3 Currency Trading Tips to Help You Make Money

There is a lot of money to be made in foreign exchange trading. Here are currency trading tips to help you maximize your profits.

1. Use weekly charts as well as daily charts

Checking back over the week’s price movements for your chosen currency pair will give you a better perspective on both short and long term trends in the market. It is easy to become blinkered in spot forex trading especially if your method concentrates on day trading. Weekly charts allow you to take a step back.

Sometimes the new perspective that you gain in this way will help you see what went right or wrong with your trading and why. This can help you to refine your systems to make them more profitable. However, do not make changes in a good system every time something goes wrong. There is a need for balance here.

profit

2. Do not trade too much

It is tempting to jump into the market and open a trade whenever you think you spot an opportunity, when really you should have held back. It is often true that the fewer trades you make, the more money you will make. This seems counterintuitive because we tend to think that we need to make a lot of trades to build up big profits. But opening a trade at the wrong moment leads to losses, so in fact the opposite is often true.

You need to be comfortable with risk in order to engage in forex trading. Most traders even enjoy the risk. So it can be difficult to hold back from something that looks like a big opportunity. Remember this is investment, not gambling. You must choose your trades carefully. Taking chances in the hope of making a big killing is likely to lead to your account balance taking a hammering.

If you have a profitable forex trading system that does not often offer the opportunity to trade so it is not making you much money, do not be tempted to widen the criteria so that it lets you trade more often. This will almost certainly turn your profitable system into an unprofitable one.
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Best Forex Trading Times

So what are the best forex trading times? The forex market is open 24 hours a day during the business week, but this does not necessarily mean that all of those 24 hours are good for trading. There is a lot more activity on the foreign exchange markets at certain times of day and generally speaking, the best times to trade are when the markets are busiest.

The two biggest trading floors for forex are London and the US markets. Although the UK does not use the euro, most euro countries are within one hour time difference from the UK, as is Switzerland. US time zones also include Canadian. So the London session and the US session between them cover most of the major currencies that are traded.

The London session starts at 8.00 UTC and finishes at 16.00 UTC. The currencies that are most active during this session are the euro (EUR), British pound (GBP) and US dollar (USD) which is involved in the majority of all trades.

The US session starts at 13.00 UTC (8.00 EST) and finishes at 22.00 UTC (17.00 EST). The most traded currencies during these times are USD, EUR, GBP, AUD (Australian dollar), JPY  (Japanese yen) and CAD (Canadian dollar).

The peak trading time, as you might expect, is during the three hours when these two sessions overlap and the markets are open in both London and New York. This period runs from 13.00 to 16.00 UTC (8.00 to 11.00 EST).

If you like to let your orders run over several days it may not make so much difference to you to know the busiest times on the markets. But if you are involved in day trading forex where you might open and close a trade within a few minutes, you will find most opportunities coming up during the most active hours.
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How Electronic Currency Trading Works

Electronic currency trading is simply a way of dealing in currency exchange online. You may have seen it described as foreign exchange, forex or fx trading. It is something that appeals to many people who are looking for a way to make money on the internet using their home computer.

Forex is a little like stock trading, although the market itself is very different. You have the same aim of buying something hoping the price will rise. But with forex you are always dealing with money so you can also make money from a falling price, by exchanging out of the falling currency into a steady or rising currency.

Imagine for example that you are trading on the currency pair EUR/USD. This is a common combination for beginners. The US dollar and euro are most traded currencies and there is a lot of information available to help you, so it is a good choice to start.

With this pair you can choose to either buy or sell euros. If you place a buy order, this is called ‘going long’. You would do this if you think the euro will strengthen or rise in value (or the dollar will fall).

If you place a sell order, that is ‘going short’. You would do this if you think the dollar will strengthen (or the euro will weaken).

Your aim is to make a profit by closing the trade when the price goes the way that you anticipated. Closing the trade would involve selling euros if you had gone long, or buying them if you had gone short.
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Why Start Trading Currencies?

Trading currencies has been attracting more and more retail investors in recent times. Foreign exchange or forex is an OTC (over the counter) market where anybody can get involved. All you need is an internet connection, a good system or the time to learn and develop your own system, and some money to invest.

You do not necessarily need very much money. Brokers now offer mini forex trading accounts and even micro forex trading accounts which you can open with just a couple hundred dollars. However, it is better to have a little more, even if you do not put it all into the account in the beginning. Forex trading is risky and if you only have a couple hundred dollars to spare, you probably should be doing something safer with it.

