Introduction To Online Forex Trading In Zimbabwe
Online forex and binary options trading in Zimbabwe has grown in popularity over the last couple of years. This interest has significantly spiked since the first CoVid-19 induced lockdown was announced.
Zimbabweans found their livelihoods negatively impacted as their traditional income-generating methods were crippled or came to an outright standstill. Some used that time to learn more about how they can generate income online and buffer themselves from the harsh economic effects of the pandemic.
Forex & synthetic indices trading came up as one such viable option but there is a lot of misinformation around the topic. Added to this, there are also a lot of scams online involving forex, bitcoin and binary trading.
This guide was created to give out free information on forex trading from a Zimbabwean perspective so that locals could at least have a firm understanding of the venture.
This site will help you get an idea of online forex trading in Zimbabwe so that you can decide if you want to try this trade or not. You will get an appreciation of what forex trading is and how you can get started & practice without risking your money.
Chapter1: What Is Forex?
FOReign EXchange market (forex or FX for short) is a global marketplace for exchanging national currencies.
The FX market is decentralized. In other words, there is no physical location where investors go to trade currencies as they do for stocks on Wall Street or on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
FX traders use the Internet to check the quotes of various currency pairs from different dealers.
The forex market operates every day except the weekends and its volume reached up to US$6.6 Trillion per day in 2020.
The forex market is very liquid, one can buy and sell currencies instantly i.e. there are always buyers and sellers at any given time when the markets are open.
What Is Forex Trading?
Forex trading involves the buying & selling of global currencies in the forex market with the objective of making a profit on the fluctuations in the exchange rate.
Simply put, you buy a currency when you believe its value is going to appreciate (go up) against the other currency or you sell a currency when you believe its value is going to decrease (go down) against the other currency.
When you exit the trade, the difference between the trade’s entry & exit price determines your profit or loss.
An illustration will help you understand forex trading.
Let’s suppose you are a Zimbabwean and you visit South Africa and you have some US$ in your pocket. The first thing to do is to exchange your US$ for the Rand and you can do this in a bank. This process is itself participation in the Forex market by exchanging one currency for another.
However, the online forex trading in Zimbabwe we are discussing here is not done physically, rather it is done online.
In forex trading, traders hope to generate a profit by speculating on the value of one currency compared to another. This is why currencies are always traded in pairs—the value of one unit of currency doesn’t change unless it’s compared to another currency. Exchange rates are always changing & fluctuating. Due to these fluctuations, it becomes possible to make a profit from speculative trades.
Until recently, forex trading in the currency market had been the domain of large financial institutions, corporations, central banks, hedge funds and extremely wealthy individuals.
The emergence of the internet has changed all of this, and now it is possible for average investors to buy and sell currencies easily with the click of a mouse through online brokerage accounts.
Chapter Two: Advantages Of Online Forex Trading In Zimbabwe
Reasons why forex trading is getting more and more popular amongst Zimbabweans
1.) The forex market is open 24hrs/day, five days a week. From the Monday morning opening in Australia (11 pm Sunday Zim time) to the afternoon close in New York (11 pm Friday Zim time), the forex market never sleeps. This is awesome for those who want to trade on a part-time basis (even if you are employed full time) because you can choose when you want to trade.
2.) You can use leverage in forex trading. In forex trading, a small deposit can control a much larger total contract value. Leverage gives the trader the ability to make nice profits, and at the same time keep risk capital to a minimum.
For example, a forex broker may offer 500-to-1 leverage, which means that a $50 dollar margin deposit would enable a trader to buy or sell $25 000 worth of currencies. Similarly, with $500 dollars, one could trade with $250 000 dollars and so on.
While this is all presents a chance for increasing profit, you should be warned that leverage is a double-edged sword. Without proper risk management, this high degree of leverage can lead to large losses.
We will discuss this later.
3.) There is high liquidity in the forex market. Because the forex market is so enormous, it is also extremely liquid. This is an advantage because it means that under normal market conditions, with a click of a mouse you can instantaneously buy and sell at will as there will usually be someone in the market willing to take the other side of your trade.
You are never “stuck” in a trade. You can even set your online trading platform to automatically close your position once your desired profit level (take profit order) has been reached, and/or close a trade if a trade is going against you (a stop-loss order).
4.) There are low barriers to entry in forex trading. Getting started as a currency trader does not require lots of money. Online forex brokers offer “mini” and “micro” trading accounts, some with a minimum account deposit just of $5 or less (We will look at different brokers in later sections).
This makes forex trading much more accessible to the average individual who doesn’t have a lot of start-up trading capital. It also means you can start without risking significant amounts of capital and you can scale up as needed.
