One of the many features of the Forex market is that it is a highly leveraged financial market. The use of margin to create leverage in the currency market is basically enabling the trader to hold a position that is much bigger than his trading account balance, and the difference being covered by the broker. Simply put its borrowing money. For instance, if the leverage ratio is set at 50:1, it means you will be able to trade $50 for every $1.
Looking at this example alone, it is quite obvious how using leverage can amplify your earnings more significantly than trading without the use of leverage. Then again, what people often forget is that the effect goes both ways. Using leverage can increase returns significantly as easily as it can wipe out a big percentage of your portfolio. With margin trading, the risk of losing more money than you invested is an ever-present one.
A contract for difference, abbreviated as CFD, is a leveraged financial product. When you trade CFDs, you are in essence betting on the change in value of the underlying asset overtime. CFD is used on a number of financial instruments, Forex being one of them. CFD providers permit long and short orders.
Going ‘short’ essentially is putting up a CFD for sale with the expectation that the price of the financial instrument which it is derived from will go down. Going “long” on the other hand is purchasing a CFD in hopes that the underlying asset’s price will go higher. Regardless of what position you take, the objective of these contracts for difference is to profit from the change in value of the underlying asset overtime. Currency futures are another financial derivative used in Forex trading. Similar to CFDs discussed in the preceding paragraphs, trading on FX futures often requires the use of leverage because the actual contract price is often substantial. Forex trading using futures entails buying or selling a specified amount of a particular currency at a predetermined price and date in the future.
For any given futures contract, your broker should provide you with its specifications, such as the contract sizes, time increments, trading hours, pricing limits, and other relevant information. These details will assist you in figuring out the profitability of that said contract. Forex futures help reduce or eliminate the risk against any non-profitable price movements.