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Former investment bank FX trader: some thoughts

Former investment bank FX trader: some thoughts
Hi guys,
I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert.
I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning.
When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions.
The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts
Part I
  • Why it matters
  • Position sizing
  • Kelly
  • Using stops sensibly
  • Picking a clear level

Why it matters

The first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.”
You have to keep it before you grow it.
Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around.
The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices.
Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.

Capital and position sizing

The first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose.
Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market.
A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples.
So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000.
We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be?
We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator".

https://preview.redd.it/y38zb666e5h51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26e4fe569dc5c1f43ce4c746230c49b138691d14
So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital.
You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk.
Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later.
The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work.
As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you.
Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints.
For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly:

https://preview.redd.it/q2ea6rgae5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=4332cb8d0bbbc3d8db972c1f28e8189105393e5b
To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you.
Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown.
It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance.
Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k.
Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money.
Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.

Kelly Criterion

If you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number?
The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round.
This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet.
Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin.
Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips.
Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds.
Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this:
Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio
If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically.
If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss.
So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%.
Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit!
With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not.
Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account.
Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see.
This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders.
Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
  • How many live trades have you done? Often they’ll have done only a handful of real trades and the rest are simulated backtests, which are overfitted. The model will soon die.
  • What is your risk-reward ratio on each trade? If you have a take profit $3 away and a stop loss $100 away, of course most trades will be winners. You will not be making money, however! In general most traders should trade smaller position sizes and less frequently than they do. If you are going to bias one way or the other, far better to start off too small.

How to use stop losses sensibly

Stop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them.
A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter.
The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’.
This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK.
Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty.
You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter.
Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders.
A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not.
Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates
There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”.
It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong.
Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.

Picking a clear level

Where you leave your stop loss is key.
Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible.

If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop
You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200.
The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up.
Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD.

https://preview.redd.it/moyngdy4f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=91af88da00dd3a09e202880d8029b0ddf04fb802
If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend.
So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level.
There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section.
There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high.

https://preview.redd.it/ygy0tko7f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=34af49da61c911befdc0db26af66f6c313556c81
Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument.
Here are some guidelines that can help:
  1. Use technical analysis to pick important levels (support, resistance, previous high/lows, moving averages etc.) as these provide clear exit and entry points on a trade.
  2. Ensure that the stop gives your trade enough room to breathe and reflects your timeframe and typical volatility of each pair. See next section.
  3. Always pick your stop level first. Then use a calculator to determine the appropriate lot size for the position, based on the % of your account balance you wish to risk on the trade.
So far we have talked about price-based stops. There is another sort which is more of a fundamental stop, used alongside - not instead of - price stops. If either breaks you’re out.
For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.

Coming up in part II

EDIT: part II here
Letting stops breathe
When to change a stop
Entering and exiting winning positions
Risk:reward ratios
Risk-adjusted returns

Coming up in part III

Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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GOLD: pills against uncertainty

GOLD: pills against uncertainty

Reversed world

“Hey, gold, what are you doing over there at $1470? You are supposed to aim at $1900 – we are in a crisis here!” – that’s your righteous question to the precious metal. Although it did show an elevated trajectory for a while until recently, none of that seems “worthy” of the severity of the moment.
Gold, monthly chart
Especially, if you zoom in and see the most recent move of the shining metal. By falling to the support of $1450, it completely erased all the coronavirus-related gains and got back to where it was at the end of the year 2019.
Then, the US and China seized tariff fire and eventually announced that they were finally closing the theater of trade war and were on the way to sign the trade agreement. That was promising peace and prosperity to the nations, and the year was ending well, full of moderately optimistic expectations for 2020. Not for gold though. “Well”, - gold thought – “there is no place for me in such a confident and economically expanding riskless world”. Eventually, its price gave room to the calmness of the market and continued its usual trajectory of mildly gaining value.
Gold, daily chart
The interesting thing is that when the virus came – that is marked by the red vertical line – gold did not change its trajectory. If you remove the last move it did - that brick-like drop from $1700 to $1450 – and ignore that the virus is now reigning the globe, you would have little ground to suspect that something unusual is happening in the world. At least, from gold’s point of view: according to the chart, it didn’t seem to worry about states bent into recession and tens of thousands sick or dead. Not more than before that, at least. The curve of the price performance did not change before and after the outbreak – the straight green line confirms that. Visually, until the second half of February, when China was in flames of the coronavirus, gold felt exactly like it did in December when the US and China were cheerful of each other’s commitments to the trade deal.
And there is another interesting thing – the very last episode of gold price performance. The said drop. It is absolutely extraordinary because it is – in theory – supposed to be reversed. A millennia-long-living asset bringing joy to the eye of its owner, gold normally gets multiplied attention from investors seeking to secure and guard their funds when troubles kick in. Now, it is all the contrary: it plunges like a fraudulent security of a third-grade bank.
What’s happening?

