- 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
- 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.
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.
|Name||Regulator||Min Deposit||Max Leverage||Review|
|UFX Markets||Cysec||$500||1:200||Click Here|
|GFT UK||FSA||$250||1:50||Click Here|
|Plus500||FSA, ASIC||$100||1:50||Click Here|
|Oanda Europe||FSA||N/A||1:50||Click Here|
|AVA FX||CBI, ASIC||$100||1:200||Click Here|
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’s Made Simple: A Straightforward guide to contracts for difference is a 2009 book published by Peter Temple. The book promises to provide individuals with a concise guide to CFD’s all written in an accessible way. Peter Temple appears to be a journalist who writes on a number of investment related topics previously having been an equity analyst for 18 years. A number of free to access articles written by Peter Temple can be found here and may be worth a read if your considering buying CFD’s Made Simple.
The book covers all the key differences between CFD’s and other ways of trading the financial markets including Spread betting and traditional share trading. It also gives some good details on the how leverage offered by CFD’s can be used to a traders advantage. Peter Temple covers all of these topics in a concise and accessible way and he should be commended for doing so. However much of this information is available for free online, though I do have to say that Peter Temple provides a concise and accessible presentation of this information.
However the book really falls down in other areas. For example there is no real information provided on technical analysis, something that many CFD traders are deeply interested in. For this your going to have to purchase another book. There’s not much covered about what systems a trader could use to trade CFD’s or information on how to be successful at trading Contracts for difference, the book is mainly concerned with the workings of Contracts for difference.
All in all, the book doesn’t make for a bad introduction to the actual workings of Contracts for Difference. But this is generally not what people are looking for when they purchase a book on CFD’s, what they want is a book which explains the workings of CFD’s as well as introducing them to some of the important concepts of trading. Allowing them to go on and trade successfully for themselves, in this regards Peter Temple’s book fails which is why I personally don’t feel that it is worth the money.
ZuluTrade.com is a free peer2peer online trading network operated by ZuluTrade Inc. a NFA and CTFC regulated financial services company. ZuluTrade generate their revenue in the form of commission for sending trades to their partnered brokerages. This revenue is then shared with the signal providers who operate on the ZuluTrade platform as it is their signals which generate the trades.
So essentially ZuluTrade is a venue where signal providers can share their Forex signals with others and in return make revenue from gaining followers who place trades using these signals. ZuluTrade is a prime example of the kind of social trading that is becoming more and more popular throughout the Forex industry. Their are wide number of signals on offer at ZuluTrade with many signals having a long and profitable history, for example some of the most sucessful traders at ZuluTrade have made several hundred thousands of dollars worth of profits excluding the commission they have made on top of this. This means that there are some incredibly successful systems at work on ZuluTrade network, as you expect there are also some pretty rubbish trading systems too.
All the information about the different trading systems on ZuluTrade is clearly transparent with you being able to go back into the signals history and see the various positions opened and closed and how many pips where earned. The ZuluTrade system also suggests the minimum amount of equity required to operate the various systems, with some of the most profitable systems requiring significant amounts of equity to operate. You can also see whether the user who created the system has had previous systems which blew up and went totally bankrupt.
As with a lot of social trading platforms their are individuals who have created high risk systems in attempt to quickly gain followers and make significant amounts of commission. These high risk systems are liable to blow up with you potentially using losing all of your capital in a serious of bad trades. ZuluTrade does a reasonably job at labeling high risk trading systems as such, but I am sure that a number of high risk systems do slip through their detection systems. But you do have a wide range of different system providers you can copy.
ZuluTrade supports a large number of different brokers with a number of both EU and US regulated brokerages to pick between. Some of the brokerages that support ZuluTrade don’t have the best of reputations while others have pretty good reputations. However their is a wide enough range of brokerages that you should be able to find one which you are perfectly happy with. A thing to note is that different brokerages offer differing amounts of support for ZuluTrade etc, and this is something that you should consider before opening a ZuluTrade account with one of them.
All in all, I would have to say that ZuluTrade is the best social trading experience I have come across. It’s far from perfect but it will be right up many peoples street.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.