- Multiple trading platforms
- Highest leverage available
- Extremely fast customer service response
- Not ideal for new traders
- No chat support
- Time-consuming registration process
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Alpari is ranked #34 of 267 Forex Brokers.
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** On Friday, January 16, 2015, Alpari UK was shaken by the Swiss National Bank's decision to disconnect the franc from the euro. Since then the company has been unable to support both new and existing traders. We will continue to update you as the situation develops.
Alpari conforms to the industry standard by offering an Alpari MetaTrader 4 platform, but even a brief look will illustrate why the Alpari Forex brokerage is anything but standard. With the ability to trade 32 currency pairs in its micro account and 57 pairs in its professional accounts, Alpari offers expansive trading opportunities that other Forex brokers overlook. In our extensive Alpari review, we tested the company’s trading platform, ease of use, customer support and more so that you can make an educated decision as to whether Alpari is right for you.
With four distinct trading platforms and multiple variations to choose from, Alpari may very well offer the largest selection of platforms on the market. While the testing of each platform is beyond the scope of this Alpari review, we did take time to try out a few in order to evaluate their effectiveness and ease of use. You can find this information in the Ease of Use section below.
The trading platforms offered by Alpari are as follows:
MetaTrader 4 – One of the most acclaimed trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 is largely believed to be one of the most preferred Forex platforms on the market. The Alpari MetaTrader 4 platform is available in three downloadable versions and in a mobile version. The MetaTrader 4 Pro version offers the same benefits as the traditional MetaTrader 4 platform, but with no dealing desk executions, additional currency pairs and no re-quotes.
Alpari Direct (and Alpari Direct Pro) – A shockingly minute amount of information was available about this platform on Alpari’s website, though we were able to ascertain that this trading platform is designed for advanced traders who desire a fast execution speed for a high trading volume. Both Alpari Direct versions are available to traders who deposit a minimum of $20,000 and both offer no dealing desk executions.
Systematic - Alpari’s autotrader system which is run through the Alpari MetaTrader platform boasts an advanced risk-management system and no subscription or maintenance fees – advantages that are useful but not entirely unusual. Access to the Systematic platform is limited to traders who open a ‘Classic’ account, which requires a $500 minimum deposit.
MetaTrader 5 – Not yet as popular as its predecessor, MetaTrader 5 is geared towards a more advanced trader as it offers 38 built-in indicators, 39 graphical objects and a plethora of ways to further customize your trading desktop. Strangely enough, this platform is only available in the demo version and is not available for live trading.
Other than a wide range of trading platforms, we found few stand out features during the course of our Alpari review. One thing that we found especially useful was the Alpari forum which, unlike the forms of other Forex brokers, was neither filled with spam nor neglected by its users. Instead, Alpari’s forum hosted interesting questions and answers from real users. Traders who need a bit of guidance may also be happy Alpari’s introductory videos and user guides which are presented upon the completion of account registration.
Traders looking for analytical tools and features will definitely have sufficient options to choose from in Alpari’s platforms. In addition to standard fundamental and technical analyses, Alpari’s more notable options include:
- Autochartist – A popular platform that aids in the recognition of chart patterns
- Alpari Squawk – A live audio stream that operates from Monday-Friday and offers relevant market-news throughout the day
- Alpari Web TV – The idea of this specialized video news feed is endearing, but practically speaking, we found the information rather flat, as those who truly follow the news will have a much better handle on the market.
Although we tested Alpari UK in the course of this review, we were impressed to see that Alpari has customer service centers that offer in seven countries including the United States, UK, China, Russia, India, Germany and UAE. Users should be aware, however, that Alpari’s customer service is only available on Monday through Friday from 7am-11pm GMT. Despite this inconvenience for traders who wish to clarify their account issues on weekends, we found Alpari’s customer service to be entirely professional. Short hold times for phone inquiries almost made us overlook the fact that we couldn’t receive customer support on weekends.
We were even more impressed by Alpari’s email service which was among the fastest of all the Forex brokers we tested. Our email to Alpari received a professional response in about 21 minutes.
Despite our frustration with the company’s limited customer support hours, our biggest complaint was that there is no online chat support, a feature we’ve found especially helpful when using an online trading platform.
Ease of Use
Although Alpari’s website was rather easy to navigate, its account registration and trading platforms were markedly less straightforward. Alpari’s account registration is a 5-step process that involves dozens of questions and culminates with the requirement to fax or scan and email in the application as well as copies of your ID and address verification. While this thoroughness may make some traders feel confident with their new broker, it can be frustrating for others, as most top Forex brokers such as Ava FX, for example, do not require such an exhaustive registration process. The one shortcut that we found during our Alpari review was that many of the fields are pre-filled, which means that traders can be approved for trading simply by agreeing to the default settings, even if they aren’t entirely accurate.
We tested the Alpari MetaTrader 4 platform and found it to function as well as any other MT4 platform. It should be noted, however, that while this platform may be sufficient for traders with some experience, it is not the best for first-time traders. New traders or those who prefer a simplified trading process may want to try out eToro’s platform in its ‘visual mode’, or Forex Club’s StartFX option.8