AvaTrade is a well-established Forex / CFD brokerage house which was founded in 2006 and has been conducting business ever since. AvaTrade was one of the first major brokerages in the retail Forex/CFD field, so it has a lengthy track record.
Although they have their global headquarters in the Republic of Ireland, they have a corporate structure composed of several entities which match their regular bases of regulated operations: Republic of Ireland, Australia, Japan, South Africa, and the British Virgin Islands. As of February 2020, AvaTrade is also regulated by Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority.
AvaTrade is the first Forex broker to receive a 3A license in Abu Dhabi, which allows the brokerage to offer both retail and professional trading services. AvaTrade allows its clients to trade 55 different Forex currency pairs and crosses, including some exotics, 17 commodity CFDs, 20 equity indices, 14 cryptocurrencies, and CFDs on 500 individual stocks and shares. AvaTrade also offers 2 bond CFDs, and 6 ETFs. Unusually, AvaTrade also offers option products on Forex. This AvaTrade review will cover everything you need to know about AvaTrade so that you can determine if this is the right brokerage for you.
Regulation and Security
AvaTrade enjoys an extremely high and very strong level of regulation. It has regulations across 6 jurisdictions. AvaTrade EU Limited is an Irish private limited company (company number 460012) based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, which controls AvaTrade’s operations within the European Union. Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Limited is an Australian private limited company (ACN 72 143 340 907) based in Sydney, Australia, which controls AvaTrade’s operations within Australia. AvaTrade Japan K.K. is a Japanese company based in Japan which controls AvaTrade’s operations within Japan.
Ava Capital Markets Pty Limited is a South African company based in South Africa which controls AvaTrade’s operations within South Africa. Finally, AvaTrade’s operations outside these jurisdictions are controlled by Ava Trade Ltd, a British Virgin Islands (B.V.I.) company. In addition to that, AvaTrade has collaborated with Friedberg Direct, a reputable Canadian broker. The relationship between Friedberg Direct and AvaTrade was formed with the purpose to allow Canadian residents access to AvaTrade’s suite of products, including its multiple platforms, forex and CFD trade execution and other operational services, while maintaining their accounts with a regulated Canadian firm. All accounts are opened by and held with Friedberg Direct, a division of Friedberg Mercantile Group Ltd., a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
AvaTrade can therefore said to be formally based in the European Union (Ireland’s membership allows AvaTrade to be passported into the entire European Union), Australia, Japan, South Africa, and the B.V.I. While the Republic of Ireland is not a common location for a Forex / CFD brokerage to base itself, it has a high level of regulation and financial services infrastructure. Australia is a more well-known and well-used base. We note that AvaTrade also reaches into some places that few brokerages can get established in, such as Japan. This multi-jurisdictional setup allows AvaTrade to differentiate its offering depending upon where its traders are located. It is worth mentioning that acquiring regulation is not an easy feat for any Forex broker, so the fact that AvaTrade has acquired regulation in several jurisdictions shows its desire to provide a secure trading experience for its clients while being able to vary their offerings as per the allowances of each distinct jurisdiction. AvaTrade has branch offices in Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, Australia, Mongolia, China, Nigeria, Chile, and South Africa. Now for the full details of the regulation of the sundry AvaTrade entities: In Ireland, AvaTrade EU Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as a MiFID investment firm under reference number C53877.
AvaTrade’s regulation in both Ireland and Australia provides its clients depositing in their branch in either jurisdiction with a degree of investor protection. The Republic of Ireland’s Investor Compensation Company has account protection which can protect deposits of up to €20,000. Australia’s ASIC is empowered to refund deposits of up to AUD $250,000 at deposit-taking institutions, although it is unclear whether this will tend to be applied to insolvent Forex / CFD brokerages.
The total fees charged by any brokerage should always be one of the very top considerations of someone looking for the most suitable Forex / CFD broker. It ranks right up there with security / safety of funds deposited. Beginning with trading fees, we will look at spreads first (AvaTrade does not charge commissions), taken together as a “round trip” cost of opening and closing a trade.
The average round trip cost of trading the benchmark EUR/USD Forex currency pair is 0.9 pips. Furthermore, this spread is more competitive the lower you get to the minimum deposit of $100. Traders with more than a few thousand dollars to deposit may be able to find other brokers offering slightly lower average spreads, albeit with a similar very high level of regulatory oversight and protection. The list of average spreads and maximum leverage with margin requirements offered from the B.V.I. for Forex currency pairs and crosses is detailed below:
The average round trip fees and costs for other CFD instruments offered such as commodities, individual stocks and equity indices are broadly a little better than average for the industry. Individual stocks and shares are mostly subject to a spread worth 0.13% of the nominal trade value, which is also quite impressive.
