eToro WebTrader Platform Overview: How To Trade With eToro

eToro Trading Platforms

eToro is one of the most popular social trading brokers established in 2007. eToro offer clients the opportunity to trade forex and CFDs in a regulated environment. For more details about eToro, visit our in-depth eToro review here. eToro currently offers clients two trading platforms:

The browser based eToro Webtrader
Mobile trading app

eToro clients can choose from any of the platforms. The features of each of the platforms are listed below.

The eToro WebTrader

The eToro Webtrader is an amalgam of the social trading applications and the web trading platform. First developed in 2011, social trading on eToro was initially performed using the OpenBook and CopyTrader software. OpenBook was used to search for traders to follow, while the CopyTrader was used to automatically copy their trades into the followers’ accounts. Both OpenBook and CopyTrader are proprietary software products of eToro.

In 2015, eToro made the process of searching for top traders to follow as well as copying their trades much easier. OpenBook and CopyTrader was integrated into a single platform, the eToro WebTrader, the current platform offered by eToro toay.

The web-based trading platform is built on JAVA technology and is accessible from any computer with an internet connection. It is a a web-based application and no download is required, the platform allows the trader to access the platform from any of the popular web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, Firexfox and Internet Explorer. The WebTrader contains a complete suite of technical indicators and interactive charts, and can also be used to trade selected stock indices, crude oil and gold. eToro’s WebTrader is synchronized with eToro’s OpenBook social trading platform, enabling trader’s to copy trades from successful traders listed on the Leaderboard.

Trading on the eToro WebTrader is exclusively under market maker conditions, and trades are executed by a dealing desk.

eToro Mobile Apps

eToro offers a mobile trading application for the iOS devices as well as the Android phones and tablets. The app can be downloaded from the respective app stores (iTunes and Google Play store).

etoro-apps

eToro CopyFunds

The eToro CopyFunds program is a managed portfolio account system where traders can simply put funds in a PAMM account and have a top trader make all the trading decisions. All a trader needs to do to participate is to fund the trading account, find a CopyFund that fits their investment objectives and strategy, and click to join the desired portfolio.

Traders have the choice to invest in two types of CopyFunds:
Top Trader CopyFunds, made up of eToro’s best performing and most sustainable traders.
Market CopyFunds where assets comprising stocks, commodities or ETFs are bundled together under a chosen trading strategy.

With CopyFunds, traders can get a managed portfolio by simply copying a CopyFund that makes sense for them.

Trading on the eToro WebTrader Platform

The following section details the processes that traders can expect to encounter on the eToro platform.

Account Opening

In order to open an account, a trader must provide documents that prove identity and place of residence. These documents are an International passport along with a utility bill/bank statement/credit card statement that is not more than 3 months old.

Assets Traded

eToro allows the trading of forex and other CFD instruments. These are as follows:

  • Currencies: All major currencies are offered for trading, as well as minor and exotic combinations.
  • Stocks: Blue chip stocks from the major exchanges in the US, Europe and Asia are traded.
  • Commodities: Gold, silver, oil and copper.
  • Indices: USD Index, Dow30, NSDQ100, ESP35, FRA40, China 50, AUS200, UK100, GER30, JPN225, SPX500, EuroStoxx50.
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): DIA, FXI, GDX.
  • Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Ripple

eToro Contract Specifications

What are eToro’s contract specifications?
Commission: Trading on eToro is commission-free.
Trading Hours: The eToro platform is open for trading 24 hours a day, 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) from 9pm GMT on Sunday to 9pm GMT on Friday.
Number of Currency Pairs: eToro offers 28 currency assets, silver, gold, crude oil, 12 indices and stocks for trading on their platforms.
Spreads: Spreads are fixed and start from 3 pips.
Leverage and Margin: Maximum leverage is 1:400 (1:100 for commodities and stock indices) and minimum is 1:2 for currencies, stock indices and commodities.
Trade Size: The minimum trade contract size on eToro is 1,000 units of the base currency, which is equivalent to a lot size of 0.01 lots for currencies, 10 units for commodities and 1 unit for stock indices. There is no limit to the maximum contract size that can be traded.
Market Depth: The market dealing model provided by eToro is market making, so market depth is Level I. However, the eToro OpenBook allows a trader to view what other traders on the eToro social medium are doing in the market, and trades of a successful trader can then be copied using eToro’s CopyTrader facility.
Risk Control: Even though there is the ability to adjust leverage on the eToro platform, the company now has a responsible trading policy that limits the total exposure of a trader in the market to 20% and sets the default leverage to 1:100.
Minimum Account Deposit: Minimum deposit is USD250 on eToroUSA platform, but as low as $50 on the eToro Europe platform.

eToro WebTrader Interface

eToro is based on a social trading model. Therefore, the interface of the eToro Webtrader is not like that of other platforms where the trader is confronted with charts and indicators. Rather, the interface looks like this:etoro-interface

The assets that the trader is interested in trading can be selected from the Watchlist. The Watchlist is part of the trader’s navigation bar and is shown below. This is where the trader can select the asset to be traded.

The Bid and Ask prices, the line graph of the asset’s recent price movement as well as the market sentiment (percentage of buying and selling interests) is shown on the Watchlist.

