CapTrader broker – review, test, introduction (2020)

Broker comparison – who is the best? In this article, we are introducing CapTrader.

CapTrader is an online broker for international stock, option, ETF, futures, CFD, commodity, and currency/forex trading. CapTrader is an introducing broker of Interactive Brokers.

The history of CapTrader

The asset management and consultancy firm was established in 1997, and licenced by BaFin, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, a year later already.

The expansion of the classic range of services by an online trading software started in the year 2004.

Captrader logo

2007 saw the launch of the online brand FXFlat. Two years later, FXFlat crossed the 1,000-client mark.

In 2011, FXFlat is honoured with the Best CFD Broker of 2011 award by the “€uro am Sonntag“ magazine as the clear overall winner. This is followed by further awards in subsequent years. 

Given the strong growth, the company moves into new and larger premises in 2013. 

A 24-hour trading department including service and support in German and English is created in 2015. In the same year, the FXFlat Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH starts doing business as a securities trading bank after a successful licence expansion. 

Accounts without margin calls are introduced in 2017. This is followed by further product launches such as bitcoin and forex spot, for example.

The CapTrader GmbH limited company was founded in 2019. In the same year, CapTrader also receives numerous award, including the Focus Money 2019 award for highest competence. 

The CapTrader office in Düsseldorf

CapTrader is based in Düsseldorf at 2 Elberfelder Strasse.

  • CapTrader at the centre of Düsseldorf (Industrieclub/Steigenberger Parkhotel group of buildings) directly opposite the “Kaufhof” department store

Which markets can be traded?

CapTrader offers trading at more than 120 international exchanges from 26 countries around the world. 

This makes all the best-known stock exchanges in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia available.

The following products can be traded:

  • Shares
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • Futures
  • Warrants
  • CFDs
  • Commodities
  • Certificates
  • Forex
  • Investment funds

The stocks and ETFs can be traded in 26 countries.

With the futures, commodities and options on futures, the range includes more than 35 marketplaces around the world. 

Options can be traded in over 15 countries. 

CFDs are tradable for all popular indexes, currencies, and stocks. The range of stock CFDs currently includes 7,250 shares from the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.

For the forex trading, you can choose from around 100 currency pairs.

All warrants and certificates from all major issuers can be traded.

CapTrader enables trading in funds that are tradable on the Euronext stock exchange (Euronext Mutual Funds). The available selection includes 11,000 investment funds from over 240 fund families.

Is CapTrader an ECN/STP broker?

CapTrader is an introducing broker of Interactive Brokers and thus also an ECN/STP broker, just like the latter.

What is the minimum deposit?

The minimum deposit required to open an account is 2,000 euros (or the equivalent in another currency). Alternatively, such an account can also be opened by transferring securities (totalling 2,000 euros at the time of the transfer). 

How is CapTrader regulated?

CapTrader is licensed and supervised by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

Is there any deposit protection?

Yes, deposits are protected. 

The account is held at Interactive Brokers U.K. (IB UK). IB UK is an affiliate of Interactive Brokers LLC (IB), a company that is listed in the NASDAQ (symbol: IBKR), has been active in the financial industry for over 33 years, and pursues an extremely conservative business policy. 

IB has more than 800 employees around the world, handles over 1,000,000 transactions a day, and has an equity of 5 billion USD.  IB was not directly affected by the financial crisis as it had strictly avoided risky engagements in subprime loans and CDOs. The company has been consistently profitable for years, also during the financial crisis. IB is subject to the SEC and CFTC standards, IB UK to the FSA standards.

All client funds are held in segregated accounts, i.e. separately from the broker’s own accounts. Should the broker ever become insolvent, clients with segregated accounts will thus still be able to dispose over their funds. 

