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Forex Trading 2021 - Why Trade in Forex. Strategy, Tips And Best Brokers list

Foreign exchange is the biggest market in the world where all the currencies of the world are traded. If we focus on forex trading in India then certain things arise in our mind, Is forex a legal asset in India? what is the rule for forex trading, Is it regulated by any Indian Government authority like RBI Or SEBI. I mean mostly users asking is forex trading is legal in India YES, Or NO


Why Trade Forex?

The forex currency market offers the day trader the ability to speculate on movements in foreign exchange markets and particular economies or regions. Furthermore, with no central market, forex offers trading opportunities around the clock.

  • Liquidity – In the 2020 forex market, the average volume traded per day is $6,6 trillion. So, there is an abundance of trades and moves you can make.
  • Diversity – Firstly, you have the pairs stemming from the eight major global currencies. On top of that, many regional currency pairings are also available for trade. More options, more opportunities to turn a profit.
  • Accessibility – While not quite 24/7, the forex market is readily accessible, open twenty-four hours a day, five days a week. As a result, you decide when to trade and how to trade.
  • Leverage – A significant amount of forex currency pairings are traded on margin. This is because leverage can be used to help you both buy and sell large quantities of currency. The greater the quantity, the greater the potential profit – or loss.
  • Low commissions – Forex offers relatively low costs and fees compared to other markets. In fact, some firms don’t charge any commission at all, you pay just the bid/ask spreads. True ECN firms may also offer 0 spread!

Currencies Traded In Forex

Major

In the international forex day trading world, the vast majority of people focus on the seven most liquid currency pairs when learning how to trade forex – these are known as the four ‘majors’:

  • EUR/USD (euro/dollar)
  • USD/JPY (dollar/Japanese yen)
  • GBP/USD (British pound/dollar)
  • USD/CHF (dollar/Swiss franc)

In addition, there are three emerging pairs:

  • AUD/USD (Australian dollar/dollar)
  • USD/CAD (dollar/Canadian dollar)
  • NZD/USD (New Zealand dollar/dollar)

These major currency pairs, in addition to a variety of other combinations, account for over 95% of all speculative trading in the forex market, as well as retail forex.

However, you will probably have noticed the US dollar is prevalent in the major currency pairings. This is because it’s the world’s leading reserve currency, playing a part in approximately 88% of currency trades.

Minor

If a currency pairing doesn’t include the US dollar, it’s known as a ‘minor currency pair’ or a ‘cross-currency pair’. Hence the most popularly traded minor currency pairs include the British pound, Euro, or Japanese yen, such as:

  • EUR/GBP (euro/British pound)
  • EUR/AUD (euro/Australian dollar)
  • GBP/JPY (British pound/Japanese yen)
  • CHF/JPY (Swiss franc/Japanese yen)

You can also delve into the trade of exotic currencies such as the Thai Baht (THB), South African Rand (ZAR), and Norwegian Krone (NOK). However, these exotic extras bring with them a greater degree of risk and volatility.

forex trading

Finding The Best Forex Broker

So, where do you start forex trading? Forex trading can’t be done without a broker, so first, you need to find one. It’s often easy to go for big names or groups in the forex industry, however, the “best” forex broker will often be subjective, with each having positives and negatives. This means less objective ranks, instead, it may come down to the pairs you want to trade, the platform, trading using spot markets or per point, or simply ease of use requirements.

India's Most trusted and Reliable forex broker - Earn $5000 per day 

Below is a list of comparison factors that should be considered before saying yes or no to a broker. Some may be more important to you than others, but all should be given some thought. Details on all these elements for each brand can be found in the individual reviews.

Lowest Trading Costs

Spreads, commission, overnight fees – everything that reduces your profit on a single trade needs to be considered. High-frequency trading means these costs can ratchet up quickly, so comparing fees will be a huge part of your broker choice. Brokers such as RobinHood offer commission-free trading, though this is usually compensated for with wider spreads.

Inactivity or withdrawal fees are also noteworthy as they can be another drain on your balance.

Trading Platform

The trading platform needs to suit you. Whether you want a simple cut-down interface, trading using only a keyboard, or multiple built-in features, widgets, and tools – your best option may not be the same as someone else’s.

Several brokers build their own proprietary platforms for trading on, such as TD Ameritrade’s ThinkOrSwim platform or the iForex trading platform. However, there are many great industry-wide platforms available.

Learn more about online forex trading platforms here.

Demo accounts are a great way to try out multiple platforms and see which works best for you. Remember also, that many platforms are configurable, so you are not stuck with a default view.

Mobile Trading

Trading forex on the move will be crucial to some people, less so for others. Most brands offer a mobile app, normally compatible across iOS, Android, and Windows.

