FOREX stands for Foreign Exchange and it stems from the international financial market. That is, the Forex market, the place where currencies of different countries are bought and sold in a similar manner to the buying and selling of share market in the ASX, Australian Stock Exchange.
Forex market started in the 1970’s and that is when floating of currencies and free exchange rates began. Like share prices, it is the people who traded in the Forex market that affects the prices of the currencies traded in accordance to the law of supply and demand. Hence, if the market force dictates, e.g. if the US Federal Reserve decides to raise interest rates to curb inflation while Australia Reserve Bank have the interest rate on hold, that should stimulate a change in exchange rate. One should therefore see interest rate effect with the US $ worth more in value than AUD when this happens.
The amount of money traded daily in the Forex market is uniquely enormous. The rate of exchange makes Forex the single most liquid financial market with currency traded amounting from 1 to 1.5 trillion US dollars per day. Owing to this enormity, it is not possible for the Forex market to be manipulated externally. Hence, no single trader or even any financial institution trading in it has the wealth to influence the price of any currency in its favour.
The Forex is so fluid and so much exchange at such a fast pace that it is just impossible for anyone to affect the market of any one major currency. The sheer liquidity of the Forex market with so many exchange taking place, enable the traders to open and close position within seconds. This is because there are always willing buyers and sellers available at any one time since the collective exchange of the various world Forex centers is considered open for 24 hours as it spans across different time zone.
Forex is naturally unique compared to the stock market which is normally associated with long term investments. In currency trade, a minute change in prices of a currency generate situation that permits investors to apply all sorts of strategies to their advantage. However, there are also long term hedge investors involved in Forex and also short term investors that make use of credit lines to seek large gains over a short period.
HOW FOREX WORKS
Unlike NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) or ASX (Australian Stock Exchange), there is no central marketplace for Forex. Instead the exchange takes place over the counter 5 days a week on a 24 hour basis, via satellite, among major financial centers in London, Paris, Tokyo, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Singapore and Zurich. Dealers, including online ones, around the globe are always available to quote any major currency.
Marginal trading is like using a credit card and it is like borrowing money to trade currency. This encourages investors to take additional risk by opening a bigger trading position with less out-of-the pocket money and relying more on borrowed capital that is provided by the brokering company.
Marginal trading in the Forex market is traded in lots of which 1 lot is about 100,000 of unit currency. The margin requires to hold that $100,000 position is 1.0% of $100,000 and that is equivalent to a personal capital outlay of $1000 (i.e. taken from 100,000 x 0.01) while the balance of $99,000 is covered by the broker.
If the currency traded increases in value you make the difference when you close your trading position. You capital outlay and profit gained minus any transaction cost from the trade are credited into your margin account.
INVESTMENT STRATEGIES: TECHNICAL & FUNDAMENTAL ANALYSIS
Of course, one cannot just trade without any knowledge of the currency market. To be successful in Forex trading one has to be analytical and this is what all experts do. They do what we call Technical and Fundamental Analysis.
Technical analysis is associated with studying data gathered on all the fluctuations of the various currency prices over time. From the data, chart patterns are formed and movement of the currency prices can be observed for trading decisions to be made.
The behaviour patterns of each currency prices are the reflection of all factors in the market place such as an event, overbought and oversold situation, interest rates, etc. Most of these patterns in chart forms are instantly provided by the brokerage firm you trade from.
Fundamental analysis is an event based analysis like political situation, rumours, economy, interest rate setting by central or reserve bank of the country concern, news on tax policy, GDP, country’s economic performance, political unrest, natural disaster, employment or unemployment figure announcement, etc. Value of a currency can also be influenced by expectation, anticipations and perceptions of the participants in Forex trading, i.e. it could be driven by sentiment of these Forex participants.
MAKE MONEY WITH CURRENCY ON FOREX
To profit out of Forext tading one need sheer diligence and trading experience and getting familiar with Technical and Fundamental analysis to place once trade. Anyone who participates in it should have equal opportunity since it is one market that is so liquid and rapid moving that it is impossible to be influenced by anyone person or fund management.