Category Archives: forex industry

FOREX Web Site Pushes Malware


Forex website targeted – did cybercrooks find the weakest link in online money management services?

The Websense® ThreatSeeker® Network has detected that a FOREX trading website was injected with a malicious Java applet, which could install malware on the affected systems of the site’s users. FOREX is the foreign exchange market where international currencies are traded, and nowadays, it’s used by millions of people around the world.

The targeted website is a popular FOREX website called “Trading Forex,” located at hxxp://tradingforex.com. One of the questions that is raised when encountering such a compromise is whether some cybercriminal shift their focus from mainstream online money management systems of banks and stock exchanges to “easier wins” with online systems and services that are likely to be less mature from a security perspective. Another interesting fact is that the dropped backdoor at Trading Forex is written in Visual Basic.Net and requires the Microsoft’s.NET framework to be successfully installed and operational on the victim’s computer.

IG applied for the .forex domain name

The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has opened up new Internet domain names. Now you can buy the generic top level domain (gTLD) you want as .blabla, .forexticket and of course .forex
The new gTLD applcation window opened on 12 january and closed on 30 may 2012. Today the ICANN revealed the list of the gTLD that were applied.

In the list you can find:

  • .forex applied by IG Group
  • .cfd applied by IG Group
  • .trading applied by IG Group
  • .broker applied by IG Group
  • .saxo applied by saxobank

The fees are 185’000$ for the registration and it will cost $25’000 per year and per gTLD.

iFXexpo 2012

Two weeks ago, I was in Cyprus for the first B2B forex Expo. I rarely go these events but The weather was so cold in Ireland… I needed a week with a real sun. I certainly won’t move to Cyprus but I’ll probably come back for the next iFXexpo.

I met a lot of interesting people: media, brokers, social networks… And I learned that forex industry is not as technicaly in advance as I thought (mainly in mobile technology and social).

Oh it's me with Fxstreet's team! And I'm the one who doesn't drink
Oh it's me with Fxstreet's team! And I'm the one who doesn't drink

Next time I will prepare my trip better than I did. I arrived the hands in the pocket and I didn’t met everyone I wanted. It could be interesting if every company could ad two lines on the iFXexpo website: “what we do” and “what we need”, it’d help to organize our agenda.

This is Cyprus!
This is Cyprus!

the French forex & CFD market

20,000 people in France trade contracts for difference and/or foreign exchange

  • 20,000 people in France trade either contracts for difference (CFDs) and/or do retail foreign exchange (FX) trading, comprising 16,000 who trade CFDs and 15,500 trading FX, including 11,500 who do both
  • 9,000 people who have not traded before intend to start trading at least one of these products within 12 months
  • 38% of current CFD traders had traded warrants before they started trading CFDs
  • IG Markets leads in terms of client relationships in the CFD market
  • FXCM leads by number of relationships in the FX market

I will be attending the iFXExpo, Cyprus

I will be attending the iFXExpo at Limassol, Cyprus. “the iFXEXPO is the first B2B convention providing a platform for service providers and Forex Brokers to meet and discuss potential business cooperation“.

I’ll be there to know what the forex brokers expect from their online campaigns and how I could improve the marketing campaign on Forexticket without overload my pages. I’ll also be in Cyprus to drink a cocktail on the beach 🙂

If you work in the forex industry and plan to be in Cyprus between Monday the 28th and thursday the 31th of May, I’ll be happy to discuss with you.

How Social Interaction Propagates Active Investing

 

Interesting study about trading and social network

The Dedicated and the Dabblers: How Social Interaction Propagates Active Investing

Our analysis of a new dataset on the activities of retail foreign exchange traders who are participants in a social network supports our hypothesis that social interactions promote the growth of active investment strategies. We apply a population evolution model in which strategies are transmitted through communications between investors and their adoption is motivated by the promise of high returns. The model predicts that the average individual employs increasingly active strategies so long as the propensity to reveal one’s strategies is increasing in realized returns, receivers of communication increase their trading intensity in response to hearing of higher returns, and the volatility of returns for those who are characterized as being active traders are greater than those for whom are not. We confirm the predictions of the model by documenting two novel empirical findings: on average, individual investors are more likely to initiate communications with other investors the greater their returns and they increase their trading intensity upon hearing of good returns.

