Even if you’re an active trader in stocks, you may not be prepared to invest in forex, or the foreign exchange market. Forex trades 24 hours a day from 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday until 4:00 p.m. ET Friday, so you won’t hear those opening or closing bells. And, there’s no central market like the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq. Instead, trade is conducted between participants through electronic communication networks (ECNs) and phone networks in various markets around the world. So, when you hear that the US dollar closed at a certain rate, it simply means that was the rate at market close in New York. But currency continues to be traded around the world long after New York’s close.
But, like securities, traders can go long or short and they can make a profit or lose money. As with stocks, it’s best to conduct some research into how the forex market works before you begin to trade. After you understand how the forex market works, you can begin to build a trading strategy.
The following list contains 37 tutorials, tools, and resources that will help you get started with investments in forex. If you’ve traded on any stock exchange in the past, some of these tools might feel or appear familiar, but they may have a new twist. The resources listed below were chosen for their clarity and simplicity as well as for their reputation.
First i have to recommend to you this great Forex eBook completely free. I'm sure you will find a lot of useful information here which will help you start and also maybe help you choose your first online broker.
The following information is for the forex beginner, but even intermediate-level forex traders might pick up a tip or two from these sites:
Baby Pips - A pip is the smallest unit of price for any foreign currency, so "baby pips" is a bit redundant. But you won’t find any redunancy on this site. Skip the news on the front page for now and go straight to the School of Pipsology that holds a complete course for beginners. If you walk through all the lessons contained on this site, you’ll have a solid basic forex education under your belt.
Forex Glossary - Although the previous tutorial might help you to understand some forex terms, this glossary is a great tool to have on hand for future reference. You’ll see some familiar terms here, like "selling short" and "limit order," and you’ll learn that they mean the same as they do when you use them for trading securities. But, you’ll also find new terms like "big figure" and "two-way price," terms that will set you apart as a forex trader.
Investopedia - This online financial encyclopedia contains an extensive 10-part article on forex investing, from an introduction to a recap that covers everything from benefits and risks to technical analysis. If you can’t get enough of Investopedia’s information, head to their Forex index, where you can find a list of articles and an opportunity to download their free e-Book entitled, "High Probability Trading Setups for the Currency Market."
National Futures Association(NFA) - Now that you have a basic understanding about forex markets, visit the NFA to learn how to build a sound forex strategy. The NFA is "the premier independent provider of efficient and innovative regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the derivatives markets," which basically means that this organization regulates any market that depends upon future cash flows. The "investor information" section contains materials about how to find a broker and basic lessons in forex trading. Plus, they publish forex warnings, news, and they offer a place for investor disputes and complaints.
Commodities Futures Trading Commission(CFTC) - The CFTC operates along the same lines as the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), except this government organization focuses on protecting market users and the public from fraud in the futures and option markets. So keep this site handy to stay on top of any forex scams through their Consumer Advisory on Forex Fraud. You can learn quickly what to avoid in your learning curve through a detailed forex advisory that offers information about other resources as well.
Martket Traders Insitute (MTI) - You don’t need to spend a lot of money to train in forex markets. Even MTI offers free resources such as videos and lesson plans that will help you get off the ground. If you like what you hear and see, you can invest in materials for the advanced trader down the road.
If you’re going to trade something, you better know what it is you’re trading. These currency sites will help you get up to speed on foreign currency exchange and markets.
Exchange Rate - Skip the top link box, as those links will take you to FXCM (Forex Capital Markets — see #13 and #33). Instead, try out the "hot" and "currency info" links that provide information about everything you’d want to know about worldwide currencies for 170 countries. Includes calculators, fun facts, serious facts, and more.
Oanda - With a free registration you can access customizable currency tools, including calculators and foreign exchange data. If you don’t register you can still access currency exchange tools that are great items for instant information, especially for travelers, let alone forex investors. The Traveler’s Cheat Sheet is indispensable for money-conscious globetrotters.
