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Plus500 Review

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | October 9th, 2020

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

Plus500 is a trusted global brand that offers retail forex and CFD traders an easy-to-use platform, and a thorough selection of tradeable instruments. However, Plus500 trails industry leaders in market research and advanced trading tools desired by active traders.

Top Takeaways for 2020

Here are our top findings on Plus500:

  • Founded in 2008, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: PLUS) and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. Plus500 is regulated in three tier-1 jurisdictions and four tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
  • I found the Plus500 web-based trading platform to be extremely user-friendly, making it excellent for beginner forex and CFD traders. Beginners aside, the Plus500 platform offers only basic features, making it far less attractive for active traders.
  • When it comes to pricing, Plus500 appears to offer spreads close to the industry average on most of its major forex pairs. That said, discounts are not available to active traders or VIP clients.

Overall Summary

FeaturePlus500
Overall 4 Stars
Trust Score98
Offering of Investments 4 Stars
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars
Platform & Tools 3.5 Stars
Research 3.5 Stars
Mobile Trading 3.5 Stars
Customer Service .1 Stars
Education 3 Stars

Is Plus500 Safe?

help 98
Trust Score

Plus500 is considered low-risk, with an overall trust score of 98 out of 99. Plus500 is publicly traded and does not operate a bank. Plus500 is authorised by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), four tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). Plus500 is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

FeaturePlus500
Year Founded2008
Publicly Traded (Listed) Yes
Bank No
Tier-1 Licenses3
Tier-2 Licenses4
Tier-3 Licenses0
Trust Score98

Offering of Investments

Rank: 13th (of 30)

Unlike brokers who offer underlying forex pairs, all forex trading at Plus500 is via CFD products. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Plus500 clients.

FeaturePlus500
Forex: Spot Trading Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)50
CFDs - Total Offered2033
Social Trading / Copy-Trading No
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes

Commissions & Fees

Overall, Plus500's pricing is in line with the industry average but trails the best forex brokers when it comes to active trader pricing (see IG or Saxo Bank for comparison). Plus500 does not provide discounts to active traders or VIP clients.

Spreads: For the EUR/USD, the Plus500 platform displays a dynamic spread of 0.00008, which is 0.8 pips. During August 2020, the average spread from Plus500 for the EUR/USD was 0.8 pips.

FeaturePlus500
Minimum Initial Deposit€100
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard0.6 (as of Aug 2018)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - ActiveN/A
Active Trader or VIP Discounts No

Platforms & Tools

The Plus500 web platform, WebTrader, is an excellent choice for casual investors due to its ease of use and focus on providing just the essential, necessary tools required for trading.

Ease of use: For newer traders, the Plus500 WebTrader (browser-based) platform is a great place to start before graduating to a more advanced platform. WebTrader is cleanly designed and focuses on simplicity. The few advanced features available within Plus500's flagship platform include trailing-stops and guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLO), which can be helpful risk management tools for casual traders.

Desktop platform: For desktop, the Windows 10 version is no longer available and did not work during our testing, even after updating the already installed desktop software. That said, the web version meets the requirements of a progressive web app and is installable as a Chrome app. This tells me that the future for Plus500 is the web browser over desktop trading.

Charting: Plus500's WebTrader platform provides proper charting, offering over 100 optional technical indicators alongside the ability to save chart templates. Also, there are 21 drawing tools in the charts to aid in technical analysis.

MetaTrader, algo trading, copy trading: Because Plus500 offers a proprietary trading platform, MetaTrader is not offered. Also, both algorithmic trading and social copy-trading are not supported at Plus500.

Gallery

FeaturePlus500
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading No
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)103
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)21
Charting - Trade From Chart No
Watchlists - Total Fields10
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Research

As far as forex and CFDs research goes, Plus500 leaves much to be desired, especially when compared to research leaders such as CMC Markets, Saxo Bank, and IG. Plus500 does not offer basic research features such as daily market commentary, forex news, or weekly webinars.

News and research: Research is nowhere to be found within the Plus500 platform beyond basic sentiment data, a link to Yahoo Finance for exchange rates, and an economic calendar from Dow Jones. There is also no technical or fundamental analysis content.

Alerts: Plus500 allows you to place alerts on a percentage change in client sentiment data. I found this to be creative and a step above basic price alerts.

Gallery

FeaturePlus500
Daily Market Commentary No
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) No
Weekly Webinars No
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs No
Economic Calendar Yes

Education

Plus500 does not offer an extensive array of educational content for traders when compared to education leaders such as City Index, IG, or CMC Markets. No question, Plus500 should expand its offering of educational content to improve its score in this category.

Video: For example, the broker is starting to roll out educational video content under its Trader's Guide series more than a year ago, yet there are still only six videos available, and each one is barely a few minutes long.

Gallery

Mobile Trading

The Plus500 mobile app offers a seamless transition from the WebTrader browser platform, which is great to see. The look, feel, and functionality is all similar.

That said, like WebTrader, the Plus500 mobile app lacks the advanced tools and all-around functionality to challenge industry leaders. For example, Plus500 charts from the web do not sync on mobile, as they do on the mobile apps available at Saxo Bank and TD Ameritrade (US residents only).

Trading tools: While Plus500 has significantly improved its charting (109 indicators and over 20 drawing tools), the mobile app still has plenty of room for improvement in terms of the number of features it can add. News, research, and advanced trading tools are all lacking.

Gallery

FeaturePlus500
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies18
Charting - Draw Trend Lines No
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable No
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave No
Forex Calendar No

Final Thoughts

Despite a clear lack of educational content, Plus500 is a clear winner for less-experienced traders who desire ease of use and simplicity. In 2020, Plus500 finished Best in Class across three categories, including Ease of Use, Trust Score, and Beginners (1st place).

On the downside, active traders will be left wanting more as research is mostly absent and advanced tools are nowhere to be found. For a more robust experience, consider eToro, IG, and CMC Markets.

With over 2,000 CFDs available, including 70 forex pairs, alongside a low minimum deposit to open a live account, Plus500 provides new market entrants an easy way to test the world of online forex and CFDs trading.

About Plus500

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange's (LSE: PLUS) and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. Plus500 serves forex and CFD traders through its regulated subsidiaries that hold licenses in major financial hubs, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Singapore. In 2019, Plus500 serviced over 200,000 active customer accounts that opened 35 million positions, totaling $1.31 trillion in traded value. For more on the company, see Plus500's Wikipedia page.

Plus500 Trading Features

FeaturePlus500
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading No
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)103
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)21
Charting - Trade From Chart No
Watchlists - Total Fields10
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Plus500 Research Features

FeaturePlus500
Daily Market Commentary No
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) No
Weekly Webinars No
AutoChartist No
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs No
Economic Calendar Yes

Plus500 Mobile App Features

FeaturePlus500
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies18
Charting - Draw Trend Lines No
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable No
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave No
Forex Calendar 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.


Steven Hatzakis

About the author: 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.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/20/2020 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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Plus500UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909).

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