FOREX, (FOReign EXchange market) or FX, is an international exchange market where stocks and shares are not traded, but currency. The return for the investor is not in the value of the currency per se, but rather the relative exchange value of one currency against another currency.
Therefore, Forex trading is always expressed in pairs such as Euro/US Dollar (EUR/USD) or US Dollar/Japanese Yen (USD/JPY).
By simultaneously buying and selling pairs of currencies, the investor, or speculator, hopes to profit from a favorable exchange rate change. Unlike the American stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System (NASDAQ), Forex trading is more predictable than stocks.
One strategy that the Forex investor uses is a technique that stems from the assumption that all information about the market and a particular currency's future fluctuations is found in the price chain. In other words, an investor simply looks at what has happened to that currency in the recent past, and predicts that the small fluctuations will generally continue just as they have before. Another strategy for the Forex investor is to analyze the country of the currency's economy, political situation, and other possible rumors. The investor can also anticipate such things as political unrest or change that will also have an effect on the market.
Forex is the largest financial market in the world handling between 1.5 and 1.9 trillion US dollars a day. The combination of rather constant but small daily fluctuations in currency prices, create an environment which attracts investors. Because of the the liquidity of the market, unlike some rarely traded stock, traders are able to open and close positions within a few seconds as there are always willing buyers and sellers.
What are the risks?
Because of the sheer scale of the Forex Market, it ensures greater price stability and greater leverage. With built-in protection in the form of automatic limits for buying and selling, safety margins, and other risk protection measures, the likelihood of ending up in the red even when the Forex market is volatile is infinitely reduced. Furthermore, because of its' size, it is near impossible for a single investor to significantly affect the price of a major currency.
However, all Forex traders should note that the market is one of the most liquid around and subject to strong currency trends. While leverage figures of 100:1 are often times quoted, without adequate risk protection in place the pendulum swing between profit and loss can be dramatic. Even veteran Forex traders can be caught out from time to time and take large hits. With this type of investor speculation, the golden rule must be: don't risk more than what you can afford to lose.
How difficult is it to make money trading the Forex market? How much time does it take to actually be able to make a living trading the Forex market? These and other important aspects of trading are to be discussed in this article.
Trading the Forex market has many benefits over other financial markets, among the most important are: superior liquidity, 24hrs market, better execution, and others. Traders and investor see the Forex market as a new speculation or diversifying opportunity because of these benefits. Does this mean that it is easy to make money trading the Forex Market? Not at all.
Forex brokers agree that 90% of traders end up losing money, 5% of traders end up at break even and only 5% of them achieve consistent profitable results. With these statistics shown, I don’t consider trading to be an easy task. But, is it harder to master any other endeavor? I don’t think so, consider musicians, writers, or even other businesses, the success rates are about the same, there are a whole bunch of them who never got to the top.
Now that we know it is not easy to achieve consistent profitable results, a must question would be, Why is it that some traders succeed while others fail to trade successfully in the Forex market? There is no hard answer to this question, or a recipe to follow to achieve consistent profitable results. What we do know is that traders that reach the top think different. That’s right, they don’t follow the crowd, they are an independent part of the crowd.
A few things that separate the top traders from the rest are:
Education:They are very well educated in the matter; they have chosen to learn every single and important aspect of trading. The best traders know that every trade is a learning experience. They approach the Forex market with humility, otherwise the market will prove them wrong.
Forex trading system:Top traders have a Forex trading system. They have the discipline to follow it rigorously, because they know that only the trades that are signaled by their system have a greater rate of success.
Price behavior:They have incorporated price behavior into their trading systems. They know price action has the last word.
Money management:Avoiding the risk of ruin is a primary subject to the best traders. After all, you cannot succeed without funds in your trading account.
Trading psychology:They are aware of every psychological issue that affects the decisions made by traders. They have accepted the fact that every individual trade has two probable outcomes, not just the winning side.
These are, among others, the most important factors that influence the success rate of Forex traders.
We know now that it is not easy to make money trading the Forex market, but it is possible. We also discussed the most important factors that influence the rate of success of Forex traders. But, how much time does it take to have consistent profitable results? It is different from trader to trader. For some, it could take a life time, and still don’t get the desired results, for some others, a few years are enough to get consistent profitable results. The answer to this question may vary, but what I want to make clear here is that trading successfully is a process, it’s not something you can do in a short period of time.
Trading successfully is no easy task; it is a process and could take years to achieve the desired results. There are a few things though every trader should take in consideration that could accelerate the process: having a trading system, using money management, education, being aware of psychological issues, discipline to follow your trading system and your trading plan, and others.
It might be surprising for you to hear, but the stock exchanges are far from being the world’s largest financial market even though the media gives the majority of their coverage to the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ.
In fact, the forex market is now the leader in size with overalmost $2 trillion in currencies traded daily.
Indeed, ever since 1973 when currencies were permitted to float freely, the forex market has been increasing in volume. While once almost exclusively the province of large financial institutions and banks,online forex trading by individual speculators is becoming the hottest game in town.
