Forex this, forex that …
What with forex systems, methods, ebooks, forex alert systems et al it seems that everyone and their aunt is involved in the forex market one way or another.
The vendors of these various products make it all sound so easy and they seduce their prospective clients in to really believing this. But …
Please, please at least learn the fundamentals of the forex market before buying any of these products and for heaven's sake do not open any accounts until you at least acquaint yourself with some basic concepts.
1) In the forex market, transactions are always handled in pairs.
You buy one currency and sell another one. The idea is to make a trade when you believe the currency you're buying is going to go up in value compared to the one you're selling. Then, if it turns out your prediction was correct, you do another trade in the reverse direction – selling the currency you originally bought and buying the one you sold – in order to reap the profits.
For example, let's say the market reports this: GBP / EUR 1.2200. That means the cost of buying one British pound is 1.22 euros. If you believed that course was going to change, and the euro was going to become more valuable than the pound, you might sell 100,000 pounds, buy 100,000 euros, and wait. Then let's say a few days later, the exchange rate fluctuates to this: EUR / GBP 1.3100. Sure enough, the euro is now worth 1.31 pounds, a profit of 0.11 per unit
2) Learn to interpret a basic price chart.
Every forex chart will be labeled with a currency pair: EUR / USD, USD / GBP, etc. Remember, all forex trading deals with different countries' currency in relation to each other. The EUR / USD chart, for example, tells you how the euro and the US dollar compare.
Along the bottom of the chart is the timeline – 15 minutes, an hour, a day, a week, or some other period. Going up the right-hand side are incremental amounts. For the EUR / USD chart, the amounts might be 1.2531 at the bottom, going up to 1.2561 at the top. And of course the middle of the chart shows what position the EUR / USD pair held at what time.
The forex chart is useful because it shows in graphic terms how a currency pair is doing. You can see at a glance whether a currency is getting stronger or weaker, and you can act accordingly. Choosing the time frame helps you see very small trends (in a 15-minute period, say) or more long-term ones (over the course of several days, sometimes).
3) Make sure you get yourself a demo account before diving in with both feet.
A forex demo shows you how it works before you jump into it for real
Before airplane pilots actually fly on their own, they usually practice in simulators that re-create what flying will be like without any actual risk. Since currency trading is as dangerous financially as flying is physically, it makes sense that there would be a forex demo available, too.
A forex demo is a smart way for a new investor to start. Reading books and taking online courses can teach you the basics, but the best way to learn anything is to get some hands-on experience. However, with forex, hands-on experience could mean losing your shirt. So a demo gives you real-world training with no actual money being involved.
Typically, the demonstration comes courty of a brokerage or other financial Web site that has an interest in currying your favor. The plan is that once you've tested your skills in the demo, you'll get into the real thing and take advantage of the paid services the demo provider has to offer – forex signals, managed accounts, automated trading, etc. The demo is like a free sample, offered in the hopes that you'll enjoy it so much that you buy something, too.
For that reason, be should be highly suspicious of any Web site that wants to charge for a demo. Considering there are actually dozens of sites that offer free demonstrations, there is absolutely no reason that you should pay for it.