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AT: Tell us a little bit about DF Markets and what it is setting out to do?

We launched two years ago. We’re a fully regulated market maker, with an ECN platform and Level 2 capability. We offer trading on a number of platforms, including MT4 and our own DF Web Trader and DF Trader platforms. Our clients can use either or both the MT 4 and DF Trader platforms. Web Trader has been our most recent launch.

AT: The online trading space in the UK is becoming increasingly busy: why should traders choose DF Markets? Are there any unique products or services you can offer?

We’re out to offer the best service possible to our clients. This includes having experienced customer services personnel. Each new client is assigned an individual account manager who can bring them a high level of personal service. We know that many traders will have accounts with three or four firms and consequently won’t feel attached to a broker. We offer a more personalised, high touch service, and while I acknowledge this is not for everyone, we find many clients appreciate it.

Another factor which we are using to differentiate ourselves from the competition is our execution. We operate with a no requote policy on all forex and bullion markets traded and have market leading execution speeds. We’re also now looking seriously at mobile trading applications. We offer mobile trading on MT4 and will be releasing an application soon for our DF Trader platforms.

AT: The demand for online forex trading accounts is picking up globally – what do you think is driving this?

Demand for FX is being driven by market volatility – every time financial markets become more volatile there is an increase in the number of accounts being opened and the overall volume of trading. In addition, the forex markets are in the news all the time at the moment, and this is generating interest in currencies. It is spreading by word of mouth.

FX trading is becoming more accessible all the time. We launched DF Web Trader with this in mind: it is very user friendly, with easy to view account summaries, and is designed to cater to all levels of experience. The overall industry drive to promote better education of new traders is also starting to pay off.

Finally, the cost of trading is coming down all the time: commissions are coming down, and overall it is much cheaper to trade forex now than it used to be. It is also easier to fund accounts now, for example via credit or debit cards. You’re seeing more 24 hour trading on offer, and of course the offer of leverage is key.

AT: Can you explain some of the main advantages of forex trading?

You can already trade a huge amount of currency pairs – we offer 77 for example. Spreads in the forex market have been driven down, making it very cheap to trade. Because of its size, it is also very liquid, and this is passed on to spreads. for example, with DF Markets you can trade EUR/USD from one pip and GBP/USD from 2 pips. We’re also now offering more exotic currency pairs and we’re always open to suggestions from our traders about other currencies we could introduce. That flexibility really ties in with our personalised service offering.

AT: What are the main differences between your DF Trader platform and MT 4, and why are you offering both to clients?

A lot of our clients like to use MT 4 where we offer some of the best spreads in the industry. We deliver our full execution and spreads through it, as well as use of EAs (expert advisors). It caters to those clients who like using MT 4 and prefer its familiarity. Our DF Trader platforms are more geared towards new traders, with both fixed and variable spreads. With the downloadable version – DF Trader – you can even open a trade through Level 2 ECN and close it through fixed spreads.

AT: In the wake of MF Global and Worldspreads, how important are segregated accounts becoming for traders, and how are you addressing these concerns?

Segregated accounts are considered essential now – every retail account we hold is segregated. In addition, traders are covered by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme). Even new clients are asking about this, and this requirement will be here to stay.

AT: Can you say why now is an opportune time for new and existing traders to be looking at forex markets?

FX can now be traded easily alongside other assets. We offer over 1100 instruments all on the same platform. Traders who might focus on shares or indexes can also trade forex using the same portal. We’re now offering 100% margined trades on shares and are always looking at new markets our traders might want to see. We recommend our customers email us if they feel there is something missing from the menu!

AT: Finally, are there any plans in store at DF Markets for the future?

We’re going to be launching DF Trader on the iPhone and iPad very soon. We are also going to be launching spread betting in the UK and we will of course be continuing to expand and improve our product base.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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