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This Month's Featured
Consider The Risk Trading Commodities by D. McCullough
It seems so easy to trade the financial markets and think only about good entry and exit signals and the high potential profits the commodity markets make possible. Some commodities traders never hold day-trade positions overnight. I have considered (even experienced?) the risks and, like I say, how would you like to wake up and find yourself on the wrong side of a market that opens limit-up or limit down and stays locked at limit for several days in a row?
I recently ordered and received some free literature from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. One thing I was especially interested in learning was the size of limit moves in the S&P market. The first limit day can go 30 pts maximum. That's $15,000. If this first day closes locked limit, then the next day can go 50 pts. That's $25,000. These figures pertain to only 1 contract. One or two limit days against you in the S&P market would put a lot of commodities traders, like myself, out of business. So, for many of us trading the S&P market, carrying a day trade overnight is absolutely bad business.
Not only can you lose 15 to 25,000 or even 50,000 dollars you can lose much more than that if the S&P market locks limit for several days in a row. Wouldn't it be terrible to end up in debt to your broker for 1-200,000 dollars? I know this is not likely to happen, but the point is it's possible and no reasonable trader can afford to take this chance.
This locked limit-up, locked limit-down business (as you well know) pertains to all of the commodities futures markets, not only the S&P. The numbers may be different but the results can still be devastating! Now get this. One of the great things about day trading is you do not have to hold overnight positions and thus subject yourself to the huge risk of the markets opening locked limit up or down and staying locked for several days in a row.
The typical commodities trader using daily bar charts has no choice, but to subject themselves to this risk. Although I have not yet witnessed a series of market limit-up or limit-down days in any futures market via my intra-day bar-charts, I'm sure the daytrader on the wrong side of what comes to be a locked-up or locked-down markets will nearly always be afforded several chances to exit. For the daily bar chart user and longer term trader being able to get out will often be impossible!
I have not, nor do I intend to make a study of spreads or options to lessen or perhaps even totally avoid the above mentioned risk. Probably most traders feel likewise, so I again urge you to always consider the risk and be very protective of your trading capital at all times. Like the famous trader Paul Tudor Jones says, "defense, defense, defense!"
Beginning Basics for Forex Markets
With so many different opinions about what is important in the Forex market, it is no wonder why so many people are confused. Taking the time to create your own investing strategy can help clear up some questions and allow you to focus but in reality, it is only going to be so effective. The best news that you can use is the reality that everyone makes mistakes. The great news is that you can learn from the mistakes of others and protect your money.
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The very first thing you should do when starting in Forex futures trading is learning the market language. There are forex-trading terms and phrases you need to know in order to successfully manage the forex-trades. Plus, it will allow you time to study the charts and other important details to help you better find the success you want. Skipping this step is of course possible, but it's not recommended. You should take the time to carefully consider the basics before you get started.
Avoid paying to get forex trading advice. The best forex trading advice is often free. If someone is charging you a huge amount of money to help you improve your investing strategy it simply is not worth it. You would be much better off taking the time to consider all of your choices that are free and easily obtainable rather than paying huge amounts for a trader learning resource.
It is also a good idea to talk to other traders and investors who have similar goals like yours. This will help offer you some guidance, suggestions and ideas on ways to improve your investment strategy and ultimately increase your profits. The worse situation that could happen is discovering that you have done nothing to improve situations and talked to someone who was not after the same goals as yourself.
Every person has a different intention with the Forex market; you need to find yours before you can really start talking to other people as well. Each decision is typically pretty easy to choose, but you need to have a basic idea of where you are, and where you are going before you get started. Taking just any idea and running with it is not wise and neither is talking to someone who does not share at least similar goals with you.
You should also consistently follow up with your investment strategy. After a few transactions, you might discover that how things are presently working is not acceptable. This is not impossible in the least and can really create some huge headaches if you do not straighten out the problems as they first appear, rather than waiting for them to expand and spread all around.
3 Sure Ways to Make a Profit with Forex
With so many different theories abounding about how to make money, it is no wonder that a lot of people are quite confused about how to get started and succeed. In order to really make some serious money you need to take a few things into consideration and always keep this at the front of your mind. Remember, you should never make any transactions in the Forex market without thinking and these small thoughts will be very helpful for you as you move onto some of the more advanced options as well.
