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The Trading Platform as a Competitive Disruptor

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  • The Trading Platform as a Competitive Disruptor

    The Hidden Cost of Outmoded Thinking and Old Technologies

    Non-professional traders and investors collectively comprise one of the largest driving forces in a market’s day-to-day volume. They may not possess the largest capital resources on an individual basis, but on average they provide a significant portion of the daily liquidity necessary for markets to function.

    More commonly referred to as “retail traders,” this collective of non-professionals encompass a wide and diverse demographic range. Although some retail traders have more market experience and knowledge than others, we can assume that each trader is something of a “professional,” if not in trading, then in some other craft or discipline.

    And here is where the problems start–with two general limitations that significantly impede trading potential and progress.




    Many traders are “professionals” in their own individual fields, but cannot transfer their professional approach to trading.

    Another term for this is domain dependence. Whether a market participant is an artisan, entrepreneur, corporate executive, or specialized professional such as a doctor or lawyer, they often tend not to transfer their professional approach and expectations to their trading activities.

    This lack of transference is evident in their approaches and investments toward trading technologies. Though most of these traders in their individual fields would not tolerate anything less than up-to-date technologies (e.g. software, apps, and other technologies), they nevertheless choose not to research or invest in trading technologies that would upgrade their market competitiveness.

    This is often a serious problem, as competitiveness in the financial markets are defined by technological change. Therefore, most retail traders who understand this in their own “domain” tend not to see this is the trading domain, where such a perspective is crucial, as trading often involves humungous levels of asymmetrical risk.

    It’s a common human trait to prefer status quo certainty over change, even if that certainty has brought only consistent unfavorability over the long term.

    Let’s take an analogy. Professional race car driving is a high-risk profession. Regardless of how skilled a driver is, that driver would never race an older car whose performance would not match those of newer cars with enhanced functionalities. Although a driver is confident in his or her skill, the type of race car still counts as a factor that can make a significant difference.

    Common sense? If so, unfortunately most retail traders can’t make this same analogy. Lots of money is spent on “trading education”–courses, seminars, trading rooms, schools–all of which have value but none of which address the critical topic of technology. No matter how educated or experienced a trader can be, a trading dashboard with charts, order entry windows, and a fast internet connection is simply mt enough to compete with the technologies that institutional traders use on a daily basis.


    Trading technology has disrupted the financial markets.

    Those who do not adapt to technological evolutions in the financial world will be rendered uncompetitive by those who do. This technological weakening of capacity, this transformation of strength to vulnerability as a byproduct of progress–such a condition will affect all traders regardless of their current knowledge and skills.

    A dawn of a new era, this is the unforgiving reality of the digital age.
    • Optimal trading skill + optimal technology = high competitiveness
    • Optimal skill + sub-optimal technology = reduced competitiveness
    • Sub-optimal skill + optimal technology = reduced competitiveness
    • Sub-optimal skill + sub-optimal technology = low-to-no competitiveness

    It’s time to reconsider platform technology as a hidden factor of trading productivity and success.


    The advantage of semi-automated platforms

    The Agena Trader platform is the first that provides smart-technology accessibility to the retail trader, giving the retail trader a radical advantage over other non-institutional traders and a competitive edge with professionals.

    To illustrate this advantage, let’s take a look at one critical component that defines the capabilities and efficiencies of the average retail trading crowd: the Depth of Market interface, or DOM.

    Semi-automation vs DOM

    The DOM allows traders to see the bid and ask volumes at different price level. In addition to this main function, DOM also allows traders to place a variety of order types, all of which can be placed with a one-click convenience.

    The main benefit here is that traders can closely focus on the markets they are trading; narrowing their vision all the way down to the level of microsecond order flow fluctuations. The only limitation is that traders can’t effectively focus on more than a few DOM’s at once.


    How semi-automation separates competitive traders from obsolete traders

    DOM Interface

    Productivity: 1 DOM = 1 DOM

    Time Efficiency: Several minutes or hours to manually focus on and monitor each market

    Execution: Seconds to minutes per market.



    Semiautomated Interface

    Productivity: 1 Semi-Automated interface = n x DOMs (as many markets as you need to include)

    Time Efficiency: Microseconds to analyze and monitor each market.

    Execution: Seconds for 10+ markets.



    The difference is clear. Semi-automation monitors, without fail or error, multiple markets simultaneously, increasing your tradeable markets while significantly reducing your time from what would be hours to seconds. It relieves the trader of a large portion of the analysis and decision-making responsibilities which are prone to latency and human error.

    Regardless of the skills and experience a trader has, semi-automation interface will either optimize a trader (if s/he uses it) or will make that trader highly uncompetitive against those who do. This is simply the consequence of using old and outmoded machines in a perpetually-evolving digital world.

    In short, semi-automation has rendered the DOM an obsolete technology.

    To learn more about semi-automation, check out this infographic.


    With semi-automation as a key feature to a “smart” platform, it exists amidst an ecosystem of larger “smart” functions

    The full power of semi-automation efficiency in unleashed when a trader can trade multiple global asset classes and markets simultaneously–stocks, futures, equity and futures options, foreign exchange, CFD’s, and cryptocurrencies.

    In addition to the basic “givens”–namely, fast execution, charting, and indicators–Agena Trader provides a host of other functionalities to optimize its semi-automation features. You can read more about it in this white paper.


    The bottom line: Agena Trader functionalities increase traders’ profit potential by making them more efficient, more capable, and less error-prone

    In a blind survey conducted among Agena Trader users, of which 65% had more than 5 years of trading experience with multiple platforms, 75% of the traders mentioned increased profitability using Agena’s semi-automation features. Among those trader, 90% attested to increased efficiency in their trading.

    The only traders who did not notice a difference were those who had 0 – 4 years of trading experience; in short, beginning traders who were inexperienced in trading live markets.


    The cost of losing consistently…is free

    Most professionals would never settle for technology that would either make their performance sub-standard or cause them to consistently operate at a loss. Such an idea would seem absurd by common sense standards.

    But take those same professionals out of their individual domains and into the financial markets, and their logic would suddenly get reversed. Most retail traders will opt for a free platform, even if such a platform were to make them uncompetitive, or even worse, a consistent loser in the markets. What’s happening here?

    In such a case, there are two flawed assumptions: the first being that trading is a matter of internalized skill, that a trader can compete regardless of the technology s/he is using. In this digital age, where technology is an integrative aspect of human thought, function, habit, and overall productivity, such an assumption places a person in the pre-digital era. It doesn’t work.

    The second assumption is that super technologies are not affordable. This is clearly untrue, as Agena Trader’s pricing is competitive with most platforms that lack smart-tool capabilities. To learn more about Agena Trader, visit our page.


    In today’s digital markets, there are only disruptors and the disrupted.

    Which one will you be?

    Disclaimer:

    Exchange transactions are associated with significant risks. Those who trade on the financial and commodity markets must familiarize themselves with these risks. Possible analyses, techniques and methods presented here are not an invitation to trade on the financial and commodity markets. They serve only for illustration, further education, and information purposes, and do not constitute investment advice or personal recommendations in any way. They are intended only to facilitate the customer’s investment decision, and do not replace the advice of an investor or specific investment advice. The customer trades completely at his or her own risk.

Disclaimer: There is a risk of loss in trading futures, forex and options. Futures, forex and options trading are not appropriate for all investors. Only risk capital should be used when trading futures. All information is for educational use only and is not investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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