Saxo Bank Review 2018

By John Jagerson  | January 16, 2018

Saxo Bank provides direct access not only to the Forex, CFD, Equities, Futures and Bond markets through a proprietary trading platform but also to standard options on Forex, Equities, Indices and Futures.

Overall Rating

3.9/
5.0
Products & Fees
3.2
Trust
3.3
Special Features
4.0
Desktop Experience
3.5
Mobile Experience
4.6
Customer Support
2.5
Research & Insights
5.0
Education
5.0

Saxo Bank Fast Facts

Saxo Bank has been in the retail trading business since 1992. They are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. The company offers access to a broad product line including Forex, CFDs, Equities, Futures and Bonds. Traders can access a proprietary, professional-grade trading platform that is used by both professional and individual retail traders. The platforms seamlessly integrate both web and mobile platforms. Saxo Bank stands out in the industry by also including vanilla options (calls and puts) in its product offerings along with binary touch options. Saxo Bank has also established itself as a leader in market research and analysis. The bank maintains its own, unique financial news and analysis website, TradingFloor.com, and employs a team of economists and analysts who provide information and research directly to Saxo Bank clients.

pros

  • Standard Options
    Trade calls and puts on Forex, equities, indices and futures
  • Seamless Mobile Integration
    Start a trade on your computer and finish it on your mobile device and vice versa
  • High Quality Market Research
    Saxo Bank provides insightful, timely market research through TradingFloor.com

cons

  • No Cryptocurrency Trading
    Saxo Bank does not provide a platform for trading cryptocurrencies
  • No Spread Betting
    Traders looking to take advantage of the tax benefits of spread betting will have to look elsewhere
  • No Backtesting
    Saxo Bank's proprietary platform does not include backtesting tools
8000
Calls & Puts
(Trade 8,000 different vanilla calls and puts on Forex)
8
Asset Classes
1992
Founded
$15+ Billion
Assets Under Management
(*11/30/2017)

Products & Fees

3.2

Saxo Bank provides access to a broad product line including Forex, CFDs, equities, futures and bonds. Saxo Bank also provides access to vanilla call and put options for many assets. Forex traders pay both a spread and a commission. While Saxo Bank does not provide the lowest commissions in the industry, it does provide competitive commissions for those trading larger monthly volumes. There is a spread and minimum commission for single stocks but no maximum commission; this can get expensive if you trade a lot of single stocks. There are no charges for normal withdrawals or terminating an account. Inactivity fees only kick in after an account has been idle for six months or more.

  • EUR/USD
    1.11 pips
  • GBP/USD
    1.61 pips
  • USD/JPY
    1.21 pips or 0.212 pips + commission (DMA)
  • S&P 500 CFD
    $0.90
  • Japan 225
    $12.00
  • Oil CFD
    $0.05
  • US 10Y T-Note
    $0.02
  • Gold
    $0.60
  • US Stocks
    Spread + 2 cents/share ($20 minimum)

Trust

3.3

If there's one area where Saxo Bank suffered slightly in our ratings it was with trust. It's worth noting, however, that the reason for this was the company's lack of compensation above and beyond what's required by regulators in the event of a default by Saxo Bank. However, while Saxo Bank does not provide additional deposit insurance it does take steps to ensure client funds are not comingled with corporate funds - ensuring that client money and assets are protected in the unlikely event that Saxo Bank becomes insolvent - by holding those funds in segregated accounts at regulated banks. The firm is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK which provides good transparency and industry-standard deposit protection.

GBP 50,000
Default Insurance (If Saxo Bank defaults)
(Any shortfall of funds of up to GBP 50,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)).
GBP 85,000
Default Insurance (Failed Bank)
If the custodian bank holding client funds goes into liquidation, any shortfall of funds of up to GBP 85,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

What you need to know

Saxo Bank is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and follows the strict regulatory requirements, known as the client money and client assets rules (found in the Client Assets Sourcebook - CASS) outlined by the FCA. The bank holds client funds in segregated bank accounts with the client as beneficiary.

Special Features

4.0
Special Features

Saxo Bank provides most of its "special features" through its OpenAPI plugin for Excel. Excel is a compelling platform because of its flexibility. You can write commands to execute trades, backtest a trading strategy or simply monitor the positions in your account without having to learn a new coding language. The one drawback for clients is Saxo Bank does not provide access to Virtual Private Servers (VPS) on which to run the programs. (Traders often use a VPS to run automated trading algorithms in the background, even when their own home or office computers may not be running.) For those not interested in creating their own trading strategies in Excel the broker offers prebuilt, professionally managed SaxoSelect Trading Strategies that clients can monitor and even invest in.

Develop & Implement Trading Strategies
Design Your Algorithm in Excel Using OpenAPI
Automate Your Trades
Time Your Trade Entries & Exits
(*In Excel using OpenAPI)
Professionally Managed Funds
Invest with the Help of Fund Managers
(Utilise the expertise of professional fund managers in SaxoSelect Trading Strategies)

What you need to know

Saxo Bank provides impressive flexibility when it comes to trade management and strategy development. For traders acquainted with the advanced functionality of Microsoft Excel, Saxo Bank's OpenAPI for Excel provides a stable platform on which they can build.

Desktop Experience

3.5
Desktop Platform Experience

We found Saxo Bank's SaxoTraderGo, a browser-based trading platform, to be stable, comprehensive and fully customizable. It provides everything from news alerts and third-party trading signals to watchlists and dynamic charts. A vast amount of information can be applied to the charts. In our review, even when indicators, drawings, economic events and more were added to the charts they still had a clean, organized layout. The charts also did well when toggling between chart time frames and launching charts in new windows. Traders who are accustomed to executing trades on the MT4 platform may be disappointed to learn Saxo Bank does not offer an MT4 option.

