If you trade the Forex market you will undoubtedly be aware that it is a high risk venture. Most traders who trade currencies end up losing money. Unfortunately, some traders end up losing a substantial part of their net worth.
Many traders, especially new traders are attracted to Forex because they see brokers offering "200 to 1 leverage" and in some cases even higher amounts. It is a common belief among new traders that they can use this leverage to generate a substantial amount of wealth. This belief nearly always ends in tears.
To be a successful Forex trader, it is imperative that you treat trading like a business. It is unlikely that you could put $50 in to a business and turn it into $20,000 in a short frame of time. Granted, there are exceptions, but they are EXTREMELY few and far between.
You need to apply this same theory to Forex trading. One of the biggest reasons traders lose money is having an account size that is too small.
One of the major advantages is Forex is that you can effectively borrow as much money as you like from your broker. However, it is important to remember that borrowing money to trade will increase your profits, but it will also increase your losses.
There are no universal rules to state how much you should borrow. Many new traders should start off borrowing very little, if anything. Of course, it does depend on the type of strategy that you use.
If you have a $10,000 trading account, most brokers would allow you to open positions to the value of at least $500,000. If you bought a USD pair, this would be 50:1 leverage. The position size is 50 times the size of your account.
It would not take much of a price movement in the wrong direction to cause a significant loss to your account.
Many new traders start with a small account balance. The same principle can be applied to a $100 account trading a $5,000 position.
The smallest position allowed by many brokers is often $10,000, yet they may still allow you to open an account with $100.
The brokers don't mind, they know that 99% of the clients who do this will blow their account.
The point I am trying to get across is the one of being realistic. Treat trading as if it is a business. Aim for realistic returns. Think about the stock market or mutual funds. They often earn less than 10% per year on average. If you can make 30% per year trading Forex, that is significantly higher!
Don't expect to make $1,000 a month from your $100 account. It almost certainly will NOT happen.
by Eric Martin
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