Hong Kong is one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. Low personal income tax along with low corporate tax makes it an appealing proposition for companies looking to set up a financial service, or broker business there. English is widely spoken given its colonial past and the time zone of GMT +8 happens to fall between London and New York, the biggest financial centers in the world.
It is hard enough to produce a solid track record and to generate consistent profits as an FX trader, so why make it harder on yourself?
It’s my opinion that, for a long time, FX industry regulations were grossly inadequate, as the regulators seemed unprepared to protect its most vulnerable segment, the retail trader. When a novice trader opens a retail brokerage account, most, but not all, are unaware that their broker is on the other side of the trade and therefore 100% against them.
While crypto is starting to be a regular subject of discussion even amongst non crypto believers, the increased demand and interest in cryptocurrencies requires more computer power to verify transactions on the blockchain. Therefore an increasing need in crypto mining farms. But what is Crypto Mining and what challenges are in front of us ?
A Payment Processor is a company that acts as a kind of mediator between the bank and the merchant, in a transaction. The payment ecosystem is complex with different terms and processes to get used to. Today I’m going to discuss various terms used in the online payments and a simple guide to the entire payment process.
The Archegos story sounds awfully familiar to anyone in the financial industry.
A well-educated Wall Street professional who started a career at a traditional financial corporation, networked, moved on to launch their own hedge fund, made mistakes (insider trading), paid fines to the SEC (44mln) in 2012, banned by MMT from trading in HK for 4 years in 2014 (insider trading), and restarted afresh with a new company (Family Office) that didn’t have the limitations of the previous company (contrary to a hedge fund, family offices are not required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and file regular reports). Not to mention, founded and run a charitable organization that reported almost $500 mln in assets on 2018 tax forms.
Coinbase Global, Inc., known as Coinbase, is an American company that offers a cryptocurrency exchange platform and operates remotely - the first company of its kind without an official, physical headquarters. The company was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam from a $150K start up incubator.
As of March 2021, Coinbase was the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States by trading volume and has almost 43 million verified users. (almost 4 times that of Robinhood).
Banking and payment solutions for regulated FX Brokers are usually straightforward. I say "usually" as even FX brokers with recognized licenses can have a hard time finding suitable options in today's era of strict bank policies. Entry-level offshore FX brokers from St. Vincent, Marshall Islands and etc. are quite limited in how they can process incoming and outgoing payments, deposits and withdrawals.
This article will cover the most common payment solutions available for offshore FX Brokers as well as shed some light on what can be expected\ with each.
The upending of our normal daily lives by the Covid-19 virus has removed our ability to interact with industry colleagues during industry events and to share and debate our viewpoints. While the majority of us are staying at home during this pandemic, to help stop the spread of the virus, some event organizers have made changes to their schedules and have moved events into an online format. Are you perhaps curious as to which events to head to when the international quarantine is lifted and borders are reopened?
Check out this list of 2020 FX industry events compiled by Advanced Markets' research team with a daily re-check and update!
The year of 2018 announced the era when DDoS attacks exceeded 1 terabyte on an individual attack basis. The definition of a “DDoS” (Distributed Denial-of Service) attack is “a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target with a flood of internet traffic”. The most famous instance was the attack on GitHub that caused downtime of 15-20 minutes. Two days later, NETSCOUT Arbor confirmed a 1.7 Tbps DDoS attack but this one managed to fly under the radar as there were no reported service disruptions.
Topics: Traders, Industry Trends, FX Liquidity, Forex Brokerage, Start Your Own Forex Brokerage, SYOB, Forex B2B, Regulation, MiFID, MiFID2, Wholesale FX, FX Liquidity Provider, Retail Trader, Retail Broker, Institutional Trader, Institutional Broker, System Uptime
Over the years, I’ve seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. I have tried to always keep my clients informed and have helped guide them along the way.
There have been a variety of responses, but in the end, my client knows that I am here to help and that I have their interests at heart. As far as new fund managers go, the reoccurring noticeable mistakes I have witnessed would be (in no particular order):
Advanced Markets is a company focused on bringing true Direct Market Access (DMA) liquidity, credit and technology solutions to the foreign exchange, energy, precious metals and CFD markets. Our firm has put together an international team of FX experts who are located all over the world. Our marketing team asked key members of this team to tell us a little more about their individual roles and responsibilities, the clients that the firm is servicing and their thoughts on how Advanced Markets is adapting to the fast changing FX landscape.