6.) You can practice online forex trading in Zimbabwe using virtual money. Most online forex brokers offer “demo” accounts that allow you to practice your trading and build your skills, along with real-time forex news and charting services.
The demo accounts are free and you can open one at any time without any obligation.
Demo accounts are very valuable resources for those who are “financially hampered” and would like to hone their trading skills with “play money” before opening a live trading account and risking real money.
Demo accounts allow you to get a feel of the trading process without using your real money. Every trader should start trading with a demo account before risking real money. We will show you how to open a demo account in the following sections.
7.) You can trade forex from anywhere in the world. With forex trading, you can trade from anywhere in the world as long as you have a device with an internet connection! This means that with forex trading you choose to settle in any part of the world and still continue your trades.
You can still trade even when there is a level 5 lockdown in your country.
You can trade at home in your pyjamas, report to no boss and not have to keep up with those nosy and irritating co-workers. Forex trading can offer one a possibility of being their own boss and if done well it can pay handsomely.
8.) Some brokers give bonuses that can be traded on your live account. However, these should be used with caution
Chapter Three: Understanding Currency Pairs
Currencies are always traded in pairs—the value of one unit of currency doesn’t change unless it’s compared to another currency. Forex transactions involve two currencies, which form a so-called currency pair. One currency is bought, while the other is sold.
Consider the USD/ZAR currency pair. If you buy this pair, you will be buying dollars and selling rands. If you sell this pair, you will be selling dollars and buying rands (ZAR is the international currency symbol of the South African Rand).
Which are the most traded currency pairs?
Most currency traders stick to these pairs because they generally have high volatility.
The higher the volatility, the higher the chances of finding profitable trade setups.
We would suggest that you start out with these pairs too and expanding as you gain more knowledge.
Reading a Forex Quote
One of the biggest sources of confusion for those new to the currency market is the standard for quoting currencies. In this section, we’ll go over currency quotations and how they work in currency pair trades.
LET’S SIMPLIFY IT:
Do you remember when $1 was equal to R10 in Zimbabwe? The quote would look like this:
The currency to the left of the slash is the base currency, while the currency on the right is called the quote or counter currency. The base currency (in this case, the U.S. dollar) is always equal to one unit (in this case, US$1), and the quoted currency (in this case, the South African Rand) is what that one base unit is equivalent to in the other currency. The quote means that US$1 could buy 10 South African Rand.
Since the base currency (USD) is always equal to $1 in the quote, if the rand gets stronger the quote would look like this: USD/ZAR=8. This means that you now need fewer Rands to buy one dollar.
If the Rand becomes weaker against the USD, the quote would read something like this: USD/ZAR=15.
Meaning you now need more Rands to buy one dollar.
The forex quote includes the currency abbreviations for the currencies in question. Most currency exchange rates are quoted out to four digits after the decimal place, with the exception of the Japanese yen (JPY), which is quoted out to two decimal places.
WHY DO EXCHANGE RATES FLUCTUATE?
Exchange rates float freely against one another, which means they are in constant fluctuation. Currency valuations are determined by the flows of currency in and out of a country. High demand for a particular currency usually means that the value of that currency will increase.
Demand for a currency is created by tourism, international trade, mergers and acquisitions, speculation, and the perception of safety in terms of geopolitical risk.
If, for example, a company in Japan sells products to a company in the United States and the U.S.-based company would have to convert dollars into Japanese yen to pay for the goods, the flow of dollars into yen would indicate a demand for Japanese yen. If the total currency flow led to net demand for the Japanese yen, then the yen would increase in value.
You may remember a time in Zimbabwe in the last decade when we were using our own Zim dollar and the rate of the rand would fall towards Christmas when Zimbabweans who were working in South Africa would come back home with the rand and change it for the Zim dollar.
The rate of the rand would fall in comparison with the Zim dollar because the rand would be in high supply. The rate of the rand would shoot up in early January as those people now wanted to go back to South Africa and the rand would be in high demand. This illustration shows how demand and supply affect exchange rates.
Currencies are traded around the clock – 24 hours per day. Even though morning in Tokyo occurs during U.S. night-time, trade and banking continue around the world.
Therefore, as banks around the world buy and sell currencies, the value of currencies remains in fluctuation. Interest rate adjustments in different countries have the biggest effect on the value of currencies because investors typically look for safe investments with the highest yields.
Chapter Four: How Do You Profit From Online Forex Trading In Zimbabwe?
So now you have an idea of what forex trading is, let’s tackle the one burning question that everyone who is interested in a new business venture asks:
Where is the money?
