Plus500 Forex Broker Review
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Forex trading has turned out to be one of the most lucrative and exciting investment prospects in the last two decades. Despite the severe risks associated with leveraged products, more investors are being attracted to the fast-paced financial markets to invest in a profitable manner. Therefore, the popularity of online trading has led to the rise in the number of Forex brokers and allied services in the market, leading to a thriving and ever-expanding industry.
There are primarily two different types of brokers; companies that are aimed at smaller retail traders, and brokerages that cater to institutional traders. Consequently, brokers often provide a hybrid of these platforms to ensure that they cater to both sections of the market, in order to improve their market exposure and increase revenue. Plus500 is a renowned Forex and CFD broker, which is famous for its fantastic financial products and trading services that are aimed at both retail traders, as well as institutional investors. Read our extended Plus500 broker review to learn more about the company.
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Plus500 Licensing Information, Regulation, & Global Presence
Plus500 is a highly regulated financial brokerage, which is keen on safeguarding its traders’ investments through secure financial channels. Plus500 has expanded its presence to a global platform, to ensure that it caters to traders from all over the world. However, the broker does not accept traders from the USA, Canada, Japan, and some countries that are part of the UN Sanctions list.
Plus500 launched its Forex brokerage and allied operations in 2008 but has quickly expanded to several different locations, namely, Cyprus, the UK, and Australia. Plus500’s European operations are based out of Cyprus, and the broker is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchanges Commission (CySEC), under the European Markets in Financial Instruments Derivatives (MiFID). With an EU license, Plus500 offers its services to all members of the European Union and is bound by the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement for a stable and secure trading environment.
Plus500 is also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the UK, which seems to be a good move by the broker, especially in light of the recent Brexit that may see the country completely detaching itself from the EU. Under the current laws, the FCA is also a part of the MiFID and the EEA, which allows FCA regulated companies to indulge in cross-border sharing of services to all traders from the EU. Aside from Plus500 regulation and authorisation licenses from the FCA and the CySEC, Plus500 also maintains an office in Australia, which is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Hence, with regulatory licenses from three robust financial organisations, Plus500 is certainly one of the best Forex brokers in the market.
All three regulatory organisations have strict laws governing brokerage operations and financial transactions, with regulated companies expected to comply with several policies as issued by their respective governing agency. Plus500 segregates all of its clients’ funds from its own working capital by maintaining client-based accounts at top-tier banks, all the while subjecting itself to routine audits and submitting such reports to the concerned authorities. Plus500 is also a member of European-based investor compensation programs such as the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF from CySEC) and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS from the FCA), both of which provide compensation to investors if a broker ends up insolvent.
During bankruptcy or liquidation procedures, the ICF provides up to €20,000 in client compensation, while the FSCS offers up to £50,000 as reimbursement for aggrieved traders. The ASIC also has similar customer protection policies, which create a sense of trust and security while investing and trading with Plus500. Nevertheless, be warned that traders may only be eligible for compensation or regulatory protection as per the policies of the relevant organisation, but overall, Plus500 will honour all clients, owing to their financial standing and market presence.
With a choice of more than 2000 financial assets, Plus500 has the best collection of tradable instruments in the entire industry. The broker offers access to financial assets from different markets across the world, including leading stocks, indices, ETFs, cryptocurrencies*, and Forex currency pairs. The exhaustive choice of assets is indeed highly useful for professional traders, which allows them to invest in the global markets according to their investment preferences. Regardless, amateur traders should be extremely cautious while choosing their assets, as it can get daunting, confusing, and inherently risky. Not all instruments react in the same manner, and choosing a large collection of trading assets can only result in a trader losing all his/her investments in the market. Nevertheless, here is the grand list of assets available at Plus500, which can help you to pick your preferred assets and create a profitable investment portfolio.
