Sunday, March 23, 2008

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Forex Trading - Financial Freedom Through Forex (Part 1)

Let's get the bad news out of the way first. You won't get rich fast and easy through forex trading. Yes, you can do well, but you're going to have to plan and work you plan. Ready?

The very first thing you need to do is create a plan. To create this plan you're going to need some data. For example:

What method or system are you going to be trading?

How well does it do in the market?

What can you expect from it?

How much are going to initially invest?

How much will you be able to continually invest?

Mostly likely you don't have the answers to any of these questions. Unfortunately, no one is going to hold your hand. You're going to have to roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself. I know that's a drag, but it's the way the real world works.

So what if you don't know anything about methods or systems or testing them? Find out! MetaTrader will let you construct and test trading systems for free. There are tutorials on the web as to how to use it. There are even people who will program a trading method for you as well.

After you have done that research, you now know the answer to the first three questions. Good. Now you need to address your finances. How much can you invest? More importantly, how much can you continue to invest?

You see, there isn't a legitimate system that will earn 5000% return on investment. So, your initial investment isn't going to make you rich. You'll need to continue to invest in your fund on a regular basis.

Now it's time to bring this plan to life . . . see you in part 2.

Do you want to learn more about how I trade? I have just completed my brand new guide, "Forex Trading - What Finally Worked For Me".

Download it free here: Forex Trading

Nathan Pennington is a forex trader and the author of Winning Forex Trading -THE Definitive Guide

Forex Trading - No-Touch Options

There is a saying that the person who makes the rules wins the game. Usually that's true. It's also true when it comes to exotic options in forex.

You have to remember that the forex brokers aren't stupid. The way they price the options and all that. They are setting you up to fail if you trade them. There are very complicated algorithms that compute how likely the price is to get to (or not to get to a certain level) by a certain time.

You are playing their game when trading options like that.

For example, if you're sure the price wouldn't touch 1.3212 and you get pricing on that option, you'll notices that if the broker agrees with you, your risk-to-reward ratio is terrible. If the risk-to-reward ratio is good, then definitely don't trade it. The broker thinks you're going to get slaughtered and is trying to bait you into trading it.

The people who make the rules win the game. Remember that.

It's much better to just take an outright position if you really have that strong of an opinion. Remember that no broker can manipulate the price of the currencies (at least not for very long).

Options are a trap. The broker thinks of you as a mouse. The option is really tasty cheese. It promises low cost, and a big pay-out. But it won't deliver. It's very similar to playing the lottery, but you're a trader, not a gambler.

Only take a trade if you have a edge.

Do you want to learn more about how I trade? I have just completed my brand new guide, "Forex Trading - What Finally Worked For Me".

Download it free here: Forex Trading

Nathan Pennington is a forex trader and the author of Winning Forex Trading -THE Definitive Guide

Forex Trading - The Day Trading Myth(s)

There is a whole mythology surrounding day trading. Numerous myths have sprung up around it. Some myth busting needs to be done. :-)

1) There is a trade (or more than one) every day. No. There isn't. If you try to trade like that, you are going to have problems. It's called over-trading. The spread will eat you alive. You're trying to trade like a broker without the advantage of being spread positive.

2) You're always flat at the end of the day. Not true. This relates to the first point. If you try to get in and out quickly, you won't let the market give you anything. But it doesn't matter if the market gives you anything or not, the broker is going to take his share one way or another. You will (in terms of your account balance) bleed to death.

3) It's easier than other kinds of trading. Really? I think the real meaning of this is it's easier to sell day trading courses than other kinds of courses. Remember the old line about a sucker being born every minute (they're actually being born faster now). It's still true.

4) The market is the same on all time frames. They would have you believe that things happen on the five-minute chart just like they do on the daily chart, just the daily chart is slower. Not so. The market is much more random on the faster time frames. More randomness, means it's harder to discern what is really going on. And that means it's a recipe for being separated from your money.

Do you want to learn more about how I trade? I have just completed my brand new guide, "Forex Trading - What Finally Worked For Me".

