In a nutshell
AvaTrade has been founded in 2006 (originally as AvaFX) in Dublin, Ireland.
The broker offers average-to-competitive spreads and a broad variety of tradable instruments, mostly currency pairs and Contract for difference (CFDs) over stocks. It also allows trades with a dozen of cryptocurrencies and a handful of options.
Deposits and withdrawals are free of charge. Users can open accounts for as little as $100. There are, however, fees for inactivity and overnight financing.
A dedicated educational and research site offers a broader variety of free courses, videos and market analysis.
The broker provides a number of trading platforms, each relevant for traders with different experiences and skills.
As per our analysis, the customer support is responsive and, equally important, available through phone, email and live-chat.AvaTrade is regulated in six jurisdictions, since 2020 also in the United Arab Emirates. It is generally regarded as a trusted broker with a long history of operation.
- no trading commission
- extensive educational material
- phone support
- rich product catalogue
- option trading
- administration fee
- above-average spreads
AvaTrade Review and Insights
AvaTrade has been one of the first major brokerages in the retail Forex/CFD field and it has a relatively lengthy track record. It currently boasts of 200,000 registered customers globally that execute more than two million trades a month. The numbers are decent, but they don’t put the broker among the most popular ones. Some of them count their users in the millions.
AvaTrade is a multi-national company with regional offices and sales centres in Paris, Dublin, Milan, Tokyo and Sydney. The company’s administrative headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland.
The company’s total trading volumes surpass $60 billion per month. AvaTrade’s wide scope includes a full spectrum of trading instruments including Forex, stocks, commodities and indices.
Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67-68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with AvaTrade. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
AvaTrade is generally considered suitable for all levels of investors:
- Spreads on the trades
- Overnight funding
- Inactivity fee
You Don't PAY:
- Commissions for trades
- Using the platform
1. Fees and Spreads
Fees are built into spreads which are not always competitive. There are also inactivity and administrative fees.
AvaTrade’s fees are, generally speaking, competitive for all clients, both for those who meet the minimum deposit requirements and those who deposit larger sums. We have analyzed both trading and non-trading fees.
AvaTrade doesn’t charge commissions on trades, their fees are built into spreads (the difference between the ask and the bid prices).
Spreads are shown either in pips (applies to commodities and currencies) or percentages (stock and crypto).
The average spread for all major forex currency pairs are somewhere in the average (or slightly above-average) compared with the competitive brokers. The average spread for EURUSD (used as a benchmark), for instance, is 0.9 pips: Plus500 has 0.7 pips and ZuluTrade 0.6 pipis.
Please note that retail traders are usually charged with higher spreads than professional traders which is not immediately clear. The marketing page only lists fixed spreads, with no documentation on variable spread minimums or averages.
The average costs for other CFD instruments such as commodities, individual stocks and equity indices are broadly a little better than the 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 in the line with the competition.
Avatrade also has its own calculator for calculating fees across different broker platforms. This is how you use it:
- Enter the instrument you wish to trade
- Set your account currency
- Add the preferred leverage
- Decide whether to buy or sell
- Select the platform you are trading on
AvaTrade imposes an account inactivity fee of $50 per quarter but an account has to be inactive for at least three months before this fee will be imposed.
On top of that, after 12 consecutive months of non-use, an administration fee of $100 will be deducted from the account.
Another, 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 favourable rates.
On the other hand, AvaTrade doesn't charge any account fees. Deposits and withdrawals are also free of charge.
Additional fee when holding a position after a certain time
$50 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity
$100 after 12 months of inactivity
2. Withdrawals and Deposits
Making deposits and withdrawals on the platform is straightforward and simple, although it can take some days to be processed.
Deposits can be done in different ways: using credit cards or through bank wire transfer. AvaTrade also offer deposits via e-payments such as Skrill, WebMoney and Neteller, however, this is not available to our EU and Australian clients.
The minimum deposit at AvaTrade is $100.
Withdrawals can be made through credit or debit cards and bank wire transfer. They are free of charge and can take from one to up to five business days for each withdrawal request to be processed. First, however, you will need to ensure that your account has been verified and confirmed.
