Forex Trading Ultimate Guide: Part 2

This article is a beginner’s guide for Forex traders. Read the article and learn everything about the spread and CFDs, see how leverage can boost or ruin your trade and grasp some trader’s vocabulary!

Welcome to the second part of the guide. If you haven't read Forex Trading Ultimate Guide: Part 1 yet, go for it. In this part more about common questions:

Main article sections

What is the forex spread?

Spread in Forex stands for the difference between the bid and ask price of a currency pair.

Look at the example of the GBP/USD pair. Let's suppose today the GBP is worth 1.3000 times the USD. You may expect the GBP will rise against the dollar, so you buy the GBP/USD pair at the asking price.

The asking price for the currency pair won't be exactly 1.3000; it'll be a little more, perhaps 1.3003, which is the price you will pay for the trade. Meanwhile,at the same time, the seller on the other side of the trade won't receive the full 1.3003 either; he'll get a little less, perhaps 1.2995. The difference between the bid and ask prices—in this instance 0.0008—is the spread. That's the profit that the specialist keeps for taking the risk and assisting the trade.

About the value of the spread

The volume of the spread matters.

The spread of 0.008 GBP doesn't sound much enough, but as the trade amount rises, so spreads multiply. Commonly Forex trading involves large amounts of money. With a greater amount of lots involved in trading, the spread becomes more significant.

Usually, low-spread trading is often a priority for Forex traders, as they more quickly get the profit, making a high volume of smaller trades, rather than relying on larger trades to make money.

What are forex CFDs?

Making profit on the price movement without owning the asset itself. CFD stands for 'Contract For Difference', a tradable contract between a client and a broker, who are exchanging the difference in the current value of a share, currency, commodity or index, bond, and its value at the contract's end.

Unlike Forex, where a profit is made on purchasing and selling large amounts of currency, CFDs allow making a profit on price movements without owning the asset itself.

CFD trading offers several advantages to a trader in comparison to trading physical shares. Among them there are:

  1. No shorting rules or borrowing stock - CFD instruments can be shorted at any time without borrowing costs because the trader doesn't own the underlying asset.
  2. No day trading requirements - The CFD market is not bound by minimum amounts of capital. It has no restrictions on the number of day trades and all account holders can day trade if they wish.
  3. Higher leverage - The higher the leverage, the bigger the possible profit is.

How does leverage work in forex trading?

As was mentioned above, CFD contracts provide leveraged access to the market, so the trader can access a much larger portion of the market than what they would be able to purchase outright.

Trading gold CFDs with leverage

For example, you will have to spend 1,200 USD for purchasing an ounce of gold. Yet with a leverage rate of up to 1:20 (meaning a trader could trade up to 20 times the value of the deposit), a trader could trade on the full value of an ounce of gold (1,200 USD) using a $60 deposit.

Quite the same, to purchase 3,000 US dollars with Euro, you will have to spend 2,700 EUR. But with the help of the leverage rate of 1:30, you can access 3,000USD worth of the EUR/USD currency pair as a CFD having just 100 EUR. The size of the potential profit a trader could make is the same as if they had invested in the asset outright. The risk here is that potential losses are magnified to the same extent as potential profits. Fortunately, traders can use trusted broker's insurance to avoid the impacts of leveraged losses.

Different levels of leverage can affect your trading, take a look at the Forex leverage infographic below:

Forex glossary appendix

For afters hold on some key Forex terms that were mentioned in this part.

Leverage is a capital provided by a Forex broker to buffer the client's trading volume. A 1:10 rate of leverage for $1,000 deposit on account, will allow trading $10,000 worth of a currency pair. If succeeded, the leverage may maximize the profit up to 10 times. Be cautious: in case of failure, the leverage also multiplies the losses to the same degree. If you go overdrawn and have less than $0 on your account, you may trigger a broker's negative balance protection settings (if trading with an ESMA regulated broker), which will result in the trade being closed. Good for you: it means that your balance cannot move below $0, so you will not be in debt to the broker.

Margin is the money borrowed from a brokerage firm to purchase an investment. It is the difference between the total value of securities held in the trader's account and the loan amount from the broker. Buying on margin is the act of borrowing money to buy securities.

Pip is the base unit in the price of currency pairs or 0.0001 of the quoted price. For instance, when the bid price for the EUR/USD pair goes from 1.1334 to 1.1335, that represents a pip change of one.

Spread is the difference between a currency pair's bid and ask price. Popular currencies' spread is often low - sometimes even less than a pip. For pairs that aren't traded as frequently, the spread tends to be much higher. Before a Forex trade becomes profitable, the value of the currency pair must cross the spread.

Improve your trading experience with our free demo account.


Try Demo Account


Go to the Forex Trading Ultimate Guide: Part 3

Stay tuned! Follow the updates in our Education section.

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.

Read about

More articles

​How to Spot Forex Scams

Published on 02 July 2019

The Most Successful Forex Traders

Published on 19 June 2019

How to Read Forex Charts

Published on 31 May 2019

​Major Currencies in Forex Trading

Published on 16 May 2019

How to Trade Commodities

Published on 08 May 2019