Managed FX: Solid Returns, No Fees
FX traded like a Bank
A system that matches buy and sell orders for securities. An ECN connects major brokerages and individual traders so that they can trade directly between themselves without going through a middleman. The ECN makes money by charging a fee for each transaction. ECNs make it possible for investors in different geographic locations to quickly and easily trade with each other.
The first ECN for internet currency trading was New-York based Matchbook FX formed in 1999. Back then, all the prices were created & supplied by Matchbook FX’s traders/users, including banks, within its ECN network. This was quite unique at the time, as it empowered buy-side FX market participants, historically always “price takers”, to finally be price makers as well.
Today, FX ECNs like Currenex, Bloomberg Tradebook (an affiliate of Bloomberg L.P.), Hotspot FX, 360T, FXall & BAXTER Financial Services Ltd with Currency Dealing provide access to an electronic trading network, supplied with streaming quotes from the top tier banks in the world. Their matching engines perform limit checks and match orders, usually in less than 100 milliseconds per order.
The matching is quote driven and these are the prices that match against all orders. Spreads are discretionary but in general multibank competition creates 1-2 pip spreads on USD Majors and Euro Crosses. The order book is not a routing system that sends orders to individual market makers. It is a live exchange type book working against the best bid/offer of all quotes. By trading through an ECN, a currency trader generally benefits from greater price transparency, faster processing, increased liquidity and more availability in the marketplace. Banks also reduce their costs as there is less manual effort involved in using an ECN for trading.
An ECN attempts to eliminate the third party’s role in executing orders entered by an exchange market maker or an over-the-counter market maker, and permits such orders to be entirely or partly executed. Orders placed through ECNs are usually limit orders.
ECNs display the best available bid and ask quotes from multiple market participants, then automatically match and execute orders. They not only facilitate trading on major exchanges during market hours, they are also used for after-hours trading and foreign currency trading. ECNs allow for automated trading, passive order matching and speedy execution. Some ECNs are designed to serve institutional investors, while others are designed to serve retail investors.
Some of the different ECNs include Instinet, SelectNet and NYSE Arca. Instinet was the first ECN (1969), and it is used by small brokerages and for transactions between institutions. It is widely used by market makers for Nasdaq trades, but individuals and small firms can use it, too. SelectNet is used primarily by market makers, but it doesn’t require immediate order execution and it helps investors trade with specific market makers. NYSE Arca grew out of the merge between the New York Stock Exchange and Archipelago, an early ECN (1996). It facilitates electronic stock trading on major U.S. exchanges like the NYSE and Nasdaq.
Currency Neutral Funds use derivatives to mitigate the Fund’s exposure to changes in exchange rates between developed market currencies and the Canadian dollar. The investment approach used by the Funds, while effective in reducing exchange rate risk, will not completely eliminate the impact of currency fluctuations. The Fund’s returns will differ from the local currency returns of its underlying fund.