Understanding Pips in Forex Trading: A Beginner's Guide to Percentage In Point

Learn the essentials of Pips, the building blocks of Forex trading, and how to leverage them to boost your chances of success


Eoin Cusack

7/31/20235 min read

A Forex PIP explained by an animated teacher
A Forex PIP explained by an animated teacher

Welcome to the thrilling world of Forex trading, where fortunes are made and currencies are exchanged in the largest financial market worldwide. If you are new to Forex trading and seeking to understand how to profit from price movements, you've come to the right place. In this comprehensive beginner's guide, we will delve into what a pip is, how to calculate pips in Forex and draw comparisons to points in stock trading. Additionally, we will introduce you to some popular pip calculators that will streamline your trading experience.

What is a Pip in Forex?

In Forex, a pip (percentage in point) represents the smallest price movement that a currency pair can make. For most pairs, it is equivalent to the fourth decimal place, such as a movement from 1.2500 to 1.2501 in the EUR/USD pair. Understanding the concept of a pip is fundamental for successful Forex trading, especially for beginners seeking to make money from currency price fluctuations.

How to Calculate Pips in Forex?

To calculate pips in Forex, you need to consider the position size (lot size) and the currency pair being traded. For instance, if you buy 1 standard lot of EUR/USD at 1.2500 and the price moves to 1.2510, you have gained 10 pips. With a standard lot, the profit would be $100 (10 pips x $10 per pip). Conversely, if the price moves against your position to 1.2490, you would incur a loss of $100.

Making Money with Pips: Long and Short Trades

Forex trading presents two main trading directions: going long and going short. A long trade implies an expectation that the base currency will appreciate against the counter currency. On the other hand, a short trade involves an expectation that the base currency will depreciate relative to the counter currency. Understanding how to profit from pips in both long and short trades is essential for successful Forex trading.

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Comparing Pips to Points in Stocks

In stock trading, the concept of a "pip" is not commonly used. Instead, the equivalent term is often referred to as a "point" or "basis point." While both pips in Forex and points in stocks essentially represent price movements, they differ significantly in their calculation and significance.

1. Point in Stock Trading

In stock trading, a "point" represents a whole number of changes in the price of a stock. For example, if a stock is priced at $50 and its value increases to $51, it has moved up by one point. Similarly, if the stock price decreases from $60 to $59, it has moved down by one point. Points are always whole numbers, reflecting the straightforward nature of stock price changes.

2. Pip in Forex Trading

In contrast, a "pip" in Forex is the smallest price movement that a currency pair can make, typically represented by the fourth decimal place for most currency pairs. For example, if the EUR/USD exchange rate moves from 1.2500 to 1.2501, it has increased by one pip. However, for currency pairs involving the Japanese Yen, a pip is usually represented by the second decimal place, such as USD/JPY moving from 110.50 to 110.51.

Significance of Pips and Points

The key difference between pips in Forex and points in stocks lies in their magnitude and how traders interpret price movements. Pips are much smaller than points in terms of absolute value. A one-pip movement in Forex could be as small as a fraction of a cent, while a one-point movement in stocks represents a more substantial dollar value.

In Forex trading, the use of pips allows for more precise and standardized measurement of price fluctuations. It is particularly important considering the high leverage often used in Forex trades, as even small price changes can significantly impact a trader's profit or loss. Pips play a crucial role in calculating position sizes, setting stop-loss levels, and determining risk-to-reward ratios.

On the other hand, points in stocks are straightforward and easy to understand, as they directly represent dollar value changes in stock prices. This simplicity makes it easier for stock traders to gauge the potential profit or loss from a trade without the need for complex calculations.

Unique Characteristics of Each Market

Understanding the distinction between pips in Forex and points in stocks is essential for traders to navigate the unique characteristics of each market effectively. Forex markets are highly liquid, open 24 hours a day, and involve trading currency pairs from various countries worldwide. The use of pips facilitates seamless price comparison and trading across different currency pairs.

Stock markets, on the other hand, operate within specific trading hours and involve trading individual stocks representing ownership in companies. Point-based price movements in stocks are easier to interpret for traders who focus on stock trading exclusively.

In conclusion, while both pips and points represent price movements in their respective markets, they have distinct differences in terms of calculation and significance. Pips in Forex are smaller, standardized units used to measure currency price movements, while points in stocks represent a whole number of changes in stock prices. By comprehending the unique characteristics of each market, traders can make more informed decisions and adapt their strategies accordingly to succeed in both Forex and stock trading.

Using Pip Calculators

To help traders calculate pip values quickly and accurately, several pip calculators are available online. These calculators take into account the currency pair being traded, the lot size, and the account currency. Here are some popular pip calculators that readers can use:

1. Investing.com Pip Calculator: This online calculator allows you to input the currency pair, trade size (lot size), and account currency. It then calculates the pip value and displays the results in both the account currency and the base currency of the pair.

Website: https://www.investing.com/tools/forex-pip-calculator

2. BabyPips Pip Value Calculator: This user-friendly calculator, offered by BabyPips, a popular educational website for Forex trading, allows you to select the currency pair, account currency, trade size, and exchange rate. It then calculates the pip value for you.

Website: https://www.babypips.com/tools/pip-value-calculator

3. Myfxbook Pip Calculator: Myfxbook is a comprehensive Forex trading community that also provides a pip calculator. It enables you to input the currency pair, trade size, and account currency. The calculator then computes the pip value and displays the result in both the account currency and the base currency.

Website: https://www.myfxbook.com/forex-calculators/pip-calculator

Risk Management and Pips in Forex Trading

Understanding pips is vital for effective risk management in Forex trading. Traders often set stop-loss orders to limit potential losses on a trade. A stop-loss is a predetermined price level at which the trade will automatically close if the market moves against the trader's position. The stop-loss is usually set in pips, allowing traders to control and manage their risk effectively.


In conclusion, pips are a fundamental concept in Forex trading, representing the smallest price movement in a currency pair. By grasping the concept of pips and utilizing pip calculators, traders can make informed decisions and improve their chances of success in the dynamic world of Forex trading. Remember to practice with demo accounts and seek guidance from reputable sources before delving into live trading.

Whether you are a seasoned trader or a beginner exploring the Forex market, mastering pips and understanding how to profit from price movements will undoubtedly enhance your trading skills. To further enhance your Forex trading knowledge and make well-informed decisions in choosing the best Forex broker in 2023, check out our ultimate guide here. Empower yourself with valuable insights and tips to navigate the exciting world of currency markets confidently. Happy trading!