Why trade Forex?
Online forex trading has become very popular in the past decade because it offers traders several advantages:
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, 5 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. 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.
Low trading costs
Most forex 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.2
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.
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 take advantage of 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.
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 an easy way to gain exposure while avoiding vagaries such as foreign securities laws and financial statements in other languages.
1 Subject to available liquidity, the trading desk opens on Sundays between 5:00 PM ET and 5:15 PM ET. The trading desk closes on Fridays at 4:55 PM ET. Orders placed prior may be filled until 5 pm (ET).
2 Intermediary Markup: In some instances, accounts for clients of certain intermediaries are subject to a markup.
Spreads: Static spreads are time-weighted Standard account averages based on tradable FXCM prices from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016. Live spreads apply to Standard accounts, are variable, and are subject to delay. Spread figures are for informational purposes only. FXCM is not liable for errors, omissions or delays, or for actions relying on this information.
Commissions: Commissions are charged at the open and close of trades in the denomination of the account.
Execution: FXCM aggregates bid and ask prices from a pool of liquidity providers and is the final counterparty when trading forex on FXCM's dealing desk and No Dealing Desk (NDD) execution models. With NDD, FXCM's platforms display the best-available direct bid and ask prices from the liquidity providers. In some circumstances, FXCM may add a markup to NDD spreads, based on account type. In addition to the spread, the trading cost with NDD is a fixed lot-based commission at the open and close of the trade. With dealing desk execution, FXCM can act as the dealer on any or all currency pairs. Backup liquidity providers fill in when FXCM does not act as the dealer. FXCM’s dealing desk has fewer liquidity providers than NDD. There are many other factors to consider when choosing an execution model (such as conflict of interest, trading style or strategy). See Execution Risks. Note: Contractual relationships with liquidity providers are consolidated through the firm's U.S. affiliate, Forex Capital Markets, LLC, which, in turn, provides technology and pricing to the group affiliate entities.