Unlike stock markets, which can trace their roots back centuries, the forex market as we understand it today is a truly new market. Of course, in its most basic sense—that of people converting one currency to another for financial advantage—forex has been around since nations began minting currencies. But the modern forex markets are a modern invention. After the accord at Bretton Woods in 1971, more major currencies were allowed to float freely against one another. The values of individual currencies vary, which has given rise to the need for foreign exchange services and trading.
You might want to consider the following example as a point of reference if you start to doubt yourself: Dr. Alexander Elder, in one of his lectures spoke about a story of an old friend of his, a private trader who was inconsistent and experienced periods of wins and losses alike. In a couple of years this trader's name ended up on the US list of top money managers. When Elder asked ''How, what changed?'', the trader said, ''I am using the same trading strategy that I always have''. ''What changed is that I stopped trading against myself and my strategy''.
Since the market is made by each of the participating banks providing offers and bids for a particular currency, the market pricing mechanism is based on supply and demand. Because there are such large trade flows within the system, it is difficult for rogue traders to influence the price of a currency. This system helps create transparency in the market for investors with access to interbank dealing.
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