Broker comparison – Who is the best? In this article, we introduce ActivTrades.
What is ActivTrades?
ActivTrades is a London-based online broker that provides an electronic trading platform for foreign exchange and contracts for difference (CFDs). ActivTrades also offers services for private traders and institutional traders via the electronic trading platforms ActivTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
The company’s customer base is mainly in Europe, particularly in Italy and Germany, as well as in South America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
The history of ActivTrades
The world-famous CFD broker was originally founded in 2001 in Switzerland. Four years later the company moved and relocated its headquarters to London. In 2007, the online broker added the popular trading platform MetaTrader 4 to its range, and, a year later, there was a major expansion of the product range on offer: Now, in addition to CFDs, indices, bonds and commodities could also be traded.
The online broker continued to grow and expanded its presence in the trading markets of Italy, Germany and France. The company also expanded to Australia, Latin America, Russia and Southeast Asia. In 2009, a training program became available for interested customers.
In March 2012, ActivTrades added MetaTrader 5 to its trading platform offer and also expanded its portfolio to include financial spread betting for UK-based customers. A year later, ActivTrades became the first broker in England to implement the Excess of FSCS Insurance.
In 2016, the online broker launched its own trading platform, ActivTrader, and also introduced its own MasterCard – the prepaid MasterCard.
Last year, the company also added Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) to its portfolio. A subsidiary in the Bahamas was also set up to improve customer service for investors in Latin America and Asia.
Previous ActivTrades awards
By now, the online broker ActivTrades has received numerous awards, especially in the UK, but also in Asia and in Germany.
Awards in the UK:
- 2013: ActivTrades is one of the 100 fastest growing companies and is listed on the Investec Hot 100 list
- 2013: ActivTrades is nominated for “Company of the Year” by the prestigious UK Growing Business Awards
- 2016 : The International Academy for Intercultural Research (IAIR) honors the online broker as the “Best Forex Broker of the Year UK”
- Corporate visions’s CEO of the month
- 2017: DVFN International Financial Awards 2017 in the category Best Online Trading Services
Awards in Germany:
- 2010: Broker-Wahl.de: ActivTrades is ranked 2nd in the “Forex Broker of the Year” category
- 2012: Capital magazine announces that ActivTrades is the fifth largest CFD provider in Germany
- 2013: World of Trading Award – 1st place
- 2016: Deutsches Kundeninstitut & Euro am Sonntag give the online broker the rating “very good” in the category of best customer service
- 2019: 2nd place / Forex Broker of the Year 2019 / broker choice
- 2020: 1st place / Forex Broker of the Year 2020 / broker choice
In addition to the awards in the UK and Germany, ActivTrades has also received awards in numerous other countries such as Russia, China, France, Italy and Spain as well as Saudi Arabia. Listing all of them here would go beyond the scope of this article, but if you are interested, you can see all of their awards on the website of ActivTrades.
Deposit insurance and regulation
ActivTrades is regulated by a UK financial regulator called the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). The online broker is therefore under direct supervision and must adhere to the strict regulation of the FCA principles. These also stipulate that customer deposits that the company is responsible for must be secured accordingly. In the event that the company becomes insolvent, customer deposits will remain unaffected.
The company ensures the security of customer funds by storing them in a separate account that is independent of the ActivTrades account. The rules from the Client Assets Sourcebook (CASS) of the FCA manual apply in this case. This manual regulates all areas related to separation methodology and acknowledgement of trust.
ActivTrades is also a member of the FSCS, which is responsible for regulating compensation and financial services. As previously mentioned, all customer deposits are subject to FCA regulation and are secured by the FSCS up to a maximum of 85,000 British pounds.
In addition to the security required by government regulations, ActivTrades also offers another security option: Individual customer funds are secured beyond the FSCS threshold of 1,000,000 British pounds.
What markets can be traded at ActivTrades?
ActivTrades offers a variety of different options with regard to the selection of the markets. The following markets can be traded with this online broker:
More than 50 different currency pairs can be traded at ActivTrades without a commission.
