The forex market is a huge international exchange where different currencies are traded, i.e. both bought and sold. It is estimated to be the largest financial market in the world, and is not governed by the rules of any one country. In addition to this, while it is open from Sunday to Friday, it is a 24 hour market and does not experience a daily closing like a traditional stock market. It is, thus, not regulated and there are no international panels to settle disputes nor are there any clearing houses to stand as guarantors of trades on the exchange. There is nothing more binding than a credit agreement between the buyer and seller in the forex market, and it works.
While this seems very nebulous to most stock market investors, forex traders are forced by competition and the need for cooperation to remain honest. There is no way for a trader to survive in the forex market unless he or she keeps up their end of the deal. Most countries will have their own body or association that serve to regulate the forex traders or brokers in that country and ensure that clients' rights are protected. This association will insist on its members accepting the decisions of their arbitration panel in case of disputes. In the United States, this organization is generally considered to be the National Futures Association or the NFA.
Another important aspect of the forex market to keep in mind is that on the market itself, there are no commissions, and thus it works on principal amount only. The so called forex brokers make money not by taking a commission from the trading parties, but by facilitating the trade itself and making their bit on the bid ask spread, i.e. the difference between the selling and buying prices. The implication is that they are not brokers in the traditional sense of the word, but more like forex traders themselves.
The single most attractive aspect of the forex market is that it is practically impossible for any investor, group of investors or financial institutions to misuse it. It is such a large market, with money flowing through it daily in estimated trillions of dollars, that no single entity, however large, can gain a statistically significant control over the forex market. This means that it is completely free of any influences, beyond the true fundamental driving forces that move it. The implication here is that this market offers every investor the same opportunity, regardless of size or influence, making it a free and fair market place, possibly the only one in the world. This aspect is very attractive to small investors in particular, since they are often the ones to suffer the most from stock market scams and fraudulent activity.
While these factors make the forex market more appealing to invest money on, it is also hard to make money on this market due to the fact that the forex trader has to always do better than the bid ask spread, which makes the opportunities for arbitrage profit limited. However, with no extra commissions and charges, the forex trader is left to enjoy every last bit of profit that he or she does make, once they are past the bid ask spread mark. Overall, the forex market is the place for a smart, vigilant and well trained investor.