FinanceFeeds Podcast Ep. #2: Autochartist CEO talks evolution of brokers and traders, gamification, South Africa

Rick Steves

After a successful debut, the FinanceFeeds Podcast returns with an interview with Ilan Azbel, Founder and CEO of Autochartist, developer of the automated market analysis tools that identify market opportunities and alerts traders in real-time.

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Ilan Azbel founded Autochartist in 2001 and currently focuses on the strategic positioning of the company in the retail trading industry, customer relationship management, development of the product roadmap, and business development.

Raised in South Africa, Mr. Azbel studied Computer Science at the Universities of Witwatersand and Cape Town. “From a technical perspective, these are universal technologies”.

A proud South African with a “very culturally aware” upbringing, Ilan Azbel says he had a “world-class education” there but has since moved to the United States, where he is based in Austin, Texas, with his family.

Episode #2 of the Finance Feeds Podcast series was hosted by Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev and the two spoke about Ilan Azbel’s upbringing, the evolution of Autochartist, online brokerages, and the gamification of trading.

FinanceFeeds Podcast Episode 2: Ilan Azbel

How Autochartist moved from technical analysis to user engagement

Ilan Azbel pointed out that when Autochartist was founded, 20 years ago, brokers used to offer all kinds of trading signals. The firm followed that trend and specialized in automating technical analysis in order to make it accessible for retail traders.

Much has changed since then. Modern traders became very sophisticated, he said, adding that they use a wide range of sources of trading signals, including Reddit and Instagram.

“Everyone seems to be a guru, an influencer. The marketplace became really crowded”, he continued as he explained why the signals business has been playing a smaller and smaller role.

Mr. Azbel said that brokers have really tried to differentiate and not compete with the internet. Now they’re more focused on the content and engagement they have with their traders.

Instead of exclusively dedicated to trading signals, Autochartist became more of a holistic content provider, involved in marketing and communication initiatives, push notifications, SMS, and all kinds of customer engagement solutions rather than just signals.

Less is more

The founder of Autochartist spoke about how the evolution of Autochartist tracks the evolution of the online brokerage business and of retail traders.

In the age of information, traders want less. “Less is more”, he said. Brokerage firms are now more focused on filtering and curating than providing more content.

While technical analysis remains hugely popular, Autochartist now offers services around macroeconomics news. statistical movements, true fundamental analysis in order to cater to all types of traders. “We’ve grown way beyond technical analysis”.

The double-edged sword of gamification of trading

Talk of the evolution of retail traders gave way to the topic of democratization and gamification of trading.

Mr. Azbel referred to the new interesting financial products being offered by brokers that simplify trading, such as options trading, and drive a lot of brokers’ bottom lines.

However simplified these products may be, it doesn’t mean traders understand what they’re doing, he told Nikolai, as he pointed out how options are a double-edged sword: a very mature market that is highly regulated, with controls in place. But at the same time, traders are at risk because they’re not using these instruments appropriately.

FinanceFeeds Podcast Episode 2: Ilan Azbel

60-65% of people are currently underwater in crypto and the same is expected to happen with ‘meme stock traders’ as they will eventually face a wake-up call: when earnings come out and markets realize companies should no longer be valued at current prices. “Reality hits when earnings come out”.

Sponsorship opportunities on FinanceFeeds Podcast

FinanceFeeds is the premier independent real-time news source for the FX and CFD trading industry, fintech, and the wider finance community. The launch of the podcast series opens up new sponsorship opportunities for companies looking to tap into our niche audience. For more information, please email us at [email protected]

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