الأربعاء، 3 أغسطس، 2011

Foreign exchange market ( Forex)

The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies.[1]

The primary purpose of the foreign exchange is to assist international trade and investment, by allowing businesses to convert one currency to another currency. For example, it permits a US business to import British goods and pay Pound Sterling, even though the business' income is in US dollars. It also supports direct speculation in the value of currencies, and the carry trade, speculation on the change in interest rates in two currencies.[2]

In a typical foreign exchange transaction, a party purchases a quantity of one currency by paying a quantity of another currency. The modern foreign exchange market began forming during the 1970s after three decades of government restrictions on foreign exchange transactions (the Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world's major industrial states after World War II), when countries gradually switched to floating exchange rates from the previous exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system.

The foreign exchange market is unique because of

* its huge trading volume representing the largest asset class in the world leading to high liquidity;
* its geographical dispersion;
* its continuous operation: 24 hours a day except weekends, i.e. trading from 20:15 GMT on Sunday until 22:00 GMT Friday;
* the variety of factors that affect exchange rates;
* the low margins of relative profit compared with other markets of fixed income; and
* the use of leverage to enhance profit and loss margins and with respect to account size.

As such, it has been referred to as the market closest to the ideal of perfect competition, notwithstanding currency intervention by central banks. According to the Bank for International Settlements,[3] as of April 2010, average daily turnover in global foreign exchange markets is estimated at $3.98 trillion, a growth of approximately 20% over the $3.21 trillion daily volume as of April 2007. Some firms specializing on foreign exchange market had put the average daily turnover in excess of US$4 trillion.[4]

The $3.98 trillion break-down is as follows:

* $1.490 trillion in spot transactions
* $475 billion in outright forwards
* $1.765 trillion in foreign exchange swaps
* $43 billion Currency swaps
* $207 billion in options and other products

الأحد، 3 أبريل، 2011

5 Things to Consider Before You Quit

Like many creatives, you were primarily focused on one thing during the depths of the downturn: keeping your job. But now that the economy and job market are showing signs of life, you’re contemplating a change. And that might not be a bad idea. But it’s important to look before you leap. Following are some things to consider before saying “so long” to your current employer and looking for a new gig:

Determine if the grass is really greener. Before you do anything, ask yourself one question: Will switching jobs truly make me happier? It’s easy to romanticize a new position, but there’s no guarantee another role will be more fulfilling. Consider aspects of your current job that have led to dissatisfaction and if there are ways to change them.

It may be worthwhile to speak to your boss about your concerns; he or she may be willing to help you find a solution. Be specific about what you would like to see changed (e.g., additional support to help with a heavy workload, the chance to work on more web projects) instead of just complaining about every aspect of your job. Presenting possible solutions that you’ve thought of ahead of time is also a good idea.

Do your homework. Despite your efforts, you may decide that the best option is to look for employment elsewhere. If this is the case, try to gauge the demand for your skills before jumping ship. After all, it’s best to have a new opportunity lined up before giving your two weeks’ notice. Read industry publications and talk to members of your professional network or recruiters that specialize in the creative field to determine if companies are hiring talent in your area of expertise. If demand is low, you may want to increase your marketability before testing the job market.

* More Career Advice: Be an unofficial creative team leader.

Consider a former employer. If you left a company on good terms, you might inquire with a past employer to see if the firm is hiring creative professionals. Many organizations look to so-called “boomerang employees” first because managers are familiar with the individual’s work ethic, performance and fit with the corporate culture.

Be patient. Keep in mind that you may not be able to find a new position right away. While there are more openings than there were a few months ago, there also is more competition as people who were waiting out the downturn re-enter the job market. In addition, the recession has affected how companies hire. Many firms now seek candidates who match a long list of requirements, and they’re willing to wait for the perfect fit. You also may find that the interview process is longer and more intensive.

Leave on a high note. Even if you can’t wait to leave your current job behind, do your best to remain professional while you look for work elsewhere. You don’t want to burn any bridges or damage relationships before you leave. Along the same lines, avoid bad-mouthing your current employer when speaking to members of your network or hiring managers.

As the economy continues to improve, there should be even more opportunities for creatives. Just be sure to contemplate a job change from all angles before you make a move.