard accounts

With this type of account, your money is kept in your brokerage account in your own name and the manager simply has control over it so that they can trade with it. You can see how much is there and how it is doing at all times. It remains your money.

You have to accept the risk that even a skilled account manager cannot predict the markets 100% and you may have to take some losses. Still, if you are a beginner, he is likely to do better with your money than you would yourself, so it is just a question of whether he can do well enough to cover his fees and make you a good profit.

2. Pooled accounts

Pooled accounts are more risky in that there is more possibility of fraud. Here, your money goes into a pool held by the account manager. You are paid a share of their declared profits.

In theory the pool provides a buffer so that profits and losses are more evenly spread and your income could be a little more predictable than when your money is being managed separately. The problem is that you cannot really know what is happening and an unscrupulous management company could simply be making small regular payments to keep their customers happy while illegally diverting the bulk of your funds into their own pockets.

If you are guaranteed a certain percentage return on investment by a forex account manager using pooled funds, you could be heading for trouble. There are no guarantees with forex trading and any company that makes promises of a 10% return or whatever should be treated with extreme caution.

Of course there are some well run pooled accounts and they have the advantage of a little more predictability than standard forex managed accounts. However, you should research a company offering pooled accounts even more thoroughly than usual before you decide to invest.

Even if you choose a standard account, you need to shop around. Avoid managers who insist on you signing up with their preferred broker. That usually means that they get a commission on all your trades, so they have an incentive to make a lot of small trades even if that is not the most profitable strategy, simply to increase the broker’s earnings from the spread and their own commission rakeoff. Even if their commission is worked on a different basis, you probably will not get the best or cheapest broker that way. It is better to sign up with a company who will let you choose your own broker for forex managed accounts, even if they charge a slightly higher fee.

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Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 Managed Accounts No Comments

What Are The Risks With Forex Managed Accounts?

Forex managed accounts present an attractive opportunity for people who want to make money from the lucrative currency trading markets but cannot or do not want to learn to trade for themselves. With a managed account you do not have to do any trading at all. Instead, you entrust your fund to the management company who will act for you.

There are two basic types of forex managed accounts.

1. Standard accounts

With this type of account, your money is kept in your brokerage account in your own name and the manager simply has control over it so that they can trade with it. You can see how much is there and how it is doing at all times. It remains your money.

You have to accept the risk that even a skilled account manager cannot predict the markets 100% and you may have to take some losses. Still, if you are a beginner, he is likely to do better with your money than you would yourself, so it is just a question of whether he can do well enough to cover his fees and make you a good profit.

2. Pooled accounts

Pooled accounts are more risky in that there is more possibility of fraud. Here, your money goes into a pool held by the account manager. You are paid a share of their declared profits.

In theory the pool provides a buffer so that profits and losses are more evenly spread and your income could be a little more predictable than when your money is being managed separately. The problem is that you cannot really know what is happening and an unscrupulous management company could simply be making small regular payments to keep their customers happy while illegally diverting the bulk of your funds into their own pockets.

If you are guaranteed a certain percentage return on investment by a forex account manager using pooled funds, you could be heading for trouble. There are no guarantees with forex trading and any company that makes promises of a 10% return or whatever should be treated with extreme caution.

Of course there are some well run pooled accounts and they have the advantage of a little more predictability than standard forex managed accounts. However, you should research a company offering pooled accounts even more thoroughly than usual before you decide to invest.

Even if you choose a standard account, you need to shop around. Avoid managers who insist on you signing up with their preferred broker. That usually means that they get a commission on all your trades, so they have an incentive to make a lot of small trades even if that is not the most profitable strategy, simply to increase the broker’s earnings from the spread and their own commission rakeoff. Even if their commission is worked on a different basis, you probably will not get the best or cheapest broker that way. It is better to sign up with a company who will let you choose your own broker for forex managed accounts, even if they charge a slightly higher fee.

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Monday, May 25th, 2009 Managed Accounts No Comments