AvaTrade operates from Monday to Friday, excluding weekends and other public holidays or festive days included in the official calendar. In some cases, there may be a delay in receiving your funds as a result of clearance delays from banking institutions, electronic payment systems and credit cards.
As a result of international anti-money laundering regulations, withdrawals can only be sent via the payment methods by which you funded your account.
This means the following: If you made a credit card deposit of $1,000 and you made a $1,500 profit, the first $2,000 you withdraw will go back to the original credit card used to make the deposit, and then the balance of $500, can be withdrawn using a different method.
3. Account opening
Account opening is fast and straightforward. There are several account options, also for professional traders.
Opening the account is similar to other online brokers – it’s fast and simple. In order to register, you’ll have to go through a standard procedure – giving your personal information and verifying the account by uploading either a copy of your ID card, driving license or passport and uploading a copy of your recent utility bill or bank statement.
AvaTrade offers different types of accounts:
- Standard account - account is owned by an individual
- Corporate account - account is owned by a legal entity
- Islamic account - swap-free account
You can also request to open a Professional Trading account which allows trading with higher leverage.
To be eligible for this type of account you will need to meet at least 2 of the following criteria:
- Sufficient trading activity in the last 12 months
- Significant trades on the relevant market at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous four quarters
- Relevant experience in the financial services sector
- Financial instrument portfolio of over €500,000
AvaTrade also provides a demo account. It is designed to introduce new traders into the trading community by providing a moderated platform for you to start off with.
Think of it as learning how to cycle with additional support wheels attached to your bike — when you use a demo account on AvaTrade to make trades, the environment is sufficiently controlled so that you will be able to make your transactions with ease without worrying too much about fluctuating real-time market conditions.
4. Markets and products
The product catalogue is competitive; AvaTrade has covered all the popular instruments, including options.
The list of currencies, CFD and options trading instruments is very decent while the addition of 14 cryptocurrencies provides new opportunities for high-risk speculators. There are around 55 currencies pairs which is in the range of competitive online brokers.
CFDs include a basic selection of commodities and bonds as well as 5 ETFs and more than 600 shares, dominated by highly liquid US big tech stocks. As an addition, AvaTrade also allows trading with a couple of bonds and around 40 options (via AVA Options trading platform).
Furthermore, AvaTrade offers social trading through two third-parties, DupliTrade and ZuluTrade. Both services allow you to copy other traders' activities. The minimum deposit for using ZuluTrade is $500, while $2,000 to start trading with DupliTrade.
To put things into a perspective, see the table where popular brokers arranged according to the number of the instruments they offer:
Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67-68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Avatrade. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Learn more about CFDs from our dedicated series:
5. Platform features
AvaTrade provides different platforms for both advanced traders and beginners. They also have a trading app and a separate solution for trading with options.
AvaTrade offers different trading platforms, some for manual others for automated trading. Generally speaking, each platform provides a decent trading experience, presenting a variety of financial instruments to choose from along with multiple analytical tools, indicators and charts.
- WebTrader is designed especially for novice traders. Its interface is easy-to-use and there’s no need to download or install anything, and you can access WebTrader from any computer. WebTrader is AvaTrade’s own platform.
- MetaTrader 4, a third-party platform, enables flexible trading environment and it’s available in more than 40 languages.
- MetaTrader 5 is the next generation of the MetaTrader platform, offering more technical analysis tools, order types, timeframes and graphical objects.
- AvaTradeGO is a smartphone app that has a friendly dashboard and some advanced features.
- Automated trading platform enable traders to mirror or copy the trades of others. A trader can copy signals or mirror complete strategies.
We took a closer look at the WebTrader platforms since it’s used by most novice users.
The interface looks nice and clean. The features are logically placed. The search function works without any problems (you can search for any asset or asset category). The portfolio and fee reports are also nicely done with clearly presented parameters. You can find them under 'History' section.
WeTrader has its downsides though. Most notably, you can only use the basic order types (market, limit, stop). It’s also not possible to set price alerts and notifications.
Besides web trading possibilities, AvaTrade also has two mobile trading platforms.
