How to Day Trade Forex for a Living

Forex, or foreign exchange, is a marketplace where people buy and sell currencies. Day trading is a type of trading where traders buy and sell assets within the same day. In this article, we will look at forex day trading for a living.

How Does Forex Trading Work?

Forex trading is based on the concept of supply and demand. When there is more demand for a currency than there is supply, the price of that currency will go up. When there is more supply of a currency than there is demand, the price of that currency will go down.

The best way to explain what forex trading is to use an example. Assume that you are an American travelling to Kenya. You have $10,000 and the exchange rate between the US dollar and Kenyan shilling is 100. This means that you will have 1 million Kenyan shilling on arrival. You stay in Kenya for a few months. When going back, you meet that the exchange rate has dropped to 90. This means that you will now have $11,111 when you change the funds to dollars.

This is how the forex market works. The idea is to benefit from the fluctuation of currency movements. In the example above, you would have $9090 if the exchange rate rose to 110.

Can You Make a Living Day Trading Forex?

It is possible to make a living day trading forex, but it is not easy. While a few traders do earn a lot of money, you need to have a good understanding of the market, a solid trading strategy, and the discipline to stick to your plan. To have a steady income, you might need to invest a lot of money.

How to Become a Forex Trader

There are millions of forex day traders around the world. However, the reality is that only a handful of people who start trading making it. This is because forex trading is one of the riskiest things you can do. In this part, we will look at the steps you need to follow to become a successful day trader.

Forex Trading Office Setup

Creating an efficient trading environment is crucial for forex day traders. To create the best trading setup, pick a quiet spot in your home. Make sure there’s good lighting to see your charts well. Get a comfy chair and a big desk for your computer and tools. You’ll need a good computer with fast internet and a trading platform. Also, think about using tools like analysis software and newsfeeds to help you trade better.

Find a Good Broker

There are hundreds of brokers around the world. Some are good, while others are not all that good. You should take time to find a credible broker, who you will use to trade. Ideally, you should look at a broker that has the following qualities:

  • Regulated by a major financial regulator.
  • Has been in the industry for several years.
  • Offers hundreds of financial assets.
  • Has a good web and mobile platform.
  • Has a platform that is easy to use.

Sign Up for a Demo Account

forex day trading for a living

Most forex brokers offer a demo account. This is an account that gives you access to the financial market. It gives you virtual money that you can trade with. The demo account is an important tool because it helps you see how the market works. Here are a few tips of using a forex demo account:

  • Start with the same amount you intend to trade with.
  • Take the demo account seriously.
  • Experiment with various indicators and strategies.
  • Take a few months on demo before you move to live trading.

Learn More About Trading

After downloading the demo software, you should take time to learn more about trading. We recommend that you use some books on trading. Reading will give you an exposure of the market. It will also help you understand more about the market. Fortunately, you can buy these books on Amazon. Here are some trading books that we recommend when you are starting:

Start Trading

Finally, after spending time on the demo account, you should now start trading. There are several things you should consider here.

  • Deposit money you can afford to lose.
  • Follow the strategy you developed before.
  • Download the accompanying mobile application.
  • Use proper risk management strategies.
  • Realize that you can lose money.
  • Wait before you start trading full-time.

Best Forex Day Trading Strategies

You should come up with an ideal trading strategy. Fortunately, there are many forex trading strategies that you can use. Some of these best forex trading strategies include:

  • Scalping: This is a process of opening and closing trades within a few minutes.
  • Swing trading: This is when you open trades and wait for a few days.
  • Arbitrage: This is a process where you open multiple trades simultaneously. You will make a profit from the spread between the profit and loss.
  • Algorithmic trading: This is where you use algorithms to automate your trading.
  • Fundamental trading: This is where you base your trading on the prevailing economic environment.
  • Technical trading: This is where you trade based on the technical indicators.
  • Trend following: This strategy involves trading in the direction of the trend.

Best Indicators for Forex Day Trading

Indicators in finance are usually used to measure the performance of a security or market. They can also be used to predict future price movements. There are many forex day trading indicators to choose from. Some of the popular and effective options for day trading include:

  • Moving Averages: These provide a straightforward method for spotting trends and identifying support and resistance levels.
  • Bollinger Bands: These indicators gauge volatility and can signal potential overbought or oversold situations.
  • Average True Range (ATR): ATR measures volatility and aids in determining appropriate risk levels for trades.
  • Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD): MACD helps track trends and shifts in momentum.
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): RSI serves as a momentum indicator, flagging overbought or oversold market conditions.
  • Stochastic Oscillator: This momentum indicator, like RSI, can highlight overbought or oversold market conditions.

