it's like a lottery. In their advertisements they make us believe we had good chances to win, but they know they are lying and customers lose in average. The mere existance of the "market maker" - brokers proves it. Is it different with stock brokers ? Classically people would buy stocks and hold them for a while(years) and sell them. Customers and brokers both win(lose) in average when the economy goes up(down). But when the broker does short selling or CFDs it's almost like forex. Now, with ECN/STP it's more anonymous, someone still loses(wins) when you win(lose), it's still zero sum, but that someone sits at another broker anonymously, far away. There are also the professional players, large companies that hedge their exports, banks and people who do business in several currencies, tourists. Do those lose in average to the forex-traders ?