CFD Review: SunbirdFX

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: SunbirdFX is the trading name of Sunbird Trading limited of Seychelles and appears to be a completely unregulated entity. Though they do apparently have offices in Ireland.
  • Instruments: The offer 27 different currency pairings, as well as offering a limited number of commodities including Oil, Gold and Silver. 
  • Special Features: Nothing particularly unique about at the experience at Sunbird Forex. 
  • Leverage: Up to 1:100
  • Minimum Deposit: $100 
The Platform 
SunbirdFX offers MetaTrader 4 & 5, as its primary trading platforms. Many will already know of the MetaTrade platform as it the leading platform for retail FX trading, with numerous brokerages offering MetaTrader to it’s clients. The Sunbird MetaTrader platform doesn’t differ much from the standard MetaTrader platform with Sunbird Forex allowing it’s customer to scalp and use Expert Advisors without any limits. Sunbird also offer the MetaTrader for the mobile allowing their traders to trade while on the move. This is a clever move by SunbirdFX as on the move trading is set sore within the next few years. While Sunbird offers the standard MetaTrader platforms as well as the mobile version there is no webtrader or standalone download platform to download. However this will probably not be much of a problem for many. Especially as Sunbird is one of the brokerages that offer support for ZuluTrade allowing their clients to use the ZuluTrade platform to copy others trades. 
 
Special Features 
There is nothing particularly remarkable or unique about the Sunbird offering however their are a number of things that traders might be interested in. For example the support for ZuluTrade, which I have mentioned already might attract some people to SunbirdFX. The fact that they allow unlimited scalping may also attract others, but apart from this there isn’t much unique about the offering from Sunbird. 
 
Spreads 
The Spreads on offer at Sunbird are floating and there website the quote both their target spread and average spread for each instrument. The average spreads vary a great deal with some being really quite competitive while others being wider than at many fixed spread brokerages. There is always a bit of a problem when interpreting average spreads, first you need to realize that the brokerage may not be being honest or is displaying average spreads from a favorable period of time. All in all though when it’s just down to spreads it appears that SunbirdFX remain pretty competitive with a number of bigger brokerages.  
Customer Service 
As I have already said SunbirdFX is the trading name of Sunbird Trading Ltd. a Seychelles based and unregulated operation. However it is apparent that Sunbird’s major customer service center is based in Ireland, though Sunbird do offer toll free numbers for those in other European countries such as the UK and Italy. I have seen a number complaints made about slow withdrawals at SunbirdFX, but it appears that Sunbird at least do there best to resolve these problems. Thus the customer service at SunbirdFX has a surprisingly good reputation considering the fact that Sunbird are an unregulated entity. I haven’t been able to find out much about SunbirdFX’s parent company Sunbird Trading Ltd. due to the fact they are an offshore entity, which is always a little worrying. 
 
Regulation 
A the time of writing SunbirdFX was a completely unregulated company with there being no financial regulation in place. A number of sources suggest however that Sunbird are going through the process of becoming regulated somewhere, however I have been unable to find any official word on this. While SunbirdFX has pretty good reviews regarding customer service etc, it is deeply worrying that the firm is unregulated as it means it doesn’t have to abide by many important regulations including client fund segregation and otherwise. It means you don’t also have some of the important protections you would have in place if you chose to deposit with a European regulated brokerage. For me personally this is enough not to ever deposit money with an unregulated brokerage as it will always be a very high risk move. 
 
Overall, though SunbirdFX seems to have a number of points in it’s favor, the crucial fact that it operates unregulated is enough for me to advise people not to deposit their hard earned cash with the bank.

CFD Review: NetoTrade

Important Facts 

  • Regulation: Appears to not be regulated by any particular financial regulatory authority. It has listed a Belize International Business Companies Act registration listed on its website under the name Neto Trade Global Investment Ltd. Belize is a well known offshore entity, this means I believe NetoTrade is a unregulated entity. However there is also a British entity named Neto Trade UK Ltd. which seems to be a subsidiarity of the offshore holding. Such a company structure is slightly dubious. 
  • Instruments: There are 49 different Forex currency pairs on offer at NetoTrade however there appears to be no other instruments available to trade at NetoTrade and I have been unable to find a list of instruments at their site. 
  • Features: Nothing unique or interesting, though traders can open a demo account
  • Leverage: Up to 1:400
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
The Platform 
NetoTrade offers the MetaTrader 4 platform and as you would expect this version of the platform doesn’t really differ from many of the other platforms. It also appears the NetoTrade version of MetaTrade does support Expert Advisors, but there is no information about whether NetoTrade allow you to use scalping expert advising and I’m guessing that the answer is probably no. There is also the option to use the NetoTrade web trader and the NetoTrade mobile trader, which are both perfectly functional even if the not offer brilliant functionality. It looks like the web trader may be powered by the Srix platform but I’m not 100% sure and the mobile platform is written HTML 5 and is similar to a number of other web platforms available at the moment. 
 
