One of the best retail forex / social trading brokers around. Very clean reputation (you can hardly find any slur related to it, which is quite scarce in this field). Friendly service, friendly software, easy to understand even for complete beginners who never trader before. The focus is on fun and an intuitive UI rather than a place where experts can trade.
- Regulatory Authority: CySec
- Instruments: Forex, Gold, Silver & Oil
- Leverage: Up to 200:1
- Unique Features: Social Trading and Copy Trader and Islamic Accounts available
- Minimum Deposit: £50/$50/50 Euros
The eToro platform is very easy to use which makes it suitable to use for some who wants to start trading for the first time. Trades can be undertook on the Webtrader, the downloadable application for your computer, trading can also be done by Mobile with support available for the vast majority of phones. While the platform is pretty basic it’s functional and easy to use. Some have complained that it can be slow to respond sometimes. The lack of sophisticated charting tools also leaves something to be desired, but this doesn’t represent the end of the world.
eToro’s most unique feature is it’s social trader functionality, essentially you can see the trades that other traders are undertaking. If you see a particular trader who you would like to copy, you can set aside some of your trading capital to follow their trading activity (up to 20%). This is a big selling point for eToro, though I’m not sure how I would feel about handing my money to the mercy of someone else. While I’m sure for some people social trading will be a huge selling and point as well as providing experience about how other people trade.
As you would expect from a big player in the retail CFD world a free demo account is available which comes loaded with a $10,000 play balance, which gives you a chance to try out the etoro platform risk free. eToro also guarantee’s that you will not lose anymore than your initial deposit, which is a great security feature if they honor it. Which they presumably would considering the feature is advertised on the site’s homepage. A educational course is also on offer at eToro which is meant to introduce a new trader to the world of Forex and commodities trading.
The CFD spreads offered on eToro are not deemed to be terrible but neither are they the best on offer. Though there is is clear clarity due to the fact that commission is also worked into the spread with their being no other commission charge. While not the best spreads there still tight enough that a good trader can make some serious profits. If the tightness of spreads are your primary concern it is clear that eToro isn’t the place for you.
The customer service at eToro is generally considered be good. With live 24/5 Support and telephone trading on offer, eToro manages to tick all the boxes well. The account managers are generally considerate and try their best to get your issue resolved.
eToro is regulated CySec, the regulatory authority of the Cypriot government. Many people are slightly wary of companies based in Cyprus but others have no such concerns about dealing with them. For more info on CySec check my article on Cysec. Personally, I think eToro makes it very clear where they are based and all the information is available in a very transparent away. I would and do feel safe dealing with eToro.
Overview, a good trustworthy site with lots of features that will appeal to newcomers and other traders a like. If your interested you can find out more at eToro
Ladbrokes is one of the most well known gambling companies in the UK – offering online betting, and brick and mortar betting shops. Ladbrokes accepts worldwide clients (with some limitations of course), and offers clients the possibility of engaging in sports betting activities, casino activities, and poker. How does this related to financial skill betting?
Binary Options have become much the range recently with numerous providers popping up offering Binary Options to prospective clients. However in response the gambling industry has popped up offering a variety of new financial bets, Ladbrokes is one of the leaders in this particular field. However one of the advantages of financial betting from Ladbrokes is that Ladbrokes offers a range of different types of financial bets, all in a Binary form (all or nothing bet). I will do my best to explain the three different types of financial bets on offer at Ladbrokes.
- First off their is Range Odds/Range Binary Betting, this type of financial bets offers a number of different ranges on which one can place bets. So for example if you pick a daily FTSE100 bet you will be confronted with a range of different possible price ranges all with different odds. Say the Index has opened at 6000, you may have the opportunity to place a range bet of 6010-6020. Meaning that if the Index closes within the particular range you specified you win the fixed odd bet, the less likely the outcome the greater the odds. This seems to me to offer traders with innovative methods the possibility of making some decent profits.
