“Long” and “Short”
First, you should determine whether you want to buy or sell.
If you want to buy (which actually means buy the base currency and sell the quote currency), you want the base currency to rise in value and then you would sell it back at a higher price.
In trader talk, this is called “going long” or taking a “long position.” Just remember: long = buy.
If you want to sell (which actually means sell the base currency and buy the quote currency), you want the base currency to fall in value and then you would buy it back at a lower price.
This is called “going short” or taking a “short position”.
Just remember: short = sell.
“I’m long AND short.”
Flat or Square
If you have no open position, then you are said to be “flat” or “square”.
Closing a position is also called “squaring up“.
The Bid, Ask and Spread
All forex quotes are quoted with two prices: the bid and ask.
In general, the bid is lower than the ask price.
What is “Bid”?
The bid is the price at which your broker is willing to buy the base currency in exchange for the quote currency.
This means the bid is the best available price at which you (the trader) can sell to the market.
If you want to sell something, the broker will buy it from you at the bid price.
What is “Ask”?
The ask is the price at which your broker will sell the base currency in exchange for the quote currency.
This means the ask price is the best available price at which you can buy from the market.
Another word for ask is the offer price.
If you want to buy something, the broker will sell (or offer) it to you at the ask price.
What is “Spread”?
The difference between the bid and the ask price is known as the SPREAD.
On the EUR/USD quote above, the bid price is 1.34568 and the ask price is 1.34588. Look at how this broker makes it so easy for you to trade away your money.
- If you want to sell EUR, you click “Sell” and you will sell euros at 1.34568.
- If you want to buy EUR, you click “Buy” and you will buy euros at 1.34588.
Here’s an illustration that puts together everything we’ve covered in this lesson:
Now let’s take a look at some examples.