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Overall

Forex and CFD traders choose ADS Securities for its range of markets, services, regulatory statuses. and MT4 alongside OREX platform account offerings. The broker has competitive active trader accounts, while investors with lower balances will find high spreads and customer service is limited to local office hours.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 3rd, 2018 / Updated: August 15th, 2018

help 82
Trust Score
Dislikes
  • Customer support limited to local office hours
  • OREX desktop requires outdated Silverlight plugin
  • Higher spreads on non-commission accounts
  • Strict client segmentation by region

Review Sections:

Founded in 2011 in Abu Dhabi with $400 million in initial capital, 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). The company offers self-directed traders a multi-asset solution through its ADS Prime account offerings, as well as wealth management solutions for investors.

In 2013, ADS Securities 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.

ADS Securities caters to retail traders through its ADS Prime 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.

Trust Score

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 ADS Securities.

ADS Securities
Trust Score82
Year Founded2011
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 ADS Securities clients.

ADS Securities
Minimum Initial Deposit£100
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)57
CFDs - Total Offered810
Exchange Traded Securities: US No
Exchange Traded Securities: International No
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

ADS Securities 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, ADS offers three accounts: Lite, Classic, and Elite. The Lite version had its minimum deposit halved to $100, making it more affordable for the most conservative traders, yet carries higher spreads than the other account types.

ADS Securities’ 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.

For comparison, the Classic account requires just a $5000 deposit and target spreads drop to 1.6 pips on the EUR/USD, compared to 2.4 pips on the Lite account. ADS Securities’ 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.

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 ADS Securities 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.

ADS Securities
Average Spread EUR/USD - StandardN/A
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/A
Active Trader or Premium/VIP Yes

Customer Service

For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.

Results:

  • Average Connection Time: <1 minute
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 7.66 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 7.1 / 10
  • Overall Score: 7.7 / 10
  • Ranking: 4th (43 brokers)

Research

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.

ADS Securities 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.

ADS Securities research youtube video

ADS Securities 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. Lastly, in 2017 ADS Securities added several similar research tools from Acuity trading to further improve its offering.

ADS Securities research acuity trading

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 ADS Securities’ ranking in the research category.

ADS Securities
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
AutoChartist Yes
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Acuity Trading No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Client Webinars Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) No
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes
Economic Calendar Yes
Calendar Includes Forecasts Yes
Economic News Sentiment Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Yes

Platforms & Tools

ADS Securities’ multi-asset offering includes spot forex trading on 57 pairs and a total of 810 CFDs available on its OREX web platform, compared to its MT4 platform offering, which has a smaller range of CFDs.

The web version of OREX was launched around the time of our last review of the ADS Securities Hong Kong office, and we had a chance to test version 1 1.0.0, which had a smooth layout and was built on HTML 5, resembling a modern trading platform. However, as of early 2018, the broker has not yet fully rolled out the platform in its other locations, and the login process, in the UK for example, was not straightforward.

ADS Securities OREX web

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 ADS Securities.

The company also offers the TREX platform for clients wishing to trade securities and futures from its Hong Kong office.

Apart from OREX, ADS Securities 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.

ADS Prime UK MT4 desktop

The extras offered for MT4 at ADS Securities 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.

In addition, ADS Securities offers its Algo Builder tool, a desktop software program developed by Molanis, which lets traders build automated trading strategies for MT4 with a drag-and-drop method, instead of using MQL4 code, comparable to FxPro’s web algo building tool.

ADS Securities UK Algo Builder Molanis

During our testing, this tool took time to set up, as a license must be obtained and manually installed. For intermediate users with technical acumen, the tool can be a useful feature for those who want to create an Expert Advisor (EA) to automate their trading strategy without writing MQL4 code.

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.

ADS Securities
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) Yes
Web Platform No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Proprietary Yes
MetaTrader4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Currenex No
ZuluTrade No
MirrorTrader No
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51
Watchlists - Total Fields7
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Mobile Trading

Besides the native MT4 mobile app, ADS Securities offers its proprietary OREX platform for mobile Android and iOS devices. To learn more about the MT4 mobile app, read our guide to MetaTrader.

During my last review, I tested the Orex mobile app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone and it operated seamlessly in terms of the layout, navigation, and design. Areas such as research were rich with content and included daily video updates, along with an economic news and earnings calendar – all matching the web version.

The watchlist was also well designed, making it easy to add symbols and create an order with a few taps. Otherwise, beyond research and a robust watchlist, the rest of the app was fairly light in areas such as the settings category.

ADS Securities OREX mobile app watchlist

Charting is also light in the mobile app as there was no ability to add indicators or any drawing tools beyond a simple trend line, nearly identical to the web version. Yet, it seems that this is an area the firm is developing as charts did go full screen when held horizontally with the trend line tool appearing.

ADS Securities OREX mobile app chart

The OREX mobile app generally has a good foundation and is unified with its web platform counterpart. Nevertheless, the mobile app needs improvement to bring it up to par with competitors. In fact, around the time of my last review, the app was taken offline for new demo registrations, as the company continues to invest in enhancing its new platform offering.  This is a step towards ensuring that OREX can compete against other multi-asset brokers with proprietary mobile trading platforms.

ADS Securities
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes
Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators30
Watch List Syncing No
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes

Other Notes

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.

Final Thoughts

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 nearly 60 currency pairs and over 800 CFDs.

We would like to see the web version of the OREX platform made more accessible through the broker’s global offices, to help boost ADS Securities platform rankings, and the desktop version made accessible without the need to rely on the outdated Silverlight plugin.

For a full-service broker, customer support is limited to those with smaller balances, which is why I don’t recommend ADS Securities’ customer support. Also, its strict regional segmentation means that clients can only access support during local business hours.

ADS Securities 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.

Methodology

For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.

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

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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Ratings Overall

Summary

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Education

Best in Class

2018
15 of 43

Overall
  • Customer Service
2017
10 of 20

Overall
  • Research
  • Customer Service

Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

In terms of competitive pricing, ADS Securities 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, ADS Securities offers spreads as low as 0.7 pips on its Standard Account, where 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.
  • ECN Account: Minimum deposit £5,000, commission-based trading at $3.5 (per side) per standard lot for forex and metals, with a maximum leverage of 500:1 on forex.

ADS Account comparison UK

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, across both the standard and ECN accounts.

PRIME by ADS Securities UAE:

  • Prime Lite: Minimum $200 deposit, target spread 2.4 pips on EUR/USD with no commission added, and 400:1 max leverage.
  • Prime Classic: Minimum $5,000 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 Account comparison UAE

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.  

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/03/2018 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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