Scalping in Forex

If you think that you have the heart to make split second decisions, countless times a day than scalping may be perfect for you.

Updated

Fact checked

Scalping at its core is very similar to day trading, only done at an even more frenetic pace. The aim of scalping is to try and “skim” small amounts of profit several times a day by going into and out of positions. While with both day trading and scalping you will never hold a position overnight, with scalping you may be opening and closing hundreds of trades a day hoping to gain as little as 5 basis points each trade. Analysing tick charts and one-minute charts, scalpers aim to try and catch volatile movements in the markets caused by the release of economic data, news stories, financial figures and whatever else they have at their disposal to try and pre-empt movements in the market.

Compare share-trading options

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fees Brand description
Fineco
£2.95
£2.95
Zero platform fee
Your first 50 trades are free with Fineco, until 31/12/2020. T&Cs apply.
Fineco Bank is good for share traders and investors looking for a complete platform and wide offer. Capital at risk.
IG
0% commission on US shares, and £3 on UK shares
From £5
£0 - £24 per quarter
IG is good for experienced traders, and offers learning resources for beginners, all with wide access to shares, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
eToro Free Stocks
0% commission, no markup, no ticket fee, no management fee
N/A
Withdrawal fee & GDP to USD deposit conversion
Capital at risk. 0% commission but other fees may apply.
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
£11.95
£5.95
No fees
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's number one platform for private investors, with the depth of features you'd expect from an established platform. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
From £7.99 on the Investor Service Plan
No transfer fees or exit fees. £9.99 a month on the Investor Service Plan
Open an ISA, Trading Account or SIPP you will get £100 of free trades to buy or sell any investment (new customers only).
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum deposit Maximum annual fee Price per trade Brand description
Moneyfarm stocks and shares ISA
£1500
0.75%
£0
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.45%
£11.95
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got everything you'll need, from beginners to experienced investors. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor stocks and shares ISA
Any lump sum or £25 a month
£119.88
£7.99
Interactive Investor offers everything most investors need. Its flat fees makes it pricey for small portfolios, but cheap for big ones. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets stocks and shares ISA
No minimum deposit requirement
0.12%
£8.00
Saxo Markets offers a wide access to a range of stocks, ETFs and funds. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell stocks and shares ISA
£500
0.25%
£9.95
AJ Bell is a good all-rounder for people who to choose between shares, funds, ISAs and pensions. Capital at risk.
Fidelity stocks and shares ISA
£1000 or a regular savings plan from £50
0.35%
£10.00
Fidelity is another good all-rounder, offering a good package at a decent price. Not suited for trading shares. Capital at risk.
Nutmeg stocks and shares ISA
£100
0.75%
£0
Nutmeg offers three types of portfolios. Choose the one that goes with your investment style. Capital at risk.
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
Legal & General stocks and shares ISA
£100 or £20 a month
0.61%
N/A
Legal & General is a big financial services company which offers insurance, lifetime mortgage, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs. Capital at risk.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Minimum investment Choose from Annual fee Brand description
Moneyfarm Pension
£1,500 (initial investment)
7 funds
0.35%-0.75%
Moneyfarm has pensions that are matched against your risk appetite, goals and planned retirement date. Capital at risk.
AJ Bell Pension
£1,000
Over 2,000 funds
0.05-0.25%
AJ Bell has two different pension options, a self managed pension and one that is managed for you. Capital at risk.
PensionBee Pension
No minimum
7 funds
0.5% - 0.95%
Pension Bee is a newbie in the pension market. It helps consolidate your pension plans into one place. Capital at risk.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pension
£100 or £25 a month
2,500 funds
0-0.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's biggest wealth manager. It's got three different retirement options. Capital at risk.
Interactive Investor Pension
Any lump sum or £25 a month
Over 3,000 funds
£10/month
interactive investor is a flat-fee platform, which makes it cost effective for larger portfolios. Capital at risk.
Saxo Markets Pension
Saxo Markets Pension
£10
Over 11,000 funds
No annual fee
Saxo Markets gives flexibility and control over your investment strategy. Capital at risk.
Moneybox Pension
£1
3 funds
0.15% - 0.45% charged monthly
Manage your money with an easy-to-use Moneybox app. Capital at risk.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Capital is at risk.

Why Scalp?

Even though scalpers close trades when they have only gained 5 – 10 basis points, it can be extremely profitable due to the sheer number of trades they make and the leverage that they have when making them. If a pips value is £10 and you’re making a 5 – 10 pips each trade and you then repeat this hundreds of times a day you can start making serious profits from this process. Not every trade will be profitable and as a scalper you need to be prepared to cut your loses short as soon as you see the trade losing 2 – 3 pips without having time to fully analyse the decision.

What makes a scalper

Due to the high pressure involved with being a scalper it is a type of trading only cut out for certain personalities. If you are happy to spend hours in front of a screen, constantly switched on, monitoring data coming onto your screen than you may enjoy scalping. This fast pace trading is perfect for those who enjoy fast trading and excitement and are able to make quick decisions without taking time to assess all the implications and information behind it. If you’re someone who is easily stressed, or likes an overview of a market and delving into the facts and figures before making a decision than you should probably steer clear of scalping.

Where to trade

As a scalper you want to trade on the most active markets available and therefore Forex markets are perfect for this, with the most traded 3 currency pairs being; EUR/USD, USD/JPY and GDP/USD. As a result, the best times to trade are when the both London and New York are trading as these are the most active Forex locations. When looking for a broker to trade through remember that ideally for scalping you should be looking for the platforms who offer the lowest spreads and the lowest commissions because with the low profit margins, the higher these are the more risk you are running with each trade. Always practice on a test account before investing any money into it. Having an understanding of how the system works is crucial, as, with such little time to make decisions, even a small error could prove costly.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site