Trading foreign currencies is a challenging and potentially profitable opportunity for educated and experienced investors. However, before deciding to participate in the Forex market, you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. Most importantly, do not invest money you cannot afford to lose.
There is considerable exposure to risk in any foreign exchange transaction. Any transaction with currencies involves risks, including but not limited to, the potential of a changing political and/or economic conditions that may substantially affect the price or liquidity of a currency. Moreover, the leveraged nature of FX trading means that any market movement will have an effect on your deposited funds proportionally equal to the leverage factor. This may work against you as well as for you.
The Forex Market is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world. Since macroeconomic forces are one of the main drivers of the value of currencies in the global economy, currencies tend to have the most identifiable trend patterns. Therefore, the Forex market is a very attractive market for active traders.
The most enticing aspect of trading Forex is the high degree of leverage used. Leverage seems very attractive to those who are expecting to turn small amounts of money into large amounts in a short period of time. However, leverage is a double-edged sword. Just because one lot ($10,000) of currency only requires $100 as a minimum margin deposit, it does not mean that a trader with $1,000 in his account should be easily able to trade 10 lots. One lot is $10,000 and should be treated as a $100,000 investment and not the $1000 put up as margin. Most traders analyze the charts correctly and place sensible trades, yet they tend to over leverage themselves (get in with a position that is too big for their portfolio), and as a consequence, often end up forced to exit a position at the wrong time.
For example, if your account value is $10,000 and you place a trade for 1 lot, you are in effect, leveraging yourself 10 to 1, which is a very significant level of leverage. Most professional money managers will leverage no more then 3 or 4 times. Trading in small increments with protective stops on your positions will allow one the opportunity to be successful in Forex trading.