Currenex Brokers – are they true ECN?

Posted by Deb | Forex,Guest Post | Wednesday 10 October 2012 9:28 pm

The concept of ECN trading has been widely discussed over the last years. There are so many traders who put the conflict of interest question at a discussion that many brokers started to apply the ECN model. But what is the ECN actually? Many traders do not understand this concept and accept all that the brokers tell them. One of the most famous ECN platforms is Currenex and there are a handful of Currenex Forex brokers that might proudly call themselves ECNs.

After you read this article tell me how it contributed to your trading experience. Was it useful for you and will you recommend it to a friend?

Trading on the Forex Market is certainly not an easy task and everyone should carefully understand the models of trading to choose the best for his or her trading style. Let’s see the most widely used trading models.

ECN Forex Trading

ECN stands for electronic communication network and it plays the role of a place where buyers and sellers meet to execute their orders. An ECN comprises of an order book with two opposite sides of the deal – buyer and seller. On each side buyer and sellers place their offerings with quantity and price. It actually looks like an auction but of course everything happens quickly and is managed by automated systems.

The best advantage of this model is the high level of transparency. The Currenex platform, for instance, shows each counterparty name and quantity. Like this you can see with whom you are going to execute the order. The spread is narrowed down to 0.4-0.5 pips depending on the current liquidity – that is to say how many orders are taken in a certain moment.

For example the most traded currency pair EUR/USD can produce a spread on 0.2 pips because there are so many counterparties that currently place an order for EUR/USD. However, the ECN execution is ensured by a provider and it also has to earn some fee for that service. So Currenex brokers usually charge a fixed fee in the form of % of the executed volume. In this case the total spread you might be required to pay will be around 0.6-0.7 pips but it still will save you a lot of costs since the usual target spread of dealing desk brokers is 1.5 pips.

Market Makers

As opposed to ECNs, Market Makers do not offer this level of transparency by simply giving you a quote coming from them. They do not combine many counterparties but narrow down the process to two counterparties – you and the broker. Thus there is a conflict of interest between you and your broker because each losing trade will be a winning one for it and vice versa. However, there is a widely spread misunderstanding that each losing trade of yours ends up in your broker’s pocket. Actually brokers net all clients positions into a single position and then what is left is being hedged fully or partially. In this sense we can conclude that everybody in the market is a market maker even you. If you have a long position on EUR/USD you might hedge it by betting against your friend. The main point is that it is your decision whether to hedge or not.

Which model is the best?

There is no such thing as best trading model. The most important factor is and always be the broker execution no matter if it is a market maker or ECN. Just choose the broker that fits your trading style and that is how you will be successful in the market. Also you should be advised that demo trading is not in any way the same as live. During your journey towards trading perfection you will find out that many obstacles will arise especially during news releases and major economic events. The trading model itself will not help you to be more successful but will help you to understand the mechanism behind trading.


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The Changing Face of Forex Brokers: How Technology has altered the Market

Posted by Deb | Guest Post | Sunday 7 October 2012 1:38 pm

 

The Changing Face of Forex Brokers: How Technology has altered the Market

 

If you were to list the individual changes that technological advancement has triggered within the financial market, then you would be committing to a long and extremely time consuming process. In fact, it is futile to summarise the impact of technology with a list of individual changes, as this would not do justice to the sheer scope of the transformation that we have seen in the financial markets over the last decade.

 

The Role of the Broker: A Constantly Changing Entity

 

With this rapid and unchecked evolution in mind, it is the traditional role of the forex broker that has experienced the most significant change. Once integral parts of the order execution process, brokers have seen the importance of their roles diminish greatly in the advent of technological innovation and sophisticated software development.  Most crucially, the design of cloud based trading platforms has enabled users to affect their own instantaneous orders, while relying on incorporated analytical tools to aid the decision making process.

 

With traditional forex brokers being increasingly sidelined by technological advancement, brokerage firms have been forced to react to maintain their own status within the market. Subsequently, many have redefined themselves as online brokerage companies, and employed the services of software experts to help them create their own unique trading platforms. By also providing technology based and educational support to traders who open an online account with them, they have at least managed to reaffirm their place within a changing market place.

 

End of the Road for Traditional Old School Forex Brokers?

 

So where does leave those equipped with traditional brokering skills and qualifications? Well the good news is that the successful transition of leading brokerage firms has sustained a steady supply of employment opportunities, so that it is still possible to find relevant work within the industry.

 

What has changed, however, is the nature of the role, with employers demanding a far broader range of IT skills from individuals who would like to work within the sector. This relates to the fact that online traders will often require system or network support as opposed to direct brokerage assistance, which renders the skill set of traditional forex brokers something as an unnecessary luxury for firms.

