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Overall

Through its regulated entities, ActivTrades offers international traders access to MT4, MT5, and the ActivTrader web platform, along with custom indicators and plugins. Although the spreads are not the lowest, ActivTrades offers users other perks that counterbalance the fees.

Steven Hatzakis | July 24th, 2019

help 75
Trust Score
Dislikes
  • No weekend session for crypto
  • No real-time data on shares in MT5
  • No active trader offering

Review Sections:

Please Note: ActivTrades was not included in the 2019 annual review. As a result, this broker's ratings may be outdated. Read our Best Forex Brokers 2019 guide for a look at the top rated forex and CFDs brokers.

Founded in 2001, ActivTrades is a global brand with multiple entities, including ActivTrades PLC, which is authorized and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and regulated in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The broker also has a Bahamas-based entity, ActivTrades Corp, authorized and regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

ActivTrades offers the suite of MetaTrader platforms developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp, as well as its own ActivTrader web-based platform. The broker provides 47 forex pairs and CFDs on two metals, 15 indices, seven futures contracts, and 517 shares.

Is ActivTrades Safe?

ActivTrades is considered average-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 75 out of 99. ActivTrades is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. ActivTrades is authorised by one tier-1 regulator (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust). ActivTrades is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

FeatureActivTradesIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Year Founded2001197419921989
Publicly Traded (Listed) No Yes No Yes
Bank No Yes Yes No
Tier-1 Licenses1664
Tier-2 Licenses1312
Tier-3 Licenses1000
Trust Score75999898

Offering of Investments

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to ActiveTrades' clients.

FeatureActivTradesIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Forex: Spot Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)4791182183
CFDs - Total Offered54115000329999959
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No No No No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes Yes No Yes
Offering of Investments 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Commissions & Fees

Regarding commissions and fees, ActivTrades lists an average spread of 0.9 pips in the EUR/USD pair, applicable to all its platforms, including professional account status.

ActivTrades average spreads

ActivTrades also charges a minimum one euro commission for its share-trading service in Europe, and while its market data is free, it is not offered in real time in MetaTrader 5 (MT5). For US market data (including international ADRs and ETFs) the broker charges just one euro per month, in addition to a minimum commission per trade.

The forex spreads on offer by ActivTrades are not great,  and I found it ironic that the broker doesn’t have an Active Trader program (in terms of offering liquidity rebates, spread discounts, or other VIP-style accounts to high-volume “active” traders).

FeatureActivTradesIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Minimum Initial Deposit$100£250.00$2,000.00$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.6300.7500.9000.744
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/A0.3630.6000.744
Active Trader or VIP Discounts No Yes Yes Yes
Commissions & Fees 2 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 5 Stars

Research

ActivTrades provides an array of research tools, including periodic reports in its Active Trade analyses and market analysis on its blog.

Activtrades SMART template

The broker also has a suite of tools related to MetaTrader, including its Smart pattern and Smart forecast custom indicators, as well as an expert advisor-powered SmartOrder 2 module that enhances the MetaTrader experience with additional order types.

ActiveTrades research MT4 MT5

ActivTrades has a hefty range of MetaTrader-related tools, while the broker is not as heavily weighted in its other forms of research content on its site.

FeatureActivTradesIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Daily Market Commentary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weekly Webinars No Yes Yes Yes
AutoChartist No Yes Yes No
Trading Central (Recognia) No No No Yes
Delkos Research No No No No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Economic Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research 3 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Platforms & Tools

ActivTrades is primarily a MetaTrader broker that offers the suite of platforms developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, including the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform. To learn more about MT4, read our MetaTrader guide.

MetaTrader4 Desktop Forex Brokers

While MT4 comes standard, with little variation in functionality from broker to broker, there can be significant differences in how the platform is set up for trading spreads and commissions, execution, and other tools, features, and administrative areas.

Besides spreads, the range of instruments, and account types, here is a summary of the differences in features between ActivTrades’ MT4 offering and the default MetaTrader experience:

  • Offers the SMART forecast and template indicators
  • Offers SmartOrder 2 Expert Advisor module
  • Economic calendar in MT5
  • No Economic calendar in MT4
  • News streams from Dow Jones newswire

ActivTrades also provides the ActivTrader platform, a responsive web-based app with a very simple layout and user-friendly interface.

ActivTrades ActiveTrader web platform

While the default charts in ActivTrader were unimpressive, I quickly switched to the more advanced charting option powered by Trading View.

ActivTrades ActivTrader web platform charts

The watch list didn’t include any favorites button, although it was nice to see the sentiment indicator below each instrument. Beyond the charts, watch list, and open positions/orders section, the platform does not offer traders a wide variety of trading information and options.

FeatureActivTradesIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes Yes No Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) Yes No No No
cTrader No No No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51224781
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31171724
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields712128
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platform & Tools 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Mobile Trading

ActivTrades offers iOS and Android mobile trading applications for its MetaTrader platforms, available directly from the developers on the iTunes Store and Google Play. To learn more about MT4, read our MetaTrader guide.

Metatrader4 mobile watchlist

FeatureActivTradesIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple iOS App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Syncing No Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies30264123
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable No Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Calendar No Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Trading 3 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Other Notes

In August 2018, ActivTrades announced it had received ISO27001 certification from the International Standards Organization (ISO) related to the effectiveness of its internal controls in handling clients’ funds.

Final Thoughts

Acquiring additional licenses outside of the EU and being in business since 2001 helps support ActivTrades’ Trust Score on ForexBrokers.com. The broker has a robust MetaTrader offering with its suite of indicators and related plugins.

While the broker may lack some classical research components, including offerings from third party providers, its MetaTrader-related tools help justify its trading costs with average spreads of 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD.

Finally, the addition of insurance of up to £1 million, in excess of what is provided to eligible traders by the UK’s regulator, for extraordinary events such as the firm’s insolvency, is applicable only to clients of the firm’s UK entity.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.


Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

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