iForex Review 2018

By John Jagerson  | January 3, 2018

Founded in 1996, iForex launched an Internet-based trading platform in 2004. Headquartered in Greece, iForex provides access to the Forex, shares and CFD markets.

Overall Rating

3.0/
5.0
Products & Fees
3.2
Trust
1.7
Desktop Experience
3.5
Mobile Experience
3.8
Customer Support
3.8
Research & Insights
4.3
Education
4.0

iForex.com Fast Facts

Founded in 1996, iForex launched an online trading application in 2004. The company is headquartered in Greece and regulated by the financial authorities in The British Virgin Islands. iForex, provides Forex, index, commodities, shares, and extensive cryptocurrency markets to traders. The iForex platform checked the boxes for the minimum required functionality, but there wasn't anything in the technology to be an advantage. Traders from several "restricted countries" including the U.S., U.K., and Australia are unable to open accounts with iForex. Dealing spreads and trading costs seemed low; however, the firm's registration status means there isn't enough transparency into their backend dealing practices to be completely confident about total costs.

pros

  • Trading Markets
    iForex offers access to Forex, shares, indices, commodity, and cryptocurrency markets
  • Online Trading Platform
    The no-frills platform was reliable and easy to access
  • Costs
    On the surface, some costs were lower than average

cons

  • Limited Trading Technology
    Only the custom online trading platform was available
  • Extremely Basic Education
    While there were many topics, the education was extremely basic and brief
  • Below average news and analysis
    The news feed and analysis was lower quality than the average standard in the industry
82
Forex Pairs
400+
Shares and ETFs Offered
27
Stock Indices
19
Commodity CFDs

Products & Fees

3.2

iForex typically had wider spreads than the industry average, but there were no commissions. There was an extensive list of cryptocurrencies available including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. The spreads for cryptocurrencies were very wide. We noticed Bitcoin spreads became extremely wide on a morning where the cryptocurrency was falling 10%. Account fees were limited or nonexistent, and there was a nominal minimum account balance required ($100) to open an account. Although iForex scored reasonably well on the breadth of products available and for its low account fees it should be noted that the trading spread was surprisingly large. Some traders may find it to be more expensive to trade with a wider spread than with a broker who offers a narrower spread and charges nominal account fees.

  • EUR/USD
    1.9 pips
  • GBP/USD
    3 pips
  • USD/JPY
    1.9 pips
  • S&P 500 CFD
    $0.90
  • Japan 225
    $25.00
  • Oil CFD
    $0.06
  • BTC/USD
    $150
  • Apple Shares
    $0.10

Trust

1.7

iForex's trust scores suffered in our ratings because registration in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) does not provide the same kind of oversight and account protection customers have come to expect from brokers registered in the UK or the U.S. While we didn't see any evidence of insolvency or other financial issues, it's fair to say that a BVI registration does not have the best reputation in the industry. We were also concerned with iForex's average level of internet encryption technology, especially since the trading platform is only available on a web platform. There are no guaranteed stop losses but account holders are provided with negative account balance protection.

No Compensation
In the event of iFOREX.com's default
(No account protection or assurance)
No Compensation
Account protection in the event of the bank or clearing firm's default
(No compensation fund scheme like there is in the UK or Cyprus)

What you need to know

Account funds are held by iForex and trades are cleared by iForex's parent, Formula Investment House B.O.S. Ltd. The expected oversight and protection from the financial authorities iForex is registered with is minimal. While the negative balance protection may be attractive there are offsetting disadvantages in the form of limited protection in the event of default to consider.

Special Features

Special Features

iForex did not offer any of the minimal features we consider a minimum requirement for scoring in this category. Typical trading platforms like MetaTrader 4 (or similar) are not available and the web-based trading platform was bare-bones. However, there were a few extra features that we thought were worth a mention and may be of interest to some traders, including cryptocurrencies, an economic calendar from Econoday, and technical trading signals from Trading Central.

Cryptocurrencies
Wide Selection of Cryptocurrencies
Economic Calendar from Econoday
Detailed and educational economic calendar
Trading Central
Technical Signals, Analysis and Reports

What you need to know

There weren't many special or unique features offered by iForex. But, depending on your needs there may be some advantages to the analysis from Econoday and Trading Central. The technical reports, alerts, and analysis from Trading Central can be educational as well as actionable for traders who don't have a lot of experience analyzing the markets on their own.

Desktop Experience

3.5
Desktop Experience

The desktop application is web-based and runs in a browser. Order entry, finding quotes, and adding stocks to a "favorites" watchlist was intuitive and easy to access. The web application includes charts that were reasonably robust, but not as good as other tools in the industry like TradingView/Multicharts. The mobile platform functions like the web application so traders shouldn't have much of a learning curve switching between the two environments.

