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Trading Academy Trading Basics - Lesson 9 /16

How do I make a trade? A beginner’s guide to opening a position

So, you’ve created a Skilling account, you’ve done your research and you’re ready to make your first trade. Well, you’re in luck, this article will tell you how to open your first position.

Step 1: Get familiar with the trading platform

The Skilling trading platform shows you everything you need to know at a glance. Take a few moments to have a look around and get familiar with it.

1. Market Watch

This is where you’ll find the latest prices for over 1,500 financial instruments you can trade with Skilling.

2. Charts, calendar and news.

This panel of your trading platform shows you the latest charts, an up-to-date economic calendar and breaking market news.

3. Open positions, account summary and cash operations.

In this panel, you’ll see a summary of your open positions (your trades) and useful information about your account, such as your current balance.

4. Mini portfolio.

This gives a quick breakdown of how your balance is currently invested.

5. Info Bar

At the bottom of the trading platform is the toolbar. This shows you key information about your account (like your current profit). On the right hand side you can access your settings and live chat.

You can customise the trading platform, adding and removing panels of your choice. For more information, read this article. For now though, let’s just leave the default panels open.

Step 2: Find the market you want to trade

To find the market you want to trade, look for the markets panel on the left side of your screen.

At the top of the markets panel you’ll see a row of buttons, each for a different market or selection of financial instruments.

Main – the most popular financial instruments you can trade with Skilling.

FX – forex. This is where you can trade currency.

CMD – commodities. You’ll find everything from gold to coffee here.

IND – indices. Buy or sell major stock indices like the FTSE 100.

EQ – equities. Trade shares in hundreds of companies.

ETF – exchange traded funds. Follows the price of the major exchanges.

Click the market you’re interested in to browse all the instruments available and view the latest prices.

Note: The market you’re interested may be split into sub-categories. For example, equities are divided by country.

Help tip You can use the search bar to find the financial instrument you’re interested in.

Once you’ve found the instrument you want to trade, double click on it and the trade ticket will be displayed.

Step 3: Review the trade ticket

On the trade ticket you’ll be presented with all the key information about the trade you’re about to make. Make sure you review this carefully.

1. The instrument that you’re about to trade

In this case it’s the EUR/USD currency pair.

2. Order type

You can choose to make your Order straight away by selecting Market. Or you can select Order if you want the trade to happen at a specific price. For more information about order types, read this article.

3. Sell price

If you’re taking a short position this is the price your trade will open at. For more information about the Sell Price, read this article.

4. Buy price

If you’re taking a long position, this is the trading price. For more information about the Buy Price, read this article.

5. Units

A ‘Unit’ is the size of the trade. The more Units, the bigger your trade. You can use the [up arrow] and [down arrow] buttons to increase or decrease the size of your trade. Be sure to enter the correct amount here!
For more information about Lots, read this article.

6. Contract value

This is the total value of your trade. You can use the [up arrow] and [down arrow] buttons to increase or decrease the size of your trade. Again, make sure you are trading the right size for your risk tolerance.

7. Margin

With Skilling, you don’t have to deposit the full value of the trade. Instead, you only have to put up a small portion of the underlying value – this is known as your ‘Margin’.
The Margin shown on your trade ticket is how much of your account balance will be used to make this trade. For more information about Margin, read this article.

8. Stop loss

If you want to place a Stop Loss order for this trade, click [tick icon] and enter the price.
For more information about Stop Loss orders, read this article.

9. Take profit

If you want to place a Take Profit order for this trade, click [tick icon] and enter the price.
For more information about Take Profit orders, read this article.

10. Calculate for you

Select Buy or Sell depending on the trade you’re about to make and it’ll calculate the trade’s Spread, Pip value, Daily Swap and Commission.

11. Spread

This is the difference between the buy price and the sell price of the instrument you’re trading. For more information about the buy and sell price, read this article.

12. Pip value

A Pip is the smallest whole measure of a price movement in a currency pair. The Pip Value is how much one Pip is ‘worth’ in this trade.
For example, let’s say you’ve bought the EUR/USD currency pair with a Pip Value of EUR 1. If the Euro strengthens against the Dollar and the price moves up by 1 Pip, you’ll make EUR 1 profit.

13. Daily Swap

This is the interest either paid or earned when you hold a trade overnight. For more information about Daily Swap rates, read this article.

14. Commission

This is how much Commission you’ll be charged for the trade. For more information about the different types of accounts, read this article.

Step 4: Seal the deal – click Buy or Sell

Once you’ve checked all the details are correct, click the Buy or Sell button, depending on whether you want to sell short or buy long.
That’s it – you just made your first trade. Your new trade will now appear in the Open positions panel on your trading screen.


Keeping track of your Skilling Academy progress. Open account or Log in