1. Your first goal is taking the time and effort to really determine how much you want to make. Once you have determined this it should be rather obvious that these three suggestions will help you significantly. Using them in all of your transactions can help you a lot, but these are only a beginning basis for suggestions and should never be considered an all-inclusive solution to your needs.
The first thing to remember and practice is that you really need to work with more than short term trades. You should not do this because it will increase your fees and often decrease your profit margin. You are essentially burning money when you do this, which is doing you and your finances absolutely no good. In order to be truly beneficial in the system you have to be willing to take the effort to watch the market to see exactly how long you can keep your money invested. Making short-term investments might have your money back to you faster, but it will also have a significantly lower profit level as well.
2. You should also consider increasing the amount that you invest each time. The general rule of thumb is to never invest more than 2-3% of your total account. This is great, especially if you have a very large account, but what happens if you only have a few thousand in there? Assuming you have $10,000 in your account and only invest 3%, you have just made a measly $300. This is certainly not worth the risk, time nor hassle that is involved. Instead, you could make thousands in returns if you invested wiser.
3. The final tip that will help you significantly as well is to always avoid working with transactions that would require you to have additional transactions out at the same time. If you cannot get all of your details worked out properly, you will find that it is very difficult to work out. Taking a bit of time to ensure you get all of your details line from one transaction is best before you start the next. Because of this, you need to consider going to the effort of only doing a single transaction each time. This might require more time to build up profits, but you will not confuse yourself and make a terrible decision.
Clear thinking will help you a lot, but knowing when to buck the standard rules is very important as well. Going the proper direction will help you to be as successful as possible, while still getting the experience you need on your own without having to use an expensive broker who manages all of your transactions for you. Forex is not impossible to learn, but you can quickly discover why so many people have significant issues in the market once you start looking at all of the ways that mistakes can really be made.
Top Forex Trading Tips
With the Forex market capturing the attention of people all around the world it is very important that you learn a few key tips to help you ensure that you are properly on your way towards getting the results that you are after. Simply jumping into the market is not likely to give you the results desired and instead will leave you frustrated. Following these five simple tips will help you to ensure you get the best results possible from all of your forex market transactions.
Stick to pairs – This is a golden rule of thumb. Of course you can trade currencies across each other without penalty, it is a wise idea to limit the currencies that you deal with. Even better to restrict them to pairs that you can easily compare to each other. Of course you can compare the USD to all of the other currencies if you are looking to engage in a new transaction, but if you are considering all of the currency choices available it might take you hours to pick one which could still turn wrong. It is much better instead to choose a pair that you always use together. For example, you could do pairs involving the USD and the GBP with another pair consisting of CAD and AUD. By always trading within these pairs, you are going to significantly decrease the amount of information you need to review for each trade.
Never make a trade without doing market and trade research – This should be an easy tip to follow. If you are a new investor, this is extremely important because it will help you to learn the market, if you are a seasoned investor it will help you to keep from becoming overconfident. Decisions in the market should never be made unless you are basing them on actual proper research. Simply using a gut feeling is not acceptable and will result in losses. Taking a couple of minutes for some quick research is not that difficult and if you are trading in pairs, as mentioned in the previous tip you will find it's quite easy and fast to do.
Plan your strategy out – If you were going to build a house and expect it to stand you would do plenty of research to get ready then you would spend a bit of time trying to ensure that you have all of the materials, knowledge and people necessary to be successful. This is a strategy for building a house and in a similar manner; you need a strategy for Forex. Diving in is never a good idea for anything and Forex is certainly not any different. Finding true success means having a specific goal in mind, what do you really want from the market? Are you looking to buy a car? Are you looking to fund your retirement? Are you even looking to become the richest person in the world? You need to know where you are trying to go so that you can set up a strategy that you stick to without fail.
While Forex might look impossible to succeed with, following these three simple tips will help you to find the success that you are looking for without leaving your anxious or stressed. A few minutes following each tip when you first start trading will save a lot of hassle, and for those already trading a review to ensure you follow these suggestions will help you to improve your overall experience.
