Global Trader 247 Interview

Interview with Marvin Sones of Global Trader (, conducted by Andy Richardson, editor - E-mail Andy for questions or to suggest an interview at

Financial-Spread-Betting: Hi Marvin, can you introduce yourself and your company to our readers? Please tell us a little about the founders' background.

Marvin: Global Trader has launched its innovative and flexible Spread Trading and Contract for Differences services in the UK, providing private traders the same transparent pricing traditionally reserved for the institutional markets. As an established international financial services company, we offer access to widest range of dynamic emerging markets.

Global Trader is headed up by former JP Morgan banker Fleur Gremmen, CEO, supported by Charlie Brook-Partridge, Chief Operating Officer and managing director of London operations.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Where exactly is your business located? Do you have international offices? Which is your biggest market?

Marvin: We presently have offices in 3 locations, London UK, Johannesburg SA, Bangkok Thailand. These offices not only serve their markets, but ensure that we can provide our clients with a greater degree of certainty and insight. They enable us to offer more global markets than any other Spread or CFD provider. We will be opening new offices in other locationis in the near future.

The UK is fast becoming our leading market, and will soon displace South Africa. That said, we are expanding significantly in both Asia and North America.

Global Traders launch in the UK

Financial-Spread-Betting: How big is Global Trader exactly in terms of clients/turnover (with regards to spread betting)?

Marvin: Our international operations have conducted over $5 billion in financial transactions over the past 12 months. This includes CFD/Spreads/Forex transactions. Spread betting probably equates to a third of all our financial transactions.

Financial-Spread-Betting: What dealing platform do you use? What would you say really stands out about it?

Marvin: We have developed our technology in order to provide our clients with the most transparency and to ensure all our services are available online.

Our Trading interface is unique in that we do not dealer vet transactions. It means the speed of execution is extremely fast and can be compared to many institutional futures trading systems. So you do not have to wait around for the price confirmation, which can be 30 seconds or more on some of the other systems.

Where all the other the spread trading/betting providers use variable pricing, which can disadvantage the client and is conceptually similar to the way bookmakers price bets, Global Trader uses a transparent model called Flexispreads - spread pricing flexes in a fixed manner with the market. The client will always be offered the exchange price plus the fixed Flexispread margin added to the bid and to the offer. For clients, this not only provides a better feel for the market with the fluctuations of the underlying market, but it ensures that they will never again have to put up with their Spread Betting provider moving its book against their position, ie, disincentivising them from a winning position.

Financial-Spread-Betting: What do you think are the other main advantages of spread betting besides the most obvious of it being tax-free under current legislation?

Marvin: Leverage is the single greatest benefit. Put simply, investors can take positions that they would probably not be able to. The flip side of this is that they need to take real care, but we have built in a number of safety mechanisms to help protect them.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Can clients trade spread betting online? Is phone dealing available? And how do each make up the volume? (and trends?)

Marvin: We are unusual in providing 100% access to all our services and markets online - one of the benefits of building our own technology. Clients can trade online or over the phone 24 hours a day toll free. UK clients will deal direct with our London office from 07:00 to 17:00 and will automatically switch over to our Johannesburg office in the evening. Our Night desk is based in our Bangkok office, although English speaking of course.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you accept international clients?

Marvin: We pride ourselves on being international, as per our name Global Trader. We already have a global network of offices, which will be expanding again very shortly. Clients of Global trader can also deposit funds in multiple currencies and can trade in their local currency, This avoids the confusion for international clients having to trade in GBP or USD.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you accept deposits by BACS? Which other payment methods do you accept? Do clients need to fill up a fax form to request a withdrawal? What are the fees for using the different payment systems?

Marvin: BACS or CHAPS payments or even give us your debit or credit card and we can send or receive payments as requested. All funds are held with Barclays Bank in the UK and are held in a segregated account. This ensures all client deposits are safe even if we go bankrupt.

Fleur Gremmen CEO, and Charles Brook Partridge COO of Global Trader

Financial-Spread-Betting: What is the minimum deposit required to open an account? Is there a maximum deposit? How do I get money out?

Marvin: Global Trader has no minimum deposit, in fact initially you can open up a demo account with no investment. Deposit an amount that suits your trading requirements. No maximum deposits, and money can be requested back at any time.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you offer credit facilities? Can accounts be overdrawn?

Marvin: Global Trader does not offer a credit facility at present, and accounts cannot be overdrawn as we have an orders aware margining system that automatically calculates your risk.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Are dividends paid out?

Marvin: All share future prices take into account dividends and these are discounted into the future price. This means that when we price a futures contract in a particular share the expected dividend will be discounted and will be reflected in the price. Therefore you may notice some of our share prices have a lower bid then the cash. Please contact our shares desk for the ex dividend dates.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do the spread bets offered by GT247 have a definite expiry date or can they be rolled over? -> and if bets are allowed to be carried over will I still have to settle the amount lost from the previous trading session?

