PipPhenes Inc. Forex Trading for Beginners: The Ultimate Beginners Guide
Forex trading for beginners can be especially tough. This is mostly due to unrealistic expectations that are common among newcomers. What you need to know is that currency trading is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. On this page, you will receive an introduction to the Forex market, how it works, and key terminology, along with the benefits of trading different currencies.
Broker: TradersWay (MT4.ECN, 200:1 Leverage, use MT4)
So, What is Forex?
Forex, or the foreign exchange market (also called FX for short) is the marketplace where currencies are traded. At its simplest, a foreign exchange transaction might be, for example, when you transfer your local currency to a new one for an upcoming holiday. Across the market as a whole, an estimated 5.3 billion USD is traded every day between governments, banks, corporations, and speculators. (This will soon be handled by cryptocurrency technology, if you want to capitalize on the tokenization of global funds join our Crypto-Based Hedge Fund: PlutusManagement.com We expect no less than 30X for 2019, consider investing!)
Knowing how the industry is mapped out is important, because the collective combination of all participants creates the market you trade in. The relative weight of the trading party to the market is measured by how much money that party manages – from billion dollar hedge funds and investment banks, to private traders with a few thousand dollars in action.
Currencies are traded as pairs, and the movement of currency pairs measure the value of one currency against another. For instance, the EURUSD currency pair measures the value of the Euro against the US dollar. When the value of the pair increases, this means the value of the Euro has increased against the value of the US dollar. When the value of the pair decreases, this means the value of the US dollar has increased (or the value of the Euro has fallen).
Think of these trading pairs like a teeter totter. Just pretend that strength in the currency means heavy weight, and weakness in a currency means lighter weight. When you put these pairs on the teeter totter the strengthening currency will be the one to tilt the teeter totter and the weakening currency will be lifting the teeter totter.
By trading Forex and CFDs, traders can make a profit off of these currency movements.
Which Forex Pairs Can You Trade?
Forex currency pairs are known as majors, minors, and exotics.
Major currency pairs are made up of the most frequently traded currencies, which are:
· USD - The US Dollar
· EUR - The Euro
· JPY - The Japanese Yen
· GBP - The British Pound
· CHF - The Swiss Franc
· CAD - The Canadian Dollar
· AUD - The Australian Dollar
· NZD - The New Zealand Dollar
A major currency pair is one that contains any one of these currencies paired against the US dollar, such as the EUR/USD, USDJPY or the GBPUSD. Forex minors pairs made up of these major currencies that don't include the US dollar. These pairs include EURGBP, EURCHF, AUDNZD and so on.
Finally, exotic currencies are any currencies that we haven't already mentioned, such as the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), the Norwegian Krone (NOK), the South African Rand (ZAR) and the Thai Baht (THB). Exotic pairs include one exotic currency and one major currency.
When learning about Forex trading, many beginners tend to focus on major currency pairs because of their daily volatility and tight spreads (we will get into these later).
How many markets you scan for opportunities is up to you, but do not limit yourself to just one instrument or one market (at first!). Market limitation can lead to overtrading, so make sure to diversify your interests until you find what works for you. After you figure this out, go deep, not wide.
What Are Forex Quotes?
When trading Forex, you'll see that both 'Bid' and 'Ask' prices are quoted. The bid price is the price at which you can buy the currency, while the ask price is the price at which you can sell it. If you are purchasing a currency in a trade, this is known as a long trade, and the hope is that the currency pair will increase in value, so that you can sell it at a higher price and make a profit on the difference.
If you are selling a currency in a trade, the opposite is true - the hope is that the currency pair will fall in value, so that you can buy it back at a lower price, which means you will profit on the difference.
The number quoted for these prices is based on the current exchange rate of the currencies in the pair, or how much of the second currency you would get in exchange for one unit of the first currency (for instance, if 1 EUR could be exchanged for 1.68 USD, the bid and ask price would be on either side of this number).
You can go deeper into these topics by checking out our Forex Investor E-Book ($27) Can get yours at https://pipphenes.com/
How Much Do Currency Values Change (Or, How Liquid Are Different Forex Pairs)?
If the way traders make a profit is by cashing in on the difference between the bid and ask prices of currency pairs, the next logical question is, how much can you expect any given currency to move?
