Saturday, December 1, 2007

What is Forex?

Forex (Foreign Exchange, Forex currency exchange) simply means the buying of one currency and selling another at the same time. In other words, the currency of one country is exchanged for those of another. The currencies of the world are on a floating exchange rate, and are always traded in pairs Euro/Dollar, Dollar/Yen, etc. In excess of 85 percent of all daily transactions involve trading of the major currencies.

Four major currency pairs are usually used for investment purposes. They are: Euro against US dollar, US dollar against Japanese yen, British pound against US dollar, and US dollar against Swiss franc. The following notation is used for these currency pairs: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and USD/CHF. You may consider them as "blue chips" of the FOREX market. No dividends are paid on currencies. The investment profits come from well known "buy low - sell high".

If you think one currency will appreciate against another, you may exchange that second currency for the first one and stay in it. In case everything goes as planned, some time later you may make the opposite deal - exchange this first currency back for that other - and collect profits.

Transactions on the FOREX market are fulfilled by dealers at major banks or FOREX brokerage companies. FOREX is the world wide market, so when you are sleeping in the North America some dealers in Europe are trading currencies with their Japanese counterparties. Therefore the FOREX market is active 24 hours a day and dealers at major institutions are working in three shifts. Clients may place take-profit and stop-loss orders with brokers for overnight execution.

Price movements on the FOREX market are very smooth and without gaps that you face almost every morning on the stock market. The daily turnover on the FOREX market is about $1.2 trillion, so investor can enter and exit position without problems. The fact is that the FOREX market never stops, even on the day of September-11, 2001 you could obtain two-side quotes on currencies.

The currency foreign exchange market is the largest and oldest financial market in the world. It is also called the foreign exchange market, or "FOREX" or "FX" market for short. It is the biggest and most liquid market in the world, and it is traded mainly through the 24 hour-a-day inter-bank currency market - the primary market for currencies. The forex market is a cash (or "spot") inter-bank market. By comparison, the currency futures market is only one per cent as big.

Unlike the futures and stock markets, trading of currencies is not centralized on an exchange. Forex literally follows the sun around the world. Trading moves from major banking centers of the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand, to the Far East, to Europe and finally back to the U.S.

In the past, the forex inter-bank market was not available to small speculators due to the large minimum transaction sizes and often-stringent financial requirements. Banks, major currency dealers and the occasional huge speculator used to be the principal dealers. Only they were able to take advantage of the currency market's fantastic liquidity and strong trending nature of many of the world's primary currency exchange rates.

Today, foreign exchange market maker brokers such as FX Solutions are able to break down the larger sized inter-bank units, and offer small traders the opportunity to buy or sell any number of these smaller units (lots).

These brokers give virtually any size trader, including individual speculators or smaller companies, the option to trade the same rates and price movements as the large players who once dominated the market. Market makers quote buying and selling rates for currencies, and they profit on the difference between their buying and selling rates.

Forex is the acronym for Foreign Exchange Market. This is the biggest and most liquid market of the entire world today. One to three trillion dollars exchange hands at Forex every day. That’s a huge amount of money. No stock market exchange of any country come close to this.

This market is huge. It is a sea of money full of sharks and dangerous waters, but it is also the only market where you at least hypothetically can make $1,000,000 in two weeks starting with only $1,000.

I say hypothetically because what happens often is that people blindly gamble their money at Forex without knowing anything about it and they lose their shirt. That’s why I say to you: be careful! This market is profitable, but you need to learn the basics well, do your homework and demo trade a lot.

Just remember that 95% of traders lose money, 5% make it and less than 1% become rich at Forex. The nice thing about this market is that you can make money without creating any product or service, selling anything, nor advertising. You just trade some cash and get paid depending on your knowledge and expertise.

This is the market where banks, transactional corporations and individual traders exchange one currency for another. I am talking about the spot Forex market. You can trade at huge leverage as much as 400 to 1, meaning that for every dollar that you have for trading you can trade 400. For example if you have $1,000 on your account you can trade as much as $400,000.

This is dangerous. Most experienced traders won’t use such a high leverage. In the other hand, high leverage can be good if you learn how to use it in your favor. Anyway, that’s enough for the basics. If you want to learn more about how this market emerged, its history and so, then read my other articles.

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