AvaTrade Review 2018

By John Jagerson  | January 24, 2018

Broad access to the markets plus a variety of stable trading platforms give AvaTrade an edge.

Overall Rating

4.0/
5.0
Products & Fees
4.3
Trust
3.3
Special Features
4.0
Desktop Experience
4.5
Mobile Experience
4.2
Customer Support
3.1
Research & Insights
5.0
Education
4.0

AvaTrade Fast Facts

AvaTrade was founded in 2006 and is based in Ireland. The firm is regulated in the European Union (EU) by the Central Bank of Ireland and operates as a licensed investment firm under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). AvaTrade is also licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. We found them to be a competitive trading firm with a strong analytical arm (SharpTrader.com) and a suite of trading platforms to accommodate different trading styles. AvaTrade provides access to a broad selection of financial markets - from Forex and cryptocurrencies to stock indices and commodities - and a wide variety of trading platforms on which to trade those financial assets. AvaTrade also provides account holders with the benefit of negative balance protection (so traders will never lose more than the amount they have on deposit).

pros

  • Breadth of Trading Products
    AvaTrade offers access to multiple global financial markets
  • Variety of Platform Choices
    AvaTrade lets you choose from five trading platforms
  • Negative Balance Protection
    AvaTrade guarantees your account balance will never drop below zero

cons

  • No Volume Discounts
    Higher volume traders will pay the same spread
  • Slow Withdrawal Processing
    Withdrawals can take up to 10 days to process
  • No Emergency Stop Loss
    There is no way to set a customize account level to automatically liquidate your positions once your account balance reaches a pre-determined threshold
7
Asset Classes
5
Trading Platforms
7
Cryptocurrencies

Products & Fees

4.3

AvaTrade provides access to a broad selection of financial markets - from Forex and cryptocurrencies to stock indices and commodities on a wide variety of trading platforms. AvaTrade provides slightly higher-than-average spreads and unfortunately does not offer trading discounts for traders with larger account balances or for those who transact larger volumes during the month. The broker does not charge commissions on its trades, and costs are contained in the spread. There are no charges for standard withdrawals or terminating an account. However, AvaTrade charges an inactivity fee of GBP 25 after three months of account inactivity. Traders can get started with as little at GBP 100 in an account.

  • EUR/USD
    1.5 pips
  • GBP/USD
    2.0 pips
  • USD/JPY
    1.6 pips
  • S&P 500 CFD
    $0.25 over market spread
  • Japan 225
    15 yen over market spread
  • Oil CFD
    $0.03
  • US Stocks
    $0.06 over market spread

Trust

3.3

AvaTrade provides clients with a guarantee they will never lose more than they have in their accounts via its negative balance protection. AvaTrade also takes steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds. This ensures that client assets are protected in the unlikely event that AvaTrade becomes insolvent by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks, like Danske Bank and Unicredit. Clients also have additional asset protection through the Investor Compensation Company (ICCL), up to EUR 20,000. AvaTrade does not provide the additional protection or two-factor authentication for client accounts.

Up to EUR 20,000
Account protection in the event of default (AvaTrade)
(If AvaTrade defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to EUR 20,000 may be compensated for under the Investor Compensation Company (ICCL))
Up to EUR 75,000
Account protection in the event of a default (Bank)
(If the bank holding your account money defaults, any shortfall of funds of up to EUR 75,000 may be compensated)

What you need to know

AvaTrade is regulated in the European Union (EU) by the Central Bank of Ireland and operates as a licensed investment firm under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). AvaTrade is also licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. They do not provide additional protection on deposits or allow custodial arrangements with your own bank.

Special Features

4.0
Special Features

AvaTrade's strengths lie in the variety of trading platforms it provides. While AvaTrade offers its own trading platform (AvaTradeAct), most traders are likely to use AvaTrade's MetaTrader 4 offerings, which provides a more comprehensive trading environment, or one of the other trading platforms the broker offers. DupliTrade, RoboX, Mirror Trader and ZuluTrade all provide the ability to automate your trading activity. This arrangement works well for investors familiar with the MetaTrader platform or for those who are looking to customize their trading experience.