Special Features 
There is nothing remarkable or unique about the NetoTrade offering so this section is going to be very short. 
 
Spreads 
I was unable to find any listing of spreads fixed or floating, so again it is pretty hard to remark on what kind of Spreads are offered at NetoTrade. Not having spreads listed on your website is very bizarre the majority of brokerages have their spreads listed very clearly allowing you to compare them against other brokerages, however this is not the case at NetoTrade. Seems a bit fishy and odd. I have no intention of placing $100 with them just to discover the spreads on offer. 
 
Customer Service 


NetoTrade has a UK phone and fax line listed on their website as well as the address of Neto Trade UK Ltd. According to Companies in the UK 726 different companies are registered to 788-790 Finchley Road strongly suggesting that this is merely a forwarding address. This strongly suggests that those running NetoTrade are keen to hide their location, this may be either due to the fact they are not operating in this country or do not want people turning up to there offices. This may be the case considering their website seems to link to two different countries both Neto Trade Global Investment Ltd. of Belize and Neto Trade UK Ltd. There have been a number of different individuals complaining about the services at Neto Trade and some have even accused NetoTrade customer services having been rude to them. Establishing whether these accusations are correct is difficult however, but such accusations are concerning. 

 
Regulation 
NetoTrade UK Ltd. which appears to be the company which operates NetoTrade appears to be totally unregulated it’s company house registration lists as a company providing, Other Business Support Service Activities. This may mean that NetoTrade UK is just the service company for it’s Belize registered parent company, the problem with this is that CFD’s aren’t financial regulated instruments to the best of my knowledge meaning that NetoTrade is an unregulated entity. NetoTrade’s UK Ltd. only listed director has been a director of 42 different companies with many of these companies appearing to be of a financial nature. While some are in various technology niches including one company which appears to produce adult mobile apps. It could even be the case that this director is just a face for NetoTrade UK and the other companies linked to him, with a company called Centrum Secretaries  being the Secretary of NetoTrade UK which appears to be a company that provides secretary services to a number of different companies. The company structure again is highly nontransparent making it seem quite likely that NetoTrade is an unregulated entity. 
 
Overall, I would suggest that people are very careful when doing business with NetoTrade and it’s associated companies.  

CFD Review: YouTradeFX

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: youtradeFX is the trading name of Youtrade Capital Markets Limited. who are authorized and regulated by the FSA of the United Kingdom. Though youtradeFX has somewhat of shady past with many alleging that they were an unregulated Israeli based entity. 
  • Features: Demo Accounts and a various educational tools.
  • Instruments: Forex, Commodities and limited Stocks. 
  • Leverage: Up to 300:1 on Forex Instruments, Up to 50:1 on other instruments 
  • Minimum Deposit: $100  
The Platform 
YoutradeFX offers a variety of different ways to trade the financial markets offering both the MetaTrader 4 & 5 platform. Both these platforms are very popular with traders and youtradeFX claim that there is no slippage on their platform. It’s not made clear what support if any they offer for those using Expert Advisors with their platform and whether they allowing scalping etc. They also offer a web trader application based on the Srix software which is perfectly functional allowing traders to open and close positions as well as undertaking basic charting etc. They also offer the MetaTrader mobile program and another web mobile trading platform providing plenty of provision for those who want to trade on the move, which will definitely be of interest to some people. They also have the widely available social trading platform mirror trader again which will be of interest to those who engage in social trading. Though it should be noted that those who want to social trade would be better of using a platform such as ZuluTrade or eToro. YouTradeFX is one of the 65 different brokerages that offer ZuluTrade support so it’s possible to use ZuluTrade in conjunction with YouTradeFX.  
 
