Is Trading Forex For You?
Are you fascinated with economics, free trade and international relations? Is the possibility of securing profit through engaging the world's largest marketplace attractive? If so, then trading currencies on the foreign exchange (forex) market may be for you.
How Do I Prepare For The Live Market?
If you consider yourself an aspiring forex trader, then it is crucial that the proper due diligence is performed before entering the marketplace. Ultimately, the best forex traders are informed and confident.
In order to be successful trading currency pairs, it's important to understand the market, know what you want and be technically proficient. To do so, it is necessary to address the following issues ahead of putting real money at risk:
No matter what kind of professional experience one may have, it is necessary to gain an adequate knowledge base regarding the international currency trading environment. FXCM provides helpful forex-related education that can bring a new forex trader up to speed. In addition, detailed study of the products being traded, historical market behaviour and competing market participants may be very useful in identifying both opportunity and risk. Knowing when to trade, what to trade and how to trade are key elements of achieving success in the real market.
In order to achieve success, you must first know what success is. It is important for a new entrant into the marketplace to set specific goals and objectives before live trading.
Forex simulation is one of the most effective ways to gain live-market experience without financial risk. FXCM provides forex traders the opportunity to hone their trading skills with an interactive demo account via an FXCM supported platform.
Forex Simulation: Practice Makes Perfect
Unfortunately, forex market newbies typically make many unforced errors. These "rookie" mistakes often lead to unexpected capital loss and a depleted trading account balance. Listed below are a few of the most common (and costly) rookie mistakes:
- Order entry and exit errors: These are relatively simple to mitigate and are often the result of an unplanned click of the mouse. You can sharpen your order entry skills and alleviate many of these mistakes by practicing on a demo trading account.
- Misuse of leverage: The financial leverage placed upon a trade can be increased by mistake or on purpose. Implementing leverage on a demo account can help one understand how to use leverage safely and properly.
- Periodic lapses in discipline: Overtrading, foregoing stop loss orders and chasing losses are all expensive habits for active forex traders. A forex trading simulator can provide a detailed illustration of exactly how costly emotion and the "human element" really is.
Extensive use of a forex demo can reduce the number of unforced errors while helping to promote good trading habits. In addition, the demo can be instrumental in developing new trading strategies or fine-tuning an existing approach.
Being able to interact with the forex market in real-time, risk-free, is a tremendous advantage to both novice and veteran traders alike. No matter which type of trader you are, experience gained on a demo account is a solid step toward achieving success in the forex marketplace.
FXCM's Forex Simulator Options
In the live market, the software trading platform is your portal to the action. So, in order to excel as a forex trader, it's imperative that your trading platform is user-friendly, swift and robust. As a leading forex brokerage firm, FXCM gives individuals the opportunity to practice trading the forex market on several unique platforms. The following is a look at FXCM's featured offerings.
Trading Station is an all-in-one software suite designed for the active forex, CFD and shares trader. Available on the Web 2.0 platform, desktop and mobile, Trading Station furnishes users with a fully-customisable forex experience.
As FXCM's flagship platform, Trading Station offers free forex market access for account holders. In addition, features such as VPS hosting, trade automation and the indicators of FXCM Apps are available. When you're ready, check out a free demo of Trading Station.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
Since its 2005 launch, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) has been among the most popular forex platforms on the market. Featuring advanced functionality and second-to-none accessibility, MT4 is the go-to trading software suite for legions of forex participants worldwide.
FXCM proudly supports MetaTrader 4, free of any trading restrictions. Also, MT4 account holders receive MT4 Expert Advisors (EAs) and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. To begin streaming live cryptocurrency, forex and CFD market data free of charge, sign up for an MT4 practice account.
NinjaTrader 8 is a diverse software suite that caters to futures, equities and forex traders around the globe. Boasting powerful charting, order-entry and market study applications, Ninjatrader is a popular platform among market technicians. Whether you're building an indicator template or developing advanced order entry strategies, NinjaTrader 8 has you covered.
Users of NinjaTrader 8 benefit from a collection of unique options. Included in the platform's functionality are automated trading, the chart trader and advanced trade management (ATM) features. For those interested in strategy building, the Market Analyser gives users the ability to backtest historical data sets on multiple timeframes.
Sign up for a free forex NinjaTrader demo account.
Over the past several years, social and copy trading have exploded in popularity. At its core, copy trading allows market participants to emulate the trades of other traders and investors. ZuluTrade affords users the ability to copy trade in the shares, CFD, cryptocurrency and forex markets.
With ZuluTrade, you are able to mirror the actions of top traders in your FXCM account. For a flat $30 per month fee or a profit sharing account, ZuluTrade users enjoy a completely hands-off approach to the marketplace. You can subscribe to signal providers with a proven track record of profitability. To see what this platform can do for you, get your practice trading account at ZuluTrade.
When it comes to online charting apps, the popularity of TradingView is nearly unparalleled. TradingView offers active traders a risk-free way of backtesting ideas and studying current market conditions. TradingView supports a vast array of financial instruments, including stocks, cryptos, currencies and futures.
FXCM now offers clients the ability to trade directly from TradingView charts. With TradingView Live Trading Integration, you are able to place orders on your TradingView chart and have the orders executed by your FXCM account. To learn more about this exciting service, open an FXCM demo account today.
Capitalise.ai is an automated trading platform that lets the user integrate systems and strategies in plain english. With Capitalise.ai, you are able to apply advanced technical indicators, automate trade execution and seamlessly analyse the market. The platform is ideal for systems trading as it supports backtest, simulation, performance statistics and low-latency functionality.
You can link Capitalise.ai to an FXCM Trading Station account quickly and easily. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes; simply complete a Limited Trade Authorisation for Capitalise.ai and you're ready to go. To incorporate artificial intelligence into your trading plan, sign up for Capitalise.ai.
Getting The Most From A Forex Simulator
Before risking real money in a live account, spending some time on a forex simulator is a great idea. Of course, placing orders at random doesn't do much to improve one's trading skills! Here are a few tips for getting the most out of a forex simulator:
Respect The Trade
A forex trading simulator is the best tool for becoming proficient at order entry. However, make sure to practice like you play. If you repeatedly execute careless trades, then bad habits are more likely to form. Although a demo account's pricing is free, developing bad habits is not. Be sure to respect each trade and treat it as if real money is in play.
Raise The Stakes
Just because you are trading forex risk-free on a simulator doesn't mean that you can't have some skin in the game. Entering trade simulator contests or competing against friends can enhance the experience by placing value on your performance.
Keep It Realistic
If you're an average retail trader, then taking huge positions on a forex simulator doesn't do much to develop your trading skills. Before starting to sim trade, establish your expected live account size. Then, adhere to this amount when demo trading. After a period of time, you will get a concrete idea of what to expect in regards to account balance swings and realized P&L.
Forex simulators and practice accounts are powerful tools for trader development. But, it takes dedication and discipline to make your practice productive. To get the most out of a demo account, it helps to honor each trade, have at least some skin in the game and apply realistic leverage. In doing so, you will be better prepared for the myriad challenges presented by the real market.
This article was last updated on 19th October 2021.
Senior Market Specialist
Russell Shor (MSTA, CFTe, MFTA) is a Senior Market Specialist at FXCM. He joined the firm in October 2017 and has an Honours Degree in Economics from the University of South Africa and holds the coveted Certified Financial Technician and Master of Financial Technical Analysis qualifications from the International Federation…