No single indicator is perfect for day trading. You should use a combination of indicators to get a more complete picture of the market.

Best Forex Pairs for Day Trading

For day trading, the best forex pairs have high liquidity, low spreads, and volatility, offering good trading chances.

Here are some popular forex pairs that are commonly traded by day traders:

  • EUR/USD (Euro/US Dollar): This is the most traded currency pair in the world, known for its liquidity and relatively tight spreads.
  • USD/JPY (US Dollar/Japanese Yen): The USD/JPY pair is influenced by both the US and Japanese economies. It is not as volatile as EUR/USD.
  • GBP/USD (British Pound/US Dollar): The GBP/USD pair can experience significant price movements during the London and New York trading sessions, making it attractive for day traders.
  • AUD/USD (Australian Dollar/US Dollar): This pair is influenced by commodity prices, particularly gold and other resources, and can offer trading opportunities based on economic data releases from the two countries.
  • USD/CAD (US Dollar/Canadian Dollar): The USD/CAD pair is often influenced by oil prices and economic data from both the US and Canada
  • EUR/JPY (Euro/Japanese Yen): This pair combines the liquidity of the Euro with the volatility of the Japanese Yen.

Best Forex Day Trading Platforms

Here are some of the best forex day trading platforms you can explore:

Benefits of Forex Trading for a Living

As mentioned above, millions of people are trading for a living. There are several benefits that come with being a day trader. These benefits are:

  • Use of leverage: With forex, you can trade using more money than you have using leverage.
  • 24 hours: Unlike other assets, you can trade in forex for 24 hours, 5 days a week.
  • Minimal starting capital: Many forex brokers accept traders with as little as $250.
  • No capital expenses: All you need to trade is a computer or a smartphone and internet connection.
  • Minimal work: In forex, you don’t do a lot of work like in other industries. All you need to do is to analyze currencies and trade.
  • Easy to automate: You can use various algorithms to automate your trading.

Is It Possible to Make a Living Day Trading Forex?

Making a living day trading forex is possible, but it’s not easy. You need to have a good understanding of the market, a solid trading strategy, and the discipline to stick to your plan. You also need to be prepared to lose money, as there is always a risk of loss when trading forex.

If you are considering day trading forex, it is important to do your research and understand the risks involved. You should also start with a small amount and gradually increase your risk as you gain more experience.

Forex day trading FAQs

Is forex day trading profitable?

Forex day trading can be profitable, but it is important to remember that it is also a risky activity. There is a risk of losing money when day trading forex.

Can you make a living day trading forex?

It is possible to make a living day trading forex, but it is not easy. While a few traders do earn a lot of money, you need to have a good understanding of the market, a solid trading strategy, and the discipline to stick to your plan. To have a steady income, you might need to invest a lot of money.

What are the best forex day trading tips?

Here are some tips for day trading forex:

  • Do your research and understand the forex market.
  • Use a demo account to practice your trading skills.
  • Start small with real money.
  • Use stop-losses to limit your losses.
  • Take profits when you make them.
  • Manage your emotions.
  • Be patient.
  • Trade during high-liquidity times.
  • Use technical analysis to identify trading opportunities.
  • Don't overtrade.
  • Take breaks throughout the day.

Is forex trading day trading?

Forex trading isn't always about day trading. Day trading involves opening and closing positions within the same day, without holding them overnight. Forex trading also includes longer-term approaches like swing trading (holding for days or weeks) or position trading (holding for months or years).

How much can I make a day trading forex?

The money you earn from day trading forex relies on your strategy, risk control, and market situation. Typically, you could aim for around $50 to $100 per day, though results vary. Some traders may make more or less than this. Keep in mind, day trading is risky, and profits aren't guaranteed.

Is forex day trading halal?

Whether forex day trading is considered halal (permissible) or haram (forbidden) in Islamic finance is a matter of interpretation and can vary based on individual beliefs and the scholars consulted. Some scholars believe that forex day trading is haram because it involves speculation and gambling. Others believe that it is halal if it is done in a way that is in accordance with Islamic law.

Crispus (BSc and MBA) is a finance professional with more than a decade experience as a financial analyst, writer, researcher, and trader. Crispus has written in-depth articles on leading platforms like CCN, Marketwatch, Investing Cube and Seeking Alpha. He also runs a forex education firm. Follow him on Twitter: @crispusnyaga and read more about us.