Tier1FX ReviewCategory: Reviews | Author: Trading Brokers | Date: November 17, 2022
Tier1FX is an online broker based in Malta that offers a transparent way of institutional trading for both retail and professional traders. You can get convenient market access via a great selection of sophisticated platforms where you can trade a decent range of financial instruments across various asset classes. The broker has solutions for manual and automated trading, including trading signals and managed accounts. There are demo accounts for beginners who want to learn more about how to trade online but I did find the broker to be lacking in other educational content. I think they are more catered towards institutional traders, as is evident with the powerful FIX API connectivity that they provide. The high deposit requirement of €1,000 also emphasises the audience they are primarily looking to serve.
Pros & Cons
- Good selection of forex currency pairs to trade
- Excellent trading platforms; JForex, Fortex 6 and MT4
- Managed accounts for investors and money managers
- FIX API connectivity for institutional trading conditions
- Premium VPS service powered by Beeks Financial Cloud
- Tight spreads and low commission fees
- Inactivity fees are not charged
- Free demo trading accounts
- Excellent customer service
- Limited trading instruments
- Minimum €1,000 deposit
- Limited deposit options as no e-wallets or cryptos accepted
- Cannot accept clients from some countries
- No research, market news or analysis
- No educational materials for beginners
- Limited choice of account types
Tier1FX is an online forex and CFD brokerage firm based in Malta. It was founded in 2013 with a mission to support its clients online trading needs. Tier1FX is the brokerage arm of ‘Hogg Capital Investments Ltd’, a licensed Investment Services Company based in the Republic of Malta. Tier1FX operates on the values of fairness, caring, boldness and agility. From my experience, they live up to this promise and I am yet to have any issues with them.
I like how the broker incorporates the direct market access (DMA) brokerage model. Client orders are executed within fractions of seconds with minimal requotes. The broker only acts as an agent and thus does not interfere in pricing or executions. I prefer this setup as it means that there should be no conflict of interest between the broker and my trades. I wouldn’t want them taking the opposite side of my position as a market maker broker could.
Tier1FX liquidity pool is made up of top banks like Bank of America, UBS, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, NatWest, Citi, etc. The non-bank liquidity comes from XTX Markets, LMAX exchange and Dukascopy. With Tier1FX infrastructure, powered by Beeks Financial cloud, your orders are routed to the liquidity pool at a latency of 0.2 milliseconds. The trading servers are located at the powerful Equinix NY4. I am really impressed with the liquidity that this broker has. Generally speaking, the more liquidity there is available, the best market prices you can get. This is because the broker will match you with the best prices from the liquidity pool when you place your trades.
I am pleased to say that the broker is regulated. I would always prefer to opt for a regulated broker as they must follow certain rules and procedures that are put in place to try and help protect investors and traders’ interests. This means that I can focus on my trading without worrying about the broker.
Tier1FX is a division of ‘Hogg Capital Investments Ltd’ which is a financial investment company with the registration number IS18954. It is authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA). The license number is C18954. MFSA is the regulator of the financial services in Malta. The regulator requires a minimum capital base of €730,000 from brokers. There are also strict regulatory stipulations like regular reporting, risk management, account segregation, etc.
Tier1FX is compliant with Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) regulations. So the broker services are passported in Europe under MiFID II. Tier1FX is registered with the following regulators:
Tier1FX brokerage operators are part of the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF). This means that Tier1 clients can be eligible for compensation if the broker becomes insolvent.
All clients’ funds are held in segregated accounts. Tier1FX says that these funds are referred to as ‘ring fenced’ and cannot be mixed with the broker’s money.
The broker does not accept clients from USA, Iran, North Korea, Spain and Japan. There are also some other countries that they are unable to allow clients from due to regulatory restrictions. If your country is not accepted, please feel free to browse our broker ratings for an alternative option.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
The MT4 platform is a robust and powerful platform widely used by forex and CFD traders all over the world. I am an avid user of MT4 and it has been my platform of choice for many years. I like how it gives me easy market access so that I can analyse charts and run automated systems without any hassle. There is so much that the platform is capable of doing and it can be fully customised according to your own needs. Another great advantage of MT4 is that it is available through most brokers. This means that you might not need to learn a new platform from scratch if you do decide to switch brokers down the line. Comparable MT4 brokers to consider include FXDD.
