What Is Forex and How Does It Work? The Ultimate 2024 Guide
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    what is forex

    What Is Forex and How Does It Work? The Ultimate 2024 Guide

    You have probably faced the questions “What is forex,” “What is forex trading,” and “How does forex work?” in recent years. The fact of the matter is that during the past decade, financial markets, and forex especially, have gained a lot of popularity due to their flexible nature, low initial capital requirements, and growth potential.

    The foreign exchange market, also known as FX or forex, is a decentralized global market for trading currency pairs. It is the most liquid financial market in the world, with a daily trading volume of several billion dollars.

    Over the years, the forex market has had its fair share of changes, which has in turn revolutionized the dynamics of this market, including forex trading. The ever-evolving technological advances and changes in rules and regulations have made forex a train everybody wants to hop on.

    That is why we will discuss everything about forex in this blog post from ITBFX. What is forex trading, and how does it work? How does forex help people exchange currency? All in all, what is forex about? Stay tuned if you’re interested in finding the answer to these questions.

    What Is Forex and Why Is it the Largest, Most Liquid Financial Market?

    The foreign exchange market (forex or FX for short) is a global decentralized marketplace for trading currencies. With a daily trading volume of more than 7.7 trillion dollars, forex is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world.

    One of the most appealing features of the forex market is its decentralized nature, meaning no governing authority oversees it. Instead, the foreign exchange market consists of an electronic network of brokers, institutional investors, and individual traders who are regulated by jurisdictional regulatory bodies.

    This decentralization also causes the currency exchange rates to be determined by market forces, such as supply and demand, rather than governments and central authorities.

    Forex traders look to profit from fluctuations in currency exchange rates. These trades consist of buying one currency and selling another at the same time. In this market, all trades are conducted electronically and over the counter (OTC). This means that all forex transactions are completed via computer networks and without the presence of any centralized currency exchange.

    With major financial time zones working around the clock, forex trading has become abundantly available for people worldwide. This market operates 24 hours a day, 5.5 days a week and is open from Sunday evening until Friday night.

    what is forex market
    what is forex market

    Operating in large financial centers such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Frankfort, Zurich, London, NY, Paris, Singapore, and Sydney allows the forex market to be active at any time, with prices changing constantly. This constant state of activity enables traders to benefit from the change of prices in the market without having any central physical location.

    As for traders, forex trading involves using analysis techniques, such as technical and fundamental analysis, to find the best entry and exit points in the market.

    In addition to trading forex to gain profits, many companies, institutions, and individuals use the forex market to exchange currencies and settle their transactions. Moreover, this market has proved to be beneficial for hedging purposes, which help traders counterbalance their losses by opening opposing positions.

    Currency Trading: The Cogs in the Forex Machine

    As mentioned before, the main job of the forex market is to facilitate the currency exchange process. Because of this reason, it’s essential to know that currencies are exchanged in pairs, which are called currency pairs. In this section, we will learn about currency pairs, their types, and how they can help you gain money when trading forex.

    What Is a Currency Pair?

    A currency pair is the combination of two different currencies, with the value of one being quoted against the value of the other. The currencies within a pair are assigned a three-letter ISO code, which gives every currency a combination of three letters to be identified with. For example, the US dollar is shown in USD, while the Pound Sterling is displayed in GBP.

    Each currency pair has a base currency and a quote currency. The first currency listed within each pair (the one on the left) is the base currency, and the one on the right is the quote currency. It’s important to know that the base currency is quoted against the quote currency. For instance, the US Dollar is the base currency in the US Dollar against the Japanese Yen (USD/JPY) pair, while the Japanese Yen is the quote currency.

    Each currency pair has a rate associated with it, which is used to compare the value of currencies. This rate is called the currency exchange rate and determines how much of the quote currency you need to purchase one unit of the base currency. For instance, if the exchange rate associated with the USD/JPY pair is 157.20, you need ¥157.20 to purchase $1. In other words, $100 equals ¥15720.

    When looking at the exchange rates of different currencies, you usually see two rates assigned to each pair. These two rates are called the bid and ask prices. The ask price, or offer price, is the price that the seller of a currency is willing and able to sell it for. Simultaneously, the bid price is the amount of money a buyer is willing and able to pay for a currency pair. Simply put, the ask price is the price you pay the broker to purchase a pair, while the bid price is the price the broker pays you to buy it. The difference between these prices is what we call “spread” which acts as an integral trading cost, with “tighter” spreads being more appealing to investors. Familiarizing yourself with the concepts of bid and ask prices and spread is crucial when trading currencies.