Topics: Traders, FX Liquidity, Platforms & Technology, Company, Thought Leadership, Forex Brokerage, Start Your Own Forex Brokerage, Brokerage, SYOB, FX Broker Startup, Forex Marketing, Wholesale FX, FX Technology Provider, FX Liquidity Provider, Institutional Trader, Institutional Broker
With high frequency trading estimated to account for more than 50% of the trading volume in the U.S. and more than 25% in Europe, the number of available price updates (ticks) per second has become an important criteria for FX Brokers, HFTs and Fund Managers when choosing a liquidity provider.
Topics: Traders, Platforms & Technology, Forex Brokerage, Start Your Own Forex Brokerage, Algo Trading, MT5, MT4, MetaTrader, Wholesale FX, FX Technology Provider, FX Liquidity Provider, Institutional Trader, Institutional Broker
FIX API has been a trending phrase amongst Forex professionals for the past decade. The technology has proven to be the fastest and one of the most secure ways to trade in FX.
A FIX API is an application programming interface (API) that uses FIX protocol. It connects FX Liquidity makers with takers. In our case, FX FIX API is a way to connect directly with a particular Liquidity Provider or aggregator.
Recently at an FX conference, a developing fund manager and I crossed paths. After a few polite introductions, I quickly realized that, based on his audited returns, the new fund manager was proficient in trading the FX market. The detailed description of the fund’s fundamental and technical trading strategies was welcoming to hear.
After a few routine questions from the prospective client, the topic promptly turned to spreads and liquidity (my favorite). The fund manager was comparing pricing between FX brokers and asked why spreads are so contrasting amidst all of the firms in question.
Topics: FX Liquidity, Thought Leadership, Forex Brokerage, Start Your Own Forex Brokerage, Brokerage, SYOB, FX Broker Startup, Forex B2B, Regulation, Wholesale FX, Institutional Trader, Institutional Broker
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has implemented a range of measures intended to protect retail clients who are trading leveraged products, such as CFD’s.
The product intervention measures mandated by ESMA, under Article 40 of the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFID II) include:
- Maximum leverage limits on the opening of a position by a retail client ranging from 30:1 down to 2:1.
- A margin closeout rule on a “per account” basis (at 50% of minimum required margin).
- Negative balance protection on a “per account” basis.
- A restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs.
- A standardised risk warning, including the percentage of losses on a CFD provider’s retail investor book.
- Prohibition on the marketing, distribution or sale of binary options.
Topics: Traders, FX Liquidity, Forex Brokerage, Start Your Own Forex Brokerage, SYOB, FX Broker Startup, Forex B2B, MiFID2, Wholesale FX, FX Liquidity Provider, Retail Trader, Retail Broker, Institutional Trader, Institutional Broker
2018 was a challenging year for retail FX brokerages with many of them being sold over the counter and others struggling to implement the new rules mandated by regulators.
What we can say is that 2018 was first and foremost a year of new regulation. Legal teams have been working hard to structure businesses differently and/or adapt to the new rules. Quiet contrary to the goals of the regulators’ goals, offshore is once more becoming the broker’s common strategy, especially to continue to offer high leverage to retail clients.
The FX Landscape has changed dramatically this year, mostly due to the implementation of MiFID 2 regulations, and rulings by ESMA, in Europe alongside additional government scrutiny of the Chinese FX Market and the exposure of failed profit-sharing models. As a result, we are seeing quite a few licensed FX Brokers for sale, as well as acquisitions within the industry. Therefore, I want to provide you with a comprehensive comparison of regulatory jurisdictions in order to bring you up to speed with the latest trends.
Our marketing team gets countless emails from retail traders requesting demo versions of our FIX API.
Advanced Markets does not work directly with retail traders (the firm only deals with institutional clients), however, upon researching these requests further I came to the realization that this particular topic is not covered very well online.
Let’s say we have a retail trader, interested in trading via a FIX API, and who is looking for the broker that will be able to provide one.
Throughout my 18 years in the FX industry, AML (Anti-Money Laundering) / KYC (Know Your Client) training has been an annual requirement at the bank and broker level. Regulators have continually stressed the importance of AML / KYC training to help create an effective awareness of, and procedure for, financial crimes with the goal of protecting the firm and their clients. It is important to familiarize bank and financial institutions employees each year with anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures.
As with most businesses, the operation of a Retail FX Brokerage involves a lot of moving parts that must be synced together to create an efficient and viable business.
These would include Legal (KYC, trading agreements, dispute management, regulatory reporting), Trading Platform Administration and Management, Liquidity and Risk Management Provisions, IB Management, Client Support, and, of course, Sales and Marketing.
