24option is a brand owned by Rodeler Limited, a CySec registered firm headquartered in Cyprus. The broker is a newer entrant to the industry and until recently offered binary options trading, which may help explain the name. They recently began only offering Forex and CFD trading. The markets available at 24option are reasonably comprehensive, but we found the trading and account costs to be larger than average. Account holders can choose different service levels depending on deposit size; although most of the differences besides trading costs and leverage were relatively minor. Investors looking for special features or advanced functionality will likely not find very much beyond the standard MT4 installation.
24option's spreads were fairly wide compared to the industry average. Fees for withdrawing money via netwallets, wire transfer, or credit/debit cards were also relatively high. In addition to regular fees, if a client withdraws money without making any trades 24option may add an additional EUR 50 charge. Monthly inactivity fees begin kicking in if an account is idle for more than two months. We were also surprised to see a monthly "maintenance" fee of EUR 10 per month, which is unusual in the industry. However, the maintenance fee could be eliminated, and spreads reduced if an investor makes larger account deposits. There were no deposit fees or commissions.
24option's trust scores suffered in our ratings because of a Cyprus registration and the lack of account protection above what's available from the ICF in the case of default. Traders also cannot use custodian banks to hold their capital. On the plus side, 24option does offer negative balance protection so that it isn't possible to lose more than you have deposited in an account. There is no slippage protection or guaranteed stop losses.
Account funds are held by 24option in segregated accounts with credit institutions or banks. The broker does not disclose which specific banks the funds are held with, which could be a concern for investors during a period of market instability. In fact, these accounts could be held with banks outside Cyprus or the European Economic Area, which means the regulatory environment and security of these institutions is unknown. It is not possible to use custodial accounts with a different bank to increase account protection, which is something that investors should consider.
Most of the special features included with a 24option account were available only because the broker offers trading through MT4. We find MT4 to be a dated platform, but it's also considered an industry standard. Backtesting, "Expert Advisors" (EAs), custom indicators, and social trading are all available through the MT4 environment. The proprietary web-based trading application was bare-bones and included limited charting functionality and research tools. The wide spectrum of possible cryptocurrency pairs may be attractive to some traders.
Most of the special features offered were available through MT4 and not the custom trading platform which doesn't create much of a differentiation for 24option. Traders familiar with MT4, should have a short learning curve, but there aren't many additional benefits. 24option didn't have any unique analytical tools, development apps, or trading support functionality to supplement its bare-bones custom trading platform or MT4.
The custom trading application was browser based and very limited in functionality. The web-based charts were rudimentary and didn't include any advanced studies or indicators. We scored 24option fairly well in this category, despite the custom platform's shortcomings, because traders can always opt to use the MT4 platform which includes the industry standard, minimum level of functionality. We found the web application's order entry process to be a bit different than standard, and the terminology used to execute a buy stop or sell stop order was unique. This may not affect new traders, but seasoned investors used to a familiar trading process will experience a learning curve. Navigating the symbols list was easy and very fast, and we liked that some analysis from Trading Central and the economic calendar was available within the platform itself.
The calendar and some Trading Central analytics are integrated into the web platform, which we found convenient. The symbols list was easy to navigate and sorted very quickly. The 24option platform is web-based so traders aren't confined to a single location -- any decent device with a browser will work. There was a trading signal service included in the web platform which is interesting, but there wasn't any additional analysis accompanying the signals.
The Daily Market Update and analysis from Trading Central was difficult to read and scroll through. The charts included in the updates were so small as to be illegible. There is no watchlist functionality and some of the longer lists of symbols (e.g. stocks) required a lot of scrolling to find the right market. The charts could be displayed in different styles and timeframes, but there are no advanced studies or indicators available.
The custom mobile app had no unique functionality to recommend. Traders can't use advanced order types and alerts were nonexistent. The charts were easy to navigate and changing display settings was simple; however, there is no advanced charting functionality or other research tools available. The mobile app doesn't offer streaming news, market commentary or Trading Central.
24option's mobile app was easy to install and use. Navigation was extremely simple and fast. The market lists had a search function, which is helpful because scrolling to the right symbol would be unreasonable. Stop losses and take profit orders on open positions were easy to set and modify.
There was limited security on the mobile app which does concern us since the application supports live trading. We also found the application takes some time to refresh when moving from one feature to the next. The 24option mobile app didn't support complex or advanced entry orders even though you could set take profit and stop loss orders on open positions. Unfortunately, we didn't find any price alert functionality to make up for the lack of advanced order entry functionality. Traders will have to watch their open positions carefully if they must use the mobile app.
24option's customer support hours are limited to what appeared to be European market hours. There wasn't much detail other than closed office notifications, so we assume that the available support hours are variable. The chat support was one of the slowest we evaluated, but email and phone were a little better. Service levels rise with higher account deposits, so larger traders may have a more responsive customer support experience. Unfortunately, there wasn't much information included in the FAQ sections of the website to make self-service support a viable alternative.
Support hours were limited and wait times for help were long. The FAQ portion of the website was too limited to improve the support situation for anything more than superficial questions. Although support service levels were increased with higher deposit levels, the promised improvements were vague, and we found it difficult to see specific advantages. We found the support reps to be reasonably knowledgeable, but questions had to be escalated frequently to more senior reps, which increased the wait times to get questions answered.
24option has very limited offerings for additional research and insight. The economic calendar was very good, but didn't have historical charts of the data. Complete access to Trading Central is available for investors at higher deposit levels. However, short blurbs and chart snapshots from Trading Central were included in the web-based platform for even the lowest-level account. The news headlines feed was limited and seemed to be either sourced from, or lifted almost word-for-word from, MarketWatch and Reuters news stories.
Many traders will appreciate access to Trading Central's analysis, even if it is in a summarized format. The economic calendar was easy to use and included some explanatory content about each type of event. The calendar items could be sorted by currency, date, or expected market impact.
Of the few analytical resources available most were inconvenient to navigate. The functionality was simple and easy but required a lot of scrolling. We found the charts and the text to be too small to be useful inside the web-based trading platform. The market headlines feed wasn't very detailed and seemed to be sourced nearly word for word from various paragraphs in stories on MarketWatch.com and Reuters.com. We found the articles to be a little confusing.
24option meets many of our minimum requirements to get a checkmark for education, however, "minimum" may be a little generous in this case. We found some platform-specific content that was helpful and clear, but the best content was oriented toward MT4. The education on technical and fundamental analysis was very limited and too short to be practical. Traders who have had no experience in the market may be able to use this education to become familiar with market terminology and very basic trading concepts.
Traders who are very new to the markets will get some value from 24option's educational offering. But the content was very simple and would be difficult to turn into actionable strategies. Videos were oriented by difficulty level, but otherwise navigation was scattered and a "student" would probably struggle to remember where they left off and what they should read next. We were disappointed to see so much attention paid to stylized, animated videos rather than just good content that focuses on application-based learning in the real-world markets.