Trading currency in the Forex market centres around the basic concepts of buying and selling.
How Do You Profit In A Buy Trade In Forex Trading?
Let’s take the idea of buying first. Let’s suppose you bought something (a house, jewellery, stock etc) and it went up in value. If you sold it at that point, you would have made a profit. Your profit would be the difference between what you paid originally and the greater value that the item is worth now.
Currency trading is the same way.
Let’s say you want to buy the AUDUSD currency pair. If the AUD goes up in value relative to the USD and then you sell it, you will have made a profit. A trader in this example would be buying the AUD and selling the USD at the same time.
For example, if the AUDUSD pair was bought at 0.74975 and the pair moved up to 0.76466 at the time that the trade was closed/exited, the profit on the trade would have been 149 pips*. (See the chart below…) 0.76466-0.74975=149 (disregard the fifth digit)
* A pip is a number value. In the Forex market, the value of a currency is given in pips. One pip equals 0.001, two pips equals 0.002, three pips equals 0.0003 and so on. One pip is the smallest price change that an exchange rate can make. Most currencies are priced to four numbers after the point.
So what is the value of the 149 pips in money terms? Well, this depends on the lot size.
WHAT IS A LOT IN FOREX?
In the past, spot forex was only traded in specific amounts called lots. The standard size for a lot is 100,000 units. There are also mini, & micro lot sizes that are 10,000 & 1,000 units respectively.
If one micro lot of the AUD/USD is being traded, each pip would be worth $0.1, as opposed to $10 for a standard lot. We have calculated the profit in the table below using the 149 pips from our example above.
Such a movement (of 149 pips) can take place within minutes during very volatile periods! So, depending on your lot size, you could have made a profit of $14,90 to $1490 in an hour or so!
Quite exciting stuff, right?
|Lot||Number Of Units||Profit Per Pip|
|Standard 1||100 000||Ten Dollars ($1490)|
|Mini 0.10||10 000||One Dollar ($149)|
|Micro 0.01||1 000||Ten Cents ($14,90)|
However, this is not always the case, sometimes such movement can take hours or days to get or the currency pair can start falling before it reaches that amount of pips.
What is Leverage in Forex?
You are probably wondering how a small investor can trade such large amounts of money. Think of your broker as a bank who basically fronts you $100,000 to buy currencies.
All the bank asks from you is that you give it $1,000 as a good faith deposit, which he will hold for you but not necessarily keep. This is how forex trading using leverage works.
The amount of leverage you use will depend on your broker and what you feel comfortable with.
Typically, the broker will require a trade deposit, also known as “account margin” or “initial margin.” Once you have deposited your money you will then be able to trade. The broker will also specify how much they require per position (lot) traded.
For example, if the allowed leverage is 100:1 (or 1% of position required), and you wanted to trade a position worth $100,000, but you only have $5,000 in your account, your broker would set aside $1,000 as down payment, or the “margin,” and let you “borrow” the rest.
Of course, any losses or gains will be deducted or added to the remaining cash balance in your account.
The minimum security (margin) for each lot will vary from broker to broker. In the example above, the broker required a one per cent margin. This means that for every $100,000 traded, the broker wants $1,000 as a deposit on the position.
Leverage is a double-edged sword, it can help you get higher profits but if your forecast is wrong, you will incur heavier losses. Most brokers will give you the option to choose your leverage when you sign up for a demo or real account. Generally, the lesser the leverage ratio the safer it is and the smaller the position you can trade.
Let’s go back to our illustration.
Had the pair moved down to 0.74805 before the trade was closed, the loss on the trade would have been 17 pips. The monetary value of this loss would have been determined by the lost size as well. This is how you profit from opening a buy position. It makes no difference which currency pair you are trading. If the price of the currency you are buying goes up from the time you bought it, you will have made a profit.
Here is another example using the AUD; In this case, we still want to buy the AUD but let’s do this with the EURAUD currency pair. In this instance, we would sell the pair. We would be selling the EUR and buying the AUD simultaneously.
Should the AUD go up relative to the EUR we would profit as we bought the AUD. (Remember you always buy or sell the base currency. If you buy the base, you are selling the quote currency simultaneously and vice versa)
In this example, if we sold the EURAUD pair at 1.2320 and the price moved down to 1.2250 when we closed the position, we would have made a profit of 70 pips. Had the pair moved up instead and we closed out the position at 1.2360 we would have had a loss of 40 pips on the trade.
How Do You Profit In A Sell Trade in Forex Trading?
