FOREX Accounts - One Size Does Not Fit All


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This is the second part of a series aimed at helping prospective investors to get started trading on the FOREX market.

Once you have decided that you have the proper mindset and are ready to start investing on the FOREX exchange you are ready for the next step. That step is to select the type of FOREX account you want to open. You should make this decision before you pick a broker to work with. Some brokerage companies specialize in one type of account or another. The type of account you choose could affect your broker choice.

You will find that most brokers offer several types of accounts. The primary differences between the account types will be margin requirements, minimum deposit and lot sizes. You will need to consider your trading strategy and financial resources to select the right account. The three most common accounts are mini accounts, standard accounts and managed accounts.

The most popular account with new investors is the mini account. One of the factors that make the mini account so popular with beginners is that it has the lowest minimum deposit requirements. The minimum deposit requirements for a mini account are dependent on the broker, some will allow you to open an account with only a $100 deposit. Most mini accounts will deal with lot sizes as small as 10 thousand currency units. Mini accounts may provide as much as a 200 to 1 margin rate and only require $50 per lot to trade. This means that with $50 you will be able to control $10,000 worth of currency.

Most mini accounts have a built in safeguard because they are aimed at beginning investors. This is usually referred to as “Guaranteed Limited Risk"; this guarantees that you will never lose more than your initial investment in a trade. In the case where the currency drops and the broker would need to make a margin call to keep your position open they automatically close the trade. This will cause you to lose the money you invested into this trade but you will not end up owing the broker money. The downside to this is that if the currency rebounds you will no longer have a position that you could profit from.

A standard account is another common account that has higher deposit requirements than a mini account. The usual investment to open a standard account with most brokers is $2,000. These accounts usually trade in lots of 100,000 units. With a standard account you will still usually have a margin ration of 200 to 1. To purchase a normal lot of 100,000 thousand units then will require a deposit of $500 from you. It is still pretty common with a standard account to have the “Guaranteed Limited Risk" safeguard included.

Some brokers will also offer what is called a “Managed Account". With a managed account you will not be actively trading. A professional trader will be assigned to your account and will use your money to make trades. This requires a much lower investment of time and knowledge from you. Managed accounts usually have a higher minimum requirement amount, often of $10,000 or more.

You will want to consider your knowledge, financial situation and risk tolerance when deciding which account type will work best for you.

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