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Learning the Markets Can Bring in the Dough

forex tradingThere used to be many simple ways to make some extra cash. Young boys had paper routes for small change and older unemployed guys could always wash dishes.

Times have changed and these possibilities are no longer relevant to our life styles. Newspapers are distributed by car and dish washers have taken over for humans.

So what’s left these days? Well, with a trend towards doing everything on line, learning a new subject is probably as easy as booting up your computer.

Independent schools which are shorter in length may have in mind to eventually attract the student into signing a contract of some sort which may involve a cost. Still this is not mandatory and the education received may well be worth the effort in any event.

Established universities offer complete courses in nursing, chemistry, psychology, criminology and every type of social and clinical science. Shorter tutorials provide basic information on investing, market analysis, equities trading and risk management.

In short, learning a new trade online can be quick and easy and offers quick chances for supplementary income or an opportunity for a more long-term career change.

Forex Basics

Forex is the largest financial market in the world, with $5 trillion in trades taking place each day.

Despite this, Forex trading is comparatively unfamiliar to retail traders. Until internet trading made online trading possible, FX was primarily the domain of large multinational corporations, financial institutions and secretive hedge funds.

Times have changed and investors have been moving from the insecurity of the equity markets to what they perceive as the safety of currency trading.

Trading Forex can be done in various ways and traders can make a lot of money without putting too much into the original investment. Unlike stocks, futures or options, there is no physical regulated currency exchange.  It is not controlled by any central governing body and there are no clearing houses that guarantee trades.  In addition, there is no arbitration panel to adjudicate disputes.

Liquid Market

The Forex market is the most liquid and fluid market in the world. It trades 24 hours a day, from 5pm EST Sunday to 4pm EST Friday. The absolute size and scope of the markets, stretching from Asia to Europe to North America, makes the currency market the most accessible market in the world.

The FX market differs from other markets in many ways. There is no uptick rule in FX like there is in equity markets. There are also no limits on the size of a position as there are in futures and sales of billions of dollars’ worth or currency is not unheard of.  There is also no possibility of insider trading in FX.  In fact, European economic data are often leaked days before they are officially released.

The Forex market does not have commissions. Unlike exchange-based markets, FX is a principals-only market and technically, FX firms are dealers, not brokers. Unlike brokers, dealers assume market risk by serving as a counter party to the investor’s trade. They do not charge commission; instead, they make their money through the bid-ask spread which is the amount by which the ask price exceeds the bid. In essence, this is 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.


The size of the spread differs from one asset to another mainly because of the difference in liquidity of each asset. Currency, for example, is considered the most liquid asset in the world and the bid-ask spread in the currency market is one of the smallest (one-hundredth of a percent). Less liquid assets such as a small-cap stock, on the other hand, may have spreads that are equivalent to one or two percent of the asset’s value.

An important concept in Forex trading is the “pip.” Pip stands for “percentage in point” and is the smallest increment of trade in FX. In the FX market, prices are quoted to the fourth decimal point. For example, if a bottle of shampoo is priced at $1.50, in the FX market the same bottle would be quoted at 1.5000. The change in that fourth decimal point is called 1 pip and is typically equal to 1/100th of 1%. Among the major currencies, the only exception to that rule is the Japanese yen. One Japanese yen is now worth approximately US$0.01; so, in the USD/JPY pair, the quotation is only taken out to two decimal points (i.e. to 1/100th of yen, as opposed to 1/1000th with other major currencies).

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