Secondly there are Moving Odds/Moving Binary Bets, these bets are more like the standard binary bet you would find at a typical binary option site. But differ in the fact that they allow you to not just bet on a simple/up down bet. But they can also bet on a high and low value, allowing them to take a position on the market substantially falling or rising. This allows the trader the possibility to exceed the type of return they would get at standard Binary Options site. During the time period of the bet the high, low and mid levels stay the same but the odds change to reflect the likelihood of each different outcome. While this adds an extra degree of complexity it also allows a person to hedge their positions over the course of a day (assuming their entering into a daily bet).
- Finally there is the option of a Static Odds/Binary Bet, this works exactly like the moving odds bet apart from the fact the high, low and mid level positions move throughout the day, but the odds are fixed each time you open a bet. This kind of Binary Bet is most similar to the type of Binary Bets offered at Binary Sites such as OneTwoTrade etc. But it still has had the added complexity of allowing you take a more extreme position on a particular financial instrument.
While Ladbrokes financial betting is more complicated than the standard Binary Option platform, this gives those who use the platform a better and more complicated instrument to trade. Unfortunately there aren’t many instruments available on the Ladbrokes website but I have to say that financial bets at Ladbrokes offer an exciting instrument and one many would be interested in. I would personally have to say that I believe Ladbrokes Binary Bets to be superior to standard Binary Options. Of course Ladbrokes is known for more than its binary options platform, a century old bookmaker with a full online casino, poker and sports betting offering rivaling other well known UK based gaming companies
ZuluTrade, is a great social trading platform however many people complain that they often experience heavy slippage when copy some of the signal providers on ZuluTrade. This slippage can sometimes seriously eat into a traders profits. So I undertook an investigation to establish which brokerages experienced the worst rates of slippage. To do this I looked through a selection of ZuluTrades most sucessful signal providers and averaged out the slippage each brokerage had over the past year.
The Top Ten Brokerages
|Unsurprisingly, AAAFx had the leas slippage out of the all brokerages offered on the ZuluTrade platform. As AAAFx is totally integrated with the platform this is what you would expect. However, much of the rest of the list is quite shocking for instance I do not think that many people would expect that some small players in the world of Forex would suffer as little as they do. Slippage of under a single Pip would still allow most people to make money from copying ZuluTrade’s better signal providers. Both Gain Australia and Gain UK did pretty well (for those not in the know Gain operates Forex.com). Lagging back in 10th place with Slippage of less than 1 Pip is xemarkets of Cysec. So it does appear that there are a number decent regulated alternatives to trading with AAAFx, however none of the alternatives come close to AAAFx in terms of slippage. However a number of these brokerages listed offer spreads that are considerably tighter than the Spreads offered on AAAFx. This means that AAAFx may not be the best choice for those wishing to use the ZuluTrade platform.
Now for the naming and shaming of the brokerages that suffer the most slippage on the ZuluTrade platform.
|Some of the slippage experienced with these brokerages is completely outrageous. KVB KUNLUN customers suffered average of 4.28 Pips of Slippage which would seriously eat into a traders profits. Again things aren’t much better for customers of YouTradeFX who suffer an average of 3.29 Pips of Slippage. Whats worse is that some of these brokerages featured on our shame list aren’t particularly competitive when it comes to the Spreads on offer. If you are currently trading with one these brokerages I suggest that you move to a different provider.
My study of Slippage on ZuluTrade only featured 38 brokerages, this due to the fact that for some of the less commonly used brokerages didn’t have large enough data sets for me to be able to compare them to the properly to the 38 brokerages which did feature in the study. What the study does show is that those using ZuluTrade should ensure they pick a competitive brokerage in terms of both slippage and spreads.
- Broker Independent supports a range of regulated and unregulated brokerages.
- Tradeo is not regulated by a financial regulatory body itself.
- Commissions for signal providers not stated.
- Number of traders on network: Around 5,000 different traders on the network at the time of writing.
Tradeo is an independent broker meaning that it doesn’t take on it’s on clients trades or give preferential treatment to a particular brokerage. Rather Tradeo earns its revenues by entering into revenue sharing agreements with the brokerages it operates with. Tradeo has a reasonably large user base of traders though it should be made that not all of the registered members are trading on real accounts with a number of the users trading on demo accounts. I would have to say that Tradeo is rather a small social network in comparison to some of the more well known Social networks such as eToro and ZuluTrade.