This depends on how liquid the currency is, or how much of it is being bought and sold at any one time. The most liquid currency pairs are the ones with the most supply and demand in the Forex market, and this supply and demand is generated by banks, businesses, importers and exporters, and traders. Major currency pairs tend to be the most liquid, with the EUR/USD currency pair moving by 90-120 pips on an average day.
By contrast, the AUD/NZD moves by 50-60 pips a day, and the USDHKD currency pair only moves by an average of 32 pips a day (when looking at the value of currency pairs, most will be listed with five decimal points. A 'Pip' is 0.0001. So, if the EUR/USD moved from 1.16667 to 1.16677, that would represent a 1 pip change). The major Forex pairs tend to be the most liquid, and therefore provide the most opportunities for short term trading.
However, there are many opportunities among minor and exotic currencies as well, particularly if you have some specialized knowledge about a certain currency.
What is a Pip?
The unit of measurement to express the change in value between two currencies is called a “pip.”
If EUR/USD moves from 1.1050 to 1.1051, that .0001 USD rise in value is ONE PIP.
A pip is usually the last decimal place of a price quote.
Most pairs go out to 4 decimal places, but there are some exceptions like Japanese yen pairs (they go out to two decimal places).
For example, for EUR/USD, it is 0.0001, and for USD/JPY, it is 0.01.
What is a Pipette?
There are forex brokers that quote currency pairs beyond the standard “4 and 2” decimal places to “5 and 3” decimal places.
They are quoting FRACTIONAL PIPS, also called “pipettes.”
If the concept of a “pip” isn’t already confusing enough for the new forex trader, let’s try to make you even more confused and point out that a “pipette” or “fractional pip” is equal to a “tenth of a pip“.
For instance, if GBP/USD moves from 1.30542 to 1.30543, that .00001 USD move higher is ONE PIPETTE.
Here’s how fractional pips look like on a trading platform:
On trading platforms, the digit representing a tenth of a pip usually appears to the right of the two larger digits.
Here’s a pip “map” from babypips to help you to learn how to read pips…
What is the Forex Spread?
The spread, in Forex, is the difference between the bid and ask price of a currency pair. For example, if the Bid price of the EUR/USD is 1.16668, and the sell price is 1.16669, the spread will be 0.0001, or 1 pip. In any Forex trade, the value of a currency pair will need to cross the spread before it becomes profitable. To continue with the previous example, if a trader entered a long EUR/USD trade at 1.16668, the trade wouldn't become profitable until the value of the pair was higher than 1.16669.
In a currency pair with a wider spread, such as the EURCZK, the currency will need to make a larger movement in order for the trade to become profitable. At the time of writing, the bid price for this pair is 25.4373, while the ask price is 25.4124, so the spread is 0.0200, or 20 pips. It's also not uncommon for this currency pair to have movements of less than 20 pips a day, meaning traders will likely need to perform a multi-day trade to make a profit.
This means that low spread trading is often a priority for Forex traders, as their trades can become profitable quicker, meaning that they can make a high volume of smaller trades, rather than relying on larger trades to make money.
What are Forex CFDs?
If you've been researching Forex trading, you might have seen the term 'Forex CFDs' at some point. There are two ways to trade Forex: using CFDs or spot Forex (also known as margin). Spot Forex involves buying and selling the actual currency. For example, you might purchase a certain amount of Pound Sterling for Euros, and then, once the value of the Pound increases, you may then exchange your Euros for Pounds again, receiving more money back compared with what you originally spent on the purchase.
The term CFD stands for 'Contract For Difference', and it is a contract used to represent the movement in the prices of financial instruments. In terms of Forex, this means that rather than purchasing and selling large amounts of currency, you can profit on price movements without owning the asset itself. Along with Forex, CFDs are also available on shares, indices, bonds, commodities and cryptocurrencies. In every case, they allow you to trade on the price movements of these instruments without having to purchase them.
How Does Leverage Work in Forex Trading?
Along with being able to access a wide range of financial markets, another benefit of trading CFDs is that a trader can access a much larger portion of those markets, and increase their potential profits as a result. CFD contracts provide leveraged access to the market, meaning a trader can access a much larger portion of the market than what they would be able to purchase outright.