A Crash Course in Forex Education
The Forex, or foreign currency exchange, is all about money. Money from all over the world is bought, sold and traded. On the Forex, anyone can buy and sell currency and with possibly come out ahead in the end. When dealing with the foreign currency exchange, it is possible to buy the currency of one country, sell it and make a profit. For example, a broker might buy a Japanese yen when the yen to dollar ratio increases, then sell the yens and buy back American dollars for a profit.
The Forex and the stock market have some similarities, in that it involves buying and selling to make a profit, but there are some differences. Unlike the stock market, the Forex has a much high liquidity. This means, much more money is changing hands everyday. Another key difference when comparing the Forex to the stock market is that the Forex has no place where it is exchanged and it never closes. The Forex involved trading between banks and brokers all over the world and provides twenty-four hour access during the business week.
Another difference between the stock market and the forex market is Forex Futures trading has much higher leverage vs the stock market and by online trading stocks. When someone decides to trade in the Forex market, they can expect much higher profits when they are experienced and understand how it works. There can also be the potential for losing much more money as well.
For those who are just getting started in the Forex, many brokers provide the service of trading using the mini-Forex system. This has a smaller minimum deposit, usually $100. This makes it easier for those learning how to trade on the Forex to have less of a chance of losing a lot of money and to learn how the system works.
There is a lot of terminology when dealing with the Forex. Learning to trade forex can be somewhat complicated for the novice trader. When looking at the names used in the Forex, a symbol is composed of two parts. The first one that is used is one currency and the second half of the symbol is the second currency that is being used. The symbol “usdjpy” means “US dollars” and Japanese yen. It is important to learn what currency symbols mean when learning about the Forex. There are many books and websites dedicated on teaching traders about using the Forex.
For those using the Forex, a broker is usually a good idea. Brokers are professionals when it comes to trading on the Forex and their experience is invaluable, especially to the new trader. When it is time to find a broker, there are several factors to consider. One thing to look for when choosing a Forex broker is to go with someone that offers low spreads. The spread is calculated in pips, or the difference between the price at which currency can be purchased and the price it can be sold at any given time. Because Forex brokers do not charge a commission, they will make their money off of the spreads, or the difference. When choosing a broker, look at this information and compare that with other brokers.
Also, when looking at a Forex broker, look for one that is backed by a well known financial institution. Forex bankers are generally associated with large banks or other types of financial institutions. If a broker is not with a large bank, keep looking. In addition, find a broker that is registered with the Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) and that is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Making sure that the broker is properly registered and backed by a large bank or institution ensures that you are getting a reliable broker that is experienced in trading on the Forex.
When looking for a broker, check to be certain the commodity broker has access to the latest research tools and data. It is important that brokers understand and have access to charts, graphs, news and data that are in real time. This will ensure the futures broker is making wise decisions based on accurate Forex forecasting. Also, look for a broker that can offer a wide range of account options. They should offer mini-accounts with a smaller minimum deposits and a standard account. This will give anyone interested in the Forex the opportunity to trade at a level where they feel most comfortable.
Critical Mistakes You Can Make in Forex
The average person has a very simple life, because of this they are probably unaware of exactly what the problems are that they can encounter. Knowing what the potential disasters are before you get started can help you to ensure you do not find yourself in the same situation. Remember, there is nothing wrong with learning from the mistakes of others and a bit of effort carefully placed into the proper research will allow you to reduce your expenses, save hassle and make money much faster.
The very first mistake that is made is not placing a resting stop-loss order. This is a useful tool that will allow you to quickly and easily set a minimum to the currency that you hold. Once it drops to a certain level it would be arranged to automatically sell. The benefit of this is you do not even have to watch the market directly to have your currency sell at the level that you desire. This is quite useful in the event that you are not interested in taking a loss on your transactions. Because of the turbulence that the market gives, it is very dangerous to not have a stop loss order in at almost all times.
Allowing yourself to become wrapped up in emotion as well will cost you thousands of dollars in the Forex market. Knowing you have some problems with emotion will allow you to learn how to distance yourself while still getting all of the benefits that you need. If you start to think that you are never going to have any problems with disasters striking you will quickly discover just how hard it can be to make things work out properly. Taking some time to practice separating yourself from the situation is extremely important.
