Sarwa Review 2022

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Broker NameSarwa
Type of brokerFull service broker
HeadquartersDubai
Year Founded2017
RegulationDFSA, FSRA
Countries of regulationDubai, Abu Dhabi
Tradable AssetsStock, ETF, Cryptos, Index Funds, Mutual Funds, Bonds
Min deposit$5
DepositsBank Account
Based Currencies AED and USD
Demo AccountNO

What Is Sarwa?

Sarwa is a reputable full-service broker (Robo Advisor) rigged with a semi-automated trading platform to offer the full spectrum of “hands of investment” and self directed trading. Their low trading fees, personalised and proven investment options backed by technology and on demand advisory services make investing accessible for beginner and casual traders in the middle east. Users can use their automated trading services and invest in a diversified portfolio based on their evaluated risk profile, trade on their own or combine both options.

Established in 2017 in Dubai, it is regulated by the DFSA and FSRA and considered safe.

Why Choose Sarwa?

  • Auto invest options with low fees
  • Access to zero commission stock and ETF trading
  • Regulation by the DFSA and FSRA
  • Low minimum deposits
  • Easy to use and intuitive trading platform

Sarwa is a low fees broker has an auto-invest option, has low minimum deposit requirements, and excellent customer support. The disadvantages of Sarwa are that the educational material provided is minimal and that verification can take a while. 

The Good and Bad Listed Side by Side

Sarwa has lots of different features and investment options you might like as a investors, but also has possible downsides you should be aware of. Our team of analytics used a database of 33 full service brokers available to UAE users and compared them with Sarwa across 8 different categories. Here is how Sarwa compares to other full service brokers and pros vs cons signing up with them.

Good:

  • Competitive fees across all accounts
  • User friendly layout which makes is easy to set up an account, trade and invest
  • Possibility to trade on your own and auto-invest with the same dashboard
  • Access to a wide range of different markets

We recommend choosing this broker if: you are a long term investor, a casual investor looking to outsource the trading part to professionals or a casual investor with lack of time for trading on their own.

Bad:

  • Few deposit and withdrawal options
  • Beginners will miss out educational materials and resources
  • Professional investors will miss out advanced trade types

We do not recommend choosing this broker if: you are a seasoned (professional investor), institutional investor or casual investor looking to trade actively.

Sarwa Invest Compared With Sarwa Trade and Crypto

Sarwa is a reputable full-service online broker offering robo-advisor services through Sarwa Invest and brokerage services through Sarwa Trade and Sarwa Crypto. It is a great solution for beginner and intermediate traders who want professionals to manage their investments, but also have the option to trade on their own.

Lets check what each of this investment options offers:

picture of investment growth

01. Sarwa Invest

Sarwa Invest is an automated trading feature, offering users to invest in different assets (stocks, real estate, bonds, SRI etc) based on their risk exposure profile and the usage of robo-advisor technology. You can choose to auto-deposit monthly, reinvest your dividends, or invest with human advisors. This option is great for users who are looking for a “set and forget” investment strategy where their portfolio is managed by professional investors.

When opening an Sarwa Invest account, users are guided through a five step set-up process where they choose between different investment criteria. Their choices are evaluated and users preferences are converted into different a diversified investment portfolio. Those are adjusted based on market fluctuations and performance quarterly. Users get the chance of professional investment advisory and rebalancing of their investments for free.

Here is an overview how Sarwa performs compared to the best financial advisors:

FeaturesSarwaHolborn Assets
Account openingOnlineIn person
Minimum Investment $5$30,000
Fees0.5% – 0.85% 1%-1,5%
Portfolio Costs0.1%1.2%
Additional CostsNo extra feesSet up fee: 1,5%
Performance fee: 1%

02. Sarwa Trade

Sarwa Trade allows autonomous users to buy and sell over 4000+ stocks and ETFs with zero trading fees. This part of their offering is dedicated to traders who are looking to trade on their own.

