There are five basic steps to opening a trade.

Select a trading symbol

Step 1:
Choose what you want to trade

Select a currency pair or trade symbol that is right for you. Keep in mind that some instruments are more volatile than others. Whatever you decide to trade, take time and ensure that it is suited to your overall trading strategy.

Step 2:
Determine the direction of the trade

Do you want to buy (go ‘long’) or sell (‘short’) your trade? Going long indicates that you believe the currency pair or trade symbol is currently undervalued. In comparison, shorting a trade implies that you believe the instrument is currently overvalued and will decrease in value over time.

Select the direction

Select entry & exit levels

Step 3:
Decide your entry & exit levels

Use market information and technical analysis to place your stops and limits. Exiting a trade too early means you may leave money on the table; entering a trade too late may prevent you from benefitting from breaking market developments.

Step 4:
Select the Right Trade Size

Trade size is a key component to managing your portfolio risk. Risk averse individuals may prefer to open smaller trade sizes, while experienced traders can opt to hold larger positions. Trade size varies based on trading experience, personal risk preferences, the inherent riskiness of certain instruments, and your account size.

Select the Right Trade Size

Execute & monitor your trade

Step 5:
Execute & monitor your trade

Once you have executed your trade, actively monitor your open position. Do not be afraid of updating your exit strategy in light of significant market developments. Keeping track of your trade and how it performs in accordance with your strategy is also an important part of building successful trading plans for the future.

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