In addition to this, client funds and deposits are also protected in three further ways:

  1. Client deposits are held in segregated accounts that are managed strictly separately from IB’s own equity. Claims against IB can thus not be asserted over their client funds. (Hatten wir eben schon, ist also gar nicht der zusätzliche Schutz, den der erste Satz verspricht, daher mein Vorschlag für diesen: Altogether, client funds and deposits are protected in three different ways: )
  2. In the unlikely case of IB ever going bankrupt, client funds and financial instruments are insured by the US Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). This protection extends to USD 500,000 per client maximum, including a maximum of USD 250,000 for cash deposits. Added to this is a Lloyd’s insurance providing protection for USD 30 million per client (including USD 900,000 for cash deposits), with a total maximum of USD 150 million per claim. 
  3. If they hold positions in non-US index options, non-US index futures, metals or cash in the UK account, clients can also opt for the British Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This will cover up to GBP 50,000 per client. If a compensation procedure is pending or completed with the US SIPC, a compensation process with the FSCS may be refused however.

Where can I register for a demo account?

Registering for a demo account is easy and uncomplicated from the CapTrader website. 

What are the requirements for opening an account?

Opening an account takes three steps:

  1. File an application for opening an account.
    This can be conveniently filled in online. 
  2. Signature and POSTIDENT
    Once you have been legitimized by POSTIDENT, the signed application and documents required to open an account are sent to CapTrader.  
  3. Account setup
    As soon as CapTrader has received all the documents needed in full, they will immediately open the account by way of the CapTrader online broker.

What are the conditions and spreads like at CapTrader?

The conditions and spreads at CapTrader are competitive.

The order fees for German shares and ETFs amount to 0.10 % of the transaction volume. The minimum fee is € 4.00. American stocks can be traded from 1 cent per share. The minim fee here amounts to € 2.00. Stock trading is also inexpensive in other countries, with the fees usually amounting to 0.10 %.

The fee structure for futures trading is also fair. In Germany, the fee per futures and option contract comes to € 2.00. Trading micro E-mini futures in the USA will set you back $ 1.25 per contract. The fees for other US futures meanwhile come to $ 3.50 per futures or option contract.

The commission for CFDs amounts to 0.01 % for the Deutschland 30 (IBDE30).

Overview of the order fees for trading index CFDs.

The commissions for stock CFDs range between 0.05 % and 0.1 %.

Example for a European stock CFD

Purchase: 100 Daimler CFDs at a price of € 52.00 each.

Calculation: 100 CFDs * € 52.00 (CFD price) = € 5,200.

Result: 5,200 * 0.1 % (commission) = € 5.20 order fee

The commission for forex CFD trading comes to 0.3 base points * volume. The minimum fee here amounts to € 3.75.

Holding fees are charged daily for all open CFD positions held at the close.

Spot forex trading is subject to the same fees as CFD and FX trading.

Example for a currency trade

Purchase: 100,000 EUR/USD at a EUR/USD exchange rate of: 1.30

(means: purchase of 100,000 euros and simultaneous sale of 130,000 USD)

Calculation: 0,00003*130,000 USD = 3.90 USD order fee

The order fee for certificates and warrants amounts to 0.20 %, with a minimum of € 6.00.

What are the leverage and margin requirements?

Since August 1, 2018, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has been specifying threshold values for minimum initial margins, requiring IBKR (UK) to close out open positions if the qualifying capital in the respective CFD account (cash and unrealized profit & loss of the CFD positions) falls below 50 % of the original margin requirements for all CFD positions. IBKR (UK) moreover sets own minimum margin requirements based on the historic volatility of the underlying asset and other factors, as detailed below. Where retail clients are concerned, IBKR (UK) will apply the IBKR margin requirements if they exceed the ESMA requirements. In keeping with the 50 % close out rule, IBKR margin requirements will be double the minimum margin.

The margin requirement for stock CFDs is 20 % for retail investors. There is no margin call either.

The margin requirements for stock CFDs in table form.

The minimum for major indexes is 5 %, and 10 % for the others.

The margin for major currency pairs comes to 3.33 %. Minor currency pairs can be traded with a margin of 5 %. The margins for exotic currency pairs range between 10 % and 15 %. 

The margin requirements for the Dax Future amount to 13,491 euros, for example. The overnight margin is 26,983 euros. Depending on the volatility, these margins can also be adjusted accordingly, however, and thus be higher on some days.

The spreads for EUR/USD start from 0.1 pip. 

