Accessibility was always the primary barrier for individual forex traders, until the internet made broker accounts readily available to anyone who had aspirations of riches and the cash to get started. Despite this, your everyday investor has always been at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the major players in the foreign exchange markets. Banks, multi-national corporations and hedge funds, to mention a few, all have a wealth of resources at their disposal. In fact, it’s their wealth and their resources that give them the advantage. Very recently however, a number of social platforms have emerged, which offer the potential to level the playing field.
The first problem is of course that these huge entities have a much larger pool of money to play with. Their trading volumes will be in the billions each day, where the average home trader will be working with a tiny fraction of that. Forex is a free market, so in theory everyone should be on a level playing field, but with a huge amount of money available, bigger trading bodies are able to take larger risks, and have more influence on price activity. Your typical individual has a much smaller margin of error when he’s trading his own money, and there isn’t as much of it.
Of course, forex is all about managing risk, so it’s up to the individual trader to make the right decisions, but this leads us on to the next problem; the simple issue of resources. This can be broken down into two categories; manpower and knowledge. Hedge funds will have teams of analysts and banks will have whole departments of analysts, all doing the work that just one person must do if they’re an individual trader. And even if the sole investor is pretty clued up on the markets, he’s unlikely to ever have as much knowledge and experience as a whole team of dedicated analysts.
This is where social media comes in.
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Emerging platforms give the everyday trader access to a vast font of knowledge and resources that they simply could not get hold of through other means. It’s a matter of crowdsourcing. While the internet provides plenty of information for those looking to get started in the world of forex, when it comes to actual live market activity, it hasn’t always been a reliable source.
Social media has introduced a global network of individual traders to one another, many of whom are in the same situation. Ideas, successes and failures can all be shared in real time, with the potential of bringing users together into one huge trading block. In theory, the weight of social media could eventually outmatch even the big banks, who are currently in the driving seat when it comes to market movements.
There are currently a variety of different social media platforms out there, to suit a variety of needs. FX Junction is a popular platform because it is compatible with MetaTrader products, which means that it is the go-to platform for those who are interested in automated trading. It’s also been picked up by a number of brokers, including Alpari, who offer the white label TraderConnect.
There are of course several other social websites that aim to bring together traders, but the ones that look to be the most promising are the ones that actually integrate accounts and platforms together. Individuals can then see real metrics and collaborate accordingly.
Social media is undoubtedly going to change the face of forex forever. Where once only the largest corporations could boast real market power, crowds of like-minded home traders may soon have the numbers to make a name for themselves. Those who jumped on the social media bandwagon early have been successful, and there’s no reason to believe that this won’t translate to financial trading.
Leading forex traders of the future may not be suited and booted executives of New York and London, but enthusiastic young entrepreneurs working at home in jeans and a t-shirt.