ActivTrades Review 2021: Unbiased Pros and Cons revealed

Filippo Ucchino Last Updated: April 2021 20 min read
security 94
cost 78
trading 72
education 58
Rated: Excellent
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Welcome.

In this ActivTrades review you will find the results of much dedicated time spent by InvestinGoal’s team of experts studying the quality of the broker.

Here’s how to navigate this report on ActivTrades, and all of our reviews in general:

  • Part 1: First thing, in the “Our Opinion” section you will find a brief summary with our personal opinions on the broker ActivTrades, plus the Pros and Cons and important factors to watch out for.
  • Part 2: Secondly, within this section, you will then find more detailed points and opinions about specific broker’s offerings or services (e.g. Is ActivTrades good for Forex? Is ActivTrades good for Spread Betting?).
  • Part 3: After the opinions section you will find four macro-areas in which we have carefully reviewed every single aspect of ActivTrades. They are Security, Costs and Accounts, Trading and Education, and Support.

We suggest you use the sticky menu to easily navigate this content.

And don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of the post. Share your honest opinion on ActivTrades, or ask specific questions if you couldn’t find an answer on our site.

If you want to make the most out of this ActivTrades review, we strongly suggest you open a free demo account with the broker since it will be easier to follow and contextualize our opinions.

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ActivTrades review
Our Opinion

ActivTrades Summary: Who is ActivTrades suitable for?

ActivTrades is a multi award-winning, market maker broker with 20+ years of experience that essentially operates its own internal market. They are a top platform choice with many additional trading tools and very low costs suited to all traders. They are also very well-regulated and have many protective measures including insurance up to $1,000,000 provided on all trades. 

Downsides and Advantages to consider before starting

Downsides

The main downsides that you will find with this broker is first that they do not have a direct research section. This can restrict your ability to gain market insight through research in some cases though a plugin can be added to your MT4 trading platform to help provide more depth of research function and information.

You will also note that the minimum deposit to get started is a little higher. Starting at $1,000 it could be a little costly for newer traders in the industry.

Advantages

ActivTrades is a top forex broker with many positives to be found. Among these is the fact you can start with a 72-hour demo account without even registering. This is a great way to get to know the broker with no risk at all and you can then continue it for 30-days after registration.

The level of insurance coverage provided also stretches up to $1,000,000. What this means is that your trading funds will be highly secure against any issues like insolvency, though this is extremely unlikely in any case since they have been operating well for more than 20 years.

The table below charts a few of the most important advantages and problems you may face:

ActivTrades pros and cons

ActivTrades Offer Advantages Downsides
Demo Account 72 hours access prior the registration It expires after 30 days
Minimum Deposit Exception for islamic trader at $500 The minimum deposit is $1000
CFDs and Forex Low trading cost environment No social-copy trading available
Spread Betting Supported by every trading platforms Available only to UK residents

ActivTrades CFDs and Forex Review

ActivTrades offers more than 500 assets when considering CFDs. The selection includes many forex trading pairs, CFDs on commodities, indices, stocks, ETFs, futures, and options. Though the asset selection may not be in the thousands as is the case with some, you still have a tremendous range of choice.

Value is also present with the lowest spreads starting from 0.5 pips on major forex pairs like the EUR/USD. A low and competitive commission of 0.01% is charged on the transaction value of US share.

Although they do have a higher than usual minimum deposit requirement, ActivTrades still works to provide an excellent value trading environment for all. The only thing you will not find here are any social or copy trading features.

Pros

  • Trading costs are maintained at a very low level
  • No inactivity fees are charged by the broker
  • There is a strong range of asset choices available to all traders

Cons

  • There is a lack of any social or copy trading features available

ActivTrades Spread Betting Review

Spread betting is available through ActivTrades but only to UK resident traders due to regulation. This type of trading is well-supported on all trading platforms the broker offers and at good value as well. There are no commissions to worry about here, just the spread that remains competitive. You can also start spread betting for as little as 10p per point on all available assets in forex, indices, commodities, shares, and ETFs.

The tax advantages of spread betting are also fully available to UK residents and fully supported by the broker and customized tools and indicators which they make available. An overall good choice for spread betting in the UK

Pros

  • Due to the nature of spread betting, all profits will be tax-free
  • Execution of your trades will be fully automated

Cons

  • With a short history of spread betting in the UK, it is still difficult to get comprehensive user-experience feedback
  • Shares and ETFs are only available if you trade with the MT5 platform

ActivTrades review
Security

We begin our ActivTrades broker review in a vital area, that of broker security. The broker has been around for a very long time and has already established a strong reputation for protecting traders. Let’s see exactly what they have to offer in this area.

