Scalping 3 pips per trade Forex Factory

[Not my post] The Structure of Forex Brokers

Originally posted by Darkstar at Forex Factory.
Disclaimer: I did not write this. I found this post on ForexFactory written by a user called DarkStar, which I believe a lot of redditors will benefit from reading.
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There has been much discussion of late regarding borker spreads and liquidity. Many assumptions are being made about why spreads are widened during news time that are built on an incomplete knowledge of the architecture of the forex market in general. The purpose of this article is to dissect the market and hopefully shed some light on the situation so that a more rational and productive discussion can be undertaken by the Forex Factory members.
We will begin with an explanation of the purpose of the Forex market and how it is utilized by its primary participants, expand into the structure and operation of the market, and conclude with the implications of this information for speculators. With that having been said, let us begin.
Unlike the various bond and equity markets, the Forex market is not generally utilized as an investment medium. While speculation has a critical role in its proper function, the lion’s share of Forex transactions are done as a function of international business.
The guy who buys a shiny new Eclipse more then likely will pay for it with US Dollars. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s factory workers in Japan need to get their paychecks denominated in Yen, so at some point a conversion needs to be made. When one considers that companies like Exxon, Boeing, Sony, Dell, Honda, and thousands of other international businesses move nearly every dollar, real, yen, rubble, pound, and euro they make in a foreign country through the Forex market, it isn’t hard to understand how insignificant the speculative presence is; even in a $2tril per day market.
By and large, businesses don’t much care about the intricacies of exchange rates, they just want to make and sell their products. As a central repository of a company’s money, it was only natural that the banks would be the facilitators of these transactions. In the old days it was easy enough for a bank to call a foreign bank (or a foreign branch of ones own bank) and swap the stockpiles of currency each had accumulated from their many customers.
Just as any business would, the banks bought the foreign currency at one rate and marked it up before selling it to the customer. With that the foreign exchange spread was born. This was (and still is) a reasonable cost of doing business. Mitsubishi can pay its customers and the banks make a nice little profit for the hassle and risks associated with moving around the currency.
As a byproduct of transacting all this business, bank traders developed the ability to speculate on the future of currency rates. Utilizing a better understanding of the market, a bank could quote a business a spread on the current rate but hold off hedging until a better one came along. This process allowed the banks to expand their net income dramatically. The unfortunate consequence was that liquidity was redistributed in a way that made certain transactions impossible to complete.
It was for this reason and this reason alone that the market was eventually opened up to non-bank participants. The banks wanted more orders in the market so that a) they could profit from the less experienced participants, and b) the less experienced participants could provide a better liquidity distribution for execution of international business hedge orders. Initially only megacap hedge funds (such as Soros’s and others) were permitted, but it has since grown to include the retail brokerages and ECNs.

Market Structure:
Now that we have established why the market exists, let’s take a look at how the transactions are facilitated:
The top tier of the Forex market is transacted on what is collectively known as the Interbank. Contrary to popular belief the Interbank is not an exchange; it is a collection of communication agreements between the world’s largest money center banks.
To understand the structure of the Interbank market, it may be easier to grasp by way of analogy. Consider that in an office (or maybe even someone’s home) there are multiple computers connected via a network cable. Each computer operates independently of the others until it needs a resource that another computer possesses. At that point it will contact the other computer and request access to the necessary resource. If the computer is working properly and its owner has given the requestor authorization to do so, the resource can be accessed and the initiating computers request can be fulfilled. By substituting computers for banks and resources for currency, you can easily grasp the relationships that exist on the Interbank.
Anyone who has ever tried to find resources on a computer network without a server can appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of who has what resources. The same issue exists on the Interbank market with regard to prices and currency inventory. A bank in Singapore may only rarely transact business with a company that needs to exchange some Brazilian Real and it can be very difficult to establish what a proper exchange rate should be. It is for this purpose that EBS and Reuters (hereafter EBS) established their services.
Layered on top (in a manner of speaking) of the Interbank communication links, the EBS service enables banks to see how much and at what prices all the Interbank members are willing to transact. Pains should be taken to express that EBS is not a market or a market maker; it is an application used to see bids and offers from the various banks.