    When trading currencies in forex, you buy one currency and sell another simultaneously. While this process includes trading two different instruments, each currency pair is considered one singular unit that could be bought or sold. If you decide to sell a currency pair, you are selling the base currency and buying the quote currency in return. Conversely, when purchasing a currency pair, you buy the base currency and simultaneously sell the quote currency.

    Based on their trading volume, currency pairs are divided into three categories: major currency pairs, minor currency pairs or crosses, and exotic currency pairs.

    Major Currency Pairs

    There are many currencies, and consequently many currency pairs, in the world. While it’s hard to categorize them based on their exchange rates, which are ever-changing, you can easily classify these pairs based on their trading volume.

    Currency pairs with the most trade volume against the US dollar are called major currency pairs. This makes sense, as the US dollar is present in almost 88% of all forex trades.

    For example, the EUR/USD pair is the most liquid currency pair, having the heaviest trading volume globally. As aforementioned, the exchange rate of each currency pair shows how much of the quote currency you need to purchase one unit of the base currency. So, if the exchange rate of this pair is 1.0850, it means that you need $1.0850 to buy €1.

    Below, you can see a list of well-known major currency pairs.

    • EUR/USD
    • USD/JPY
    • GBP/USD
    • USD/CHF
    • AUD/USD
    • USD/CAD

    Minor Currency Pairs (Crosses)

    Pairs that are not associated with the US dollar, but still have a considerable trade volume are called minor currency pairs or crosses. While these pairs usually have a wider spread, they are still incredibly liquid.

    When looking at crosses, we will see that the individual currencies within these pairs are usually found in major pairs as well.

    Among the most popular minor currency pairs, the ones below can be seen:

    • EUR/GBP
    • EUR/JPY
    • GBP/JPY
    • GBP/CAD
    • CHF/JPY
    • EUR/AUD
    • NZD/JPY

    Exotic Currency Pairs

    Lastly, we have exotic pairs, which comprise currencies of emerging markets and weaker economies. These pairs are not as liquid as major or minor currency pairs and have the widest spread among all currency pairs.

    Due to their considerable rate fluctuations, exotic currency pairs have become a popular way of gaining significant profits from trading forex. On the flipside though, these significant fluctuations make trading exotic currency pairs a risky endeavor. Because of this, you should definitely weigh your options and consider your risk tolerance before investing in them.

    Some exotic currency pairs include:

    • USD/CZK (US Dollar/Czech Republic Koruna)
    • USD/HUF (US Dollar/ Hungarian Forint)
    • EUR/CZK (Euro/Czech Republic Koruna)
    • EUR/HUF (Euro/Hungarian Forint)
    • AUD/NOK (Australian Dollar/Norwegian Krone)
    • CAD/SGD (Canadian Dollar/Singapore Dollar)
    • CHF/SEK (Swiss Franc/Swedish Krona)

    How Has the Forex Market Changed Over the Years?

    Having learned the basics of forex trading, it’s a good idea to study the market’s history and background as well. Doing so will help us understand the importance of staying up-to-date with the most recent forex news, ensuring we are aware of all the good features we could incorporate into our trading.

    The earliest days of forex trading go back to the 19th century. However, back then, FX looked very different from what it is now. In the early days, forex was a strictly exclusive market, mostly used by banks, multinational corporations, and governments who needed to exchange currencies for international trade purposes. While there are many financial institutions that still use forex for the same reason, the market has grown a lot and turned into an inclusive, fast-paced, and digital place where anyone can make money.

    Forex Trading in the 1970s

    For a long time, forex trading remained an exclusive marketplace in which only the economy’s “big boys” could participate. However, in the 1970s, changes began to occur. After President Nixon announced the convertibility of the US dollar to gold, the Bretton Woods system collapsed, and the free-floating exchange rate era began. This began the modernization of the forex market, which only continued in the years to come.

    Forex Trading in the 1980s

    Then, in the 1980s, computer-based trading systems were introduced, which allowed investors to trade currencies electronically. This marked the digital revolution of forex trading, enhancing market efficiency and lowering transaction costs. Traders had more and better opportunities to exchange currencies.

