Popular Tags:

What is FOREX and how does it work?

November 22, 2013 at 9:16 pm
FOREX stands for Foreign Exchange. Unlike stocks and commodities markets, foreign exchange is completely decentralized. There are no formal exchanges where transactions take place. Practically all forex trading is “over-the-counter” and transactions are done over the phone, with a broker, or by electronic means. Therefore, forex is rather a general term combining all worldwide financial institutions and organizations of all calibers into a single market place.
Just think about it. Every time two people or businesses located in different countries make a transaction, they have to exchange their local currency into the currency of another country. Now imagine how many such transactions take places each and every day around the world. Add to that huge volumes of currencies exchanged for speculation and investments by banks and other financial institutions and you will see why this is the biggest market of all.
For an average person, the most practical way to trade forex is via an online broker. Brokers pair all buy and sell orders and re-sell  or hedge the remaining part to other brokers and/or financial institutions. The prices quoted by the broker are usually aggregated from multiple sources and might differ very slightly from one broker to another.
All currencies are traded in pairs. Each pair’s name is an abbreviation of the names of its currencies. Some of the pairs were given nicknames by traders. There are many different pairs but the main trading activity is concentrated in the following:
EUR/USD   –  Euro versus US dollar or the number of US dollars for one Euro (euro, fiber)
GBP/USD   –  British Pound versus US dollar or the number of US dollars for one British pound
                        sterling (pound, sterling, cable)
USD/JPY    –  US dollar versus Japanese yen or the number of Japanese yen for one US dollar (yen,
                        dollar-yen, ninja)
USD/CHF   –  US dollar versus Swiss franc or the number of Swiss francs for one US dollar (swissie,
                        dollar-franc). CHF stands for Confederation Helvetia franc.
USD/CAD  –  US dollar versus Canadian dollar or the number of Canadian dollars for one US dollar
                       (Loonie, Canuck)
AUD/USD  –  Australian dollar versus US dollar or the number of US dollars for one Australian dollar
                        (Oz or Aussie)
NZD/USD  –  New Zealand dollar versus US dollar or the number of US dollars for one New Zealand
                        dollar (kiwi)

There are also pairs called crosses such as:

EUR/JPY    –  Euro versus Japanese yen or the number of Japanese yen for one euro (yuppi)
EUR/GBP   –  Euro versus British pound  or the number of British pounds sterling for one euro (euro-
                        pound, euro-sterling)
EUR/CHF   –  Euro versus Swiss franc or the number of Swiss francs for one euro (euro-swissie)

The list goes on.

The price of the pair states how much the first currency is worth in the second currency denomination. For example, if the price for EUR/USD is 1.3500, this means that one Euro is currently worth $1.35.
You are always long or short one side of the pair against the other side of that pair. When you buy the EUR/USD pair this means that you simultaneously buy the Euro and sell the USD. When you short the Euro, you basically sell the Euro and buy the USD.
All currency pairs in retail forex are traded in lots. Each standard lot is worth $100,000 USD of whatever currency is being traded. Therefore, when trading the Canadian dollar, the Euro, or any other currency, you would be trading $100,000 USD worth of that currency. The actual amount of that currency will depend on its current price in USD.
There are also mini and micro lots, which are one tenth and one hundredth of the size of the regular lot respectively.

End of week results. Let’s call it a week and go flat into the weekend.

November 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm

The news did not affect the USDCAD price much. No more trading for me today. All orders closed including the remaining position in USDCAD.

The total profit since yesterday morning is: EURUSD 84 pips + USDCAD 147 pips = 231 pips

Have a nice weekend!

Nov. 22 morning

November 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Today is Friday, which is a short day of trading before the weekend. I don’t see any good setups this morning and therefore will be to playing it safe.

EURUSD
   Closed the open position @ 1.3518 for a round profit of 40 pips.

USDCAD
    Speculative Buy on news @ 1.0571 for a very short-term trade. No SL as I will be watching it closely.

Nov. 21 night results.

November 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Good morning! Yes, it’s good indeed. While I was sleeping both my long positions went up, so I adjusted the stops accordingly:

USDCAD
   Moved trailing stop higher to 1.0528 (current unrealized profit for this position is 59 pips)

Although it looks like the USDCAD price is due for correction, I am willing to give this position more leeway as Statistics Canada will be releasing Core CPI and Core Retail Sales numbers this morning at 8:30am, which might thrust the price further up.

EURUSD
   P1 and P2 were reached for a total profit of 44 pips. Just love it when the money is made while I sleep.
  1 position is still open with SL @1.3507 (current unrealized profit is 29 pips)

What is a PIP?

November 22, 2013 at 12:15 am
In retail FOREX, PIP or Percentage in Point is the smallest normal unit of change (the smallest normal increment) for a currency pair. In other words it is normally the smallest change in price of the currency. Nowadays many FOREX brokers quote prices in tenths of a pip, so they would quote the price of the USDCAD pair as 1.04712,for example.The easiest way to calculate a pip is to ignore the decimal point and to count the fifth digit starting from the left. Therefore, for the majority of currency pairs one pip equals to 0.0001. The exception to this rule is Japanese yen under 100.00. In that case the pip is the fourth digit from the far left or 00.01

So, when I bought the USDCAD pair for 1.0471and the price went up to 1.0495, I made 1.0495 – 1.0471 = 0.0024 or 24 pips.

All currency pairs in retail forex are traded in lots. Each standard lot is worth $100,000 USD of whatever currency is being traded. Therefore, when trading the Canadian dollar, the Euro, or any other currency, you would be trading $100,000 USD worth of that currency. The actual amount of that currency will depend on its current price in USD.

To simplify calculations, one can assume that the standard lot size is 100,000 units. Therefore, for a standard lot, a 1 pip change in price represents a change in 10 units or roughly close to $10. When trading 0.1 lot size (mini lots), one pip would be roughly equal to $1.

For novice traders and people with relatively small starting capital it would make sense to start trading in 0.01 lot sizes (also called micro lots), where each pip would be roughly equal to $0.10

Nov. 21 end of day results

November 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm

USDCAD:
2 positions reached their profit targets for a total profit of 68 pips.
1 position is still open with trailing SL currently @ 1.0509 (in the money)

EURUSD
3 positions still open  @1.3478, current SL @1.3458

November 21, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Each trade in each currency will be based on opening 3 positions (3 units) with 2 positions having profit targets (P1 and P2) and the third position exit will be based on a trailing stop (for those who don’t know what trailing stop is I will explain later).

Once the P1 target is filled, the stop loss (SL) orders for the remaining 2 positions will be adjusted. If there is a logic level close to the break even point, I prefer to move these SL orders to break even points  but that’s not always the case.

Nov. 21, 2013
EURUSD
Buy 1.3478, Stop Loss (SL): 1.3443
   P1: 1.3492
   P2: 1.3508

November 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Nov. 21, 2013
USDCAD Buy 3 units @1.0471
   Profit Target #1 (P1): 1.0495 (filled)
   Profit Target #2 (P2): 1.0515 (filled)
   Profit Target #3 (P3): trailing stop based on a 30′ chart

November 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm
To illustrate my point, I am going to post trades in real time before they happen as well as try to post some useful information related to trading FOREX profitably part time.