2009-04-23

How To Open A Forex Account

Similar to the equity market, you have to open a forex account before stare trading currencies. Each forex account and the services it provides differ, so it is important that you find the right one. Below we will talk about some of the factors that should be considered when selecting a forex account.

Leverage
Leverage is basically the ability to control large amounts of capital, using very little of your own capital; the higher the leverage, the higher the level of risk. The amount of leverage on an account differs depending on the account itself, but most use a factor of at least 50:1, with some being as high as 250:1. A leverage factor of 50:1 means that for every dollar you have in your account you control up to $50. For example, if a trader has $1,000 in his or her account, the broker will lend that person $50,000 to trade in the market. This leverage also makes your margin, or the amount you have to have in the account to trade a certain amount, very low. In equities, margin is usually at least 50%, while the leverage of 50:1 is equivalent to 2%.

Leverage is seen as a major benefit of forex trading, as it allows you to make large gains with a small investment. However, leverage can also be an extreme negative if a trade moves against you because your losses also are amplified by the leverage. With this kind of leverage, there is the real possibility that you can lose more than you invested - although most firms have protective stops preventing an account from going negative. For this reason, it is vital that you remember this when opening an account and that when you determine your desired leverage you understand the risks involved.

Commissions and Fees
Another major benefit of forex accounts is that trading within them is done on a commission-free basis. This is unlike equity accounts, in which you pay the broker a fee for each trade. The reason for this is that you are dealing directly with market makers and do not have to go through other parties like brokers.

This may sound too good to be true, but rest assured that market makers are still making money each time you trade. Remember the bid and ask from the previous section? Each time a trade is made, it is the market makers that capture the spread between these two. Therefore, if the bid/ask for a foreign currency is 1.5200/50, the market maker captures the difference (50 basis points).

If you are planning on opening a forex account, it is important to know that each firm has different spreads on foreign currency pairs traded through them. While they will often differ by only a few pips (0.0001), this can be meaningful if you trade a lot over time. So when opening an account make sure to find out the pip spread that it has on foreign currency pairs you are looking to trade.

Other Factors
There are a lot of differences between each forex firm and the accounts they offer, so it is important to review each before making a commitment. Each company will offer different levels of services and programs along with fees above and beyond actual trading costs. Also, due to the less regulated nature of the forex market, it is important to go with a reputable company.

1 comment:

  1. ForexTrendy is a state of the art program capable of finding the most profitable continuation chart patterns. It scans through all the forex pairs, on all time frames and analyzes every possible breakout.

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