The off-exchange foreign currency, or forex, market is a large, growing and liquid financial market that operates 24 hours a day. It has no central trading location or exchange with many buyers and sellers. Most of the trading is conducted by telephone or through electronic trading networks. Banks, insurance companies, large corporations and other large financial institutions all use the forex markets to manage the risks associated with fluctuations in currency rates. In recent years, however, a number of firms have begun offering forex contracts to individual investors. NFA regulates some, but not all, of these forex firms. Before you open an account with a forex firm, you should ask the firm if NFA regulates its forex activities. If the answer is no, find out who does regulate them.
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