The account management and other account-related services are free of charge. Securities trading by telephone is also free. 

Is the flat-rate withholding tax automatically deducted?

The withholding tax is not automatically deducted with CapTrader, meaning that virtually the entire* capital, including all the profits and yields, will be fully available for profitable further investment. (*exception: direct deduction of the withholding tax from dividend pay-outs)

Any capital gains will thus only need to be declared in your personal income tax return in the following year. This is possible because the account is not held in Germany, but at the European partner Interactive Brokers.

Is there an exemption order with CapTrader?

Given that the account is held in the UK, this step is not required. As a result, you can enjoy the unique advantage that the withholding tax will only need to be paid at the end of the year by way of your income tax return. Which is the reason why there is no exemption order with CapTrader.

What have the experiences with CapTrader been like?

CapTrader scores with good experiences throughout.

Thanks to the strong partner Interactive Brokers, clients enjoy a first class service in the areas of pricing, execution, and account management.

CapTrader also offers a good service in German.

Clients are thus provided with a comprehensive all-inclusive package, including an extensive training area.

How can I contact CapTrader?

CapTrader can be contacted by e-mail or by telephone.

The free hotline is available from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Is there a wiki entry for CapTrader?

No, there is no wiki entry for CapTrader.

How is money paid in and out?

Deposits and withdrawals are quick and easy to make by way of your account management

To make a deposit, you first need to file a deposit note in the account management. Then you can make your deposit.

The deposit will be credited to your account after two working days as a rule.

For withdrawals, a reference account needs to be filed for the first one. Thereafter, withdrawals are possible at any time.

The money will usually be credited to your current account within 1 to 3 working days.

Illustration describing the first steps for making a deposit at Cap Trader. 

Which trading tools can I use at CapTrader?

CapTrader uses the Trader Workstation (TWS) trading software, as well as the AGENATRADER MERCURY. (im deutsche Text steht MERCORY?)

The TWS offers many analysis options enabling you to study the price development of stocks, currencies, options, futures, etc. 

You are thus able to display and analyse fundamental data, balance sheet information, profiles, and key figures. Retrieving historic price information is also possible, as is a look into the Order book and time & sales. And news can also be displayed in real time via RSS feed.

In addition to which the TWS also includes a variety of trading tools:

  • ChartTrader
    ChartTrader enables you to trade directly in real-time charts and customize your own charts to your requirements with the help of over 70 technical indicators.
  • BookTrader
    BookTrader is the right tool for investors wishing to enter and send their orders particularly quickly. Just a few clicks will suffice to send an order to the respective exchange directly from the order book. 
  • BasketTrader
    The BasketTrader helps you create your own basket/index of securities that you wish to trade at the same time. That the securities in this basket/index can be changed at any time should go without saying. This makes the BasketTrader an ideal tool for all investors who regularly trade positions simultaneously.
  • FXTrader
    FXTrader is the optimal tool for particularly active currency traders. You can trade your selected currencies at lightning speed with just one click. The FXTrader will help you keep an eye on up to 16 currency pairs and send, change, or cancel orders in a flash.
  • OptionTrader
    Thanks to its clearly designed user interface, the OptionTrader is recommended for novices and professional alike. It offers an easily manageable display of the option contracts available for an underlying asset, as well as various modules for risk and portfolio analysis.
  • Option Portfolio
    The Option Portfolio tool helps you assess the risk profile of your own option positions at a glance and adjust it immediately based on the Option Greeks. In addition to which you can reach your delta, gamma, vega or theta targets by simply entering them.

As a CapTrader client, you get the third-party AgenaTrader software in the Mercury version free of charge to go with your capitalized live account. The platform enables fully and semi-automatic trading and the development of trading systems without programming skills by way of a simple tool. The AgenaTrader is connected to the Trader Workstation by means of the application programming interface (API).

And NinjaTrader can be connected with CapTrader as well.

Does CapTrader offer an upskilling area?

CapTrader offers comprehensive coaching. This can be found in the Training tab.

A look into the video library and training area.

