FOREX, which stands for the foreign exchange market, also known as the currency market, is an unsupervised market where universal currencies are exchanged. By trading certain currencies for others during a certain time, you can make a lot of money. But doing so can seem complicated to new traders, for it takes understanding of charts, numbers, as well as getting the timing right. That is why many beginners start, and then give up shortly after. You need to be careful because you are putting up your own money in this market, and it may be lost. But with some reading, learning, and practice, you can learn how to take advantage of the Forex Market and make amazing money all from the comfort of your home!
This is our list of top 10 Tips for trading the FOREX Market:
1. Be Patient.
When it comes to forex, there are all these “get-rich quick” and “easy money” assumptions and hypes going around. Sure, some people make a lot of money trading forex, but some also make a lot of money selling houses! In both of these cases, it does not happen overnight. It may take years to gain the experience and insight to make forex trading a successful career.
Being new to the forex market, you should let go of those unreasonable expectations of getting rich quickly. Instead, work on learning what is required to be profitable. Do not place large trades in proportion to your account balance in hopes of making a huge profit, because sometimes the trade will go against you and you will suffer severe losses. Basically, read over these tips, study everything you can about forex, and do not quit your day job just yet…
2. Know Your Surroundings
When creating a plan, you should know your chosen currency pairs and how they are influenced by global events. But if you want to truly succeed, you should learn as much as you can about the foreign exchange market. You should learn about the different financial markets and how they affect each other. Learn about how they overlap, from stocks to bonds to commodities to forex. You should also learn about different currencies within the market. The more knowledgeable you are, the more understanding you will be and the more areas of development, investment, and future success await. This knowledge will lead you to making more informed decisions when new economic figures are released. The better informed you are, the better your chances for success. It is also important to be aware that different traders in the market may have different intentions from yours. Hedgers, for example, will sell into a rising market because they are looking for good average pricing on large orders so as to risk manage their portfolios. An individual trader, in contrast, wants to maximize their profits with each trade.
3. Make a Plan.
Before you place your first trade, you should decide on a strategy to follow. This will make it easier for you to focus on the market. You must study the market price action and attempt to identify patterns before you start risking your money. You can develop your trading plan by utilizing these observations.
When formulating your trading strategy, you should take these things into account:
- Technical indicators you are going to use
- The time of day at which you plan to trade
- Plan the frequency with which you will trade
- Estimated risk and reward for every trade
- Buy/Sell signals that you are planning on using
- A daily stop-loss to protect your total account balance
Overall, have a trading plan. First, decide on an overall objective for your general trading actions, as well as for each trade you make. Your overall objective should include the currencies you will be handling, the amount of leverage you will use, and the amount of time you have to spend on your trading activities. Second, you must have an exit strategy plan for every trade, including the lower and upper limits of the trade. You must identify the point at which you will close positions and collect your profits (take-profit order), or if you are losing, the point at which you are prepared to get out of the trade and limit your losses (limit order).
When you are in the heat of the moment, trading, focus on the process of trading rather than the possibilities of whether you are going to win or lose. Focus on the plan and stick to it so that other worries, such as potential loss, will not cloud your judgment.
4. Make Calculated Decisions
You should enter the market prepared. You should know, in advance, where you intend to open and close a position based on the system that you are following in order to focus on your system and avoid last minute doubts.
You should also have stop-loss orders in place so that you are prepared when the market does not agree with where you placed your order.
Do not trade with your emotions. Make sure that you are not overly emotional while you are trading, and if you are, consider stopping until you have calmed down. When in the market, you do not want to make any rash or uncalculated mistakes. You want to trade logically and not emotionally.
5. Utilize Stop Loss Orders.
Knowing when to cut your losses is crucial in the marketplace. Some individuals hold on to a losing position for too long because they are hoping and waiting for the market to come back up. Some individuals also exit a winning situation too early which eliminates chances for a greater profit. But as was mentioned in tip#1, patience is key. You must be patient and enter only the trades which you believe will have a positive income and follow this with the strength to either cut the trade as soon as it turns against you, or go with it because you believe in the trade.
Upon opening a trade, you can set a stop loss order. This is the point at which the trade will automatically cease and shut down if the market moves to that position. You should consider placing stop-loss orders on all of your market orders because by not leaving one, you are gambling away the entire value of your account. By utilizing stop-loss orders you can automatically sell a long position if the rate decreases to a certain point, and in this manner you can limit your loss on any given trade, even if you cannot monitor your account nonstop. Take-profit orders allow you to set a rate at which you want open positions closed in order to keep profits. You just have to recognize the rate at which to take the profits and the system will close the position without you needing to watch over it constantly.
