Made To Trade: The CFD, Forex, Binary, Social Trading Brokerage Database

Are you Made to Trade?

reviewsThis site has been formed to provide you with the best forex trading, CFD, spread betting, social trading, and binary option brokers. We have analysed dozens of companies providing these services over a course of several years, and seperated the wheat from the chaff. We hope you would find our reviews, strategy articles, news items and general insight helpful in your trading. Enjoy one of few sites that has been written by a real trader.

List of reviews:

Social Trading:



Spread Betting Brokers:

Betfair (bookie)

Pro spreads


CMC Markets



Bot Reviews:

Option Bot


Book Reviews:

Market Wizards (Interviews)

An Introduction to Forex Trading

How to make money trading



Gstock (daily stock tips)






More about The site was established in 2012, covering everything relating to trading and high-risk investment. We love covering forex trading and CFD trading. We enjoy covering the up and coming domain of binary options, as well as spread betting. We like helping our users understand the fine differences between these branches of investment / gaming (depends on how you look at it), and we want to assist readers with finding the most suitable platforms for their requirements and needs.

This is how the site used to look like back in 2012, when it was hosted on Google’s blog platform, blogspot:



Our Plans for the future: We intend to do a full overhaul to the website. It might take time (it WILL take a lot of effort), but it will eventually get there. The revamp process will include the following items:







Kind regards and thank you for visiting us. ‘Till next time!

– The Staff

CFD Review: ForexTime Review

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: Regulated in Cyprus by CySEC
  • Instruments: Forex, Spot Metals, Commodities, ETF’s and Stocks 
  • Features: Support a variety of different trading platforms as well as a decent range of instruments available for trading. 
  • Leverage: Up to 500:1 on Major Forex Pairings, other instruments vary. 
  • Minimum Deposit: Standard Account: No Minimum Deposit, ECN accounts minimum deposit starts at $200/200 Euros. 
The Platform 
Founded by Alpari’s largest Shareholder Andrey Dashin ForexTime supports a wide range of trading platforms. Of course you’ll find the ever popular MetaTrader 4 platform on offer, as well as the newer MetaTrader 5 platform. Both of which are great favorites with traders the world over. FXTM has also recently announced support for the social trading platform ZuluTrade allowing FXTM customers to follow some of the worlds most successful signal providers using their FXTM account. FXTM also offers a range of mobile and tablet platforms providing MetaTrader 4 & 5 for those using Android or Apple devices, meaning that those who want to trade on the go should have no real difficulty unless they happen to have a Blackberry smartphone. However as Android and Apple now control a vast bulk of the smartphone market, it means most should be able to trade on the move without any difficulty. The only notable absence from the ForexTime platform offering is the fact that FXTM do not offer a Web based trading platform which means individuals will be unable to place trades on computers that do not already have a version of ForexTime’s MetaTrader installed on them.  
Special Features 
ForexTime offers a good selection of different instruments to trade. While the service clearly has a predominantly Forex bias there a number of other instruments available to trade. For one there is a good range of Commodities available to trade including Gold and Silver as well as a number of other commodity CFD’s. More interestingly however ForexTime offer a number of different ETF’s and Shares to trade through Contracts for Difference. While there currently is a not huge range of ETF’s or Shares to choose from, I believe ForexTime will likely add more instruments in the near future. However I think ETF’s currently offer some of the best trading opportunities.  
I have been able to discover what the Spreads on offer at FXTM are. As I have unable to been able to open demo/real account due to a technical problem regarding the Open account form. However, as FXTM offers both ECN and Standard accounts one can expect a range of competitive fixed and floating spreads from FXTM. Will provide more information as soon as I can.
Customer Service 
As FXTM is a new brokerage remarking on their level of customer service provision is going to be difficult. However the brokerage is founded by a well known figure in the Forex industry and appears to be very transparent in terms of getting into contact with them. Currently the provide 8 A.M to 5 P.M Monday to Friday Live Chat, as the customer base grows I imagine that the hours of the live chat support will increase. However they do provide a wide range of different telephone numbers to contact the different arms of the company. From first impressions I imagine that ForexTime will provide a very good customer service, especially due to the fact that the founder has a huge amount of experience in the provision of Over-the-counter Forex.
ForexTime recently received it’s full CySEC regulation. ForexTime was founded by Andrey Dashin who is best known for being Alpari’s largest shareholder and has significant experience when it comes to running large Forex operations in a number of different regulatory jurisdictions. It was rumored that the merger of Alpari’s CySEC division and Alpari UK was in fact make way for the launch of ForexTime. So I would imagine that much of the team in place at ForexTime may have previously worked for Alpari (AFS) meaning that many of the individuals at ForexTime will have extensive knowledge of CySEC regulation. As CySEC is part of MiFID ForexTime are able to accept clients from throughout the European Union. While CySEC isn’t considered Europe’s strongest regulatory body it still provides a high level of regulation in accordance with the minimums set out the EU’s MiFID directives. Meaning that clients of FXTM should feel safe knowing they are provided with a minimum standard of regulation.  
Overall, ForexTime offers a good quality Forex and CFD trading service and should be seriously considered by those who want to trade with a MiFID regulated brokerage.

