Day 6 – Understanding Forex Spreads


Forex is always priced in pairs between two different types of currencies. When you make a trade, you have to buy one currency and sell another at the same time. If you want to exit the trade, you must buy/sell the opposite position. For example, when you think the price of the Euro is going to rise against the US Dollar. In order for you to enter a trade, you will have to buy Euros and sell US Dollars.

If you want to leave the trade, you will have to sell Euros and buy back US Dollars.

You will be hoping that you were right in your guess and that the exchange rate for EU/USD has actually risen, which means that you will get more Euros back than when you bought them, which is how you will make a profit.

These days just about every forex broker is claiming to have the tightest spreads in the industry. But marketing does have the ability to be deceiving. The topic of spreads in the forex spot market is very complicated and often not easy to understand. However, nothing affects your trading profitability more.

Spreads are the biggest factor in your trading profits next to skill.

First of all in order to understand the spread, you need to know what it is. A spread is the difference between the ask price (the price you buy at) and the bid price (the price you sell at) that is quoted in the pips. If the quote between EUR/USD at a given moment is 1.2222/4, then the spread equals 2 pips. If the quote is 1.22225/40, then the spread is going to equal 1.5 pips.

The spread is how brokers make their money. Wider spreads will result in a higher asking price and a lower bid price. The consequence to this is that you have to pay more when you buy and get less when you sell, which makes it more difficult to realize a profit.

Brokers generally don’t earn the full spread, especially when they hedge client positions. The spread helps to compensate for the market maker for taking on risk from the time it starts a client trade to when the broker’s net exposure is hedged (which could possibly be at a different price).

Spreads are important because they affect the return on your trading strategy in a big way. As a trader, your sole interest is buying low and selling high (like futures and commodities trading). Wider spreads means buying higher and having to sell lower. A half-pip lower spread doesn’t necessarily sound like much, but it can easily mean the difference between a profitable trading strategy and one that isn’t profitable.

The tighter the spread is the better things are going to be for you. However tight spreads are only meaningful when they are paired up with good execution. Quality of execution will decide whether you actually receive tight spreads. A good example of this is when your screen shows a tight spread, but your trade is filled a few pips to your disadvantage or is mysteriously rejected.

When this occurs repeatedly, it means that your broker is showing tight spreads but is effectively delivering wider spreads. Rejected trades, delayed execution, slipping, and stop-hunting are strategies that some brokers use to get rid of the promise of tight spreads.

Spreads should always be considered in conjunction with depth of book. Oddly enough, when it comes to economies of scale, forex doesn’t even act like most other markets. On the inter-bank market, for example; the larger the ticket size, the larger the spread is.

So when you see a 1-pip spread on an ECN platform, you have to wonder if that spread valid for a $2M, $5M or $10M trade, which it probably isn’t. In many cases, the tight spread that is offered applies only to a capped trade sizes that are very inadequate for most of the common trading strategies.

Spread policies change a great deal from broker to broker, and the policies are often difficult to see through. This certainly makes comparing brokers much more difficult.

Some brokers actually offer fixed spreads that are guaranteed to remain the same regardless of market liquidity. But since fixed spreads are traditionally higher than average variable spreads, you are paying an insurance premium during most of the trading day so that you can get protection from short-term volatility.

Other brokers offer traders variable spreads depending on market liquidity. Spreads are tighter when there is good market liquidity but they will widen as liquidity dries up. When it comes to choosing between fixed and variable rates, the choice depends on your individual trading pattern. If you trade primarily on news announcements that you hear, you may be better off with fixed spreads. But only if quality of execution is good.

Some brokers have different spreads for different clients based on their accounts. For example; those clients that have larger accounts or those who make larger trades may receive tighter spreads, while the clients that are referred by an introducing broker might receive wider spreads in order to cover the costs of the referral. Some offer the same spreads to everyone.

Problems can come up when you are trying to learn about a company’s spread policy because this information, along with information on trade execution and order-book depth is rather difficult to get. Because of this, many traders get caught up in all of the promises they hear, and take a broker’s words at face value. This can be dangerous. The only real way to find out is to try out various brokers or talk to those who have.

 
Next Steps:
1. Signup for a broker – the best broker we’ve found is Easy Forex. You can deposit money in a variety of different ways, including credit card payment, and you can start for as little as $100

fap-turbo

You can Read our full review or Visit the Website by Clicking Here >>

 

2. Select an automated trading software – one that will sync with your broker account. From our research, the most accurate and most aggressively back-tested software is FAP Turbo.

fap-turbo

You can Read our full review or Visit the Website by Clicking Here >>


 

 

Previous Lessons:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
 
 

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