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Forex Social Networks: To Join or Not to Join?

Social networks have become so popular that you can sometimes wonder if they are going to take over the world. Perhaps they already have!

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn draw millions of users from around the globe as they log in daily to connect with family, friends, colleagues, and business associates. The massive popularity of these networks has led to myriad more specialised, niche networks that connect people with shared interests and activities.

The advantages of these more specialised networks are obvious – they facilitate the connection of people who are active in the same field from wherever they are in the world. Lots of experience and expertise can be shared through such networks, which can be a boon for investors, who thrive on solid information that can make the difference between a profit and a loss.

Retail FX traders have long desired to foster a community where tips and other crucial information are exchanged. Online forums served this purpose to some degree before the explosion of forex social networks. These forums contained a lot of useful information but were intrinsically limited because they were unable to replicate the type of interactions that one might have in real social situations. They also failed to provide a way to be selective about the people with whom one communicated, apart from private messaging.

Forex social networks among online traders have proven to be immensely popular because retail forex trading is, by its nature, a solitary activity. Sitting at a computer in your room while watching news feeds and making trades can be highly profitable, but it can also get quite lonely at times. Social networks temper a little of that loneliness and permit traders to meet others who share their interest in forex trading. Many traders enjoy having company while they trade; they also are happy to have someone to compare notes with and trade advice with, all online.

These social networks forge connections between people from all over the world who would never have a chance to meet otherwise due to the distances between them. Forex social networks make one’s physical location far less important than it was a decade or two ago; it’s almost irrelevant today.

Forex social networks kicked off in 2009, but in that short period of time they have exploded in popularity. These networks are limited by bandwidth at present, but as the technology improves, more and more features, such as video-conferencing and voice communication, will be utilised. Group trading and virtual classrooms are also predicted to skyrocket in popularity as the technology advances. Forex trading could look very different in a short amount of time as social networks are able to do more online.

Many of these networks already offer webinars, where experts share their knowledge and answer questions from retail traders who are members of a given network. The give-and-take extends to followers providing advice of their own to the experts as the flat world of social networks comes into play. Traders wanting to increase their knowledge of forex trading love these webinars; they enable them to ask questions of people that they would probably never meet in everyday life.

Such interaction through social networking enables traders to learn from each other’s mistakes and successes, and it exposes users to many different trading styles, another plus. Translation technology continues to advance as well, which will take this interaction to an entirely different level. Soon traders will be able to communicate with other traders from all across the planet regardless of language, for instance, as translation software and coding is developed.

Two types of forex social network predominate today: 1) those provided by brokers for the exclusive use of their clients, and, 2) those open to anyone. Both types have clear advantages and disadvantages.

The primary advantage of a non-independent, branded forex network is that all its members are trading on the same platform, which means that they can give each other more specific and relevant advice through that broker. These networks tend to have far fewer members than more open networks, however, and this limits the scope of the discussions.

In addition, a potential conflict of interest on the part of the broker that provides the service also appears to be possible. Online communities thrive on transparency, but branded communities have to be overseen by a broker. They thus have to sometimes remove potentially inflammatory material or add their own contributions, practising a sort of censorship, which goes against the spirit of social networks and compromises the openness of them.

Independent forex social networks, on the other hand, have the advantage of being open to anyone who wants to join them, which results in much larger memberships and no censorship of any type. This gives users a far greater pool of trading talent to mine.

This massive size, however, can limit a community’s ability to remain close, and it can be more difficult to form useful relationships on these open sites due to their sheer size. With that higher volume, the door is also open to a greater potential for misinformation and covert advertising as few, if any, moderators censor the content.

Should you link into a forex social network or two? The answer depends on your personality and your involvement in forex trading. If you plan to make only an occasional speculative forex trade and do not want to communicate with other traders, then such networks might not be worth your time.

If, however, you are fairly serious about FX trading and treasure the interaction on such networks that can lead to rapid, practical learning, you should probably join at least one forex social network.

The danger of bad advice and the freedom to dispense it are obvious dangers in these forex social networks. If you enter into them with a healthy degree of scepticism, however, you can gain a lot by joining a wider community of traders.


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