Red pill

First, a very superficial but a very fair conclusion is: gold is not a “yes-sir” safe-haven commodity and does not react to the world of events as such. Nor does it react “on time”. Therefore, second, it is not as predictable as, say, oil prices are in their response to the KSA-Russia oil price stalemate.
Does it mean that gold should be disregarded as a refuge to the money of scared investors? No. But we have to delineate gold as a physical asset owned by individuals and organizations and guarded in, say, Fort Knox and gold traded in multiple market platforms as a virtual asset through, including, derivatives such as CFDs. It is exactly the latter that we have in Forex. And these, although they do have a correlation to the price of the physical gold nuggets traded across the world, are largely affected by speculations and price manipulations, whatever they may be.
That’s why you cannot rely on gold 100% as on a safe haven all the time in your trade. You have to weigh it against other assets, measure its reaction to the events and elaborate your judgment about it. The general guidelines are there – gold rises in the times of crises – but that alone is not enough to make successful trades. You need tactical information on its movement and tactical levels to watch. And its recent drop from $1700 to $1450 is another justification for that. If you bought gold even at the lows of $1600 expecting it to reverse upward on the spooked market mood, you would lose your funds by the current moment.
So again, what’s happening?

Red pill #2

First, you have to factor-in market unpredictability into your general trading methodology. More precisely, you have to factor-in the fact the sometimes you will see prices move the way you cannot predict and do not understand. And that has nothing to do with available information: in hindsight, you can explain almost any phenomenon on the Forex market, regardless of your level of situational awareness. For example, how can we explain the recent performance of the gold price? Observers’ opinions vary from blunt references to omnipresent panic that nullifies the safe-haven immunity of gold to sophisticated schemes that advocate selling off this metal to suppress its automatically increasing equity share fueled by other assets’ reduction. While both may be relevant, for you that means one honest confession cited by Bloomberg after US Fed’s failure to make markets happy by the rate cut:
"The traditional rules are out of order and there is nothing which can be classified as a safe haven – not even gold".
Note: this “even” underlines that fundamentally, gold has an undisputed recognition as a reserve asset, but at the moment, it does not function as it normally would.

Blue pill

Steel started gaining value as it seems to be a “newly-founded” safe-haven asset as seen from the perspective of the Chinese market. But we are not suggesting you piling up steel rods in your backyard.
The suggestion is: be flexible. Treat gold as your usual currency pair. Don’t take it for granted that it is “supposed” to rise in bad times. It is not, as you have already learned. Not always, at least. And one apparently cannot really know when it follows the default rule, and when it doesn’t. But one can always apply the same rules of observation and market interpretation which are applied to the rest of the Forex market. Follow the trend, reinforce it with fundamentals. If these don’t work, go technical. Once you have indications for upward reversal – buy. Once you have a downward move anticipated – short. Currently, from a purely technical perspective, a short-term upward correction is likely to happen because there is no fundamental reason to press on for a non-stop plunge while the Awesome Oscillator and the hesitation at the current level of $1470 indicate an upward-sideways mood.

Blue pill #2

No pain no gain. But as Warren Buffet said, Mr. Market doesn’t force you to trade. If you feel like you are confident to do it, you are welcome – you have all the instruments, and FBS is all but available to help you. If not – come any other minute, hour or day – he will always be glad to serve you with opportunities to make profits.

P. S.

However, keep in mind that Mr. Market, although happy to serve you endless chances of benefit, doesn’t decide when the next coronavirus comes. Therefore, don’t lose your chance to use this once-in-a-decade strike of nature to your financial advantage.
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What Is Forex?

What Is Forex?

