Have you ever want to trade for a prop shop? Have you seen any ads of prop shops hiring in your area? Me neither. ActualTraders is an online proprietary trading firm for common traders — like you and me. At a cost of the paid test period and a modest desk fee, you get to trade with the company’s funds and keep up to 80% of profit.
Elisa Sandström, Sales and Marketing Manager at ActualTraders, agreed to answer my questions about the company’s business model and aims.
First, I would like to congratulate you on launching such an interesting service – I believe it could be a very attractive direction in the online FX industry in the near future. Could you please explain briefly, why Forex traders need such service as ActualTraders and what is in it for you?
Many, if not most, Forex traders share a common problem: lack of trading funds. Our service gives every trader the opportunity to trade real money without having to have their own risk capital. We are looking to find trading talent with whom we can grow the business together.
Are you a purely online trading shop or is there some trading floor where traders can move to and work from?
For now we are purely online, however we do not exclude the possibility of having a trading floor for traders in the future.
Why did you choose LMAX as your broker? Can traders pick some other liquidity provider to work with you?
LMAX offers transparent and good “
no-last-look” execution coupled with excellent technology. For now, LMAX is the only trading venue we use.
The number of trading instruments is rather limited right now (only 14 currency pairs). Do you plan adding more FX pairs or maybe some CFDs?
Yes, in the future we plan to add other instruments too. We will, however, stick to only highly liquid instruments. This is due to risk control and management as less liquid instruments can cause high risk growth.
Considering the number of restrictions (platform, LMAX, trading instruments), it looks like you are aiming mainly on “fresh talents” among traders rather than the established pro traders. Is it so? Or do you have some features (except trading capital) to attract such traders?
Experienced professionals with adequate trading capital may benefit from our risk management and it can help them stay disciplined, but mainly our service is targeted to the majority who are underfunded.
What sort of education do you provide to traders working with you? Do you have any plans to offer webinars or similar events to active traders?
Currently we do not offer education. However in the future we would like to add additional sources of information for traders to our website to help them expand their knowledge. However, we do not intend to teach traders, but rather share information we think is valuable with them.
It looks like you are using PTCM (a version of Protrader) as your trading platform. What were the reasons for this choice?
Protrader is a very versatile and yet user friendly trading platform and it supports most financial instruments. After trying and testing several platforms we concluded that Protrader is the best match for our current needs and future plans.
For traders, the major concern when deciding to join a prop shop with desk fees is how real it is. Is there some regulatory authority or a trustworthy third party that can confirm your business model?
As we are not a
broker-dealer, nor an asset manager we are not regulated by financial regulatory authority. However, in Finland Consumer law (Kuluttajansuojalaki) protects consumers buying services and products from Finnish companies, this law also protects our clients when working with us. Additionally, since we are not a broker and clients do not transfer funds to us for trading, there is no concern in funds-securityand therefore no regulatory concern either. Our business is audited by Ernst&Young.
Do you make any of audit records public?
As a private company we have not made our books public, but we may decide to publish our audit records, in full or partly, in the future.
On a different note, how do you protect yourself from malicious traders applying and purposefully damaging your capital?
We have strict risk control procedures, both automated and human run. Furthermore, traders can become Actualtraders only by passing the TraderTryOut test which has a monthly fee for users, which is there to ensure mutual interest for both the trader and the company.
Your trading rules seem quite restrictive. You do not welcome news traders at all or are there exceptions?
News are among the primary drivers of price movement, so of course we welcome those who react to news i.e. trade after the news has been published. We do however, believe that going into major news with an open position is a true
coin-tossat best, which is in conflict with our risk management.
From what I read on your site and see in your platform, it looks like you prefer to work with scalpers. Isn’t it quite inefficient, as the spreads constitute a bigger share of the average P/L for scalpers?
We welcome all trading styles. However, as we require the positions to be closed by the end of the day, our service is directed towards
day-traders, not long term position traders.
Are there some interesting plans for ActualTraders development you could share with our readers?
We hope to make more markets available along with education and possibly some competitions too. Stay tuned 🙂
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