Margin Trading Revealed - How to Make Real Money With Forex

By: Ian Armstrong

How is it possible to make real money by trading in the Forex market? Two words: Margin Trading. Margin trading is trading using borrowed money.

As you recall from part one, Forex is traded in lots, usually of $100,000. So you cannot for instance, purchase a hundred, or even five hundred units of any given currency. Some Forex dealers may offer Mini-Lots, which are $10,000 - or Micro-Lots of $1,000. Fortunately, you don't need to have $100,000 lying around in order to get started in Forex trading.

Margin Trading is used extensively in Forex trading. The broker is paid a security margin, which will typically be between a quarter of a percent and five percent. You will then have control over a much larger amount of money. To trade a lot of $100,000 you will need a margin of $1,000 for the broker. You will need more than that in your Forex account, of course in case the trade does not work out well for you.

Say that at Ten in the morning, you sell $100,000 USD and purchase Euros. At that point, you will pay $1.4725 per Euro, meaning that you will be able to buy 67,912 Euros. Your Euros then have a value of $99,967 (you lose $33 from the bid/ask spread). You then close the trade at 5PM and sell your Euros and buy US Dollars. You'll get $1.4770 per Euro, netting you $100,306. This will mean a profit of $306 for the day.

Margin trading is a form of leverage - where a small amount of money is used to leverage, or control, a much larger amount. Using Margin Trading, you can make or lose money from tiny changes in the relative value of currencies on the Forex market.

To trade this way, you will need more than the amount of the margin in your Forex account. In the case in the above paragraphs, you would need to have had more than a thousand to begin, otherwise you would have a negative amount in your Forex account.

Say you began with twice that in your Forex account. Again, $100,000 USD is sold and Euros bought in the morning. Your used margin would be $1,033, leaving a margin of $967 in your account. Now suppose the trade goes poorly for you. At noon, the quote is EUR/USD = 1.4578/1.4583, making the 67,912 Euros you purchased earlier worth $99,002. Your usable margin would then be only $2, and your trade would be automatically c;closed to prevent your account from going into the red. As a result, you would lose $1,998.

Now suppose that you had had $3,000 in your account, and your trade could have continued. If things had kept going badly, and the quote at one PM was: EUR/USD = 1.4570/1.4575 then your Euros would be worth $98,948. Your margin would be $2,052 used, with $948 left in your account. You could then keep trading, and hope for the Euro to recover against the US Dollar. If this occurs, and by five PM the quote is: EUR/USD = 1.4770/1.4775, you could then sell your Euros and make a profit of $306 for the day.

You should try to have at least twice your margin in your account always. The best move, if possible is to never trade with more than 10% of your Forex account at any given time.

Margin Percent = 100/Leverage
Leverage = 100/Margin Percent

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