Forex Trading: Benefits and Risks You Must Know Today


If you’re just starting out and testing the waters, forex trading might be quite overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re not aware of the benefits and risks that it entails.

Forex on illustrated image

Knowing which is risky and which is beneficial tells you what steps to take and not to take. After all, trading is all about risk and rewards. Aside from picking your desired trading style (day trading, swingtrading, momentum trading, position trading, options trading, futures trading, etc), you also need to consider the amount of risks you’re willing to take in exchange for potential rewards.

The following list articulates the basic benefits you’ll get as well as the risks you have to face. Read on to learn more about them!

Currency Trading: The Benefits

You can trade different currency pairs all day if you want, since the forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week. It’s also the most liquid and most traded financial market.

Whether you want to trade currencies in the currency options market (controlled by physical exchange) or the forex spot market (where you trade OTC with some help from a broker), it’s your call.

It goes without saying that it offers distinct benefits other than those found in the stock market, real estate, commodities, and other such markets. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Low Costs

If you trade in the forex spot market, there is usually no clearing fees, minimum government taxes, brokerage fees, no exchange fees, and no commissions. This means that more of your money and gains will go straight to your earnings than to charges and fees.

Meanwhile, retail forex brokers make some bucks only from the bid/ask spread. They may also earn from swap chargers.

There’s No Need for Middlemen

Unlike the old days, spot currency trading does not require you to hire a middleman. Therefore, it allows you to trade directly with the market. In turn, the market decides the pricing of a specific currency pair.

Cheap Transaction Costs

Along with almost-zero charges from the market, currency trading usually have a bid/ask spread of lower than 0.1 percent.

More importantly, for larger dealers, the costs could even reach as lower as 0.07 percent.

No Fixed Lot Size

If ever you’re not trading futures or options, the spot currency market sports no fixed lot size for trading.

Typically, brokers give you the option to buy more than one lot size, such as standard lot, mini lot, micro lot, or even nano lots from brokers who allow them.

24/5 Market

As we have indicated above, the forex market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. It’s open from Monday morning in the Australian session to the afternoon close of New York session. This means that the market is always open.

This makes it very convenient for those who want to have a flexible trading schedule. You can trade on a part-time basis and choose your own time.

Nobody can Take Over the Market

The foreign exchange market is estimated to have 5.1 trillion dollars, as well as a staggeringly large number of participants.

This means that it’s near-impossible, if not impossible, for a single entity to take control of the market for an extended period of time.

The Power of Leverage

Leverage is one of the most powerful tools that you can use in the currency market. Leverage enables to trade more money on the market than what is available in their trading account.

Leverage is very popular among traders because it lets them earn disproportionate amount of money from relatively smaller capital. The downside is that it also magnifies the losses you may suffer if the trade doesn’t go as planned.

Highest Liquidity

Also said above, the forex market is extremely liquid in nature. Under favorable market conditions, you can buy and sell currencies instantaneously and as required.

Aside from that, high liquidity also enables you to place large orders that will be executed without influence the currency exchange price too much. In other words, you won’t get stuck in a trade.

Low Initial Capital Required

It’s comparatively easier to enter the currency market than other markets since it also requires lower initial upfront capital. As mentioned above, you can start trading using mini or micro accounts, depending on what your broker offers.  These types of accounts typically  require around $25 to $50 as minimum deposit.

You can Earn even from a Falling Market  

There is no restriction in directional trading. This is very appealing for many traders since it enables them to take advantage of a falling currency. After all, whenever you trade currencies, you’re practically going long on one currency while simultaneously short selling the other.

For rookies, if you think that a currency will increase in value, you can buy it. If you think its value will depreciate soon, you can short sell it. For both position, as long as the trade goes as predicted, you will make some money. Even market crashes and market corrections can still be profitable—you can even take advantage of the bear market.

Free Materials and Perks

Another feature that the currency market sports that makes it more appealing to traders is the access to free tools and materials that could help you formulate better and more effective trading decisions before trading live.