Special Features 
There is nothing particularly unique about the offering from YouTradeFX with their offering seeming to be particularly unremarkable. It should be mention that YouTradeFX does remark that they offer the best one to one coaching around, but as I have never been on the receiving end of this coaching I cant comment on how good or valuable it is. Many brokerages seem to be offering new clients one to one coaching and I can see why many brokers offer such a service. As a final note it should pointed out that YouTradeFX also offers demo accounts. 
 
Spreads 
The Spreads on offer at YouTradeFX aren’t particularly tight with only two major pairings being tight as 3 pips. You would be able to find much tighter currency spreads at a number of other regulated brokerages. The situation isn’t much better when it comes to commodity and stock CFD’s with some of the spreads being pretty wide even on some of the more popular instruments. I’m pretty certain that one could find a provider who offers a better overall range of spreads. This seems to be a good enough reason to avoid trading at YouTradeFX as getting a good deal on spreads can make a huge difference in terms of profits and losses.  
 
Customer Service 
YouTradeFX has a particularly bad reputation when it comes to customer service, with many saying that withdrawals can take upwards of two weeks. With YouTradeFX allegedly ignoring these customers and not getting back to customers after they have complained about not receiving their withdrawals. There have also been accusations that representatives from YouTradeFX have been giving glowingly positive reviews to their website at a number of Forex websites. It will be interesting to see if anyone leaves suspicious reviews here. Though YouTradeFX claims they offer great customer service their seems to be plenty of testimonials which paint a very different picture. 
 
Regulation 
YouTradeFX parent company YouTrade Capital Markets Ltd. was founded in 2011 and became FSA regulated in 2012, but before hand was believed to be operating from Israel completely unregulated. After a little digging I found that 3 out of the 4 directors of YouTrade Capital Markets Ltd. have very Jewish names suggesting at least some possible connection with Israel. Another thing that suggests that this company has foreign origins is that again 3 out of the 4 directors have YouTrade Capital Markets Ltd. business address also listed as their home address suggesting that these particular directors are based outside of the UK. Either that or they live in the offices of YouTrade Capital Markets which is highly unlikely. All this being said YouTradeFX has a clean regulatory slate with no disciplinary action ever being undertaken against them by the FSA. Though to be fair the company has only been regulated since April 2012 and Regulatory bodies can take a long to react and undertaken investigations. 
 
Overall, I would personally avoid dealing with YouTradeFX.
 

CFD Review: FXCM UK

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) UK are regulated by the FSA, the financial regulator for the United Kingdom 
  • Instruments: Forex, US Dollar Index, Stock Indices and Commodities 
  • Features: Full Support for scalping EA’s, no re-quotes and decent range of platforms 
  • Leverage: Up to 100:1 
  • Minimum Deposit: $0, different minimum balances required for different trading instruments.  
The Platform 
FXCM offers a number of different platforms for those wishing to trade Contract’s for difference with them. There is both a download and web based platform which are both functional and pretty basic. While there available I’m guessing that the more serious traders will want to be using the MetaTrader 4 platform that FXCM offer alongside these web and download platforms. The FXCM MetaTrader 4 platform is pretty much what you would expect from the MetaTrader platform. Though the FXCM MetaTrader has a number of benefits including allowing EA’s and not preventing the user from setting a very close minimum stop. They also offer a mobile based trading platform which supports both Android and iOS phones and tablets, which is really a requirement as mobile trading is one of the areas which is experiencing the greatest growth. They also offer support for NinjaTrader and MirrorTrader which are both automated trading platforms, many will have already heard of MirrorTrader which is available at a number of different providers. More interesting is NinjaTrader which is a serious bit of kit which allows you to create complicated algorithmic trading systems in C#. This is a nice bit of kit for the serious algo and automated trader. 
 
Special Features 
One of the best features about FXCM UK is that they have a no re-quotes policy which will please many a trader who has struggled with brokers frequently re-quoting them whenever they try and open a new position. The other thing that is undoubtedly great about FXCM is that they accept whatever Expert Advisor you want to use and don’t restrict your Expert Advisors operating any way you want. These two things aren’t anything particularly gimmicky or new but show a willingness from FXCM to provide the kind of service that traders really desire.  
 
