Forex is an abbreviated name for foreign exchange. The Forex trading market is an around-the-clock cash market where the currencies of nations are bought and sold, typically via brokers. For example, you buy Euros, paying with U.S. Dollars, or you sell Canadian Dollars for Japanese Yen. Forex trading market conditions can change at any moment in response to real-time events, such as political unrest or the rate of inflation. The purpose of this article is to give you an introduction to Forex trading.
Here are some of the unique features of Forex trading that attract private investors just like you:
Accessibility: The Forex trading market is open 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. You have non-stop online access to global Forex dealers through your home computer. This enables you to log in to your account and trade anytime, from anywhere.
Low margin requirements: Margin is referred to as the collateral needed to facilitate a deal. In Forex trading, this is usually a very small portion of the entire deal, say 1% or 1:100. For example, if your margin is $100 (1% of the entire Forex deal in this case), you could control $10,000 of currency contracts. However, margin is a double-edged sword. Without the proper use of risk management tools (that is, stop-loss and take-profit orders), you can experience substantial losses as well as gains.
Risk management tools: Essential for any successful Forex trading system, these tools include stop-loss and take-profit orders. A stop-loss order is a market order to close a Forex position if or when losses reach a pre-determined threshold. A take-profit order is a market order to close a Forex position if or when profits reach a pre-determined threshold.
Zero commission trading: Unlike equities or futures trading, you pay no commissions on the Forex deals that you make.
Liquidity: Forex is the most liquid market in the world, thus making it easy to trade most currencies.
Here are some more facts about Forex trading:
According to The Wall Street Journal Europe, the most actively traded currencies on the Forex trading market are the U.S. Dollar (USD), the Japanese Yen (JPY), the Euro (EUR), the British Pound (GPB), the Swiss Franc (CHF), the Canadian Dollar (CAD), and the Australian Dollar (AUD).
The most heavily traded currency pairs are the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen (USD/JPY), the Euro and the U.S. Dollar (EUR/USD), the U.S. Dollar and the Swiss Franc (USD/CHF), and the British Pound and the U.S. Dollar (GBP/USD).
Ten financial institutions account for nearly 73% of the total Forex trading market volume. The Top 10 most active traders include Deutsche Bank (17.0%), UBS (12.5%), Citigroup (7.5%), HSBC (6.4%), Barclays (5.9%), Merrill Lynch (5.7%), J. P. Morgan Chase (5.3%), Goldman Sachs (4.4%), ABN AMRO (4.2%), and Morgan Stanley (3.9%).
The five major Forex trading centers are London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, and Frankfurt. The three major Forex trading countries are the United Kingdom (32.4%), the United States (18.2%), and Japan (7.6%).
Forex traders generally plan their trading strategies around two types of Forex analysis: fundamental and technical.
A fundamental analysis uses economic and political factors, such as unemployment rates, interest rates, or inflation, as a means of predicting currency movements. Fundamental analysis is concerned with the reasons or causes for currency movements.
A technical analysis uses historical data as a means of predicting currency movements. The technical analyst believes that history repeats itself over and over again. Technical analysis is not concerned with the reasons for currency movements (for example, interest rates or inflation). Instead, it believes that historical currency movements are a clear indication of future ones.
Some Forex traders depend on fundamental analysis while others depend on technical analysis. However, many successful Forex traders use a combination of both strategies. However, the important point to remember here is that no one strategy or combination of strategies is 100% certain.
As with stocks and mutual funds, there is risk in Forex trading. The risk results from fluctuations in the currency exchange market. Investments with a low level of risk (for example, long-term government bonds) often have a low return. Investments with a higher level of risk (for example, Forex trading) can have a higher return. To achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals, you need to balance security and risk to the comfort level that works best for you.
Gregory DeVictor is a consultant who has been developing and marketing web sites since 1999. Through a series of videos and easy-to-understand Forex trading courses, you can receive the proper training needed to develop an effective Forex trading system at: http://www.forex-trading-system.name