A really large chunk of all forex brokers offer demo accounts for practicing. If you want to test a trading style before you start actual trading, you can do paper trading. You can also use this as a chance to build up your trading skills as well as your risk management skills and risk tolerance.

All you have to do is know some tips to make the most out ofa demo account and other free tools and materials.

Currency Trading: The Risks

Just like other markets and all trading strategies, currency trading also sports a lot of inherent risks and dangers. These risks cannot be completely removed, but they can be minimized as long as you’re aware of them. We have listed down the most common risks and dangers that you might encounter when you try out forex trading.

letters form the word risks

Low Transparency

The low transparency of the currency market is a result of the domination of forex brokers. Bear in mind that the currency market is decentralized and de-regularized, giving brokers much control over the transactions.

As a result of being broker-driven, the market is not fully transparent. This implies that you may not get the best price all the time. There’s also the chance that you won’t get unlimited views on trading quotes as furnished by the currency broker.

However, there’s a simple fix to this problem. All you have to do is to find a regulated brokers that fall under the control of reputable regulators.

There’s No Centralize Exchange

Different from stocks or futures, the spot currency market doesn’t sport any kind of centralized exchange. Instead, each of the brokers serves as its own exchange, giving them the power to essentially become the market maker.

The obvious downside to this is that some brokers find ways to abuse the system, as evident on price variations from broker to broker.

Complex Price Determination

In the forex market, the price determination is quite complicated due to the process being composite. The exchange rates are affected and influenced by a plethora of reasons and factors, which include global politics and global economy.

This makes currency trading a little bit more difficult to understand. Also, it’s not advisable to trade only on the basis of technical analysis and indicators.

Learning Curve

While there are myriad tools that you can use to familiarize yourself with the market and become well-versed, the learning curve is still self-directed. This means that you will still shoulder the task of learning all the quirks of the market.

According to data, over 90 percent of beginners quit trading after the initial phase. This is because of the high losses they make due to inexperience and mistakes in trading. Mistakes happen, but they’re extra difficult to avoid if you’re not aware of the mistakes you should avoid.

Leverage Risks

Already suggested above, leverage is a double-edged blade. While you can gain tremendous amounts of profits, you’re also at risk of incurring equally large losses.

Forex brokers typically offer 200:1 leverage, depending on the country you’re in. This can become a trading nightmare if you’re not careful with the use of leverage.

High Volatility

Volatility is a friend and an enemy at the same time. Volatilityand risks come together. Overall, volatility sports advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re not familiar with how much volatility you can comfortably endure, you may end up making the wrong entries and exits on your trades.

Changes in the global policies and economy can quickly change the forecasts on currency movements. Therefore, it would be difficult for you to judge your next decision. As a result, you incur higher risks of placing a loss-making trade. You can fix this, however, by making sure you place the right kind of stop-loss orders and trailing stops.

Interest Rate Risks

Different countries have different central banks. And these central banks have different policies. They are the ones who decide the amount of interest rates on top of borrowed money. The variation of interest rates can largely affect currency exchange rates.

If a country’s interest rates rise, the currency strengthens since there will an increase in the inflow of investments in that particular country’s banks. On the other hand, if the interest rates fall, the currency will be weaker, since investors would start to withdraw the fixed investments they have.

Social Trading

While associating yourself with many other traders can be really useful when gathering information and market updates, it may also be disastrous.

The exchange of information among traders nowadays is really fast, almost instantaneous. However, if you don’t know which information really matter and which to ditch, you might find yourself confused and unable to make strategic trading decision.

Country Risks

Before you pick a currency pair to trade, you have to first check the health and condition of the countries holding those currencies. You must evaluate the economy and the political situation in such countries.

For instance, currency exchange rates in developing countries are fixed to a leading currency like the dollar. This means that the country’s central banks need to maintain enough cash reserve. If they don’t, any inadequacy in their cash reserve can have drastic effects on forex prices.

The fix to this problem is to stick to major currency pairs and major crosses.


These are just primers to the benefits and risks you may get from currency trading. You’re trading money to earn some money, and that makes it more important to be extra careful. Always remember to keep close tabs on all these factors.

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