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Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Hedging Strategies in Forex Trading

Hedging Strategies in Forex Trading

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Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Foreign exchange trading, or forex trading as it is more commonly known, is a strategic method of trading in currency pairs with the ultimate goal of making a profit. To do so, traders make use of various approaches and techniques, not least in the area of risk management.

One such technique is hedging.

This article will look at what a forex hedging strategy entails, the different approaches to hedging you can take and how they can be used to mitigate risk on positions in the forex market.

What Is a Forex Hedging Strategy?

Essentially, a forex hedging strategy is a way of ‘hedging your bets’ and is one of several methods of risk management used by experienced traders. By implementing a forex hedging strategy, you are placing a level of protection on your currency exposure.

Typically, hedging strategy protection is a short-term approach applied to a long-term investment. It is used to mitigate potential losses that could result from news or events influential to the forex market.

For example:

Say you go either long or short on a currency pair and speculate significant movement in your favour over time, but an upcoming economic announcement is likely to result in market volatility and could lead to movement in your currency pair in either direction.

Instead of closing your position, which would mean missing out on the profit you predict once the market stabilises, you want to protect your exposure from the temporary volatility. This is when you might want to consider a forex hedging strategy.

There are several approaches to a forex hedging trading strategy. The more complex and systematic methods tend to form part of wider risk management strategies adopted by institutions or corporations with interests in the forex market.

For the retail forex trader, however, there are generally two types of hedging strategy commonly used.

These are:

  • Placing a trade with an opposite position in a currency pair
  • The use of forex options

The next section will look at both in detail, as well as discussing a third option – hedging with correlating currency pairs.

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Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Types of Hedging Strategy

Having discussed the basics of what a forex hedging strategy is, we’ll now look at the most common approaches and how they can protect you from potential losses on currency pairs in your portfolio:

1. Taking an Opposite Position

When you open a trade on a currency pair, you usually choose to do so in one of two directions, based on your predictions of future market movements.

If you suspect an upcoming event may have an adverse effect on your current position but that the market will eventually reverse in your favour, you can hedge your investment by placing both a short and long trade on the same currency pair at the same time, effectively implementing a no loss forex hedging strategy.

In simple terms, if you have a long trade open on a currency pair, you would also set a short trade to open should the value fall to a certain level. By doing so, you offset the loss on your long trade with the profit from your short trade. This strategy is known as direct hedging, also commonly referred to as a perfect hedge.

Whilst simple in theory, the realities of direct hedging are more complex. Once your hedge opens, you’ll have trades open in both directions. As you’re losing money on one and making money on the other, your net profit will be zero.

You’ll need to have a closing strategy in place to make sure you start gaining profit as soon as possible on your original trade once the trend reverses.

2. Trading with Forex Options

An alternative forex hedging strategy is to make use of options.

To protect your position against market volatility, you can choose to buy put or call options, depending on the direction of your trade.

Options can be thought of as short-term insurance policies and, as such, involve the payment of a premium. Since you pay this premium regardless of whether you close or hold on to your position, options are not a no-loss forex hedging strategy.

To put it into practice, you would purchase a put option if you were long on a currency pair but had concerns that influencing factors may cause the value of the pair to fall. A put option allows you to set a strike price (that is, a price at which you are willing to sell) and an expiration date for the sale to be made at that strike price.

If the value was to fall, your loss would be limited to the cost of the premium to be paid to the option seller, plus the difference between the strike price and the price of the currency pair at the time you purchased the put option.

This difference is measured in pips (price in percentage – the unit by which profit or loss is determined in forex). If the value moves in your favour and continues to rise, your loss would be the put option premium only.


You go long on GBP/USD at an opening position of 1.2957 and purchase a put option with a strike price of 1.2937. GBP/USD falls to 1.2929 but your loss is limited to the 20 pip difference of your initial trade price and your strike price, plus the premium.

Alternatively, GBP/USD rises, your option expiration date passes, your option ceases to exist and your loss is the cost of the premium only.

A call option is the same process applied to a short trade. So, instead of choosing a price at which you are willing to sell a currency pair, you choose a price at which you are willing to buy.

3. Hedging with Correlating Currency Pairs

A third option is to hedge using two negatively correlated currency pairs, such as EUR/USD and USD/CHF, where the US dollar is the counter currency. As a negatively correlated pair, if EUR/USD rises, USD/CHF is likely to fall respectively.

By going long on EUR/USD and short on USD/CHF, you’re protecting your USD exposure by having buy and sell trades open at the same time, each moving in opposite directions. However, this strategy is risky, as you’re also exposing yourself to fluctuations in both EUR and CHF.

To make the most effective use of a forex hedging strategy in this way, you really need to deal in multiple currency pairs, have a sound understanding of how they correlate and, more crucially, how this relationship can offset the movement of all the currency pairs in your portfolio. As such, this strategy is only suitable for highly experienced traders.

Why Choose to Hedge in Forex?

As in any financial market, risk management is a crucial part of successful forex trading. To open a position without first considering the potential loss and how to protect yourself from it is to expose your interests to potentially devastating market volatility.

Experienced traders use a variety of techniques to cover their positions and will skilfully select which strategy to apply to any given situation. In the case of hedging, this will usually be to protect a longer-term investment from a temporary decline against their trade, simultaneously limiting potential losses to a fixed amount.