The Sarwa Trade platform is intuitive, easy to use and offers simple trading features. It enables users to buy fractional shares and there is no minimum deposit required to open a Sarwa Trade account. AED account transfers are free of charge. The minimum trade is $1.

sarwa-trade-performance

Here is an overview of how Sarwa Trade performs compared to the best stocks brokers in UAE:

FeesSarwaInteractive BrokersSaxo BankeToro
Transfer Fees$0$0$0$0
Trading Fees$0$0.005/share$1.0/share$0
Inactivity Fee$0$0$100 after 6months$10 monthly after 1 year
Number of Stocks4,00016,50030,0002,800

03. Sarwa Crypto

Sarwa Crypto enables users access the most trusted cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash using advanced market, stop and limit orders. They do not charge any inactivity fees, no transfer fees and no commissions on cryptocurrency trades. Sarwa is working together with Alpaca, to offer its users safe storage of their crypto assets.

the below table shows how Sarwa compares with the best Crypto Exchanges:

FeesSarwaBinanceCoinbaseFTX
Transfer Fees$0$0$0$0
Trading Fees$00.075%0.6%0.02%
Spread$00.075%0.4%$0
Number of Cryptos5393167167
Spot Volume (BTC)/400,00076,00050,000

Regulation

Good:

  • Regulated by two top tier regulators
  • Custodial account protection
  • Bankruptcy and scam protection from the UAE CB

Bad:

  • Tier one regulation missing

Sarwa is regulated by two top tier financial regulators from UAE including the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi (FSRA). Sarwa owns an Investor Compensation Fund license from the DFSA with the number #F003607. This means that the UAE Central Bank will cover users deposits if the company goes bankrupt.

Users are additionaly protected by safekeeping securities through foreign custodians. The assets you invest in with Sarwa are held in a custodian account at Saxo Capital Markets and are protected by the EU banking and investment directives. They have the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policy in place and comply with the Anti-Money Laundering Policy.

picture of DFSA public register

Investment Account Types

Good:

  • Fast and simple account opening (100% online)
  • Different account options
  • Access to all accounts from the same dashboard

Bad:

  • Demo account option missing

Users choose between 4 different account types based on their minimum amount balance: starter account, standard account, premium account and platinum account. There is not much diversity in the offer between different account types, which enables users to trade based on their limitations.

Here is a quick breakdown what each of the accounts offer:

Starter Account

The starter account is great for people sitting on the fence as it is free for the first year and the minimum deposit is only $5. Starter account users also get access to free advisory by professionals on how much to invest, asset allocation and reinvesting.

Standard Account

The standard account is for users looking to invest from $2,500 to $50,000 and comes with a yearly operational cost of 0.85%. The account offers everything from the starter account with additional free advisory calls or emails.

Premium Account

Choose the premium account if you are a determined investors looking for the whole package. Account opening starts with $50,000 minimum deposit and comes with an operational cost of 0.70%. Compared to the standard account it additionaly offers free financial planning consultations and lower advisory fees.

Platinum Account

Choose the platinum account if you are planning to invest over $100,000 and are looking for a package where everything is included. The platinum account comes with an operational fee of 0.50%/year and offers premium support, advisory and fee structures.

The picture below breaks down the difference between the different Sarwa accounts.

Sarwa-account-types

Investment Portfolio Types

Good:

  • Great diversity of portfolio types
  • Easy to set up and allocate
  • Great risk-reward chart

Bad:

  • Limited crypto market coverage

Users have the chance to personify their investment based on their goals and risk-reward strategy and can choose between different portfolio types. These portfolios allocate investments in different ways and spread them across US stocks, developed markets, real estate, emerging markets, US bonds, Sukuk, gold, and crypto.