OANDA discontinues its Social Trading Platform

Social trading has been a huge growth area in the past couple of years with a number of brokerages offering significant social trading features and others such as eToro building their entire business around Social Trading. So it something of a shock that OANDA has decided enough is enough and pulled its social trading platform less than a year after its launch. 

OANDA’s social trading platform fxUnity, was one of the few platforms in the industry to be powered by proprietary technology with the majority of brokerages opting for a third party solution such as FXJunction. However OANDA’s FxUnity platform hasn’t been particularly popular and has received some pretty stringent criticism from those who have used the platform.  

Traders using the fxUnity platform have been requested to close all open positions by 5pm on the 8th of March 2013. All trades that remain open at that time will be automatically closed by OANDA. All funds deposited with the fxUnity platform can be either withdrawn or transferred to a standard OANDA account. 

There has been no comment from OANDA whether this marks the end of social trading at OANDA in general or whether OANDA will seek a third party solution. The number of competing social trading networks out there in the market place at the current time makes it very difficult for a new social trading network to reach the critical mass needed to really take off. 

FxPro decides to shut down its Australian Office

Today FxPro has made a move to consolidate their Forex business by shutting down their Australian office. The office only opened a year ago and half ago but FxPro have made the decision to shut down operations those attempting to open new accounts at are greeted with the following message: 

Clients are then directed over to FxPro has been a center of much activity recently after some of it’s minor shareholders sold up to an undisclosed investment group. So far main management and shareholders have remained in place, though a number of high profile staff members have left including James Marshall former head of the PR department at FxPro.  
FxPro is not the only Forex brokerage to have consolidated recently with a number of other major companies having consolidated global offices and let go staff. This consolidation was partly due to the low trading volumes experienced throughout 2012 which may have forced brokerages such as Saxo Bank, Oanda, GFT and MB Trading to consolidate their global operations. 2013 looks like it may be much better for Forex brokerages with trading volumes having been very promising in both January and February. 
Whether we see further consolidation by the major industry players in the coming months remains to be seen.

The Rise of FX Sports Sponsorship

It was only a few years ago when the Gaming industry was making some of the big sports sponsorship deals. It now seems that Sport Sponsorship has garnered significant attention from a number of FX and OTC financial instrument providers. Earlier this month Alpari announced a multi year multi million pound deal to become the Shirt sponsor of Premier League team West Ham United. Alpari have always been a big fan of Sport sponsorship having also sponsored the New York Nets and Knicks.  

Alpari aren’t alone in targeting big name sports sponsorship’s; FSA regulated brokerage FX Pro has been the proud Sponsor of Fulham FC since 2011. FX Pro’s deal with Fulham runs out at the end of the 2012/13 Season. However that particular deal is only one part of FXPro’s Sports Sponsorship package with FXPro also being the main sponsor of the Asian Champions League as well as being the naming rights partner of the Australian Super League Rugby. In addition to these current sponsorship agreements FXPro previously had various sponsorship agreements with a number of different bodies and organisations in the world of Motor Sport. 

Sports sponsorship seems to make a lot of sense for FX companies, just as it does to those in the gaming industry. Sport Sponsorship reaches a predominately male audience (Forex products are predominately used by Males). Plus there seems to be a sense in which Sports fans are both competitive and less risk averse than many of their peers. A number of different sports have been the primary targets for those wanting to advertise Foreign exchange products and each for distinct reasons. 

  • Football: Premier League football in particular has been a target for the FX Industry. Not only do such advertisements reach a large audience in Europe, they also gain great exposure in Asia which is a rapidly expanding market for those offering Foreign Exchange services. 
  • Motor Sports: Motor Sports and Formula 1 in particular have been targeted as well. Motor Sport has a global fan base as well as attracting a clientele with above average disposable income.  
  • Sailing: Some Forex companies have very cleverly chosen to provide sponsorship for Sailing teams and events. Those who follow Sailing again tend to have more disposable income as well as a greater interest financial products. 
How long the Forex Sport Sponsorship bonanza will continue for remains to be seen. For instance the Gaming industry became a major sponsor of competitive sport a few years ago, however the period of massive Sports gaming sponsorship appears to be over. While there are still a number of Gaming companies heavily involved in Sports Sponsorship they number appears to be down from the peak. It appears that Sports Sponsorship may be an effective way for FX companies to attract new customers for the foreseeable future.