Forex: USD/ZAR, EUR/USD, USD/JPY, U.S. Dollar Index, GBP/USD, GBP/JPY, NZD/USD, EUR/JPY, AUD/USD, EUR/GBP, USD/CAD, USD/CHF, GBP/AUD, EUR/AUD, EUR/NZD, GBP/CAD, AUD/CAD, AUD/CHF, AUD/JPY, AUD/NZD, AUD/SGD, CAD/CHF, CAD/JPY, CHF/DKK, CHF/JPY, CHF/NOK, CHF/SEK, DKK/NOK, EUR/CAD, EUR/CHF, EUR/CZK, EUR/HUF, EUR/MXN, EUR/NOK, EUR/PLN, EUR/SEK, EUR/SGD, EUR/TRY, GBP/CHF, GBP/DKK, GBP/NOK, GBP/NZD, GBP/SEK, GBP/ZAR, NZD/CHF, NZD/JPY, SEK/NOK, USD/CNH, USD/CZK, USD/DKK, USD/HKD, USD/HRK, USD/HUF, USD/MXN, USD/NOK, USD/PLN, USD/RON, USD/RUB, USD/SEK, USD/SGD, USD/TRY
Commodities: Oil, Gold, Natural Gas, Copper, Silver, Palladium, Platinum, Heating Oil, Cotton, Wheat, Brent Oil, Sugar, Gasoline, Coffee, Corn, Soybeans, Cocoa
Indices: USA 30, UK 100, Germany 30, ASX 200, Hong Kong 50, Netherlands 25, France 40, Swiss 20, USA 2000, Europe 50, US-TECH 100, Spain 35, USA 500, Austria 20, Japan 225, Italy 40, Greece 20, Denmark 20, Poland 20, Germany MCap, Hungary 12, Norway 25, Sweden 30
ETFs: iShares Silver, USO-Oil Fund, UNG-Gas Fund, OIH-Oil Service, GLD Gold, Commodity Index Fund, ETFS Gold, VXX Volatility, GDX, iShares R2000, SPY, EDC, XLV, VWO, SPXL, VNQ, TNA, iShares China, XLU, SPXU, QQQ, IWO, VTI, iShares Korea, iShares EEM, QLD, EWZ, iShares Japan, TLT, IYR, DIA, iShares UK 100, SPDR ASX 50, TBT, XLK, iShares EU50, HYG, EFA, QID, IWN, LQD, FXE, TZA, IJR, FAZ, SDS, TWM, XOP, XME, iShares DAX, ERX, RSX, Lyxor CAC, XLB, ACWI, XLE, iShares AEX, EWW, EWH, MDY, XLF, IWF, SSO, SPDR ASX 200, SH, JNK, BND, XLY, AGQ, VGK, EWT, DVY, SPDR EURO 50, FAS, XLP, XRT, XHB, XLI, UPRO, IAU
Crypto: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Monero, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, NEO*
Options: Germany 30, France 40, UK 100, Netherlands 25, USA 500, Italy 40, Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Hong Kong, DeutscheBank, Snap
Plus500 also offers an amazing array of shares from major markets across the US and Europe, which covers the entire financial market of a country. Here are the countries that are supported by Plus500 for shares trading:
Countries: USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Holland, Poland, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Portugal, Greece, Australia, Spain, Norway, Austria
*Availability subject to regulations
Plus500 Leverage, Trading Features, & Spreads
Plus500 offers their margin trading products with a maximum leverage of 1:300. Trading on margin involves substantial risk, like no other traditional financial products, which is why Forex and CFD trading has become so popular among smaller investors. However, the 1:300 leverage offering is not as high as you would expect, with several other brokers offering leverages as high as 1:3000. In comparison, Plus500 gives a sensible choice of leverage, which not only controls risk but also helps smaller traders to exercise more control over their trading emotions.
The lower-than-average leverage is not suitable for high-risk traders such as scalpers, as these traders indulge in high-frequency trading that holds positions in the market for a brief period of time and typically use high leverage. Regardless, Plus500 matches its offer with a low minimum investment requirement of just $100. Plus500 only offers a single type of trading account, which provide financial products as Contracts For Difference, more popularly known as CFDs. The Plus500 minimum deposit of $100 undoubtedly opens up the company’s brokerage portfolio to a wide range of retail traders, with some institutional investors taking advantage of the company’s unique financial services.
A CFD brokerage primarily uses a market maker model with an internal dealing desk protocol. All clients’ orders are transferred through an automated dealing desk, where Plus500 has total control over the flow of orders and is the ultimate market maker. Therefore, during times of low liquidity, Plus500 does have the ability to absorb its clients’ orders and take the opposite end of the trade. Due to the increased conflict of interest in such cases, EU and AU regulators have specified several regulatory conditions to prevent brokers from misusing this control, which prevents Plus500 from acting against their traders’ interest. Unlike other market maker brokers, Plus500 is one of the more genuine and reliable dealing desk brokers operating in the financial markets.
Being a CFD broker without any direct market access protocols do result in a few disadvantages, especially when it comes to the Plus500 spreads. The company requires a minimum of 2 pips spread on the major currency pairs, which is quite expensive. ECN brokers offer zero spread trading, but these days, market maker brokers have been seen improving their spreads to offer an average of 1 pip on the most-traded currency pairs. The spreads are of course, variable, but the cost of trading shouldn’t be much of a concern, considering the overall quality of Plus500 trading services.
