Forex trend trading strategies pdf
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Realistic opportunity of steady and profitable trading at Forex with the use of the application. Installation of this application offers a prospect of making money at Forex quickly and easily. You do not need to attend boring lessons or online courses any more.
Successful trading without a long-term practice and training is possible. You just need to choose a strategy offered in this application and follow it. Now, it does not really matter, whether you are a beginner at FX, or an expert, whether you trade the USD, Euros or any other currency, or may be, you prefer intraday scalping? This application gives you access to all trading strategies, which have been developed by the experts and can be used by the traders, having various experience levels and using different currency pairs.
These are the strategies, which fit every taste! A choice is wide — from the simple strategies for the beginners and extra-profitable systems for the experienced Forex traders. You get to choose! Don't waste your time and money on the fancy advisors or unreliable signals from the brokers, as they may not give you a chance to earn money.
We suggest you to trade manually and with the use of hardcore! In the Forex market, as well as everywhere else, the strongest survives, and they know how to use the benefits of the market to make the big bucks. All our systems have been tested on the real trading accounts and quotes. All sort of strategies — with the use of graphical analysis, indicators or with no indicators, scalping, and martingale and patterns, as well as strategies for the binary options. We offer over different strategies and you can test them all!
You don't know the name of an indicator or a chart? Our application has a Glossary, which contains clear definitions of all terms used in the FX market. You can test them for free and make your own opinion on them. FX is not a game, but a distinct opportunity to earn money. We also add new strategies to it.
You just need to enter an app and choose the most suitable strategy for yourself, which will help you to receive a steady and high profit at the International Forex currency market. Welcome to the Forex club of the successful traders who know how to earn money on the difference in the currency exchange rate. Strategy 7 — News Straddling The forex market is extremely sensitive to economic and geopolitical news from around the world, especially those which relate to the industrialised countries.
Find out how you can trade news releases with a higher probability of success. Risk disclosure Trading forex involves substantial risk, and there is always the potential for loss. Your trading results may vary. No representation is made that any information in this book will guarantee profits or prevent losses from trading forex.
You should be aware that no trading strategy can guarantee profits. Further information For more information about my trading strategies, the proprietary PowerFX Course and other forex market information, please visit the following website where I also host a daily forex blog — www. This book, however, shall focus on the trading of spot forex. The most significant difference between spot forex and futures is that spot forex contracts are traded over-the-counter at no central location, while forex futures are traded on an exchange.
This gives rise to another unique aspect of spot forex — the hour non-stop action; this is one major reason why I enjoy trading spot forex. With round-the-clock trading a person in any time-zone can trade spot forex at any time — whether during the day or night. The best career decision I have made was to trade forex full-time. Forex trading has brought me both financial and emotional satisfaction, even though my initial learning journey was long and arduous. When I started in forex, I could only find one book on forex trading.
Forex was not as popular as stocks or options trading, so there were very few articles in magazines that focused on this field. I spent the first one and a half years learning how to trade forex and honing my skills on a demo account, before progressing to a real account, when I became consistently profitable. The breakthrough came when I incorporated fundamental and sentiment analysis into my predominantly technical-based analysis. Even though I was able to dedicate myself to full-time trading, I found the initial learning curve to be extremely steep, as I had no mentor and had to learn all the ways of losing in the market before I learnt how to profit from it.
I hope that through this book, aspiring and current traders are able to fast-track their learning, and greatly improve their trading performance. The forex markets have the promise of fast action and huge profits, but the risks are also great. The good news is that most of these losses can be prevented by taking the time to learn how to trade the forex markets and by implementing careful money management.
The forex market consists of a worldwide wired network of buyers and sellers of currencies, with trading all done over-the-counter OTC , which means that there is no central exchange and clearinghouse where orders are matched.
If you are looking for hour action, you can find it in this global trading system, where no physical barriers exist and activity moves seamlessly from one major financial centre to another. A reason why there is a veil of mystery over forex is that the market was once the exclusive playground of banks, hedge funds, corporations and financial institutions, where money changed hands for commercial and speculative purposes.
However, forex has now expanded and is easily accessible to all traders with the rapid emergence of online currency trading platforms. Many of these platforms are well- equipped with free charting software, real-time news-feeds and easy-to-use order placing systems. This group of people also known as speculative traders engage in trading forex for the sole purpose of making profits. Welcome to the new world of online forex trading.