"DupliTrade"
Follow and Replicate Other Traders
(Use DupliTrade to replicate in your own account what other traders are doing in their accounts)
"AutoChartist"
Apply Chart Patterns Automatically
(Find and identify chart patterns)
"Expert Advisors"
Automate Your Trading

What you need to know

The other trading platforms offered by AvaTrade are likely to be more useful for investors with very specific needs like VPS or copy trading. While not a "true" VPS service, RoboX allows investors to select from a nearly unlimited set of strategies and parameters that can be used to automate a trading strategy even when your office computer is turned off. AutoChartist is also an interesting feature and can be helpful for traders looking for a first-level screening tool for automating technical pattern analysis.

Desktop Experience

4.5
Desktop Experience

AvaTrade earned high marks in the Desktop Experience category due in large part to the number of desktop platforms clients have to choose from. The AvaTradeAct browser-based trading platform is stable and customizable and, because it is browser-base, ensures clients can have access to their account from any computer with an internet connection. Most of the bells and whistles, however, are found in the MetaTrader 4 desktop platform and the other automated trading platforms provided by the company. Clients can choose among the MetaTader 4, MT4 Floating Spreads, AvaOptions, DupliTrade, RoboX, Mirror Trader, and ZuluTrade platforms. Each platform offers pros and cons, depending on trading style and needs.

Pros

One of the most popular aspects of the MT4 platform is the ability to add auto-trading and custom indicators through plugins called "Expert Advisors" or EAs. The process of adding an EA won't be easy for a novice, but some sample EAs are included by default for testing and demonstration purposes. MT4 also allows investors to trade directly from charts and save layouts and chart profiles.

Cons

MT4 has been around for some time now and it's beginning to look a bit dated, especially compared to some of the newer, cleaner interfaces we've seen on competitive platforms. Audible alerts can be annoying and are difficult to customize. Some common functions, like scrolling or zooming on a chart, are clunky and will be frustrating for traders familiar with other more modern charting applications. Creating or modifying EAs is difficult and the programming language is unique and challenging for traders to learn.

Mobile Experience

4.2
Mobile Experience

The AvaTradeAct mobile application includes all of the functionality available in the desktop application. Traders can access all AvaTrade's trading instruments, account details, trading signals and charting (complete with trading indicators and drawing tools) from both the Android and iPhone apps. Clients can also access the MT4 mobile trading platform on both Android and iPhone. MT4 crams an impressive amount of functionality into a small screen. We found the mobile applications to offer similar functionality to the desktop application. Traders can access trading instruments, complex order types, watchlists, and account analytics all from their mobile device. The mobile platform also includes charts with price overlays, indicators, and flexible display styles. Other features include news feeds and educational articles.

Pros

The mobile application includes all of the same functionality clients can use in the desktop version to analyze and research trading opportunities. Clients can use customizable watchlists, track their accounts and receive trading alerts. Demo traders should also have no problem immediately logging in and giving the app a try. The order entry form was a little crowded and difficult to navigate on our phone screens, but not completely impractical if a trader needs to be able to modify, enter, or exit orders while away from the desktop.

Cons

While the mobile platform was easy to use, we didn't find any added value from the dealer. For example, we would have liked to have seen some of AvaTrade's custom news and analysis from SharpTrader available within the application. Also of concern: we didn't find additional options for security, like fingerprint access or remote logout.

Customer Support

3.1

AvaTrade customer support provides easy access to a network of agents to assist clients. Clients can contact customer support via phone, email or live chat. The chat response time, however, was quite slow in our experience. The company also maintains an FAQ database covering topics from account opening and funding to trading and platform questions. This should help traders looking for quick answers. AvaTrade does not provide in-person support.

What you need to know

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, and is provided in a number of different languages. In our experience, response times via each of these customer service channels was knowledgeable and courteous, but the response times for questions submitted via chat was quite slow. The FAQ section covers a wide variety of topics and has a helpful search engine.

