Learning to trade forex is not easy. It takes time, dedication and a good deal of disposable income.
Many traders end up giving up because they don’t know what they’re doing. They have no guidance and are not sure how to progress.
But with these 10 steps to learn forex trading, you can make the process significantly easier! Of course, you don’t necessarily have to follow them in linearly, but doing so will help a lot.
In this article, we’ll look at the top 10 steps any beginner must make to learn to trade forex.
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10 Steps to learn forex trading
Follow these steps and you’ll get on the right path to becoming a great trader. Many of the steps listed here:
1. Commit to learning everything about forex trading
If you’re starting from the very beginning, it is very likely that you don’t know too much about forex trading.
Sure, you may have decided that of all the instruments to trade, forex is the one for you, but you need to know all the basics.
There are many terms and phrases you need to understand.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that forex trading is like gambling. Forex trading is really a game of probability, and so you need to understand how it works.
You shouldn’t be making trades without understanding your chances of making a profit or a loss.
When it comes to doing your initial research, this may take some time and it is important to be patient at this stage.
A key thing to point out at this stage is that you’ll never really complete this step. The learning process is never-ending, there’s always new stuff to learn about forex trading.
Learning forex trading should be part of your trading routine, you need to make time for it every day, even if you’re a professional.
When you stop learning forex trading, you start putting yourself at risk. People forget things and start getting into bad habits.
2. Choose a broker
There are quite literally millions of different forex brokers to choose from and you should look at what each one offers.
If you did the first step right, then you should be able to understand what they are offering and how this compares to other brokers. If not, then you need to do more research!
Ideally, you should stick to a well-known broker, one that many people use and is trustworthy. You should be able to check reviews brokers and see what people are saying.
It is best to avoid lesser-known brokers as it can be harder to tell if they are scams or not. Further to that, they will likely not offer the same quality service a well-known broker will.
You also do not need to pay too much attention to special offers for new traders. If a broker is good, they shouldn’t need to offer you anything extra.
But none of this really matters if the broker you choose is not regulated! This is the most important thing to look for. If you can’t find out who regulates them, stay away.
And preferably, the country that regulates the broker should be the same as the one you reside in.
3. Open an account
Brokers typically offer a range of different accounts and at first, it can be difficult to choose what account will suit you because you probably don’t know what trading style you will implement.
As a beginner, it would be wise to open an account that doesn’t require too much money and allows you to trade in small quantities.
You don’t need to worry about leverage or a wide range of forex pairs at this point. Leave these to the professionals.
At Trading Education, we advise against setting up a demo account because this can give you false expectations about how the market moves.
Demo accounts also typically give traders far too much fake money to play with which removes the element of risk, which is always present in real forex trading.
It is important to bear in mind that although choosing the right account is useful, it probably won’t be the last account you open.
As you perfect your skills, you may consider different options.
4. Get a trading platform
Getting straight to the point, many forex traders use MetaTrader 4, widely known as MT4 (and to a lesser extent, MetaTrader 5 - MT5).
In fact, MT4 has pretty much dominated retail forex trading for the last two decades.
Because of this, there is a lot of documentation available to help you learn to trade forex on their platform and there are plenty of people to ask for help and forums to check.
There is nothing wrong with trying out other platforms, but MT4 will be easier to get started with at the beginning.
You should also check what your broker is compatible with. It is quite rare for a good quality broker not to work with MT4.
That said, your chosen broker may also offer their own platform, and some are fairly good.
As you can imagine, without a platform you basically cannot trade. Ideally, you should dedicate a good deal of time to learn how forex trading works on your trading platform.
5. Devise a risk management strategy
Putting together a risk management strategy is a crucial step before starting to trade.
You are completely free to start trading forex at this point now you have a broker and a platform, though it is highly advised that you spent a little more time preparing yourself.
A risk management strategy is basically a set of rules you apply to yourself to minimise the effects of losses.
A well-known risk management strategy is to only trade 1% of your what’s in your trading account per trade.
By doing this, your trading account will last a lot longer and you will be able to learn more about forex trading from each trade.
