This article sets out the main rules governing the placement of orders with a free graphic download in the resource box at the end which you can keep on your desktop and refer to at anytime until the rules have 'sunk in'. You will find this lesson extremely important if you are in the early stages of your forex trading training.
Here are the basics:
- In each currency pair, the first currency is the base currency which you either buy or sell. For example, in the case of EUR/USD, if you believe the euro is going to strengthen against the US dollar you would place a BUY order (go long). If you believe the dollar will strengthen against the euro, you would place a SELL order (go short) for the EUR/USD currency pair.
- In your dealing station you will notice two prices quoted for each currency pair, a BID price and an ASK price. The difference in the two prices is known as the pip spread the dealer takes from every trade. For the major currency pairs this can be between 3-5 pips. NOTE: When you place a BUY order you will enter the trade at the ASK price. When you place a SELL order you will enter the trade at the BID price.
- There are two types of orders you can use to enter a trade:
- Market Order
- Entry Order
- A market order is an order to buy or sell at the market price the moment you enter the trade by clicking your mouse button.
- An entry order is an order to buy or sell when the market price reaches a certain target or level you anticipate from your technical analysis.
Note: Avoid market orders as they seldom give you the best entry point unless you really understand the market. An entry order allows you time to analyze key price levels and set the order to be executed only if price pulls back or reaches that level. This way you enter the trade at an optimum level.
Stops and Limits
Once you have calculated your trade and anticipated how far you think price will go, you need to enter a limit order so the trade will automatically exit at that profit level. In the case of a buy order, your limit will be set above the entry price. In the case of a sell order, your limit will be set below the entry price.
For your protection you then need to set a stop order. If price goes against you your trade will exit at a loss according to the number of pips you have calculated that you can afford to lose taking into account your equity. In the case of a buy order, your stop would be below the entry price. If the case of a sell order, your stop would be above the entry price.
As part of your Forex trading training, it is important to get very familiar with the software you are provided with from your online broker. Practice, practice, practice, making entry orders, and setting the entry price and the stop and limit levels.
It is easy in the early days of Forex trading training to get mixed up with direction. You may wish to place an entry order to sell (go short) and inadvertently put a buy order in instead only to get a shock when you see a minus figure under the pip column steadily growing.
The details explained above are available in a graphic you can keep on your desktop and refer to at any time you are trading. Just go to the link in the resource box below and get a copy.
Then as part of your daily Forex trading training, refer to it each time you place a trade in your demo account until your understanding of the rules of order entry, bid and ask price, stops and limits, come automatically without thinking.
You will be laying a solid foundation for more advanced Forex trading training steps so you can concentrate your mental energies on price and chart analysis rather than being sidetracked by confusion over basic order rules.