Ethical trading amid the Forex boom
Mention Forex trading and what immediately springs to mind?
13:17 27 May 2018
Big city financial whizz kids with a greed is good mentality who would trample anyone underfoot and sell their own grandmothers to make a quick buck? The sort of people who wear overpriced designer clothes manufactured in south east Asian sweatshops and driving gas-guzzling behemoths?
What would any environmentally and socially responsible person want to have to do with that sort of industry?
Well, the answer is one that comes in two parts. One is that Hollywood depicts Wall Street traders with the same accuracy that it reflects the average New York police detective. Fiction is inevitably either complete fantasy or at least an exaggeration of real life – that’s what makes the movies so compelling.
The more interesting point, though, is that even if there is a degree of truth behind the Hollywood image, and certainly back in the 1980s there almost certainly was, we are now in a unique position to affect change from within. Sounds intriguing? Then read on, and we’ll explore how Forex trading can be an ethically and environmentally sound way to make a living.
Low cost, zero emission commuting
Let’s start with the basics. We all have to work for a living, and if we can do so without having to get into the car or use public transport, we are off to a great start. The beauty of trading is that you can do it from absolutely anywhere, just so long as you can get online. There are virtual brokers, or you can engage a real-life human one online, and there are plenty of trading platforms and apps that you can download onto your desktop or smartphone.
Whether you’re in the home office, sitting in the garden or in your favourite community café, you can be at work by simply opening an app.
Wresting power from the institutions
Without wishing to get too evangelical here, the financial institutions are in a position of enormous power, influence and knowledge. The large banks have large clients and the large clients make large Forex exchanges. The majority of the time, this is for legitimate reasons, whether it is to make commercial transactions or to hedge risks.
The point is, their ability to affect shifts in the global Fore market, which is worth an estimated five trillion dollars every day, is immense.
Of course, each bank is an entity in its own right, but they are positioned across the globe, in different economies with different checks, balances and duties of care. Does that mean collusion is commonplace? Probably not. Is it possible? Absolutely yes. Does it happen from time to time? Almost certainly.
Even when a bank has strict controls in place, there is always the possibility of one person’s acts having a major impact. Barings Banks was one of the most venerable institutions on the planet in what was seen as one of the most ethical cities, and had been around for years. It had financed the Napoleonic Wars, for goodness sake. And then Nick Leeson came along and changed everything forever.
How can you or I make a difference? It all comes down to the famous quote by Edmund Burke. There are literally millions of people trading Forex from their laptops and smartphones, all around the world. Today, they are still outnumbered and outgunned by the professional investment bankers, of course they are. But tomorrow? Anything is possible.
Where do you start
So if millions of people are downing tools and spending their days sitting at home trading Forex ,it must be easy, right? Unfortunately not – or perhaps fortunately, as if that was really the case, the entire global economic infrastructure would probably collapse in on itself! To learn how to trade Forex successfully, you need to be ready to invest plenty of time – in fact, figuratively speaking, you will be going back to school. If economics and statistics were not your forte, then you either need to find some new levels of resolve, or perhaps this is not the path for you after all.
On the big screen, traders spend their time buying and selling in a pressurized environment with millions resting on every transaction. In the real world, the majority of their time is spent analysing trends, performing statistical analysis and observing what is happening in the wider world.
And perhaps it is this last consideration that makes the idea of getting involved in the money markets even more compelling. Forex trading doesn’t just provide a way to make money without having to commute into town, it also gives those who truly study it a real insight into the way the world turns. The factors that influence changing currency prices are astonishing in their intricacies, but when you see them fall into place, it is little short of beautiful.
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