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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Myothers blog



Anjunglarik
This is an independent page you can google about Malaysian politics, society, Knowledge and many others related to Malaysian Culture.

In-tech Clan
This is an independent page you can google about, computer, cars, networking, machines,software, hardware,games,hacking,car and many others related to Hi-Tech Technologies.

Online Explorer
This is an independent page you can google about Internet business,online money,Work at Home,tips & tricks, knowledge, E-book and many others related to Internet Revenue.Now in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

Forex Clan
This is an independent page you can google about Forex, Forex trading course, online currency trading courses, education, training, seminars, learning, courses and download.

Anjungvideo
Anjungvideo the Malaysian video streamings an audio streaming blog Site. Here you will download and view the video collection around Malaysian and rest of the world's. Its time to Fun online watching anjungvideo collection's.

Dedicated Hosting
Independent news collector portal about Malaysia, Malaysian issues, Malaysian politics from the news paper.

Y-Mercedes
Joyce mercedes site with galleries, news, music, media and many orthes.

Naruto on the blog
This is an independent page you can google about, the greater's young boy's name is Naruto. Naruto closely follows the life of a boy who is feared and detested by the villagers of the hidden leaf village of Konoha.

My_De Collection's
Here at my_de collection's, you will find online stores and shops offering everything you may be in search of! Rather than, searching all over the Internet you can find everything you need in just one place! So, if you are looking for fragrances, merchandise, food, clothing, shirt, cap, keychain, underwear, shoes, accessories, necklace, purse, wallet, belt, watch, clock, gift, book, ebook, vcd, cd, scrapbooking supplies, home decor, candles, party supplies, home made or even skin care or even skin care you are in the right place!

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Friday, January 5, 2007

What is a Candlestick?

Throughout Candlestick Analysis you are going to find many war-like references. Between 1500 and 1600 the territories of today's Japan were at constant war. Each daimyo (feudal lord) was in constant contention to take over their neighbor. This one hundred year period is known as Sengoku Jidai or the "Age of Country at War". This was a definite period of turmoil. It slowly came to order in the early 1600's through three dynamic generals - Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and Leyasu Tokugawa. Their combined leadership prowess has become legendary folklore in Japan's history. Their achievements are described as: "Nobunaga piled the rice, Hideyoshi kneaded the dough, and Tokugawa ate the cake." All the contributions from these great generals unified Japan into one nation. Tokugawa's family ruled the country from 1615 to 1867. This become known as the Tokugawa Shogunate Era.

While the Candlestick methodology was being developed, a military environment persisted in Japan. Understandably, the Candlestick technique employs extensive military terminology for its explanations. Investing is correlated to battle. It requires the same tactical abilities to win. The investor has to prepare for winning trades as a general prepares for battle. A strategy is required, the psychology of coming events have to be thought through. Competition comes into play. Aggressive maneuvers and strategic withdrawals are required to eventually win the war - to achieve financial success.

As stability settled over the Japanese culture during the early 17th centuy, new opportunities became apparent also. The centralized government lead by Tokugawa diminished the feudal system. Local markets began to expand to a national scale. The demise of local markets created the growth of technical analysis in Japan.

Osaka became regarded as Japan's capital during the Toyotomi reign. Its location near the sea made it a commercial center. Land travel was slow and dangerous, not to mention costly. It became a natural location for the development of the national depot system, assembling and disbursing supplies and market products. It rapidly evolved into Japan's largest city of finance and commerce. Osaka, the "Kitchen of Japan" with its vast system of warehouses, eventually established an atmosphere of price stability by reducing regional imbalances of supply. Osaka became the profit center of all Japan, completely altering the normal social standards. In all other cities the quest for profits was despised. Japan was composed of four classes, the Soldier, the Farmer, the Artisan, and the Merchant. It was not until the 1700's that the merchants broke down the social barrier. "Mokarimakka" which means " are you making a profit?" is still the common greeting in Osaka today.

Under Hideyoshi's reign, a man named Yodoya Keian become a successful war merchant. He had exceptional abilities to transport, distribute and set the price of rice. His reputation become so well known, his front yard become the first rice exchange. Unfortunately, he became very wealthy. Unfortunate because the Bakufu (the military government lead by the Shogun) relieved him of all his fortune. This was done based upon the charge that he was living a life of luxury beyond his social rank. This was during a period in the mid 1600's when the Bakufu was becoming very leary of the merchant class. A number of merchants tried to corner the rice market. They were punished by having their children executed. They were exiled and their wealth was confiscated.

The Dojima Rice Exchange, the institutionalized market that developed in Yodoya's front yard, was established in the late 1600's. Merchants were now capable of grading the rice, and negotiated setting the market price. After 1710, actual rice trading expanding into issuance and negotiating for rice warehouse receipts. These become known as rice coupons, and were the first forms of futures. The Osaka rice brokerage became the foundation for the city's wealth. 1,300 rice dealers occupied the Exchange. Due to the debasing of coinage, rice became the medium of exchange. A daimyo in need of money could send his surplus rice to Osaka and get a receipt from a warehouse. This receipt (coupon) could then be sold. As with many daimyo, cashflow problems could be eliminated through this method. Sometimes many future years of crops were mortgaged to take care of current expenses.

With the rice coupon becoming an actively traded entity, the Dojima Rice exchange became the world's first futures exchange. Rice coupons were also called "empty rice" coupons, rice that was not in physical possession. Rice futures trading became so established in the Japanese marketplace, that in 1749, 110,000 bales (rice traded in bales) were freely traded while there were only 30,000 bales in existence throughout Japan.

