Of course, every investment is risky but the risks of loss in trading off-exchange Forex contracts are even bigger. That's why once you decide to be the player in this market, you'd better realize the risks connected with this product for make suspended decisions before investing.
In Forex you are operating big sums of money, and it's always possible that a trade will turn against you. The Forex trader should know the tools of advantageous and careful trading and minimizing losses. It's possible to minimize the risk but no one can guarantee eliminating it. Off-exchange foreign currency trading is a very risky business and may not be appropriate for all market players. The only funds that can be used for speculating in foreign currency trading, or any kind of highly speculative investments, are funds that represent risk capital - for example, funds you can afford to risk without worsening your financial situation. There are other reasons why Forex trading may or may not be a suitable investment. We describe them below.
The fraud and Scams in Forex market
A few years ago Forex scams were very usual but since then this business has cleaned up. However it's wiser to be cautious and to check broker's background before signing up any documents with him or her. Reliable Forex brokers work with big financial institutions such as banks or insurance enterprises and are always registered with official government agencies. In the US, brokers should be registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission or should be a member of the National Futures Association. You can also check their background in your local Consumer Protection Bureau and the Better Business Bureau.
There's risk of losing your whole investment!
You will be asked to deposit an amount of money, called the "security deposit" or "margin", with your Forex dealer in order to buy or sell an off-exchange Forex contract. A small amount of money can let you hold a Forex position many times bigger than the value of your account. This is called "gearing" or "leverage". The smaller the deposits related to the underlying value of the contract are, the greater the leverage turns out to be. If the price moves in an unpreferrable direction, high leverage can bring you large losses compared to your first deposit. That's how a small move against your position may become the reason for a large loss, and even the loss of your entire deposit. If it's pointed in the contract with your dealer, you may also be required to pay extra-losses.
The market sometimes moves against you!
It's impossible to foresee with a 100%-gurantee how exchange rates will move, and the Forex market is quite unsteady. Changes in the foreign exchange rate between the time you place the trade and the time you close it out influences the price of your Forex contract and the future profit and losses related to it.
There is no main marketplace!
The Forex dealer determines the execution price, so you are relying on the dealer's honesty for a fair price. As unlike adjusted futures exchanges, in the retail off-exchange Forex market there is no main marketplace with lo ts of buyers and sellers.
You are relying on the dealer's reputation credit reliability
There's no guarantee for retail off-exchange Forex trades because of a clearing organization. Besides funds deposited for trading Forex contracts are not insured and never get a priority in case of bankruptcy. Even customer funds deposited by a dealer in an FDIC-insured bank account are not protected if the dealer faces bankrupt.
There's a risk of the trading system break down!
Sometimes a part of the system fails if you are using an Internet-based or any electronic system for executing trades. In case if the system fails, it can happen that for some time one is not may able to enter new orders, execute running orders, or alter or cancel orders that were entered before. The result of a system failure may be a loss of orders or order priority.
You can become a fraud victim!
Keep away from investment schemes that promise big profit with little risk. To defend your capital from fraud you should carefully examine the investment offer and go on monitoring any investment you make.
There are risks to Forex trading even if you work with a reliable broker. Transactions are unexpected and are up to unsteady markets and political events. Interest Rate Risk is based on differences between the interest rates in the two countries represented by the currency pair in a Forex quote. Credit Risk is a possibility that one party in a Forex transaction may not honor their indebtness when the deal is closed. This can occur if a bank or financial institution goes bankrupt.
Country Risk is connected with governments that take part in foreign exchange markets by limiting the currency flow. The country risks more risk making transactions with "rare" foreign currencies than with currencies of big countries that let the free trading of their currency.
Exchange Rate Risk depends on the changes in prices of the currency during a trading period. Prices can go down quickly if stop loss orders are not used. There are several ways of minimizing risks. Each dealer should have a trading scheme. For example, one should know when to enter and exit the market, what kind of fluctuations to expect. The main rule which every trader should sticks to "Don't use money that you can't afford to lose". The key to limiting risk is education which is necessary for developing successful strategies.
Every Forex trader should know at least the main things about technical analysis and reading financial charts. He should also know chart movements and indicators and understand the schemes of charts' interpretation.
Even the most experienced traders can't foresee with absolute certainty how the market is going to change. Therefore one should use these tools to limit losses during every Forex transaction.
The simplest way of limiting risk is to use stop-loss orders. A stop-loss order consists of instructions how to exit your position if the price comes to a definite point. When one takes a long position and expects the price to go up he or she puts a stop loss order below the current market price. When one takes a short position and expects the price to go down he or she puts a stop loss order over the running market price. Stop loss orders are often used together with limit orders to automatize Forex trading.