Thursday, April 10, 2008

Forex Bucket Shop Deceptions

Cash exchange rates, an Over-The-Counter (OTC) instrument, has become an easy-profit tool for many private business ventures, calling themselves legitimate Forex brokers. However they promote it, the business model reeks.

Selling Fantasies

Every ad starts with some wild claims of something along the lines of “Make $5,000 a week sitting at home!”, “Easy money from Forex!”, or anything else with excessive amounts of exclamation marks, you get the drift. They entice people with fantasies where truth lies away in distance.

What is the truth?

Unlike centralized exchanges (e.g. NYSE, AMEX, CBOE, and etc.), OTC item prices settle upon agreement of two private parties, unregulated. The Forex brokers understand this and exploit it for profit.

These bucket shops trade against the clients, i.e. they serve as market makers and more often than not take the other side of trades against clients. They understand statistically that most financial market traders perform with negative expectancies, hence making trading against a losing crowd profitable business. This aslo explains why they target and welcome financial industry newbies so much.

What about the ones smart enough to eventually trade profitably? These brokers operate to preserve capital, and they resort to whatever means available and prevent consistent winnings off any client. Software disconnects, lagging/fraudulent price quotes, unfilled orders, or simply account banning have become some, certainly not all, common bucket-shop practices.

The above explains why most Forex brokers have incentives for clients to lose, and hence not legitimate. It has given Foreign Exchange trading a bad name, though it can become lucrative still, just not through the typical bucket-shops.

Trading Forex Away From Bucket-Shops

Electronic Centered Networks, ECNs (like ARCA or BatsTrading), allow traders to interact without market makers. These types of brokers charge very low commissions and have only incentives for clients to trade profitably.

Foreign Exchange options also provide profit driven opportunities for those adept in forecasting exchange rate moves. Centralized on option exchanges, these derivative instruments not only provide valid markets, the added leverage promotes higher potential returns.

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