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Is payday loan a money saver?

Posted by Deb | Guest Post | Friday 31 August 2012 1:05 pm

Quick loans or fast loans are small, short term loans that help borrowers with immediate cash.

Types of quick loans:

1. Payday LoansPayday loans are short-term loans intended to meet the immediate expenses until the next pay check comes. They are ideal for the expenses like medical bills, house rent, utility bills and groceries. The great advantage of payday loans is that it is easy to obtain and does not involve much paperwork. On the other hand, the downside is that these loans charge high interest rates, varying from one lender to another.

Now on a macro level, payday loans can be divided into seven different types.

• Low fee payday loans: These payday loans are loans that charge lesser interest rates as compared to the standard payday loans interests.
• No fax payday loans: These payday loans save the borrowers from filling out forms or faxing documents as a proof.
• Military payday loans: Military payday loans charge low rates of interest and are offered to military personnel.
• No credit check payday loans: This kind of payday loans perform no credit check and thus, offer the loan to all, irrespective of good credit or poor credit.
• Paperless payday loan: Paperless payday loans are approved and handled on the internet. Hence, no paper work involved.

2. Bridge Loans – Bridge loans are short term loans that cover an interval between two transactions. These loans are usually used for real estate transactions. For instance, if you have bought a new home and waiting for the old home to be sold so that you can pay for your new mortgage, then you have two options to be considered – 1) Home Equity Loan 2) Bridge loan.

3. Quick Business Loans – Quick business loans are loans that intend to help the businesses stay afloat. These loans are taken to fund a business until the cash flow is back in shape as it should be.

Are payday loans expensive?

Now the common concern is whether payday loans are expensive or not.

It is difficult to say whether payday loans are expensive or not. But by comparing the charges and costs of payday loans with unauthorized overdraft, it is found that small sums of payday loans (if the amount is less than £250) are cheaper than unauthorized overdraft. However, this story is far to be true with large sums of payday loans, in case the loan amount exceeds £300.

Here is the list of some of the determining factors whether payday loans will be cheaper than unauthorized overdraft.

• The charging policies of the bank or lender you choose.
• The amount of loan you obtain
• Charges involved with the specific payday lender.

To know more about it, visit

http://www.responsible-credit.org.uk/uimages/File/payday%20lending%20the%20UK%20october%202010%20final.pdf

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Binary options Brokers

Posted by Deb | Binary Options,Guest Post | Tuesday 28 August 2012 3:37 pm

The concept of Binary options trading has evolved a lot during the last 2 years. Many forex brokers started offering a binary options service. In fact the binary options are quite easy and very straightforward way of trading forex and other commodities. All you have to do is to predict the price movement, will it go up or down for a certain period of time. If you guessed right you immediately win up to 85% and if not you lose the entire investment. There is no stress of waiting the price feed, everything is clear and immediate. You can see a list of binary options brokers in order to choose the best one.
After you read this article please let me know if you found it useful and interesting for you? How it contributed to your trading experience?

Binary options brokers

Because binary options became so popular during the last 2 years, CySEC (the commission of financial supervision in Cyprus) decided to regulate those entities. The project is still in a development process and one can hardly predict what will be the consequences of that decision. In fact there are some SCAM brokers among them and it is good to know that companies must be chose carefully.

The brokers offer different conditions in terms of minimum account opening amount and maximum position size. Some brokers may not accept the risk of opening too big position against you because this may result in loss for the broker. Also, it is a n interesting fact that some brokers offer back loss of 10 to 15% which means that if you guess wrong a small portion of your investment is returned to your account as a compensation.

Types of binary options

Cash-or-nothing binary options – It is obvious that this type of options offer the opportunity of winning either fixed cash amount or nothing against your initial investment. The strike price is determined, i.e the price at which traders enter the market. As soon as this is done an expiry time is set and when the option expires the investor either wins the cash or loses his or her investment. In the case that the prediction about the price was right the binary options broker has to pay the trader a return which is predetermined and fixed before entering the trade. Conversely, the trader loses all the funds blocked into the trade if his or her prediction was not correct.

Asset-or-nothing binary options – The principle of trading this type of binary options is entirely the same as the Cash or nothing binary options. The only difference here is that the price of the asset is paid out as return of the investment. In this case the trader wins or loses the value of the asset on which the option is based according to his or her prediction of the price direction.