The second tier of the market exists essential within each bank. By calling your local Bank of America branch you can exchange any foreign currency you would like. More then likely they will just move some excess currency from one branch to another. Since this is a micro-exchange with a single counterparty, you are basically at their mercy as to what exchange rate they will quote you. Your choice is to accept their offer or shop a different bank. Everyone who trades the forex market should visit their bank at least once to get a few quotes. It would be very enlightening to see how lucrative these transactions really are.
Branching off of this second tier is the third tier retail market. When brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, etc. desire to establish a retail operation the first thing they need is a liquidity provider. Nine in ten of these brokers will sign an agreement with just one bank. This bank will agree to provide liquidity if and only if they can hedge it on EBS inclusive of their desired spread. Because the volume will be significantly higher a single bank patron will transact, the spreads will be much more competitive. By no means should it be expected these tier 3 providers will be quoted precisely what exists on the Interbank. Remember the bank is in the business of collecting spreads and no agreement is going to suspend that priority.
Retail forex is almost akin to running a casino. The majority of its participants have zero understanding how to trade effectively and as a result are consistent losers. The spread system combined with a standard probability distribution of returns gives the broker a built in house advantage of a few percentage points. As a result, they have all built internal order matching systems that play one loser off against a winner and collect the spread. On the occasions when disequilibrium exists within the internal order book, the broker hedges any exposure with their tier 2 liquidity provider.
As bad as this may sound, there are some significant advantages for speculators that deal with them. Because it is an internal order book, many features can be provided which are otherwise unavailable through other means. Non-standard contract sizes, high leverage on tiny account balances, and the ability to transact in a commission free environment are just a few of them…
An ECN operates similar to a Tier 2 bank, but still exists on the third tier. An ECN will generally establish agreements with several tier 2 banks for liquidity. However instead of matching orders internally, it will just pass through the quotes from the banks, as is, to be traded on. It’s sort of an EBS for little guys. There are many advantages to the model, but it is still not the Interbank. The banks are going to make their spread or their not go to waste their time. Depending on the bank this will take the form of price shading or widened spreads depending on market conditions. The ECN, for its trouble, collects a commission on each transaction.
Aside from the commission factor, there are some other disadvantages a speculator should consider before making the leap to an ECN. Most offer much lower leverage and only allow full lot transactions. During certain market conditions, the banks may also pull their liquidity leaving traders without an opportunity to enter or exit positions at their desired price.

Trade Mechanics:
It is convenient to believe that in a $2tril per day market there is always enough liquidity to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately belief does not negate the reality that for every buyer there MUST be a seller or no transaction can occur. When an order is too large to transact at the current price, the price moves to the point where open interest is abundant enough to cover it. Every time you see price move a single pip, it means that an order was executed that consumed (or otherwise removed) the open interest at the current price. There is no other way that prices can move.
As we covered earlier, each bank lists on EBS how much and at what price they are willing to transact a currency. It is important to note that no Interbank participant is under any obligation to make a transaction if they do not feel it is in their best interest. There are no “market makers” on the Interbank; only speculators and hedgers.
Looking at an ECN platform or Level II data on the stock market, one can get a feel for what the orders on EBS look like. The following is a sample representation:
You’ll notice that there is open interest (Level II Vol figures) of various sizes at different price points. Each one of those units represents existing limit orders and in this example, each unit is $1mil in currency.
Using this information, if a market sell order was placed for 38.4mil, the spread would instantly widen from 2.5 pips to 4.5 pips because there would no longer be any orders between 1.56300 and 1.56345. No broker, market maker, bank, or thief in the night widened the spread; it was the natural byproduct of the order that was placed. If no additional orders entered the market, the spread would remain this large forever. Fortunately, someone somewhere will deem a price point between those 2 figures an appropriate opportunity to do something and place an order. That order will either consume more interest or add to it, depending whether it is a market or limit order respectively.
What would have happened if someone placed a market sell order for 2mil just 1 millisecond after that 38.4 mil order hit? They would have been filled at 1.5630 Why were they “slipped”? Because there was no one to take the other side of the transaction at 1.56320 any longer. Again, nobody was out screwing the trader; it was the natural byproduct of the order flow.
A more interesting question is, what would happen if all the listed orders where suddenly canceled? The spread would widen to a point at which there were existing bids and offers. That may be 5,7,9, or even 100 pips; it is going to widen to whatever the difference between a bid and an offer are. Notice that nobody came in and “set” the spread, they just refused to transact at anything between it.
