Functions of the Retail Forex Market

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Retail Forex market became very popular after the development of the on-line trading technologies. Millions of new traders are attracted to Forex each year. They try to earn profits trading the currencies, developing the new intraday strategies and gaining on the long-term trends. But why does the retail FX market exist? Is it only a way to earn money for the brokers and some lucky traders? Here is the list of some functions — obvious and not — that are performed by the retail Forex market:
  1. Earning opportunity — this is probably the most popular, obvious and important function of the retail Forex market. It provides the earning opportunity to traders, brokers, affiliates, webmasters, marketing companies and a lot of other on-line industries. Without a promise of profits retail Forex market would be limited to a simple exchange of the physical or current-account money.
  2. Extra liquidity — this is definitely a positive function of the retail currency market. Although, not many traders use huge amounts of cash on Forex, the total sum of the money provided by the retail customers adds a good chunk of liquidity to the Forex market.
  3. Extra volatility — a not very positive function at a first glance. Retail Forex market makes the rate movement less smooth and more volatile as the traders prefer short-term trading, which leads to the sharp reactions on the daily news and technical signals. Excess volatility is bad for the long-term traders, but it can be good for those who know how to benefit from such markets.
  4. Social function — many communities were formed around the Forex trading. Traders prefer to get help from other traders and they also like to share the knowledge that is related to Forex.
  5. Technical strategy development — popularity of the Forex trading and especially the on-line and automated versions of this trading led to the creation of thousands of the automated trading strategies. Based on technical analysis some of such strategies can be applied not only in Forex trading but in many other industries.
Of course, this list can't be considered as full and complete, but these functions are the main attributes of the contemporary retail Forex market, in my opinion.