Halifa Ferman is a successful Forex trader who ventured into the world of Forex at the age of 49. Halifa always wanted to be independent, but her parents were very conservative. They married her off to a bureaucrat at a very young age. Decades later, when Halifa was 48, her husband died. By that time, her two now adult children had settled into nice jobs and fulfilling relationships. And they lived in remote cities. Alone, Halifa didn’t know what to do with her life. Being someone who still bore the independent fighting spirit, she decided to invest her spare time in different activities, one of them being Forex. She soon became skilled enough. She could keep her trading account more or less intact as she acquired the skills by trial and error, and this was atypical of most novices. She has since become quite a successful trader.
Halifa is a member of the retail trader community, one of several that make up the major players in the world of Forex.
A DECENTRALIZED MARKET AND ITS MAJOR PLAYERS
Unlike stocks or futures, there is no centralized exchange in Forex, and there is no single price either. Quotes from different currency dealers vary constantly, and this is what makes the Forex market so exciting. Forex is a huge market and competition is so fierce, so you get the best possible deal.
But the decentralized nature of the Forex market doesn’t make it chaotic either. There is a certain hierarchy with different kinds of players in the market. At the very top is the interbank market, composed of the largest banks in the world. They trade directly with each other or electronically. The currencies of most developed countries have floating exchange rates relative to others.
Then comes the rung of hedge funds, corporations, retail market makers, and retail ECNs. They don’t have close credit relationships with the interbank segment, so they’ll have to do transactions via commercial banks. Their rates are therefore slightly higher than in the interbank market.
At the very bottom of the ladder come retail traders. This group of players was a practically nonexistent part of the ladder before, as it was very hard for individuals to engage in the Forex market. But thanks to the advent of the internet, electronic trading, and retail brokers, the difficult barriers to entry in Forex trading have all been taken down.
Retail trading is a relatively small part of the huge, $5 trillion Forex market. In the retail market, traders speculate on the exchange rate between different currencies. They buy currencies they expect to rise in value and sell them at a higher rate if their predictions prove to be correct; buy cheap and sell high, of course.
Getting skilled as a Forex trader means they get such predictions right most of the time. And a good trader is also good at managing risk. This means even if he/she errs on the side of prediction, the major part of his capital will be protected.
ANYBODY CAN TRADE FOREX
Anybody can trade Forex regardless of their educational or professional background. You can trade Forex if you are willing to learn the basic skills necessary to succeed in Forex and the emotional stability to be rational with your trading decisions. An ability to perform fundamental and technical analysis will enhance your capability as a trader but they won’t be enough to make you a good trader. A lot of people still follow a bare-bones approach to trading and are still successful.
Forex is the easiest market to enter and get started, and also the least expensive. You can trade from the comfort of your home and only when you feel like it, morning, noon, or evening.
Halifa has since left her other endeavors except for some newfound hobbies and her work with a nonprofit to promote better education for girls. She doesn’t need any other source of income as she has already made a modest fortune. And, being a trader, she gets to lead a very active and rich social life besides enjoying true independence.
AN INSPIRING LIFE STORY FOR ASPIRING TRADERS
Halifa drew much of her inspiration from Ingeborg Mootz. Mootz is a German woman who became a millionaire after beginning her trading career at the age of 83.
Halifa makes it a point to narrate Mootz’s life story to anyone who asks her about the ideal background for a career in trading. The truth is that there is no ideal background. Anyone with a penchant for speculative decision making and a drive to invest time and energy can trade Forex.