To use Gold CFD as an example, at the time of writing, to purchase an ounce of Gold you would need to spend 1,200 USD. However, with a leverage rate of 1:20 (which means a trader could trade up to 20 times the value of what they deposit), a trader could trade on the full value of an ounce of gold (equivalent to 1,200 USD), for a deposit of just 60 USD.
Similarly, if you wanted to purchase 3,000 USD with Euros, that would cost 2,570 EUR. With a leverage rate of 1:30, however, you could access 3,000 USD worth of the EUR/USD currency pair as a CFD with just 100 USD. The best part, however, is that the size of the potential profit a trader could make is the same as if they had invested in the asset outright. The risk here is that potential losses are magnified to the same extent as potential profits.
Forex Trade (1:20 leverage)
EUR/USD trade opens at 1.16766, closes at 1.16926, a difference of 0.00200
You make US $200, or 40%
You make US$200, or 2%
EUR/USD trade opens at 1.16766, closes at 1.16532, a difference of 0.00234
You lose US $234, or 46.8%
You lose US $234, or 2.34%
To see how different levels of leverage can affect your trading, take a look at our Forex leverage infographic below:
We suggest you use 200:1 or more AS LONG AS you use our recommended broker: TradersWay
You will get the lowest spreads, fees, and commissions in the industry. We have been with them for 12+ years now! JOIN THEM! Don’t get screwed again.
A Summary of Essential Forex Terms
Before we move on, let's recap some of the key concepts covered so far with this list of key Forex terms:
· Pip: A pip is the base unit in the price of currency pairs, or 0.0001 of the quoted prices. So, when the bid price for the EUR/USD pair goes from 1.16667 to 1.16677, that represents a pip change of one.
· Spread: The spread is the difference between a currency pair's bid and ask price. For the most popular currency pairs, the spread is often low - sometimes even less than a pip! For pairs that aren't traded as frequently, the spread tends to be much higher. Before a Forex trade becomes profitable, the value of the currency pair must cross the spread.
· Margin: Margin is the money in a trader's account. However, because the average 'Retail Forex trader' lacks the margin required to trade a high enough volume to make a good profit, many Forex and CFD brokers offer their clients access to leverage.
· Leverage: Leverage is capital provided by a Forex broker to bolster their client's trading volume. For example, if you use a 1:10 rate of leverage and have $1,000 in your trading account, you can trade $10,000 worth of a currency pair. If the trade is successful, leverage will maximize your profits by a factor of 10. However, please note that leverage also multiplies your losses to the same degree, so it should be used with caution. If your account balance falls below $0, you may trigger a broker's negative balance protection settings (if trading with an ESMA regulated broker), which will result in the trade being closed. Fortunately, this means that your balance cannot move below $0, so you will not be in debt to the broker.
What Are the Benefits of Forex Trading?
Now that we've shared an overview of the Forex market, why might you want to trade Forex?
There are a number of reasons why people choose to start day trading. Some of these reasons might include the potential to earn extra money on the side from the comfort of their own home, the opportunity to learn a new skill in their own time, or even the dream of achieving financial freedom, and having more control over their financial future. When it comes to Forex specifically though, there are a number of benefits that make this financial instrument a very enticing one to trade.
If you would like to learn more about the differences between the Forex market and the Stocks market, why not check out our comparison article on the topic? And find out which market is right for you! Follow our trading daily on our Telegram Channel (Free)
Forex: The World's Largest Financial Market
Forex is the world's largest financial market, with over 5.09 trillion USD traded every single day. To put it in other words, in a single day, more money will be traded in the Forex markets than Japan's entire GDP! (Gross Domestic Product). Of these transactions, 254 billion USD is traded through CFDs and other derivative instruments.
Being the largest, most active financial market on the globe, it is also the world's most liquid market, meaning it is easy for traders to enter into, as well as exit trades, and for the most liquid pairs, they can do so at a very low cost (even less than a single pip!). This also means that the Forex market is very volatile, creating many opportunities for traders to make a profit on both the positive and negative movements of currency pairs.