    Forex Trading in the 1990s

    As the years passed, the 1990s was the first time retail traders joined the forex market. This opportunity was provided due to technological advancements and regulatory changes. Online brokers started developing user-friendly platforms for retail traders who had just entered this previously exclusive market.

    In addition, Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs) were introduced in the 1990s, providing transparent and efficient ways for retail traders to participate directly in the interbank markets. This led to tighter spreads and faster trade executions, which caused more competitive pricing and better transparency in financial institutes.

    Forex Trading in the 2000s

    Following the newfound inclusivity of the 1990s, the 2000s was an era when forex trading became more accessible. During this era, the market worked 24 hours a day, as more time zones were covered.

    In the 2000s, algorithm trading systems were introduced, which automated forex trading to some extent. This led to increased market efficiency and liquidity, strengthening the pre-existing results from introducing High-Frequency Trading (HFT). High-frequency trading enabled investors to partake in microsecond trades, which, as mentioned before, increased market liquidity.

    Forex Trading in the 2010s

    The 2010s marked the beginning of mobile trading apps, which aimed to increase efficiency, accessibility, and convenience in forex trading. Traders could use these apps for order execution, market monitoring, and accessing numerous educational resources on their phone screens. This led to a flexible trading environment, which made forex trading even more appealing.

    Social trading platforms were also introduced in the 2010s, helping inexperienced traders learn from professionals and copy their techniques and strategies to potentially earn money. This brought a sense of community and knowledge-sharing to the forex market.

    The regulatory rules and laws also got stricter during the 2010s, protecting retail traders and ensuring fair trading and transparency in the market.

    Forex Trading in the 2020s

    Forex trading seems to continue improving in the current decade. It is becoming more appealing, converting more non-traders to traders. After the introduction of the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, forex trading gained new dimensions. Brokers began offering crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat pairs, diversifying investors’ trading options.

    and crypto-to-fiat pairs, diversifying investors’ trading options.
    In addition, AI and machine learning are now being heavily integrated into our trading systems, helping with data analysis and price predictions. These technologies have revolutionized trading strategies and risk management, as they help traders make decisions without any human emotions.

    Lastly, there have been projects regarding sustainable and ethical trading, raising awareness about the global impact of the forex market. As a result, trading parties consistently consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Turning forex trading into a sustainable practice helps enhance the market’s appeal to different niches of people.

    Although forex trading has come a long way and improved significantly, this market continues to show potential for growth to further revolutionize our monetary system.

    What Are the Three Types of Forex Markets?

    Generally, there are three forex markets to trade on: the forex spots market, the forex forward market, and the forex futures market. The main difference between these markets is their contract types, which are different in delivery time and standardization state. In the upcoming section, we will review these three forex market types.

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    In the spot market, trades are quickly settled, and instruments or funds are delivered instantly after the execution. These markets are extremely time-efficient and have a fast process period, leading to cash payments going through quickly. As a result, many refer to the forex spot market as the cash market.

    Trades are executed on the spot market according to the spot rate, the price previously determined for the transaction. After executing a trade in the forex spot market, funds are sent quickly, taking up to 48 hours to settle the trade.

    The forex spot market can be helpful for investors in many ways. For instance, one of the main reasons people trade in this market is to profit from short-term price fluctuations. Basically, they try to buy pairs cheaper to sell them at a higher rate to make profits.

    What is the Forex Forward Market?

    Next Is the forex forward market. In this market, forward contracts are traded. For those who don’t know what a forward contract is, it’s a legal agreement indicating the future trade of an instrument at a predetermined date and price.

    For example, say you’re entering a forward contract for the EUR/GBP currency pair. Currently, the exchange rate of this currency pair is 0.8500. However, you believe that it will drop to 0.7545 in August. You enter a forward contract to sell €100 for £80 on August 25th. When August 25th comes around, it doesn’t matter if the exchange rate of the EUR/GBP pair is 0.7500 or 0.9500. You will sell a hundred Euros for 80 Pounds, because your predetermined rate (0.8000) is the forward rate you have set for your contract.

    Forward contracts could be used as a hedging tool to manage trades and decrease risks. These contracts include private, over-the-counter transactions, meaning they’re not standardized. You could negotiate the terms with your counterparty when trading a non-standardized contract. Many forex forward traders find this feature appealing.

    However, there are some downsides to forex forward contracts as well. To trade these contracts, you should consider the risks of your counterparty. On top of that, this market has a limited secondary market and liquidity compared to the forex spot market. For these reasons, it’s essential to thoroughly understand the concept of forward contracts before entering trades.