Tradeo supports a range of brokerages both unregulated and regulated. Some of the better known brokerages supported by the Tradeo platform include FxPro, Alpari, AVA FX, Markets.com, easyforex and FXCM. The range of brokerages supported by Tradeo is pretty impressive and you will certainly find a brokerage which will suit your needs. However, the support for the various brokerages varies quite significantly. For instance Tradeo is very proud of the bridge it has recently put in place with FXCM. But as far as I am aware none of the supported brokerages have the Tradeo platform fully integrated with the social platform. As is the case with AAAFx and ZuluTrade. It should be noted that ForexGlobes plans to provide such an integrated solution with all of its brokerages when it exits it’s beta period. This is somewhat a negative in regards to Tradeo, it should also be noted that all the major brokerages supported by Tradeo are also supported by their rival ZuluTrade. So it seems unclear to me why one would pick Tradeo over ZuluTrade.
There are a wide selection of traders to follow, while the selection isn’t as wide as the likes of ZuluTrade and eToro there is still a huge selection of different traders to pick from. With many traders having a great track history posting returns of 5000%+. The narrower selection traders is something of a downside to Tradeo, and it should be noted that there are a number of traders/signal providers who are operating their Tradeo accounts with the use of a demo account. This being said a diligent individual should be able to find a number of traders who they will have great success following. The search functionality is not quite as good as one would hope it to be, put this doesn’t prevent you from finding good traders to follow.
Overall, Tradeo offers a reasonable Social trading experience though I do feel that it will struggle against its bigger rivals such as eToro and ZuluTrade.
ZuluTrade offers those interested in Social Trading a wide range of different signal providers to choose from. A signal provider, provides the signals which allow your account will follow and therefore will determine your trading success. This makes picking the right signal providers absolutely vital and while there are many good signal providers on the ZuluTrade network there are also some awful signal providers.
Perform a Detailed Examination of their Performance
ZuluTrade allows you a number of different indicators into a traders past performance including the total profit made, the number of weeks the trader has been active, ROI% (percentage return on investment), average pips per trade, average trade time, worst trade, best trade and necessary minimum equity. I look for a number of different things when evaluating each of these different metrics.
Total Profit: This is measured in Pips, which means its a pretty worthless metric. Different accounts have been active for different periods of time and many accounts have had performance vary over time. For instance a 9 month account may have had a great first six months and then a horrible last three months. You won’t want to follow such a trader even if they have had success in the past, as I believe consistent success is the most important metric.
ROI (Return on Investment): Return on Investment marks the total return made on the traders initial investment obviously the higher the return on the investment the better. However, traders who have hugely remarkable returns on investment might throw up some red flags as such huge returns likely indicate a high risk strategy. While such strategies can be highly effective they can often blow up in a traders face and lead to accounts being blown. This is why it would be foolish to invest on ROI alone, a trader should take into account other factors.
Winning Trades (%): Obviously the higher the percentage of winning trades the better and I generally look for a trader to have had a long trading history and a percentage of above 70%. However again one shouldn’t rely on this as their only indicator for instance a trader who averages 12 pips per trade but only Wins 70% of the time is superior to one who averages 1 pip per trade but Wins 94% of the time. A long consistent winning history of above 70% should be enough to put your faith in a particular trader providing other things are looking okay.
Average Pips Per Trade: This is quite an important metric of performance and what you should be looking for will depend partly on what brokerage you are using ZuluTrade, your going to want to look for more Pips per trade if your brokerage has wider spreads or significant slippage. Also while others won’t be as bothered as me I don’t like trading strategies which open positions in order to earn a couple of Pips. It just doesn’t seem to make sense from a risk management point of view, I generally stick to traders who average in excess of 5 Pips per trade.
Average Trade Time: While not particularly important in determining whether a trader is reliable, the Average Trade time has a varying importance depending on the rollover/overnight costs that your brokerage charges you. If you have significant overnight costs to take account of your probably going to want to give traders who keep trades open for a couple of days a miss. Things like this depend on the trading conditions that your brokerage offer you.
