It’s highly possible to earn sustainable profits trading forex. I have been doing it for over 10 years. But it’s also possible to lose money trading forex. In fact the very best traders do both regularly. Losing money in a trade is just part of trading.
The trick comes in developing the skill set to steadily increase your account balance even though individual trades can go in either direction. There are very specific things you can learn in order to do this regularly and successfully.
What you are looking for as a trader is an edge. The process of analyzing the market, watching price behavior, exercising prudent money management and risk management and forecasting the likely next move of the market with the successful outcome being determined by the choice you make on the basis of the training and experience that you have gained makes this the most exciting and profitable competitive endeavor in the world of finance.
All of those above listed skills are learned. Of all the people I have mentored and who trade profitably I have never met a single one who was born knowing how to trade. Every one of them learned what they now use to earn money trading, a step at a time. Most came to this having no previous experience at trading any kind of financial instrument.
One can approach this by visiting free sites on the internet but it will most certainly take you much longer and that approach will expose the trader to losses, but from which he/she can learn. That approach requires you to learn on your own without very (if any) effective feedback.
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Using a mentor (whom you would hire), who is already trading successfully and profitably, can teach you the ropes that will greatly accelerate your learning curve and will save you years of time and potentially tens of thousands of dollars in losses. In this kind of learning it can really be a question of being penny wise and pound foolish. Getting immediate feedback as concepts are learned and practiced are invaluable. Find a good mentor with whom you are compatible. All of that can all be done on line.
One of the beauties of trading forex is that you can trade quite realistically (while you are learning) with what amounts to “pretend money”. You can do that as long as you want to with no financial exposure to any possible losses.
This is very useful as you acquire, then develop, and then hone and sharpen your new trading skills. When you are ready, you can then switch over to real money, but still trade in very small amounts (as low as 10 cents a pip, and in some cases even a penny a pip) while you develop your trading skills and prove to yourself what you now know. Once switched to a real money account, one can actually trade while risking as little as a few dollar bills.
The second half of your question asked how does one make money in forex. No, there are no quarterly dividends (as such) in this endeavor. Each trade position that you take in the forex market can be held for a short time or a long time. By short I mean seconds or minutes. By long I mean hours, days, weeks or months. You decide this by the style of trading that you enter into. When you close your position, the gain or loss is instantly credited/debited to your brokerage account.
This is a highly liquid market (meaning you will find someone to take your trade or get you out of it at virtually any time) and orders in either direction and either opening or closing a position are executed in milliseconds. It is the biggest market in the world far surpassing any of the bond or equity markets to the tune of some four trillion dollars a day changing hands (yes, that’s four thousand billion dollars a day).
Rather obviously then, the answer to the question would be that whenever you want to be paid and you have had profitable trades, you would instruct your broker to use whatever money transfer method he offers to get your money to the bank account that you control.
These usually include wire transfers, credit/debit card transfers and even such systems as Paypal. Just more recently in 2014, crypto currencies in the form of altcoins such as Bitcoin are another possibility for low cost money transfers.
Trading the forex is very definitely a thinking person’s game. Pattern recognition, signal interpretation, analysis of indicators and what they are telling you, mental discipline and understanding of human psychology all make forex trading the most fascinating of human financial endeavors. It makes no difference whether the currency market you decide to trade is going up, down or sideways – you can still profit if you have learned how to assess the market you are facing.
Similar to the lyrics in the “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, you’ve got to know when to hold’em, and when to fold’em. There is a lot of forex trader wisdom in the song. Listen to it several times.
Here are the lyrics …modified slightly by me to fit trading.
You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the ‘puter
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the tradin’s done
Every trader knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every trade’s a winner
And every trade’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep
Forex trading is accessible 24 hours a day, 5 1/2 days a week from virtually anywhere in the world. You have no employees, no payroll to meet, very low overhead, no accounts receivables, no billing, no commute and no related car expenses, no dress code, and no office politics.
You have no set hours that you must work, no boss and you can work from the comfort of your own home. If you want to travel, take your laptop with you and trade from any location in the world where you have a reliable DSL quality internet connection.
But you do have to be disciplined. You do have to learn how to take losses. There is no free lunch. You do have to think. You have to be a decision maker. Trading is a business and it must be approached that way – in a businesslike manner. Trading is for intelligent people who take responsibility for themselves and their own decisions.
It is not an easy road to riches but the road does go there and if you have the journey in you, you can go there too. As we say to travelers in Panama, “¡Buen viaje!”