Forex Trading and Money Management

 By: Andrew Daigle
As part of your Forex trading strategy, you must be able to manage the money that you invest in trades and determine when it is advantageous to enter or exit a trade. Most trading strategies are good for determining when a trade should be entered, but not all strategies establish an exit. If your Forex trading strategy does not provide exit points, you will still need some method of determining when to exit.

Profit and Loss (P/L) - Forex trading systems provide one of the easiest forms of executing and monitoring profit and loss (P/L) in investments. P/Ls in the spot market are generally measured in decimal units. A calculation of the long and short position for a leveraged currency pair will easily provide you with the amount of profit and the amount of loss.

Gains to Losses - You also need a method of predicting the chance of profiting from your trades in order to decide how much money to invest in your Forex trading strategy. By calculating the ratio of gains to losses you will be able to determine if your trades are providing a higher percentage of gains than losses. If your trades are gaining then you need not invest more money into already winning trades.

Risks to Reward - Since Forex trading systems involve risk, you need to able to measure the risk taken as compared to reward received. A risk/reward ratio may be determined by dividing a take-profit spread by a corresponding stop-limit spread. No rollover or interest rate differential is required. You are cautioned against allocating more than 10% of your total investment funds into a single trade as either margin or risk. Your Forex trading techniques should include enough funds to allow you to engage in multiple trades. If some trades result in loss, those losses have the potential to be recovered with other winning trades. If half or more of your trades result in loss, you need to analyze and adjust your Forex trading strategy.

Limiting Losses - You may limit the amount of loss by adjusting take-profit and stop-limit orders relative to the entry market price. By raising stop-limit orders and lowering take-profit orders, you may reduce loss potential. If prices create adverse results, you may eliminate any further loss by manually liquidating the trade. If price moves are favorable, you may increase your limits. In some instances it may be advantageous to raise the stop-limit order above the market entry price. This guarantees a profit of at least the originally targeted price and at most, the newly established price.

If you have taken a long position, you should avoid lowering stop-limit orders and accept a loss or trade a different currency pair. Take-profit orders should only be lowered in long positions if a reversal is anticipated. Otherwise, you should liquidate. If you have taken a short position, you should avoid increasing stop-limit orders and only increase take-profit orders in anticipation of a reversal. Many large losses are due to moving and removing stop-loss orders. The Forex trading strategy for uncertain traders should be to liquidate trades for small losses or small profits rather than hanging around to suffer a greater loss.

With most Forex strategies, stop-loss orders are typically placed below and above previous highs or lows. However, you may find it advantageous to set your stops according to market volatility. Using charts of recent currency pairs you should be able to gauge shifts in volatility. This information could then be used to set stops and price objectives. This method may also be used to establish entry points in the market.
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