Research & Insights

5.0

AvaTrade scored high in our Research and Insights category for its comprehensive research offerings. The broker's SharpTrader.com platform includes news, calendars, and advanced data analytics from AutoChartist. SharpTrader.com provides analysis of the financial markets through its Daily Briefing, technical and fundamental analysis reports and video analysis - all provided by an in-house team of analysts.

SharpTrader.com
All of AvaTrade's in-house research in one place.
Daily Briefing
Daily written commentary covering what is happening in the financial markets.
Weekly Market Report
Weekly written commentary looking at longer-term trends in the financial markets.
AutoChartist Reports
Daily Forex technical analysis reports.
Daily Video
Daily video commentary covering what is happening in the financial markets.
Fundamental Analysis Reports
Deep dives into fundamental topics driving the markets.

Pros

AvaTrade provides a wide range of analytics, research and tools. The economic calendar was easy to use and included expectations, actual results, currencies affected, and historical data. This information makes the calendars more useful than having just a few dates and numbers. Research from AvaTrade's analyst team via their Daily Briefings and Daily Videos was timely and informative and, coupled with the AutoChartist reports, provide insights into a number of potential trading setups each week.

Cons

The one drawback to the impressive amount of analysis provided on SharpTrader.com is there is no way to automate trades in your account based on the information provided.

Education

4.0

AvaTrade's education, via both AvaTrade and SharpTrader.com, is well organized and comprehensive - covering topics from Forex and CFDs to economic indicators and commodities. Traders can choose between video-based courses that cover both beginner and advanced topics or written courses that offer a deep dive into individual topics. AvaTrade also offers tutorial videos for the MetaTrader 4 platform.

MT4 Video Tutorials
Master MetaTrader 4
(Learn how to get the most out of the MetaTrader 4 platform)
Video Library Collection
Watch and Learn How to Trade
(Predefined step-by-step videos for both new and seasoned traders)
Trading Courses
Understand Asset Class Nuances
(Learn about the Forex, commodities and stock markets)

What you need to know

The trading courses cover Forex, stock and CFD trading. There are also courses on technical analysis, trading strategies, trading tools, etc. that are applicable to all traders, regardless of the financial market they are trading. We found the education to be above average. When combined with AvaTrade's analysis, new and experienced investors should all find something to improve their skills.

Bottom Line

All in all, AvaTrade scored very well in our analysis. The company offers a number of stable, customizable trading platforms - from the AvaTradeAct and MetaTrader 4 platforms to the more specialized DupliTrade and RoboX platforms. Having access to desktop, browser-based and mobile applications will appeal to new traders and experienced traders alike. New traders will find the tools and educational opportunities comprehensive enough to get started. Seasoned traders will appreciate the flexibility and vast catalogue of customizable trading tools provided by the MT4 platform. The firm gives traders access to a broad array of financial markets including Forex, stock indices, individual equities and commodities. We thought AvaTrade's selection of research, news and analytics via SharpTrader.com was especially impressive.

John Jagerson
Reviewed by John Jagerson

John Jagerson has worked in the capital markets and private equity for most of his career, including investing, writing and money management. He currently manages a registered CTA and contributes to Learning Markets, the companion site to the book "Profiting With Forex" by John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen.

About Our Broker Review Methodology
Investopedia's mission is to provide online investors with the most unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of self-directed brokers. Vetted by multiple industry experts - including a financial research firm with more than 20 years of experience in broker ratings - Investopedia's Broker Ratings and Reviews embody industry best practices for research design.

Investopedia consulted independent researchers, and financial institutions, and conducted multiple tests, to design a system that rates brokers based on 10 categories and 149 carefully selected variables. Selection of ratings elements was a culmination of 5,498 survey responses, 100+ hours of industry research, and 100 hours of user feedback. Each category encapsulates the key elements needed for thorough evaluation. All have been tested for replicable results with a battery of evaluators. Every review goes through a rigorous verification process to maintain editorial separation and ensure an unbiased ratings result.

AvaTrade Review and Ratings 2018 News