The rapid fluctuations of currency exchange rates are what attract speculators to the forex market as currencies are highly sensitive, and thus react very fast to changing economic conditions of countries or regions, changing interest rates and political happenings around the world. All these factors lead to high volatility of currency prices, which can be taken advantage of by traders who speculate on the direction and magnitude of the current and future price move.
For a rough guide of currency pairs and their relative volatility, refer to Figure 1. Forex has increasingly become an extremely attractive alternative asset group for speculators to trade, in addition to the usual staple of stocks and futures. But if you think that the Euro will weaken against the US dollar i. The spot forex market is where a trader buys or sells a currency at the current price on the date of the contract for delivery within two business days. This and many other peculiarities give the spot forex market its own unique characteristics which make it an interesting market to trade.
I explain below some of the main characteristics of the spot forex market. A global hour market The forex market operates worldwide and non-stop for five and a half days a week. Every day it moves along with the sun: beginning in Sydney, to Tokyo and then Singapore, through the late Asian afternoon when London and other European centres open just as Asian markets are preparing to close.
The European open initiates the heaviest trading volume of the day and by afternoon in Europe, New York opens, followed by Chicago, then Los Angeles. Just as sunset signals the closing of the US market, sunrise in Sydney starts a brand new trading cycle all over again. By contrast, with the stock and futures markets, one would need access to electronic communication networks ECN for pre-market trading, or would have to wait till the markets open — and open sometimes with a gap if there has been news while the markets are closed.
Since the Asian session is usually quiet for currencies like the Euro or Swiss Franc, I use this time to do market research, calculate and set up my trades for the afternoon when the European markets open. This gives me ample time to digest the news of the night before and the morning itself, which allows me to anticipate the movements of currency pairs later on in the day.
This is especially the case when they are paired up with the US dollar — at least 80 percent of foreign exchange transactions have a dollar leg. The unparalleled liquidity of forex translates into very little or almost no slippage when you trade during normal market conditions not during news ; there is rarely any discrepancy between the displayed price and the execution price. Ability to go long or short anytime Since currencies are always traded in pairs, when you are bullish on one currency, you are bearish on the other — and vice versa.
You can short a currency pair anytime you want, without any restrictions. This is different from some stock markets whereby short-selling is only allowed on an uptick, so it can be quite tedious and time-consuming for stock traders to have to wait and see the stocks going down while looking out for an uptick before they can short.
Being able to go long or short on currency pairs anytime is a tremendous advantage as forex traders are able to profit from both up and down trends anytime, and this translates to a more efficient and instant order execution. With possible leverage of up to times, the forex market indisputably offers the highest amount of leverage compared to other markets. This high end of leverage is usually offered to mini trading accounts, due to the smaller lot sizes and lower minimum account deposit requirements.
If you tend to be more conservative with risk-taking, you may choose to use no more than 10 times leverage, or none at all. For those of you with more aggressive risk appetite, you can choose a higher amount of leverage in your trades.
The choice of leverage lies with you. Lower costs Since forex transactions are done the OTC way, with traders dealing directly with the market maker or other parties, exchange and clearing fees are not applicable to forex trading. Market makers typically do not charge commissions on trades that are executed through them, while Electronic Network Communications ECN do charge a small commission on top of the bid-and-ask spread.
Due to the high level of liquidity in the market, currency pairs usually have very tight spreads especially during normal market conditions when no news is scheduled for release. Advantages can be found in both ways of growing your money, neither is better than the other — they have different roles.
But when it comes to growing your wealth in the forex market, trading is usually the way to go due to the unique aspects of this market. Value ownership Investors are concerned with acquiring the ownership of the financial instrument; they have the confidence that the instrument will continue to rise in value.
Traders, on the other hand, do not have much concern with the buying and owning of the instrument. They exhibit the same ease with either longing buying or short- selling the instrument. While there is short and long term trading, the holding period rarely extends beyond more than a few months, or longer than a year. Getting in Serious investors tend to buy an instrument based on the underlying fundamental reasons.
Traders, however, tend to look for high-probability trade setups using technical analysis as their favourite tool, and many of them also incorporate market sentiment into their trading decisions. Many stock investors are left with worthless stocks as they do not have stop-loss boundaries or know when to cut their losses. While there are also many traders out there who do not have risk management rules in place, traders overall are generally more aware of proper risk management than most investors.
Whether or not they translate these rules into practice is another thing altogether. Knowing the time frame of how long you wish to hold onto your open position will determine your exit points and prices. If you choose to hold a position for, say, a week, your profit objective would naturally be higher than if you were to hold it for a few hours because you would expect the price to move further, given the longer period of time. This is a personal decision which has to be made by the trader, depending on his or her risk tolerance level, lifestyle desired, and the amount of time to be dedicated to analyzing the market.
