The Philippine forex market established itself as a profitable avenue for traders and investors, especially with the regulatory policy setup, favorable market outlook, and a conducive environment. A forex trading career can be lucrative but has a steep learning curve since trading foreign currencies involves high risk, volatility, and leverage. Continuous learning, effective capital management techniques, and perseverance are required to be successful in the Philippine forex market.
Even with many challenges ahead, forex trading should be considered a profitable opportunity instead of viewing it as a challenge since the forex industry is one of the largest and most liquid in the world and is here to stay for the longest time. It may appear to be a simple money-making career, but trading in foreign currencies is quite complex. Traders must be able to take risks associated with forex trading and build a proper trading plan to meet all kinds of uncertainties in the market.
This article will focus on the challenges, opportunities, and strategies surrounding the Philippine forex trading market to help novice traders make profitable decisions.
Opportunities in the Philippine Forex Market
Size and Liquidity of the Market
The global foreign exchange market has a turnover of over $7.5 trillion daily, about 30 times more than the global GDP. The Philippine forex market is an OTC (over-the-counter) market as it runs entirely electronically within the network of non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) and banks, continuously for 24 hours, five days a week. The market is spread all around the world without any central location, and it is by far the world’s largest and most popular financial market.
The US Dollar makes up 84.9% of all the transactions in the world, making USD the most traded currency, followed by the euro and yen, which stand at 39.1% and 19%, respectively. The forex market did not exist a century ago, and hence, it is often considered a truly new financial market, unlike the stock and commodities markets. The recent rapid economic growth in the Philippines has led to an expansion in the forex market.
However, it is too small relative to its Asian peers. As a matter of fact, the Philippines Stock Exchange had the lowest number of Asia’s listed companies in 2019, standing at only 267. The combined market cap of the Philippines listed companies totaled $324.4 billion, equivalent to 84% of the GDP of the Philippines. The Philippines’ forex market is highly liquid since the currencies trade 24 hours during weekdays. Prime forex brokers are the major liquidity sources in the forex market that act as middlemen between retail traders and financial institutions.
Comparison of the Philippine Forex Market to Other Markets
Unlike stocks, commodities, and options, forex trading does not require a lot of money which appeals to many traders around the world. Additionally, the enormous market is highly liquid, given the huge volumes being traded every second, the size of the forex market, and the number of participants. There is no single institution or government that controls the market and currency prices, allowing it to quickly calibrate and level itself based on market demand and supply. Moreover, since it is decentralized, no middleman facilitates the trade, giving complete freedom to the traders in the Philippines.
Analysis of Potential Investment Opportunities in the Market
Forex trading in the Philippines is gaining popularity as forex brokers come under the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission, the sole regulatory body overseeing the domestic forex market. The best forex broker Philippines, operating internationally, does not require a license under the SEC to accept traders. However, regulations may apply if any offshore forex broker attends to reign in scams and fraud. Forex trading is legal in the country only if the brokers are authorized by the SEC.
There are no such laws prohibiting traders from participating in the forex market in the Philippines. Seeing the potential opportunities in the Philippines forex market, it is becoming increasingly popular among traders with the added benefits over other forms of trading. Forex trading is the largest financial market in the world and is truly the most global and accessible for every trader, irrespective of the level of experience.
Benefits of Investing in the Philippine Forex Market
One of the benefits of forex trading in the Philippines is that it allows traders to dip their toes into foreign markets. By investing in different currencies, traders can diversify their portfolios and minimize risks by using different currencies to hedge against economic downturns. Another great advantage of trading in foreign currencies is high leverage, with which traders can make huge profits by winning trades. However, it can also work the other way around and bring great losses.
Challenges in the Philippine Forex Market
Risks Associated with the Market
Like any other form of trading, forex also comes with its own share of risks and uncertainties. Traders must acknowledge the risks associated with the market before investing money. Most of the forex trading products are highly leveraged. The trades require a small initial amount, called the margin, to start trading in foreign currencies. Even the smallest fluctuations in currency prices can result in margin calls that require traders to pay additional margins.
Traders must be aware of the fact that using leverage aggressively can increase their losses during unfavorable market conditions. Secondly, the exchange rates tend to be extremely volatile due to market demand and supply fluctuations. As long as the traders’ positions are outstanding, they are subject to price changes. This exchange rate risk can be substantial based on the movements of currency prices. Moreover, since forex is unregulated, there are no price limits imposed, unlike regulated financial markets.