It was during this time period that Candlestick trading became more refined. Candlestick analysis had been developed over the years simply due to the tracking of rice price movements. However, in the mid 1700's they were really fully utilized. "The god of the markets" Homna came into the picture. Munehisa Homna, the youngest son of the Homna family, inherited the family's business due to his extraordinary trading savvy. This at a time when the Japanese culture, as well as many other cultures, thought it common that the eldest son should inherit the family business. The trading firm was moved from their city, Sakata, to Edo (Tokyo). Homna's research into historic price moves and weather conditions established more concrete interpretations into what became known as Candlesticks. His research and findings, known as "Sakata Rules" became the framework for Japanese investment philosophy.

After dominating the Osaka rice markets, Homna eventually went on to amass greater fortunes in the Tokyo exchanges. It was said that he had over one hundred winning trades in a row. His abilities became legendary and were the basis of Candlestick analysis.

Japanese Candlestick analysis was never a hidden or secretive trading system. In was successfully used in Japan for hundreds of years. It has been only recently, about 25 years ago, that it first made its way into the U.S. trading community. Until then, there just wasn't any interest from Western cultures to investigate the Candlestick Technique. Even then, it was not noticed all that much. The perception has been that it was difficult to learn and very time consuming. That may have been true until recently. The first books introducing it into the U.S. trading arena would describe how to make wooden boxes that were backlit. Then the chart graphs could be better viewed. Fortunately, the advent of computers and computer programming has taken Candlestick analysis ahead by leaps and bounds.

Until recently, the investment community knew about Candlesticks, they just didn't know how to use them effectively. Interest has been increasing dramatically now that the roaring markets have collapsed. Investors, new and old, are now trying to investigate methods that protect them from the severe losses that occurred from March 2000 until now.

Hundreds of years of analysis and interpretation can be much more easily extracted through computer programming. Huge fortunes were amassed with simple charting techniques. The same will be true with all the benefits that computer software provides the investor today.

The interest in candlestick signal analysis in the United States has to be credited to Steve Nison. Over three years of extensive research produced Steve Nison's initial publication "Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques", published in 1991. Much of the background and historical information about candlesticks, found in this site and many other sites, was probably the results of Steve Nison's excellent research.

The best way to explain is by using a picture:

Candlesticks are formed using the open, high, low and close.

  • If the close is above the open, then a hollow candlestick (usually displayed as white) is drawn.
  • If the close is below the open, then a filled candlestick (usually displayed as black) is drawn.
  • The hollow or filled section of the candlestick is called the “real body” or body.
  • The thin lines poking above and below the body display the high/low range and are called shadows.
  • The top of the upper shadow is the “high”.
  • The bottom of the lower shadow is the “low”.

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Types of Charts

Let’s take a look at the three most popular types of charts:

  1. Line chart
  2. Bar chart
  3. Candlestick chart

Line Charts

A simple line chart draws a line from one closing price to the next closing price. When strung together with a line, we can see the general price movement of a currency pair over a period of time.

Here is an example of a line chart for EUR/USD:

Bar Charts

A bar chart also shows closing prices, while simultaneously showing opening prices, as well as the highs and lows. The bottom of the vertical bar indicates the lowest traded price for that time period, while the top of the bar indicates the highest price paid. So, the vertical bar indicates the currency pair’s trading range as a whole. The horizontal hash on the left side of the bar is the opening price, and the right-side horizontal hash is the closing price.

Here is an example of a bar chart for EUR/USD:


Bar charts are also called “OHLC” charts, because they indicate the Open, the High, the Low, and the Close for that particular currency. Here’s an example of a price bar:


Open: The little horizontal line on the left is the opening price
High: The top of the vertical line defines the highest price of the time period
Low: The bottom of the vertical line defines the lowest price of the time period
Close: The little horizontal line on the right is the closing price

Candlestick charts show the same information as a bar chart, but in a prettier, graphic format.

Candlestick bars still indicate the high-to-low range with a vertical line. However, in candlestick charting, the larger block in the middle indicates the range between the opening and closing prices. Traditionally, if the block in the middle is filled or colored in, then the currency closed lower than it opened.

In the following example, the ‘filled color’ is black. For our ‘filled’ blocks, the top of the block is the opening price, and the bottom of the block is the closing price. If the closing price is higher than the opening price, then the block in the middle will be “white” or hollow or unfilled.

The purpose of candlestick charting is strictly to serve as a visual aid, since the exact same information appears on an OHLC bar chart. The advantages of candlestick charting are:

  • Candlesticks are easy to interpret, and are a good place for a beginner to start figuring out chart analysis.
  • Candlesticks are easy to use. Your eyes adapt almost immediately to the information in the bar notation.
  • Candlesticks and candlestick patterns have cool names such as the shooting star, which helps you to remember what the pattern means.
  • Candlesticks are good at identifying marketing turning points – reversals from an uptrend to a downtrend or a downtrend to an uptrend. You will learn more about this later.

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Two Types of Trading

There are 2 basic types of analysis you can take when approaching the forex:

  1. Fundamental analysis
  2. Technical analysis.

There has always been a constant debate as to which analysis is better, but to tell you the truth, you need to know a little bit of both. So let’s break each one down and then come back and put them together.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is a way of looking at the market through economic, social and political forces that affect supply and demand. (Yada yada yada.) In other words, you look at whose economy is doing well, and whose economy sucks. The idea behind this type of analysis is that if a country’s economy is doing well, their currency will also be doing well. This is because the better a country’s economy, the more trust other countries have in that currency.