A New Era

Although it might seem easy to invest in Forex nowadays, by just logging into an account with a broker, deposit some money and start actively trading; it has not always been like this, as forex industry has rapidly changed in the past three decades.
Before technology and free-floating currencies took over the industry, world currency exchanges were operating under the Bretton Woods System of Money Management. This agreement established rules for commercial and financial relations among top economies, tying their currencies to gold. Hence, a currency note issued by any world government represented a real amount of gold held in a vault by that nation. When in July 1944 delegates from all over the world sign off the pact, the main goal was to reduce lack of cooperation between countries and therefore avoiding currency wars. This process of regulating the foreign exchange brought to the foundation of the international money fund (IMF) and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), today part of World bank Group.
However, in the early 70s the real-world economics outpaced the system, dollar suffered from severe inflation cutting its value by half. At that time unemployment rate was 6.1% and inflation 5.84%. Finally, in August 1971, U.S. government led by Richard Nixon took away gold standard, creating the first fiat currency and replacing Bretton Woods System with De Facto. Together with this there were other important measures taken by the USA president to combat that high inflation regime:
  1. This decision was driven by many European nations asking to redeem their dollars for gold, till leaving Bretton Woods System. This had an enormous impact on USD which plunged against European currencies. Consequently, USA congress release a report suggesting USD devaluation to protect the currency from foreign gougers. However, dollar dropped again, and Treasury Secretary was directed to suspend the USD convertibility with gold; hence foreign governments could no longer exchange their USD with gold.
  2. The inflation level was skyrocketing and one more action taken by Nixon was to freeze all wages and prices for 90 days, this was the first time since WWII.
  3. Import surcharge of 10% was set up to safeguard American products ensuring no disadvantage in trades.
Today, USD dominates financial markets, accounting together with the EURO, for approximately 50% of all currency exchange transactions in the world.
1971 represents the beginning of a new forex trading era, bringing this market to be the largest and most liquid in the world, with an average of daily trading volume exceeding $5trn. All the world’s combined stock markets don t even come close to this, what does this mean to you?
In an environment which is controlled by free-floating currencies moving constantly, following principles of supply and demand, there are constant and exciting trading opportunities, unavailable when investing in different markets.
In this article are shared main features of what is forex trading today and how can be an incredible new source of income for everyone who is into financial markets.

What Is Forex?

Forex is the acronym for foreign exchange which intends to be a decentralized or over the counter (OTC) marketplace, where currencies from all over the world are traded 24 hours, five days a week. Main financial centres include New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Frankfurt for Eurozone. It is by far the largest market in the world in terms of volume, followed by the credit market. Being highly liquid is an important feature that allows traders to be able to enter and exit their positions very quickly. Nevertheless, while trading forex, an investor should be aware of several components:
Dynamicity – forex is an extremely fast environment, this means that currency rates can move very fast, influenced by price action signals and fundamental factors. Therefore, going into forex trading, one needs to be aware of adopting serious risk and money management strategies in order to be effective, limiting losses.
Zero Sum Game – trading forex is not like investing in the stock market but is known to be a zero-sum game. For example, going into the equity market buying some tech shares, they could both rise or decrease in value. In forex is different because currencies work in pairs; for instance, an investor decides Euro will go up he or she is doing it against another currency. Thus, in this specific marketplace one currency will rise while the other will fall, meaning an investor is buying the currency hoping it will appreciate to the other, or selling the one that will depreciate.
See image below:
Figure 1: Main traded currency pairs
https://preview.redd.it/vu77ziuoyle31.png?width=574&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b1693bf27508fcb142705c309de1fc5b3e8fa19
Currency pairs are composed by a base and a price currency. Main forex trading principle is how much price currency an investor can buy using 1 unit of the base, thus, the base currency, which is the first one in line within the quotation, is always equal to 1.
Because like every financial instrument currency pairs are driven by fundamentals of supply and demand, forex is intensively influenced by geopolitical and macroeconomic factors.
Capital Markets – these are the most visible indicators of a country economic health, where usually the healthier the economy the stronger the currency. For example, a rapid sell-off from a country will show that nation is not economically stable, subsequently investors will think negatively of it depreciating its currency.
Moreover, many countries are sector driven, this means that their currencies are strictly correlated with certain resources. For instance, Canada which is a commodity-based market, CAD is strictly linked to price of Brent and metals, a swing in those will affect the Canadian currency.
Finally, credit market is also connected to forex since also relies heavily on interest rate so, a change in bond yield will have major impact on currency prices. like increase in yield will favour bullish market for USD
International Trade – Trade levels serve as a proxy for relative demand of goods from a nation, a country which goods and services that are in high demand internationally, will experience an appreciation to its currency. This is an effect driven by all other countries converting their currencies into the one of that state to purchase its goods and services. Let’s say a product from USA is in high demand globally, all the other countries must sell their currencies to buy dollars to then see their goods shipped, thus USD will appreciate.
Trade surplus and deficit also indicate a nation competitive standing in international trade. Countries with a large trade deficit are usually importers resulting in more of their currencies being sold to buy goods worldwide, thus they will see their currencies devaluate.
Geopolitics – The political landscape of a nation places a major role in the economic outlook for that country and consequently, the perceived value of its own currency. Beside building up price action strategies, based purely on price levels, forex traders constantly look at economic calendars and news to gauge what could move currencies. A geopolitical event which is having a great impact on GBP, is the election of Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, driving the local currency to 2 years low, yesterday 29th of July 2019. Therefore, when investors observe instability from a nation political environment, there are high chances that the currency of that country will depreciate.

