As we commence 2022 we reflect on the year we leave behind and look forward to the possibilities of the year ahead. To get a better understanding of the events that shaped 2021 we spoke to CEO and Industry expert Ilan Azbel. We revisit what some might describe as an uncertain, yet interesting year and discover what may lie ahead in 2022.
What were some of Autochartists biggest accomplishments during 2021?
Ilan: “Most importantly our employees made it through the year with their sanity intact! Despite the difficult working conditions we’ve managed to make great progress in expanding our breadth of analysis even further by adding US Stock valuations to our existing macro, technical, statistical, and news sentiment analysis.
I think that our commitment to R&D is paying off. We’ve seen huge growth in market share, especially with brokers looking for more sophisticated API-driven integrations. We also see interest in our crypto offerings. Let’s hope this growth continues all the way through in 2022.”
Talking about huge growth, the trade of cryptocurrency has exploded last year, particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum. Why do you think there has been such a boom in crypto trading this year vs transaction currencies?
Ilan: “It’s unfortunate that the retail traders are getting sucked into the extreme volatility that defines crypto. Everyone is looking to make a “quick buck”. It reminds me of the frantic days of currency trading 20 years ago. It seems a lack of regulation has led to a frenzy of get-rich-quick schemes and media hype for a speculative instrument which, in my opinion, has no intrinsic value. However, the financial industry itself is benefitting from this boom.”
What effect do you think this rise in crypto could have on the trade of real-world currencies?
Ilan: “I think that crypto trading will decrease for a few different reasons. First, people are going back to work and have less time to watch endless pump and dump videos on youtube. Second, both the US government and EU will soon start to regulate crypto based financial transactions. Again, at the end of the day, a “currency” with no intrinsic value will find a niche in the financial world but I don’t think crypto will overtake fiat currency trading any time soon because underlying trade (import/export) is still fiat based. With so much uncertainty trends are changing by the moment, so only the future will tell.”
Speaking of movements, another movement which started this year worth talking about is the “Great Resignation”. In your view, what effect has the great resignation had on the efficacy of large corporations and their ability to function without low-level workers?
Ilan: “Have you visited Las Vegas recently? Everything from hotel check-ins, to bar service and coffee shops are automated. The lack of low level workers might actually be the best thing to ever happen to big corporations – no need to fire people, no need to pay compensation packages, and a perfect reason to automate.
The US government should have expected both the high level of resignations and massive inflation when they started printing money and sending checks to the masses. If I got a check every month and didn’t need to pay rent I also may not want to return to work. But now the chickens are coming to roost – corporates aren’t going to give up profits so they will increase prices to make up for increased wages.In fact, the lowest paid workers will likely end up worse off in the long run.”
What effect do you see this potentially having on corporations’ stock value?
Ilan: “I think that automation and increases in product prices will result in increased profits and therefore increase in stock prices.”
How do you think this will impact mechanisms such as inflation? Do you have any suggestions for how we could hedge against inflation?
Ilan: “I warned all my friends in mid-2021 to brace themselves for inflation. In South Africa I experienced double digit inflation rates in the 80s and 90s but people in the USA are lucky enough to be ignorant to this phenomenon.
You will hear many theories on inflation hedging strategies. Some include shorting the bond market, going long on commodities, or buying gold. Each of these strategies have risks and rewards, but as always, don’t try to make a quick gain, just hedge your risk. Do that by having a balanced portfolio of stocks, commodities, cash and currencies.“
We know that Autochartist is at the very forefront of fintech technology, content, and tools. As such we couldn’t avoid asking you, what in your opinion can we forecast for 2022, both from the industry and Autochartist ?
Ilan: “2022 is going to be an awesome year for the financial industry because we see a lot more volatility on the horizon. Between COVID, inflation and the crypto madness we have enough uncertainty to drive volumes for both long term investors and short term speculative traders. Autochartist will be right there riding this volume by supporting online brokers, providing them with all their content needs.
In conclusion, we see that Fintech’s future is bright, the question is do you believe your broker is ready to hit-the-ground running with active content that can support your clients trading enthusiasm?