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Forex Trading or Stock Trading? Where to Go!

Sep 17, 2008
Trading the forex spot market has been around for a long time. However, it is only in the last few years that it has become popular and accessible for the small independent trader. Most traders are used to mainly trading stocks and some trading futures. Most of the existing books on the subject of trading are geared towards these two markets simply because these two markets have been accessible to individual traders for a much longer time. Being this the case, not a lot of education exists regarding this new and exciting trading opportunity and thus arises the question which market provides better opportunities for the active trader.

Again, and as with many other issues related to trading that I write about, there is no black and white. I think it very much depends on the type of trader you are. However, in my opinion there are four important characteristics that might make forex trading more attractive to some traders.

First and most important, you have fewer markets to look at and analyze. The US stock market alone has around 10,000 actively traded stocks! This means you can concentrate on only a few currency pairs and you do not have to jump from one stock to another waiting for that good trading opportunity.

Second, the volatility and daily ranges. For a trader volatility and large daily ranges are what brings opportunity. The most active currency pairs, or as they are referred to in the industry "the majors", have constant reliable volatility and large daily ranges. Not every single day of course, but with enough consistency as to make this a reliable factor to base your trades / trading system on. This is different with stocks. As a stock trader you constantly have to scan for opportunity. Naturally, this prevents you from being able to constantly rely on volatility and large daily ranges.

Third, many forex brokers will almost always guarantee your stop loss and limit orders. This is a great feature. Less slippage means better fills, more profit, and fewer headaches; specially if you are a day trader!

Fourth, when you trade US listed stocks you are bound by the up-tick rule when shorting. This can be a major problem causing you to suffer slippage in most cases. Not so in the forex market. Currency traders are not restricted by the up-tick rule. This means that when wanting to short, the price you see is the price you can get (of course, depending on how good your broker's execution of orders is).

In conclusion, it seems that forex trading has brought some opportunities that are harder to find when trading stocks. I think that the above are very important issues to consider but again: it all depends what type of trader you are. That is the basis and the starting point. For example, some people don't mind the fact that they have to constantly scan the market for good stock trading opportunities. For them, the more stocks the more probability for an opportunity that fits their stock trading system or systems. Trying, looking, testing and analyzing. That is our job as traders!
About the Author
ForexFace contains extensive resources for the new Forex Trader such as a wide and easy to understand glossary, articles from A to Z to give you the better base to start your Forex Trading career. Get forex trading education at http://www.forexface.com
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