Trading an Asset: What Does the Social Community Say?
Once an asset is clicked for trading, a new window opens. This showcases the views of members of the eToro social trading community in the FEED section. This allows a trader to access the views and sentiment of other eToro traders before making a trading decision.

etoro-feed

You can also see the chart for the selected asset by clicking on CHARTS. You can see the example for the Bitcoin asset (BTC) below:

etoro-chart

Trade
To make the trade, simply click the TRADE button on the top right corner of the screen. This will produce the trade selection interface shown below:
etoro-trade
The following trade parameters can be selected:
Investment amount (shown here as $10,000)
% exposure (shown here as 10% of equity)
Stop Loss and Take Profit
Leverage
The trade parameters can be edited as desired.

Plus500 WebTrader Platform Overview: How To Trade With Plus500

Plus500 Overview

Plus500 is a CFD brokerage firm which was founded in 2007, they are known for providing a user friendly CFD trading platform. Plus500 is listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange. Plus500 allow their clients to trade CFDs on forex, ETFs, commodities and index assets on a single trading platform. The company is also a sponsor of Atletico Madrid Football Club.

Click to see a detailed review of Plus500 here.

Plus500 Trading Platforms

Plus500 offers its clients access to several trading platform applications, compatible with different computer, smartphone and tablet devices. These are as follows:

  • Plus500 Webtrader (web-based trading application). This can run on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
  • iOS Trading application for iPhones and iPads
  • Android Trader for Android-based devices
  • Windows trader, which is the desktop application that can be downloaded onto computers that run on Microsoft Windows.
  • Windows 10 Trader, specifically built to run on Windows computers that run on Windows 10 software.
  • Windows phone app.

Plus500 clients can choose from any of the platforms. The features of each of the platforms are listed below.

Financial Instruments Available for Trading With plus500

Clients can trade the following CFD assets on all Plus500 Platforms:

  • Currencies
  • Stocks
  • Commodities
  • Indices
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Bitcoin

Plus500 WebTrader Interface

Plus500_webtrader

The Plus500 Webtrader has a simplified interface which features the asset groups, which can be accessed by the Trade button on the top of the page. It is also possible to view active and closed positions on the navigation bar, just to the right of the Trade button.

The assets that the trader can trade are listed, with each listing showing the Bid and Ask prices as well as the highest and lowest prices for the day. Traders can choose to Buy or Sell an asset by clicking the respective buttons located beside the Bid and Ask prices. The chart for the selected asset is shown below the asset prices. Traders can switch between line charts, bar charts or candlestick charts using the appropriate buttons just located above the chart window.

How to Make a Trade with Plus500 WebTrader

To trade an asset, simply click Buy beside the Ask price, or Sell beside the bid price (the prices listed to the left). Once any of these buttons is clicked, a small window opens which shows the asset, the current price, the amount to be invested in the trade, the required margin as well as the stop loss and take profit prices.
Plus500_trade

Each of the settings can be adjusted, after which the trader can click the trade execution button (which in this snapshot is SELL).

Plus500 Trading Apps

Plus 500 boasts of several mobile apps: Android, iOS and Windows apps. Each of these apps can be downloaded from the respective app stores.
Plus500_mobile

Plus500 Mobile Trading Interface

The mobile interface simplifies the art of trading and allows easy navigation between asset groups. Again, traders can see the listing of assets and the Buy or Sell buttons shown beside the Ask and Bid prices respectively. Unlike most mobile trading apps, Plus500 has found a way to include candlestick charts just below the price information.

Trades can be conducted by simply clicking any of the trade buttons for the asset to be traded.

Plus500 Risk Management Tools

The following are the risk management tools available on the platforms of Plus500.

Account Leverage

With Plus500, the trader can adjust the leverage as desired. So it is possible to use a leverage of 1:20 in one trade, and 1:50 in another.

‘Close at Profit’ [Limit] or ‘Close at Loss’ [Stop loss] rates

These are basically instructions to close out trades at the stop loss or take profit levels which have been pre-defined during trade setup.

Guaranteed Stop

A guaranteed stop loss protects the trader’s capital in the event of a large market gap or a massive slippage. On Plus500, you can use a guaranteed stop only for certain assets. A check box will be displayed beside any instrument that supports this facility. A Guaranteed Stop must be selected while setting up a new trade. It cannot be used on active positions.

Price alerts

It is possible to set price alerts to provide notification when the asset has hit a certain buy or sell price. This function can be seen in the Instrument list as a bell icon. Click on this bell open a ‘Price Alert’ screen. The price alert is given to the trader in the form of an SMS, email or push notification.
For instance, if gold is trading at $1205 an ounce, and you think there will be a trade re-entry opportunity at a price of $1,050, you can set a price alert for this price. If the price of gold retreats to this level, you get an email/SMS/push notification on the new price. This is a great facility for those trading with limit orders.

Trailing Stop

A trailing stop is a trade protection facility which automatically protects a position from reverse movements, while locking in profits when price moves in the direction of the trade. It is not guaranteed.
A trailing stop moves with the trade when it is in profit territory. In other words, it chases the trade. If the market reverses against the position, it freezes and can also close out the position when the market price hits the trailing stop level.

10 Best Webinars for Traders

Many top brokers offer excellent learning and educational resources. The advantage of broker webinars is that they give traders real-time access to industry experts; enabling them to get thorough answers to specific questions, invaluable support, and detailed visual demonstrations. Furthermore, the training can be enjoyed from any location; as webinars do not need to be attended in person, they are a more convenient way to learn.

With a comprehensive range of topics covered, it is possible to find something to suit every training need; including developing basic knowledge and confidence, mastering new skills and taking trading to the next level.

