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Forex career: sharply analytic mind required
A career in the foreign exchange market - a career in forex, that is - might well prove to be a rewarding profession for you, if you choose to take it up. There are a number of people who play on the forex market a little, with their own funds, but taking it up as a career, becoming a forex trader in earnest takes a different sort of talent.
The foreign exchange trader considers the factors that influence rates of exchange and foreign economies before making his trade, and takes advantage of any miscalculations in the current rates of currencies by purchasing and selling in different markets. In foreign exchange trading, though with the greatest perception and best contacts are in a better position certainly, but the ability to make rapid decisions is also necessary. The foreign exchange trader is involved in work often riskier and of a greater magnitude than most traders in an analogous position in other markets - he manages an account, looks at financial reports and newspaper reports and press releases from various countries, and for a large part of the day - perhaps as much as 80% of his working day - the forex trader spends time on his phone and on his computer, building up contacts and exploiting them to make rapid decisions involving significant amounts of money. One thing a foreign exchange trader needs in abundance is confidence - the fate of millions of dollars often depends on the decision made in a second; if you dawdle or hesitate, you might miss your chance at a great profit. Of course, a hasty decision can also lose you millions of dollars - the foreign exchange trade is sometimes dubbed the Wild West off trading; you can earn unimaginable amounts of money, but you can also lose everything you chanced.
Even more than confidence, however, the forex trader requires a sharply analytic mind - those split - second decisions can only be made on the basis of a lifetime's training. So, while degrees in various fields are useful for the forex market, those with a training and/or background in scientific or technical analysis will find they have an edge over those not similarly equipped. An accounting degree is also useful - after all, the forex trader has to keep track of profits and losses throughout the day, and must maintain a running tally of what cash he has on hand, and what he has invested. Forex traders often specialise early in their careers, keeping close watch on the economic condition of any one country or related group of countries and following the fate of a single currency. This is perhaps a smart move, since keeping track of several currencies, and the fate of the nations using them, can often take too great a toll on even the most efficient forex trader. In addition to following the fate of the currency and the economic conditions of a nation, some forex traders also make a practice of keeping tabs on the geographical condition of certain nations which are geographically unstable and/or where the economic condition depends greatly on the geographical condition of the country. For nations that are politically unstable, keeping tabs on news of unrest and war is also wise, since a sudden plunge in the price of currency can result due to these complications.
The work of a foreign exchange trader is often gruelling, and can take up a large portion of the day. Office managers often keep their trading centres often throughout the day, since the trading markets in various countries open and close at different times. While individual traders usually work in shifts, staying in the office only while the market they are interested in is open, a sudden emergency might haul them back into the office long after their shifts are over.