Although most people outside of the financial world consider the New York Stock Exchange to be the pinnacle of financial trading, it is the Foreign Exchange Market that is the true leader. The Forex Market, as this currency exchange is known, has a volume of around 1.5 trillion United States dollars daily. This staggering amount is over one hundred times larger than the volume of the NYSE.
The market is world wide. It is what is known as an “interbank” market where trades are conducted OTC (over the counter), which means they take place directly between the parties involved in the trade rather than through a central exchange. The main centers for the Forex market are located in Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Frankfurt and London. This allows the market to operate virtually 24 hours a day.
Advantage of Forex over Stock and Commodity Markets
When one begins to discuss the advantages of investment in the Foreign Currency Exchange Market (Forex) over the Stock or Commodity Market, it is quite easy to sound like a cheerleader and with the same kind of bias. The Forex market offers so many advantages that it is not hard to understand its popularity.
The Forex Market operates 24 hours a day. It is a truly world wide market, and when the sun goes down in one trading center, it is coming up in another. The Forex market, although it has its trends and cycles, is not locked in the Bear vs. the Bull market mentality of the Stock Exchange. Since all Forex trades involve the exchange of one currency for another, one currency's hard times opens the door for a profit in another currency. The market is not adversely affected by rising interest rates. When a nation raises rates, generally the currency is strengthened, while rising interest rates tends to depress the stock market.
The combined number of different stock issues on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges totals 8000. That is a lot of stocks and it is time consuming to keep up with even a portion of them. There are four major currencies, and only about 34 second tier currencies, to consider in the Forex. Brokerage firms do not stand between you and profit in the Forex. Not only are the brokerage and commission fees almost non-existent, but analysts in the Forex tend to actually analyze in the currency market and not dictate or control the rise and fall of the market.