GFT DealBook Review
Global Forex Trading (GFT) is a Forex trading company that provides the trading software ‘DealBook® FX 2’. GFT’s headquarters are in Ada, Michigan, USA.
I started by downloading the software from the GFT website. The trading module was 15.5Mb and the user guide 1.9Mb. The installation was straightforward. I was given a demo platform login and an account with monies to trade. Opening an account requires a Bank Transfer ($US) to GFT.
As part of the service each new client is offered one-on-one training with a GFT Technical Support Specialist. This session was booked and resulted in a 1.5-hour telephone call from the USA, incorporating a web conference.
The training session was broken up into four sections: charting, order placement, layout and configuration. The GFT specialist provided me with a live view of his DealBook® FX 2 screen and live instruction while he navigated around the software. The training session was pleasant, informative and productive.
All the layouts can be personalised and saved, with innumerable variations available. After-sales support is provided via email or phone with an online contact option being built.
The software is driven from GFT’s servers in the USA. The speed and usability is quick, professional and it is highly configurable. The in built charting capability provides any chart type, any time scale and more than 90 indicators plus a drawing capability.
A nice feature is the Dashboard. By moving the cursor up to the middle of the top of your viewing screen, a ‘dashboard’ drops down over whatever other program you are viewing. This provides a quick way of viewing a status update.
GFT offers Forex trading with some 60+ currency pairs. Some of the features of Forex are leverage (100:1), liquidity, guaranteed stop-loss and limit orders. I am not familiar with currency trading so I am not prepared to trade this instrument. Even so, I enjoyed using the software, as it was easy to use and configure.
The DealBook® FX 2 is easier, quicker and has a more professional feel than other web based trading platforms that I have used. A well-designed and well-produced product.
With DealBook® FX 2, Global Forex Trading (GFT) has created an impressive dealing platform for foreign exchange traders. It includes a complete real-time charting package, with a full array of standard indicators and drawing features. Surprisingly nimble, the software is capable of being modified to completely suit the user’s desired trading timeframe, analytical needs and even eyesight.
Careful thought has been given to ensure screen watching is made easy through the use of muted colours and tones that blink gently rather than flash neon, and with options to make it as busy or uncluttered as desired, using standard Windows operations. Screen layout can be adapted to view just those currency pairs of interest, with separate windows for orders, charts and a news bulletin, all of which could be opened, closed, and made large or small according to personal preference.
As with all complex charting packages, time and more than a small amount of computer literacy are necessary to gain a good handle on the functions that are available. However I found the time invested to be more than adequately rewarded by the impressive speed at which the program produced complex charts. The charts are complete with alarmed price alerts, potentially obviating the need for a standard charting package and a data service.
Fortunately, DealBook® FX 2 has a comprehensive and easy-to-use help function and the GFT web site is well set up to provide technical assistance, including a user manual and account opening information specifically for Australian traders.
The trading platform accommodates a complete range of orders including conditional, one cancels other (OCO) and stop orders, including the option of a trailing stop. Paperwork is easily handled with a self-generating system for statements that can be printed directly, and all funds can be held in the currency of your choice.
DealBook® FX 2 handles an extensive array of currencies, dealing in a significant number of emerging markets. On the downside, I found the spread to be reasonably wide. GFT have attempted to compensate for this by introducing an Inter-Trader Exchange feature which enables traders to transact directly, possibly achieving a tighter spread – but this attracts an additional charge. An analysis of the cost of doing business is part of any prudent trader’s business plan. Although beyond the scope of this review that is something that would warrant further investigation by interested parties.
All in all, a very impressive software application.
I tested DealBook® FX 2 from GFT on my Windows XP Pro PC at home, on a no-frills ADSL connection. Browsing around GFT’s web site was easy and I had no problems finding the link to download the software and manuals. Because this package is an all-in-one charting and trading suite, I would assume typical users would invest some time communicating with GFT regarding costs and training, rather than just trying to make some charts with it. Even the thought of trading with $1000 play money on a strange new interface gave me the willies, the one month demo account was very welcome.