What sets seasoned forex trades and new forex traders apart is the seasoned traders’ ability to determine when a losing trend is not going to reverse. They know when to cut their losses. If a trade hits a stop-loss, you will lose the money that you committed but you will also protect the rest of your money, leaving you with capital to invest in something else that will hopefully be more profitable. Sometimes you must see things as life lessons, learn and move on.
6. Stay Strong.
Once you have a plan in place, you must have the patience and the discipline to actually follow through with it. It may be difficult to do so, but it is a must if you want to succeed, and it is why having a plan is so important. It is only human to second-guess your actions once the marketplace starts moving and shifting. But if, prior to entering the market, you had a sound reason to establish your take profit and stop loss limits, the conditions have not changed just because you have entered the market, so you must follow your plan and not change it in the middle of the battle. Do not act on emotion. Always act on analysis. After you have left the market and the volatile situation, you can of course revise, learn from the experience, and change your limits for the next time. But do not do so in the middle of an exchange. It is true that the market can be so volatile that no plan will turn out with positive results. But you should learn from your experiences, read up, practice, and never let yourself fall into the “I must do something” trap.
If you are strong and stay true to the tested trading plan, you will make more profit than those who do not trade consistently. You should always plan instead of randomly picking out trades in the heat of the moment. If you want an edge above others, you must follow a solid trading plan. You should be consistent in your trading system and collect analysis on your process so that you may see what you are doing wrong and adjust your plan in the future.
7. Pay Attention To The Rate Spread Fluctuations and the Impact Spreads Have on Profitability.
The difference between the ask price and the bid price is called the Exchange Rate Spreads. These are critical and affect profitability directly. You need to be conscious of the fact that spread differentials can change drastically throughout the day. They may turn a profitable trade into a losing one. You must also realize that forex spreads widen during off-market hours, at which time volumes and liquidity are decreased. Moreover, spreads have a tendency to widen before important news like an impending interest rate decision or the latest unemployment results.
8. Avoid Using Excessive Leverage.
Many traders are seduced by the opportunity to trade on margin, also known as “leveraged trading”. When you trade with a small deposit initially, you can still open relatively large positions, so it is essential that you do not overdo it when selecting the size of your trade. Trading with a high degree of leverage, which is common in the foreign exchange markets, means that you provide just a small portion of the true amount you are investing while preserving profit/losses as though you had invested the full amount yourself. This can work in your favor, but can also go very wrong. You might sustain a loss that is equal to all of your initial investment, but you may also lose even more than you invested in your trading account. There are strategies of how to deal with losses, but these strategies also require a responsible trading strategy. Leverage can be a powerful tool that may be used to maximize profits, but it can also serve as your downfall. Do not take this lightly if you do not know how it works.
9. Manage Your Money.
Traders with experience tend to recommend risking a set percentage of your capital, and never skewing from that. This is very advantageous in times of losses because it reduces their impact. Many inexperienced traders tend to ignore this piece of advice and increase the percentage risked as the amount they are losing increases. This is irresponsible money management and will lead to more emotional trading and, inevitably, more losses. So set your limits both with your stop-loss and take-profit levels, as well as with the percent of your capital that you are willing to risk, and stick to the plan!
10. Practice On A Free Demo Account.
Unlike some other skills, like learning an instrument or a language, the forex market should not be approached on a trial and error basis. We are talking real money, your savings, and you need to be prepared and gain the necessary skills in order to be a successful trader. Luckily for you, many forex brokers offer practice versions of their trading platforms that can allow you to use play money while you learn the market and develop a strategy. With a free forex demo account, you can experiment and check how the market reacts to certain news events and other economic influences without risking your investment capital. But just because you are using play money does not mean you should not take this account seriously. if you want to truly learn from the experience, you need to take losses seriously, understand why they occurred, and take this opportunity to study and truly practice. Take advantage of this market training tool before you start trading your real money.
Now you can take all the tips on this list and practice them with your own free practice account. We recommend Markets.com. This broker offers a vast amount of free educational material, including videos and webinars. They have a social trading tool whereby you can follow the best performing traders and copy their trades and are fully compatible with the leading trading softwares such as MetaTrader4. You also get a nice welcome bonus when you sign up with them.