The amount of choices available to traders and investors today is expansive. Stocks, bonds, commodities, and more all provide ample trading opportunities for market participants to attempt to profit. The biggest, most widely traded market, however, is the Forex markets.
Forex is short for Foreign Exchange and involves the buying of one currency and the selling of another currency. There are many currency pairs available for trading and investment. Some of the most popular and heavily traded pairs include the USD/EUR, USD/GBP, USD/JPN, USD/CHF, and more.
Modern forex markets can move based on numerous factors and provide both traders and investors with many potential profit opportunities. Today’s currency markets can be driven by interest rate differentials, monetary policies, domestic economies, and more. Although the great opportunity for profit exists in today’s markets, the risk of loss is equally real. That being said, it is very important to have a game plan in place before trading Forex. Here are ten simple tips to think about before getting started:
Trade a Demo Account
Most, if not all, trading platforms have a feature in which the user can trade fake money. The “demo” version, as it is often called, can allow the trader to get comfortable with the platform and its functions before putting real capital at risk. This demo version also provides the trader with the opportunity to see price action and how markets ebb and flow.
Get Emotionally and Physically Fit
Trading forex, or any other market, can be an extremely stressful endeavor. It is critical, therefore, to keep your mind and body in top condition. A strong mind and body will help you better deal with the inevitable ups and downs that trading can bring and can help keep you focused on your objectives during tough times.
Know Your Limits
If you asked any successful trader what the biggest key to success is, most would say it is risk management. When it comes to trading, successful traders know and understand that there will be winning trades and losing trades. Knowing how to cut losers short is the key ingredient to success.
A simple yet very powerful way to help keep losses in check is to set a trade limit, daily limit, and weekly or monthly limit on losses. A trader might, for example, set a daily loss limit of $100. If the trader is down $100 or more on the session, the platform will not allow any new trades to be made until the next day or session.
Set Profit Targets
While knowing when to exit a bad trade is important, knowing when or how to exit a good trade is also the key to success. A good trader will plan profit targets accordingly and can either set points on the chart to exit positions or they may follow the market using a stop-loss order. Have a look at stockentrypoints.com for good examples of setting profit targets and stop-loss placement.
Get in the Know
Staying up to date on global economics and news is also a very important step towards success. A 24-hour news cycle makes for many interesting, and perhaps market-moving, headlines. It is therefore important to keep informed about news, especially in the regions for which you are trading. A trader that trades the USD/GBP, for example, would want to be in the know about economic news in both the U.S. and Great Britain.
Tweak Your System
Having a trading system in place can provide some serious benefits. Although your system may dictate that you buy at support and sell at resistance, you will still want to fine-tune the system for the best results. This fine-tuning may involve additional indicators or other criteria necessary for a trade to be entered or exited or may involve other methods of decision making.
Think About Your Exit
The fact is that most traders worry about and concentrate on when to enter a trade. Many do not give any thought to when to exit the position. Trade exits can be just as important, and without a good plan in place, traders may often see strong gains quickly evaporate if the market reverses course. If trading equities, for example, specific stock market points may be useful to exits as they can provide heavy resistance.
Plan Trade Entries
Having a plan on when or how to enter a trade is also critical to success. Many traders rely on trade signals, such as a moving average crossover or support or resistance being touched, to make a trade. Whatever the case may be, have a plan on trade entry before getting involved in the markets. It can not only help preserve your account balance but may also help preserve your sanity as well.
Keep a Journal
Journaling your latest trades can help you find ways in which you can improve. At the close of the session each day, take the time to write down what you feel you did right and what you think requires work or adjustment.
Doing this consistently can pay handsome dividends down the road as it may help build stronger trading habits. This will also teach you that the market is always right. Just because the stock market points higher does not necessarily mean it will move in that direction.
Although no one likes to be negatively criticized, judging yourself on a daily basis is important for growing as a trader. When you journal the day’s activity, spend the time to thoroughly analyze the latest trades and critique each trade, including both the entry and exit, and take notes. This will assist you in making better trade decisions going forward and can save you a great deal of money in the process.