Platform Insight

If you have been trying to select a forex broker you’ve likely seen the word pip more than a few times. So what is a forex pip?  Well, a pip is an acronym for Percentage in Point and it is a unit of measurement for expressing changes in the value of a currency pair. These days most brokers quote forex pairs to 5 decimal places, but in the past just 4 decimal places was common - a pip is the 4th decimal place in your currency pair quote, whilst a point is the 5th. For a pair like USDJPY which is generally quoted to just 3 decimal places, the second decimal is the pip and the third is the point. Pips are necessary due to the amount of leverage used in the forex market, a seemingly small number of pips can be worth quite a lot of money once levered
Ever wondered what forex trading is and what all the fuss is about? Forex trading involves speculating on moves in the global currency markets, the largest financial markets in the world with more than 5 trillion USD per day in trading volume.  The foreign exchange market is larger than all of the world’s stock markets combined and is open 24/5, offering endless opportunities for savvy forex traders.
When trading forex, the price you will get for buying or selling is always slightly different, this difference is called the spread. Highly liquid pairs like EURUSD will usually have very tight spreads, whilst less liquid pairs like USDZAR will generally have wider spreads.
The forex or foreign exchange market is different to global stock markets as it is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.  Though the local stock market is more familiar to most people, the foreign exchange market is the largest, most liquid and actively traded market in the world. Combined with extended opening hours vs local stock markets, this means there are almost endless opportunities in the forex market.
Hedging is a hot topic for newcomers to the forex market and if used correctly, can be a great way of mitigating your risk and improving consistency. So what is forex hedging? Well, hedging refers to opening up an offsetting position in the market to temporarily cover an existing position that has either gone against you or may turn against you.  This could be on the same currency pair, or on another highly correlated pair.
A forex swap is a daily interest charge that is either billed or credited to you at the start of each new trading day if you are holding positions from the day before. Swap charges can add up over time, affecting the profitability of your positions, so it’s important you understand how they work and factor them into your decision-making when planning your attack on the market.
The foreign exchange or forex market is the largest and most liquid market in the world, with trillions of dollars changing hands each and every day. Before starting out on your forex trading journey, it’s important to get a little background on the knowledge on the market and how it all works.
Leverage is an integral tool in every forex trader’s arsenal. Traders are attracted to the forex market due to its inherently low volatility and the ability to magnify that volatility as necessary using leverage. Leverage is trading with borrowed capital, allowing a trader with a relatively small account balance to open up much larger positions than they would otherwise be able to. For example, using leverage, a trader with just $1000 USD of capital could open up a $10 000 USD position and potentially generate 10 times as much profit if the market moves in their favour. As the forex market generally moves less than 1% per day, leverage is essential to generating significant trading results.
Margin is the collateral you deposit with your broker in order to open up leveraged positions. The amount of margin in your account and the amount of leverage your broker offers will determine how much your broker will lend to you and the size of positions you can open. It’s important to understand that margin is not a cost or fee, once you close your leveraged trading position, your margin is returned to you, adjusted for any profits or losses, and can be freely withdrawn. This margin deposit just ensures you have enough capital reserved to cover your losses if your leveraged trade moves against you. As the forex market isn’t very volatile, margin trading is essentially the only way you can turn a reasonable profit, so it’s important to understand how margin works before diving into your trading journey.
Arguably the most asked question; should I trade in USD vs ZAR vs GBP? What are the benefits, pros, cons and minimum trading volume? Are Forex brokers with ZAR accounts a safer option when it comes to trading currency? BlackStone Futures offers South African Rand (R/ZAR), United States Dollar ($/USD), and Great British Pound (£/GBP) as account base currencies. These offer a wide range of trading assets; Forex. Stocks, Commodities, Indices. Brokers with ZAR account types offer you the same asset class as USD and GBP.

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