Through forex (foreign exchange) brokerage accounts, you can make bets on global currencies by buying or selling currency pairs that respond to global economic developments. Opening in the United States on Sunday afternoon and closing on Friday afternoon after stock traders have finished their day’s work, the forex market is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Monday through Friday. The global stock and bond markets are dwarfed by the enormous volume of currency trading, which is estimated to be $6 trillion per day.

Brokers handle fees that may include commissions, access to professional advice, and withdrawal requests. They hold your money in an account that changes value every night in response to daily gains and losses. Potential clients should do their research before opening an account because some brokers bury their fee schedules in legalese, which can be buried deep in website fine print. Here’s a detailed look at how to pick a forex broker to help you avoid unpleasant surprises.

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