We use a range of cookies to give you the best possible browsing experience. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies.
You can learn more about our cookie policy here, or by following the link at the bottom of any page on our site.

Free Trading Guides
EUR/USD
Mixed
Oil - US Crude
Bullish
Wall Street
Mixed
Gold
Mixed
GBP/USD
Mixed
Low
High
of clients are net long.
of clients are net short.
Long Short

Note: Low and High figures are for the trading day.

Data provided by
USD/JPY
Bearish
More View more
Real Time News
  • The Mexican Peso could come under further selling pressure and push $USDMXN back above the 25.000 handle. Get your USD/MXN market update from @RichDvorakFX here: https://t.co/nuG3l0YpUW https://t.co/RG5xnr118p
  • IG Client Sentiment Update: Our data shows the vast majority of traders in Ripple are long at 95.82%, while traders in US 500 are at opposite extremes with 71.97%. See the summary chart below and full details and charts on DailyFX: https://www.dailyfx.com/sentiment https://t.co/VDiXoqXTgf
  • RT @HayekAndKeynes: $198bn of buybacks (equivalent to 27% of ’19 spend) have already been suspended
  • Retail CFD traders at IG are building up their short positions to the highest level I have on my records (stretching only back a year). Nearly a 7 fold increase of the short interest at the start of the year https://t.co/SAmUD2ymIz
  • US Equity Close: $SPX +3.30% $DJI +3.07% $NDX +3.62% $RUT +1.10% $VIX -8.93
  • Indices Update: As of 20:00, these are your best and worst performers based on the London trading schedule: Germany 30: 0.91% France 40: 0.53% US 500: -0.12% Wall Street: -0.13% View the performance of all markets via https://www.dailyfx.com/forex-rates#indices https://t.co/uRmj2JayN8
  • S&P 500 Continues Recovery, NFP Looms Large for US Data https://www.dailyfx.com/forex/fundamental/daily_briefing/session_briefing/daily_fundamentals/2020/03/30/ES-SPY-SPX-SP500-Continues-Recovery-NFP-Looms-Large-JS.html https://t.co/SZLy1nqPaz
  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she does not expect bipartisan virus bill until after After break $SPX $DXY
  • RT @lisaabramowicz1: The economic downturn is happening so fast that the New York Fed launched a new weekly economic index that assesses re…
  • #Gold: Price is holding up well with a small consolidation phase that could lead gold higher towards the 1680/1700 region. Get your $XAUUSD market update from @PaulRobinsonFX here: https://t.co/R5C6K0IVWh https://t.co/Gw0DX1VAgB
Understanding Forex Margin and Leverage

Understanding Forex Margin and Leverage

2012-09-21 03:00:00
Walker England, Trading Instructor,
Share:

What is Margin?

Using margin in Forex trading is a new concept for many traders, and one that is often misunderstood. Margin is a good faith deposit that a trader puts up for collateral to hold open a position. More often than not margin gets confused as a fee to a trader. It is actually not a transaction cost, but a portion of your account equity set aside and allocated as a margin deposit.

The advanced dealing rates window, found in the FXCM Trading Station pictured below, will show you specifically how much margin is required to hold open one 10k position in a standard trading account. It is important to remember that this value represents one trading lot and that the amount of margin needed to hold open a position will ultimately be determined by trade size. As trade size increases your margin requirement will increase exponentially.

Understanding_Forex_Margin_and_Leverage_body_Picture_3.png, Understanding Forex Margin and Leverage

What is leverage?

Leverage is a byproduct of margin and allows an individual to control larger trade sizes. Traders will use this tool as a way to magnify their returns. It’s imperative to stress, that losses are also magnified when leverage is used. Therefore, it is important to understand that leverage needs to be controlled.

FXCM provides flexible leverage to its clients. You can trade with no leverage at all, or you can trade with a significant amount of leverage based off of your personal preferences. Let’s look at an example using effective leverage

Let’s assume a trader chooses to trade one mini lot of the USD/CAD. This trade would be the equivalent to controlling $10,000. Because the trade is 10 times larger than the equity in the trader’s account, the account is said to be leveraged 10 times or 10:1. Had the trader bought 20,000 units of the USD/CAD, which is equivalent to $20,000, their account would have been leveraged 20:1.

Understanding_Forex_Margin_and_Leverage_body_Picture_1.png, Understanding Forex Margin and Leverage

Effects of leverage

Using leverages can have extreme effects on your accounts if it is not used properly. Trading larger lot sizes through leverage can ratchet up your gains, but ultimately can lead to larger losses if a trade moves against you. Below we can see this concept in action by viewing a hypothetical trading scenario. Let’s assume both Trader A and Trader B have starting balances of $10,000. Trader A used his account to lever his account up to a 500,000 notional position using 50 to 1 leverage. Trader B traded a more conservative 5 to 1 leverage taking a notional position of 50,000. So what are the results on each traders balance after a 100 pip stop loss?

Trader A would have sustained a loss of $5,000, loosing near half their account balance on one position! Trader B on the other hand fared much better. Even though Trader B took a loss off 100 pips, the dollar value was cut to a loss of $500. Through leverage management Trader B can continue to trade and potentially take advantage of future winning moves. FXCM believes clients have a greater chance of long-term success when a conservative amount of leverage is used in their trading. Here is a recent study completed of thousands of FXCM accounts (“Traits of Successful Traders: How Much Capital Should I Trade Forex With?”). Keep this information in mind when looking to trade your next position and keep effective leverage of 10 to 1 or less to maximize your trading.

Understanding_Forex_Margin_and_Leverage_body_Picture_2.png, Understanding Forex Margin and Leverage

---Written by Walker England, Trading Instructor

To contact Walker, email instructor@dailyfx.com. Follow me on Twitter at @WEnglandFX.

To be added to Walker’s e-mail distribution list, send an email with the subject line “Distribution List” to instructor@dailyfx.com

New to the FX market? Save hours in figuring out what FOREX trading is all about.

Take this free 20 minute “New to FX” course presented by DailyFX Education. In the course, you will learn about the basics of a FOREX transaction, what leverage is, and how to determine an appropriate amount of leverage for your trading.

Register HERE to start your FOREX trading now!

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

DISCLOSURES

News & Analysis at your fingertips.