ActivTrades

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Foundation and Offices

ActivTrades was founded in 2001 in Switzerland. Originally they were a stock brokerage service. They moved their headquarters to London in 2005 and since that time they began to expand their offering to CFD products. The broker presently has two office locations around the world as follows:

United Kingdom

1 Thomas More Square,
London E1W 1YN,
United Kingdom

Bahamas

209 & 210 Church Street, Sandyport,
P.O. Box SP 64388,
Nassau, Bahamas

Regulations

When it comes to regulation, the broker understands the need for recognized and trusted bodies to oversee the operations and provide a good measure of security. This is precisely what they provide you as a trader. If you are registered under the broker entity ActivTrades PLC then you will be regulated under the FCA (#434413), and if you are registered under the ActivTrades Corp entity then you will be regulated by the SCB in the Bahamas (#199667). This tier 1 regulation allows you a good deal of protection and security that is well recognized throughout the sector.

Money Protection

Trusted regulatory oversight is not the only measure ActivTrades puts in place to bolster your security as a trader. You can also benefit from negative balance protection which means you can never lose more than you deposit in your account.

Added to this, the broker always uses segregated bank accounts at top-level banks for maximum protection. This makes sure that even if they do encounter financial difficulty like insolvency or bankruptcy, then your funds will always remain protected. If you are a UK trader, then the ICF protection insurance may also be made available to you to cover such events. This can provide you protection of up to £85.000, although the broker has further expanded on this insurance to provide you great coverage of up to $1.000.000.

Awards

Throughout decades in the industry, the broker has of course collected many awards. They have received more than 30 in total including as recently as 2019 when they won the Shares Award for Best Tools, and the ADVFN award for the Best Online Trading Services, also in 2019.

Not Accepted Clients

Although ActivTrades does an excellent job in offering trading services around the world that are secure and well-regulated for all, there are still a few regions where ActivTrades does not offer services. These areas are as follows:

    • Central African Republic
    • Eritrea
    • Guinea
    • Guinea-Bissau
    • Libya
    • RD Congo
    • Zimbabwe
    • Afghanistan
    • Iraq
    • Iran
    • Japan
    • Myanmar
    • North Korea
    • Yemen
    • Aland Islands
    • Belarus
  • Pros
    • They are well-regulated by a top body in the FCA and also by the SCB
    • The $1,000,000 insurance for clients should provide an excellent peace of mind in the unlikely event of problems with the broker
    • They are award-winning having picked up more than 30 accolades over the years
    Cons
    • The broker only has two offices. A light physical presence for a major broker
    • Regulation by only two recognized bodies is also not a lot in today’s industry

    ActivTrades review
    Costs and Accounts

    The next section of ActivTrades that we will focus on is that around the account types you can expect to have available with the broker and what each has to offer. Another important element of this section will cover the costs that you can expect to incur when trading with the broker.

    From the outset it is very clear that opening a live trading account with ActivTrades is an easy process. All you will need to have available is proof of your identity, and proof of your residence. A passport and recent bank statement or utility bill will be perfect here. From there, simply answer a few questions on your trading history and you should quickly pass ActivTrades verification and be read to deposit.

    ActivTrades

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    Account Types

    There are several ActivTrades account types that you can look forward to opening when you trade with the broker. Take a look at exactly what is available and choose the one which is the best fit for your trading needs.

    Demo

    A demo account with any broker is a great starting point whether you are a new trader, or just new to this broker. It provides you the chance to get to know exactly what is on offer in a realistic trading environment, but with no-risk, trading virtual currency. There is also no obligation to deposit real money by opening a demo account. It is just the perfect place to practice and grow your skills and knowledge.

    An ActivTrades demo account is available. This is valid for a 30-day trial period and this broker is one of the few where you can access a 72-hour demo account with no registration at all. At the end of this period, you will be asked to provide very basic personal information to continue. This information includes your full name, a valid email and phone number, and setting a password.

