Advanced Forex Trading Techniques

Forex trader using a laptop to trade currencies with a computer displaying prices in the background.
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Forex (FX) trading can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. In the beginning forex trading seems like it is simple. Forex is a marketplace for trading in currencies. Traders will use these trades to speculate and hedge for profit as well as for commerce and other purposes. The FX market is the largest, most traded exchange in the world and is used by individual traders, financial institutions, broker, and institutional investors.

It may seem like your only job as a trader is to pick the direction of a currency pair and collect your profit. However, forex trading takes time, patience, and experience. You will need a combination of fundamental and technical analysis skills and an understanding of the factors that move the currencies traded on the foreign exchange marketplace. Or, maybe you are hoping to find a precise forex trading system on the internet. If only it were that simple.

Hedging Forex

Hedging is a way to reduce risk by taking both sides of a trade at once. If your broker allows it, an easy way to hedge is just to initiate a long and a short position on the same pair. Advanced traders sometimes use two different pairs to make one hedge, but that can get very complicated.

For example, say you decide that you want to go short on the U.S. dollar and the Swiss franc (USD/CHF) because you see it sitting at the top of a recent price range. You decide to initiate your short. After setting up your short, you start thinking that the USD/CHF is looking a little strong, and you think that it might break upward and make your short an expensive one.

To do an advanced balancing act, you start looking at other USD pairs. You find that the euro to dollar pair (EUR/USD) tends to move inversely—opposite—to the USD/CHF. To complete your forex hedge, you go short on EUR/USD. The USD ends up breaking resistance and moves strongly against the CHF. Your short EUR trade becomes a winner, and your USD/CHF trade is a loser, but your risk is limited because they almost even out.

Position Trading

Position Trading is trading based on your overall exposure to a currency pair. Your position is your average price for a currency pair. For Example, you might make a short trade on EUR/USD at 1.40. If the pair is ultimately trending lower but happens to retrace up, and you take another short at say 1.42, your average position would be 1.41. Once the EUR/USD drops back below 1.41, you will be back in overall profit.

Trading Forex Options

A forex option is an agreement to purchase a currency pair at a predetermined price at a specified future date. For example, say you are long the EUR/USD at 1.40, and you feel that there is a chance that it will fall to 1.38 in overnight trading. Not wanting to risk a deeper reaction, you decide to put a stop at 1.3750, setting up a potential loss of 250 pips.

250 pips sound really painful, so you decide to use a forex option to lessen the pain. You purchase an option for the overnight hours with a strike price of 1.3750. If the EUR/USD goes up and never touches 1.3750 overnight, you would lose the premium that you paid for your currency option.

If the EUR/USD falls and touches your option and your stop loss, you would receive the profit from your option, depending on how much of a premium you paid, and you would realize the loss of your long trade on the EUR/USD. The options profit would make up for some of that loss on your currency trade.

Scalping

Scalping is making a very short-term trade for a few pips usually using high leverage. Scalping typically is best done in conjunction with a news release and supportive technical conditions. The trade can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours. Many beginning forex traders start with scalping, but it does not take long to figure out how much you can lose if you do not have any idea what you are doing. In general, scaling is a risky strategy that does not pay well in comparison it's a risk. If you are going to make scalping trades, it is best to do them in conjunction with your overall trading position, not as a primary method of trading.

Advanced Forex trading is about seeing all your options when you make a trade. Aside from using the masterful risk management and extreme caution, advanced trading can be an alternate way to make profits and control losses. Advanced trading techniques are just about using the behavior of the market to your advantage. Learning to use advanced techniques properly is what will give you the edge that will make you stand apart from the average trader.

The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.