Plus500 review

Plus500 is an online forex broker that offers regulated trading services in multiple financial derivatives. With state-of-the-art trading platforms, risk management tools, and low trading costs, Plus500 is one of the best forex brokers. In this piece, I review various aspects of the forex broker in detail.

Overview 

With the initial investment of 400,000 US Dollars, six alumni of the Israel Institute of Technology started the company known as Plus500 in 2008.  Following the launch of the web-based version of the trading platform a year earlier, Plus500 introduced the iOS supported mobile trading app for the first time in 2011.  Finally, with the release of the android-based mobile trading platform in 2012, Plus500 achieved the milestone of becoming an ultimate online trading solution provider across the globe. 

Operating through its subsidiaries all around the world, Plus500 has its head office in Haifa, Israel. In 2018, the company went public on the London Stock Exchange. In July 2020, David Zruia took charge of the company’s operation as a Chief Executive Officer after replacing Asaf Elimelech, the former CEO of Plus500. By the mid of Sep 2020, the company’s total market capitalization reached 2.07 billion USD, according to Investopedia.

Plus500 holds multiple licenses from the World’s top regulators including CySEC, FCA, FSA, FSCA, and MSA. In the United Kingdom, the company operates with the brand name of Plus500UK Ltd. under the FCA license # 509909. The address of the company’s regional office in the UK is 78 Cornhill London EC3V 3QQ.

With an active clientele base of 200,000, Plus500 traded volume remained more than one trillion US Dollars in 2019. Provisioning trade opportunities in 2000+ financial instruments, Plus500 offers real-time quotes with round the clock multilingual customer support. Keeping clients funds secured in segregated bank accounts, Plus500 also offers investors protection plans under the Financial Compensation Service Scheme. 

ProsCons
Strong regulatory framework
Variety of tradable instruments
Easy-to-use trading platforms
Investors funds protection – FSCS
Listed on London Stock Exchange
Inactivity fee
Variable spreads
Fewer research tools
Average customer support

Who Plus500 is for?

With its easy-to-use trading platforms and advanced trading tools, Plus500 is equally suitable for both novice and skilled traders. Owing to the customer-centric approach, the broker ensures the availability of all basic trading tools. Plus500 demo account helps newbies to learn and practice different trading strategies without risking their real funds. Real-time price quotations and instant trade execution help skilled traders to crave more profits. On the other hand, traders looking for a wide range of tradable assets for a low trading cost might find Plus500 to be the ultimate solution to their trading needs.

Rating: 4/5

Sign up bonus: Plus500 is not offering any bonus at times of writing. 

Is Plus500 Safe? 

Besides being listed on the London Stock Exchange, Plus500 holds multi-regulation across Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. In compliance with regulatory requirements, the company keeps clients’ funds in segregated bank accounts. Although, the broker doesn’t offer any additional insurance plan but is a registered member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Under FSCS investors protection, clients may claim compensation for a shortfall of funds of up to £85,000 in case the company goes into liquidation. Plus500 also incorporates advanced web encryption models to safeguard clients’ financial data from any suspected intrusion. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Year founded:2008
Publicly traded: Yes 
Licenses: FCA, FSA, ASIC, MSA, FSCA
Backlist: 

Offering of Investments 

Plus500 offers trading opportunities in more than 2000 financial instruments. Unlike other brokers, Plus500 facilitates all offered forex pairs under CFD trading. Trading forex pairs with leverage options allow traders to maximize the potential of generating more returns. However, leverage trading might also magnify the risk of loss. The broker doesn’t offer social trading services where newbies copy trades from professional traders to remain on the safe side. Therefore, be careful with the product selection while choosing a CFD pair.  

Rating: 4/5

Forex: Spot TradingYes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)71
Social Trading / Copy-TradingNo
CFDs instrumentsForex, Shares, Stocks, Indices, Options, ETFs, Crypto

Commissions & Fees 

Plus500 generates revenue from the spreads. However, the broker offers industry competitive pricing models. The company does not charge any commission on services such as real-time price quotations, dynamic charts, position rollovers, and trade entry or exit points. However, when it comes to spreads charging, Plus500 charges variable spreads. 

As of October 30, 2020, the spread cost on EURUSD is 0.13, which is relatively higher as compared to the industry standards. High volume traders can sign up for a professional account with Plus500. The broker offers high leverage options to the professional account holders without any extra cost. In addition to the inactivity fee that is charged on account for being dormant for more than three months, Plus500 also charges a fee for holding positions overnight. 