There are mainly four different types of trading time frames: 1. Scalping This is the shortest time frame in trading; it exploits small changes in currency prices. It describes the ultra-rapid action of opening and closing of a position within a few seconds or minutes, with the aim of stealing a few pips from each trade. The profit of the winning trade is small, while the number of such winning trades should be big enough so that these small profits can add up to a decent amount.
Scalpers usually need to have access to the tightest spreads and fastest connection speeds possible, in order to carry out this bullet-speed trading with the tiny profits. They tend to do this many times a day so as to accumulate the little profits that are harvested. Losses must be limited such that one large loss does not wipe out the profits gained from many winning trades.
Many forex market makers discourage this type of trading as they find it difficult to cover the opposite side of the transactions, given the fast speed and numerous orders entered into their systems. Day trading Day trading is one of the more popular types of trading, whereby traders open and close positions within a day.
They also do not hold their positions overnight because of the added risk of not knowing if prices would change dramatically while they sleep. The holding period of their trades may range from minutes to hours. Day trading relies heavily on intraday momentum to bring the current price to the desired price level in one direction. Day traders are looking out for signs that a currency pair has a high probability of moving in a particular direction, going from point X to point Y, within a day regardless of whether the price is moving in a trend or range.
Day traders tend to wait for good trading opportunities, instead of trading frantically like scalpers tend to do. This style of trading involves intense concentration from the trader as positions must be closely monitored on the price charts. Swing trading Swing traders hold their positions for a few days, but seldom more than a week.
Identifying and riding on trends early is the central objective of this trading style, and the profit objective tends to be set higher than that of day trading since the swing trader is expecting that by holding out for a few days, there is a better chance of capturing a larger price move. Unlike the day trader, the swing trader has to endure overnight risk. As swing trading requires much less minute-to-minute monitoring of the market, this type of trading is generally preferred by people who hold day jobs.
My opinion is that swing traders must still keep up-to-date with the latest fundamental and technical changes in the market, even when they are not monitoring the market all the time. Position trading Position trading spans the longest period of time, and refers to traders holding their position for weeks or even months.
Position traders seek to identify and trade currency pairs that signal that a medium to long term trend is playing out — but will take more than a few days to play out. Their positions are usually closed before the trend runs out of power. This trading time frame is the least time-consuming one among all the different ones, as there is not much need for intensive monitoring. Many position traders place a trailing stop which automatically closes their position if the price retraces past a particular point.
Someone who day trades tends to be more in touch with the price swings and goings-on of the market as positions are opened and closed during the same day. Whereas at the end of the spectrum, a position trader does not have to monitor the market so intensively.
Risk-wise, I would say that the longer the time frame used in trading, the more risk has to be assumed by the trader. This is simply because the market has more time to move against them, and can move much further against them than it can in a smaller time frame. Many of the strategies mentioned in this book are meant for short-term trading. However, you may decide on the length of your holding period to suit your personal preference by adjusting the profit target and stop-loss accordingly. Of course, the size of profit objective and stop-loss will be proportional to the length of your holding period — the shorter your time frame, the smaller your profit target and stop-loss should be; the longer the trading time frame, the wider your profit target and stop-loss can be.
Before you set up a trading account to trade forex, you first need to choose which forex broker best suits your needs and trading style. There are mainly two types of brokers: 1. Market-Maker [These will be explained further in Chapter 2. Experiment first with virtual money The best way to learn how to trade forex and to see if it is suitable for you is to trade it real-time, but with a demo account initially.
Demo accounts can be opened for free with certain brokers; no real money is deposited in this type of account. You can experiment real-time trading with different currency pairs using various trading strategies without losing any real money — it is a good way to build up some confidence. You can get a sense of how it feels to have a profit or a loss, even though the intensity of these emotions will be of a different level when trading with real money.
It is the best way for new traders to dip their toes in the water. How much money is needed to start? The amount of trading capital needed is relative. After getting a feel with a demo account, you can start with real money. For standard-sized accounts, the general minimum is around a few thousand US dollars.
Thinking of putting your life savings into a trading account? Only trade with money you can afford to lose. If you lose a large amount, you may never want to trade again. Whereas if you lose virtual money in a demo account, or a small amount in a mini account, it may be easier to pick yourself back up after losses — both emotionally and financially.
