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ForTrade is a relatively new UK-based forex and CFD online broker that was founded in 2013. Read our full review below to see what ForTrade has to offer, its advantages, disadvantages, and whether or not it is suitable for you.
The world of online forex broking is a lucrative one, with numerous players in the space all vying to be the preferred option that traders use. In such a cutthroat industry, it is however unfortunately common that some players resort to unscrupulous and unethical tactics in order to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting and inexperienced traders.
Because of these few bad apples, the forex broking industry as a whole has a rather shady reputation, particularly in the finance world. This is unfortunate because many people have found financial freedom and independence through trading.
This is why when it comes to assessing and reviewing a broker, the first thing we will always ask is ‘Which financial regulatory body issued them their license? The ideal broker will be regulated by a strong financial regulator, while less than ideal ones will usually have their licenses issued by offshore entities typically located somewhere in the Caribbean.
Strong regulation is important because it provides an avenue of legal recourse back to the brokers, plus it places limits on what the broker can do.
In the case of ForTrade, we are pleased to say that ForTrade is indeed regulated by a strong financial authority, in this case the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). In addition to strong regulatory oversight, for firms regulated by the FCA, customers are also able to access the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the event of broker default.
The maximum compensation allowed per person per firm under this scheme is GBP50,000, a very high amount. Needless to say, FCA regulations also stipulate that clients’ funds must be held completely segregated from operational accounts.
To conclude this section, when it comes to the question of regulation, traders should have no concerns when it comes to trading with ForTrade. Being an FCA-regulated entity definitely sets ForTrade apart from the pack and is one of its main advantages.
ForTrade Account Types
When it comes to types of accounts, ForTrade keeps it simple and offers only two types of accounts: practice and real accounts. The real account is of course the standard trading account and has a minimum deposit amount of 100 in USD, GBP, or EUR. However, ForTrade recommends a minimum balance of $500 in order to begin trading.
The practice account, which is known as a demo account in the industry, is pretty standard and available to all traders upon opening a real account. The practice account does not expire and has a $10,000 notional limit in virtual currency to begin with.
Traders can easily switch between the practice mode and real modes. Highly useful for beginner traders or traders who want to test out new trading strategies.
For Islamic traders who are concerned with shariah compliance issues, ForTrade also has you covered. ForTrade gives Islamic traders the option of opening swap-free Islamic accounts; these accounts do not hold any rollover interests on overnight positions. Traders who wish to convert their standard trading accounts into the Islamic version just need to send an email to ForTrade’s support division.
ForTrade Tradeable Instruments
When it comes to variety in trading instruments, ForTrade has almost everything a trader could want, offering trading instruments in the following eight asset classes: currencies, indices, stocks, precious metals, energy products, agriculture products, US Treasuries, and ETFs.
ForTrade offers over 50 currency pairs, over 20 indices, over 100 stock CFDs, seven precious metals, five energy products, six agriculture products, three US Treasuries, and three ETFs. All in all, that’s over 300 trading instruments available.
The wide range of trading instruments available through ForTrade is most definitely another one of its strong points.
ForTrade Trading Platforms
Currently, ForTrade offers only two trading platforms: its proprietary ForTrader platform and the industry de facto standard, the MetaTrader 4 platform. The ForTrader platform is available on the web, mobile, and desktop download.
- The ForTrader platform is decent; it provides traders with real time performance for over 150 types of trading instruments. It also comes integrated with a wide range of trading tools with a user friendly interface and a customizable trading environment.
- The other platform that ForTrade offers, the MetaTrader 4 platform, is a platform that needs no introduction to forex traders. It is the most widely used platform in the industry, and for good reason. It allows traders to place three types of order execution, plus nine time frames for trading and 50 integrated technical analysis indicators.
The Expert Advisors feature on the platform also gives traders the option of fully automated trading. Traders can even create their own robots using this feature, provided they have the requisite programming knowledge. The MetaTrader 4 platform is available on web, mobile, and desktop download.
We should also note that traders will not be able to use the MetaTrader 4 platform directly from ForTrade; rather, the MetaTrader 4 platform has been fully synchronized into the ForTrade MetaTrader 4 platform.
Like most forex brokers, ForTrade also offers leveraged trading. The maximum leverage available depends on the tradable instrument but the maximum leverage ratio is 200:1 (for currencies). Stock CFDs have the lowest maximum leverage ratio at 10:1.
We should note that the maximum leverage ratios offered by ForTrade is markedly lower compared to its competitors, with most in the industry having maximum leverage ratios of 500:1. However, these relatively low leverage ratios are likely for consumer protection; we shouldn’t forget that unlike many high leverage brokers which are typically unregulated, ForTrade is strongly regulated by the FCA.