    What Is the Forex Futures Market?

    There is also a forex futures market on which futures contracts are traded. Similar to forward contracts, futures contracts are agreements for trading instruments at a predetermined price and date in the future. The only difference between them and forward contracts is their standardized nature.

    Unlike forward contracts, the exchange or broker you’re trading on standardizes futures contracts. This standardization sets benchmarks for the quality and price of the contract so that trades are better facilitated. The clearing mechanisms of the trade are also standardized and determined in a futures contract.

    The forex futures market is highly liquid and vastly accessible. Moreover, you can use leverage and partake in margin trading in this market. The price transparency offered by the forex futures market makes it easier to manage your risks.

    It is important to consider the risks associated with using leverage when trading futures. The best way to protect yourself is to define a clear and practical risk management strategy before starting forex trading.

    Forex Regulation: Is Trading Forex Safe?

    As mentioned before, the foreign exchange market is decentralized, with no singular regulatory body or governing authority observing its activities. However, jurisdictional regulatory firms supervise trading activities in the forex market and help facilitate trading by preventing fraudulent activities. Some of the most important forex regulators in the world include:

    • Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Australian Securities & Investments Commission
    • Financial Commission Regulation
    • Financial Conduct Authority
    • Vanuatu Financial Services Commission
    • Financial Supervision Commission
    • Malta Financial Services Authority
    • International Financial Services Commission

    These forex regulators mostly monitor the activities of forex brokers rather than the forex market as a whole. They ensure that brokers are registered and licensed with them and undergo audits regularly. They also set rules for brokers to clearly communicate specific changes with their clients.

    Pros and Cons of Forex Trading

    Like any other financial market, forex trading has pros and cons. Before trading forex, it’s important to learn about these advantages and drawbacks and carefully consider them. That’s why this section is dedicated to the pros and cons of forex trading so you can see whether currency trading is worth it or not.

    Pros of Trading Forex

    • Accessibility: With recent technological advances, especially after the resurgence of COVID-19, forex trading has become a common practice that anybody can partake in. You only need initial capital and a mobile phone, tablet, or computer to start trading. However, don’t forget to educate yourself to increase your chances of making a profit beforehand.
    • Leverage and Margin Trading: Forex trading allows investors to benefit from margin trading, which involves borrowing capital from a forex broker to increase market exposure and hopefully enhance gains.
    • Liquidity: As mentioned, the foreign exchange market is the most liquid financial market. With a daily trading volume of more than 7 trillion dollars, forex is an active market worth exploring.
    • Fast Returns: Not only is the forex market extremely liquid, but it’s also working around the clock. This makes the FX market extraordinarily active and in high demand. These features, along with the high frequency of trades, make it easy to gain returns fast, which is ideal for investors.
    • Lowered Insider Price Manipulation: Due to its decentralized nature and other factors, the forex market is highly efficient, meaning it’s not as prone to insider price manipulations as other markets.

    Cons of Trading Forex

    Despite the great qualities and advantages of forex trading, this market has its own flaws, leaving room for improvement. In this section, we will discuss some of these flaws so you can consider them before starting to trade forex.

    • Extreme Volatility: The forex market can be extremely volatile and fast. Significant price changes are not uncommon in this market. Although instruments such as major currency pairs have rather steady prices, there can be considerable fluctuations in other pairs, causing traders hefty losses. Hence, it’s important to consider your risk tolerance and completely educate yourself on the market before entering a trade.
    • Less Regulatory Supervision: Many choose trading forex because it’s a decentralized market that central governing authorities cannot control. However, this lack of supervision can lead to a shortage of rules and regulations, putting investors at risk.
    • Complexity: Trading forex successfully is a complex concept that requires a great deal of time and effort. Traders spend hours familiarizing themselves with terms and strategies, learning fundamental and technical analysis, and reviewing numerous technical indicators, charts, patterns, and strategies to find the best match for their preferences. Every forex trader should consider the complexities of trading forex prior to beginning their investments.
    • Leverage Risk: Using leverage while trading forex could be as dangerous as it could be beneficial. While you should be aware of the risks of this double-edged sword when trading any financial market, it’s even more critical to familiarize yourself with the risks associated with using leverage when trading forex. The reason behind this is, of course, the high level of market fluctuations, which, combined with leverages, can lead to significant losses.