The ISO code list defines different currencies, and is the standard used in the banking industry and in businesses all around the world. See below for some of the more common currency codes. Table 1. This act of simultaneous buying and selling is the most important aspect of forex: a currency is always traded against another currency. The first currency in the pair is known as the base currency, and the second currency is the counter or terms currency.
There is usually no maximum trading size, but some brokers require that you request for a quote over the telephone for trading sizes bigger than 10,, base currency units. Pips What are pips? The term pip stands for percentage in point. It represents the smallest incremental move an exchange rate can make. For example, 1 pip is 0. Here is another example.
As you can see, the ask is always higher than the bid, and the difference which is called the spread is where the market maker makes its money from. Understanding rollover Forex transactions in the spot market are always due for settlement two business days later. So if a trader sells a certain quantity of a currency on, say, Monday, he or she is obligated to deliver that quantity of the currency on Wednesday.
This is because you are likely to be trading on a leveraged trading account, which means you can get a loan from your forex broker for the amount that you are trading. So to avoid taking actual delivery of the currency that you have bought or sold, most forex brokers will automatically roll over your positions to the next business day by closing your position and opening an identical one with a delivery date within the next two days.
Rollover is usually done on a daily basis at pm New York time, and only affects those who hold their positions overnight. So if you have bought long a particular currency, and that currency has a higher overnight interest rate than the counter currency, you will gain the difference. If you have sold short the currency with a higher overnight interest rate, then you will be charged the difference.
The broker also keeps a percentage of this rollover for itself, which is why the amount you receive will always be less than what you must pay for a given currency pair. Most brokers also have a slightly strange way of dealing with the weekend rollover.
Rather than charging you the 2 non-trading days of Saturday and Sunday on the night of Friday, they usually charge it on a Wednesday. This can be somewhat confusing for new traders who wonder why their rollover is so much higher on a Wednesday than on other days of the week. What sort of leverage can I get?
Leverage involves borrowing a certain amount of the money needed to invest in something. In the case of forex, that money is usually borrowed from a broker. Forex trading does offer high leverage in the sense that for an initial margin requirement, you can build up and control a huge trading position. Margin is the minimum required balance to place a trade.
Many retail forex brokers offer a sizeable amount of leverage to their customers. Some offer 50 times leverage, while an increasing number of them even allow up to times leverage for standard-sized or mini-sized accounts. It is very important to know that leverage magnifies both your profits and losses. The good thing is that you, the customer, are often given the flexibility to select your leverage amount.
Trading Slippage Slippage occurs when your order gets executed at a price different from what you were expecting or hoping. This can easily occur in fast-moving markets, usually during or after some news release, for any non-limit orders. The table below shows the relative liquidity of some important currency pairs. While some pairs can easily move at least pips in a day, other pairs only manage to move less than 70 pips a day. The figure over the page shows the average daily volatility in some important currency pairs.
In this case volatility is measured in terms of pips moved in a day. This is not the conventional way of measuring volatility, which is usually done by measuring the percentage move of a pair in a given time frame. However, since most traders look at the pip move, I am showing volatility in terms of what is most easily measured by traders.
The more a currency pair moves in a day, the greater the chance that profits can be made within a day. The broad spectrum of volatility ensures that there is something to suit everyone, ranging from the aggressive to the conservative trader. The currency pair that you choose to concentrate your trading on will depend on how aggressive or conservative you are. Not all brokers will accept the same range of order types, but I list below the most common types of orders that most brokers should accept.
Market Order An order to buy or sell at the current market price. Limit Order An order to buy or sell at a specified price or better. Stop-Loss Order An order to close a position if the market price hits a certain level. Note however, that this type of order means that after the stop price is hit the order becomes a market order and you may suffer slippage.
You use this type of entry order if you feel that the currency pair will reverse direction from that price. Stop-Entry Order An order to buy above the market or sell below the market at a specified price. You use this type of entry order if you feel that the currency pair will continue in the same direction. Just like with a stop order, you may suffer slippage when using this type of order.
Stop-Limit Order An order to buy above the market or sell below the market at a specified price only. When your price is hit your order becomes a limit order which prevents slippage. This is commonly used to set both a profit-taking limit order and a stop-loss order as soon as an entry order is filled.
There are two types of forex brokers: market makers and ECNs. But in practice things are not so clear-cut — there are market makers out there who falsely market themselves as not having dealing desks, while there are also some brokers who claim to be true ECNs when they are not. The choice of broker must be an individual decision, because everyone has different needs and preferences. Both new and existing traders should carefully examine the practices and policy contracts of brokers, and be up-to-date with new information on brokers.
