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Lesson 6: Calculating Your Position Size

Lesson 6: Calculating Your Position Size

In our last lesson we learned how to place our first forex trade using our real time demo trading accounts. In this lesson we are going to continue our discussion on the logistics of forex trading with a look at how positions are sized in the forex market.

As with any market you need to specify the amount of a currency pair that you are going to trade as a part of the trading process. Although technically in the spot FX market there are no contract standards since the market trades over the counter, most Forex Trading firms standardize the minimum position size in which you can trade. Once this minimum position size is established then the trader can trade the minimum or any increment thereof going up from there.

Although it varies by firm, most forex trading firms offer at least one of, if not all of, the following options for position sizing:

Option 1: Standard Account A standard account trades "standard" contract sizes which in the retail fx market are 100,000 of the base currency. So for example if you are trading EUR/USD then the minimum position size you could trade would be 1 contract which would equal 100,000 Euro's against the equivalent amount in US Dollars. As the EUR/USD is trading at 1.5678 as of this lesson that would be 100,000 EUR against 156,780 US Dollars.

As a second example if you were trading USD/JPY in a standard account then the minimum you could trade would be 100,000 US Dollars against the equivalent amount of Japanese Yen. As the Japanese Yen is currently Trading at 101.27 against the US Dollar this would be 100,000 USD against 10,126,000 JPY.

Option 2:Mini Account A mini account trades "mini" contract sizes which are 1/10th the size of standard contract sizes or 10,000 of the base currency. So using our examples above if you were trading EUR/USD the minimum you could trade on a mini account would be 10,000 EUR against $15,678 USD.

If you were trading USD/JPY in in a mini account then the minimum amount you could trade would be 10,000 USD against 1,012,700 JPY.

Option 3 Flexi Account: A flexi account allows you to trade any size you would like. So for example instead of having to trade a fixed position size in a flexi account you could trade a position size of 5,765 EUR/USD which would be 5,765 EUR against the equivalent amount of USD.

As you can see from these examples one of the great things about the forex market is the ability to trade very small position sizes, which allows traders to start with a smaller account balance and avoid being over leveraged, something we will discuss in later lessons.

Secondly, as normally the spread which you pay does not increase as the trade size gets smaller and there are no commissions, the transaction cost you pay for the trade gets smaller as the trade gets smaller as well.

As a quick example lets login to our demo trading accounts and place another quick trade. If you have not done so already I encourage you to pause this video now and register for a free demo trading account which you can do by clicking the link above this video if you are watching on or to the right of this video if you are watching on YouTube.

Once logged into the account choose the currency pair that you want to trade and click in the dealing rates window to bring up the market order box. In this box you will see a line that says "Amount K". As you will notice if you pull down the drop down menu there it goes in increments of 100K or 100,000 of the base currency. As you should now know from learning about the three types of accounts that we just covered as we are trading a contract size of 100,000 of the base currency we are currently on a standard account.

As you can see from the market order window if you would like to trade more than 100K then simply pull down the drop down menu and select the amount you would like to trade in any increment of 100,000 of the base currency and you are good to go.

Thats our lesson for today, in our next lesson we will learn what a pip is as well as something known as fractional pip pricing how to calculate profits so we hope to see you in that lesson.



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