Maximum Draw-Down: The bigger the maximum draw-down generally the riskier the trader is. Preferably you would look for a trader who had a draw-down of less than 10%, though I will sometime place money with traders who have draw-down’s of up to 15%. Anymore than this strikes me that the trader is practicing poor money management.
Best/Worst Trade: I don’t pay particular attention this metric and generally just ignore it, I’d rather pay more attention to the maximum draw-down.
Such a detailed analysis of these metrics should help you determine whether it would be a good decision to follow a particular trader, they also give a good basis to which you can compare two different signal providers. If you want to go into further detail you can do a trade by trade analysis of the signal providers positions and take a look at them on charts to see whether they had good reasons to enter into the various positions opened. Most of the time you won’t need to do such analysis. Just looking at the key metric should be enough.
The non-exchanged traded Binary Options industry has expanded vastly since their inception in early 2008. The growth in the number of competing Binary Options platforms has been powered by a number of platform providers providing cost effective and easy to implement platforms. Whether such growth can continue indefinitely seems questionable but today we are going to outline the offerings of the three largest Binary Option platform providers.
SpotOption is the trading name of s.o SpotOption Ltd. The company was founded in early 2008 and sees itself as one of the leaders in the Binary Options marketplace. Currently SpotOption powers over 80 different Binary Option platforms making it the biggest Binary Options platform provider. SpotOption also holds the honor of being the first Binary Options company to become regulated under CySEC after they changed their position regarding the regulation of Binary Options. Again SpotOption can also claim to have provided the platform for the first Binary Option provider to become CySEC regulated. SpotOption provides a 360 solution providing everything from the platforms front end, trading engine, risk management, payment processing, customer relations and a content management system. Meaning that those who opt for a SpotOption provider can get hold of a platform that almost runs itself.
For a good example of SpotOption platform one should check out Banc De Binary, who happen to hold CySEC regulation and our one of SpotOptions biggest brands. SpotOption supports data from a number of different financial feeds including Leverate, Reuters and Bloomberg allowing the platform providers to pick which data feed they utilize. However, SpotOption claim that the real strength of their platform is their risk management they provide. SpotOption provide a five tiered risk management system which they claim can help ensure platform providers make a consistent 10-12% profit. The Client can access all the features they need through the CRM including information on customer leads, depositor management, back office features, accounting and affiliates. SpotOption also provides one of the cheaper platform solutions which is partly why it is so popular.
Launched in 2009, Techfinancials was launched by a group of financial experts who wanted to enter into the lucrative Binary Options marketplace. Techfinancials supports a much smaller number of operating companies, though their clients do include a number of big names including 24Options. Techfiancials see Binary Options as instrument which will allow individuals the ability to access the financial markets and envisage CFD companies offering Binary Options alongside their traditional Contracts for Difference. The Techfinancials Binary Option platform is powered by Techfinancials unique Ocra+ engine which uses a unique algorithmic model to price Binary options, which then allows traders to close positions/rollover open positions during trading. The Ocra+ engine also allows Binary Options trading to be plugged into the MetaTrader 4 engine which is a pretty nice feature of the platform. Again Techfinancials have a comprehensive back office features largely adapted from online gaming world allowing users of the platform full access to various features including affiliates, marketing, admin and various types of banking functions. The Techfinancials platform is available in both white label and in operator format. For further information on the platform check out their website.
MarketsPulse, prides itself in providing Binary Options solutions for already established FX Trading companies and has clients both regulated by the Japanese FSA and Australia’s ASIC. This means the platform is aimed towards those who already have active FX trading services and MarketsPulse is unique in the fact that it doesn’t operate a Binary Options platform powered by their own software meaning they do compete with their clients for customers. They also claim to have a unique Binary Options algorithm powering their risk management systems as they are the only Binary Option platform which can offer clients up to 90% returns on many different Binary Options. However, the MarketsPulse solution is considerably more pricey than the solutions offered by the other major providers. The platform also has the bonus of being able to support any data feed. The platform also allows its users a full backend to allow the company running the service to access everything that they need. While the offering by MarketsPulse is pretty impressive it is going to be out of the price range of most people who want to open a Binary Options brokerage.
