understanding lot sizes in forex trading is very important to help you avoid the pitfalls of trading on a leveraged account. Forex trading involves the use of dramatically leveraged accounts and before you put one dime into a live forex account you need to understand how leverage works and what is happening in all the different sized lots. Also what is the optimal size lot to use when learning forex trading.
Let me talk to you a little about forex lot sizes. OK I am reaching with a play on words there but a lot of people who read my articles should know by now that I think forex trading should be fun and profitable.
normal Lot: Many forex brokers will require $10,000 to open an account and on it you can trade a normal lot size. There is usually a 1 lot minimum trade.The normal lot is worth $100,000 in currency and when you trade a lot it is 1:100 leverage. What this means is that you are getting a loan from the broker to control $100,000 for your $1,000. Now lets look at this leverage thing a bit more because so many people make a big deal about how wonderful forex trading is due to the leverage you can get. I completely agree that leverage is one of the many benefits of forex trading but it seems to me not many people properly understand the concept.
as an example you have a standard account with 1:100 leverage then for every 1 Pip you gain there is $10 in profit for you ( basically not factoring spreads commissions etc. ). Now leverage is a 2 way street and for every 1 pip the forex market moves against you then you lose $10 and this is what makes leverage fascinating to many. The fact is that you must understand both sides before getting into forex trading. Most markets swing up to 100+ pips a day easily and this means at 1:100 leverage you can in theory gain 100 pips in 1 day thus taking a $10,000 account to $11,000. Now for the bad news you can also lose 100 Pips on most markets and take $10,000 to $9,000 in a day just trading 1 lot. So when you hear people talking about 1:400 leverage they better be very accurate with their forex trading.
Mini Lots: Ok now lets look at a Mini lot and how leverage works with it. Most brokers require at least 1 mini lot to be traded. The mini lot is worth $10,000 this means you are trading with 1:40 Leverage. Let's do some math and I promise it want hurt much. $250 x 40 = $10,000 and since $10,000 is 1/10 of a standard forex lot this is why for every 1 Pip in your favor you earn $1 profit. Conversely for every 1 pip that moves against you forex trading you lose $1.
Micro lots: Now some brokers allow micro lots where you can do forex trading at 1:4 leverage again lets hit the math book a second. $250 x 4 = $1,000 which is 1 / 10 of a ($10,000) mini lot
and this means for every 1 pip in your favor forex trading you will make 10 cents profit and of course conversely for every 1 pip against you then you will lose 10 cents. I know to the novice this does not sound like much but if you had only $100 and traded an account with 1 micro lot then every 10 pips in your favor will mean 1% gain on your account. The micro is in my opinion a great size to trade when learning in a small account if your Broker allows this. Practicing forex trading with micro lots will give you room for forex market swings and time to develop your skills as a forex trader.
That is just a little about forex lots and I hope it clears some things up and explains some of the risk and rewards of forex trading.
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