RoboForex, founded in 2010, is a fast growing forex broker targeting the Asian and European markets. In this review, we go into their features, advantages, disadvantages, and whether you will benefit from using them to trade forex.
The first question we always ask when evaluating a forex broker is what regulatory body issued the broker its license? While forex trading as an industry has helped many people, it is undeniable that the industry is also full of unlicensed or poorly regulated brokers that have very unscrupulous practices. A strong regulatory body can mitigate that risk as it provides a measure of legal recourse.
In the case of RoboForex, it is regulated by two organizations; one governmental and one private. The first regulatory body is the International Financial Services Commission Belize and the second is The Financial Commission.
We do not consider regulation in Belize to be very robust and hence do not give much weight to RoboForex’s strength of regulation under the International Financial Services Commission of Belize. However, the private regulation under The Financial Commission (“Finacom”) does in fact carry some weight.
All clients of FinaCom members are covered by a Compensation Fund which acts as an insurance policy. Finacom members are placed into ‘A-category’ or ‘B-category’ members and the Fund will cover its members up to $20,000 or $5,000 per client member depending on the category. RoboForex is classified as an ‘A-category’ member, meaning the highest level of protection at $20,000 per trader.
Finacom states that since 2013 it has resolved 219 out of 335 complaints with an average resolution time of 11.5 days. Nevertheless, people should be aware that out of the 219 resolved complaints, the majority (138) were awarded to the brokers and not the clients. Hence, even when going through Finacom, there is no guarantee that judgment will fall on the side of the disgruntled traders.
To conclude this section, RoboForex is not a strongly regulated broker. There is no strong governmental regulatory body although this is somewhat mitigated by its Finacom membership. All in all, RoboForex is just one step above a ‘weakly regulated’ broker. Regulation is definitely not one of RoboForex’s strengths and potential traders should be aware of this.
RoboForex also has a Cyprus entity that is CySEC regulated, which we view as positive, however it appears that that specific entity only handles the stock trading side of RoboForex’s operations.
What Kind of Forex Broker is RoboForex?
Many beginners are unaware that there a two types of forex brokers: Straight Through Processing (“STP”) and Market Makers (“MM”). STP brokers are pure intermediaries between the traders and other liquidity providers, and they make their profits through spreads, commissions, and fees.
On the other hand MM brokers are not pure intermediaries and more often than not are on the other side of their clients’ trades. Because this creates a conflict of interest, some traders prefer to trade only with STP brokers and not MM brokers.
RoboForex implements a hybrid business model, where it is a combination of STP and MM brokers. For low volume accounts (cent accounts), it follows a MM model, being on the other side of the trade, as its liquidity providers do not allows for transactions below a specific volume. For higher volume accounts (standard and ECN accounts), it acts as an STP broker.
RoboForex Account Types and Minimum Deposits
RoboForex has six main accounts on offer presently. Their main features are described below:
Pro – Standard Accounts: Allows access to the MetaTrader 4, WebTrader, iPhoneTrader, and Android Trader platforms. If you get the ‘Pro’ standard account, additional access to the MetaTrader 5, cTrader, and cTrader Web platforms is given. No minimum deposit and the account can be denominated in USD, EUR, CNY, or gold. The standard account has a fixed spread while the pro account has a lower floating spread. Also the standard account has instant execution while the pro version has market execution. Standard account can trade 33 currency pairs plus metals while the pro version can trade 36 currency pairs, metals, and CFDs.
- ECN Accounts: Traders can opt for the commission based Pro ECN account (MetaTrader 4 & 5, cTrader, WebTrader, iPhoneTrader, Android Trader, and cTrader Web) or the fixed spread ECN account (MetaTrader 4, WebTrader, iPhoneTrader, and Android Trader). The pro account can trade 36 currency pairs, metals, and CFDs while the fixed spread account can only trade 13 currency pairs and metals. No minimum deposit.
