AvaTrade is a trusted global brand best known for offering traders an extensive selection of trading platform options. Our testing found AvaTrade to be great for copy trading, competitive for mobile, mostly in line with the industry average for pricing and research, and a winner for investor education.
Top Takeaways for 2021
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 platforms AvaTrade WebTrader and AvaOptions, as well as ZuluTrade and DupliTrade for social copy trading, where it finished Best in Class in 2021. The variety of platform options makes AvaTrade competitive in this area.
- Compared to pricing leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank, AvaTrade ranks Best in Class for Commissions and Fees in 2021.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & 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), four tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (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
The range of markets available at AvaTrade will depend on which of the brand's global entities and trading platform you choose. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to AvaTrade clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents.
AvaTrade offering of investments:
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||722|
|Forex Pairs (Total)||55|
|US Stock Trading (Non CFD)||No|
|Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
AvaTrade's spreads are close to the industry average, just below one pip on the EUR/USD at 0.9 pips, yet slightly higher than entry-level accounts offered by CMC Markets and Saxo Bank. The exception is if you qualify as a Professional trader, in which case spreads on the EUR/USD drops to 0.6 pips.
Spreads: With variable pricing, AvaTrade lists spreads of 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD, which is a touch above the industry average, while spreads on its Professional account are competitive and comparable to FP Markets.
AvaTrade pricing summary:
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.91 (August 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.61 (August 2020)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
|Execution: Agency Broker||No|
|Execution: Market Maker||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
AvaTrade offers two proprietary platforms (AvaTrade WebTrader, AvaOptions), the full MetaTrader suite, ZuluTrade, and DupliTrade (accessible via WebTrader). Thanks to AvaTrade's extensive offering of copy trading platform options, AvaTrade once again finished Best in Class for copy trading.
MetaTrader vs. WebTrader: While MetaTrader offers nearly 800 tradeable symbols, WebTrader only provides around 200.
AvaTrade WebTrader: I found the proprietary WebTrader platform to be well-designed in a responsive layout. In fact, in 2021, AvaTrade won our award for #1 Innovation given the speed of its evolution as a new platform. Charting comes with 90 indicators, and I was pleased to find a suite of trading tools from Trading Central is directly integrated into the platform. That said, WebTrader still has a way to go compared to the richness and depth of features found on proprietary platforms from industry leaders such as IG, Saxo Bank, and CMC Markets.
Copy trading: AvaTrade's steady progress in expanding and enhancing its copy trading offering has helped bring it among the industry leaders such as eToro and Pepperstone. More recently, AvaTrade launched AvaSocial in the UK, although it does not yet permit automated copying of traders.
AvaOptions: For options traders that deposit at least $1k, AvaTrade provides AvaOptions, its forex options platform for desktop and mobile. The desktop version is for Windows only and requires that users install Microsoft's .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. Being a seasoned trader, even I found the platform layout to be complex. Clearly suited for professionals, the platform needs a design overhaul.
AvaTrade trading platform:
|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|
Overall, AvaTrade offers mostly average research experience for traders.
In-house research: AvaTrade does not provide a rich array of in-house research beyond its YouTube uploaded daily market analysis videos, which I found to be great. Unfortunately, there is little to distinguish AvaTrade's in-house research offering when compared to the best forex brokers.
Third-party content: Aside from ZuluTrade and DupliTrade for copy trading, the main highlight from AvaTrade's research offering is Trading Central. Within the AvaTrade web platform, Trading Central is directly integrated, including the Market Buzz, Analyst Views, Featured Ideas section, as well as an economic calendar. News in MT5 also streams from Trading Central.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||Yes|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
AvaTrade provides a rich array of educational content from its in-house staff, as well as from third-party providers such as SharpTrader. Overall, AvaTrade finished Best in Class in our 2021 review, taking second place for Education.
Articles: There are nearly 60 comprehensive articles in the beginner section, and 29 for advanced topics. For example, AvaTrade breaks down the most important economic indicators and explains how central bank announcements alongside financial news can move the markets.
Videos: Aside from some platform tutorials, there are at least 48 videos with good coverage of topics, such as a comprehensive video explaining what a Donchian channel is and how a trader can use it. AvaTrade also uploads multiple archived video webinars on its YouTube channel, helping to round-out its offering.
|Has Education - Forex or CFDs||Yes|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||Yes|
Overall, AvaTrade's mobile experience is good and will satisfy most traders. However, it isn't quite good enough to challenge category leaders such as Saxo Bank, CMC Markets or TD Ameritrade (US residents only).
Besides the full MetaTrader suite, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) available for Android and iOS devices, AvaTrade's proprietary mobile platforms include AvaTradeGO and AvaOptions.
AvaTradeGo: The AvaTradeGo app closely resembles its web-counterpart and comes with a robust set of default syncing watchlists and a volatility protection feature called AvaProtect. This feature allows a trader to reduce the risk on their open trade by partially hedging their position with a forex option for an added cost. Charting comes with 93 indicators, and there is integrated research and related tools from Trading Central, just like in the web platform. All in all, it is a well-rounded app, especially for beginners.
AvaOptions: I found the AvaOptions app design to be impressive because AvaTrade isn't afraid to take design risks in its quest to enhance usability. For example, AvaTrade offers a unique design for reading option chains, which I found impressive. That said, I did find that the "payoff" diagrams (depicted visually) are hard to understand and could use explanatory notes. Options chains aside, with 14 default options trading strategies available, merely selecting an option plan will automatically populate the order-ticket with the related options contracts. Yet another nice touch is that traders can change the strike price by simply dragging it higher or lower.
AvaTrade mobile trading:
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
Overall, AvaTrade stands out for its rich selection of trading platform options alongside educational content for beginners, and crypto trading where it finished Best in Class in 2021. Downsides include an average research experience alongside a limited range of tradeable markets. Also, AvaTrade's spreads for clients designated as Professional traders in the EU are competitive.
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 has 200,000 registered traders who place more than 2 million trades each month and has executed more than $1.47 trillion in traded value since inception.
AvaTrade holds regulatory licenses in multiple financial 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 20,000 of maximum reimbursement in the extraordinary event of their broker's insolvency. While not directly regulated in Canada, AvaTrade caters to clients in the country through its partnership with Friedberg Direct, which required regulatory approval.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.
Each broker was graded on 108 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure (read about Trust Score here).
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.
Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with 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.