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. 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 66 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.Back to Top
Regulation and Security
AvaTrade enjoys an extremely high and very strong level of regulation. It is based in five different countries, with five different corporate branches to match.
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.
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.
In Australia, Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Limited is licensed by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission under license number 406684.
In Japan, AvaTrade Japan K.K. is licensed by the Financial Services Agency (No.1662) and the FFAJ (No.1574).
In South Africa, Ava Capital Markets Pty Limited is licensed under the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) – FSP Number 45984.
In the British Virgin Islands (B.V.I.), Ava Trade Ltd is licensed by the Financial Services Commission to arrange deals in investments.
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.
AvaTrade has been in operation as a dedicated Forex / CFD brokerage house since 2006, giving it an unusually lengthy track record. As a rule of thumb, the longer a broker has successfully been in business, the better the reputation that broker can be deemed to hold. This means that AvaTrade has a powerful track record and an established reputation of safety as a brand which it needs and wants to protect, to ensure it remains in good standing in such advanced and highly regulated financial services centers such as the Republic of Ireland, the European Union, and Australia.
AvaTrade’s story of steady expansion adds to their level of credibility. After its initial establishment in Ireland in 2006, AvaTrade grew and acquired several licenses in other jurisdictions. AvaTrade’s client base globally has grown to reach today’s total of over 200,000 registered customers globally. AvaTrade currently claims to be executing over two million trades per month with a combined nominal value in excess of $60 billion, which is truly impressive.
As with all Forex / CFD brokerages regulated in member states of the European Union such as the Republic of Ireland, clients of AvaTrade operating through the AvaTrade EU Ltd branch are automatically granted negative balance protection. In any case, ALL AvaTrade clients globally, whether regulated by the European Union or not, are afforded the same protection beyond a legal requirement. Any “tail risk” of an unusual, extreme market movement, which can be exponentially raised by excessive leverage, is borne fully and voluntarily by AvaTrade.Back to Top
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 1.3 pips. This is broadly competitive. However, spreads may widen beyond this from time to time – this is only an average. 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 for Forex currency pairs and crosses offered 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. For example, the typical spread for WTI Crude Oil is only 3 cents. 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. A comparison of AvaTrade’s rates to the industry average at the time of this AvaTrade review shows AvaTrade’s rates in this area are marginally higher than the average.
A listing of AvaTrade’s overnight financing / swap rates applicable to Forex grabbed from their site at the time this review was written is shown in the lists of tradable Forex assets published above.
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. This is a high fee by the standards of the industry. However, AvaTrade charges no additional withdrawal fees, unlike many other Forex/CFD brokerages.
Our bottom line on fees: AvaTrade’s fees are competitive for all clients, both for those who meet the minimum deposit requirements and those who deposit larger sums.Back to Top
What Can I Trade
Aside from considering the issues around safety of funds and regulatory oversight, plus the overall fee structure, the priority consideration when choosing a new Forex / CFD brokerage is what assets you can trade. Many newer traders will be looking to trade only one single asset class, such as Forex or CFDs on individual stocks and shares, but more experienced traders will probably be looking for diversification, meaning a wide offering across Forex, commodities, stocks, etc.
AvaTrade offers the following instruments for trading:
Forex – more than 54 currency pairs and crosses, including exotic currencies.
Commodities – a selection of 17 commodities, with several softs on offer as well as the more typical energies:
Indices – a selection of 20 indices, almost all equity indices, offered mostly from several developed nations but also including China and a global Cannabis Index:
Stocks –64 major individual stocks are offered from the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, and Italy:
Options – 46 currency pairs and the major precious metal Gold:
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – 5 major ETFs are available:
Bonds – 2 very major government bonds may be traded:
Cryptocurrencies –14 major cryptocurrency pairs are offered, including the top 5 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization as at the time this review was published:
Our conclusion regarding AvaTrade’s offering of tradable assets is highly favorable, with a range of asset classes offered that should satisfy traders looking for serious diversification. It is rare to find a Forex / CFD brokerage offering a good selection of options, bonds, and cryptocurrencies simultaneously, and anyone who values this diversification should be extremely satisfied with AvaTrade’s offerings.Back to Top
A limited choice of different account types is offered, depending upon which branch of AvaTrade you are opening your account with.
Accounts are divided into two types: those servicing residents of the European Union, and those servicing persons resident outside the European Union. All accounts offer a market-maker / dealing desk execution type.
European Union residents have a choice between a Retail Account, a Professional Account, or a Spread Betting Account, although the Spread Betting Account is only available to residents of the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.