Pros

Everything in the online trading platform is customizable - from the color of the platform to the positioning and number of charting, news and portfolio windows. Customers can place trades for Forex, CFDs, equities, bonds and options all within the same platform. We found the offerings within the platform to be relatively broad. Integrated trading signals from Autochartist, news updates from NewsEdge and RANsquawk, and in-house analysis and trade opinions from the team at TradingFloor.com all help keep traders engaged and informed.

Cons

Saxo Bank does not offer the MT4 trading platform. It also does not allow third-party trading platforms (outside of the company's own OpenAPI for Excel) to connect with the trading platform. This limits the number of additional tools clients can use in their trading.

Mobile Experience

4.6
Mobile Platform Experience

The Saxo Bank SaxoTraderGo mobile app includes all of the functionality available in the desktop application. Traders can access all of Saxo Bank'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 latest trade and economic research from TradingFloor.com. Both the iPhone app and the Android app include fingerprint security (a feature we have found to be surprisingly rare in this space), enabling you to unlock the trading platform without typing in your username and password.

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 watch lists, track their accounts and receive trading alerts. The dynamic charts can be expanded to full screen to provide better clarity during the technical analysis process. Clients can also access TradingFloor.com's research or deposit or withdraw cash into or from their accounts.

Cons

Although both the iPhone and Android apps include fingerprint security, there is otherwise no added security beyond the login password. We would like to see the app include customizable, automatic sign-out and verification of login from another device.

Customer Support

2.5

Saxo Bank maintains a robust FAQ database (Support Centre) where clients can find answers to commonly asked questions quickly without having to wait for in-person support. Prospective clients can also call and talk to a sales representative about their questions. Saxo Bank's customer support score suffered slightly because prospective clients don't have access to live chat, which is only located within the live trading platform (not the demo platform). Only Premium and Platinum clients have access to chat in their preferred language. Walk-in support is not available for Saxo clients.

What you need to know

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days per week for customers who have funded their accounts. Saxo Bank also offers chat support in more than 72 languages for those who meet the minimum account funding threshold of $100K to become a Premium account holder. The Support Centre FAQ covers a wide variety of topics and has an excellent search engine. If you do not have a live account, your customer support options are limited to the FAQ and to calling a sales representative.

Research & Insights

5.0

Saxo Bank scored well in our research category because of its robust offerings available through TradingFloor.com, coupled with its real-time news feeds, calendars, and advanced data analytics. These research features are available in SaxoTraderGo's web-based and mobile platforms. Saxo's own TradingFloor.com provides in-house analysis of the financial markets through its #SaxoStrats team of strategists. The platform also provides access to a community of traders who post trading ideas. Fellow traders can follow these ideas. Clients can also access tools that allow traders to see where other Saxo Bank clients have opened positions (in the aggregate) and levels where open orders are set.

FX Open Positions
Know what other clients are trading.
FX Options Sentiment
See what FX options positions other clients are trading.
#SaxoStrats
Commentary and analysis from Saxo Bank's in-house team.
Community of Traders
Filter and follow the top traders in the Saxo Bank community.
Market Screener
Screen for stocks based on fundamental criteria.
COT Report
Analysis of the weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) report.

Pros

Saxo Bank provides a wide range of analytics, research and tools. We especially liked the analysis provided by the #SaxoStrats team. The FX Open Orders and FX Open Positions tools provides useful sentiment information. The economic calendar was easy to use, integrated into the trading platform, and included expectations, actual results, currencies affected and historical data.

Cons

If we saw one drawback to the impressive amount of analysis provided on TradingFloor.com it's that there's no way to automate trades in an account based on the information provided. This is a service that would be especially useful for the Community of Traders product.

Education

5.0

Saxo Bank provides client education via its "Saxo Academy." The Academy is well organized and comprehensive - covering Forex, CFDs, equities, options, futures and bonds. The courses and the ongoing webinars and commentary incorporate the SaxoTraderGo trading platform, which will help investors to become more proficient with the finer details of its use.

Saxo Academy
Master Various Trading Concepts
(Collection of predefined courses covering Forex, CFDs, equities, options and more)
Course Notes
Download and Learn on Your Own Time
(Keep a permanent reference file and study when it's more convenient)
Quick Quizzes
Quiz Yourself & Gain Mastery
(Check for understanding and review material that you may have struggled with the first time)
Course Tracking
Keep Progress and Keep Learning
(Track what you still need to learn and don't forget where you last left off)

What you need to know

Saxo Academy provides courses for every asset class you can trade within the SaxoTraderGo platform. More popular asset classes - like Forex - have multiple courses dedicated to the subject to help traders dive deeper into those markets. The ability to track progress through the courses helps traders stay focused and develop a pathway through the material that makes sense.

Bottom Line

Saxo Bank scored well in most areas of our analysis. The broker offers a proprietary, professional-grade trading platform that we felt would appeal to both new and experienced traders alike. New traders will find the tools and educational opportunities necessary to get started. Seasoned traders will appreciate the flexible, customizable trading platform. The firm offers access to a broad product line including Forex, CFDs, equities, futures and bonds. We would have preferred at least the option, as a prospective client, to chat with a live representative; but otherwise their customer support was professional and courteous. The firm's selection of customized research, news and analytics via TradingFloor.com was 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.

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