Orbex: Renewed interest anticipated in online trading

Mohammed Al-Mariri, Head of Training and Market Strategy at Orbex, believes that this year will be one of recovery for both the Forex industry and the broader fintech sector. Here, he also reveals his thoughts on emerging trends and explains how he expects them to impact the industry over the next 10 years.

How would you describe the investment outlook for the Forex sector in 2023?

The Forex sector has experienced significant growth as well as a number of challenges in the last three years. In 2020, the pandemic highlighted the importance of digitisation and funnelled a new wave of clients into the investment services sector. Meanwhile, the massive market rally that followed in 2021 increased public interest in the financial markets. With the reopening of the economy in 2022 came the conflict in Ukraine, which shocked the world and created massive bottlenecks in global trade, as well as sanctions, the energy crisis and rampant inflation. Naturally, all these developments made investors weary and stock markets plummeted. 2023 has started on a slightly more positive note for the Forex sector and the financial markets in general. While rising inflation is still number one on the investors’ watch-list, interest rate hikes by Central Banks seem to be reining in inflation, with many analysts now claiming that we are on the right path to avoid a global recession. This news was encouraging to traders and investors, and we have seen an increase in the number of new clients looking to start trading online. In short, I believe that 2023 will be a year of recovery for both the Forex industry and the broader fintech sector.

The Forex market offers tremendous opportunities as well as uncertainties, which presents a challenge to investors. What are the main parameters that people should have in mind when they engage in Forex trading?

One of the most important considerations for any new Forex trader should be to have a good understanding of what trading involves. This includes the risks and benefits of trading with leverage, how to apply risk management, how to trade on margin, as well as having a good understanding of how the markets work. Knowledge is key when it comes to Forex trading and, at Orbex, we make sure that our clients have all the resources they need to learn everything they need to know about online trading so that they are able to make better-informed decisions.

What trends do you expect to dominate the market over the next decade?

There are a lot of current trends that I expect to see more of in the future, one of them being, of course, fintech and cryptocurrency adoption, both of which help promote financial inclusion and facilitate global transactions. I also expect to see a lot of focus on Web3 and metaverse innovations, along with Artificial Intelligence tools. Given the current environmental crisis and the depletion of natural resources, I would also expect to see a lot of innovation in renewable energy markets and perhaps even more breakthroughs in nuclear fusion technologies in the coming decade.

Forex has always relied on the latest technology. How fast is it changing and how often do you have to update and upgrade your technological infrastructure?

As a financial services company, we are operating in a very competitive and demanding industry with new trading technologies emerging all the time. At Orbex, we continuously integrate new tools that help our traders make more strategic decisions, while also adding new payment providers and integrations that streamline our clients’ and partners’ overall experience.

Retail trading blossomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Has it shown any signs of slowing down or do you believe that it will continue to grow?

Admittedly, we’ve seen market sentiment cool down following the pandemic and amid an energy and cost of living crisis and with inflation rising to historic levels. But we know that the markets move in cycles, so all of these developments came as no surprise to us here at Orbex. That said, as a CFD broker we do offer our traders the opportunity to trade on both rising and falling asset prices, enabling them to capitalise on trading opportunities, even if most markets are depreciating. For 2023, we have a more optimistic outlook, with markets set to recover and, while the road to that recovery will be a long one, we expect to see a lot of renewed interest in online trading and investing.

As regulation of the sector becomes increasingly stricter, do you envisage major Forex brokers moving out of Cyprus or is strong regulation viewed as a positive factor that aids investor protection?

In my view, brokers should welcome regulation and maintain complete transparency in the markets in which they operate. Regulation may differ from one jurisdiction to another but ultimately it is imposed to safeguard investors’ best interests and to protect their personal funds. We’ve recently seen some unregulated exchanges in the cryptocurrency space misappropriating their investors’ funds with dire consequences. The importance of transparency and accountability in our industry is beyond dispute. At Orbex, we believe in adhering to the highest regulatory standards in every jurisdiction we operate in, making no compromises to our clients’ experience and raising the bar for excellent service. Since our company’s inception in 2011, we’ve been committed to providing access to first-in-class trading and investing solutions through a transparent and multi-regulated environment.

(This interview first appeared in the February 2023 issue of GOLD magazine. Click here to view it.)

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