Financial authorities in Trinidad and Tobago list the shortage of U.S. dollars in the local economy as one of the country’s biggest problems. Since 2013, Trinidad has experienced a decline in its energy export industry, an industry that makes up around 90% of the economy. Trinidad gets the overwhelming majority of its foreign currency from taxes taken from its energy companies. As a result, the central bank is tightening its hold on foreign exchange, fueling an underground market where USD is sold at a premium.
Many individuals in Trinidad and Tobago are using the retail forex market to stabilize their personal finances without paying this premium. Holding savings in USD and other currencies shields the investor from potential overpricing in the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD). With the central bank doing little to counter the currency overpricing, the local economy is experiencing a flight to quality away from the uncertainty of the TTD.
Get Started with Forex in Trinidad and Tobago
Retail forex investors in Trinidad and Tobago should take steps to ensure their financial protection before getting into the forex market. Follow the steps below, checking the reputation of all institutions involved:
- Have a good internet connection. The relationships you have with your broker, trading platform and banks depend on the strength of your internet connection. Do not begin trading until you have a reliable connection with low latency.
- Choose a broker that is regulated. There are a substantial number of offshore forex brokers doing business in Trinidad and Tobago. If you do business with one, make sure that broker is regulated through a reputable financial institution.
- Set up a brokerage account. You will invest in forex from an investment account that is connected with your broker. Once you choose a broker, the platform will move you through the process of connecting the account and identifying you as its owner.
- Fund your investment activities. After choosing your broker and setting up your account, fund that account through a debit card, credit card or outside account.
- Choose your trading software. Your trading software connects you directly to the forex market through the orders you make. The user interface that connects you will also affect how you invest, so choose wisely.
- Trade forex. Now that you have all of the tools that you need, you can start trading forex — although you should probably use a virtual account (account with fake money) first.
Trinidad and Tobago Forex Trading Strategies
If you are looking to trade forex in Trinidad and Tobago, you should be aware of the basic strategies that many traders use.
Attribution: Livewire Shell
Day traders are fast movers in the forex market. They are masters of the bid-ask spread and know how to make money on very small moves in the market. The day trader is usually in all cash at the close of day (or whenever his personal trading session stops). To invest this quickly, your internet connection must be top-notch. You should also learn about the automated tools that many traders use to speed up the frequency of their investing.
Trend traders know how to profit from moves in the forex market that occur over weeks or months. In this time frame, currencies may trade within a certain range or make a significant directional move. The art of trend trading is knowing which will occur and investing based on that movement. Trend traders, also known as swing traders, may hold a trade for a few hours, but usually no longer than a few weeks.
Over the long term, bigger macroeconomic conditions have much more influence over forex prices than any other variable. Investors who are trading fundamentals search for currencies with prices that are far different from their value. For example, many experts believe the TTD to be overvalued because of International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports and the number of people in the country hoarding USD. A long-term trader that believed in a price correction on TTD might hold a trade for months or even years.
Forex Trading Example in Trinidad and Tobago
You want to buy TT$75,000 of TTD/USD when it is trading at 0.15220/0.15260. You are a day trader and you think the price will go up before you shut down your daily session. The margin rate of this currency pair is 3.99%, meaning that you can control a TT$75,000 investment with only a small portion of the investment — $456.06 — in your account as cash.
The TTD/USD price moves up within the day and is now trading at 0.15310/0.15350. This is a 5-point increase, and you made (TT$75,000 x 0.15310) – (TT$75,000 x 0.15260), or $37.50 on the trade.
Making Money with Forex in Trinidad and Tobago
Attribution: Gtreview – The Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago
There are many ways to use the forex market to make money. Here are a few of the most important financial vehicles to know and understand.
- Short selling: You can make money if the price of a currency goes down if you short sell instead of buy. Short selling means that you sell first and buy later rather than buying first and selling after.
- CFDs: Contracts for differences (CFDs) allow you to trade in and out of forex currencies without ever owning the currency. Brokers use CFDs to get around certain regulations. If you are thinking of using a broker that uses CFDs, understand that you will never actually own the currency. Your account, however, will lose and gain value as if you owned them.
- Binary options: Binary options don’t track the price of currencies directly. They offer you a win/lose scenario. The percentage lost or gained is usually much higher per trade, because you are agreeing to a fixed amount won or lost based on your choice in the trade.