What is Forex Trading? Understanding the Basics

You don’t have to have spent much time on the internet to have run into adverts about Forex or ‘FX’ trading – the adverts usually give an indication that there’s a lot of money to be made by every day people like you and I.

If you’re curious about Forex and maybe even considering using the Elliott Wave theory to help you with trading and forecasting then we’ll give you an overview of what it is, how it works – and exactly how it can impact your wallet or savings account – for better and for worse…

What does Forex mean?

Forex or FX trading is the name given to the activity of trading on the foreign exchange currency markets. Essentially, choosing a pair of currencies and taking advantage of the fluctuating exchange rate between them.

If you’ve ever been on holiday you’ve effectively already traded currency – although rarely to any substantial gain. Here’s an simple example:

You’re a UK resident going on holiday to France. You buy £500 worth of Euros – which at the time of exchanging equals €575. When you’re in France, you decide not to spend any of your money and return to the UK 2 weeks later with €575 still in your wallet.

When you exchange your Euros back to Pounds Sterling, you find the exchange rate has worked in your favour – and your €575 is now worth £525. So effectively, holding on to the money has made you £25 – owing to the weakened position of the GBP versus the EUR.

Now, that example is a little flawed, as doesn’t consider that you will often pay broker fees for exchanging the money and so forth – but it’s a quick showcase of how Forex works. In reality, the fluctuations in currency value are rarely that large over a short period of time – so exchanging large amounts of currency is usually required to make any significant gain.

Who trades Forex?

It’s possible for anyone to trade currency – although the largest trades are generally made on behalf of banks and large financial institutions – who trade currency between themselves and for clients. Central banks that are responsible for the currency is any given country will also trade to in an effort to stablise or increase their country’s financial standing.

The next biggest players in the FX markets are investment and hedge fund managers – individuals tasked with trading currencies to bolster the profits of large accounts – such as pension funds and endowments.

Corporations and businesses make up a smaller amount of the daily Forex trading – although still significant sums. Business trading is generally required when a company works internationally and will benefit from some strategy when exchanging money to and from the required currencies is needed.

Individuals also trade on the Forex markets – although they represent a tiny fraction of the £4.5 trillion that’s traded each day – that said, even a tiny fraction of such a huge sum of money can represent enormous gains – or losses – on a daily basis.

What’s involved in Forex trading?

You’ll virtually always hear currencies quoted in ‘pairs’ – and, like in our example, it’s the fluctuation between these two currencies where a trader will look to make a profit. The currency that’s quoted first -and referred to as the ‘base’ – is the one that you think will change in value against the second currency – generally referred to as the ‘quote’.

The key Forex trading is the future direction of the market – if you think the value will go up then you would buy currency – if you think it’s going to go down then you’d sell to minimise losses.

A pair price is generally illustrated like this:

GBP/EUR – 1.13346meaning that 1 of the base currency (£1.00) is worth 1.13346 of the quote currency (€1.13346) – if the number goes up the Pound is becoming stronger when compared to the Euro. If the number goes down, the Euro is getting stronger compared to the Pound.

The number is usually illustrated to 5 decimal points – and one of these units is referred to as a ‘pip’ or point. Hence, in financial news you’ll hear reports about a currency “closing 3 points up against the Dollar” – or similar.

When to buy – when to sell

Generally, people will buy a currency pair if they think that either the base currency will strengthen against the quote – or the quote currency will weaken against the base – either way opening up a gap across which profit can be made.

Buying is referred to as ‘going long’ – conversely, selling is referred to as ‘going short’ – with a pip increase representing a profit – and a pip decrease representing a loss.

Simple, right?

Although the fundamentals of how currency trading works look simple, it’s really an extremely complex marketplace with a virtually unlimited set of variables – although that’s not to say people can’t make a handsome profit trading.

Forex trading is generally done over shorter periods of time when compared to the trade of stocks and shares – usually over a few days or weeks, rather than months or years – and trading is normally done through an online execution service that helps to facilitate your trades.

Is Forex right for me?

There’s no simple yes or no answer as to whether FX trading would be right for you – there is a word of warning though. All trading involves some risk – and – particularly when ‘margin trading’ is involved, there’s a possibility that your losses can outweigh your deposits significantly.

