Monday, August 24, 2009

Is There Such A Thing As Hedging In The Forex Market

Is There Such A Thing As Hedging In The Forex Market

Just like hedging your bet at the horse track you can hedge your trading in the Forex Market.

What is the Forex Market: 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 higher liquidity. This means, a lot 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.

For those who are not familiar with the Forex market, the word "hedging" could mean absolutely nothing. However, those who are regular traders know that there are many ways to use this term in trading. Most of the time when you hear this phrase it means that you are trying to reduce your risk in trading. It is something that everyone who plans to invest should know about. It is a technique that can protect your investments to some degree.

While hedging is a popular trading term, it is also one that seems a little mysterious. It is much like an insurance plan. When you hedge, you insure yourself in case a negative event may occur. This does not mean that when a negative event occurs you will come out of it completely unaffected. It only means that if you properly hedge yourself, you won't experience a huge impact. Think of it like your auto insurance. You purchase it in case something bad happens. It does not prevent bad things from happening, but if they do, you are able to recover a lot better than if you were uninsured.

Anyone who is involved in trading can learn to hedge. From huge corporations to small individual investors, hedging is something that is widely practiced. The manner in which they do this involves using market instruments to offset the risk of any negative movement in price. The easiest way to do this is to hedge an investment with another investment. For example, the way most people would deal with this is to invest in two different things with negative correlations. This is still costly to some people; however, the protection you get from doing this is well worth the cost most of the time. When you begin learning more about hedging, you start to understand why not many people completely know what it is all about. The techniques used to hedge are done by using derivatives. These are complicated instruments of finance and most often only used by seasoned investors.

When you decide to hedge, you must remember that it comes with a cost. You should always be sure that the benefits you get from a hedge should be more than enough to make it worth your while. You should make sure the expense is justified. If it is not, then you should not hedge. The goal of hedging is not to make money. You will not make large gains by hedging yourself. You have to take some risks in order to gain. Hedging is intended to be used to protect your losses. The loss cannot be avoided, but the hedge can offer a little comfort. However, even if nothing negative happens, you will still have to pay for the hedge. Unlike insurance, you are never compensated for your hedge. Things can go wrong with hedging and it may not always protect you as you think it will.

Keep in mind that most investors never hedge in their entire trading careers. Short-term fluctuation is something that the majority of investors do not worry with. Therefore, hedging can be pointless. Even if you choose not to hedge however, learning about the technique is a great way to understand the market a bit more. You will see large corporations and other large traders use this and may be confused at why they are acting this way. When you know more about hedging you can fully understand their strategies.

Whether you decide to use hedging to your advantage or not, you will benefit from learning more about it. You can use it like an insurance policy when trading. You should remember however that hedging can be costly. Always check to make sure the costs of hedging will not run against any profits you may or may not make. Be sure those costs are realistic and that your need for hedging is realistic as well. You will be able to use hedging to help cut your potential losses, however hedging will never guard against the negatives altogether. Learning about it will give you a better understanding at how large traders work the system however, which can in turn make you a better player in the trading game.

Day Trading, Forex Or Currencies Back Testing — A Way To Improve Your Trading Score

Day Trading, Forex Or Currencies Back Testing — A Way To Improve Your Trading Score

You can draw some useful parallels between running a business and Day Trading, Forex or Currencies trading. For instance, most successful businesses keep statistics on everything from their conversion rate, to their average dollar sale, to the number of people that come in the door. Businesses do this to keep on top of how they are doing on a day to day basis and businesses must first take score before begining to improve on that score. Using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan in your trading works exactly the same way.

Now that you`re looking at Day Trading, Forex or Currencies trading as a business, you need to learn some valuable statistics about your system so you can improve it`s performance. You would use a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing method. You can`t improve your system unless you have something to measure it against. How could you expect to improve your trading unless you knew what it was you were looking to improve? You can discover these measurements and other valuable information about your trading system, by using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan.

There are two ways that you can use a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan to back test a system. You can do it manually, which can be a drawn out and labour intensive process, or you can do it with the aid of some software packages. Unfortunately, I recommend you do it by hand when you first start out. You`ll get a much better feel for your system, and you`ll understand exactly how using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan works in all its intricacies. Once you have the Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan and the in depth knowledge, you could look at finding a software package that does it for you.

There are a few major statistics on your Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan that you need that you will uncover through back testing. The first statistic you need to become familiar with is the R multiple principal. R stands for risk, the risk you take on any trade when you enter the market. The R multiple of a trade is the ratio of the profit or loss compared to the amount of money risked to make the profit or loss.

Therefore, if you risk $200 dollars in your initial purchase, and you make a profit of $1,000, you have made five times the amount you risked in the trade. You have an R multiple of five. This statistic gives you a good idea of the relative size of your profits to your losses. You can compare the average size of your winning trades with the average size of your losing trades.

The next statistic you`ll find useful is your win to loss ratio. This is how many times you get a winning trade in proportion to how many times you get a losing trade. For example, if you had ten trades, four of those trades were winners, and six were losers, your win to loss ratio is simply four to six. This is your hit rate; you`ll get 40% of your trades correct.

