How to Make Profit Forex Trading
It's possible to trade profitably on the Forex, the nearly $2 trillion worldwide currency exchange market. But the odds are against you, even more so if you don't prepare and plan your trades. According to a 2014 Bloomberg report, several analyses of retail Forex trading, including one by the National Futures Association (NFA), the industry's regulatory body, concluded that more than two out of three Forex traders lose money. This suggests that self-education and caution are recommended. Here are some approaches that may improve your odds of taking a profit.
Learning Basic Forex Principles
Know how currencies are traded in the forex market. The forex market is a global exchange of currencies and currency-backed financial instruments (contracts to buy or sell currencies at a later date). Participants include everyone from the largest banks and financial institutions to individual investors. Currencies are traded directly for other currencies in the market. As a result, currencies are priced in terms of other currencies, like Euros per US Dollar or Japanese Yen per British Pound Sterling. By effectively seeking price differences and expected increases or decreases in value, participants can earn (sometimes large) returns on investment by trading currencies.
Learn About the Financial Markets
The financial markets allow investors, businesses, governments and central banks a place to transact in an open market, exchanging their risks to meet their financial needs. A corporate treasurer might need to exchange profits in Euros into dollars, just as a speculator believes that the EUR/USD will rise. There are thousands of reasons why exchange rates and prices moved over a short-period of time, generating noise as participants look for an optimal price to enter or exit a position.
Before you start trading, you should learn about the different types of markets available to trade, and which one you are most interested in following. In addition to trading forex, you can also consider trading commodities, indices, and shares. The best way to learn about a market is to read about why others believe it’s moving and the different catalysts that might drive the price or exchange rate in a specific direction. For example, you might start with looking for a style of analysis that is generally provided by reputable brokers such as OctaFX, XM, Exness, and many more. Your goal is to see what type of analysis they offer and what type of actionable ideas come from the analysis they provide. You can also look through a broker’s education section and see if they provide information about why the markets move. In addition to looking at a broker’s education section, you can scan the markets for websites that focus on financial markets education.
1. Know how currencies are traded in the forex market
The forex market is a global exchange of currencies and currency-backed financial instruments (contracts to buy or sell currencies at a later date). Participants include everyone from the largest banks and financial institutions to individual investors. Currencies are traded directly for other currencies in the market. As a result, currencies are priced in terms of other currencies, like Euros per US Dollar or Japanese Yen per British Pound Sterling. By effectively seeking price differences and expected increases or decreases in value, participants can earn (sometimes large) returns on investment by trading currencies.
2. Understand currency price quotes
In the forex market, prices are quoted in terms of other currencies. This is because there is no measure of value that is not another currency. However, the US Dollar is used as a base currency for determining the values of other currencies.
- For example, the price of the Euro (EUR) is quoted as (price quote number) USD/EUR.
- Currency quotes are listed to four decimal places.
- Currency quotes are simple to understand once you know how. For example, the Yen to US would be quoted as 0.0087 JPY/USD. You should understand this as "you need to spend 0.0087 US Dollars to buy one Japanese Yen."
3. Understand leveraged trades
Traders, even very good ones, are often only left with a few points of arbitrage differences or trading gains. To counter these lows return percentages, the traders must make trades with large amounts of money. To increase the money available to them, traders often use leverage, which is essentially trading with borrowed money. Compared to other securities types, trades made in the forex markets can be made with incredibly large amounts of leverage, with typical trading systems allowing for 100:1 margin requirements.
- The 100:1 requirement means that you only need to actually deposit 1/100th of what you are investing in the currency. The deposit is known as the margin and protects you against future currency-trading losses.
- Trades using leverage magnify both potential gains and potential losses, so be careful when making these types of trades.
Learn to Do Your Own Analysis
There are two main types of analysis that forex traders generally focus on, which include fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis is the study of macro events that will alter the course of a currency pair. Technical analysis is the study of price action, including looking at momentum, trends and reversal patterns.
The fundamentals surrounding the forex markets is based on the interest rates markets of each of the currencies that make up an exchange rate. For example, if you plan on trading the EUR/USD you want to have a gauge of where interest rates are likely going in the Eurozone as well as the United States. In general, the stronger an economy, the more likely the central bank is to raise interest rates, which help drive up market interest rates. The reverse is also the case for a weaker economy where the central bank and market forces will likely drive interest rates lower.
The best way to determine if an economy is strong is to be able to evaluate countries financial information. This could include their employment information, their GDP, as well as inflation information such as the consumer price index. Most reputable brokers will provide you with a forex economic calendar where you can see what economists expect relative to history as well as the actual release. What is important about fundamentals is that each new piece of information can alter the direction of an exchange rate. If the economic data is greater than or worse than expected, an exchange rate will move to reflect the new information.
Technical analysis is the study of historical prices. Although the past is not always a predictor of the future, different changes following specific studies can give you a gauge of where prices might move in the futures. Some of the more popular technical analysis studies include evaluating momentum. Momentum is the acceleration or deceleration of price changes. If you are interested in learning about technical analysis, you can look at your broker’s education section, or follow their technical analysis forecasts. There are also several websites that will provide you with education on different types of technical analysis tools. Some of the more popular include the MACD, the RSI, and Stochastics.
Start with a Demo Account
Most reputable brokers will offer you real-money accounts as well as demonstration accounts. A demo account is one where you are trading paper money, not real capital. Most good demonstration accounts offer nearly all the products that are available to trade will a real-money account. The prices will likely be in real-time or close to real-time. In addition, you will have access to most of the education and forecasting information your broker provides to real-money clients. Once you feel like you’re ready for a real-money account you can make the switch from a demo account to real funds.
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