If this is key for you, then check the app is a full version of the website and does not miss out on any important features. The download of these apps is generally quick and easy – brokers want you trading.

Some apps are better for beginners while others can be quite complex, so be sure to check before committing.

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Customer Service

Is customer service available in the language you prefer, such as Spanish or English? Is there live chat, email, and telephone support? When are they available?

Customer support quality can vary from a part-time call center to dedicated personal advisors and forex trading mentors. Some brokers, such as Fidelity, have teams with 24/7 customer support available for queries at all times of the day, week, or weekend. How high a priority this is, only you can know, but it is worth checking out.

Asset List

Does the broker offer the markets or currency pairs you want to trade? A pretty fundamental check, this one. If you are trading major pairs, then all brokers will cater for you.

If you want to trade Thai Bahts or Swedish Krone you will need to double-check the asset lists and tradable currencies. Many brokers also offer CFD instruments on the US30 index or silver with the XAU/USD pair, for example.

Regulation

Do you want a broker regulated by a particular body – the FCA, SEC, or ASIC perhaps? Remember European regulation might impact some of your leverage options, so this may impact more than just your peace of mind. We cover regulation in more detail below.

Spreads Or Commission

Partly covered in trading costs, but the spreads are often a comparison factor on their own. Spreads are defined as the difference between the bid and the asking price that the broker quotes. Spreads can vary a lot with forex trading and have a large impact on profitability.

Remember, you are not tied down to one broker so if you trade several currency pairs, then you can shop around for several brokers to get the tightest spreads. When learning how to trade forex, multiple accounts can also provide different educational materials.

There is nothing wrong with having multiple accounts to take advantage of the best spreads on each trade. Beware of slippage ‘hiding’ wider spreads too often.

Payment Methods

Deposit method options at a certain forex broker might interest you. Do you want to use Paypal, Skrill or Neteller? Are you happy using credit or debit cards knowing this is where withdrawals will be paid too?

Some forex brokers now accept deposits in Bitcoin or a range of other cryptos too.

Security

Most brands will follow regulatory demands to separate client and company funds, and offer key levels of user data security.

Some brands might give you more confidence than others, and this is often linked to the regulator or where the brand is licensed. Foreign exchange trading can attract unregulated operators. Security is a worthy consideration.

Demo Accounts

Try before you buy. Most credible brokers are willing to let you see their platforms risk free. To practice, forex trading on a demo account or simulator is a great way to test a strategy, backtest, or learn a platform’s nuances – as well as allowing anyone to learn how to trade forex from scratch. Try as many as you need to before making a choice – and remember having multiple accounts is fine (even recommended).

Account Types

From cash, margin, or PAMM accounts, to Bronze, Silver, Gold, and VIP levels, account types can vary. The differences can be reflected in costs, reduced spreads, access to Level II data, settlement, or different leverage. Micro accounts might provide lower trade size limits for example.

Retail forex and professional accounts will be treated very differently by both brokers and regulators, as professional classification involves accepting greater risks. An ECN account will give you direct access to the forex contracts markets. So research what you need, and what you are getting.

Leverage

For European forex traders, this can have a big impact. Retail forex leverage is capped at 1:30 by all European brokers under the ESMA rule, though leverage can reach 1:400 for professional-classified traders. Assets such as Gold, Oil, and stocks are capped separately.

In Australia however, traders can utilize the leverage of 1:500. That makes a huge difference to deposit and margin requirements. Australian brands are open to traders from across the globe, so some users will have a choice between regulatory protection or more freedom to trade as they wish.

Just note that the average leverage rate increases potential losses, just as it does potential profits.

margin calculator

Tools Or Features

From charting and futures pricing to trading calculators and bespoke robots, brokers offer a range of tools to enhance the trading experience. Again, the impact of these as a deciding factor on opening an account will be down to the individual.

Level 2 data is one such tool, where preference might be given to a brand delivering it. Some brokers, for example, Trade360, offer social trading tools with their service.

tools of feature
OctaFX forex trading calculator

Education

For beginners, getting started with forex trading can be intimidating. Learning the meaning of the terminology and how it all works is a lot to take in. Fortunately, many brokers provide free tutorials and guides so you can get key terms explained. These can be in the form of e-books, pdf documents, live webinars, expert advisors (EAs), university courses and classes online, or a full academy program.

Whatever the source, it is worth judging the quality before opening an account. Bear in mind forex companies want you to trade, so will encourage trading frequently.

MetaTrader 4 or 5

Integration with popular software packages like Metatrader 4 or 5 (MT4 or MT5) might be crucial for some traders. These are two of the top trading platforms, available in the USA, UK, and across the world. Many brands offer automated trading or integration into related software, but if you are going to rely on it, you need to make sure.