Making the account opening process convenient for traders, Plus500 offers a low minimum deposit account. The minimum deposit amount is $100 and is free of charge. Clients can use multiple payment options to deposit and withdraw funds, including debit cards, credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers etc. The broker has set certain limits concerning minimum withdrawal amounts. You might need to pay a fee on withdrawals less than the threshold amount.  

Rating: 3/5

Minimum Initial Deposit$100
Average Spread EUR/USD – Standard0.7 (AS of October 2020)
All-in Cost EUR/USD – ActiveN/A
Minimum withdrawal $100 

Platforms & Tools 

Plus500 offers both online and desktop trading platforms. Because of being simple and easy to navigate, newbies might find the online trading interface more appealing. The proprietary platform enables traders to access all of the basic and advanced trading tools to experience full market exposure. Using the web trader, clients can also perform multiple tasks including watchlists creation, annotating through charts, monitoring trades, or entering and exiting a position.

To install a desktop version of the trading platform, clients need to have a PC with a minimum specification of window 8.1 and an architecture of 64 bits or above. The desktop platform is equally convenient to use. The broker offers advanced charting options with multiple trend indicators helping clients to make appropriate trading decisions. Using drawing tools, traders can make technical analysis look simple to understand. Clients can also save charting templates for future use with the desktop trading platform at Plus500. 

Talking about the limitations, Plus500 does not offer copy trading. The option to integrate internal or off-shelves APIs for algorithmic trading is also not allowed. Clients cannot use the services of expert advisors either. In addition to the unavailability of backtesting, the company does not offer third party funds management services such as PAMM/MAM accounts. 

Setting aside all of the features that come with the company’s proprietary trading platforms, the need for industry-standard trading platform MT4 can be strongly felt at Plus500.

Rating: 3.5/5

Virtual Trading (Demo)Yes
Proprietary PlatformYes
Desktop Platform (Windows)Windows 8.1, Windows 10 
Web PlatformYes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)No
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)No
Charting – Indicators / Studies (Total)103
Charting – Drawing Tools (Total)21
Charting – Trade From ChartNo
Order Type – Trailing StopYes

Research  

Plus500 offers limited research tools. The company seems to be lagging far behind the industry standards as far as the requirement of research tools is concerned. Apart from the economic calendar, news corner, and price alert feature, I couldn’t find anything related to the research section. The company doesn’t even host any content regarding the technical or fundamental analysis. 

Rating: 2/5

Education  

Unlike other brokers, Plus500 does not have enough resources available under its education section. Clients can access only a few video tutorials covering not more than some beginner-level topics. The company should consider adding rich content to its educational library. The content could be articles, blogs, informational videos on industry trends, and a glossary section where clients may learn different trading terminologies and become familiar with them. 

Rating: 2/5

Mobile Trading 

Considering the need for mobility, Plus500 also offers a mobile-based trading platform. On-the-go users can download the supported versions of the trading platform on their iOS and Android-based mobile phones and tablet devices from Apple’s App Store and Google PlayStore respectively. All of the features offered in the company’s online or desktop trading platforms are also available in the mobile trading app. In addition to accessing a full suite of trading options, traders can switch the charts to a full-screen mode to have a clear image. 

With the one-touch trading facility, traders can access the markets anywhere anytime. The push notifications on market updates keep clients well ahead of the market. Risk management tools, including stop-loss, limit orders, guaranteed stops, and negative balance protection, are enough features to provide traders the required level of confidence. It is worth mentioning here that guaranteed stops might work across only a certain number of markets. Also, you might incur an increased cost for spreads with guaranteed stops. On the downside, you cannot edit the on-going trades for adding guaranteed stops.     

Rating: 3/5

Mobile devices   iOS, & Android
FeaturesMultiple timeframes for charting,  watchlist, price alerts, indicators

Final Thoughts 

After an in-depth review of the broker, I hereby conclude that Plus500 is a reliable broker for trading purposes. Although the broker needs improvement in some of the highlighted domains, Plus500 still happens to be the best option when it comes to low cost, easy-to-use, and seamless trading exposure. Being a listed broker and holding multiple regulations, Plus500 leaves no reason for traders to abstain from signing up.  

Overall rating: 4.5/5

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