September Checklist for Forex Brokers
As traders prepare to return to their desks, brokers are reviewing that all-important September checklist.
Traders may be daydreaming in hammocks right now, but when the mercury drops, they’ll be ready to trade again, so being on top form is crucial. Here’s your September checklist to plan for increased acquisition and trading volumes in September.
But First … The September Effect
No one really knows why, but the stock market typically performs worst during the month of September. Stock analysts will tell you that September is the month when the stock market’s three leading indexes usually do their worst.
Since 1950, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has seen an average decline of 0.8% in September. Likewise, the S&P 500 has suffered a 0.5% decline on average during the ninth month of the year. Lastly, since 1971, Nasdaq’s composite index has fallen an average of 0.5% during September trading. Those numbers really help to show how bizarre this historical fact really is. Because of this correlation, the month of September is now notorious as a non-trading month, with some dubbing this the “September Effect.”
This isn’t a purely US-only phenomenon either, it affects markets all over the world. It has led many analysts to attribute the negative effect of September on the markets as seasonal behavioural bias, with investors changing their portfolios at the end of summer to cash in.
The Latest Trading Stats You Need To Know
Covid19 has brought about a seismic shift in the financial markets. Of course, the markets were already primed for change, given that Brexit, the rise of China in the geopolitical arena and the US presidential elections formed the backdrop for the pandemic. And, this perfect storm, so to speak, not only drove the markets in 2020 but continues to do so well into 2021.
So, here’s what awaits brokers:
- About 15% of all retail traders today started their journey in 2020 – so they’re new to the markets.
- The median age of retail investors today is about 31.2 years. Compare this to the median age of 48.1 prior to 2020.
- In January 2021, the number of trades placed via the largest retail e-brokers rose to 8.1 million average daily trades, up a record 23% from December 2020.
- Over 50% of retail investors today are millennials.
- 43% of retail investors say that they plan to invest more in future.
These statistics should guide not just the services that brokers offer, but also the way they reach out to, and engage with existing and potential clients. So, what exactly does it mean in terms of service provision? The Trade-Ideas Retail Services Survey provides key insights.
The survey asked three questions. The first was about the use of third-party tools. 81.4% of the responders stated that third-party service providers could be a good avenue for client acquisition for brokerages, based on how robust their execution API was.
The second question was about the relative satisfaction with brokers’ data, information, and research provision. The responders were evenly split on this one. What this highlights, is that it is necessary to see where gaps might lie in delivering research and analysis to help traders develop their strategies and make trading decisions. Keep in mind that the largest population of traders are millennials today. Talk to Contentworks Agency about relevant and engaging financial content.
The last question addressed this needs gap by asking traders what they would like to see from their brokers. Look at what they want.
Data from Trade Ideas
What stands out is peoples need for news, charts and connectivity. This shows us that traders today have a higher understanding of what moves the markets, how to read them and their desire to react quickly to not miss opportunities.
Summer 2021 – the Regulations You Need to Know
Summer is a notoriously chilled time of year for the FX world. But when it comes to financial regulators, nobody is sleeping. Rules change at a rapid rate to keep up with an ever-adapting sector. Here are the regulations you might have missed during summer 2021.
Chinese Regulators Warn on Cryptocurrencies
If you’re promoting a crypto offering, it’s particularly important to know what’s going on in the sector around the world. Prices dropped in May 2021, for example, when Chinese regulators warned about coin volatility. The National Internet Finance Association, China Banking Association and Payment Clearing Association warned their members against dealing with digital assets.
The statement was posted by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s Central Bank. The regulator also barred financial companies from offering cryptocurrency savings, trusts and issuing crypto-related services. While this may be part of the larger big-Tech crackdown that China seems to be on, it was a major event considering the nation is a leading player in the cryptocurrency industry.
SEC on Crypto Regulations
All eyes are on crypto now, especially as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to work on a set of regulatory policies alongside Congress. In a summer statement, Gary Gensler, the new SEC head said that regulatory gaps needed to be filled, which essentially paves the way for more regulations soon.
Basel III Regulations Shake Up the Gold Market
New banking rules known as Basel III came into effect over the summer. They mark a big change for European banks and the way they deal with gold. This will potentially alter the landscape for precious metal demand and prices. Allocated gold, in tangible form, will be classified as a zero-risk asset under the new rules, but unallocated or ‘paper’ gold, won’t. Under the new regime, physical, or allocated, gold, like bars and coins, will be reclassified from a tier 3 asset, the riskiest asset class, to a tier 1 zero-risk weight.
