Demo and real accounts. Why a demo account? What’s the difference?

For every experienced and successful forex trader, there is a plethora of new and/or inexperienced would-be traders out there. We strongly recommend, especially for the novice trader, that you start by using a demo account.

Why?

Simply because it eases you into the world of real forex trading without financial risk to yourself, because you are, in effect, using an entirely virtual money account.

With a demo account it does not matter to you nor anyone else if you happen to lose a fortune on your first trade. You can always open another demo account or ask your broker to top up the accounnt.

Moreover, it gives you time (over how ever long-a-period you feel you need) time to play with all the brokers facilities and become orientated as to how online forex trading really works and can, in fact, work for you – to your advantage.

A demo also gives you time to realise what type of a trader you are and allows you to develop your own trading strategy. In a nutshell, it gives you the time to develop your wings.

Finally, whether or not one is seasoned trader, when using a new Forex site, for the first time, it is our strong recommendation that one should always become acquainted with how each and every Forex site works, by using the site’s demo trading platform – in order to understand exactly how the site’s software works.

What’s the difference?

Simply put, apart from (as mentioned above) you are using virtual money the difference is virtually unnoticeable – all the features are exactly the same, as in the real account.

The only difference being is that your PC is your dealer, which will always open or close your positions automatically – in accordance with the current market rates. In real trading, it is done manually, by one of our traders.

  1. In demo trading, with the benefit of no risk, should you use up your initial credit, you can easily top this up. Simply go to our user zone with the help of your account and password (Section “Demo Account”).
  2. There are almost no delays, between your inquiry and offer of the exchange to open or close a position. However, in real trading there could be delays of 30-40 seconds.
  3. Rubbish quotes (these are single bounces for more than 30 or more pips from current quotes) are accepted by the PC as real ones on a demo account – participating in the quote system. In a live account they are ignored.
  4. With a real account, it could happen that there is market movement, whilst you are in the middle of closing your position, in line with a certain rate. Should this be the case, your order might not be fulfilled. Hence you will be in receipt of an order to close the position at another (current) market rate.
  5. We believe that there are or can differences, in psychological make up, when a player is using virtual money and real money. It is important not to get carried away, when using a demo account, and not to forget that you are there to study and make good on your real objective – of preparing for the day, when you decide you want to try and spread your wings and fly and become a fully-fledged trader; with the objective of using real (your) money, with the sole objective of making more money, via way of return.
  6. You should be aware of the fact that the market is always moving and sometimes very quickly. An exchange rate are by nature, very changeable and subject to world events and breaking news and it is possible for rates to leap either up or down by several pips on breaking news stories. The speed at which you enter your order into the system may influence the rate according to which you can enter the market. This is one of the many factors that influence the results of your trading.

We strongly advice that you learn, develop and trade the market using a planned forex trading strategy- one that works the best for you.

Remember, there is no one plan which fits all. We are all individuals, and what might work rather well for one person, does not mean that it will work well with you. You should also consider what are the up’s and downs of the loss you can stand.

In essence we cannot stress enough, the importance of having a plan and following that plan. This does, however, call for a rather ruthless approach and it is all too easy, for the human emotion to kick in.

However, the other thing is that with real trading, you are using real money and it could be those very human emotions, which could also stop you from making a good kill. Therefore you need to be able to temper your emotions with the cold realisation of the hard facts of what all the indicators/signals are telling you.

Our demo version will give you all the tools and the time necessary, preparing you for the day when you will be ready to take your first flight, into the real world of Forex.

We wish you good luck. As usual, you should always be aware that there is the potential for loss as well as very attractive gain.

Forex trading training in kenya

For convenience sake, let’s say that you’re studying the EURO and your trading strategies are telling you that the prices will rise or rally, during a given time frame. You buy the EUR/USD pair or, technically speaking; you will simultaneously buy euros as the base currency and sell dollars.

So, you open up your trading platform, which is usually provided for you free by your online forex broker, and you then see that that the EUR/USD pair’s are trading at EUR/USD: 1.3242/45, for example. It is important to remember that the quote (1.3242) on the left, is the bit or “sell” price, which you obtain, when in USD’s when you sell EUR’s. the quote, on he right (1.3245), is used to obtain the ask or the “buy” price, which is what you have to pay in USD if you buy EUR.

Based on the belief that the market price for the EUR/USD pair will climb, you then enter a “buy position” in the market. Simply put, let’s assume that you’ve bought one lot at 1.3245 and as long as you sell the pair at a higher price; then you’ve made some money.

