Trading in forex and CFDs carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of part or all of your investment (deposit). The high degree of leverage that is obtainable in the trading of Forex and CFDs can work both against you as well as for you. You should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Should you have any doubts, you should seek advice from an independent and suitably licensed financial advisor.
iForex was founded in 1996 by a group of bankers and forex dealers, and it claims to be one of the largest and most respected firms in the industry. The company advertises direct access to global markets, including forex, equities, commodities and indexes, with offices located around the world and immediate customer service in a client’s native language. iForex also says it has hedging capabilities not offered by all brokers with real-time margin protection, ensuring limits and automatically executing risk management precautions to prevent a negative account balance.
Great educational resources
Customer support with 24/5 online chat and Twitter feed
Wide variety of investment products
A light touch regulatory regime could make disputes with the company more difficult to settle
Basic service and client-facing technology
High fees for services like dormant accounts and cash withdrawal
iForex operates in multiple jurisdictions with offices in the British Virgin Islands and Cyprus. iForex is the brand name for Formula Investment House Ltd., which is an investment firm licensed and supervised by the British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) Financial Services Commission under license no. SIBA/L/13/1060. Its home regulator is therefore in the BVI, and according to the company’s customer service agreement, the laws of the BVI govern the license agreement, and BVI courts have sole jurisdiction over any dispute arising from or in connection with the agreement.
Some may feel that the BVI is a light touch regulatory environment relative to the U.S. or U.K. and could afford clients fewer protections. iForex does not appear to have an insurance policy in the event of insolvency or bankruptcy and does not offer guaranteed stop-losses for traders. The broker is not authorized to operate in the U.K.
On a positive note, the company takes cybersecurity seriously noting that sensitive information is passed through encryption services such as firewalls and Secure Socket Layering (SSL). The company also has a negative balance protection policy, preventing a client from losing more than they have on deposit. Product pricing and services offered are also quite transparent with adequate information available on the company’s website.
iForex has a comfortable desktop experience with a clear and easy-to-use trading platform. Unlike some brokers, iForex does not seem to offer trading through the MT4 or MT5 platforms but does have an adequate web-based trading platform. For example, product offerings are organized neatly in tabular format. It is also possible to create your own watchlists by clicking on the star to the left of the instrument you want. This will add the item to your favorite watchlist.
Clicking on your preferred instrument opens a trade ticket that allows the trader to set the trade size as well as stop-loss and take-profit levels. The price is also clearly displayed on the right with the direction of trade displayed in the upper left from your perspective (sell price on the left, buy price on the right).
Key account information such as available margin, equity, maintenance margin and your open profit or loss is also easy to see on the upper right.
iForex also has a nice chart station that allows a trader to easily see an instrument’s price history. Technical analysis is easy to add using the buttons to the right of the instrument name. If a trader is ready to place a trade, this can be done without having to change screens on the left-hand side.
iForex also offers traders the chance to practice with a demo account, but they say this is only available after opening a real account. It also seems there are likely time restrictions on how long a demo account can be used, but one would need to open a real account to verify this fact.
Unlike other brokers, iForex shows trading sentiment on their mobile app. This is a quick and easy way for a trader to see which way the market may be leaning. The mobile app also has advanced security measures such as fingerprint match identification to open the app for trading.
New deal tickets are easy to create. Clients only need to choose an instrument and then select New Deal, pick the position size and the direction of trade and then press the Deal button. iForex helpfully shows the amount of margin required when the trader selects their deal size.
iForex also has a respectable mobile charting package. The information is clearly displayed, and various technical studies can be easily added to help make trading decisions.
iForex has few special features offered by other brokers. For example, there does not seem to be any automated trading algorithms, or an ability to engage in social trading, where it is possible to follow the trading strategies of more successful traders. Other services, like back-testing trading strategies or trading anonymously with a VPS service, are also not offered.
Customer support is quite strong at iForex. Online chat is available for both new and existing clients. All clients can receive customer support and technical assistance 24/7 globally. Telephone support is also available in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. iForex also has an active Twitter account that helps clients find solutions to common problems. Uniquely, iForex offers remote support assistance. Remote assistance allows their support team to connect to the computer over the internet, view the computer screen, and troubleshoot any issues a client may be experiencing.
iForex has a good range of investment products, offering 88 currency pairs as well as indexes, commodities, equities, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. Unlike other brokers in this space, iForex also offers a range of soft commodities for trading, including soybeans, wheat, corn, cocoa, coffee and cotton. (Most brokers tend to stick to more widely held commodities such as metals and energy.) iForex also offers trading in cryptocurrencies, which is an emerging area that not all brokers offer. iForex, however, does not offer spread betting, a common offering in the U.K. This is because the broker is not authorized to operate in the U.K.
Research Tools and Insights
The iForex research and insights offering is quite comprehensive. There is a separate section for news and analysis as well as an iForex blog where thematic topics are covered in detail. While research webinars, videos and real-time news do not appear to be offered, iForex does have an economic calendar with important macroeconomic events that can affect markets.
iForex scores very well in terms of educational products. Information for major trading products such as CFDs and forex are easy to find. There is also information about technical analysis and several videos that beginning traders will find particularly helpful. A convenient glossary is also provided to help navigate some of the jargon in the FX trading market.
Commissions & Fees
Like most brokers iForex does not charge commissions or trading fees, relying on the trading spread to make a profit. While iForex is very competitive in its spread offering, it has fees for other services that not all brokers have. For example, there is a comparatively high withdrawal fee of $20 that the broker claims is for wire transfer costs. iForex also does not seem to offer any discounts for larger trading volumes. One advantage is the relatively low minimum investment to get started; at $100, this is competitive with other brokers that can require as much as a $500 initial deposit.
What You Need to Know
iForex has some unique features, like trading in soft commodities and remote support assistance, that may be appealing to some traders. But its operating outside the regulatory regimes of the U.S. and the U.K. should give traders with low risk appetite pause.