Monday, 18 April 2011

Start Trading The Forex Market?

“How To”  Start Trading The Forex Market?  (Part 1)
What are *PIPS* ?

Currencies are traded on a price/ point (pip) system. Each currency pair has its own pip value.

When you see a FOREX price quote, you'll see something listed like this:

EUR/USD 1.2210/13

Explanation:

a) If you want to BUY the EUR/USD ( meaning you BUY EUROS and SELL US$ ) you buy 100,000 EUROS and you SELL 122,130 US$, or in other words you receive
122,130 US$ for 100,000 EUROS.

B) If you want to SELL the EUR/USD ( meaning you SELL EUROS and BUY US$ ) you buy 122,100 US$ and sell 100,000 EUROS, or in other words you receive 100,000 EUROS for 122,100 US$.

The difference between the bid and the ask price is referred to as the spread. In the example above, the spread is 3 or 3 pips.

Since the US dollar is the centerpiece of the FOREX market, it is normally considered the 'base' currency for quotes. In the "Majors", this includes USD/JPY, USD/CHF and USD/CAD. For these currencies and many others, quotes are expressed as a unit of $1 USD per the second currency quoted in the pair.

For example a quote of USD/CHF 1.3000 means that fore one U.S. dollar you receive 1.30 Swiss Francs. or in other words, you receive 1.30 Swiss Franc for each 1 US$.

When the U.S. dollar is the base unit and a currency quote goes up, it means the dollar has appreciated in value and the other currency has weakened. If the USD/CHF quote above increases to 1.3050 the dollar is stronger because it will now buy more Swiss Franc than before.

The three exceptions to this rule are the British pound (GBP), the Australian dollar (AUD) and the Euro (EUR). In these cases, you might see a quote such as EUR/USD 1.2080, meaning that for EURO you receive 1.2080 U.S. Dollars.

In these three currency pairs, where the U.S. dollar is not the base rate, a rising quote means a weakening dollar, as it now takes more U.S. dollars to equal one Euro, British pound or an Australian dollar.

In other words, if a currency quote goes higher, that increases the value of the base currency. A lower quote means the base currency is weakening.

Currency pairs that do not involve the U.S. dollar are called cross currencies, but the calculation is the same. For example, a quote of EUR/JPY 134.50 signifies that one Euro is equal to 134.50 Japanese yen.

HOW TO BUY ( going “ LONG ”)and SELL ( going “ SHORT ”) in the FOREX Market?

Keep in mind 2 very important rules:

RULE # 1) Cut your LOOSING trades and let your WINNING trades RUN

YOU WILL HAVE LOSING TRADES. Every FOREX trader has. The secret is, that a consistent, disciplined trader, at the end of the day, adds up more winning trades than losing trades.

When you and see on your charts, without any doubt, that you are in a losing trade, don't keep losing money. Most of the novice traders are lowering their stop loss just to “prove they are right” or “hoping that the market will reverse”. 99% of these trades, are ending up with more losses. Most of the profitable trades are usually "right" immediately.

Remember, smart traders know there are many other opportunities. CUT your losses short and compound those winning positions.

RULE 2) NEVER EVER trade FOREX without placing a Stop Loss Order.

PLACE a STOP order, right along with your ENTRY order, via your online trading station, to prevent potential losses.

Before initiating any trade, you have to calculate at what point ( price) you would be wrong, because the market changed direction, and would want to cut your losses.

To make profits, in the FOREX, a trader can enter the market with a *buy position* (known as going "long") or a *sell position* (known as going "short").

As an example let's assume you've been studying the EURO. The EURO is paired first with the U.S. dollar or USD.

Your trading methods, rules, strategies, etc., tell you that the EURO will rice in the next 2 weeks, So you buy the EUR/USD pair meaning you will simultaneously buy EUROS, and SELL dollars).

You open up your excellent trading station software (provided to you for free by Fenix Capital Management, LLC www.fenixcapitalmanagement.com ) and you see that the EUR/USD pair is trading at:

EUR/USD: 1.2010/1.2013

As you you believe that the market price for the EUR/USD pair will go higher, you will enter a *buy position* in the market.

As an example, lets say you bought one lot EUR/USD at 1.2013. As long as you sell back the pair at a higher price, then you make money.

To illustrate a typical FX SELL trade, consider this scenario involving the USD/JPY currency pair:

REMEMBER Selling ("going short") the currency pair implies selling the first, base currency, and buying the second, quote currency. You sell the currency pair if you believe the base currency (USD) will go down relative to the quote currency (JPY), or equivalently, that the quote currency (JPY) will go up relative to the base currency (USD).

HOW TO CALCULATE PROFIT OR LOSS?

The Profit Calculations, on the Short-sell trade scenario below, may seem somewhat complicated if you've never been in the FOREX market before, but this process is continually calculated through your broker trade station (software). I show you this process below so you can SEE how a PROFIT might occur.

