Forex is an abbreviation of Foreign Exchange (also referred to as FX) and it is the largest financial market in the world. The Forex market is the place where currencies are traded (currencies are money that is used as an exchange medium). In other words, it is the place where currencies are being sold and bought. In the Forex market all currencies are traded in real time. Trading with currencies always means that there are two simultaneous transactions taking place.
If a currency is being bought, it is also being sold. To better understand this notion, think of currencies as both the goods you are buying AND the method with which you’re paying for the goods.
Since the Forex market is the place where currencies are traded in real time, people may trade one currency for another and make a profit off of this transaction. Profits are made when one is able to determine which currency’s value will increase by the end of a pre-determined time period (such time periods may be short or long). The Forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week and it is based in four major cities: New York, London, Sydney, and Tokyo. The Forex market is open to individuals over the age of eighteen.
While Forex trading may sound daunting, it really isn’t. It can be easily comprehended and understood without prior experience in finance or economy. It is challenging and exciting, thought provoking and manageable, stimulating and filled with opportunities.
Some Forex Basics:
The first currency listed in a currency pair is called the “base currency”.
The “base currency” is usually the U.S. Dollar. Traders will generally trade the U.S. Dollar against another currency, which is called the “counter currency”.
Currencies are quoted in pairs. For example: The pair U.S. Dollar and JPY will be quoted in the following way: USD/JPY equals to 2.5 (This means that 1 U.S. Dollar can buy 2.5 JPY).
When a quote increases, it means that the “base currency” has risen in value and the “counter currency” has weakened in value. For example: If the USD/JPY quote used to be equal to 2.5 but is now equal to 2.6, then this means that the dollar has strengthened (because 1 U.S. Dollar can now buy 2.6 JPY as opposed to the mere 2.5 JPY it could buy beforehand.)