Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
ActivTrades are a multiple award winning and regulated online broker offering you access to trade a great range of financial instruments with very competitive trading conditions, including tight spreads, low fees and reliable execution speeds. I like how they go above and beyond to provide investors and traders with powerful yet intuitive trading platforms, state of the art trading infrastructure, useful trading tools and educational materials. You can start trading with a minimum deposit of €1,000 whilst they also have free demo trading accounts for beginners and swap-free Islamic accounts for Muslim traders. There are account options for individual and professional traders with a great choice of convenient funding options for everyone.
Pros & Cons
- User-friendly MetaTrader 4/5 platforms
- Proprietary trading platforms
- Hundreds of trading instruments
- Tight spreads, low fees & rapid execution
- Commission free trading
- Exclusive trading tools
- Educational resources
- One on one training
- Free demo trading accounts
- Islamic swap-free accounts
- Award-winning 24/5 support
- Limited account types
- Inactivity fees
- Minimum €1,000 deposit
- Cannot accept clients from some countries
Founded in 2001, ActivTrades is an established online broker offering traders across the globe access to trade over 500+ financial instruments in multiple markets including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, ETFs, Spread Betting, Options & CFDs.
As a client of ActivTrades, you can get a full trading package under one roof. This includes everything you would need such as a selection of powerful trading platforms for multiple devices along with a vast range of webinars, one on one training, educational material and exclusive trading tools. I think they really excel when it comes to market analysis. Thus, if you are a technical trader you should find more than enough to meet your demands.
Originally formed in Switzerland, ActivTrades moved to London in 2005 to meet the increasing demands of traders from Europe, Asia and South America. The core of their business operations is run from the London head office. Since then they have continued to expand their global appeal with offices in numerous countries, with plans for further growth. I have always been impressed with the support that I have received from them over the years.
I found that they provide an enhanced range of financial products and services which can cater to everyone’s needs. They operate with no dealing desk (NDD), have a no-requote policy and competitive spreads. This helps to ensure that your trades are executed at the best possible prices with full transparency. They are constantly looking to innovate in order to adapt to the evolving needs of traders. I much prefer the NDD brokerage model as it ensures that there will be no conflict of interest between my trades and the broker.
ActivTrades is regulated by a top-tier regulator. This makes me feel comfortable trading with them and that my funds will be safe. When you trade with a regulated broker, you get some protection in case something should go wrong that you wouldn’t get if using an unregulated brokerage firm. If regulation is also important to you, Plus500 are one of the most well-regulated brokers that I have reviewed.
In 2018, ActivTrades acquired an ISO 27001 certification. This certificate is recognised worldwide for information security. I appreciate that they implement advanced client protection to help ensure that trading is secured.
ActivTrades PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom (FRN 434413).
ActivTrades Corp is authorised and regulated by The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB). ActivTrades Corp is an international business company registered in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, registration number 199667 B.
ActivTrades Europe SA, Public Limited Company, is authorised and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg.
The broker is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which is the UK’s statutory deposit insurance and investors compensation scheme for customers of authorised financial services firms. The FSCS can provide eligible clients with compensation if a firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. Eligible clients can benefit from extra security exceeding the FSCS threshold via their excess of FSCS Insurance.
They aim to put client’s interest above all else and thus all client accounts have negative balance protection to ensure losses cannot exceed the account balance. The margin close out level is in place to stop traders losing more than the initial deposit. As an added safeguard, all accounts that do go into the negative as a result of trading activity will be credited a zero balance. The balance protection policy is applied across multiple accounts so that a second accounts credit can offset the negative balance of another.
In the event of insolvency of the firm, client funds are protected as they are held in segregated accounts which are separate from ActivTrades corporate funds and thus cannot be used for any other purpose.
They can accept traders from all over the world, excluding the USA, Canada and some other countries from the OFAC list. If your country is not accepted, please feel free to check out our broker ratings for an alternative option.
ActivTrades have their very own proprietary trading platform, ActivTrader. They also offer the ever popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. The trading platforms are available on desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet).
This gives you great flexibility to choose the platform that works best for you at any given time. The web platforms you can access from any browser and the trading apps you can use from the comfort of your mobile phone. The desktop platform would require a computer or laptop but it does have the most capabilities, including automated trading if that is something you are looking for. I personally use all variations of the platform. I run expert advisors on the MT4 desktop platform and keep track of trades via my phone. If I don’t have my laptop or phone to hand, I can easily login to my account through the web browser. One of the main advantages of the web version is that it is always up to date and does not require you to download or install any software.