Pros

There is nothing to install because the platform runs in a browser, which may be easier for some traders. Order entry was straightforward and advanced order types like buy and sell limits are available. Each asset class (shares, forex, indexes, crypto, etc.) are segmented in tabs which was easier to navigate than the typical lists or menus. The advantages of the web-based trading app are its simplicity and ease of use.

Cons

The typical charting and analytical tools are either barebones or missing from the trading platform. Details like market breadth, volume, and fundamental analysis tools were largely nonexistent. Advanced traders who need to do more analysis for their trades will likely be disappointed.

Mobile Experience

3.8
Mobile Experience

The mobile trading platforms offer similar functionality to the desktop applications. Traders can access trading instruments, advanced order types, a favorites watchlist, and account information all from their mobile device. The mobile platform also includes charts, however, the charting functionality is limited.

Pros

The mobile apps were easy to use and had enough minimal functionality to execute trades and do some analysis. The asset classes (Forex, shares, indexes, commodities, cryptocurrencies, etc.) were organized neatly and easy to find. For checking orders and making some trades, the mobile app should meet the minimum requirements for most traders.

Cons

Very minimal analytical tools or news feeds makes the mobile app barely more than a way to check an account or trade status. The app was easy to install but had minimal security beyond password access which could be a deal-killer for traders who rely on mobile access.

Customer Support

3.8

Customer support hours were comprehensive and there were multiple methods to contact a support representative. However, we found responses to be slow. iForex is known to encourage traders to sign up for training, which is something we observed in our testing as well. This was not the best experience. The searchable FAQ database was very good and easy to use, which may help traders looking for faster answers for some questions.

What you need to know

Phone support was available during all market hours with several options for international callers. We found chat support to be buggy and inconsistent and email requests for support were not returned. Service was slow, which isn't a unique problem in the industry, but that could be a bigger concern if customer service became logjammed during a major market event.

Research & Insights

4.3

Besides the charts in the trading platform, iForex offers few research tools. The news is summarized and may not be very timely on busy days. However, the economic calendar from Econoday and the technical trading reports and signals from Trading Central may be helpful for some traders.

Platform Charting
Charts include advanced studies, display types, and customizable timeframes
Economic Calendar
Schedule of important economic announcements, expectations and detailed explanations
Selected News Feed
Some news updates and analysis are available from iForex's own writers and analysts
Technical Research Reports
Research from Trading Central include detailed analysis and recommendations
Technical Signals Search
Screen for technical signals through Trading Central
Pattern Alerts
Get notified when a technical signal has been confirmed

Pros

The most valuable research tools were from third-party providers. Both the calendar and the technical reports are likely to be helpful for new and experienced traders. The technical reports are likely to be helpful for traders still learning how to analyze market trends and identify trading opportunities. There was some helpful education included with the technical reports to get traders familiar with the format and features. The charts in the trading application included a broad array of technical indicators and drawing tools that could be customized based on a trader's needs.

Cons

The stories in the news feed were brief and infrequent, which will likely leave some investors searching the internet for alternative sources of information when the market is moving. The charts in the trading platform met the minimum requirements for most analysis but did not match the more advanced offerings available in the industry today.

Education

4.0

The education provided by iForex met all our minimum requirements for a good 4.0 score; however, almost all the content was at a very basic level. The education was well organized and easy to find. While we usually like the short video format iForex used the animations were overly-stylized often lacked deeper application to specific markets. More videos and content that went into much more detail on advanced concepts would have been very helpful.

Learn about Market Forces and Currency
The Fundamentals of the Forex
(Education targeted at new Forex traders)
Analyze Markets; Find Opportunities
Platform and Tools Education
(Focused help for navigating the trading platforms and analytical tools)
Master the Basics of Identifying Trades
Technical Analysis and Strategy Education
(Provides background level education on technical analysis and demonstrates some trade setups)

What you need to know

The educational videos were well produced but didn't go into much detail on each topic. The FAQ database may wind up being a better resource for traders looking for more detail on some topics. Basic investors should learn a lot through the education, but we don't believe it will be enough to help someone be proficient in the markets.

Bottom Line

iForex lacks registration and oversight from higher quality financial authorities. Registration in The British Virgin Islands does not provide the account protection and transparency offered by other brokers in the industry. The trading application is very limited; however, we can see how some traders may find it to be easier to navigate and more efficient than other alternatives like MetaTrader-4. The education, tools, and research and analysis were also limited or nonexistent. If trading costs were lower, we could see a balance in iForex's favor, but we did not find that to be the case in our research. On the plus side, traders looking for a wide selection of cryptocurrency markets will probably find what they are looking for with iForex.

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 www.pfxglobal.com, the companion site to the book "Profiting With Forex" by John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen.

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