Download it free here: Forex Trading

Nathan Pennington is a forex trader and the author of Winning Forex Trading -THE Definitive Guide

Forex Currency Trading For Profit - Exit Strategies

So! You've plunged into trading currencies in the Forex market. You've bought USD/JPY, and prices are skyrocketing. You're elated because the trade so far is going in your favor-- and you're wondering when to get out of the trade. When do you take your profits and run?

If you are in the situation that I just described, you've made one mistake that sooner or later is going to cost you a lot of money-- probably sooner. It is a common mistake made by newbies who are excited about getting into the Forex market and testing their skills. Think of it as by far the best way to wipe out your traing account in record time. Because the bottom line is: professional traders never begin a trade without an exit strategy firmly in place!

There is no such thing as a trading opportunity that is so exciting that you have to get in the trade right then and there or you will hate yourself forever. Remember that currency trading in the Forex markets is practically non-stop, 24/5.5 (not 24/7). Every day is filled with trading opportunities, plenty of them. If you only see the one oh-so-urgent opportunity before you, could it be that you are not quite ready to trade currencies?

Plan your exit strategy at the same time you plan your entry. Wiser words have seldom been spoken. Do no less.

For entry's sake, what kind of profits are you looking for: how many pips? 5 pips? 10 pips? 20 pips? More? You don't have to be dead-set on a specific number of pips. You can just watch and see if the pips grow in your favor. But if you know ahead of time how many pips will fill your appetite, getting out of a trade is a snap: exit when you've gotten your pips. Don't get greedy! There will be more pips on the table tomorrow.

How strong are your entry signals? Hopefully, you are not considering a trade based on just one financial indicator, as that, too, leads to financial ruin. Given then that you are using a combination of established financial indicators (MACD, RSI, Stochastics, Pivot Points, trandlines, Bollinger Bands), how often have you seen the combination that you are using succeed? How often have you seen it fail? Have you found any early-warning signs of impending failure in previous similar setups?

How many pips are you willing to risk? No, wait. That's only half the question. How many pips are you willing to risk in order to make how many pips? Will you risk 10 pips to make 10? 10 to make 20? Some say that risking 10 pips is not enough-- that if you're not willing to risk 20 pips, you should not be in a trade. Do you agree or disagree? What does that do to your goal of expecting to profit by x amount of pips in the trade?

The amount of pips that you are willing to risk in order to make x amount of pips is really just a gentle way of asking: where are you going to place your stop loss order? Trading without a stop loss order is kind of like bungee jumping without the cord. Trading currencies in the Forex is often extremely fast-paced. Without an automatic stop-loss order to protect you, you may not be able to get out of a trade in time to prevent losses from reaching disastrous levels.

Finally, here's what I have found to be the best question to ask: how much does the currency pair that you are trading spike? Some currencies (the Yen pairs come to mind) spike quite a lot. What's a spike? A spike is a short candle body with one long wick or with long wicks both top or bottom of the body.

Say price for the USD/JPY is at 120.05 when you buy-- and you're looking at the five minute chart. Price starts rising rapidly, very rapidly, and goes all the way up to 120.17. Then, alas, price starts retracing, all the way back back down to the 120.05 at which you bought. Instead of going back up, price keeps falling all the way down to 119.90. And, still within the same five minute candle, price resumes its upward trend and closes at 120.09. On the chart, the body, the solid part of the candle, is short-- from 120.05 to 120.09. The top wick rises from 120.09 to 120.17, the bottom wick falls from 120.05 to 119.90. That's spiking in both directions!

You bought at 120.05, predicting that price would go up-- and it did, five minutes later, closing 4 pips higher than the open. If your stop-loss order was 20 pips below your entry point, no problem-- you're still in the trade. If instead you placed your stop-loss order 10 pips below your entry point, here comes pain: you got stopped at 119.95, only to have price ending higher, proving your buy decision to be right.

When trading currencies in the Forex market, the bottom line on exit strategies is short and sweet. Have one or don't trade. Know how many pips you want to risk when placing your stop-loss orders. And, if you want to do yourself a favor, know if, how, when, and how often your trade's currency pair spikes.

P.K. Wells is an active trader, webmaster and a software developer. For free software that will assist you when trading the Forex currency markets, visit Forex Paper Trader, MarketOpen, Forex News Reader, Free Forex Charts Launcher - 100% Free Forex Software


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