Is Forex Trading Profitable?

Forex trading has the potential to make you rich if you are an unusually knowledgeable currency trader or a hedge fund with a lot of capital. For most retail traders, it is not an easy path to riches and can be a volatile career full of ups and downs.

Like other investment markets, forex trading is legal and can be profitable – depending on how traders approach it and what strategies they use when forex trading. If you want to ensure forex trading is profitable, take the time to learn about it and develop the right strategy for your financial goals.

You will have to maintain the right mindset when forex trading to have a higher chance of success.

Profitability of Forex Trading

Can You Get Rich Forex Trading?

If you understand how forex trading works, you can get rich by trading on forex markets. However, this will require a significant amount of education, discipline, and risk management. It will require you to learn effective forex trading strategies. This way you can make more profitable forex trades than losing ones.

It is essential not to look at forex trading as a get-rich-quick scheme. While you can make money trading forex, it is unlikely that you will do so at a pace that will have you earning millions anytime soon. Rather, trading forex can be profitable if you look at it as a way to augment your existing income or as a way to make a decent living.

You will also have to take the time and effort to learn about the forex market and forex trading strategies. The reality is that many traders often lose money on the market. This is especially true for beginner retail traders who aren't sure of what they are doing and look at forex as a way to make money quickly without doing the legwork. So, you should be prepared that forex trading involves as much dedication as a regular job – probably even more.

How Much Do Forex Traders Make in a Year?

On average the average salary ranges between about $50,000 to $155,000.

People consider forex trading profitable because there is no limit on how much you can earn on the forex markets. With the right trading strategies and a little luck, you can earn several hundreds of thousands of dollars within a few weeks.

However, this is a rare occurrence and requires the forex trader to take a significant risk. Using more accepted trading practices can result in gains of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars with a small amount of initial funds. As your leverage and risk capacity increase, you can then increase your earning potential over time.

Remember that many traders do not disclose their earnings, so it is possible to earn more money trading forex. Ultimately, it depends on your forex trading strategies and your risk appetite when trading forex.

Some forex traders also work as professional traders for investment firms. As a professional forex trader, you can earn an average of about $100,000 per year, along with any commissions you might make. This average varies depending on the country you are in and may be higher or lower depending on where you live and work.

In the US, a professional forex trader working a full-time job earns an average of $98000, while the highest (reported by Indeed) was $198000. Forex Trading is a good career even if you decide to work as a forex trader for a company, bank, or business. In fact, (Indeed also reports) forex traders can make a significant amount of money through commissions on successful trades they execute.

The key is understanding the forex market, forecasting trends, and actively trading to “scalp” profits when they present themselves.

Is It a Good Idea to Trade Forex?

Forex trading, or your ability to make profits from it, depends on a few factors. These include:

  1. Your broker/platform
  2. Your strategy
  3. Your Asset

Broker

To get access to the forex market, place bids, buy and sell currencies, you need to have a forex broker. The forex broker connects the buyer/trader to the market's available assets and facilitates the exchange.

Forex brokers will charge fees and commissions on the trades you make or will have a fee for carrying out various tasks in the forex exchange, such as buying and selling. Similarly, you (the buyer/trader) will also depend on the broker's resources to do business – for instance, the trading platform, forex trading information, and various tools you will need for forex trading.

The first step to making trading forex profitable is finding a good broker who gives you all the resources you need and has low spreads.

Strategy

There are a few different ways through which you can make a forex trading profit. All profitable forex traders have a defined strategy to resort to. Usually, forex traders will be:

  1. Swing trading
  2. Scalping (day trading)
  3. Trend trading

This is not to say that a certain forex strategy is more profitable than another, but it's about finding which strategy works best for you. For a forex strategy to be profitable, you must have the right information, tools, and appropriate trading style.

Asset

There are hundreds of currencies in the world and thousands of currency pairs that you can trade. For example, if you are trading a US dollar for British Pound (USD/GBP pair), you are giving up US dollars to buy British Pounds and vice versa. This pair happens to be one of the most profitable forex trading pairs you can opt for. Similarly, the Euro and US (EUR/USD) pair is also a very popular option.

Since these currencies are in high demand all over the world, they are quick-moving pairs, and they offer traders the ability to make more money by executing lots of trades in a short amount of time. On the contrary, other pairs are quite slow or simply don't have sufficient margins for a trader to make much of a profit.

How Long Does It Take to be Profitable in Forex?

When you start trading forex, it is like starting any business. You depend on your skills and the trends in the financial markets to make a profit. How long it takes you to make a profit depends on a variety of factors. These include:

  1. The amount of capital you have
  2. Leverage
  3. Risk management
  4. Trading success rate

Capital

Institutional traders that work for banks, governments, and other large organizations have millions and even billions of dollars at their disposal. When they make a trade and earn a 0.5% return, they can make hundreds of millions, up to billions of dollars. If you are starting out with $100, even if you make a 30% profit, you would have essentially only made a $30 profit.

While this is a fantastic ROI, since the capital is so small, it's not a feasible return for someone who wants to take this up as a profession. The amount of capital you have to invest will play a significant role in how long it takes to be successful to the extent that you can make this your full-time income.

Leverage

Forex Brokers offer leverage. Essentially, you are borrowing money from the broker to trade. A leverage of 10:1 would mean that for every dollar you invest, you can trade $10. So if you have a capital of $100, with a 10:1 leverage, you can trade $1000 from the borrowed capital.

While leverage is a great way to start trading with lower capital, it also has its downsides.

Once you have your strategy dialed in, this is a great way to make more money quickly.

Risk

Every strategy has its implications of risk, just as getting leverage from the broker poses a risk. Naturally, the more risk you can take, the more profit you can earn, but you would also be putting yourself in danger of greater losses. As you understand forex trading, you can start taking riskier and more profitable positions and improving your earning potential.

Conclusion

To recap, forex trading can be profitable. However, most retail traders lose money in the forex markets, due to poor risk management and trading strategies. Inform yourself about different strategies, pick reputable forex brokers, understand currency pairs, and learn about technical analysis and how real-world events impact the forex market. The better informed you are, the easier it will be to get into forex trading. Also, keep an eye on other forex traders and see what they do to make successful trades.

About the author

Ziga Breznik is the owner and head of research at PublicFinanceInternational.org – he is an active investor in the forex, crypto and stock markets – he has seen trading platforms disappear along with his investments – especially during the “crypto boom”. Ziga learned the hard way that finding a reputable and trustworthy online brokerage is key to long-term success in the financial markets. He founded PublicFinanceInternational.org as a platform where he shares his research with one goal in mind: to provide unbiased and trustworthy online brokers reviews.