Save a few dollars under the mattress is a form of currency savings that has passed from generation to generation. But the exchange of currencies as a form of investment is more complex and sophisticated than that.
To do it on a large scale, there is the Forex market, specialized in the exchange of currencies among investors from all over the planet. However, before entering it, it is necessary to know its characteristics and risks to avoid putting your heritage at risk, experts agreed.
“It is a fully electronic market and operates 24 hours a day through financial centers around the world, so it does not have a physical place of operation (since everything is done through the Internet),” he explained. General Director of Forex and Currency Research Center of the foreign exchange trading company Alpari, Roberto Pasalagua.
However, because of the volatility that characterizes this market, its aims are mainly speculative, that is, many people invest with the expectation of obtaining juicy profits in a short time; However, due to the volatility that characterizes it, “as well as it can be earned, it can be lost”, warned the managing partner of the financial advisory firm Privest, Antonio Díaz Bonnet.
In order to participate, it is necessary to go to a broker (operator) who provides the user with access to an electronic platform and who, for each operation performed by the user, charges a commission. The amount of contract opening may vary, but there are companies that request a minimum investment amount of $ 500.
In general terms, specialists identify two types of risks when investing in Forex: the market, which refers to possible losses due to currency volatility, as well as the problem of investing through a company that is not regulated by the Mexican authorities.
“In Mexico, this market is not regulated, which means that in the country there is no authority that can support the participants if they need it,” said Mauricio Sotomayor, manager of Private Banking at Actinver Casa de Bolsa.
The companies that offer this service to Mexican investors are only representatives of foreign companies and therefore they are not financial institutions, according to information from the National Commission for the Protection and Defense of Users and Financial Services (Condusef).
Alpari, for example, is a company that offers its platform to Mexican participants, but which is not based in Mexico. Here they only have a call canter through which they give technical, non-financial support to local and Latin American investors who access their platform, explained Pasalagua.
This service is not offered by financial institutions, so the operation runs 100% on behalf of the investor, without support or advice.
“There is no international body to regulate all the activities of the Forex market worldwide because it is very large, however there are some bodies such as the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in the United States that regulates the market for the United States and Canada, and the Securities and Futures Associations in London for Europe “, according to information from Condusef.