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The Learning Curve: Markets

Financial markets offer products to match every investing and trading need but you need to know how they work before you can think about matching them with your own investment or trading profile. In this module we provide an examination of the generic characteristics of the world's four main cash markets: money markets, foreign exchange, equities and bonds.


Money Markets

Financial markets can be broadly divided into short-term finance and long-term finance. Long-term finance is provided by capital markets. Short-term finance is provided by money markets. The borrowing and lending in money markets is high volume, low risk and short-term.

Foreign Exchange

Last available figures from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) show that on an average day, over $1 trillion changed hands in the 24 hour global FX marketplace. It is the worlds most heavily traded financial market. Find out how it works and what it is for.

Equity

There are two ways for companies to raise money for long-term business investment – they can borrow it and/or they can issue shares - otherwise known as stocks. In the world of corporate finance, stocks are called equity capital and borrowed money is debt capital. For the investor they represent two fundamentally different propositions.

Bonds

Bonds are a lower risk investment than shares – so most of the time they will give you lower returns – but sometimes, particularly over shorter periods, they can outperform shares and their prices will almost always be more stable. When stock prices are volatile this relative stability can look extremely attractive. Find out what bonds are and how they work.


Intro | Investing | Markets | Derivatives