In finance, retail trading refers to individual traders, trading through a broker, or on a platform. This can include novice traders and experienced traders.
Trading and investing are divided into two categories, retail and institutional. Institutions include investment banks like JP Morgan or Citibank and global central banks like the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.
When we talk about retail trading however, we usually are referring to forex trading, but there are retail traders in every market ranging from commodities to stocks.
The forex market is by far the largest and has the most retail traders.
Retail foreign exchange trading is a small segment of the broader foreign exchange market where individuals speculate on the exchange rate between different currencies.
In 2020 it is estimated that the forex market will exceed 7 billion dollars in daily activity.
Retail Trading Sector Continues to Grow
The retail sector has developed with the advent of dedicated electronic trading platforms and the internet, which have allowed individuals to access the global currency markets.
In 2016, it was reported that volume from retail foreign exchange trading represents 5.5% of the whole foreign exchange market or $385 million in daily trading turnover.
Individual retail traders can access the same trades as central banks and online financial institutions.
The retail forex trading industry is growing every day with the advent of trading platforms and their ease of accessibility on the internet.
Retail traders rely on brokerage services who provide access to markets in the form of comprehensive trading platforms.
The most common of these are MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), which offer trading to forex, stocks, contracts-for-difference (CFDs), and other assets.