You can choose what kind of portfolio to invest in according to your own investment goals and preferences. Based on their strategy users choose between the following portfolio types:

  • Conventional portfolios – Contain low-risk ETFs like Blackrock and Vanguard ETFs that cover multiple industries.
  • Socially responsible investing portfolios – Contain eco-friendly companies that have a positive social impact.
  • Halal portfolios – Contain Sharia-compliant stocks, indices, commodities, and currencies, that do not profit from interest and do not involve gambling, tobacco, and other Haram companies.
  • Crypto portfolios – Contain cryptocurrency investments like Bitcoin and Ethereum. 
sarwa-growth-performance

Sarwa Invest Returns

As of now, Sarwa’s investment portfolios generated between 3% and 11% net return yearly. When you open a Invest account and deposit money into it, your money will be automatically divided in stocks and other assets according to your chosen portfolio type. From your personal dashboard, you can see how your funds are allocated and what your current realised returns are.

returns

Fees and Minimum Deposits

Good:

  • Competitive operational fees across all accounts
  • Low advisory fees
  • Low ETF fees
  • Low minimum deposits

Bad:

  • ETF fees on starter account are high

Our analytics team looked into Sarwa trading terms to see how their fees structure performs compared to the best full service brokers. Sarwa trading fees are competitive and are among the lowest in the industry.

The table below break down Sarwa advisory fees, ETF fees and minimum deposits based on account type:

Fee TypeStarter AccountStandard AccountPremium AccountPlatinum Account
Advisory feeNone0,85%0,7%0,5%
ETF fee0,25%0,1%0,15%0,15%
Minimum deposit$5$2.500$50.000$100.000

Minimum deposits are low and vary based on type of investment and portfolio.

Minimum deposits based on investment types:

  • Minimum deposit on conventional investments: $5
  • Minimum deposit on Halal plan: $500
  • Minimum deposit on Crypto portfolios: $2500

Minimum deposits based on account types:

  • Minimum deposit on starter account: $5
  • Minimum deposit on standard account: $2,500
  • Minimum deposit on premium account: $50,000
  • Minimum deposit on platinum account: $100,000

Customer Service

Good:

  • Fast and responsive
  • Available in English and Arabic
  • Extensive FAQ section
  • Personal account managers on Platinum accounts

Bad:

  • Live chat available to account holders only

Sarwa customer service is responsive, well educated and available in Arabic and English. It is accessible 24/7 by phone, WhatsApp, live chat, email, and social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They also have an extensive FAQ section, where they answer the most common users questions.

We recommend you use the following information to contact them:

  • Telephone: +971 4 512 6219
  • WhatsApp: +971 50 415 1476

Deposit and Withdrawals

Good:

  • First deposit and withdrawal each month is free
  • Withdrawal and deposit fees are low

Bad:

  • Bank transfer (wire) only

Deposit and withdrawals at Sarwa are limited to bank transfers (wire transfers) only. Users can deposit and withdraw money in two main currencies: USD and AED.

Sarwa offers one free deposit and withdrawal per month. Each next deposits and withdrawals are charged with a fee of $10. Deposits take up to 3 business days to show up on your account. Withdrawals take from 4-6 days depending on account type.

Conclusion

Sarwa is a reputable online broker offering robo-advisory and brokerage services at the same time. Their trading platform is intuitive, easy to use and offers great stock, ETF and crypto trading features.

Based on our review, we recommend Sarwa to beginner and intermediate traders who are looking for “hands of investments” with the option to invest in stocks, ETFs and cryptos on their own.


Disclosure
All trading involves risk. More than 80% of investors lose in spread bet and CFD trading. As these complex instruments allow for the use of leverage, there is a high risk of losing more money than you have deposited. Before attempting to participate in spread bets and CFDs, consider how well you understand them and if you can afford to lose your money.

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Stefan Grasic (Dipl.-Jur) is the World Wide Director of research for Buisness24-7 and has considerable experience in the financial and investment niche, but also enjoys writing articles for the general readership. Stefan is an active Crypto, Forex and general investment researcher advising blockchain companies at their start up level. He keeps fit by mountain biking, surfing, skiing and lots of other adrenaline sports.

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