For example, the U.S. dollar has been gaining strength because the U.S. economy is gaining strength. As the economy gets better, interest rates get higher to control inflation and as a result, the value of the dollar continues to increase. In a nutshell, that is basically what fundamental analysis is.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is the study of price movement. In one word, technical analysis = charts. The idea is that a person can look at historical price movements, and, based on the price action, can determine at some level where the price will go. By looking at charts, you can identify trends and patterns which can help you find good trading opportunities.

The most IMPORTANT thing you will ever learn in technical analysis is the trend! Many, people have a saying that goes, “The trend is your friend”. The reason for this is that you are much more likely to make money when you can find a trend and trade in the same direction. Technical analysis can help you identify these trends in its earliest stages and therefore provide you with very profitable trading opportunities.

So which type of analysis is better?

Throughout your journey as an aspiring Forex trader you will find strong advocates for both fundamental and technical trading. You will have those who argue that it is the fundamentals alone that drive the market and that any patterns found on a chart are simply coincidence. On the other hand, there will be those who argue that it is the technicals that traders pay attention to and because traders pay attention to it, common market patterns can be found to help predict future price movements.

Do not be fooled by these one sided extremists! One is not better than the other...

In order to become a true Forex master you will need to know how to effectively use both types of analysis. Don't believe me? Let me give you an example of how focusing on only one type of analysis can turn into a disaster.

  • Let’s say that you’re looking at your charts and you find a good trading opportunity.
  • Then you proceed to enter your trade with a big smile on your face.
  • Suddenly the trade makes a 30 pip move in the OTHER DIRECTION! Little did you know that there was an interest rate decrease for your currency and now everyone is trading in the opposite direction.
  • Your big smile turns into mush and you start getting angry at your charts. You just lost a bunch of money, it’s all because you completely ignored fundamental analysis.

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

Trade at Your Own Risk!

Before I pursue anything, I like to know exactly what I’m getting into. The same especially goes for trading. We’ve heard the benefits and why we should “trade the news,” but more importantly we should know the risks.

Slippage

Market volatility can increase geometrically during news releases, which means the price can move as little as 5 pips to 20 pips (or even 50 pips and more during major news releases) in the matter of seconds. If you try to get your order filled during this type of volatility, you will probably get filled at a much different price than you anticipated. This is especially risky with limit entry orders.

For example, I once placed an order with a broker (one that guaranteed fixed spreads, but not execution) 15 minutes before a major news release on EUR/USD. Right before the release, the market was at 1.2320. I set my limit order to go long at 1.2360, with a profit level of 1.2383. The news came out bad for the U.S. dollar, which caused the market to shoot up 80 pips as soon as it was released. My long order was triggered, but unfortunately, I got filled in at 1.2390 – 30 pips above my limit price!! After the market settled for a bit, my profit target price was executed at a loss because it was set below the price at which I got filled in. Fortunately, it was only a 7 pips loss, but it was a costly lesson learned.

Order Freeze

Some brokers prevent limit and market orders right before a major news release (some up to 30 minutes to an hour beforehand). This usually occurs with brokers who guarantee fixed spreads.The reason your trading platform “locks up” is not because the platform “crashed”, it’s because the spread is too wide and if the brokers offered them with their fixed spreads, they would lose money.

Volatility/ Whipsaws

During major news reports and economic releases the market can swing 20 to 50 pips in a second! News volatility can be very dangerous, even for experienced traders. You may catch the strong initial move, but like so many times in these situations, it can turn against you into a losing trade just as fast.

Spreads

Some brokers may guarantee execution but do not guarantee spreads, and during news events you’ll see spreads widen dramatically (I’ve seen a 3-pip spread turn into a 14-pip spread during a report). If you like to take small profits like 5 to 10 pips, this will hurt your chances of profitability and possibly keep you in a potentially losing trade.

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Things to Know When Trading News Reports

Now that we know “how” and “when” you can trade news reports, there are a few key concepts you should know before placing your first news trade.

  • While the actual news number or report is essential to the long-term movement of a currency pair, in the short-term the difference between the market expectations and the actual release is what causes potential breakout opportunities. This means economic numbers and reports that come out as the market expected generally do not cause a strong market reaction.
  • The quieter the market is before a news release, the more the market is poised for a significant move. Think about it: In a quiet market, less and less traders are buying and selling, possibly waiting for some sort of catalyst (like a news report maybe?). When this “catalyst” takes place, all of these traders waiting on the sidelines jump in at the same time causing a huge move in the market. So, the more traders wait (the quieter the market), the more will jump in after a news report (huge pips and a new Ferrari, right?).
  • Depending on the significance of the economic report, and the amount of deviation of the actual to the forecasted number, news breakout opportunities are generally short-lived and may last for only a few minutes or even a few seconds. Trading news releases may be better suited for scalpers and day traders.

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Tradeable Reports

With all of these countries to choose from, there are easily five to ten economic news releases almost every day! Also, the great thing about focusing on news releases is that they are scheduled in advance, so you know exactly when you can schedule your trading hours.

You may be thinking that five to ten news releases per day may be a lot to keep up with, but you really do not have to pay attention to every single report – you can pick and choose. There are a few key reports, most of which come out every month, that produce a significant amount of pip movement.

For this lesson, we will focus on U.S. news and economic reports, mostly because the U.S. dollar is involved in a majority of currency trades, and therefore tends to have the most significant impact on the currency markets. Here is a list of some of the top U.S. market moving reports:

  • Employment Growth
  • Interest Rate decisions
  • Trade Balance
  • Gross Domestic Product
  • Retail Sales
  • Durable Goods
  • Inflation reports (Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index)
  • Foreign Purchases report (TIC Data)

Every country has a set of major reports similar to this list and can be as potentially volatile. Again, since these reports are scheduled in advance there are plenty of websites on the Internet with schedules and potential volatility rankings.