    An Intro to Forex Trading Strategies

    Before you start trading forex, developing a decent strategy for yourself is essential. This includes several steps and requires a great deal of your time. However, not only does having a “proven” trading strategy give you less headache while trading, but it also can amplify your gains significantly. Of course, you should know that there aren’t any strategies that are 100% proven. However, some strategies perform better than others.

    A forex trading strategy comprises a set of techniques to find the best buy and sell times. In other words, when setting up your forex strategy, you’re trying to figure out the best time to enter and exit the market. There are many forex trading strategies on the market. Traders’ most popular methods include trend trading, range trading, carry trading, momentum trading, price action trading, and scalping or day trading.

    Traders use various tools when developing their strategy. For example, technical and fundamental analysis are two important forex trading tools that aid traders by providing them with trading signals that mark buying or selling points.

    Something else to know is that forex strategies could be manual or automated. Suppose you choose a manual approach. In that case, you’ll sit in front of a computer, observing and analyzing charts like a hawk, hoping to make the best trading decisions. However, with an automated trading strategy, you’ll have the help of algorithm-based computers to help you make your trading decisions and improve your performance.

    Trading Forex: How to Develop Forex Trading Strategies

    When developing your forex trading strategy, you should choose the market you’ll be trading on. See which currency pairs grab your attention the most, which ones you think have the most potential, etc.

    The next step is to determine the size of your position. Consider your risk management principles, and then decide how big you want your investment to be.

    The next step would be to set your entry and exit points. You can use different tools such as indicators, patterns, retracement levels, and stop-loss and take-profit orders.

    Lastly, you need to find the techniques that help you execute your trades successfully. To do so, you should thoroughly educate yourself on the market and try using a demo account before entering actual positions.

    And voila! you have developed a decent and tested forex trading strategy just like that. All you’ve got to do now is continue trading with discipline.

    Analyzing Forex: Technical and Fundamental Analysis in Forex

    In order to grow your capital in the forex market, or any other financial market for that matter, you need to be able to successfully analyze the market and make trading decisions based off of it. There are two main types of analysis in the foreign exchange market: technical analysis and fundamental analysis. The section is dedicated to learning about these analyzing techniques.

    What Is Forex Fundamental Analysis?

    Forex fundamental analysis consists of predicting the price movements of a currency based on the overall health of the economy it’s associated with. Basically, fundamental analysts assess a country’s economy to find out how its currency is going to perform.

    Fundamental analysts do not take previous price movements into consideration, but rather use economic data to determine a currency’s strength in relation to other currencies.

    Based on what we’ve established, it’s safe to say that fundamental analysts don’t use charts, patterns, or indicators in their market assessments. What they do use is the inflation and unemployment rates, gross domestic product (GDP), trade balance, and central bank policies of different economies.

    A very useful tool for fundamental analysts is economic calendars. These calendars show major economic events that could impact currency prices. Traders can refer to sources like Forex Factory to take advantage of this valuable tool.

    What Is Forex Technical Analysis?

    There is also technical analysis in forex, which includes studying and interpreting past price movements to predict future changes. The behavior and movements of an instrument’s price are referred to as price action, which is a critical part of technical analysis.

    Technical analysts believe in market efficiency, which states that all relevant information is already included in the price determination process of a trading instrument. For this reason, they don’t assess the market through the window of fundamental analysis, but only use price action and other relevant tools to predict possible future movements in the market. Of course, these predictions are not always correct and technical analysis only suggests the probable ways price action might change.

    Technical analysis includes the intense study of charts and previous trends in hopes of finding patterns to follow in the future. This has led to the development of useful analysis tools, including charts, patterns, and indicators.

    Forex Market Charts

    As with any other financial market, charts are critical when trading forex. Chart reading is the first additive to the forex trader’s skill set. Three main types of charts are used in the forex market, and every trader should know how to read and interpret them. These charts include:

    • Line Charts: Line charts are a simple way of understanding the market’s trends and seeing the big-picture changes. Compared to other charts, they don’t give you many details and only show the closing price of your chosen period and the overall trend.
    • Bar Charts: Next, we have bar charts that are more precise in their price information for traders. Each bar in these charts represents a trading day and shows the highest and lowest prices of the day, along with the closing price.
    • Candlestick Charts: Lastly, there are Candlestick charts, which are the most precise among the three. Although the Japanese originally developed it, this charting model quickly became popular around the whole world due to its visually appealing aspect and ease of interpretation. Candlestick charts showcase a timeframe’s highest, lowest, opening, and closing prices. The sticks on these charts are colored, showing if there is an upward or downward movement in the market. Generally, if the sticks are colored black or red, they are considered a “down” candlestick, and if they are green or white, they’re “up” candlesticks.
    Charts Used in the Forex Market
    Charts Used in the Forex Market