In order to qualify for a Professional Account, clients must declare their trading history. If they have traded frequently in large volumes, they will be entitled to a Professional Account by way of professional trader status under ESMA regulations. Clients unable to obtain professional status may open a Retail Account or a Spread Betting account.
The only difference between a Retail Account and a Professional Account is the maximum amount of leverage available for use. Retail Account holders are restricted to the European Union’s legal limit of 1:30 on Forex instruments (for the safety of the trader), while Professional Accounts holders may utilize leverage as high as 1:400 on Forex instruments.
The only real difference between Spread Betting and Retail Accounts is in the way position sizes are measured, but the costs and accessibilities are the same. Profits on spread betting can be tax free for residents of the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.
Residents outside the European Union are directed towards the Standard Account. These persons can enjoy maximum leverage as high as 1:400 on Forex instruments.
Anyone may open a VIP Account if they deposit a sum greater than €10,000. This account offers lower spreads than other account types do.
A Crypto Account is available for clients worldwide wishing to trade cryptocurrencies.
An Islamic Account, where no overnight swaps are paid or charged, may be opened by Muslim traders requesting this account type.
An Options Account is available to those wishing to trade options, using AvaTrade’s Ava Options trading platform.
All AvaTrade account types offer variable spreads.
The minimum deposit for all account types, except the VIP account, is $100. Deposits may be made in USD, EUR, CHF, GBP, or AUD (the latter is only an option for residents of Australia).
All AvaTrade account types utilize the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, except the Options Account which must be used in conjunction with AvaTrade’s proprietary Ava Options trading platform.
Leverage is an important topic to consider when evaluating a Forex / CFD brokerage. AvaTrade’s position on leverage is determined by whether it is servicing customers resident within the European Union or not.
For European Union residents, AvaTrade offers a maximum leverage of 30:1 on Forex, 1:20 on indices, 1:10 on commodities, 1:5 for individual stocks and shares and ETFs, and 1:2 on cryptocurrencies.
For residents outside the European Union, AvaTrade offers a maximum leverage of 1:400 on Forex and indices, 1:200 on commodities, 1:20 for individual stocks and shares and ETFs, and 1:20 on cryptocurrencies.
Every type of account offered by AvaTrade allows hedging, scalping, and automated trading via Expert Advisers. As AvaTrade uses the MetaTrader 4 trading platform for all its assets except Options, there is a wide range of automated tools available which works with these platforms, and AvaTrade does not block or disable them.
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AvaTrade uses the MetaTrader 4 trading platform for all its accounts, except its Options Account which requires the use of the Ava Options trading platform.
This will not be a problem for most traders as the old yet beloved MetaTrader 4 platform is still widely used. However, traders who dislike MetaTrader for any reason or who want features offered by other platforms may be disappointed.
MetaTrader 4 is available on all operating systems, tablet, mobile, app-based or web-based. Many users feel the apps tend to run with less glitches on a PC or laptop compared to the web version.
Despite no longer enjoying technical support from MetaQuotes, the MetaTrader 4 platform remains the gold standard of retail Forex / CFD trading platforms. It is relatively easy to use and intuitive, and in any case, its look and feel is extremely like MetaTrader 5 which was designed and marketed by the same parent company.
MetaTrader 4 allows hedging. It uses a programming language called MQL4.
MetaTrader 4 comes with a back-testing function.
Ava Options is Ava Trade’s proprietary platform for traders wishing to trade options, which are offered on Forex currency pairs and gold. Trading options can be a complex undertaking and Ava Options simplifies the process, representing trade risks and payoffs graphically to give options traders a better understanding of the implications of their trades. The software presents implied volatility curves for all markets, as well showing both current and historical implied volatility, as well as realized volatility.
Traders may use the platform’s screen to trade, including the setting of entry and closing limits. The platform includes 13 default options trading strategies, making trade structuring easy and doable at the touch of a button. Finally, the platform includes a nice range of advanced risk management metrics.
AvaTradeGO is not really a trading platform, it is more of a portal that manages your MetaTrader 4 trading platform from a mobile device or tablet, although trades can be executed through it using the underlying platform. The portal gives you step by step guidance on what you are doing from moment to moment and analyzes the entirety of what is happening in your account(s), giving a valuable and easy to use dashboard view.
AvaTradeGO includes “Market Trends”, Ava Trade’s social / copy trading application.Back to Top
There are two standout features that we discovered during this AvaTrade review: firstly, its strong regulatory regime in two major industry centers which enjoy high levels of regulatory protection (the Republic of Ireland and Australia); secondly, AvaOptions, with AvaTrade being one of the very few retail Forex / CFD brokerages which enables its clients to trade Forex options.