Social trading is one of the Forex Industries fastest growing products, therefore it is unsurprising to see a number of new Social Trading products being launched. A new player has entered into the field of social trading going by the name of ForexGlobes.
This start up is broker independent and earns it’s revenue in the same way as ZuluTrade namely by sharing revenue with its supported brokerages. This means that traders who wish to use the ForexGlobes social trading platform will have to sign up with one of their supported brokerages. At the moment the list of supported brokerages is pretty small and in no way compares to the wide range of different brokerages offered by big name competitor ZuluTrade. However a number of well known brokerages are supported by the ForexGlobes platform including FXCM and AVA FX. However, ForexGlobes have claimed they purposefully limited the number of supported brokerages to ensure that they can maintain a strong relationship with the said brokerages. I don’t quite see it this way as I know many traders greatly value the wide choice of brokerages offered with
According to ForexGlobes founder Eliav Kordova the company intends to differentiate itself due its so called ‘technological advancements’. What is meant by this is that ForexGlobes is server based solution installed directly onto the partner broker’s hardware. The advantage of this is that it provides greater connectivity which should help ensure traders experience lower latency, minimal slippage and fewer failed trades. Whether this will be the case in practice is still to be seen.
Another claimed advantage of the ForexGlobes social trading platform is the simplicity of the interface with all the key social trading features being available form the dashboard. Which acts a bit like a Facebook news feed, such a feed is similar to the feed on the dashboard of the eToro trading platform. Allowing traders to see other traders profiles and giving them the option to follow or just copy that particular trade. A nice feature is that traders can elect to only copy a particular traders trades in a selected instrument. For instance I have quite a good track record trading Oil, however my record isn’t quite as impressive with certain Forex pairings. ForexGlobes would give you the ability to only copy my trades in Oil ignoring my riskier currency trades. This a pretty cool feature and could see many people using such a feature.
In addition to the main dashboard there are additional separate pages available which feature information on economic news, trading headlines and various charts all powered by TradingView. These add on’s are designed to give traders a full social trading experience and do add some value to the platform while not being inspirational. The product is fairly easy to use and anyone who has used Social trading platforms before will be able to get to grips with ForexGlobes in no time.
The real quality of a Social Trading network is really dependent on the the signal providers found on the particular network. At the moment the social network is very lightly populated and there’s not a wide selection of signal providers. At the moment the platform is still in Beta which means traders can go open a demo account and try out the system, with Live brokerage support being added soon.
I strongly recommend that traders try out the network while it’s in the Beta period and see if its worth there time and effort.
Plus500, is one of the few regulated trading platforms not to offer MetaTrader as trading platform instead offering their own proprietary trading software the Plus500 Windows Trader. Today we are going to take a look at the Plus500 Windows Trader which is the mainin Contract for difference trading platform at Plus500. However, it should be noted that Plus500 also offer a web based and mobile platform alongside their Windows Trader application.
Once you have installed the platform which shouldn’t take you long as the platforms total build is only around 25mb. You will be presented with a login screen after logging in you will be presented with the screen above. The various instruments available to trade at Plus500 can be found be scrolling through the left hand menu or using the search bar. The search bar is particularly useful as it makes finding the instrument you want to trade a much easier task.
Adding technical indicators to charts is easy and is simply a task of clicking on the Indicator tab and setting up the technical indicators you desire. While adding indicators to a chart is simple reading them off the Plus500 Windows Trader is not quite as simply. This has to be one of my biggest gripes about both the Plus500 Windows and Web Trader. I find reading the technical indicators much more challenging than on competing platforms which use MetaTrader or other alternatives.
Another annoying thing about the Plus500 platform is that prices are only updated every second or so which can be quite a bit slower than other platforms. This also means that your liable to be re-quoted when you try and open a position in a new instrument, especially if that instrument is volatile. The fact that Plus500’s data isn’t the quickest in the business is part of the reason they ban scalping on their platform. This means people who want to open positions for a very short period of time will do be able to do so at Plus500 and should look elsewhere for their trading needs.
All the various account management stuff you may need to do, can be done through the Platform without much difficulty. However customer support isn’t particularly readily available to sort out your problems.
