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Some Factors to be Aware of Before Opening a Forex Account

Jun 3, 2008
You've done all the research, invested a lot of time in due diligence, and have even decided on a broker to open a Forex account with. So you're obviously ready to start trading, right? Well, there's one final step you should take before you embark on your investment journey. In addition to setting up your account, you may want to give a little thought to brushing up on leverage and knowing about commissions and fees.

Opening Your Brokerage Account in the Forex Market
There are a few similarities involved when you trade in the equities market or the Forex market, but the basic similarity is that if you are going to execute trades in either one of them, you are going to be required to set up an account with a broker. And just like with the equity market, the services that are provided with a Forex account will be as different as the brokers that want your business.

It is very important that you choose the right broker. Aside from factors like how well established they are in the industry and what their track record with current and former clients is like, you need to consider the leverage factor as well as commissions and fees.

Leverage
When you are using very little capital of your own in order to control large amounts of it, this is known as leveraging. The higher the ratio of leverage that you use, the greater the risk factors that you are taking. Just remember that leverage is a very powerful tool and the losses can be equally as great as the gains. Usually, leverage factors differ according to the type that an individual opens.

Accounts will use leverage factors that use a 50:1 ratio, while others will use as much as 250:1 ratio. In an account where the factor is 50:1, you control up to $50 for every $1 in your account. So if you have $500 in your account, your broker will loan you up to $25,000 to invest in the market. This in turn makes your margin, or the amount of money you need to have in the account in order to trade a certain amount, considerably lower. When you're dealing in equities, margins are normally 50%. On the other hand, a leverage factor of 50:1 is only 2%.

Commissions and Fees
One of the major benefits of trading in the Forex market versus the stock market is that your trade is normally done on a commission-free basis. Unlike an equity account where you always pay the broker a fee based on a fixed percentage of the transaction, you won't encounter this with a Forex account. Rather than dealing with a "middleman", i.e. stock broker, you are dealing directly with the "market makers" and do not need to use another party to execute your trades.

Although this sounds like a fantasy when it comes to investing, rest assured that those market makers earn their fair share of income for doing their jobs. It just doesn't come out of your pocket like that of a commission-driven stock broker. Remember the concepts of the ask price and bid price? When a trade is executed, the market makers actually capture the spread between the two of these prices. For example, if the bid/ask price is 1.5200/50, the market maker will capture that difference, which is 50 points.
About the Author
Justin Stewart has used software to automatically trade the forex market allowing him to earn a living without lifting a finger, even while he sleeps. You can use the same forex software to get the same results.
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