One-touch binary options – These options work differently from the Cash or nothing and Asset or nothing binary options. Here the trader bets that the price of an option will “touch” or reach the price. In this case the expiry time is determined by the chart and all can happen in 1 second or 1 week. Of course, there is a maximum exipy time set by the broker so you cannot wait for ages.

No-touch binary options – those are the same as One-touch but here traders hope that the price will never reach the defined level. It can be used for hedging with One-touch, although it is quite complex.

Double-one-touch and Double-no-touch binary options – these exotic types of options increases the variations you might have with options tradind. As the name suggests, double touch options are simply instrumenst that can bring you return if the price is touched twice. To predict such movement it is needed to have a quite good understanding of the market you are investing. It might be an interesting opportunity of trading news with Double touch binary options.

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3 Sources to Fund Futures Trading

Posted by Deb | Futures Trading Tips,Guest Post | Sunday 26 August 2012 10:22 pm

Futures Trading can be quite rewarding when you know what you are doing. On the other hand, taking money out of pensions funds to trade should not be done lightly. Even if the guy at the cafe thought it’s a good idea, or the cleaning lady at work swears by it as she drives off in her new car, trading is not for the un-initiated and sound financial advise should be obtained from an expert. Trading has an element of risk, and if you are not sure what you are doing, the learning curve can be expensive and good money can be lost in a flash. If however you are serious to get started in futures trading but don’t have the money to get started? That’s fine. You can always raise the money you need. You might even have money laying around that you’re not aware you can use. Before you start putting in overtime at the office, consider a few simple ways to raise the capital you need:

Life Insurance

Cash value life insurance, like whole life and universal life, are excellent sources of capital. If you have a policy, call your insurance company to find out how much cash value is left in the policy. You can borrow against both whole life insurance and universal life, and you can make withdrawals from universal life policies.

 

Policy loans are typically offered on a preferred loan basis. This means that you don’t need to fill out a credit application for the loan. Instead, the insurer will simply give you the money as long as you have the available cash in your policy. The insurer secures the loan with the death benefit. If the policy lapses, or you die, then the insurer pays the death benefit, less any outstanding loans, to your beneficiary. Loans can be repaid on a flexible schedule that you control and can be used for any purpose including investing.

 

Retirement Plans

 

Some retirement plans allow you to borrow against the value of the investment account. Others allow you to withdraw funds for specific purposes prior to retirement. While most retirement accounts do not allow you to withdraw funds for investment purposes, Roth IRAs allow you to withdraw your principal contributions for any reason. You won’t incur a penalty for the withdrawal as long as you do not take any of your investment gains prior to age 59 1/2. Being able to withdraw principal contributions before investment gains means that you can use the money for investing in the futures market.

 

If you are certain you will never use your IRA or 401(k) plan, consider making withdrawals under IRS rule 72(t). This special provision in the IRS code allows you to make withdrawals prior to age 59 1/2 without incurring a penalty. This would be most useful for withdrawals from a traditional retirement plan or a plan that does not otherwise allow withdrawals prior to retirement.

 

When taking money from a 401(k) plan under rule 72(t), you’ll have to be separated from your employer. You may be able to make in-service withdrawals if your plan administrator allows it. Not all of them do. Even then, the IRS requires that you be at least 59 1/2 if you are still working for your employer.

 

Yard Sale

 

If you’re like most people, you have stuff that you don’t want or need anymore. You can have a yard sale to get rid of your junk, or you can selectively sell items on eBay or another auction-based website. Raising funds this way spares your retirement account and allows you to raise money without having to work extra hours or risking money in your insurance policy.

 

Borrow Money

 

Borrowing money from friends and family is probably the riskiest way to raise money for investing. If you lose the money, you’ll have to repay the loan and failing to repay could destroy important relationships in your life. However, if you’re responsible with money, it could also turn out very well for the person lending you the money. Offer the lender a cut of your profits in the futures market.

 

Consideration

 

Before investing in futures, make sure you have a firm understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t go it alone if this is your first time. Investing in futures requires specialized skills and knowledge. A broker would be an invaluable resource as well as a good financial coach to ensure that you don’t end up losing your shirt.

 

Author Bio:

Guest post contributed by Hayley Spencer for EasyFinance.com. Hayley is a freelance writer and a successful futures trader. Her articles appear on various investment blogs. Find out about Debt Management from Easy Finance.

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What are ECN Forex Brokers?

Posted by Deb | Forex,Guest Post | Tuesday 21 August 2012 1:31 am

The concept of ECN forex trading has become widely popular during the last few years. Most of the brokers advertise they are ECN, but are they really? And what exactly means ECN? I will try to answer these questions and explain the nature of ECN trading in Forex in the next lines.