MetaTrader software

Bonus

From cashback to a no deposit bonus, free trades or deposit matches, brokers used to offer loads of promotions. Regulatory pressure has changed all that. Bonuses are now few and far between. Our directory will list them where offered, but they should rarely be a deciding factor in your forex trading choice. Also always check the terms and conditions and make sure they will not cause you to over-trade.

Execution Speed

Desktop platforms will normally deliver the excellent speed of execution for trades. But mobile apps may not. While this will not always be the fault of the broker or application itself, it is worth testing.

Scams

Our reviews have already filtered out the scams, but if you are considering a different forex trading brand, avoid getting caught out by thinking about these questions to ask yourself;

  • Were you ‘cold called’? Reputable firms will not call you out of the blue (This includes emails, or Facebook or Instagram channels)
  • Are they offering unrealistic profits? Just stop and consider for a minute – if they could make the money they are claiming, why are they cold calling or advertising on social media?
  • Are they offering to trade on your behalf or use their own managed or automated trades? Do not give anyone else control of your money.

If you have any doubts, simply move on. There are plenty of legitimate, legal brokers.

With all these comparison factors covered in our reviews, you can now shortlist your top forex brokers, take each for a test drive with a demo account, and select the best one for you. We have ranked brokers based on our own opinion and offered ratings in our tables, but only you can award ‘5 stars’ to your favorite!

Read who won the DayTrading.com ‘Best Forex Broker 2020‘ on the Awards page.

Forex Broker Reviews

Use this table with reviews of the top forex brokers to compare all the FX brokers we have ever reviewed. Note that some of these forex brokers might not accept trading accounts being opened from your country. If we can determine that a broker would not accept your location, it is marked in grey in the table.

