Activtrades is a UK based Forex broker and spread betting dealer. It was originally founded in 2001 in Switzerland, and moved to the UK in 2005. It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Under UK regulation, traders’ funds are kept in separate segregated accounts, and investments are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The company has what is called “excess” insurance, covering amounts up to £500,000 – the FSCS protects up to £50,000 per customer. Activtrades claims it is unique in offering this additional protection.
Other benefits include a loyalty scheme which gives you points every time you trade. The points can be exchanged for enhancements to your trading, or for gifts such as an iPod Nano.
As is customary nowadays, Activtrades offers tutorials, and regular webinars and seminars for traders to continue their learning. You can even book a private coaching lesson with a trading expert through the site.
The trader is offered a choice of either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 trading platforms, and these are the long accepted standard in the Forex trading community. Easy to use, and with good support and online communities, they are capable of advanced functions such as automated trading and the development of Expert Advisers (EAs) to assist in your trading.
These platforms are also available for use on tablets and on smart phones, allowing access while on the go.
According to information from the Activtrades website, the differences in their use in this application are small – they both allow 1:400 leverage with a minimum deposit of £100, but MetaTrader 4 does not support CFDs for shares. MetaTrader 5 allows more advanced strategy testing, together with more time frames.
Both platforms are highly customizable. Many EAs are available, both free and paid, and it is also relatively easy to find programmers proficient in the language to develop custom applications. Activtrades starts you off with the customizing of the platforms by offering several applications, including a “Smart” suite and a free subscription to Autochartist.
As an established Forex broker, Activtrades offers the full range of currency pairs, including the 10 majors, minor pairings, and the exotics. Spreads are set automatically by the execution software, with targets around one PIP on the majors. Details from the website show that target levels are usually exceeded by 10% to 30% in actual dealing, but this is still competitive.
In addition to the currency exchange markets, you can trade on the popular indices, such as the Dax, Nikkei, and S&P 500, and bonds such as Treasury Notes. The CFD contracts are based on Futures, but have lower margins.
Similarly, Activtrades offers CFDs for commodity trading, including energy and agricultural commodities. If share dealing is more your preference, Activtrades offers CFDs for shares on UK, US, and European markets, with all the advantages that CFDs give over actual share trading, such as easier shorting and reduced fees.
- enhanced client funds protections
- FCA regulation
- training and trading tools
- 24 hour customer support
- competitive spreads
- low initial deposit
- loyalty rewards program
- limited to the MetaTrader platforms
- restricted range of shares and commodities
- no social trading capabilities
- only two types of trading accounts