While in most standard theory the flow of information within networks leads to better performance among market participants, we find that communications between investors may reinforce and even promote reckless trading behavior. This is largely driven by bias found among traders in which they develop forecasts of future returns that are merely extrapolations of the recent performance of assets. This leads them to follow strategies with occasional outstanding results, but that are less protable on average.

Forex and SEO…

SEO in the Forex Broker space

The FX space is competitive. Very competitive. Top brokers post earnings in the hundreds of millions per year and the total retail market volume is almost $5 trillion a month. FXCM and Forex.com alone spent more than $17 million on advertising in Q1. Publishers the better for it (FXstreet posted earnings of 515K a month) – there is a huge incentive to do well in the search engines’ organic results. This post looks at the SEO efforts of GFT Forex, Forex.com, FXCM and Oanda, four well known US forex brokers.

I rarely read an article about SEO and Forex, the last time I heard SEO and Forex in the same sentence was in a Blackhat SEO conference (they love forex because the affiliate programs are very lucrative for them). Bart Burggraaf shows the visible SEO strategy part of the biggest US forex brokers. Incomplete but interesting. As you probably know I changed the name of Mataf.net to forexticket and I opened a website per country (forexticket.co.uk, forexticket.fr, forexticket.jp…), I wanted to know if a multiple domain name could score better than a single domain in search engine result pages.

And… I will give you the result later 🙂

Difference between adplanner and Google Analytics

Each month I follow the statistics of a selection of forex website. I use Google Adplanner. This tool gives an estimation of the number of visits.

I noticed a divergence between the estimation and the real numbers. With the following chart I wanted to measure the divergence.

I use the numbers of Mataf and Fxstreet. I don’t share my data but fxstreet does.

Since last year the spread between the real numbers and the estimation is growing month after month.The difference between real and estimate numbers grows even if we share our datas.

If I use the average spread to correct Adplanners’s numbers I have the following statistics (statistics without correction can be found here):

Forex Global Statistics – March 2011

What’s new in the forex industry?

  • Forexpros continues to grow and seems to be now bigger than DailyFX
  • I don’t know if the numbers provided by google are correct but, for the global statistics, march was not as good as I expected.
  • My “real” numbers were 1.5 million visits, 985’000 unique visitors and 4.3 millions pageviews. The numbers given by Google Adplanner were 750’000 unique visitors, 1.2 million visits and 4.6 millions pageviews

A broker acquires a financial portal

This morning I learned that Saxo Bank will completly acquire the EuroInvestor portal. They pay a huge amount but I think this a very good move a broker can do now on Internet.

I keep in mind the acquisition of Boursorama by Fimatex (Société Générale) in France at the beginning of 2002. The price was very high : 44 millions Euro (x36 price-earnings – to compare with x32 for EuroInvestor).  This acquisition has helped Fimatex to grow faster (108’000 account in 2001 vs 677’000 account in 2010) and to become the leader in trading online in France.

After my short experience with Synthesis Bank (now Saxo Switzerland) in 2006 I was not far to change the business model of Mataf.net. I thought about the opportunity to become a forex broker. I had a strong forex portal and the skills to optimize the website to collect leads. The choice between forex broker and portal was not easy but I think I made the better choice a the right time… My motivation is to build something, not to make a ton of money.

Today I see 5 differents business in the forex market:

  • Social Networks (including forum). There are a lot of discussion about trading strategy, brokers… A serious broker has to hear the traders to know what they want and he has to work hard to offer them exactly what they want.
  • Forex Portals. This is the biggest crossroads for traders. They can find news, tools, charts, informations, formations…
  • Managed account. Most of them are IB.
  • Brokers. I think they are too much for the forex market.
  • Banks. They will acquire forex brokers because the forex market is ripe for biggest company.

If I had no limit my strategy would be:

  • recruite a team to discuss with traders in social networks. I would contact the owner of forums and networks to work with them (and not against them as many brokers do).
  • Turn my forex portal to a big news and tools provider. And I would optimize the conversion funnel to download my platform and to open account.
  • Offer the best and simplest trading platform.

This is a complete strategy: You perfectly know the forex traders, you can offer them what they want, you have a source of leads, and you have a good trading platform.
OK it’s not enought to be a broker… but it a very good start.

I think, and I hope, that Saxo will follow this line with the acquisition of EuroInvestor.

If I had enough money I would certainly acquire a broker to do the same thing 🙂