GoCurrency - This site offers a powerful and accurate currency converter, but don’t stop there. Learn about currencies by country, currency forecasts, and gather insights on foreign investments.
The Euro - Confused about the Euro? Over 13 European Union countries now use the Euro, and this Web site, brought to you by the European Commission, will teach you everything you want to know about this currency. But the Euro represents just one currency among hundreds. Which leads me to my next point…
List of Currencies - This is an extensive list provided by Wikipedia that covers everything from ancient coinage to the current Yen. As with most Wikipedia lists, you might run across a link or two that doesn’t contain information. But, you can use that information to search elsewhere if needed.
Once you’ve learned the basics, the next best thing you can do before you begin to trade is to read up on forex information via traditional financial news sites and blogs. Use the tutorials listed above during this process so that you can grasp the language and learn the strategies involved in any reporting. Take advantage of forums or chats offered by these resources to ask questions:
Action Forex - This site offers an easy-to-read layout that includes news, insights, fundamentals reports, calculators, and tons of other forex resources.
Daily FX - An easy-on-the-eyes news source that offers a calendar, charts, and a forum. Sponsored by FXCM, this site offers a free weekly trading lesson and free quarterly outlook reports. You must be an FXCM client to access the market commentary, but the other "free" news offers a great resource for learning and for staying on top of forex news.
Forex Reader - The Forex Reader is a popular blog that offers updates on financial headlines relegated by currency. It also serves as a resource for individuals seeking a Houston trucking accident attorney along with other legal and financial information.
Forex News - Like most of the sites listed here, Forex News offers more than news. Checkout their forums, their technical news, and their educational and research materials while you’re there. Register for free to take full advantage of the site’s resources, including a chat feature.
FXStreet - Global Forex Trading (GFX) sponsors this forex news site. Use the forums, chats, strategies, techniques, and trading tools to get a feel for forex. Additionally, several bloggers share their insights, including Wayne McDonell’s FX Boot Camp Training Videos (visit his FX Bootcamp site).
Profiting with Forex Blog - You might discover that this newsworthy blog is part of the network, "Profiting with Forex." The blog is interesting, but the backend reports, podcasts, and commentary at the "Profiting" site might appeal to you more.
The Forex Project - Lessons learned first-hand from a forex trader. This site has an unbelievably long list of topics, along with news about the blogger’s personal trading experiences, calculators, charts, news, and a perspective on forex psychology.
Participate in Forums
Speaking of forums, here are a few specific resources where you can tap into information from around the world that may help to answer your questions about forex trading and markets. Be aware that individuals who want to sell their ideas visit these forums, just like any other forums. But, you’ll find a wealth of valid information here as well.
MoneyTec - With over 33,000 members, this traders’ forum offers a format to discuss trading ideas, share, learn, and build new trading techniques and strategies.
Global View Forums - Another free forum that’s been around since 1996. This one focuses solely on forex. You must register to participate.
Forex Factory Forum - You’ll find a Forex Beginner Q&A section as well as topics that focus on specific strategies and techniques. Free to register.
You’ll discover that some forex traders use Fibonacci (Fib) methods, and that others rely on current financial news to divine futures. There are as many strategies as personalities in the forex market, but — like the stock market — they rely either on fundamental or technical analysis. The following contains a mix of the two:
Fibonacci Lesson - Don’t know much ’bout arithmetic, Fibonacci numbers, or the Golden Section? This tutorial, offered by Dr Ron Knott from the Mathematics Department of the University of Surrey, UK will provide results. Simple to use, easy to understand, and filled with illustrations to help you learn why some numbers are so important to nature. Interstingly, these numbers are also of vast interest to many forex investors.
Fibonacci Forex Indicators - Forex Planet will begin to show you how to apply Fibs to forex in this easy-to-understand lesson. But, the lesson is short, so you might try the next resource as well.
