Forex vs Options Trading: What’s the Difference?

If you want to get started in finance and trading, you likely have your eye on both forex and options trading. But you may be wondering which market is best for the average trader.

While both fields have benefits and drawbacks, we examine the differences between forex and options. Who should you be placing your focus on?

Check out our guide below for all the differences between forex and options trading!

Market Access

Forex markets are open 24 hours a day, five days a week, allowing for high liquidity and convenient trading opportunities. Because of Forex markets’ sheer size and volume, it is easier for Forex traders to enter and exit positions.

It has access to the global market and markets in all major countries. This allows traders to take advantage of unique opportunities across borders.

Options trading is limited to certain exchanges, which often have shorter trading hours than Forex markets. It often has higher lowest account balances and commissions than the Forex market.

It has access only to the domestic market and corresponding options. This limits traders to taking advantage of opportunities within their own country.

Underlying Assets

Forex trading involves buying and selling currencies as underlying assets. Options trading involves contracts allowing holders to buy or sell a security or asset at a given price.

Forex trading is a higher risk, higher reward for investment. It often involves higher amounts of capital to make more significant gains.

Options trading is a lower-risk, lower-reward investment. It comes with contracts giving holders a specified time to exercise their choice.


In liquidity, Forex trading, or foreign currency trading, is a liquid market with a large daily trading volume. This means there is always an active market where traders can enter or exit positions anytime.

In contrast, options trading is a derivatives market with much lower liquidity. As a result, traders must wait for the underlying assets to move before they can take advantage of the options contract.

There is the added risk of waiting for the price action to change before realizing profits or losses. Forex trading offers investors greater liquidity and a more consistent return on investment than Options trading.


In Forex trading, traders buy one currency in another and speculate on changes in the exchange rate between the two. Options trading involves speculating contractual agreements between traders, where they buy or sell a particular asset.

Forex trading requires more leverage, while choice trades need less capital upfront. Options traders can enjoy time decay or a rise in the option’s value over time.


Forex Trading requires more capital upfront, while Options Trading requires more knowledge on the trader’s part. The Forex market is open the whole day, five days a week. The options market is only open during the tradable hours of the underlying asset.

Forex brokers often make money through the spread, the difference between buying and selling prices. Options brokers usually charge a commission for each trade. If you want to know more, you can check RoboMarkets to choose the best for your needs.


Forex trading can enjoy higher returns on their investments in leverage as they can control larger positions with smaller investments. Leverage could be as high as 1:500 in Forex trading, allowing traders to increase their trading capital.

Options trading has a limited amount of leverage. This means that options traders do not have the same opportunity to exploit large market movements as Forex traders.

The lower level of leverage limits option traders’ potential gains and losses compared to Forex traders. Forex trading is much more helpful as compared to options trading.

Trading hours

Forex trading hours are open all day and all night during the week and span different time zones. In contrast, options trading hours are directly related to the market it is focused on, such as the stock or commodity indexes.

Options market trading hours run from 9:30 am to 4 pm EST. This is with some exchanges closing down earlier on certain days or closing down 1 or 2 hours earlier on days with reduced activity.

Options trading hours vary due to holidays, which may alter the trading times of some exchanges. Forex trading holidays tend to be shorter in duration compared to those for stock market exchanges, which may be closed for a full day or even more. 


When it comes to fees, Forex trading is charged by the spread. This is when the difference between the bid, the asking price, and the spread is usually a few pips per trade.

Options trading can be more expensive due to commissions charged by the broker. Commissions run between $0.10 and $0.30 for every choice on the contract you buy or sell.

The cost of the choice itself can vary by the amount of the underlying asset. Options trading can be more expensive than Forex trading due to commissions and the cost of the choice itself.


Forex is a pure speculation trade; its goal is to buy a currency at a lower rate and sell at a higher rate. Options trading is more complex and relies on the buyer’s ability to make accurate predictions about value over a specified period.

Options trading can involve components making it a more complex attempt than forex trading. These include call options and added options, strike prices, premiums, and delta values.

A Guide to the Difference of Forex vs Options Trading 

Trading Forex and Options both have unique benefits and drawbacks to them. This guide about ‘Forex vs Options Trading’ can help you decide which trading strategy best fits your needs.

Reading this guide lets you decide which best aligns with your investment goals. Take action today and start trading the right way.

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