Now let’s take a look at how a trader can make a profit by selling a currency pair. This concept is a little trickier to understand than buying. It is based on the idea of selling something that you borrowed as opposed to selling something that you own.
In the case of currency trading, when taking a sell position, you would borrow the currency in the pair that you were selling from your broker (this all takes place seamlessly within the trading station when the trade is executed) and if the price went down, you would then sell it back to the broker at the lower price.
The difference between the price at which you borrowed it (the higher price) and the price at which you sold it back to them (the lower price) would be your profit.
For example, let’s say a trader believes that the USD will go down relative to the JPY. In this case, the trader would want to sell the USDJPY pair.
They would be selling the USD and buying the JPY at the same time.
The trader would be borrowing the USD from their broker when they execute the trade.
If the trade moved in their favour, the JPY would increase in value and the USD would decrease. At the point where they closed out the trade, their profits from the JPY increasing in value would be used to pay back the broker for the borrowed USD at the now lower price. After paying back the broker, the remainder would be their profit on the trade.
For example, let’s say the trader sold the USDJPY pair at 122.761. If the pair did in fact move down and the trader closed/exited the position at 122.401, the profit on the trade would be 136 pips.
In a nutshell, this how you can make a profit from selling something that you do not own.
When you buy a pair, like in the first illustration, you would have gone ‘long’ on that pair. When you sell a pair, you open a short position. So, remember this, buying a pair=going long: selling a pair=going short. This is the technical jargon of the trade.
In wrapping up, if you go long on a currency pair and it moves up, that trade would show a profit. If you open a short position on a currency pair and it moves down, that trade would show a profit.
Making accurate forecasts of the currency movements is where the profit lies, doing wrong forecasts leads to losses.
SO HOW DO TRADERS MAKE THESE FORECASTS?
There are two broad ways of analysing exchange rate movements 1. Fundamental analysis and 2. Technical analysis.
1.) Fundamental analysis
Fundamental analysis is the interpretation of statistical reports and economic indicators. Things like changes in interest rates, employment reports, and the latest inflation indicators all fall into the realm of fundamental analysis.
Forex traders must pay close attention to economic indicators which can have a direct – and to some degree, predictable – effect on the value of a nation’s currency in the forex market.
Given the impact these indicators can have on exchange rates, it is important to know beforehand when they are due for release. It is also likely that exchange rate spreads (we will look at spreads later) will widen during the time leading up to the release of an important indicator and this could add considerably to the cost of your trade.
2.) Technical analysis
In finance, technical analysis is a security analysis methodology for forecasting the direction of prices through the study of past market data, primarily price and volume.
Like weather forecasting, technical analysis does not result in absolute predictions about the future. Instead, technical analysis can help investors anticipate what is “likely” to happen to prices over time. Technical analysis uses a wide variety of charts that show price over time.
Technical analysis other tools like candle charts and technical indicators like MACD, oscillators etc.
Chapter Five: How Do You Start Online Forex Trading In Zimbabwe?
Forex trading is accessible to everyone with an internet connection. But just because everyone can do it, does not mean that everyone should do it. Serious Forex traders know that education, discipline, and strategy are essential elements of a profitable trading career. If you start trading Forex without these skills, you may profit from a few trades, but you will eventually lose.
If you prepare properly and you are ready to learn, Forex trading can be a great way to create a steady income.
Before getting started you are going to need a device with a good internet connection so you can access the trading platform. Zimbabwean mobile networks generally have a network connection that is good enough for trading.
On top of that you are going to need the following to start trading:
- A Forex Broker that gives you access to the markets
- A way of depositing & withdrawing real funds to and from your trading account
- A trading strategy that you will use to forecast price movements
How Do You Choose A Forex Broker From Zimbabwe?
To do online forex trading in Zimbabwe you will first need to find a broker. This is a challenge because of a number of factors. For starters, some brokers do not allow Zimbabweans to open accounts with them due to sanctions.
Other brokers accept Zimbabwean accounts but their funding methods like Skrill, Neteller, Credit Cards & Bank Transfers are not easily accessible for most Zimbabweans.
Other brokers may not be legit and may end up scamming you. Regulated brokers are safer and much more trustworthy.
The trick is to find a broker that accepts Zimbabweans, has funding and deposit methods that are easily accessible for the local traders.
Below we present the best broker that satisfies both requirements and you can go ahead and open your free demo account with the broker. You can also read on what makes the broker the best for Zimbabweans here.
A Forex Trading Strategy is a set of analyses that a forex trader uses to determine whether to buy or sell a currency pair at any given time. Forex trading strategies can be based on technical analysis, chart analysis, or fundamental, news-based events.
