LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that a new CySEC licensed Retail FX brokerage has launched called Fondex, at website fondex.com. Fondex is a multi-asset CFD brokerage that is launching using Spotware’s cTrader updated platform: a 3-in-1 solution that has integrated manual, copy and automated trading functionalities.
We spoke with Fondex CEO Alex Katsaros about the launch of the new brand and his views overall on what is a very turbulent time for the Retail FX sector. Here is what he had to say.
LR: Hi Alex, and thanks for joining us today. Please let us know a little more about Fondex and its launch.
Alex: Hello and thank you for having me today. Fondex is a multi-asset CFD brokerage that offers clients more than a thousand markets to trade. We aim to broaden our business scope in the near future and establish Fondex as an online investment hub of the Fintech era, meeting the growing interest of investors who are looking for non-traditional investment solutions, like robo-advisory.
Adopting the brand-new cTrader 3.0 as our trading platform gives our clients the advantage of being able to combine different trading methods on the same platform interface. Traders can trade manually, copy strategies, or use algorithms to automate their trades. The Copy and Automate functionalities on the platform can be accessed easily with the click of a button. We are also excited to present our revamped mobile app, which includes new features, integrated deposit methods and user experience improvements.
LR: In today’s environment, what do you think are the key factors retail traders are looking for in choosing a Forex/CFD broker?
Alex: There are several common factors that define clients’ quest for the ideal broker. The primary driving force that propels people to trade is to capitalise on market opportunities. Fondex provides clients with the ability to trade 7 asset classes; besides Forex, we also offer over a thousand Shares, Indices, Commodities, and over 15 Cryptocurrency pairs.
Advanced traders are looking for reliable and fast execution at low prices. Our decade-long experience with institutional grade liquidity allows us to cater to the needs of retail, as well as professional traders and trading firms. We can also offer customized solutions depending on the client’s requirements, investment amount, risk profile and categorisation.
Security and trustworthiness is also a major concern in our industry. Regulation, negative balance protection and the segregation of client funds in reliable banking partners are conditions that traders should focus on when choosing a broker. Fondex abides by all the rules that are imposed by our regulators and ensures that clients’ protection is paramount.
Traders often need guidance, so at Fondex cTrader we have integrated independent trading signals from Trading Central, as well as a built-in Copy trading app. Additionally, by offering never expiring free demo accounts, we assist new traders in understanding the markets or getting a second opinion before committing.
Lastly, with technology being our main expertise, through our trading platform clients can trade using advanced market analysis tools such as numerous standard, tick, Renko, and range bar timeframes in combination with over 70 pre-installed indicators. They can trade faster with a single click, drag & drop trading directly in the chart even in our mobile application, and in combination with any of the aforementioned trading methods.
LR: What is your approach to crypto trading? Have you seen a lot of demand from clients for cryptos lately?
Alex: After the 2018 crypto-crash, the demand for cryptocurrency trading has been reduced, but it’s re-gaining traction as of September 2018. So far, this persistent bear market has been fueled by the uncertainty that surrounds the acquisition and storage of crypto-assets. At the same time, market accessibility has been increasing, and businesses have been adopting digital assets to conduct transactions. Due to these factors, certain reports suggest that the cryptocurrency market may see considerable growth in trading volume in the following years.
CFD trading has the distinct advantage of allowing traders to take advantage of both rising and falling markets without owning the actual asset, so in our approach we focus on the fact that traders can benefit from Crypto fluctuations without incurring risks such as how to store their assets or having their Crypto accounts hacked. In addition, there are other benefits that cryptocurrency CFD trading involves, such as the flexibility of conducting transactions in fiat, trading long or short, and the ability to set Stop Losses and Take Profit targets.
LR: From your perspective, how have things gone in the Retail FX world over the past few months since the new ESMA regulations have gone into force (leverage cap, stop loss, negative balance protection…)? What are your views on how the Retail FX sector will change in the coming months due to regulation and general competitive conditions?
Alex: Retail clients are still trying to come to terms with these new restrictions while often looking for alternative solutions, such as opening trading accounts within non-EU regulated jurisdictions. It’s undoubtedly more difficult for brokers to attract new clients with the new marketing restrictions, but we are taking on the challenge and treating it as an opportunity to improve our services further.
Many CFD brokerages are looking to obtain offshore licences that will enable them to attract a broader clientele due to the greater flexibility that they permit. Companies will have to test their level of adaptability and find an appropriate solution that satisfies all parties involved. Smaller companies are probably the ones who are going to be hit harder as they won’t be able to keep up with the increased regulation costs in Europe, combined with a decrease in profitability.
I would hope that ESMA re-examines the austerity of its temporary measures and implements rules to establish a better equilibrium between traders’ expectations and the necessity of regulatory control. It is often the most balanced approach that yields the best results, and in this case, regulators could help minimise outflows of clients to offshore jurisdictions, and therefore protect them from further risk.
LR: What else can we expect to hear from Fondex in the coming months?
Alex: Our long-term corporate objective is to create a unified investment e-hub, where clients may fulfil multiple investment needs. Our first step towards this process is the inclusion of a robo-advisory service, which is scheduled to take place in mid-2019.
The mission of this new service will be to use sophisticated software that will help clients construct personalized investment plans and apply strategies that fit their risk profile and investment objectives. On the basis of these factors, we will create diversified portfolios of ETFs, where the assets are optimally allocated for generating the client’s target returns.
In the short term, we aim to improve the quality and functionalities of our products, so that clients can have a consistently positive user experience. At present, with mobile trading being on the rise, our main focus is the Fondex app for Android and iOS, which is an efficient solution for trading on the go.