Finding a trusted brokerage can be a difficult task. Many online brokerages are reputable but don’t provide a variety of trading options or tools to improve trading strategies. Others have the tools and the variety to trade but are not regulated, providing no level of security for users. AvaTrade combines the best in advanced trading tools and resources along with many different assets to trade from, all backed by a company with over a decade of satisfied customers.
In 2006, a new forex broker aimed at superior customer service was started under the name of Ava FX. Over the following years, Ava FX acquired assets across the brokerage industry, such as the Japanese forex broker Art Co. and the clients of Finotec Trading UK Limited. In 2013, the company decided to rebrand its name to AvaTrade in order to encompass all of the trading options that had become available via the brokerage such as stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and more. AvaTrade is based out of Dublin, Ireland, and has offices in 11 countries across the world. The brokerage has grown substantially over the years of its existence, with over 200,000 registered customers conducting in excess of two million trades per month that account for $60 million in monthly trading volumes.
The company is regulated and complies with all government regulations that apply to brokers and financial institutions. AvaTrade is regulated under the following names and jurisdictions:
A recent review of AvaTrade has found that the brokerage has recently updated its account verification process. Beginning in 2018, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), a regulation that has been applicable in the European Union since 2007, was updated for the current financial climate. MiFID assists with regulatory reporting to avoid market abuse, increase trading transparency, increase authorization requirements for brokers, and more. This regulation requires AvaTrade to require the following from all of its partners:
- A KYC questionnaire
- Proof of identity (resident ID card, passport, driver’s license, etc.)
- Proof of residence (electric bill, phone bill, gas bill, etc.)
Awards and Recognition
A great sign to know whether a brokerage can be trusted is how it is perceived and recognized by its peers in the industry. AvaTrade has received countless awards from industry trade groups and publications, displaying its superiority in the areas of cryptocurrency and forex trading as well as its affiliate program and overall reliability. Awards presented to AvaTrade include:
- The European Best Broker – 2017, 2016
- JFEX Best Dealing Room – 2017
- FXEmpire Best Broker – 2016
- Best Forex Broker – 2016, 2014, 2010
- Global Bitcoin CFD Trading Provider of the Year – 2015, 2012
- Forex Excellence Award – 2016, 2014, 2010
- FXEmpire Best Affiliation Program – 2016, 2014, 2010
- DailyForex Most Reliable Broker – 2015, 2011, 2009
Recently, AvaTrade partnered with Manchester City as the football club’s regional partner, bringing two well-known brand names together and adding to the already positive brand name that AvaTrade upholds.
Online brokerages can operate under very different trading conditions. While some require large purchases, others charge enormous fees. These trading details can make or break a brokerage experience. Luckily, AvaTrade not only offers a wide array of choices for trading, it does so with a beneficial fee structure and low minimums.
AvaTrade offers over 250 trading options for traders to choose from. Much of the trading of AvaTrade is done via an instrument known as a Contract for Difference (CFD) which allows traders to buy and sell the price movements of an asset without owning the underlying asset they are trading. CFD trading is done over the counter (OTC) and provides many benefits for traders, such as:
- No exchange fees
- Leverage trading
- Trade both long and short positions
- No expiration on CFDs
On AvaTrade CFDs are available for almost any asset class, including:
Forex trading is the other big piece of AvaTrade where traders are offered a wide array of trading pairs to choose from. Brokerage users can either trade forex currency pairs directly, or trade using Vanilla Options, allowing traders the right to buy or sell a specified amount of a currency pair at a set time in the future. AvaTrade offers forex trading on both fixed and variable spreads depending on the currency pair.
Minimums, Fees, Leverage
The minimum deposit to open an AvaTrade account is $/£/€100, after which time you can begin trading CFDs and forex on the platform. This is a significantly lower minimum than many other brokers, which can require deposits of $1,000 or more just to get started. To use more of the advanced features on the exchange you will have to upgrade your account and make a larger deposit to do so.
AvaTrade does not enforce any specific trading fees and, instead, makes money on trading spreads throughout all derivatives traded. Minimum trade size, spreads, and leverage area all depend on the asset or derivative being traded. Below is a chart of spread examples for select assets. Please check the spread, minimum, and leverage details of any asset before making any trades.
|Stock||Apple (AAPL)||0.06 over market||20:1|
|Amazon (AMZN)||0.10 over market||20:1|
|Index||S&P 500||0.25 over market||200:1|
|Nasdaq 100||1.00 over market||200:1|
|Bond||5 Year US T-Note||0.03 over market||100:1|
|Japan Gov’t Bond||0.06 over market||100:1|
|Cryptocurrency||Bitcoin||0.75% over market||25:1|
|Ethereum||1% over market||20:1|
|Forex – Fixed Rate||EUR/USD||0.25%||400:1|
|Forex – Floating Rate||EUR/USD||0.7 pips min; 1.5 pips avg||400:1|
|GBP/CHF||3.1 pips min; 4.5 pips avg||400:1|
In the coming months, the leverage will change in some countries due to the MiFID regulatory update.
AvaTrade offers a variety of funding and withdrawal methods, as well as a demo account for users to get comfortable on the platform. Before getting started with the brokerage, user verification must be completed by all users in order to comply with regulation enforced by the brokerage.
As a registered and regulated brokerage, AvaTrade requires account verification from users to comply with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws. The first step in user verification is the submission of personal information, including name, date-of-birth, and address. After this information is entered, user identification and address must be verified via the submission of personal documents. User identity can be verified with any form of government-issued ID, and the address can be verified by submitting a utility bill or bank statement with the address on file.
