Leverage in finance pertains to the use of debt to buy assets. This is done in order to avoid using too much equity. The ratio of this debt to equity is the formula for leverage (debt/equity ratio) whereby the greater the proportion of debt, the higher the amount of leverage. If a company, investment or property is termed as "highly leveraged" it means that it has a greater proportion of debt than equity. When leveraged debt is used in such a way that the return generated is greater than the interest associated with it, then an investor is in a favourable position.


Let's say a trader has 1,000 USD on their trading account. A regular lot of '1' on MetaTrader 4 is equal to 100,000 currency units. As it is possible to trade mini and even micro lots with Admiral Markets, a deposit this size would allow a trader to open micro lots (0.01 of a single lot or 1,000 currency units) with no leverage put in place. However, as a trader would usually be looking for around 2% return per trade, it could only be equal to 20 USD.


In every foreign exchange transaction, you are simultaneously buying one currency and selling another. In effect, you are using the proceeds from the currency you sold to purchase the currency you are buying. Furthermore, every currency in the world comes attached with an interest rate set by the central bank of that currency's country. You are obligated to pay the interest on the currency that you have sold, but you also have the privilege of earning interest on the currency that you have bought. For example, let’s look at the New Zealand dollar/Japanese yen pair (NZD/JPY). Let’s assume that New Zealand has an interest rate of 8% and that Japan has an interest rate of 0.5% In the currency market, interest rates are calculated in basis points. A basis point is simply 1/100th of 1%. So, New Zealand rates are 800 basis points and Japanese rates are 50 basis points. If you decide to go long NZD/JPY you will earn 8% in annualized interest, but have to pay 0.5% for a net return of 7.5%, or 750 basis points.
Knowing where interest rates are headed is important in forex trading and requires a good understanding of the underlying economics of the country in question. Generally speaking, countries that are performing very well, with strong growth rates and increasing inflation will probably raise interest rates to tame inflation and control growth. On the flip side, countries that are facing difficult economic conditions ranging from a broad slowdown in demand to a full recession will consider the possibility of reducing interest rates. 
High Risk Investment Warning: Trading FX/CFDs on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Leverage can work against you. Before deciding to trade FX/CFDs offered by FXCM Australia Pty. Limited ("FXCM AU" or "FXCM Australia") you should carefully consider your objectives, financial situation, needs, and level of experience. By trading, you could sustain a loss in excess of your deposited funds. Before trading FX/CFDs you should be aware of all the risks associated with trading FXCM products and read and consider the Financial Services Guide, Product Disclosure Statement, and Terms of Business issued by FXCM AU. FX/CFDs products are only suitable for those customers who fully understand the market risk. FXCM provides general advice that does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The content of this website must not be construed as personal advice. FXCM recommends you seek advice from a separate financial advisor. For any questions or to obtain a copy of any documents, contact FXCM at [email protected] FXCM AU is regulated by ASIC [AFSL 309763]. FXCM AU ACN: 121934432.

Financial leverage is quite different from operating leverage. Operating leverage of a business entity is calculated as a sum total of the amount of fixed costs it bears, whereby the higher the amount of fixed costs, the higher the operating leverage will be. Combine the two and we get the total leverage. So, what does leveraging mean for a business? It is the use of external funds for expansion, startup or asset acquisition. Businesses can also use leveraged equity to raise funds from existing investors.  

A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for our financial products and our Financial Services Guide (FSG) are available at our website. The PDS and FSG are important documents and should be reviewed prior to opening an account with AxiCorp and deciding whether to acquire, hold or dispose of AxiCorp’s financial products or services. The information on this website is for Australian and New Zealand residents only.
For retail clients, leverages of up to 1:30 for currency pairs and 1:20 for indices are available. For professional clients, a maximum leverage of up to 1:500 is available for currency pairs, indices, energies and precious metals. Both retail and professional status come with their own unique benefits and trade-offs, so it's a good idea to investigate them fully before trading. Find out today if you're eligible for professional terms, so you can maximise your trading potential, and keep your leverage where you want it to be!
For retail clients, leverages of up to 1:30 for currency pairs and 1:20 for indices are available. For professional clients, a maximum leverage of up to 1:500 is available for currency pairs, indices, energies and precious metals. Both retail and professional status come with their own unique benefits and trade-offs, so it's a good idea to investigate them fully before trading. Find out today if you're eligible for professional terms, so you can maximise your trading potential, and keep your leverage where you want it to be!

To illustrate further, let's look at a typical USD/CAD (US dollar against Canadian dollar) trade. To buy or sell a 100,000 of USD/CAD without leverage would require the trader to put up $100,000 in account funds, the full value of the position. But with 50:1 leverage (or 2% margin required), for example, only $2,000 of the trader's funds would be required to open and maintain that $100,000 USD/CAD position.


A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for our financial products and our Financial Services Guide (FSG) are available at our website. The PDS and FSG are important documents and should be reviewed prior to opening an account with AxiCorp and deciding whether to acquire, hold or dispose of AxiCorp’s financial products or services. The information on this website is for Australian and New Zealand residents only.
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