Forex Broker Reviews
BrokerDemoMin Dep.MT4Bonus
101investingYes$250YesNo
12TraderYes$500NoNo
24OptionYes$250YesNo
4xCubeYes$10YesNo
AAAFxYes$300YesYes
AccentForexYes$50YesYes
ActivTradesYes$500YesYes
Admiral MarketsYes$100YesNo
ADS SecuritiesYes$100YesNo
AETOSYes$250YesYes
AGEAYes$1YesYes
AlpariYesFrom $/£/€ 5YesYes
AlphoYes$100NoNo
AlvexoYes500 EUR/USDYesNo
Amana CapitalYes$50YesYes
ArgusFXNoNo minimumYesNo
Arum CapitalYes$500NoNo
AskoBIDNo€250NoNo
ATC BrokersYes$5,000NoNo
ATFXYes100 $/€/£YesNo
AtioraYes$1YesYes
AvatradeYes$100YesNo
AxesYes$100NoNo
AxioryYes$50YesNo
AxiTraderYes0 $/€/£YesNo
AyondoYes£1YesNo
BCS ForexYes$1YesYes
BDSwissYes100 $/€/£NoNo
Binary.comYes$5YesNo
BlackBull MarketsYes$200YesNo
Blackwell GlobalYes$250YesNo
BP PrimeYes$5,000YesNo
BulbrokersYes$100YesNo
Capital IndexYes$100YesYes
Capital.comYes£/$/€100NoNo
CFD Global FXYes$500NoNo
CGS-CIMBYes100 SGDYesNo
City Credit CapitalYes$500YesNo
CityIndexYes£/$100YesYes
CIX MarketsYes$500YesNo
CMC MarketsYes£ 0YesNo
CMTradingYes$250YesNo
Corsa CapitalYes$1NoYes
DeltaStockYes$100YesYes
Deriv.comYes€/£/$5NoNo
DIF BrokerYesUndisclosedNoNo
DirectFXNo$100YesNo
DMM FXYesUndisclosedYesNo
DsdaqYes0.001 BTC/BCH/LTCNoYes
DukascopyYes$100YesYes
EagleFXYes$10YesNo
Easy MarketsYes€100YesNo
EightcapYesA$100YesNo
EquitiYes$500YesNo
ETFinanceYes$250YesNo
eToroYes$200 ($50 in US)NoNo
ETX CapitalYes£250YesNo
EuropeFXYes€200YesNo
EverFXYes$250YesYes
eXcentralNo$250YesNo
EZ InvestYes$500YesNo
FBSYes$1YesYes
FCMarketYes$500YesNo
FinancikaNo$200NoYes
FinexoYes$100YesNo
Finq.comYes$100YesNo
FondexYesNo minimumNoNo
Forex.comYes$100YesNo
Forex4youYesNo minimumYesYes
ForexMartYes1 EUR/USDYesYes
ForexTBYes$250YesNo
FortFSYes$5YesYes
FortradeYes$100YesNo
FP MarketsYes$100YesNo
FreshForexYes$10YesYes
Fullerton MarketsYes$100YesYes
Fusion MarketsYesNo MinimumYesNo
FXCCYes$100YesNo
FXCMYes£300YesNo
FXGiantsYes$100YesYes
FxGloryYes$1YesYes
FxNetYes$50YesNo
FXOpenYes$300YesYes
FXPIGYes$500YesNo
FXProYes$100YesNo
FXTMYesFrom $10YesYes
GCIYes$500YesYes
GKFXYes€100YesNo
GO MarketsYes$200YesYes
Grand CapitalYes$10YesYes
Hantec MarketsYesNo minimumYesNo
HiroseYes$20YesYes
IC MarketsYes$200YesNo
ICM BrokersYes$300YesNo
IFGMYes$200YesNo
iFOREXYes$100NoNo
IG GroupYes£250YesNo
InfinoxYes£1YesNo
InstaForexYes€1 to €1000 (Account choice dependent)YesNo
Interactive BrokersYes$10000NoNo
Invest.comYes£0YesYes
InvestousYes$250YesNo
IQ OptionYes$10NoNo
IronFXYes$100YesYes
JP MarketsYesNo minimumYesYes
Juno MarketsYes$100YesYes
Just2TradeYes£2500YesNo
Key To MarketsYes$100YesNo
Khwezi TradeYesR 2,000YesNo
Land FXYes$300YesYes
Larson & HolzYes$250NoNo
LBLVYes$5,000NoYes
LCGYes0 $/€/£YesNo
LegacyFXYes$500NoNo
LibertexYes$100YesNo
LiteForex EuropeYes$50YesNo
LiteForex InvestmentsYes$50YesYes
LMFXYes$100YesYes
LQDFXYes$20YesYes
Markets.comYes$250YesNo
Mega Trader FXYesNoneYesYes
Mitto MarketsYesNo minimumYesNo
Moneta MarketsYes$200NoYes
NadexYes$250NoNo
NinjaTraderYes$50YesNo
Noble TradingYes$100YesYes
NordFXYes$10YesNo
OandaYes$0YesNo
OrbexYes$200YesNo
PaxForexYes$10YesYes
PepperstoneYes£200 / $200YesNo
Plus500Yes$100NoYes
PrimeXBTNo0.001 BTCNoNo
Q8 TradeYes$250YesYes
QuestradeYes$1,000NoYes
RoboForexYes$10YesYes
ROInvestingYes$250YesNo
Saxo BankYes$10000YesNo
SimpleFXYesNoneYesYes
Skilling.comYes100 £/€/$ or 1000 NOK, SEKYesNo
SmartFXYesUndisclosedNoNo
Spectre.aiYesNo minimumNoNo
SpreadexNo$1NoNo
Squared FinancialYes$100YesNo
SwissquoteYes$1,000YesNo
SynergyFXYes$50YesYes
TD AmeritradeYesNoneNoYes
TeleTradeYes100 EUR/USDYesNo
TeraFXYes$100YesNo
ThinkMarketsYesNo minimumYesNo
TickmillYes$100YesYes
Tier1FXYes$1,000YesNo
TIO MarketsYes$50YesNo
Trade12No$250YesNo
Trade360Yes$250NoNo
TradeTimeYes$500YesYes
Trading212Yes€/£/$100NoNo
TrioMarketsYes$500YesYes
TusarFXYes$1YesYes
UFXYes$100YesNo
UptosNo$250NoNo
ValutradesYesNoneYesNo
VantageFXYes$200YesYes
VarianseYes$500YesNo
VideforexYes$250NoYes
WeltradeYes$25YesNo
WH SelfInvestYes€500YesNo
Windsor BrokersYes$100YesYes
XGlobal MarketsYes$500NoNo
XMYes5 $/€/£YesYes
XTBYesNo MinimumYesNo
XTradeYes$250NoNo
Zero MarketsYes$200YesYes
ZuluTradeYes$1 to $300 (Broker choice dependent)YesNo


Forex Regulation

Regulation should be an important consideration. Whether the regulator is inside, or outside, of Europe is going to have serious consequences on your trading. ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) have imposed strict rules on forex firms regulated in Europe. This includes the following regulators:

  • CySec (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission)
  • FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
  • BaFin – (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht)
  • Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Switzerland)

ESMA have jurisdiction over all regulators within the EEA

The rules include caps or limits on leverage that vary between financial products. Forex leverage is capped at 1:30 (Or x30). Outside of Europe, leverage can reach 1:500 (x500).