Spreads 
The Spreads on offer at FXCM are very competitive though they aren’t quite as competitive as some of the very best providers out there such as CMC or GFT, but they still offer spreads below 2 pips on many major instruments. The spreads are even better when you have over $25,000 in their account and the spreads for these customers are indeed very competitive.though most traders won’t have this kind of cash in there accounts. Obviously the more exotic the instrument gets the less competitive spreads at FXCM get, but would have to put FXCM up there when it comes to spreads with many other brokers offering much wider spreads than FXCM. 
 
Customer Service 
FXCM generally has a pretty good reputation when it comes to customer service and does seem to provide a pretty decent customer services offering. FXCM is best known as Americas leading margin Forex brokerage and offer 24/7 Live Chat which is meant to be very helpful to its customers. FXCM also seem to have one the widest range of free telephone numbers I have ever seen including a number of lines for a number South American countries. They also allow you to open positions over the phone provided your not a MT4 customer who can only close positions over the phone. Though phone trading is a bit old wave it’s vital if you need to close a position and you can’t get online.

Regulation 
FXCM UK is regulated in the United Kingdom by the FSA and has a clean regulatory record as far as I can tell which is always a plus. It should also be noted that the FSA is considered one of Europe’s better regulatory bodies when it comes to the regulation of retail trading brokerages. FXCM is a large international brokerage company and is regulated in multiple authorities and in 2011 it has ran into trouble in the US where it was fined $2 million for slippage malpractices and also had to credit its traders back. Though since this incident there has been no further problems in regards to FXCM. 

Overall, I would trust FXCM with my personal cash and seem to provide their customers with a decent level of service. 

CFD Reviews

Name Regulator Min Deposit Max Leverage Review
xemarkets Cysec $5 1:888 Click Here
UFX Markets Cysec $500 1:200 Click Here
ForexYard Cysec $100 1:100 Click Here
LiteForex Unregulated $1 1:1000 Click Here
InstaForex Unregulated $1 1:1000 Click Here
HotForex FSC $5 1:1000 Click Here
easyforex Cysec $25 1:200 Click Here
GFT UK FSA $250 1:50 Click Here
4XP Unregulated $100 1:300 Click Here
Plus500 FSA, ASIC $100 1:50 Click Here
Markets.com Cysec $100 1:100 Click Here
eToro Cysec $50 1:400 Click Here
Oanda Europe FSA N/A 1:50 Click Here
NetoTrade Unregulated $100 1:400 Click Here
SunbirdFx Unregulated $100 1:100 Click Here
AVA FX CBI, ASIC $100 1:200 Click Here
CFD stands for Contract for Difference. CFD’s are a form of financial derivative and have become the most popular derivative to trade the financial markets with. This has led to a huge number of different Contract for difference providers to pop up in order to capitalize on this growing market place. Contracts for difference are regulated throughout the European Union, Australia and other regions of the world, despite this fact there are still many unregulated and rogue brokerages out there which are more than happy to swiddle you out of your money. Made To Trade aims to help its readers by providing impartial reviews of various trading sites and brokerages helping you make the right decision about which brokerage to choose.  

We hope to further add to this list helping our readers make the best choice when it comes to picking which brokerage to operate with. 

CFD Review: 4XP

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: No offical governmental regulation only psuedo-regulation from the FMRC
  • Instruments: Forex, Commodities, Stocks, Indices and Bonds. 
  • Special Features: None of any note. 
  • Leverage: Of 300:1 on Forex pairs but otherwise varies instrument to instrument. 
  • Minimum Deposit: $100 

The Platform
4XP’s trading platforms are all powered or provided by MetaQuotes the well known creator of the popular MetaTrader trading platforms. 4XP offer both the old MetaTrader 4 platform and the new MetaTrader 5 to their clients who are free to choose what platform to use dependent on their personal preference. Many people are familiar with the offerings from MetaTrader and will take like a fish to water when using 4XP’s versions of the platform. 4XP also offers a web based platform again powered by MetaQuotes, providing quite a lot of the functionality included in the more comprehensive downloadable MetaTrader platforms. Quite nicely 4XP also offers a mobile based trading platform which allows users to trade on the move, while the functionality is pretty basic it still allows one to open and close positions with ease. All in all when it comes to 4XP’s platform it’s a pretty standard offering. 

Special Features 
When it comes to special features there’s nothing much to talk about. 4XP do offer some limited educational tools but such as one to one coaching, webinars and the possibility to open a demo account. But these kind of educational tools are pretty standard at most Contract for difference brokerages.   


