AvaTrade was originally founded as AvaFX in 2006. They offer average to minimally competitive spread on trades, as well as a variety of financial instruments to trade on.
AvaTrade is based in Ireland and has a substantial number of satellite offices across five continents. It is also available as AvaTrade Malaysia to traders from Malaysia.
As a novice trader you can open an account with as little as $100USD, and as for education, the broker’s educational material will get you up to speed in no time.
AvaTrade’s research and education section has grown substantially in the past year, and now offers videos on market analysis and free courses.
AvaTrade have reduced their number of platforms and have added a designation bypassing ESMA restrictions.
Some of the documentation they’ve created are poorly constructed, creating confusion as to the account types, fee listings and spread schedules.
AvaTrade review – Pros and cons of AvaTrade
AvaTrade has client account protection for an amount of EUR 20,000. This is done through Ireland’s ICCL (Ireland Investor Compensation Company). This is the only insurance AvaTrade provides.
They also offer negative balance protection, a rule that is mandated under European Union financial regulations.
Second factor authentication is not required for web, desktop and mobile usage, but as a form of login security account holders may make use of Metatrader’s OTP (one-time passwords).
Client funds are held in a separately segregated account. Due to the fact that they run a dealing desk that markets against their clients, this greatly creates the potential for conflict of interest.
A large part of AvaTrade is regulated through the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
AvaTrade is offering their clients desktop and mobile trading platfroms. Alas clients have no other option than to use Metatrader 4. Mobile app is available in both IOS and Android version.
Due to the removal of Mirror Trader and RoboX, clients have no other option than to use Metatrader 4. Though many other European Union competing brokers have opted to include a Metatrader 5 option to their arsenal of platforms, AvaTrade does not seem to have plans to offer that option.
AvaOptions allows the taking of spot and options positions by traders. AvaOptions is a basic platform for complex hedging for forex pairs. Their ZuluTrade and DupliTrade platforms allow for social and copy trading, and many other features once available in their aborted programs.
AvaTrade’s web version platform, the AvaOptions, provides complete integration with other desktop platforms, however, their AvaTradeWeb has been discontinued.
The AvaTradeGO platform, which was released in November 2017, has an iOS and Android version. An alternative to the normal Metatrader 4 mobile version downloadable from Metaquotes.
This rebranded app, which is basically just an updated MT4 version, has the capacity to social trade, however this feature was released with limited features, something the clients were not really happy with, as can be seen from the dozens of negative reviews on Google Play.
This app also has the feel and layout that is more friendly for newer and inexperienced traders, as it provides step-by-step directions on how to open trades, as well as a feedback system not really needed by experienced traders.
AvaTrade knowledge base
AvaTrade is offering their clients education through sharptrader.com where they can find Youtube videos, tutorials and webinars. Topics are well arranged and easy to comprehend.
AvaTrade review – Pros and cons of AvaTrade Knowledge base
AvaTrade provides research through sharptrader.com as well as an economic calendar. All research material on the platform is provided via a Youtube channel with brief 4-minute daily videos. These videos are then transcribed and offered as the Daily Market Review.
For short-term technical signals there is the AutoChartist intra-day updates app. Also provided are very dated articles offering a bit of fundamental analysis. Another section with more up to date articles discuss subjects such as Brexit and Bitcoin.
All of the educational material is offered through a website called sharptrader.com. On this website tutorials are arranged neatly into beginner, intermediate and advanced topics. This makes it easy on the learner to build paths and grow incrementally.
There are also a big variety of general market topics.
Most of the material is divided down into five major sections. This allows clients to find answers to questions quicker and easier.
The search function is not that effective as it is buggy and, in many instances, fails to deliver the right answers. The main broker site also has an education section not directly integrated into the site.
The AvaTrade brokerage now provides a designation allowing for higher leverage, a new ESMA rule. However, to qualify for that you need to have a large trading account and adequate financial industry experience.
Also available are fixed and floating spread accounts and an Islamic account (also for Malaysian clients) with wider spreads.
With the AutoChartist plug-in access is granted to third party software like Metatrader 4, which add further technical functionality. For this option you must have at least $500USD in the trading account, a feature which easily locks out smaller traders.
AvaTrade has an impressive list of CFD, forex and options trading instruments, with an additional 8 cryptocurrencies. These instruments allow for new opportunities for those traders comfortable with high-risk speculation.
The CFD instruments include commodities and bonds, as well as 69 shares and 5 EFTs, which are dominated by US big tech stocks. UK and Irish clients can open spread betting accounts, a nice addition to an already full-featured catalog.
Commissions and Fees
Though AvaTrade says that their trading is commission free and that they have low spreads, it might be applicable to only certain account types. On their website is a page that is a list of all spreads for each financial instrument. It also lists overnight fees, maturity rollover and inactivity fees.
The page only shows fixed spreads, and no information on floating spreads. However, that information is to be found within the FAQ section, contributing to more confusion regarding account types.
Also not discussed is the spreads incurred on an Islamic trading account. There are some discrepancies between spread and fee disclosures, with evidence of hidden withdrawal fees, and supposed commission charges on certain account types.
To open an account at AvaTrade requires an investment of $100USD. They do not offer volume discounts and have no guaranteed stop losses.
AvaTrade account inactivity is charged at $50 after 3 months of inactivity, and an inactivity fee of $100USD after a year of not using the platform.
Although no fees were mentioned for withdrawal and closure, yet legal documents noted these on bank transfers and on credit card transactions. To withdraw money might take as long as 10 days.
Most questions are addressed through an FAQ section. AvaTrade offers a 24/7 phone and chat support system, as well as a social media presence and an online form entry. Their live chat can be cumbersome at times, and you may have to wait for about 8 minutes before you are linked to a support agent.
AvaTrade has international offices, providing local contact whenever it is needed. They also have an international number, as well as a horde of local phone numbers over different EU member states.
What You Need To Know
AvaTrade has excellent educational material and offers competitive spreads depending on what type of account you have. Especially because of their low account minimums, they are an excellent choice for new traders or traders that have a low amount of equity.
Due to the lack of volume discounts, large scale traders might find better value somewhere else.