Is Forex trading easy? The answer is a distinct no – and you should not trade with any money that you cannot afford to lose. That said, there are numerous execution services that will allow you to trade virtually – allowing you to simulate what would happen were you to real invest money.

Such a service can give you a good indication of how the market works – while protecting you from real losses. If you feel like Forex trading could be a positive step for you, begin with a trial account, understand the basics and study how the markets have previously performed – and what’s caused that performance. Only when you have a detailed understanding of the processes and risks involved should you consider real monetary trading.

These are the things 9 out of 10 people regret wasting money on

It’s not easy making money, for most of us it means long hours and hard work – but when you look at some of the ways we spend our money as a nation, you could be fooled into thinking it’s easy to come by.

A recent study has shown that a huge amount of our disposable income is spent on the same 8 things – and what’s more, consumer groups say we regret them all enormously.

See if any of these are purchases you make, only to be filled with regret later…

Alcohol and socialising

Drinking costs a lot of money. The same amount spent at a bar could easily translate into a few days or a week’s worth of shopping for some people – but that doesn’t seem to stop us.

Around 90% of people admit to overspending on nights out frequently – and part of the problem is the debt and credit cards that we carry with us.

For example, if you take a set amount of money with you when you plan to have a drink – hitting that limit means you’re unable to keep spending. Take a debit card on the other hand and the limits can quickly be forgotten – especially when there are a few drinks clouding your judgement.

Consuming alcohol can make us more outgoing and carefree with our money, but a hangover is a lot worse when you realise how much that headache has cost you.

It’s not easy making money, for most of us it means long hours and hard work

Cigarettes and tobacco

Of every item on this list, cigarettes are the one that features most frequently on the list of people’s regrets – especially as there’s unquestionable evidence that it can be damaging to the health of you and people around you.

That said, it’s a very difficult habit to break – and although government schemes to reduce the prevalence of tobacco products in our shops might help to stop people starting, it’s little use to those who are already spending a lot of money on cigarettes.

Talking to your doctor can be a great first step – and will make sure your money stays in your pocket long term.

Cash machine charges

Although this is a small cost, it seems to really bother us that withdrawing our cash can have a charge!

And that’s only fair, since 99% of cash machines are free – and it always seems to be a moment when there’s no alternative but to spend money to access your cash. Even though it’s painful – we tend to go for the lazy option and do it anyway. It might not add up to much, but even using a paid cash machine one a month is like burning significant money each year.

Takeaways and fast food

Convenience at its best! Take away or take-out food is that deadly combination of quick and delicious – and if you choose wisely you can even avoid creating any washing up.

Even though there’s a lot of pleasure to be had with some occasional junk food, as a nation we admit that it’s more the convenience of fast food that appeals – which means it’s high up on the list of regrets when you take time to work out how much you’ve spent on it over the course of a year – not to mention any additional inches it’s put on your waist as a result…

Excessive mobile phone contracts

It’s hard to imagine life without a mobile phone in your hand – and it can cause feelings of panic when you realise you’ve left yours behind when you set of to go somewhere!

That said, when a chunky bill arrives at the end of the month – many people wish they could be without their mobile for good!

Impressive looking data, minutes and text allowances look good when you’re signing up for a contract, but if you’re not using them, you’re throwing money away. Monitor your use and make sure you’re paying for just the required minimum so you don’t regret that bill each month.

Credit card and loan interest

It’s can be a wonderful feeling when you see an increased credit card spend limit or a loan hit your bank account – but that joy is generally short lived, especially when you look at the amount of time you’re going to be spending paying it off.

In actual fact, credit card and loan debt is an enormous source of money problems for many people in the country. What’s more, it can be difficult finding people who’ll support you to work your way out of the debt – making the interest an even more regrettable thing to spend your hard earned money on.

If you’re struggling, have a look at some reviews of debt support companies – like this one on Face The Red – and find people who’ll talk you through some steps that can help.

Automatic insurance renewals

There are very few of us that would choose to actively give our money away to large financial companies – but effectively, that’s what we do when we don’t push for a better deal on insurance renewals.

