Over the past few years, Capital.com has been growing rapidly worldwide. In Australia for example, they saw a 1,300% increase in client trading volumes for 2022, and so far in 2023 have reported a 53% rise in client trading volumes in Q1 2023 compared to Q4 2022.
Laura Lin was recognised for her proven ability to lead others, her expertise and her overall impact on the fintech sector.
Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your work at Capital.com and the Australian CFD market. How does it feel to have been named one of the top 25 women in technology?
I didn’t expect it and of course I’m very grateful for this pleasant surprise. But ultimately, what the award comes down to is the team we have built at Capital.comom. We have an amazing team and together, we have made good progress. In 2022, our Australian business achieved 87% growth in active traders and a 1,300% rise in trading volumes. I think that this is a great recognition and an inspiration for us to keep going in the direction we’ve chosen.
You’ve been involved in the CFD industry in Australia for some time now, how has it been since taking the reigns at Capital.com? What do you think you they better than all the firms you’ve worked at in the past?
I’ve been in the CFD industry in Australia since 2010 and had worked at two local brokers for a number of years under control or growth functions. I would say the Capital.com platform is just that bit better. The trading experience is cleaner, faster, more intuitive and there is a clear focus on education and learning to support traders of all levels.
We offer a host of education materials including webinars, explainers and even a free learning app – Investmate. The app includes varied learning materials, 30+ courses and short lessons.Traders can also access free online courses, guides, webinars, and analysis directly on the Capital.com website or our Youtube channel to improve their knowledge, develop their strategy and grow their understanding of how to analyse charts, news and other material information that may affect markets.
We also enable the platform with instant price alerts and push notifications delivered before potentially market-moving events and after significant price swings and breaking news. All our traders have access to Reuters news feeds and market analysis and our SmartFeed function allows them to receive tailored market news delivered directly to their dashboard.
From a UX perspective, our platform’s interface is clean and easy-to-navigate. Traders can switch seamlessly between clean, simple tabs and waste no time making their move. But what really stands out for me is the platform’s fast order execution, which is executed in a fraction of a second. This is down to our patented proprietary technology designed to help clients execute trades with zero delay.
How far does Capital.com Australia reach? Do you just service Australian clients or do you onboard clients from other regions?
Under Capital Com Australia, we provide our products and services to Australian residents only and do not onboard clients residing in other regions.
What are the most popular CFD markets for Australian traders?
Indices, forex, shares, commodities are generally popular markets for Australian traders while cryptocurrencies continue to gain traction. The split depends on the volatility in the particular markets, but overall we have seen a strong interest from Australian traders to trade global markets.
We offer an extensive range of Australian shares — such as Pilbara Minerals, Core Lithium, and Commonwealth Bank— surpassing those offered by our competitors. Some of the popular local markets traded on our platform include AU 200, Alibaba, Westpac, HK50 and Whitehaven Coal but overall, our traders still prefer to trade global markets. For example in Q1, the most traded markets on our platform included TSLA, BTC/USD, the Nasdaq-100, AUD/USD, natural gas, oil and gold.
How do you think CFD trading in Australia differs from the rest of the world?
CFDs have been around for almost two decades now and its popularity has grown in tandem over that time, albeit at different rates across the world. CFD trading is definitely more well-known in Australia than in some other regions e.g. Asia. Local Australian CFD traders,—especially those trading FX—are also more willing to look at cryptocurrencies, which may not be allowed in some jurisdictions. The inflow of new (Australian) traders seems to have stabilised but the value of investments generally align with the trend we have seen in other developed countries.
How do the Australian CFD regulators compare to those around the rest of the region?
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) applies enhanced levels of regulation to the Australian securities market, making it one of the most comprehensive and well-respected regulators in the world. From our ongoing and direct conversations with ASIC, I think they have a good understanding of our sector and product. ASIC has strict rules around client protection including ensuring client money segregation, client suitability and categorisation, which are similar to those applied in other highly regulated jurisdictions such as the UK.
As the holder of an Australian financial services licence, we must have adequate financial resources available. Accordingly, we regularly assess, review and report how we comply with financial requirements and manage financial risks.
One common question we have received is, what happens to clients’ deposits if we go into liquidation? And the answer is that we are required by law to put all client money in a designated trust account with a local bank, in our case Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac. So in such circumstances, clients’ money would be protected. We also have professional indemnity insurance in place.
What would you say to an Australian trader who wanted to improve their trading? What’s the one strategy tip you could give or a major mistake you see people making?
Sharpen the saw by doing enough research. Australia is a relatively open, trade-exposed economy. It means changes in other countries could have significant implications for us, and in the world of trading a successful trader looks at various dynamics including politics, economy, society, technology. So following important global economic data or news and choosing the right broker with in-app/platform news updates, analysis and market insights could support your trading strategy.
And finally, what’s your favourite book on investing that you think can help people understand the markets better?
I’d say “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel. It’s not a book that fills you with investment strategies but a series of short stories explaining people’s behaviour with money. It teaches you how to think about money and your relationship with it. I found it to be engaging and it gave me a lot to think about when it comes to investing.
Laura Lin, is CEO of Capital.com Australia