Forex vs Stock Market – Which Offers Higher Returns?

Forex vs Stock Market - Which Offers Higher Returns?

The forex market and stock market are popular choices among investors worldwide due to their volatility, historical volume and abundance of educational resources. However, selecting which assets to buy or sell can be challenging and influenced by factors such as a trader’s experience, personality, risk tolerance, and desired outcomes.

Given the popularity of both markets, it’s essential to understand their differences and potential profits. In this article, we will delve deeper into the distinctions between trading shares and the forex market to determine which is more profitable.

What Are The Forex Market And The Stock Market?

The forex market, short for foreign exchange, boasts a daily average turnover of trades of $6 trillion, making it the largest global marketplace. This market involves the conversion of one currency into another on the currency market. Forex traders can either physically buy a foreign currency to use overseas during a trip or trade currency pairs such as GBP/USD or EUR/JPY using a computer and some forex broker services.

On the other hand, the stock market is a smaller market in terms of value where traders buy and sell ownership in companies. Currently, the value of stock trading is roughly $200 billion per day. The ownership units in the stock market are known as shares, and trading can take place in a place like the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ or London Stock Exchange.

What Are The Differences?

The forex and stock markets are not the same, and understanding their key differences is critical. Here are the most significant differences to be aware of:

Volume and volatility

As previously noted, the forex market boasts a much higher trading volume compared to the stock market, with daily trades averaging $6 trillion versus $200 billion. This level of volume is noteworthy as it translates to fast order execution and pricing very close to the trader’s intended assumptions. For those who enjoy a fast-paced trading environment, forex trading can be a good fit.

That being said, this high volume does not imply that the stock market lacks liquidity, but rather it has different characteristics. Frequently, investors purchase stocks for the long-term, intending to hold them for years and collect regular dividends.

Trading hours

The currency exchange in the forex market operates 24 hours a day, from Monday to Friday. Without any specific geographical location, it allows for continuous trading opportunities. However, it is important to note that not all trading hours are equally profitable. The market must be active to generate profits.

On the other hand, the stock market operates differently, with trading sessions taking place during certain hours of the working day, as the markets are centralized. This means that quotes and transactions are only possible during specific hours, unlike the forex market.


The currency market is often associated with the use of leverage, which allows traders to open positions with a fraction of the actual value of the instrument. This means that traders can open positions with a higher value than the funds they have in their accounts. In contrast, the stock market requires traders to pay the full amount for the shares they want to purchase. While traders can borrow money from their broker, the amount is typically limited to 50 percent of the value of owned shares.

It’s important to note that trading with leverage can be both profitable and risky. On one hand, it can lead to above-average profits, but on the other hand, it can result in significant losses. Traders need to weigh the potential benefits and risks of leverage before deciding to use it in their trading strategy.

Examining The Profitability

A Trader Watching Charts At Home

It may be disappointing to some, but there is no clear answer as to which market is more profitable. Several factors need to be considered, including individual personalities, available capital, risk tolerance, and overall financial goals.

For those looking to make frequent but small profits through short-term strategies, forex may be the better choice. The high volatility of the forex market, combined with a solid strategy, can lead to easier profits for informed and educated traders.

Conversely, long-term investors looking to hold positions for extended periods of time may find the stock market a more attractive option. The stock market is well-regulated and offers potentially substantial profits, although over a much longer time frame.

Achieving Great Profits: An Unrealistic Dream or a Realistic Possibility?

It’s possible to earn enormous profits in a relatively short amount of time on the forex market. However, this is only achievable by a very small percentage of traders who have years of experience, a proven strategy, suitable market conditions, a strong mindset, and excellent money management skills.

Before you start envisioning success, make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into. Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid investing large amounts of money without any prior experience. The stock market may be seen as less flashy, but it offers a more stable environment.


To sum up, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both markets before deciding which one to trade. In short, forex trading is typically more suitable for short-term traders who can quickly respond to market changes and have higher risk tolerance. Stocks are generally more suitable for long-term investors who hold positions and aim to earn profits over time, often towards retirement.

Categorised as Education