Can You Make Money With Forex? Is It Worth It?

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Can You Make Money With Forex? Is It Worth It?

Is it possible to get wealthy via FX trading? Although our first answer might be an unambiguous “No,” we need qualify that statement. If you are a hedge fund with big means or an exceptionally good currency trader, forex trading may make you wealthy. However, rather from being an easy route to riches for the typical retail trader, FX trading may be a rough road to massive losses and even penury.

Key Takeaways

  • Many retail traders want quick returns on the currency market.
  • According to statistics, the majority of ambitious forex traders fail, and some even lose substantial sums of money.
  • Leverage is a two-edged sword in that it may result in massive gains as well as massive losses.
  • Counterparty risks, platform failures, and abrupt bursts of volatility are all obstacles for aspiring forex traders.
  • Forex pairs, unlike stocks and futures, trade in an over-the-counter market with no central clearing company.

4 Types of Indicators FX Traders Must Know

Unexpected Events

Consider a recent example to better understand the risk of FX trading. The Swiss National Bank abandoned the Swiss franc’s three-year ceiling of 1.20 versus the euro on January 15, 2015. As a consequence, the Swiss franc gained 41% versus the euro that day.

The unexpected action by Switzerland’s central bank caused losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars for countless currency traders, ranging from tiny individual investors to huge institutions. Retail trading account losses wiped out at least three brokerages’ capital, making them insolvent, and brought FXCM, the biggest retail forex brokerage in the United States at the time, to the brink of bankruptcy.

Unexpected one-time incidents are not the only dangers that forex traders face. Here are seven more reasons why the odds are stacked against the ordinary trader trying to make money in the forex market.

Massive currency maneuvers, such as George Soros’ $1 billion run on the British Pound, are the exception rather than the norm.

  Trading Account

Excessive Leverage

Although currencies may be volatile, extreme gyrations like the one seen in the Swiss franc are uncommon. For example, a significant swing in the euro from 1.20 to 1.10 vs the US dollar over a week is still less than 10%. In contrast, stocks may easily move up or down 20% or more in a single day. The attractiveness of forex trading, however, stems from the massive leverage given by forex brokerages, which may compound winnings (and losses).

A trader who shorts $5,000 in euros against the US dollar at 1.20 and then covers the short position at 1.10 would win $500, or 8.33%. The profit is $25,000, or 416.67%, if the trader employed the highest leverage allowed in the United States of 50:1 (ignoring trading fees and commissions).

Of instance, if the trader had gone long on the euro at 1.20, utilized 50:1 leverage, and quit at 1.10, the potential loss would have been $25,000. Leverage in certain foreign countries may be as high as 200:1 or even higher. Excessive leverage is the single greatest risk factor in retail forex trading, and authorities in many countries are cracking down on it.

Asymmetric Risk to Reward

Seasoned forex traders limit their losses and counter them with large returns when their currency prediction is accurate. Most retail traders, on the other hand, do the opposite, achieving tiny gains on a number of positions but then hanging on to a lost trade for too long and suffering a significant loss. This might potentially lead to a loss greater than your original investment.

Platform or System Malfunction

Imagine having a huge position and being unable to finish a transaction due to a platform malfunction or system breakdown, which may be anything from a power outage to an Internet overload or computer catastrophe. This category would also cover very volatile periods when orders like as stop-losses are ineffective. Many traders, for example, had tight stop-losses in place on their short Swiss franc positions before to the currency’s spike on Jan. 15, 2015. These, however, were useless because liquidity dried up as everyone rushed to liquidate their short franc holdings.

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No Information Edge

The largest forex trading institutions have vast trading operations that are linked to the currency world and have an information advantage (for example, commercial forex flows and covert government action) that the retail trader does not have.

Currency Volatility

Consider the Swiss franc. Because of the high levels of leverage, trading money may be exhausted extremely fast during moments of extraordinary currency volatility. These events may occur unexpectedly and influence the markets before most individual traders have a chance to respond.

OTC Market

The forex market is an over-the-counter market that is neither centralized or regulated in the same way that the stock and futures markets are. This also implies that no clearing body guarantees currency deals, which may lead to counterparty risk.

$6 Trillion Daily

While the forex OTC market is decentralized, it is vast, according to statistics from the 2019 Triennial Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange, which shows that more than $6 trillion in currencies exchange each day.

Fraud and Market Manipulation

There have been isolated examples of currency fraud, such as Secure Investment, which vanished with more than $1 billion in investor assets in 2014. Forex rate market manipulation has also been widespread, including some of the most powerful participants. Five big banks, for example, were fined over $6 billion in May 2015 for trying to manipulate exchange rates between 2007 and 2013, bringing the total penalties assessed on these five institutions to nearly $9 billion.

Stop-loss hunting is a frequent method used by market movers to influence the markets. These major companies will coordinate price reductions or increases based on where they believe retail traders have put their stop-loss orders. When those are triggered automatically by price movement, the forex position is sold, and it may produce a cascade effect of selling as each stop-loss point is triggered, netting the market mover significant gains.

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Is Trading Forex Profitable?

Forex trading may be successful, but timelines must be considered. It is simple to be lucrative in the short term, such as days or weeks. However, being successful over numerous years is typically lot simpler when you have a substantial amount of capital to leverage and a risk management framework in place. Many retail traders do not last more than a few months or years in forex trading.

Is Forex High Risk?

Although forex trading are confined to single point percentages, they are very risky. Because the amount required to generate a big profit in forex is enormous, many traders use excessive leverage. The expectation is that their leverage would result in profit, however leveraged positions often increase losses dramatically.

Is Forex Riskier Than Stocks?

Forex trading is a different form of trading that most individuals use to trade equities. The bulk of stock traders will buy and keep equities for months or years, while forex dealers trade by the minute, hour, and day. Because of leverage, the timescales are substantially shorter, and price swings have a much more noticeable influence. A 1% change in a stock is little, but a 1% shift in a currency pair is significant.

The Bottom Line

If you still want to try your hand at forex trading, you should restrict your leverage, employ tight stop-losses, and utilize a reliable forex brokerage. Although the chances are still stacked against you, these tactics may enable you to some degree level the playing field.

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