Here are just some of the best webinars on offer.

1. CMC Markets

https://www.cmcmarkets.com/en-gb/learn/events

CMC Markets offer their own in-house webinars and work with the professional training company, Trade with Precision, to deliver online training events that cover everything from the basics through to more advanced trading strategies.

In addition to trading platform workshops, there are also regular charting analysis webinars, one off webinars to cover current news events that may be affecting the markets, commodity trends training, and global market opportunities webinars, amongst other topics.

2. ETX Capital

http://www.etxcapital.co.uk/about-us/education

ETX Capital have a suite of live online webinars covering a wide range of subjects related to spread betting, forex and CFD trading etc.; from basic charts and graphs, to early investment techniques such as Japanese candlestick charts. Regular webinars are also available offering support on the ETX trading platforms, and the impact of current events on key markets. Traders without an ETX Capital account will be required to create one in order to attend the training events, and this will be associated with the appropriate platform, which will be determined by the course subject.

3. FX Primus

http://www.fxprimus.com/en/education/events/forex-webinars

FX Primus offer a suite of successful FX trading webinars which are exclusively available to holders of live FXPRIMUS accounts.

Traders can learn the basics of forex trading, financial markets, dealing desks, technical analysis, channels and trend lines, and an introduction to more advanced techniques, such as moving averages, the Fibonacci indicator, and candlestick charts.

The advanced successful FX trading webinar series is only available to clients with USD 1000 or equivalent currency value in their account. Topics covered include how to create and stick to a trading plan, how to trade the NFP, and how to gain an insight and understanding into market sentiment, amongst other more complex topics.

4. XM

http://www.xm.com/webinars

XM offer interactive video learning in 18 different languages for forex traders around the globe. Their comprehensive learning program delivered by skilled professionals from international training firm, Tradepedia, includes topics such as money management, trader psychology, Gann trading techniques, chart construction, trend reversals and continuation patterns.

5. FXCM

https://landing.fxcm.com/uk/webinars/

FXCM have a free online live classroom with access to top instructors.
Just some of the subjects covered are methods used by FXCM account holders that separate successful from unsuccessful traders, effective ways to mitigate risk, using stops and limits, and how to use leverage.

A regular walk-through of the FXCM trading platform is also available, as well as training on how to create orders and charts, and how to work with tiered margins.

More advanced traders wishing to develop their skills further can learn about the Fibonacci golden ratio and how it can relate to trading, or how directional bias works, amongst other things.

6. IG Markets

https://www.ig.com/uk/trading-seminars-webinars

IG Markets offer 20-minute ‘lunch bites’, as well as 30-minute ‘evening take aways’. These are bite-sized training sessions that are convenient to attend, interactive, and give a quick insight into current markets, how to use the trading platforms, as well as a more in-depth look at how to use specific tools, such as the drawing tools. For traders with a little more experience, sessions on how to trade the DAX, how to trade volatility, how to think like a trader, and other topics are also available, again in the 20-minute or 30-minute format.

7. ActivTrades

https://www.activtrades.com/en/webinars

Frequent webinars are offered by guest speakers and include topics such as the psychology of financial trading, technical market analysis, working with stop losses and volatility trading. The archive of previous webinars is also available to view for free, although are obviously no longer interactive.

8. GKFX

https://www.gkfx.co.uk/lp/webinar

GKFX offer regular free forex webinars, covering market news, trading strategies, the economic calendar, and technical analysis, amongst other topics.

9. HotForex

https://www.hfeu.com/eu/en/trading-tools/trading-webinars.html

The live webinars from HotForex include tips from their senior analyst, including a regular live market analysis, introduction to algorithmic trading, how to create a system, and more. Other webinar topics include advanced forex strategies and charting patterns.

10. Interactive Brokers

https://www.interactivebrokers.com/en/index.php?f=1350&t=web&p=1

Interactive Brokers have webinars available to join on a daily basis covering a comprehensive range of subjects. The training is broken down into various categories, including Trading, Introductory, Products, and Accounts/Accounts Management. Many of the webinars are either introductory, or more advanced courses, regarding their trading platforms.

 

10 Best Seminars for Forex Traders

Attending a seminar in person can be one of the most rewarding ways to learn; with access to inspirational speakers, who impart invaluable information that they have amassed during their years in the business.

Seminars are useful for live demonstrations of new and existing forex trading software and tools, as well as for discovering trading strategies, learning new techniques, and discussing the latest industry trends.

Trading expos and events enable traders to attend a variety of seminars and workshops delivered by some of the most capable trading professionals. Events are hosted around the world and are also a good forum for meeting other traders and exchanging knowledge.

Seminar

Here are just a few of the best seminars and events for traders.

MENA Financial Forum & Expo (MENA FFXPO)

http://www.meforexexpo.com/

This Middle East and North Africa Financial Expo is held in Dubai, usually twice a year around April and November time. The popular, two-day event is free of charge and attended by over 1500 individual traders, brokers, and investment firms. It is an ideal opportunity to gain insight from industry experts, benefit from exclusive trading opportunities, and discover the latest products and tools available on the market.

Speakers from leading brokers such as AvaTrade, FXPro, HotForex, and ActivTrades are amongst the many to have been featured on the conference agenda.

