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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Trade the FOREX?

My purpose for writing this article is to demonstrate to you the advantages of trading on the Forex market. However, there is one myth that I want to dispel before I go further. The myth is that there is a difference between trading and investing. To dispel that myth I quote from Al Thomas, President of Williamsburg Investment Company, who wrote "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It". He said "Everyone who invests is a trader, only the time period is different." It is a lesson that I took seriously after taking a beating in the stock market in 2000.

So now, let's compare features of currency trading to those of stock and commodity trading.

Liquidity — The Forex market is the most liquid financial market in the world around 1.9 trillion dollars traded everyday. The commodities market trades around 440 billion dollars a day, and the US stock market trades around 200 billion dollars a day. This ensures better trade execution and prevents market manipulation. It also ensures easily executable trading.

Trading Times — The Forex market is open 24 hours a day (except weekends) which means that in the US it opens at 3:00 pm Sunday (EST) and closes Friday at 5:00 (EST), allowing active traders to choose the times they want to trade. Commodities trading hours are all over the board depending on which commodity you are trading. Including extended trading times US stocks can be traded from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm (ET) on weekdays.

Explosive Profits

Explosive Profits: 7 Reasons to Trade Forex

There are many money-making opportunities out there and we've been involved with quite a few, namely property marketing, web development, residential construction security, multi-level marketing businesses etc.

We've come to a few conclusions with the help of some well-known properity coaches.

Often people with the income they desire don't have the time to enjoy it. Those that have time don't often have money. You don't have to sacrifice your life-style to earn an above-average income. If you focus on the for a few months you can make that dream a reality and create time and money to do what you REALLY want.

To earn a living money is given in exchange for a product or service rendered. It needs to be sold continuously otherwise your income stops abruptly unless it's a repeat type of product or service.

Money is a medium of exchange. There's no magical formula to possess it, you need to exchange something of value for it.

Forex The Future Investment

There are many many advantages over the various other ways of investing. First of all it is a 24 hr market, except for weekends of course. You have the US market then the european and then the Asian. One of the great times to trade is during the over lapping periods. The USA and european overlap between 5am & 9am eastern and the Euro & Asian between 11pm & 1am eastern. Usually the busiest time and best to trade.

The is also the risk factor for the accounts. With futures and options you can get margin calls that can wipe you out. If you get caught in a bad trade not only do you lose the money in the account but you may have to come up with alot more from your pocket. It can be very risking. But not in Forex. Worst case senerio you could lose whats in you account. But you would have to do something really stupid. Like making a big trade on a Fundamental day and leave it alone. If market takes a bad move and you weren't there. OOOPS. But That wouldn't happen with a smarth trader.

Then there are the demo accounts which is an account where you can trade using all the right things, platform,charts,and information. But you are using play money, or what we call paper trading too.

Investing in Forex

Investing in foreign currencies is a relatively new avenue of investing. There are considerably fewer people are aware of this market than there are people aware of several other avenues of investing. Trading foreign currency, also known as forex, is the most lucrative investment market that exists. There are several factors that make this true among which, successful forex traders earn realistic profits of one hundred plus percent each month. Compared to some of the better known investment markets such as corporate stocks, this is an unheard of return on investment. It's very necessary to mention here that a person who invests in forex must, without exception, make it a point to learn the detailed, but simple strategies and information surrounding the market. This very fact is what makes the difference between successful forex traders and other traders.

Advantages of the Forex Market

What are the advantages of the Forex Market over other types of investments?

When thinking about various investments, there is one investment vehicle that comes to mind. The Forex or Foreign Currency Market has many advantages over other types of investments. The Forex market is open 24 hrs a day, unlike the regular stock markets. Most investments require a substantial amount of capital before you can take advantage of an investment opportunity. To trade Forex, you only need a small amount of capital. Anyone can enter the market with as little as $300 USD to trade a "mini account", which allows you to trade lots of 10,000 units. One lot of 10,000 units of currency is equal to 1 contract. Each "pip" or move up or down in the currency pair is worth a $1 gain or loss, depending on which side of the market you are on. A standard account gives you control over 100,000 units of currency and a pip is worth $10.