The low minimum deposit would be considered as an excellent prospect for traders, but there is an account inactivity fee of $10 if the trader does not perform any trades for three months. If you are not an active trader, make sure that you trade at least a few times during your inactive sessions, in order to avoid any unnecessary account maintenance fees. You can also maintain a healthy account balance by making a deposit once in a while, which is easy and secure. The broker offers multiple payment options, including bank wire, credit/debit card, Skrill, and Neteller for both deposits and withdrawals.
Plus500 is bound by regulatory restrictions on all financial transactions, substantially preventing the company from promoting any bonuses or trading credits through its platform. Plus500 was one of the few brokers that had a good bonus system for all deposits, but the several regulatory guideline changes have enforced the company to reconsider its bonus program. Such a regulatory restriction is currently prevalent in the EU, but the broker has chosen to adopt the same policy across its subsidiaries.
However, if you are willing to bargain with the broker, provided you are making a substantial investment, Plus500 may offer up to 30% bonus on your deposit. Of course, the bonus is not guaranteed, as the broker treats its bonus offering on a client-by-client basis. The bonuses can differ, but the broker also reserves the right to deny any bonus offerings outright.
Plus500 has followed the use of the same proprietary trading platform since its launch, without offering any third-party trading platforms such as the MT4 or the cTrader. Plus500 has created one of the most advanced trading interfaces in the market, which incorporates several trading tools, assets, and advanced functionalities for accessing more than 2000 instruments offered by the company. Plus500 uses the market maker protocol, which helps the broker to offer a proprietary trading platform without worrying about connecting to a liquidity provider or the global liquidity pool.
The proprietary trading platform is developed as two different versions; the installable version is available for trading on the Windows platform, while the WebTrader version is available for trading through a web browser. Mac OS and Linux users can only access the platform through their web browser, but Windows users get the best access to the markets through the proprietary trading platform. There are a few concerns regarding the overall trading compatibility, as the Plus500 Forex trading platform does not allow scalping, is not compatible with EAs or automated bots, and does not have a social trading feature. Otherwise, the Plus500 should get the job done in most other aspects.
Mobile Plus500 Apps
The Plus500’s team of management understands the importance of mobile trading in the present and future traders’ market, which is why the company has concentrated its efforts on introducing dedicated Plus500 mobile apps for iOS, Windows, and Android operating systems. Plus500 offers excellent compatibility with smartphones, tablets, and even the Apple Watch, making it one of the very few brokers that have covered almost 99% of the retail mobile trading market. If you are in the rare 1% of the market, the broker even offers access to the WebTrader, which guarantees comprehensive trading access without any restrictions.
For any concerns, troubles, or trading issues, the Plus500 customer service department is available around the clock for 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It is refreshing to see that Plus500 does not take a break, which is what we expect from a company that deals in clients’ investments. For instant support, traders can use either the live chat feature, or the phone support, but for more advanced queries, the broker prefers email and web contact form. All client correspondences are dealt with professionally, with traders reporting friendly and responsive customer service across all channels.
Plus500 Traders Resources
If you are hoping to find a few trading resources, training programs, advanced market analysis, or other trading-related information, you may be disappointed with Plus500’s offerings. Plus500 is primarily a brokerage service that puts a great effort into creating an excellent brokerage platform and does not intend on dissolving its core services with other resources. There are several third-party resources that offer much better information than brokers, which can provide independent and unbiased trading information without any conflict of interest.
- One of the best-regulated brokers in the industry.
- Low investment required for an account at just $100.
- 24X7 customer support offers a professional and friendly customer service experience.
- Regulated by the FCA, the CySEC, and the ASIC.
- The proprietary trading platform is accessible on Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
- Availability of WebTrader.
- No choice of third-party platforms such as MT4 or cTrader for STP/ECN offering.
- Does not support automated or social trading.
- The maximum leverage is restricted to 1:300.
The information displayed herein about Plus500CY Ltd. and its services is merely generic and derived from publicly available reliable sources or received from Plus500CY Ltd. (Entity authorized to operate in Spain through the passporting regime, reg no. 384).
Is The Plus500 Platform Compatible With Mobile Devices?
Plus500 offers trading services on all mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones, Android tablets, Windows tablets, and Windows phones. The broker even offers a dedicated mobile trading app for the Apple Watch.
Is Plus500 A Scam?
Plus500 holds a valid AFSL license from the ASIC, a financial authorisation from the FCA, and an EEA/MiFID approved regulatory license from the CySEC. Plus500 is not a scam broker.
What Are The Costs Of Trading?
Plus500 charges a nominal spread for trading, along with SWAPs for overnight trades. There aren’t any other charges, but the broker may charge an account inactivity fee if the trader does not transact for three months consecutively.