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When are News Releases

The list below displays the times when the most important economic data are released for each of the countries. Make sure you know them or go broke.

Symbol Country Time (GMT)
USD United States 13:30 - 15:00
EUR Germany 07:00 - 11:00
EUR France 07:45 - 09:00
EUR Italy 08:45 - 10:00
JPY Japan 23:50 - 04:30
GBP Great Britain 07:00 - 09:30
CHF Switzerland 06:45 - 10:30
CAD Canada 12:00 - 13:30
AUD Australia 22:30 - 00:30
NZD New Zealand 21:45 - 02:00

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Brokers

Choosing a Forex Broker

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Before trading Forex you need to set up an account with a Forex broker. So what exactly is a broker? In simplest terms, a broker is an individual or a company that buys and sells orders according to the trader's decisions. Brokers earn money by charging a commission or a fee for their services.

You may feel overwhelmed by the number of brokers who offer their services online. Deciding on a broker requires a little bit of research on your part, but the time spent will give you insight into the services that are available and fees charged by various brokers.

Is the Forex broker regulated?

When selecting a prospective Forex broker, find out with which regulatory agencies it is registered with. The Forex market is labeled as an “unregulated” market, and it basically is. Regulation is typically reactive, meaning only after you’ve been bamboozled out of your entire savings will something be done.

In the United States a broker should be registered as a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a NFA member. The CFTC and NFA were made to protect the public against fraud, manipulation, and abusive trade practices.

You can verify Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) registration and NFA membership status of a particular broker and check their disciplinary history by phoning NFA at (800) 621-3570 or by checking the broker/firm information section (BASIC) of NFA's Web site at www.nfa.futures.org/basicnet/.

Among the registered firms, look for those with clean regulatory records and solid financials. Stay away from non-regulated firms!

The NFA is stepping up their efforts in educating investors about retail forex trading. They’ve created a brochure fit for a Pulitzer Prize called, "Trading in the Retail Off-Exchange Foreign Currency Market”. The NFA recommends you read it before taking the forex plunge.

They’ve also developed a Forex Online Learning Program, an interactive self-directed program explaining how retail forex contracts are traded, the risks inherent in forex trading and steps individuals should take before opening a forex account. Both the brochure and the online learning program are available at no charge to the public.

Customer Service

Forex is a 24-hour market, so 24-hour support is a must! Can you contact the firm by phone, email, chat, etc.? The quality of support can vary drastically from broker to broker, so be sure to check them out before opening an account.

Here’s a good tip: choose several online brokers and contact their help desks. Seeing how quickly they respond to your questions can be key in gauging how they will respond to your needs. If you don't get a speedy reply and a satisfactory answer to your question, you certainly wouldn't want to trust them with your business. Just be aware that as in other types of businesses, pre-sales service might be better than post-sales service.

Online Trading Platform

Most, if not all, Forex brokers allow you to trade over the Internet relatively easy. The backbone of any trading platform is their ordering system. So trading software is very important. Get a feel for the options that are available by trying out a demo account at a few online brokers.

Closely examine the broker’s screen layout. It should include:

  • the ability to view real-time currency exchange rate quotes,
  • an account summary showing your current account balance with realized and unrealized profit and loss, margin available, and any margin locked in open positions.

Most trading platforms are either Web based (in Java), or a client-based program you can install on your computer, and which version you choose is your personal preference:

  • Web based software is hosted on your broker’s web site. You won’t have to install any software on your own computer, and you’ll be able to log in from any computer that has an Internet connection.
  • A client-based software program, or one that you download and install, will only allow you to trade on your own computer (unless you install the program on every computer you use).

Usually, the "download and install" program runs faster, but most programs are operating system specific. For example, most brokers only offer their trading platform application to run on Microsoft Windows. If heaven forbid you are a Mac user (!), you won’t be able to install the application and will have to use your broker’s Web based or Java-based trading platform. These two (the Web or Java-based) will run on any computer since they run through your internet browser.

Java-based software programs are preferred by most brokers, who think they are more safe and reliable. Java-based software tends to be less vulnerable to attack from viruses and hackers during transmissions than "download and install" software.

But always be sure to open a demo account and test out the broker's platform before opening a real account!

Don’t forget your high speed Internet connection

The Forex market is a fast moving market and you will need up-to-the second information to make informed trading decisions. Make sure you have a high speed Internet connection. If you don’t, you might as well not even bother trading. Dial-up will absolutely not work for Forex! If you plan to trade online you will need a modern computer and high speed Internet connection, and we can’t stress this enough!

Bells and Whistles

Any Forex broker worth his salt should offer you real-time quotes and allow you to quickly enter and exit the market. These are minimal requirements of any trading software. Upgraded software packages are usually offered as an extra monthly fee by brokers.

Most brokers now offer integrated charting and technical analysis packages with their trading platforms. The level of integration with the trading platforms varies and is worth understanding carefully.

Mini/Micro Accounts

Most brokers offer very small “mini-accounts” and even smaller "micro-account" for as little as a couple hundred bucks. These little cute accounts are a great way to get started and test your trading skills and gain experience.

Broker Policies

Before selecting an online Forex broker, you should closely examine their features and policies. These include:

  • Available Currency Pairs

You should confirm that the prospective broker offers, at minimum, the seven major currencies (AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, JPY, and USD).

  • Transaction Costs

Transaction costs are calculated in pips. The lower the number of pips required per trade by the broker, the greater the profit that the trader makes. Comparing pip spreads of half dozen brokers will reveal different transaction costs. For example, the bid/ask spread for EUR/USD is usually 3 pips, but if you can find 2 pips, that’s even better.