But assuming that you have the funds and you have decided that you want to make money with some kind of financial trading, let’s look at why this could be a better option for you than stock or commodity trading methods.

1. No commissions and no fees.

If you have experience of the stock market you know how your profits can be eaten away by brokerage, exchange and even government fees. The free world nature of the forex market means that you do not have to pay any of these. There are no middle men. Brokers make their money through the spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask prices of a currency.

2. No fixed lot size.

In commodity futures markets, the size of a lot or contract is set by the exchange and you cannot buy or sell less than one lot. But in spot forex trading you can theoretically set your own lot size. Brokers tend to use their own standard sizes but if you know that you will want to trade small amounts you can look for a broker who offers small or fractional lots.

3. It’s a 24 hour market, five days a week.

From the beginning to the end of the global business week, the forex market never sleeps. This is great for people who need to trade outside of normal business hours. You can go work for the boss from 9 to 5, come home and start trading currencies in the evenings. Or you can start whatever time you wake in the morning, even if it is 5 a.m.
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What is a Forex Pip?

When you start to look around forex websites online, you will soon see references to the forex pip. Your gains and losses will be measured in pips. Something else that is measured in pips is the spread, the difference between the bid and ask prices which is the main cost of forex trading and how the brokers make their money. So it is clearly very important to understand what is a forex pip.

The word is an acronym standing for percentage in point (or sometimes, price interest point). It is the smallest increment of changes in values. It allows us to measure a rise or fall in currency values in percentage terms instead of in dollars and cents.

Why do we need to talk in pips? The reason for this is simple. In the foreign exchange market there is no world currency in which to express values. The US dollar may be the most commonly traded currency but it is not involved in all trades. If you are trading cross rates, i.e. two other currencies such as EUR/GBP or any other combination that does not involve USD, it would not make any sense at all to express your gains and losses in terms of US dollars. Instead, we need something that is a small percentage of the value of whatever currencies we are dealing with.

This means that the monetary value of a pip varies according to the currency.

Most currencies are quoted to four decimal points. For example you might see the bid price for EUR/USD quoted at 1.3642 and ask price 1.3644. The difference (the spread) is 0.0002 or 2 pips. Here a pip is 0.01% of a lot.

So if the lot size was $100,000, one pip would be worth $10. For a lot size of $10,000, one pip would be $1.

That is the value of pips when the US dollar is the quote currency, i.e. XXX/USD. But when the quote currency is different, one pip is usually 10 units of that currency (e.g. 10 euros or 10 pounds). Or if your lot size is 10,000 units, one pip is 1 unit (1 euro or 1 pound).
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Forex Trading and Gold

Forex trading is an interesting concept in that rather than dealing with any sort of product, business, or other source of potential value, it directly pairs currencies against each other. For those unfamiliar with the concept of forex trading, it essentially works like any other sort of investment, but with currency.

For example, hypothetically, if you spent 10 U.S. dollars and it earned you 8 Euros, you would have 8 Euros until you decided to sell them back for dollars. If a few months later, the value of the Euro as compared to the dollar increased, and your 8 Euros were worth 12 U.S. dollars, you could sell them for that amount, meaning that you ultimately made a profit. Of course, this is a simple and hypothetical example, but that’s the general idea.

gold bullion

What some people don’t realize is that this same sort of trading can be applied to a natural resource that does not belong to any single country, region or economic system: gold bullion. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that people invest in gold in general. Gold is not something that typically sees monumental leaps or falls in value, but it can be traded with currency in a way that can essentially exchange the value of your money over time, in the same way that trading dollars for euros can.

For example, if (hypothetically again) your money exists mostly in the form of USD, and the value of the dollar is projected to fall, you may want to buy gold. Then, when the value of the dollar falls and your gold is worth more, you can sell it back for a higher number of dollars.

So, how can you invest in gold? Typically, the easiest way is to find a safe and reliable gold investment site such as BullionVault. At these sites, you can trade any amount of gold you are comfortable with, with updated prices and the ability to store your gold in in a secure vault of your choice. This makes buying and selling gold an extremely accessible practice, meaning that if this is a type of trading you are interested in, it will not be a hassle to start. But is it a good idea to trade in gold right now?
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