The Forex market is also very liquid. When trading Forex you have full control of your capital.

Many other types of investments require holding your money up for long periods of time. This is a disadvantage because if you need to use the capital it can be difficult to access to it without taking a huge loss. Also, with a small amount of money, you can control

Forex traders can be profitable in bullish or bearish market conditions. Stock market traders need stock prices to rise in order to take a profit. Forex traders can make a profit during up trends and downtrends. Forex Trading can be risky, but with having the ability to have a good system to follow, good money management skills, and possessing self discipline, Forex trading can be a relatively low risk investment.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Foreign Exchange

This short introduction explains the basics of trading Forex online, a brief explanation of the markets and the major benefits of trading Forex online. There are also two scenarios describing the implications of trading in a bear as well as a bull market to better acquaint you with some of the risks and opportunities of the largest and most liquid market in the world.

As an additional aid for those who are new to Forex, there is also a glossary at the bottom of this text which explains some of the terms used in connection with currency trading.

Overview

Foreign exchange, Forex or just FX are all terms used to describe the trading of the world's many currencies. The Forex market is the largest market in the world, with trades amounting to more than USD 3 trillion every day. Most Forex trading is speculative, with only a low percentage of market activity representing governments' and companies' fundamental currency conversion needs.

Unlike trading on the stock market, the Forex market is not conducted by a central exchange, but on the “interbank” market, which is thought of as an OTC (over the counter) market. Trading takes place directly between the two counterparts necessary to make a trade, whether over the telephone or on electronic networks all over the world. The main centres for trading are Sydney, Tokyo, London, Frankfurt and New York. This worldwide distribution of trading centres means that the Forex market is a 24-hour market.

Trading Forex

A currency trade is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another one. The currency combination used in the trade is called a cross (for example, the euro/US dollar, or the GB pound/Japanese yen.). The most commonly traded currencies are the so-called “majors” – EURUSD, USDJPY, USDCHF and GBPUSD.

The most important Forex market is the spot market as it has the largest volume. The market is called the spot market because trades are settled immediately, or “on the spot”. In practice this means two banking days.

History

Brief history of Forex trading

Initially, the value of goods was expressed in terms of other goods, i.e. an economy based on barter between individual market participants. The obvious limitations of such a system encouraged establishing more generally accepted means of exchange at a fairly early stage in history, to set a common benchmark of value. In different economies, everything from teeth to feathers to pretty stones has served this purpose, but soon metals, in particular gold and silver, established themselves as an accepted means of payment as well as a reliable storage of value.

Originally, coins were simply minted from the preferred metal, but in stable political regimes the introduction of a paper form of governmental IOUs (I owe you) gained acceptance during the Middle Ages. Such IOUs, often introduced more successfully through force than persuasion were the basis of modern currencies.

Before World War I, most central banks supported their currencies with convertibility to gold. Although paper money could always be exchanged for gold, in reality this did not occur often, fostering the sometimes disastrous notion that there was not necessarily a need for full cover in the central reserves of the government.

At times, the ballooning supply of paper money without gold cover led to devastating inflation and resulting political instability. To protect local national interests, foreign exchange controls were increasingly introduced to prevent market forces from punishing monetary irresponsibility.

In the latter stages of World War II, the Bretton Woods agreement was reached on the initiative of the USA in July 1944. The Bretton Woods Conference rejected John Maynard Keynes suggestion for a new world reserve currency in favour of a system built on the US dollar. Other international institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) were created in the same period as the emerging victors of WW2 searched for a way to avoid the destabilising monetary crises which led to the war. The Bretton Woods agreement resulted in a system of fixed exchange rates that partly reinstated the gold standard, fixing the US dollar at USD35/oz and fixing the other main currencies to the dollar - and was intended to be permanent.

The Bretton Woods system came under increasing pressure as national economies moved in different directions during the sixties. A number of realignments kept the system alive for a long time, but eventually Bretton Woods collapsed in the early seventies following president Nixon's suspension of the gold convertibility in August 1971. The dollar was no longer suitable as the sole international currency at a time when it was under severe pressure from increasing US budget and trade deficits.