    ActivTrades Individual Account

    One of the most popular ActivTrades account choices is the ActivTrades individual account. This account comes with a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement, but once inside you will have access to trade through MT4, MT5, or the ActivTrades trading platform on more than 500 assets as CFDs. The spread on this account type is also very competitive with the spread starting from only 0.5pips. This ActivTrades account type can also be accessed as an Islamic trading account if you require one.

    ActivTrades Islamic Account

    The ActivTrades Islamic account is available to traders who require swap-free trading. Here you can get started with a competitive minimum deposit of just $500. The swap-free account is available through MT4 as a USD account only, and through MT5 for use with all base currencies.

    This account type does not charge swap-fees at all, and so it is compliant in full with Sharia law. If you do hold a position open for more than 24-hours though, a replacement fee is charged. If you are an Islamic trader and interested in learning more, then feel free to check out our article dedicated to the best swap free brokers.

    ActivTrades Professional Account

    An ActivTrades professional account type is also available. In order to qualify for this account type though, you first must satisfy at least two of the following requirements: 

    • You must have made an average of 10 transactions of significant size per quarter in the past year
    • You have to possess a financial instrument portfolio of over €500,000 in value (in your bank or trading account)
    • You must also have relevant experience in the financial services sector

    If you do manage to satisfy two of these conditions then you will have access to the account with a minimum deposit of $2,000 but which provides higher leverage of up to 400:1 on forex and other great features like a free VPS and more advanced charting and analysis tools.

    Account Base Currency

    ActivTrades caters for 4 base currencies in total. These are the USD, EUR, GBP, and CHF. This means you can avoid any conversion fees if your deposit and withdrawal method matches one of these currencies.

    Deposit

    Here is the full lowdown on what to expect with an ActivTrades deposit including the minimum required deposit and the methods available for you to make that deposit.

    ActivTrades Minimum deposit

    The minimum ActivTrades deposit is currently $1,000 unless you are an Islamic trader where it is $500. This is relatively high compared to some other brokers.

    Deposit Methods

    The ActivTrades deposit methods made available to you include wire transfer, credit/debit cards that are Visa or MasterCard, and eWallets that are Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, or SoFort. The deposits are all typically very fast to complete within a maximum of 30 minutes although it does depend on the methods used.

    Deposit Fees

    ActivTrades deposits are typically fee free. The only exceptions here may be if your bank imposes a fee on wire transfers, you have to pay a conversion fee for a non-matching base currency deposit, or you are an EU resident depositing from outside the EU where a 1.5% fee is applied.

    Withdrawals

    Here is a closer look at what to expect when you are making an ActivTrades withdrawal.

    Withdrawal Methods

    The ActivTrades withdrawal methods you will find available all match the deposit methods. This means wire transfer, major credit/debit cards, and a number of eWallets will all be accepted. Withdrawals from the broker can take up to 48-hours to process.

    Withdrawal Fees

    Again, withdrawals are typically fee free. The only exception here would be withdrawals in USD which may attract a fixed fee of $12.50.

    Spreads & Commissions

    ActivTrades offers floating spreads only. These start from 0.5 pips and here is a sample of some retail minimum spreads on the most traded assets at the broker.

    • EUR/USD – 0.5 pips
    • Gold – 25 pips
    • SPX500 – 0.23 pips
    • US Shares – $0,02

    These spreads leave the broker in a very competitive position when compared with some other major brokers in the sector.

    Other Fees

    Here is a look at a couple of other common fees which you may encounter during your time trading at ActivTrades.

    Overnight Fees

    The overnight fee is common to all brokers and is charged on almost every asset at ActivTrades since they focus on offering CFDs. This is the fee which you incur for holding an asset overnight and it is charged at the closing time of the market. Since it is a dynamic fee which changes based on the market and asset, you can get exact numbers from your trading platform at that time.

    The only account type which does not feature this fee is the Islamic trading account in order to remain Sharia compliant.

    Inactivity Fees

    Unlike many brokers, you will be glad to note that ActivTrades does not charge any inactivity fee. This is great for the casual traders.

    Pros
    • You can open a demo account for 72-hours with no registration needed at all
    • The broker charges no inactivity fee. This is perfect for casual traders
    • They keep trading costs extremely low across the board
    • Very fast deposits
    Cons
    • The ActivTrades demo account does expire after 30 days
    • The minimum deposit requirement with the broker is much higher than some others
    • They make only 4 account base currencies available and on a limited selection of accounts

    ActivTrades review
    Trading

    The next area of focus for our ActivTrades review will be the trading experience that you can expect when you are with the broker. This is one of the most important aspects of any broker, and is something which we will take an in-depth look at with ActivTrades.

