The foreign exchange market is the world’s most liquid market, with more than 5-trillion a day exchanging hands. The market is liquid 24-hours a day, 5-days a week, opening in the evening on Sunday during North American trading hours and closing at 5-pm on Friday evening during the same time zone. If you are a beginner and just dipping your toe into trading the forex markets, you should consider following the market and increasing your understanding of why exchange rates move before risking your hard-earned capital.
Learn About the Financial Markets
The financial markets allow investors, businesses, governments and central banks a place to transact in an open market, exchanging their risks to meet their financial needs. A corporate treasurer might need to exchange profits in Euros into dollars, just as a speculator believes that the EUR/USD will rise. There are thousands of reasons why exchange rates and prices moved over a short-period of time, generating noise as participants look for an optimal price to enter or exit a position.
Before you start trading, you should learn about the different types of markets available to trade, and which one you are most interested in following. In addition to trading forex, you can also consider trading commodities, indices, and shares. The best way to learn about a market is to read about why others believe it’s moving and the different catalysts that might drive the price or exchange rate in a specific direction. For example, you might start with looking for a style of analysis that is generally provided by reputable brokers such as Alpari. Your goal is to see what type of analysis they offer and what type of actionable ideas come from the analysis they provide. You can also look through a broker’s education section and see if they provide information about why the markets move. In addition to looking at a broker’s education section, you can scan the markets for websites that focus on financial markets education.
Learn to Do Your Own Analysis
There are two main types of analysis that forex traders generally focus on, which include fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis is the study of macro events that will alter the course of a currency pair. Technical analysis is the study of price action, including looking at momentum, trends and reversal patterns.
The fundamentals surrounding the forex markets is based on the interest rates markets of each of the currencies that make up an exchange rate. For example, if you plan on trading the EUR/USD you want to have a gauge of where interest rates are likely going in the Eurozone as well as the United States. In general, the stronger an economy, the more likely the central bank is to raise interest rates, which help drive up market interest rates. The reverse is also the case for a weaker economy where the central bank and market forces will likely drive interest rates lower.
The best way to determine if an economy is strong is to be able to evaluate countries financial information. This could include their employment information, their GDP, as well as inflation information such as the consumer price index. Most reputable brokers will provide you with a forex economic calendar where you can see what economists expect relative to history as well as the actual release. What is important about fundamentals is that each new piece of information can alter the direction of an exchange rate. If the economic data is greater than or worse than expected, an exchange rate will move to reflect the new information.
Technical analysis is the study of historical prices. Although the past is not always a predictor of the future, different changes following specific studies can give you a gauge of where prices might move in the futures. Some of the more popular technical analysis studies include evaluating momentum. Momentum is the acceleration or deceleration of price changes. If you are interested in learning about technical analysis, you can look at your broker’s education section, or follow their technical analysis forecasts. There are also several websites that will provide you with education on different types of technical analysis tools. Some of the more popular include the MACD, the RSI, and Stochastics.
Find good Broker
Your forex broker facilitates the execution of transactions. While this is their most important function, there are many features a broker like Alpari brings to the table which you should be aware of prior to depositing funds at that broker. First, do some due diligence. Look up reviews by your prospective broker and make sure there are no red flags. Fraud alerts or issues with withdrawing funds are the most important. You also want to make sure there is efficient customer service. You do not want to frustrate yourself by finding a broker who will not answer questions.
The next step is to evaluate the platform. Does the broker have an education section or generate technical analysis forecasts? Additionally, you want to make sure that your broker offers clients a financial calendar. Additionally, you want to find out about the leverage they provide to clients. Higher levels of margin will provide you the option to generate more revenue.
Start with a Demo Account
Most reputable brokers will offer you real-money accounts as well as demonstration accounts. A demo account is one where you are trading paper money, not real capital. Most good demonstration accounts offer nearly all the products that are available to trade will a real-money account. The prices will likely be in real-time or close to real-time. In addition, you will have access to most of the education and forecasting information your broker provides to real-money clients. Once you feel like you’re ready for a real-money account you can make the switch from a demo account to real funds.
There are several steps you should take before you start transacting in the forex market. You need to first learn about the financial markets and the type of information you can learn about prior to trading. Try to learn about both fundamental and technical analysis. Find a forex broker that you believe is trustworthy and provides a plethora of information. Lastly, use a demo account before you begin to risk real money.