This article will provide an overview of three major career areas in forex.
1. Forex Market Analyst/Currency Researcher/Currency Strategist
A forex market analyst, also called a currency researcher or currency strategist, works for a forex brokerage and performs research and analysis in order to write daily market commentary about the forex market and the economic and political issues that affect currency values. These professionals use technical, fundamental and quantitative analysis to inform their opinions and must be able to produce high-quality content very quickly to keep up with the fast pace of the forex market. Both individual and institutional traders use this news and analysis to inform their trading decisions.
An analyst might also provide educational seminars and webinars to help clients and potential clients get more comfortable with trading forex. Analysts also try to establish a media presence in order to become a trusted source of forex information and promote the companies they work for. Thus, there is a large marketing component to being a forex analyst. (This market can be treacherous for unprepared investors. Find out how to avoid the mistakes that keep FX traders from succeeding, read Top Reasons Forex Traders Fail.)
An analyst should have a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance or a similar area and may be expected to have at least one year of experience working in the financial markets as a trader and/or analyst and be an active forex trader. Communication and presentation skills are desirable in any job, but are particularly important for an analyst. Analysts should also be well-versed in economics, international finance and international politics.
2. Account Manager/Professional Trader/Institutional Trader
If you have been consistently successful trading forex on your own, you may have what it takes to become a professional forex trader. Currency mutual funds and hedge funds that deal in forex trading need account managers and professional forex traders to make buy and sell decisions. So do institutional investors such as banks, multinational corporations and central banks that need to hedge against foreign currency value fluctuations. Some account managers even manage individual accounts, making trade decisions and executing trades based on their clients’ goals and risk tolerance. (If you are looking for answers, check out Top 7 Questions About Currency Trading Answered.)
These positions have very high stakes: Account managers are responsible for large amounts of money, and their professional reputations and the reputations of their employers ride on how well they handle those funds. They are expected to meet profit targets while working with an appropriate level of risk. These jobs may require experience with specific trading platforms as well as work experience in finance and a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or business. Institutional traders may need to be effective traders not just of forex, but also of commodities, options, derivatives and other financial instruments.
Regulators attempt to prevent fraud in the forex industry, and there are numerous ways to work in forex regulation. Regulatory bodies hire many different types of professionals and have a presence in numerous countries. They also operate in both the public and private sectors. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the government forex regulator in the United States; the National Futures Association (NFA) sets regulation standards, and screens forex dealer members from the private sector.