The spread, calculated in "pips," is the difference between
the price at which a currency can be purchased and the price at
which it can be sold at any given point in time. Because currencies,
unlike futures and stocks, are not traded through a central exchange,
the spread can be different depending on the broker you use, so
it's well worth checking a few out before you open an account. Lower
spreads can help you save money!
Wide Range of
Forex trading allow you to take positions up to 100 times the value
of your account. The leverage available in forex is one of the main
advantages of this market, especially for futures and stock traders.
Leverage, expressed as a ratio between total capital available to
actual capital, is the amount of money a broker will lend you for
trading. For example, a ratio of 200:1 means your broker would lend
you $200 for every $1 of actual capital. Many brokerages offer a
flexible margin policy that allows you to choose the leverage that's
right for you.
Many brokers offer two or more types of accounts.
Mini account is designed for those new to online currency trading
and those with limited investment capital. There is a smaller deposit
required to start trade of just $250 or less.
The Standard Account is for those investors who are experienced
in trading forex. The standard account lets you trade at a variety
of different leverages, but it requires a minimum initial capital
of $2,500. Finally, premium accounts, which often require significant
amounts of capital, let you use different amounts of leverage and
often offer additional tools and services.
All the forex brokers offer their own trading platforms. A good
trading platform is the platform that you will use to search for
your trades, receive information, execute your trades and manage
your accounts. Some come as a complete package, a system that will
handle all of your trading tasks. These trading platforms often
feature real-time charts, technical analysis tools, real-time news
and data, and even support for trading systems. A good trading platform
will show you real-time information about your open positions, P&L,
margin and account balances. Before committing to any broker, be
sure to request free trials to test different trading platforms.
Forex is a 24 hour market, so your forex broker should offer 24
hour support. You might not be trading at 4am, but that could be
what time it is in your forex brokers head office on the other side
of the planet, so make sure there will be somebody there to pick
up the phone if things go wrong. The best way to test out the support
is to call them up or email them a few times before you open an
account. Make a nuisance of yourself - if they don't treat you with
the respect and attention you deserve before you become a customer,
it won't bode well for the future. You'll also want to find out
if you can close positions over the phone - essential in case your
PC or internet connection go down at a critical moment.