There are a lot of forex trading strategies out there. They include:
This is the study of historical changes in currency prices to predict which way the price is going to move next. If you love studying charts and looking for patterns, then price action trading is for you. It relies almost entirely on technical analysis. You can learn about Price Action trading here.
Swing trading is a longer-term trading style that requires patience to hold your trades for several days at a time.
In contrast to swing traders, day traders usually are in and out of the market in one day and trend traders often hold positions for several months. You can learn more about swing trading here.
Scalping is when a trader opens and closes many trades over the course of a day. The goal is to make lots of small profits. Technical analysis is an important factor with scalping, but the main problem is the time investment required. Scalpers can spend the whole day glued to their trading monitor.
Chapter 6: Risks Of Online Forex Trading In Zimbabwe
Trading Forex and CFDs carry a significant risk that includes losing all the money in your trading account over a short period. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford the high risk of losing your money. The principal risks of trading are:
Risk 1 – Volatility: The Forex market is extremely volatile at times. While this volatility presents opportunities for making a profit, it also can mean that the market can go against you in a very short space of time and you can make a big loss
Risk 2 – Unpredictability: The Forex market is not something you can predict with 100% accuracy. There are just too many factors and actors on the market for it to be fully predictable. Even the most profitable traders have losing trades time and again.
Traders need to set a win-loss target ratio where you account for some losses and use a strategy to minimise them and be profitable in the long run
Risk 3 – Leverage: CFD trading requires using leverage. Leverage is a tool used in trading to amplify your profits, but it also amplifies your losses which are automatically deducted from your trading account. Your account balance can be wiped out with a single bad trade.
Risk 4 – Interest: In some cases, interest will be charged on your trades. For example, interest can be charged when you carry trades overnight and your broker will take funds from your account to pay this fee.
Risk 5- Emotions & Psychology: Trading with real money comes with a whole range of emotions that can mess up your thinking and lead you to bad decisions which cost you.
Risk 6- Rushing to trade live funds: Most beginner traders think that it is easy to make money in the forex markets and they rush to trade real funds before understanding how the markets work. This leads them to losses that could have been avoided if they had taken the time needed to learn
Risk 7- Forex Scams: There are a lot of scammers out there who are ready to pounce on naive people in the name of forex. You can read an in-depth article about online forex trading in Zimbabwe scams here.
How much do I need to start trading forex in Zimbabwe?
You can open your forex trading account from Zimbabwe for as little as US$5 depending on your broker. So, in essence, choosing the amount you want to start trading with depends on what you can afford and the risk you are willing to take. Remember you can lose all your invested funds in the forex market. Risk management is a very important part of Forex trading and most serious traders agree that you should never risk more than 3% of your balance on a trade. If you have a starting balance of 100 USD, this means that you should never risk more than 3 USD on a trade. With an account balance of 1000 USD must not risk more than US$30 per trade. As a beginner, you will probably not afford to start with a significant amount and that is ok. However, you should know that the smaller your account is, the smaller your potential profits and the longer you need to trade to get meaningful profits. Beginner traders can start with a minimum account balance between 200 – 500 USD. This allows traders to make small profits, while still maintaining a sensible approach to risk and growing their knowledge of forex trading.
Is Online Forex trading in Zimbabwe legal?
Yes, online forex trading in Zimbabwe is legal. However, it needs to be done through a reputable, well-regulated broker.
Is forex trading a scam?
No, forex trading is not a scam. The Forex market is a legitimate trading market where the world’s currencies are traded. It is not a scam in itself. However, there are scams surrounding forex that sometimes lead people into thinking that forex trading is a scam. This article explains all about forex scams in Zimbabwe
What is the best time to trade forex in Zimbabwe?
The Forex market is open 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday, but the best time to trade Forex is when the world’s major stock markets are most active. The time when all the major financial centres of the world are open is from about 10 am to 3 pm Zimbabwean time. You can, however, still trade outside of these times but the volatility is usually lower.
Which one is the most popular broker in Zimbabwe?
Can I fund my forex trading account from Zimbabwe using local payment methods like EcoCash, Zipit. Mukuru and Cash?
Can you get rich by trading forex in Zimbabwe?
It is possible to get rich by online forex trading in Zimbabwe. However, this is not easy and there are a lot of factors that come into play. For example, you need to have a firm grasp of the market and have a substantial deposit e.g of US$100 000 to be able to get significant returns from the forex market. You also need to be a disciplined trader who practices money management and has mastered solid trading psychology. All this is not easy and it takes a very long time to master