  • Margin Requirement

The lower the margin requirement (meaning the higher the leverage), the greater the potential for higher profits and losses. Margin percentages vary from .25% and up. Low margin requirements are great when your trades are good, but not so great when you are wrong. Be realistic about margins and remember that they swing both ways.

  • Minimum Trading Size Requirement

The size of one lot may differ from broker to broker, spanning 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 units. A lot consisting of 100,000 units is called a “standard” lot. A lot consisting of 10,000 units is called a “mini” lot. A lot consisting of 1,000 units is called a “micro” lot. Some brokers even offer fractional unit sizes (called odd lots) which allow you create your own unit size.

  • Rollover Charges

Rollover charges are determined by the difference between the interest rate of the country of the base currency and the interest rates of the other country. The greater the interest rate differential between the two currencies in the currency pair, the greater the rollover charge will be. For example, when trading GBP/USD, if the British pound has the greater interest differential with the U.S. dollar, then the rollover charge for holding British pound positions would be the most expensive. On the other hand, if the Swiss Franc were to have the smallest interest differential to the U.S. dollar, then overnight charges for USD/CHF would be the least expensive of the currency pairs.

  • Margin Account Interest Rate

Most brokers pay interest on a trader’s margin account. The interest rates normally fluctuate with the prevailing national rates. If you decide to take an extended break from trading, the money in your margin account will be accruing interest. Keep in mind that most brokers DO NOT allow you to accrue interest unless your margin requirement is at least 2% (50:1).

  • Trading Hours

Nearly all brokers align their hours of operation to coincide with the hours of operation of the global Forex market: 5:00 pm EST Sunday through 4:00 pm EST Friday.

Other Policies

Be sure to scrutinize a prospective broker’s “fine print” section to be fully aware of all the nuances that a specific broker may impose on a new trader.

Finding the right broker is a critical part of the process. It’s not easy and requires some real work on your part. Don’t pick the first one that looks good to you. Keep looking and trying different demo accounts.

Summary

What to look for in an online Forex broker/dealer:

  1. Low Spreads.

In Forex trading the ‘spread’ is the difference between the buy and sell price of any given currency pair. Lower spreads save you money.

  1. Low minimum account openings.

For those that are new to Forex trading and for those that don’t have millions of dollars in risk capital to trade, being able to open a micro trading account with only $250 (we recommend at least $1,000) is a great feature for new traders.

  1. Instant automatic execution of your orders.

This is very important when choosing a Forex broker. Don’t settle with a firm that re-quotes you when you click on a price or a firm that allows for price ‘slippage’. This is very important when trading for small profits. You want what we call a WYSIWYG (pronounced wiz-ee-wig) broker! This means you want instant execution of your orders and the price you see and "click" is the price that you should get. WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get!

  1. Free charting and technical analysis

Choose a broker that gives you access to the best charting and technical analysis available to active traders. Look for a broker that provides free professional charting services and allows traders to trade directly on the charts.

  1. Leverage

Leverage can either make you super rich or super broke. Most likely, it will be the latter. As an inexperienced trader, you don't want too much leverage. A good rule of thumb is to not use more than 100:1 leverage for Standard (100k) accounts and 200:1 for Mini (10k) accounts

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The Orders

Buy a copy of School of Pipsology for $49 in PDF format

Buy and download a printable and easy-to-read PDF document containing the entire School of Pipsology. The content is over 250 pages long with no ads.

When you buy the PDF you'll receive an email within minutes with a direct link to download the PDF to your computer. Read it on screen or print it so you can take it with you on the road.


I agree to be charged $49 for one copy of "School of Pipsology" in PDF format. This payment is non-refundable. I understand I'm purchasing a single copy for myself and I won't make copies of the book or distribute it to anyone else. If someone else wants a copy I'll encourage them to purchase their own.

or Cancel

The term "order" refers to how you will enter or exit a trade. Here we discuss the different types of orders that can be placed into the foreign exchange market. Be sure that you know which types of orders your broker accepts. Different brokers accept different types of orders.

Order Types

Basic Order Types

There are some basic order types that all brokers provide and some others that sound weird. The basic ones are:

  • Market order

A market order is an order to buy or sell at the current market price. For example, EUR/USD is currently trading at 1.2140. If you wanted to buy at this exact price, you would click buy and your trading platform would instantly execute a buy order at that exact price. If you ever shop on Amazon.com, it's (kinda) like using their 1-Click ordering. You like the current price, you click once and it's yours! The only difference is you are buying or selling one currency against another currency instead of buying Britney Spears CDs.

  • Limit order

A limit order is an order placed to buy or sell at a certain price. The order essentially contains two variables, price and duration. For example, EUR/USD is currently trading at 1.2050. You want to go long if the price reaches 1.2070. You can either sit in front of your monitor and wait for it to hit 1.2070 (at which point you would click a buy market order), or you can set a buy limit order at 1.2070. If the price goes up to 1.2070, your trading platform will automatically execute a buy order at that exact price. You specify the price at which you wish to buy/sell a certain currency pair and also specify how long you want the order to remain active (GTC or GFD).

  • Stop-loss order

A stop-loss order is a limit order linked to an open trade for the purpose of preventing additional losses if price goes against you. A stop-loss order remains in effect until the position is liquidated or you cancel the stop-loss order. For example, you went long (buy) EUR/USD at 1.2230. To limit your maximum loss, you set a stop-loss order at 1.2200. This means if you were dead wrong and EUR/USD drops to 1.2200 instead of moving up, your trading platform would automatically execute a sell order at 1.2200 and close out your position for a 30 pip loss. Stop-losses are extremely useful if you don't want to sit in front of your monitor all day worried that you will lose all your money. You can simply set a stop-loss order on any open positions so you won't miss your basket weaving class.


