When talking about financial trading, one does not typically reach for sporting analogies. The reason is obvious: one involves putting everything on the line, but typically not money. The other involves putting money on the line, but typically nothing else. There is certainly one aspect, however, in which the metaphor holds, and that is in the relationship between man and machine.
Trading can be said to resemble sports like Formula 1, or yacht racing, far more than it does football, for example. Whereas success in football typically depends on teamwork, tactical awareness, and a good dose of individual brilliance, with players having nothing but their bodies and minds with them on the field, Formula 1, for example, involves a partnership between the driver’s skills, the racing team’s support and the vehicle itself, with an engine developed through the combined efforts of dozens if not hundreds of engineers painstakingly working to produce the ultimate racing tool.
The latter more accurately captures the centrality of platforms to any trading strategy, with the realm of the possible growing along with technological developments. Triton Capital Markets Ltd, operators of the FXDD brand, which is active on a global level with offices in New York as well as Malta, knows that a trader’s tools are like their second skin, and therefore need to be efficient, flexible and robust. Consequently, this is what they are looking to provide to the local and international investing community.
FXDD’s MetaTrader5 Multi-Asset platform grants traders access to a broad range of asset classes, including stocks, commodities, indices, Contracts-of-Difference (CFDs), futures, and of course, currency, retaining the forex-optimised features and tools users of previous iterations of the software have come to know and love.
With zero commission, competitive spreads, and leverage of up to 30x for retail accounts and 100x for professional accounts, MetaTrader5 (MT5) is the platform of choice for professional and independent traders alike, who can also make use of the software’s best-in-class analytics and algorithmic trading solutions.
“For experienced traders, the benefits of using MT5 are quickly evident,” explains Executive Director Nicola Mallia. “The platform has more pending order types through the inclusion of stop limit orders and allows for the integration of market-moving economic events which can be displayed directly on the chart. It also includes enhanced trading programme scripting and improved charting tools, such as expanded timeframes and technical indicators, as well as the possibility of ‘netting’, where multiple financial obligations can be aggregated to arrive at a net amount. These functionalities are especially useful for professional traders and those active in markets like CFDs and futures.”
Additionally, Dr Mallia points to the large increase in equities clients now have access to, with over 3,000 stocks available on a fractional share basis on the platform, and predicts that self-directed investors will find this most attractive. MT5 also offers the option of a demo account for users to get acclimatised to all the features before putting their money on the line.
The latest offering continues to cement FXDD’s reputation as a technology-driven, customer-centred company combining the best and latest investment technology with comprehensive user support.
“The two elements – being at the forefront of new technologies and great customer care – go hand-inhand,” says Dr Mallia. “Every new development requires some getting used to, especially if you want to get the most out of it, so we are always ready to provide customers with the proper guidance to make sure they are able to take advantage of the new opportunities available.”
This single-minded focus has served FXDD well, growing it, over the last 20 years, into a leading broker. However, could Malta’s inclusion in the Financial Action Task Force’s list of jurisdictions subject to enhanced monitoring dampen this growth? Having joined FXDD six years ago as Head of Legal and Compliance, Dr Mallia can speak about the effects from first-hand experience.
“Thankfully, the company has always prided itself on taking a stringent approach to compliance,” she says. “One of our value propositions to clients is that we are an institution licensed and monitored by a reputable regulatory authority, the Malta Financial Services Authority, in a European Union member state. So, we have long been placing a lot of emphasis on ensuring that everything we do is fully in line with all applicable legislation by having a skilled and dedicated compliance team that receives regular training to keep abreast of the latest developments. Our clients can therefore rest assured that their money is safe with us.”
Nonetheless, greylisting did have an impact, especially insofar as foreign clients are concerned, with withdrawals subject to greater scrutiny by their banks. “There’s no question about it,” Dr Mallia says. “Greylisting did lessen Malta’s attractiveness as a financial services jurisdiction. So far, the damage is limited and reversible.”
Triton Capital Markets is currently undergoing big changes as it prepares for a move away from its long-time premises on the Valletta Waterfront and into Trident Park in the Central Business District in Mriehel. Asked what led to this decision, Dr Mallia explains that although the Waterfront address reflected the company’s professionalism and prestige, the area is nonetheless a touristic one.
“Our new offices in Trident Park are better suited to our work, and are a more natural fit when considering our standing in the local business community,” she says. “The development’s sustainability credentials were also a big attraction, as was its status as a unique heritage site.”
The building, inaugurated in 1950 as a standardbearer for Malta’s post-war industrialisation, previously served as the Farsons brewery, home to the iconic Maltese soft drink, Kinnie, and the ubiquitous, award-winning Cisk Lager. The Art Deco building is being lovingly adapted by Ritchie Studio, a world-renowned firm recognised for its refined, thoughtful and original approach to architecture, and TBA Periti, a leading local firm whose work includes, among others, the landmark Life Sciences Park, restoration of the Mdina Bastions and the Grandmasters’ Crypt in St John’s Co-Cathedral, and Ta’ Betta Wine Estates (featured in Business Now’s Winter 2021 Edition under the heading of Malta’s Most Beautiful Businesses).
But the move is not simply a question of aesthetic. It is also one of function. “The full-service concept was a big draw,” says Dr Mallia. “On-site parking and the availability of a child care centre make a big difference. We also have many foreign employees to whom amenities like food outlets and a gym are particularly attractive. The offices are also being finished for commercial use to a very high standard, which is a must for a firm like ours.”
Turning back to trading, the phenomenon of individuals taking the plunge and managing their own investments through platforms like MT5 is brought up.
“Although this was already happening preCOVID, the pandemic forced people indoors and effectively eliminated some of the biggest leisure expenses, with restrictions on travel and restaurants meaning that people were able to save a lot more than they normally could. Meanwhile, the shift to remote work and Government support to maintain employment levels allowed incomes to remain relatively stable. This all led to a large rise in savings, leading many to look for an outlet – and many found it in investing, much of it self-directed,” explains Dr Mallia.
Although the ever-decreasing barriers to investing present enticing opportunities, Dr Mallia warns against taking unnecessary risks, recalling, in the context of the stock market plunges, that oft-repeated and all too frequently ignored mantra of successful investing: “Never risk more than you can afford to lose.”
Triton Capital Markets Ltd is licensed to provide investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority
This feature was first carried in the summer 2022 edition of Business Now magazine, the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt, produced by Content House Group
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