This seemingly complicated process is handled and calculated for you, via your broker’s software and trading platform. The charts and quotes board software should be in agreement with all currency sides.

Let’s have a look at this type of scenario, involving the USD/JPY currency pair. Remember, selling (“going short”) the currency pair implies selling the first base currency and then buying the second, quote currency. If you believe that the base currency (USD) will go down, relative to the quote (JPY) currency or, equivalently , you believe that the quote (JPY) currency will go up, relative to the (USD) base currency, then you sell or “go short”.

NOTE: while the Profit Calculations, on the Short-sell trade scenario below, may seem somewhat complicated if you’ve never been in the FOREX market before, trust us when we say, “this process is nearly seamless through your broker trade station (software). We’re just showing you this thought-process below so you can SEE how a PROFIT occurs even when. also view Forex Education.

Selling a Currency Pair. The current bid/ask price for USD/JPY is 105.26/105.30, meaning you can buy $1 US for 105.30 Japanese YEN or sell $1 US for 105.26 YEN. Suppose you decide that the US Dollar (USD) is overvalued against the YEN (JPY). To execute this strategy, you would sell Dollars (simultaneously buying YEN), and then wait for the exchange rate to rise.

So you make the trade: selling US $100,000 and purchasing 10,526,000 YEN. (Remember, at 1% margin, your initial margin deposit would be $1,000.). as you expected, USD/JPY falls to 104.26/104.30, meaning you can now buy $1 US for $104.30 Japanese YEN or sell $1 US for 104.26.

Since you’re short dollars (and are long YEN), you must now buy dollars and sell back the YEN to realize any profit. You buy US $100,000 at the current USD/JPY rate of 104.30, and receive 10,430,000 YEN. Since you originally bought(paid for) 10,526,000 YEN, your profit is 96,000 YEN.

To calculate your P&L in terms of US dollars, simply divide 96,000 by the current USD/JPY rate of 104.30. Total profit = US $920.42.

In a nutshell forex trading is really just that – foreign exchange currency trading, which today we know as Forex.

The forex market found popularity in the mid nineties and has gained in sophistication and momentum since then. It has become something of an immeasurable entity, with millions going online to trade on the forex market on an almost daily basis.

As a result, the forex market now trades billions of dollars, pounds, or whatever currency you care to name twenty-four hours a day, and the only time it’s closed is at the weekend.

However, worldwide time differences, mean that the shop, which is forex, is hardly ever closed. Therefore, the forex market is not a fixed, physical, entity.

And here is the difference between online currency trading and a physical trading market place like say, the New York Stock Exchange, The City of London, or the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where the traders are limited to the trading hours of these places.

In contrast, the world of the internet forex trading has no such limitations. The internet market permits one to trade from anywhere there happens to be an Internet connection; be it from home, an Internet cafe, or even from one’s work place, in the office.

There are numerous online currency trading platforms, from which to choose from, and it could be said that each online currency trader, has his/her favourite. For those new to forex trading, however, the choice should be made with care, and it is always advisable to try the various “demo” versions as fully as possible.

It must be said, thought that as well as having the possibility to make and take profit(s) from on-line currency trading, it is also possible to incur losses as well, so be careful and never spend more than you can easily afford to lose.

In Summary

Internet forex trading is purchasing one currency, for another, with the view of making a profit against the weakness of the currency one’s purchasing.

However, because the market can change within the wink of an eye – one has to have an agile mind, confidence, and to possess awareness of world and up to the minute financial affairs.

The online forex market can and will have sharp reactions to terrorist acts, for example and/or acts of God, for example hurricanes, which could upset crude oil supply and delivery.

And, although the markets now readily adjust to such affairs these days; the sudden drops and spikes, as a result, very often could and do, take one by surprise, nevertheless – even the most experienced of traders.

An average of $1.9 trillion is traded on Forex market daily, thus making it the world’s biggest market, and although anyone can now join in on online currency trading, the biggest players – day in day out, are the banks, which range from commercial to investment institutions as well as, registered, futures commission merchants.

How to start earning from forex trading in kenya

Forex trading in Kenya has in the last ten years taken off as a result of penetration pf internet. Unlike the years gone by, almost every Kenyan has access to the internet.

Additionally, the options and trading applications and platforms, now on offer from the abundance of web sites promoting their services – quite literally spoils one for choice.

But what is Forex trading?

Forex trading in its simplest form is trading one currency against another currency. Traders profit from the fluctuations in the value of the different currencies.