Why Trading Forex

Beside swapping from a gold standard to free-floating, which change the whole forex trading game, technology is another crucial factor that helped this financial sector to spread globally. With the introduction of internet in the 90s forex opened to retail investors giving access to various trading platforms. The introduction of online platforms and retail investments have increased forex market volume by 5%, up to $250bn of its daily turnover. Different traders may have different reasons for selecting forex, however, mostly is because this is a fertile market plenty of daily opportunities to gauge price action and profit from it.

Volatility

How traders profit from trading forex? Basics of trading are rather simple to understand. An investor buys an asset at a certain price hoping to get rid of it for a higher price. The more volatile is the market for that specific financial instrument, the more revenue is possible to make. Therefore, a trader is looking for long up and down moves rather than market fluctuating sideways.
Volatility is great in forex and a trader can expect to regularly see prices oscillating 50-100 pips on major currency pairs almost any day of the week. Yet again, due to this enormous constant fluctuation, potential losses or gains can be very high thus, rigours money management must be applied to avoid major damages and become a profitable trader. To conclude, volatility is the main characteristic investors are looking at and that is why it is one of the main feature traders can take advantage.
See image below:

Figure 2: FDAX Volatility, H4 (30th May 2019, 16:00, 30th July 2019, 16:00)

Accessibility & Technology

While volatility is the most important element out in the market that tell us why forex is the best market to trade, accessibility comes straight after. This market is more accessible than all the others, trading forex requires an online desk position and as little as $100 to start off an account.
In comparison with the other financial markets, forex requires a rather low trading capital. Moreover, trading forex can be easily accessible from your PC, tablet or mobile since most of retail broker firms operate online. Although, accessibility cannot tell the quality of the market by itself, it definitely shows a reason why many investors try their first trading experience on forex.
Also, the rapid introduction of technology since the 90s, made trading much easier. There are every year more advanced online platforms to trade on with many possible updates and that is why trading forex is edging for many global investors.