Forex Trading Basics

The global foreign exchange market is the biggest market in the world. The 3.2 trillion USD daily turnover dwarfs the combined turnover of all the world's stock and bond markets.

There are many reasons for the popularity of foreign exchange trading, but among the most important are the leverage available, the high liquidity 24 hours a day and the very low dealing costs associated with trading.

Of course many commercial organisations participate purely due to the currency exposures created by their import and export activities, but the main part of the turnover is accounted for by financial institutions. Investing in foreign exchange remains predominantly the domain of the big professional players in the market - funds, banks and brokers. Nevertheless, any investor with the necessary knowledge of the market's functions can benefit from the advantages stated above.

In the following article, we would like to introduce you to some of the basic concepts of foreign exchange trading. If you would like any further information, we suggest that you sign up for a FREE Membership on this website, where you will be able to exchange views with other Forex traders and get answers to any questions you might have.

Margin Trading

Foreign exchange is normally traded on margin. A relatively small deposit can control much larger positions in the market. For trading the main currencies, Saxo Bank requires a 1% margin deposit. This means that in order to trade one million dollars, you need to place just USD 10,000 by way of security.

In other words, you will have obtained a gearing of up to 100 times. This means that a change of, say 2%, in the underlying value of your trade will result in a 200% profit or loss on your deposit. See below for specific examples. As you can see, this calls for a very disciplined approach to trading as both profit opportunities and potential risks are very large indeed. Please refer to our page Forex Rates & Conditions for current Spreads, Margins and Conditions.

Base Currency and Variable Currency

When you trade, you will always trade a combination of two currencies. For example, you will buy US dollars and sell euro. Or buy euro and sell Japanese yen, or any other combination of dozens of widely traded currencies. But there is always a long (bought) and a short (sold) side to a trade, which means that you are speculating on the prospect of one of the currencies strengthening in relation to the other.

The trade currency is normally, but not always, the currency with the highest value. When trading US dollars against Singapore dollars, the normal way to trade is buying or selling a fixed amount of US dollars, i.e. USD 1,000,000. When closing the position, the opposite trade is done, again USD 1,000,000. The profit or loss will be apparent in the change of the amount of SGD credited and debited for the two transactions. In other words, your profit or loss will be denominated in SGD, which is known as the price currency. As part of our service, Saxo Bank will automatically exchange your profits and losses into your base currency if you require this.

Forex trading examples

Example 1

An investor has a margin deposit with Saxo Bank of USD 100,000.

The investor expects the US dollar to rise against the Swiss franc and therefore decides to buy USD 2,000,000 - 2% of his maximum possible exposure at a 1% margin Forex gearing.

The Saxo Bank dealer quotes him 1.5515-20. The investor buys USD at 1.5520.

Day 1: Buy USD 2,000,000 vs. CHF 1.5520 = Sell CHF 3,104,000.

Four days later, the dollar has actually risen to CHF 1.5745 and the investor decides to take his profit.

Upon his request, the Saxo Bank dealer quotes him 1.5745-50. The investor sells at 1.5745.

Day 5: Sell USD 2,000,000 vs. CHF 1.5745 = Buy CHF 3,149,000.

As the dollar side of the transaction involves a credit and a debit of USD 2,000,000, the investor's USD account will show no change. The CHF account will show a debit of CHF 3,104,000 and a credit of CHF 3,149,000. Due to the simplicity of the example and the short time horizon of the trade, we have disregarded the interest rate swap that would marginally alter the profit calculation.

This results in a profit of CHF 45,000 = approx. USD 28,600 = 28.6% profit on the deposit of USD 100,000.\

Example 2:

The investor follows the cross rate between the EUR and the Japanese yen. He believes that this market is headed for a fall. As he is not quite confident of this trade, he uses less of the leverage available on his deposit. He chooses to ask the dealer for a quote in EUR 1,000,000. This requires a margin of EUR 1,000,000 x 5% = EUR 10,000 = approx. USD 52,500 (EUR /USD 1.05).

