Forex Basic
- What is Forex ?
- Forex History
- Forex vs Equity
- Margin & Leverage
- Risk Management
- Forex Calculation
- Forex Glossary
- Forex Tutorial (PDF)

CFD Basic
- What is CFD ?

Forex Strategy
- Technical Analysis
- Fundamental Analysis

Forex vs Equities and Futures


Foreign Exchange Trading Equities Trading Futures Trading
Typical Leverage* 1:100 to 1:500 1:2 1:15
Liquidity Daily Volume: $2.0 Trillion Limited Liquidity Limited Liquidity
Commissions No Commissions Commissions and Exchange Fees Commissions and Exchange Fees
Trading Activity 24 Hour Active Market 7 Hours/ Limited After Hours 7 Hours/ Limited After Hours

* Without proper risk management, the high degree of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.

The Forex market is a continuous 24-hour endeavor form its open at 2pm Sunday afternoon New York time with the Sydney-Auckland market until its close at 5pm Friday in New York. FX trading follows the day around the world: Tokyo's open at 9pm follows Sydney, London begins at 2am and finally New York takes over at 8am. The seamless 24 hour nature of the FX market gives the trader the unique experience of reacting to news and worldwide developments instantaneously, participating in real time in the largest trading market in the world.

Unlike the equity market, there is no restriction on short selling. Profit potential exists in the currency market regardless of whether a trader is long or short, or which way the market is moving. Since currency trading always involves buying one currency and selling another, there is no structural bias to the market. This means a trader has an equal potential to profit in a rising, or falling market.

The large Forex dealers usually do not charge commission or transaction fees to trade spot currencies exchange online or over the phone. In the equity market traders must pay a spread and a commission. The over-the counter structure of the forex market eliminates exchange and clearing fees, which in turn lowers transaction costs. Costs are further reduced by the efficiencies created by a purely electronic market place that allows clients to deal directly with the market maker, eliminating both ticket costs and middlemen. Because the currency market offers round-the-clock liquidity, traders receive tight, competitive spreads both intra-day and night. Equity traders are more vulnerable to liquidity risk and typically receive wider dealing spreads, especially during after hours trading.

Forex allows greater leverage* than the equities, futures or options market. Forex traders can choose up to 1:500 leverage*.

* Leverage is a double-edged sword. Without proper risk management this high degree of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.

The spot Forex market is a $2.0 trillion daily market, making it the largest and most liquid market in the world. This market can absorb trading volume and transaction sizes that dwarf the capacity of any other market. If you compare this to the $30 billion per day futures market it becomes clear that the futures markets provide only limited liquidity. The market is always liquid, meaning positions can be liquidated and stop orders executed without slippage.


More Reasons to Like Forex

No Middlemen
Centralized exchanges provide many advantages to the trader. However, one of the problems with any centralized exchange is the involvement of middlemen. Any party located in between the trader and the buyer or seller of the security or instrument traded will cost them money. The cost can be either in time or in fees. Spot currency trading does away with the middlemen and allows clients to interact directly with the market-maker responsible for the pricing on a particular currency pair. Forex traders get quicker access and cheaper costs.

Buy/Sell programs do not control the market
How many times have you heard that "fund A" was selling "X" or buying "Z"? Rumor had it that the funds were taking profits because of the end of the financial year or because today is "triple witching day", all as an explanation of why this stock is up or the market in general is down or positive on the session. The stock market is very susceptible to large fund buying and selling, and it's not uncommon for a fund to run a particular issue for a few days. In spot currency trading, the liquidity of the Forex market makes the likelihood of any one fund or bank to control a particular currency very slim. Banks, hedge funds, governments, retail currency conversion houses and large net-worth individuals are just some of the participates in the spot currency markets where the liquidity is unprecedented.

Analysts and brokerage firms are less likely to influence the market
Have you watched TV lately? Heard about a certain Internet stock and an analyst of a prestigious brokerage firm accused of keeping its recommendations, such as "buy" when the stock was rapidly declining? It is the nature of these relationships. No matter what the government does to step in and discourage this type of activity, we have not heard the last of it. IPO's are big business for both the companies going public and the brokerage houses. Relationships are mutually beneficial and analysts work for the brokerage houses that need the companies as clients. That catch-22 will never disappear. Foreign exchange, as the prime market, generates billions in revenue for the world's banks and is a necessity of the global markets. Analysts in foreign exchange don't drive the deal flow, they just analyze the forex market.

8,000 stocks versus 4 major currency pairs
There are approximately 4,500 stocks listed on the New York Stock exchange. Another 3,500 are listed on the NASDAQ. Which one will you trade? Got the time to stay on top of so many companies? In spot currency trading, you have 4 major markets, 24 hours a day 5.5 days a week. Concentrate on the majors and find your trade.

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