This makes hedging a good alternative to a stop loss if you speculate the market will significantly favour your position in the long run. To use a stop loss is to risk closing your trade, accepting any associated loss and eliminating your potential for future profit.

Of course, you could always open a new position at a later date, if you have the capital to do so, but if your faith in the market is strong, then hedging is most likely the better option.

Ultimately, your decision on whether or not to implement a forex hedging strategy comes down to your knowledge of market swings, how confident you are in your long-term position and how much risk you are willing to expose your trade to.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Hedging?

As discussed, a robust risk management strategy is vital to success in forex trading. Hedging, when used with skill, can help turn a potential loss into a break-even or profitable trade. That said, hedging is not without its downsides and should be used with caution.

Below are the main disadvantages of using hedging strategy protection.

It Can Be Confusing for Beginners

To implement a successful forex hedging strategy, you need to be comfortable with, and confident in, the processes involved. These can be somewhat overwhelming if you’re new to forex trading and, if used incorrectly, can actually do more damage than good.

If you intend to use hedging in your wider risk management strategy, you must gain experience before hedging a live trade. Demo accounts are a good place to start since they simulate a real trading environment without the need for financial investment.

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Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

It Limits Your Potential Profit

As any experienced trader knows, the more risks you take, the more rewards you’re likely to gain. It, therefore, stands to reason that by mitigating risk, you also limit your chances of reward (in this case, your profit).

A good forex hedging strategy is one used sparingly that protects you from a major loss in the short term, but does not excessively damage your potential for long term profit.

It Requires a Good Amount of Capital

Depending on the approach you take, your profit can be dramatically affected by a forex hedging strategy. In the worst-case scenario, it could be wiped out completely and you could find yourself faced with a loss.

Although intended as protection, hedging is a risk so you’ll need to be sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover that risk. You’ll also need to consider the amount you have available to open a new position, if placing a direct hedge or to cover the premium if using options.

If you’re a small-time trader with limited capital, you might want to consider using minimal stop losses instead, while you allow your funds to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Forex hedging strategies are techniques used by traders to minimize risks and protect against potential losses in foreign exchange trading.

These strategies involve taking positions in different markets to offset risks and potential losses, usually by buying or selling a currency pair and then taking a position in another market to reduce the risk.

There is no single best hedging strategy for forex trading, as each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the trader's goals, risk tolerance and market conditions.

Some common forex hedging strategies include buying and selling the same currency pair at different prices, using options contracts to limit risk and using multiple currency pairs to offset risk.

The best brokers for forex hedging strategies are those that offer flexible trading platforms and tools, low trading costs and reliable execution.

Some popular brokers for forex hedging include Interactive Brokers, IG and Saxo Bank.

The easiest Forex trading hedging strategy is to take opposite positions in the same currency pair at different prices, also known as a direct hedge.

This strategy involves buying and selling the same currency pair at different prices to offset potential losses, and can be easily implemented by traders of all levels.

Forex hedging strategies are appropriate to use in situations where a trader wants to limit potential losses or offset risks in uncertain market conditions.

Hedging can be particularly useful for traders who want to maintain a long-term position in a currency pair but are concerned about short-term volatility.

The benefits of using a Forex hedging strategy include reducing potential losses, protecting against market volatility and allowing traders to maintain long-term positions in a currency pair while mitigating risks.

Hedging can also provide traders with greater flexibility in their trading strategies and can help to minimize the impact of unexpected market events.

Forex hedging strategies can carry risks such as additional costs, complex trading strategies and potential losses if market conditions change rapidly.

It's important for traders to understand the risks associated with different hedging strategies and carefully consider their goals and risk tolerance before implementing a strategy.

No, hedging cannot completely eliminate risk in forex trading, but it can help to mitigate potential losses and protect against market volatility.

Traders should not rely solely on hedging strategies and should instead use a combination of strategies to manage risk effectively.

Regulations on forex hedging strategies vary by country and region, so it's important for traders to understand the rules and restrictions in their jurisdiction.

Some regulators require traders to have a minimum level of capital to use hedging strategies or may limit the size or duration of hedging positions.

The best forex hedging strategy depends on a trader's goals, risk tolerance and market conditions.

Traders should carefully evaluate different strategies and consider factors such as trading costs, complexity, and potential risks and rewards before selecting a strategy.

Forex hedging can be suitable for beginner traders, but it's important for traders to have a solid understanding of the forex market and trading strategies before implementing a hedging strategy.

Beginner traders should start with simple hedging strategies and gradually build their skills and experience over time.

Yes, forex hedging can be used in conjunction with other trading strategies such as technical analysis or fundamental analysis.

Traders may also use multiple hedging strategies simultaneously to manage risk and protect against potential losses.

It's important for traders to carefully evaluate the potential risks and rewards of combining different strategies and to implement them in a coordinated and disciplined manner.

Final Thoughts

To recap, a forex hedging strategy is a way of protecting an open position against potentially adverse movements in the market. It is a technique most commonly used in response to news and events that are likely to result in volatility. It’s important to remember that any form of trade is a risk, and there is no sure-fire way to insure your investments against loss.

Forex hedging is complex and takes skill and experience to implement successfully. You’ll need to develop confidence in speculating on market swings, learn what external factors are likely to influence them and understand how different currency pairs work in relation to each other.

Traders new to the foreign exchange market should tread carefully, and you should never risk more than you can afford to lose.

WikiJob does not provide tax, investment or financial services and advice. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.

Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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