Mini-Lesson on Fibonnaci - This lesson also applies to forex, and it offers a short tutorial on applications along with a downloadable Fib calculator.
Intro to Japanese Candlestick Charting - Altavest provides a short and succinct introduction to Japanese candlestick charting, another method that forex traders use to graph charts.
Candlestick Patterns - If you like the Japanese candlestick methodology, this site will thrill you. Extensive patterns are illustrated graphically from basic to single patterns and reversal to continuation formations. This entire site offers some great information on techniques and strategies beyond the candlestick information, so take some time to look around while you’re here. Basically, this site has it all as far as technical analysis goes.
Fundamentals of Forex - Forex TV brings you the lowdown on what type of news would affect forex from a fundamental standpoint. You can use the information on this list to conduct further research, but I’ll bring a few of those topics to you now…
Consumer Price Index (CPI) - The US Department of Labor offers a ton of information just on this page alone through their links. But, the CPI is often influenced by many other factors. If you’re a fundamentalist, you might want to tag this next link for further research as well…
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - Don’t play around with someone else’s opinions. Get the straight stuff from the US Department of Commerce like the pros. Everyone from the White House staff to US Trade Commission employees to trade policy officials who want to negotiate international trade agreements uses the measurements contained on the BEA Web site. Why should you be left out of this information resource?
Charts offer visual validation for technical strategies, but they also reflect fundamental behaviors in the market. Even if you’re a seasoned securities trader, you might want to learn more about the psychology behind forex trading. If you can read all sorts of charts inside and out, you’ll have the forex advantage.
Forex Charting 101 - A brief and basic overview of forex charts from Pip Trader. You’ll discover that the charts are very similar to those that you might use for securities trading. But, some of the charts may seem more complicated if you’re not a seasoned trader.
Free Forex Charts - There’s no reason for me to push you into using a specific chart. Instead, I’ll point you to a short list of free forex charts that you can use for practice. When you’re ready to begin trading, take a look at their lists of premium and system trading charts for professional use. The lists contain ratings and reviews, visuals, features, and tips and tricks for individual charts.
FXCM - Although I don’t advocate specific brokers in this article, when you visit brokerage sites make sure that you take advantage of any free information offered by those businesses. In this instance, Forex Capital Markets offers tons of information about forex trading, and you can sign up for a risk-free 30-day practice account to get your feet wet. Forex.com and several other brokerage sites also offer this free account service. Be aware that when you sign up for these services that you’ll be added to a mailing list. You can opt out of these lists, but read any other pertinent information to make sure that you’re not obligated to purchase anything from any brokerage that you use for services such as this one.
The tools listed below are "sidebars" to all the information listed above. I’ll cut you loose on the last two sites, as they contain just about every site you’d might want to access for more forex information:
rates on this chart.
A Free Book about Forex - This book is truly free, as you don’t need to register to access the PDF file. A forex trader offers information about all the mistakes he made as he learned how to develop his own forex strategy. Short and easy to read, this little book will bring some insights into how to avoid some pitfalls in the forex markets.
Top 100 Forex Sites - Although these sites are rated by popularity and, therefore, subject to rating scams, you can learn much from the sites that are listed simply from the variety of information that’s offered here. Many sites are brokerage firms, but as I mentioned previously you can find free information on many of these sites such as news, calculators, techniques, and more.
There are many other sites that I could list for your forex training, but my next suggestion is to head to your local library and read some books about forex trading. If you find an author or two who are to your liking, begin to study their techniques and strategies both through their books and on the Internet. If you share your information and questions on forums, you might find a mentor who will help you learn how to strategize and to use charts and fundamentals to your advantage as well.
Forex trading isn’t learned overnight; so don’t feel inadequate if you can’t grasp the fine points immediately. You can’t lose by learning more about how world economies work. The information that you gather in your search for forex training will make you a better trader no matter which markets you prefer to use.