Short form serounding the Order.

GTC (Good ‘til canceled)

A GTC order remains active in the market until you decide to cancel it. Your broker will not cancel the order at any time. Therefore it's your responsibility to remember that you have the order scheduled.

GFD (Good for the day)

A GFD order remains active in the market until the end of the trading day. Because foreign exchange is a 24-hour market, this usually means 5pm EST since that that's U.S. markets close, but I’d recommend you double check with your broker.

OCO (Order cancels other)

An OCO order is a mixture of two limit and/or stop-loss orders. Two orders with price and duration variables are placed above and below the current price. When one of the orders is executed the other order is canceled. Example: The price of EUR/USD is 1.2040. You want to either buy at 1.2095 over the resistance level in anticipation of a breakout or initiate a selling position if the price falls below 1.1985. The understanding is that if 1.2095 is reached, you will buy order will be triggered and the 1.1985 sell order will be automatically canceled.

Always check with your broker for specific order information and to see if any rollover fees will be applied if a position is held longer than one day. Keeping your ordering rules simple is the best strategy.

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Margin Call

What is a Margin Call?

In the event that money in your account falls below margin requirements (usable margin), your broker will close some or all open positions. This prevents your account from falling into a negative balance, even in a highly volatile, fast moving market.

Example#1
Let’s say you open a regular Forex account with $2,000. You open 1 lot of the EUR/USD, with a margin requirement of $1000. Usable Margin is the money available to open new positions or sustain trading losses. Since you started with $2,000, your usable margin is $2,000. But when you opened 1 lot, which requires a margin requirement of $1,000, your usable margin is now $1,000.

If your losses exceed your usable margin of $1,000 you will get a margin call.

Example#2
Let’s say you open a regular Forex account with $10,000. You open 1 lot of the EUR/USD, with a margin requirement is $1000. Remember, usable margin is the money you have available to open new positions or sustain trading losses. So prior to opening 1 lot, you have a usable margin of $10,000. After you open the trade, you now have $9,000 usable margin and $1,000 of used margin.

If your losses exceed your usable margin of $9,000, you will get a margin call. Make sure you know the difference between usable margin and used margin.

If the equity (the value of your account) falls below your usable margin due to trading losses, you will either have to deposit more money or your broker will close your position to limit your risk and his risk. As a result, you can never lose more than you deposit.

If you are going to trade on a margin account, it’s vital that you know what your broker’s policies are on margin accounts.

You should also know that most brokers require a higher margin during the weekends. This may take the form of 1% margin during the week and if you intend to hold the position over the weekend it may rise to 2% or higher.

The topic of margin is a touchy subject and some argue that too much margin is dangerous. It all depends on the individual. The important thing to remember is that you thoroughly understand your broker’s policies regarding margin and that you understand and are comfortable with the risks involved.

Some brokers describe their leveraging in terms of a leverage ratio and other in terms of a margin percentage. The simple relationship between the two terms is:

Leverage = 100 / Margin Percent

Margin Percent = 100 / Leverage

Leverage is conventionally displayed as a ratio, such 100:1 or 200:1.

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How to calculate profit and loss?

So now that you know how to calculate pip value, let’s look at how you calculate your profit or loss.

Let’s buy US dollars and Sell Swiss Francs.

The rate you are quoted is 1.4525 / 1.4530. Because you are buying US you will be working on the 1.4530, the rate at which traders are prepared to sell.

So you buy 1 lot of $100,000 at 1.4530.

A few hours later, the price moves to 1.4550 and you decide to close your trade.

The new quote for USD/CHF is 1.4550 / 14555. Since you're closing your trade and you initially bought to enter the trade, you now sell in order to close the trade so you must take the 1.4550 price. The price traders are prepared to buy at.

The difference between 1.4530 and 1.4550 is .0020 or 20 pips.

Using our formula from before, we now have (.0001/1.4550) x $100,000 -= $6.87 per pip x 20 pips = $137.40

Remember, when you enter or exit a trade, you are subject to the spread in the bid/offer quote.

When you buy a currency you will use the offer price and when you sell you will use the bid price.

So when you buy a currency, you pay the spread as you enter the trade but not as you exit. And when you sell a currency you don't pay the spread when you enter but only when you exit

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What is a Lot?

Spot Forex is traded in lots. The standard size for a lot is $100,000. There is also a mini lot size and that is $10,000. As you already know, currencies are measured in pips, which is the smallest increment of that currency. To take advantage of these tiny increments, you need to trade large amounts of a particular currency in order to see any significant profit or loss.

Let’s assume we will be using a $100,000 lot size. We will now recalculate some examples to see how it affects the pip value.

USD/JPY at an exchange rate of 119.90
(.01 / 119.80) x $100,000 = $8.34 per pip

USD/CHF at an exchange rate of 1.4555
(.0001 / 1.4555) x $100,000 = $6.87 per pip

In cases where the US Dollar is not quoted first, the formula is slightly different.

EUR/USD at an exchange rate of 1.1930
(.0001 / 1.1930) X EUR 100,000 = EUR 8.38 x 1.1930 = $9.99734 rounded up will be $10 per pip

GBP/USD at an exchange rate or 1.8040
(.0001 / 1.8040) x GBP 100,000 = 5.54 x 1.8040 = 9.99416 rounded up will be $10 per pip.

Your broker may have a different convention for calculating pip value relative to lot size but whichever way they do it, they'll be able to tell you what the pip value is for the currency you are trading is at the particular time. As the market moves, so will the pip value depending on what currency you are currently trading.

