Do Your Homework
- The global forex market is the largest financial market in the world and the potential to reap profits in the arena entices foreign-exchange traders of all levels: from greenhorns just learning about financial markets to well-seasoned professionals with years of trading experience. Because access to the market is easy—with round-the-clock sessions, significant leverage, and relatively low costs—many forex traders quickly enter the market, but then quickly exit after experiencing losses and setbacks. Here are 10 tips to help aspiring traders avoid losing money and stay in the game in the competitive world of forex trading.
Just because forex is easy to get into doesn’t mean due diligence should be avoided. Learning about forex is integral to a trader’s success. While the majority of trading knowledge comes from live trading and experience, a trader should learn everything about the forex markets, including the geopolitical and economic factors that affect a trader’s preferred currencies.
Find a Reputable Broker
The forex industry has much less oversight than other markets, so it is possible to end up doing business with a less-than-reputable forex broker. Due to concerns about the safety of deposits and the overall integrity of a broker, forex traders should only open an account with a firm that is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) and is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a futures commission merchant. Each country outside the United States has its own regulatory body with which legitimate forex brokers should be registered.
Use a Practice Account
Nearly all trading platforms come with a practice account, sometimes called a simulated account or demo account, which allow traders to place hypothetical trades without a funded account. Perhaps the most important benefit of a practice account is that it allows a trader to become adept at order-entry techniques. Few things are as damaging to a trading account (and a trader’s confidence) as pushing the wrong button when opening or exiting a position. It is not uncommon, for example, for a new trader to accidentally add to a losing position instead of closing the trade. Multiple errors in order entry can lead to large, unprotected losing trades. Aside from the devastating financial implications, making trading mistakes is incredibly stressful. Practice makes perfect. Experiment with order entries before placing real money on the line.
Keep Charts Clean
Once a forex trader opens an account, it may be tempting to take advantage of all the technical analysis tools offered by the trading platform. While many of these indicators are well-suited to the forex markets, it is important to remember to keep analysis techniques to a minimum in order for them to be effective. Using multiples of the same types of indicators, such as two volatility indicators or two oscillators, for example, can become redundant and can even give opposing signals. This should be avoided.