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Founded in 2011 in Abu Dhabi with $400 million in initial capital, ADSS (Formerly ADS Securities has since developed into a global brand, with regulated entities in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With a staff of 250, the company offers self-directed traders a multi-asset solution through its ADSS account offerings, as well as wealth management solutions for investors through its Abu Dhabi-regulated entity, ADS Investment Solutions Limited (ADSI).
In 2013, ADSS launched its institutional suite of OREX platforms, which just further expanded into retail in February 2017 with the launch of OREX web and mobile for retail traders, in addition to offering the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform with enhanced add-ons under ADS MT4 Plus. The broker also rolled out its TREX platform in Hong Kong, which caters to traders looking for securities and futures products.
ADSS caters to retail traders through its ADSS brand in the UK for EU Citizens, and ADS Prime in the UAE for clients in the Gulf and other countries, whereas clients in Asia can choose the firm’s Hong Kong entity, with support in Singapore giving the firm good regional coverage across EURASIA.
Trading with a forex broker traders can trust is crucial to success. Unfortunately, forex fraud and scams are common in the industry.
Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (the higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call the Trust Score. Here is our trust summary of ADSS.
|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||No|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||Yes|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
|CFTC Registered (USA)||No|
|FCA Regulated (UK)||Yes|
|IIROC Authorised (Canada)||No|
|FINMA Authorised (Switzerland)||No|
|ASIC Authorised (Australia)||No|
|SFC Authorised (Hong Kong)||Yes|
|MAS Authorised (Singapore)||No|
|FSA Authorised (Japan)||No|
|FMA Authorised (New Zealand)||No|
|CySEC Authorised (Cyprus)||No|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to ADSS clients.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||£100|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||65|
|CFDs - Total Offered||2200|
|Exchange Traded Securities: US||No|
|Exchange Traded Securities: International||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
ADSS commissions and fees vary depending on the account type established, and the range of account types that are available vary depending on the ADS brand that you choose, which is often based on location and the applicable regulatory jurisdiction.
For example, from its UAE-based hub, ADSS offers two accounts: Classic, and Elite. The Classic version had its minimum deposit reduced to $100, making it more affordable for the most conservative traders, yet carries higher spreads than the Elite account type.
ADSS most competitive offering is the Elite account, akin to a VIP-style account that requires a $200,000 deposit, and comes with perks beyond discounted spreads
In the Classic account, target spreads drop to 1.6 pips on the EUR/USD, whereas ADSS’s most competitive offering is the Elite account, akin to a VIP-style account, which requires a $200,000 deposit and comes with perks beyond discounted spreads
One final important distinction is that the Classic account provides access to the OREX platform and MT4, while the Lite account does not.
The account options at the firm’s Abu Dhabi-based entity are similar to the UK, except instead of the Prime Gold account, there is a Prime Elite account. Also similar to the UK, its other two basic account types have target spreads of 1.6 -2.4 pips on the EUR/USD, making it an expensive option.
Without ADSS publishing what its average forex spreads are, it’s not possible to make a level comparison with firms that do publish their figures. This is something the broker could benefit from, as its commissions and fees appear competitive in the ECN Prime account.
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||N/A|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||Yes|
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: <1 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 8.1 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 5.9 / 10
- Overall Score: 7.6 / 10
- Ranking: 3rd (23 brokers)
- View Infographic
ADS Securities has a good variety of research content across its website and trading platform, ranging from sentiment widgets to earnings calendars, in addition to industry-standard news from top-tier providers such as the Dow Jones. The firm also streams content from third-party aggregators, and creates its own in-house daily video market updates covering technical and fundamental analysis made available within the platform, giving you a rich experience with internal and external research content.
ADSS also offers a social copy-trading platform, charging a 20% incentive fee – comparable to a hedge fund fee structure, available on its Prime Classic account. It also provides traders with additional research-type tools when it comes to finding trading opportunities.
Research tools include technical analysis screeners from Autochartist, which help traders find and analyze trading ideas using automated technical analysis. The firm also provides a daily forex sentiment report and widget, which help provide further depth to the research offering. In addition to adding research tools from Acuity Trading in 2017, ADS followed with the launch of ZuluTrade in 2018, expanding its social copy-trading offering.
Overall, there are plenty of premium research resources and content on the firm’s site and platforms, and, coupled with the MT4 add-ons, these help boost ADSS ranking in the research category.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||No|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Calendar Includes Forecasts||Yes|
|Economic News Sentiment||Yes|
|Trade Ideas - Backtesting||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
ADSS’ multi-asset offering includes spot forex trading on 65 pairs and a total of 2200 CFDs. The broker’s flagship Orex web platform has a greater product range, compared to its MT4 platform offering
The web version of Orex has undergone such a significant overhaul and redesign it has almost no resemblance to its previous version compared to last year. The layout of the new version we tested in late 2018 was simple, minimalistic, and generally easy to navigate.
Initially, while I found it difficult to locate the charts, I found the icon by clicking on the related instrument next to the trade button. Once launched, I was impressed to find 116 indicators, 23 chart types, and 35 drawing tools.
