The profit and loss (P&L) calculator is a financial statement (often referred as an income statement) summarizing all revenues, costs and expenses within a specific time frame. The records provided in the statement show whether the company is able to generate more profit by increasing revenues, or cutting cost, or both. As we already know, businesses usually calculate profit and loss along with the balance sheet (shows what is owned and owed at a single moment) and cash flow statements (presents changes in accounts within specific period of time) which are necessary for comparison.
When you ask yourself how to calculate P&L, there is a general form which begins by asking you to enter revenue (top line), deducting the costs of doing business, including cost of goods sold and operating, tax, in addition to interest expenses. The difference (bottom line) is net income (profit). It is important to compare income statements from different accounting periods in order to understand the numbers and make them more meaningful, as sometimes revenues might be growing but spending is increasing at a higher rate. There are plenty of examples and templates for you to produce your personal or business profit and loss statement online for free.
General information about how P&L calculator works is provided above, but apart from the straightforward usage, it can be very efficiently implemented for trading. Although trading offers the opportunity to make profit by entering the market, well-educated investors always consider risk. Knowing how to calculate profit and loss while trading helps you clearly understand your success or failure rate as it directly affects the margin balance of your trading account. As was already mentioned you can easily find good, free P&L calculators, and by the way most trading platforms automatically calculate it for you, but it is important to understand how it actually works.
Currency trading is a very challenging market and in order to have as much money available for trading as possible, remember to consider profit and loss calculations of your trade as it directly affects your margin account.
The formula to calculate profit and loss of your trades is as follows:
"Unrealized" in this case means that trade positions are still open (but can be closed any time). As soon as you close the trade the profit and loss calculation takes place and, in case of profit, the margin balance will increase, while in case of a loss it reduces. As unrealized P&L calculation is marked to market, it keeps changing constantly as your margin balance does. But do not panic, it is simpler than you think – in order to calculate P&L of a position, you need to check position size and by how many pips the price has moved. Position size multiplied by pip movement will show you the actual profit or loss.
Simple example based on a free P&L calculator: if your account currency is in USD and you bought EUR/USD at 1.09714, by the time the rate gets to 1.11278 you will make $1,564 profit if the size of your positions is 100,000 units.
Once you have the profit and loss values, you can easily use them to calculate the margin balance available on your trading account. You do not have to calculate all your trades manually as usually it is done automatically by the brokerage accounts. Nevertheless it is important to understand the calculations to structure your trading (it will help you to calculate the margin needed to hold a position depending on the leverage your trading account offers). By keeping all that in mind, you will manage your risks effectively and increase the profitability of your trading account.
Always look for additional resources so as not to put yourself in a situation when trading feels like a complicated math class. One essential assistance tool is the Forex trader calculator which will help you perform important calculations so as not to lose track of your trades. There are many types of calculators FX offers, so let us go through the main ones and understand how to use them.
Alpari lets you analyse your potential costs and trading results without actually executing an order. To make this happen you just need to use a trade calculator that is very simple to use.
It might seem difficult but it is not at all since all important calculations are performed automatically: all you have to do is to fill the fields regarding your interest. The amount of numbers can be overwhelming but there are so many tricks and tips all over the iInternet which will help you understand more clearly how to use FX calculators in order to visualize your goals and monetary fundamentals.