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Learn to Trade Forex.

With benefits like 24-hours trading, high liquidity and low transaction costs, the foreign exchange market, or forex market, attracts experienced and novice traders alike. The massive growth of the currency market has seen many traders jump in before they’ve taken the time to learn to trade forex and this can be a mistake. If you want a quick but comprehensive understanding of what is forex, how the market works and why it’s important to open a demo account, then read our comprehensive guide on how to trade forex.

Forex Trading for Beginners.

Like most specialised industries, forex trading comes with its own jargon and set of terms. There are certain forex trading concepts you should be familiar with to understand the dynamics of this unique market, identify opportunities and trade successfully.

Currency Exchange Rates: Bid, Ask and Spread.

To understand what is forex, you may first need to open a demo account and understand the concept of currency exchange rates. The price of a currency is always quoted in terms of another currency. For instance, EUR/USD would be the price of a Euro expressed in terms of the US dollar. In other words, it represents the number of US dollars you can exchange for €1. If for example, the EUR/USD is 1.1749, it means €1 can be exchanged for US$1.1749.

You may notice, however, that in forex trading, price quotes on trading platforms are showed with two rates not just one. For instance, the EUR/USD exchange rate may be displayed like this: 1.1749 / 51 or 1.1749 / 1.1751. The first figure (to the left) is known as the bid price and represents the maximum price at which the market is willing to buy the US dollar. So, if you sell €1, you will receive US$1.1749. The second figure (to the right) is known as the ask price and represents the minimum price at which the market is willing to sell the US dollar. So, if you buy €1, you will need to pay US$1.1751.

The difference between the bid and ask prices is known as the forex spread. In the above example, the forex spread is 1.1751 – 1.1749 = 0.0002, or 2 pips.

The lower, or tighter, the forex spread, the more liquid a market is said to be and the lower the implied cost of trading. Spreads in stock trading are typically much higher than spreads in forex trading.

Remember, the spread is not constant in a market and not consistent for any particular currency pair. It can vary, at times dramatically, depending on volatility in the market. For new traders looking for more certainty, some of the leading brokers offer fixed spreads.

What is a Forex Trading Platform?

As a beginner in forex trading, one of your first decisions is which forex trading platform to choose. The trading platform is the software that gives you access to the forex market and seamless trade execution. A robust forex trading platform facilitates fast and safe trading, while also providing various options for trade analysis, customisation and automated trading.

The award-winning Orbex MT4 platform has an extremely user-friendly interface with highly powerful software running in the background. The platform offers advanced real-time charting options, free forex signals, high flexibility and enhanced security and stability.

Orbex MT4 users benefit immensely from dedicated customer support, fast response time, resources to learn forex trading, automated trading options, multiple funding methods, easy funds withdrawal and more.

Trade from the comfort of your home, with the Windows or Mac version of the Orbex MT4 platform, or trade on the go by downloading the Android or iOS version. The cloud-based Orbex WebTrader app provides free, instant and secure access to your account from anywhere and on any device.

Leverage in Forex Trading.

Leverage is essentially a loan that brokers offer traders, so they can place trades that are of a higher value than the funds they currently have in their trading account. As a beginner in forex trading, it’s critical to understand the benefits, as well as the pitfalls, of leverage.

Leveraging, also known as trading on margin, gives you the opportunity to multiply potential profits, providing the market moves in your favour. Remember there is no guarantee that the market will, in fact, move in your favour. If the market moves in the opposite direction, leveraging will multiply the losses you incur. Forex leverage is therefore a powerful tool, but one which needs to be used with caution.

Risk Management in Forex Trading.

The forex market offers significant opportunities to make profits. However, every opportunity is accompanied by a degree of risk. While risk cannot be completely removed, there are some risk management techniques that traders can use to hedge risks. These techniques are particularly important when using forex leverage.

Here are some risk management techniques that are commonly used in forex trading:

Stop-Loss Orders.

A stop-loss order is placed to minimise losses in the event the currency exchange market moves against you. The exchange rate of a currency pair moves up and down continuously throughout the day, even within a fraction of a second. It is unwise to exit a trade at the slightest drop in the exchange rate of your currency pair. However, if the rate drops below a certain point, you may choose to exit. With online forex trading, you can set the currency rate at which to exit the market well in advance. This is exactly what a stop-loss order allows you to do. Essentially, a stop-loss order acts as a safety net to minimise your losses.

When you open a position, or set a pending order, you can also specify the stop-loss price. If the forex market moves against you and the exchange rate reaches the low price you’ve specified, the trade is automatically closed, limiting your losses.

Take-Profit Orders.

It’s easy to feel optimistic when the market is moving in your favour. However, in any form of currency trading, it’s important to make objective decisions, based on logic and discipline. A take-profit order can be considered as a predetermined exit strategy that comes into effect when the market moves in your favour.

Similar to a stop-loss order, a take-profit order is executed automatically at a price specified by you. The difference being, a take-profit order is executed at a currency rate better than the current market rate, while a stop-loss order automatically closes a trade at a currency rate worse than the current market rate. This means that your trade closes on a high if you are not at your desk and able to stop it before it falls.

Trailing Stop-Loss Orders.

Like a stop-loss order, a trailing stop-loss order will also automatically close a trade when the market moves against you, and limit your losses. However, if the currency market moves in your favour, the trailing stop-loss order will move along with it. This means that the exchange rate at which the trade will be closed automatically adjusts as the market moves in your favour. It trails the market movement; hence its name. A trailing stop-loss order enables a trader to limit losses, while also offering greater flexibility to profit.

Forex trading for beginners has been simplified by free forex signals that suggest stop-loss and take-profit rates. You can test these when you open a demo account to practise.