Margin FX Review: Barclay’s Margin FX

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: Barclays Margin FX is a trading name of Barclays Stockbrokers Ltd. who are regulated in the United Kingdom. 
  • Instruments: 50 Forex Pairings. 
  • Features: Foreign Exchange service provided by a well known international bank. 
  • Leverage: Flexible leverage up to a maximum of 100:1 
The Platform 
Barclays Margin FX provides two platforms to those wishing to trade Foreign Exchange with them. The first is a WebTrading program that I had a play around with. To be honest I wasn’t particularly impressed with the program. While it was perfectly functional and allows for traders to open and close positions. It was then I noticed that the Barclays platform was powered by FXCM. Apparently back in October 2012, Barclays chose FXCM as their technology provider. This essentially means those who trade with Barclays Margin FX are using FXCM’s price feed and platform with Barclays operating as its own liquidity provider. While this doesn’t present any real problems it does mean you stuck with using a relatively weak web or download platform. For instance there is no option to use the ever popular MetaTrader platform when trading with Barclays Margin FX. This is a bit annoying and significantly limits the kind of trading activity you can engage in. There is also no support for Mobile Trading something which is becoming increasingly popular.

Special Features 
There is nothing particularly Special about the Barclays Margin FX offering. Your essentially just trading with the FXCM Web and Download platforms with Barclays acting as the counter party. Barclays Margin FX operates with the Market Model brokerage model so it is unable to offer the incredibly tight spreads you would expect from such a major a banking institution. The main attraction for potential customers is the possibility of trading Forex with a well known and well regarded international bank, with Barclays having a very strong reputation when it comes to brokerage services. 


The Spreads at Barclays Margin FX aren’t bad and are among the better Spreads to be offered by brokerages operating using a Market Maker Model. For instance, the target Spread on the EUR/USD is 2.1 Pips which while not mind blowing isn’t bad either. However Spreads are often significantly wider than the quoted target spreads featured on the Barclays Margin FX Website. As there are a number of other brokerages who offer similar if not tighter spreads it makes me question why individuals would choose to deposit cash at Barclays, considering the lack of a sophisticated trading platform and the limited leverage offered by the service. I can think of a number of MiFID regulated brokerages who offer equally as tight spreads, while also offering their customers significantly more leverage. 

Customer Service 
This has to be one of the bigger selling points of the Barclays Margin FX service. Barclays Margin FX is operated by Barclays Brokerage arm, in general Barclays has built a good reputation as a financial broker offering a variety of financial instruments including Stocks, CFD’s, ETF’s and Financial Spread bets. I know a number of people who use Barclays Brokerage services and all of them have been happy with the level of service they have provided. I would suspect that this high standard of service is extended to those using it’s Margin FX platform.  

As already mentioned Barclays Margin FX is a trading name of Barclays Stockbrokers Ltd. who are based in the UK and regulated by the FSA. While the main arm of Barclays has got itself into a number of regulatory scrapes recently Barclays Margin FX has a totally clean regulatory record with no disciplinary action having ever been taken against them. A clean regulatory record in a country with a strong reputation for financial regulation should be enough to alleviate the concerns of many potential customers. 

Overall, Barclays Margin FX offer a high level of service, however the platform is let down by its weak user interface.

