What is Forex?
Forex, also known as foreign exchange, FX or currency trading, is a decentralized global market where all the world's currencies trade. The forex market is the largest, most liquid market in the world with an average daily trading volume exceeding $5 trillion. There is no central exchange as it trades over the counter. Forex trading allows you to buy and sell currencies, similar to stock trading except you can do it 24 hours a day, five days a week, you have access to margin trading, and you gain exposure to international markets.
Why Trade Forex?
Online Forex trading has become very popular in the past decade.
FOREX NEVER SLEEPS
Trading goes on all around the world during different countries' business hours. You can, therefore, trade major currencies at any time, 24 hours per day, five days per week. Since there are no set exchange hours, it means that there is also something happening at almost any time of the day or night.1
GO LONG OR SHORT
Unlike many other financial markets, where it can be difficult to sell short, there are no limitations on shorting currencies subject to available liquidity. If you think a currency will go up, buy it. If you think it will fall, sell it. This means there is no such thing as a "bear market" in Forex—you can make (or lose) money any time.
Because of the deep liquidity available in the Forex market, you can trade Forex with considerable leverage (up to 50:1). This can allow you to trade even the smallest moves in the market. Leverage is a double-edged sword, of course, as it can significantly increase your losses as well as your gains.
Because Forex is a $5.3 trillion-a-day market, with most trading concentrated in only a few currencies, there are always a lot of people trading. This makes it typically very easy to get into and out of trades at any time, even in large sizes subject to available liquidity.
LOW TRADING COST
Standard accounts are made up of low, competitive commissions and super-tight spreads. You trade the direct quotes from our liquidity providers with no hidden markups. For beginners, FXCM also offers a Mini account with all-inclusive spreads.2
As the world becomes more and more global, investors hunt for opportunities anywhere they can. If you want to take a broad opinion and invest in another country (or sell it short!), forex is a way to gain exposure while avoiding vagaries such as foreign securities laws and financial statements in other languages.