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If you are going to travel overseas, chances are you’ll need to exchange currency. While a lot of countries may accept US dollars, there are those where it just won’t be possible. If you are visiting the UK for example, you’ll need to have Pound Sterling (GBP) in order to get by.

Some people prefer exchanging currency before they go on their trip, while others exchange it at their destination. Whatever your preference, you do need to be aware of our basic currency exchange tips to make the process a bit easier. Let’s take a look at common things you need to be aware of when exchanging currency.

#1: Know the Exchange Rate

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The exchange rate indicates what you will pay for the foreign currency. Before going on an overseas trip, find out what the exchange rate is and how much currency you can get for your holiday budget.  You can do this by searching online for the exchange rate, or downloading a Forex trading platform from a Forex broker.

#2: Know the Difference Between Buy and Sell Rates

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The first thing you’ll notice when buying foreign currency is two different rates; the buy and sell rate. The buy rate is what the bank offers for your currency, while the sell rate is what you’ll pay for the foreign currency. The difference between the two is their profit.

#3: Shop Around

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Whatever your needs, you’ll be able to exchange currency before you leave or when you arrive. You can even use your debit or credit card to withdraw currency. Make sure you get the best rates and keep an eye on the Forex exchange.  The easiest way to do this is by download a Forex trading platform.

#4: Make Use of Tools

Just like you will have the option to make use of various currency exchange institutions, you will also be able to use different tools to calculate the current exchange rate.

Online

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Online you will find a vast variety of currency conversion tools that will indicate the current exchange rate. Keep in mind however that these calculators will not display any extra fees. OANDA provides an excellent Forex Trading platform to monitor Forex rates.

Apps

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The majority of currency converters out there will have an app or Forex trading platform that you could download on your smart device for your convenience. We highly recommend using the XE.com app or the Oanda Forex trading platform, fxTrade to monitor exchange rates.

Manual

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If you find yourself in a pickle and unable to make use of any of the online currency converter calculator tools, you can calculate the cost of items in a foreign country by using your calculator (but this is rare now a days as everyone has a cell phone, and can easily download a Forex trading platform app).  All you need to is the exchange rate and you can work out what you are paying for items in your local currency.

Traveling and exchanging currency should be a breeze now that you know the basics. The best advice we could offer is to shop around for competitive buy and sell rates before exchanging cash at the first and best place you find. But most importantly, have fun on your trip!

You are never too young to start investing, whether in the stock market or trading Forex. If this sounds like something you would like to pursue, be sure to read Investopedia’s comprehensive beginner’s guide to investing.

Are you thinking about entering the Forex market and investing in Forex trading? While it is an exciting market to get into, you’ll have to do some research before getting into the swing of things as it is very different than trading stocks or Futures on exchange. The most important thing for beginners to take note of is what the Forex market is like, and what they can expect from it.

In this post we take a look at some of the most common characteristics of Forex trading, which will provide you with some insights on Forex trading. Let’s get started.

#1: Always-on Trading

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One of the main differences between Forex trading and trading stock is the fact that it is an always-on environment.  The Forex market is open 24 hours a day 5 days a week, from Sunday night at 5pm EST to Friday at 5pm EST.  You’ll be able to trade Forex at anytime from anywhere in the world.

#2: High Liquidity

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Because the Forex market is an off exchange product, it offers an unrivaled amount of liquidity.  It is over 10 times the size of the New York Stock Exchange based on daily trading volume. An estimated $5 trillion’s worth of transactions are handled each day on the Forex exchange, where the NYSE isn’t even in the billions.

#3: Lots of Forex Trading Pairs

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There are tons of Forex trading pairs you can choose from so it can be difficult to narrow it down to the ones that you want to trade.  Most brokers offer over 60 different Forex pairs for trading.  A lot of new traders focus on the major Forex pairs (EURUSD, USDCAD, USDJPY, USDCHF, AUDUSD, USDGBP) as they are the most liquid trading pairs.  And, most people tend to recognize those Forex pairs, much more so than the USDNOK for example.

