Tag Archives | position size

Ask & Bid: Knowing the Spread

spread

One of the most frustrating things for new traders is overcoming the spread. The spread is the difference between the bid price and the ask price at a given time. You should always consider the spread before you enter a position, as the move you’re anticipating may not be significant enough for you to turn a profit.

This difference in price can dishearten some traders. When they’ve gone into a position on a currency with a wide spread, they’re starting off in the hole, and the price has to climb that much further before they make a profit. A tighter spread, however, means you can turn a profit that much faster, as the moves don’t have to be as big.

Spreads are directly tied to volume. When there’s less volume in the markets, spreads will be larger; when there is more volume, spreads will be tighter. Volume trends aren’t a secret by any means, and you can use this knowledge to your advantage. The markets see the most volume between 8am and 12pm EST. Around 5pm EST, the markets see the lowest volume of the day.

It’s also worth noting that certain brokers offer a fixed spread while others offer a variable spread. Variable spreads bring the potential both for tighter spreads during periods of high volume in the markets, as well as wider spreads when the market is seeing low volume. Though fixed spreads are generally wider than variable, they bring predictability during periods of market volatility.

We know—it’s just another thing you need to think about before you get into a trade. But as you take these things into consideration, you’ll start to just see these things without thinking about them! But for now just remember:

Less Volume = Wider Spread
More Volume = Tighter Spread

As a side note, we at the Apiary Fund have done everything we can to make our narrow spread work for our traders. If you’re not a part of the fund currently, check out our Trader Orientation Webinar to find out more about the unique advantages provided by the Apiary Fund.

 

Comments { 0 }

Lots and Lots — Understanding your Position Size

Just as stock investments are measured in shares and futures investments are measured in contracts, investments in the currencies are measured in lots.

Simply put, 1 lot is 100,000 units of the base currency (You’ll recall that in any currency pair, such as EUR/USD, the first quoted currency is the base currency, and the second is the quote currency). So if you’re trading 1 lot of USD/CHF, you’re trading $100,000 USD. If you’re trading 1 lot of EUR/GBP, you’re trading €100,000 EUR.

I know, 100,000 of any currency seems like a lot, so don’t worry—you don’t have to trade full lots! In fact, we at the Apiary Fund encourage all our traders to at least start out with smaller position sizes. Traders will be able to protect themselves from larger losses by trading fractions of full lots, such as .10 lots (also called a mini) or .01 lots (also called a micro).

Hopefully you now know a bit more about lots and position size. For more information, check out our glossary!

Comments { 0 }

Tips for Managing Position Size

Large position sizeAt the heart of money management is the decision of increasing or decreasing your investment. To illustrate this, imagine you own a store that sells athletic equipment. Because no sport lasts all year, you’d find yourself changing your floor inventory based on which sports are approaching, which are in full swing, and which are ending soon.

When it comes to changing position size, the rule is to increase your position size during favorable market conditions for your product. In your store, you’d have more football equipment on the sales floor during the fall when you know conditions are favorable for that sport. The other side of this rule is to decrease position size during unfavorable conditions. As football season winds down and basketball season begins, the products in your store would decrease inventory to reflect the new season.

Small position sizeFortunately, in the market there are two seasons: highly predictive and less predictive. You’ll want to increase your position size in highly predictive conditions and decrease your position size in less predictive conditions. Controlling your investment size is key to keeping your losses to a minimum. This, in combination with other elements of money management as emphasized by the Apiary Investment Fund, will ultimately lead to profitable trading!

Comments { 0 }