Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors. Global Markets Analysis Website Review


Ashraf Laidi’s website has a very simple design flow.  The front page has the latest articles, intra-market analysis and long-term analytical pieces and the sidebar is populated with a few things such as the twitter feed and a website poll.  The website seems a little outdated, but it runs smoothly and efficiently, and after all, it’s the content that matters. The front page includes a “hot chart” (for registered users) which I find rather useful so that I know where he’s focusing his attention.  This is definitely good for FX traders and investors looking for the “big money” moves.

The articles section is my favorite. It’s infrequently updated (perhaps 1-3x per month), but he is extremely insightful in his take on the global financial markets. Most of his articles are related to some current event or market action and its effects on interest rates and/or the LIBOR. He explains the mechanics on how each item relates to each other and unlike a lot of other websites / businesses, he takes the time to answer comments and questions that have been left for him in these articles, which are sometimes more helpful than the article itself.
The intraday market thoughts section is also extremely helpful especially for FX traders. He updates at least a few times per day including global events, spreads/margins, and technical levels to be watching. These updates are also useful for those who are trying to gain a perspective on the macroscopic market events while trading equities, commodities and futures.
The analytics section is very unique. He analyzes the long-term trends of FX, Futures and Fixed Income and describes the particular effects that are happening on each of the charts. One of the charts that I particularly zeroed in on was the Speculators’ Futures FX Positions.  He analyzed the weekly figures historically for the previous 10-yrs and looking at the # of Net Long and Short contracts open for each of the 5 major FX pairs historically to study the effects of currency hedging and speculation.

The final five sections on his site are the forum, blogs, media zone, book and useful links. The forum section has a plethora of interactive threads that span topics on FX, fixed income and commodities, and he is very active in answering questions directed at him in the threads.  The media zone represents some of his TV stints on CNBC, BBC, BNN and Bloomberg on which he regularly speaks for global financial market analysis.  His book will be covered in a separate review on our site.

The blog section and useful links are both very good resources to use for outside information and facts. He has links to a lot of the big banks globally as well as periodicals and news sources that he also reads.

Ashraf Laidi’s website has a plethora of good information from one of the top FX and global market analysts. He is incredibly insightful in global events and presents it in a form that is understandable to his viewers. A basic understanding of economics, FX, and financial markets is necessary for maximizing the effectiveness of the information on this website, but even if you don’t completely understand, he’ll take the time to help you out.

Ratings Review

Recommended Skill Rating: Intermediate

Quality: 4
The content quality is extremely useful in FX, fixed income, commodities and global economics. He understands the inter-relatedness of the global financial markets extremely well and explains it concisely and accurately using charts and analysis.  However, you need to get the background and current market information from another website since most of his updates are related to trading.

Credibility: 5
Ashraf has worked everywhere from the World Bank and United Nations to CMC Markets managing, forecasting and analyzing currency markets and global risk portfolios. His analysis is extremely insightful and although he concentrates on macroscopic events and FX, he can be useful for most other asset classes (equities, futures, commodities, fixed income).

Usability: 4
The website is easy to navigate and most of the articles are organized by date and pertinence.  However, there is a lack of search criteria and sub-categorical organization that could help to dissect the subject matter a little better.

Accessibility: 4
This site has free registration for occasional updates and access to a few password-protected tools (such as Hot Charts).  However, most of the products are free (except his book) so it’s difficult to gauge an accurate measurement of accessibility compared to other paid sites.

Features: 3
This website has long-run analysis charts, blogger-styled articles and inter-market analysis. The website seems a bit outdated but is still easy to navigate.

Reliability: 4
The website is very reliable and loads quickly. It doesn’t seem page loading issues that would cause it to lag, and high-traffic situations shouldn’t create bandwidth issues.

Compatibility: 4
This site is very compatible with all browsers that I have tried including Firefox, IE7.0 and Safari.

Support: 5
Ashraf seems to be extremely on top of his comments and forums sections responding reasonably fast to most questions.  He also has a webmaster that answers any questions about technical support with the website.

Value: 5
It’s Free!

Goodwill: 4
He’s a great FX analyst with years of experience in some of the most influential positions for global currency markets. The only problem is that it doesn’t seem like he has a lot of time to dedicate to this website, so the analysis and forecasting articles could be slightly outdated at times, until the next major breaking news appears.

Overall Score: 4
This is a great resource from one of the premier FX analysts. He responds to his viewers with very insightful comments and has a very useful inter-market analysis section for FX investors to use. I’d hope to see more frequent FX and global financial analysis in his articles and analytics sections.

Disclosure: "No Positions"