Trade Around the Clock
Forex is the one financial market that never sleeps, meaning you can trade at all hours of the day (or night). Unlike the world's stock exchanges, which are located in physical trading rooms like the New York Stock Exchange or the London Stock Exchange, the Forex market is known as an 'Over-the-counter market' (or OTC). This means that the trades take place directly between the parties holding the currencies, rather than being managed via an exchange.
Consequently, the Forex market has never been restricted to the business hours of any one exchange.
However, since the Forex market is a global market, it means there is always a part of the world that is awake and conducting business, and during these hours their currencies tend to experience the most movement. For example, currency pairs involving the US dollar experience the most movement during US business hours (16:00 to 24:00 GMT), while the Euro, Pound, Swiss Franc and other European currencies experience the most movement during European business hours, (8:00 and 16:00 GMT).
By contrast, the Australian Dollar, the New Zealand Dollar and the Japanese Yen tend to be more active between 00:00 and 08:00 GMT. As a trader, this means you can trade whenever it suits you - if you work during the day, there will be currencies available to trade before or after work. If you have children but are at home during the day, you can simply choose a different currency. In the Forex market, you can trade 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Speculate on Rising or Falling Prices
One of the most common trading and investment philosophies is to 'buy low and sell high' - this is particularly the case with long-term investments, such as investing in stocks or bonds, which rely on the asset increasing in value. In the Forex market, you can also sell high and buy low. This way, you can potentially make profits on both downward and upward trends.
As mentioned earlier, in a long trade (also known as a buy trade), a trader will open a trade at the bid price, and will aim to close the trade at a higher price, making a profit on the difference between the opening and closing value of the currency pair. So if the EUR/USD bid price is 1.16667, and the trade closes at the price of 1.17568, the difference is 0.00901, or 90.1 pips. (When trading a single lot, that would make a 901 USD profit).
Traders can also make short trades (also known as sell trades), where they sell a Forex CFD at the ask price and, once the price drops, buy it at a lower bid price, and profit on the difference. In this case, if the GBP/USD ask price was 1.32265, and the trade closed at the price of 1.31203, the difference would be 0.01062, or 106.2 pips (which would amount to 1,062 USD in profit).
Low Costs of Forex Trading
Due to Forex CFDs being leveraged, traders can access large portions of the currency market at a very low margin - sometimes as low as 1/500th of the size of the market they want to access (based on a leverage rate of 1:500). There are few additional costs as well - most Forex trading accounts have little (or no) commissions, order fees, and account management fees. If there are any trading fees, these are usually a markup the broker has added to the spread. Lowest Spread Broker: TradersWay our Recommendation
Ease of Access
One of the greatest advantages of Forex trading is that it is one of the most developed financial markets in terms of technology. While many markets are accessible via old-fashioned trading platforms, there is constant competition in terms of the software available for trading the FX market.
The platforms offered by Traders Way include MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and MetaTrader WebTrader. MT4 and MT5 are both available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices (for iPhone and iPad). In addition, Traders way offers all these platforms straight from those links.
With access to all this software, Forex can be traded from anywhere in the world - and all you need is an internet connection. In fact, you can start trading in a risk-free environment now with a free demo account. Get a free demo account with us here: TW
How Can You Start Trading Forex?
If you're still reading, your next question is probably, "How can I become a successful Forex trader?"
This is the main focus of the rest of this article - we'll outline not only how you can start trading, but also some of the most popular trading strategies for making a profit on the Forex market, which exercise risk management. The first step, of course, is getting set up to trade, which starts with finding the right Forex broker.
What is the quality of the broker's trading service?
The service of the broker you choose, and the platform they offer, is essential in ensuring that you achieve the best trading results. If you were trading on a system that was slow and regularly crashed, for example, you might not be able to enter or exit a trade at the price you want. Instead, it's important to look for a broker that offers high levels of liquidity, low spreads and the ability to execute orders at the price you want (or as close to this as possible).
Another element of the service provided is the margin requirements and level of leverage available. While there is no need to choose the highest level of available leverage when you start trading Forex, simply knowing that a broker offers the highest level of leverage approved by their regulator means that, as your experience grows, you can start to increase your leverage according to your preferences.
What is the cost of trading?
