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Currency Trading is for Regular People and it's Fun and Potentially Very Profitable!

Updated on October 7, 2012

Currency Trading Basics

Currency trading used to be an exotic thing that people in tall buildings did. Today the regular investor can do it, and do it easily on their own computer.

Currency trading has certain features:

l. It is the comparison of two currencies against one another through time.

2. One can start with a tiny sum of money and grow it to a huge sum with little risk

3. Leverage may or may not be used for the "trade"

4. Trading can be a cautious approach to investing since it involves diversification out of one's home currency into others

5. Trading can protect one's asset value against the ravages of inflation

How and Where to Start Trading

What a trader needs to trade is their home computer and a trading "platform" which is the software that allows for the trading. There are endless platforms to choose from and the best one is usually just a matter of personal choice. A popular platform today is called Metatrader. It has a user interface that many people like. The author has used Metatrader but likes the Oanda platform due to its simplicity and big screen with the ability to hide and unhide distracting features.

One can try out different trader interfaces until they find a platform they like. Many companies allow so many trades or so many weeks or months of free trading before they make you open a real account. Oanda has allowed people to practice trade with no limit until they feel ready to try a real trading account.

Once an account is opened then one is ready to trade.


Leverage multiplies any trade's gains or losses. Interestingly, United States currency leveraged accounts are are not allowed to reach the dazzling heights of leverage that is allowed in some other countries. The reason big money can be made with small amounts of money is due to this ability to leverage money.

For a beginner a forty to one leverage is reasonable. One can trade the US dollar against the Canadian or Australian dollars for example, and let the trades go long for months at a time. The theory is that these two countries have solid commodity backed currencies that have assets to back them whereas the US dollar is being hijacked (really it is) by the private concern commonly referred to as the Federal Reserve Bank, which, as many people know is neither a bank nor a part of the United States government, but which does control the level of money printing in the country.

Besides holding long trades of Canadian or Australian or even Swiss money, long trades against gold and also popular. All of these trades can be leveraged or not.

Classes to Learn Trading

The author does not believe it is necessary to pay for a class on trading. If one starts with a simple trade against a hard currency and starts practicing with a practice platform and then switches to a real platform when ready, a person with commonsense can learn trading and probably be better off than following a guru. A real guru might be wonderful, but it is hard to know the gurus from the impersonators. Besides--learning the skill yourself will keep your mind sharp and one can watch the trades unfold against the world political and economic canvas.

One can trade successfully with the information given above. However for those who wish to do more exciting trades, books on trading would be beneficial.

A story that really happened to the author, took place one day in a coffee shop. While staring at the trading screen the author noticed the value of the dollar took a deep drop. The author transacted a dollar purchase during the drop. Later that day, it came out in the news that a small plane had been seen flying over some place in New York and people were concerned about a security issue. This was the moment that corresponded to the dollar drop in value on the currency screen chart. Needless to say , that was a profitable short-term trade.

So moms...and dads....give your smart computer literate sons or daughters $10 with which to trade....they could grow the money quickly with their computer prowess. There are stories of young people achieving this very thing and having fun in the process learning about the economy, and politics and life.


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    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks Alocsin--you are so right about keeping track of one currency...or even two....not easy....slow trends over time can work too .....

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Though I'm fairly sophisticated when it comes to investing, I don't know that I'd consider currency trading. It's hard enough keeping track of the value of one currency, let alone, two. But I'm voting this up and interesting anyway.