I am always open to interviewing Forex brokers and other interesting Forex companies. I believe that the readers of this blog are very interested in hearing about Forex trading from the people that form the industry as we trade. Last week, a Director and Vice President of Azurite Markets, Adam D. Neal, contacted me asking if I would be willing to do an interview with him. Of course, I agreed and now I can offer you his answers to the questions about the Forex company he represents and the current state of the Forex market industry.
You are a rather new Forex broker compared to many other established companies in this industry. How did you come to a decision to start such a business in an over-saturated market?
Although the market is saturated with Forex Brokers, it is unfortunately not populated with a wealth of very good ones; therefore we think that we can certainly prosper within this industry by ensuring that no matter how much we grow we stay client focused.
Who are the main target audience of Azurite Markets? Who are your current customers — beginning Forex traders or experienced professionals, middle-income casual traders or high-income dedicated traders?
The two main groups our clients fall under are: first, retail clients trading on the financial markets (all levels from beginner to professional) and, second, other FX and CFD providers that wish to hedge some of their exposure with us.
Currently you offer quite an interesting stand-alone platform and a web trading platform but do you plan to add a very popular MetaTrader platform too? Why?
If our clients request further services, inclusive of new platforms then sure we will look to add these services, however the feedback regarding our platform has been very very positive. In some ways our platform is very similar to the MT4, however it does have a number of distinct advantages over the MT4 platform like the net trade tab, such a simple yet exceedingly functional tab for clients.
Do you help your traders somehow? Offer to them free learning courses or e-book? What about some other ways to increase their understanding of the currency market?
Yes, we offer our clients a number or market reviews and previews; we also offer free SMS services for: economic announcements, market prices, notifications when pending orders have been executed and account summaries.
Many Forex brokers seek to offer many e-currencies and other electronic means of withdrawal and deposit to their clients? Why do you offer only wire transfer? Do you plan adding PayPal or Moneybookers?
To begin with our clients weren’t too interested in online payments, however now that they have requested these services we have setup the facility to accept credit card payments and in the near future should be accepting a number of other online payments.
What features of Azurite Markets as a broker attract the traders? What makes you unique among hundreds of other brokers?
We are very client focused, we also backup the promises we make to clients. I’d say that massively differentiates us from other brokerage houses.
What do you think about allowing your customers to open an account and confirm their identity fully on-line, without sending any paper documents? Is possible in the future?
We do have an online process in which clients can upload their information and have their trading account fully approved. However, they then have a two week window to send us their documents. Azurite operates very strict “Know your client” and “Anti Money Laundering” reviews. Personally, if I was opening an account with a broker I would worry if they did not carry out such stringent KYC and AML as they either do not follow regulatory procedures or the regulatory umbrella they fall under does not take such illegal activities seriously.
Without a proper communication with its traders some Forex brokers often make an impression of some shady fraudulent sites, even if they are regulated by serious financial authority. Does Azurite Markets communicate with its customers? How is it performed? Do you provide some media for your traders to communicate between each other — like a forum or a chat?
Firstly we ensure that our clients fully understand Azurite’s policies, this helps to establish a certain level of trust between us and the client; we also try not to change these policies. As a company we operate very transparently which in turn our clients really appreciate. Due to our regulatory requirements Azurite has to “Treat Customers Fairly”. If anyone would like to know more about this then they can visit the FSA’s website. We also have a very experienced in-house compliance team that is there to help resolve any client issues if any were to arise.
What would advise to the new Forex trader? How should they begin and how should they learn to become professional traders?
I always recommend a very risk adverse and experienced mentor to new traders. They should also be looking to build their knowledge on some solid foundations rather than a few online forums and a demo account.
You offer a lot of other trading instruments except common currency pairs, including commodities, metals, indexes, etc. Are they popular among your traders? Do you promote these instruments somehow?
Yes CFD products are very popular with our clients, chiefly Crude Oil contracts and Indices. With equity markets rising approximately 50% between March and September of this year and Crude Oil as volatile as ever we have seen clients flooding into these products.
Why did you name your company Azurite Markets? Does the name mean anything?
Azurite is a beautiful, hard wearing and affordably priced gem. So I guess you could say Azurite Markets mirrors that in its affordable yet exceedingly reliable execution of trades.
What’s your point of view on the opinion that Forex trading as a kind of gambling? What are the main differences between trading and gambling, in your opinion?
I think that John Maynard Keynes had a very good perception when he said “It is generally agreed that casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of stock exchanges.” Whether someone is gambling or trading within their account, I’d say they were in the best position to know. I’d also pose the question: Do banks gamble or trade?! I think that would prove to be a very heated discussion with the recent happenings within the markets.
Adam also asked me to note that all emails and questions from the clients or prospective clients are warmly welcomed by him. If you have any comments regarding this interview or any ideas for the future interviews, please, reply via the form below or via the contact form. You can also read some other interviews with Forex brokers if you want.