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Q&A: A question of confident trading

Whether you want to trade shares or currencies, oil or bitcoin, fintech company Capital.com has become one of the most popular derivative trading platforms in the world. Chief executive Ivan Gowan explains why
Ivan Gowan, chief executive, Capital.com

What does Capital.com offer?

Capital.com is a trading platform for more than 2,200 contract for difference (CFD) products, including equities, commodities like gold and oil, foreign exchange and crypto. You can trade indices such as the FTSE 100 and DAX as well as a long list of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, ripple and litecoin. We began life as an industry disruptor, and set out to be the easiest and most intuitive place to trade. So while we are popular with professionals, we are also the best place for total beginners to learn about trading.

How have you made it easier to trade?

Our design is incredibly user friendly, built to offer the most beautiful trading experience. Design matters. It translates to productive outcomes. Our platform makes it simple to see your positions at a glance, to pick up on market movements and identify opportunities. Beginners find our platform easy to understand and that helps them enter the market with confidence. More advanced traders and professionals appreciate both the initial simplicity and powerful features, including advanced charts, risk management features and volume-based rebates.

Is the platform mobile friendly?

We launched on mobile. Desktop was added later. That approach is reflected in the look and feel of our mobile and tablet apps. We still launch our latest features on mobile first. It is clear that some of our desktop-based competitors have struggled to adapt to devices.

You are famous for artificial intelligence. Why?

We’ve built artificial intelligence (AI) into the platform. Our patented AI system, called eQ, scans for 30 well-known trading behaviours and biases, known to negatively affect outcomes. Then the AI will alert traders if they are making mistakes. For example, being overly confident; after a couple of good trades you may take on more risk. Or loss aversion bias, which is when you have a small loss, don’t close it out and go on to a bigger loss. eQ identifies these biases in real time to help traders improve their performance. The end goal? To help clients become better traders and trade with more discipline.

We’ve found no common factors amongst traders. It’s for people of all jobs and all backgrounds

How do you help first-time traders?

We created a really nice app for absolute beginners called Investmate, which is available on iOS and Android. There are more than 30 lessons on the app, from the ABCs of finance, through to more advanced lessons such as becoming an expert in CFDs. Plus a glossary. The app is really popular and has lots of five-star reviews. We offer a demo account in the main Capital.com app for people who like to learn by doing. You can see how you get on with a demo account using virtual funds. We have a strong commitment to education and create bespoke video content tailored to all levels of trading ability. For example, we offer an introduction to foreign exchange and commodity trading through to technical analysis and its nuances.

Are you regulated?

Capital.com is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA is recognised as one of the most rigorous and sophisticated regulators in the world. This offers tremendous reassurance for our customers and is a reason we are popular with traders based in international markets. FCA regulation is so much more robust than you’d find in some offshore island, where you’ll find other trading platforms based. We are audited by Deloitte. And we are also part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects deposits. We’re also regulated by CySEC.

What fees do you charge?

We don’t charge commission on trades. Some of our competitors do. And there are no fees for deposit, withdrawal, quotes, charts, indicators or educational material. We make money through the spread: the difference between the buy price and sell price. If you are leveraged and keep your trades open overnight, we charge interest (also called swaps). It’s nominal interest, normally below 5 per cent annually pro rata. Also, we only charge interest on the leverage provided, not the entire position, which is another benefit of our platform.

What is your background?

I worked for 15 years at IG Group, a successful financial services company. I ran the development department for a decade. As chief executive of Capital.com, I bring technical knowledge and long-term thinking to the company. Overall our company has more than 100 staff working in IT alone.

Where do your customers come from?

Half are UK based. And the rest come from all over the globe. In particular, Germany, Scandinavia, Italy and Spain. The Middle East is growing fast for us. Our support works in 13 languages, currently spanning 53 countries.

Is trading for everybody?

We’re producing a white paper and one of its main headlines is “We are not born traders, we become traders”. The title says it all. In all our research, we’ve found no common factors among traders. It’s for people of all jobs and all backgrounds. We know cab drivers who enjoy trading and, conversely, people who work in finance who say it isn’t for them. Being a trader brings interest to daily events, such as what’s in the news. Our customers see something happen and immediately ask “How can I trade this?” Whether you are a beginner, eager to get started or an experienced professional, we’ve built the best trading platform in the world for you. It’s never been easier to be a trader.

To find out more please visit capital.com

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