Nothing can be done to force orders into existence that don’t exist. Regardless what market is being examined or what broker is facilitating transactions, it is impossible to avoid spreads and slippage. They are a fact of life in the realm of trading.

Implications for speculators:
Trading has been characterized as a zero sum game, and rightly so. If trader A sells a security to trader B and the price goes up, trader A lost money that they otherwise could have made. If it goes down, Trader A made money from trader B’s mistake. Even in a huge market like the Forex, each transaction must have a buyer and a seller to make a trade and one of them is going to lose. In the general realm of trading, this is materially irrelevant to each participant. But there are certain situations where it becomes of significant importance. One of those situations is a news event.
Much has been made of late about how it is immoral, illegal, or downright evil for a broker, bank, or other liquidity provider to withdraw their order (increasing the spread) and slip orders (as though it was a conscious decision on their part to do so) more then normal during these events. These things occur for very specific reasons which have nothing to do with screwing anyone. Let us examine why:
Leading up to an economic report for example, certain traders will enter into positions expecting the news to go a certain way. As the event becomes immanent, the banks on the Interbank will remove their speculative orders for fear of taking unnecessary losses. Technical traders will pull their orders as well since it is common practice for them to avoid the news. Hedge funds and other macro traders are either already positioned or waiting until after the news hits to make decisions dependent on the result.
Knowing what we now know, where is the liquidity necessary to maintain a tight spread coming from?
Moving down the food chain to Tier 2; a bank will only provide liquidity to an ECN or retail broker if they can instantly hedge (plus their requisite spread) the positions on Interbank. If the Interbank spreads are widening due to lower liquidity, the bank is going to have to widen the spreads on the downstream players as well.
At tier 3 the ECN’s are simply passing the banks offers on, so spreads widen up to their customers. The retailers that guarantee spreads of 2 to 5 pips have just opened a gaping hole in their risk profile since they can no longer hedge their net exposure (ever wonder why they always seem to shut down or requote until its over?). The variable spread retailers in turn open up their spreads to match what is happening at the bank or they run into the same problems fixed spreads broker are dealing with.
Now think about this situation for a second. What is going to happen when a number misses expectations? How many traders going into the event with positions chose wrong and need to get out ASAP? How many hedge funds are going to instantly drop their macro orders? How many retail traders’ straddle orders just executed? How many of them were waiting to hear a miss and executed market orders?
With the technical traders on the sidelines, who is going to be stupid enough to take the other side of all these orders?
The answer is no one. Between 1 and 5 seconds after the news hits it is a purely a 1 way market. That big long pin bar that occurs is a grand total of 2 prices; the one before the news hit and the one after. The 10, 20, or 30 pips between them is called a gap.
Is it any wonder that slippage is in evidence at this time?

Conclusions:
Each tier of the Forex market has its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your priorities you have to make a choice between what restrictions you can live with and those you cant. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want.
By focusing on slippage and spreads, which are the natural byproduct of order flow, one is not only pursuing a futile ideal, they are passing up an enormous opportunity to capitalize on true inefficiencies. News events are one of the few times where a large number of players are positioned inappropriately and it is fairly easy to profit from their foolishness. If a trader truly wants to make the leap to the next level of profitability they should be spending their time figuring out how identify these positions and trading with the goal of capturing the price movement they inevitably will cause.
Nobody is going to make the argument that a broker is a trader’s best friend, but they still provide a valuable service and should be compensated for their efforts. By accepting a broker for what it is and learning how to work within the limitations of the relationship, traders have access to a world of opportunity that they otherwise could never dream of capturing. Let us all remember that simple truth.