- Indices and bonds
There is also trading in cash indices structured as CFDs and in forward indices as well as in global indices such as Nasdaq, Dax, etc. And various bonds can also easily be traded at ActivTrades.
ActivTrades can also trade a range of commodities, including metals, grains and energies. The minimum spreads start as low as 0.005 points.
Share CFDs can, of course, also be traded at ActivTrades. Positions can be opened in real time, and you can go long or short with a variety of leverage options.
As you can see, the selection of markets is extensive. Depending on their individual preferences, traders can choose to trade in their preferred area.
What platforms are available at ActivTrades?
The next step is to take a closer look at which online trading platforms ActivTrades offers. This also plays a rather important role when it comes to choosing between different brokers.
The online broker presented here generally offers three different platforms for the customer to choose from. Let’s take a closer look at them below.
With it own trading platform, ActivTrader, all its investors can benefit from the latest technological and functional requirements. More than 500 CFDs can be traded on Forex, commodities, indices, options, shares and ETFs. We will briefly explain some of these modern functions below.
Progressive Trailing Stop
This feature allows traders to better secure their profits. It allows you to define certain areas in advance in which the trailing stop adapts if the market develops accordingly.
The trailing stop is a stop loss that follows a position and then sets a stop loss as soon as “the price reaches a certain distance, in points, from your order.”
Hedging is a function that can be used to better control risk. It can be used to compensate for undesirable price fluctuations.
In addition, the “sentiment indicator” offers a helpful tool to better predict future course developments.
And last but not least, there are 14 different chart types to choose from, with which traders can support their own strategy development accordingly.
The trading platform MetaTrader 4 has proven itself time and time again and is one of the cheapest and most stable platforms in foreign exchange trading. There are 50 pre-set technical indicators to choose from in the platform and there are also helpful strategy testers.
With the MetaTrader 5 platform, traders can benefit from additional functions and trading instruments. This includes, for example, the integration of trading statements as well as historical market data and advanced strategy testers. A variety of products can also be traded, such as shares and ETFs.
The mobile trading platform ActivTrader
Of course, the trading platforms offered by ActivTrader can also be used as a mobile app. In addition to the mobile version of MetaTrader 4 and 5, there is also an app for the ActivTrader platform. This gives traders continual access to the markets and, in the event of price fluctuations, allows them to react faster. There are a wide variety of functions and the app’s design is intuitive and user-friendly. The mobile version is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Tools at ActivTrades
A special feature of ActivTrades is that the online broker offers a variety of different tools that can be used to support trading activities. In the following we will briefly describe each of the tools and explain their functions.
The SmartOrder tool serves as an add-on to the MetaTrader 4 trading platform. An important advantage of the tool is faster order placement, and the ability to more easily manage your own positions. The user interface is user-friendly and clear.
With the SmartLines app for MetaTrader 4 and 5 it is possible to place an order directly based on the charts. This happens completely automatically whenever the price crosses the previously determined trend lines. To do this, all you need to do is define the corresponding trend lines beforehand. This means you no longer have to constantly follow the price developments. As a result, customers who use this tool can save a considerable amount of time.
With the help of the SmartCalculator, the risk associated with trades that have been made can be better evaluated and analyzed. For example, various trading cases can be simulated. Now, for example, different parameters can be changed in order to see the effects of the respective changes on the potential gain or loss.
SmartTemplate is also an add-on for MetaTrader 4. It is an indicator that shows advantageous buy and sell options based on corresponding signals from selected charts.
By combing chart retracement and market trend analysis, the SmartForecast indicator offers a simple market overview. For example, it can determine both short-term and long-term resistance and the volatility of certain trends.
SmartPattern is also an indicator for MetaTrader 4 and 5, which is exclusively available to ActivTrades Live customers. With this tool, chart patterns can be automatically detected and scanned. Statistics are generated from this data and used to make prognoses.
Now we come to another important point when it comes to choosing the right broker: the fees. In this section on fees, we will also discuss the spreads and the margins in detail.