The internet forex trading of today can be traced back to the time when man first started trading one or several items in exchange for others. This was and is known as bartering and that’s how things continued until the introduction of money.

The origins of the word money stem from the Latin word, “moneta,” which in turn comes from the Greek temple of “Hera the Moneta.” And this is where money first came from, in the early days of Rome.

Money, in itself, must be a scarce good and many items have been used as money, from naturally scarce metals and minerals, to conch shells and cigarettes, to artificial banknotes; i.e. paper money.

Money is, in its crudest form, a token – an abstraction and perhaps the most popular of that is the form of paper money, in the design of banknotes, which is the most common sign of physical money. Gold and silver retain, however, many of the essential properties of money. An example of cigarettes, being used as “money,” may be found in many prisons, where the usual forms of coins and notes are prohibited, from being held by their inmates.

Bartering, however, has several problems, most notably timing constraints. If you wish to trade fruit for wheat, you can only do this when the fruit and wheat are both available at the same time and place. That may be a very brief time, or it may be never. With an intermediate commodity (whether it be shells, rum, gold, etc.) you can sell your fruit when it is ripe and take the intermediate commodity. You can then use the intermediate commodity to buy wheat when the wheat harvest comes in. Thus the use of money makes all commodities become more liquid.

Forex trading is where (as already mentioned), one currency is bought and sold against the fluctuation rate of that of another, on the international currency exchange market, with the idea of selling one currency against the other for profit. Money has always been traded, through the centuries. However, this was, until the advent of the Internet; usually the exclusive domain of the rich and that of their brokers. Before the Internet, anyone wishing to make a currency exchange, went through an agent, known as a broker, who bought and sold, at what he thought were the best rates of exchange. For this, they extracted a fee, unusually via of a percentage of the total sum of the deal.

The forex trading market I always in a continuous state of flux due to the continuous rates of variability on the foreign markets and this as a direct result of supply and demand and, amongst other things, domestic stocks, and international trade patterns, tendencies, and movements.

Today, with the richness and abundance of the Internet, anyone can become their own forex trader, from the comfort of their own home, start trading and stand a good possibility of making money, after a little trail and experience.

Forex trading, on the Internet really started to take off, in the mid-nineties and at that time there were only a handful of web sites, with (in comparison to today’s usage) a handful of people. These people started trading from home, during the day, and rapidly became known as Day Traders and all of this really got started in the US. For many forex trading even became a way of life, with many giving up their regular jobs, and making money for themselves, in real time and at home.

With the advent of broadband, with good and secure high speed connections becoming a forex trader is not difficult and simply requires a degree of understanding of how the markets work, spotting what the tendencies are and making a trade on what you think is going on in the forex market. Forex trading is no longer the exclusive domain of the rich and their brokers – rather it there to be used by one and all, with a degree of intellect, and an aptitude for spotting market trends, and making a trade on what he or she thinks will happen to that currency next.

Master your Mind, Develop the Perfect Trading Discipline

Every successful forex trader needs a set of skills and characteristics. Some of these skills we can acquire through training while others we can only develop from constant practice, which is why a demo account comes handy.

The ability to understand the fundamentals of a currency and the ability to point the direction of the trend, for instance, are some of the key skills that online forex trading demands, but none of them is as important as developing the proper trading psychology and discipline.

What’s it About Trading Discipline That is so Important?

If you ask me, or any other sober forex trader in Kenya, they will tell you that the psychological aspect of trading is the most important and defining part of trading. Forget about a fancy trading system or a million-dollar forex trading course, if your psychological game is not intact, you are headed for doom.

A s a forex trader you will always be entering and exiting trades, sometimes on very short notice. The market will constantly force you to make snap decisions. To operate profitably in such circumstances, you will need an incredible mental game, and by extension, discipline, so that you are able to stick to your plan.

This is what we call self-discipline.

According to Mark Douglas, the author of Trading in the Zone, self-discipline is “a mental technique to redirect our focus of attention to the object of our goal or desire, when that goal or desire conflicts with some other component of our mental environment.”

In short, self-discipline is the ability to develop a mental framework that lets you stay focused and motivated in spite of challenges, losses, mistakes, and conflicts of interest. Particularly, you will need to teach yourself how to get rid of the negative feeling that is associated with losses and setbacks.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. When faced by the real market risk, many traders abandon their trading plans and succumb to emotional trading. Greed, fear and euphoria can get the best of you and ruin your plans.

Things would have been different if self-discipline was a trait that you were born with. Unfortunately, it is not.

