Many brokers conduct their business worldwide, while others boast a strong regional concentration of clients. Finance Magnates spoke with Jameel Ahmad, Vice President of Corporate Development at ForexTime (FXTM) for his detailed perspective on FXTM’s client composition and acute differences in regional trading strategies. The broker recently made headlines by fortifying its management team, promoting Mr. Ahmad to the new role from the rank of Chief Market Analyst.
“As an international broker we have clients across the world, although we do have a particularly strong presence in Asia and the Middle East. The topic of regional differences in trading strategies is really interesting, and we have noticed a number of different trends across our client base,” he noted.
Indeed, according to Mr. Ahmad, “We see in Russia that traders often like to use expert advisors, also known as robots which trade using automated strategies. European investors on the other hand are usually more interested in small spreads. In Africa, traders tend to be more cautious and adopt less aggressive strategies, whereas those in Asia are likely to accept a higher level of risk. Having said that, a trader’s strategy is very personal and depends on a variety of factors, which is why we offer a variety of accounts so that clients can choose the product that’s right for their needs.”
Is Education a Liability for FX Traders?
Talk to any broker and the same narrative emerges – i.e. that education is a key requisite for foreign exchange (FX) traders, whose absence of proper learning could hamper success. Mr. Ahmad reiterates this phenomenon, noting, “Education is the cornerstone to becoming a good trader, and this is a message which we really emphasize with our clients. Educated traders are usually more successful traders because they are better able to balance the risk and opportunities presented by the fast-paced currency markets.”
I wouldn’t say that the average trader suffers from an overall lack of education, but with forex it is important to recognize the importance of education
However, “I wouldn’t say that the average trader suffers from an overall lack of education, but with forex it is important to recognize the importance of education, and the fact that the learning never ends. All traders, regardless of the length of time they have been trading, need to constantly refresh their knowledge of the markets and hone their strategies. Through reading up on the more specialised areas of technical analysis, such as the use of multiple technical indicators, advanced traders can become true masters of trading,” he added.
Some of the most successful brokers undergo lengthy measures to foster education portals, webinars, and other education tools for their clients. In doing so, a trader is not only better prepared for the rigors and gyrations of the market, but generally more safeguarded from making bad decisions that would jeopardize their account.
Ultimately, “A broker who is truly invested in its clients should provide a well-rounded education on the forex markets by providing resources on both fundamental and technical analysis for novices and experts.”
As important as education is however, practice generally is required in conjunction with learning, as is the case in any pursuit. As such, “It’s important to note however that practice also plays an important part in becoming a successful trader, and I would really recommend that traders, especially those starting out, take part in demo contests where they can improve their skills before investing actual money,” he cautioned.
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Eye on the Future
As the calendar shifts into H2 2015, many brokers are looking ahead with a penchant for future growth – FXTM is no exception, having moved its focus to Asia, long considered one of the strongest growth hubs.
According to Mr. Ahmad, “FXTM already has a strong foothold in Asia and we look forward to expanding our reach within these markets in the future. We plan to do this by continuing to develop and tailor our products to the needs of the traders in regions based on their feedback. For instance, over the past year we’ve added a number of new languages to our website including; Korean, Malay, Thai and Indonesian, so that our clients can have the ease of trading in their own language.”
Moreover, “We also plan to continue our investment in education in China and the Asia-Pacific region through local seminars and educational resources, to help our clients to attain their trading goals.”
While the trend towards China seems to be fairly universal, many question whether the country’s nascent financial services industry is ready for a regulated FX industry. However, Mr. Ahmad asserted, “It is clear that the Chinese FX industry has been fully-fledged for some time now, with the boom in forex trading being driven by the increase in disposable income, which has led to investors looking for new ways to invest, and make a profit.”
It is clear that the Chinese FX industry has been fully-fledged for some time now
Owing to its versatility, “The forex market is particularly attractive to Chinese investors due to its flexibility, since it is easy to access and is open for trading 24 hours a day, five days a week. This is great for those who already have a full time job, but wish to trade in their spare time. Moreover, as traders only need to invest a small amount of money to open an account and can do so from their own home with an online broker, it is very easy to get started,” he added.
This is not to say a bourgeoning Chinese FX market does not have its challenges, as many do exist, notwithstanding issues of trust and regulation. “As with all industries in their infancy, the forex industry in China has faced a number of challenges, one being the negative press which the industry has received as a whole. That’s why one of our main priorities has been building trust with China’s traders – something which we’ve proven many times with our top level customer service, reliable product, and adherence to European regulation.”
As a result of this investment, “We’ve seen FXTM receive a number of accolades such as, Global Banking and Finance Review’s 2014 awards for ‘Best Partner Program Asia’ and ‘Fastest Growing ECN Broker’, as well as the award for ‘Most Trusted Broker’ 2015 from the MENA Expo Awards,” Mr. Ahmad noted.
Finally, Mr. Ahmad touched on FXTM’s strategy in H2 2015 and beyond. Ultimately, “Our aim is to grow into one of the leading international brokers and from the outset we have focused on achieving this. As we continue to expand, we aim to increase our offering and provide broader financial services, so that we can meet the needs of our expanding international client base. We will be announcing the launch of a new offering soon in this regard, so stay posted!”