Trading is the exchange of goods or services between two or more parties. So if you need gasoline for your car, then you would trade your dollars for gasoline. In the old days, and still in some societies, trading was done by barter , where one commodity was swapped for another.
A trade may have gone like this: This is a practical, easy to manage, day-to-day example of making a trade, with relatively easy management of risk. In order to lessen the risk, Person A might ask Person B to show his apples, to make sure they are good to eat, before fixing the window. This is how trading has been for millennia: This is Now Now enter the world wide web and all of a sudden risk can become completely out of control, in part due to the speed at which a transaction can take place.
In fact, the speed of the transaction, the instant gratification and the adrenalin rush of making a profit in less than 60 seconds can often trigger a gambling instinct, to which many traders may succumb. Hence, they might turn to online trading as a form of gambling rather than approaching trading as a professional business that requires proper speculative habits. Speculating as a trader is not gambling.
The difference between gambling and speculating is risk management. In other words, with speculating, you have some kind of control over your risk, whereas with gambling you don't. Even a card game such as Poker can be played with either the mindset of a gambler or with the mindset of a speculator , usually with totally different outcomes. Betting Strategies There are three basic ways to take a bet: Martingale , anti-Martingale or speculative.
Speculation comes from the Latin word "speculari," meaning to spy out or look forward. In a Martingale strategy, you would double-up your bet each time you lose, and hope that eventually the losing streak will end and you will make a favorable bet, thereby recovering all your losses and even making a small profit. Using an anti-Martingale strategy, you would halve your bets each time you lost, but would double your bets each time you won.
This theory assumes that you can capitalize on a winning streak and profit accordingly. Clearly, for online traders, this is the better of the two strategies to adopt.
It is always less risky to take your losses quickly and add or increase your trade size when you are winning. However, no trade should be taken without first stacking the odds in your favor, and if this is not clearly possible then no trade should be taken at all.
Know the Odds So, the first rule in risk management is to calculate the odds of your trade being successful. To do that, you need to grasp both fundamental and technical analysis. You will need to understand the dynamics of the market in which you are trading, and also know where the likely psychological price trigger points are, which a price chart can help you decide.
Once a decision is made to take the trade then the next most important factor is in how you control or manage the risk. Remember, if you can measure the risk, you can, for the most part, manage it. In stacking the odds in your favor, it is important to draw a line in the sand, which will be your cut out point if the market trades to that level. The difference between this cut-out point and where you enter the market is your risk. Psychologically, you must accept this risk upfront before you even take the trade.
If you can accept the potential loss, and you are OK with it, then you can consider the trade further. If the loss will be too much for you to bear, then you must not take the trade or else you will be severely stressed and unable to be objective as your trade proceeds.
Since risk is the opposite side of the coin to reward, you should draw a second line in the sand, which is where, if the market trades to that point, you will move your original cut-out line to secure your position. This is known as sliding your stops. This second line is the price at which you break even if the market cuts you out at that point.
Once you are protected by a break-even stop, your risk has virtually been reduced to zero, as long as the market is very liquid and you know your trade will be executed at that price.
Make sure you understand the difference between stop orders , limit orders and market orders. Liquidity The next risk factor to study is liquidity. Liquidity means that there are a sufficient number of buyers and sellers at current prices to easily and efficiently take your trade.
In the case of the forex markets, liquidity, at least in the major currencies , is never a problem. However, this liquidity is not necessarily available to all brokers and is not the same in all currency pairs. It is really the broker liquidity that will affect you as a trader. Unless you trade directly with a large forex dealing bank, you most likely will need to rely on an online broker to hold your account and to execute your trades accordingly.
Questions relating to broker risk are beyond the scope of this article, but large, well-known and well capitalized brokers should be fine for most retail online traders, at least in terms of having sufficient liquidity to effectively execute your trade.
Risk per Trade Another aspect of risk is determined by how much trading capital you have available. Risk per trade should always be a small percentage of your total capital. This is an unlikely scenario if you have a proper system for stacking the odds in your favor.
The way to measure risk per trade is by using your price chart. This is best demonstrated by looking at a chart as follows:. We have already determined that our first line in the sand stop loss should be drawn where we would cut out of the position if the market traded to this level. The line is set at 1. To give the market a little room, I would set the stop loss to 1.
A good place to enter the position would be at 1. The difference between this entry point and the exit point is therefore 50 pips. Let's assume you are trading mini lots. Leverage The next big risk magnifier is leverage. Leverage is the use of the bank's or broker's money rather than the strict use of your own. This is a A one pip loss in a However, one of the big benefits of trading the spot forex markets is the availability of high leverage. This high leverage is available because the market is so liquid that it is easy to cut out of a position very quickly and, therefore, easier compared with most other markets to manage leveraged positions.
Leverage of course cuts two ways. If you are leveraged and you make a profit, your returns are magnified very quickly but, in the converse, losses will erode your account just as quickly too. But of all the risks inherent in a trade, the hardest risk to manage, and by far the most common risk blamed for trader loss, is the bad habit patterns of the trader himself.
All traders have to take responsibility for their own decisions. In trading, losses are part of the norm, so a trader must learn to accept losses as part of the process. Losses are not failures. However, not taking a loss quickly is a failure of proper trade management. Usually a trader, when his position moves into a loss, will second guess his system and wait for the loss to turn around and for the position to become profitable.
This is fine for those occasions when the market does turn around, but it can be a disaster when the loss gets worse. Learn to overcome this big hurdle in Master Your Trading Mindtraps. The solution to trader risk is to work on your own habits and to be honest enough to acknowledge the times when your ego gets in the way of making the right decisions or when you simply can't manage the instinctive pull of a bad habit.
The best way to objectify your trading is by keeping a journal of each trade, noting the reasons for entry and exit and keeping score of how effective your system is. In other words how confident are you that your system provides a reliable method in stacking the odds in your favor and thus provide you with more profitable trade opportunities than potential losses.
Conclusion Risk is inherent in every trade you take, but as long as you can measure risk you can manage it. Just don't overlook the fact that risk can be magnified by using too much leverage in respect to your trading capital as well as being magnified by a lack of liquidity in the market. With a disciplined approach and good trading habits, taking on some risk is the only way to generate good rewards. Dictionary Term Of The Day.
A conflict of interest inherent in any relationship where one party is expected to Broker Reviews Find the best broker for your trading or investing needs See Reviews.
Sophisticated content for financial advisors around investment strategies, industry trends, and advisor education. A celebration of the most influential advisors and their contributions to critical conversations on finance. Become a day trader. So how do we actually measure the risk?
This is best demonstrated by looking at a chart as follows: A conflict of interest inherent in any relationship where one party is expected to act in another's best interests. Passive investing is an investment strategy that limits buying and selling actions.
Passive investors will purchase investments How much a fixed asset is worth at the end of its lease, or at the end of its useful life. If you lease a car for three years, A target hash is a number that a hashed block header must be less than or equal to in order for a new block to be awarded. No thanks, I prefer not making money. Get Free Newsletters Newsletters.More...