Below are some points that you might want to consider when selecting a broker. You can use it as a rough guide to narrow down some candidates that match your own needs. Can you trade from the charts? This will be useful when scalping. This will be especially crucial if you are scalping.
If so, check if it has a mobile or web- based version that you can use for trading. Or, if it is an ECN, how easy is it to fill big orders? Depending on the policy, it is possible to end up with closing prices that are worse than expected. Are you willing to accept that? If spreads are variable, how wide do they get during important news releases? The lower the margin required, the greater the amount of leverage.
Once you have narrowed the broker list down to a few candidates, be sure to read the terms and conditions of the respective contracts, and understand what you are in for before you sign anything. Later on when you have graduated to an intermediate or advanced phase in trading forex, you may then choose to spread your money among a few brokers so as to reduce exposure to a single broker. If you approach trading as a means of getting your dose of adrenaline, do yourself a favour by staying away from it — you will do less harm to your pockets by going to the latest Louis Vuitton sale or by bidding on that vintage car on eBay for the adrenaline shot.
Serious money demands serious work. Both serious and casual traders, of course, dream of making it big in the forex market, but it is not the goal that counts, it is the preparation and dedication that is important. Forex trading should be considered and treated as a serious business, just like other types of businesses.
Approaching trading from the perspective of a shrewd business person can greatly tilt your chances of success to your side. Jolted from sleep, I drag my feet — with eyes half-open — into my trading room. The time is am and the FOMC minutes have just been released. I click on the headline which summarises what the minutes say. This statement is very similar to the previous one; hence there is not much reaction in the forex market.
Morning Too soon, morning comes. I quickly scroll through the news headlines that are displayed in the news feeds, and select those which relate directly to forex. The market seems pretty boring at this time. The lull in market activity gives me some time to write a bit more of this book, and to work on some trading articles.
To make sure the trade is still sound, I quickly check the news feeds to see if any news or rumours might have triggered this move. The market is moving up and closer to my position; it is now only one pip away. I make sure all my charts are up, and I prepare to monitor this trade. It is now 12 pips away from my opening price, a bit too late for me to get in.
And just as suddenly as the price has gone down, it is now moving up again and my order is now filled. The pair keeps moving up, 5 pips then I guess others must be going short too. After what seems like an eternity, but is probably no more than five minutes, my position is back at break-even, which means I have neither made nor lost money at this point.
This bounce trade seems to be taking a while, so I call my friend to let her know we will have to postpone our lunch meeting. Lunch will have to arrive in the form of junk food from my favorite food delivery outlet. Sometimes I watch my open trade like a hawk; other times, I simply continue with other activities. I set some price alarms and get back to writing my book while waiting for my lunch.
After all, it is usually better to do something else while waiting on the market. After lunch, the alarms ring. Looks like I am close to reaching my profit target. Institutional traders must be back from lunch and are taking profits on their long positions. End of the day With this trade out of the way, I look for upcoming trading opportunities. Trading blogs, especially those that have fresh and relevant material, can be a valuable source of useful and targeted information for busy traders who hold day jobs.
This blogging habit, which constitutes part of my market homework, has helped me in my own trading. I also take the time to interact with the online community of traders by participating in forums such as that as ForexVibes www. This means that sometimes I will end past midnight, and other times I will be done well before lunch time. This is unlike, say, stocks or futures which traded through the exchanges such the London Stock Exchange or Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Trading of currencies is done OTC over-the-counter , in the sense that currency buyers and sellers from all over the world make a binding contract with each other after agreeing on a price — and this is not carried out through an exchange.
This aspect of spot forex trading is different from forex futures trading which is carried out through an exchange. Forex traders carry out their activities by dealing directly with one another or through brokers via telephone and internet connections. In this centrally cleared system, the CME will act as the central counterparty and guarantee the performance of all contracts for both buyers and sellers. Unfortunately, FXMarketSpace is an institutional trading platform and is not open to retail market players.
According to the website www. Therefore, as a central exchange for forex retail players is still not a reality, I shall focus on the OTC structure of the forex market in this chapter. Players of the forex market range from those who trade billions of dollars a day, to those who trade just tens of thousands of dollars.
This club is known as the interbank market. Down the hierarchy are the smaller banks, big multinational companies, hedge funds and other institutional investors or speculators, and retail forex brokers. These large speculators may also conduct currency transactions directly in the interbank market, if they deal in large amounts and have credit standings with the large banks.