Traders in Europe can apply for Professional status. This removes their regulatory protection, and allows brokers to offer higher levels of leverage (among other things).

Outside of Europe, the largest regulators are:

  • SEC – Securities and Exchange Commission (US)
  • CFTC – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (US)
  • CSA – Canadian Securities Administration
  • ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission

These cover the bulk of countries outside Europe. Forex brokers catering for India, Hong Kong, Qatar etc are likely to have regulation in one of the above, rather than every country they support. Some brands are regulated across the globe (one is even regulated in 5 continents). Some bodies issue licenses and others have a register of legal firms.

To reiterate, an ASIC forex broker can offer higher leverage to a trader in Europe.

An easy way to check for regulation is to look for a disclaimer stating the percentage of losing trades, as this is required by many regulators. You can also check the small print at the bottom of a website as this usually contains regulation information.

Which Currencies Should You Trade?

Investors should stick to the major and minor pairs in the beginning. This is because it will be easier to find trades, and lower spreads, making scalping viable.

Exotic pairs, however, have much more illiquidity and higher spreads. In fact, because they are riskier, you can make serious cash with exotic pairs, just be prepared to lose big in a single session too.

How Is Forex Traded?

So how does forex trading work? The logistics of forex day trading are almost identical to every other market. However, there is one crucial difference worth highlighting. When you’re day trading in forex you’re buying a currency, while selling another at the same time. Hence that is why the currencies are marketed in pairs. So, the exchange rate pricing you see from your forex trading account represents the purchase price between the two currencies.

For example – the rate for GBP/USD represents what 1 pound is worth in dollars. So, $300 at a rate of 1.3 will buy £230. So, if you have reason to believe the pound will increase in value versus the US dollar, you would purchase, say, 500 pounds with US dollars. Then, if the exchange rate climbs, you would sell your pounds back and make a profit. Likewise with Euros, Yen, etc.

Contracts

Forex contracts come in a range of types:

  • Spot forex contracts
    • The conventional contract. Delivery and settlement are immediate.
  • Futures forex contracts
    • Delivery and settlement take place on a future date. Prices are agreed directly, but the actual exchange is in the future.
  • Currency swaps
    • Where two parties can ‘swap’ currency, often in the form of loans, or loan payments in differing currencies.
  • Options forex contracts
    • An option gives a trader, the option (but not the obligation) to exchange currencies at a certain price on a date in the future.

Forex Orders

There are a range of forex orders. Some common, others less so. Using the correct one can be crucial.

The two main types of forex orders are:

1. Instant order or Market order

2. Pending orders

Instant Order / Market Orders

These are executed immediately at market prices.

A Buy is an instruction to ‘go long’ or profit from rising markets. A Sell means opening a short position with an expectation of falling values.

forex order

Pending Orders

Stop Loss is a preset level where the trader would like the trade closed (stopped out) if the price moves against them. It is an important risk management tool. It instructs the broker to close the trade at that level. A guaranteed stop means the firm guarantee to close the trade at the requested price.

A stop-loss that is not guaranteed may ‘slip’ in volatile market conditions, and trade closed, close to, but not on, the stop level. The shock of the Swiss Franc (CHF) being ‘unpegged’ was one such event.

Trailing Stop requests that the broker moves the stop loss level alongside the actual price – but only in one direction. So a long position will move the stop up in a rising market, but it will stay where it is if prices are falling. It allows traders to reduce potential losses in good times, and ‘lock-in’ profits, whilst retaining a safety net.

A take profit or Limit order is a point at which the trader wants the trade closed, in profit. It is a good tool for discipline (closing trades as planned) and key for certain strategies. It is also very useful for traders who cannot watch and monitor trades all the time.

One Cancels Other

A-One Cancels the Other (OCO) Order is a combination of a Stop and Limit order, but if one is triggered, the other order is removed or canceled. It is an important strategic trade type.

Cryptocurrency

Leading Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP) are often traded as a currency pair against the US dollar. These can be traded just as other FX pairs. Their exchange values versus each other are also sometimes offered, e.g. BTC/ETH or ETH/LTC, etc.

Charts

Charts will play an essential role in your technical analysis and opportunity identification. Your preferred time frame will depend on the chosen strategy. Traders can essentially zoom into a chart, reducing the time step along with the chart. Typical charts range from 1 minute to 8 hours, with 5-minute, 15-minute, or 4-hour time frames in between.

In fact, the right chart will paint a picture of where the price might be heading going forwards. For example, day trading forex with intraday candlestick price patterns is particularly popular.

forex chart

Strategy

Any effective forex strategy will need to focus on two key factors, liquidity, and volatility. These are two of the best indicators for any forex trader, but the short-term trader is particularly reliant on them.

