“Would you like pips with that?”

“Would you like pips with that?”

Okay, not that type of order.

The term “order” refers to how you will enter or exit a trade.

Forex OrdersHere we discuss the different types of forex orders that can be placed in the forex market.

Be sure that you know which types of orders your broker accepts.

Different brokers accept different types of forex orders.

There are some basic order types that all brokers provide and some others that sound weird.

Order Types

Market order

A market order is an order to buy or sell at the best available price.

For example, the bid price for EUR/USD is currently at 1.2140 and the ask price is at 1.2142.

If you wanted to buy EUR/USD at market, then it would be sold to you at the price of 1.2142.

You would click buy and your trading platform would instantly execute a buy order at that exact price.

If you ever shop on Amazon.com, it’s kinda like using their 1-Click ordering. You like the current price, you click once and it’s yours!

The only difference is you are buying or selling one currency against another currency instead of buying a Justin Bieber CD.

Please keep in mind that depending on market conditions, there may be a difference between the price you selected and the final price that is executed on your trading platform.

Limit Entry Order

A limit entry is an order placed to either buy below the market or sell above the market at a certain price.

Current price is the blue dot.

For example, EUR/USD is currently trading at 1.2050. You want to go short if the price reaches 1.2070.

You can either sit in front of your monitor and wait for it to hit 1.2070 (at which point you would click a sell market order).

Or you can set a sell limit order at 1.2070 (then you could walk away from your computer to attend your ballroom dancing class).

If the price goes up to 1.2070, your trading platform will automatically execute a sell order at the best available price.

You use this type of entry order when you believe price will reverse upon hitting the price you specified!

A limit order to BUY at a price below the current market price will be executed at a price equal to or less than the specified price.

A limit order to SELL at a price above the current market price will be executed at a price equal to or more than the specific price.

Stop Entry Order

A stop entry order is an order placed to buy above the market or sell below the market at a certain price.

Current price is the blue dot.

For example, GBP/USD is currently trading at 1.5050 and is heading upward. You believe that price will continue in this direction if it hits 1.5060.

You can do one of the following to play this belief:

  1. Sit in front of your computer and buy at market when it hits 1.5060 OR
  2. Set a stop entry order at 1.5060.

Stop Loss Order

A stop loss order is a type of order linked to a trade for the purpose of preventing additional losses if the price goes against you.

If you are in a long position, it is a sell STOP order.

If you are in a short position, it is a buy STOP order.

REMEMBER THIS TYPE OF ORDER.

A stop loss order remains in effect until the position is liquidated or you cancel the stop loss order.

For example, you went long (buy) EUR/USD at 1.2230. To limit your maximum loss, you set a stop-loss order at 1.2200.

This means if you were dead wrong and EUR/USD drops to 1.2200 instead of moving up, your trading platform would automatically execute a sell order at 1.2200 the best available price and close out your position for a 30-pip loss (eww!).

Stop losses are extremely useful if you don’t want to sit in front of your monitor all day worried that you will lose all your money.

You can simply set a stop loss order on any open positions so you won’t miss your basket weaving class or elephant polo game.

Trailing Stop

A trailing stop is a type of stop loss order attached to a trade that moves as the price fluctuates.

Let’s say that you’ve decided to short USD/JPY at 90.80, with a trailing stop of 20 pips.

This means that originally, your stop loss is at 91.00. If the price goes down and hits 90.60, your trailing stop would move down to 90.80 (or breakeven).

Just remember though, that your stop will STAY at this new price level. It will not widen if market goes higher against you.

Going back to the example, with a trailing stop of 20 pips, if USD/JPY hits 90.40, then your stop would move to 90.60 (or lock in 20 pips profit).

Your trade will remain open as long as the price does not move against you by 20 pips.

Once the market price hits your trailing stop price, a market order to close your position at the best available price will be sent and your position will be closed.

Weird Forex Orders

“Can I order a grande extra hot soy with extra foam, extra hot split quad shot with a half squirt of sugar-free white chocolate and a half squirt of sugar-free cinnamon, a half packet of Splenda and put that in a Venti cup and fill up the “room” with extra whipped cream with caramel and chocolate sauce drizzled on top?”

Oops, wrong weird order.

Good ‘Till Cancelled (GTC)

A GTC order remains active in the market until you decide to cancel it. Your broker will not cancel the order at any time. Therefore, it is your responsibility to remember that you have the order scheduled.

Good for the Day (GFD)

A GFD order remains active in the market until the end of the trading day.

Because foreign exchange is a 24-hour market, this usually means 5:00 pm EST since that’s the time U.S. markets close, but we’d recommend you double check with your broker.

One-Cancels-the-Other (OCO)

An OCO order is a combination of two entry and/or stop loss orders.

Two orders with price and duration variables are placed above and below the current price. When one of the orders is executed the other order is canceled.

Let’s say the price of EUR/USD is 1.2040. You want to either buy at 1.2095 over the resistance level in anticipation of a breakout or initiate a selling position if the price falls below 1.1985.

The understanding is that if 1.2095 is reached, your buy order will be triggered and the 1.1985 sell order will be automatically canceled.

One-Triggers-the-Other

An OTO is the opposite of the OCO, as it only puts on orders when the parent order is triggered.

