Trading Forex has become increasingly popular for many reasons. The Foreign Currency Exchange Market, or Forex, allows for independent traders to become involved with investment and to trade on their own account easier than the more well-known stock exchange. Forex is traded 24 hours a day, 5 and a half days a week around the globe, shifting from time zone to time zone, so it is more accessible and has greater profit making potential. Trading is easy to learn and there are many free tools that will help you master the process.
Using a Forex Demo Program
Many established services will offer a no cost demo program that lets you practice with virtual money. Not only will this teach you how to trade, but it is done so you can learn each trading system. Each brokerage service will have a different proprietary feed that presents currency market information to you through their front end system. The front end system is the graphical interface you see that allows you to track and manage your funds. Some of the systems will include as much information as possible; others will focus on a narrowly defined set of parameters for each trade. As you discover more about how you best analyze market data, you will be able to better manipulate the feed data presented to make your decision. Many services also offer advanced options to refine the feed further so you are not overwhelmed by information not necessary to your currency trading process.
Understanding the Process
While using a demo program to learn how to do the actions of currency trading, you also need to understand how the purchase and sale of currency is done to generate profit for both you and the broker. The brokers do not make their salary off of commission, as stock and commodity traders do; they are paid from a spread of percentage profit points (PIP). The PIP is also what generates your profit and it is the percentage point difference between the listed sale price of the currency and end bid. On Forex, the sale and bid price are clearly listed and the PIP calculations are done automatically. Brokers may offer you leverage amounts in which they “loan” your account the funds needed to bid on certain currencies as part of a larger bid effort. This increases the broker PIP amount and lets you buy in on trades that otherwise would be out of your price range.
The Stops and Options
Forex trading is not all done in the real time moment, but much of it is automated through the setting of options or by using robots to manage bids. You can choose to set stops that call for automatic sale or withdrawal after a pre-set time frame has past or a price been reached. You can also set binary options that allow for more flexibility as they are based on the currency value reaching a certain percentage point range. Robots are used to fully automate the buying and selling process and to be trade 24 hours a day on the exchange, something no broker has figured out how to do in person.
Depositing and Accessing Funds
Depending on the service you use, depositing money into your account may require a brick and mortar financial service, or you may be able to use an electronic service such as PayPal. Once the sale has been made on the exchange and the PIP calculated, it will depend on your agreement with the Forex exchange service on how the profit is then returned to your account. Some agreements keep a tabulation of PIPs rather than an immediate cash return. Others will deposit cash profit immediately. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of your agreement with your broker carefully as some may accept electronic source funding, but only return to a brick and mortar institution. The regulations of the country in which the brokerage is registered in to trade will be the determining factor in the process.
Successful trading on the Forex exchange market requires that you make an effort to stay current on everything that influences the currency market. This goes beyond being aware of the latest value and includes understanding what influences value trade. Being able to predict fluctuations is key to generating profit when you trade. One of the best ways to do this, besides analyzing market date, is to keep a Forex trading journal. This will let you see trends and patterns in your trading decision behavior and the market behavior as well. You also need to have a well-defined boundary for what constitutes a profit for you in each trade situation; this will prevent making bad decisions in the heat of a trading moment.