Forex Players

Before the introduction of free-floating currency and more importantly cutting hedge technology, forex was a market that could have been traded only by institutional investors. Nowadays however, even retail and individual investor can take advantage of the huge volume forex offers every day.
Banks
Interbank market is the major responsible for the high volume registered daily in forex. This is the place where banks exchange currency among each other, facilitating forex transactions for customers and speculate for their trading desks.
  • Clients transactions: in this case banks of all size act as dealer for clients, where the bid-ask spread represents the profit for the institutions.
  • Speculation: currencies are traded to profit from their price fluctuations as well as to increase diversification on their portfolio
Because banking institutions are the biggest players in foreign exchange market, they are able to push up and down the price of currencies giving an extreme advantage and higher volatility to individual traders who are trying to gauge price moves.
Central Banks
Central banks representing their nation’s government, are crucial in forex. They oversee monetary and fiscal policies having massive influence on currency rates. A central bank is responsible for fixing the price level of its native currency on the market, in other words they take care of the regime currencies will float in the open market.
  • Floating: these are the currencies which price floats on the open market based on principles of supply and demand relative to other currencies
  • Pegged (fixed exchange rate): opposite to floating currencies pegged ones are not free-floating in the open market however, their government rather tie them to the value of a stronger foreign currency. Pegged currencies are more seen in developing countries (CYN to USD).
Because central banks manage interest rates in order to increase the competitiveness of their native nation to another.
  • Dovish: these policies will be lowering down interest rates. A central bank which applies dovish conditions aims to give economic stimulus and guard against deflation. Usually a policy intended to give economy stimulus will weakening the currency value.
  • Hawkish: on the other hand, hawkish policies lead to an increase in interest rate. A central bank that uses hawkish measures aims to reduce inflation. Typically, this kind of policies will reinforce the country currency value.
Investment Managers & Hedge Funds
Portfolio managers and hedge funds are the second investors in forex after central and investment banks. They are hired by huge institutions such as pension to manage their assets. However while portfolio managers of pool funds will buy currency to speculate on foreign securities, hedge funds execute speculative trades as part of their strategies.
Corporations
Also international corporation play a big role in forex. Those firms operating globally, buying and selling goods and services are involved in forex transactions daily. Imagine an American company producing pipes that imports Japanese components and sell the finished product to China. After the sale is closed the CYN must be converted back to USD, while the American company must exchange USD into JPY to repay for the components supply.
Moreover, company involved in international trade have an interest in forex in order to hedge the risk associated with currencies fluctuations making several foreign exchange transactions. For instance, the same American company might buy JPY at spot rate, or enter a swap agreement to obtain JPY in advance, overtaking the risk of the Japanese currency to rise in the future. Therefore, forex become crucial to run companies with many subsidiaries and suppliers all over the word.
Individual & Retail Investors
Even though this investor cluster brings to forex a very limited volume compared to financial institutions and corporations, it is rapidly growing in numbers and popularity. These base their trades on a mixture of fundamentals and technical analysis.
Bottom line, main reason why forex is the most traded market in the world is because gives everyone, from top financial institutions to retail and individual trades, opportunities to make returns on capital invested from currencies price fluctuations related to global economy.
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Transcript of George Webb Video Series Part 101: "Hillary's Leakers, Hackers, and Henchmen" [@Georgwebb / #HRCRatlne]

