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What is Forex Trading and How Does it Work?

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Foreign Exchange or Forex, in short, is a portmanteau of foreign currencies and exchange. It refers to the process of converting one currency into another for numerous reasons, generally for trading, tourism, or commerce.

This market can be considered a subset of the overall currency market. For newcomers in the forex market or someone completely unaware of the market and the operating factors, we are discussing the basics of what forex trading is and how it works in this article.

You might not become a trading master right away, but you would definitely have a better understanding of the entire process.

What is Forex Trading?

It can be defined as a network for sellers and buyers transferring currencies amongst themselves at a price agreed beforehand. It is the means for the central bank, companies, and individuals to convert currencies. Anyone who has ever travelled abroad has made forex transactions at one point or another, even subconsciously.

A significant portion of all foreign exchange is done with practical purposes and needs. However, the majority of the exchange is done to make a profit.

The price fluctuation rates for many currencies often become volatile due to the sheer amount of converted currency. This unpredictable nature makes traders get more attracted to Forex. However, the chance to make huge profits doesn’t come without higher risks.

How Does Forex Trading Work?

There are a few variable methods for Forex trading. However, they all operate within the same principle:

“The simultaneous purchase of a currency and sale of another.”

Forex brokers traditionally make a significant portion of the transactions in Forex trading. Still, it’s possible to make the most of price movements due to the developments in online trading using CFD trading and such derivatives.

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Leveraged products such as CFDs enable you to open positions for a very small portion of the trade’s total value. With these leveraged products, you take a position on either a rising or falling market instead of taking the asset’s ownership.

Leveraged products can multiply profits greatly and cause losses to magnify if the market movement is actually against you.

Key Concepts in Forex Trading

Some of the major and key concepts and terms in Forex trading are as follows:


The spread refers to the difference between the buying and selling prices quoted for a specific Forex pair. You will have the option to choose between two prices when you open up a Forex position.

You have to trade with the buy price if you’ve opened a long position. The buying price would be slightly higher than the market price. You trade with the selling price, which is somewhat less than the market price if you open up a short position on the other hand.


In Forex, lots refer to the batches of currency that standardize trades, and currencies are traded in these lots. Lots are usually very large since Forex usually moves in small amounts.

A standard lot will contain 100,000 units of the base currency. Since individual traders usually don’t have 100,000 units of the currency they trade on each trade, Forex trading is mainly leveraged.


Leverage refers to getting exposure to larger amounts of currency without paying the total value for the trade upfront. Traders usually deposit a much smaller amount, which is called margin. If a leveraged position is closed, the loss or profit is determined based on the full extent of the trade.

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It brings about the chance of magnified profits and increased risk of much greater losses, including losses that might even exceed the margin. Therefore, it’s vital to manage the risks of leveraged trading.


This is essential for leveraged trading. Margin refers to the initial amount you deposit to open and maintain a leverage position. It’s important to consider that the margin requirement is subject to change depending on the broker and the size of the trade.

Margin is typically expressed as a percentage of the actual position. Suppose you are trading on EUR/GBP, and it requires an initial deposit of 1% of the total value to open up the position. You could deposit 1,000 AUD instead of making a 100,000 AUD deposit in such a case.


Pips are the collective term for the units that measure Forex pair movements. A Forex pip refers to a one-digit movement in the 4th decimal place of the currency pair.

For example, if GBP/USD moves from $1.24579 to $1.24589, the movement is consider a single pip. The decimal places after the pip are calls fractional pip pips (sometimes pipettes).

If the quote currency is lists in considerably smaller denominations, this is an exception to this rule. The most mentionable example of this is the Japanese Yen. A pip refers to movements in the second decimal position in the circumstances involving the yen.


Hopefully, the discussion above has been able to clarify some key concepts in Forex trading. With this understanding, you can at least have the basic operating capacity for Forex trading and get start at the very least, if not become an efficient trader.

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