Tier1FX offers all the versions of the MT4:
- WebTrader: This is the browser-based version of the trading platform. It can be accessed via Tier1FX website. It runs on browsers across all devices and on all operating systems.
- Mobile App: MT4 is mobile friendly as it has mobile apps which are available on Android and iOS devices. These apps can be downloaded and installed from their respective stores.
- Desktop Platform: This is the main version of MT4 that is designed to be installed on computers running on Windows operating system. This version has the full features of the which includes support for the installation of plugin apps and extensions.
Here are some of the key features of MT4:
- It is available in over 35 languages.
- Offers very fast STP executions.
- 30 preinstalled technical indicators and support for extra addition of thousands more.
- Customisable interface, colours and layouts.
- Charting in 3 chart styles; bar, line and candlesticks.
- Charts can be displayed on up to 9 timeframes from 1 minute to 1 month.
- Support for automated trading using software Expert Advisors (EAs).
- Alert notifications via SMS, email and pop up alerts.
This is a powerful trading platform that has multiple features for trading the markets and analysing the charts. The platform is available as an html5 based web trader. It also runs on windows, Linux and MAC computers as downloadable desktop software’s. The Fortex 6 mobile app is available on iOS and Android devices. I like how it can run in the web browser as this means I am able to get quick and easy access to my account from any device. This also ensures that the platform is always up to date.
Here are some of the main features of Fortex 6:
- It has a simple and user friendly interface.
- Available in multiple languages.
- Supports one-click trading.
- Multiple order types such as market, limit, threshold, VWAP, trailing stop orders, etc.
- Advanced charting and technical analysis.
This is the proprietary platform designed by Dukascopy; a Swiss online bank and broker. It is designed for trading on the Swiss Forex Marketplace (SFXM) liquidity pool. JForex is a java-based platform that is available as desktop applications on windows, Linux and MAC operating systems. I would consider this more of a platform for professional traders and I don’t find it as user-friendly as MT4 myself. Granted, it is capable of similar functions, but just seemed a little bit too clunky in comparison for my liking.
JForex also runs on the web browser as WebTrader which requires no downloads. The platform is also mobile friendly as it has android and iOS trading apps. Here are some of its features:
- Over 180 technical indicators and analytical tools.
- Offers deep liquidity and transparent pricing.
- Advanced charting and multiple order features.
- Available in more than 20 languages.
- Integrates the visual JForex; a tool used to build automated strategies without knowledge of Java programming knowledge.
This is an electronic communication protocol used for financial information exchange. It gives Direct Market Access (DMA) to the Tier1FX liquidity pool. FIX API is very fast, very light and easy to setup and use for those with the programming knowledge and skills. EAs can be used via the FIX API to automate forex and CFD trading. Other brokers with FIX API solutions include Darwinex.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Tier1FX has partnered with Beeks Financial cloud to bring VPS services to interested clients. Tier1FX clients are entitled to a 10% discount on any VPS subscription. Prices start from £27 per month. A VPS is often needed by traders who need fast and reliable connections to the trading servers. Those online traders who use automated trading systems (EAs) often use a VPS as it can keep the trading platform running 24/7. I think it is great that they provide a VPS as I have one from a third-party provider and find it to be an invaluable tool for running my automated systems around the clock.
Tier1FX offer managed accounts for its clients. These are for clients who wish to invest their funds by choosing from a selection of money managers. The investor chooses a manager based on trading history and statistical data provided by the broker. Investors can switch managers or stop the trades on their accounts. All the necessary software, tools and platforms needed are provided for you to get the best out of managed accounts. Equity Protection Management (EPM) is available for managed accounts. It is a trading solution that allows an investor to effectively manage his level of investment whilst the funds are being managed by another trader. Traders can leave the program or automatically close positions on reaching certain equity level. If you are looking specifically for managed accounts, FXGiants are also worth checking out.
Tier1FX does not provide any training package for its customers. No e-books, training videos or educational content is available on its website. This is disappointing and an area in which I think there is room for significant improvement. I would expect most brokers to at least have some basic guides and videos. However, it does suggest they are catering towards a more professional clientele. If you are a beginner and looking for lots of educational content, IronFX have a good selection.
