Trading in the currency markets can be very lucrative. It can also be an easy way to lose all your money. It all depends on your approach. It doesn’t necessarily require you to go through an extensive research and study program for months. You will, however, need to invest some time and effort to digest all the information required to do well at it. Provided you trade wisely and cautiously, you can become a Forex expert within a year or so, making consistent substantial profits from it. So, where do you start? Well, at the beginning, of course.
Get a decent Internet connection
It may seem silly to have to mention this but, at least in my experience, a slow or dodgy internet connection can cost you…a lot. Part of what has made Forex Trading so accessible to regular folks is availability of high quality free software and market information. There’s a wide array of sources of information, most over the internet, so the importance of the internet is obvious.
The main reason why the quality of the internet connection comes up, aside from speedy delivery of information, is software trade execution. I once entered a trade impulsively – this is a big no-no, and this example underscores why – and, shortly afterwards, realized my mistake. I knew I needed to get out immediately. I attempted to do so but my Wireless internet connection went off at that point. I had lost a substantial amount of money by the time I got my connection back. I blamed karma. Fate was obviously after me. In truth, it was because of my unreliable internet connection. All it takes is one case such as this to destroy your trading Account. If you are going to trade seriously, get a good broadband service.
Research & planning
The second phase of Forex trading has four sub-steps: research, research, research and planning. One just cannot put too much emphasis on the importance of research in Forex trading. Read a book, or three. Get some background on world markets and how they affect each other. Remember that the Forex Market is influenced by a lot of external factors. You will need to understand correlations to maximize your profits. There is some free information available, so you don’t necessarily have to spend money. However, be wary of e-books that try to sell you systems. Get your own knowledge first…unless of course you can try them risk-free.
Along with research, formulate a feasible plan about how you will conduct your trading. If possible, write it down and treat it like a business plan. It should serve as your blueprint for trading. Think about how much you are going to invest. Also write down your short-term and long-term goals and how much loss you can afford. Your strategy will depend on this information so try to be clear and precise.
Find a broker
Your next step is to find a brokerage firm through whom you will buy and sell currencies. You need to be thorough while checking out brokers. Regulation in the Forex Market is no where near the level of other markets. There are still a number of unscrupulous firms out there that might try to defraud you. Try to find a firm that has ties with an international bank or any other financial institution. You should also check if the firm is registered with Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the US government institution that regulates fraudulent trading practices.
Along with the above, you will also want to confirm that the broker is a good fit for you. How good is their software? Do they allow you trade and view charts via website, in case you are unable to get to your own computer? Do they have a mobile application? Make sure you have all these answers. Ultimately, if you are unhappy with one, you can change to another one.
Set up a demo account and trade
All brokers should now offer demo trading accounts. These will allow you trade “fake” money against real-life conditions. Open one and trade, trade, trade! Test out your strategies for at least a few months on a demo account before going live. You will learn a lot about yourself and what you are comfortable with as a trader this way.
Once you have gone through this, you will be ready to start your Forex Trading journey proper.