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Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Chinese in Australia have setup their own safety networks due to lack of police response
  2. China Is Our Last Diplomatic Hope for North Korea
  3. Mass deportation of Chinese from #Fiji in latest offshore crackdown by Beijing: Fijian and Chinese law enforcement agencies arrest 77 in joint operation similar to others carried out in Indonesia and Cambodia
  4. Launch of China- #Malaysia rail link signals stronger ties: China is funding the 620km-long rail link stretching from Tumpat town, near Malaysia's border with Thailand, to Kuantan Port, before cutting through the mountainous central region to Port Klang, Malaysia's busiest port
  5. #Canadians Have Worse Impression Of U.S. Government Than China: Abacus Poll 49% said they had a "very negative" impression of the U.S. 22% for China. Co-author said it was "remarkable" Canadians having more favourable views of China and Russia than of the "passionate defender of individual freedoms"
  6. China hands Trump a win on North Korea crisis
  7. Taiwan calls time on Mongolia and Tibet affairs commission
  8. South Korean's Leader Bluntly Warns U.S. Against Striking North (Apparently not important enough to make it on Google News Headlines)
  9. Fighting for Chinatown
  10. China won’t allow regime change in N. Korea – fmr US diplomat
  11. Ukraine seeks greater presence in China's agro products market
  12. China tells ‘imperfect’ US to mind its own business over religious freedom criticism
  13. Asian Americans Are Targeted For Hate Crimes More Than We Think
  14. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (#SCO) completed a joint anti-terrorist drill in Russia's Yaroslavl region located northeast of Moscow, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said
  15. Man Gets Sentenced To Life For Killing USC Student From China
  16. Beijing signs deals with Nepal
  17. Chinese universities rise in world university academic rankings
  18. China's New Base in Djibouti to Aid Economic Expansion in #Africa. Currently, China mainly imports minerals and oil from Africa, but its long-term plan is to build factories on the continent and move some of its manufacturing there to take advantage of the cheaper labor and geographic position
  19. Hard-pedaling Soft Power, China Helps Launch $13B Belt and Road Rail Project in #Malaysia: "The ECRL is indeed yet another 'game changer' and a 'mindset changer' for Malaysia as it will significantly cut travel time to and from the east coast of the peninsula," Malaysian Prime Minister said
  20. 'Economic war with China is everything' Steve Bannon got removed (lol)
  21. Chinese Yang Jiayu wins women's 20km race walk at London World Championships
  22. Asian woman says she quit Google due to racial discrimination
  23. Chinese-Americans concerned about new Texas immigration law
  24. Chinese and #African media houses vow to deepen cooperation in information sharing, best practice and training to improve the dissemination of information
  25. #Pakistan, China sign documents to enhance cooperation in the fields of education and infrastructure development
  26. Former Shanghai teacher now a tribal chief in Nigeria
  27. ‘Duterte wants joint exploration with China’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said
In Domestic news
  1. Two arrested in 22-year murder case, one suspect award-winning writer, member of Chinese Writers Association [Chinese]
  2. HK Democracy activist Howard Lam, (aka Staples-Tortured Chub), arrested for misleading police over kidnap claim
  3. Sinopec goes big on geothermal
  4. China Launches ‘Special Crackdown’ on Pyramid Schemes
  5. Police may look into mental health of Hong Kong democracy activist Howard Lam after kidnap claim suspecting mental issues and the stapling was an act of self-harm
  6. 1,290 meters! The main construction of the world's longest 3-tower cable-stayed railway bridge has completed in China
  7. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed over Occupy protests
  8. China is investigating its major social media sites, including Baidu, WeChat and Weibo, for potentially breaching cybersecurity laws
  9. China’s Major Social Platforms to Cooperate With Authorities in #Cybersecurity: Tieba communication platform, the WeChat messenger and Weibo made separate statements earlier in the day declaring their readiness to actively cooperate with the CAC
  10. China Launches World's Largest Floating #Solar Power Plant: over 160,000 solar panels spreading over 86 hectares of water surface, can provide energy for some 15,000 houses annually
In SciTech news
  1. #Nanochemistry meets macrostructures: Chinese scientists report the synthesis of a macroscopic aerogel from carbonitride nanomaterials which is an excellent catalyst for the water-splitting reaction under visible-light irradiation
  2. Light, strong alloy may alter design of aircraft: The nano ceramic aluminum alloy was developed at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The new material has already been used in the Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 space labs, quantum satellites and meteorological satellites
  3. Converting greenhouse gas to value-added syngas takes a big step forward
  4. China to build first #Mars simulation base: Situated at the Qaidam basin in western Qinghai, Haixi was chosen for its Mars-like landform, landscape and climate