In terms of financial instruments, I found them to be lacking when compared to brokers like RoboForex who have thousands. That being said, there should be more than enough choice if you primarily trade forex. If you are looking for individual stocks, you will need to look elsewhere. TMGM being an option. The broker offers the following assets for trading on their platforms:
- 60 Forex Currency Pairs
- 10 Indices
- 5 Cryptocurrencies
Tier1FX does not offer multiple account types for retail traders. The spreads, leverage and trading capital does not depend on the account type. I quite like it when a broker has multiple different trading accounts to choose from because we all have different needs. Some traders may want lower spreads and are happy to pay a commission. Others may not be too fussed about spreads and prefer to not pay any commission. If you want a broker with more account options, then PU Prime might be worth consideration.
Here are the limited account types that are available:
- Individual Account
- Corporate Account
The minimum account opening balance is $1,000 or equivalent in your account base currency. The maximum spread is 1:30 in compliance with the ESMA rules. Commissions on forex trading are as follows; $2.75 for forex, $3.25 for commodities, $0.3 for USD and 0.10% on Cryptos.
Accounts can be opened in a good choice of currencies which are EUR, USD, GBP, CHF & JPY. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
Demo accounts are freely available for practice purposes. They come preloaded with virtual funds but are only available for 60 days. This can allow you to test the different platforms and tools before opening a real trading account. I think this is a great way to try out your strategies and for building confidence before making a financial commitment.
To open a live account, visit the brokers website. From any Webpage on the website, click on ‘Open Live’ button found on the right-hand side of the menu bar. Click on “Let’s start” and then, select your country. If you are from a country that is not accepted, a message will be displayed and the registration cannot continue. I found the process to be easy and like how it is all done online as you would expect in today’s day and age.
Select the type of account: individual, joint or corporate account and continue. For individual account registration, input your name and phone number, email, password and verify your email. After verification you will then select either trading or managed account, platform, and then, fill in your personal details. After completion of all forms and phone verification, you are logged into the clients’ area where you can create accounts, make a deposit and verify your identity.
Tier1FX asserts that it has a fast and efficient customer support team that works 24/5 during the trading hours. The support desk can be reached on instant web chart, email and support phone lines. A ‘Contact us’ form on the website can also be used to reach the support team. Response is normally by email. I have always had a prompt and polite response but think they could improve by offering 24/7 support.
You can only make deposits and withdrawals by bank transfer and card. I think they could significantly improve by adding some digital wallet options and even cryptos. There are many other brokers with plenty of funding options including FXPRIMUS.
Bank Wire Transfers
All transfers must be made with the same name on the trading account. No third party transfers are allowed. Tier1FX does not charge commissions on deposits. Bank transfer can take 2-7 business days depending on the banks involved.
The only acceptable cards are 3D-secure enabled Mastercard and Visa cards. A maximum of €15,000 per transaction and €35,000 per month is allowed for each debit or credit card. A commission of 2.4% + €0.25 per transaction is charged. Clients are required to scan and send a copy of the card before using it. Card deposits are usually credited instantly to the trading account. For card withdrawals, only funds deposited from the card can be returned to it. Profits are withdrawn via bank transfers. The withdrawal fee is fixed at €15/$20/£15.
Putting it all together, Tier1FX is an STP broker that uses modern infrastructure to provide you with prime liquidity and swift trade executions for your trading strategies. They are regulated by the MFSA and registered in several European nations. The broker offers competitive spreads on cutting edge platforms. The MT4, JForex, Fortex 6 and FIX API are the excellent choice of trading platforms available. Every trader can choose a platform based on individual preferences and required features. Each of the platforms are fully customisable and user-friendly.
Unfortunately for beginners, there are no training resources to help introduce them to online trading. Even the demo account expires after 60 days. There are no in-house analysts that present daily insights, analysis or market news. Most online brokers will offer some form of frequently updated market analysis to assist traders. I found the assets listing to be very small compared to competitor brokers that offer hundreds to thousands of trading instruments. The payment options are limited as there are no electronic payment solutions available. The minimum trading capital of €1,000 is also very high when compared to other online brokerages who accept deposits as low as $1 to commence trading on live accounts, such as TD365.
Overall, I feel the broker could be a good choice for forex traders who already have some experience trading online that want professional access to institutional trading conditions in a regulated environment.