Next in line are the independent retail traders who lie at the bottom of the market structure. These individual traders mainly trade through forex brokers as they generally trade in much smaller lot sizes. Central banks of countries are also market players, although they are not always involved in the market. See Figure 2. Figure 2. Hedge funds and companies are not included in this illustration as the retail trader Small Small will usually not deal directly with Banks Banks any of them.
Without a central exchange, currency exchange rates are made, or set, by market makers — they make the bid and the ask prices based on the currency movements that they anticipate will take place. The largest banks are the major market makers, and they handle very large forex transactions — often in the billions of dollars — on behalf of their clients, such as other institutions or companies, and also for themselves.
Many banks have traders dedicated to trading speculatively for the bank. The resulting massive flows of money handled by these large banks are what primarily drive currency prices. This big money-laden network forms the interbank market where large banks deal with one another, and is where most of the trading activity takes place. The transactions carried out by these major banks amount to the greatest bulk of the total daily forex volume. These brokering systems get the best available exchange rates for the various currency pairs, and match buying and selling requests from bank dealers.
Between these two competitors, they connect at least banks together. Smaller banks that trade smaller amounts also get access to these brokering platforms. Large companies Companies and businesses are involved in the forex market because of their need to pay for products and services which are denominated in other currencies. Since these commercial entities deal in smaller quantities, compared to that of large banks, they usually trade through banks instead of directly accessing the interbank market themselves.
Large overall trade flows can have a significant impact on the forex market, as they play a role in the supply and demand of currencies. Sometimes companies may also be involved in currency speculation for the purpose of generating additional revenue. Central banks Central banks hold the key to controlling the supply and demand of national currencies; hence they play a very important role in the forex markets.
Issues that are of most concern to central banks are those relating to: inflation price stability , economic growth and the unemployment rate. One of the ways that central banks control these factors is through the setting and adjustment of interest rates, which will affect the valuation of many currencies. Sometimes central banks intervene directly in the forex market when they are not satisfied with the current exchange rates of their currencies.
That is, they may find that the current exchange rate is either too high or too low for the overall benefit of the economy. The Bank of Japan is well-known for its intervention in the market. Hence, when the BOJ deems that the Yen is getting much stronger against, say, the US dollar or the Euro, it may step into the open market to deliberately depress its currency by selling Yen against US dollars and Euros.
This act of central bank intervention may cause other institutional players to follow suit, and further drive the currency exchange rate towards the rate that is favoured by the intervening central bank. Most of these institutional speculators have international portfolios that consist of both domestic and international assets like stock or bonds to diversify their holdings.
They tend to be very aggressive participants of the spot forex market as they often facilitate currency transactions when purchasing or selling foreign assets. For example, an investment manager who is in charge of an international stock portfolio will be required to buy and sell foreign currencies so as to pay for any purchase of overseas stocks.
Hedge funds, being largely unregulated, often practise very different styles of wealth generation from investment management companies; they tend to adopt more aggressive forms of trading with the aim of generating a high return on investment. Sometimes, a portion of their assets under management may be allocated specifically for currency speculations, with the objective of maximising their overall profits.
Large hedge funds and investment management companies are capable of moving the forex market in their transactions. Forex brokers The emergence of sophisticated online forex brokers made forex trading feasible for private individuals. In the past, only wealthy individuals could speculate in the forex market, but now things are very different. Anyone can simply open a trading account with a retail forex broker and trade currencies online with little money upfront, as forex brokers tend to offer highly leveraged margin accounts for individuals.
There are basically two types of forex brokers: 1. Electronic Communication Networks ECNs : consolidate various bid and ask prices from market makers and other participants connected to their platform, and display the best available prices.
These are explained in some detail below. Market Makers Market-making is a lucrative business for banks and brokers, and forms the backbone of market liquidity. By quoting the bid and the ask prices on the screens of electronic brokering platforms, or through telephone calls, they are essentially providing liquidity and inviting other qualified parties other banks, hedge funds, corporations or retail customers like individual traders to deal with them.
In doing so, market makers must be prepared to buy or sell from other market participants. Some market makers may have established credit links with banks that trade on the interbank market, or they access electronic brokering platforms like EBS or Reuters for pricing. During periods of high liquidity in which there is a great deal of trading activity, spreads of the actively traded currency pairs are usually kept quite narrow, between pips.
When the market is very quiet with little trading action going on for a particular currency pair, for example just prior to the New York close on Fridays or during news releases, dealing spreads tend to widen, sometimes by a huge margin, as a way for market makers to protect themselves when they feel that they may have to carry additional risks.