Spreads in Forex trading
ActivTrades charges no commissions on trades made, only the appropriate spread must be taken into account. The spreads for some selected currency pairs are set as follows.
|Symbol||Target Spread||Average Spread|
More information on minor currency pairs as well as exotic currency pairs can be found on the website.
Forex margin and leverage
With regard to leverage, a distinction is made between private customers and professional customers, in accordance with ESMA regulations. For private investors, the conditions for spreads and margin are as shown below.
|Major Forex pairs||Max. Leverage 1:30||Margin 3.33%|
|Other pairs||Max. Leverage 1:20||Margin 5%|
|Gold||Max. Leverage 1:20||Margin 5%|
|Silber||Max. Leverage 1:10||Margin 10%|
For professional customers, however, it is a little different. These customers can trade up to a leverage of 1:400; additional details on the different currency pairs can also be found on the website.
Is there a minimum capital requirement?
The minimum capital required to be paid into the account at the beginning is 1,000 euros.
The demo account at ActivTrades
The online broker ActivTrades also offers the option of a demo account. You can choose between the three available platforms. The demo account will then be provided with a fictitious starting credit of 10,000 euros. To test the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms, you must first register with your name, telephone and email address. The test version of ActivTrader can be used directly without registration for 72 hours, during which time you can also register for the 30-day test version. The design of the demo account is intuitive and clear. It is also a great way to familiarize yourself with the built-in tools.
Deposits and withdrawals at ActivTrades
ActivTrades offers several payment options: bank transfer, payment by credit/debit card, Neteller or Netbanx. The following tables list the conditions of deposits and withdrawals, depending on the selected payment method.
|Payment type||Fees||Processing time|
|Bank transfer||Free||Same working day|
|Credit card (UK & EEA)||Free||30 minutes|
|Credit card (Non UK & EEA)||1.50%||30 minutes|
|Payment type||Fees||Processing time|
|Bank transfer/credit card/Neteller/Skrill/Paypal||None||Same working day|
(request before 12:30 p.m.)
|Bank transfer (non-sepa/chaps)||€ 15 /|
|Same working day|
(request before 12:30 p.m.)
|Bank transfer USD||$ 12.50||Same working day (request before 12:30 p.m.)|
|ActivTrades Mastercard||None||Same working day (request before 12:30 p.m.)|
What types of accounts are there at ActivTrades?
As previously mentioned, different conditions apply to private traders than to professional traders, which is due to the ESMA regulation. Accordingly, there are also different account models offered at ActivTrades.
On the one hand there is the classic account for private investors. Here you can trade normally, but the leverage restrictions must be observed. In the account for professional customers, however, there are no leverage restrictions. The classification as a professional customer is based on certain criteria that must be fulfilled. This includes, for example, an investment portfolio with a minimum amount of 500,000 euros.
The training program at ActivTrades
The wide range of training program options offered by ActivTrades is also an interesting aspect for potential traders. One of these options is one-to-one training, which can be booked by interested investors at any time. Selected experts provide support for customers in exploring the platform and using the tools.
The training is individually tailored to each investor. There are also the live seminars, which take place at regular intervals in countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These can often also be attended free of charge. The online broker also provides educational opportunities in webinars and in various events and trade fairs.
At this point, the customer service at ActivTrades will be briefly discussed. Their telephone support is available every day 24 hours a day and can be accessed in 14 different languages. In addition, all customer advisors have to pass a so-called “customer function” test, which, in this industry, is usually only completed by those in management positions. For this reason, the majority of customer advisors are certified accordingly, in order to be able to offer customers the best possible service.
There is also a chat function on the website that can be used for quick and easy support. Messages are usually replied to very quickly; 9 out of 10 customers rated them as “good” or “very good” in a survey.
ActivTrades is an established online broker from England that offers a number of different tradable markets for its customers. The conditions are largely positive and their customer service also stands out from the competition. The numerous tools and add-ins for the trading platforms as well as the selectable deposit insurance up to £ 1,000,000 are particular advantages of the online broker. For interested investors who are still undecided, we recommend using the free demo account for 30 days to test the online broker.