Forex trading and options trading is entirely different and understanding how they differ is essential to becoming a successful trader.
An option is a contract with fixed risks and fixed rewards. When trading options, you invest in the contracts that can trade stocks, ETFs or index products. With this, a trader must decide if an underlying asset (stock, commodity or currency) will go up or down during a period, and they can see upfront the potential earning if their prediction is correct. When trading Forex, the aim is to profit from fluctuating currency rates. Trading currency compares the value differences of two base currencies.
The Forex market is technically accessible 24/7, but most Forex traders don’t trade on the weekend. Connected to the stock market is the options market; therefore, there are trading restrictions to the standard 9 am to 4:30 pm trading hours. While trading 24 hours sounds great, it doesn’t allow for a rest period for the trader. With set trading hours, options traders have no choice but to stop after a particular time, which can be both physically and mentally beneficial.
Forex trades have no delays and execution is immediate. Option trades, on the other hand, can be delayed by many common issues experienced in different markets, except for the Forex market. Therefore, when trading Forex, you will most likely always get the price you want.
Leverage is the use of borrowed capital, most likely from your brokerage, to increase the potential return of an investment. When trading Forex, leverage levels are much higher than when trading options. Forex leverage can range between 50 to 400. While this is enticing, you must be very cautious when dealing with margin trading, as overexposure can lead to significant losses. With options, you can use putt and call contracts to increase your leverage significantly.
Forex traders must have position limits. That means that the trader’s online software will automatically create a margin call when the margin amount goes over the value of the trading account. Margin calls act as an automated safeguard that ensures the trader does not lose control of their losses. Also, with Forex, the trader determines the time between trades. Options trading, on the other hand, gives the trader a specified period of trading before the options expires. But don’t count options out! With this kind of trading, traders can use strategies such as buy-writes to help eliminate the risks taken.
Options trading requires a brokerage to be the middleman between the trader and the stock market. Fees are included due to this, as that is how most brokerage services are paid. However, with Forex trading there are no commission fees because it is an inter-bank market. Being an inter-bank market allows for instant buyer-to-seller matches without a go-between. If a trader does use a Forex trading firm, they will add a spread between the bid and ask price to make their profit. The Forex trader will end up paying slightly higher than the base currency.
Forex trading has many pros, but traders looking to make a decision must remember that this is currency trading. For day traders, especially this means that little fluctuation will occur during a regular trading day. This market only becomes interesting when a major world event takes place. But with options trading, the stock market allows for a more exciting trading day. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Make sure your trading choice matches your style and resources.
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