- ActivTrades is an online broker founded in 2001 and now headquartered in the UK.
- The broker is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is also regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg. Additionally, the broker enjoys oversight by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB).
- ActivTrades clients are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.
- The broker works with a No Dealer Desk (NDD) trading model.
- The broker provides Contract for Differences (CFD) access to over 1,000 market instruments such as FOREX, indices, commodities, shares, financials and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF).
- ActivTrades offers a single integrated account type known as the Individual Account.
- The broker provides clients with trading platforms, such as its proprietary ActivTrader, as well as MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5).
- ActivTrades offers competitive spreads and commissions across its account types, although its account funding fees are not universally competitive.
- The broker puts a lot of emphasis on trade execution speed. It claims to have average execution speeds of less than 0.004 seconds.
Year of Establishment
English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Iranian
Market Opening Hours
Originally founded in Switzerland in 2001, ActivTrades moved its headquarters to London in 2005, where it remains today. The company has a history in the financial services industry spanning over 20 years. In 2008, it added CFD trading on indices and commodities, alongside its established FOREX services.
After a strong surge of continuous growth, the company was ranked as the 6th fastest growing company in the UK, 3rd in London and 4th overall in the financial sector by Investec Hot 100 UK’s fastest-growing private companies in 2013. Today, the broker boasts customers from over 140 countries.
With an emphasis on investor fund safety, the company became the first broker in the UK to establish excess FSCS insurance, with a view to providing investors an extra layer of protection. The broker is regulated by the tier-1 FCA in the UK, providing its customers peace of mind regarding the safety of their investments. Other regulations include the CSSF and the SCB. The broker has offices in the UK, Luxembourg, Bahamas, Italy and Bulgaria.
The company has been rewarded for its stellar growth record and is the recipient of awards for excellence in markets like the UK, Germany, Italy and Russia. Selected awards include the Best Tools Award issued by Shares magazine in 2019. The broker was also awarded the Best Non-Dealing Desk Broker in the Online Personal Wealth Awards in 2017.
Over time, the broker has developed a comprehensive range of products. Clients now have access to more than 1,000 CFDs or spread-betting instruments across FOREX, indices, shares, commodities, financials and ETFs. Unfortunately, the firm does not offer cryptocurrency trading. The broker provides its services to a range of client types, including retail, professional and institutional traders.
ActivTrades offers its clients the world’s most popular trading platform, MetaTrader, that has been enhanced with internally developed Smart Tools for a superior trading experience. The broker also offers traders its proprietary ActivTrader, feature-rich platform that caters to all levels of traders and is available for desktop, smartphone and tablet.
As a company interested in providing excellent service, the broker seeks to hold true to its differentiators, which are fast execution, peerless customer support, innovation, education and safety. The broker works with its team of engineers to produce a trading experience featuring low latency and lightning quick execution speed. The company proudly touts average execution speeds of less than 0.004 seconds, a requested price order fulfillment rate of 93.6%, and over 100,000 trades per second.
Who Is ActivTrades Good For?
ActivTrades serves retail clients adequately, but is geared more toward providing the best solutions to professional and institutional traders. After all, these are the segments that trade the highest volumes by far. Brokers like ActivTrades cannot be unwelcoming to retail traders, as every elite trader started out as an entry-level retail trader. However, the broker reserves its best services for the wide array of organizations to which it offers class-leading investment and brokerage solutions. These organizations include:
- Hedge funds.
- Asset managers.
- Other brokers.
- Private investment vehicles.
- Professional traders.
It is clear that ActivTrades more than keeps itself busy with professional and institutional clients. Entry-level retail clients who need a high degree of assistance and handholding may want to look elsewhere. Here are some key factors to consider before engaging with this broker:
Comprehensive market access.
Customizable and responsive account types.
Fast trade execution speed.
Enhanced funds protection.
Is ActivTrades Safe?
ActivTrades is a safe broker. As aforementioned, it enjoys regulation by the UK’s prestigious FCA under registration number #434413. The company is also regulated by the SCB of the Bahamas as an international business registered in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, registration number #199667. The broker also enjoys regulation by the CSSF. Furthermore, the company is audited by global audit leader PWC. In line with broker best practice, ActivTrades ensures the segregation of client funds with top-tier banks.
Clients of this broker are also entitled to £85,000 compensation from the FSCS in the event of broker insolvency. Not content with conventional levels of investor protection, ActivTrades goes the extra mile, and was the first UK broker to offer clients additional investment fund protection up to $1,000,000. This Excess of Loss Insurance comes at no cost to the trader and covers them for losses between $10,000 and $1,000,000.