Many traders find it difficult to develop steady forex trading discipline, which is why automated forex trading software has become so common. But trust me, it is possible to develop the right trading discipline. Being disciplined will help you become a more profitable trader in the long run, even if you decide to use automated trading software in the future.

Here is how you can build your trading discipline:

Developing Clear Trading Goals

Setting clear trading goals and understanding the motivation behind your trading is a good place to begin. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to trade forex? What do I want to gain and achieve from investing in the forex market?”

Sitting in front of your computer, taking trades and hoping for the best is not enough. You must have a target in mind. What are you aiming to achieve by taking that particular trade? How many pips do you hope to gain?

Many beginner forex traders get into trading because they feel it is a get-rich channel. They set unrealistic goals and pay a hefty price for that. Don’t just set a bunch of crappy goals because I told you to do so. Your goals need to be realistic. It is important that you set challenging but achievable goals to avoid frustrations that may result from not hitting your target.

Without a goal in mind, it is possible to let the discouragement of being new to trading defeat your desire to learn.

Here is something that you must keep in mind as you venture into forex trading; every endeavor that you set to undertake will always be difficult in the beginning. This hold true more in online forex trading. Chances are that you will suffer many losses. This part will be disheartening, and if you are not disciplined, chances are that you will give up trading.

Maintaining Focus on What Needs to Be Done

Setting clear and realistic goals puts you one step closer to becoming a successful and disciplined forex trader. It is easier to stay focused on your goals, but that assumes that you actually get off your ass and do what needs to be done i.e. trading. For instance, if your goal is to let profits run and cutting your losses short, you must start putting trailing stops to your trades.

On the contrary, if you did not set clear trading goals, you’ll probably waste a lot of time trying to figure out what needs to be done. In return, this makes you more susceptible to your emotions.

Keeping a Trading Journal

Keeping a trading journal is an easy way to track your past trades. It can also help you identify areas that you need to work on. I also find that a trading journal helps me avoid making impromptu trades since I hold myself accountable for every trade that I take.

After a streak of losses, many traders, I included, start to take trades that are not in their plan. By recording your trades in a journal, you will identify this behavior and work to correct it.

A trading journal is also a great way to keep yourself motivated. It is unavoidable that you will face a lot of obstacles along the way. There will be a lot of times when you will feel discouraged and ready to give up. This is where your self-discipline will be put to the test. In order to succeed, your resolve to push on must be greater than the temptation to give up.

When you have reached your trading goals, take some time to refer back to your trading journal. What were the trades that you took that led to your target. What kind of analysis led you to hit your target? Can you replicate it on your future trades?

Beginner Tips and Tricks for Trading Forex on a Demo Account

The best way for beginner forex traders to become acquainted with the forex market is to trade on a demo account.

But where do you get a free demo account to practice trading?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Many forex brokers offer a free demo/practice account. To access the demo, you only need to sign up on the broker’s website for free, and you are good to go.

Practice or demo accounts are funded with ‘virtual money’. You are free to use the virtual money to place trades in the market. Any profits made on a forex demo account cannot be withdrawn, neither can loses be debited on your account.

Why Demo Accounts?

Practice accounts give you a great opportunity to experience the live forex markets without putting any of your money at risk.

  • You can analyze how prices change in different times of the day
  • You can see how the behavior of different currency pairs differ from each other
  • You can see how the forex markets reacts to different news releases
  • start analyzing charts and improve your understanding of how margin and leverage work
  • You can use a demo forex trade account to strengthen your strategy before putting it live

Using a demo account, you can start trading in real market conditions without the fear that you are going to lose money. If you are looking for experience in forex trading, a demo account is what you need.

Demo/practice accounts are also an excellent way of testing how a certain broker’s platform works. Unfortunately, there is one thing that you can’t simulate on a demo trading account: the emotions of trading. To get the best out of your trading account, you will have to treat it as if it contained your hard-earned money.

Getting Started With a Demo Account

I assume that you have already signed up with a forex broker of your choice. If you haven’t, I recommend you do so right now. Here are our recommended partners.

There are two broad ways that you can trade forex on the markets. You either place direct orders using a click-and-deal featured on the MT4 or you employ orders to be executed when the market meets certain conditions.

Placing Click-and-Deal Orders

Many forex traders love trading the market at its current positions (click-and-deal orders). They love the certainty of knowing they are in the action as opposed to placing an order that may or may not be placed. This ‘live activity’ is part of what makes the forex market so alluring. It is like sitting in a room full of stock brokers shouting their orders (think the Wolf of Wall Street!)