The current bid/ask price for USD/JPY is 107.50/107.54, meaning you can buy $1 US for 107.54 YEN, or sell $1 US for 107.50 YEN.

Suppose you think that the US Dollar (USD) is overvalued against the YEN (JPY). To execute this strategy, you would sell Dollars (simultaneously buying YEN), and then wait for the exchange rate to rise.

Your trade would be the following: you sell 1 lot USD (US $100,000) and you buy 1 lot JPY (10,754.000 YEN). (Remember, at 0.25 % margin, your initial margin deposit for this trade would be $ 250.)

As you expected, USD/JPY falls to 106.50/106.54, meaning you can now buy $1 US for $106.54 Japanese YEN or sell $1 US for 106.50.

Since you're short dollars (and are long YEN), you must now buy dollars and sell back the YEN to realize any profit.

You buy US $100,000 at the current USD/JPY rate of 106.54, and receive 10,654,000 YEN. Since you originally bought (paid for) 10,754,000 YEN, your profit is 100,000 YEN.

To calculate your P&L in terms of US dollars, divide 100,000 by the current USD/JPY rate of 106.54

Total profit = US $938.61

“How To”  Start Trading The Forex Market?  (Part 2)
HOW DO Economic Events impact Global Currencies:

When I asked several traders about their thoughts about using fundamental analysis as a part of their trading decisions, I have received two opposite responses.

RESPONSE of Trader A

Fundamentals that you read about are typically useless as the market has already discounted the price. I am looking at (1) the long term trend, (2) the current chart pattern and (3) identifying a good entry point to buy or to sell.

RESPONSE of Trader B

I almost always trade on a market view. I don't trade simply on technical information alone. I use technical analysis and it is terrific, but I can't initiate or hold a position unless I understand why the market should move.

There is a great deal of hype attached to technical analysis by some technicians who claim that it predicts the future.

Technical analysis tracks the past; it does not predict the future. You have to use your own intelligence to draw conclusions about what the past activity of some traders say about the future activity of other traders.

For me, technical analysis is like a thermometer.

Fundamentalists who say they are not going to pay any attention to the charts are like a doctor who says he's not going to take a patient's temperature. If you want to be a successful trader in the market, you always want to know where the market is- up – down- trending or choppy .You want to know everything you can about the market to give you an edge.

Technical analysis reflects the vote of the entire marketplace and, therefore, does pick up unusual behavior. By definition, anything that creates a new chart pattern is something unusual.

It is very important to study the details of price action to see and observe. Studying the charts is absolutely crucial and alerts to existing disequilibrium and potential changes.

For forex traders, the fundamentals are everything that makes a country tick.

The release of economic & inflation indicators (i.e., consumer spending, employment cost index, government spending, producer price index, etc.), political actors, government policy or an individual event can set the market in a frenzy. These have to be considered when making the decision “ to trade or not to trade.”

Technical analysis, is a way of using historical price data in different ways to predict the future price of a currency pair.

Fundamental analysis is a very effective way to forecast economic conditions, but not necessarily exact market prices, and you SHOULD trade in agreement with the supporting technical indicators.

Foreign exchange traders put the most emphasis on technical analysis, because traders around the world use similar charts and tools in predicting market trends.

The reason the FOREX market can be so predictable some times is that if the majority are using the same graph for determining patterns and trends, then it is highly likely that they will act in a similar manner.

So several thousand traders who have all charted the same resistance line, for example, will most likely either set their trades and direction conform to that line.

When fundamental data is made available to the public there is a reaction from investors and speculators.

Information in the form of news and economic indicators is more vague than that of technical indicators. There is a lot of gray area in this type of analysis. The market will ultimately react to how people think the economic data compares to the current market situation.

Economic indicators usually reveal information that "Should cause a currency to go up in price" or "May cause a currency to go down". The words “SHOULD” & “MAY” in the quotes above reveal the ambiguity of the fundamental data.

Here is an example of what analyzing fundamental data is like. Let's suppose there are six economic indicators (there are a lot more).

Let's call our six indicators 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Now we wait for the data from our indicators to be published in a financial magazine or at an online source. We get the readings for our economic data for the EURO as following:

Indicator 1: is in a range where the Euro may go up
Indicator 2: is in a range where the Euro should go up
Indicator 3: is in a range where the Euro could go down
Indicator 4: is in a range where the Euro usually goes down
Indicator 5: is in a range where the Euro could go up
Indicator 6: is in a range where the Euro may go down

By looking at the above indicators, you don't know what the Euro is going to do. Furthermore, currencies are always traded in pairs. So you would have to get the fundamental data for another currency pair and compare it with the EURO. I think you can image that this is not a simple task.

I do not want to discourage you away from fundamental data. The best way to learn is to learn about one piece of economic data at a time. Eventually you will build a puzzle from all of the fundamental and technical data and make more informed trading decisions.

