Interview on FX Trading with James Olden, CEO of TopTradr

TopTradr is an evolution of social trading;  at the heart of the TopTradr offering is a proprietary algorithm which ranks traders based on their trading performance. Rather than just focusing on total return, TopTradr takes into account consistency and risk reward ratio. The algorithm returns a TopTradr score, allowing users to instantly compare the performance of fellow TopTradr traders. Our vision is that your TopTradr score will become a measure of your ability to trade; like a trading Klout score. It would become a professional influencer, a way to prove your credibility. Essentially, this will clean up the industry as we’ll gain the very best traders and get rid of those who only talk.

What made you start this company?

I wanted to create something that I, as a trader, would enjoy using. I was extremely sceptical of other platforms which promoted ‘Guru’ traders making a 500%+ returns on all their trades. I didn’t want to copy trades, I wanted to see how I fared against other decent traders out there. It wasn’t so much about recognition as it was verification as to how I was performing – trading used to be a somewhat solo activity, so building a community of like-minded ‘serious’ traders made a lot of sense. Applying an entirely transparent approach, the TopTradr app links to Twitter and Facebook and allows traders to share their trades, ideas and achievements openly and transparently.

What makes TopTradr different from other FX trading apps and platforms?

One of the main differences is that we do not allow mirror trading/copy trading, which makes us unique. Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz around mirror trading, especially as there is an expectation that regulators may take action in the near future. Should this happen, as the market stands today, TopTradr would be one of very few trading apps not to allow the practice. One of the reasons why copy trading has become so popular is the belief that, at a novice or retail level, it helps overcome the barriers to successful trading – something we do not agree with.

How do you see this industry developing and what changes do you envision for your company to keep up?

Social trading is changing fast. One of the key changes expected for the industry is a big clean up regarding regulation. We expect there to be a greater emphasis on education in the forex trading arena. These are all changes we welcome and should stand to benefit TopTradr as well as the industry as a whole. Naturally, there’s a huge emphasis on mobile for any social trading network, and that will only become more important. It’s critical to provide an interface that is intuitive, responsive and enjoyable to use, which is something we’re continually striving to offer and improve on.

What are your biggest challenges so far?

Scaling! We’ve proved our concept, and now the biggest challenge is to continue to scale our model. When you consider that we may process up to 2 million trades a day through desktop and mobile devices all around the world – which our algorithm must then factor in over a matter of seconds- it is no small feat! We are also continually striving to make the app as native as possible in terms of functionality.

 What’s next for TopTradr?

There are lots of other exciting features that we plan to implement in the next release such as featured traders and subscribed groups. We are also looking into other language versions, particularly for HK and China as we’ve received such a high level of interest from users there, we naturally want to offer the best service we can. Watch this space!


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