Monday, June 25, 2007

Entering the Forex Market

You have decided to be a trader in the forex market, and you have no idea on how to begin. Let's first start by defining what the forex market is and what it does.

The term "forex", also known as the foreign exchange is a market for the sale and purchase of all kinds of currencies. It originated in the early 1970's when floating currencies and free exchange rates were first introduced. At this time, the forex market traders were the ones who set the value of one type of currency against another.

Nowadays, the market forces determine the value of a currency against another. One unique aspect of the Forex market is that very little trading qualifications are required of anyone intending to trade therein.

Independence from external control ensures that only the market forces influence the currency prices. As the largest financial market, with trades reaching up to 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars, or USD, the money moves so fast, it’s impossible for a single investor to substantially affect the price of any major foreign currency.


In addition, unlike any stock that is rarely traded, forex traders are able to open and close any positions within seconds, because there are always a number of willing buyers and sellers.

1. The first thing you need to do is open a forex account. You will have to fill an application form which includes a margin agreement stating if the broker will be allowed to intervene with any trade when it appears too risky. Since most trades are done using the broker's money, it is only logical that he protect his interests. However, once you have established an account, you can fund it and begin trading in the forex market.

2. Adopt a trading strategy, that has proven to be successful for you. Remember that strategies will work differently for different traders, so don't try to adopt a strategy that works well for another trader. It might backfire on you. The two available approaches are either technical analysis or fundamental analysis. A combination of the two is a more preferred choice for experienced traders.

3.Understand that prices move by trends. Forex has a popular saying, “The trend is your friend.” There are certain movements that have been studied over many years in order to identify a pattern in the trend. These trends need to be understood in order to understand a good trading strategy. For small accounts that are $25,000 and under, trading with a trend may help improving your odds when compared to bi-directional trading. Most newbie’s will look to trade in any direction, when they should be trading with a trend.

4. Ensure you know which are the top five currencies pairs in the foreign exchange. These are USD/Yen, Swiss franc/USD, Euro/Yen, Euro/USD and Pound/USD.

5. For newbies, it is advisable to maintain two accounts to ensure you learn to play the trading game. Keep one real account, one that you will actually use to trade real money; and the second account should be a demo, one that you can use to test alternative moves in the trading game. You can easily use your demo account to shadow the trades in your real account so you can widen your stops to see if you are being too conservative or not.

6. Always examine the one hour, four hour and daily charts that concern your trades. Although you can trade at 15 and 30 minute time intervals, doing so requires a handful of dexterity.