The powerful ActivTrader platform was developed in house with customer needs in mind. It gives you fast execution speeds and has an intuitive interface that I feel makes for a convenient and effective trading process. The enhanced platform utilises some of the latest innovative technologies and has advanced functionality to create an immersive trading experience for you regardless of your previous experience.
The platform enables you to open positions directly on real time charts using the built-in buy and sell buttons. You can create a personalised watch list to keep your favourite trading instruments in one place. There is the option to switch between light and dark themes in order to customise your view of the platform.
You will find a good selection of over 14 chart types with multiple timeframes to choose from. I like that there are a vast range of technical indicators for conducting complex chart analysis, ranging from moving averages (trend), oscillators and volume indicators. Depending on your strategy, you can customise the platform to be as simplistic or complicated as you need it to be.
The market sentiment tool shows how many clients are long or short on a chosen instrument. This data is often used as part of a contrarian trading strategy. I think the sentiment is a very underrated yet important form of analysis so I pleased to see they have included this tool. Other features include multiple order types, hedging, trailing stop and progressive trailing stop.
The ActivTrader platform can run directly in your web browser without the need for downloading or installing any additional software. It is also available for Android and iOS devices from the relevant app stores. This is useful for those who need to access their account and trade on the go with the same core functionality as the desktop platform.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MT4 is one of the most popular trading platforms and is often the preferred platform of choice for forex and CFD traders of all experience levels. It was developed by trading software company MetaQuotes and whilst I believe that it is user friendly enough for those of you who are new to trading, it also has enough advanced functionality for the more experienced traders out there. It is great that MT4 is available in an impressive 21 languages.
The MT4 platform has advanced charting capabilities that can be fully customised according to your personal preferences. The market watch window has a list of all trading instruments with real time price quotes. You can load different chart types across 9 timeframes for the instruments that you wish to analyse and trade with the possibility of 6 order types, including one click trading. This makes it easy to track the markets, place and manage your positions.
There is a good choice of over 50+ built in technical indicators for conducting chart analysis and spotting potential market moves. You can save templates for using on other charts and scroll back over historical data with ease. I like to save my different strategy templates so that I can access them again when needed within needing to load all of the indicators from scratch.
One of my favourite features of MT4 is that it has support for automated trading through the use of expert advisors (EAs). There is a built in MetaEditor for programming custom EAs and indicators in the MQL language. The strategy tester allows for back testing EAs over historical data downloaded from the brokers server or from an external provider. This can give you a rough idea of how strategies may have performed in the past but of course, it is no guarantee of future performance.
The MQL market place is accessible from within the platform and has a variety of third-party signals, EAs and indicators to choose from. You will find more free and paid add-ons then you will ever need.
MT4 is available for desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). The web platform requires no software to be downloaded or installed as it runs directly in most popular web browsers. The mobile platform is useful for those of you who wish to trade from the palm of their hands whilst on the go from any location in the world that has an internet connection.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
The MT5 platform is an updated version of MT4 that maintains most of the same core functionality whilst having some new features and extended characteristics that aims to make online trading more professional and precise. I think most of you would get by with MT4, especially forex traders. However, MT5 is probably going to be a better platform for trading stocks.
I like that MT5 has the ability to net off positions by reversing current trades. By opening several positions in the same contract, positions will be consolidated, this allows for a clear “First in First out” netting of open positions.
MT5 lets you trade on a great choice of 21 timeframes and 8 order types as well as one click trading. You can set price alerts to notify you when a specific level is reached and use trailing stops to lock in profit and try to maximum the potential of each trade. Account trading statements are integrated which is handy to track your results.
There is a built-in economic news calendar which makes it easy to follow the news and assist you with your fundamental analysis. The advanced strategy tester enables the back testing of multi-currency EAs using tick data. This is an improvement on the MT4 strategy tester that is limited to one instrument at a time and 1-minute data.
As with the other platforms, MT5 is available for desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). Just like MT4, the web platform runs directly in your web browser whilst the mobile app is useful for those who wish to trade on the go.
ActivTrades give you access to a variety of useful trading tools which can be very beneficial to help with planning your positions, analysing the markets and executing your trades. The trading tools are free to use for clients and there are detailed instruction guides included on the website to get you up to speed. Whilst there is a good selection of tools, they don’t quite compare to the quantity you can get with Markets.com.
Developed by ActivTrades, SmartOrder further enhances MT4 & MT5 by being designed to help increase your trading speed and the process of managing positions. It seamlessly integrates with the trading platform and has a user friendly interface with the ability to use multiple functions at the same time.
