Historically, foreign exchange or Forex was the realm where only central banks, financial institutions and multi-national corporations ventured into.
Rule changes in the 1980’s and advancement in technology, however, has made it possible for ordinary individuals to participate as small traders, accorded the same footing as the big players in the market.
Much of the popularity of Forex today can be attributed to the capabilities that technology has made feasible. With the wealth of information available on the internet, people are learning more about the subject and this has contributed greatly to the public’s interest. It is now possible to read about the benefits that Forex offers, such as: being open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, its high liquidity and higher returns on smaller investments.
Moreover, trading firms have taken full advantage of the world-wide web to make Forex more accessible to more people, in stark contrast to the telephone trading done in the past. Nowadays, foreign exchange transactions are mainly done online. There are several firms that individual investors can affiliate with. One only has to use Google or other search engines to find their websites. These firms provide direct access to the largest and fastest-growing financial market in the world.
For the novice, there are numerous training videos, tutorials, classes, manuals and write-ups that can be downloaded or viewed at leisure. Some are provided for a fee and some are free of charge. There are also documents and tools available that detail and analyze market movements so the investor is made aware of market opportunities that he can make us of. Those who opt to avail of a trading firm’s services are entitled to customer care and technical support via email, telephone or online messaging. Additional information is also provided to clients such as charts, real-time market trends and technical analysis.
Most importantly, there are demo accounts that aim to familiarize the potential investor with the trading system and the tools available, without using real money as capital. Being accustomed to the transactions is essential because Forex trading occurs in real time and exchange rates between currencies are changing all the time. A quote at a point in time may differ from a quote seconds later. As the old cliché goes, practice makes perfect and beginners would be wise to make use of this demo account.
As with any technology-driven pursuits, there are hardware requirements that the investor needs to provide for himself to be able to access the services that Forex trading firms make available online: a capable personal computer installed with Windows XP or a higher operating system and a fast internet connection.
Before an individual can start trading, two steps must be accomplished: registration and fund deposit. Registration is done online. Depending on existing government regulations, the investor may be required to disclose just basic or additional information. Some may even need to submit hard copies of passports or driver’s licenses. Upon registering, a trader will have to make a fund deposit. A credit card can be used to accomplish this. Having carried out such prerequisites, the trader is well on his way to online Forex trading.
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