New To Forex

Understanding Forex

Forex trading education helps you to get fundamental information about market peculiarities.

  • Reading a foreign exchange quote may seem confusing at first. However, it's really quite simple if you remember two things when starting your Forex trading education:

    The first currency listed is the base currency

    The value of the base currency is always 1.

    The US dollar is the centerpiece of the Forex market and is normally considered the 'base' currency for quotes. In the "Majors", this includes USD/JPY, USD/CHF and USD/CAD. For these currencies and many others, quotes are expressed as a unit of 1 USD per the second currency quoted in the pair. For example, a quote of USD/JPY 120.01 means that one U.S. dollar is equal to 120.01 Japanese yen.

    When the U.S. dollar is the base unit and a currency quote goes up, it means the dollar has appreciated in value and the other currency has weakened. If the USD/JPY quote we previously mentioned increases to 123.01, the dollar is stronger because it will now buy more yen than before.

    The 3 exceptions to this rule are the British pound (GBP), the Australian dollar (AUD) and the Euro (EUR). In these cases, you might see a quote such as GBP/USD 1.4366, meaning that one British pound equals 1.4366 U.S. dollars.

    In these three currency pairs, where the U.S. dollar is not the base rate, a rising quote means a weakening dollar, as it now takes more U.S. dollars to equal one pound, euro or Australian dollar.

    In other words, if a currency quote goes higher, that increases the value of the base currency. A lower quote means the base currency is weakening.

    Currency pairs that do not involve the U.S. dollar are called cross currencies, but the premise is the same. For example, a quote of EUR/JPY 127.95 signifies that one Euro is equal to 127.95 Japanese yen.

    When continuing your Forex trading education, you will often see a two-sided quote, consisting of a 'bid' and 'offer'. The 'bid' is the price at which you can sell the base currency (at the same time buying the counter currency). The 'ask' is the price at which you can buy the base currency (at the same time selling the counter currency).

  • Once you start your Forex trading education, you will learn to love this word because it is what you will be seeking for the rest of your Forex career. A pip is the smallest denominator of a particular currency pair, so for the above example, if the EUR/USD moves from 1.2150 to 1.2155 then it has moved up 5 pips.

  • Leverage is a simple concept of Forex trading education. If you have $10,000 to trade with, your Forex broker will let you borrow money from him so that you can trade in larger quantities. They will let you borrow as much as 400 times (400:1) what you put up in a trade. Most brokers allow between 50:1 and 100:1 margin. So, if you put up $1,000, and your broker allows 100:1 margin, then you'll be trading $100,000 worth of currency (instead of $1,000).

    That's important, because every pip equals a certain dollar amount. When you trade $10,000, each pip movement equals $1. The chart below shows how it goes from there. If you trade 10,000 worth of currency, each movement would be equal to $1. So if you bought at 1.1445 and sold at 1.1545, you would make 100 x $1, or $100. If you trade $100,000, each pip movement would equal $10 and so on.

  • There are 2 different ways to trade on the Forex market and many beginners (or those who continue their Forex trading education) are surprised to learn that they can actually make as much money when currency price moves down as when it goes up. Let's start with the most logical movement, when the price moves up.

    Most people are very familiar with the concept of buying something at a low price and selling it when the price increases. So the concept of buying the EUR/USD at 1.2150 and selling it at 1.2160 for a 10 pip gain should seem logical. This process is called going long.

    You can also do this in reverse! If you know that the currency price is more likely to go down rather than up, you can go short. This is just the opposite of the above transaction, selling it first and buying it back later in the hope that the price will go down for you to make profit.

    This may seem strange at first, but the concept remains the same either way. You always want to buy something at a low price, and sell it expensive. The consecution of actions doesn't matter. You must both buy and sell; as long as you sell at a higher price than you buy you make profit. Let us continue our Forex trading education.

  • The difference between stock markets and the Forex market brokers, is that in the Forex market, broker commissions are either very low or zero. So how do the ?? make money? They make it from the "spread" - difference between the actual price and the offered price through a broker.

    On the right you can see a typical board of currency pairs and their spreads. This one is taken from our feed this morning, and you can see the difference between the Offer (the price you can place on a sell order) and the Bid (the price you can place on a buy order) is 3 pips (the spread).

    What does this mean to you though? Well, let's look at the board. If you bought the EUR/USD at 1.2158 as it is offered under the Offer column, and immediately sold it again before the price moved, you would only get 1.2155 as is shown in the Bid column. So the net result is -3 pips, or a loss to you, and a profit to the broker. Remember to always take the spread into account when placing a trade, setting targets and stop losses.

  • Once (you have) started your Forex trading education, you will constantly see the terms "Bears" and "Bulls" in Forex books and chat rooms. These are terms that describe the general mood of the market. A "bear" market, is when the general mood of the market is down, i.e. when there are more sellers than buyers in the marketplace. A "bull market" is the opposite, when there are more buyers than sellers and the general mood of the market is up. Forex is a place where bulls and bears struggle, and if you can identify who is gaining the upper hand, then you can identify the direction of the price. Easier said than done, of course. There are many more areas to cover, this should help those only starting Forex trading education.

  • Forex market, is an around-the-clock cash market where the currencies of nations are bought and sold. Forex trading is always done in currency pairs. For example, you buy Euros, paying with U.S. Dollars, or you sell Canadian Dollars for Japanese Yen. The value of your Forex investment increases or decreases because of changes in the currency exchange rate or Forex rate. These changes can occur at any time, and often result from economic and political events. Using a hypothetical Forex investment, this article shows you how to calculate profit and loss in Forex trading. Let's push your Forex trading education to a new level together.

    To understand how the exchange rate can affect the value of your Forex investment, you need to learn how to read a Forex quote. Forex quotes are always expressed in pairs. In the following example, your pair of currencies is the U.S. Dollar (USD) and the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The Forex quote, USD/CAD = 170.50, means that one U.S. Dollar is equal to 170.50 Canadian Dollars. The currency to the left of the "/" (USD in this example) is referred to as base currency and its value is always 1. The currency to the right of the "/" (CAD in this example) is referred to as the counter currency. In this example, one USD can buy 170.50 CAD, because it is the stronger of the two currencies. The U.S. Dollar is regarded as the central currency of the Forex market, and it is always treated as the base currency in any Forex quote where it is one of the pairs.

    To continue your Forex trading education, please, proceed with ourForex trading strategies page.