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    Trading Features

    Here is a detailed view of all the features you can expect to be catered for at the broker to make your trading life as comfortable as possible.

    Executions

    When it comes to executing your trades, ActivTrades is a market maker broker. This means they handle all of your trades as a counterpart and create their own internal market. While this may not appeal to everyone, it does mean that you accurately know the cost of your trades with little divergence, and gives the broker a lot of scope on things like fees.

    Sizing

    The minimum trade size at ActivTrades is 1 micro lot. This is the same as 0.01 standard lots and equal to a cash value of $1,000. So this is the amount you will need in order to open a position. With that said, this amount can be greatly reduced if you decide to avail of the leverage the broker offers.

    Techniques

    With trading techniques, ActivTrades allows both scalping and hedging if that is your trading method. Algorithmic trading is also facilitated through the MT4 trading platform, and a VPS is approved for use with the broker providing a free one to professional customers.

    Risk Management

    Risk management is of course a vital element in trading anything. ActivTrades provides a number of useful risk management tools to assist you in managing both the positions you are in, and the positions you are seeking to enter. These tools are provided directly through the trading platforms and include the ability to set stop losses, take profits, and trailing stops on open positions. You can also set limit orders to manage your entry position on new trades, and the broker has a margin call in place if you are trading on leverage. This will help ensure you retain a certain level of equity in your account at all times.

    Trading Hours

    The trading hours change depending on what it is you are trading. With that said, forex trading is available on a 24/5 basis, Monday to Friday with commodities trading on the same timeline. Stocks, indices, and bonds will vary depending on the local trading hours.

    Leverage

    The ActivTrades leverage that you will have access to depends on a couple of factors. The first of these is the entity under which you are registered, then the assets which you are trading. If you are registered under the EU or UK entity of the broker which are regulated by the FCA and CySEC, then the maximum leverage you will be entitled to is 30:1. This can increase to as much as 400:1 if you register a professional account.

    If you are registered under the SCB Bahamas regulated entity of the broker then a dynamic leverage of up to 400:1 is available with the following equity thresholds:

    • Less than $50,000 – 1:400
    • $50,001 to $100,000 – 1:200
    • $100,001 to $250,000 – 1:100
    • More than $250,000 – on request, contact ActivTrades

    These numbers should allow you sufficient scope to achieve the maximum ActivTrades leverage that you need.

    Platforms & Mobile

    The trading platforms are of course your key window to the market. Let’s take a closer look then at exactly what the broker makes available in terms of both trading platforms, and additional tools to help you.

    Charting and Trading tools

    The charting and trading tools that you will have available at ActivTrades are all provided through both MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. These platforms are well-known for providing an extensive range of tools and indicators so you will have more than 51 charting indicators and 31 drawing tools at your disposal. Alongside this you can set orders directly from the charts and engage in one-click trading perfect for scalping. Price alerts are also available.

    Through ActivTrades you will also have access to multiple premium tools for MT4 such as SmartOrder 2 which improves execution, adds OCO orders, and more. Smartlines can automatically set orders depending on trend lines, while SmartTemplate, SmartForecast, and SmartPattern are all available in the same package of plug-ins to give you an even more detailed and customizable trading experience.

    ActivTrades Desktop Platforms

    In terms of desktop platforms, MT4, MT5, and the ActivTrades platform are all offered for you to choose from. Here you can expect a collection of some of the most powerful trading platforms in the industry, with MetaTrader being renowned as a favored, robust solution for the majority of traders. You will also have access to a depth of indicators and charting tools on platforms that can easily be run on almost any machine. These trading platforms will run on either windows, or mac devices without problem.

    ActivTrades Webtrader Platforms

    Again when it comes to webtrader platforms, MT4, MT5, and the ActivTrades proprietary trading platform are all available. The brokers demo account which is available for 72 hours without registration is also available through these platforms.

    The major benefit of these platforms is the fact they will conveniently run in your browser with no installation needed. They are also very intuitive and extremely user-friendly with almost no loss of functionality when compared with their desktop counterparts.