  5. Seeking Greater Global Power, China Looks to Robots and Microchips
  6. Earliest-Known Winged #Mammal Relatives Discovered In China: When you think about the Jurassic Period, you probably think of massive dinosaurs. But now scientists say there were also gliders, akin to today's flying squirrels . Maiopatagium furculiferum and Vilevolodon diplomylos
  7. Chinese satellite sends 'hack-proof' message: The #Micius satellite beamed messages to two mountain-top receiving stations 645 km (400 miles) and 1,200 km away. Complicated optics on the Chinese satellite protect messages with entangled photons
  8. New Privacy Mode Added to DJI Drones, US Army Released Memo to Grant Exception to DJI Ban Pending this New Privacy Mode
  9. Scientists have cloned genetically modified piglets that may prove a safe source of organs for transplants into humans. The piglets, born in a lab in Yunnan, do not carry the active infectious viral gene which has impeded the process of pig-to-human transplantation for more than a decade
  10. China to establish intercontinental ‘hack-proof’ #quantum links with Australia, Europe: Further experiments this year will evolve ground stations in Germany and Italy, Pan added, bringing the project closer to the planned Asian-European secure communication network
  11. Woman Becomes First Person to Be Cryopreserved in China
  12. Novel Thruster Design Could Enable Deeper Travel Into Space
  13. China launches brain-imaging factory
  14. Chinese scientists reveal how itch turns into scratch. In a study published in the U.S. journal Science, researchers reported the discovery of a central neural circuit that moves itch signal from the spinal cord to a part of the brainstem called the parabrachial nucleus (PBN).
  15. China pips US to start world’s first meltdown-proof nuclear reactor
  16. China has unveiled the world's first 'unhackable computer network'
  17. 1,069 dancing robots break Guinness World Record in China (VIDEO)
  18. Despite strains, China and the US are top partners in science
  19. Woman saved by pioneering 3D printed spine in China: had to have six consecutive cervical vertebrae replaced because they had been affected by the rare cancer
  20. Chinese Internet majors compete to dominate #ASEAN tech ecosystem: Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and JD.com – collectively termed BATJ – are leading a wave of investment into Southeast Asia’s venture ecosystem and technology sector
  21. Who Are China's Biggest Fabless Chipmakers?
In Economic news
  1. Spotlight: Bashing China cannot solve U.S. economic problems, experts say
  2. China July FX reserves unexpectedly hit 9-month high on boost from weak dollar: China's forex reserves, the world's largest, rose $24 billion in July to $3.081 trillion
  3. China's Economic Outlook in Six Charts
  4. Fiat Chrysler could be bought by a Chinese automaker If a deal comes to fruition, it would be a big boon for Chinese car companies looking to improve
  5. Industrial “edge cities” have helped China grow
  6. Deng Xiaoping - the world's greatest economist
  7. US formally launches probe of China trade ties
  8. China emerging as Germany's main economic rival
  9. New investment rules to curb China's foreign acquisition binge
  10. How China’s can-do generation will power economic growth
  11. Young Taiwanese choose China jobs over politics
In Military news
  1. What is China’s PLA doing in #Laos? Beijing's 'Train of Peace' mission to provide medical care to Lao armed forces was nominally a goodwill mission but underscored the country's strategic importance to China's plans for Southeast Asia
  2. Russia, China challenging US military dominance: Mattis
  3. China's making major progress with its aircraft carrier tech (Type 002 to have flat top with catapult, Type 003 to be nuclear powered supercarriers)
  4. Think Tank Says Beijing Continuing #SouthChinaSea Construction. Photos of Tree Island demonstrate sizeable expansion of the island’s above-water mass between August 5, 2015, and August 5, 2017. The size of the island increased by roughly 24 acres between during the time period, AMTI said
  5. #Taiwan says Chinese aircraft fly around island in weekend of drills
  6. #Space Standoff: Uncertainty in Militarized Space. If Russian policy towards the American space program is described as unfriendly, then U.S. policy towards China can be described as nothing short of hostile
  7. Construction of China's 2nd #AircraftCarrier for PLAN Progressing Faster than Expected: propulsion system tests are currently underway. The first and third boilers are already on, and the steam turbines will soon follow. Dockside testing could start within the next month
  8. China has announced plans to bolster its maritime #nuclear capabilities with the creation of a major new joint venture project, could provide the catalyst for the development of floating reactors. The new company will also seek to promote the development of nuclear-powered vessels
  9. The #Pentagon’s top general Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he discussed with his Chinese counterparts ways to coordinate with China’s military to avoid dangerous miscalculations should war break out with North Korea
Other Notables
  1. Adopted to the US, an American teen’s journey in search of her roots
  2. The busiest employee in a warehouse? Meet China-made warehouse robot!
  3. New research blamed increased competition with China for soaring death rates among white, middle aged Americans (lol)?
