An investor can profit from the difference between two interest rates in two different economies by buying the currency with the higher interest rate and shorting the currency with the lower interest rate. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, it was very common to short the Japanese yen (JPY) and buy British pounds (GBP) because the interest rate differential was very large. This strategy is sometimes referred to as a "carry trade."
There are actually three ways that institutions, corporations and individuals trade forex: the spot market, the forwards market, and the futures market. Forex trading in the spot market has always been the largest market because it is the "underlying" real asset that the forwards and futures markets are based on. In the past, the futures market was the most popular venue for traders because it was available to individual investors for a longer period of time. However, with the advent of electronic trading and numerous forex brokers, the spot market has witnessed a huge surge in activity and now surpasses the futures market as the preferred trading market for individual investors and speculators. When people refer to the forex market, they usually are referring to the spot market. The forwards and futures markets tend to be more popular with companies that need to hedge their foreign exchange risks out to a specific date in the future.
Euphoria – While feeling euphoric is usually a good thing, it can actually do a lot of damage to a trader’s account after he or she hits a big winner or a large string of winners. Traders can become overly-confident after winning a few trades in the market, for this reason most traders experience their biggest losing period’s right after they hit a bunch of winners in the market. It is extremely tempting to jump right back in the market after a “perfect” trade setup or after you hit 5 winning trades in a row…there’s a fine line between keeping your feet grounded in reality and thinking that everything you do in the markets will turn to gold.
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