Learning to recognise risk goes hand in hand with the next step…
6. Learn how to analyse the forex market
By learning how to analyse the forex market, you will be able to enhance your risk management strategy and improve your chances of making a handsome profit.
You’ll learn what opportunities are worth getting involved in and which ones aren’t.
There are many ways you can learn to analyse the forex market. Most forms of analysis can either be categorised as ‘fundamental’ or ‘technical’.
Fundamental analysis is where you estimate how the market will likely move based on news events.
Typically, such traders will take into consideration things like GDP, unemployment, inflation, etc. Usually, this kind of information is readily available on a forex economic calendar.
Technical analysis is a much broader topic and includes a variety of different market tools, often referred to as ‘indicators’.
They can measure a number of things and many traders feel it is smarter to rely on technical analysis which can be measured more accurately.
To really learn forex trading, you should have knowledge of both technical and fundamental analysis.
7. Start making trades
Now you know the basics, it is time to start dipping into a little bit of trading.
You can’t really learn forex trading until you start doing it and for many, this will be the real turning point.
By turning theory to practice, you will see what really works for you and what doesn’t. Any plans you originally made may go right out the window.
Some elements you thought were easy might turn out to be hard and vice versa. You’ll also see how trading affects you mentally as well.
But whatever you do, don’t expect to immediately start winning. You will make plenty of losses. However, this shouldn’t get you down, it is completely normal.
If all you do is make losing trades, don’t worry. Think of these losses as an investment to learn forex trading. If you keep at it long enough, it will pay off.
It is also possible that you may find yourself in the reverse situation; you keep winning. Here you should be cautious and remember that you are still new to trading, you are not invincible!
You may also find that from this point you start to find things that you want to research more in order to improve your trading.
8. Learn forex trading styles
Now that you’ve started trading, you can start refining what works for you.
This step will take a long time and just like the first step, never really ends (we repeat that a lot!). You should always be trying new things.
‘Forex Trading style’, for most people, this usually comes down to one specific question; are you a ‘day trader or a ‘swing trader’?
Day trading is essentially a full-time job, you do it throughout the day. Typically, day traders will open positions in the morning and close them in the evening.
Swing trading is more long-term, though it requires less time. Swing traders may close a trade days, weeks or even months after opening them.
Some believe that the ‘real money’ is in swing trading, others disagree and prefer day trading.
As a beginner, you probably have less time to trade and so swing trading may be a better option as you can do it in the evening after work, for example.
Then, as you become more experienced, you can consider day trading.
9. Keep a trading journal
Keeping a trading journal is how you learn to perfect your trading style.
With such a journal, you would log all your trades, taking note of why you entered a position, how large your position was and what the outcome was.
By doing this, you can see what works for you and what doesn’t. If you don’t keep a trading journal, you will never learn forex trading and will be doomed to repeat the same mistakes.
You may be familiar with this famous phrase from Albert Einstein:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”.
In forex trading, this phrase especially rings true. Without a journal, there are many things you won’t notice about your trading strategy.
Only when you put them on paper will they become obvious, which can hopefully lead to change and improvement.
10. Continue to learn forex trading
As we have mentioned throughout this article, learning to trade forex never stops! Even professionals are still learning to trade forex.
You need to continue to dedicate time to learning new things about forex trading. Don’t think that trading is solely the act of trading itself!
But keeping your knowledge sharp, you will be able to find more opportunities to make a profit.
As mentioned in the first step, when you stop learning forex trading you are putting yourself at risk.
Learning forex trading doesn’t always mean to learn something new, sometimes it serves to remind you of things you forgot and must relearn.
If you remember anything from this article, make it these key points.
- The beginning involves a lot of research. You must remember to be patient, wait until you know all the basics before trading.
- Understanding risk and the market is vital. Ignorance of the two will only serve to lose your money!
- At some point, you will have to start making trades. When you know the basics, you can start putting them into practice.
- Learning is never-ending. Even professionals are still learning to trade forex! Make sure you dedicate time to it.
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