What is FOREX?

FOREX — the foreign exchange market or currency market or Forex is the market where one currency is traded for another. It is one of the largest markets in the world.

Some of the participants in this market are simply seeking to exchange a foreign currency for their own, like multinational corporations which must pay wages and other expenses in different nations than they sell products in. However, a large part of the market is made up of currency traders, who speculate on movements in exchange rates, much like others would speculate on movements of stock prices. Currency traders try to take advantage of even small fluctuations in exchange rates.

In the foreign exchange market there is little or no 'inside information'. Exchange rate fluctuations are usually caused by actual monetary flows as well as anticipations on global macroeconomic conditions. Significant news is released publicly so, at least in theory, everyone in the world receives the same news at the same time.

Currencies are traded against one another. Each pair of currencies thus constitutes an individual product and is traditionally noted XXX/YYY, where YYY is the ISO 4217 international three-letter code of the currency into which the price of one unit of XXX currency is expressed. For instance, EUR/USD is the price of the euro expressed in US dollars, as in 1 euro = 1.2045 dollar.

Unlike stocks and futures exchange, foreign exchange is indeed an interbank, over-the-counter (OTC) market which means there is no single universal exchange for specific currency pair. The foreign exchange market operates 24 hours per day throughout the week between individuals withForex Brokers, brokers with banks, and banks with banks. If the European session is ended the Asian session or US session will start, so all world currencies can be continually in trade. Traders can react to news when it breaks, rather than waiting for the market to open, as is the case with most other markets.
Average daily international foreign exchange trading volume was $4.0 trillion in April 2010 according to the BIS triennial report.

Like any market there is a bid/offer spread (difference between buying price and selling price). On major currency crosses, the difference between the price at which a market maker will sell ("ask", or "offer") to a wholesale customer and the price at which the same market-maker will buy ("bid") from the same wholesale customer is minimal, usually only 1 or 2 pips. In the EUR/USD price of 1.4238 a pip would be the '8' at the end. So the bid/ask quote of EUR/USD might be 1.4238/1.4239.

This, of course, does not apply to retail customers. Most individual currency speculators will trade using a broker which will typically have a spread marked up to say 3-20 pips (so in our example 1.4237/1.4239 or 1.423/1.425). The broker will give their clients often huge amounts of margin, thereby facilitating clients spending more money on the bid/ask spread. The brokers are not regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (since they do not sell securities), so they are not bound by the same margin limits as stock brokerages. They do not typically charge margin interest, however since currency trades must be settled in 2 days, they will "resettle" open positions (again collecting the bid/ask spread).

Individual currency speculators can work during the day and trade in the evenings, taking advantage of the market's 24 hours long trading day.

Hope this helps and good Luck!

Is forex trading for you? Well, the fairest way to answer that is by explaining the basics of foreign exchange trading to you.

First things first, the Forex is a market on which the currency of one country is "compared" to the currency of another country in order to determine a value. This value is what you will be trading.

The forex, or foreign exchange market is open and available for trading 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. This gives the currency trading markets a distinct advantage over all other financial markets available to investors.

Also, the size of the forex absolutely dwarfs all other financial markets combined. This massive size creates unique advantages over all other trading tools.

According to most forex brokers, all stop orders (with few exceptions) will be filled at their entered price. In trading terms this means no slippage. I can't even begin to put a value on this feature.

Due to this quality you can have orders filled of up to $20 million of currency at the market price. Again, an almost unnatural feature when compared to other trading markets.

A more advanced feature is the ability to sell short with no regulations. Ok, technically you are never selling currency short, but I won't get into that in this article.

What this means is that, if at any time you believe the value of a currency is going to decrease, you will be able to take act on your hunch without delay.

Another one of a kind characteristic of the forex market is it's amazingly accurate technical analysis. Like all other financial trading tools, the forex market has all of its' "stocks charted". This is no big surprise, or advantage.

However, unlike other tools, all points on a chart in the forex are based on the bid price. So why does this matter to you? Because this means that the spread is not factored into the chart price. This leads to a much more accurate and readable chart.

In fact, the spread is constant on all forex currency pairs. Some have spreads as low as 2 pips and others as high as 10 or even more. However, they remain constant with almost all forex brokers and forex banks. This is yet another reason to look at the forex markets!

The forex trade is something that millions of people are beginning to investigate as one of many streams of income. Many people still have not considered this option when choosing investment options, as they feel it is too risky. Well to be frank, the forex trade is a risky business, but if you know the techniques and strategies involved, you can significantly decrease your risk and start making money from forex trading.

To get started in the forex trade, the first thing you need to do is get yourself motivated, because you will spend a fair amount of time reading, learning and understanding new concepts. However, there are so many places online these days where you can get tons of information via seminars, ebooks, forums, and special offer packages.

The main part of the forex trade is to accurately guess the next exchange rate trend and then choose whether or not you can make money off of it by buying or selling. Obviously, there is much more detail involved, like how to read and analyze charts, and how to study the patterns that they produce.

With the forex trade becoming so common, it is now possible for anyone to learn the strategies and techniques, and make money. There are specific margins that you have to understand and other technical financial jargon. If you are not up for this, then you could always get a forex broker to do your investing for you. The downside of using a broker, obviously, is that you have to trust the decisions of your broker.

It is also important to understand that the methods designed to succeed in the forex trade are not fool proof. As with any investment vehicle, it is an inconsistent business where anything can happen: you might win some one day, and lose some the next. Remember no strategy or software is perfect, nor can they always predict the exact market fluctuations all of the time.

Luckily, the forex trade is so popular now that there are many resources available where you can study and improve your chances of making a successful investment. Many online sites offer free advice, and Forex themselves offer a full study guide that is great for learning at your own pace, on your own time. Every last detail of Forex is explained, as they want to make sure that new forex investors are fully educated.

The Forex trade is definitely a viable new avenue for creating a stream of income. If you are interested, make sure you research it properly before jumping right in. With all of the information out there to help you, why not make use of it to improve your chances for success?