Foreign Exchange Trading: Making Money With Cash

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Foreign Currency Trading Software: Shop Around For Best Results

There is a wide choice of foreign currency trading software for the forex market. When you are just getting started with forex trading you will need to shop around to find the platform that will suit you best. But what types of program are available and what features should you look for?

Online brokerage accounts are always run through forex software. Your broker may either give you access to a platform that runs on their server or you may have something that runs on your own computer.

Brokers may have their own custom forex trading platform or they may use a generic platform which they can have tailored to their company. This should provide you with many features including a wide variety of charts, tools and analytical capabilities that can indicate changing patterns and trends in the price movements. There may also be a forex alert feature or a running commentary on the financial news.

In some cases you can customize your desktop view of the software. This is more useful than you may realize at first. It can save a lot of time to have your preferred settings or combination of tools and charts load automatically when you log in.

If you choose to use automated foreign currency trading software, otherwise known as a forex robot, this will need to connect to your brokerage account to make the trades. Most robots use the platform Metatrader 4.

If you are running a program yourself, be aware that this usually means that your computer must be switched on and connected to the internet at all times while you have open trades, stop losses or orders to open a trade at a certain point. If your internet connection is often broken by storms or other factors, or if your internet provider automatically cuts the connection any time there is no activity from your machine for more than a certain time, you will not be able to trade effectively unless your instructions have already been passed to your brokerage account and are stored there.

The software should be simple to access and use. Clear instructions plus an FAQ page or manual that you can go to for reference are essential. Beyond that there should be some kind of support, either live or by email, when you need more detailed help or cannot find the answer to your question in the documentation.

Forex trading is risky and you can make losses as well as gains. In this very fast moving market it is vital to have all of the information that you need at your fingertips, plus the power to make your selected trades fast. Automated foreign currency trading software can help you massively and you need the best that you can get your hands on.

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 fx trading software 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

How To Find A Forex Trading Broker

One essential that you must have when beginning currency exchange trading is an account with a forex trading broker. The broker is your link into the markets and will cover you to trade margins.

But how do you go about selecting a good one? Here are 5 points to take into account when you are shopping around for forex brokerage accounts.

1. Reliability

This operates on several levels. Firstly, of course, you want a broker that you can trust, who will not suddenly disappear from the internet along with all of your money. The forex market is broadly speaking unregulated, so there are a huge number of brokers and some are more trustworthy than others.

Your first step is to check that the broker is regulated. In the USA this means that you want a broker who is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA). Look for a forex broker with a clean record in any complaints logged against them on the NFA site. Other countries have their own regulatory bodies.

Then you need to think about whether the broker’s platform is reliable. This is their software that you will connect with whenever you want to trade. If it is often offline, it is likely to cause problems for you. You could miss out on either opening or closing a trade at the best time. Check forex trading forums for feedback from users on this point, although be careful not to be swayed either way by a single individual who may have his own reasons for being strongly for or against a particular broker.

2. Services

The forex markets are open 24 hours from Sunday night to Friday afternoon EST. Check that your broker’s trading platform is available all of this time (most are) and that they offer 24 hour customer support on trading days too.

Check that they cover at least the seven major currencies USD, AUD, CAD, GBP, EUR, CHF, JPY. Again most will, but it is worth being sure.

A broker should offer you charts, technical analysis, and instant execution of your orders at the displayed price.

3. Costs

Forex brokers do not charge commission but make their money from the spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell prices on any currency pair. Spread can be anything from 1 pip or less, up to about 3 pips, depending on the broker and the pair.

The size of the slice taken by the spread can make the difference between profit and loss in your trading account in the long term so look closely at this. If you know which pairs you are likely to trade most often, the spread on those pairs will be more important to you than others. At the same time, do not be drawn in by a special offer that may not last long once you have committed your funds.

You also need to consider how much is the minimum that you can invest. Most new traders are best advised to start small, so look for a broker who will let you open an account with $250 or less.

4. Margins

Margin requirements can vary a great deal from broker to broker. A lower margin requirement means higher leverage, and higher leverage gives you greater profits or losses on the same fund size. So low margins seem great when you are doing well, but losses will be bigger if things go badly.

5. Lot size

Lot size can vary from one broker to another. Generally 100,000 units of currency is a standard lot, 10,000 is a mini lot, and 1,000 is a micro lot. Some brokers offer fractional lots which give you more power to set your own lot size. This could be a bonus or just an added complication.

There are other considerations including the interest paid on your margin account, rollover charges and other policies. However, these are the main points that you should be looking out for when choosing a forex trading broker.

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Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 Brokers No Comments

FX Trading Software – Does it make a difference?

FX trading software programs include the automated systems or robots that help you to trade online from the comfort of your own home. They are very popular but are they necessary? What do they really do?

Many people are unwilling to trust their trading decisions to a computer program, especially at first. It is true that it is wise to be cautious in the beginning, because there is always the chance that you will misunderstand something. But you can almost always use the software in demo mode until you are familiar with all of its settings and features.

The main point to remember is that you are controlling the program, not the other way around. You tell it what to do by setting it up in a way that follows your preferred system.

An automated forex trading system can do many things that you cannot. For example, it can trade 24 hours a day. As the currency markets are international and operate in almost every time zone, they are never closed for business from Monday morning in Australia to Friday afternoon in New York. FX trading software can exploit these very long hours and watch the markets all day and all night, never missing a possible trade.

If you join a retail forex trading company online, you will almost certainly be offered software so that you can operate your account from your own computer. This takes the pressure off the company’s website. You can use this type of software to check the currency values and operate your account. This is different than a robot, because you are making the trading decisions and simply using the software to put them into effect.

Automated forex robots, by contrast, are not linked in to one particular broker or company. They run on a trading platform and offer historical market analysis and trend data as well as real time currency values. This data can be extremely valuable for identifying patterns. You can look back to see how currency values fluctuated around the time of certain major events such as an epidemic or an election. Even something like an international sports event can affect national confidence and so cause a change in currency values.

As you become more skilled in interpreting the market trends, you will use all of this data to help improve the success of your trades. Of course there is no guarantee that the currency markets will always behave as they did in the past but any expert will tell you that you cannot ignore the historical data. To put it simply, getting information like this from your FX trading software can help you to make more money from your forex trading.

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Sunday, May 17th, 2009 fx trading software No Comments