  4. On the other side of the table: Nepalese commenters on youtube - to Nepal, India is the big bully, loves China, calls for China's protection
  5. Why Nirvana in Fire is the Best Cdrama
  6. July 2017 Study Refutes Earlier Theories of "Increased US White Male Despair / Deaths Due to Loss of Jobs to China" ("Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans)
  7. China starts work on world's second-largest hydropower station
  8. Vincent Chin was a Chinese American Man beaten to death in 1982 with a baseball bat by two laid off auto-workers who blamed him for losing their jobs because Japanese cars started becoming popular. The men received initial sentences of 3 years probation and no jail time.
  9. Chinese Guy & American Girlfriend React to Racist Fox News Chinatown Segment
  10. Preserving Nanjing's architectural treasures
  11. The King's Woman 秦时丽人明月心 Airs this week
  12. Hollywood chases after Wu Jing as Wolf Warriors 2, a film with $30M budget crosses $700M mark and still rising.
  13. #Taichi is big in China and its influence is spreading globally: China's mega-rich and powerful believe the merits of the gentle exercise boosts not only personal well-being but company profits and transforms corporate cultures
  14. Why My School Teaches Students to Survive on Next to Nothing
  15. Eddie Huang Serves A White Supremacist & Trump Supporter The Facts While They Eat Chinese Food
  16. #Banda Islands: How Chinese traders – and war over an aphrodisiac – led to a multicultural Indonesia. The world’s major powers considered the Banda Islands the key spoil of a spice war hundreds of years ago and it is this bloody past that made the country what it is today
  17. How the ‘Safest Place on Earth’ Can Be More Welcoming to Others
  18. Modern Chinese Architecture: Landscape Design of Suzhou Vanke Great Lake Park
  19. No.66 Lanman Hutong Renovation
  20. RAW: China holds massive day-night live-fire artillery drill
  21. When Hong Kong workmen dug up 2,000-year-old tomb and were all set to demolish it until public’s enthusiasm saved the day
  22. Long awaited Tribes & Empires: Storm of Prophecy confirmed to air on September 25, 2017.
  23. Heads up, our brothers in arms RT channel has amazing series of documentaries on Chinese culture and the new silk road, very beautifully shot.
  24. Any recent documentaries about modern china history that aren't from the western perspective with English subs or audio?
  25. Forgotten ally? China's unsung role in World War II
  26. 81-Year-Old Chinese Husband Serenades Wife In a Coma For Their 54th Anniversary
  27. How Chop Suey Saved San Francisco's Chinatown [Chinese Food: An All-American Cuisine, Pt. 1]
  28. The Untold Story Of America's Southern Chinese [Chinese Food: An All-American Cuisine, Pt. 2]
  29. 5000 thousands years of beauty.
  30. #WolfWarrior2 Crosses $600M In China; No. 6 All-Time Gross In A Single Market
  31. Throwback to when movies used to start with this...
  32. Alright, I know some of us support Trump, but this better not be you (3rd generation Chinese American Neo-Nazi supporter)
  33. Why the Western definition of human rights is an absurd fraud
  34. #WWE Network to Launch in China: Vince McMahon's pro wrestling organization signed a deal with PPTV to offer a subscription video-on-demand service including all live pay-per-view events
  35. Documentary explores the history of astronomy in China
  36. 'Economic war with China is everything': Trump’s chief strategist in candid interview
  37. The Chinese massacre of 1871 in Los Angeles, California. An estimated 17 to 20 Chinese immigrants were tortured and then hanged by the mob, making the event the largest mass lynching in American history.
