How Much Money Do You Need to Start Forex Trading?
Reading time: 9 minutes
If you have decided to, or are still considering whether or not to become a professional Forex trader, you're probably asking yourself questions such as 'How much money do you need to start Forex trading?' or 'What is the minimum amount required for Forex trading?'
This article will address such questions and more by providing you with a starting point for how to trade Forex, through establishing which types of accounts you should consider, how these accounts differ, and then of course: How much do you need to trade Forex?
Where To Start With Forex Trading
There are a dizzying array of questions and variables to consider when you begin trading. Will you be a fundamental or a technical trader? Or perhaps, a combination of both? Also, will you trade short term or long term? Will you trade rigidly based on the rules of a particular Forex system? Will you take a more discretionary approach? The questions are endless, but ultimately they determine what you achieve in the market, and how you do it. But you can also break them down into even more specific directions.
First of all, how much money do you need to trade Forex? Also, how large should you make each trade? The answer may be smaller than you think – it's actually zero. A Demo trading account allows you to experience the live Forex markets without risking any money, by enabling you to trade with virtual currency. Admiral Markets offers clients the ability to trade virtual funds of up to $10,000 in their Forex demo account.
This also applies if you want to start using an expert dealing platform such as MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition. By mixing usage of a demo account and a live account, you can test your strategies within a risk free environment first, before you move onto the live markets. If you are a novice, a demo account is the ideal way to dip your toes in the water.
After all, part of learning is making mistakes – but you don't have to lose capital by doing so. Another important thing to consider when you start trading is how to implement risk management into your trading. Doing so will enable you to manage the risks effectively, so you're aware of them, and you know how to reduce the level of risks you face.
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The Forex Market: A Market For Everyone
Let's consider the Forex market for a moment. Much is made of the vast size of the FX market, but its egalitarian accessibility is often overlooked. Small players happily play alongside the largest participants. There is a place at the table for everyone because of the surprisingly low barriers to entry. High levels of leverage allow small deposits to command sizable positions.
In short, this means you can make trades without tying up a lot of your cash. Obviously, you should never trade beyond your means, but leverage offers a very convenient way of trading.
How Much Money Do I Need To Open A Forex Account?
It depends on the type of account. Because different account types offer a variety of services and generally require different starting sums. But for the most part, you can open an account with a small deposit. For example, to open the an Trade.MT4 account, you need a minimum deposit of $200 (or a similar size in other currencies).
This account offers low spreads and highly competitive leverage. Once you have built up your confidence, you might want to open the Zero.MT4 account with a minimum deposit of $1000. This account offers institutional-grade speed of execution with ultra-low spreads, and is well suited for high frequency traders. The point is, the account specs will almost certainly answer your deposit question.
Depicted: MetaTrader 4 Supreme Edition AUDUSD - Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.
From a position-sizing standpoint, don't trade more than you can afford to lose. When considering how much to start Forex trading with, it is very much an issue of your own personal finances, and your own attitude to risk. Trading can often be a nerve-wracking and pressure-filled experience. One simple way to ease this is to trade conservatively. This will help you cope with adverse conditions.
Let's look at an example to get a feel for how much we are talking about. A sensible rule of thumb is that you shouldn't be risking more than 1% or 2% of your risk capital per trade. For the sake of convenience, let's use 1%.
The minimum trade size with an Trade.MT4 account is 0.01 lots. A lot is a standard transaction size for each currency pair. Let's say you decide to buy 0.01 lots of EURUSD. This is a position that means you make or lose 0.1 USD for every pip movement. The margin for a position this small would be covered by your minimum deposit.
Here's the kicker – quantifying the risk attached to an individual trade is a tricky business. We can broadly say that the risk is the amount of loss you would be willing to withstand before closing the position. However, this likely underestimates the risk because you may subsequently change your mind and tolerate a greater loss. There may also be times when a market moves faster than you can react.
One way to try to draw a line under the position and quantify the risk is to use a stop-loss. But be aware that a conventional stop order is not guaranteed. A stop order becomes an order to deal on the market once its level has been hit. In the event of a fast-moving or gapping market, this means it may be subject to slippage. Slippage is the number of points that your position is filled away from the level of your stop order.
In short, stops do not mean any maximum loss is set in stone, but they do give you a rough and useful idea of your risk for normal conditions. Let's say you placed your stop 80 pips away. For our rough estimation, we could say that the theoretical risk is 80 pips x 0.1 USD per pip = $8.
If we are assigning a theoretical risk of $8 to this trade, and we are also saying one trade is 1% of our total risk capital, then the total risk capital must be $8 x 100 = $800. This is because the minimum transaction sizes are so small, you only need a small amount to start trading Forex. These are just some sample numbers, of course.
If you worked with tighter stops, your risk capital would be even smaller. If you worked with wider stops and/or a larger transaction size, you would need more risk capital. Here's another way of considering the question – successful trading is about winning in the long run. To win in the long run, you must not be wiped out in the short run.
Still want to know how much money you need for Forex trading? Put simply, you need enough to avoid blowing up. Look at price catastrophes that have occurred historically in your chosen currency pair. Think about what such movements would mean to you with your average trading size. Make sure that your risk capital is large enough to withstand such price shocks.
Once you're up and running, and in a position to make steady returns, it might be time to consider how much money you need to trade Forex full-time. If you are trying to find out what realistic monthly returns for a trader are, you are going to be trading in sizes that are much larger than usual minimums. Therefore, your risk capital will have to be larger as well.
If you start conservatively and use sensible money management, you do not need a large amount of money to trade Forex. It is possible to start trading with only a few hundred Euros, provided your trading sizes are small. If you are willing to put in the preparatory leg work, you should be able to discover a trading approach that works for you.
There's one more thing to consider – people who succeed at trading, work hard at it. The more effort you put in, the more likely you are to succeed. So, when facing a new, challenging venture, the only correct option is to learn more about what you are getting into. If you would like to learn more about Forex, or trading in general, why not check out range of articles and tutorials?
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This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.