Market makers usually operate a dealing desk, which refers to the market maker trading with the customer, and the presence of dealing desks means that the market maker may potentially trade against the customer. They may move their currency quotes pips away from the interbank rates. Independent traders should always be sceptical of claims by some market makers when they say they do not operate a dealing desk. Traders tend to be more aware of their existence in stocks or futures markets.
An ECN broker gets its currency pricing from several liquidity providers such as banks, market makers or other traders who are connected to the system. When an order is placed, it is routed to the best available bid or ask price in its system. Unlike the case of some market makers, spreads on ECNs are variable rather than fixed.
Although ECN-type brokers typically charge a small commission, you can usually get tighter spreads on many currency pairs due to the large liquidity pool available. Risks of trade manipulation are also minimised when using genuine ECN brokers as compared to brokers that operate dealing desks. This aspect of OTC shifts the odds of success against individual traders, especially if the forex broker acts as a market maker. Since traders have to deal directly with their brokers, the latter will usually hold the opposite side of the transactions.
Because of the inherent conflict of interest that exists, this arrangement does not sit well with many individual traders as they fear that the market maker will trade against them, and that is not an uncommon practice in the market making industry. No information on volume Since buy and sell transactions are not cleared by a central system, there is no way of knowing the total volume of trade. Lack of volume data can pose a challenge to stocks or futures traders who have made the switch to currencies as they may have become used to checking volume.
No singular exchange rate at any one time Exchange rates do differ from place to place, screen to screen, depending on which parties are offering what. Cash transactions take place between countless parties at any one time, and there is no exchange which records all these transactions. Some independent traders are not even aware of this peculiar aspect of OTC dealings.
Since there can be a few different prices for a currency pair at any one time, you may not be able to see what is the best available price if you trade through only one market maker. Generally, though, the rates provided by market makers to retail traders are quite close to the pricing quoted in the interbank market. No standard data Exchange rates differ from one market maker to another because there is no consensus specified by a centralised market.
Different market makers have different rates at the same time although usually not differing by more than a few pips. A trader would have to accept what is being quoted by his broker unless he compares prices with other brokers. Price charts from different price feed vendors will also look slightly different as they each have their own data source. Although, in general, the currency prices are quite similar. The forex trading day Also, being a hour market, boundaries of a trading day are blurred.
Traders from around the world are in various time zones. While the trading arena has had a boost from the CME-Reuters joint venture of a central forex exchange, it remains to be seen if that can benefit independent traders.
Trade manipulation by some market-making brokers is something that is difficult for traders to prove, and something that is easy for the culprits to dismiss. However, despite the limitations that come with the OTC territory, spot forex trading can be extremely financially rewarding for those who are aware of the limitations and know how to deal with them.
And trading forex is not one of the easiest ways — despite what many new traders believe. Many traders fail, and they empty their trading accounts before they learn how to exploit the forex market to their advantage. Although there are also traders who are successful in forex trading, their numbers are small compared to the majority of losers. Many times, traders are not aware that they have the power and might to shift the odds to their favour, that they can dramatically increase their chances of success if they want to.
The main reason why many traders get defeated by the market can be attributed to their lack of knowledge. In this 21st century, where the buzzword is knowledge, it is not just a matter of working hard, but also a matter of working smart. Knowledge is the key that can open many doors — if you have an intimate knowledge of how something works, you can then come up with ways to exploit what you know to your advantage.
This applies to forex trading as well. You need to know how to identify high probability trade setups and how to manage your money wisely. For every transaction in the forex market, there are winners and losers. Your goal is to make more overall profits than losses over a period of time, and to emerge an overall winner.
My approach to consistent trading success lies in three main pillars, or the 3Ms: Mind, Money and Method. It is often said that we are our own worst enemy. Human beings are emotional creatures, and most of our decisions are guided more by emotions than logical thinking.
Our mind is capable of playing tricks on us; we can get seduced into unfavourable situations by our emotions. Emotions can work for us or against us. Sometimes they can save us from landing in a pile of sticky mess, but sometimes they can land us in it. We can also turn the tables around by playing tricks on our mind, making it believe whatever we want it to believe.
Do you have the mental strength? Whether you are new to trading currencies or a forex trader who has some experience, here are some questions to ask yourself: Do you really have a strong desire to succeed in forex trading? Sure, every one wants to succeed in something, but do you have the desire to want to succeed in forex trading? First of all, this field is not for every one, for you must have the passion for it.
If you just want to try your luck, or dabble, in trading, you will just end up among the majority who lose their money. You must have the deep desire to want to accomplish your goals, because without this desire, your thoughts will not materialise into action, and it is action that could transform your goals to reality.
