Copyright (c) 2008 Orlando Thompson
Online Forex Trading occurs in real time. Exchange rates are constantly changing, in intervals of seconds. Quotes are accurate for the precise moment they are displayed. At any moment, a different rate may be quoted. When a trader locks in a rate and executes a transaction, that transaction is immediately processed; and the trade is completed. As rates change so rapidly, any Forex Software must display the most accurate rates. To accomplish this, the Forex software is constantly communicating with the remote server that provides the most current exchange rates. The rates quoted, unlike traditional bank exchange rates, are actually live up-to-date tradable rates. A trader may choose to “lock in” to a rate (called the “freeze rate”) only as long as it is displayed.
Trading online on Forex Platforms caused a major change in the way Forex Trading is conducted throughout the world. Until the advent of the internet- Forex age at the end of the 1990’s Forex trading was conducted via phone orders, faxes, or in person, posted to brokers or banks. Most of the trading could be executed only during normal business hours. The same was true for most activities related to Forex, such as making the deposits necessary for trading, not to mention profit taking etc… Now the internet has radically altered the Forex Market, enabling around the clock trading and convenience such as the use of credit cards for fund deposits.
These are the basic steps for trading Forex the internet; in general, the individual Forex Trader is required to fulfill trading by:
Register at the trading platform
Deposit funds to facilitate trading
Requirements vary with each trading platform, but these steps bear further discussion:
Registration is done online by the individual trader. There are many different forms used throughout the industry. Some are quite simple, where others are longer and more time consuming. This can be attributed to governmental or other authority’s requirements, though some Forex Platforms simply require more information than is actually needed. Some even require a face-to-face meeting, or obtain hard copies of required documents such as a passport, or driver’s license.
The key requirements for registration however are the trader’s full name, phone number, email address, residence, and sometimes also the trader’s yearly income or capital (equity) and an ID number of some kind. Typically, the Forex Platform is not required to run a thorough check, but rely on the registrants, in order to check and verify the authenticity of the details provided.
New registrants must deposit fund to facilitate trading. However, the majority of the Forex platforms today require that, in addition to funds used for actual trading, an additional amount be deposited. Often called “maintenance margin” or “activity collateral”, its purpose is for the platform to have an additional way of guaranteeing the deals. Some of the platforms that require an additional deposit do pay interest on the collateral, which is “frozen” under the trader’s name (just in case). Note that not all Forex platforms require any additional funds to begin trading.
Trading online can happen 24 hours a day just like the global forex market runs around the clock.
However, many online forex market marker require software be downloaded and installed to their own trading platform. Consequently, accessibility is limited to those terminals that have the software. Since Forex Trading is borderless, and may be performed at any given time, it is obviously advantageous to have access to trading from as many locations as possible. Some Trading platforms are fully web-based systems, which mean trading can be conducted from any computer anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Traders are only required to log into their account, to ensure they have available funds to trade, or make new deposits, and commence trading.
Forex Trading via brokers and dealing rooms (by phone) requires knowledge about the way dealing rooms work, and the terminologies used in the course of trading. At start, the client (trader) should specify whether he/she is interested in obtaining a QUOTE (in order to make a deal) or just an INDICATION. In the case of an indication, the price given does not bind the deal, but rather provides information about the market conditions at that point in time.
When asking for a QUOTE, the trader must specify the currency pair and the deal amount (volume). For example, “Need a quote for EURO/USD in EURO 100,000”. It is wise to withhold from the dealer the intended direction of the deal, specifying the pair only. Accordingly, the dealer then provides a quote-comprising two prices buy and sell (both side quotes). This quote binds the dealer to those rate at that the moment they are given to the trader. If the trader does not immediately ask for execution, then the price is no longer in force. The dealer would them tell the customer “risk, or change”, meaning – the price quoted is no longer in force. In such case, the trader should ask for a new price.
On the other hand, in order to make a deal, the trader must proclaim “buy” or “sell, together with the currency or price.