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Being a forex trader: Is it for you?

Being a forex trader is not for the faint of heart. The foreign exchange market is a fast-paced world that operates 24 hours a day, 5 and a half days a week. For some traders, fortunes are made and lost very quickly. Yet for someone with the right know-how and enough motivation and drive, forex trading can be rewarding both personally and financially.

How many people make their living as forex traders? It’s hard to say for sure, but we know the number is smaller than the number of stock traders. Most forex traders are actually international banks and other huge corporations; private citizens comprise only about 2 percent of the entire forex market.

Nonetheless, they are out there, and the number is growing. As the Internet and other technological advancements make it more accessible, the forex market becomes more manageable and more average citizens become traders. To begin with, most of these “day traders” keep their regular jobs and do forex as a side project. It’s notoriously difficult to make a living as a forex trader at the start, and most new investors find they must allow for the learning curve before they’re really ready to do it full-time.

Once a new trader gets the hang of it, buying and selling currencies with some degree of confidence and turning a profit, he may find that he can quit his day job and focus on trading full-time. There is certainly enough activity to fill a forex trader’s day, with news that could affect currency rates coming in almost constantly. A smart trader watches this information continually, almost obsessively, always on the watch for a sign that the time is right to buy or sell.

With home computers and high-speed Internet service available nearly everywhere, being a trader from home has become feasible. Some traders eventually become brokers, but the excitement — and the potential profit — lies in working for yourself. With a stock market, a bad day could mean disaster. But with the forex market, a bad day for one nation’s economy hardly matters, since there are still a dozen more strong, viable currencies to be traded. In that way, some consider being a forex trader slightly more stable than being a stock broker. Either way, there is always risk when money and speculation are involved, but with dedication and resourcefulness, you can make a handsome living as a forex trader.