What is the difference between a trading system and a trading strategy?
The strategy is a pattern that you observed, that can sometimes predict the movement and gives you a profit.
A system includes the strategy + a price target (take profit) + a loss limit (stop loss). When you add these 2 simples variables you end up with something totally different.
In effect, there are two ways to make money when you are trading.
- You have a very good strategy, you win most of the time (high % hit rate, bigger than 50%). But your profits will probably the same as your losses. You will be doing quick trades to keep that good % winning ratio. You will also be using high leverage.
- You have an average strategy (50% hit rate or less) but when you are making a profit, its much bigger than when you take a loss. You will use lower leverage and your trades will probably run longer.
Take a look at my forex trading strategies page where I talk about the most well known and respected trading strategies.
Should you change your money now or wait? Will Euro go up or down? I’m gonna give you my forex trader opinion. Here is a screenshot of the current EUR/USD rate, every bar/candle represent a day, so we can see from September 2012 to 25 January 2012.
(Please click on the picture below to zoom on it)
You can see that since July 2012, the Euro has been in an up trend (as I draw in green). This is good news for the Euro strengh. The first resistance (dark blue line) was broken by a big movement (dark blue circle), probably because of a good news from Germany hehe.
So here we are on the next resistance (yellow line), that we already broke (yay!) with great vigour.
Now to predict the future Euro price is pretty simple = if the trend (in green) is still strong, we can go to 1.35 . That means wait for this price. But if the Euro goes below 1.29, it means the resistance in yellow was too strong and we will have another drop and you should make a move right now. Got it? Post in comment if you have any questions.
Because i’m often on the roll, I find myself checking for exchange rates almost every day. So I have been using XE for half my life now. Their website is http://www.xe.com and on the same front page you can select the base currency and the exchange currency.
I still use these guys because it’s free, and they always had the most reliable rate. And btw a little trick for you, when you converted a rate, you can quickly make another calculation by changing the amount in the address bar (I highlighted in red where in the screenshot).
Everyday before I start trading I always check if some important news are coming up on the calendar. My favorite tool is the calendar from forex factory. I will explain you how to use it quickly. Once I am on their main calendar page, I click on the current date, on the top left. Then you will see today’s main news event. The next news coming will be highlighted by a little blue arrow to its left.
Personally, I only take into consideration the “red news”, meaning that under the “Impact” label, we have a red highlight. It’s also possible to have some details concerning the news if you click the next column.
Btw when the news is about to get released, the “Actual” column will show off a little refresh button, so you can click that instead of reloading the whole page.
How to choose a forex broker? It can feel like the wild west and if you really want to make a profit out of forex, this is the most important choice you have to make. Before trading forex full-time, I was already in the stock/option market so I already knew what to look in a broker. But the foreign exchange market is a quite a bit different, so i wrote down here bullet-points how to choose the best forex broker for you.
- Smallest spreads. This is probably the most important factor since this will affect your profit. The spread is the difference between the Bid and the Ask price. When you take a long position you pay the Ask price, when you Short, you pay the Bid price. Also when you close a position, it’s the opposite. So in effect you will pay 2 times the spread in a trade, to get in and then to get out. Compared to the equity market (stocks for example), most Forex Brokers don’t ask for commissions. Note that you should only be trading “major pairs” unlike the swedish krona or south africa rand, for the simple fact that you cannot a have tight spreads on these “exotic pairs” so the risk to getting positive is higher and you cannot leverage too much (spread will use your margin quite a bit). Here for example are the spreads I pay with my personnal broker :
- Leverage / Margin . The forex market is known for offering very high leverages. This is what attracts most traders, because it is possible to make quick money starting from a small account (100$ for example), but keep in mind you can loose everything also quickly. Anyways, as you guys know I am a daytrader / scalper so I enjoy high leverage because I take very quick trades. 1 for 100 is the minimum leverage you should consider. The margin requirements usual go hand in hand with leverage.
- Funding and Withdrawal Methods. Most brokers will make it very easy to deposit funds into your account, with credit cards for example, but what’s important is how to withdraw your money. Sometimes it’s only possible by bank transfer (wire transfer) and that means it takes times and your personal bank will charge you something like 25$ to receive the money. If you are starting forex with a small account balance this is simply unpractical. So I suggest choosing a brooker who accepts e-payments systems for withdrawal such as alertpay, moneybookers, etc… The transfers should also be automated, meaning they are done within 24h. Even if you don’t plan to withdraw some money soon, knowing that you have full access to your money at anytime is important.
- Trading platform. Most brokers will be offering some kind of web based platform or java platform and a MT4 software (metatrader). To be honest with you metatrader is not the quickest thing out there (for requotes or slippage for example) but the support is extremely high meaning you have tons of free custom indicators and robots online. It never crashed on me too. So MT4 is a good generic choice, it should be offered for free with your account tho.
- Customer support. Let met tell you that even with the best forex broker you will find yourself asking for support many times. Basically the broker should offer Live Chat with a person from the trading desk or for your personal account. When you are dealing with money, you cannot wait for a email answer.
Now here are few forex brokers that I used in the past, and that I would be able to recommend :
PS: note that for Hotforex if you are EU residents the maximum leverage is 30, there are no PAMM accounts, loyalties and bonuses and the minimum deposit is 50 eur.
So I have been trading myself with XM for few years now, and have withdrew thousand of dollars $ with them in profit already:
-> screenshot of my recent 4000$ XM withdrawal
-> and another screenshot of more than 18 000$ withdrawal
Every once in a while, a forex broker will offer a very attractive bonus program to attract new customers, but these special offers are usually open only for a few days.
Well XM just contacted me and offered to match every deposit of my readers by 50% !
Basically for every 2$ you deposit, they will add 1$ extra to your account… so if you deposit 1000$, they will automatically add 500$ for you to trade with!
Sounds good? Link is right down below:
For some time now, I always avoided talking about my personal broker. Because when I signed up, they were the new thing, with an amazing offer, and I didnt want everybody to clog the servers or customer service. But now that they grew bigger (they are regularly cited as the best european broker), I’m willing to share the love.
Does your broker offer this?
- INSTANT withdrawal (automated withdrawals without any human interventions) through all the same webmoney services (moneybookers, alertpay, etc)
- Spreads ? 0.1 pip on EURUSD and GBPUSD. Yes they are that crazy.
- Leverage ? Industry first 1:1000 leverage. And now offering 1:2000. I think they have to stop the vodka !
- Trading possibilities = 134 currency pairs + CFDs on stocks and futures from the world leading exchange
- Expert Advisors or scalpers? They like them so much they actually GIVE you a free VPS server to host your robot….
- Diversified base currency accounts, I never seen something like that anywhere, you are basically hedging your whole account with different currencies or even gold and silver! (check the screen shot here)
- It is regulated in Cyprus = no FIFO bullshit and no smallish 1:100 leverage.
- Minimum deposit 100$, and free trial account with real trading conditions.
So here this the link : click here to check out my broker