“How To”  Start Trading The Forex Market? (part 3)
10 REASONS TO START TRADING FOREX!

More and more well informed investor and entrepreneurs are diversifying their traditional investments like stocks, bonds & commodities with foreign currency because of the following reasons:

1) FOREX is the largest financial market in the world.

With a daily trading volume of over $1.5 trillion, the spot FOREX market can absorb trading sizes that dwarf the capacity of any other market. In fact, when compared with the $50 billion daily market for equities or the $30 billion futures market, it becomes quickly apparent this gives you, and millions of other FOREX traders, almost infinite trading liquidity and flexibility.

2) FOREX is a True 24-hour market.

The FOREX Market never sleeps.  Trading positions can be entered and exited at any moment around the globe, around the clock, 5.5 days a week. There is no waiting for an opening bell as in the case of trading stocks. It is a 24- hour, continuous electronic (ONLINE) currency exchange that never closes. This is very desirable for you if you want to trade on a part-time basis, because you can choose when you want to trade: morning, noon or night.

3) There is never a Bear Market in FOREX.

You can have access to a seamless exchange of currencies. Currencies trade in "pairs" (for example, US dollar vs. JPY (YEN) or US dollar vs. CHF (Swiss franc), one side of every currency pair (for example, USD/CHF) is constantly moving in relation to the other. Thus, when you buy a particular currency, you are actually simultaneously selling the other currency in that particular pair. As the market moves, one of the currencies will increase in value versus the other. Of course, it is up to you to choose the correct currency to be long ( you bought) or short( you sold).

4) High Leverage - up to 400:1 Leverage.

You are permitted to trade foreign currencies on a highly leveraged basis - up to 400 times your investment with Fenix Capital Management, LLC and with some other brokers.

Standard 100,000- US$ currency lots can be traded with as little as 0.25% margin, or $250.

Mini FX accounts are permitted to trade with just 0.25% margin, meaning, just $25 allows you to control a 10,000-unit currency position.

Futures traders, who are accustomed to margin requirements generally equal to 5-7%-8% of the contract value, will immediately recognize that the FOREX market provides much greater leverage, and for stock traders, who must post at least 50% margin, there’s no comparison. If you’re looking for an efficient use of trading , trade the Forex Market.

5) Price Movements might be Highly Predictable.

Currency prices in the FX market generally repeat themselves in relatively predictable cycles, creating trends. The strong trends that foreign currencies develop are a significant advantage for traders who use the "technical" methods and strategies.

Unlike stocks, currencies have the tendency to develop strong trends. Over 80% of volume is speculative in nature and, as a result, the market frequently overshoots and then corrects itself. As a technically-trained trader, you can easily identify new trends and breakouts, to enter and exit positions.

6) YOU don't pay commissions or fees to trade FOREX

When you trade FOREX, through Fenix Capital Management LLC (FCM) you can do it totally FREE of commissions and fees , regardless of your account size.

Fenix Capital Management LLC, requires a very low minimum amount to open a brokerage account, only US$ 200 and they do not charge commissions or fees to trade or to maintain an account, regardless of your account balance or trading volume.

7) YOU don't have to pay trading fees or exchange fees.

There are none of the usual fees, which futures and equity traders are accustomed to pay:

NO exchange or clearing fees,
NO NFA or SEC fees.

Because currencies trade over-the-counter (OTC), via a global electronic network, in FOREX, what you see on your trading screen, is what you get, allowing you to make quick decisions on your trades without having to worry or account for fees that may affect your profit/loss or slippage.

In the equity and commodity markets, you must pay both a commission and exchange fees. The over-the-counter structure of the FX market eliminates exchange and clearing fees, which in turn lowers transaction costs.

8) HOW to Forex brokers make money if they don't charge commissions?

Like all traded financial products, over-the-counter currency trading involves a bid/ask spread, which represents the prices at which your counterpart is willing to trade. Your broker will receive a part of this bid/ask spread.

Because the currency market offers round-the-clock liquidity, you receive tight, competitive spreads both intra-day and night. Stock traders can be more vulnerable to liquidity risk and typically receive wider trading spreads, especially during after-hours trading.

9) Market Transparency.

Market transparency is highly desired in any trading environment. The greater the market transparency, the more efficient the market becomes. Unlike other markets where transparency is compromised (like in the many recent scandals), FOREX markets are highly transparent (i.e., analyzing countries, and having access to real-time research / news, is easier than analyzing companies).

Because of this transparency, as an FX trader, you will be able to apply risk management strategies in accordance to your fundamental and technical indicators.

10) Instantaneous Order Execution

The FX market offers the highest level of market transparency out of all the financial markets. Because of this, order execution and fill confirmation usually occur in just 1-2 seconds.

In Forex, order execution is all-electronic and because you'll be trading via an Internet-based platform, instantaneous execution is routine.

There are no exchanges, no traditional open-outcry pits, no floor brokers, and consequently, no delays.( will be continued )



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