Further leverage is a double edged sword; more potential reward comes with more risk. Trading with too high of a leverage could even see trader’s accounts enter the negative, and this is particularly dangerous because unlike some brokers, ForTrade does not implement negative balance protection. So it is indeed possible to lose even more than your total account balance.
Traders also have the option to do hedged trading when trading with CFDs, which enables them to better manage the risk of their portfolio.
To further assist its traders, ForTrade also provides extensive market research and analysis to its clients. It breaks down its analysis section into morning, evening, weekly, technical, micro plus provides an economic calendar and historical overview as well.
ForTrade has also partnered up with renowned market analysis provider Trading Central which provides its traders with a complete suite of technical analysis tools for online Forex & CFD trading.
ForTrade Spreads and Commissions
ForTrade makes it money mainly by charging spreads, in this case, fixed spreads only. The spreads will vary depending on the instrument traded but generally start from 2 pips for major currency pairs such as EURUSD and go higher from there.
Overall, ForTrade’s pricing is definitely on the high side compared to its competitors, many of which have spreads that start at below 1 pip or even half a pip! That being said, it is often the unregulated brokers that are able to charge such low spreads. Think of it as the price you pay for strong regulation.
ForTrade Deposits and Withdrawals
ForTrade offers four main payment options for deposits and withdrawals: all the major credit and debit cards, bank transfers, Neteller, and Skrill. Withdrawal requests may take up to seven business days to get processed and approved. ForTrade does not indicate that it charges any deposit or withdrawal fees on its website.
The main fee that ForTrade charges is a dormancy fee on inactive accounts. An account is deemed dormant if not trading has occurred within 180 days. Dormant accounts will be charged a $10 administrative fee which is deducted directly from the account.
ForTrade Trader’s Education
ForTrade has an educational ‘Academy’ section on its website, geared toward having inexperienced or beginner traders get the hang of forex and CFD trading. Briefly speaking, ForTrade’s Academy consists of a trading terms glossary, various ebooks, trading webinars, trading courses for beginners, trading videos, top day trading strategies, and advanced forex and CFD courses.
A lot of the content is delivered in the form of easy to understand and interactive videos. The range of topics covered is also quite broad and although as we mentioned, beginners would benefit the most from the Academy section, ForTrade has also made sure that there is material that more experienced and advanced traders will be able to benefit from as well.
To conclude, ForTrade’s Academy section is definitely a strong positive in favor of this broker. It is clear that a lot of effort was put into this section, and ForTrade should be rightly lauded for this.
ForTrade Bonuses and Promotions
ForTrade offers two main types of bonuses: a balance bonus and a credit bonus. The balance bonus is the standard bonus received when traders make a deposit into their account while the credit bonus is an alternative bonus which comes with additional terms and conditions compared to the standard bonus.
In order to withdraw the balance bonus, traders must fulfill a minimum trading volume of 0.1 lots per every unit of bonus currency given. With regards to the currency bonus, in addition to the minimum trading volume of 0.1 lots per unit of bonus currency, the credit bonus will be automatically removed if the account equity falls below the amount of the credit bonus. However in that event, the credit bonus can be reactivated if the client deposits at least 30% of its value.
Currently, ForTrade is also offering a welcome bonus for all new traders. Under the terms and conditions of said welcome bonus, new traders will be given a 30% bonus on top of their deposit. The minimum volume requirement to withdraw said bonus is the same as the balance bonus above, although ForTrade notes that it also reserves the right to cancel the bonus within 90 days of issuance.
Is ForTrade Suitable For Me?
Let’s look at the main advantages of ForTrade which are its strong regulation and wide variety of trading instruments. Then we will compare it to its main disadvantages which are relatively high spreads and the lack of variety in trading platforms offered.
As we said before, the relatively high spreads are the ‘price you pay’ for the strength of ForTrade’s regulation. As such, whether or not ForTrade or not is the right choice for you would likely depend on your personal risk profile.
Which do you value more; a lower cost of trading or being comfortable that you are not trading with a broker that might lose all your money if it goes bust or one with no recourse if it engages in unscrupulous or unethical behavior? Only you can answer that question. However, we always recommend that traders trade with regulated brokers.
ForTrade is an ‘expensive’ broker. You will pay more in spreads, but you will also be assured in the security of your funds and the conduct of the broker.
Traders will like the wide variety of trading instruments available but may balk at how few trading platforms are available. Their extensive education section is also a nice bonus.
- Strongly regulated by the FCA.
- Wide variety of tradable instruments.
- Detailed and well put together education section.
- Relatively high spreads.
- Lack of choices in trading platforms.
- No negative balance protection.
7 Binary Options review: ForTrade: 4.5 stars