  38. Chinese Social Political Stability Rests in "Dual Faceted Identity System" (A Model Societal System Analysis based on Recent Rise of White Nationalism in US)
  39. Lu Xiaojun (77) - 170kg/175kg/177kg Snatch Slow Motion
  40. The Surprisingly Important Role China Played in WWI
  41. Chinese Farmer Builds Epic Multi-Story Platform For 'Pig Diving'
  42. Ai Weiwei takes a small break from mocking Chinese government to criticise western society - "Human Flow" documentary film about refugees
  43. Review: Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics
  44. Hollywood hero with Chinese characteristics
  45. BBC calls what Chinese are doing 'exploitation' while the exact same thing done in the west is ignored.
  46. Ancient poetry content in Chinese text books to sharply increase
  47. The Love Affair of Mussolini’s Daughter Edda & Zhang Xueliang, Heroic China Warlord
  48. 57-year-old man grabs gold medals in body building competition
  49. Cambridge University Press pulls articles in China at Beijing’s request
  50. China's Wolf Warriors 2 joins top 100 grossing films worldwide: non-Hollywood film to break into the top 100 all-time grossing movies worldwide. Knocked 1994's "Forrest Gump" from the No 100 spot
  51. 《追捕》 Manhunt (directed by John Woo) International Trailer
  52. Why Nirvana in Fire is the Best Chinese Drama - Part 2/2
  53. Trying to learn more about traditional chinese culture, what can you guys tell me about the color Qing?
  54. Robot introduced to hospital to autofill prescriptions in E. China
  55. Something worth a grin
  56. Story of China’s ancient military might found carved in cliff
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Binary Options Trading: What You Need To Know

Binary option trading is a relatively new development in the retail trading world. Five years ago, no one had even heard of it.
Since 2012 however, the popularity of binary options surged as a result of aggressive marketing by binary option brokers, and the promotion of binary trading software by the trading "gurus".
Right now, interest on the topic continues to grow at record levels. Given its current popularity, binary options are likely to be the first "asset" that beginners start trading with.
However, just because something is new and popular... doesn't mean it's worth doing. (Who remembers the fuss over bitcoin trading?)
Opportunities come and go all the time in the retail trading space... and it's important for us to tell the difference between sustainable business models and short-lived fads.
So let's take a moment to examine binary options, and see if it's something we should be paying attention to.
But before we do that, let's first take a quick look at traditional (i.e. vanilla) option contracts.
VANILLA FOREX OPTIONS
Traditional option contracts were initially introduced for people to hedge against future uncertainty.
For example, a German company selling cars in the United States would worry about high EUUSD exchange rates in the future.
Why?
Because then they would be getting revenue in a weaker currency (USD) while having to pay expenses in a stronger currency (Euro) in their home country. This results in a significantly lower net profit, or even worse, a net loss.
Forex option contracts were thus introduced to solve this problem, as any losses stemming from currency fluctuations could be offset by profits made from buying options contracts.
To continue with the example, the German car company may choose to buy EUUSD call options, which would profit from an increasing EUUSD rate. Thus, any operational losses in the future (due to a high EUUSD rate) can be offset by the profits gained from those option contracts.
This is, and continues to be, the main purpose of Forex option contracts.
Now of course, in order for the German company to buy call options, someone has to be willing to sell it to them.
Perhaps, a financial institution in France does not believe that the EUUSD will continue to strengthen over the next 12 months, and so is willing sell call options to the German company.
(This, by the way, is how financial markets work. Participants have varying views of the future, and so trade against each other in line with their own expectations.)
In this transaction, the German company pays a fee (in buying call options) to protect against future currency risk, while the financial institution gets paid to take on that risk.
To summarize:
- The German car company looks to limit future currency risk by buying call options - The financial institution (or speculator) collects a fee from selling call options and assumes the currency risk 
More generally:
- Option buyers pay a fixed fee for the potential of a very large profit - Option sellers collect a fixed fee for the potential of a very large loss 
FOREX BINARY OPTIONS
In a vanilla option trade, the buyer does not know in advance the amount of money he stands to win. Similarly, the seller does not know in advance the amount of money he stands to lose. The amount is ultimately determined by how far the market price moves.
In a binary option trade however, the trader will know in advance the exact amount he stands to win or lose, before taking the trade. Binary options are named as such because there are exactly only two possible outcomes: you either win a fixed amount, or lose a fixed amount.
Binary options ask a simple question: will the price be above [price level] at [time]?
For example: will the EUUSD be above 1.3000 at 4.30pm? If you think so, you buy the binary option. If you don't, you sell.
That's pretty much all there is to binary options.
