I’ve been unequivocal about my position regarding binary options. As far as I’m concerned binary options are not a legitimate financial instrument or investment vehicle. I’ve also been completely forthright regarding the online Forex industry; I feel that if you want to trade online, Forex is probably your best bet. Yes, there are a lot of disreputable brokers out there engaging in some shady practices, but the industry as a whole has reached a level of maturity that means (with a bit of research) you can now participate in a real market and take control of your investments without worrying about being ripped off (refer to my Agency Model article for a breakdown of the convoluted Forex business models you ought to be aware of).
The problem with Forex is that, like everything worthwhile, it is complex and requires work to attain proficiency. What binary options brokers have managed to do is skim the enormous pool of prospective traders, removing all those who they manage to convince that binary options have something simpler and safer to offer. As far as I can see the entire binary options scam is predicated on this idea. Forex is difficult and risky / binary options are simple and safe. My ‘Great Binary Options Scam’ series has been systematically cutting through this… ahem… binary, and I do intend to create Forex related content for beginners in the future to demonstrate how Forex is neither as difficult nor risky as you have been led to believe, that it is in fact a far safer, and more accountable way to trade. This website, however, is a business, and to turn it towards an industry that I regard as more transparent and a safer place to put your capital, not only must I prove this to you the reader, but I have to convince the company itself that this is a worthwhile direction to take by attracting the right kind of advertising revenue. I’m saying this now so that should you start to see advertising on this section of the website you don’t accuse me of being a Forex shill or some such nonsense. Business is business but I won’t agree to advertise anything on my little Forex tab on this site without having fully tested it myself. Deal? Good. let’s carry on.
Recently, an associate of mine who works for another website and knows what I’ve been writing about, gave me a preview of a new platform that she thinks offers both a simplified and safer way to trade Forex. So seeing as the great selling point of binary options has been the so-called simplicity of the instrument, I thought it would be a great idea to give you guys an exclusive preview here. This will be one of two articles, a preview, and a full test once the platform is launched complete with screenshots.
Now if any of you are familiar with what has been going on in the online Forex industry over the past few years you’ll be well aware of social/ copy/ mirror trading. The aim is to eliminate the difficulty of getting into Forex by allowing you to just copy or mirror the positions of other traders who supposedly know what they are doing. It’s the new hot topic in Forex and it has been met with mixed responses from traders, and from industry journalists. Some are hailing it a revolution, others regard it as exceedingly dangerous to blindly copy what other traders are doing.
My associate gave me a sneak preview of FxPro Financial Services new platform, which she had been given access to in beta modes in the run-up to the full launch. It is called FxPro SuperTrader and seems to be the company’s own take on these kinds of copy, mirror or social trading venues, depending on your preferred nomenclature. Now what immediately attracted me to FxPro’s take on this growing industry, and led me to feel it might be worthwhile showcasing it here, is that right off the bat the company seems to be addressing the issues of credibility which have been a mainstay of the criticism levelled against copy-trading. This main criticism is that you never really know who you are copying or what their credentials are.
Apparently FxPro SuperTrader functions a lot like rival offerings from other Fx brokers, but with a few slight changes that make a big difference. Firstly FxPro SuperTrader is not really a social trading platform. All FxPro clients have access to it, but they cannot have their own strategies be followed by anyone else. So the overwhelming majority of the platform’s users will be investors. These are the folks that bring the capital and are searching for profitable investments.
On the other side you have leaders; these are the specialists with the strategies that investors are looking to follow. So what you have is a dynamic where investors bring the dough, and leaders bring the expertise. But what makes FxPro SuperTrader a radical upset to the mirror-trading industry, is that getting approval as a strategy leader is very very tricky. You have to be put through the ringer by the company’s business development team before they allow you to have access to their client base. So not only is each leader put through a very gruelling review process, but so are each and every strategy that leader wants to have approved on the SuperTrader platform.
However, what caught my interest more than anything else, is that apparently every strategy that makes it onto FxPro SuperTrader MUST go through at least one month of live testing with the strategy provider’s own capital being on the line. I think this is pretty-much unheard of in an industry where everybody seems to be offering their trading strategies and signals for a handsome fee without having to prove what their credentials are. Not only this, but each strategy is constantly monitored even after being approved, so if a strategy fails to live up to the standards that were used in order to approve it, then it gets flagged, and if it consistently fails to perform as expected it is removed from the platform. Now I’ve seen this kind of a dynamic on FxPro’s EA library. Strategies come and go all the time, but in this way you know that what you are getting has been providing the returns it is claiming to, albeit recently.
The method of quality control that FxPro has instituted means that as the platform grows, you will end up having the strategies that work best for their investors rising to the top. It’s a very intriguing evolutionary dynamic, and one that the company is free to make, unlike many of its rivals, because being an Agency Model broker, it doesn’t profit from lost account balances, but rather from the volume traded by the company’s clients. This one change in the company’s business model means that it is free to offer its clients tools that market making brokers simply can’t afford to develop in the same way.
I was allowed to play around on the platform over the course of an evening, and I have to say I’m very intrigued by the possibilities. I’ll save these for the follow-up article however so that I have the chance to confirm my findings by playing with the platform for a little longer. Watch this space.