Many of us have been fascinated by the shiny, colorful world of currencies as children, and even those of us who have little interest in the forex market have engaged in some form of currency trading while traveling outside their homeland. And these days, one will easily find people discussing the advantages and weaknesses of the US dollar even in a casual gathering.

The forex market is the currency market: it’s where the value of each currency is determined versus every other currency in the world. If you exchange one US dollar for its equivalent value in Euros, you’re already a part of the forex market, and are creating the quotes you see reported on TV screens every day. There’s no difference between the actions of a tourist at an exchange bureau, and the transactions of banks in the international market, apart from size and maturity terms.

In today’s integrated and specialized economies it’s rare to find all the components of any product produced inside one country’s borders, and so, international trade is a major creator of global forex volume. Deepening financial interactions across the globe through partnerships, buyouts of firms and international loans, along with ever complex tools of investment have been increasing the size of the forex market in recent years. If global trade and finance were the body of world economy, the forex market would be the circulatory system; in other words, there doesn’t exist a deeper, more liquid market than that of currency trading. Almost every political or economical event of long-term significance is reflected in its workings, and understanding it results in a very good comprehension of finance and economics in general.

Participating in such a vast and significant mechanism can be a rewarding and exciting experience for the individual investor. But while this is true, success during your interactions with the giants will require more than a bit of diligence and patient study. The rewards can be immense: famous investors such as George Soros, Jim Rogers, large Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs, or banks like Citibank all make millions of dollars each year from trading in the forex market. In fact George Soros is notorious as being the man who broke the Bank of England: Through successful speculations, he was able to make 1 billion dollars in just about a week.

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