The Forex market is a non-stop cash market where currencies of nations are traded, typically via brokers. Foreign currencies are constantly and simultaneously bought and sold across local and global markets and traders' investments increase or decrease in value based upon currency movements. Foreign exchange market conditions can change at any time in response to real-time events.
The main enticements of currency dealing to private investors and attractions for short-term Forex trading are:
- 24-hour trading, 5 days a week with non-stop access to global Forex dealers.
- An enormous liquid market making it easy to trade most currencies.
- Volatile markets offering profit opportunities.
- Standard instruments for controlling risk exposure.
- The ability to profit in rising or falling markets.
- Leveraged trading with low margin requirements.
- Many options for zero commission trading. When trading currencies, trade only when you expect the currency you are buying to increase in value relative to the currency you are selling. If the currency you are buying does increase in value, you must sell back the other currency in order to lock in a profit. An open trade (also called an open position) is a trade in which a trader has bought or sold a particular currency pair and has not yet sold or bought back the equivalent amount to close the position.
However, it is estimated that anywhere from 70%-90% of the FX market is speculative. In other words, the person or institution that bought or sold the currency has no plan to actually take delivery of the currency in the end; rather, they were solely speculating on the movement of that particular currency.