To be a successful trader, you must be highly self-motivated, have a concrete plan of action, and not be afraid of failure. Are you prepared to devote a lot of time and effort into picking up trading skills and knowledge? To be really good at anything, you need skills and knowledge in that field. A huge amount of time, effort and money is required for a trader to attain consistent success in forex trading.
Despite the availability of forex trading-related resources on the internet, and in the bookstores, traders can find it quite daunting to learn about trading on their own as they do not know what there is to be known. I recommend that you check out those which are offered by skilled and practising instructors.
Note: Be wary of signing up for courses or seminars that are full of hype, for they can be very misleading. Avoid those that give you the impression that you can attain consistent profits after two days of intensive learning, or those that require you to purchase expensive software.
While there are some shortcuts to gaining knowledge via courses or seminars, there is no substitute for honing your trading skills in the market. Are you willing to accept losses as part of trading? Every one makes mistakes, and mistakes are inevitable. Got a trading loss? Then whip out your trading log to record what your mistakes are and what you have learnt from that losing trade. Always have something positive to take away from your losses, and treat it as a learning experience. Know that there will be other trades coming your way.
Are you willing to take sole responsibility for your trading decisions? You read some market analysis, and then trade according to what the analyst is saying. That trade turns out to be a loser, and you turn around to blame it on that market report. It is dangerous to blame losses on other people, the forex market, or the stars, for you are the only person responsible for pulling the trigger.
And if you blame others you will never be able to find out how you can improve. Fear and greed Fear and greed are the two dominant emotions that affect not just the state of our mind, but also the currency market. In fact, the fluctuations of these two emotions are the main drivers of the currency market. There are, of course, other emotions that exist in the market such as disappointment, regret and so on, but fear and greed are the principal forces that tilt the scales of supply and demand of currencies.
When traders feel overly optimistic about a country or its currency, they become consumed by the great hope that the currency would appreciate in value against another currency. They are then guided by this hope and greed to buy the currency pair now so that they could hopefully sell it at a higher price in the future. Greed then grows into euphoria, as traders continue to buy and buy, thus taking currency prices to newer highs. When people are buying a currency with great hope, they are also selling the other currency in the pair with great fear.
On the other hand, when currency prices go down, fear and greed are also the main drivers of the move. All in all, fear and greed are behind the steering wheel of the currency market. So, while you must learn to recognise these emotions in the market, the problem comes when you allow them to distort your logic when it comes to making trading decisions, as most of these decisions will turn out bad, and are likely to cause you to regret your actions later.
Since there is no way of banishing these emotions for good, the best thing to do is to control these emotions, instead of letting them control the way you think and act. Face and control your fears Since greed can be categorised as a kind of fear, which is the fear of missing out, I will discuss the primary types of fears relating to trading, and how they can be overcome.
The first step to preventing fears from ruining your trading performance is to recognise the various forms of fear that is connected to trading. And once you recognise the type of fear you are experiencing, the easier it is for you to handle that emotional obstacle so that you can trade better.
That is the key to emotion-free trading. It is not about pretending that those fears do not exist, but how you handle them that matters. Here are some common trading-related fears. Fear of missing out Why do so many people rush to departmental store sales, or rushed to buy technology stocks during the dot-com boom? Any kind of buying mania stems from a very strong emotion that is commonly invoked in people, and that is the fear of missing out. In trading, this fear manifests itself especially during a sharp rally or decline of a currency pair.
Your heart begins to pound really fast, and you have a million thoughts zipping through your brain, with most of the thoughts urging you to buy now, now, now. I am losing out! Traders suffering from this type of fear are usually the ones who get onto a trend too late. Be disciplined and hold off that mouse whenever you sense that this type of fear is creeping up on you.
Think instead of all those traders who are pouring dumb money into the market, and be glad that you know better than them not to join in the craze. Fear of losses Trading is a game — there will be winners, and there will be losers. Sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some. Losses are bound to happen, no matter how accurate a trading system may be.
The fear of losing is most prominent in new traders as they do not yet have adequate trading skills and knowledge to help assess and evaluate trading opportunities with a high level of confidence. This can lead to trading paralysis, whereby traders become afraid of pulling the trigger when it comes to entering or exiting trades as they fear losing money or a big portion of their trading capital.
However, if you have a reasonable stop-loss order in place, that is in accordance to your money management rules, you should have no reason of being fearful of damaging the trading account based on just one trade. That is what stop-loss orders are for — to guard against huge losses.