This market-first Excess of Loss insurance is available to all retail clients and underwritten by participating syndicates at Lloyd’s of London. This “A” rated insurance market gives traders unmatched peace of mind that their funds will be covered.
The broker also offers Negative Balance Protection, meaning a trader’s balance will never go into the negative. The broker will reset your account to zero if your account goes into negative as a result of trading losses. This protection is open to all retail clients and even applies if clients hold multiple accounts.
The broker stands by its promise to provide world-class performance and security. ActivTrades uses powerful IT infrastructure based on IBM Cloud. This ensures low latency, fast pricing delivery and rapid trade execution speeds.
Trading Account Information
Bank transfer - credit card - Electronic Banks
FOREX-indices-commodities-shares-financials-Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
Demo Account Duration
Offering of Investments
ActivTrades has a powerful collection of products that gives traders of all levels comprehensive market access. With over 1,000 CFD or spread-betting instruments covering Indices, FOREX, shares, financials, commodities and ETFs, traders are well accommodated.
Contract For Differences: Traders can enjoy several benefits from this type of transaction, such as flexible margins as well as mini and micro lot trading. There are no hidden fees, commissions or swaps on Futures CFDs. Clients can trade CFDs in FOREX, gold, silver and several prestigious share exchanges.
FOREX Trading: The broker offers low spreads from 0.5 pips. Clients can trade over 50 currency pairs on a commission-free basis. Mini and micro lot trading is supported. All this is done with swift execution and no requotes.
Indices and Financial Trading: Clients can enjoy transparent pricing, attractive spreads and access to extensive global markets at low margins.
Commodities Trading: The broker offers CFD trading access to commodities, such as metals, energies, grains and gas. Based on futures contracts, clients can trade mini or micro lots to access major markets with managed exposure.
Shares Trading: Clients have extensive access to over 1,000 leading company shares. Traders can go short or long while they trade shares on a CFD basis. Unleveraged trading is commission-free, and clients can access worldwide exchanges in financial centers, like New York, London and Frankfurt.
Advantages of Trading
Available FOREX Pairs
48 Currency Pairs
Starting from 0.5 pips
Proprietary Platform -Web platform-mt4- mt5
ActivTrades has a simple and unfussy account set up. Here are the main account types:
This highly functional and flexible account allows you to work with the proprietary ActivTrader, as well as MT4 and MT5. A multi-currency account, clients can trade in the currency of their choice and access to low spreads from 0.5 pips. You can trade in mini and micro lots with consistently swift execution. Supported currencies include the EUR, USD, GBP and CHF. As a NDD broker, there is no human intervention in your trades.
The account comes with access to the broker’s bespoke Smart Tools, like SmartForecast and SmartTemplate, to mention only two. Traders also have access to a powerful educational platform within this account, where they can attend online workshops and individualized training sessions with a view to improving their trading skills.
ActivTrades has an Islamic Account designed to cater to the needs of traders in the Arab and the Islamic world. Its Shariah-compliant Islamic Account does not levy interest on contracts lasting longer than 24 hours. In addition, there are no extra rollover commissions. Clients can still trade in mini lots and micro lots, and traders can get access to the multi-currency benefits of trading on MT4 and MT5.
Furthermore, the company offers traders the chance to run a master account with multiple linked accounts using a Multi-Account Manager. This feature is available in MT4 and MT5 to both retail and professional traders.
Opening an account with this broker is fast and convenient. Users simply access the broker’s Website and click “Open account.” After reading and accepting all the terms and conditions, traders can move on to choose their account type, show their trading experience, and provide the standard documentation required to get approval. Naturally, the process is somewhat different for institutional clients, who will have to present extensive documentation related to their trading entity.
ActivTrades offers a free 30-day Demo Account. Clients can use any of the three platforms – MT4, MT5 and ActivTrader, to practice their strategies. The Demo Account comes with $10,000 in virtual funds, which should be enough for traders to get acclimated to the broker’s trading ecosystem.
Bonuses and Promotions
At the time of this review, the broker had two promotions in operation. Refer a Friend allows traders to earn up to $1,000 per client for each person successfully introduced to ActivTrades. Meanwhile, the Cashback Program gives clients the chance to earn a bonus for every trade they place. All clients need to do is trade a notional value of $50 million per month. They can earn cash back on each trade they place. For each lot traded, clients receive a reduction equivalent to 20% reduction on spreads, 20% on swaps and 20% on shares commission.