For those who are totally new to forex trading, here's some background:
Forex entails interchanges of the world’s major currencies, such as the United States Dollar, the Swiss Franc, the Euro, the Japanese Yen, and the British Pound. It is a huge international market that consists of major financial institutions, businesses and governments.
The majority of forex trading is between an estimated 300 sizeable international banks. Forex provides a form of protection for these major financers from the daily fluctuations in currency values, by enabling them to govern the risks involved with international trading.
Profits are made through the act of buying one currency while simultaneously going short another. All online forex trading involves a pair of currencies because currencies trade in relation to one another. For example, one can buy the US dollar while simultaneously shorting the british pound if one thinks the US dollar is going to rise in value in relation to the pound.
One can go long US dollars and short Japanese Yen, as another example.
Stated differently, it's not just a matter of going long or going short the US dollar. Forex trading, again, is always in relation to another currency since the values of currencies are relative figures.
One reason people get involved in forex trading isbecause of the massive leverage inherent in trading currencies.It's quite common to trade at 25 and 50 times leverage! Huge opportunities for profits (and also losses) therefore exist in online forex trading, and one should be keen on these risks before getting involved.
This is precisely why getting a Proper forex education is crucial.
Many things influence the price of currencies.
As just one example, confidence in a particular currency (and therefore value at any givent ime) depends upon the confidence that people have in the country, whether it be people living in that country or people in the international community. When the people, or investors, lose confidence in that country, then that country’s currency may depreciate rapidly.
Indeed, in 1992 the speculator George Soros made a billion dollars from shorting the british pound because of actions taken by the british government that the market neither believed or liked.
In summary, within the forex market, currencies are priced and traded in pairs. While buying one currency, you actively sell another at the same time.The determination of which pair of currencies you wish to trade lies completely in the investor’s control.
The objective is best described as trading one currency for another in the hopes that the market rate will fluctuate in your favor so that the currency you exchanged will increase its value in relation to the one you sold.
Forex trading is not limited to office towers; investors can interact electronically between a network of banks. Small investors appreciate the easy access the market provides, including the flexible 24 hour operating time which allows the investor the ability to determine what days are most convenient for online forex trading.
As with any investments, there are certain disadvantages to the exchange market, namely the enormous leverage that can cut both ways in online forex trading.
The other disadvantage is that forex requires a longer learning curve so someone just gettind started in the game than equities or options do.
To be sure, forex trading can seem overwhelming to someone new to the game, but through proper training and knowledge it is possible to have a wildly successful and profitable relationship with the Foreign Currency Exchange Market.
Trading the Forex market has become very popular in the last few years. But how difficult is it to achieve success in the Forex trading arena? Or let me rephrase this question, how many traders achieve consistent profitable results trading the Forex market? Unfortunately very few, only 5% of traders achieve this goal. One of the main reasons of this is because Forex traders focus in the wrong information to make their trading decisions and totally forget about the most important factor: Price behavior.
Most Forex trading systems are made off technical indicators (a moving average (MA) crossover, overbought/oversold conditions in an oscillator, etc.) But what are technical indicators? They are just a series of data points plotted in a chart; these points are derived from a mathematical formula applied to the price of any given currency pair. In other words, it is a chart of price plotted in a different way that helps us see other aspects of price.
There is an important implication on this definition of technical indicators. The fact that the readings obtained from them are based on price action. Take for instance a long MA crossover signal, the price has gone up enough to make the short period MA crossover the long period MA generating a long signal. Most traders see it as “the MA crossover made the price go up,” but it happened the other way around, the MA crossover signal occurred because the price went up. Where I’m trying to get here is that at the end, price behavior dictates how an indicator will act, and this should be taken into consideration on any trading decision made.
Trading decisions based on technical indicators without taking price action into consideration will give us less accurate results. For example, again a long signal generated by a MA crossover as the market approaches an important resistance level. If the price suddenly starts to bounce back off that important level there is no point on taking this signal, price action is telling us the market doesn’t want to go up. Most of the time, under this circumstances, the market will continue to fall down, disregarding the MA crossover.
Don’t get me wrong here, technical indicators are a very important aspect of trading. They help us see certain conditions that are otherwise difficult to see by watching pure price action. But when it comes to pull the trigger, price action incorporation into our Forex trading system will definitely put the odds in our favor, it will generate higher probability trades.
So, how to create a perfect Forex trading system?
First of all, you need to make sure your trading system fits your trading personality; otherwise you will find it hard to follow it. Every trader has different needs and goals, thus there is no system that perfectly fits all traders. You need to make your own research on various trading styles and technical indicators until you find a concept that perfectly works for you. Make sure you know the nature of whatever technical indicator used.
Secondly, incorporate price action into your system. So you only take long signals if the price behavior tells you the market wants to go up, and short signals if the market gives you indication that it will go down.
Third, and most importantly, you need to have the discipline to follow your Forex trading system rigorously. Try it first on a demo account, then move on to a small account and finally when feeling comfortably and being consistent profitable apply your system in a regular account.