SmartLines is an easy to use application for MT4 & MT5 that enables automated execution based on trendlines placed on charts. Orders can be opened and closed based on the price levels of trendlines that you have set. This is useful as it means that you do not need to constantly watch the charts if you are waiting to perform an action once a specific level is reached. SmartLines can manage multiple charts at the same time, using pre-set automatic stop losses and take profits set for each one.
The SmartCalculator can be a great help with your money management by allowing you to review the potential risk and reward of a trade. It can simulate various trade scenarios according to the account balance, leverage, instrument, lots, price levels and position.
The SmartTemplate is an indicator for MT4 that can help with conducting calculated trading decisions. It can indicate potential long and short trades based on a combination of technical chart signals and evaluate them based on market strength and the daily market trend. It shows helpful colour coded signals across multiple timeframes.
SmartForecast is another powerful MT4 indicator that combines chart retracements along with market trend analysis to give an overview of the current market. It automatically calculates the support and resistance over the short and long term.
SmartPattern is another indicator for MT4 & MT5 that detects chart patterns and can scan historical data for recurrences of such patterns. It will generate informative statistics about potential market movements with data that can be easily identified directly on the chart and thus saves you the time by highlighting potential trade opportunities. SmartPattern can be used by all levels of traders and can be applied to all chart timeframes to increase the frequency of forecasts. I think this is a great tool for those of you who like complex technical analysis.
Pivot Points Indicator
You can use a simple pivot point indicator for MT4 & MT5 that has 3 levels of support and resistance which can be used to help analyse potential market movements. I think pivot points are an important form of price action analysis that can help to identify key price levels.
The economic calendar powered by TradingView on the brokers website displays a list of the latest economic news events. It shows the time, date, level of impact expected (low, medium to high), country, category and results (previous, forecast and actual). News can be filtered according to your requirements so you only see what matters most to you. I often use this tool as part of my fundamental analysis.
ActivTrades have a dedicated educational portal that contains a variety of educational materials for all levels of traders. If you are a beginner then you can find some basic trading guides and videos to learn more about trading online. For those of you who already have some experience, I think the market analysis can be great to inspire potential opportunities.
This a section of the website is dedicated to frequently updated market analysis that includes the latest opinions and commentaries from market experts. The articles contain detailed insights along with chart screenshots to illustrate the analysis which I think makes them easier to interpret.
The broker holds free seminars and webinars where you can increase your trading knowledge and share experiences through a series of presentations from financial experts. There is a handy archive available where you can access previous webinars.
One on One Training
ActivTrades offer personal online training sessions where their knowledgeable support team will guide you step by step through the essential information required to commence trading. These sessions aim to help you understand the main features of their trading platforms, trading tools and personal account area. This is something unique that you want find with many other brokers. Admirals do also provide trading if this is something you are specially looking for.
According to the brokers support manager, “Our one to one training sessions are designed to support traders in their first steps with us. Our dedicated team will go through our trading platforms, products, Personal Area and other essentials to give traders a comprehensive understanding of our products. A useful learning session to help you get started.”
On the website you will find a vast range of educational trading videos suitable for all types of traders from the new to the more experienced. Important topics covered include how to use the trading platforms and trading tools. Videos are well presented and annotated, making them easy to understand.
The website has a decent collection of handbooks in PDF format that cover a range of topics from trading platforms to trading tools.
There is a basic glossary of trading terms along with definitions on the website. This can be used to help familiarise yourself with the more frequently used trading terminology.
There is a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section which has a collection of commonly asked questions along with detailed answers.
You can get access to trade a very good range of over 500+ instruments including 50+ FX currency pairs as well as metals, indices, commodities, shares and financials. All of the offered trading instruments are accessible through multiple devices on the ActivTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms.
I think 500 financial instruments is a good amount for most traders. You will find major currency pairs, popular cryptos and shares in some of the largest companies. However, if you are looking for a greater variety and some lesser know assets, you may want to take a look at IG. They have a huge range of more than 17,000 tradeable instruments.
The foreign exchange (forex) market is the largest in the world in terms of trading volume, with a daily average of more than $5 trillion traded. The Forex market enables investors to trade currency pairs 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
You can trade forex with over 50+ major, minor and exotic forex currency pairs with spread starting from just 0.5 pips.
Indices & Financial Trading
You have access to the major global indices around the world including Nasdaq, Dow Jones, Euronext, FTSE and more. There is also access to some of the most important Fixed Income contracts such as the US T-Note and German Bund.
I like we can trade indices with no hidden costs and price transparency. They do not charge an overnight fee, allow mini and micro lots, have flexible margin requirements and spreads from 0.23 points in S&P500. These are really good conditions that are comparable to the best indices brokers.
