Even if you’re a new trader, you’ve at least heard of the stock market. But that’s far from the only option in trading. Here, we’re comparing two assets: Forex vs. stocks.

Forex involves trading currencies in pairs, like the euro against the dollar or the yen against the pound. On the other hand, buying a stock means you claim a small ownership in a publicly listed company. But it’s not just about what you trade; it’s also about when and how.

When it comes to Forex and stocks, each market has unique risks and rewards that appeal to different types of traders. Let’s look at which one is best for you.

Forex vs. Stocks: What’s the Difference?

Forex and stocks operate in vastly different ways. Let’s walk through some of the factors that set them apart.

Trading Hours

Stock markets typically have set trading hours. These often correspond to the working hours of the country where the exchange is located. For example, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operates from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Japan Standard Time (UTC+9).

In contrast, Forex is a decentralized global marketplace that operates 24 hours a day, five days a week. The round-the-clock nature of Forex trading makes it attractive to people with busy schedules. Anyone from anywhere in the world can trade any country’s currency.

Commissions for Forex and Stock Brokers

In terms of commissions for Forex vs. stocks, both involve trading fees, but they’re structured differently. In Forex trading, brokers often charge a spread. This is the difference between the buy and sell prices of a currency pair.

The spread is how the broker makes money. It can vary widely across platforms. Traders usually prefer brokers that offer tight spreads, as it gives them a higher return on every trade.

Forex vs. stocks illustrated concept
Photographer: Prostock-studio

In stock trading, brokers charge a flat fee to open and close trades for every trader. The fee kicks in regardless of the number of shares you purchase. It can vary from a few cents to tens of dollars per trade, depending on the broker. However, if you place a large volume of trades, the broker may give you a discount.

Understanding commission structures is essential before you decide to trade Forex vs. stocks. The fee eats into your profits, so you should carefully consider which asset is cheaper to trade. Some brokers like Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade have done away with trading fees. They make money by upselling trading services.


Trading volume is a key metric in both Forex and stock trading. The volume reflects the level of activity in the market. It refers to the total number of currency units traded within a specified time.

The higher the trading volume, the more liquidity in the market. This makes it easier to execute trades at desired prices. Some Forex pairs enjoy a very high trading volume thanks to the strong demand. These include EUR/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, and USD/CHF.

Similarly, in stock trading, volume represents the number of shares traded during a given time frame. Like Forex, high stock trading volume means more liquidity. Major exchanges like NYSE and NASDAQ usually see a very high trading volume every day.

Trading volume is also an indicator of market sentiment. Higher volume often translates to tighter spreads as more participants enter the market to place their trades.

Margin Rates

In margin trading, you leverage your positions by borrowing funds from the broker. Margin rates tend to be higher in Forex trading. Brokers will give you wide leverage that can range from 20:1 to 500:1, depending on the instrument. This leverage lets you control large positions with a relatively small amount of capital. But it can be a double-edged sword, as it can yield both good profits and massive losses.

Stock trading, on the other hand, typically offers lower margin rates. But it’s important to note that margin trades are done with borrowed funds, so they’re inherently riskier. New traders should avoid opening margin accounts because they could lose money quickly.


Now, let’s talk about volatility in Forex vs. stocks. Volatility measures the degree of price fluctuations in the market. Forex trading can be highly volatile, especially during major economic announcements or market news. This volatility is both an opportunity and a risk, with the potential for significant profits or losses in a short time.

person touching a stock market graph on a tablet
Photographer: Antlii

Stock markets also experience volatility. This is influenced by factors such as corporate earnings reports, economic data releases, and geopolitical tensions. However, stock volatility is more concentrated around specific events or announcements, rather than being constant throughout the trading day.

Whichever market you choose, be sure to implement sound risk management strategies at the time of volatility.

Forex vs. Stock: Which Should I Pick?

When it comes to Forex vs. stocks, the choice boils down to your trading goals, risk tolerance, and preferences. Neither option is inherently better than the other. It’s all about what aligns with your lifestyle, time, and financial objectives.

If you want an option that’s flexible and accessible, Forex trading might be better for you. It’s open 24 hours and is highly liquid. You can trade any Forex pair from anywhere in the world. This is a great pick for traders who thrive in fast-paced environments. It’s also an ideal choice for part-time traders who don’t track the markets every day.

What’s more, Forex gives you the flexibility to trade just by following the price action and understanding candlestick patterns. But for stock trading, you need to understand a company’s fundamentals before you decide to buy its stocks.

However, stock trading offers stability and prospects for long-term growth. As economies grow, so will their stock markets. So, if your financial objective is to build long-term wealth, then you may want to invest in stocks. Basically, you become a part owner of companies you believe in. Even better, you get to reap the rewards of their success through dividends.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Take the time to evaluate your trading goal and explore different trading strategies. Always use risk management and learn the fundamentals of the asset you wish to trade.

If You Choose Forex vs. Stocks, Start With Rocket 21

As a trader, it’s important to research all your options to find the platform and medium that’s right for you. If you choose Forex, Rocket 21 Challenge offers loads of benefits.

Rocket 21 Challenge is an evaluation firm that facilitates virtual Forex trading for you. We welcome both new and seasoned traders to attempt our challenge for an opportunity to win a simulated funded account. You’ll earn virtual money to trade in a simulated market environment on our behalf.

The best part? You get to keep 85–90% of the virtual profit you generate. Try our challenge today to join the ranks of hundreds of virtual funded traders with Rocket 21.