Users residing in Australia will have an additional verification step to take due to Regulatory Guide 227 issued by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). This step will require the completion of a five-section questionnaire assessing the user’s previous trading experience, understanding of financial products and trading tools, knowledge of market risk, and more. Before trading, a user must score 60% or above on this questionnaire.
Currently, AvaTrade does not accept any deposits originating in the United States or Belgium. For all other users, there are several deposit options available with no additional fee, including:
- Credit Card
- Bank Wire Transfer
Deposits can be processed instantly, but that time is also dependent on the payment provider processing the deposit. Withdrawals, which can be done with no additional fee via a bank wire transfer or credit card, take between 1-2 business days for AvaTrade to verify, after which time the withdrawal is approved and sent to be processed, which can take anywhere up to eight additional days.
Getting comfortable trading on a new platform and brokerage can be difficult for new traders. AvaTrade recognizes this learning process amongst new users, which is why it allows for demo accounts on all of its trading platforms. Demo accounts can be opened for free and are supplied with $100,000 for testing out trading tools and strategies, as well as having full assistance from AvaTrade support. Setting up a demo account is the best way to learn how to trade on the AvaTrade platform.
Security and Trust
256-bit SSL security encryption is used throughout AvaTrade’s platform, creating a strong roadblock to credit card and identity fraud. Each AvaTrade account comes with protection limits of 20,000 EUR in the case of an AvaTrade default, and 75,000 EUR in the case of a bank default. This should quell the fears of investors that are trading in amounts below those limits. Other security features on the site include:
- True-Site identity assurance
- McAfee Secure (HackerSafe) prevents credit card fraud and identity theft
- Client funds separated from AvaTrade business funds
- WebTrust compliant, verified by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Like many other AvaTrade reviews have noted, AvaTrade offers 24/5 customer service in a host of languages and countries. Along with live chat and telephone support, an extensive Help Center brings together the most asked questions to allow users to find solutions to generic problems quickly. Users can always submit a support ticket during off hours and the AvaTrade team will respond within 1-2 business days of the submission. The MQL5 online forum is also a great support tool for traders to assist each other with issues they may be having on the platform.
AvaTrade offers some of the best software trading tools in the industry that are extremely useful for testing and building on new trading strategies. AvaTrade offers several different trading platforms depending on your knowledge-level and trading style.
- AvaTradeGO – This mobile application allows users to access real-time market quotes and make trades on the go. The step-by-step guidance on the app, along with in-depth charting tools makes mobile trading easy.
- MT4 Floating Spreads – With over 60 forex pairs to choose from, and trading spreads as low as 0.9 pips, MT4 is a great platform for trading the forex market with variable spreads. Leverage up to 400:1 and compatibility with iOS and Android devices are just a few of the reasons why MT4 makes for a great choice.
- MetaTrader 4 – This high-powered trading platform can be used with as little as a $100 deposit. Analytical indicators and technical analysis are built-in, with the Guardian Angel personal trading feedback tool also standard. The MQL5 community forum to share trading ideas and strategies has built a strong community of traders that make for a better user experience.
- AvaOptions – An advanced options trading platform, AvaOptions provides many spot and options types across over 40 forex trading pairs and other trading options such as gold and silver.
Some trading platforms are specifically designed for mobile use, while others are better suited for desktop. AvaTrade GO and MetaTrader 4 offer mobile trading and analysis for any type of mobile device, while MetaTrader 4 is suited for all Mac devices.
These days, it is easier to replicate the trading styles of industry experts than to try and reinvent the wheel by creating trading strategies from scratch. This is why AvaTrade offers a host of automated trading tools which allows any trader to copy the exact trades of a specific trader, or mimic trading strategies and styles.
- DupliTrade – Designed for use with the MetaTrader 4 platform, DupliTrade allows for users to copy the trades of a selected group of professional traders with a proven track record.
- ZuluTrade – Users select the program or expert that they are most comfortable with and ZuluTrade, one of the most popular automated trading tools on the market, makes the corresponding trades directly in your AvaTrade account, all without the user having to do any thinking.
- MQL5 Signals Service – The MQL5 service connects directly with MetaTrader 4 to automate trades based on pre-set signals that can be copied from thousands of signal suppliers across the globe.
AvaTrade understands that many users will be intimidated at trading CFDs or forex pairs for the first time. This is why they provide all users trading tools to aid in learning trading features and new trading strategies. Education tools include:
- Trading for Beginners – A guide for traders who are new to CFDs and/or forex trading that will introduce trading basics and beginner-level trading strategy
- Economic Indicators – Takes users through economic indicators and their impact on the economy and trading strategies. This tool provides an economic calendar to keep track of upcoming economic announcements and examples of how indicators can impact markets.
- Trading Video Tutorials – Tutorials are provided for traders of all knowledge levels, from beginner to expert. Follow along as the AvaTrade team guides you through their platform and trading tools.
- Forex eBook – This free ebook titled, “Forex Trading Strategies” is directed solely at improving traders’ forex strategies.
Trading stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, and foreign currency doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. AvaTrade is a trusted, regulated brokerage platform that provides some of the best software and education tools in the industry to make trading as easy as possible. This, coupled with fair trading spreads and no brokerage fees, make AvaTrade a go-to brokerage for traders of all experience levels.