After you read this article please tell me if it was useful to you and how it contributed to your trading experience.

There is a wide range of ECN forex brokers offering a variety of trading instruments. By definition ECN means electronic communication network. To understand the nature of ECN execution I will have to briefly explain the main models of execution: Market Maker, ECN and STP.

ECN Forex Brokers

Market Makers

The market makers are usually large institutions and banks who literally make the market by taking the risk against its counterparties. Say, a major US bank want to purchase few millions of dollars from a EU bank will create risk for both the counterparties if the EUR/USD rate goes in a certain direction. The EU bank will play the role of Market Maker because it takes the risk against its counterparty. Although, you will find similar definitions of “market making” over the Internet, small forex brokers can also be market maker for their retail clients. Instead of two large banks, let’s now have two counterparties – the small forex broker and its clients. Suppose today 100 clients bought and sold different quantities of EUR/USD. The broker will simply combine all of that and net the overall client position. After that it will receive for example long 15 million against its clients. Now the broker can decide whether and how to hedge its exposure against the clients. It might be also taking the entire risk in EUR/USD if it has already hedged exposure in another instrument which is highly correlated with EUR/USD. In this sense we can say that everybody is market maker, even each individual client because each of us takes the risk against its counterparty.

STP

STP stands for straight through processing and in means direct transfer of each order to other counterparty. If a forex broker claims that it is STP, each of your orders should be routed to another counterparty which acts as a liquidity provider to the STP broker. In this case the broker and you do not have a conflict of interest arisen from the opposite direction of your positions. However, I might argue that because the broker interest is you to execute the trade regardless of whether it will win or lose. Somehow, this constitutes a conflict of interest because the broker has the opportunity to generate profit from spreads and commissions without caring what your result is.

ECN

ECN trading almost mimics the stock exchange trading style. It offers you a trading book with all the best orders listed from both the buy and sell side. In this case all the counterparties compete to provide the best price for the quantity they offer. Thus the spread is formed by making the difference between the best bid and ask offers and sometimes is narrowed down to 0.4-0.3 pips. Of course, commissions apply for this type of execution and the real price of a trade would be 0.7-0.8 pips. As with STP, the ECN trading does not imply a direct conflict of interest between you and your broker, however slippage and re-quotes might occur due to the fact that your broker gets it from its counterparties.

Is the ECN model the best?

It might be said that pretty much ECN would be the most transparent model of all. However, there are pros and cons for each model. For example a large liquidity provider – market maker might provide absolutely sharp execution due to its high volumes available in its client pool. However, the trading costs might be quite high due to the fact that fixed or variable spread is paid each time regardless of the current liquidity.

All in all there is not a best model but rather a best broker for your trading style. If you find a good broker with instant and fair execution you might not care what is the trading model applied.

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How to start with forex

Posted by Deb | Guest Post | Sunday 12 August 2012 12:29 am

You might be wondering how to start with forex. For a long time now, you might be considering the idea of trading forex, because someone (an experienced forex trader, no doubt) has talked to you about how the forex markets are open almost continuously, somewhere or the world. Or how there forex market is enormously liquid, and trading pretty much any currency in the world is simple, or how the volatility of the market can generate amazing profits. Maybe you’ve heard that you can leverage your trading. Maybe you’ve heard all these things and wondered if you couldn’t be a forex trader yourself.

Well, the first step is the hardest, and that is developing the self-confidence that will allow you to look in the mirror and say to yourself, “Trade forex? I can do that!” Done that part? Good, then you’re on your way to becoming a forex trader. As long as you’ve got the will, desire and self-confidence (three very important intangibles) then the only tangible things you’ll need to start forex trading are cash and a computer. Got those, too? Good, you’re headed in the right direction.

First things first: in order to understand the market and to learn forex trading you need to find yourself a trading platform. There are hundreds of them out there in the cyber world, and not all of them are good. Spend a little time to investigate a few that have come highly recommended, either by peers or by the forex experts, and find the one that fits your needs best.

What are your needs? Consider how much money you have to invest, which will help you discern the type of account you want. Consider whether you need a forex platform that gives you access from any computer you might be working on (some are only downloadable platforms); a web-based platform will give you the ability to monitor your status, check market conditions, or change the terms on a trade. Consider how readily you can reach customer service if you need a little hand-holding. Consider the types of extras that the platform provides; if you’re a math geek you will appreciate good charting capability.

Once you’ve found a trading platform that works for you, register as a user, and initiate your trading account deposit. With very little fanfare, you’re good to go. So you don’t have to wonder any longer how to start with forex trading, because truly, it’s as easy as that!

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