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I've made use of the os library to retrieve two environment variables (ENVVARS). The first is the API access token and the second is the OANDA account ID. These can be stored in a suitable environment file that is loaded on boot-up of the system. In Ubuntu, you can use the hidden .bash_profile file in your home directory. For instance, using your favourite text editor (mine is Emacs), you can type:
So, for an investor who wants to trade $100,000, a 1% margin would mean that $1,000 needs to be deposited into the account. The remaining 99% is provided by the broker. No interest is paid directly on this borrowed amount, but if the investor does not close their position before the delivery date, it will have to be rolled over. In that case, interest may be charged depending on the investor's position (long or short) and the short-term interest rates of the underlying currencies.
Let's presume that the market keeps on going against you. In this case, the broker will simply have no choice but to shut down all your losing positions. This limit is referred to as a stop out level. For example, when the stop out level is established at 5% by a broker, the trading platform will start closing your losing positions automatically if your margin level reaches 5%. It is important to note that it starts closing from the biggest losing position.
In the last Forex Trading Diary Entry (#1) I described how to build an automated trading system that hooks into the OANDA forex brokerage API. I also mentioned that the next steps included constructing a portfolio and risk management overlay for all suggested signals generated by the Strategy component. In this entry of the diary I want to discuss my attempt to build a functioning Portfolio component and how far I've currently progressed.
It is essential that traders understand the margin close out rule specified by the broker in order to avoid the liquidation of current positions. When an account is placed on margin call, the account will need to be funded immediately to avoid the liquidation of current open positions. Brokers do this in order to bring the account equity back up to an acceptable level.
We also offer an IRA Margin account, which allows you to immediately trade on your proceeds of sales rather than waiting for your sale to settle. You can trade assets in multiple currencies and trade limited option spread combinations. IRA margin accounts have certain restrictions compared to regular margin accounts and borrowing is never allowed in an IRA account. Futures trading in an IRA margin account is subject to substantially higher margin requirements than in a non-IRA margin account. Margin rates in an IRA margin account may meet or exceed three times the overnight futures margin requirement imposed in a non-IRA margin account1.
I've made use of the os library to retrieve two environment variables (ENVVARS). The first is the API access token and the second is the OANDA account ID. These can be stored in a suitable environment file that is loaded on boot-up of the system. In Ubuntu, you can use the hidden .bash_profile file in your home directory. For instance, using your favourite text editor (mine is Emacs), you can type:
In addition, I've had some comments from people suggesting that they'd like to see more varied order types than the simple Market Order. For carrying out proper HFT strategies against OANDA we are going to need to use Limit Orders. This will probably require a reworking of how the system currently executes trades, but it will allow a much bigger universe of trading strategies to be carried out.
All currency trading is done in pairs. Unlike the stock market, where you can buy or sell a single stock, you have to buy one currency and sell another currency in the forex market. Next, nearly all currencies are priced out to the fourth decimal point. A pip or percentage in point is the smallest increment of trade. One pip typically equals 1/100 of 1 percent.
The Federal Reserve Board and self-regulatory organizations (SROs), such as the New York Stock Exchange and FINRA, have clear rules regarding margin trading. In the United States, the Fed's Regulation T allows investors to borrow up to 50 percent of the price of the securities to be purchased on margin. The percentage of the purchase price of securities that an investor must pay for is called the initial margin. To buy securities on margin, the investor must first deposit enough cash or eligible securities with a broker to meet the initial margin requirement for that purchase.
The majority of the volume in currency trading is confined to only 18 currency pairs compared to the thousands of stocks that are available in the global equity markets. Although there are other traded pairs outside of the 18, the eight currencies most often traded are the U.S. dollar (USD), Canadian dollar (CAD), euro (EUR), British pound (GBP), Swiss franc (CHF), New Zealand dollar (NZD), Australian dollar (AUD) and the Japanese yen (JPY). Although nobody would say that currency trading is easy, having far fewer trading options makes trade and portfolio management an easier task.
What caught my attention at first glance, is its exaggerated price that doesn't reflect the profitability of the software in any way but gives it an important advantage as it won't be used by so many traders what will make its live market performance highly effective and successful if it was already well coded and configured, but for me, I won't risk a $2000 in a software without a clear refund policy. They say in the website that they provide 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee if the Robot doesn't WORK! which means that if the robot worked and was a loser, you don't have the right to request a refund, it finally worked on your platform regardless of its results.
The concept of carry is straightforward. The trader goes long on the currency with a high-interest rate and finances that purchase with a currency that has a low-interest rate. For example, in 2005, one of the best pairings was the NZD/JPY cross. The New Zealand economy, spurred by huge commodity demand from China and a hot housing market, saw its rates rise to 7.25% and stay there while Japanese rates remained at 0%. A trader going long on the NZD/JPY could have harvested 725 basis points in yield alone. On a 10:1 leverage basis, the carry trade in NZD/JPY could have produced a 72.5% annual return from interest rate differentials without any contribution from capital appreciation. This example illustrates why the carry trade is so popular.
With OANDA we are free to choose the number of units traded (and thus the exposure generated). Since I have a sterling (GBP) based account and I am trading GBP/USD for this example, the exposure will always equal the number of units. This is currently "hardcoded" into the system below. When I create multiple currency pair options, I will modify the exposure calculation to take into account differing base currencies.
Margin is one of the most important concepts of Forex trading. However, a lot of people don't understand its significance, or simply misunderstand the term. A Forex margin is basically a good faith deposit that is needed to maintain open positions. A margin is not a fee or a transaction cost, but instead, a portion of your account equity set aside and assigned as a margin deposit.
How can you avoid this unanticipated surprise? Margin calls can be effectively avoided by carefully monitoring your account balance on a regular basis, and by using stop-loss orders on every position to minimise the risk. Another smart action to consider is to implement risk management within your trading. By managing your the potential risks effectively, you will be more aware of them, and you should also be able to anticipate them and potentially avoid them altogether.
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