The dealer quotes 112.05-10. The investor sells EUR at 112.05.

Day 1: Sell EUR 1,000,000 vs. JPY 112.05 = Buy JPY 112,050,000.

He protects his position with a stop-loss order to buy back the EUR at 112.60. Two days later, this stop is triggered as the EUR o strengthens short term in spite of the investor's expectations.

Day 3: Buy EUR 1,000,000 vs. JPY 112.60 = Sell JPY 112,600,000.

The EUR side involves a credit and a debit of EUR 1,000,000. Therefore, the EUR account shows no change. The JPY account is credited JPY 112.05m and debited JPY 112.6m for a loss of JPY 0.55m. Due to the simplicity of the example and the short time horizon of the trade, we have disregarded the interest rate swap that would marginally alter the loss calculation.

This results in a loss of JPY 0.55m = approx. USD 5,300 (USD/JPY 105) = 5.3% loss on the original deposit of USD 100,000.

Example 3

The investor believes the Canadian dollar will strengthen against the US dollar. It is a long term view, so he takes a small position to allow for wider swings in the rate:

He asks Saxo Bank for a quote in USD 1,000,000 against the Canadian dollar. The dealer quotes 1.5390-95 and the investor sells USD at 1.5390. Selling USD is the equivalent of buying the Canadian dollar.

Day 1: Sell USD 1,000,000 vs. CAD 1.5390. He swaps the position out for two months receiving a forward rate of CAD 1.5357 = Buy CAD 1,535,700 for Day 61 due to the interest rate differential.

After a month, the desired move has occurred. The investor buys back the US dollars at 1.4880. He has to swap the position forward for a month to match the original sale. The forward rate is agreed at 1.4865.

Day 31: Buy USD 1,000,000 vs. CAD 1.4865 = Sell CAD 1,486,500 for Day 61.

Day 61: The two trades are settled and the trades go off the books. The profit secured on Day 31 can be used for margin purposes before Day 61.

The USD account receives a credit and debit of USD 1,000,000 and shows no change on the account. The CAD account is credited CAD 1,535,700 and debited CAD 1,486,500 for a profit of CAD 49,200 = approx. USD 33,100 = profit of 33.1% on the original deposit of USD 100,000.

How to Trade Forex

trading foreign exchange is exciting and potentially very profitable, but there are also significant risk factors. It is crucially important that you fully understand the implications of margin trading and the particular pitfalls and opportunities that foreign exchange trading offers. On these pages, we offer you a brief introduction to the Forex markets as well as their participants and some strategies that you can apply. However, if you are ever in doubt about any aspect of a trade, you can always discuss the matter in-depth with one of our dealers. They are available 24 hours a day on the Saxo Bank online trading system, SaxoTrader.

The benchmark of its service is efficient execution, concise analysis and expertise – all achieved whilst maintaining an attractive and competitive cost structure. Today, Saxo Bank offers one of Europe's premier all-round services for trading in derivative products and foreign exchange. We count amongst our employees numerous dealers and analysts, each of whom has many years experience and a wide and varied knowledge of the markets – gained both in our home countries and in international financial centres. When trading foreign exchange, futures and other derivative products, we offer 24-hour service, extensive daily analysis, individual access to our Research & Analysis department for specific queries, and immediate execution of trades through our international network of banks and brokers. All at a price considerably lower than that which most companies and private investors normally have access to.

The combination of our strong emphasis on customer service, our strategy and trading recommendations, our strategic and individual hedging programmes, along with the availability to our clients of the latest news and information builds a strong case for trading an individual account through Saxo Bank.

Terms of trading are agreed individually depending on the volume of your transactions, but are generally much lower in cost when compared to banks and brokers. Your margin deposit can be cash or government securities, bank guarantees etc. Large corporate or institutional clients may be offered trading facilities on the strength of their balance sheet. The minimum deposit accepted for an individual trading account depends on the account type. Trade confirmations and real-time account overview are built into SaxoTrader, while further account information can be produced in accordance with your specific requirements.