The London / Leeds Investor Show

www.londoninvestorshow.co.uk

Investor Conferences Ltd run a series of conferences in London and the north of England; including the London Forex Show, which specialises in currency market trading. There are numerous free seminars, workshops, and interactive exhibitions available to take part in at these premier trading events. Register in advance to benefit from a free place at the conference, as tickets on the door incur a fee. This was priced at £25 in previous years, but may be subject to change.

The show offers the opportunity to mix with other traders and experts, build knowledge, learn new strategies, and sharpen trading skills. The event program has previously included bar patterns, personal experiences related by successful traders, and introductions to new trading platforms.

Just some of the brokers that have participated in the shows include CMC Markets, DF Markets, ActivTrades, and Roboforex.

iFX EXPO International

www.ifxexpo.com

This premier networking event is primarily for businesses and industry professionals, but can also be of significant benefit to individual traders.

The well-attended conference welcomes more than 2500 visitors and has featured topics such as security within the forex world, China / Asia market strategies, and breakthrough trading products. If the seminars are too business orientated, traders can take advantage of the many exhibitions on offer.

eToro and FXPrimus have been amongst the many leading brokers that featured at this event.

China Forex Expo

www.chinaforexexpo.com

This enormous conference is visited by thousands of attendees over the course of two days and features more than 60 exhibitors. It is an opportunity for traders to meet with brokers from around the world, learn about their trading platforms and gain an introduction to the exciting Chinese forex market.

Talks have been provided by famous forex analysts, globally renowned brokers, and talented currency market players, offering a wealth of tips for traders.

World Forex Expo

forexexpo.com

These international conferences are held in Bangkok (Thailand), Makati (Philippines), Moscow and Kiev (Ukraine). The events are open to all traders, and feature exhibitions and seminars from FX brokers, technology suppliers, investment companies and other financial institutions and organisations.

The Financial Expo in Moscow is the largest of its kind in Russia, covers a range of financial services, and has more than 3000 attendees over the course of two days.

Workshops, seminars, live demonstrations and other interactive training sessions are provided by key industry experts from brokers such as Global FX; and special offers are exclusively available to attendees of the conference.

ShowFx World Financial Conference

www.showfxworld.com

The ShowFX World Financial Conferences take place in cities around the world throughout the year, including Bratislava, Moscow, Almaty (Kazakhstan), Singapore and Kiev (Ukraine). Registration is free for the one or two-day conferences, and provide visitors with access to free seminars, workshops, and exhibitions for traders to engage with.

Industry experts providing seminars at the events and exhibitions have been featured from Windsor Brokers, Finotec, and XTB, amongst others.

Valuable prizes are also given away at the conferences, such as the latest model mobile phones and tablets.

ShowFX Asia

www.showfxasia.com/en/

Part of the ShowFx World conference group, ShowFx Asia is an annual event held in Singapore that enables traders to meet with and learn from brokers, financial experts, successful traders, and instructors.

The event hosts a range of seminars and business meetings, inspirational talks and training sessions, as well as offering high-value prizes to attendees.

Just some of the topics covered in the seminars include learning practical and timesaving strategies, and how to recognise trading mind traps.

London Forex Expo

londonforexexpo.co.uk

Another major forex event taking place in the UK is the London Forex Expo. This is tailored towards industry professionals rather than individuals, but still may be of interest for more experienced traders. The show features exhibitors, live trading sessions, debates, and many more learning and networking opportunities.

Brokers that have been involved in and associated with the show include FxPro, among others.

XM International Forex Seminars

www.xm.co.uk/forex-seminars

XM are a member of the Trading Point group and registered in the UK as Trading Point of Financial Instruments UK Limited. They host forex seminars around the world on a regular basis, with events previously being held in Venice, Dubai, London, Bangkok, Budapest, and Athens, among other locations.

The seminars cover topics such as technical analysis techniques, risk management, and trend identification.

IG Markets Ltd.

www.ig.com/uk/trading-seminars-webinars

IG offer live, in-person seminars in London, covering topics such as advanced technical analysis and spread betting using charts. The seminars are hosted by market experts from the firm and are based in the IG headquarters in London.

10 Forex Scams & Unregulated Brokers to Avoid

Forex traders with little experience can be deliberately targeted by unregulated and deceptive brokers, as well as other so-called industry professionals, attempting to fraudulently obtain their money.

Regulation of this relatively new industry is continuing to improve and provide traders with protection and peace of mind. However, there will always be shady operators, setting traps and using tricks to manipulate unsuspecting clients. Traders always need to be on their guard and extremely thorough with their checks before handing over large sums of money to anyone in the industry.

Here are ten common forex scams to look out for.

1. Fake / Unregulated Brokers

Fake, unregulated brokers can lure traders in with promises of high and even guaranteed profits, zero spreads, or other unrealistic offers. As much FX trading is now done online, it is easy for fraudulent companies to put together a high-tech web presence that looks entirely plausible. It is therefore vitally important to perform stringent checks on the broker before entering into any trading agreement.

Traders should check for a company address and verify it; check the website Whois information and make sure it is registered in the company’s name (or their parent company name); and only go for brokers that are authorised and regulated by the relevant industry regulator, such as the FCA in the UK, or CySEC in Cyprus, etc.

The Financial Conduct Authority have a useful tool that allows you to search for a company to see their regulatory status and history.

The regulatory status should be declared on the broker’s website and is an important indicator of whether or not a firm can be trusted. If they are regulated by a reputable regulator in their country of origin, then they are more likely to be legitimate, act responsibly, and be accountable for their actions; as they risk losing their licence and reputation if they fail to act in accordance with the required standards.