Most forex brokers provide trading platforms that give you the live stream of currency prices in the market. These platforms will allow you to place a trade with a single click of your mouse button.

To place a trade on such platforms,

  1. Specify what amount you want to trade
  2. Click buy or sell

The forex platform will respond instantly, mostly within a second or two. If the trade went through, you will receive a popup notification and your MT4 will update to show your open position. If the price changed in-between you placing the order, the platform will notify you that the trade did not go through.

The order might also fail to go through if your trade is larger than the margin allowed. In this case, you will need to reduce your trade size and try again.

One important thing to keep in mind when trading on a click-and-deal platform: Any action you take on the platform is your sole responsibility. You might have meant to click “Sell” instead of “Buy”, but no one knows for sure, except you.

Using Orders on a Demo Account

Orders are an important part of the forex market. They are trades waiting to happen. Savvy forex traders use orders to catch market entry points that would otherwise elude them when they are not in front of a trading screen.

Recall that the forex market is open for 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. A market move is as likely to happen when you are in front of your screen as when you are deep asleep. If you have a daytime job, market moves are also most likely to happen when you are deeply engrossed in your boss’s menial work.

Orders are how you are able to capture market moves and enter trades when you are not in front of your trading screen.

But orders are have more uses than simply capturing market movements when you are asleep. I can’t emphasis the importance of using orders strongly enough. In a highly volatile market, using orders can help you capitalize on quick market movements while limiting the impact of negative market moves on your account.

Common Forex Market Orders

There are many type of orders available in the forex market. However, all orders are not available with every online broker. Before you sign up for a forex account with your broker, you will need to verify whether they offer all orders that you might want to place during your trading career.

Take profit orders

Don’t you just love the name!

Take profit order are used to lock in the profits that you have already accumulated on a trade.

Limit orders

A limit order is an order that triggers a trade at a more favorable price than the prevailing market price. A classic example of a limit order would be “Buy low, sell high”

Stop loss order

This one doesn’t sound so good, does it? But don’t ignore it. Among all orders, the stop loss order carries more significance and is critical to your success as a forex trader in Kenya.

In their most conventional use, stop loss orders will close a trade that is losing money. In your case, you’ll be using stop loss orders to limit loses to an acceptable threshold. If you do not set stop loss orders, you are leaving your account at the mercies of the market, which is nothing short of financial suicide.

Trailing stop-loss orders

One of the keys to successful forex trading is limiting the size of your loses while exponentially maximizing your profits.

The best way to do this is to let your winning positions run and stopping your losing positions. A trailing stop-loss order does exactly that. It will adjust its order rate as the market move, but only in the direction of your trade. For instance, if you are long CHF/CAD at an entry of 1.5750, and you’ve set a trailing stop-loss order at 30 pips, the stop will first become at 1.5720.

If the CHF/CAD moves higher, the trailing stop adjusts itself, pip for pip. It will continue to adjust higher as the market moves higher. If the market reaches its peak, the trailing stop will be 30 pips below the top. If the market ever moves down by 30 pips, your trailing stop-loss will be triggered and your position will be closed.

To the savvy Kenya forex trader, a trailing stop is a powerful order.

One-Cancels-the-Other Market Orders

Also commonly referred as OCO’s, a one-cancels-the-other market order is a stop loss order paired with a take profit order.

An OCO is an incredible insurance to a savvy forex trader. All positions remain open until one of the order levels is hit. When one order level is triggered, the other one is simultaneously closed.

For instance, if you are short on USD/JPY at 117.00 and you believe that the currency will keep moving up once it hits 117.50, you’d place your stop loss order at that point. At you then place your take profit here.

The above scenario has clearly marked out your playing field. If the USD/JPY keeps playing between 117.49 and 116.26, your positions will remain open. Conversely, if the market hits 116.25, your take profit order is triggered and you walk away smiling. If 117.50 is hit first, you’ll suffer some clearly pre-demarcated loss, nothing to worry you so much.

OCO orders are highly recommended for every order you have open in the market.

Managing Trades on a Demo Account

At this stage, you have placed orders and placed all the requisite orders. Is it time to sit back, relax, and watch the market do its thing, right?

Not so fast, amigo.

The forex market is not some form of gamble where you roll the dice and wait for Lady Luck to smile upon you; it is a dynamic environment where variables that influence your trades are constantly cropping up. These variables alter the way prices develop and render previous price expectations null.

A lot can happen between the time you set up your trades and the time they hit their targets. Forex trading is not a set-it-and-forget it kind of a thing. You need to keep abreast with market developments.