Tag Archives: forex tutorials

How to Find Your Broker’s Server IP

metatrader

In trading latency is important, regardless if you’re trading from your home computer of from a forex vps. Have you ever wondered how you can find out the network latency between your trading platform and your broker’s servers? Well, if you have I have the answer! All you have to do is do a quick ping test (ping command sends ICMP packets to the server and times how long it takes the server to respond), but before you can ping the server you have to know it’s IP address. But most of the times you will not know the actual IP address of your broker’s server(s). Some brokers will tell you some will not, and some will make it easy to find out and some will not. So you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands and find out the IP for yourself.

I’ll show you in this brief tutorial how you can do so.

The first thing I suggest you do is ensure that you have no other web browsing or any other internet network connections running. I’d suggest either restarting your machine and close every program that uses the internet connection, or you can just close every internet related program. Once you’ve done that run your broker’s MT4 / MT5 platform, but make sure you start ONLY that. This will ensure that later on when we search for the IP we will have more accurate results.

OK, so step:

1) Ensure that you are connected successfully to your broker’s server

2) Open up a windows “command prompt”

Click on the Start Menu and go to All Programs –> Accessories –> Command Prompt

You can also (in windows 7 and windows vista) just type in “cmd” in the search box visible once you click on the start menu.

If you’re running windows xp you can just click on the start menu, go to run, and in the run box type “cmd” and hit enter or press ok.

3) In the command prompt type the following command: “netstat -n” (make sure you leave a space after netstat and before “-n”)

4) Now you should get a listing of all the network connections currently open on your computer.The IP address of your MT4 platform should be listed underneath the “foreign address” heading. MetaTrader uses port 443 for communication so next to the IP you will see “:443”. The IP address with the “443” port listed there is the IP address of your broker’s MetaTrader server. See the example below:

Now I should qualify my previous statement about the use of port 443. Sometimes brokers WILL use other ports (for example 80, 923, 1950, etc).

Now you see why I suggested that you open only MT4 and nothing else internet related 🙂 It makes it that much more simple.

5) Now if you did not follow my advice and opened ONLY the MT4 platform and no other applications that make use of the internet connection, then there is an additional step you have to follow.

Close the MT4 platform and go back to the command prompt window and type the “netstat -n” command one more mime. Compare the result with the previous step’s result and note the IPs that are MISSING. The missing IP in this case is the one that belongs to your broker’s server. See this example:

Beware that sometimes two different brokers can have the same IP address. This most likely is due to one of the broker being what’s known as a “whitelabel” of the other one (or vice versa). This means they do not actually have their own server(s). You can think of the whitelabel broker as a sort of forex broker equivalent of a “reseller.”

I must thank the people at the ECN FX Robot website for the inspiration for the article and the images.

If you have some questions or need further clarifications on the process outlined above feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Until next time,

Happy trading.

Alan out.

How to disable ‘Auto-Update’ in MT4

metatrader

Edit: It seems starting with build 482 the makers of MT4 (MetaQuotes) decided to put the platform update code right in the MT4 executable program itself so the platform now updates itself AUTOMATICALLY. I find this to be a bad idea and no doubt many of you do as well. I can go into a few reasons why, but I shall save that for later. As far as I know there is no way to disable this and prevent the platform from automatically updating (and thus restarting) itself. If I find something I will post an update here or in a new post.

Hello fellow traders.

I’m not sure how many of you have wondered if there is a way to get rid of MT4’s automatic auto update notification, but if you wish to permanently disable it I have found a solution. The most common reason I can think of why anyone would wish to do this is to ensure that your EA or backtesting platform is always running a specific version of MT4. This could be necessary for compatibility reasons or maybe you just don’t want to be bothered every time you load up the platform.

There is of course a downside to disabling the auto update feature. The main negative point is that you’ll never receive the latest bug fixes and security fixes that get incorporated into newer version of MT4. If you stick with one version forever you’ll have to live with all the bugs and potential problems that particular version of MT4 has.

But if this is something you are sure you wish to do, here is how you do it:

1) Open up the folder where you installed the MetaTrader 4 platform (typically it is located in c:\program files\)

2) Find a file called LiveUpdate.exe

3) Rename that file. It can be any name just make sure you don’t rename it to something you won’t recognize later. For example, I renamed mine to “LiveUpdate.exe-” (without the quotes obviously)

This will permanently disable MT4’s auto -update feature. Later on if you wish to upgrade the platform to the latest version available from your broker just rename the file back to LiveUpdate.exe and restart the platform.

That should do it!

Alan out.

Cheers!

The Quick-Start Guide to Trading Currencies

forex trading

By Sean Hyman, Editor, Currency Cross Trader

Imagine for a moment you own and race thoroughbred horses.

Your pride and joy thoroughbred has been training for the past two years for the race of a lifetime – and now your horse will soon be racing for a million-dollar prize.

Naturally, in any race, there are winners and there are losers. Typically, you think about betting on the winning horse.

But what if you could place a bet when that losing horse will … well … lose?

This is where it gets interesting. And, in a moment, you’ll see how it’s possible to win on both bets. And even better, fix the horse-race in your favor.