Another critical mistake that is often made is trying to predict what the market is going to do. This can create some serious problems because it can often lead to over-confidence. You absolutely have to stick to just facts rather than trying to just guess or predict what the futures & commodity trading markets will do. If you decide to try guessing you might luck out and make a correct guess or two, but the majority of the times you attempt at just guessing you are going to lose money. Avoid this situation and instead focus on getting all of the information you can possibly gather together to avoid making an incorrect decision.
One of the other mistakes that is often made is treating investing as if it is a hobby. This creates a lot of problems for people when they are trying to work on straightening out details. Making money at Forex trading is possible, but only if you treat it like an actual business. In order to be truly successful you need a business mind set and you need to be thinking clearly when you are working on all of the transactions. If you have no clue what you are doing, you will quickly discover that the entire process is useless and provides you no major benefits. In order to really enjoy the process, you absolutely must take the time to determine your goals and a course of action. Diving right in and getting started working is not a safe idea, not is it a wise investment of your money.
The correct mind set is one of the biggest things that is required in order to be secure while engaging in transactions in Forex. Knowing what the major problems tend to be and working diligently to avoid them will help you to ensure you get on track properly and stay there. Taking control of your Forex experience really is possible but you absolutely must ensure you get started successfully. Starting out properly is much easier than trying to fix your mistakes after the fact. Success is possible, but avoiding these mistakes will help further ensure all of your success.
Beginner Forex Trader Mistakes
Learning anything new can lead to mistakes, but making mistakes can be the natural part of the learning process. When learning to trade or invest in the Forex, mistakes can lead to lose of profits and can become expensive. A good investor will understand the market they are using for trading. Whether you are new or experienced, you can still make mistakes. There are common errors that many traders and investors make when trading on the Forex. With a little research, you can learn how to avoid common Forex trader mistakes and how to learn to move on.
Using too much margin when trading or investing on the Forex can lead to costly mistakes. Margin is the use of borrowed money to purchase securities. While it is true that using margins can help you make more money, it can also make your losses bigger. When new investors look at margins as “free” money, they have the potential to lose much more money in the Forex. Margin is not free money and using is too much can end up making more debt than profits. You would not buy stocks using a credit card, so you would not use margins to trade currency. When investors use margins when trading on the Forex, it requires the investor to have to watch their investments much more closely than when margins are not used. Margins should never be used if the investor does not have the experience or time to closely monitor their trades.
Another common, but costly mistake is when investors buy and trade on unfounded tips. This is one of the most common mistakes, even with more experienced traders. It is easy to be tempted to buy or trade currency or even stocks when you overhear someone talking about the next big “thing”. Sometimes this can be helpful, but more often than not, it will only lead to losses, not profits. Do not fall victim of investing and trading based on tips you hear or read about on television or on the Internet. If you hear about a trade that interests you, then best tip is to do some research and talk to your broker before trading or investing. You can also benefit from getting a second opinion about a Forex tip before buying, selling or trading any form of currency.
Not understanding how the foreign exchange market works is yet another costly mistake that new traders and investors make. Understanding the terminology and terms used in the Forex is very important to new traders. There are tutorials and free demos widely available on the Internet that allows traders and investors to learn how to use the Forex to their advantage. In addition, it is wise to choose an experienced broker that can help you trade and invest in the Forex. These brokers should know everything about the Forex and can help traders and investor make wise choices. Find a broker that is tied with a good financial institution and that has experience in the Forex.
Also, another common mistake is when traders and investors buy or sell when the rate on currency is cheap. Sometimes this is a good move, but just because the rate is low, does not mean that it will profit the investor. Instead of choosing a currency to buy or trade, it is best to look at all of the factors that affect the exchange rate and look at the trends and history. Avoid buying or selling any currency just because the rate is low. Most of the time, there is a distinct reason why these rates are low. Research the trends of the currency and find out, which ones are the best profit makers when trading the foreign exchange markets.
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Last of all, another common mistake that costs money for both new and experienced traders is that they underestimate their trading abilities. Some investors feel that they do not understand the Forex well enough to trade to their fullest ability. Anyone with willingness to learn the Forex can profit with some education and research. It can take some time to learn the aspects of the foreign exchange market, but even new investors can learn how to trade the markets and enjoy commodity futures trading success.