Brokers to avoid

Notorious unregulated brokers can be uncovered with a simple internet search. Examples of firms publicly highlighted by the FCA as being unauthorised include:

  • AMFX (www.amfx.com)
  • Banco FX or Banko FX (www.bancofx.com)
  • TFX Traders (www.tfxtraders.com)
  • Golden Green FX Limited (https://www.ggfonline.com, https://www.goldengreenforex.com)

A few reputable alternatives include AvaTrade and eToro.

2. Clone Broker Firms

Some firms may appear to be regulated at first glance, as they are registered on the regulator website and able to provide a registration number, however further investigation reveals that they are just extremely similar to a genuine, regulated broker. They may have just used a slightly different spelling or a variation of the registered broker’s name. This highlights the importance of carrying out detailed and thorough checks before entering into an agreement with a broker.

3. Clone Regulator Websites

Another way a fake broker may convince a trader that they are legitimate is by publishing their regulatory status on their website and linking through to the regulator web page where their entry appears. Except that it isn’t the regulator website at all, and is actually a clone of the register that they have deliberately set up to appear authentic.

To avoid falling into this trap, be sure to go to the actual regulator website and search the register for the broker from there, rather than trusting a link from the broker’s site.

4. Signal Sellers

Signal sellers can be companies or individuals claiming to be able to identify the best trading opportunities, and when they are fraudulent, they often promise quick and easy profits.

They may allege to have extensive experience and expertise, remarkable technical analysis abilities, or privileged access to news affecting the direction of the markets; and these statements are often backed up by glowing testimonials from numerous traders who apparently have made significant profits from the services. The information is provided for a fee, but of course, there is no way to recoup this outlay if it proves to be bogus. If a trader does want to go ahead and use a signal seller, they are responsible for vetting them and verifying their reliability before proceeding with the transaction.

5. Trading Robot Sellers

Automated systems, more commonly known today as ‘robots’, are also offered by scammers purporting to reward traders with high returns for little effort. They may claim that their robots examine price volatility and other factors in order to assess the best time to enter or exit a market. However, often the trades are simply random and absent of any kind of logic. Again, the sales page is regularly accompanied by numerous fake testimonials from traders declaring how the robot has earned them significant profits generating trades on their behalf. If a trader wishes to use an automated system as part of their trading strategy, then extensive research should be conducted to ensure scam robot sellers are avoided.

6. Forex Ponzi Schemes or High Yield Investment Programs (HYIPs)

Ponzi schemes are still one of the most well-known scams around and alarm bells should ring straight away if a forex investment scheme seems too good to be true. In a typical example, money is diverted from people entering the scheme to pay the exceptional profits promised to previous investors. The cycle continues: word spreads about the extraordinary scheme, and as more people join, more money becomes available to pay the alleged profits. Eventually, the scheme collapses and/or the scammer disappears with everyone’s money.

7. Fraudulent Fund Managers

Trading forex can be intimidating, particularly for those entering into it for the first time, so when a fund account manager comes along promising high returns for minimal risk, it can be a tempting prospect. When investors start to receive additional demands for money as markets did not perform as predicted and the fund manager needs to correct the position, this is inevitably a bad sign. Some people can repeatedly fall for this scam, though, until eventually the penny drops (pardon the pun) and the money manager disappears, along with all the investor’s money.

8. Overpriced Training & Education Programs

Traders should be wary of education programs with a promise of profitable results. These are often sold for inordinate fees and are unable to deliver on their promises.

Whilst training programs can be useful for learning the basic process and guidelines, any course declaring that it can teach someone to become an expert in no time at all is probably worth avoiding altogether.

There is a wealth of free information available that may be just as or even more useful than a costly training program: YouTube videos; podcasts; webinars and demo accounts give a potential trader the opportunity to test their abilities before trading with real money; and so on.

9. Manipulation of Bid / Ask Spreads

This scam relies on the naivety of the trader, as it assumes that they are going to be more concerned with checking market movements than the commission being taken by the broker through their bid and ask point spread. The wider the spread, the more money is being pocketed by the broker, and this reduces any potential profits for the trader. The scam is not as common as it used to be thanks to better regulation of the industry and increasingly savvy traders, but it still exists, particularly with offshore, unregulated brokers.

10. Stop Loss Hunting

Deceitful brokers have been known to manually close a position before reaching the stop loss set by traders in order to gain additional trading commissions. This is not very common and is unlikely with a regulated broker, however, is still potentially something to look out for – particularly when using a market maker broker.

Best Online Trading Platforms

How to Choose the Best Trading Platform

Previous to the advent of electronic trading platforms, trade orders had to be called in by phone and the fulfilment of the trade orders were left in the hands of the broker. The cost of placing a trade was much higher and the barriers of entry for traders was much higher and a bigger capital investment was required to get direct lines to brokerage desks that could guarantee fast executions for trade orders.

The market architecture at this period of history can be summed up in this chart provided by the Bank of International Settlements:
voice_trading
FX market architecture prior to the advent of trading platforms. © Bank of International Settlement (BIS)

Then came the electronic trading platforms, which were made possible by the innovations in information technology at the turn of the new millennium. The introduction of online trading platforms changed the landscape of forex trading. Out went the interaction with the “voice brokers” and in came trading with electronic brokerage systems.
e-Trading
FX market architecture after the introduction of electronic trading platforms. © Bank of International Settlement (BIS)

Trading platforms deepened the market, widened the market architecture and increased the volume of trades that could be conducted in a day dramatically. Electronic trading platforms also improved the efficiency and transparency of the forex market. They also reduced trading costs and lowered the startup capital requirements for traders and made it much easier for retail traders to enter the market.