    Forex Market Chart Patterns

    Just like the name suggests, forex chart patterns are patterns in the price movement designed to help traders find entrance and exit points. These patterns show the possible support and resistance levels, and whether the price is going to continue in its pre-existing trend or reverse.
    Some of the most popular chart patterns in forex include double top and double bottom, head and shoulders, triangles, wedges, and cup and handle patterns.

    Forex Market Indicators

    Technical indicators in forex are mathematical patterns derived from price charts. These indicators provide trading signals for investors and help them determine trends, find entry and exit points, and predict future market movements.

    Popular technical indicators in forex include relative strength index (RSI), moving averages, Bollinger Bands, stochastic, Fibonacci retracement levels, pivot points, MACD, and Ichimoku Kinko Hyu.

    Common Terminology in Forex Trading

    Before jumping into the big, vast world of forex trading, learning some of the most used terminologies in the market is essential. Of course, you should put more time into preparing to start trading forex. Please consider taking the necessary measures, including educating yourself on the market and starting your trades on a demo account, as it gives you more freedom to experience failure without actually losing any of your money. Other than these, let’s get into forex terms you need to know.

    What Is a "Broker" in Forex?

    A forex broker is basically a financial institute that facilitates currency trades for investors. Brokers in forex make it possible for buyers and sellers to find the best prices to settle their trades at and provide them with additional services such as educational resources and practical tools.
    Choosing the right broker in forex is extremely important, as it can affect your entire trading journey. When looking for the best forex broker, you should consider factors such as their commissions and fees, execution quality, educational resources, trading instruments, supported trade types, and other tools.

    Fortunately, our team at ITBFX has been able to provide a selection of splendid services for our users. To learn more about our account types and the benefits they offer you, you can click here.

    What Is a “Long Position” in Forex?

    A long position involves a trade where the trader hopes for the underlying asset’s price, in this case, a currency pair, to grow. In simpler words, a long position in forex is when a trader buys a currency pair in hopes of it gaining value and profiting them.

    What Is a “Short Position” in Forex?

    The opposite of a long position, a forex short position is opened when a trader believes the price of a trading instrument will fall. Following this thread of thoughts, traders opening a short position would sell the pair to rebuy it at a cheaper price.

    What Is “Pip” in Forex?

    Pip in forex is the unit used to express changes and fluctuations in asset prices. It stands for “percentage in point” and is the last decimal stated in a currency pair’s rate. Since the rate of most currency pairs has four decimals, one pip is usually considered a thousandth of the currency pair. However, there’s an exception here: the USD/JPY currency pair, which only goes two decimals far. Consequently, one pip of the USD/JPY pair is considered 0.01.

    What Is "Leverage" in Forex?

    Next up is leverage in forex, which we’ve already briefly explained. When a trader borrows money from their broker to increase their position size and market exposure, the borrowed money is called leverage. By enhancing their market exposure, traders can increase their chances of gaining larger profits. Leverage is usually expressed as a ratio, i.e., 1:1000, meaning for every dollar of your actual capital, you can trade up to $1,000.

    What Is "Margin" in Forex?

    When trading forex, leverage and margin always go hand in hand. The strategy of using leverage in your transaction is called margin trading. On the other hand, forex margin refers to the amount of actual capital your broker requires you to have in your account to lend you the leverage money.

    What Is the "Bid and Ask Price" in Forex?

    We have also previously discussed the bid and ask prices. You usually see two prices associated with each pair when trading currencies in forex. These prices are bid and ask prices. The bid price is the price at which you sell a currency pair, the highest price buyers are willing and able to pay. On the other hand, the ask price or offer price is the price at which you buy a pair, AKA the highest price you and other buyers are able and willing to pay the seller.

    What Is "Spread" in Forex?

    Forex spread is the difference between bid and ask prices, a built-in transaction cost in any trade. Traders usually look for markets with tighter spreads. Hence, they choose more liquid trading instruments, such as the EUR/USD, USD/GBP, and USD/JPY currency pairs.

    What Is "Lot" in Forex?