A Stable of Opportunities

Think about it. What if you could choose your opponent for this million-dollar race? The best part: You can assign your opponent any horse you want.

Now, would you give your opponent the second-fastest horse in the world? Or would you instead give him a broken-down old donkey that could hardly run?

Yeah, I’d give him the donkey, too.

It’s kind of common sense that, if you pair the fastest against the slowest, your odds of winning will skyrocket. Or if you pair the healthiest/strongest horse against an old, weak horse that you gain an enormous edge.

After all, who wouldn’t take that bet?

Strangely, the same-exact method can work in your portfolio. It’s the secret to earning 25%…79%…even 100% more on each trade in a matter of weeks. Not months or years.

Position Yourself to Profit from Winners and Losers

When you invest in stocks, for the most part you do so with the hope that they are going up. When stocks are dropping, you can either short them (a risky endeavor) or buy put options (a much better solution).

Anyway you slice it, though, you know that some stocks are rising and falling simultaneously.

The same thing is true of currencies.

Everyone talks about the U.S. dollar and its changing value, especially in comparison to other currencies around the world. And a very savvy way to benefit from moves in the dollar is to play the currencies market.

Just like in our example of the horse race above, you would pit the dollar against another currency in the same race (or trade).

In other words, if you thought the dollar was stronger than another currency, you could buy the dollar and short another currency in the same trade. Or, you could short the dollar against a stronger-performing currency.

This takes place in the foreign-exchange market, also called the Forex or FX market.

Turn a Cracked Currency into a Portfolio Winner

Every Forex trade involves two currencies. You’re always buying one and selling another against it.

For instance, by “buying the GBP/USD,” you’re really betting the British pound will rise against the dollar – or, in effect, you are buying the pound and selling the dollar.

Now, there are about 60 tradable currency pairs worldwide. How do you choose which to trade? Well, it comes down to choosing your opponents wisely…

If you’re trading two currencies from economies that are growing at a similar pace, then you are decreasing your odds of success.

After all, if it’s a close race, and both economies are healthy, who knows which will pull ahead first?

But on the other hand, you could pair the currency from the most-pristine economy in the G-7 with the worst debt-ridden nation that can’t seem to do anything right.

After all, you can pick your opponents. You can choose any currency you want. Why not pick the “more favorable” opponent to help you win the race?

Do that and you’ve essentially got a “fixed” currency position. Just like a rigged horse race.

It’s not a gamble anymore – it’s pairing your most prized thoroughbred against an arthritic donkey.

4 Things You Need to Know to Engineer
Your Own Fixed Race

Now how to do you find the weakest and strongest countries so you can set up your own fixed currency trades?

The first thing to look at is interest rates. Currencies love higher interest rates because Forex traders are always looking for a higher yield on their trades.

As FX traders pour money into a higher-yielding currency, the currency’s price goes up. So if you’re looking for the healthiest “thoroughbred” currency, check out the one with the highest interest rates first.

On the flipside, currency traders tend to dump low-yielding currencies if there’s nothing else to bolster the price. That’s why the U.S. dollar started to sink in 2007 when the Fed first started cutting rates. So if you’re looking for the “loser” currencies, check out the ones with the lowest interest rates.

You also want to look at a country’s unemployment, and GDP growth when you’re evaluating a currency’s strength.

The healthiest currency will come from a country with low unemployment, and solid long-term GDP growth. The weakest currency will have rising unemployment, low or negative GDP growth.

So as a trader, you typically want to pair:

  • High interest rate countries with low interest rate countries.
  • Countries with low unemployment against those with high unemployment.
  • Countries with positive GDP growth against those that have a negative GDP growth (a shrinking economy) or slower GDP growth.

Here’s where it gets interesting, though…

My No. 1 Tip for “Fixed” Currency Trading

Even though there are over 60 tradable currency pairs in the world, 90% of all daily transactions involve trading the G-7 currencies (i.e., the “major currencies”).

And as I’m sure you can guess, a significant chunk of those daily trades involves the U.S. dollar. It makes sense. Traders want to pair the dollar against other currencies because the world’s reserve currency promises to be the most liquid and readily available.

However, if you’re looking to pair the weakest with the strongest, it helps to cut the U.S. dollar out of your trading.

A the most overtraded currency, it can be difficult to see where the dollar lies on any given trading day.

Also, there’s just simply more opportunity to trading non-dollar pairs (also known as “cross rates” or “crosses”).

Some of the most-commonly traded crosses include:

1. EUR/JPY (euro vs. Japanese yen)
2. EUR/CHF (euro vs. Swiss franc)
3. CAD/JPY (Canadian dollar vs. Japanese yen)
4. AUD/JPY (Aussie dollar vs. Japanese yen)
4. NZD/JPY (New Zealand dollar vs. Japanese yen)
5. GBP/JPY (British pound vs. Japanese yen)

And the best part is, any kind of “dollar-moving event” isn’t going to have much impact on these crosses. This is a great way to get portfolio diversity while spreading out your risk.

If you’re not sure whether to bet on or against the dollar, you don’t even have to go near it to participate in the currency market.

Thanks for reading,


Sean Hyman
Editor, Currency Cross Trader