A mini forex trading account involves using a trading lot that is one-tenth the size of the standard lot of 100,000 units. In a mini lot, one pip of a currency pair based in U.S. dollars is equal to $1, compared to $10 for a standard-lot trade. Mini lots are available to trade if you open a mini account with a forex dealer and are a popular choice for those who are just learning how to trade.
Advantages of a Forex Mini Account
Mini forex accounts require a relatively small amount of upfront capital to get started, typically a deposit of between $100 and $500. The minimum depends upon the forex broker you choose to use. This is ideal for those looking to learn about trading currencies but do not want to risk too much money.
Although it is an advantage to open an account with a small amount of upfront capital, it is also important to realize that using leverage could make things much riskier if the currency pair makes a small adverse move. This problem can be reduced by starting with more than the account minimum to make the amount of leverage more manageable.
Traders with a forex mini account are not limited to trading one lot at a time. To make an equivalent trade to that of a standard lot, the trader can trade 10 mini lots. By using mini lots instead of standard lots, a trader can customize the trade and have greater control of risk. For example, if a trader wants to trade more than 100,000 units (one regular lot), but 200,000 units (two regular lots) is too risky, the trader using the regular account would not be able to trade. However, by using a mini account, a trader could make the trade by trading between 11 and 19 mini lots.
Retail forex brokers often allow a significant amount of leverage when using mini lots. This minimizes risk on their end by lowering trade amounts. Often forex traders will use mini forex trading to gain the extra leverage available, but they will still trade in units of 100,000 (10 mini lots). The greater customization of risk and the larger amounts of leverage available make forex mini accounts advantageous for many retail forex traders.
Forex Mini Accounts Are Not Just for Novices
Forex mini accounts are useful for experimentation. An experienced forex trader might use one to test out a new strategy or system. For that to work, the trader must treat the account as his regular forex trading account; otherwise, the results will be inaccurate and skewed.
In summary, if you are are looking to get your feet wet in forex trading, a forex mini account will help you minimize your losses while you come up to speed. Similarly, even the experts use mini accounts because they provide a way to try out new strategies while their exposure to risk is less than it would be with normal forex trading.