Intraday trading with forex is very specific. While your average long-term futures trader may be able to afford to throw in 12 pips hedging (smallest price movement is usually 1%) here and cut 12 there, a day trader simply cannot. This is because those 12 pips could be the entirety of the anticipated profit on the trade.

Precision in forex comes from the trader, but liquidity is also important. Illiquidity will mean the order won’t close at the ideal price, regardless of how good a trader you are. As a result, this limits day traders to specific trading instruments and times.

Volatility is the size of market movements. So, firm volatility for a trader will reduce the selection of instruments to the currency pairs, dependant on the sessions. As volatility is session dependent, it also brings us to an important component outlined below – when to trade.

When To Trade

Even though some brokers claim 24/7 trading, the markets are actually only open 24/5 and not all times are good for trading. You should only trade a forex pair when it’s active, and when you’ve got enough volume. Trading forex at weekends will see a small volume. Take GBP/USD for example, there are specific hours where you have enough volatility to create profits that are likely to negate the bid price spread and commission costs.

The forex market is alive 24 hours a day, with the same trading hours whether you are in the USA or Zambia, because the time zones mean there’s always a global market open somewhere. Despite that, not every market actively trades all currencies. As a result, different forex pairs are actively traded at differing times of the day.

For example, when the UK and Europe are opening, pairs consisting of the euro and pound are alight with trading activity. However, when the New York Stock Exchange, NYC, is active, pairs that involve the US dollar and Canadian dollar are actively traded.

So, if you were trading EUR/USD pairs, you’ll find the most trading activity when New York and London are open, or Tokyo for JPY and Sydney for the AUD.

Utilize forex daily charts and graphs to see major market hours in your own timezone. The below image highlights the opening hours of markets (and end of session times) for London, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo. Crossover periods represent the sessions with the most activity, volume, and price action when forex trading is most profitable.

There are only two days in the calendar year with no forex trading hours: Xmas and New Year. The markets are completely closed on these days, whether they are weekdays or not.

Forex market hours sessions

Forex Trading Sessions

Each session has a unique ‘feel’:

  • Asian Session: Made up of the Asian markets, opening in New Zealand and Australia and moving west. This session generates lower volume and smaller ranges. The JPY, NZD and AUD are popular markets and news events can move prices significantly.
  • The London (‘European’ Session): Actually kicks off in Frankfurt, and London an hour later. The UK opening sees larger volume in the Forex markets, plus volatility will peak during this session. European institutions, banks and account managers will be active and macro-economic data is released.
  • The New York (US) Session: This opens at 9.30am New York time, but US fundamental data can be released at 8.30am. This can create early volume before the ‘official’ 9:30 opening.

The London and New York ‘crossover’ sees the most volatility and liquidity. Key fundamental data is released, financial institutions trigger forex contracts and ‘smart money’ is involved.

Trading Alerts Or Signals

Forex alerts or signals are delivered in an assortment of ways. User-generated alerts can be created to ‘pop up’ via simple broker trading platform tools, or more complex 3rd party signal providers can send traders alerts via SMS, email, or direct messages. Whatever the mechanism the aim is the same, to trigger trades as soon as certain criteria are met.

These criteria usually rely on chart patterns and/or candlestick formations. Our charting and patterns pages will cover these themes in more detail and are a great starting point. Paying for signal services, without understanding the technical analysis driving them, is high risk.

It is impossible to judge a service if you do not understand it.

Traders who understand indicators such as Bollinger bands or MACD will be more than capable of setting up their own alerts.

But for the time-poor, a paid service might prove fruitful. You would, of course, need enough time to actually place the trades, and you need to be confident in the supplier.

Some signal providers, such as the Forex Lines 7 and Trading System 3000, need no download, instead of integrating directly with the MT4 trading platform.

It is unlikely that someone with a profitable signal strategy is willing to share it cheaply (or at all). Beware of any promises that seem too good to be true. 

50 Pips A Day

If you download a 2020 pdf with forex trading strategies, this will probably be one of the first you see. Beginners can also benefit from this simple yet robust technique since it’s by no means an advanced trading strategy. However, before venturing into any exotic pairs, it’s worth putting it through its paces with the major pairs.

So, when the 07:00 (GMT) candlestick closes, you need to place two contrasting pending orders. Firstly, place a buy stop order 2 pips above the high. Then place a sell stop order 2 pips below the low of the candlestick. As soon as price activates one of the orders, cancel the one that hasn’t been activated.

In addition, make sure you place a stop-loss order anywhere between 5-10 pips above the 07:00 high/low. This will help you keep a handle on your trading risk. Now set your profit target at 50 pips. At this point, you can kick back and relax whilst the market gets to work.