In order to get access to the world of online forex trading today, all a trader needs is a computer, a good internet connection and to choose an online broker to trade with.

There are many trading platforms, with many brokers offering their own proprietary platform like LCG WebTrader, Plus500 WebTrader and eToro WebTrader alongside the industry standard MT4 Trading platform. So how does the trader choose the best trading platform?

What is a Trading Platform?

A trading platform is a piece of software that acts as a conduit of data between the trader and the broker.

For the trader, the trading platform provides:
Access to price quotes of currency pairs. A trader should be able to get price quotes for currencies in a manner that is visually discernible.
Chart information: Traders should be able to have access to charts (line, bar, candlestick), which can support the placement of tools and other add-on software for technical analysis.
Tools for technical analysis. It is standard now for trading platforms to have access to technical indicators of various kinds for effective technical analysis.
Placement of orders. Platforms offer several ways to place an order including instant and pending trade orders.
Tabs which provide access to news and for some platform users, access to a market for indicators, expert advisers and scripts.

Trading platforms have undergone several innovative changes in the last 10 years. They now come in several formats:
Downloadable clients which can run on various operating systems including Windows and Macs.
Web-based versions (webtrader) which run on JAVA
Mobile trading apps, which work on Android and iOs devices.

Most retail trading platforms are offered to traders at no cost. However, more advanced platforms are available to institutional traders at a cost (IBIS from Interactive Brokers is an example) that contain advanced trading tools.

Choosing the Best Trading Platform

One question many new traders have is this: is there any such thing as the “best” trading platform? What constitutes the best platform for one person may not necessarily be the best for another trader. So it is better to find the trading platform that is best for you at an individual level.

Here are some questions that traders have as they got about to search for what will constitute the best trading platform for them. These questions usually border on cost of usage, features, functionality as well as visual appeal.

Availability

Is the platform available in your country?
Are the markets you want to trade offered on the platform?

Cost of Usage

Is the trading platform free to use or does it cost some money to use?
Are there two versions of the software (free and paid)?
What are the extras that the paid software has over the free one?

Features

Does the trading platform present charts?
Are the charts customisable?
What are the available technical indicators?
Is it possible to customise the chart offering?
Is there a demo account?

Function

What versions of the trading platform are available (desktop, web-based or mobile)?
Does the desktop version work with a Mac or are all the software Windows-based?
Is it possible to trade from the charts?
Is one-click trading available?
How are the order types presented?
Is it possible to use expert advisors?
Is there a strategy tester?
How easy is it to navigate around the trading platform?

User friendly

Is the GUI (graphical user interface) visually appealing?
Does the GUI provide a conducive atmosphere for scanning several sections of the interface without eye fatigue?
Is the platform easy to understand?

Extras

Are there extras such as access to a marketplace?
Are platform updates automatic or do they have to be done manually?
How stable is the platform generally? Can it stay function hitch-free for hours or does it occasionally “freeze” and require restarts?
How much of a pull on the computer’s resources does the platform have?
How secure is the platform against cyber threats?

Summary

These are some of the questions that go through the mind of traders when trying to choose the best trading platform. The best trading platform will therefore be the platform that answers most, if not all the questions that have been listed above.
You may need to compare several platforms before arriving at a final choice. You may also need to change platforms once in awhile as newer versions of different categories of trading platforms become available or your trading requirements develop and change over time.

50+ Forex & Trading Industry Statistics & Trends From 2017

Researching the Forex & online trading industry? Below are some interesting statistics, charts, trends, and facts we found on the $5.3 trillion Forex market.

We’ve split the forex statistics into seven sections:

Forex Market Size Stats

1. The trading volume of the Forex market is 4X the global GDP1

2. $5.3 trillion dollars per are traded every day in the forex market.1

3. More than 85% of the global forex market transactions happens on only 7 currency pairs known as the majors (EURUSD, USDJPY, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, NZDUSD, USDCAD, USDCHF)2

4. If you spent one dollar every second around the clock, it would take you 31,688 years to spend a trillion dollars. Therefore, to spend $5.3 Trillion, the value of Forex, would take you 126,118 years.3

5. The volume of retail forex trading represents just 5.5% of the whole foreign exchange market2

6. Forex trading daily volume is about 53 times more than the New York stock exchange.3

7. Deutsche Bank is the world’s largest foreign exchange dealer with over 21% in market share2

8. There are over 170 different currencies around the world today that make up the Forex market.2

9. Forex is the only market that runs for 24 hours per day. 1

10. The Forex market is the most liquid market in the world. 1

11. The Forex market is 12X larger than the futures market and 27X larger than the equities (stock) market.

Currency Stats

12. The US Dollar is the most traded currency, being part of almost 90% of global trades.1

13. In May 2017, there were more searches in Google around trading Bitcoin than there were for searches around trading gold or oil, according to Google Trends.