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Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Feature: U.S. dignitaries say U.S., China must keep good relations to benefit world
  2. 'Serious' hack attacks from China targeting UK firms: The gang behind the attacks has compromised technology service firms and plans to use them as a proxy for attacks, security firms have said
  3. Americans' concerns about China: ranked
  4. China donated 12,173 tonnes of rice to Zimbabwe to assist vulnerable people that were affected by drought which wreaked havoc last year. In 2016, China already donated 19,000 tonnes of rice which had been distributed to the needy throughout the country
  5. China, South Korea discuss more sanctions on North Korea amid talk of Trump action
  6. Freight train to leave Britain on long haul for China
  7. Blackwater founder Erik Prince eyes opportunities with China
  8. China’s National Space Administration Secretary-General Yulong Tian says that China is contemplating developing cooperation with Russia with respect to space debris
  9. American-Chinese Lady's Dream of Attending Tsinghua: Those who were born in America should know their roots and identify themselves as Chinese because they will not get lost, feel ashamed or reject their motherland's culture in the crisis of identity of American society, Tan concluded
  10. Racist United Airline Overbooked Flight, Forcibly Removes Asian Doctor and His Wife For No Reason Other Than to Free up Seats (United - has acknowledged that the man's only apparent crime was that the flight was overbooked and he refused to leave voluntarily)
  11. Boy, two, and parents suffer burns after acid attack in north London
  12. Russia may abandon International Space Station to join forces with China
  13. A consortium of Chinese and Indonesian firms on Tuesday signed a contract with KCIC, a firm tasked with monitoring the high-speed train project linking Jakarta to Bandung, unveiling the construction phase of the project
  14. China warns against using military force in Syria
  15. United Passenger's Violent Removal Sparks Outrage In China: Images of a bloodied passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago drew widespread condemnation in China following a witnesses' report that the man said he was targeted because he was Chinese
  16. Chinese Lives Matter Petition Becoming Viral in the Overseas Chinese Community
  17. China and Norway resume free trade negotiations after diplomatic freeze: The memorandum of understanding was one of six pacts covering cooperation on economic development, technology, health, science and sport
  18. Russia and China Finding Ways to Avoid the U.S. Dollar: The Central Bank of Russia opened its first overseas office in Beijing. ICBC established a clearing bank in Moscow to handle transactions in Chinese currency. Russia is preparing to issue its first federal loan bonds in Chinese currency
  19. Many in China think doctor was dragged off because he was Asian. 'United Airlines just randomly chose an Asian? It’s blatant racial discrimination' 'a perfect illustration' of human rights in the US. 'I am going to tell you a joke: America is the country with the best human rights'
  20. Chinese social media continues to rage at United, and the airline may face real fallout
  21. China tells US to resolve Korea tensions peacefully
  22. China commits US$60bn to Africa
  23. China warns India over Dalai's visit to disputed area
  24. China Might Bomb North Korea If It Crosses Beijing’s ‘Bottom Line’
  25. Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, appeared to acknowledge that China hasn’t been intervening to weaken its currency recently. “They’re not currency manipulators," he said. (finally we can move on from this made up/outdated fight)
  26. Trump says he told Xi how he bombed Syria over ‘most beautiful piece of cake’: says that he was faced with a dilemma – whether to inform Xi. “What does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, you know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?” Trump mused
  27. Trump claims China has turned back N. Korean coal ships, lauds it as 'big step': "The vast amount of coal that comes out of North Korea going to China, they've turned back the boats. That's a big step, and they have many other steps that I know about."
  28. Chinese premier holds talks with Sao Tome and Principe counterpart on cooperation
  29. Lukashenko: Belarus is ready to increase food supplies to China's Hunan Province
  30. China publicly criticises US missile strike on Syria
  31. China, Sri Lanka vow to deepen cooperation to further develop strategic cooperative partnership
  32. Russian-Chinese Joint Ventures in Russia’s Far East, Arctic: An integral element in increasing bilateral trade will be the increased maritime transit of goods and hydrocarbon resources by developing Russia’s merchant marine infrastructure
  33. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his plans to visit China in May to take part in the "One Belt, One Road" forum in Beijing
  34. White House: China Abstained From UN Vote on Syria Thanks to Trump-Xi
  35. The 10 minutes with Xi Jinping that changed Donald Trump’s mind on North Korea
  36. First rail freight service to China departs UK: British goods including soft drinks, vitamins and baby products are in the 30 containers carried by the train, which will be a regular service. The train will pass through 7 other countries before arriving on 27 April
  37. Chinese FM: Political settlement is only reliable and right way to solve crisis in Syria
  38. Belarus' cooperation with Hunan Province hailed as example to follow
  39. "There can be no winners in an armed conflict between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday [14 April 2017], while pledging China's support for any attempts at dialogue between the sides."
  40. In the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, China ranked 15 among 136 countries in 14 dimensions, up two spots
  41. China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' N. Korea situation
