Picking a ZuluTrade Brokerage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Europe: xemarkets, AAAFx, Forex.com (UK) 
Australia: Forex.com (AUS)

FXTM: ForexTime Acquire a CySEC licence

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

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

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

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

New Russian Language Brokerage to Launch: UBK Markets

UBK Markets who have recently acquired a full CySEC investment firm licence, is a new start up currently in beta mode. The brokerage has been founded by the Russian Forex entrepreneurs who currently operate a couple of automated trading products (namely FXMarketWave.com and GeleanTrawler). You may have not heard of these programs due to the fact that they are largely marketed towards the Russian Language market.  

It appears that the FXMarketWave program will play an important part of the new brokerage, with the program advertised on the front page of the UBK Markets beta test website. The FXMarketWave program is a technical analysis which relies heavily on Elliot Wave Theory. While Wave Theory isn’t widely popular in Western Europe the technique is widely used by a variety of successful Russian traders. 

The idea behind the brokerage appears to be to provide a Forex trading environment which caters strongly to the desires and wishes of the average retail trader in Russia. Whether UBK Markets is a successful venture will largely depend on whether it can get a hold in the CIS Market which is currently dominated by Alpari. Alpari’s Russian operation currently accounts for 50-60% of the Over-the-counter Forex volume in the CIS Countries. 

If UBK Markets comes up with a solution which is attractive to Russian consumers there is no reason why they can’t capture a share of this lucrative marketplace. We will keep you up to date with going on’s at UBK Markets and inform are readers if they ever provide English language support. 

HotForex gains CySEC regulation?

HF Markets (Europe) Ltd. better known as HotForex, appears to have been granted a CySEC licence meaning they have become a MiFID regulated brokerage. This move sees HotForex add to it’s rather weak FSC regulation with regulation from a far better known regulatory body. It appears that HotForex were just using their FSC Regulation as a temporary stop gap solution. HotForex, has come a long way since it was founded as a totally unregulated Foreign exchange brokerage. 
HotForex has worked hard at growing it’s customer base by providing some of the tighter spreads on the major Forex pairings out there. This substantial growth is likely the reason why they have been able to raise the required capital needed to acquire a CySEC licence. Many Forex companies begin live as unregulated entities in order to acquire the necessary capital to open a brokerage in a European jurisdiction. I can think of a number of other Contract for Difference providers who have taken a similar route to that of HotForex.
It is however not clear whether HotForex intends to open a new European regulated arm of their business or simply transfer its complete client base over to it’s CySEC regulated company. This ambiguity is due to the fact that HotForex has not yet updated it’s website to include the new regulatory information. One would assume such an update would be completed as soon as the deal had gone through, as it appears to be something that HotForex would want to boast about. 
It may be that HotForex needs to prepare and change it’s systems in order to operate in a way that is fully compliant with CySEC regulation. We will keep you updated in regards to the situation surrounding HotForex’s newly gained MiFID regulation.

ZuluTrade Slippage

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 

Rank Broker Slippage (Pips)
1 AAAFx 0.27
2 GO Forex 0.43
3 Weltrade 0.61
4 Gain Australia 0.67
5 Gain UK 0.7
6 COLMEX 0.73
7 FX Primus 0.83
8 FXDD MT 0.88
9 FXCM UK 0.94
10 Xemarkets 0.95
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. 
Rank Broker Slippage Pips
34 FXTG 2.24
35 IKON NZ 2.36
36 ACM GOLD 2.72
37 YouTradeFX 3.29
38 KVB KUNLUN 4.28
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.

Tradeo Review: Social Trading

Important Facts 

  • 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. 
Social Trading

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. 

Supported Brokerages 
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. 

Signal Providers/Traders 

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.

Guide to Picking a ZuluTrade signal provider

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. 

By Ed

Binary Option Platform Providers Compared

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.  

ForexGlobes Social Trading

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.

Admiral Markets launches 2013 Forexball

Admiral Markets has launched the 2013 Forexball after the success of the initial 2012 Forex ball. However this time the prize pool has been raised from $70,000 to a massive $541,000, each participant in the competition will be given a $10,000 demo account to trade with at no risk at all. Each round begins on Monday at 10am and finishing at 2pm GMT Friday, there are prizes to be had for each round and for the total season winners.  

This year Admiral Markets have introduced a number of social features including a Forexball community where traders can view each others profiles, checking traders history and connect with them. As well as a dedicated forum for the competition where traders can discuss strategies and share information with one another. 

While the social features are pretty cool what people are going to be more interested in is the no risk cash prizes on offer. The 2013 Forexball offers a total prize fund in excess of half a million dollars with the competition being divided into five divisions:  Europe, Russia and CIS Latin America, Asia, and Rest of the World. Three cash prizes will be given to the best traders in each division, there is a further $96,000 to be distributed among the traders with the best seasonal results regardless of division, with the most profitable traders of each season receiving $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. The prizes on offer at the Admiral Markets 2013 Forexball are great with there being plenty of opportunity for traders to earn good prize money. 

Registration is totally free and all trading is carried out on the Admiral Markets demo platform. Not only does the Forexball give the opportunity for traders to earn impressive cash prizes it also gives traders the chance to try out the Admiral Markets platform. The main reason why these brokerages such competitions with the goal of getting positive press and attract new customers.  

Registration can be completed at Forexball and is completely free. I will be competing will you be? A more detailed run down of the competition and its features can be found at the Admiral Markets website.