If the trade reaches or exceeds the profit target by the end of the day then all has gone to plan and you can repeat the next day. However, if the trade has a floating loss, wait until the end of the day before exiting the trade.

Simple Moving Averages

Another simple yet popular system, often found in PDFs with ‘1 or 5 minute trading strategies’, is called the 3SMA (simple moving average) crossover system. Most forex trading platforms come with the simple moving average chart tool, which adds lines that follows the average price over given numbers of time periods, the smaller the time-period the shorter-term averages it follows.

This strategy follows the interaction of three moving averages, normally set at around 15 periods, 30 periods and 100 periods. The 100 SMA represents the main trade, and all trades should be made in this direction.

The signals for a buy trade are that the price is above the 100 SMA, both the 15 and 30 SMAs are above the 100 SMA and the 15 SMA has crossed to above the 30 SMA. Trades should be closed when the price closes below the 30 SMA. For a sell trade, the conditions are completely reversed, with the lines stacked upside down and the price below the 100 SMA.

This system can be used with 4hr charts, though the strategy can be modified for shorter time frames with exponential moving averages (EMA), called the MACD 3-line system, which puts more emphasis on the more recent price movements.

There is a myriad of other trading strategies and systems online, each with its own pdf guides, success rates, and time frames. Many systems have indicators that can be downloaded and installed onto trading platforms, such as the 1-minute scalping, the 4-hour RSI forex trading strategy, the slingshot 30m strategy, and System 9 6 Winners.

Other powerful strategies use statistical analysis, for example, z-score systems. While many strategies can be effective, and those that crop up in several ‘7 winning strategies’-type PDFs may seem like the best, it is important to truly understand them to minimize risk and maximize profits.

Forex Trading Software

There is a massive choice of software for forex traders. Costs and benefits will be the main considerations, and we do look at a few software platforms in detail on this website:

MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 5

AlgoTrader

TradingView

NinjaTrader

These platforms cater for Mac or Windows users, and there are even specific applications for Linux.

Social trading (or ‘Copy trading’) platforms are another variety of software associated with forex trading. The leading pioneers of that kind of service are:

eToro

ZuluTrade

Many forex trading platforms have app versions that can be downloaded to Apple (IPA) and Android (apk) devices. Top apps, like MetaTrader 4, retain the majority of the capability of the desktop version.

Some brokers even take it up a level and provide their own bespoke trading platforms, such as Trading 212.

We list more options and details on the forex trading platforms page and on our software page. For beginners, finding the best platform usually results in an intuitive, easy-to-use platform that is well-regarded.

Education

If you want to increase that forex day trading salary, you will also need to utilize a range of educational resources to gain more advanced forex knowledge, allowing new trading possibilities to be unlocked.

Top educational resources include:

  • Books – You can get profitable strategies books, books on scalping, regulations, price action, technical indicators, and more. There is a myriad of forex trading books released every year, with focuses on all areas, so you can find the best books on 2020 beginner guides and strategies, forex trading for dummies, or two-step trend analysis, for example. Though there is no universal top forex book, Jim Brown is a notable author with many bestselling books.
  • Chat rooms & forums – Day trading forex live forums are a fantastic way to learn from experienced traders. Some will even share their best free trading systems. Just beware of the quality of advice.
  • Blogs – If you want to hear success stories from forex millionaires, then day trading forex blogs and live streams might be the place to go. Again, tread carefully with any advice offered.
  • Forex websites – There are a number of specific forex websites with no login credentials required. Some offer free signals, techniques for spotting trend lines, and setting up your platform. There is also a lot of vocabulary to learn for forex trading, and most brokers provide definitions of keywords and online trading lessons.
  • PDFs – Many 101 lessons and guides on trading systems can be found online. Unlike live chat rooms, charts and images will often be provided to support written evidence.

Tips

Money Management

The most profitable forex strategy will require an effective money management system. One technique that many suggest is never trading more than 1-2% of your account on a single trade. So, if you have $10,000 in your account, you wouldn’t risk more than $100 to $200 on an individual trade. As a result, a temporary string of bad results won’t blow all your capital.

Then once you have developed a consistent strategy, you can increase your risk parameters. The Kelly Criterion is a specific staking plan worth researching.

Automation

Automated forex trades could enhance your returns if you have developed a consistently effective strategy. This is because instead of manually entering a trade, an algorithm or bot, such as the Net89, will automatically enter and exit positions once pre-determined criteria have been met. In addition, there is often no minimum account balance required to set up an automated system.

Though some forex trading bots can be profitable, there are lots of ineffective products out there and markets are complex so no robot will work all the time.