Spreads 
The Spreads on offer 4XP are fixed and pretty unremarkable with the tightest Forex spreads being three pips. While the spreads on offer at 4XP for major Forex pairings aren’t competitive their not actually awful either. However, when it comes to minor pairings the spreads are awful with some being absolutely massive. The spreads on the other instruments aren’t particularly great with some of them being absolutely massive, strongly suggesting that 4XP is a pure and simple bucket shop. You could find a much better deal with a properly regulated MiFID brokership, who would most likely offer you far tighter spreads as well as their being proper regulatory oversight. 

Customer Service 
The customer service provision at 4XP hasn’t got the best reputation around, with many being dissatisfied with the service they have provided. Some have complained of very aggressive sales tactics in order to drive as much business to the company as possible. Their have also been complaints about 4XP failing to respond to problems and complaints that their customers have been experiencing with individuals often being forced to take their grievances to Forex review sites in order to receive any proper response from 4XP representatives. Which quite frankly is not good enough. Though it must be said that representatives do their utmost to resolve these disputes when they do reach various Forex review sites, this may be just to preserve their public image.

Regulation 
4XP claims to be regulated by the FMRC. However the FMRC is not a proper governmental body, it is rather a non-profit organisation which charges companies a fee in order to become regulated. The FMRC doesn’t have any legal powers over the companies it regulates and can’t ensure that client monies are properly segregated from the companies. This isn’t at all satisfactory especially when their are major industry players who are fully regulated by reputable regulatory bodies. For example their appears to be an endless list of different MiFID regulated brokers out there who offer a better overall service than 4XP. So why you would choose to risk your money with an unregulated entity such as 4XP is beyond me.  

Overall, I can’t see any reason why you would pick 4XP to act as your broker. Especially, when there a huge number of properly regulated European brokerages out there.

CFD Review: ForexYard

Important Facts 
  • Regulatory Authority: ForexYard is a trading name of Safecap Investments Ltd. who hold a Cysec licence and also operate Markets.com 
  • Instruments: Forex, Oil, Indices and Metals. 
  • Features: Demo accounts and social trading facilities through Mirror Trader. 
  • Leverage: Up to 100:1 though leverage varies depending on the particular instrument being traded. 
  • Minimum Deposit: $100 
The Platform 
Being a Safecap Investments Ltd. brand means that the range of platforms offered by ForexYard is very similar to those offered by its sister site Markets.com. The main platform offered however is the well known MetaTrader 4 and functions just as you would expect it too. Their is also the option to downloading another trading application which itself is perfectly functional though it’s not as sophisticated as MetaTrader, though it does allow you to open and close positions with ease. Their is also a web based trading application which again while not hugely sophisticated is perfectly functional. Their is also the option to use the ForexYard mirror trader which is pretty much a standard social trading application, though I’m sure this option may appeal to some individuals. Thankfully ForexYard supports a number of different mobile trading applications and can support trading on the majority of Smartphone operating systems, which allows an individual to be able to trade on the move. 

Special Features 
There’s nothing particularly special about the ForexYard offering with the offering seeming to be lacking some of the polish of the other Safecap Investment brands. However their is still the option to open a demo account. But apart from this I can’t really see anything unique about the ForexYard CFD offering. Though I’m sure many people may find the Mirror Trading application appealing.  

Spreads  
As ForexYard is part of the Safecap group the spreads offered at ForexYard are the same as the spreads offered by the companies in the group. The spreads at ForexYard are very attractive in comparison with some of the other well known Contract for difference providers. While the spread on offer at ForexYard aren’t as good as the spreads at the most competitive brokers there still pretty reasonable and would still give a trader the chance to make some quite decent profits. All in all the spread offering from ForexYard is pretty competitive if it’s not the best value provider in the marketplace.  

Customer Service 
Back when ForexYard wasn’t part of the Safecap Investments group, the company didn’t have the best reputation for providing quality customer service. It appears now that ForexYard shares its customer services facilities with the other Safecap group companies so of which have a quite decent reputation when it comes to providing customer service. There is certainly a wide variety of ways to get into contact with customer service including a number of toll free numbers and numerous email addresses. There is also the option of talking to a live chat operator which has become a standard of Contract for difference customer service provision. Customer service is available 24/5. 