There is a large video library of features dealing with all areas:

  • Weekly outlook
  • Trader Workstation
  • AgenaTrader
  • Technical analyses
  • NinjaTrader
  • Jens Rabe
  • Carsten Berger
  • André Stagge
  • Martin Goersch
  • Julian Böhnisch
  • Jens Klatt
  • Einhorn Coaching
  • Options universe

There are also regular webinars and seminars.

In addition to which CapTrader features presentations by many well-known and prestigious experts.

And then there is also a YouTube channel offering a great variety of videos.

Where can I find the CapTrader app?

The CapTrader app enables you to use your account on the go – both with the smartphone and tablet. Amongst others, the mobile application offers the following advantages:

  • Always keep an eye on your portfolio and open orders
  • Trade with all shares, options, futures, currencies, and a lot more
  • Stream prices and charts in real time
  • Filter markets and stocks for specific criteria using a market scanner
  • Set personal price alarms

A look into the mobile app from CapTrader.

How can I be categorized as a professional client?

The regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) permit clients to be either categorized as private or professional. Under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MIFID),  the Lynx-account managing (???) broker Interactive Brokers UK (IB UK) can therefore categorize clients as voluntary professional clients if a required “qualitative examination” or rather its result permits this. 

In this qualitative examination, at least two of the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • You have carried out transactions of significant size on the market you want to be rated as a professional client for at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous year
  • The size of your financial instrument portfolio, defined as including cash deposits and financial instruments, exceeds 500,000 euros
  • You work or have worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a professional position that requires knowledge of the transactions or services envisaged.

Does CapTrader offer savings plans?

CapTrader also offers savings plans. The range here includes funds and savings plans for shares, funds, and ETFs. Around 6,300 funds and 400 ETFs qualify for these savings plans. The service is provided by way of the partner European Bank for Financial Services GmbH (ebase).

What is the inactivity fee at CapTrader?

There is no inactivity fee to pay at CapTrader.

How can I change depositories with CapTrader?

If you are or become a CapTrader client, you can change depositories, for example by transferring your position of Canadian cannabis shares to the online broker and having them booked into the Toronto stock exchange. “We offer direct access to more than 120 exchanges around the world – enabling CapTrader clients to quickly and easily swap exchanges, in this case to the Canadian stock exchange, for example. This will change the currency from euros to Canadian dollars, and the price accordingly, but the shares will remain tradeable for you this way”, explains Rafael Neustadt, CEO of the FXFlat securities trading bank that the CapTrader brand is a part of. 

Which awards can CapTrader show for itself as a broker?

CapTrader has been receiving all kinds of different Awards for many years, including several as the best online broker and for the highest satisfaction.

Amongst others, CapTrader has received the following awards:

  • Wirtschaftswoche – TOP Online Broker
  • Focus Money Kundenliebling 2017 – Most Popular Brand
  • BankingCheck: Best Online Broker 2017
  • Brokervergleich: Online Broker 2nd place
  • onlinebroker-portal: 1st place as Best Futures Broker
  • onlinebroker-portal: 1st place as Online Broker
  • F.A.Z. INSTITUT – Germany’s Best Customer Consultant in the Area of “Custodian Banks”
  • Focus Money 2019 Highest Competence
  • 2019 Finance Award from FMH-Finanzberatung and the n-tv news channel
  • Focus Money – 2019 Award for Digital Service Quality 

Conclusions about CapTrader

CapTrader is a high-performing and inexpensive all-in-one broker.

All the markets and products are available. The price structure and fees are competitive. And the execution and pricing are also fair and transparent.

The German-language support is easy to reach and highly competent.

CapTrader also offers its clients a comprehensive training area with a variety of experts and an extensive range of webinars and seminars.

Thanks to the strong partner Interactive Brokers, your deposits are safe as well.

The Trader Workstation provides a trading platform that offers all the key functions for professional trading.

But even if you cannot acquire a taste for the TWS, you will find two powerful platforms in the AgenaTrader or integration of NinjaTrader enabling you to trade at CapTrader.

Thanks to the CapTrader app, you can also trade on the go while always keeping an eye on your portfolio too. 

And the great number of awards finally once more underscores the great competence and comprehensive range of CapTrader.

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