FIX, short for Financial Information Exchange is an industry standard protocol for sending and receiving financial data in a format that has become the common format used by institutional banks and high frequency traders.
FIX API is usually used by more sophisticated traders because it requires special programming and understanding of how the different message tags work within the confines of the FIX Protocol in order to open and close trades.
By default, you cannot use a FIX API account to trade via MT4 because they are two separate trading technologies and do not have anything in common. However, given the popularity of the MT4 platform, several brokers offer a “bridge” solution whereby you trade using MT4 but your trades are supposedly passed through to a FIX API for execution.
At Manhattan Global Markets, we believe there is limited to no advantage for a trader with a FIX API using MT4 to have their trades executed. Here’s why.
The primary reason why sophisticated traders use the FIX API for trading is to capitalise on the speed it offers in terms of trade execution.
MT4, as a trading platform was not designed for multi-threaded, high frequency trading and lacks the functionality required by a high frequency or latency arbitrage trader to be profitable, especially when every millisecond counts.
Having the trades opened in MT4, then passed to the brokers’ FIX API bridge and then passed over to the Liquidity Providers, introduces additional resource consumption and lag that is completely undesirable if you’re a high frequency trader.
Hence, at Manhattan Global Markets, we have chosen to separate our MT4 and FIX API clearing networks. As a trader, you can either have the MT4 trading platform or the FIX API platform. You can definitely maintain both but they are going to be treated as two separate accounts.
While trades executed via your FIX API account will be visible inside an MT4 account the reverse is not true. We have deliberately kept it this way in order to keep the “FIX expressway” clear from anything that can hinder with its performance.
Our FIX API trading solution is designed especially for high frequency traders using any combination of the following strategies: Latency Arbitrage, News Trading, Hyper Scalping or any other high frequency trading strategy dependent on speed, price transparency and super tight spreads.
What is the main reason a serious trader should consider using FIX API
Speed. If your strategy relies on fast trade execution without slippage then FIX API is the BEST solution for you.
Price transparency. With our FIX API, you get direct market access with raw ECN spreads and very low commission per trade. In each Quote Session you make you can record, anaylyze and use price data to make instant trading decisions because that price data is not going through any filters or bridges to get to you. Its straight from the Liquidity Providers and into your FIX API trading account.
Why isn’t every trader using a FIX API trading account?
There are several reasons why FIX API trading is not as common as trading through popular platforms such as MT4. The biggest reason is typically, brokerages offering FIX API trading accounts require a hefty deposit before they will let you trade using a FIX API connection.
At Manhattan Global Markets, we have vowed to become the FIX API broker of choice for every trader. With a small initial deposit, any trader can gain access to our FIX API trading solution and enjoy blazing fast trade execution and ridiculously low cost of trading.
The other reason is that there is a real lack of trading platforms that integrate directly with a FIX API account without additional programming work needing to be performed. This carries a cost for the trader and hence many traders shy away from moving their MQL4/MQL5 based trading strategies across to a FIX API based trading strategy.
Lack of compatibility between FIX API and traditionally popular platforms has also made it difficult for algorithms written for platforms such as MT4/MT5 to be ported across to be FIX API compatible.
However, Manhattan Global Markets have developed a powerful solution to overcome this challenge.
What if you could drop your EAs in any MT4 platform and have your trades executed directly over a FIX API connection – without a BRIDGE or any intermediary piece of software. This is now possible through the FIX API Trading platform we are introducing shortly.
What do you need to get started?
Getting started with trading using a FIX API account is really simple. Just open a FIX API account with Manhattan Global Markets and once your account is approved, you will receive the relevant credentials from us to start trading.
You can read more about our FIX API Trading accounts and get started right away.
You will also need a FIX Compliant trading platform that can give you a graphical user interface (GUI) for executing your trades. Most high frequency traders build their own GUI or use high frequency trading software that uses FIX API trading account, in which case, the software in question becomes the GUI for trading. Either way, you will need a way to execute your trades from within a platform.