Being a Forex trader allows you to work from home, be your own boss, earn a significant income and enjoy a career that is fast-paced and exciting. To help you on your journey to becoming a Forex trader, I have created this simple but extensive step-by-step guide that will teach you how to get started on your Forex trading career...
*Please note* this Forex guide contains a number of links to free Forex training and educational material. I suggest you bookmark this page so you can come back and continue with the steps after clicking on any links.
Step #1 - Learn the basics
One of the great things about starting your Forex journey is that it won't cost you a penny! Most content that teaches the basics of Forex trading is free, in fact completing the majority of the steps in this Forex trading guide will cost you nothing at all!
The best place to start with Forex trading is to learn the very basics; what is Forex, why trade Forex, how to access the Forex market, etc, etc...
What is Forex
Forex is the abbreviation for Foreign Exchange. The Foreign Exchange market is the financial market for currencies. The Forex market allows traders and investors to buy and sell global currencies, such as US Dollars, British Pounds, Euros and Japanese Yen.
Why trade Forex
Currencies fluctuate in value. Being able to predict market fluctuations can be extremely lucrative. A successful Forex trader is able to make a consistent return from the Forex market, allowing him to work from home and earn a substantial income.
How to access the Forex markets
Forex brokers provide access to the Forex market, enabling the public (you and me) to buy and sell currencies.
The videos below will teach you the very basics of Forex. This is a free Forex course that I have available on my Forex trading YouTube channel.
If you prefer a written course, there is a fantastic free course that I completed for Technical Forex. The course will teach you the very basics of Forex trading, including common Forex terminology and trading basics. You can start the course by clicking on this page.
Step #2 - Learn the basics of technical analysis
Profitable trading is all about predicting where future price will be. To help with these predictions, traders and investors analyse the Forex markets. There are 2 forms of analysis when it comes to Forex trading, these are technical analysis and fundamental analysis...
Technical analysis is the term used to describe the analysis of historical price movement. This movement is called price action. Price movement is shown on charts, which are called price charts.
Technical analysis can be split into 2 categories; price action and technical indicators...
Price action - this is how price has behaved in the past. It includes how high price has been, how low price has been, patterns formed by price and the direction of price movements.
Technical Indicators - these are are algorithms and formulas created by traders to help signal future price movement. Indicators can be shown in many ways, such as oscillators, moving averages and volumes. Indicators can also include technical tools that are used in analysis.
Fundamental analysis is the term used to describe the analysing of economic data.
Currencies should be a reflection of a countries economic health and outlook. Any economic and political news that can potentially change the economic strength of a country should cause the Forex markets to react. A trader that uses fundamental analysis reviews, analyses and predicts the future health of global economies by using economic indicators. These indicators are such things as GDP figures, inflation figures, unemployment rates, employment rates and interest rates.
Which Analysis should you use
It is totally your choice. Some profitable traders rely heavily on technical analysis, whilst others rely of fundamental analysis. There is no right or wrong way to trade the markets, just as long as you are making money!
I specialise in technical indicators - I consider myself an expert in price action analysis - so, my content is mostly about technical analysis and trading using technical indicators.
To learn the basics of price action, I suggest you watch the videos below.
Once again, if you would prefer a written course, there is a free price action course at Technical Forex on this page and a free course on technical indicators on this page.
If you would like to learn the basics of fundamental analysis, I suggest you consider taking 'Learn to Trade the News' at Udemy. Please use the link below...
Step #3 - Practice technical analysis
Once you have learned the basics of technical analysis, you will be eager to have a look at some price charts and try things for yourself. This is totally understandable and very encouraged. However, there is no need to start risking money at this point - you will likely lose it!
The best thing to do as this point of your Forex journey is to spend some time going through price charts. I highly suggest you open a free account with TradingView and see if you can identify the following...
- Swing highs and swing lows
- Horizontal support
- Horizontal resistance
- Trend support
- Trend resistance
- Head and shoulder patterns
- Pin bars
- Engulfing candles
The more time you spend studying price charts, the more clear technical analysis will become. It is important that you spend time studying historic price information as well as watch current price movements. Once you have identified the above, I suggest you try adding the following indicators and identify how they can act as a trading signal...
- Moving averages
- Relative Strength Index
- Bollinger Bands
- Fibonacci Retracement
TradingView is fantastic free software that can be used to analyse the price charts of almost any currency pair. All you need to do is open a free account - click here.
Technical Forex offers a free course all on technical indicators and how they can be used. The course is available on this page.
Step #4 - Examine how the news impacts the Forex markets
Economic news can cause major volatility within the Forex markets. It is important that you are aware of market moving news events for 2 main reasons...
