While AvaTrade provides multiple platforms for algorithmic and social copy-trading, the broker's overall client experience trails industry leaders. Customer service is terrible, pricing is just average, less than 1000 instruments are available to trade, and research is underwhelming.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on AvaTrade:
- Founded in 2006, AvaTrade is regulated in three tier-1 jurisdictions and three tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
- Alongside MetaTrader, AvaTrade offers its proprietary web platform, as well as ZuluTrade and DupliTrade, for social copy trading. The variety of platform options makes AvaTrade competitive in this area.
- AvaTrade offers terrible phone service. Also, compared to pricing leaders such as CMC Markets and FOREX.com, AvaTrade does not rank among the best brokers for low cost trading.
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|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Is AvaTrade Safe?
AvaTrade is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 93 out of 99. AvaTrade is not publicly-traded and does not operate a bank. AvaTrade is authorised by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), three tier-2 regulators (average trust), and two tier-3 regulators (low trust). AvaTrade is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), and via Friedberg Direct, with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Offering of Investments
While it still trails many brokers in the multi-asset category, AvaTrade continues to expand its range of markets, scope of trading tools, and the number of licenses under its regualtory umbrella. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to AvaTrade clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||55|
|CFDs - Total Offered||722|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
Spreads: With variable pricing, AvaTrade offers typical spreads of 0.9 pips (median value derived from spreads during trading hours – 7:00-18:00 GMT – for the four weeks ending November 28th, 2019). Compared to our testing last year, AvaTrade's spreads had slightly improved although it's worth mentioning that AvaTrade also reintroduced fixed spread pricing which helped reduce its spreads.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$100.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.90 (August 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.60 (August 2020)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
AvaTrade offers a proprietary platform, multiple third-party trading platforms for copy trading, including ZuluTrade and Tradency, as well as MetaTrader 4 (MT4) (and in select locations MT5).
AvaTrade web: The AvaTrade web platform is easy to use. Unfortunately, it also is elementary, offering limited charting capabilities and only a handful of trading features. As far as proprietary platforms go, IG, Saxo Bank, and Dukascopy are our undisputed kings for 2020.
Copy-trading: AvaTrade finished Best in Class for social copy trading in 2020, with multiple platforms on offer. AvaTrade's steady progress in this category has helped to elevate it closer to industry leaders such as eToro, Pepperstone, and Darwinex.
AvaTrade has just an okay offering of research tools across multiple channels, including DupliTrade, a social-copy trading platform, and the cPattern indicator available as a plugin for MT4.
Trading signals: Copy trading platforms aside, the main highlight from AvaTrade's research offering is AutoChartist. With a popular set of pattern-recognition tools for technical and fundamental analysis, AutoChartist helps traders find trending opportunities and is available at AvaTrade for live account holders who deposit at least $500.
Market analysis: With SharpTrader, users can find daily and weekly technical and fundamental analysis articles published daily from a team of analysts, along with integrated tools from external providers. However, during our testing, we saw it had been over seven months since a market video update was posted.
Besides offering MT4, AvaTrade also provides the AvaTradeGO app as its primary proprietary mobile trading platform, along with its more recently launched AvaOptions app for trading forex options.
AvaTradeGo: The AvaTradeGo app closely resembles its web-counterpart and comes with a robust set of default watchlists, and a volatility protection feature called AvaProtect (which uses a forex option to allow traders to reduce risk by partially hedging their trade). Charting comes with 93 indicators, which are plenty for technical analysis. Yet, there is no fundamental news or related research content, leaving an otherwise unbalanced offering in the AvaTradeGo experience, compared to industry leaders such as Dukascopy.
Forex Options: For someone experienced with options trading, the AvaOptions mobile app removes the need to read a traditional options chain, by reinventing how traders can select their desired strike price, time-horizon, and strategy, from a single screen. While I am thoroughly impressed with what AvaTrade has done with the AvaOptions app in terms of the UI/UX designs, the payoff diagrams depicted visually are hard to understand and could use explanatory notes. Nonetheless, with 14 default options trading strategies available, merely selecting a strategy will automatically populate the order-ticket with the related options contracts. And traders can change the strike price by dragging it higher or lower, along with selecting a different expiration date, all impressive features for trading forex options via mobile.
To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2020 Review, 330 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.
- Average Connection Time: >5 minutes
- Average Net Promoter Score: 1.5 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 1.3 / 10
- Overall Score: 1.63 / 10
- Ranking: 21 st (22 brokers)
While not directly regulated in Canada, AvaTrade caters to clients in the country through its partnership with Friedberg Direct, which required regulatory approval.
AvaTrade offers traders multiple platforms through its regulated brands, providing traders with a wide range of options for using trading tools across a limited range of markets. Compared to the best forex brokers, AvaTrade left us unimpressed.
Founded in 2006, AvaTrade has offices in 11 countries and provides multiple trading platforms for web, desktop, and mobile devices, offering spot forex and forex options and CFDs on numerous asset classes, including cryptocurrencies.
AvaTrade is regulated in major regulatory hubs across the globe. AvaTrade's headquarters is in Ireland, where its regulator is the Central Bank of Ireland and is a member of the Investor Compensation Company DAC (ICCL), which provides eligible clients up to EUR 20000 of maximum reimbursement in the extraordinary event of their broker's insolvency.
AvaTrade Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
AvaTrade Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
AvaTrade Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
2020 Review Methodology
For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers over a five month time period. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
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.
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.