Z.com Trade Review
Z.com Trade’s parent company, GMO Financial Holdings, is well-respected and trusted around the globe. That said, the group’s UK-regulated forex and CFDs offering is unimpressive and doesn’t come close to matching its Japanese headquartered operation.
Top Takeaways for 2019
After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for our third annual forex broker review, here are our top findings on Z.com:
- Backed by GMO Financial Holdings, publicly-listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (JASDAQ: 7177), Z.com Trade is a highly global brand name safe for trading forex and CFDs.
- While spreads in Japan are incredibly narrow, Z.com Trade's UK pricing is just slightly better than average. Overall, rates trail pricing leaders CMC Markets and FOREX.com.
- Outside of Japan, Z.com Trade is, unfortunately, a plain vanilla MetaTrader (MT4) broker with little to offer. Compared to industry leaders such as IG, Saxo Bank, and Dukascopy, Z.com Trade left us unimpressed.
- We do not recommend Z.com Trade for copy-trading or beginners.
- Z.com Trade offers low-quality phone service. The broker finished 19th (out of 23) in our national testing from locations across the United Kingdom.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Is Z.com Trade Safe?
Z.com Trade is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 95 out of 99. Z.com Trade is publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). Z.com Trade is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
In the UK, Z.com Trade offers a total of 78 tradeable instruments, consisting of 53 forex pairs and 25 CFDs. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Z.com Trade clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||53|
|CFDs - Total Offered||25|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
Z.com’s ECN accounts in the UK are the clear winner for EU traders as the all-in cost is lower even after the $8 round-turn commission. However, since November 1st, 2019, Z.com Trade's UK branch will no longer serve retail traders. It will only offer trading accounts to clients designated as elective professionals who maintain a minimum balance of £50,000 in their account.
Two account types: With Z.com Trade’s UK entity, the main two accounts offered are commission-based, including the ECN and ECN Plus accounts, where spreads are variable and average 0.2 pips on the EUR/USD. The ECN account charges $4 per side for every standard 100k lot, whereas the ECN Plus account charges $2.5.
Execution method Z.com Trade provides agency execution (market execution) in the UK. Since expanding the number of liquidity providers in the UK to a total of 16 venues, including its parent GMO-Z.com Trade Limited, spreads have improvement considerably at Z.com Trade's UK branch.
Japan pricing: The firm’s Japan-based entity offers, by far, the most competitive pricing and range of products. For example, the FXNeo account in Japan features a 0.5 pip fixed spread on the EUR/USD.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$50|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.9 (as of May 19)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||0.6 (as of Oct 19)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
In the UK, Z.com Trade is primarily a MetaTrader 4 (MT4) broker offering the standard, out-of-the-box MT4 platform experience. The greatest range of trading platforms offered by Z.com Trade-related brands comes from its Click Securities offering in Japan. Unfortunately, these are not available in Europe.
Unfortunately, forex and CFD traders based in Europe have little market research available to them through Z.com Trade’s UK-regulated offering. Z.com Trade’s UK provides traders trading signals, an economic calendar, news headlines, and other content powered by Claws & Horns. Traders can also chat directly with an analyst.
Algorithmic trading: Z.com Trade's UK branch recently made Capitalise available, a web-based interface for creating algorithmic trading strategies that sync to your MetaTrader 4 account. I found the Capitalise service very straightforward and complements the broker's offering.
Across Z.com Trade (UK), GMO-Click (Japan), and GMO-Z.com Forex (HK), the scope and depth of research offerings vary considerably. While its other entities are behind on research, the firm’s Japan entity, GMO-Click, shines the most in the research category, bringing a wide range of tools to traders.
Like its primary trading offering, Z.com Trade provides a plain-vanilla MT4 mobile experience. Z.com’s best mobile experience is unfortunately only available in Japan.
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: <3 minutes
- Average Net Promoter Score: 4.4 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 3.1 / 10
- Overall Score: 4.3 / 10
- Ranking: 19th (23 brokers)
Z.com Trade’s parent company, GMO Click Securities, has the largest retail forex trading volumes globally. It’s a trusted brand; however, the best of what is has to offer is not in the EU, but in Japan, leaving European forex and CFDs traders with little to no benefits beyond a standard MT4 experience.
About Z.com Trade
The Z.com Trade brand is part of GMO Financial Holdings, publicly-listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (JASDAQ: 7177). In the United Kingdom, Z.com Trade is a MetaTrader-only broker offering 55 currency pairs and 22 CFDs from its FCA-regulated entity, which offers matched-principal execution as an agency broker (no dealing desk).
GMO Financial Holdings holds regulatory licenses in Japan, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom. The firm posted an average monthly FX volume in 2018 of $595.5 billion, making it the largest retail forex operation in the world, according to Finance Magnates. In Japan, GMO Click’s flagship platform is available alongside a large array of other platforms for forex, CFD, and cryptocurrency traders.
Z.com Trade Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||(Default MT4)|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||(Default MT4)|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||(Default MT4)|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Z.com Trade Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
Z.com Trade Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||(default MT4)|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||No|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
2019 Review Methodology
For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 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.