TanzaniaInvest had the pleasure of interviewing Christophoros Panagiotou, Africa Country Manager of TICKMILL, a leading global broker regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) to trade in forex, but also stock indices, commodities, and bonds.
Forex trading – the trade involving the conversion of one currency into another and exploiting the value difference between the entry and exit points of currency to earn a profit – has been gaining popularity over the last few years among investors. Panagiotu explains its advantages and the benefits of using the TICKMILL platform.
Why has it become so popular compared to the trading of other assets? What are its peculiarities?
Forex Trading has become more popular compared to other assets mainly because of the ease of entry and low margin requirements. Also due to the high volume and liquidity, traders can get their orders executed more easily and closer to the prices they want. In addition, major forex pairs have very low spreads, lower transaction costs and lower risk.
One characteristic of Forex trading is that you’re not actually buying or selling the currency itself. What you are doing is predicting the change in value of the currencies within each pair. Let’s assume that the Euro’s value will appreciate against the value of the Dollar, then you would buy EURUSD.
How do Electronic Communications Network (ECN) Brokers differ from traditional ones and, what are the advantages of using them?
An Electronic Communication Network is a network of market participants like brokers, banks and other financial institutions that submit their price feeds to what we call a ‘liquidity pool’. ECNs brokers then consolidate all the prices within this pool, allowing them to offer their clients lower bid/ask prices!
ECN brokers give direct market access (DMA) to their clients by using this ECN network which ensures that their orders are very quickly executed at (usually) much lower prices.
One other benefit to the clients is that the ECN network automatically matches client orders, so there is not danger of a conflict of interest between the client and the broker itself!
What are the advantages of using your platform?
Our clients use the MT4 platform to trade with us. It has a seriously user-friendly interface and a highly customisable trading environment so that our clients can customise the platform to suit their own method of trading.
As a globally renowned platform the MT4 has been specifically tailored with traders in mind. Aside from the user-experience our clients have access to a huge range of indicators and charts while also being able to use MQL language to automate their trading. Effectively letting them program indicators and expert advisors to employ automated trading strategies without the need for human intervention.
Within the platform our traders can access 80+ instruments across 4 asset classes, while being provided with some of the lowest spreads in the industry!
Stock, bonds, commodities, and precious metals.
In addition to forex, you provide CFD trading on stock indices, bonds, commodities and precious metals. What do you feel are the best assets for new investors?
It really depends on the type of trading that someone wants to do. Let’s look at Forex for example. If you’re starting out one, of the main things you need to understand is that you should have a stable partner by your side. You need to be working with a broker who can assess your experience and then provide you with the effective educational tools to learn to trade properly.
Trading comes with high levels of risk, so we wouldn’t recommend a specific instrument to start out with. What we would recommend first is to assess who you’re going to trade with. The best way to begin is with a Demo account. You can learn without the risk while also testing out the conditions that the broker has to offer.
Tickmill for example prefers to ensure that out clients will have a sustainable trading career. So, we ensure that new traders can use our demo account to check out our spreads while also learning from the educational material that we provide. From there the person can asses if trading is for them and then develop their strategy over time and choose their preferred financial instruments with effective support.
What is the relevance and growth potential of this market in the world of forex and in online trading general?
Forex trading has seen huge growth across Africa in recent years especially growing rapidly in popularity amongst young people. Some of the main reasons for this growth include:
- Increased internet use in people’s lives,
- High rate of unemployment, leading people (especially young people) to alternative options such as online trading,
- Publicity for hundreds of forex brokers across the globe by using social media platforms.
- Online trading can be accessed and executed via mobile. This gives millions of people the opportunity to have access to online trading.
- The low costs associated with entering the forex market. The minimum deposit required to start forex trading is usually quite low at around 100 USD. However, this varies depending on the broker.
What are the African countries that present the greatest opportunities?
The countries that present the biggest growth opportunities are Nigeria, South Africa and more recently Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda.
Nigeria and South Africa are the biggest forex markets but over the last 2 years, Tanzania and Kenya (East Africa Countries) have experienced huge increases in trading activity, especially by young people.
What are your ambitions and challenges in this country?
Our main ambition in the Tanzanian market, is to offer the best trading conditions and services to our clients allowing us to become the forex broker of choice in Tanzania.
The main challenges we face are the restrictions regards how clients are able to fund their trading accounts. Currently, clients have almost no option for depositing and withdrawing funds, making it very difficult for them to start trading. This has become more prominent after the Bank of Tanzania restricted the use of Mobile Payment options, made it more difficult for people to have access to trading.
In an effort to make this process easier, Tickmill is currently working on implementing new efficient methods for depositing and withdrawing.
Another challenge we face is the lack of regulatory body in Tanzania – for forex trading or any online trading activity. This gives unregulated brokers the opportunity to offer services without any client protection in place, creating higher risks for client’s investments overall.
Finally, one other challenge we face is the lack of experience and knowledge about forex trading among new Tanzanian traders. To combat this issue and provide our clients with a truly comprehensive trading solution. We’re offering educational material like tutorials, webinars, eBooks and videos for both beginners and more experienced traders online. We’re also looking into offline events where traders will be able to attend seminars and learning experiences with experts in the field.
What would you like our readers to understand about TICKMILL?
What we want our clients in Tanzania to understand is that trading is a career where you must ensure that you’re working with a broker that has your best interests at its core.
As a fully regulated broker, we have licenses with some of the most prestigious regulatory bodies in the world, including the FCA in the UK, CySEC in Cyprus and the FSA in the Seychelles. Regulation is so important when you’re selecting a broker because they employ a huge range of measures to ensure that your investment is safe. It also ensures that clients receive the best possible treatment as set out by international requirements.
As standard we ensure the safety of client’s funds by using segregated accounts with top-tier banks while also offering Negative Balance protection.
Trading conditions are another fundamental factor that new and seasoned traders alike should be considering when they choose their broker. We offer 80+ instruments across 4 asset classes, with spreads as low as 0.0 pips and some of the lowest commissions in the market. As best practise we also provide ultra-fast execution with no requotes and enable all strategies to be employed as we understand that our clients are extremely diverse.
Another main factor is the seamless way that we operate. We enable fast and simple deposit and withdrawal methods with a zero-commission policy to give our clients the best possible service all round. Which is why we’re an industry awarded broker. You can check out some of our awards here.
Overall, we aim to have the highest level of transparency possible. Our stable growth and excellent financial results are key indicators that Tickmill has established itself as a leading global forex broker.
We want to offer an exceptional trading environment that helps clients to reach their full potential… Why? Because We Want Traders to Succeed.
Risk Warning: Trading Contracts for Difference (CFDs) on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade Contracts for Difference (CFDs), you should carefully consider your trading objectives, level of experience and risk appetite. It is possible for you to sustain losses that exceed your invested capital and therefore you should not deposit money that you cannot afford to lose. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.