#4: Transparent Trading

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While investing in the stock market can be risky as there are many factors that influences the stock exchange, this is not the case with Forex trading. Macroeconomic and geopolitical forces are the main driving factors of Forex trading.  For this reason it is important to understand both the Technical Analysis indicators as well as Fundamental Analysis.  Some say, having an economics degree is very helpful when trading Forex.

#5: High Volatility

It’s much easier to invest in and trade Forex than any other market. Keep in mind however that high volatility usually goes hand-in-hand with higher risk.  Part of the reason is that Forex is typically done on a leveraged basis, with some Forex brokers offering up to 500:1 in leverage.  Where has when trading on a stock exchange your leverage is typically always 1:1, sometimes you can trade ETFs at 3:1, but no more than that.

#6: Low Barrier to Entry

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Thanks to the tight spread in terms of pips, it is possible to enter the Forex trading market fairly easy. You don’t need a huge wad of cash to get started building your portfolio when you decide to trade Forex.

And there you have it. This little introduction should have you hyped up and excited to get started trading Forex. While it is more accessible and easier to trade Forex, you should still be up to speed with common Forex trading principles. Do your homework, identify your goals and get started trading Forex today! Need some tips? Read our guide for beginner’s who wish to start trading Forex here.

Always be in the know of what is happening in Forex trading markets by keeping a close eye on what’s happening. We highly recommend a site like Reuters for real-time markets and finance news.

Are you considering entering the exciting world of Stock Trading?  Then you might want to consider looking at Forex CFD’s as a viable option.  Forex CFD stock trading gives you the ability to speculate in stocks and other asset classes without actually owning the underlying product.  So, if you want to purchase Apple stock for example, you can either go directly to the New York Stock Exchange and purchase physical shares of Apple, which typically comes with high commissions.  Or, you can open a Forex brokerage account with a broker that offers an Apple stock CFD and purchase it there for much less typically.

While a lot of beginner’s out there approach the stock market with high hopes and visions of raking it in, few understand the inner workings and end up failing at what they set out to achieve.  Based on recent studies released by ESMA anywhere from 70-90% of Forex traders lose.

If you are a beginner who wants to get into the swing of things with the stock exchange, you are in luck. We have compiled our own list of top tips that will ensure you are geared to make a success of your stock exchange experience.

1. Always be In Control

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Never let your emotions get the better of you when trading stocks, whether they are single stock CFDs at a Forex broker or directly on the stock exchange. You’ll need to be able to have a positive and logical approach to your decisions at all times.

2. Know the Risks and their Effects

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In order for you to remain calm and make logical decisions, you need to understand your risk tolerance. This will allow you to make better and informed decisions when investing in stocks.

3. Have a Long-Term Plan

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You need to identify your goals before getting started. This will allow you to know when to buy stocks, and when the best time would be to sell them. It’s never too late to get started as long as you’ve identified your goals.

4. Get Comfortable with the Basics

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Most importantly, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. Familiarize yourself with the basics, which includes exchange methods, different types of investment accounts, and stock market order types to name a few.

5. Minimize Risk by Diversification

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Some of the most experienced investors out there all agree on this one. In order for you to minimize your risk, you need to diversify your portfolio as much as possible. Make sure you invest in a range of different stocks over a variety of markets and industries.  And also consider trading stocks with a Forex broker as they are more liquid and typically you can get in and out of your position much quicker.

6. Don’t Over Leverage

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Leverage is when you borrow money to finance your investment. While it can be handy when you short the cash, it can be detrimental if the market should drop drastically.  If you do not have enough money to go directly to the stock exchange and purchase stocks on a non leveraged basis, you may consider opening a single stock CFD trading account with a Forex broker.  Forex brokers in Europe will allow you to trade single stock CFDs on a 1:5 basis and most Australian brokers will allow you up to 100:1 leverage to trade single stock CFDs.

You’ll need to do some research before taking the plunge and investing in the stock exchange. If you are not clued up with investing in the stock market, be sure to give us a call and we’ll be able to provide you with expert guidance and investment advice.