How Much Money Do I Need to Day Trade Forex? – Minimum Forex Trading Amount

Many beginner traders face the challenge of limited capital when they first embark on their trading journey. This lack of substantial funds often discourages newcomers, leading them to believe they might be unable to make significant gains. Fortunately, CFD forex trading doesn’t mandate a minimum amount, allowing novices an entry point. However, this flexibility can sometimes be a double-edged sword, as low capital can tempt traders into risky margin trading, magnifying potential profits and losses.

Unprofitable traders

Minimum capital required to trade forex profitably

For the new trader who doesn’t have capital, trading can be a huge problem. Pro traders will tell you that without $ 10,000, people do not need to trade, and without $100 000, traders can not earn money on the market. If an average monthly return for one-month trading (for pro traders) is around 1%-2% (drawdown less than 5%), then new traders need to understand that for-profit they need capital of more than $10 K.

Of course, new traders can start trading learning with a live account for $500. But is it enough capital to start?

What is the average amount to start forex trading?

In forex trading, the average starting capital is $ 5,000; in stock, the average starting capital is $ 100,000.  The stock trading minimum starting capital is $25000 in the US. However, beginner forex traders start with a $500 investment, where low capital can tempt traders into risky margin trading.

In the world of trading, there are distinct differences in starting capital requirements between forex and stock trading. On average, individuals venturing into forex trading begin with $5,000, while those delving into stock trading usually start with a substantial $100,000. Specifically, in the US, stock traders face a mandated minimum starting capital of $25,000.

On the other hand, many novice forex traders dip their toes in the market with as little as $500. While democratizing, This low entry point also comes with its challenges. The allure of the potential for high returns can push these traders towards the perils of margin trading, intensifying the risks they undertake.


What is the minimum amount to start forex trading?

The minimum amount to start forex trading is usually $100. Many brokers do not have the minimum amount, but traders usually start trading by paying $500 as the first deposit. However,  the minimum amount to invest in forex to have a drawdown of less than 15%, and the maximum portfolio risk of 1% is around $5000.

Forex trading minimum investment, in theory, can be many brokers who do not have minimum trading investment), but traders should not start trading without at least $500.

When diving into forex trading, many novices wonder about the minimum amount required to start. Typically, the standard initial deposit for many traders is around $100. However, while some brokers might not enforce a set minimum, it’s not uncommon for traders to begin with a first deposit of $500.

For those aiming to maintain a drawdown of less than 15% and adhere to a maximum portfolio risk of 1%, a starting investment of approximately $5,000 is recommended. It’s worth noting that, technically, some brokers allow a forex trading investment as low as $1. Yet, prudent financial wisdom suggests that traders should ideally not commence their forex journey without at least $500 in capital.

  • Leverage Risks: With just $500, traders might be tempted to use high leverage to amplify their positions. This can magnify potential profits and losses, leading to rapid capital depletion.
  • Limited Flexibility: A smaller capital restricts the number of trades a trader can open simultaneously, limiting potential profits and diversification strategies.
  • Psychological Pressure: Trading with a small amount can increase emotional strain, as each trade represents a significant portion of the total capital. This can lead to impulsive decisions.
  • Less Room for Error: A few bad trades can quickly wipe out a small capital, leaving no room for recovery or learning from mistakes.
  • Limitation on Trading Strategies: With a small capital, traders might not have the flexibility to employ longer-term strategies or withstand temporary market downturns.

In this text, I will try to give my personal opinion about minimum capital.

Risk management and Minimum Investment

Day traders shouldn’t risk more than 1% of the amount in their forex account for a single trade. However, the trader should be flexible. Even so, the most reputed traders may make losses continuously. Hence, a losing streak will not significantly reduce the capital if each trade risk is less. The difference between the entry price for the trade and the stop-loss price, multiplied by the pip value and size of the position, is the risk for a particular trade.

Before we start, I want to repeat something that I repeat often. Risk around 1% of capital is essential because huge drawdowns and capital loss are hard to recover. See Table below :
loss and gain how to recover

If we have a 1% portfolio risk per time in the future, we could have a 10% to 15% drawdown. That loss we need to recover, and on the other side, we need to decrease our position. With a huge loss, it is impossible to stay profitable.

When you lose 10% of your investment, your base decreases, meaning you have to earn a proportionally larger percentage to return to your original value. For example, if you start with $100 and lose 10%, you’re left with $90. You need to make $10, 11.11% of $90 to recover.

Similarly, if you lose 20% from $100, you’re left with $80. To recover the lost $20, you would need a 25% gain on that $80. For a 50% loss from $100, you’re left with $50, and you’d need to double it or gain 100% to recover. Maintaining drawdowns at less than 10%, ideally 5%, ensures the required recovery percentage remains achievable and doesn’t exponentially increase.

Stop Loss orders

When trading in forex, it is essential to specify a stop-loss to reduce the trader’s loss if the base currency value moves in a direction opposite the trader’s bet. For example, if the trader expects the currency price to increase, he will specify a stop loss of 10 pips below the current price and a similar increase for stop-loss if he is betting on a decrease in the price.

It would help if you traded day forex strategies. In that case, you can trade using micro-lots and make risk less than 2%. Day traders have higher commission costs and, usually, higher portfolio volatility. However, only if day traders have more than $100K they can create forex trading as a source of income.

For many day traders, the foreign exchange (forex) market is the most accessible of the different financial markets since the initial investment amount is meager.

How much do you need to start trading stocks? To trade stocks, the minimum investment is $25000 because it is the minimum capital for all major stockbrokers and SEC recommendations.


The minimum forex trading amount of $ 5,000 is essential for managing risk, especially for new traders. A smaller trading amount allows for practice without significant financial exposure. While there’s no universally set minimum, brokers often have their specific requirements. Trading within one’s means is crucial, as forex markets can be highly volatile, and losses can exceed deposits.

Based on the above analysis, a forex trader’s profit will vary depending on his investment. The larger the initial amount invested, the greater the flexibility and thatch the trader can make. In my opinion, the bare minimum for forex trading is $5000. With that capital, new traders can feel comfortable during the trading. Of course, they must trade using micro-lots because of the small capital. It would help if you had much more significant capital (maybe twice) for longer-term investing to feel relaxed during the enormous drawdowns.



Igor has been a trader since 2007. Currently, Igor works for several prop trading companies. He is an expert in financial niche, long-term trading, and weekly technical levels. The primary field of Igor's research is the application of machine learning in algorithmic trading. Education: Computer Engineering and Ph.D. in machine learning. Igor regularly publishes trading-related videos on the Fxigor Youtube channel. To contact Igor write on:

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