Greed – There’s an old saying that you may have heard regarding trading the markets, it goes something like this: “Bulls make money, bears make money, and pigs get slaughtered”. It basically means that if you are a greedy “pig” in the markets, you are almost certainly going to lose your money. Traders are greedy when they don’t take profits because they think a trade is going to go forever in their favor. Another thing that greedy traders do is add to a position simply because the market has moved in their favor, you can add to your trades if you do so for logical price action-based reasons, but doing so only because the market has moved in your favor a little bit, is usually an action born out of greed. Obviously, risking too much on a trade from the very start is a greedy thing to do too. The point here is that you need to be very careful of greed, because it can sneak up on you and quickly destroy your trading account.
One unique aspect of this international market is that there is no central marketplace for foreign exchange. Rather, currency trading is conducted electronically over-the-counter (OTC), which means that all transactions occur via computer networks between traders around the world, rather than on one centralized exchange. The market is open 24 hours a day, five and a half days a week, and currencies are traded worldwide in the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney—across almost every time zone. This means that when the trading day in the U.S. ends, the forex market begins anew in Tokyo and Hong Kong. As such, the forex market can be extremely active any time of the day, with price quotes changing constantly.
Factors like interest rates, trade flows, tourism, economic strength, and geopolitical risk affect supply and demand for currencies, which creates daily volatility in the forex markets. An opportunity exists to profit from changes that may increase or reduce one currency's value compared to another. A forecast that one currency will weaken is essentially the same as assuming that the other currency in the pair will strengthen because currencies are traded as pairs.
Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts.
You have probably heard that most people who attempt Forex trading end up losing money. There’s a good reason for this, and the reason is primarily that most people think about trading in the wrong light. Most people come into the markets with unrealistic expectations, such as thinking they are going to quit their jobs after a month of trading or thinking they are going to turn $1,000 into $100,000 in a few months. These unrealistic expectations work to foster an account-destroying trading mindset in most traders because they feel too much pressure or “need” to make money in the markets. When you begin trading with this “need” or pressure to make money, you enviably end up trading emotionally, which is the fastest way to lose your money.
One pound on Monday can bring you 1.19 euros. On Tuesday 1.20 euros. This tiny change may not seem like a big deal. But think about it on a larger scale. A large international company may have to pay foreign employees. Imagine what this can do for a practical purpose, if, as in the example above, a simple exchange of one currency for another costs you more, depending on when you do it? These few kopecks add up quickly. In both cases, you, as a traveler or business owner, can keep your money until the forex course becomes more favorable.
Currency trading was very difficult for individual investors prior to the internet. Most currency traders were large multinational corporations, hedge funds or high-net-worth individuals because forex trading required a lot of capital. With help from the internet, a retail market aimed at individual traders has emerged, providing easy access to the foreign exchange markets, either through the banks themselves or brokers making a secondary market. Most online brokers or dealers offer very high leverage to individual traders who can control a large trade with a small account balance.
It's easy for traders to feel confident in their ability to remain calm and collected during their trading sessions before the market opens. However, once the clock starts it's a different story. When faced with real financial decisions, it's very easy for emotions to come into play. We can't avoid our emotions, but we can learn to work around them.
An investor can profit from the difference between two interest rates in two different economies by buying the currency with the higher interest rate and shorting the currency with the lower interest rate. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, it was very common to short the Japanese yen (JPY) and buy British pounds (GBP) because the interest rate differential was very large. This strategy is sometimes referred to as a "carry trade."
The blender company could have reduced this risk by shorting the euro and buying the USD when they were at parity. That way, if the dollar rose in value, the profits from the trade would offset the reduced profit from the sale of blenders. If the USD fell in value, the more favorable exchange rate will increase the profit from the sale of blenders, which offsets the losses in the trade.
Since the market is made by each of the participating banks providing offers and bids for a particular currency, the market pricing mechanism is based on supply and demand. Because there are such large trade flows within the system, it is difficult for rogue traders to influence the price of a currency. This system helps create transparency in the market for investors with access to interbank dealing.