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Beginner’s guide to ECN brokers: what they are, how they work, and are they right for you?

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Choosing the right Forex broker is one of the crucial steps when starting your trading journey. No matter how much you invest in your education, how you monitor the fluctuations of the market, and how well you understand fundamental and technical analysis, at the end of the day, the platform you trade on will influence your bottom line. Whether it’s the spread or the commissions you pay, the Forex broker will, to a certain extent, determine how much you make from trading.

By default, most Forex brokers are STP brokers. STP stands for (Straight Through Processing), which means that they give you all the tools you need to trade and act as middlemen between the trader and the liquidity provider. STP brokers are the most common, and many people who do Forex trading don’t feel the need to replace them with something else. You can definitely grow your wealth by signing up for an STP broker, and if you are happy with your current broker, there is no need to change it just yet.

However, STP brokers do have their limitations, and there may come a time when the trader wishes to negotiate trading positions directly with liquidity providers, without a middleman. And that’s where ECN brokers come in.

What are ECN brokers?

Without getting too technical, an ECN broker gives traders direct access to liquidity providers so that they can negotiate their own prices. ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network – that’s the network they use to facilitate contact between the two parties, without getting in the way. Thanks to this direct contact, you get a series of benefits: you have more transparency, there are better trading conditions, price manipulation is limited, and you can even trade outside of normal hours. However, like most things in Forex trading, switching to an ECN network is a highly subjective choice. Before you say goodbye to your STP broker, you need to understand both the pros and cons of ECN brokers, if they can match your trading strategy, and, perhaps most importantly, how to choose an ECN broker that really stands by its promise.

Pros and cons of ECN brokers

Pros:

Trade outside normal market hours 

Compared to standard brokers, ECN brokers are more flexible, and they allow you to trade outside the regular market hours.

More favorable prices

Usually, with ECN brokers, you have tighter bid-ask spreads, which means that you can execute trades at better prices than usually available. Plus, trades are executed immediately because there is no middle man.

Anonymity 

Although not all traders want to be anonymous, some do – particularly the ones who prefer making larger transactions. ECN brokers can offer that.

The broker won’t trade against you.

No matter if you win or lose a trade, the ECN broker still gets their commission, so they have no conflict of interest to work against you. STP brokers, however, can work against the client’s best interest by manipulating prices. Plus, the ECN broker will also give you access to real-time price information as well as the pricing history, so it’s virtually impossible to be fooled.

Cons:

As beneficial as ECN brokers might be, they have their drawbacks, and these drawbacks will affect you if they don’t match your trading strategy. The most important con you should know about is that all the benefits of ECN brokers come at a cost – and a high one at that. ECN brokers ask for higher fees and commissions compared to regular brokers. These commissions are usually fixed, which can be a good thing, but if you execute a lot of traders, all of those fees can really add up and affect your profitability.

What’s more, the deposit requirements are higher for ECN brokers, and that can be really discouraging. Many traders argue that the ECN platforms aren’t too user-friendly, and it’s difficult to get accustomed to this type of trading, but it’s important to keep in mind that ECN brokers aren’t for beginners. If you’ve only traded for a couple of months and you’re still not very used to it, it’s normal for an ECN broker to look more complicated, which is why, when you’re starting out, it’s best to stick with STP brokers.

Keep this in mind when choosing an ECN broker.

ECN brokers offer favorable terms, but they’re not as easy to find. For example, there are few ECN brokers for US clients, which means that you’ll have to do more research to find one, perhaps even look offshore for options. That’s because the regulatory environment is stricter in the US, and brokers have to abide by harsh terms and conditions. Offshore brokers can offer better terms, even if they’re not regulated in the US.

They should, however, be regulated. The problem with unregulated ECN brokers is that they can be regular STP brokers trying to fool their clients. If you don’t do your research, it’s possible to open an account with what you believe is an ECN broker, only to discover that the trades are very slow and that there are many requotes. A requote happens when the broker is not able to execute the trade based on the price you entered. To avoid unpleasant surprises such as this one, the first thing to do is check whether the broker you chose is regulated. If they are, that means their services are legit and, if you try to scam you in any way, you can file a formal complaint, and your rights are protected by the law. If they’re not regulated, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a scam, but you’re not protected in any way, and there is a chance you might be putting your money at risk. When in doubt, always check online reviews and comparisons. If a broker isn’t what they say they are, users will complain about it immediately, and you’ll avoid a potential scam.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Ecommerce guru Ludovico Apollonio Talks on Ways To Overcome Stress as an Entrepreneur

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Ludovico Apollonio is a digital marketing genius. He is well known for his advanced digital marketing and sale techniques which have been proven to help brands grow and become more profitable. 

Just like every other individual, Ludovico had his share of roadblocks on his road to success. Being a millionaire at age 29, he has had to overcome a lot of stress and anxiety to achieve the success that he has today.

The life of an entrepreneur can be so stressful and overwhelming. There are times when you go through rigorous negotiations just to get a deal signed. All this makes you wonder if it is worth it. Little wonder a lot of entrepreneurs quit their startups due to being unable to take the pressure. When the mind starts to burnout from mental exhaustion, it causes the body to experience physical exhaustion. That’s when the constant pressure finally catches up with you. 

Take it one step at a time 

Learning how to manage your stress takes a lot of practice, but you can and need to find a way to handle it as an entrepreneur. To Ludovico, focusing on his obstacles one at a time and addressing the most pressing problem first was how he taught himself to deal with stressful situations and not let them limit his capacity for greatness.

A lot of people focus on too many of their problems at once, which is why they get stressed out so much.  It is better to focus on one thing at a time. Enjoy it, and take the most pleasant memories of it into the next experience. If things get too overwhelming in your life, Bachr recommends taking a break from your troubles by engaging in something relaxing or satisfying. 

“For me, I like to travel, meditate, and exercise as a way to escape my stress for a while. You’d be amazed at how much better you will feel afterward,” says Bachr.

Stay Focused and Dedicated

The road to success involves working through each step to arrive at the next one, with each step motivating and inspiring you to press on without fail. All successful entrepreneurs have dealt with obstacles before. It is the way you get around those obstacles that will determine your level of success.

Ludovico would never have been successful if he wasn’t determined and dedicated. He was passionate about his career and gave all his best shot to become a  successful digital marketer today.

The majority of the important things on earth have been accomplished by individuals who kept on trying and stayed dedicated because nobody else would have done it for them. Ludovico offers the following advice on how to keep focus.

“No matter how tough things get, do not give up on your goals. If you have to find a mentor who can guide you through times of difficulty and uncertainty, then do it.”

How Ludovico climbed the ranks to achieve the monumental success he has today?


Today, Ludovico has started numerous successful businesses both online and offline and he started his marketing and consulting agency that teaches other entrepreneurs the skills they need to succeed.

The biggest takeaway I got from learning more about Ludovico Apollonio’s story is to stop trading your time for money, learn how to make money online, and to surround yourself with the right mentors in life. Ludovico Apollonio’s story is truly inspirational and he is definitely one of the top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs to watch out for in 2021.

 

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