However, those looking at how to start trading from home should probably wait until they have honed an effective strategy first.

forex

Taxes

When you read a blog about forex traders, such as ‘a day in the life’, they often leave out the impact of tax. In fact, it is vital you check your local rules and regulations as forex trading will often be taxed. Traders in the US will receive 1099 forms from their brokers if they make enough money through trading. Failure to understand local tax laws could lead to legal issues.

Webinars & Training Videos

They are the perfect place to go for help from experienced traders. This is because forex webinars can walk you through setups, price action analysis, plus the best signals and charts for your strategy. In fact, in many ways, webinars are the best place to go for a direct guide on currency day trading basics.

Most top brokers offer webinars on their website. Alternatively, both brokers and experienced traders provide forex trading 101 YouTube videos and channels. Those with the ‘2021 forex trading guide’ in the title will have up-to-date, relevant information. Experienced traders such as Coleman D’Angelo have several recent videos with strategy explanations and software advice.

Trading Journal

The use of a forex trading journal allows you to self-evaluate and analyze previous trades, helping to improve future trading. The detail is key here, as understanding what went right or wrong with trades will help avoid repeat mistakes and continue success. It can also be useful to take notes and jot down ideas in the back for future reference.

Spreadsheets (XLS) and apps are often used to make forex trading journals, though a pre-made PDF plan and template can be downloaded off the internet or you can even use a physical journal book.

3 Mistakes To Avoid

1. Averaging Down

While you may not initially intend on doing so, many traders end up falling into this trap at some point. The biggest problem is that you are holding a losing position, sacrificing both money and time. Whilst it may come off a few times, eventually, it will lead to a margin call, as a trend can sustain itself longer than you can stay liquid.

This is particularly a problem for the day trader because the limited time frame means you must capitalize on opportunities when they come up and exit bad trades swiftly.

2. Trading Too Soon After the News

The big news comes in and then the market starts to spike or plummets rapidly. At this point it may be tempting to jump on the easy-money train, however, doing so without a disciplined trading plan behind you can be just as damaging as gambling before the news comes out. This is because illiquidity and sharp price movements mean a trade can quickly translate into significant losses as large swings take place or ‘whipsaw’.

The solution – wait for the volatility to subside and you can verify the trend.

3. Days of Interest

It’s great having an effect once a day trading method and system. However, even a consistent strategy can go wrong when confronted with the unusual volume and volatility seen on specific days. For example, public holidays such as Christmas/Xmas and New Year, or days with significant breaking news events, can open you up to unpredictable price fluctuations.

Countries

The country or region you trade forex in may present certain issues, especially as trading is spreading around the world. For example, African countries such as Zimbabwe and Kenya are seeing more forex trading, although they typically fall under less regulation. Forex traders with brokers in the USA and Canada will need to read up on pattern trading rules (Canadian traders have it slightly easier).

Trading in South Africa might be safest with an FSA regulated (or registered) brand. The regions classed as ‘unregulated’ by European brokers see way less ‘default’ protection, so a local regulator can give additional confidence. This is similar in Singapore, the Philippines, or Hong Kong. The choice of ‘best forex broker’ will therefore differ region to region.

Trading forex in less well-regulated nations, such as Nigeria and Pakistan, means leaning towards the more established European or Australian regulated brands.

Forex Trading – Is It Halal?

Under the traditional model, some believe forex trading is illegal/haram in Islam because brokers charge interest, or riba, for holding positions open overnight. However, many brokers have recognized this barrier and offer Muslim trading accounts with no overnight swap charges, providing a halal forex trading service.

Though we have researched the topic, we are not attempting to provide religious guidance and advice to readers. If you are in doubt, we would recommend seeking guidance from your own religious leader and speaking to the customer support teams of the top brokers reviewed on this website.

Forex Trading – Is It Profitable?

Many people question what a trader’s salary is, and whether forex trading can be a career. The truth is it varies hugely. Most people and businesses will struggle to turn a profit and eventually give up. On the other hand, a small minority proves not only that it is possible to generate income, but that you can also make huge yearly returns and not go back to traditional jobs.

If you are one of the ones who can really make money from online forex trading, you can do it with as little money like $50, or even $1, though it is easier and quicker to build capital if you begin with more. So, forex trading can make you rich, but there are no guarantees. 75-80% of retail traders lose money.

Bottom Line

Currency is a larger and more liquid market than both the U.S stock and bond markets combined. In fact, a surplus of opportunities and financial leverage make it attractive for anyone looking to make a living day trading forex.

Unfortunately, there is no universal best strategy for trading forex. However, trade at the right time and keep volatility and liquidity at the forefront of your decision-making process. Follow these general rules for FX day trading and you’ll be on the right path.

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3 Comments

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