There are a lot of trading platform on the market, with the diversity providing products to cater to the most new of newbies all the way to the most demanding experienced and institutional trader. Among the many offerings are what I like to call ‘tweeners’; they have great features, but don’t fit the description of a mass market platform. One such product that fits this description is FXone. FXone is a FX and CFD platform whose main strength is the quick and easy deployment of spreadsheet based automatic trading strategies. Using similar functions to those used in leading spreadsheet software such as MS Excel, traders can manipulate market data to automate trading strategies and apply risk management.
While the platform can be used as a standalone ‘click trading’ product, its real distinguishing feature is the ability to formulate and trade directly from spreadsheets. Because of this, the platform falls in that ‘tweener’ class, as it requires traders to have some sort of strategies that they want to automate; thus making it less important for the vast majority of retail clients. On the other hand, many institutional level traders, that are experienced with trading with spreadsheets, often have proprietary solutions in place that connect their liquidity sources and platforms and include spreadsheet integration. As such, FXone falls into that zone of being too complicated for many retail traders, but not necessary for larger financial firms.
Where FXone is seeing demand, are with individual traders that have experience on institutional trading desks, and are seeking products with functionality normally available to professionals, but without the high costs. In addition, Rosario Ingargiola, founder of FXone, explained to Forex Magnates that they are also seeing demand from smaller and medium size institutions that are using the platform for not only order execution, but liquidity and risk management as well. With its appeal to larger size traders and institutions, FXone was acquired earlier this year by Seabury Group. Ingargiola explained that the acquisition was meant to expand Seabury’s financial services offering. As a firm primary involved with investment bank and consulting, buying FXone allowed Seabury to leverage its existing relationships with financial firms to and begin marketing FX trading solutions. Strengthening its ties to institutional pricing, FXone has recently integrated its platform to CitiFX’s TradeStream and Hotspot FX liquidity.
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One area that FXone does see itself being an important player in the retail market is as an alternative destination for operating Expert Advisors. While not being a ‘pound for pound’ match in terms of similar coding language, FXone believes that traders operating EAs or trading systematically using other retail sided algorithmic platforms will feel comfortable developing on their product. According to Steven Meisner, Institutional Sales at FXone, “admittedly, we are not for every retail trader. But, anyone who is used to building EAs or automated strategies should have no problem working in FXone.” He added that they have video demos as well as provide live training to get traders “up to speed” using their platform. They also provide numerous preexisting workbook strategies for traders to utilize and tweak to their needs.
Another feature that FXone provides, and an area that Ingargiola and Meisner explained is important for automated strategy developers, is the ability to share or sell workbooks to other clients. Therefore, similar to marketplaces that offer EAs for MetaTrader or C# strategies for Ninjatrader, FXone users can build spreadsheet based workbooks with sheets including proprietary formulas being hidden.
Overall, while definitely not a replacement to MetaTrader or other retail focused platforms, FXone has the potential to become an alternative for automated trading developers to trade their own accounts or scale their strategies to a larger audience.