1. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Introduction
  2. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Services Offered
  3. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Opening A Demo Account
  4. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Basic Navigation
  5. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Charting Software
  6. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Trade Management
  7. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Advanced Features And Resources
  8. Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Conclusion

The Trading Station platform is installed and we are almost ready to trade. Each time you launch the program, it will ask you for your Login ID and Password. If you don't have these handy, this information is in the email sent to you by FXCM. Your Login ID is usually filled in already, but you will need your password. Enter your password. If you are using a demo account, select "Demo" for "Connection" and click "Login." If you're using a live account, select "Live" as the connection type.

Figure 13: Login screen
Once you are logged in, you are presented with a default layout. The layout can be adjusted to suit your needs. All the windows, including the dealing rates, messages, positions summary, order, news and actions, can be made larger or smaller simply by hovering your mouse over the border of the window, clicking, holding and then moving the window to the size you desire. Figure 16 shows the standard set-up with all the windows open. (For related reading, see Forex Automation Software For Hands-Free Trading.)

Figure 14: Trading Desktop
Windows and Tabs

Working clockwise from the top left, we have the Dealing Rates, which provide us a snapshot of the current bid and ask, rollover, spread, time and daily high and low. By clicking on the bid or ask we can pull up a sell or buy order window, respectively.

Next we have the Accounts window, which provides us with our account number(s), current balance, daily profit/loss and usable margin (percentage and dollar).

Any orders we have pending will show up in the Orders window along with the order information (price, size, limit, stop, target and expiry date). (For related reading, see The Basics Of The Bid-Ask Spread.)

If we have recently changed any settings, made any trades or set orders, the Actions window will show our recent activity.

News and Messages are combined into one window, and you can toggle between them by clicking on the appropriate tab. The News tab contains a feed of data releases, market news and analysis. The Messages tab contains messages that are relevant to you, such as information regarding your accounts or notices from FXCM. You may also get messages for special promotions or training events.

Near the middle of the page there is a Summary, Open Positions and Closed Positions window. There are three potential tabs available in this window. The first tab is a Summary and it shows a snapshot of all open trades. The Open Positions tab shows detailed information of all trades that are currently open and live. The Closed Positions tab shows recently closed trades along with other pertinent information such as profit/loss, rollover, open time and close time. To view any of the tabs, simply left-click on them.

You can close any tab or window by clicking the "x" in the upper right-hand corner of the tab or window. To get any window or tab back, go to the View menu along the top of the screen and select the appropriate tab/window from the dropdown list. (For related reading, see The Pros And Cons Of Automated Trading Systems.)

Main Menus and Shortcut Bar

Along the top of the platform you will see a series of drop down menus: System, View, Trading, Charts and Help. These contain relevant information that you may need as you trade. Browse through these to see what is available, as we will only go through the most important options. I have called this the Main Menu bar. Below it is a Shortcuts bar. Both of these menus are labelled near the top of Figure 17.

Figure 15: Main Menu and Shortcuts bar
In the System menu you will also find an Options tabs. The Options provide a look under the hood and let you customize everything from the look (skins), colors, sounds and how the program and certain indicators operate.

Under the View menu there is a submenu called Profiles. Profiles allow you to save different settings and layouts. If you adjust how the programs functions or looks and you want to keep those changes, go to Profile and then click Save Profile. You can save multiple profiles. (For related reading, see What Should I Look For When Choosing A Forex Trading Platform?)

Figure 16: Profiles
Also under the View Menu you can see which windows and tabs you have open. If it has a check beside it, the window is open; if it does not have a check mark, it is not open. Click on a window to hide it or make it visible. If you like your changes, go back and save your profile.

The Charts menu is where you can open charts. Charts will be covered in more detail in the next section.

The Help menu provides user manuals and guides to help with simple and advanced functions of the software.

The Shortcuts Bar offers quick access to tools you may need. The Sell and Buy buttons will bring up a "market order" screen where you can execute a trade. The "close" button will bring up a screen to close a position. Entry will bring up a limit order screen. Clicking on the Symbols button will bring up your subscription list. This list shows the forex pairs and CFDs you have showing in your dealing rates window. You can subscribe and unsubscribe to all the different symbols here. Then there is a Report button. Use this button to create reports, such as monthly profit/loss statements. (For related reading, see How To Set A Forex Trading Schedule.)

There are several other buttons to the right; these will be covered in future sections.

Beginner's Guide To FXCM: Charting Software
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