Option Bot Review

I have recently seen a lot of attention being paid online to automated Binary Option trading products. These products claim that they can automate Binary Option trading in a way that will be profitable for the user. The most publicized of these programs is Option Bot, which is essentially a piece of software which claims to allow individuals to successfully trade Forex Binary Options. However I’m very dubious of the claims made by the Bots producer. 
How does the bot work? Essentially Option Bot follows 15 different currency pairings and monitors their recent price movements giving you alerts when a currency pairing has moved a sufficient number of Pips in one direction during the selected time period. Both the period of time and the significance of the movement can be altered by the user. However, in the demo video the user has the Bot set to monitor for 3 Pip movements in either direction within the last 15 minutes. The creator of the bots then suggests that the user opens a trade in the opposite direction of the alert. 
So for instance, say the Bot has noticed a particular currency pair rise by 3 Pips in the last 15 minutes. The user of the Bot should then place a 15 minute Put (Down) trade in that particular currency pairing. The idea seems to be that if the price of a currency pairing has moved a significant amount in the last 15 minutes, then there is likely to be a price reversal in the next 15 minutes. But does this make for a good trading strategy?  
I would have to say NO. While such a strategy may work occasionally when there is little volatility in a particular instrument there are going to be occasions when the Forex markets are going to be very volatile. It also doesn’t have a way of distinguishing between general price fluctuations and trending. For instance if a currency pairing was to go on an extended rally a trader could lose several traders in a row using such a strategy. All of this makes me very suspicious of the program and the creators claimed 90% success rate seems very dubious to me. 
The simplicity of such trading systems lead to many new to trading purchasing such programs in the hopes that they can make significant returns on their investment. Option Bot is currently on sale for $75, though I do not suggest that anyone goes out there and purchases the product. However the product is available for a 7 day free trial and I suspect that those who try the product for a trial period will have my suspicions regarding this Binary Options trading system confirmed.

Third Regulated Binary Options Provider to enter the market?

Here at Made To Trade, we have already covered the emergence of a couple financially regulated Binary Options platforms and it now appears that a third player is going to enter the marketplace following the likes of TopOption and Banc De Binary. Yesterday Cypriot financial regulator announced that they were authorizing six different firms Cypriot Investment Firm licences. Possibly the most interesting firm included on the list is Ouroboros Derivatives Trading Ltd. 

While there is not much information to be found online regarding the firm, a quick Google of ‘Ouroboros Derivatives Trading Ltd.’ will lead you to the Linkedin profile of Eran Chertok-Gorodezky who is listed as the CEO of the said company. According to his profile: 

“Ouroboros Derivatives Trading Limited is the first Cyprus Investment Firm (“CIF”) to receive a license from the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (“CySEC”) on the bases of providing binary options trading (license number 187/12). The company will be offering binary options trading to EU clients.” 

This however is not strictly true with it being Banc De Binary who became the first firm licensed by CySEC on the basis of providing online Binary Options. It should also be pointed out the Safecap Investments Ltd. (best known for their brand) have possessed a regulated Binary Options platform since mid December.  

It is not clear whether Ouroboros Derivatives Trading Limited. currently operate a Binary Options platform or whether one will be established in the coming months. Searches for CEO Eran Chertok-Gorodezky do not turn up much, but do suggest some limited links to Israel whether this is the case still remains to be seen. 

Since CySEC regulated Binary Options in early May 2012, a number of Binary Option firms have become regulated in the jurisdiction of Cyprus including S.O SpotOption Ltd. the biggest Binary Options platform provider. In January 2013, Banc De Binary became the first Binary Options provider to be regulated on the basis of solely providing Binary Options to EU customers. Currently CySEC are the only European financial regulator to recognize non-exchange traded Binary Options as a financial product, with Binary Options being classed as a form of gambling in a number of different jurisdictions (e.g Malta). It seems unlikely that other European financial regulators will follow CySEC in regulating Binary Options as a type of financial instrument.

Picking a ZuluTrade Brokerage?

When picking a ZuluTrade brokerage there are three main things to consider; 

  1. Slippage
  2. Spreads 
  3. Regulation 
Today we are going to look at the different ZuluTrade supported brokerages and compare them on the above criteria. Going with a brokerage which is strong in all three areas is a important aspect of ZuluTrade success. 
First off, I am going to look at Slippage and I have undertaken some original research in regard to which ZuluTrade supported brokerage has the lowest slippage rates. To do this I looked at the slippage rates experienced by traders following some of the Top ZuluTrade Signal Providers in the last year. Through my research I discovered that the brokerages with the lowest Slippage where as follows:  
Rank Broker Slippage (Pips) Regulation
1 AAAFx 0.27 HCMC (Greece MiFID)
2 GO Forex 0.43 CySEC (Cyprus MiFID)
3 Weltrade 0.61 Unregulated
4 Gain Australia 0.67 ASIC (Australia)
5 Gain UK 0.7 FSA (UK MiFID)
6 COLMEX 0.73 CySEC (Cyprus MiFID)
7 FX Primus 0.83 FSC
8 FXDD MT 0.88 MFSA (Malta MiFID)
10 Xemarkets 0.95 CySEC (Cyprus MiFID)
11 FX SOL UK 0.98 FSA (UK MiFID)
As you can see their were a total of 11 brokerages whose average slippage was under a Pip. It’s my opinion that you would want to be operating with a brokerage whose slippage on average was under a Pip, anything more would start to eat into your potential profits. AAAFx which is owned and fully integrated with the ZuluTrade platform unsurprisingly offers the lowest rate of slippage. The fact that there are a number of European regulated brokerages on the list means that there is little reason to use an unregulated offshore brokerage. Every brokerage bar two who had average slippage rates below 1 Pip, were MiFID regulated ensuring a minimum standard of regulation and some limited financial compensation should the organisation go belly up.  

