Basic Differences Between Forex And Stocks That You Should Know
8 min read

The range of trading instruments available to today's active investors and traders is expanding, ranging from futures and options, Forex and stocks markets. Making the right decision when choosing one of these markets to trade on can be challenging, and there are numerous aspects to take into account.

The internet and electronic trading have opened the doors to active traders and investors around the world to participate in a growing variety of markets. The decision to trade Forex and stocks, futures contracts or all of them is often based on many factors that we will dive into in this article.

Learn more:

>> Enhance Your Investment Experience With Different Trading Forms 

>> Forex History: How Did It All Begin? 

>> Top 5 ways to generate income at home from the FXCE ecosystem 


Differences Between Forex And Stocks

The table below summarizes a few key differences between Forex and stocks market:





Currency pairs

Company shares

Trading Hours

24 Hour Markets

8 Hour Markets


Up to 1:1000

Typically 1:2


Spread, swap, deposit/withdraw

Minimal or no commissions







Large volume around $7.5 trillion per day

Roughly $200 billion per day

Let’s take a more in-depth look into how exactly Forex and stocks in comparison: 

1. Products

The first category to compare between Forex and stocks. There are eight major currencies traders can focus on, while in the stock universe there are thousands. With only eight economies to focus on and since forex is traded in pairs, traders will look for diverging and converging trends between the currencies to match up a forex pair to trade. 

Eight currencies are easier to keep an eye on than thousands of stocks. The variables that affect the major currencies can be easily monitored using an economic calendar.

While there are thousands of stocks, there are just eight major currencies that traders can concentrate on. Because forex is traded in pairs and there are only eight economies to concentrate on, traders will search for divergence and convergent patterns between the currencies to match up a forex pair to trade. 

It is simpler to monitor eight currencies than thousands of equities. With the aid of an economic calendar, the factors that influence the major currencies may be easily tracked.

>> The commodities of Forex are narrow to focus while stocks require wider focus.

2. Trading Hours

Since it is not traded on a formal exchange, Forex is an over-the-counter market. Interbank trading is made possible by this market. This implies that trading might take place during various nations' business hours and trading sessions all around the world. As a result, the forex trader gets access to trading almost 24 hours for 5 days a week. 

On the other hand, major stock indices trade at various times and are influenced by many factors. To learn more about trading these markets, including information on trading hours, see the Major Indices page. When it comes to trading equities, these hours are frequently 9 to 5 office hours.

>> Forex has more flexible time to trade and needs more time to update the news.

3. Fees

The majority of Forex brokers don't charge commission; instead, they rely on the spread, which is the distinction between the purchase price and the sell price, to cover their costs. The spread and a broker's commission are frequently due by traders when trading stocks, futures contracts, or important indices like the S&P 500.

When compared to the costs of trading other contracts of Forex and stocks, Forex spreads are rather transparent. The spread for the EUR/USD exchange rate is highlighted within the executable trading rates in the table below. The cost of your position size can be determined upfront, prior to execution, using the spread.

On the other hand, because focus on stable growth in the long run, stocks ask for more types of fees to manage and get commission. 

>> Although you get a few more kinds of fees on stocks, the profit you take would easily cover it in case the strategy is on point. So take it easy.

4. Liquidity

A market with large volume trading typically has great liquidity. Tighter spreads and cheaper transactions are a result of liquidity. One of the key benefits of trading the Forex market as opposed to the stock market is that significant currency pairs often have exceptionally low spreads and transaction fees. 

>> Forex and stocks have high liquidity, but currency pairs seem a little bit better. In the case of blue chips or reliable indexes, this is not a matter for your investment.

5. Volume 

The magnitude of the Forex market is one of the greatest distinctions between it and the stock market. An estimated $7.5 trillion worth of forex is traded every day, with the majority of these transactions taking place on a few key pairs like EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and AUD/USD. The dollar volume of all stock markets combined around the world, which averages around $200 billion each day, is dwarfed by the magnitude of the currency market.

The benefits of having such a high trading volume for traders are numerous. High volume often enables traders to execute their orders more quickly and more closely to their desired prices. Although gaps occur in all markets, more liquidity at each pricing point makes it easier for traders to enter and exit the market.

>> Forex market has more fluctuation and brings more chances to take profit sooner. Parallelly, it is a little more dangerous, too.

Which Should You Trade Between Forex And Stocks?

Your objectives and preferred trading style will play a major role in your decision to trade forex or stocks.

1. Short-term 

A trading style where the trader looks to open and close trades within minutes, taking advantage of small price movements.

Traders can focus more on volatility and less on fundamental variables that move the market. As a result of placing more trades, beginner traders may lose more money if their strategy isn't fine-tuned.

>> Suited to forex trading due to inexpensive costs of executing positions. Some exchanges require large capital account balances to trade. Most forex brokers only require you to have enough capital to sustain the margin requirements.

2. Medium-term

A trading style where the trader looks to hold positions for one or more days, where the trades are often initiated due to technical reasons.

Lower capital requirements compared with other styles because a trader is looking for larger moves. Trades must be accompanied with analysis which may take time.

>> Suited to trading both Forex and stocks.

3. Long-term

A trading style where a trader looks to hold positions for months or years, often basing decisions on long-term fundamental factors.

Traders do not have to spend as much time analyzing. Large capital requirements required to cover volatile movements.

>> Suited more to stock trading because the forex market tends to vary in direction more than stocks.

Tips to trade Forex and stocks

Determine personal style 

Deciding whether to invest in the foreign exchange markets (forex) or stocks/stock indexes depends on the trader's or investor's risk tolerance and trading style. Specific elements to compare include volatility, leverage, and market trading hours. Broadly speaking, the equities markets—blue chip stocks and index funds—suit a buy-and-hold investor, while active traders often prefer the fast-moving forex.

Search for reliable broker

There are many platforms and applications that allow you to trade both Forex and stocks at the same time. Picking reliable brokers not only prevents traders from suffering unfair financial losses, but trustworthy locations also feature a variety of practical tools for transactions, fresh opportunities, and user-friendly programs.

>> Products in FXCE ecosystem have been closely synchronized and interacted with each other. Above all, it is to promote sustainable development and aim for simplicity, ease of use and friendliness in platform operations. Our Social Trading Platform provides the most professional Trader analysis environment, including many useful features.

Use demo for both Forex and stocks

This option is recommended by most new investors when they first start trading. You will have the choice of capital with a Demo account to simulate orders, leverage, and profit just like the actual market. Thus, using Demo doesn't require any funds so minimum Forex trading amount does not matter. Small-capital traders can practice using this "weapon" before depositing big money.


Forex and stocks differ in terms of regulation, leverage, and exchange limits. Forex markets are a lot less regulated than commodities markets whilst commodities markets are highly regulated. In terms of leverage, it exists in both the forex and commodities market, but in the forex market it is more popular due to greater liquidity and lower volatility.

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