Marvin: All trades can be rolled over before expiry, however we do have a fixed expiry date on all contracts. We do not offer exotic contracts like rainbow expiries at the moment.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you quote all UK companies or only those within a substantial market cap?

Marvin: We quote any UK stock with a market capitalization above £50m or NMS greater than 5000, however please ask us if there is a stock you want to trade or you are not sure.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Is interest paid on the balance of the accounts? If yes, what are the rates?

Marvin: Interest is negotiable on larger deposits, please contact us for rates of interest. This will be payable on unencumbered funds.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Please detail the kind of stops being offered by GT247.

Marvin: You can leave opening orders/ closing orders/ limits/ stops/Trailing stops/Guaranteed Stops/ stops basis an automatic level/ stops basis a minimum maximum amount of your cash balance/ manual stops. You can leave a fill or kill order. All trades are non FIFO which means you can go long and short too with multiple stop orders on each trade. FIFO means First in First out, with other firms you can only trade a contract in 1 direction and must close the first bet out. This can be a real disadvantage and we are the first in the industry to offer this kind of trading.

We provide clients a comprehensive risk management system that requires stop loss orders on every trade. This can be accessed via our dealing ticket or after the trade has been placed. Our deal ticket is one of the most advanced in the industry. All orders that are placed can be changed at any time, as long as you have sufficient funds.

All orders can be explained by emailing

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you hedge clients' positions (or 'net positions')? Or do you simply take a view of the market each day and adjust your quotes accordingly to balance your spread?

Marvin: We are unique in that we really do not skew our prices, therefore we do not run any book. So yes, we hedge all positions. All prices are market driven meaning you will receive a price directly correlated to the underlying futures. You are not speculating against us you are speculating on the markets.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Wouldn't moving the spread create potential arbitrage opportunities at the other spread betting companies?

Marvin: Arbitrage usually happens on grey markets for example pricing the FTSE out of hours. Spread betting firms will limit the size trade able in grey markets to reduce the risk of heavy arbitrage losses. For example Party Gaming arbitrage occurred on their IPO pricing. Clever speculators can pick up on this because most prices are readily available online.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Please explain how you handle re-quotes and order confirmation times. And fast markets?

Marvin: The speed of our system makes for quick trading even in the fastest moving markets. Our system will not re-quote you, when you click trade at a given price on our dealing ticket, you will receive confirmation instantly. I cannot emphasize the professionalism of the platform and I guess its something you will have to check out to really appreciate.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Will you stop clients who are day-trading effectively? We have heard clients complaining that their orders were taking almost a minute to get processed and orders were being refused (by some spread betting companies; not GT247) based on price movements within that time? Please comment.

Marvin: No, we do not actively promote isolation of good day traders, in fact our system is designed to encourage traders to make money. Our financial model works best when our clients are successful as they are more likely to keep trading.. We provide intraday tick charts and alerts to mobiles when levels are reached. We try our best to provide a level playing field. In many ways, we are the ideal platform for day traders. The actual competitive advantage is that you are trading a financial product as a spread bet on a professional trading system and as such, you benefit from tax free trading and extremely low margined trades on a extremely fast system.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Are discounts in the form of narrower spreads available for frequent spread betters? i.e. can the commission be negotiated?

Marvin: We feel that our spreads are very competitive within the UK spread betting industry. However, like any mature business, we recognize the importance of larger clients and will have volume pricing discussions where applicable.

Financial-Spread-Betting: How do you make most of your money?

Marvin: Most of the money is generated from the volume of business that is done. CFDs generate revenue from commission and Spreads generate revenue via our margin. To be absolutely clear, we do not make money by taking positions against our clients.

Financial-Spread-Betting: What happens if my spread betting company goes bankrupt? I ring one day, the receivers are in and I've got thousands of pounds with you because I've been a consistent winner. Am I protected? And if protected, by whom? Are spread bet winnings legally enforceable?

Marvin: Your funds are held in a segregated account which means that if we ever did go bankrupt, you would be able to withdraw these funds at any point. The FSA guarantees you up to £40,000, however as a private client of Global Trader our liabilities are at no point yours.

Financial-Spread-Betting: What do you think about education? Do you think people need it to be successful in spread betting?

Marvin: If you walk into any bookstore you will see more books about trading then cooking, this is the hot topic because people believe trading is easy. I could probably read 100 books from scratch and be the worst trader ever.

But education has a role and everyone needs to start somewhere. To learn to trade is a mixture of knowledge and experience. To learn to trade well that Is another thing. Seminars and presentations improve your general dynamic style but improving your money making ability is a learning curve. This is why we offer a trial account so that our clients can learn in safety before investing their money.

Financial-Spread-Betting: What are you unique selling points with regards to spread betting? Why should clients choose GT247 as their spread betting firm of choice?