The second important thing to consider when picking a brokerage to operate with is to consider whether the said brokerage has competitive spreads. The wider the spread the more your potential profits will be eaten into. So the next step is to compare spreads between the brokerages which have the best execution with the ZuluTrade platform. The following table shows the average spreads offered on the four major currency pairings, while the spreads on more exotic currency pairings will likely have greater variation the majority of trading on ZuluTrade is in the major currency pairings.  

Rank Broker Slippage (Pips) EUR/USD USD/CHF GBP/USD USD/JPY Slippage & Spread Avg
1 Gain Australia 0.67 1.2 2 1.5 1.2 2.145
2 AAAFx 0.27 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.9 2.17
3 Gain UK 0.7 1.6 1.5 1.9 1.3 2.275
4 Weltrade 0.61 2 3 3 2 3.11
5 Xemarkets 0.95 1.9 2.6 2.5 2.3 3.275
6 FX Primus 0.83 2 3 3 2 3.33
7 FXCM UK 0.94 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.3 3.415
8 GO Forex 0.43 3 3 3 3 3.43
9 COLMEX 0.73 3 3 3 3 3.73
10 FXDD MT 0.88 1.8 3.7 4 2.5 3.88
11 FX SOL UK 0.98 3 4 4 3 4.48

As you can see when one takes Spreads into account, it is actually Gain Australia which offers the best service for those trading with ZuluTrade accounts closely followed by AAAFx and Gain UK. When you take into account Spreads companies such COLMEX, FXDD and FX Sol UK get left far behind. There seem to be about 8 different options which offer you a total trade cost of lower than 3.5 pips which is the most your going to want to pay for opening a trading positions. 

Now we get to the final important category. Regulation is important for two reasons, one proper regulation protects you against the possibility of the brokerage collapsing. This is something that becomes very important when an individual will be trading a large amount of capital. For instance a trader who is with a MiFID regulated brokerage will have their deposits protected up to at least 20,000 Euros if they brokerage was to collapse. While MiFID ensures a minimum standard of regulation, the strength of the regulation does vary body to body. For instance CySEC and HCMC are considered to be some of the weaker MiFID regulated bodies, this being said I would be happy with doing business with any of the MiFID regulated brokerages on the list. Those in Australia would probably be best to go with Australia (aka Gain Australia) who are regulated by the very competent ASIC. The only two brokerages on the list I would avoid are FSC regulated FX Primus and unregulated Weltrade while I know of customers who are happy with both, the lack of serious regulation in both cases would worry me deeply. 

So what brokerages would I recommend for those who want to trade on ZuluTrade. Well that really depends on what region you live in. 

Europe: xemarkets, AAAFx, (UK) 
Australia: (AUS)

FXTM: ForexTime Acquire a CySEC licence

Back in December we announced that Alpari (AFS) Ltd. had moved its customer base to Alpari’s UK arm. There was speculation that this was due to the fact that Alpari’s biggest shareholder Andrey Dashin was planning launch a new CySEC based Forex brokerage. This speculation seems to be right as CySEC announced today that Forex Time Ltd. (ForexTime) had acquired a full CySEC Investment Firm licence.  

The offering from ForexTime does look pretty exciting, it appears that while Forex is not the only offering at FXTM it will make up the core of the offering. With ForexTime planning to also offer Spot Metals, Commodity Future CFD’s, ETF CFD’s and Share CFD’s. This makes for a pretty decent range of instruments for prospective traders. While this is a pretty decent range of instruments, what excites me the most is the range of ETF’s available for trade. I feel that ETF’s offer traders some great opportunities. At the present time the range of ETF’s at FXTM is pretty limited but hopefully FXTM work on adding extra ETF’s as time passes. 

I have no doubt that FXTM will go on to be a successful company being backed by Alpari’s main Shareholder will sure help. But it appears that everything at FXTM is being done very professionally with their already being a very professional website up. FXTM also supports both MetaTrader 4 & 5, with support for social network ZuluTrade being added soon.  

All in all, FXTM looks to be an exciting venture that I feel will fare well in the ultra competitive over-the-counter Forex market. Expect to see a review in the upcoming days.