Your renewal figure goes up each year – and the amount can look criminal when you compare it on a quick and easy to use comparison service – leading to fairly universal anger at companies who are seen to be taking advantage of customers.

In reality, these companies are really only taking advantage of our laziness – as there are plenty of companies out there who will compare your renewal price in just a few clicks. Don’t fall into the trap of regretting your monthly insurance payment – compare and save!

Wasted gym memberships

Now, not only do we regret wasting a lot of money on takeaways each month – we seem to doubly regret the amount of money we spent intending to burn them off!

Gym memberships are a great idea at the time, but virtually none of them are used to their full potential throughout the year – meaning we feel regretful and guilty about the money we spend on them. Next time you look for a gym membership – try not to be swayed by the discounts available for signing up long term – you’re only human – and life often gets in way, leaving a month fee totally wasted…

How does debt consolidation work?

You have probably heard of debt consolidation at some point, and may have a vague idea of what one is. Most people, when they hear those two words, think, “great, another loan. That’s all I need”.  It doesn’t quite work that way, and it can really help you out if you’re in a bind with several debts that don’t seem to be going anywhere, no matter what you do. Lot’s of people have misconceptions about how payoff personal loans can help, among other services, so allow us to tackle that subject now and explain just how the whole thing really works.

Debt consolidation: the concept


The whole point of debt consolidation is to enable those who are having difficulties managing their various debts, to group together (or, consolidate) these debts into one payment rather than several that are hard to keep track of, and end up costing more. Most people just find it easier, also, to look after just the one loan instead of several each month. Not only that, as mentioned above, by grouping these bills together into one you are likely to obtain lower payment amounts each month compared to paying everything separately.

As an example, let’s say that you have 3 credit cards and they have interest rates of 12%, 18% and 25% respectively. By grouping these debts together, you may end up with a monthly interest rate of 10% or 15% which is going to save you a fair amount of money over the life of the loan repayments.

In a similar vein, consolidation of your loans can also help to lower the minimum monthly payment. This is helpful especially for those that are struggling to meet the minimum monthly requirements of the existing loans. If you have been missing payments, and incurring fees as a result, this would provide much needed breathing room, and opportunity to get things back on track in other areas so you are not left worrying about things on top of the debt.

It is worth keeping in mind though, that while a consolidation loan can help in a very real and big way, lower monthly payments will mean it will take slightly longer to pay it all back and it could also mean paying more interest in the long run – although that is not set in stone if the interest rates are also lower.

Where do you get a consolidation loan?


The link in at the top of this piece will help a lot, but there are other places. The majority of debt consolidation loans deal with student loans and credit card debt, but they can be applied to other forms of debt too. There are a number of companies out there in the wild that provide the debt consolidation services that you may need, of which these include:


  • Mortgage lenders
  • Credit card companies (yep)
  • Peer-to-peer lenders
  • Debt management companies
  • Banks


Mortgage providers will often, as you may expect, provide a consolidation loan secured against your home. This kind of loan uses your home equity, and is called a Home Equity Line of Credit. Generally speaking, these types of loans have a more favorable interest rate than other types of debt consolidation loan but the risk is also higher – after all, if you fail to keep up with the repayments, you run the very real risk of losing your home.

Another option that is open to some people, is to take on all of the debt onto a credit card. This can be via a transfer, in the case of other card debts, or by simply paying off debts using the credit card and then just paying off the one debt that you are now left with.

This method can either be very good, or incredibly bad. In the case of transfers, it is very often the case that there will be a 0% interest fee, for upto 12 months, on balances that are transferred. This is excellent if you can pay it all off within that timeframe, but not so great if you cannot. This can end up being an expensive option if you can’t pay it quickly because some credit card companies will charge interest on the entire balance, retroactively; which includes amounts you have already paid off.

What is your best bet for debt consolidation


Ok, let’s assume that you are not totally confident that you can pay off the debt in the time period that a credit card balance transfer will allow and that you either do not have a mortgage or you don’t like the idea of putting your home in the line of fire/ What happens now?