CySEC’s latest updates
On June 16, 2021, CySEC published a draft law, the Proposed IFA Law, which introduces regulation of investment fund administrators and providers of similar services. The aim of this new proposed law is investor protection and maintaining market integrity. Cyprus-based fund administrators are also regulated under the Administrative Service Providers Law of 2012. However, a need was felt for bespoke regulation regarding the operations of such administrators.
CySec has also issued a directive regarding the registration and operating conditions of cryptocurrency-related services providers. Included in these guidelines is a series of procedures that will need to be followed to comply with the recently enforced AMLD5 by the EU to combat money laundering and terror financing.
The fee for the registration of such service providers has been set at €10,000, with a renewal fee of €5,000.
Following widespread lockdowns and a move to remote work in 2020, the UK FCA was quick to set out regulations pertaining to anti-fraud, market abuse, conduct and data privacy. The regulatory body highlighted the need for financial services providers to ensure information security and “operational resilience.”
The FCA suggested that financial services providers should use “enhanced monitoring,” especially for the prevention of market abuse. With remote work still, a reality in 2021, the UK’s regulatory watchdog published further guidelines, stressing ensuring that “the right controls… are in place” to curb insider trading and other misconduct.
More recently, in July 2021, the FCA has proposed changes to the transparency and disclosure rules related to diversity in the boards and executive management teams of listed companies. The definition of diversity has been broadened and might include considerations such as sexual orientation, socio-economic background and disability, apart from ethnicity.
A Broker’s Guide to September Marketing
The financial market is a fiercely competitive space right now, but with the right marketing strategy, you can gain the edge. We have spent the summer months strategising with brokers looking to stay ahead of the game. Here are some September marketing actions to tick off your checklist.
#1 Book Events To Attend In Q3 and Q4
It’s been a long year of virtual events for the finance sector, but physical networking opportunities are beginning to emerge. And you need to make the most of them.
One of the biggest events of the year, IFX EXPO International, will take place at the 5-star Parklane Resort & Spa in Limassol, Cyprus from 5-6 October 2021. Organised by Ultimate Fintech and welcoming top financial minds from across the globe, this event offers unparalleled networking opportunities, insightful speaker sessions and hospitality like no other. It’s a great way to meet new contacts and grow your network. As media partners, we will be attending and covering the event via social media.
Planning in advance for upcoming events will allow you to:
- Promote your attendance to your traders and partners on social media.
- Announce your participation through PRs or newsletters.
- Arrange travel and understand any restrictions that might impact you.
- Have a contingency plan in case some of your members cannot travel last minute
- Plan a social media strategy for the event itself, including real-time tweets, live videos or interviews from your very own expo booth.
- Arrange contests and prizes to add some sparkle to your booth
- Interact and engage with other attendees to get the networking process started. You can also arrange meetings in advance to maximise your time.
- Decide who will attend and who will do the work behind the scenes.
- Prepare any physical marketing materials such as business cards, e-books or leaflets.
- Book your tickets now to avoid missing out!
#2 Prepare Your Own Webinars
42% of marketers say that they plan on using webinars in 2021. And with the webinar market projected to reach $800 million by 2023, it’s clear that creating a webinar is one of the best ways to engage with traders in an increasingly remote world. There are more newbie traders than ever in the market, and they want to learn and engage. Here are some useful webinar creation tips.
- Provide value to your audience
What questions are your traders asking? What are they typing into Google to find you? What questions does your FX support team deal with on a daily basis? What’s going on in virtual chats and social media? Delve into the data to find questions that need to be answered. From there, you can pull together website content that provides value to your audience.
Top tip: Segment your webinars by ability so nobody is excluded. Beginners don’t want to get lost in a sea of complex trading terms and advanced strategies.
- Choose a webinar format
How you host your webinar is up to you. You could run a panel discussion or a Q&A. You could offer a single-speaker presentation or host an interview. You could even carry out a platform demo for your audience. Panel discussions featuring industry experts are a great way to shine a light on a particular niche topic. But all of this needs to be arranged and promoted in order to achieve maximum interest. If you decide to host an interview, you could opt for an industry expert or a top trader or partner.
Remember to follow all current financial regulations. So include all relevant warnings and always give a balanced and fair view or your products and services that are in no way misleading.
- Choose the right day and time
When choosing a time and date for your webinar, you’ll want to consider where your audience is located. Use tools like Google Analytics to see where people are so you can choose a convenient day and time zone. According to ON24, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to host webinars, with 10 am and 11 am being the preferred times. Both are ideal for a wide range of time zones and should avoid most commute times or work hours.
