Forex trading by retail investors has grown in recent years, thanks to online trading platforms giving everyone the ability to trade from their houses. One of the reasons so many people are attracted to trading forex compared to other markets is that with forex you can usually get much higher leverage than you would elsewhere. A common question many traders are asking them self is, should they trade forex with leverage and how much leverage to use?
The concept of leverage is used by both investors and companies. Investors use leverage to significantly increase the returns that can be provided on an investment. They lever their investments by using various instruments that include options, futures and margin accounts. Companies can use leverage to finance their assets. In other words, instead of issuing stock to raise capital, companies can use debt financing to invest in business operations in an attempt to increase shareholder value.
In forex, investors use leverage to profit from the fluctuations in exchange rates between two different countries. The leverage that is achievable in the forex market is one of the highest that investors can obtain. Leverage is a loan that is provided to an investor by the broker that is handling his or her forex account. When an investor decides to invest in the forex market, he or she must first open up a margin account with a broker. Usually, the amount of leverage provided is either 50:1, 100:1 or 200:1.
Although the ability to earn significant profits by using leverage is substantial, leverage can also work against investors. For example, if the currency underlying one of your trades moves in the opposite direction of what you believed would happen, leverage will greatly amplify the potential losses. To avoid such a catastrophe, forex traders usually implement a strict trading style that includes the use of stop and limit orders.
You should understand why forex leverage is risky and why many traders are actually willing to accept such risks. Even though risks involved when trading without leverage are smaller, so are your returns, so you should definitely consider your depositing capabilities before trading without leverage. Also, not every strategy will be as profitable when you are avoiding leverage. Generally traders should consider marginal trading, yet the level of leverage should be chosen with care.