With these two simple statistics, you can calculate the average size of your profits and of your losses, multiply these figures with your win to loss ratio, and calculate on average how much money you make with every dollar you risk.

For those of you who think this sounds like a too much work, particularly using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan that you need to do to uncover these statistics, consider this scenario: Imagine yourself trading a system that you knew had a win to loss ratio of 60/40. You made profit on every six trades and lost one out of every four. How do you think you would feel, where would your confidence level be, after you traded the system for a little while and you received a string of 11 losses in a row?

Now, you know that this system has a win to loss ratio of six to four. Would you have the confidence to open another trade if your system brought up another buy signal after getting 11 trades wrong?

Unless you use Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan to back tested your system, I doubt that your confidence level will remain high. That trading system may be a fantastic profitable system. However, since you didn`t use your Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan to back test it, you don`t know that historically this system received up to 13 losses in a row, but was still profitable.

Here`s another point you may not have picked up unless you used your Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan. Once you`ve set your money management rules and you begin to trade, you will likely experience a string of losses. Countless times, I`ve had clients who get disheartened by this fact because they don`t understand the nature of setting good management. If you`re adhering to the rules of cutting your losses short and letting your profits run, because you`re cutting your losses short, those trades are going to last for a shorter amount of time.

This means once you begin trading the odds of getting losses early in the game are much higher than getting a winning trade. This is particularly true when you consider that many successful trading systems run on a 40/60 win to loss ratio. However, you will never know the intricacies of your system unless you use a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan and back test it.

Using a Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plan, will help you to understand what works and what doesn`t. It will give you the statistics to gauge the effectiveness of your trades. It fills in your scorecard, and allows you to make improvements. But, you shouldn`t simply believe everything I`ve told you. Instead, you need to prove it to yourself by using some Day Trading, Forex or Currencies back testing plans and back test your system.

Learn By Hands On Forex Trading: Demo Accounts Vs Mini Accounts

Learn By Hands On Forex Trading: Demo Accounts Vs Mini Accounts

If you are new to Forex, you are likely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information you are finding about currency trading. Although the concept of trading the currency markets is simple to understand, the actual trading methodologies and understanding of how, why and when trades are executed can be hard concepts to grasp and fully understand. If you aren't aware by now, forex trading is not without substanial risks.

There are several schools of thought on how a new trader should progress from learning to actual live trading. In this article we will discuss the best ways for a new trader to learn how to trade the forex and make their first live trades.

To start out, I can not stress enough the need for hands on trading. This is why you will often hear it recommended that new traders start trading with a demo account. What is a demo account? Many online forex brokers offer something known as a "demo account" which is a fake account that you can trade until you feel comfortable trading your own funds. Demo accounts behave just like real accounts, the only difference is that the money you are trading is not real and no actual trades are ever executed.

The purpose of using a demo account if you are new to Forex trading is to get you comfortable making trades and to help you become familiar with the brokers trading platform. You can cut your proverbial teeth so to speak without risking any of your own funds. This makes demo accounts good for a brand new trader who just wants to see how trading works. There are some drawbacks however to using demo accounts to learn Forex trading.

The biggest downside to using a demo account is that you will likely only be able to trade standard size accounts with a demo account. If you intend to trade mini accounts, as many beginning forex traders do, a standard size demo account is going to behave differently than a mini account. Your margins are very different for a standard account versus a mini account. If you become accustomed to trading a standard size account, your trading methodologies will show it. This is because the larger margins offered on standard size accounts allow you to take greater profits from smaller movements in currency prices.

The other major downside to trading with a demo account for learning forex is that as a trader, you need to carefully manage the emotional aspects of trading real money. Since a demo account is fake money, detachment is easy to come by. Once you start trading your actual funds, you might just find that your tolerance for risk is much more conservative. Ideally, as you are learning to trade you are also learning how to manage your risks most effectively.

So what is a beginning trader to do? What is the best way to learn to trade the Forex, hands on?

Once you have read, studied, and completed any courses on Forex trading that you may be taking, you are ready for probationary live trading. The single best way to trade the Forex is to just Do it. Now, this does not mean to jump in and trade a full size account with real money, this would be an enormous risk for a new trader and not a very smart move indeed. What you can do is to find a broker that offers mini accounts. Mini accounts typically start at $200 and typically give you 100:1 leverage. That said, as of this writing, there is one broker (Easy-Forex) that allows you to trade a live mini account for as little as $25.

For less than you paid for any of your books, courses or training materials, you can actually try live trading. You will be amazed at how after just a few trades, the stubborn concepts seem to start making sense and you begin to understand Forex trading.

Now, if you do decide to begin your trading with one of these tiny mini accounts, you should start by making several very small trades. You should also be trading with the same system or methodology that you are trying to perfect. Your profits will likely only be a few dollars since you are trading on a small margin. This is good, however because the reverse is true as well, you are only ever risking a few real dollars. If you happen to have a series of loosing trades and wipe out the funds in your demo account, you can consider it the least expensive education you could possibly get in actual forex trading. Much better than loosing large sums of funds, and more realistic than trading a demo account. Just learn from the experience, and consider it a good deal on a valuable lesson.