Regulation in the European Union member state of the Republic of Ireland is significant, as under Irish regulations, depositors may be protected by deposit insurance in case of a regulated deposit taking institution’s insolvency or other resulting inability to access deposited funds. The protection can be up to the high amount of €20,000 per depositor.
AvaOptions is a platform allowing you to access trading in vanilla Forex options, plus options in the precious metal Gold. You may trade any combination of call and put options, allowing the construction of relatively sophisticated options trading strategies such as strangles, straddles, and spreads. Expirations are offered between 1 day and 1 year from the present. This kind of retail access to Forex options is exciting and novel. There is a good case to argue that buying out of the money Forex options is the most profitable long-term trading strategy in currency trading. Forex options have gotten a bad name in recent years due to the market in “binary options”, but what AvaTrade offer here is light-years away from that.
- Broker's Name : AvaTrade
- Headquarter : Ireland
- Regulation : MiFID, Central Bank of Ireland, ASIC, FSC, BVIFSC
- Type of Broker : ECN/STP
- U.S. Clients Allowed :
- Minimum Deposit : $100
- Maximum Leverage : 1:400
- Commissions / Spreads : Fixed/Floating Spread
- Account 1 : Standard
- Demo Account :
- Islamic Account :
- Segregated Account :
- Managed Accounts :
- Institutional Accounts :
- Deposit Options :
- Withdrawal Options :
- CFDs :
- Commodities :
- Metals :
- Oil :
- Gold :
- Binary Options :
- Indices :
- Type of Platform : MetaTrader 4, Proprietary platform, Web-based
- Platform Languages :
- OS Compatibility :
- Trading Signals :
- Charting Package :
- Market Analysis :
- Chart Trading :
- Automated Trading :
- Scalping :
- Hedging :
- Mobile Alerts :
- E-mail Alerts :
- Trailing Stops :
- Guaranteed Stop Loss :
- Guaranteed Limit Orders :
- Guaranteed Execution :
- One-click Execution :
- OCO Orders :
- Interest on Margin :
- Web-based Trading :
- Mobile Trading :
- Website Languages :
Pros and Cons
- Excellent regulation / reputation
- Forex vanilla options
- No ECN-style account option
- Withdrawals can be a little slow
Research and Education
AvaTrade’s education offering is solid overall. While any Forex / CFD brokerage might produce a good all-round offering without offering research or education at all, that is not to say that trader education is not a “nice to have” if it is done well.
The first sub-section here offers “trading for beginners”. It contains several precise articles which explain succinctly the basic concepts and procedures of trading Forex and CFDs.
AvaTrade take education very seriously, and it is easy to see this because they have invested in creating their own “trading academy”, known as “Sharp Trader”. Sharp Trader is an exclusive, restricted, registration-only academy of members which includes:
- Videos covering a wide range of trading topics.
- Daily Technical and Fundamental analysis pieces on major currency pairs written by AvaTrade’s team of expert analysts.
- Analytical videos.
- A range of trading tools.
Sharp trader is good by the standards of academies created by Forex / CFD brokerages. It also includes some limited research content.
Other items available within AvaTrade’s education section include a free eBook, over 50 video tutorials, and glossaries of the important economic data releases and order types. These latter two items are important to understand and are easily misunderstood, so new traders will be able to learn something useful from these items.
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For most clients, customer support won’t be much of an issue. Having said that, it is comforting to know that if you do need help, you will be able to get hold of someone competent quickly who will take responsibility for fixing whatever your problem is.
AvaTrade’s customer support service has a good reputation, partly because they are a well-regulated and global Forex / CFD brokerage, and partly because support is given with a wide variety of languages provided from native speakers – in over 15 different languages.
AvaTrade’s customer support desk is available 24 hours a day, on regular weekdays: basically, if the Forex market is open, AvaTrade’s support is open.
Traders can contact representatives at different departments in several international locations via email or telephone. Live chat is also available.
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Bonuses and Promotions
AvaTrade is partially regulated in the E.U. (Cyprus) While bonuses and promotions are permitted from outside this region, this parts of AvaTrade must comply with E.U. law and as such the offering of new bonuses and promotions have been completely prohibited.
In other regions, at the time of writing AvaTrade is offering an approximately 20% welcome (sign-up) bonus which appears to be uncapped, which is unusually good.
Please note that such bonuses and promotions are nearly always subject to several terms and conditions which mean you must trade very large quantities before you will be able to withdraw any of the awarded amounts in cash.Back to Top
Opening an Account
The account opening process with AvaTrade is quite good and speedy even in their highly regulated locations. You can expect to get your account open and ready the same day you begin the account opening process. Clients only need to navigate through a few screens where they submit a few details and choose the type of account they want to sign up for.
