Exclusive interview: Just how important is total access via all channels to trading signals, charts and analytics?

Autochartist CEO Ilan Azbel speaks in great detail to FinanceFeeds about what specific tools to engage traders and ensure longer lifetime value should be part and parcel of a trading platform, and how analytics, charting and actionable content should be integrated. Here is a very in-depth analysis

Dual MT4 screens

Among companies which provide real-time news and analytics, there are only a small number that were founded and are operated by highly experienced professionals.

By experienced professionals, references apply to quants, mathematicians, algo developers and traders with an institutional-level aptitude for technical analysis and fundamentally scientific approach to disseminating news and events and providing them in an ergonomically honed format for retail traders to be able to act quickly and efficiently on the vast array of information that affects markets.

One such company is Autochartist, which last week provided a service to Australian multi-asset electronic trading company Pepperstone which is the world’s first incarnation of Autochartist’s new trading functionality that allows clients to place trades directly from Autochartist’s email research.

In order to look at this in close detail, FinanceFeeds met with Autochartist founder & CEO Ilan Azbel, who explained the ethos behind this in full detail, as well as provided a detailed perspective on aspects relating to how traders interact with their platforms, and what tools and services should be presented within their trading environment in order to empower them.

Being able to embed specific MetaTrader 4 trading capability into emails and websites is a very new dimension in charting and analytics. How do retail brokerages benefit from this and maximize their client’s trading potential?

There are so many friction points in the trading process but with the launch of this functionality we have taken a step closer to removing one of them – the need to open the trading platform to place a trade.

The entire process holds benefits for brokerages because traders can immediately execute of trade setups that they receive in their inbox, instead of being drawn into a paralyzing tailspin of analysis.

MetaTrader has maintained its position as the de facto off-the-shelf trading platform in the retail FX business largely due to its compatibility with ancillary services, particularly trading robots and Expert Advisers which are largely in use across the important APAC region where very few traders execute their own trades manually. How does the Autochartist TradeNow facility tie in with investors that wish to view all trade messages and have them sent to the MetaTrader 4 server’s ManagerAPI whilst using automated software or MAM for order execution?

I think that Autochartist has made its position clear in the market with respect to automated trading services: we are firmly against the use of EAs and other automated systems because as all industry execs know these services are created for one purpose only – to draw down customer accounts.

Ilan Azbel, CEO of Autochartist
Ilan Azbel, CEO of Autochartist

A while back Autochartist attempted to go to market with an automated trading strategy that offered lower more sustainable returns, but the retail forex traders showed little interest in long term investment products and opted rather for get-rich-quick schemes. So to get back to your question, the strategy of TradeNow is primarily focused on self-directed traders.

What are the technical implications and set up considerations for brokers onboarding the TradeNow service and locating it near their MetaTrader 4 server for efficient delivery of messages?

The service is not hosted by Autochartist, it is in fact an on-site solution that the broker needs to host on their own infrastructure. This is of course due to two primary reasons: Firstly, Autochartist wants no access / control of customer credentials or MT4 Manager credentials; we don’t want the liability and the broker doesn’t want that risk.

Secondly, speed of execution is essential and we try to minimize the hops the trade needs to make. This being said, some brokers may find it challenging to handle complex execution of trades coming from our MT4 Manager based implementation.

In an ideal scenario, when the broker makes use of advanced routing technology such as the oneZero Financial bridge, they are able to take advantage of proprietary features to handle trades coming in via the Manager.

These trades can be routed just like a normal client terminal execution.oneZero and AutoChartist partnered with a pilot client to validate the setup and have run through testing to ensure compatibility. TradeNow with a OneZero bridge is really an ideal architecture.

Does Autochartist consider the new TradeNow facility to be a further development on the very valuable actionable content that has been recently adopted by several high profile FX brokerages to provide to their traders?

I think that many of the larger brokers are realizing that our services can be used not only as a value-add to their traders, but as a value-add to achieving their own business objectives. More like a “tool for brokers”, so to speak. Broker objectives are more accounts, more turnover, and improved customer retention; and I think that this service takes a step forward on both of those goals.

The TradeNow feature for MT4 may be a new development, but companies like Oanda had this facility on their platform for years now. The same can be said about how SaxoBank has integrated our technology – allowing traders to trade directly off our analytics. The smart brokers are realizing the need to enable customers to trade as quickly and easily as possible.

In a post-mobile trading world, do you consider that means of execution from ‘offline’ locations such as email is a tool that brokers should be using in future to ensure their clients are fully engaged even when away from any MetaTrader 4 installation on their phone or desktop?

I think that people trading on a mobile device are “guessing” the direction of the market. It is simply not possible to analyze multiple data sources on a small device and make a well thought through trading decision.

We think that the way to make decisions on mobile devices is by trusting one source of information – and once you build trust with that source, to trade based on what that source says. Can Autochartist guarantee people will make money? Of course not! But are we better than a “flip-of-a-coin”? Most definitely!

I do think however that MetaQuotes lost their way a little when it comes to enabling services such as ours – the world is moving towards APIs and owning backends and services, and leaving front-end developers to build tools that fit their clients’ needs.

By no longer providing a Client API (since MT3), MetaQuotes has inevitably forced large brokers to shy away from their platform in order to reduce the possibility a trader will move to another broker.

What is the monetization advantage for traders and brokers?

The bottom line is that brokers are always looking to make the trading process simpler. If they can remove a step in the process and get a trader to place just one extra trade, the broker would see a return immediately.



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