A Trader's Dream?
By Greg Hodges
If I told you there was a market much larger than the New York Stock Exchange, where you have the potential to double your money in hours -- with limited risk -- youd probably think I was trying to sell you something. If it sounds too good to be true.it probably is kinda thing. But if you are a trader, you must at least in- vestigate the markets.
What is the Forex?
Forex is an acronym for "foreign exchange," and involves trading pairs of currencies, i.e., buying one currency and selling the other in a single transaction. For example, USD/JPY is buy US dollar/sell Japanese yen. In this case, you expect the dollar to appreciate versus the yen, the yen to depreciate against the dollar, or both.
The foreign exchange market is gigantic: over $1.5 trillion in daily trades, with national banks such as the Bank of Japan, money center banks such as Citicorp and large pension plans and hedge funds being the major players. It's mainly the larger currencies that are involved, together with the US dollar. While there are several currency pairs that offer good opportunities, these four are the most widely traded: Euro/US dollar (EUR/USD), US dollar/Swiss franc (USD/CHF), US Dollar/Japanese yen (USD/JPY), British pound/US dollar (GBP/USD)?
Why Trade Forex?
There are plenty of good reasons to trade Forex, and if you have experience trading stocks or futures, you have a definite edge over the crowd. Let's take a look at why you should consider this market:
Incredibly, you get can 200:1 leverage on pairs. In a mini account, $50 controls a $10,000 position! $500 controls a $100,000 position. This obviously means potentially huge profits. But what about the risk?
With Forex, your stops are always honored, even on gaps. If you have a position on into the weekend and it gaps against you Sunday night, you will be filled at your stop price -- provided you have a stop in place. Plus, if your account should go to 0.00, your broker will automatically close out trading, so you can't possibly lose more than your margin deposit. If you've ever had a maintenance call from a broker, you'll appreciate this.
If you just can't get enough trading out of your system during regular NYSE trading
hours, you'll love the fact the trades 24 hours a day, from the beginning of the Japanese session Sunday evening about 8 PM EST to the end of the US session on Friday at 4:00 or 5:00 PM EST. European bourses open at 3:00 AM EST, and the US session opens at 9:30 AM EST. The slowest periods are between 4:00 PM EST and 8:00 PM EST, between the end of the US session and the beginning of the Asian markets.
No Commissions/Low transaction costs
There's no question but that stock commissions have come down a lot, but with Forex, there is no commission -- your fee is the dealer spread. The spreads are small, usually about 4-5 PIPs. On a mini account, that's $4-$5.
Tremendous Upside Potential -- And Fast
Because of the incredibly high leverage, you have the potential to double your investment quite rapidly -- in hours even. I'll show you a trade shortly to make this point.
Low Capital Requirements
many brokers will let you open an account with $2000, and you can even open a mini account for a few hundred dollars. This obviously is substantially less than the $25,000 requirement for day traders. Mini trades can be put on for as little as $50.
No Bull or Bear Markets
With stocks, 70% of the move is due to the market, so if the market isn't moving, it's harder to find good stocks to trade. Not so with Forex, as the many combinations available mean there is always some currency pair moving.
No Restrictions on Selling Short
Shorting stocks has always been a little tricky, with the up tick rule and now that bullets are gone, life just got tougher. In the market, there are no restrictions on selling short.
Low Correlation with Equities
As with most commodities, currencies have a very low correlation with equities and fits in nicely with the concept of portfolio risk reduction.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that trading should be considered for the above reasons. However, one must consider that most country governments take an active interest in manipulating their currencies and using technical analysis might be less reliable due to the large part that domestic and international politics play in price movements. Oh well, nothing is perfect-particularly in the world of finance and investing.
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