You set an OTO order when you want to set profit taking and stop loss levels ahead of time, even before you get in a trade.

For example, USD/CHF is currently trading at 1.2000. You believe that once it hits 1.2100, it will reverse and head downwards but only up to 1.1900.

The problem is that you will be gone for an entire week because you have to join a basket weaving competition at the top of Mt. Fuji where there is no internet.

In order to catch the move while you are away, you set a sell limit at 1.2000 and at the same time, place a related buy limit at 1.1900, and just in case, place a stop-loss at 1.2100.

As an OTO, both the buy limit and the stop-loss orders will only be placed if your initial sell order at 1.2000 gets triggered.

In conclusion…

The basic forex order types (market, limit entry, stop-entry, stop loss, and trailing stop) are usually all that most traders ever need.

Here’s a cheat sheet (current price is the blue dot):

Unless you are a veteran trader (don’t worry, with practice and time you will be), don’t get fancy and design a system of trading requiring a large number of forex orders sandwiched in the market at all times.

Stick with the basic stuff first.

Make sure you fully understand and are comfortable with your broker’s order entry system before executing a trade.

Also, always check with your broker for specific order information and to see if any rollover fees will be applied if a position is held longer than one day.

Keeping your ordering rules simple is the best strategy.

DO NOT trade with real money until you have an extremely high comfort level with the trading platform you are using and its order entry system. Erroneous trades are more common than you think!

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How to Make Money Trading Forex

In the forex market, you buy or sell currencies.

Placing a trade in the foreign exchange market is simple. The mechanics of a trade are very similar to those found in other financial markets (like the stock market), so if you have any experience in trading, you should be able to pick it up pretty quickly.

How To Make Money Trading Forex

And if you don’t, you’ll still be able to pick it up….as long as you finish our School of Pipsology!

The objective of forex trading is to exchange one currency for another in the expectation that the price will change.

More specifically, that the currency you bought will increase in value compared to the one you sold.

Example:

Trader’s Action EUR USD
You purchase 10,000 euros at the EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.1800 +10,000 -11,800*
Two weeks later, you exchange your 10,000 euros back into U.S. dollar at the exchange rate of 1.2500 -10,000 +12,500**
You earn a profit of $700 0 +700

*EUR 10,000 x 1.18 = US $11,800
** EUR 10,000 x 1.25 = US $12,500

An exchange rate is simply the ratio of one currency valued against another currency.

For example, the USD/CHF exchange rate indicates how many U.S. dollars can purchase one Swiss franc, or how many Swiss francs you need to buy one U.S. dollar.

How to Read a Forex Quote

Currencies are always quoted in pairs, such as GBP/USD or USD/JPY. The reason they are quoted in pairs is because, in every foreign exchange transaction, you are simultaneously buying one currency and selling another.

Here is an example of a foreign exchange rate for the British pound versus the U.S. dollar:

The first listed currency to the left of the slash (“/”) is known as the base currency (in this example, the British pound), while the second one on the right is called the counter or quote currency (in this example, the U.S. dollar).

When buying, the exchange rate tells you how much you have to pay in units of the quote currency to buy one unit of the base currency. In the example above, you have to pay 1.51258 U.S. dollars to buy 1 British pound.

When selling, the exchange rate tells you how many units of the quote currency you get for selling one unit of the base currency.

In the example above, you will receive 1.51258 U.S. dollars when you sell 1 British pound.

The base currency is the “basis” for the buy or the sell. If you buy EUR/USD this simply means that you are buying the base currency and simultaneously selling the quote currency. In caveman talk, “buy EUR, sell USD.”

  • You would buy the pair if you believe the base currency will appreciate (gain value) relative to the quote currency.
  • You would sell the pair if you think the base currency will depreciate (lose value) relative to the quote currency.

Long/Short


First, you should determine whether you want to buy or sell.

If you want to buy (which actually means buy the base currency and sell the quote currency), you want the base currency to rise in value and then you would sell it back at a higher price.

In trader’s talk, this is called “going long” or taking a “long position.” Just remember: long = buy.

If you want to sell (which actually means sell the base currency and buy the quote currency), you want the base currency to fall in value and then you would buy it back at a lower price.

This is called “going short” or taking a “short position”. Just remember: short = sell.

“I’m long AND short.”

The Bid, Ask and Spread

All forex quotes are quoted with two prices: the bid and ask. For the most part, the bid is lower than the ask price.

The bid is the price at which your broker is willing to buy the base currency in exchange for the quote currency.

This means the bid is the best available price at which you (the trader) will sell to the market.

The ask is the price at which your broker will sell the base currency in exchange for the quote currency.

This means the ask price is the best available price at which you will buy from the market.

Another word for ask is the offer price.

The difference between the bid and the ask price is known as the SPREAD.

On the EUR/USD quote above, the bid price is 1.34568 and the ask price is 1.34588. Look at how this broker makes it so easy for you to trade away your money.

  • If you want to sell EUR, you click “Sell” and you will sell euros at 1.34568.
  • If you want to buy EUR, you click “Buy” and you will buy euros at 1.34588.

Here’s an illustration that puts together everything we’ve covered in this lesson:

Now let’s take a look at some examples.

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