Installing the software was incredibly pain-free, and I was ready to log in to my demo account in no time at all. Corporate users should note at this point that a number of ports on your firewall need to be opened for DealBook® FX 2 to function – these are listed in the useful, brief, and accurate manual found on the web site. This might cramp your style if you’re planning to trade while at work. More and more organisations are becoming increasingly strict about network security and may not be willing to make firewall changes, particularly if trading FX doesn’t appear on your job description.
So, to the action. As I taught myself how to create studies from the huge list available, and set up Dawn’s favourite multiple moving averages on a 5-minute AUD bar chart, I noticed a crossover occurring right in front of my eyes. “I’m on this,” I thought, and promptly lapsed into trading adolescence, putting on a short trade immediately without even consulting the manual – or consulting anything really. To be fair to myself, it wasn’t real money and I was taking this baby out for a spin to try it out on the curves, and the point was that there was no-one else around and I could really hammer it. The end result was that the demo account soon wrapped itself around a tree and I was $945 US dollars in the red.
But by heck it was fun while it lasted. This package is very intuitive and observes most of the usual charting package conventions about right clicks and hovering etcetera. I barely glanced at the manual and had produced a series of Stochastics, RSIs, the above-mentioned moving averages, swing, candle, tick bar and Kagi charts and all sorts of ornate Fibonacci fans and DiNapoli indicators – and so on it went. I set up effective technical alerts on my charts using a very easy interface, and placing orders – at market or conditionally, with simple stop loss and profit management – was also very easy. In fact, too easy – at one point I twitched on a left click and closed out a position without intending to, which would’ve had me howling had it been for keeps. My only other gripe was the lack of point and figure charts.
Because I had such a smooth run I didn’t contact the help desk, which is based in the US and could be a problem for traders in the Eastern hemisphere, but then the FX markets don’t sleep – you’ll be awake then anyway. Trading online presents inherent difficulties, so I’d hope all users already use appropriate contingencies – in case connections fail, for instance. Downloading charts on broadband was efficient, but I wouldn’t attempt to use dialup.
A fairly relevant news service provided commentary, and the data for the major currencies available to trade tracked my G3 pager closely. One very interesting feature that I couldn’t use on a demo account is the ability to execute trades directly with other traders, thereby cutting out the middle-man and reducing margins – the idea of trading FX with a two point spread like a bank is very appealing.
Obviously, I liked this GFT DealBook® FX 2 package. It does have some negatives, but ease of use won me over. A curly decision for traders is whether you want to use GFT as a broker.
GFT Forex Response
The reviewers have done a fine job in assessing our Forex trading software, DealBook® FX 2. There were a few common themes among reviewers, including ease of use, currency pair spreads and the speed of execution of the trading platform. First, allow us to address the few criticisms that were mentioned.
DealBook® FX 2 features six types of charts: line, point and figure (P&F), bar, candlesticks, kagi and three-line break (TLB). Point and figure charts are included with DealBook® FX 2. Since the horizontal axis of P&F charts are used to measure price movements instead of time, they can only be displayed by changing the chart to show “tick” data.
The reviewers also mentioned that GFT offers wider spreads for emerging markets. While illiquidity is typically the cause of wider spreads, GFT leverages its relationships with the world’s largest banks to offer fixed spreads on its currency pairs. Our spreads do not change around the clock, are good up to a certain volume that most dealers match, and are among the tightest in the industry.
Overall we are pleased with these reviews because we have worked hard to create a very comprehensive charting package within DealBook® FX 2. When it is compared to similar products, you very seldom find this level of charting for free or inside one complete program. Traditionally, traders have had to have separate data feeds and switch back and forth, or have had to pay costly fees for charting. We feel our know-how in technology and our professional staff are the staples behind our world leadership in online currency trading. This has allowed us to build a global server capacity to support customers in more than 100 countries while hiring the most talented licensed Forex specialists in the business, all of whom offer free personalized training to all our traders.
GFT is a registered member of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. DealBook® FX 2 is available in multiple base currencies, including JPY and Euro. AUD, CHF and GBP will be added by first quarter 2005.
This article was originally published in the Sep/Oct 07 issue of YourTradingEdge magazine (www.YTEmagazine.com). All rights reserved. © Copyright 2009, MarketSource International Pty Ltd.