Hedging is simply coming up with a way to protect yourself against a big loss. When you buy car insurance, you’re protecting, or hedging, against the chance of having an expensive accident.
In forex, think of a hedge as getting insurance on your trade. Hedging is a way to reduce or cover the amount of loss you would incur if something unexpected happened.
Simple Forex Hedging
Some brokers allow you to place trades that are direct hedges. A direct hedge is when you are allowed to place a trade that buys one currency pair, such as USD/GBP. At the same time, you can also place a trade to sell the same pair.
The Protection of a Hedge
A simple forex hedge protects you because it allows you to trade the opposite direction of your initial trade without having to close your initial trade. One can argue that it makes more sense to close the initial trade at a loss, and then place a new trade in a better spot. This is one of the types of decisions you’ll make as a trader.
A forex option is an agreement to conduct an exchange at a specified price in the future. For example, say you buy a long trade position on EUR/USD at 1.30. To protect that position, you would place a forex strike option at 1.29.
Reasons to Hedge
The main reason that you want to use hedging on your trades is to limit risk. Hedging can be a bigger part of your trading plan if done carefully. It should only be used by experienced traders that understand market swings and timing. Playing with hedging without adequate trading experience could reduce your account balance to zero in no time at all.