Regulation 
ForexYard was an unregulated Israeli brokership until in 2011 Safecap Investments took over the company and brought it under it’s regulatory umbrella. Until this time ForexYard had a slightly dubious reputation in many people’s eyes, however it has to be said it still had quite a strong client base. One which many broker’s wouldn’t mind having. Since 2011 ForexYard has been regulated by Cysec of Cyprus. Cysec is a well known regulator in the industry due to the fact that a large number of contract for difference providers are regulated in Cyprus. While it is generally held that Cysec regulation isn’t the toughest the fact that it is part of MiFID means it has to obey certain minimum standards allowing ForexYard to operate throughout the European Union. And it has to be said that Safecap Investments Ltd. currently has a spotless regulatory record and hasn’t been fined or penalized by Cysec.

Overall, the Contract for difference offering from ForexYard is pretty reasonable however it is not going to set the world alight either.

CFD Review: xemarkets

Important Facts 
  • Regulatory Authority: Regulated in Cyprus by CySec. 
  • Instruments: Forex, Indices and a selection of energy and precious metal commodities.
  • Leverage: Up to 888:1 on certain Forex instruments. Leverage of up to 100:1 on Commodity CFD’s 
  • Unique Features: Support for an array of trading platforms, demo accounts and Islamic accounts. 
  • Minimum Deposit: $5 for a Micro Account. 
The Platform 
Xemarkets offers a bewildering array of platforms to it’s clients. First off their is the standard MetaTrader 4 offering with MetaTrader being many Forex traders ideal platform this will be music many’s ears. The XEM MT4 platform is pretty much your standard MetaTrader 4 platform and works as you would expect it too. Secondly, xemarkets offers a no download required web trading platform which is a pretty decent offering for a web platform though of course it is not as sophisticated as MetaTrader 4 but would allow you to make and execute trades on other people’s computers. Then of course as one would expect in this day and age they offer a number of Mobile based trading platforms all built for xemarkets by Metaquotes the creator of the MetaTrader platform. These platforms support the Iphone, Ipad and Android devices unfortunately their is no mobile trading platform that supports Blackberry’s. Then there is a mirror trader which allows an individual to copy the signals of a number of other traders, this is pretty much a basic social trading kind of tool and may be quite appealing to some. Then there is the option MAM trading which allows money managers to operate multiple accounts at once by simply using one special MetaTrader 4 platform. Finally there is the option of adding in ZuluTrade support which is another example of a way you can engage in social trading with xemarkets. 


Special Features 
Though I have already remarked about the number of different ways you can trade with xemarkets, I do have to say they do provide support for a huge array of different trading options which is pretty special. Again you will a number of features that traders often appreciate including the option of opening a demo account, as well as all the basic educational tools that one would expect from a Forex provider. With xemarkets offering trading seminars from time to time though these mainly seem occur in places in Asia. For those who are Muslim there is also the ability to open an Islamic account from as little as $5. The only other thing to remark on really is the insane leverage that is offered on a number of Forex instruments, while many providers offer leverage up to about 200:1 very few offer leverage up to 888:1. While this increases the potential returns to be made it at the same time increases the amount of risk which is something that people should be aware of.  

Spreads 
xemarkets offers only floating spreads but in general these spreads are pretty tight and can often be as low as 1 pip on some of the major currency pairs. However one has often got to be quite careful with floating spreads as during periods of market instability they tend greatly widen which means you can end up getting a bit of a raw deal. However it appears that in the majority of cases you will get quite a good deal with xemarkets when it comes to the spreads. Though its often beneficial to have look at the spreads on offer with a number of dealers before you make a final decision about what account to open. This is particularly important if you intend to trade only a particular instrument. All in all I have to report that the spreads on offer at xemarkets are pretty reasonable. 

Customer Service 
People seem to have some mixed feeling about the customer service provided by xemarkets. While many have complimented xemarkets on admitting their mistakes and then making up for them others haven’t been quite as complimentary. Though I have seen representatives from xemarkets take a good deal in effort in explaining or attempting resolve people’s issues. The website lists a number of different ways to get into contact with the company, including live chat, email and telephone contact details. The transparency offered on the website seems pretty good listing both the addresses of its Cyprus and New Zealand based offices in full.  