  42. China says deal reached at last with Myanmar on oil pipeline
  43. Foreign Minister statement on Korea situation. Check out the comments.
In Domestic news
  1. China anti-graft body investigating chief insurance regulator
  2. Beijing to reward informants on spying
  3. Luxembourg Consulate Staff tries to physically assault old Chinese man in Shanghai
  4. China emerges as digital rights champion with new info privacy law
  5. President Xi meets incoming HKSAR chief executive
  6. JD.com to build 150 airports in China for drone delivery: Drone delivery would help reduce the freight costs by 70 percent. It said its drones, which can carry 50 kilograms of parcels, have been put into use and drones that can carry 500 kilograms are in the pipeline
  7. Graph: Finding China's missing girls who show up in the census years -- sometimes decades -- after birth
  8. China raises pensions amid pressure from slowing economy, aging population
  9. China Focus: Xiongan's key role is to receive Beijing's non-capital functions: vice premier
In SciTech news
  1. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in China
  2. Self-charging robots sorting system helps Chinese delivery firm finish at least 200k packages a day in the warehouse
  3. Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor. Yang, currently at Qingdao University, worked with colleagues at Qingdao University and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. to make porous carbon nanofibers from seaweed extract
  4. Squishy robotic manta ray flaps its wings to spy in the ocean: The goal is to use the robot to explore underwater areas, says Tiefeng Li at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. “The soft body will make it easy for the robot to sneak through reefs without damaging them,”
  5. Geek Culture Could Teach Americans About Chinese Technology, Says Technopreneur: According to Zhang, being called a geek is a compliment in China as someone who is "super cool" and knowledgeable about technology, and doesn't mean being weird or socially awkward
  6. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent advance China’s AI development goals, says Microsoft research head. The mainland may be closing in on the US in developing AI, led by its three main internet firms, says Harry Shum Heung-yeung, executive vice-president for the artificial intelligence and research group
  7. China Emerges as Powerhouse for Biotech Drugs
  8. China launches 1st high-throughput communications satellite
  9. Legion Y520 Review - Lenovo's Best Laptop For $850 (Dave Lee review)
  10. Researchers in China and US made a new viral tracking tool by encapsulating HIV-1 in fluorescent quantum dots to observe how the virus enters macrophages at the single particle level in live cells. Technique may help in development of inhibitors that stop HIV from entering macrophages altogether.
  11. Chuwi Hi13: First Look at the Windows 10 2-in-1 with Surface Book Display
  12. SpaceX doesn’t scare Asia’s space players
  13. Google AI's AlphaGo to face Chinese teen in May - Science & Tech
  14. China’s Desert Hamsters on Medicine’s Front Line: The humble Chinese hamster has played a vital role in medical advances for more than a century, thanks to its biological makeup
In Economic news
  1. The bulls are back after China kicks off 2017 with strength: "There's been this cyclical recovery — China's in an easing mode … It shows up in the economic numbers, and it shows up in many company earnings reports," said Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer at Krane Funds Advisors
  2. America owes China $1tn. That's a problem for Beijing, and Trump knows it
  3. U.S. and European regulators have cleared ChemChina's proposed $43 billion acquisition of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta on condition it sells some businesses to satisfy anti-monopoly objections
  4. Ballpoint pens and the danger of China’s ‘one-dragon’ policy
  5. The Next Time Americans Want To Believe They Have Free Markets, Remind Them of United Airlines
  6. The surprising rise of China as IP powerhouse
  7. US firms cashing in on China's shift to consumer economy
  8. China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says
  9. WhatsApp looks to copy China's Tencent-owned WeChat
  10. Why Trump won't be branding China a currency cheater
  11. China Focus: China's consumer inflation steady amid firming economy
  12. China Focus: Chinese companies come, hiring more locals in U.S.: Chinese investment in the U.S. outstripped U.S. investment in China for the first time in 2015, according to the Rhodium Group. Chinese investment has supported about 104,000 jobs in the United States
  13. China's forex reserves rise for second month in a row: concerns about capital outflows have receded lately, with the Chinese economy on a firmer footing, supported by a string of upbeat data including industrial profits, factory activity and fixed asset investment
  14. Trump won't label China a currency manipulator
  15. U.S. business leaders see benefits from strong trade ties with China
  16. China’s top maker of air conditioners breezes into Brazil’s economy and society
  17. Beijing thinking big on switch to a big data economy: Ministry pushes five-year plan to develop big data into a trillion-yuan industry. The target is for the big data industry, including related goods and services, to exceed 1 trillion yuan (US$144 billion) in revenue by 2020
  18. How Oppo, Vivo and xiaomi conquered India (OPPO、vivo和小米们如何夺取印度半壁江山?)
  19. Korea, China, Japan to hold new round of free trade talks
  20. U.S. Treasury says China does not manipulate its currency
  21. China’s Global Solar Business Shakes Foreign Competitors: China’s relentless pursuit to become self-dependent on sophisticated industries, such as solar panel systems, have left foreign competitors and even smaller-scale Chinese businesses in the dust
In Military news
  1. Thailand to buy more Chinese tanks, reportedly for $58M: According to Thai government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the cabinet has approved the acquisition of 10 more VT4 main battle tanks designed and built by China’s Norinco