ActivTrades have a great choice of commodity contract for differences (CFDs) including metals, energies, grains and softs. They are flexible with the minimum trading size and have spreads starting from as little as 0.005 points on gas when trading commodities.
ActivTrades provide access to trade share CFDs on over 450 top performing company shares with no hidden fees and the ability to trade long or short. You can speculate on the underlying prices without needing to own the underlying security. I was pleased to have access to global stock exchanges including New York, London, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and more.
Cryptocurrency is an online digital currency that is made of complex mathematical algorithms and decentralised. If you are a trading in a jurisdiction where it is allowed, you can have access to trade cryptos including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The broker only offers you a basic choice of an individual or professional account. A trading account allows you to trade on the ActivTrader or MetaTrader platforms with access to a wide range of trading instruments and trading tools. I think they could improve by adding some more account types. Usually, brokers will have accounts with zero commission fees and a spread mark-up, or a small commission fee for spread starting at zero pips. If you want a better choice of account types, you might want to have a look at FXTM instead.
The individual account allows you to trade with spreads from 0.5 pips, use mini and micro lots and access the markets with state-of-the-art trading platforms: ActivTrader, MetaTrader 4 and 5. They provide a fully automated order routing resulting in a highly efficient and fast execution. I found the account conditions to be very good and would put them up there with the industry leaders in this respect.
As a professional account holder, you can apply for increased leverage. In order to qualify as a professional client, you will need to meet 2 out of the following 3 criteria; a significant amount of trading volume in the previous four quarters, a financial portfolio of at least €500,000 and at least 1 year working in a professional position within the financial sector. Professional account holders may not be entitled to some benefits that individual account holders have. For example, you will not get the same fund protection as you are considered a professional trader.
Free demo accounts are available to test the different trading platforms and conditions before opening a real account. I think demo accounts are great for beginners who want to get a feel for trading without actually risking any funds. You can spend as long as you like practising your strategies until you build enough confidence to switch over to a live account.
Islamic swap-free accounts that comply with Sharia law are also available upon request. This is good as it shows they are a Muslim friendly broker who welcome clients from all backgrounds with different religious beliefs. In saying that, most brokers have a swap-free account nowadays, including CAPEX.
ActivTrades have award-winning customer support available in 14 different languages, 24 hours day, 5 days a week. Customer support is provided via online chat, telephone and email.
The majority of the company’s representatives have undertaken the customer function exam which outlines their commitment to delivering the highest standards of customer service. I have personally had an excellent experience with them. Nothing is more frustrating than poor customer service in my opinion.
The average email response time is one of the fastest in the industry, clocking in at just 27 minutes. A survey showed that the overall customer experience with ActivTrades was rated good or excellent by 9/10 of clients whilst 95% would recommend them to others.
ActivTrades allow you to fund your account with a good variety of convenient options including bank transfer, credit/debit card and online payment processors such as Neteller, Sofort, Skrill and PayPal (Sofort & PayPal is only available for ActivTrades Plc clients). You should note that some methods may only be available to specific countries and not all are available for both deposit and withdrawal. I like that there are digital wallet options as I find this often to be the quickest way to get access to my funds.
Some fees may be charged when using certain payment methods. Withdrawal requests are processed within the same day or next if outside working hours. The withdrawal time can vary depending on the payment provider and method. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear whilst some methods can be instant. Intraday profits are not allowed to be withdrawn on the same day and will be delayed until the next business day.
Some payment systems may have transaction limits, restrictions, and requirements which are indicated on their respective websites. You may need to verify your account to remove limits on particular methods in some countries. They do not accept third-party payments, cash or cheques. All funds deposited into your trading account must be under the same name as your ActivTrades account.
Accounts can be opened in various currencies including GBP, EUR, USD, CHF. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency. I think they could improve by adding support for some more currencies considering they have clients from all corners of the globe.
I think that ActivTrades are a top-class broker and industry leader when it comes to trading in a regulated environment. You can trade on a wide range of financial instruments across multiple asset classes. I like that we get access to trade via user-friendly yet powerful platforms for web, desktop and mobile devices. I was happy to see they support a good amount of funding methods. On top of that, you will have access to some exclusive trading tools which can improve the overall trading experience. For those of you who are beginners, there is a great range of educational materials and free demo accounts. There is a reason they have won multiple awards including for customer service who are prompt and efficient in their responses. I believe they could improve by adding some more account types but that isn’t really a deal breaker considering the individual account conditions are very competitive in any case. However, the €1,000 might be too big for some of you. If that is the case, Valutrades have a $1 minimum deposit requirement. Overall, I think they are a top broker that retail and institutional traders would be confident and happy trading with.