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Which Pairs Should I Trade?

Here is a list of the top currencies and countries in which you should focus on for news trading:

Symbol Country Currency Nickname
USD United States Dollar Buck
EUR European Union Euro Fiber
JPY Japan Yen Yen
GBP Great Britain Pound Cable
CHF Switzerland Franc Swissy
CAD Canada Dollar Loonie
AUD Australia Dollar Aussie
NZD New Zealand Dollar Kiwi

Now, there are plenty more currencies available to trade, but this list is based on the size of each country’s economy, frequency of news releases and the trading liquidity of their currency.

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Trading the News

Trading the news is becoming a popular technique to trade the forex markets … and why shouldn’t it be? Time and time again you see currency pairs move 50 to 100 pips within minutes or even seconds after a major news release. When you see that, I bet you’re thinking, “50 to 100 pips!? That’s easy money!” Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. It all depends on how prepared you are to trade a news release.

The goal of this lesson isn’t to give you a specific “Trading the News” strategy. The goal is to point you in the right direction and show some of the risks involved with trading these events, because here at BabyPips.com, we want to help you help yourself in developing your own methods that fit YOU best.
Why Trade the News?

Trading news releases can be a significant tool in your trading arsenal. If you want, it can be your only weapon altogether. Economic news reports often spur strong short-term moves in the market, which are great trading opportunities for breakout traders. And with the forex being open 24 hours a day and a true worldwide market, there are plenty of opportunities almost every trading day to catch market volatility (aka a lot of pips!) kicked off by an economic news report.

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4 Reasons Why Traders Lose

Why do certain traders win consistently lose? Here are four reasons:
  1. Not having a proven trading methodology

    Those who consistently lose don’t know key numbers. They have no understanding of support and resistance. Chart patterns are foreign to them. Their definition of risk management is getting margin called. With no proven trading method or strategy, you are doomed to fail. You will end up quitting the game after a string of losses. But there is hope. With the right education, a workable method, psychological balance and persistence, it can be done.

  2. Not understanding how the market works, key indicators, key numbers, and ideal times to trade.

    When you place a trade, you literally go toe-to-toe against some of the biggest nerds in the world. Many professional traders are not only super smart and Ivy League educated, they’re also rich. That doesn’t mean that you, the small guy or gal, can’t win.

    It just means that you simply must educate yourself and be prepared to do battle. David can beat Goliath, but only if he’s prepared. Some people might think the cost of a trading education is too high. But the cost of ignorance is way more expensive.

  3. Risking too much per trade.

    The wannabe trader risks 10% or more of her trading account on a single trade. Real deal traders understand risk and manage it FIRST before thinking about profit. They don’t take trades if it forces them to risk too much. Pros keep their risk below 2% of their account balance. This gives them the staying power to survive multiple losing trades in a row without turning into a worry wart.

  4. Not being mentally prepared.

    Psychology is a huge part of trading and most people are not mentally prepared. When money is on the line, fear, greed, and other emotions make trading very hard. Make sure you understand the emotional aspects of trading and be prepared to deal with them before you put your money on the line.
by Dr. Pipslow

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Pip's

The most common increment of currencies is the Pip. If the EUR/USD moves from 1.2250 to 1.2251, that is ONE PIP. A pip is the last decimal place of a quotation. The Pip is how you measure your profit or loss.

As each currency has its own value, it is necessary to calculate the value of a pip for that particular currency. In currencies where the US Dollar is quoted first, the calculation would be as follows.

Let’s take USD/JPY rate at 119.80 (notice this currency pair only goes to two decimal places, most of the other currencies have four decimal places)

In the case of USD/JPY, 1 pip would be .01

Therefore,

USD/JPY:

119.80
.01 divided by exchange rate = pip value
.01 / 119.80 = 0.0000834

USD/CHF:

1.5250
.0001 divided by exchange rate = pip value
.0001 / 1.5250 = 0.0000655

USD/CAD:

1.4890
.0001 divided by exchange rate = pip value
.0001 / 1.4890 = 0.00006715

In the case where the US Dollar is not quoted first and we want to get the US Dollar value, we have to add one more step.

EUR/USD:

1.2200

.0001 divided by exchange rate = pip value

.0001 / 1.2200 = EUR 0.00008196

but we need to get back to US dollars so we add another calculation which is

EUR x Exchange rate
0.00008196 x 1.2200 = 0.00009999

When rounded up it would be 0.0001

GBP/USD:

1.7975
.0001 divided by exchange rate = pip value
.0001 / 1.7975 = GBP 0.0000556

But we need to get back to US dollars so we add another calculation which is

BP x Exchange rate

0.0000556 x 1.7975 = 0.0000998

When rounded up it would be 0.0001

You’re probably rolling your eyes back and thinking do I really need to work all this out and the answer is NO. Nearly all forex brokers will work all this out for you automatically. It’s always good for you to know how they work it out.

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Rollover

No, this is not the same as rollover minutes from your cell phone carrier! For positions open at your broker's "cut-off time" usually 5pm EST, there is a daily rollover interest rate that a trader either pays or earns, depending on your established margin and position in the market. If you do not want to earn or pay interest on your positions, simply make sure they are all closed before 5pm EST, the established end of the market day.

Since every currency trade involves borrowing one currency to buy another, interest rollover charges are part of forex trading. Interest is paid on the currency that is borrowed, and earned on the one that is bought. If a client is buying a currency with a higher interest rate than the one he/she is borrowing, the net differential will be positive (i.e. USD/JPY) – and the client will earn funds as a result. Ask your broker or dealer about specific details regarding rollover.