    ActivTrades Mobile Platform

    MT4, MT5, and the ActivTrades platforms are again available as mobile trading options. The MT4 mobile trading platform is very powerful when compared to other mobile trading platforms and offers a great range of capabilities. You can easily manage your trading account, deposits, and withdrawals, while also charting on the move with these platforms. They are all accessible through iOS or Android on your phone, tablet, or smart device.

    Markets

    ActivTrades offers CFD trading only. There are over 500 assets available for trading in total with the broker. Here is a look at exactly what they provide.

    Forex

    There are more than 45 currency pairs available to trade as ActivTrades. This includes major, minor, and exotic currencies. The spread on these pairs starts from only 0.5pips.

    Commodities

    There are a total of 4 commodities available to trade as CFDs. These include two metals in gold and silver, as well as two energies in WTI, and Crude oil.

    Indices

    A total of 10 indices are open to trade as ActivTrades. These come from all around the world including in the US, UK, Brazil, and around the EU.

    Stocks

    ActivTrades provides for stock trading as CFDs in more than 500 companies. These come from a range of exchanges all around the world including 2 indices in the US, 12 in Europe, 7 in Asia, 6 in South America, and one each in South Africa, and Australia. There should be stocks in major companies to fit all trading needs.

    ETFs

    ETFs are also available to trade with more than 20 listed. These can be traded in a number of different fields including energy, finance, health, industrial, tech, and real estate, and they can be traded from as little as $1 in value.

    Futures

    A total of 30 futures are available to be traded with ActivTrades. This includes futures on 16 indices, 9 agricultural assets, 4 energies, 1 metal, and more.

    Options

    You can trade in one options asset. This option is the DAX30 German index option.

    Products

    Here are some other common products which you may encounter during trading with ActivTrades.

    ActiveTrade (Proprietary Trading Platform)

    The ActivTrades proprietary trading platform is available for you to select and trade on in desktop, mobile, and tablet form. It provides a very easy to use trading platform with multiple order types available as well as hedging facilitated. The trading platform is comprehensive in the data it provides too with both real time charting, and a market sentiment indicator available for you to utilize. The platform is a good experience all round and an excellent alternative to the other MT4 and MT5 trading platforms made available by the broker.

    Social Trading – Copy Trading

    At the moment, ActivTrades does not offer social or copy trading services directly. With that said, through using your EAs function within the MT4 trading platform, you can engage in a form of copy trading if you are implementing trading strategies and robots from the community which is available.

    Pros
    • An excellent range of premium MT4 charting tools are available to further enhance an already great platform
    • There is a good range of the best trading platforms to choose from along with a proprietary option
    Cons
    • No nano lots are made available to trade. This means micro lots are the smallest available
    • There are no social or copy trading services made directly available by the broker

    ActivTrades review
    Education and Support

    Finishing off our ActivTrades review, we take a look at two further key areas that can have a great impact on the present and future of your forex trading career. These are the educational infrastructure in place at the broker, and also the support systems they put in place for you as a trader. Here is a look at what is offered.

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    Languages

    There are more than 10 languages made available for traders with ActivTrades. The available language support includes English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Cantonese. This should provide all traders from around the world with ample opportunity to access trading and content with the broker.

    Research

    Unfortunately there is no dedicated research section at ActivTrades. The only thing offered in this respect as research tools are plugins that can be added to your MT4 trading platform. These can add order types such as OCO orders, and forecasts based on past and present pricing of the asset, as well as supports and resistance levels. Therefore, while indirect in the way they are provided, they are still a valuable resource in terms of research at the broker.

    Customer Service

    The customer service section at ActivTrades includes support for a total of 8 languages, and dedicated customer support through a website based live chat, calls, and email as well as a detailed FAQ section that can help in answering many of the most common questions you may have.

    Education

    The education section of the broker is very well provided for. Here you will find a total of 19 PDF documents covering a range of training topics including the trading platforms, premium trading tools like smartlines, and much more. Further to this helpful content is a comprehensive trading glossary, and a broad range of 18 video tutorials that covers topics suitable for all traders from beginner to advanced.

    Pros
    • They do an excellent job at being available in many languages, keeping themselves accessible
    • The education section is in-depth and has something to provide for all levels of trader
    Cons
    • Having no direct research section is a loss for such a major and experienced broker

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    75.7% of retail CFD accounts lose money
    ActivTrades Review 2021: Unbiased Pros and Cons revealed

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