Foreign exchange trading or Forex trading is one of the most lucrative ways to make money today. It used to be that Forex trading was only possible among the affluent and elite class but now, several Forex brokers have opened their doors to the average people who want to get their share of this massive financial market. All this is due to the advent of the Internet over the years as well as the fierce competition among Forex brokers.
While Forex trading has the potential to be lucrative, this is hardly the case without proper training. The learning curve in Forex trading is a long one and requires a lot of patience. If you are looking to get started in Forex trading, then there are a number of terms that you need to understand first in order to successfully navigate yourself in the Forex market. Below are just some of the main points involved in Forex trading:
Forex brokers are in business to give traders access to the markets. If you make a search query in the search engines, you’ll end up with thousands of results. There are numerous choices around the Internet when it comes to Forex brokers. While many of these are legitimate and ethical, there are also some who just exist to rip people off. That is why it is highly important that you give time for doing research and making sure that a broker is legitimate before doing business. You can do this by checking if a broker is regulated in the country where it operates in. Legitimate brokers are those that operate under the supervision of regulatory boards which assure decent and ethical trading practices in the trading community.
Pips and Lots
Pips are defined as the smallest price change that a given exchange rate can make. In Forex, the currency pairs are priced to four decimal places and the smallest change is that of the last decimal point. The smallest move in a currency pair is usually $0.0001. The smallest size in currency trading for professional traders is defined as a lot or contract size. Most Forex brokers offer different lot sizes to suit the needs of different traders. A Standard lot consists of 100k units, a mini account has 10,000 units and a micro account has 1000 units.
Margin and Leverage
Margin is basically the collateral which the broker asks for to cover the risk of the trade being made by the trader. In essence, this is also like an insurance against losses. If a broker offers a 50:1 leverage, then the margin requirement to make a trade is 2%. In other words, you are going to need $2,000 for every standard Forex contract or lot that you trade. As for the leverage, this is the ability to control a large amount of trade for a small amount of margin. For example, if you choose to trade with a 1% margin account, you will be able to trade $100K in currencies with a $1K deposit. Traders often refer to leverage as a double-edged sword because it can cause huge losses as much as it can make a large amount of profit. The margin based leverage options offered by Forex brokers today are as follows: 1:100, 1:200, and 1:400. For beginning traders, it is highly advisable to use a 1:100 leverage to avoid higher risks.
These are just some of the major points that you need to fully understand before you attempt to trade currencies. By being fully educated with the ins and outs of Forex trading and having patience, discipline and consistency – currency trading can not only be lucrative but rewarding as well.