I equate retail Forex trading to growing up in today’s world. Think about it. You’re 17 or 18 years old. You grow up on the internet. The new Internet. Not the AOL, you’ve got mail, under construction, dial-up Internet. The new, open source, 2.0 social web where you can connect with friends all over the world, sharing pictures, ideas and information from any coffee shop or handheld device. Online Forex trading has the personality of a 17-year-old, but has been stuck in the grey pinstriped suit of a middle-aged guy.
I did time at all the big banks and brokers back when there was no such thing as retail Forex trading. The big guys only cared about the institutional money. That’s where all the currency bean-counting happened. It wasn’t about how many pips a trade made – it was all about hedging, managing risk and speculating. Who’s counting individual pips when you’re trading billions of dollars each day? They had sprawling trading desks staffed with phones and Bloomberg terminals and wing-tipped shoe wearing guys in suspenders. We all know how that ended up.
Fast forward to the 21st century. There was a crash. And a burn. People were looking for a new way to make a dollar. Cynical about the stock market and eager to try their hand at something new, online Forex trading came onto the scene. Retail brokers scrambled to add it on to their “other asset classes” offering and tried to make a go of it. In the background, business types all over the world started to see the opportunity to build Forex trading systems that any ordinary trader could use. As these online brokers started to crop up, so did the social web. Now, anyone could learn about Forex. Even your average Joe.
In a recent blog post on The Next Web social media blog, Ayelet Noff says:
“….Just as the advent of the internet has removed the physical barrier to Forex, social media is steadily removing the perceptual barrier, and all accompanying stigmatisms to boot. The ability to collaborate trading strategies and market predictions while tapping the overall global knowledge base, are all advantages social media is bringing to the table for online trading firms. Social media established the infrastructure necessary for a truly global online Forex community that could eventually lead to a virtual collective trading block, matching (and potentially dwarfing) the trading power and influence of those major institutions we mentioned earlier, when it comes to driving market shift.”
It’s really about the old versus the new. The old Forex market was closed, isolated and scam-infested. It was a 1-to-1 trading experience between a trader and a broker. The new Forex market is all about embracing the larger social trend to foster trust, transparency, community and knowledge-sharing between many Forex traders and many Forex businesses. Brokers, online communities, news and education websites are all here to serve the millions of Forex traders who wake up every day ready to trade.
The social dish is the Forex game-changer. Imagine the possibilities when you start as a social financial services company, rather than trying to bolt on a bunch of social features to your big old corporate infrastructure. Just try to get that approved by Compliance. The face of Forex has come a long way, baby, and feels more like “the 25 to 35 year old male with long hair, jeans, and some extra cash to burn on the side (thanks for that quote, Ayelet).” Some guys have all the fun.
Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results.