Guide to Forex Trading for Beginners

In the world of Forex trading, beginners often find themselves grappling with the complexities and intricacies of the market.


What is Forex?

Before delving deeper into the art of trading Forex, it's imperative to grasp the fundamentals of what Forex is all about. Forex, short for the foreign exchange market, is where currencies are traded. In its simplest form, a currency transaction could be akin to exchanging your local currency for another when planning an overseas vacation. Currencies are traded in pairs, and the movements of these currency pairs reflect the relative value of one currency against another.

For instance, the EUR/USD currency pair measures the value of the Euro against the US Dollar. If the value of this pair increases, it signifies that the Euro has strengthened against the US Dollar, whereas a decrease in the pair's value indicates that the US Dollar has gained strength (or the Euro has weakened). In the realm of Forex and CFD trading, these currency fluctuations are the very essence that allows traders to profit or incur losses.

Forex is the most liquid market globally, with a staggering daily turnover of approximately 6 trillion dollars, driven by governments, banks, corporations, and speculators. After absorbing the insights provided in this tutorial for novice traders, it's prudent to commence your trading journey with a risk-free demo account, which serves as an invaluable platform to hone your trading skills with virtual funds.

Types of Currency Pairs

The first lesson in your Forex education involves understanding the concept of currency pairs. Forex currency pairs are categorized as majors, minors, and exotics.

Major Currency Pairs

Major currency pairs comprise the currencies that are most frequently traded. These include:

  • USD: United States Dollar

  • EUR: Euro

  • JPY: Japanese Yen

  • GBP: British Pound

  • CHF: Swiss Franc

  • CAD: Canadian Dollar

  • AUD: Australian Dollar

  • NZD: New Zealand Dollar

A major currency pair is one that involves any of these currencies paired against the US Dollar. For instance, EUR/USD, USD/JPY, or GBP/USD are all major currency pairs. Additionally, there are pairs that include these major currencies but exclude the US Dollar, known as minor currency pairs.

Minor Currency Pairs

Minor currency pairs involve two major currencies without the US Dollar. For example, EUR/GBP, EUR/CHF, or AUD/NZD are considered minor currency pairs.

Exotic Currency Pairs

Exotic currency pairs encompass currencies not previously mentioned, such as the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), Norwegian Krone (NOK), South African Rand (ZAR), or the Thai Baht (THB). These exotic pairs involve one exotic currency and one major currency.

major minor currency pairs
major minor currency pairs

How Asset Prices Are Quoted

For a beginner in trading, be it Forex or any other asset, it's of paramount importance to comprehend how asset prices are quoted. The prices of currency pairs are determined by the current exchange rate of the two currencies within the pair. When looking at an instrument, you'll come across the 'Ask' and 'Bid' prices:

  • Ask Price: The price at which you can buy the asset.

  • Bid Price: The price at which you can sell the asset.

New traders should be aware that, through CFDs, it is possible to trade both long (buying) and short (selling) positions, but it's crucial to acknowledge the associated risks since CFDs are complex financial instruments.

Long Position

When you engage in a long position, you buy a currency with the anticipation that its value will appreciate. This allows you to profit from the difference between the purchase and sale price.

Short Position

A short position involves selling a currency with the expectation that its value will decline. In doing so, you aim to purchase it back at a lower value, thus profiting from the price difference.

Key Terminology for Forex Beginners

Before proceeding, let's recap the essential concepts that aspiring Forex traders must grasp:


A pip is the fundamental unit in currency pair price movement, equating to 0.0001 of the quoted price. For instance, if the EUR/USD pair moves from 1.16667 to 1.16677, this reflects a one pip change.


The spread represents the disparity between the buying (ask) and selling (bid) price of a currency pair. For example, if the EUR/USD pair has a buying price of 1.10000 and a selling price of 1.10005, the spread is 0.00005, or 0.5 pips. It's important to note that any trade begins with a negative balance, as the value of a currency pair must surpass the spread before it becomes profitable.


Margin refers to the funds withheld in your trading account when opening a trade. However, given that the average retail Forex trader often lacks the necessary margin to trade in high volumes and secure significant profits, many Forex brokers extend leverage to their clients.


An indispensable concept for novice Forex traders, leverage is the capital provided by a broker to amplify the trading volume of their clients. In Forex, a standard contract or lot represents 100,000 units of the base currency. For EUR/USD, this would be 100,000 Euros. With a leverage ratio of 1:10 and a balance of 1,000 Euros, you can trade a currency pair worth 10,000 US Dollars. While leverage can multiply your profits, it's equally vital to acknowledge that it magnifies potential losses to the same degree.

For those starting out in trading and seeking a tool to calculate potential profits, Admirals offers a complimentary trading calculator.

ask bid spread pips
ask bid spread pips

Choosing a Broker for Novice Traders

Selecting a broker when you lack trading experience can be a daunting task, given the plethora of options available. Here are some criteria to consider, drawn from our experience:

  • Regulated Broker: Ensuring your broker is regulated guarantees the safety of your funds.

  • Low Spreads and Platform Speed: Favor brokers offering competitive spreads and swift trading platforms.

  • Diverse Tradable Assets: For novices, a wide range of tradable assets is beneficial as it allows for exploration.

  • Responsive Customer Support: A broker with responsive, multilingual customer support is indispensable.

  • Free Education: Access to educational resources that can aid in mastering Forex trading.

Trading Platforms for Forex Beginners

The trading platform is the central element of your trading operation and your primary work tool. The ideal trading platform for beginners should be characterized by precision, speed, security, intuitiveness, and ease of use.

At Admirals, our recommended trading platforms are MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, renowned for being the world's most user-friendly multi-asset trading platforms. These platforms can be accessed via various devices, including PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and web browsers through the MetaTrader Webtrader for MT4 and MT5.

To start your journey, you can download this beginner-friendly trading platform for free by following the link below:

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

meta trader 4
meta trader 4

Analyzing Markets for Novice Traders

While some novice traders may initially enjoy beginner's luck, this fortune seldom endures. Achieving sustained success in trading requires the ability to make informed decisions, which result from market analysis. Analysis is the bedrock of trading, and this critical skill can be broadly categorized into two types:

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis revolves around examining economic and political factors that affect currency values. It considers factors such as inflation rates, interest rates, political stability, and economic performance.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis, on the other hand, revolves around studying historical price charts and employing various tools and indicators to forecast future price movements. It's crucial for beginners to learn to read daily, weekly, and monthly Forex charts.

As you progress on your trading journey, you'll realize that successful trading demands a comprehensive understanding of both fundamental and technical analysis.

Begin your Forex trading education with Admirals by enrolling in our free online course for beginners, where you'll learn how to trade Forex and various other markets, culminating in your transformation into a Super Trader.