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."
When you've overcome trading bias and are ready to take your trading experience to the next level, the best way to do it is to expand the possibilities of your trading platform by downloading MetaTrader Supreme Edition. Boost your trading capabilities by accessing the latest technical analysis provided by Trading Central, access global opinion widgets, receive FREE real-time news, benefit from superior charting capabilities, and so much more!
Imagine a trader who expects interest rates to rise in the U.S. compared to Australia while the exchange rate between the two currencies (AUD/USD) is 0.71 (it takes $0.71 USD to buy $1.00 AUD). The trader believes higher interest rates in the U.S. will increase demand for USD, and therefore the AUD/USD exchange rate will fall because it will require fewer, stronger USD to buy an AUD.
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.
Loss aversion bias derives from the prospect theory. Humans have a funny way of evaluating their gains and losses, along with comparing their perceived meanings against each other. For example, when considering our options before making a choice, we are more willing to give preference to a lower possible loss over a higher possible reward. Fear is a much more powerful motivator than greed. In practice, a trader with a loss bias is more akin to cutting profits when they are still low, while allowing bigger drawdowns.
However, this can steer you away from a carefully planned trading strategy. Even worse, it could cause you to make rash decisions, with the hope of turning that losing trade around, causing you to lose much more money than you would have if you had just left it to play out. Instead of focusing on the long term plan, your mind wants to focus on making the best out of this short term losing position.
All forex transactions include two currencies, because you are betting on the value of one currency against another. Think of EUR / USD, the best-selling currency pair in the world. EUR, the first currency in the pair, is the base, and USD, the second, is the counter. When you see the price indicated on your platform, this price is equal to the value of one euro in US dollars. You always see two prices, because one is the purchase price and the other is the sale. The difference between the two is in distribution. When you click buy or sell, you buy or sell the first currency in a pair.
You need to become an organized trader. If there is something that is the “glue” that holds all of the points I’ve discussed in this part together, it is being an organized trader. By organized, I mean having a trading plan and a trading journal and actually using both of them consistently. You need to think of Forex trading like a business instead of like a trip to the casino. Be calm and calculating in all your interactions with the market and you should have no problem keeping the emotional trading demons at bay.
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.