- AvaTradeGo app closely resembles its web solution. It comes with a set of default watchlists, and a volatility protection feature called AvaProtect: a feature, where you can pay a small fee, and AvaTrade protects your losses in that trade. Charting on the app comes with 93 indicators, which are plenty for technical analysis.
- Forex Options app: AvaOptions mobile app removes the need to read a traditional options chain, by reinventing how traders can select their desired strike price, time-horizon, and strategy, from a single screen.
6. Education and research
Educational segment is one of the highlights; AvaTrade offers webinars, tutorials, ebooks for all traders. Technical tools are also available.
AvaTrade's research option are decent. They differ depending on the trading platform. We tested the basic Webtrader platform and found that its tools are easy-to-use and comparable with what other brokers also provide.
- Economic data: here you can find historic economic data; it comprises of routine financial events that affect the financial markets.
- Ideas: AvaTrade provides trading ideas, which are based on technical tools. You can find them if you click on 'Trading Central' > 'Analysts Views' or 'Forex Featured Ideas'.
- Charting: You can easily edit charts and the design is great. There are 90 technical indicators you can use, which is more than enough for beginners and mid-level traders.
- News feed: Besides news related to a specific asset, you can check what topics are discussed the most and what is the sentiment.
Trading courses and other educational materials are well-organized and 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 subtopics, allowing clients to find answers quickly and efficiently.
You can learn in the following ways:
- Demo account
- Platform tutorial videos
- General educational videos
- Quality educational articles
We especially liked the video library which is one of the best in the industry. Among others, these videos explain how to use:
- Advanced trading tools
- Trading platforms
- Trading strategies
7. Customer service
You can reach AvaTrade through phone, email or live chat. The response is fast via live chat, but not always on the phone.
Customer support is another highlight of Avatrade as a comprehensive FAQ will probably address most inquiries before you'll have to contact the broker itself.
AvaTrade offers 24/5 chat/phone support as well as social media portals and online form entry. It usually takes less a couple of minutes to receive an answer from a live representative. On email, we received answers to our emails within a day which is quite fast.
The broker also maintains international representatives, allowing customers local contact when needed.
They provide an international phone number as well as a laundry list of local phone numbers covering their numerous jurisdictions and EU member states.
Definitely, a standard in the industry as many other online brokers don’t have a phone support to start with.
AvaTrade is well-regulated and has to abide to the rules of a particular country.
AvaTrade is regulated in six countries, including United Arab Nations.
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.
Clients have account protection up to EUR 20,000 through Ireland’s Investor Compensation Company (ICCL) but the broker provides no additional insurance. They offer negative balance protection, now mandated under EU financial regulations.
As mentioned, AvaTrade group holds licenses and is regulated in various countries. This means that the company subjected to compliance requirements, including how it handles client assets, the safety of client funds and financial reporting. Licenses and regulations are held in the following areas:
- European Union: AVA Trade EU Ltd is incorporated in Ireland and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
- Australia: Ava Capital Markets Australia Pty Ltd is licensed in Australia by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.
- International: Ava Trade Ltd is a registered financial services company in the British Virgin Islands and is fully licensed and regulated by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission.
- Japan: Ava Trade Japan K.K. is licensed and regulated in Japan by the Financial Services Agency.
- South Africa: As of 2016, AvaTrade is part of the South African market under the name ‘Ava Capital Markets Pty Ltd’. Regulated by South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA No.45984).
- Middle East (Abu Dhabi)
AvaTrade Final Verdict
AvaTrade is obviously not the only online broker on the market. According to the user numbers, it is also not the most popular. However, it’s safe to say that it is a reliable and trustworthy company.
AvaTrade is easy to use and intuitive. Both the web-based platform as well as the app offer very good user experience. They are straightforward and uncomplicated to work with.
We would also like to point out exceptional library of different educational material - even if you don't plan to trade on AvaTrade platforms, their tutorials and webinars are still worth exploring.
We found inconsistent spreads one of the biggest drawbacks of the broker. Its inactivity fee is also above-average. The platform itself is far from bad, but still not as intuitive in comparison to some of the competition.
All in all, we do recommend Avatrade for all kinds of traders - more or less experienced - but we also recommend that you first make an extensive analysis into all similar providers.
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