As Forex trading can be an income-generating activity, it's important to treat your trading as a business activity - one where you consider both how to maximize your income, how to minimize your costs, and how to minimize the risks. With this in mind, make sure to consider the costs of trading with any Forex broker, before you ultimately select one.
Areas to think about include:
· The size of their spreads: We've already discussed how the size of the spread influences your potential trading profits, as any currency pair needs to cross the spread before a trade will become profitable. With this in mind, look for a broker that offers low spreads.
· Commissions: Ideally you should choose a Forex broker that doesn't charge commissions, as commissions will cut into your potential profits.
· The minimum deposit: Many Forex brokers will ask traders to make a minimum deposit when opening a live trading account, so it is best to find one with the lowest number of requirements. Traders Way offers a minimum deposit of $10
While searching for the cheapest Forex broker, it really comes down to a combination of spreads, execution quality, commission, and the minimum deposit. These should be the last points you consider when opening a long-term trading account. The best Forex broker for beginners depends on elements like the trading system, the quote feed, instrument portfolios, execution models, and the leverage offered.
What products and markets do they offer?
When choosing a Forex broker, obviously you will want to make sure they have access to a wide range of currency pairs, including majors, minors and exotics. But what about other financial instruments? If you are considering trading with a Forex and CFD broker, it's a good idea to look into the other instruments they offer as well.
This will ensure that if you decide to trade stocks, indices, ETFs commodities, cryptocurrencies and other instruments in the future, you won't need to find a new broker to do so. Traders Way, for example, provides traders with access to over 7,500 financial instruments, allowing you to create a diversified trading and investment strategy from a single platform.
5. Which trading tools do they have available?
The quality of the trading tools a Forex broker offers can make a big difference to your trading experience. In most cases, the available tools will depend on the trading platform (or platforms) being used. For instance, Traders Way offers trading through the state of the art MetaTrader 4 & 5 Supreme Edition plugin, which include a range of custom tools and add-ons to improve your trading experience.
6. Does the broker's offering suit your trading style?
It's important to consider whether a Forex broker and their trading platform will suit your trading style. For example, you might be interested in following a scalping strategy which involves making a high volume of small profits on small currency movements. In this case, you would need to ensure that any potential broker has minimum distance between the market price and your stop-loss and take-profit. YOU CAN COPY US DIRECTLY BY FOLLOWING OUR TRADING SIGNALS! FREE: TELEGRAM PAID: WEBSITE
Or, if you are new to Forex trading, you might not be comfortable using the maximum leverage the broker offers. With this in mind, check whether the broker allows nominal leverage - where you can choose the amount of leverage you use in your trading, anywhere up to the maximum limit.
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How to Manage Your Risk When Trading Forex
Before you make your first trade, it's important to consider how to effectively manage your risk in the Forex market. As we've already discussed, trading Forex CFDs gives you the opportunity to trade using leverage, meaning you can use a relatively small deposit to access a larger portion of the market (up to 500 times the value of your account balance, if you're a Professional client). This then multiplies your potential profits to the same extent. However, it also multiplies your potential losses.
To use an extreme example, imagine holding an account balance of 2,000 EUR and putting all of that on a single trade. If the trade goes badly, you will have lost your entire investment, and because the Forex market can move very quickly, losses can also happen very quickly. This is where risk management is essential - to help you minimize losses and protect any profits you do make. The key areas to consider when managing your Forex trading risk are trading psychology, and money management.
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Master Your Trading Psychology
While it might sound strange to discuss the topics of mindset and psychology in a guide to Forex trading, the truth is that these are some of the most important factors separating successful traders from unsuccessful traders.
Developing trading discipline and the ability to manage your emotions will help you remain cool under pressure, entre trades at the right time, and to know when to exit those trades - whether you are cutting your losses or taking your profits before the market turns.
Some key trading psychology tips to keep in mind include:
· Stay calm: As exciting as trading can be, it is still stressful work. There will be a lot of setbacks on your way to the top. Emotions can force your hand to open a trade too early and/or close it too late. The main cause of stress for beginners in trading is the fact that some Forex trades will end in loss no matter what – it's just the way the market is. Just remember that war is not won with a single battle. Rather, it is overall performance that counts.