14. The GBP/USD is known as the ‘cable’. Why do we have such a name for it? Simply because, before the creation of global communication satellites and the fiber optic technology, the London and New York stock exchanges were connected by a giant steel cable, immersed in the Atlantic Ocean.1

15. The British Pound (GBP, 11.8%) is the fourth most most traded currency1

16. The Euro is the third most traded currency (EUR 33.4%)1

17. The Japanese Yen (JPY, 23%) is the third most traded currency1

18. The Australian Dollar (AUD 8.6 %) is the fifth most traded currency1

19. The Swiss Franc (CHF, 5.2%) is the sixth most traded currency1

20. The Canadian Dollar (CAD 4.6%) is the seventh most traded currency1

21. The Mexican Peso (MXN 2.5%) is the eigth most traded currency1

22. Chinese Renminbi (CNY 2.2%) is the ninth most traded currency1

23. New Zealand Dollar (NZD 1.4%) is the tenth most traded currency1

Forex Technology Stats

24. MT4 is the most popular Forex trading platform in the world. Its closest competitor is MT5, which as the name implies, is also built by MetaTrader.

25. Over 35% of traders search for a broker using a mobile or tablet device.

26. Traders prefer Android over iOS. 56.1% of traders have an Android phone, while 41.8% use iOS. Samsung is the most popular brand among traders using Android.

27. 90% of successful Forex traders these days use robots (sometimes called ‘expert advisors‘) to help them make money.4

28. In Binary option trading every trade lasts from less than 10 minutes to a maximum of 19 minutes.4

29. 85% of traders use Windows Desktop.5

30. Auto trading began in the Chicago mercantile exchange as early as the 1970’s but became common with retail trading around 1999 when online retail platforms started appearing.3

31. 60% of all Forex transactions are conducted in either the UK (41%) or the United States (19%).3

32. The 5 most popular cross rates, according to research are: EUR/JPY, EUR/GBP, EUR/CHF, GBP/JPY and GBP/CHF.3

Forex Trader Stats

33. A recent research study undertaken by Ph.D. researcher John Forman, reveals that 99.6% of retail Forex traders are unable to achieve more than 4 back-to-back profitable quarters. Sound strategy or not, losses are apparently inevitable3

34. There has been a rise in he number of female traders – 46% more women opened accounts in January – March 2015 than January – March 2014. Despite this, women still only represent 10.9% of all traders, according to our own research here at BrokerNotes.

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35. Traders at getting started at a younger age. 43.5% of traders in 2017 were aged 25-34. This is up by almost 1% compared to 2016.

36. Some banks are known to allocate as much as 20-30% of their funds into the Forex market and generate between 40-60% of their total profits through trading currencies. This is by far their most lucrative endeavour.3

Forex History

37. The gold standard was set in 1880, the year which many people hold as the start of modern Forex. The amount traded in Forex increased by 10.8% between 1899 and 1913, but holdings of gold experienced an increase in only 6.3%. Clearly, Foreign Exchange began to gain more and more strength.1

38. It was the Bretton Woods agreement that gave way to forex trading. Prior to 1971, speculation in currency markets was not permitted2

39. The world’s first real ‘bank’ was Monte Dei Paschi di Siena founded in 1472 in Tuscany, Italy, and is still in operation today.3

40. By 1913, almost half of global foreign exchange was traded using the Sterling. While the Sterling was the main currency in Forex trading, the most active centers were New York, Berlin and Paris. London, for the most part wasn’t a major player in the trading world until 1914.1

41. While we think of currency markets as a relatively new invention, money changers were first mentioned in the Talmud, which dates back to biblical times. The money changers charged a commission, of course.10

42. The Forex markets, surprisingly, were forced to close sometime during 1972 and March 1973 due to the ineffectiveness of the Bretton Woods Accord and the European Joint Float.3

43. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Amsterdam maintained an active Forex market. Exchange took place between agents and merchants acting in the interest of their respective nations, England and Holland.3

44. The US Federal Reserve only came into existence in 1908. Before that, any US bank could issue their own money.10

Forex Broker Stats

45. The largest company in the industry is IG Index, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market value of around £1 billion. It now has over 72,000 clients worldwide, making approximately one million transactions a month – over 90% of them online.6

46. Approximately 90% of spread betting trades are buy positions.6

47. Binary options typically pay out around 80% if you win, and return only about 10% if you lose.  Add 80% + 10%, and you will get 90%, with a gap in the broker’s favour.9

48. IG reported an 18% rise in third-quarter revenue as traders speculated more because of increased stock market volatility (March 2016).8

UK Spread Betting Stats

49. According to the Financial Times the profile of the average spread better remains white, male, middle-aged and professional. Although IG Index says that about 3,000 people open an account with them each month, spread betting is still not a mainstream activity.6

50. Profits from spread betting are currently free of capital gains/income tax in the UK.7

51. Around 92,000 people in the United Kingdom were spread betting in 2012. About 35,000 people stopped spread betting in the United Kingdom in the year to July 2012 (compared to 32,000 in the same period of July 2011), while around 23,000 traders switched providers. The growth over the period 2009 and 2012 has been modest with just 9,000 new traders.6

52. According to research specialist Investment Trends spread betting client numbers rose to 88,000 in November 2011 compared to 83,000 recorded in October 2010 while those trading CFDs reached 26,000, up from 25,000.6

53. Financial spread betting has been around in the UK and in Ireland for about 40 years but has experienced an impressive rise in popularity in the last decade.6

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

How to Trade News Events (Examples, Strategies & Tips)

News trading is a method of trading the markets that utilises economic and socio-political events to predict the possible direction of the financial markets.