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How You Make Money Trading Forex

In the FX market, you buy or sell currencies. Placing a trade in the foreign exchange market is simple: the mechanics of a trade are very similar to those found in other markets (like the stock market), so if you have any experience in trading, you should be able to pick it up pretty quickly.

The object of Forex trading is to exchange one currency for another in the expectation that the price will change, so that the currency you bought will increase in value compared to the one you sold.

Example of making money by buying Euros

TRADER’S ACTION

EUR

USD

You Purchase 10,000 euros at the EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.18

+10,000

-11,800*

Two week later, you exchange 10,000, back into US dollar at the exchange rate 1.2500

-10,000

+12,500**

You earn a profit of $700.00

+700


*EUR $10,000 x 1.18 = US $11,800
** EUR $10,000 x 1.25 = US $12,500

An exchange rate is simply the ratio of one currency valued against another currency. For example, the USD/CHF exchange rate indicates how many U.S. dollars can purchase one Swiss franc, or how many Swiss francs you need to buy one U.S. dollar.

How to Read an FX Quote

Currencies are always quoted in pairs, such as GBP/USD or USD/JPY. The reason they are quoted in pairs is because in every foreign exchange transaction you are simultaneously buying one currency and selling another. Here is an example of a foreign exchange rate for the British pound versus the U.S. dollar:

GBP/USD = 1.7500

The first listed currency to the left of the slash ("/") is known as the base currency (in this example, the British pound), while the second one on the right is called the counter or quote currency (in this example, the U.S. dollar).

When buying, the exchange rate tells you how much you have to pay in units of the quote currency to buy one unit of the base currency. In the example above, you have to pay 1.7500 U.S. dollar to buy 1 British pound.

When selling, the exchange rate tells you how many units of the quote currency you get for selling one unit of the base currency. In the example above, you will receive 1.7500 U.S. dollars when you sell 1 British pound.

The base currency is the “basis” for the buy or the sell. If you buy EUR/USD this simply means that you are buying the base currency and simultaneously selling the quote currency.

You would buy the pair if you believe the base currency will appreciate (go up) relative to the quote currency. You would sell the pair if you think the base currency will depreciate (go down) relative to the quote currency.

Long/Short

First, you should determine whether you want to buy or sell.

If you want to buy (which actually means buy the base currency and sell the quote currency), you want the base currency to rise in value and then you would sell it back at a higher price. In trader's talk, this is called "going long" or taking a "long position". Just remember: long = buy.

If you want to sell (which actually means sell the base currency and buy the quote currency), you want the base currency to fall in value and then you would buy it back at a lower price. This is called "going short" or taking a "short position". Short = sell.

Bid/Ask Spread

All Forex quotes include a two-way price, the bid and ask. The bid is always lower than the ask price.

The bid is the price in which the dealer is willing to buy the base currency in exchange for the quote currency. This means the bid is the price at which you (as the trader) will sell.

The ask is the price at which the dealer will sell the base currency in exchange for the quote currency. This means the ask is the price at which you will buy.

The difference between the bid and the ask price is popularly known as the spread.

Let's take a look at an example of a price quote taken from a trading platform:

On this GBP/USD quote, the bid price is 1.7445 and the ask price is 1.7449. Look at how this broker makes it so easy for you to trade away your money.

If you want to sell GBP, you click "Sell" and you will sell pounds at 1.7445. If you want to buy GBP, you click "Buy" and you will buy pounds at 1.7449.

In the following examples, we're going to use fundamental analysis to help us decide whether to buy or sell a specific currency pair. If you always fell asleep during your economics class or just flat out skipped economics class, don’t worry! We will cover fundamental analysis in a later lesson. For right now, try to pretend you know what’s going on…

EUR/USD

In this example Euro is the base currency and thus the “basis” for the buy/sell.

If you believe that the US economy will continue to weaken, which is bad for the US dollar, you would execute a BUY EUR/USD order. By doing so you have bought euros in the expectation that they will rise versus the US dollar.

If you believe that the US economy is strong and the euro will weaken against the US dollar you would execute a SELL EUR/USD order. By doing so you have sold Euros in the expectation that they will fall versus the US dollar.

USD/JPY

In this example the US dollar is the base currency and thus the “basis” for the buy/sell.

If you think that the Japanese government is going to weaken the Yen in order to help its export industry, you would execute a BUY USD/JPY order. By doing so you have bought U.S dollars in the expectation that they will rise versus the Japanese yen.

If you believe that Japanese investors are pulling money out of U.S. financial markets and converting all their U.S. dollars back to Yen, and this will hurt the US dollar, you would execute a SELL USD/JPY order. By doing so you have sold U.S dollars in the expectation that they will depreciate against the Japanese yen.

GBP/USD

In this example the GBP is the base currency and thus the “basis” for the buy/sell.

If you think the British economy will continue to do better than the United States in terms of economic growth, you would execute a BUY GBP/USD order. By doing so you have bought pounds in the expectation that they will rise versus the US dollar.

If you believe the British's economy is slowing while the United State's economy remains strong like bull, you would execute a SELL GBP/USD order. By doing so you have sold pounds in the expectation that they will depreciate against the US dollar.

USD/CHF

In this example the USD is the base currency and thus the “basis” for the buy/sell.

If you think the Swiss franc is overvalued, you would execute a BUY USD/CHF order. By doing so you have bought US dollars in the expectation that they will appreciate versus the Swiss Franc.

If you believe that the US housing market bubble burst will hurt future economic growth, which will weaken the dollar, you would execute a SELL USD/CHF order. By doing so you have sold US dollars in the expectation that they will depreciate against the Swiss franc.

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