- Pro – Cent Accounts: Simply means account in which balances are measured in cents instead of dollars. Available for fixed spread (MetaTrader 4, WebTrader, iPhoneTrader, and Android Trader) or Pro (MetaTrader 4 & 5, WebTrader, iPhoneTrader, and Android Trader). All other features are the same as the standard accounts.
- Affiliate Accounts: These are just like the regular accounts except that spreads and commissions are higher. This is to enable RoboForex’s affiliates to earn money off the referred traders as well.
- Stock Accounts: For stock trading using the Umstel platform. Denominated in USD and EUR only with a minimum deposit of $100. Over 8,400 CFD instruments available; combination of commission and spreads.
- Demo Accounts: You can open a demo account for each of the account types above to hone your skills and familiarize yourself with the platforms.
RoboForex Trading Platforms
As mentioned above, RoboForex offers 4 different trading platforms, each with its own features and benefits.
- MetaTrader 4: The de facto industry standard. Allows for three types of order execution, nine time frames for trading, 50 integrated technical analysis indicators and automated trading options.
- MetaTrader 5: The next iteration of the MetaTrader platform. Four types of order execution, multi-currency tester, six types of pending orders, virtual hosting, and greater market depth. MQL5 integrated trading development platform.
- cTrader: Direct STP access to international currency markets. Fast order execution, one click trading, level II market depth, chart trading, and rare order types.
- Umstel: This is the stock CFD trading platform and is not hosted directly on RoboForex; Umstel appears to instead be an affiliate that RoboForex uses.
RoboForex also allows leveraged trading with one of the highest leverage ratios in the industry; up to 1,000 (not applicable for stocks which have a max leverage ratio of 20). Such high leverage ratios can be dangerous for inexperienced traders; fortunately RoboForex is also a broker that implements negative balance protection, meaning that a trader cannot lose more than his or her account deposit.
RoboForex Spreads and Commissions
Depending on which account a trader chooses, RoboForex may implement either a fixed or floating spread or a commission. The lowest spread is 1.3 points while commissions start at $20 for $1 million in trading volume. For higher volume traders, they can get rebates on spreads and commissions, typically up to 15% of the spread.
RoboForex Deposits and Withdrawals
RoboForex allows the following methods for deposits and withdrawals: Visa / Mastercard / UnionPay, bank transfer, Skrill, FasaPay, WebMoney, BitCoin, Neteller, Qiwi Wallet, ePayments, ITAU, Banco Do Brasil, Bradesco, and WebPay.
There are no fees charged for deposits and the minimum deposit amount would depend on the method used. Withdrawal fees also vary according to the payment method and can range from 0.15% to 1.9%.
RoboForex Trader Education
RoboForex does have a ‘Beginners’ section on its website which covers an analytics section with webinars, video tutorials, and articles. They even have a stock trading ideas section. To get access to the full repertoire of RoboForex’s education section however, registration is required.
RoboForex Bonuses and Promotions
RoboForex has a number of ongoing bonuses and promotions but their two most constant are the USD30 welcome bonus and the classic 115% deposit bonus.
Minimum trading volume requirements apply before you can withdraw the bonus, however we note that it doesn’t affect withdrawing your original deposit amounts.
As a forex broker, RoboForex has many advantages such as a wide choice of trading platforms, rebates for higher volume traders, unlimited demo accounts, and attractive bonuses and promotions.
With a wide variety of payment options as well, RoboForex is clearly trying to target traders from as many countries around the world as possible. That said their lack of strong regulation is definitely a weakness and if RoboForex is able to get a license from a strong regulatory body (such as UK’s FCA) their credibility would be greatly increased.
- Good choice of trading platforms.
- Relatively low spreads.
- Rebates for high volume traders.
- Wide variety of deposit and withdrawal methods.
- Negative balance protection.
- Lack of strong regulation.
7 Binary Options review: RoboForex: 4.5 stars