It seems that even forex brokers are getting into the app craze! Not only are we seeing mobile apps hit our phones, but forex brokers and developers have actually begun their own FX app stores! Now these aren't exactly like the apps you see on your iOS or Android device, but more like "add-ons" to your desktop trading experience.
Let me introduce you to the two pioneers of the FX App scene: FXCM and ActForex!
FXCM App Store
As their website says, the FXCM Apps Store is a market place where FXCM clients can download programs to enhance their trading experience. It has a wide range of apps that cater to new traders, trend traders, and range traders.
FXCM divides its apps into three types: Metatrader 4, Trading Station Desktop, and Standalone.
Metatrader 4 apps are basically programs that work in conjunction with the MT4 trading platform. The Metatrader 4 section is further subdivided into three categories: Expert Advisors, scripts, and indicators.
Expert advisors are programs that automate trading strategies almost fully. Meanwhile, scripts are programs that enable you to accomplish multiple commands with a single click. Lastly, indicators are apps that illustrate market data in a graph or line to help you trade.
Trading Station Desktop
Trading Station Desktop is FXCM's homegrown trading platform. Like the Metatrader 4 section, it has three sections: automated strategies, indicators, and add-ons.
The automated strategies section is self-explanatory. The section contains apps that automate all or part of a trading strategy. The indicators section, as I mentioned, offers apps that display market data in a graph or line to help you make better trading decisions. The add-ons are apps that provide additional functionality to your charts. For instance, there's an app that changes your standard candlestick chart to Ichimoku Kinko Hyo.
Standalone apps are those that you can use on their own. You don't need another trading platform or charting program to use them. Standalone apps are divided into General Trading, Utilities, and Analysis/Reporting.
One example of a Standalone app is the Historical Data Downloader. As the name suggests, the app allows you to pull boats load of historical data, which could be especially useful for research or backtesting purposes.
Meanwhile, ActForex just released FXApps, which they describe as "the store for traders to find the best content in apps and services."
Currently, ActForex's focus is on its white-labeling services. This means that ActForex allows other brokers and institutions to use its services and market it under their own brands for a fee. Interestingly though, ActForex allows its customers, regardless if it's a bank, introducing broker, hedge fund, or individual investor access to FXApps.
Furthermore, ActForex states that all of its FXApps products and services are customizable to fit their clients' specific needs.
Some examples of their apps are the EA Crossover Strategy, the Alligator Strategy, and DIBS Strategy. Pretty cool names!
I find it pretty interesting how these brokers are moving into the app development business. After all, there are already many third-party companies that offer services like up-to-date news releases and expert advisor creation.
However, I can't help but notice that aside from buying out smaller competitors, brokers are now also looking to grow their in-house development teams. This may lead to brokers buying out third-party development companies, or worse, forcing them out of the business altogether. Where will the competitive pricing come from then?
As users, we can only hope that this will lead to the proliferation of more innovative trading apps that we can use to customize and optimize our trading processes. And let's hope that brokers keep their apps at affordable prices, or free even (one can only hope, right?), to help out us little guys during these uncertain, recessionary times.
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