1. Risk - knowing when and how these events move the markets can prevent you from entering some risky trades
2. Profit - these events can create money making opportunities, you don't want to miss out
The news events that generally cause the most volatility are...
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures
- Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures
- Central bank speeches
- Central bank announcements and press conferences
- Interest rate announcements
- Unemployment and employment figures
- Political and trade events
Economic calendars show when news events are approaching and which currency they will impact. I suggest using the free economic calendar at Forex Factory - click here.
Once you have access to an economic calendar, watch how the markets react to news events. You will notice the increase in market volatility and also the widening of spreads.
As mentioned in step 2 of this guide, if you are interested in learning more about news events and how they can provide trading opportunities, I suggest the following course...
There are a number of great websites (mostly free to view) that provide insights into economic news. Links below...
Bloomberg - perfect for detailed articles about current economic events happening across the globe - https://www.bloomberg.com/europe
Trading Economics - great for reports and economic data - https://tradingeconomics.com/
BBC News - breaking news for the UK and Europe - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news
CNN - breaking news for the US - https://edition.cnn.com/
The Japan Times - news for Japan - http://the-japan-news.com/
News.com.au - news for Australia - https://www.news.com.au/
Step #5 - Develop strict risk and money management
By this step, you should have learnt all about the basics of Forex trading, the basics of price action and technical indicators and the basics of how news events impact the markets. You should have also had some hands-on experience with price charts. If you have missed any of these steps and feel that some basic knowledge is missing, please go back and learn; it's all free!
You may have a great trading foundation or the best trading strategy but your trading will result in failure if you do not stick to strict risk and money management...
What is risk and money management
Risk and money management is a set of rules that a trader follows in order to preserve and protect trading capital i.e the funds in the traders account. It can include things like the percentage of account to risk per trade, setting a stop-loss, leverage, overnight positions and major market moving news events.
Why is risk and money management needed?
If a trader loses too much trading capital (funds), he will not be able to take any more trades. Following good risk and money management allows a trader to trade even after taking consecutive losses.
I highly recommend you watch the video below on Forex money management...
Step #6 - Start practising
You are now ready to open a free demo trading account and try placing some paper trades!
Demo trading is a great learning experience, it allows you to apply what you have been learning.
Below is some quick advice to help you get started...
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular Forex trading platform amongst retail traders. If you like the TradingView software, you can continue to use TradingView for your chart analysis and use the MT4 platform for executing trades only.
Spreads & Commissions
Trading spreads and commissions vary from broker to broker but at this point in your trading career I recommend that you do not waste time shopping around. You can spend time comparing broker spreads and commissions once you are ready to open a live trading account and start trading with actual money.
It is important that the broker you choose is well-regulated. The most trusted and respected financial regulators are the FCA based in the UK and the ASIC in Australia. The US also offers great regulatory bodies for brokers.
I personally trade with IC Markets and recommend you do the same. You can open a free demo trading account on this page.
You can read my reasons for trading with IC Markets in my Forex Broker Guide - click here.
Step #7 - Get inspired & keep learning
Once you understand the basics and are trading frequently on your demo trading account, it is important that you start learning from successful traders - without help you are going to struggle to develop further and make money. It is also important that you keep momentum going by keeping yourself motivated and inspired.
Below are some links to motivational trading content...
I have 2 audio books that have received recognition how they motivate and teach listeners. You can listen to these below...
Chat with Traders
This is a great YouTube channel that contains hundred's of podcasts with professional traders. Highly recommended. Click here.
Trading films and TV programmes
A short list below...
Wall Street Warriors - click here
Million Dollar Traders - click here
Rogue Trader - click here
We are Traders - click here
Step #8 - Take things more seriously
Now that you know all the basics of trading and have some experience, it is time to gain the help of a professional. If you are experiencing success and are progressing well, you may want to continue on your current path until you feel help is more needed. If you are struggling to make Forex work for you, I highly suggest you let a successful Forex trader teach you how to become a successful Forex trader...
Having a direct mentor is the ultimate way to become profitable - a profitable trader can show you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong on a personal level. My mentor program includes 6 online training sessions with me, access to my exclusive trading course and unlimited support by email between training sessions.
Full details about my Forex mentor program can be found on my Forex coaching page.
A lot of trading educators have courses that teach you how to trade successfully. My course teaches you my trading strategies and how I trade the Forex markets. What is unique about my course is that my strategies have actual verified results, that is because I am an actual trader, not a trading educator.
Full details about my course - click here
Verified trading results - click here
You may also be interest in my Forex trading room.
Follow other traders
I upload regular content to my YouTube channel and post frequently to my social media pages.
I hope you have found this Forex guide useful, please feel free to email me any questions - email@example.com.
All the best
Professional Forex Trader
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