Another major risk comes in the form of liquidity, which increases the possibility of making losses arising from specific situations where the market and the assets become illiquid, meaning that trades can not be placed as quickly enough as possible. Forex trading is substantially more prone to periods of illiquidity that may prevent traders from executing their favorable and profitable trades. Also, factors like forex scams are also a matter of concern for traders, so they have to choose carefully.
Impact of Economic and Political Factors on the Market
There are many factors that can potentially affect the forex market forces, including economic, political, and also psychological factors. Economic factors play a huge role in regulating the forex market, which includes trade balances, inflation, the government’s economic policies, and the outlook on economic growth and development. Political conditions may also exert a substantial impact on the exchange rate, such as political conflicts and instability that may adversely affect the currency’s strength. The psychology of forex traders also has a great influence on the exchange rate since forex trades are mostly driven by human emotions like fear and greed.
The Regulatory Environment and Its Challenges
Coming to the main challenge faced by forex brokers in the Philippines is the regulatory environment persisting in the economy. Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is the monitoring institution that looks after the economy’s performance for a stable and safe trading and business environment. Forex brokers in the Philippines are regulated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and are required to abide by the policies implemented by the government authorities.
Challenges Faced by Forex Brokers in the Philippines
All financial organizations, including forex brokers, need to be licensed directly or indirectly by the government of the Philippines under the SEC, and the BSP-regulated brokers have to follow the regulations and guidelines imposed by the regulatory body. SEC issues license to forex brokers and exercise the power to cancel, suspend, renew, or terminate trading licenses based on the conduct of the brokerage firms. SEC is the ultimate regulatory authority determining whether a company is qualified enough to obtain a valid license to provide forex services to Philippines traders.
Strategies for Investing in the Philippine Forex Market
The Philippine forex market has five trading strategies that can be effective for traders while executing trades.
- Scalping – Trading short-term and at high volumes that involve entering and exiting the forex market quickly to grab a few pips. The process of scalping can be repeated several times a day according to the preference of the traders.
- Day trading – This strategy can be used to avoid risks associated with taking overnight positions. Day trading involves entering and exiting transactions during a single trade session. Day trading decisions are based more on technical analysis by looking at historical trends and patterns.
- News trading – By taking advantage of the market volatility that takes place soon after important news is released is called news trading. Current economic events drive the currency prices or exchange rates. Hence, traders must always be on the toes minute-to-minute while trading foreign currencies.
- Swing trading – This trading strategy is used to enter or exit the market based on technical indicators, aiming at buying low and selling high.
- Trend trading – This strategy involves long-term trades by looking at established current directional movements or trends and trading along until they conclude. These are future or long-term trades.
Importance of Risk Management in Forex Trading
Regardless of the trading strategies used while trading foreign currencies, it is important to implement risk management strategies by setting rules and measures to ensure all negative impacts of forex trading are manageable. It is an essential part of forex trading for inexperienced traders and professionals. The main objective of risk management is to avoid all possible losses from unpredictable exchange rates and market conditions.
The currency market faces rapid fluctuations driven by various fundamental factors like fiscal and monetary policies, market psychology, geopolitical instability, speculation, technical factors, and significant economic events. Traders must be able to manage risks in forex trading by understanding the forex market properly, getting a good grasp on the concept of leverage and risk-reward ratio, and managing human emotions at best.
Role of Technology in Forex Trading in the Philippines
Technology has allowed traders to track their day-to-day trades and expenses, ensuring success at forex trading that was otherwise considered a tedious activity performed manually. With the right tools, trading in foreign currencies can be done in the comfort of your home. Having a powerful and reliable internet connection, the right hardware, and the best trading software and platforms can provide significant comfort and ease to traders in the Philippines.
With the more stringent regulation and simultaneous rising popularity of the Philippines forex market, there are various opportunities and challenges that traders face. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the Philippines imposed an unfavorable regulatory environment that has made traders think twice about trading foreign currencies in the country.
Traders should note the additional risks of creating a trading account with international forex brokers to trade forex in the country. Although it is a promising sector that yields good returns in the long run, traders must measure the risks and benefits before investing money. With the right blend of trading strategies, traders can go a long way and make a career out of forex trading.