FX, which can also be referred to as Forex, is the name for foreign currency and exchange. Forex refers to the action of changing one currency into another – and there are many reasons why people may do this, and the most popular that we will all be familiar with is when we change the currency to visit a foreign country.
However, FX can be changed for other reasons too, with one of the most common reasons being as a way of trading. Although FX has been around for many years, it has only recently become accessible because of the internet. Read on to find out more about this trading method and about Forex hedging.
So, as mentioned above, FX has only recently become accessible to independent traders but because of the internet, it has become easier for anyone to trade Forex. Before diving into the Forex market, traders must get to know how it works – to do this, those looking to develop a Forex strategy can access courses online that can help them become familiar with terms that will help them throughout the process.
Much like other investments, trading Forex requires you to stay on top of your numbers each day, and you should also be aware that it can take a toll on your emotions as the market often works in peaks and troughs – make sure you know the ins and outs before becoming too invested to give you the best chance of success.
Pros and Cons of FX trading
There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages that come with trading in FX and it is best to have an idea of how they both weigh up so you can decide whether diving into this type of trading is best for you.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
Let’s start with the pros: Forex trading requires less money to start with than you’d find with other types of trading, so therefore it is easier to get started. Another advantage is that Forex is traded 24/7, 5 and a half days a week, so there is plenty of time to make a profit and try and correct losses.
Leverage is also beneficial so that you can start with a small amount of money and multiply it with ease.
Now let’s look at the cons – one of the most important to remember is that Forex markets are some of the most volatile, so whilst you may be able to make a profit, you will also set yourself up to lose money too.
FX trading also requires you to have an idea about how other countries are doing economically to understand what really impacts the value of the currency you’re trading.
If you’re hoping to make an income with your Forex trading, you may find that it is more difficult, as this is something that FX markets lack.
What is FX hedging?
Forex hedging can be put in place to protect an investor, trader, or business’s position from moving within the markets.
Hedging is not used as a way of making money, it is simply a way of implementing various strategies that can help FX traders protect losses from taking place.
How does it work?
There are a few different ways of using a Forex hedge, some of which are spot contracts, foreign currency options, and futures. To start with, let’s look at spot contracts – these are common for retailers trading in FX, they are very short-term and unfortunately not the most efficient when it comes to hedging.
Foreign currency options are popular as they allow traders to buy or sell currency for a fixed price in the future. Forex hedging can be useful so that those trading in Forex can manage losses more easily so that it does not affect their business.
However, it is essential that you know how to use hedging correctly to get the most benefit from it.
External and Internal hedging
There are two main types of hedging methods that companies can use, internal and external. Internal methods are strategies that companies can use that are available to them within their business – these are often both easier and cheaper to put into place.
A few examples of internal hedging strategies are, Risk sharing agreements – if a difference arises in the exchange rate, two companies will pay an equal share to prevent the loss, and leading and lagging, which is when a company makes or receives payment when currency works in their favor.
So, what is external hedging? This is when a company chooses a third party to help them manage hedging within their transactions.
The types of hedging that may be offered to companies, in this case, are Forward trades – this allows companies to set a rate in the future so that they don’t lose money if a currency weakens, or they could choose Spot trades, which we mentioned above as – they are simply trades made on the spot.