Regulation 
xemarkets is the trading name of Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd. The company holds a CySec licence and has done for a while. Quite recently Trading Point Ltd. announced it would be merging its other platform named Trading Point with its xemarkets platform. In 2011, Trading Point of Financial Instruments was ordered to pay a $140,000 fine to the CFTC of the USA for violating US regulatory rules. This is due to the Dodd-Frank act of 2010 preventing non CFTC regulated brokers from accepting American clients, Trading Point has now amended its ways and no longer accepts US based traders. As far as my research can tell Trading Point has never been penalized for breaches of MiFID regulation which is something that should be taken as a positive. The CFTC fine does slightly bring into question xemarkets compliance to regulation as the company should have really withdrawn from the American markets well before September 2011. 

Overall, xemarkets seems to provide a pretty decent service to its clients. The only thing I find a tad concerning this the regulatory breach concerning the acceptance of US clients though those issues seem to have been resolved.

CFD Review: UFX Markets (Formerly UFX Bank)

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: UFX Bank was totally unregulated and was widely reported to be engaging in highly unethical (if not illegal) practices. At some point in 2011 UFX Bank renamed it self UFXMarkets and became regulated in Cyprus under the authority of CySec. However it has been reported that many of the alleged questionable practices which were occurring when the company was unregulated are still ongoing til this day. 
  • Instruments: Forex, Indices, Stocks and Commodities. 
  • Features: No unique or particularly impressive features to mention. 
  • Leverage: Up to 200:1 
  • Minimum Deposit: $500 
The Platform 
When it comes to the platform there is not a great deal to talk about. UFX Markets only offer one way to trade Contracts for Difference and that’s through a web trading platform, however it has to be said that the platform is not that sophisticated and similar platforms are implemented on many other trading sites. While it will allow you to undertake and open positions and the such it is not a serious piece of trading kit and UFXMarkets doesn’t offer any well known platforms for download such as MetaTrader etc. UFXMarkets also offers the ability to open positions over the phone, however this is one of the areas where many report they experience the biggest problems with the company. With many customers reporting their account manager pressuring them to opening very risky positions they didn’t intend too. If this in fact the case it very disheartening to hear as it is a serious breach of the customers trust. 

Special Features 
When it comes to special features etc, there is not much to comment on. One point UFX Markets often likes to sell its self on, namely that the company gives you a personal account manager is quite disputable as many have said that has been the cause of a great deal of their problems with UFX Markets.  

Spreads 
The spreads listed on the website aren’t particularly great a 5 Pip spread on GBP/USD is particularly poor with many other companies being able to offer much tighter spreads on such major Forex pairs. The situation is much worse when it comes to some of the exotic instruments with some of the spreads being so wide it is hard to see how an individual could make any money at all. While I’m sure their are brokers with even worse deals on the table, it seems hard to say that the spreads at UFX Markets are competitive. Especially when reputable companies such as GFT offer extremely tight spreads. 

Customer Service 
This must be one of the area’s where UFXMarkets falls down the most. Their are numerous reports across the web about how UFXMarkets applies a lot of pressure on their clients to increase the amount of money deposited them offering huge deposit bonuses and then lock in their funds claiming that they can’t withdraw there cash until the reach certain trading limits. There seems to also have been instances where UFXMarkets have told their clients that they will be unable withdraw their deposited funds unless they enter into one final trade. Which often goes disastrously wrong leading to the clients whole account being depleted of funds often meaning the said client has lost several thousand dollars. Many reports of such instances can be found on a number of different websites from a number of different sources. This has lead many to conclude that UFXMarkets is a scam.   

Regulation 
UFX Bank operated from 2007-2011 unregulated with a number of warnings being made by regulators against people investing with the company (one of which can be found here and another here). However in 2011 the company stopped operating under the name UFX Bank and instead changed its name to UFXMarkets. The old UFXBank page used to redirect to UFXMarkets, it was around this time that UFXMarkets managed to acquire a CySec licence. Meaning that the rogue firm now had a licence to operate within all of the countries of the European Union. Many thought this would lead to a change in behavior however it appears that UFX have continued to operate in exactly the same manner as before. It has been reported that a number of former customers have reported UFXMarkets to CySec, however as yet no action has been taken. This could be either due to the fact that UFXMarkets has not broken CySec regulation or due to the fact that there is an ongoing investigation being undertaken (regulators often take a while to take action). I have also noted that some of UFXMarkets advertising banners seem to break MiFID regulation. There is particular regulation aimed at protecting retail consumers (advertising has to carry proper risk warnings etc.) and it appears that some of UFXMarkets advertising is in breach of this. 