  2. China and US agree to top military talks to head off close armed encounters: New mechanism between Chinese and US armed forces could ease Beijing’s suspicions about US moves, analyst says
  3. China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military: America’s enemies are rapidly catching up and in some cases exceeding the United States in terms of military technology, according to senior U.S. Navy official Rear Adm. Mark Darrah
  4. US racing China to develop hypersonic attack drones by 2040
  5. China is testing its new PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile (LRAAM) designed to shoot down defenseless U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aerial tankers and airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) from as far away as 300 kilometers
  6. China Takes Wraps Off National Hypersonic Plan
  7. Chinese armed police hold anti-terror drill in Xinjiang
  8. SOUTHCOM Tidd: Russia, Iran and China Expanding Influence in Central, South America. Russia, China and Iran are increasing interest in Central and South America, especially Moscow’s renewed focus on Nicaragua, the head of U.S. Southern Command told the Senate
  9. China Coast Guard vessels patrol Diaoyu Islands on Fri, the 10th time this year
Other Notables
  1. Demolishing Dalian: China's 'Russian' city is erasing its heritage – in pictures
  2. DJI - M200 – Search and Rescue in Extreme Environments
  3. Driving under the rainbow! Watch China's first and only rainbow tunnel
  4. Ancient Chinese tomb-sweeping festival goes hi-tech: If you can't get to the grave yourself, staff at the Yuhuatai Gongdeyuan cemetery will clean tombs and place bouquets for paying clients, who watch the ritual via a livestream on the Wechat app instead
  5. Shanghai past and present
  6. High Profile Korean-Chinese Movie coproduction is a scifi set to release June 30th in China - Starring Yang Mi, Wallace Huo, Produced by Jackie Chan
  7. Westerners oughtn’t to criticize China for its ‘fake cities’: hypocrisy in the way Western media approaches "duplitecture". Core neighborhoods within Manhattan Island owe their architecture to Mannheim, Germany. Try and tell apart the central districts of Buenos Aires, Argentina from Madrid, Spain
  8. The Chinese engineer who mined an American life in Hibbing: In 1914 Wen Ping Pan became the first Chinese student at UofM. Met his wife Mae Humm, who was half-Irish like his mother. She retained an Irish temper and a talent for gab. As a result, she did most of the talking in their 63 yr marriage
  9. 3-part online low-key documentary series looking at different lives in China. First part features Wuhan and punk band SMZB.
  10. Is Hong Kong less free now than under British colonial rule?
  11. Goddess Ivanka continues to win the hearts of Chinese people as she began teaching Mandarin Chinese to Theodore, her youngest son. The boy began his Mandarin lessons just a week following his first birthday
  12. The Mercury Rivers of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
  13. The Chinese engineer who mined an American life on Minnesota's Iron Range
  14. Parcel sorting facility in China
  15. China and The Troubling Idealization of Ivanka
  16. Xiongan New Area to be Shenzhen of the north
  17. China's New World Order - the new Silk Road
  18. Why The NY Time’s Title of ‘Goddess Ivanka’ Is Misleading
  19. The Lionsgate movie “Power Rangers” got the approval of China’s censor for theatrical release on May 12 even if it has a gay character
  20. A Chinese bank employee is being hailed as a hero after risking his life to save a female customer from a robber who put a knife to her neck
  21. Unfettered online hate speech fuels Islamophobia in China.
  22. 汉服音乐微电影 汉家衣裳 超清
  23. Xiongan construction expected to drive up China steel market
  24. China's Xiongan New Area: Protecting environments a major task
  25. White Mainstream Media Goes On The Offensive Against Critics of United Airlines
  26. Success of China behind the growing allure of authoritarianism: the economic successes of China and some other countries may have helped create an underlying crisis of confidence in liberal ideas and values
  27. What does the Hong Kong Sevens have to do with Hongkongers?
  28. Thoughts on article about British Colonialism holding India Back? How did China overcome the Century of Humiliation while the British Raj's legacy still looms over India?
  29. Taiwanese music festival
  30. Foreign girls and their Chinese Mr. Right: Confronted with failure in College Entrance Examination Mei Aisi went to Ukraine for study
  31. What Would Have Happened If China Didn't Develop Nuclear Weapons?
  32. Child prodigy from Sale scores highest possible IQ score, beating Einstein and Hawking (From Messenger Newspapers)
  33. Discussion: Do you think the current escalation in the Korean Peninsula could possibly end up becoming a big boon to China?
  34. Chinese explorer's incredible arctic journey: This is the Arctic Circle, and Zhanjiang-born Wu Yu has just become the first person to ever drive here from China, some 8,000 kilometers away
  35. Reviving traditional Chinese archery: As one of the traditional Six Arts that have their roots in Confucian philosophy and formed the basis of education in ancient Chinese culture, archery has a long history in China
  36. The Results Are In: 2016 Is a Record-Breaking Year for Tall Buildings
  37. Pictures: Apricot flowers in blossom at Jinshanling Great Wall
  38. Something I noticed about chinese-canadians in canada
  39. TIL that the first king of the first muslim kingdom in indonesia was chinese indonesian
  40. Getting paid to do nothing: why the idea of China’s dibao is catching on
  41. Five thousand years of Chinese civilisation through 108 million relics - Four year survey finds that is just what is in the hands of the state. The number grows even more when considering overseas museums and private collectors
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