How to get started trading FOREX

How to Get Started Trading FOREX

This short guide will give you the basics in FOREX and tell you what you need to participate in this fast growing field.

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You have been hearing about the foreign exchange market (FOREX) and the investment advantages it offers for some time. You would like to give it a try, but aren't sure how to start.



We hope that this short guide to FOREX will give you some of the basics of foreign exchange trading and give an overview of what you need to to know in order to participate in this fast growing field. Read on to learn the basics you need to know on how to start trading FOREX.

Foreign exchange was once limited only to large players such as national banks and multi-national corporations.  In the 1980's the rules were revised, allowing smaller investors to participate using margin accounts. Margin accounts are the reason why FOREX trading has become so popular with small investors.

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With a 100:1 margin account, you can control $100,000 with a $1,000 investment.

FOREX is not simple, however, and education and study are needed to make wise investment decisions.  It IS relatively easy to start trading on the FOREX, but, as with any other form of investing money, there ARE still risks involved.  As in so many new endeavors, especially those involving money, finding out as much as possible about the market in advance of becoming involved in it is a good move for any beginner.

FOREX traders usually require a broker to handle transactions.

Most brokers are reputable and are associated with large financial institutions such as banks. Reputable brokers will also be registered as Futures Commission Merchants (FCM) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as protection against fraud and abusive trade practices.

To open a FOREX account, you fill out a form and providing the necessary ID.

How hard is that?

The form WILL include a margin agreement that states that the broker can interfere with any trade it deems to be too risky. This is to protect the interests of the broker.  Most trades, after all, are done using the broker's money and this is obviously a precaution a prudent broker would want to take.  Once your account has been established, you can fund it and begin trading pretty much immediately.

Brokers have different types of accounts to suit the needs of individual investors.  Mini accounts allow you to get involved in FOREX trading for as little as $250, while standard accounts may have a minimum deposit of $1000 to $2500 depending on the broker.  The amount of leverage – using borrowed money – varies with accounts.  High leverage gives you more money to trade for a given investment.

NOTE  Novice traders are advised to get accustomed to FOREX by doing paper trades for a period of time. Paper trades are just practice transactions that don't involve any real capital. This will allow you to see how the system works as you learn how to use the software tools that are provided by most FOREX brokers.

Most online brokers also have demo accounts that allow you to make free paper trades for up to 30 days.  Every new FOREX investor is well advised to use these demo accounts at least until their trades are showing consistently steady profits.

Every broker has his or her own set of FOREX software tools to aid in making transactions, but there are a few tools common to all FOREX brokers.  These include real time quotes, news feeds, technical analyses and charts, and profit and loss analyses.  These would be some of the features you should expect to see on most online brokers' web sites.

Almost every broker operates on the Internet these days. 

In order to access their online services you should have a reasonably modern computer, a high speed Internet connection, and an up-to-date operating system such as Windows XP. 

Once your account is active, you can access it from any computer – just by entering your account name and password. If for some reason you are not able get access to a computer, most brokers will still allow you to make your trades over the phone.

Trades are commission free. 

This means that you can make many trades in one day without worrying about incurring high brokerage fees. Brokers will make their money on the "spread" - the difference between the bid and ask prices.

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Getting Started in FOREX
Page Updated 1:55 PM Tuesday 2/18/2014