Overall, all of this evidence which continues to mount suggests to me that one should avoid UFXMarkets like one would avoid the black death.

CFD Review: Markets.com

Important Facts 
  • Regulation: Regulated by CySec 
  • Instruments: Forex, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, Metals and a number of Bonds 
  • Features: Ability to trade bonds, a range of platforms, demo accounts and social trading. 
  • Leverage: Up to 100:1, though maximum leverage varies instrument to instrument. 
  • Minimum Deposit: $100 
The Platform 
Markets.com offers the world famous MetaTrader 4, which is much beloved by many. The Markets.com version of MetaTrader 4 operates as one would expect and will be familiar to anyone who has previously used a MetaTrader platform. However this isn’t the only platform that is on offer for those who wish to trade with Markets.com. Alternatively customers can use the Srix WebTrader which is a web platform that you can use in your browser. This rather impressively syncs with your MetaTrader account which can be particularly useful in a number of ways. The Srix WebTrader is a pretty decent piece of kit its own right and allows you to use various charting techniques with ease. While not quite as comprehensive as MetaTrader, Srix WebTrader is still a welcome addition. Markets.com also offers a mobile trader in the form of the Market Mobile Trader, the market mobile trader is written in HTML 5 meaning that any using a smartphone can access it by simply by visiting the relevant address. And as you can see the mobile trader is a pretty decent bit of kit: 
In further addition to this Markets.com offers a downloadable CFD platform. This platform while not as complicated or sophisticated as MetaTrader is still a pretty decent bit of kit, though I personally wouldn’t opt for it over MetaTrader. It may be more suited to those who don’t wish to use the MetaTrader software.


Special Features 
There some things that are pretty unique about the offering from Markets.com. For one I haven’t seen another CFD provider offering the ability to trade Bonds, while there is a very limited selection of bonds available it is still a nice touch. As you would normally expect there’s the option of opening a demo account which is something that is pretty standard feature among CFD providers these days. However having the chance to try out the service before depositing real money is always a welcome feature. Another feature which is pretty neat while unique is the social trading features available at Markets.com, the Contracts for Difference industry has recognized this as a real growth area. The Market AutoTrader allows customers search for live signals as well as copying strategies from other traders. You are then able to create a trading portfolio of strategies which you can implement which will lead to you automatically mirroring these strategies. Of course you can set various risk management strategies to control the risk of these automated strategies. While not as complex as the copy trading system at eToro, it is a pretty interesting feature of Markets.com and is something that many people might be interested in. 
 
Spreads 
When I recently took a look at the spreads offered by different Contract for difference providers I found that Markets.com was relatively competitive. While it wasn’t up their with the most competitive providers, it was competitive with a number of highly well regarded Contract for difference providers. Beating a number of properly regulated providers quite significantly including easyforex, eToro and Plus500. It should also be noted that some of the spreads offered at Markets.com cannot be compared with rival providers this in part due to the fact that Markets.com offers a number of products that aren’t available at other providers, for example I haven’t seen Bonds offered at any other Contract for difference provider. I would say all in all Markets.com offers pretty good decent value for money, though you can find tighter spreads out there. 
 
Customer Service 
Customer services at Markets.com appears to be pretty good, with 25 different telephone numbers offered allowing people from a number of different countries to get into contact with the company at a relativity low price. However it is a bit of a shame that it costs money to get into contact with them. Though it should be pointed out that the phone numbers aren’t the only way to get into contact with Markets.com. For, example a number of different email addresses are available for customers to contact the various departments of Markets.com. There is also the option of contacting the team through the 24/5 Live Chat feature, when I attempted to do so the staff were quick and responded helpfully. In general people seem pretty satisfied with the customer services provided by Markets.com though there do seem to be a few complaints. However I haven’t seen anything truly damaging said about Markets.com. 
 
Regulation 
Markets.com is the subsidiary of Safecap Investments Ltd. whose primary seat of regulation is with CySec the regulatory authority of Cyprus. However it is also regulated by the the South African regulatory authority the FSB, which isn’t something I have seen from a European broker before. After a long search I was unable to find any record of Safecap Investments Ltd. having received any fines or penalties from any of the regulatory authorities that they are registered with. While not everyone is satisfied with CySec regulation it appears that one shouldn’t have any serious concerns about the regulation of Markets.com.  
Overall, I contend that Markets.com makes for a pretty good offering for those interested getting into CFD trading.