Forex is short for Foreign Exchange and refers to a decentralized market that spans the globe and is considered the most liquid worldwide. Exchange rates fluctuate continuously due to ever changing market forces of supply and demand. Forex traders buy a currency pair if they think the exchange rate will rise and sell it if they think the opposite will happen. Unlike the Stock market, the Forex market never sleeps and remains open around the world for 24 hours per day and 5 days a week. A very common aspect to the foreign exchange is leverage. Leverage trading, also known as trading on margin, is a way to amplify the amount of money you are making. When you use leverage trading, you borrow a certain amount of money from your broker and use that to make your transaction. This allows you to trade with more money then you are actually spending, meaning you can make higher profits than you would normally be able to make.
In 2004, Gregory Blake Baldwin of Utah pleaded guilty to fraud after his firm, Sunstar Funding, accepted $228,500 from 33 investors for placement into the foreign currency market. The investors' money was not placed in the foreign currency market but was used to pay some past investors and for personal expenses of Baldwin.
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If their money is lost for good, then the Mandals may have plenty of company. Investors around the world may have lost more than $1 billion, based on data posted on Secure's website and viewed by Bloomberg Markets two months before the site shut down.