UPSIDE OF BINARY OPTIONS
As you can see, binary option trading can be simply explained and is easily understood. This is a big benefit to new traders, as they can quickly learn the basic mechanics and start trading right away.
A related benefit of this, is having to make fewer trading decisions.
In spot forex trading, for example, one has to decide:
- Where and when to enter the market - The appropriate trading lot size to use - How to manage the trade - Where and when to close the trade 
In binary option trading however, there are only 2 decisions to make:
- Whether the market price will be above a certain price level at a certain time - How much to risk on the trade 
As such, binary options offer a much simpler trading process. You don’t have to think about (or calculate) leverage and margin at all.
And, since the potential loss on each trade is fixed, you will never get a margin call.
Lastly, options offer traders the unique ability to make money by predicting where prices will NOT go. (This goes for all types of options, not just binary options.) This can’t be done in the spot Forex market.
So… does binary option trading sound good?
Sure it does!
Well... at first glance, anyway.
Now let’s take a look at the downsides of binary option trading. These are the things your binary option broker won’t tell you.
DOWNSIDE OF BINARY OPTIONS TRADING
The most obvious downside of binary option trading is the lack of flexibility.
For example, if the market price moves even one pip against you upon option expiry, you’ll lose your entire stake. You can’t choose to defer your trade exit under any circumstances.
Also, with some binary option brokers, you can’t change your mind and close or modify a trade before expiry. In this sense, a binary option trade is typically an all-or-nothing proposition.
These points on inflexibility can be summarized by the following comment (found in the Forex Factory forums):
"I once traded a forex news item where I closed a wrong call with a 20 pips loss, and ended up making 350 pips on the reverse trade, giving me a net profit of 330 pips. This scenario cannot be replicated in binary options.”
Lastly, the value of a binary option is fixed between 0 and 100, with the broker charging a bid-ask spread and often, a commission as well. The implication of these factors is that the average loss per trade will always be larger than the average profit. This is a structural (i.e. inherent) characteristic of the binary option game.
Thus, in order to break even, a binary option trader would have to win at least 55% of the time. Compare this to spot Forex trading, where a trader can be profitable by winning just 40% (or less) of the time.
MY PERSONAL OPINION
On paper, binary options are an opportunity seeker’s wet dream.
The promise of regular fixed payouts and a focus on short-term profits are exactly the characteristics that appeal to people looking for a quick buck.
Unfortunately for them, what feels good in trading is typically a losing approach.
You see... the only way to keep making money with binary options is to accurately predict market prices at least 55% of the time, AND get the timing right. This is an exceptionally difficult feat to accomplish.
In other words, you can correctly predict future market prices AND STILL LOSE because you got the timing wrong by a few minutes.
HOWEVER
All this said, there may be a genuine opportunity here… and that is to be a seller of binary options.
Why? Because it’s a lot easier to estimate where prices will 'not go', rather than trying to predict where it will. Whenever the market settles at a particular price level, it is not settling at a dozen other price levels.
Does this make sense?
This root concept may then be expanded to form a complete binary option trading strategy that you can use.
Note however, that this is a benefit available to all types of options, not just binary options.
SO, ARE BINARY OPTIONS JUST A FAD?
One reservation I have about binary options is that they do not serve a major commercial purpose. Unlike the spot and derivatives markets that serve to benefit society, binary options exist solely for speculation purposes.
In other words, it can be reasonably argued that binary option trading is not much different than a casino game.
Without a commercial purpose, binary options could be banned tomorrow and not impact anyone else other than the brokers and speculators.
Compare this to spot Forex trading, or Forex futures trading, upon which global commerce relies. These markets are unlikely to be closed or banned, because they serve a useful purpose beyond speculation.
As a retail trader for the past 10 years, I’ve seen all sorts of gimmicks and fads come and go. Some years ago, expert advisors were the hot topic. Slowly but surely, people are now gradually realizing that "automated trading" isn't as amazing as it's cracked up to be.
Will binary options follow suit?
My opinion is yes, I think they will.
Binary options do not provide any major benefit to serious traders, and I think that once the opportunity seekers get bored or lose enough money, they’ll lose interest and turn their attention to the next shiny object.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
So... do you particularly agree or disagree with any of the points I’ve mentioned? Did I miss mentioning any important points?
Let me know what you think!
The original article is published here
submitted by pipmavens to investing [link] [comments]

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