The short answer is well known but the rabbit hole goes deep. It is the same reason we have global economic downturns, each special in its way but with a common enemy. The behavior of all actors linked to the forex industry is guided by many interests. Interests that do not align with individual forex trading. Let’s try to understand the gist since the short answer just turns people away from trading even though forex trading is one of the best ways to attain financial freedom, despite its quirks.
We could bring the scam debate that plagues individual trading almost since it became available to regular folk. But we could not just stop there and tell it is the only thing on the way of what is really great about forex trading. Interestingly, the first thing that comes to mind to people about forex (also binary options) is betting, scammers in suits, and very unethical ties in the backstage of brokers.
Some parts of the globe are educated and know a thing or two about the markets, be it equities, crypto, forex, or something else. Others do not, and unfortunately, these people are good targets for scammers. It is enough to be a victim and then the word of mouth forms groupthink. It is really hard to get out of the common conception that not all forex brokers are bad and not all traders are losers. Simply, once you get burned it is likely you will get burned again, which makes it even sadder knowing in most cases it is because these people are truthful or in desperate need of income.
Forex Broker Agents
In so many cases broker agents are just employees with good on-phone selling skills. Sometimes not even that. Outsourcing the workforce benefits the broker industry but not the actual client. People with just a bit of common sense know if somebody is looking to save by putting a non-native speaker to speak about sensitive, demanding topics of forex trading does not care about the client or their money. Then the client or the forex trader, beginner or not, is perceived as part of the money harvest.
We can go even deeper to understand the whole picture. These employees are also just a part of the broker scheme to make a high turnover of small deposits from small investors who are oblivious about what is about to happen, let alone about forex trading. The pressure is on sales, so much it borders with manipulation using half-truths, sometimes complete lies. If the sales team does not deliver the “investing now” hype to the client, they will get replaced eventually. All this creates a profoundly exploding “Wall Street” atmosphere seen in the movies. The reality, of course, is not easily discovered. Can you blame the business model? Some would say it is just how business is done, which gets us to the next point.
Broker Business Model
Spend some time reading about the broker model and you will notice a lot of discussions. Interestingly, some topics are not discussed much within the industry. How come there are brokers who can act as market makers with their pool of positioning against a trader that is not in conflict of interest? This conflict of interest is now covered with different technology, connectivity, liquidity providers, all of which actually belong to a bigger motion of deals between banks and brokers. Even the biggest brokers in the forex industry, like the IC Markets, openly state brokers are not following the interest of traders. Apart from a few exceptions, most make money when their clients lose. Do not get lost reading about the ECN, STP, B-book, A-book brokers, it doesn’t matter really.
At the end of the day, it falls to the traders’ community. In these places, they can share their experience based on which a new trader can decide if some broker is good or not. But what about all the people who do not always find these sources? These portals are not what first comes out of the search or the broker’s websites. Whatsmore, the marketing is carefully designed to bring out all of the good feelings about trading even though it is superficial. Their targets are not the people who dig deep to find the right portals and information, but those that are impulsive and unaware. Since the majority of traders lose in the industry, a lucrative business will continue.
The Big Banks Game
Forex has never been designed to bring fortunes to traders, on the contrary. A direct proof of that is the sentiment index available at one of the biggest forex houses, IG group. But this forex game has been present from the beginning, it is not the reason that is arguably holding back the industry. It is the fact major players have the final saying, even if it is against the law. Experienced traders have witnessed so many fines paid by funds and banks measured in billions yet no one questions if the same game will continue. It will, it seems, be how forex works and how it is connected with other industries. Major players turn so much volume fines are just one drop in the bucket. Like the concept of fines are made just to appease the law is present and functioning. Now, the big banks control the forex, governments can also generate money out of thin air, and the world elite has their wealth secured and multiplying, but this does not stop forex still being one of the best tools of your personal finance management.
Everyone remembers how most governments of the world were somewhat clumsy reacting to the COVID-19. Similar is with regulating the brokerage. As some broker CEOs agree, not much has been done to cope with problems related to the inappropriate approach to forex trading, more specifically risk management. Reducing leverage has not solved the problem, the leverage is still optional to a significant degree and it will still eat up reckless trading. It is not even a compromise solution between clients on the one side and brokers and regulators on the other. Clients still lose despite the reduced leverage for regulated brokers. To make you think, observe how much is invested in marketing and how much into education and responsible trading. Just to make things clear, forex is primarily a money network for the big players, regulators are under pressure but not by the traders. Invent something like bitcoin where the focus is on the network user alone and you have governments, companies, and the big banks looking to seize the control.
Media and Marketing
The media has its own place in the industry, as with many other “markets” not clearly defined on the economy table. What is presented to you on TV, in newspapers, and most of the other popular information sources are sometimes even made up reasons for crashes that unexpectedly happened. Smart presenters tell you a correlated chain of events that lead to a flash crash, for example, but they always seem to be late tellers. This does not help anyone except to keep you calm and quiet. Eat up your loss because it was an “accident” no one is responsible for. Experienced traders know what happened, and most of these events are driven by the major forex players on purpose. Pegged Swissy is a perfect example.
Another interesting phenomenon is market presenters always sound very smart, but they are not good traders. If it is cool and easy to understand, that is what the masses want, not what traders can benefit from.
Real Forex Trading Benefit
The real trading education starts far away from the marketing and the media for the masses. It is not always what you want to hear, but forex trading actually can be one of the best “jobs” you can get. However, to get to the top and be in the minority of winners is hard work, at least in the beginning and it is for the persistent researchers. All the unforeseen barriers to entry deny many who try. Those that remain enjoy forex knowledge which translates to many other investing areas and real life.