I thought it would be useful to compile a short list of the main differences found when trading OTC (over-the-counter) FX with an STP (Straight Through Processing / No Dealing Desk) “Prime of Prime” and a Retail brokerage.
The differences can be categorized as follows:- Vetting / Onboarding
- Netting vs Hedging
I’m sure there aren’t many industry peers who have managed to escape the MIFID 2 avalanche this past year and, perhaps only the frenzy surrounding crypto currencies, ICO and Bitcoin comes close to the boiling hot MIFID 2 topic in 2017.
For the better half of 2017, brokers and trading firms, falling under the reach of MIFID 2, were very busy implementing the parameters and protocol needed in order for them to comply with the new regulatory standards.
As January 3, 2018 approaches, FX industry participants are busy reading through the new financial laws of “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (MiFID 2) in an attempt to understand how these will affect them going forward.
Originally, MiFID was created following the 2008 financial crisis in an effort to standardize the regulatory disclosures for particular markets. MiFID 2 came along with a revised set of standards which will enforce transparency, enhance investor protection and expand reporting to regulators, effectively changing the way that Europe’s secondary markets function. The significance of these changes should not be underestimated as the regulatory expectations of higher quality data sets will most likely lead to more regulatory issues and fines.
From social media strategy to content creation, what are the steps to take to reach the 1.4 billion-people Chinese market?
Penguin Intelligence, a research agency subsidy of Tencent, recently reported that as of Q4 2016, there were 889 million active users monthly. People are spending, on average, 66 minutes each day on WeChat with 57.22% of new WeChat contacts added for work-related matters and 6.04% service providers. Over 80% of users used WeChat group for work-related purposes with WeChat group becoming an important venue for business communications.
These statistics clearly indicate that WeChat is the potentially the most powerful platform through which to reach new leads and clients for your business.
MAM is an acronym for Multi Account Manager, a plugin originally designed for the Meta Trader 4 Platform to allow the proportional (or any set) profit and loss distribution from Fund Manager (or Master) to Investors (or Sub Accounts).
The Master Account serves as the primary (and the only real) trading account, and sub accounts receive the results of the actions performed on the Master Account (only proportional COPIES of the original trades).
With the deadline for MiFID II implementation fast approaching, a lot of confusion and uncertainty still exists within the FX Industry.
MiFID II regulation is divided into several distinct rule sets with the legislation applying to a broad range of financial industry players, those who provide investment services, such as investment banks, portfolio managers and brokers, and intermediaries such as inter-dealer brokers and market-makers.
The main objective of MiFID II is to ensure the fair, effective and safe operation of financial markets. Failure to comply with the directive could result in significant fines.
The MetaTrader 4 Bridge is one of the most popular add-ons for MT4 Servers. It was created in early 2000 and, ever since then, there have been many rumors as to who actually developed the first commercial version (of course, many industry veterans know the name).
MetaTrader 5 bridges are now beginning to emerge, and the speed of their development is directly correlated with the very recent growth in MT5 adoption rates.
While some industry sources are arguing whether or not MiFID II will dramatically affect the FX industry, most FCA and CySEC licensed FX brokers are rapidly adjusting policies in order to comply with the new requirements.
One of the key changes of MiFID II is an implementation of the term “best execution” and a directive to ensure “All Sufficient steps” (Article 64 -4) are in place to support that.
Yesterday, I got an email from one of my old contacts thanking me for persuading him not to go into the retail FX brokerage business last year. The email was sent from the corporate domain of his new business venture, one that is apparently doing well with only a 30% involvement with the FX industry.
His experience has inspired me to write a short article that can serve as a wake-up call to anyone contemplating starting their own FX Brokerage.
There are several ways that an STP brokerage can make a profit. The broker may either charge their clients a commission ($X per $million), apply a markup to the price feed, or perhaps a combination of both.
In MT4, the commission charged to the client is typically set in deposit currency per lot ( In this article, we will be using US Dollars as deposit currency for an easy and clear explanation).
An STP brokerage can also choose to charge their clients a markup, which will be added into spread that their retail clients see. Markup is normally defined as points added per lot. Markup is usually invisible to your clients and tends to be more flexible as you have the ability to adjust the markup according to market conditions.
Topics: Traders, FX Liquidity, Forex Brokerage, Start Your Own Forex Brokerage, Brokerage, Forex B2B, STP, MT4, Wholesale FX, FX Liquidity Provider, Retail Trader, Retail Broker, Institutional Trader, Institutional Broker