Deposits and Withdrawals
ActivTrades offers several ways to fund your account, including bank transfer, credit/debit card, Neteller, Skrill and Sofort. The broker tries not to pass on bank fees, but admits that if bank fees on a low-trading account are especially high, they reserve the right to pass these fees on to the client.
Accepted deposit methods are:
- Bank transfer.
- Debit/credit cards.
Bank transfers are processed on the same working day, while every other method takes 30 minutes to complete. Credit and debit cards attract a 1.5% charge, while every other method is free. Clients can only deposit funds from an account in their name. First-time credit and debit card deposits are free, while subsequent deposits using this method will attract the relevant fees.
The broker allows withdrawals using the following methods:
- Bank transfers.
- Debit/credit cards.
Bank transfers attract a charge of £9, while all other methods are free. Traders can affect a single transaction up to a maximum of €15,000. They can also withdraw no more than €50,000 per month.
The broker is proud of its customer service tools and touts a 27-minute average email response time, coupled with a 95% customer satisfaction rating based on an internal survey. The broker also offers 24-hour live chat in 14 languages, including English, Malay, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.
Commissions and Fees
ActivTrades’s FOREX fees are well placed in the market. Currency pairs are commission-free, and a popular pair, like the EUR/USD, can carry an average 0.72 pips, which is an acceptable rate compared to similar rivals. ActivTrades also features comparatively low CFD trading fees. Its equity CFDs carry the following minimum commissions:
- US equity CFDs – $1 or $0.02 per share.
- UK CFDs – £1 or 0.1%.
- European shares – €1 or 0.01%.
The company charges swap fees on leveraged overnight positions. As is fairly standard, the broker does not charge any commission on FOREX trading. With fully automated trading on a no-human-intervention NDD basis, there are no midway costs to account for between placing the trade and execution. This is how the broker strives to keep its FOREX rates competitive.
As a sign of its pricing confidence, ActivTrades is keen to compare itself against competitor brokers and will happily list its fees against those of its closest rivals on its Website.
The broker’s non-trading fees are also well placed in the market. It levies third-party charges for deposits and withdrawals as mentioned, but these are not onerous. The company does charge an inactivity fee of £10 per month on accounts that have been dormant for over 1 year, which is common practice in the industry.
Maximum leverage is mandated by the regulators in each region, but traders can control their leverage levels within those parameters. Trading on the margin can increase earnings dramatically, but it can also magnify losses. However, with negative balance protection, traders cannot lose more than the funds in their accounts.
The broker has the room to decide margin rates and maximum leverage for professional traders. As normal, professional traders do not get investor fund protection. ActivTrades offers high leverage with currency trading. Each customer’s permitted leverage depends on the equity in their account. Here are the guidelines based on account equity:
- Less than €25,000 – 1:400.
- €25,001 to €50,000 – 1:200.
- €50,001 and above – 1:100.
Here are the platforms the broker provides:
This proprietary platform is filled with advanced features that will suit elite traders. ActivTrades has spent a great deal of time and effort creating a platform with useful functionality that differs enough from the well-known MetaTrader platforms that there is little overlap. Here are just a few of the features that can be found on this immersive platform:
- Progressive trailing stop risk mitigator.
- Trailing stop risk mitigator.
- Hedging strategy assistant.
- Market sentiment monitor.
- Real-time clickable charts.
This instantly recognizable industry staple is a trusted name. Its advanced tools are complemented with the broker’s bespoke Smart Tools as well as Expert Adviser (EA) assistance. Here are some of the strengths of the ActivTraders version of this well-known platform:
- Strategy-testing capability.
- Price alerts and trailing stops.
- 21 language options.
- Historic data and multiple timeframes.
- 50 pre-installed technical indicators.
- Nine timeframes.
This platform is loaded with extended features in addition to what traders can enjoy on MT4. Traders have access to a range of helpful tools, such as the ability to easily net off positions by reversing their current trade. Here are some other strengths of the popular platform:
- Breaking news headlines.
- Easy one-click trading.
- 21 timeframes and eight order types.
- Integrated trading statements.
- Historic data center and advanced strategy testing.
Smart Tools for MT4 and MT5
The broker provides excellent advanced tools to augment the already-superior experience of trading on MT4 and MT5. Smart Tools are available on both platforms and are simple to integrate in your investment strategy.