A peer-to-peer solution may well be the best way for you to move forward. A peer-to-peer loan is different than those offered by debt management companies. The biggest difference is that there are no hidden, or ‘extra’ charges and they very often offer much better interest rates than any bank you would care to think of.

Will debt consolidation hurt your credit score?


While the majority of consolidation loans will not affect your score in a negative way, since the outstanding debts are still being paid, the approval process may include what’s called a hard credit check. All credit checks of this nature impact your credit score, taking off a few points each time and these can stay off for upto two years.

In the end, the only thing that will have a negative impact on your credit score is you. It seems obvious, but to protect those three digits you have to make making regular, on time re-payments a priority – after rent / mortgage and food, naturally, and don’t forget car and gas payments if you need your vehicle to get to work!

Debt consolidation can be a great help if you allow it to be, just be sure to make payments each month to make sure it keeps working for you, and not against you.

How A Personal Injury Can Affect You Financially

A personal injury can affect people in a number of ways, of course, your health will be your first concern. But the financial effect of a personal injury shouldn’t be ignored and unfortunately many times it is.

A minor personal injury might mean you can get back to your normal routine within a month or if you’re lucky even a few weeks. But more serious personal injuries can have long wide-reaching effects, especially where your finances are concerned.

You might also find that unfortunately, people won’t be all too sympathetic to your plight either. After suffering a personal injury it’s easy to think well it’s only money at least it was nothing more serious but while your health is paramount and should be your first focus you can’t really ignore your finances, can you?

This is especially true if you have a family to support, despite the onslaught of personal injury adverts on television these days not many people will be thinking about the financial impact a personal injury can bring about.

But you should and that’s why you shouldn’t be put off from claiming compensation. Let’s take a more detailed look at how a personal injury can impact you financially and examine what you can do to help you get your finances back on track.

Time Away From Work


Unless you’re incredibly lucky you’ll likely be away from work for quite a while after suffering a personal injury. Now depending on where you work this can affect you differently, you will have sick pay but who knows how long you’ll get it for and you might also have health insurance.

However, the majority of people likely won’t be so lucky and even if you are that sick pay won’t last forever and getting money from insurance can take a while. Sure, if you have savings this could alleviate the financial burden for a while, but is it fair that you’re left out of pocket for an injury that wasn’t your fault?

When you look at the above situation it’s easy to see why people don’t like to think about their finances after suffering a personal injury isn’t it? An all too common mistake many people make or in some cases feel they are forced into is returning to work to quickly after suffering a personal injury.

You need to give yourself time to heal and recuperate after suffering a personal injury but with the added financial burden you could feel like you have no option but to return to work as quickly as possible. But you should never do this, which is why seeking compensation is so important and if you are having a lot of financial problems you should speak to the Citizens Advice Bureau as soon as possible.


Diminished Capacity

The next big financial difficulty you’re likely to face after suffering a personal injury is the very real possibility that you’ll have diminished capacity, but what does this mean exactly? Diminished capacity could impact you in a number of ways but when it comes to personal injuries it will likely mean that due to your health you won’t be able to do everything you used to be able to.

For example, if you work in an office and suffer an accident that injures your hands or arms you might have difficulty typing. That might mean that your old job might not be suitable for you anymore or you’ll only be able to work part-time.

This could be a temporary problem that will heal in time, but it could take years before it does and in more serious cases you could have a life-long disability. This could impact your finances in a wide number of ways if you have to work part-time then you won’t be bringing is as much money, will you?

And if you can’t return to your old job and have to find a new one then you’ll have even less money, won’t you? Plus, if you are left with a disability after suffering a personal injury then you might find it difficult to find another job. Of course, benefits can help alleviate this if you are entitled to any, but it’s added stress that anyone could do without.

What Can I Do About It?

So, that’s the main two ways your finances can be affected after you suffer a personal injury because we have a national health service in the UK you won’t have to factor medical bills into your finances, unless you decide to go private. But those two factors are problem enough on their own.

One thing you should make sure you do is make a claim for compensation depending on the nature of your injury, don’t worry you might be able to get help with this. If you’re injured at work and are a member of a union get in contact with them as quickly as possible because they may be able to take care of the legal matters for you. For more information about making claims visit Warriors For Justice.