An often-overlooked element of the trading fee structure is overnight financing, which is typically a net charge applied to any trade open at 5 p.m. New York time. These fees are, theoretically, calculated from intrabank tom/next intrabank fees, but retail brokerages usually offer much less favorable rates. These fees can have the effect of making swing or position trading expensive. AvaTrade is totally transparent regarding its overnight financing rates, which is a sign of trustworthiness: frequently, brokers don’t publicize their existing rates, but they can always be found within the relevant trading platforms if you know where to look for them. AvaTrade make no claims about how their overnight financing / swap rates are derived. Finally, we conclude the topic of fees by checking whether clients are charged any incidental fees not directly related to trading processes by AvaTrade, regardless of whether a trade is made. AvaTrade imposes an account inactivity fee of $50 per quarter but an account must have initiated no trading activity for a period of at least three months before this fee will be imposed.
Creating an account at AvaTrade is relatively easy and painless. If you want to kick the tires before funding your account, you can test out the AvaTrade web, mobile, and desktop platforms with a free demo account. This demo account requires your name, email address, and phone number to get started.
Once you create a live account, you can connect your bank account and fund it with currencies from supported countries. Deposits are available via credit card, wire transfers, and several forms of electronic funds transfer depending on your location. A live account requires contact information, a valid color copy of a government ID, and a utility bill from the last six months for address verification. If you have multiple accounts, don’t worry! AvaTrade MAM Accounts (Multi-Account Manager) allows you to enter orders for all of your sub-accounts under one login.
The web and desktop platforms both offer quite a lot of features and customizations. In addition to trades, you can customize views for charts data views, with trade boxes built right into the chart views. When it comes to market trading, timing and speed are essential. By having the trade entry forms built right into the chart views, you can save precious seconds and trade on the fly.
In addition to the convenient web versions, you can download native applications for Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone. The mobile version, AvaTradeGO, offers quick and easy account summary views and trades. Whether you’re on wi-fi or using mobile data, you can manage your investments anywhere you have an internet connection.
MetaTrader 4 Desktop App Features
Serious traders should download the Windows or Mac version of the trading app, which gives you more power and integrated features. As with most investment platforms, you can expect more robust features with the Windows version. However, the Mac version is quite competitive. MetaTrader 5 is on the way soon, which promises enhancements and new features for expert traders interested in a more complex trading experience.
Across all markets, MetaTrader 4 gives you access to over 250 assets, 30 advanced charting tools, trading history, and other useful information. You can handle many of your trading needs through other connected platforms (the web and mobile versions), but most experienced traders will want to lean primarily on the desktop version.
Web Trading Features
The web version of AvaTrade includes instant live trading, options to view multiple customized charts simultaneously on the same screen, helpful analytical tools and overlays, language support for 41 languages, and support for Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox browsers.
Metatrader and AvaOptions web versions provide integration with desktop platforms but AvaTradeAct for the web is no longer available. AvaTradeGO, released in November 2017, now offers an Android and iOS alternative to the plain vanilla Metatrader 4 Mobile.
The rebranded and updated MT4-based app includes enhanced social trading capacity but a limited feature set that’s generated dozens of complaints on Google Play. The app is also geared toward newer and less skilled traders, providing “step-by-step guidance on opening trades” and a feedback system that experienced traders aren’t likely to use.
Trading courses and other educational materials are offered through sharptrader.com as well. Well-organized tutorials are segmented into beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics, offering logical paths to skill building. A broad variety of general articles covered all sorts of market topics as well as tutorials on trading platforms.
Materials were segmented into five major sub-topics, allowing clients to find answers quickly and efficiently. A buggy search function detracted from the learning experience, failing to include many articles and topics. And inexplicably, the main broker site includes an education sub-menu and a variety of useful materials not integrated into the dedicated site.
Trading Accounts Offered
AvaTrade keeps things simple with their accounts by offering only two account types to most traders. A standard account and a demo account. Standard accounts can be opened with as little as $100 using credit cards or with $500 via wire transfer.
In addition to the two standard accounts, Muslim traders are accommodated by offering ‘swap free accounts’ that operate in accordance to the Islamic Sharia Principle of interest free trading. As well, professional traders can open up MAM accounts to easily manage several accounts for their clients. These types of accounts include the following features:
- Ability to create multiple sub trading groups
- All MT4 order types such as stops, limits and close are available
- Expert Advisors (EAs) compatible
- Minimum lot at 0.01 lots
- Multiple allocation parameters
- Order placements for unlimited client accounts
- Trade order placements from a master account
Deposit & Withdrawal
Deposits – AvaTrade offers their clients a variety of deposit options. Traders may fund their accounts with credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, debit), Bank Wire Transfers, and numerous forms of E-Wallets such as Paypal, Skrill, NETELLER and WebMoney. The minimum initial deposit for opening up an account is only $100.
Withdrawals – Traders can withdraw their funds via the same methods used for deposits. Withdrawal requests will take up to 5 business days to process. Once processed, withdrawals will be completed as soon as the methods allow them to be completed. The fastest method of withdrawal is by using the Ava Debit Mastercard, which traders can apply for once signed up for an account