Marvin: Tight spreads/ fast system/ no dealer intervention online/ orders aware margining/ non FIFO trading/ 24 hour dealing/ More products. A friendly down to earth service that our industry currently lacks.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you trade on a personal basis? Have you made any mistakes along the way that you have learned from? If so, would you describe them?

Marvin: I have PA traded and the biggest mistake was being carried away by winning early and using my profits to place successive trades. Eventually, I made a wrong call and was back at square one. I had not had the discipline to limit my investments.

My biggest tip when trading is not to use a cash figure in your head but the number of pips or ticks made per day. This will reduce the amount of emotional draw down from trading. Then tot up your profits or losses at the end of the week. Our system tells you the amount you are up or down from day 1, most systems don't give you this figure. We don't want you to shy away from the amount you have won or lost.

Financial-Spread-Betting: How do people trading these markets trade? Do they jump in and out 50 times a day or do they hold their trades for weeks?

Marvin: I am personally more a scalper, which means that I hold onto positions for no longer than a day. I like to leave tight stops in, thus limiting my losses, and hope the markets accelerate in my direction.

Most of our traders are day-traders, however we do get a lot of long to medium term traders. Because our funding rate Is very competitive on stocks, this makes it more affordable to take long term positions with us. Please ask our sales team for a comparison on these rates, we can be as much as 1-2 percentage points more competitive than the leading competitors.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Describe the profile of a typical spread better at GT247. Is there a crossover between sports and financial traders?

Marvin: Sports and Financial traders are intrinsically linked, however most traders see financial trading as a more technical skill. You can plot a financial market and work out patterns that may happen, whereas in sports you are betting against a statistical price made by a bookmaker that is weighted against you.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Are there traders who make a living through trading at What is the trading style and methods that these traders use for winning consistently?

Marvin: There are one or two who earn a living from spread trading with us, but the vast majority are savvy private investors and professional traders who make a living from trading. However, many of our clients are semi professional. This means they trade and work at the same time. I say to a lot of my clients if you can make £500 per day everyday, that's equivalent to £100k tax free. Traders that are at this level have a mixture of both good systems and are clued up about the markets. Please be aware that it is also possible to lose £500 per day.....

In terms of style, I think the key things are discipline and applying knowledge and experience. I realize this sounds clichéd, but it is true.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Do you operate any other sites besides and

Marvin: This is our generic website and everything we offer as a company or any other links can be found on this site.

Financial-Spread-Betting: As of now, what trends do you see in the markets people choose to trade? Are there any sectors, contracts, currencies, indices, particular markets where your clients are clearly more or less successful? Do you think this will change over time?

Marvin: Regular traders trade markets they are comfortable with - it is the ability to understand and break up patterns in each market. Trading isn't about excitement or thrills, it's about making money consistently.

Most traders in this industry will trade and will leave stops at similar levels. It is human nature to trade fast moving markets that are volatile, but these are high risk too. Your propensity for risk will tell you what market to trade and most traders stick to a maximum of 2 or 3 markets.

That said, we ar experiencing real growth in our emerging markets as investors choose to apply or develop their knowledge of some of these highly dynamic markets.

Financial-Spread-Betting: The last few years has seen an explosion in spread betting. Do you think it could spell the end of traditional share trading? And is the stock market feeling the pinch?

Marvin: No. Conservative traders and there are plenty of them will still want to hold certificates. Brokers will be harder hit by the CFD mania that is going on, 1/3 of all stock that changes hands on the LSE is futures related.

Financial-Spread-Betting: We've seen more companies move into this market and the structure of bets change. What changes do you think there are going to be over the next few years? What challenges do you see ahead?

Marvin: We have seen a mini spread war as companies have attempted to grab a bigger foot hold in the market. The problems with cutting spreads across the board is that if we go back to market conditions a few years ago, where the markets moved 200 points per day, it will be very hard for spread betting firms to make money. We are presently seeing volatility lows, and it maybe a dangerous ploy to be going down this path.

Many firms have white labeled other firms products so this is one form of consolidation in many firms' attempts to become one stop shops. We have gone the other way, building our own institutional grade technology platform.Global Trader provides transparency to its clients, this means an all round better service.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Spread betting has grown a lot in popularity over the last few years - do you think that it will remain tax free given its explosive growth?

Marvin: The revenue the government receives from taxing spread trading companies profits is significantly more than they could expect to receive from taxing the clients profits, so on that basis I can't see the product being taxed in the foreseeable future.

Financial-Spread-Betting: There are many sayings in the markets; do you have a favourite one?

Marvin: Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Financial-Spread-Betting: Any remarkable incident/ trade which occurred and you could share with us?

Marvin: The incident that always stays in mind is 9/11. After that day I appreciated the need to be more risk conscious when trading the markets. The terrible events of that day are repeatable and to leave yourself with no stop losses in such times is very dangerous.

Financial-Spread-Betting: Any books and resources you would recommend to fellow traders? Any other comment you want to make?

Marvin: Would recommend coming to a global trader seminar. Or feel free to email me marvin sones -

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