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  • QuestradeFX Desktop Software Warning/Error

    Posted on September 13th, 2009 No comments

    Hey everyone, I wanted to make a quick post on an error that I encountered with QuestradeFX desktop software. Here is the error I received:

    Unable to connect to Rates Server. Connection Dropped. Please try logging in again.

    If you try to login again, it won’t work. If you call support, chances are they won’t beable to help you. If you read this post, you’ll fix all your problems! It’s a simple fix. Just follow the steps below to fix the error:

    1.  Go to your control panel and go to Uninstall Programs.
    2. Find Microsoft .NET Framework. Uninstall the version you have. In my case I had 3.5 SP1 on Microsoft Vista.
    3. Go here and download .NET framework 2.0: http://linkbee.com/C4NVK
    4. Once installed, restart your computer and enjoy the desktop version of QuestradeFX.

    I hope that helps! If not, just post a comment and I’ll try to help out.

  • Questrade FX Changes the Rules

    Posted on February 19th, 2009 3 comments

    I just wanted to update the folks in Canada that are using QuestradeFX (questrade.com) for their Forex dealings. If you are a mini account holder, this definitely works against you. I’m seeing spreads as high as 10 pips for the USD/CAD. It seems the only way to reasonably bring down the spreads is to throw $10,000 into your account and apply for Tier 2 (which still doesn’t guarantee a much tighter spread). In any case, I’ll have to move my Forex trading to another destination. Stuff like this just isn’t tolerable if you are looking to make money trading. My experience thus far with Questrade certaintly isn’t the worst, but it isn’t the best either. Here is the email I recieved from them…

    In a move to more accurately reflect market pricing, forex fixed pricing will be replaced with variable pricing at the close of trading on February 13, 2009.

    Why are we eliminating fixed pricing?
    The dynamics of forex liquidity have changed dramatically in the last six months, so much so that fixed spreads are no longer representative of what the market is really pricing.  For currency traders, variable pricing offers:

    • More realistic pricing and therefore better execution
    • Spreads that typically narrow during periods of increased liquidity.  During these periods the spreads will be marginally better than the legacy fixed spreads and can get as low as 1 pip
    • More precise order entry – you can specify your limit and stop prices in 10ths of a pip.

    What is the difference between fixed and variable pricing?
    In fixed pricing, the difference between the buy and sell price remains the same and the currency pairs are priced to the 4th decimal place (except for JPY pairs which are priced to the 2nd decimal place). 

    In variable pricing, the difference between the buy and sell price fluctuates, and the currency pairs are priced to the 5th decimal place (except for JPY pairs which are priced to the 3rd decimal place). The fluctuation in variable pricing is caused by changes in Interbank liquidity.

    The chart below outlines our new tier one pricing. If you are a casual trader, this is the pricing you will likely use.

    Currency pair

    As low as

    Currency pair

    As low as

    Currency pair

    As low as

    EUR / USD

    1.9

    USD / JPY

    1.9

    GBP / USD

    2.3

    USD / CHF

    2.3

    USD / CAD

    2.3

    AUD / USD

    2.3

    EUR / JPY

    2.3

    EUR / GBP

    1

    EUR / CAD

    3.5

    EUR / CHF

    1.2

    GBP /JPY

    3.8

    AUD / JPY

    4

    CHF / JPY

    3

    EUR / AUD

    4

    GBP / CHF

    4

    NZD / USD

    2.3

    NZD / JPY

    4

    CAD / JPY

    3.5

    AUD/NZD

    4.5

    AUD/CAD

    2

    GBP/CAD

    3.5

    GBP/AUD

    4.5

    EUR/NZD

    7.5

    GBP/NZD

    17

    AUD/CHF

    5.5

    NZD/CHF

    6

    NZD/CAD

    7.5

    CAD/CHF

    6

    USD/HKD

    4

    USD/SGD

    5.5

    SGD/JPY

    4.5

    USD/NOK

    24.5

    USD/SEK

    25

    USD/DKK

    8

    EUR/NOK

    23.5

    EUR/SEK

    25

    EUR/DKK

    4

    Tier two pricing, previously referred to as volume based spreads, is for more active traders and requires an initial deposit of $10,000 USD. There are no changes to tier two pricing.

    Currency pair

    As low as

    Currency pair

    As low as

    Currency pair

    As low as

    EUR / USD

    1.4

    USD / JPY

    1.4

    GBP / USD

    1.8

    USD / CHF

    1.8

    USD / CAD

    1.8

    AUD / USD

    1.8

    EUR / JPY

    1.8

    EUR / GBP

    1

    EUR / CAD

    3.5

    EUR / CHF

    1.2

    GBP /JPY

    3.3

    AUD / JPY

    3.5

    CHF / JPY

    2.5

    EUR / AUD

    3.5

    GBP / CHF

    4

    NZD / USD

    1.8

    NZD / JPY

    3.5

    CAD / JPY

    3.5

    AUD/NZD

    4

    AUD/CAD

    2

    GBP/CAD

    3.5

    GBP/AUD

    4

    EUR/NZD

    7

    GBP/NZD

    16.5

    AUD/CHF

    5

    NZD/CHF

    5.5

    NZD/CAD

    7

    CAD/CHF

    5.5

    USD/HKD

    3.5

    USD/SGD

    5

    SGD/JPY

    4

    USD/NOK

    24

    USD/SEK

    24.5

    USD/DKK

    7.5

    EUR/NOK

    23

    EUR/SEK

    24.5

    EUR/DKK

    3.5

    More about forex pricing
    As a reminder, forex pricing comes from the core of the market through Interbank, the 15 largest banks in the world.  There is a natural spread already in the market that fluctuates depending on liquidity. Questrade includes its commission in the spread displayed.  Important: Questrade does not earn revenue from the entire spread and cannot quote spreads lower than what is received from its banking partners.

    Banks do not deal directly with the retail market unless an individual has extensive credit, collateral, and a certain level of trading volume. Questrade provides the retail public with access to a market in which they otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate. As a rule, Questrade continually seeks new partners to offer attractive spreads to our clients.

    We value your business. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions.

    As you can see, the only real benefit here is the opportunity to trade in the 10ths of a pip. They claim tighter spreads during peak hours of liquidity, but frankly I haven’t seen it. I’ll keep my eyes open in the next few weeks to see if things change. In the meantime, I’ll have to use FXCM or Forex.com.