Activity in the first two weeks of December was enough to make the month a relatively strong one for brokers despite volatility waning as the month progressed. Early month profitability was driven by retail clients shorting EURUSD into what ended up being a broad-based USD selloff. As the holidays approached, markets became range bound and profitability and volumes suffered, but full month figures ended up in line with 2020 averages.
22 December 2020 – embargoed until 14.30 GMT - IS Prime, part of ISAM Capital Markets, has partnered with FDCTech to extend its liquidity distribution to the innovative Condor FX Pro trading platform.
Buoyed by early month volatility that arose surrounding vaccine news, November volumes exceeded October’s even though activity trailed off sharply late in the month. The vaccine news prompted a sharp gold selloff that many brokers were on the wrong side of, but total monthly profits far exceeded the depressed figures from October and finished in line with 2020 monthly averages. December is historically a slow month in the markets, but with Covid cases still surging and a Brexit deadline looming, this year could prove to be an anomaly.
A key and often overlooked issue that we have been seeing time and time again, with LPs and brokers alike, is that of inaccurate market data. In times of extreme market volatility and high volumes, such as we have experienced recently over the US election results and the announcements in the press regarding a Covid-19 vaccine, these issues have become particularly apparent.
September volumes slumped slightly from August figures, and profits dipped as well. However, most brokers were able to post respectable overall statistics due to relatively strong early to mid-month gains. The month also saw a reversal from August trends, with equity indices pulling back and both oil and gold selling off. The movement in gold drove the majority of PL volatility during the month.
Retail brokers generally state that around 75% of retail investors lose money - the majority of these losses are in the spread value of their trades (because they are trading on wide spreads) rather than because they call the market wrong.
However, studies have shown that over the long-term (if you take out transaction costs and spreads), clients’ trading P&L is generally no better or worse than that of their brokers.
Whenever a firm decides to work with a new Prime of Prime (PoP), there are a number of steps involved and various factors to consider. Firms – particularly retail brokers servicing their own end clients - may not realise that the way the PoP approaches their initial onboarding process, their technology integration and their continued, ongoing support, will all become key factors in the success or failure of their business and their ability to service their own end clients.
After a relatively quiet start to the month, the second half of July brought strong profits for brokers, allowing most to far exceed the results seen in June. Although volumes were only up marginally from the prior month, revenues were robust because of broad-based USD selling and the late month rally in metals. By the beginning of August, metals had reached all time highs and EURUSD was at a level not seen for 16 months.