FOREX money management

Money management is part and parcel of any trading strategy. Besides knowing which currencies to trade and recognizing entry and exit signals, the successful trader has to manage his resources and integrate FOREX money managementinto his trading plan.

Position size, margin, recent profits and losses, and contingency plans all need to be considered before entering the market.

There are various strategies for approaching money management. Many of them rely on the calculation of core equity. Core equity is your starting balance minus the money used in open positions. If the starting balance is $10,000 and you have $1000 in open positions your core equity is $9000.

When entering a position try to limit risk to 1% to 3% of each trade. This means that if you are trading a standard FOREX lot of $100,000 you should limit your risk to $1000 to $3000 – preferably $1000. You do this by placing a stop loss order 100 pips (when 1 pip = $10) above or below your entry position.

As your core equity rises or falls you can adjust the dollar amount of your risk. With a starting balance of $10,000 and one open position your core equity is $9000. If you wish to add a second open position, your core equity would fall to $8000 and you should limit your risk to $900. Risk in a third position should be limited to $800.

By the same principal you can also raise your risk level as your core equity rises. If you have been trading successfully and made a $5000 profit, your core equity is now $15,000. You could raise your risk to $1500 per transaction. Alternatively, you could risk more from the profit than from the original starting balance. Some traders may risk up to 5% against their realized profits ($5,000 on a $100,000 lot) for greater profit potential.