Just like hedging your bet at the horse track you can hedge your trading in the Forex market.
What is the Forex market: The Forex and the stock market have some similarities, in that it involves buying and selling to make a profit, but there are some differences. Unlike the stock market, the Forex has a higher liquidity. This means, a lot more money is changing hands everyday. Another key difference when comparing the Forex to the stock market is that the Forex has no place where it is exchanged and it never closes. The Forex involved trading between banks and brokers all over the world and provides twenty-four hour access during the business week.
For those who are not familiar with the Forex market, the word "hedging" could mean absolutely nothing. However, those who are regular traders know that there are many ways to use this term in trading. Most of the time when you hear this phrase it means that you are trying to reduce your risk in trading. It is something that everyone who plans to invest should know about. It is a technique that can protect your investments to some degree.
While hedging is a popular trading term, it is also one that seems a little mysterious. It is much like an insurance plan. When you hedge, you insure yourself in case a negative event may occur. This does not mean that when a negative event occurs you will come out of it completely unaffected. It only means that if you properly hedge yourself, you won't experience a huge impact. Think of it like your auto insurance. You purchase it in case something bad happens. It does not prevent bad things from happening, but if they do, you are able to recover a lot better than if you were uninsured.
Anyone who is involved in trading can learn to hedge. From huge corporations to small individual investors, hedging is something that is widely practiced. The manner in which they do this involves using market instruments to offset the risk of any negative movement in price. The easiest way to do this is to hedge an investment with another investment. For example, the way most people would deal with this is to invest in two different things with negative correlations. This is still costly to some people; however, the protection you get from doing this is well worth the cost most of the time. When you begin learning more about hedging, you start to understand why not many people completely know what it is all about. The techniques used to hedge are done by using derivatives. These are complicated instruments of finance and most often only used by seasoned investors.
When you decide to hedge, you must remember that it comes with a cost. You should always be sure that the benefits you get from a hedge should be more than enough to make it worth your while. You should make sure the expense is justified. If it is not, then you should not hedge. The goal of hedging is not to make money. You will not make large gains by hedging yourself. You have to take some risks in order to gain. Hedging is intended to be used to protect your losses. The loss cannot be avoided, but the hedge can offer a little comfort. However, even if nothing negative happens, you will still have to pay for the hedge. Unlike insurance, you are never compensated for your hedge. Things can go wrong with hedging and it may not always protect you as you think it will.
Keep in mind that most investors never hedge in their entire trading careers. Short-term fluctuation is something that the majority of investors do not worry with. Therefore, hedging can be pointless. Even if you choose not to hedge however, learning about the technique is a great way to understand the market a bit more. You will see large corporations and other large traders use this and may be confused at why they are acting this way. When you know more about hedging you can fully understand their strategies.
Whether you decide to use hedging to your advantage or not, you will benefit from learning more about it. You can use it like an insurance policy when trading. You should remember however that hedging can be costly. Always check to make sure the costs of hedging will not run against any profits you may or may not make. Be sure those costs are realistic and that your need for hedging is realistic as well. You will be able to use hedging to help cut your potential losses, however hedging will never guard against the negatives altogether. Learning about it will give you a better understanding at how large traders work the system however, which can in turn make you a better player in the trading game.
Remember that hedging should be left to the Pros of the industry unless you are playing the Forex market as a hobby and don't have a lot invested in it.
by David Mclauchlan
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