#3 Improve Your Video Education
Brokers know that video is an excellent marketing tool helping to communicate complex finance and fintech subjects. 91% of marketers feel the pandemic has made video more important and 83% say video helps them with lead generation. Additionally, explainer videos have seen huge success. An overwhelming majority of people (94%) report watching explainer videos to learn more about a product, with 84% being swayed to make a purchase.
If you haven’t got a video library in your education centre, September could be the time to start. Some popular videos right now include:
- Explainer videos that introduce your platform or your trading tools
- Monthly outlooks featuring your analyst or head of dealing
- Footage featuring live trading of key events like the NFP
- An FAQ series answering your traders’ questions from social media or chat
- Meet the team series- adding faces to names improves credibility for traders
TIP – Make sure your YouTube channel is up to scratch. Have you got enough content or is this something to work on? Do you have nicely organised playlists that’ll make your content easier to find and work through? Consider deleting old or outdated information and spring cleaning your channel. Remember to add SEO friendly captions, hashtags and thumbnails.
#4 Evaluate Your Social Media Platforms
Finance is a fast-moving space but so is social media marketing. With new tools, platforms and demographics to explore, there’s no place for complacency. Take TikTok for example.
During 2020, 16% of Britons aged between 18 – 24 began investing for the first time, compared with 10% across all age groups according to a survey by Halifax. Roughly 50% of TikTok’s audience is under the age of 34 with 41% of users aged between 16 and 24.
There’s a big opportunity to reach Gen Z through TikTok. Finance brands can leverage the app at a time in these young people’s lives when they are just becoming interested in the world of finance. Effectively reaching and aligning with this audience before competitors get the chance is key.
Financial trends are viral-worthy, especially among younger generations who are looking to increase their capital. Take, for example, how Redditors recently took on the hedge funds to manipulate the GME stock, resulting in losses of billions of dollars from the large corporations in a David and Goliath-style battle. This phenomenon in the trading industry provided a unique opportunity for fin-fluencers to take advantage of people’s interest in the story by offering information and tutorials on the stock market. Reddit is another hot pick to explore if you haven’t already done so.
Meanwhile, evaluate your existing channels by checking your engagement levels and the resources you need to improve them. You don’t need to be everywhere, and each channel should ideally deliver unique content for its unique audience.
As well as trying a new platform, why not kick off the new trading season by utilising a new tool? You could post to IGTV to keep your consumers updated or utilise Instagram Reels to showcase products or tools. If you’ve never gone ‘Live’ before, then how about a live trading demonstration or an end of day roundup featuring all the latest news? Summer is the perfect time to practice using new tools and to get familiar with them!
#5 Get Organised
There are lots to be getting on with to ensure your marketing team is ready for September. If things are in a mess, it won’t be easy to perform at your best or offer the service traders expect. It’ll also make day-to-day tasks a lot more tedious. So, think about:
- Tidying up your internal image library. Create categories and folders that’ll make it much easier to source the image you need, whether you’re writing an FX news story or are looking to update your blog. Archive all the old stuff you don’t need anymore.
- Update risk warnings. It’s a tedious task but it must be done. Review your landing pages, social media channels and images to check your risk warnings and info is correct.
- Preparing evergreen content. Summer is the perfect time to put together some evergreen content. This could focus on trading tools that are useful or talk about trading techniques. You could look at when the markets are open around the globe or talk about the most famous forex traders in history. Keeping evergreen content on standby can help you out of tight spots later.
- Review popular content. Use Google Analytics to see what content performed the best. And then create a schedule for re-writes.
- Edit client emails. Another thing you can do to ensure a smooth transition back to daily trading is to add a ‘welcome back from summer’ message to client emails. You can also prepare news updates and a September trading roundup to ease your traders back to the charts.
Are you ready for September? Talk to Contentworks Agency, the leading marketing agency for the financial services sector. We work with top brokers, fintechs and banks to deliver analysis, blogs, PR, social media, video marketing and much more.
Charlotte is a content marketing strategist heading up social media and storytelling at Contentworks Agency. A content marketing thought leader, she has 1000+ articles published, guest writes for leading social media hubs and frequently speaks at events. She also maintains her own blog at www.charlisays.com and a writer’s life presence on social media. When she’s not writing and managing the agency, Charli enjoys swimming in the Mediterranean, writing poetry and reading.