· Understand your risk tolerance: Every person has a different level of risk tolerance, and this will influence the size of the chances they take, the losses they are willing to experience, and the psychological effect of them. To manage your stress levels while trading, it's important to consider your level of risk tolerance in advance and choose trading strategies that support this.
For instance, someone with a low risk tolerance would be more comfortable making lots of small trades over time and letting the small profits from each trade add up. By contrast, someone with a higher tolerance for risk would be more willing to make larger trades, with the opportunities for larger gains (but larger losses as well).
· Set realistic trading goals: It's important to be realistic with your trading expectations, as this will help you assess the best times to open and close trades. Many new Forex traders have very high expectations about their potential profits, and this causes them to trade very aggressively, with large sums of money and fast decisions. Again, start small to test your knowledge and skills, and as you start to reliably achieve the results you want, you can set bigger goals.
· Set your limits in advance: Before embarking on any Forex trade, you should have defined the price at which you'll open the trade, the price at which you will close it and take your profits, and the price at which you will close it, should the market turn unexpectedly, thereby cutting your losses. Then, once you have set those limits, it's important to stick with them!
Many new traders choose not to close a trade because the market is still moving in the direction, they want it to, only to then lose all of their gains when the direction suddenly changes. If your trade hits your predetermined target, close it and enjoy your winnings. If the market moves in the opposite direction, close the trade or set a stop loss so it will close automatically.
· Prepare for the worst: While this might sound pessimistic, in Forex trading it is better to prepare for the worse than expect the best. There have been many times in history when financial markets and individual trading instruments have experienced sudden spikes or drops in value. By considering the worst possible outcome of a trade, you can take measures to protect yourself, should this happen, such as by setting a stop loss in advance.
Money Management in Forex
Managing your money in Forex trading comes down to the specific measures you use to increase your profits, whilst also minimizing potential losses. Successful Forex trading has far more to do with effective money management than having a handful of good trades and is one of the secrets that separates those who successfully trade FX over the long term, from those who give up after a couple of trades.
For the moment though, here are some money management fundamentals to guide your trading:
· Decide how you will finance your trading in advance: Only one kind of money is good for investing, and that's the kind that you are willing to lose, and preferably without damaging your physical and/or mental wellbeing in the process. Every profitable trader is profitable in their own way, while every loser experience loss the same way. Remember, use every available opportunity to learn. It's a never-ending process!
· Define your investment level: One of the most common questions about trading Forex is 'how much do I need to get started? For beginner traders, it's a good idea to start small and work your way up. Fortunately, many Forex brokers have reasonable minimum deposit levels for opening an account. At Traders Way for example, the minimum deposit amount is $10, however we suggest starting with $300 minimum after practicing with demo accounts... Calculate your risk: Make sure to calculate your risk before you trade. If the potential profits of a trade are smaller than the potential risks, the trade probably isn't a good decision. You can assess your risk with our free Forex calculator.
· Determine the profits required to cover any losses: Along with calculating your risks before any trade, it's also worth calculating how much you would need to make to regain those funds in any future trade. It's often harder to earn money back than it is to lose it, simply because your remaining investment pool is smaller, which means you have to make a larger profit (percentage wise) to break even.
For example, if you invested 5,000 EUR and lost 1,000 EUR, you will have lost 20% of your balance, leaving you with a final balance of 4,000 EUR. To bring your balance back to 5,000 EUR, you will need to make a profit of 1,000 EUR. However, with a starting balance of 4,000 EUR (after the previous loss), there is now a 25% gain, rather than a 20% one.
Amount of account balance lost
Necessary return to restore original account balance
· Start with small trades: To help you manage your risk and preserve your capital, start by trading small sums of money, rather than taking big risks with a large portion of your account balance. For instance, in the previous example, if you put your entire 2,000 EUR account balance on a single trade, it would be easy to lose it all.
By contrast, if you just traded 20 EUR, a loss would not significantly affect your account balance. It would provide you with the opportunity to learn from your experience and plan your next trade more effectively. With this in mind, limiting the capital you are prepared to risk to 5% of your account balance (or lower) will put you in a better position to continue trading Forex (and improving your technique) over the long term.
Risk Management Tools and Techniques
Once you have mastered your trading psychology and money management, there are a number of trading techniques you can apply to further reduce your risk: