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Ioannis has been involved in the financial markets and trading for more than 22+ years with an emphasis on the use of Options and futures as well as online trading and Foreign Exchange


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A CFD (contract for difference) is based on an underlying financial instrument and allows an investor/trader to experience all the benefits and risks of owning the underlying security without actually owning it. It will mirror the underline’s move, be it a stock or an index or other asset class, and will have no expiration date.As it is used with leverage, it is a powerful tool in the hands of an informed trader but can also cause excessive losses to a portfolio where too much leverage is employed or where stop loss and proper risk management are not applied.

A cross currency is any pair in which neither currency is the U.S. dollar. These pairs exhibit erratic price behaviour since the trader has, in effect, initiated two USD trades. For example, initiating a long (buy) EUR/GBP trade is equivalent to buying a EUR/USD currency pair and selling GBP/USD. Cross currency pairs frequently carry a higher transaction cost but are just as lucrative in terms of returns.

A security whose price is dependent upon or derived from one or more underlying assets. The derivative itself is merely a contract between two or more parties. Its value is determined by fluctuations in the underlying asset. The most common underlying assets include stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates and market indices. Most derivatives are characterised by high leverage. Futures contracts, forward contracts, options and swaps are the most common types of derivatives

The practice of undertaking one investment activity in order to protect against loss in another is called hedging, e.g. selling short to nullify a previous purchase, or buying long to offset a previous short sale. While hedges reduce potential losses, they also tend to reduce potential profits. However it is always advised, and indeed is common practice of all experienced traders, smaller or bigger, to apply hedging strategies when opening a position as it leads to more effective risk management which is the key to successful trading.

Leverage is the ratio of the amount capital used in a transaction to the required security deposit (margin). It is the ability to control large amounts of a security with a relatively small amount of capital. Leveraging varies dramatically with different brokers, ranging from 2:1 to 400:1. This allows an investor to participate in even fractional movements of the market, or magnify his profits, however extra caution should be applied as there are also significant risks involved for those not in the know

When you open a new margin account with a broker, you must deposit a minimum amount with that broker. This minimum varies from broker to broker and can be as low as $100 to as high as $100,000.

Each time you execute a new trade, a certain percentage of the account balance in the margin account will be set aside as the initial margin requirement for the new trade based upon the underlying currency pair, its current price, and the number of units (or lots for FX) traded. The lot size always refers to the base currency.
For example, say you open a mini account which provides a 200:1 leverage or 0.5% margin. Mini accounts trade mini lots. Let’s say one mini lot equals $10,000. If you were to open one mini-lot, instead of having to provide the full $10,000, you would only need $50 ($10,000 x 0.5% = $50). Margin trading also applies to other products such as stocks and Indices

It’s the experience of not getting filled at (or even very close to…) your expected price when you place a market order or stop loss. This can happen because either: market price is simply moving too fast, the market is not liquid or you’re talking to an unmotivated broker who is not applying proper execution policy. Sometimes this will be the difference between using a Market Maker as opposed to a Straight Through Processing broker

Options, such as calls and puts, help you hedge but also speculate or even amend a losing trade in an efficient and cost effective manner. There are many combined positions which a trader can use to gain exposure to the market, with names such as covered calls or even bull put spreads, and their pricing is based on several variables which makes it appealing to every investor. Essentially it is a contract between two parties who agree to exchange an underline (be it a stock or an index or a commodity) at a specified price within a specified time frame – however, 98% of all positions are settled in cash in terms of P&L and not physical delivery. Options give you a great flexibility as opposed to other tools, as they can help you establish positions which are not just directional, ie go long or short, but also take advantage of volatility or side movements or even slow markets.

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