What does a forex broker actually do?

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If you’ve ever sat there at home, wondering whether or not you should be an FX trader or a Forex broker we hear from Abdul Salad, a Forex sales trader at ETX Capital to find out what it’s like and what he does all day…

How long have you been a forex broker and how/why did you get started?

I have been working in the industry for about 6 years now. I was initially more interested in trading itself rather than working in the industry whilst still studying for my degree.

An opportunity arose after I finished my education so I thought what better way to learn more about trading than working for a broker and gain knowledge from the inside.

What does a typical day look like for a forex broker?

My current role is as a Sales Trader. The title can be a little misleading but what it actually involves is managing a book of clients and providing a service that befits their requirements.

This could range from speaking on a daily basis about market events, data releases and current geopolitical events that may affect the markets. Maintaining relationships with simple catch up conversations or meeting up in person for a meal or drinks or it could just be being that guy at the other end of the phone when they have a problem or query that they need resolving.

Also to explain the title of the role, in the event that clients wish to instruct a request to place a trade over the phone I can execute it on their behalf.

How involved are you in managing the firm’s exposure? Is it generally manual or automated these days?

Since the changes brought in by ESMA over the summer clients exposure and close out procedure is mostly automated to ensure clients positions are closed out as according to the new regulations.

However as part of our role we do routinely check our clients exposure and on the occasions whereby they are heading to a margin call we tend to give them a quick call to inform them just in case they aren’t aware and relay their options to them so they can make informed decisions before any drastic measures are taken.

What’s the most exciting part of the day?

Usually, when high impact macroeconomic data is released or an important fundamental event is underway, these often cause high levels of volatility.

The most exciting parts are probably reserved for the biggest of events such as election results or any major political decision that can have significant implications for the markets.

In recent years notable eventful days include the Brexit vote in the UK and the US presidential results during Trump’s victory, both made for an interesting long night/morning.

Do you still get nervous executing large or complicated orders?

Not anymore however you always have to make sure you double check everything before you press that buy/sell button.

In the worst case scenario so long as you realize any mistake right away and providing the market isn’t moving very fast you may get away with it but so far so good on that for me, hope that continues.

What would you say is the most common mistake that clients make when trading the forex markets?

  • For some it could simply be just not having a plan or rushing into the market, without enough understanding of the products they’re trading or their plan. Knowing why the assets they’re trading fluctuate up or down and knowing how to interpret news flow correctly.
  • Reactive trading (chasing pips/losses) as opposed to having specific target levels and letting the market come to them.
  • In some cases, clients may have a solid plan in place however let emotions take over and start trading on instinct if anything. It’s not uncommon to see clients sometimes do this over and over again.
  • Not managing risk effectively, ie. using stop losses etc. You can’t win them all. A long term trade is normally a short term trade gone wrong/not managed correctly.

And finally, what would you say are your top three online resources you would recommend to Forex trader who what to improve their strategies?

We have our own offering of educational material which offers live webinars, trader courses and a lot more, free of charge to all of our clients. See more on ETX Capital here

For relatively beginner traders babypips is quite resourceful in offering education covering a whole host of topics which now also included technical analysis. It was the website I first used to gain an introduction, but their website has come a long way since.

Abdul Salad, is a Forex sales trader at ETX Capital

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