SmartOrder 2: This application is designed to increase trading speed by helping clients manage their positions. Through a user-friendly interface, traders can switch between the application and their trading accounts to get the best benefit.
SmartLines: This feature allows you to automatically execute trades in the chart based on trend lines you insert. It stops you having to watch every price movement closely. Once your price instrument breaches the set trendline, an order is automatically placed.
SmartCalculator: With this tool, you can quickly assess the relative risk and reward of a potential trade.
SmartTemplate: This feature offers a simple way to highlight long and short trading opportunities based on information from the chart.
The company provides “on-the-go” trading through the mobile version of its ActivTrader platform. Traders have access to many of the desktop features through the mobile version, which also supports tablet use. The mobile version is optimized for minimum battery and Internet data consumption.
Research and Development
ActivTrades has a well-stocked research section. Traders can take advantage of the Market Analysis page that shows the latest trading news from key markets. Macro Analysis articles discuss important matters, like inflation. The Video Analysis section is an in-house selection of videos that make it easier to make sense of the day’s news. The section is rounded off by a Markets Summary ticker and a detailed Economic Calendar.
The education section contains a powerful list of recorded Webinars covering such subjects as Combining Price Action Trading Tactics and Correlations between pairs. The broker also offers a unique one-to-one training facility, featuring live expert help in the form of personalized online training sessions.
The section is rounded off by helpful education videos featuring topics such as How To Place A Market Order. In addition, there are specially produced handbooks and manuals that painstakingly explain topics that commonly trip up new traders such as how to get to grips with MT4 and MT5.
This broker manages to create a high-end offering out of a set of simple, accessible, and streamlined tools and products. Professional and institutional traders will love the deep liquidity, rapid execution and attractive volume rates. Beginner traders may be less enthused by the lack of focus on their specific needs.
ActivTrades has solid market access and a powerful centralized account to make the most of its chosen trading platforms. For those traders in need of some advice, they will find a good selection of resources in video and written format that allow them to close any knowledge gaps they may have.
Clients can choose between the dependable MT4 or MT5 for desktop and mobile, or ActivTrades’ own proprietary ActivTrader platform that is Web-enabled and requires no download. If they need help, traders can access quality support through multiple channels.
Customers of this broker will find a long-established, well-regulated broker that is always trying to improve its products and the trading experience of its clients. With intuitive and immersive platforms, good amounts of insightful market analysis and trading signals, clients will find a home here.
Fees are competitive and the broker strives to improve everything in its stable from execution speeds, platform robustness and research capabilities. ActivTrades is a broker that is consistently getting better.
ActivTrades in Brief
ActivTrades offers a comprehensive set of features that will suit the expert trader and institutional investor. It has keenly developed, market-leading tools and a pleasing selection of choice within its product basket. Professional and institutional traders especially will feel at home with the wide range of quality products on offer.
The team at Arincen collected over 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
- Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
- A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.
We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc.
Afterward we validated the data by:
- Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
- Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%.
Where is this broker regulated?
ActivTrades enjoys regulation by the UK’s prestigious FCA. The company is also regulated by the SCB of the Bahamas and the CSSF of Luxembourg.
In what other ways does this broker protect me?
Clients of this broker are entitled to £85,000 compensation from the FSCS in the event of broker insolvency. ActivTrades offers clients additional investment fund protection up to $1,000,000 at no cost to the trader and covers them for losses between $10,000 and $1,000,000.
The broker also offers Negative Balance Protection, meaning a trader’s balance will never go into the red.
Which countries does this broker serve?
The broker boasts customers from over 140 countries, but it does not serve the US.
Does this broker offer Cryptocurrency trading?
No. This broker does not offer cryptocurrency trading.
Does this broker provide any extra offerings?
At the time of writing, the broker had two promotions in play. Refer a Friend allows traders to earn up to $1,000 per client for each person successfully introduced to ActivTrades.
The Cashback Program gives clients the chance to earn a bonus for every trade they place. For more details, traders are advised to visit the broker’s Website.
How do I fund my account?
Accepted deposit methods are: bank transfer, debit/credit cards, Neteller, Skrill, Sofort, and Paypal. For withdrawals, the broker allows the following methods: bank transfers, debit/credit cards, Neteller, Skrill, and Paypal.
Which trading platforms does this broker offer?
ActivTrades provides three main platforms: its proprietary ActivTrader, MT4 and MT5.
How can I access customer service?
This broker offers 24-hour live chat in 14 languages. Alternatively, traders can call in by phone or send an email.