There’s no doubt: Forex trading is becoming increasingly popular around the world. More and more people register at a Forex broker and try to trade with currencies. But it’s more like testing their luck when they start trading because most new traders actually gamble and don’t trade seriously. They open positions due to emotions or feelings just like a Roulette player “thinks” that the next number will be 17. A Forex trader without enough knowledge and experience just acts like that. He “feels” USD must rise against EUR today.
Obviously Forex trading leaves no room for emotions and feelings like that. And there’s no doubt that everybody who trades accoridng to feelings will go broke sooner or later. At least in the long run. In the short run, even monkeys that push buy or sell buttons can win. And monkeys are statistically able to make big winnings for a longer period of time. The law of large numbers is what it is: it needs large numbers and not just a few of them. All in all, a monkey will trade with negative expectation especially when you consider spreads but that doesn’t deny the possibility that you can win a decent amount with pure guessing for a certain period of time. But the reverse is also possible: successful traders can make the right decisions and still take loss after loss. That’s the reason why you need enough capital to trade. See also our article about Forex bankroll management.
So if you want to answer the question whether Forex trading is gambling or not, you have to pay attention to the decider. Who’s actually trading and for what reason does he trade? An inexperienced trader that starts trading without the necessary bankroll and knowledge can also go to the next casino and play Roulette or any other game. That means he’s gambling while trading. But hey, that’s ok. Not everybody wants to make a living trading Forex. There are people that think it’s exciting and they are looking for a rush. And with this point of view, Forex trading offers even better winning chances than most casino games. Especially at times with high volatility it’s possible to make $ 5000 out of $ 50 with pretty good odds.
This point of view is no mistake as you can see. But there’s a problem when a trader thinks he’s trading with a positive expected value while he actually doesn’t have an edge. That means he’s gambling without knowing it. This case can be rather expensive. While thinking he’s making the right trades, he will scapegoat the variance and thinks he has to finish in the black figures sooner or later. But he won’t break even and his capital is gone. However, this case is not possible when he takes trading seriously and pays attention to important things like having the right bankroll (trading capital) and learning how to trade. If you have enough trading capital and control your risk, you won’t go broke. But you also have to work hard on your trading skills because if you don’t, you will go broke no matter how large your bankroll is and how small the leverage is you’re using.
There’s no doubt that there are professional Forex trader but there’s also no doubt that there are those monkeys that are gambling. The result is pretty clear: You can call pretty much everything a gamble. Buying funds or stocks can also be gambling. Some people buy stocks according to their personal preferences like buying BMW when driving a BMW. It’s also possible to gamble while trading currencies. But it’s possible to make money trading Forex and that’s why you can’t state it’s a “game” of luck. You can do it for the thrill, for fun or you can try to earn money. Both are possible and both is ok as long as you know what you’re doing.