While the firm also offers OREX Optim, a desktop version of the platform, it relies on Silverlight, which is an outdated plugin, making it inaccessible to download using mainstream browsers.
Because of the reliance on the Silverlight plugin, I do not recommend the Orex Optim desktop version, leaving the HTML 5 web version the preferred choice at ADSS.
The company also offers the TREX platform for clients wishing to trade securities and futures from its Hong Kong office.
Apart from OREX, ADSS is predominantly a MetaTrader broker when it comes to its retail offering, and the firm provides several add-ons to help enhance the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform beyond its default settings. The broker continues to enhance its proprietary platform, and we expect to see more features added in the near future.
The extras offered for MT4 at ADSS are comparable to what Admiral Markets and Pepperstone give in terms of the add-on from third-party developer FX Blue LLP, which comes with a good range of premium trading tools such as extra custom indicators and widgets to help complement the default version of MT4.
Overall, ADS Securities goes beyond the normal MetaTrader-only broker to customize its offering by providing the above-mentioned add-ons as well as Autochartist and VPS hosting. Furthermore, the platform installation files are wrapped in different emulators for compatibility on Mac and Linux operating systems.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Mac)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Besides the native MT4 mobile app, ADSS offers its proprietary OREX platform for mobile Android and iOS devices. To learn more about the MT4 mobile app, read our guide to MetaTrader.
For this review, I tested the Orex mobile app on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ Edge smartphone. Since our last review, the Orex mobile app, like the web version of the platform, has undergone a significant transformation in design. Login authentication can be done by fingerprint, and navigating the layout is easy.
The app contains general and economic news together with an earnings calendar – all matching the web version.
Otherwise, beyond research and a robust watchlist, the rest of the app was fairly light but has improved nonetheless year-over-year.
The mobile app’s charting facility has been significantly improved, and now nearly matches its web counterpart, with 70 indicators and 25 candlestick patterns. Introducing syncing charts would be a great addition, but syncing aside, the app has come a long way in the past year.
The OREX mobile app generally has a good foundation and is unified with its web platform counterpart. This is a step towards ensuring that OREX can compete against other multi-asset brokers with proprietary mobile trading platforms.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Can Turn Horizontally||Yes|
|Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators||30|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
ADS Securities offers spread-betting, which is treated differently to CFDs for tax purposes and is available to and accessible by UK residents across 250 symbols.
ADS Securities introduced cryptocurrency CFDs on bitcoin and ethereum in 2017, helping the broker cater to the growing number of traders and investors seeking exposure on crypto assets without having to hold the underlying. The firm’s offering is balanced with up to 4:1 leverage and a max trade size of two bitcoin per clip.
ADS Securities also discloses that it hedges its cryptocurrency CFD trades by trading the underlying with cryptocurrency exchanges. That said, the firm does note that it would pass losses to clients in the event the margin/crypto used for its hedging trades were lost as a result of a hack.
With the OREX platform suite serving as a good foundation for the company’s retail trading platform, ADS Securities goes beyond the typical MetaTrader brokerage by offering extra add-ons for MT4, and provides forex traders over 60 currency pairs and more than tripled the number of CFDs it offers to 2200 in 2018.
ADSS can be a great choice for active forex traders and those with large balances, such as professional day traders and high net worth clients due to the VIP-style account offerings and related perks. Just keep in mind that the choice of where you can open an account may be limited by your location.
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.
Reviewed by 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 19 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
ADS Securities Competitors
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Commissions & Fees
In terms of competitive pricing, ADSS offers a Prime Gold Account to clients with more than $100,000 in account value or who trade more than $200 million in trading volume per month. On this account you get pricing discounts in the form of a $10 rebate per 1 million units traded round-turn, among other benefits such as a daily analysis report and even an airport lounge pass, as part of its active trader account offering.
PRIME by ADS Securities UK:
- Standard Account: For its UK-regulated entity, ADSS offers spreads as low as 0.7 pips on its Standard Account, where Professional traders can start with as little as £200 and leverage up to 500:1 on forex.
- Spread-Betting Account: Minimum £200, this account is available only to UK residents.
Note: The cost of CFD trading on UK and European shares is the same at 0.08% and 2 cents per share (cps) for US stocks on the standard account.
PRIME by ADS Securities UAE:
- Prime Classic: Minimum $100 deposit, target spread 1.6 pips on EUR/USD with no commission added, max leverage 200:1 on forex, and available on MT4 and OREX platforms..
- Prime Elite: Minimum $200,000 deposit, VIP service and no commissions added, max leverage 200:1 on forex, available on MT4 and OREX platforms.
ADS PRIME Hong Kong: (Hong Kong Bank account required.)
- Individual Account: No minimum deposit, leverage on forex up to 20:1. No CFDs available.
- Premium Account: $25,000 minimum deposit, access to premium content and one-on-one support with a senior trader. No CFDs available.
ADS Prime Singapore:
- MT4 account: The Singapore entity only offers one account type via the MT4 platform, with target spreads of 1.9 pips on the EUR/USD, up to 500:1 leverage on forex, and 200:1 on metals, and 100:1 on CFDs, and a minimum deposit of $500 to open an account.