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Stock vs Forex Market

Stock market

Investing in Stocks has been around us for hundred of years so it’s nothing new about them. Companies issue stocks to raise capital for new projects and expansion. Each share of the stock represents a partial ownership in the company. So in other words you become a co owner of the company and therefore invest in the market the company is working in.

When the company does well and makes profit, it’s value rises and therefore the value of stocks rises as they are a representation of companies value and ownership. When this happens you can either sell these stocks for a higher value or wait for even more profits if you belive that the value of the company will rise even more. Somethimes when the company is doing well and it has good profit the company will issue dividends. Dividends are in some way a payout to the stockholders from the profit that the company has made in the recent years. These is also an interesting and profitable way to make maney in stocks. Dividends can be issued once a year, twice a year or even quarterly.

Stocks are traded on Stock exchange markets. Most stocks are bought and sold through brokers (agents) who charge a commission or a fee for there services.

Forex market

Forex (FOReign EXchange market) is an inter-bank market that took shape in 1971 when global trade shifted from fixed exchange rates to floating ones. This is a set of transactions among forex market agents involving exchange of specified sums of money in a currency unit of any given nation for currency of another nation at an agreed rate as of any specified date. During exchange, the exchange rate of one currency to another currency is determined simply: by supply and demand – exchange to which both parties agree.

The scope of transactions in the global currency market is constantly growing, which is due to development of international trade and abolition of currency restrictions in many nations. Global daily conversion transactions came to $1,982 billion in mid-1998 (the London market accounted for some 32% of daily turnover; the New York market exchanged approx. 18%, and the German market, 10%). Not only the scope of transactions but also the rates that mark the market development are impressive: in 1977, the daily turnover stood at five billion U.S. dollars; it grew to 600 billion U.S. dollars over ten years – to one trillion in 1992. Speculative transactions intended to derive profit from jobbing on the exchange rate differences make up nearly 80% of total transactions. Jobbing attracts numerous participants – both financial institutions and individual investors.

Comparison

While both the forex and the stock markets deal with money, the biggest difference between the two is the sheer volume of money transacted on a daily basis as well the span of operations. The forex market deals with nearly 2 trillions of dollars which in comparison to any stock market is much larger. The players in the forex market are also different, where the money transactions are done between governments, international banks and financial institutions of different countries.

The amount of money which is bought, sold or traded in a forex market can quickly be turned into liquid cash, or better still, it is actually made into hard cash. The speed with which such transactions take place in a forex market can be really fast for any investor, irrespective of the country of his origin.

The other difference between a stock and a forex market is that stock markets operate in shares and businesses which belong to a specific country; forex markets on the other hand operate globally and can include any and every country of the world. Its span of operations is far wider. The market encompasses nearly every country of the world and deal with trading their individual currencies which has nothing to do with any specific business or corporation.

While stock markets operate only on business working days and may remain closed on bank holidays and weekends, the forex market has to consider the several time zones across which it operates. Hence the forex market is open 24 hours 7 days a week to accommodate all the countries. While one market opens another closes. Because of the difference in time zones, one country may close its market but another in another part of the world has opened its own. Thus the trading in a forex market happens on a non-stop basis.

The stock market of any country operates with the prevailing currency of that country. For instance, Japan will work with the yen and the US stock market will work with dollars, Indian stock market with Indian Rupees, etc. The forex market, on the other hand, works with many countries and trades in many currencies. These are the major differences between the stock and the forex markets.

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20. Dec, 2010