By John A. Jagerson | January 16, 2018
Saxo Capital Markets 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.
Saxo Capital Markets is the UK-based subsidiary of Saxo Bank Group. Established in 1992, Saxo Bank is a Danish-based online trading and investing specialist that provides international investors access to trading over 35,000 products. Registered in the UK under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) the company offers access to a broad product line including Forex, CFDs, Equities, Options, 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 Capital Markets stands out in the industry by also including vanilla options (calls and puts) in its product offerings. Saxo has also established itself as a leader in market research and analysis. The Group maintains its own, unique financial news and analysis, and employs a team of economists and analysts who provide information and research directly to Saxo Capital Markets clients.
Saxo Capital Markets provides access to a broad product line including Forex, CFDs, equities, futures and bonds. Saxo Capital Markets also provides access to vanilla call and put options for many assets. Forex traders pay both a spread and a commission. While Saxo Capital Markets 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.
If there's one area where Saxo Capital Markets 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 Capital Markets. However, while Saxo Capital Markets 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 Capital Markets 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.
Saxo Capital Markets 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.
Saxo Capital Markets 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 Capital Markets 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.
Saxo Capital Markets provides impressive flexibility when it comes to trade management and strategy development. For traders acquainted with the advanced functionality of Microsoft Excel, Saxo Capital Market's OpenAPI for Excel provides a stable platform on which they can build.
We found Saxo Capital Market'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 Capital Markets does not offer an MT4 option.
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.
Saxo Capital Markets 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.
The Saxo Capital Markets SaxoTraderGo mobile app includes all of the functionality available in the desktop application. Traders can access all of Saxo Capital Market'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 the in-house SaxoStrats analyst team. 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.
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 the analyst team's market commentary and research or deposit or withdraw cash into or from their accounts.
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.
Saxo Capital Markets 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 Capital Market'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.
Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 5 days per week for customers who have funded their accounts. Saxo Capital Markets also offers chat support in more than 72 languages for those who meet the minimum account funding threshold of $50K to become a Platinum 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.
Saxo Capital Markets scored well in our research category because of the robust of the Saxo Group analyst team the SaxoStrats, 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 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 Capital Markets clients have opened positions (in the aggregate) and levels where open orders are set.
Saxo Capital Markets 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.
If we saw one drawback to the impressive amount of analysis provided by the strategy team 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.
Saxo Capital Markets 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 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.