Plus 500 has been offering online Forex broker services since 2008. While customers give the platform generally high marks for service and reliability, there is one big caveat; this U.K. headquartered company serves an impressive client base from Europe, Australia, Asia, and North America, minus the United States. There are plenty of quality brokers for American clients to choose from – just remember that Plus 500 isn’t one of them. For the rest of the world, read on.
The first thing a customer wants to know about his or her online broker is that money deposited today will (disastrous trades notwithstanding) be there tomorrow. Plus 500 has, thus far, created a track record of integrity and reliability. Operating under the corporate name Plus 500 UK Ltd., this broker is a registered member in good standing with the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA guarantees up to 50,000 (British Pounds ) in the event of a claim against any of their members. This is not one of those shady, fly-by-night operations that sets up shop to rake in initial deposits and then disappears.
While lots of Forex brokers choose to go with the popular MT4 platform, Plus 500 decided to develop their own proprietary software for trading and analysis. Clients use the same screen to trade positions in Forex and the following markets: stocks, commodities, major global indices, CFDs, and ETFs. If you like to trade across different types of markets, this reduces a lot of the hassle. Bear in mind that, due to software limitations, only one chart at a time can be generated. This means you’ll have to close one and open another to study different currencies. If you’re a daytrader who moves in and out of multiple currencies throughout the day, this might cramp your style to some extent. The Plus 500 platform can be accessed through the web, downloaded and installed to your desktop/laptop, or used via apps for smartphones (iOS, Windows, Android), and Apple Watch.
Adhering to company philosophy to keep it simple, Plus 500 offers a single type of live account and a demo account. All you need to start trading for real is a minimum of $100 to open your live account. If you prefer to start with a demo – which is a REALLY good idea, especially if you are low on experience – Plus 500 will put $25 dollars in your account for real, leaving you only having to come up with $75 more when you decide to go live. While most Forex brokers limit your demo account trading to 30 or 60 days, Plus 500 lets you play in the sandbox as long as you want.
Funding Your Account
Your choices for account funding are either through a Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card, Moneybookers (a PayPal-like company headquartered in the U.K.), PayPal, or a wire transfer. A wire transfer may take up to five days before showing in your account. For security, you won’t be allowed to make a withdrawal until you provide a photo ID that verifies your address. A passport or driver’s license works fine. To some, this level of proof seems a bit onerous, but all legitimate Forex brokers have the same requirement. It’s actually a good thing to make darn sure you’re the account owner before letting you have all that hard-earned lucre.
Responsive, helpful customer support is a big deal and one area where Plus 500 falls somewhat short of the goal. We live in an age where live chat is an increasingly preferred method for customers to have their concerns addressed. Though this broker offers high-quality support around the clock by phone, fax, or e-mail – strangely – no chat support. Maybe this is a big deal to you and maybe it isn’t. Their website claims a 30-minute response time to emails, which isn’t bad until the market has blown through one of your stop losses and your account is vanishing before your eyes. Then you want to talk to someone immediately.
1. No commissions for trades and tight spreads (as low as 2 pips on EUR/USD)
2. Leverage limited to 50:1, which is a good thing for newbie traders
3. Simple trading and clean website
4. Unlimited demo account with $25 sign-on bonus
1. No live chat option with customer support
2. No education or tutorial section to get started
The Bottom Line
Plus 500 is a large, trusted broker that has been on the spot Forex scene long enough to be thought of as legit. The website is clean and easy to navigate for those new to the game. Possible downsides are the lack of chat support and a flimsy education section. Actually, there is no education section at all. The welcome screen provides clear instructions on how to complete a trade, but you’ll have to go elsewhere to learn the fundamental strategies and analysis. That’s not a terribly awful task since this sort of information is freely available all over the Internet.