Most Frequently asked questions on the forex market!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Hey guys,

Its article time again. Worked on this for a while.

I compiled the most frequently asked questions with regard to the Forex market. Here it is. feel free to put it on your blog or site but just make sure you mention where you got it from.

MOST FAQ about the FOREX MARKET

With over $1.4 Trillion traded daily, the Forex market stands out as the largest financial market in the world currently. Still, it is an unfamiliar territory to many common people and amateur investors. If you are a fresher or a pro and would like to refresh your knowledge on the Forex market, you are on the right page. In this article, I will cover the most commonly asked questions related to the Forex market. For free ebooks and guides on getting started with Forex trading, Go here! And also check on the same site, the article “Why Forex?” (Its in the blog archive and gives you some awesome reasons why you really must invest in the forex market) And to enlighten yourself on the FAQ regarding the Forex market, please continue reading this article.

How does this market differ from other markets?
It differs from other markets like stock market in the simple fact that its not regulated by a central governing body. There exists no clearinghouses to guarantee the trades and there is also no arbitration panel to resolve and decide upon disputes. Credit agreements are what the trading is based on. So, truthfully speaking, business in the largest liquid market depends simply on a metaphorical handshake.

This might seem out of the world or plain weird to investors used to structured exchanges like the NYSE or CME. But this arrangement actually works out pretty well in practice as investors and brokers must compete and co-operate with each other at the same time.

The FX market is so different from other markets in some ways that are sure to raise eyebrows. If you feel that the EUR/USD is going to spiral downwards in near future? Feel free to short the pair at will( Selling short is the opposite of going long. That is, short sellers make money if the stock goes down in price. This is an advanced trading strategy with many unique risks and pitfalls. Novice investors are advised to avoid short sales.)

There is no limit to the size of the position you can gain. Theoretically speaking, you could sell $100 million of currency if you had the capital to do so. If you could some how manage to gain information on the immediate future of a particular currency, you could well be a millionaire in no time. The Fact is European economic data, such as German employment figures, are often leaked days before they are officially released.

Before we leave you with the wrong impression that Forex or Foreign exchange is the Wild West of finance, we must also note that this is the most liquid market in the world. Forex is a 24 Hours trading opportunity. It’s not going be like you wait for the Forex shop down the street to open. As a Forex Trader, you get the opportunity to trade 24 hours from Sunday 5:00 pm (ET) to Friday 4:30 pm.

This means you can do trading upon your convenience and based on your schedule. It also provides you the opportunity to act immediately upon golden breaking news from the market.



Where is the commission in FX?

Investors in stock market, futures or options generally use a broker who acts as an agent in the subsequent transactions. The broker does an exchange based on the investor’s instructions. For this, he gets paid a commission.

However, the Forex market doesn’t have commissions. It is a principals only market.
Forex firms are dealers, and not brokers. This is a very critical distinction that all investors must understand. Commission is not charged by them. They make their profits through the bid-ask spread (The amount by which the ask price exceeds the bid. This is essentially the difference in price between the highest price that a buyer is willing to pay for an asset and the lowest price for which a seller is willing to sell it. For example, if the bid price is $20 and the ask price is $21 then the "bid-ask spread" is $1.

What is a pip?

Pip is an abbreviation used for “Percentage in Profit” It is the smallest increment of trade in the Forex market. In the Forex market,prices are stated to the fourth decimal point. For eg: a Cadbury bar that costed $2.70 in your nearby supermarket will be quoted as $2.7000 in the Forex market. A change in the fourth decimal of that will be a pip.

We can simply put it that it is 1/100th of 1% or 0.0001 %


What are you really selling or buying in the currency market?
Simply “NOTHING”. The Foreign exchange or Forex market is merely a speculative market. There is no physical exchanging of currencies there. All the trades are present as computer entries and netted out based on the market prices.

For accounts that are denominated in dollars, all the profits and losses would be calculated in dollars and recorded on the traders account in dollars.

Which currencies are traded?

Some mind blowing and exotic options would be the Thai bath or the Czech koruna , but the majority of trading in the Forex market is based on the seven most liquid currency pairs.

They are

  • EUR/USD (euro/dollar)
  • USD/JPY (dollar/Japanese yen)
  • GBP/USD (British pound/dollar)
  • USD/CHF (dollar/Swiss franc)

and the three commodity pairs:

  • AUD/USD (Australian dollar/dollar)
  • USD/CAD (dollar/Canadian dollar)
  • NZD/USD (New Zealand dollar/dollar)

These currency pairs, along with their various combinations (such as EUR/JPY, GBP/JPY and EUR/GBP) account for more than 95% of all speculative trading in the Forex market..

FX Jargon

Every field possesses its own jargon and the Forex market is no different as such.

Here are some terms which are worthwhile learning.

  • Cable, sterling, pound – the alternative names for GBP
  • Greenback, buck - nicknames for the U.S. dollar
  • Swissie - nickname for the Swiss franc,
  • Aussie - nickname for the Australian dollar .
  • Kiwi - nickname for the New Zealand dollar
  • Loonie, the little dollar - nicknames for the Canadian dollar
  • Figure - FX term connoting a round number like 1.2000
  • Yard - a billion units, as in "I sold a couple of yards of sterling."