It is worth noting that residents of the United States and a few other countries cannot be accepted as new clients by AvaTrade.
In addition to providing personal and account details, new clients are required to verify their identity and prove their place of residence, as is customary. The process is completely digitized.Back to Top
Deposits and Withdrawals
AvaTrade requires a minimum deposit of at least $100.
AvaTrade imposes no additional fees on any deposit or withdrawal beyond what the deposit or withdrawal mechanism itself may charge.
A very wide range of deposit and withdrawal methods are supported by AvaTrade. The most notable channels are Neteller, Skrill, and MoneyBookers. Major credit cards are also accepted, and bank transfers can also be used.
In practice, withdrawals must be made through the same channels that deposits are made through, which is a common practice applied by almost all retail Forex / CFD brokerages.
Some customers have reported that AvaTrade is a little slow to process withdrawals. However, the reported delays are slight, and importantly, it seems clear that AvaTrade is just being thorough in respecting their obligations under anti-money laundering laws, and being careful, rather than attempting to prevent withdrawals. During this AvaTrade review we did not find any examples where a withdrawal not executed by bank transfer or debit card was not executed on the same day where everything was technically in order.
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Is AvaTrade legitimate?
AvaTrade is one of the world’s most highly regulated Forex / CFD brokerages. It is regulated in 5 different countries, including the European Union via the Republic of Ireland, and Australia. AvaTrade has been in business since 2006.
How long do AvaTrade withdrawals take?
Withdrawals are typically executed on the same day, although withdrawals by the method of bank transfer can take 2 or 3 days to process, and withdrawals by debit card possibly even 4 days.
Does AvaTrade have NASDAQ?
Yes. AvaTrade offers trading in the NASDAQ 100 technology stock index, wrapped as a CFD.
How do I close my AvaTrade account?
If you still have funds in your account, log into your "My Account" area and follow the withdrawal procedure there to withdraw all your remaining funds. Once you have withdrawn your funds, email your Account Manager or Customer Services with a request to close your account. It is important to follow this final step, as AvaTrade might apply their account inactivity fee some months later otherwise.
How do I withdraw money from AvaTrade?
Log into your trading account. Go to the “Withdraw Funds” section of “My Account”. Then fill out an online withdrawal form there detailing what withdrawal method you would like to you. Your instruction will be processed within 24 hours, but if your account is not fully verified for any reason, you will be requested to provide verification documentation.
Is AvaTrade a market maker?
Yes, AvaTrade utilizes a “dealing desk” / “market maker” execution method on all its client accounts.
Where is AvaTrade based?
AvaTrade is physically located in the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Japan, South Africa, and the British Virgin Islands.
How does AvaTrade make money?
AvaTrade makes money from spreads and commissions charged on trades, an overnight financing mark-up, account inactivity fees, and from its clients’ net trading losses set against any methods it takes to cover its own exposure to those positions.
How can I deposit into an AvaTrade account?
AvaTrade provides several methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. Transactions may be conducted through Neteller, Skrill, and Moneybookers as well as credit and debit cards and bank wire transfers.
Is AvaTrade regulated? Are its clients protected by regulatory deposit insurance?
AvaTrade is regulated by the Bank of Ireland in the Republic of Ireland, by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission in Australia, by the Financial Services Agency and the FFAJ in Japan, by the Financial Sector Financial Conduct Authority in the Republic of South Africa, and by the Financial Services Commission in the British Virgin Islands.
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.
What is the maximum leverage offered by AvaTrade?
The maximum leverage offered is a high 400 to 1, but if accounts are held through the E.U. branch, regulation applies that imposes a legal maximum of 30 to 1.
How do I open an account with AvaTrade?
The easiest way to open an account with AvaTrade is to click on the “AVATRADE.COM>>” button on the left side of this review and fill out the “let’s get started” form which will pop up on the AvaTrade site page which you will land on. Registration takes only a few minutes and you’ll be on your way to trading.
Does AvaTrade offer the MetaTrader trading platform?
Yes, AvaTrade offers the MetaTrader 4 trading platform.Back to Top
AvaTrade deserves a positive review. Fees are reasonably competitive for depositors, especially those trading individual stocks and shares wrapped as CFDs. The range of assets offered for trading is unusually diverse, including even Forex vanilla options and several ETFs (exchange traded funds), as well as a large range of individual stocks and shares, making AvaTrade a more suitable broker for traders seeking diversification across markets. AvaTrade’s reputation is right up at the high end of the industry, with a lengthy track record and good regulatory standing in the European Union, which is particularly impressive, not to mention its good standing in Australia.Back to Top
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