It can have a major impact on the markets, as the release of an important news event can cause traders to buy or sell assets based on their perception of the news.

News Stand

Depending on the news release, it can have short or a long-term impact on the markets. For example, after the shocking results of the Brexit vote in June 2016, the GBP didn’t recover its lost value for over 11 months.

How Does News Cause Price Movements?

When the news is released, it can influence the financial markets. This is because news events can impact whether the majority of traders believe the market is in an uptrend (bullish) or in a downtrend (bearish), otherwise known as market bias.

The price movements in the markets is a result of the actions of buyers and sellers based on what they perceive the future position of the instrument will be.

For instance, buyers take long positions in a financial instrument when they perceive that the asset is undervalued, with a potential for a value gain in future. Whilst sellers will take short positions if they believe that a asset is overvalued or will lose value in the future.

Therefore, traders who trade news events are reacting based on market perception based on the news release. The degree to which this market perception has been fulfilled as well as the extent to which the news event deviates from the market expectation can determine the degree to which traders will respond to the news event.

For instance, if the news event is a surprise in the market, the degree of response by traders will be higher as a result of more aggressive buying or selling and this is reflected in the extent of the price movement following the news trade.

But if the market is already expecting a sharp and this surprise has already been priced into their current actions, then the likelihood of seeing much price movement following the news will be lower.

Popular News Trading Strategies

The popular news trading strategies used for trading market events are as follows:

1) Trading the spike

These are the traders who aim to catch the initial sharp movements that occur in the market when the news release occurs and can create a large deviation from market expectation.

To do this kind of trading effectively, it is best for such traders to have access to premium news feeds as well as facilities which are co-located with the brokers server so that the latency period for receipt of news feeds and execution of trade orders is as low as possible.

This is the level where the institutional traders are very active, and the sheer volume of trades executed by their high frequency trading software is what produces the characteristic news trade spike seen when there is a market-moving news event.

news trading - the spike

Many retail traders try to trade the spike as well, but without access to premium news feeds and the tools to ensure ultra-low latency, it is harder for them to turn a profit under such circumstances.

2) Scalping

Another strategy some traders like to use is scalping. These traders, try to make quick profit by opening and closing positions sometimes within milliseconds in an attempt take a few pips while the news event is in progress.

When trading small volumes the gains made with this type of trading could be eaten by commissions and fees, however when done with large volumes, the gains can outweigh the costs.

Remember – not all brokers allow scalping. You can see a list of brokers that accept scalping here.

3) Post-news Swing Trades

After the dust has settled following the news trades, the effects of the news can linger for some time. Some traders may decide to wait until the dust has settled before trading in the direction that the market has assumed in response to the news trade.

news trading - post news swing

These are just some of the methods used by traders to trade news events, however no method is superior or inferior to the other. The skill of the trader is what will determine the result a trader may experience.

Examples of News Trading Events in 2016

Now that you have an understanding of what news trades are, here is a description of the five news trades that will happen between mid-September and December 2016.

FOMC Rate Statement: Wednesday September 21, 2016

The Federal Open Market Committee of the US Federal Reserve will be releasing its interest rate decision and accompanying statement. There has been a lot of speculation that the Fed Reserve will increase interest rates as the US economy continues its economic recovery.

The question for this news event is: if not now, then when? Remember that the markets react to news events based on perception, so the perception that traders have towards the statement by Fed Chair Janet Yellen will determine how the US Dollar will perform on that day.

Non-Farm Payrolls: Friday October 7, 2016

Scheduled for release at 8.30am Eastern Time on the 1st Friday of October 2016, the US Non-Farm Payrolls report showcases change in employment numbers in all sectors of the US economy except the agricultural sector and the unemployment rate.

This is one of the most watched news events the world over and also one of the most difficult news releases to trade. A tradable report is one in which there are no conflicts in the two news items that make up this report.

MPC Official Bank Rate Votes + Official Bank Rate + Monetary Policy Summary: Thursday October 13, 2016

This news event comes out of the United Kingdom and will have an impact on the British Pound, a currency which is still smarting from the effects of the outcome of the Brexit vote. It will be interesting to see what further measures the Bank of England would come up with to stimulate the UK economy.

Bank of England Inflation Letter: Thursday November 3, 2016

This news event features the reading of a letter written by the Bank of England, chronicling their projections for UK inflation and economic growth over a 2-year period. This news event creates a lot of market volatility for the British Pound.

RBA Cash rate and Statement: Monday December 5, 2016

This news event comes out of Australia and features the interest rate decision and accompanying statement released by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

If you want to find a trusted regulated broker – see our list of the top forex brokers regulated by the FCA.

image credit:simplyrikkles

Infographic: How Pokemon Go Influenced the Stock Market & Economy

Since its release, Pokemon Go has been breaking records in both the Apple and Android app stores. Apart from being one of the most popular mobile games ever, what impact has Pickachu and his pals had on businesses?

In this infographic we see how Pokemon Go influenced the stock market and economy. If you found the infographic useful please feel free to share it on your website by copying and pasting the code below the image.

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Infographic: How did Brexit Impact the Currency, Stock & Commodity Markets?

It has almost been two months since Britain voted to leave the EU. But what impact did the unexpected vote have on the markets?

In this infographic we explore the macro-economic impacts the vote had on the FX (forex), commodities, stock, and cryptocurrency markets. If you found the infographic useful, please feel free to share it on your website by copying and pasting the code below the image.

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