There are many Forex and CFDs providers, be sure to do intensive research before you decide to commit to a specific company. When it comes to your money, be certain that your Broker meets your expectations. Feel free to ask all the tough questions you need to feel comfortable about your venture and if you don’t get the answers your want, you should consider finding another Broker.
Since the Forex market is an over-the-counter market with no centralized exchange, not everyone receives access to the same prices or quality of execution. Institutions with the largest trade volume and the most solid financials have access to better prices and execution. The bigger the broker, the better they are able to pass on the benefits of size, better prices, and better execution to you.
How Brokers Execute Your Orders
Some brokers use a Dealing Desk, which creates the pricing and executes your orders. The spread is usually fixed, which means that traditionally, the spreads are higher than average variable spreads. Check for restrictions on placing orders during news or economic events; for many traders, this is a key time to trade.
No Dealing Desk usually means that multiple banks stream competing prices through your Forex Broker, so your orders are executed by the banks themselves. This means that there are usually no restrictions on trading news or economic events, but you should check with your broker.
Spreads – Fractional Pip Pricing
Most major currency pairs are quoted to four decimal places, so a pip would typically equal .0001 or one basis point. Forex Brokers generally round the price up or down to the nearest pip; but some now offer Fractional Pip-Pricing. It ads an additional decimal place, so spreads are usually tighter and more accurate.
Scalping the Market
Many traders favor short-term scalping strategies, which involves placing orders inside the spread. For scalping to be profitable for the client, the market maker must lose, so some Forex Brokers disallow the strategy. This strategy involves a high level of risk.
Rollover is interest earned or paid on Forex positions held overnight. It varies depending on the difference in interest rates between a currency pair and fluctuates day to day with the movement of prices. A Negative Roll is when you sell a currency that pays higher interest rate, so you pay interest. A Positive Roll is when you buy a currency that pays higher interest rate, so you can earn interest. Negative Rolls are routine, but not all Forex Brokers offer positive rolls.
The “Carry Trade” is a popular Forex strategy which benefits from Positive Rolls and the high leverage available in the Forex market. For example, if you buy the USD/JPY, you can earn a positive roll. You are essentially borrowing the Japanese yen at a low interest rate cost to buy the US dollar with a high interest rate earning. Remember that leverage can dramatically amplify your losses, so beware of this technique, as it carries a high level of risk.
Hedging allows you to simultaneously hold BUY and SELL positions in the same currency pair. The most effective way to trade a market if you are uncertain about its direction is to find concrete support and resistance levels. This allows you to pinpoint levels where significant price action will take place.
Hedged positions do not necessarily limit risk as traders can find themselves losing on both sides of the trade. While this strategy tends to work temporarily in range markets, it does not work well in trending markets. Placing stop-loss orders on your positions to mitigate your risk is strongly recommended.
The National Futures Association, a self-regulatory organization in the US, adopted a new Compliance Rule 2-43 in 2009 that prohibits customers of Forex Dealer Members to open a “hedged” position in the same account. This rule may not apply to Forex Dealers outside of the US.
Forex trading works 24 hours a day. Does your Forex Broker? When you ask them questions, do they answer them clearly and honestly or do they give you the run-around?