The same applies for traffic accidents if you’re a member of a motoring agency and like we mentioned earlier talking to the Citizens Advice Bureau will be beneficial as well. But there is one other impact thing you need to think about as well when you’re claiming for compensation.

Your Pain And Suffering

You can think of your pain and suffering as the third impact on your finances when you’re claiming compensation the pain and suffering you feel and have endured are a major factor. You shouldn’t just be claiming for the money you’ve lost due to being out of work the trauma you’ve experienced is a big factor in what you’re owed.

This includes mental anguish as well, and while it might feel uncomfortable mentioning this when claiming for compensation it will ensure that you are sufficiently compensated after your injury. No amount of compensation will make suffering a personal injury worth it but it will help lessen the financial impact and help you find justice after suffering an injury.


Precious Metals Retirement Investing: Minimising Risk

Regardless of what plans we have for the future, it’s important to ensure that we’re minimizing risk where we can. A lot of people will rely on paper-assets to secure their future, but many may not take into account the risks associated with such assets. However, more and more people are looking for alternative ways to diversify their portfolio to help counteract such risk, with one of the most popular investments being that of precious metals.

Why Precious Metals?

Precious metals retirement investing can be a popular choice because of the security it is able to offer. While there can be fluctuations within the world of precious metals when it comes to its value, its real pull is that it doesn’t fall within the same demographic as paper-based assets. For example, if there were troublesome times within the housing market, there can be a number of ramifications. As a result, those who have an investment based on paper-assets can see the value of their investment drop.

Precious metals do a stellar job of counteracting such effects, as such metals retain their value in times of strife, because they are rare, and much sought-after.

Evidently, we need to ensure that we’re only dealing with reputable companies when it comes to investing in precious metals, but a little bit of groundwork can help us have a more secure financial future.

What About The Mining of Precious Metals?

When it comes to investing in precious metals, there can be a couple of options available to you, but it’s important that we understand what each avenue offers, and what we can expect from our investment.

Rather than invest in precious metals, some may prefer to invest in the mining companies themselves. While this is a fairly popular practice, there can be more risk involved than investing in the precious metals direct. As it is a company you will be investing in, there can be risk based on how much profit it makes. You will also be making investments via the New York Stock Exchange, which in itself comes with its own set of risks.

Of course, if you are a seasoned investor in shares, then you may be fully confident when it comes to investing in precious metal mining companies. However, if you’re new to the world of investing it can be advisable to seek professional advice before making any commitments.

Investing in precious metals directly means that you are investing in a high-value, tangible asset that can easily be sold at a later date should the need arise. It also allows us to build a more secure nest egg for our family.

Precious metals are often not subjected to economic and political and economic factors and often rises in value as time goes on. This allows investors to have an alternative source of income that can help recovery within a troublesome financial period.

Factors to Consider

Those looking to invest in precious metals as part of their retirement will need to ensure they consider some factors before making an investment. For example, some may choose to convert their current Individual Retirement Account into a God Individual Retirement Account. This is certainly possible, and it’s often the case that many providers will advise on a rollover to ensure you hit the ground running. Generally, those who offer Gold IRAs will tell you exactly what is needed from you, but you should check the terms of current IRA to see if there are any restrictions in place. In some instances, an employer may not allow for it unless you leave the company, but each IRA will have its own rules depending on how it was set up.

Some may be unsure of how much to invest, and different companies will give differing amounts. It is advisable not to invest anything less than $5,000, but this amount can be very generic. This is another reason as to why you should review your current financial plan, as it will give you a clear indication of the options available to you.

Ensuring the Precious Metals are Eligible

There was once a time when only gold and silver American Eagle coins were eligible, but this all changed in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, where several IRS regulations were amended. As a result, there are many different types of precious metals that can be invested in. However, if you’re looking to make a retirement plan, it is often the case you will need to employ the services of a custodian, who will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to eligible precious metals. A great resource on this is mineweb.net – everything you need to know about precious metals IRA rollover.

You can also check out this short video below on the gold IRA rollover process:

As long as we operate in the right way, investing in precious metals can put us on the right path when it comes to making a robust financial future.