Getting ready for MetaTrader 5 – Interview with Brad Alexander of FXLarge
Brad Alexander, CEO of London-based actionable content provider FX Large gives a detailed overview of how specialist content that engages traders should work around the MetaTrader 5 platform.
Some say familiarity breeds contempt, others say that he who boldly accepts change when nobody else does is foolish.
The MetaTrader 4 platform embodies both of these contrasting extremities, and today is the day that marks the end of the road for the most ubiquitous trading platform in the world.
On one hand, MetaQuotes, the platform’s manufacturer, has empowered 1231 retail entities which have not had to invest a single cent into development of their own trading systems, and since 2004 has been the de facto platform for brokers wishing to onboard new customers who are already familiar with a specific system, and also has been the mainstay of vast automated trading entities in the Asia Pacific region whose use of self-developed EAs (trading robots) have been designed around the MetaTrader 4 platform.
On the other hand, it could be argued that those operating with a very much off-the-shelf system may well have gained cheap and easy access to a very lucrative market – a MetaTrader 4 white label license costs just $5000 – but are not masters of their own destiny, something that the removal of the software by its manufacturer is testimony to, and are now in a position where they offer almost identical customer experiences in a market which has ever increasing costs and bureaucratic considerations, hence having to be extremely competitive on just spread and commission in order to get ahead of over 1000 identical competitors is increasingly becoming a squeeze.
This may well have provided a solution to brokerages not wanting to invest their own cognitive and fiscal resources into developing their own platforms, however it has more than one Achilles heel, mostly due to the subservience to MetaQuotes that comes about as a result of placing all intellectual property on a third party system.
From research conducted by FinanceFeeds within many brokerages that use MetaTrader 4, whether it is as their sole platform due to a business model that keeps them outsourcing their trading environment to a third party platform development company, or a firm with proprietary trading infrastructure that is offering MetaTrader 4 as a front end platform alongside the proprietary system in order to easily onboard a global audience from other brokerages due to MetaTrader 4’s familiarity, it can be deduced that he primary reason that brokers have resisted moving to MetaTrader 5 is not because they do not like the new platform, but because they have been burned by MetaQuotes in the past for how they’ve made decisions (Mobile Terminal support being one example). So, whether they realize it or not, the most counter intuitive thing they could’ve done to help continue to bolster support for MT5 is make an impulsive, dramatic end to MT4.
Hence, although MetaTrader’s decision to discontinue MetaTrader 4 so abruptly was a moot point among many firms, now brokers by default are in a position to offer their clients the full functionality that has maintained MetaTrader 4’s position as a ubiquitous and universally offered platform, yet give brokers an advantage in terms of being able to expand their operations without having to add more servers to their infrastructure as MetaTrader 5 operates in all global destinations from one server, whereas MetaTrader 4 requires servers in every location.
Today, FinanceFeeds spoke to Brad Alexander, CEO of London-based actionable content provider FX Large to look at his perspective on how specialist content that engages traders should work around the MetaTrader 5 platform.
Mr Alexander explained, “We are in a good position to glean information on the market as we work with a variety of brokers, educators and fin-tech companies, all related to retail trading and crypto. Clearly not all the brokers are on board with MT5 but many are offering it in anticipation and interest is ratcheting up.”
“The fin-tech companies to whom we speak, who provide services and plug-ins for MT4, were on the fence just over a year ago. Now, almost everyone we speak to has, or are developing, MT5 solutions. We are exactly the same. We still offer content based around MT4 but only on a bespoke basis. Last year we made a business decision to concentrate on a generic MT5 offering, which can be white labelled and customised for any broker or educator.”
“Personally and as a company, we’ve started using it for trading, analysis and forecasting on a regular basis. For the retail trader, switching from MT4 to MT5 can be an almost seamless process as the UI is almost identical and, once you scratch the surface, there are some interesting advantages” he said.
“While creating training and marketing material for any new technology, you spend a lot of time clicking buttons to see what happens. There are a few nice features of MT5, well hidden deep in multi-level dropdown menus, that got our attention. Our favourite is the “Charts within Charts feature which is brilliant for monitoring multiple timeframes. As we find more features, we need more videos, and our list of topics has grown to 36 videos which are well into production” – Brad Alexander, CEO, FXLarge
Mr Alexander’s sentiments seem to be shared by most of the industry with many brokers still in denial about the MT4/MT5 saga with others embracing it wholeheartedly. Fin-tech, in general, has been ahead of the game recreating their existing MT4 offerings and developing new ones to take advantage of the advanced features of MT5.
In conclusion, Mr Alexander stated “While creating training and marketing material for any new technology, you spend a lot of time clicking buttons to see what happens. There are a few nice features of MT5, well hidden deep in multi-level dropdown menus, that got our attention. Our favourite is the “Charts within Charts feature which is brilliant for monitoring multiple timeframes. As we find more features, we need more videos, and our list of topics has grown to 36 videos which are well into production.”