    Forex lots are used to measure the size of positions based on the number of currency pair units in them. For example, if you’re trading a standard lot, you have opened a position with 100,000 units of currency pair. Say you’re trading the USD/CHF pair with a 0.9150 exchange rate. In that case, if your position size is one standard lot, you’re selling 100,000 units of USD/CHF, which is $91,500. There are also mini, micro, and nano lots, equivalent to 10,000, 1,000, and 100 units of currency pair.

    What Is “Stop-Loss” in Forex?

    Stop-loss in forex is an order designed to limit trader losses. When you set a stop-loss order, you ensure your position will automatically be closed when the pair’s price hits a certain level. For example, suppose you’re opening a long position on the USD/CAD currency pair. The current exchange rate of the pair is 1.3750. According to your predictions, you believe this rate will decrease. However, based on your risk management strategy, you know that you will lose money if the price increases and passes 1.4050. Considering these, you set a stop-loss order to exit this position at 1.4050 and limit your losses automatically.

    Add Your HWhat Is "Take-Profit" in Forex? eading Text Here

    Like a stop-loss order, a take-profit order is when you set a limit order to close the deal at a predetermined price level. This order type is usually used for risk management purposes. Following the previous example, if you set your take-profit order at 1.3250 and the US dollar against the Canadian dollar pair’s exchange rate falls to this level, your position will be automatically closed.

    What Is "Risk Management" in Forex?

    Risk management is every measure you take to protect your capital and limit your losses. It’s a set of principles and techniques to help traders with their investments. Traders use various risk management methods; however, some techniques and rules are considered standard practice. These techniques include learning position sizing, familiarizing oneself with leverage and margin trading, setting stop-loss and take-profit levels, determining one’s risk tolerance, and diversifying one’s portfolio.

    What Is "Hedging" in Forex?

    Hedging in forex is opening a position opposite to your current trade to balance out the risk of your investment and safeguard yourself against potential losses. As mentioned before, forward and futures contracts are some of the most popular ways to hedge in forex.

    What Is a "Time Zone" in Forex?

    Forex time zones refer to trading sessions when the market is open and operating. As mentioned before, trading forex has become a 24-hour practice due to the various time zones available worldwide. These time zones include but are not limited to

    • Sydney time zone: operating from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. UTC
    • Tokyo time zone: operating from 12 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. UTC
    • London time zone: operating from 7:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. UTC
    • New York time zone: operating from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. UTC
    Common Terminology in the Forex Market
    Common Terminology in the Forex Market

    Bottom Line: What Is Forex Trading All About?

    Forex trading has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and for good reason. This volatile, highly liquid market provides countless opportunities for investors. Both institutional investors and retail traders could profit from forex trading.

    Trading forex involves trading currencies in the form of currency pairs. Currency pairs showcase the quotations of two currencies against one another. Consequently, you’re buying and selling different currency pairs when trading forex.

    The foreign exchange market has undergone many changes in the past century, and it is now one of the fastest, most convenient financial markets in the world.

    Traders interested in forex trading could participate in the forex spot, forward, and futures markets. Investors should know that each of these markets has its advantages and disadvantages.

    It’s important to remember that forex trading is a complex practice that requires considerable time and effort to be fruitful. Traders should first develop a decent trading strategy that maximizes their profits and limits their losses. To do so, they can use tools such as technical and fundamental analysis, indicators, charts, patterns, and risk management principles. Developing your forex trading strategy requires commitment to find the time to educate yourself and practice.

    All that said, you can start your forex trading journey today. With the best variety of educational resources on our site and demo accounts to test your strategies, our team at ITBFX is ready to help you find your brachium and embark on your journey.

    The foreign exchange market, also known as forex or FX, is a digital, decentralized marketplace for trading currencies. It is the most liquid financial market in the world.

    Forex trading refers to buying and selling currencies in the forex market. It often has two main purposes: profiting from trades and gaining money, as well as settling international trades.

    Trading forex is synonymous with trading currencies. Currencies are traded in the form of currency pairs, with each pair having a base and a quote currency. When you buy a currency pair, you buy the base currency and sell the quote currency. Conversely, when selling a currency pair, you're acting vice versa.

    Currency pairs are divided into three main categories based on their trading volume and underlying currencies: major, minor, and exotic pairs.

    Leverage in forex is money you borrow from a brokerage to increase market exposure and position size. For example, if you use a 1:50 leverage for every dollar of your capital, you can trade $50.