The main benefit of the Plus500 platform is that it allows you trade a unprecedented number of different Stocks trading on a number of global exchanges all from one place. However the platform is let down by its poor charting abilities and the fact that individuals cannot scalp which will put a lot of traders off. It saving grace is the large number of instruments available to trade and the fact it offers so less readily available ETF’s and Stocks.
Social Trading is very hot at the moment with all the major CFD providers coming out with their own social trading platforms or providing support for other social trading platforms such as ZuluTrade and Tradeo. I decided to investigate whether social trading works or whether it doesn’t live up to the hype. For this I decided to open demo account at the most popular social trading network ZuluTrade.
I started by opening a ZuluTrade demo account with £5000 play money. I then proceeded to pick four different signal providers with a good track record and limited Draw Down, in the hopes of minimizing risk. After having made my various picks I waited and let the signal providers make there moves. Apart from this I used the default settings suggested by the providers and ZuluTrade.
According to ZuluTrade if I had followed the signal providers I had chosen from 2010 until now my £5000 play account would have grown have doubled in size and been worth over $10,000 now. It wasn’t until the next day did any of my signal providers open any positions, however things got off to a good start with the said signal provider opening three positions all of them being reasonably profitable.
After this I simply left the four signal providers I had chosen to do their work and trade the Forex markets. After 14 days about half way through the month the traders I had followed had made me £250 from my initial £5000 deposit. From the below graph it appears that my account hasn’t had a negative day, which is really quite impressive. In half a month I had made a 5% return which is very impressive over such a short period of time.
After 21 days, my demo account was up by £458 a return on investment of 9% with still another 7 days to go, it seems possible to get a return on investment of over 10% a month by copying some of the best traders on ZuluTrade. It seems that if you pick your signal providers wisely you can make some serious profits with ZuluTrade without having to micro manage your account to much.
I therefore recommend that people at least try out the 30 day demo account and decide whether ZuluTrade is suitable for them. I would personally contend that ZuluTrade is the best social trading platform currently available and seems superior to eToro and Tradeo’s offerings. Obviously there are still considerable risks involved with trading at ZuluTrade, however for some I am sure that using ZuluTrade would be a great option.
Unlike most trading platforms eToro only offers their own WebTrader platform and their Social Openbook platform. Today, I’m going to look at eToro’s WebTrader 2.0 platform and discuss it’s pros and cons. While comparing it to the offerings of other well known CFD brokerages.
Firstly, it should be noted that eToro’s WebTrader has clearly been designed to be very user friendly and is very easy to navigate around. All the menus and options are very clear anyone who has an understanding of how trading works should be able to get to grips with it. It has a number of nice features I like how easy it is to download your trade history to an excel spreadsheet which is a pretty nice feature and allows you to keep track of your trades very easily.
Another nice feature of eToro’s WebTrader is that you can set yourself and audio alarm when an instrument reaches a specific price, which means your not forced to watch the markets the whole time if you have already decided to take position if an instrument reaches a specific price. Opening and closing positions is very easy and should be easy for anyone, allowing you to set take profit and stop loss levels when you open your position. A news feed is also built into the WebTrader meaning that you don’t have to have a news site open, the news featured is both relevant and updated several times a day with breaking news.
The weak point of the eToro WebTrader platform has to be the charting features. Charting opens up in a new window and allows you to add all the technical indicators you would expect, within a couple of minutes I was able to set up the charting features to my liking. Though I don’t particularly like reading from the eToro charts preferring MetaTrader’s charts. All the indicators are perfectly functional and are very easy to apply even if they are oddly named “Studies”. Even if eToro’s webtraders charting features aren’t the most sophisticated they will probably fulfill most people’s needs.
In conclusion then eToro’s WebTrader 2.0 is perfectly functional even if it isn’t as sophisticated as MetaTrader’s trading platform. There is no support for algorithmic trading applications or programs, though it should be noted that many people choose eToro due to its strong social trading features. If your a new trader or interested in eToro primarily for the social trading features, their WebTrader platform should be more than enough to keep you going. More advanced or sophisticated traders are probably going to want to use other trading platforms which give them more flexibility and options to choose from.