Oanda is probably your best bet for a micro broker as they don't have an initial account minimum and you can trade any size you want, not even standard mini lots, you can trade like 1/1000 of a lot if you want.
Setup a demo with them but make sure you are successful for at least two months in demo before you risk your HARD EARNED money. Don't think you can skate by and do a week and your ready to go (99% of noobies think this, and 99% go on to lose money). Take your time, don't rush this. Its not an overnight process, so respect it for what it is and it will save you money.
i have been advised to put in trailing stops to lock
in profits when using a particular strategy.
how does this work with metatrader
i have seen the order button that lets me put in a
trailing stop, but how does this differ from the
regular stop-loss setup? when initially placing the
i'm looking to place buy or sell stops with a
trailing stop to ;lock in profits'. how would i do
this on metatrader 4?
I love Trailing Stops (TS). Oanda doesn't offer them at all, though, and with MetaTrader you have to keep the platform running. When you shut down MetaTrader, your TS no longer functions, although your regular stop will, as they are stored on the server side.
Keep in mind that with most brokers, a TS doesn't become active until 1 pip after your setting. For example, if you have a 20 pip TS, the price must move 21 pips for it to become active, at which point your TS would have moved up 1 pip. So, if you're using a TS to lock in 20 pips in profit, the price would actually have to move 40 pips before your TS would be at the 20 pip level.
So, continuing with the 20 pip profit example, when you initially place your order, you set a Stop Loss at 20 pips and a Trailing Stop for 20 pips. If your trade goes against you before the TS kicks in, then your SL protects you. If everything goes fine, once the price moves 20 pips, you can move your SL to break even and the TS will kick in after that.
I really wish all brokers would do it the way EFX does. Theirs is a pip-for-pip TS. So, when I set a 20 pip TS and the price moves 1 pip, my TS moves 1 pip. That means that the price only has to move 20 pips to lock in my profit instead of 40 pips with most other brokers. It follows the price all the way. I love it.
I don't use trailing stops for the simple reason that too often price retracements can hit your stops and then continue in the original direction. They are fine for a lot of people but I was burned once too many times by them to consider using them.
I only use them if my contracts stops are already at their last stop loss values with profits locked in and i'm letting profits ride overnight or something when i'm not at the screens to manage them.
But if your managing the trade somewhat actively, I don't feel they are necessary and can be detrimental.
This however, is just my opinion, based off my trading style, and others may swear by them and have excellent luck.
If your method advises trailing stops, why don't you just do it manually... i.e. if price moves up 5 pips, you move your stop up 5 pips, etc? The 1 for 1 trailing up is what kills a lot of people and kicks them out too soon. Price never moves from a to b in one straight line move, it moves, comes back a bit, then moves again, so if your trailing stop is too tight, its gonna knock you out and then work. If you can I would just manually move stops.