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Plus500 – Reviews & Ratings
- Regulation: FCA (UK), CySec (Cyprus), ASIC (AU)
- Minimum deposit: $100
- Demo account: Yes
- Asset coverage: Forex, commodities, stocks, indices, ETFs, bonds, and futures
- Best for: Traders who don’t use scalping and want a great platform with good prices.
- Commissions & Fees: 8.5/10
- Investment Selection: 8/10
- Account Options & Features: 6/10
- Usability: 7/10
- Educational Resources: 1/10
- Customer Service: 7/10
- Overall: 6/10
Investor Warning: Remember that CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in the loss of your entire capital. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for you. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved.
Plus500 was founded in Israel in 2008 by a crack team of alumni from the Technion Institute of Technology. Since then, the company has been on a steady rise, albeit, with a few rough moments.
The first hard moment was in 2012 when the accounts of all Plus500’s UK clients were frozen for 2 months, and the company lost a ton of money. So much money, in fact, that the stock price of the company plummeted by 60%.
Luckily, Plus500 is a tough nut to crack and the company managed to power through this near-cataclysmic event. The stock prices went back to normal in no time and the brokerage continued upgrading and growing…
I’m not kidding when I say they were growing. The stock price went up almost 240% over the last three years, and the company’s revenue is following that trend of growth like a good duckling follows its mom.
That’s probably why the Plus500 Limited’s CEO makes way more money than most top-figures in similarly-sized companies. I guess the board of directors wanted to reward him for the good work, but then again, who wouldn’t?
The company advertises itself as “The World’s Trading Machine”, and that’s exactly what its million users are using it for. All in all, it seems that Plus500 is a good broker for a great many traders, but is it a great broker for you? Let’s find out.
Overview & Summary
- The broker is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and has 3 tier-1 regulators, making it a very well-regulated broker.
- There are two account types, a great demo account, and a retail account that can be upgraded.
- Opening an account is quick and effortless, and the pricing is one the good side.
- Platforms are very good and easy to use, especially the award-winning mobile platform.
- The offering of investments could be better but is above average.
- Research is subpar, especially for pro traders’ needs, and there’s no news feed on the platform.
- Education is nonexistent.
- Customer service uses WhatsApp instead of a phone line but seems to do a very good job overall.
What – and Who – is Plus500?
Plus500 is an online brokerage service provided by Plus500CY, the company that is the issuer and seller of all financial products, as well as the platform offered by Plus500. This forex broker is one of the leading CFD providers, with a huge client base of around one million users, and an offer of over 2000 trading instruments.
The company is based in Israel and has subsidiaries in the UK, Australia, Cyprus, and Singapore, which provide brokerage services to Plus500’s sizable global clientele. The brokerage service is available in 51 countries, however, those do not include Canada, Belgium, and the US.
This international brokerage offers users CFDs on commodities, stocks, indices, ETFs, bonds, and futures for a good price, as well as an exceptional trading platform.
Is Plus500 a Good Broker?
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether a broker is good or bad. Aside from the safety (which we will discuss in the next section), we should mention the broker’s awards and client base.
Plus500 has received accolades from many reviewers, especially for its top-notch mobile app, which is one of the most popular CFD trading tools on Google Play and the App Store. The good reviews also praise the platform’s ease of use and low prices.
The platform isn’t suited to all types of traders, but it has around one million users, and that means the brokerage is doing something right. We will take a look at Plus500’s offer in more detail soon, but first, let’s see if this company ticks the most important box – trustworthiness.
Can Plus500 Be Trusted?
Like all high-tier forex brokers, Plus500 is well-regulated. The company is under the influence of three tier-1 regulators, namely, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), and the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), along with a few more less-notable regulatory bodies.
Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange, which is a good argument for the company’s credibility, but there are also a few instances where the company ended up on the wrong side of the law.
The company’s UK-based audience is a crucial part of its revenue stream, and it shows. In late 2012, Plus500’s UK subsidiary was fined £205,128 by the FCA for not being able to accurately report transactions for over a year.
Plus500UK clients’ accounts were frozen for two months during FCA’s investigation and as a result, Plus500’s revenue and stock price went down the drain for a while.
Though UK customers were not very happy with the mishap, they have the best position out of all Plus500’s clients, as they get the highest protection in case the company goes bust, as well as access to all the platform’s features.
As far as this incident is concerned, it seems that there was nothing shady going on, rather, the company failed to make accurate reports because of poor organization and undertrained employees.
Like many top UK forex brokers, Plus500 gets a lot of negative comments and fraud accusations on online forums, however, the company seems to accept and respond to criticism rather well (as you can see in this comment section), which is more than you could say about a brokerage like FxPro, which seems much less honest about its shortcomings.
Clients from certain areas get money protection, which means they are guaranteed a refund if their money is lost due to Plus500’s bankruptcy or any such event.
Users from the EU, Norway, and Switzerland are clients of the company’s subsidiary Plus500CY Ltd., and as such get up to €20,000 coverage, however, Professional account owners do not get this insurance.
All UK-based clients get up to £85,000 coverage, which is very reassuring, but users outside the UK, Norway, Switzerland, and the EU do not get any protection of this sort.
Furthermore, Plus500 offers clients negative balance protection, which means that you can’t lose more money than what you’ve deposited on your account. Basically, you can’t get yourself into a situation where you owe the company money because of a few bad trades.
All in all, Plus500 is considered to be a safe broker because of its tier-1 regulators and good reputation in general, however, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you start investing money with this broker.
Something You Should Watch Out For
First and foremost, this is a CFD broker, and CFDs are very risky products if you don’t have enough experience with them. Over 76% of investors lose money when trading CFDs with Plus500, which is a common characteristic for all forex brokers.
Moreover, your account can be terminated if you leave it inactive for 18 calendar months (and it will incur a monthly inactivity fee in the meantime, but I’ll talk more about that later).
If you’re a day trader who uses scalping, this is probably not the broker for you. Scalping is a trading strategy where a client opens and closes a lot of trades within two minutes in order to limit losses, which is common with active traders, but Plus500 doesn’t like this at all.
The brokerage can block your account if it looks to them like you were using scalping. You should definitely look for alternatives if you are a trader who uses this strategy.
Also, it is speculated that Plus500’s revenue might drop significantly in the near future due to a regulatory crackdown. Although this might be a false alarm, it is worth keeping this in mind if you’re investing in Plus500 stocks.
Unlike brokers who seem to have a special account for every sign in the zodiac, Plus500 doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to account types. There are just two types, the demo account, and the standard retail account, which can be upgraded.
In order to do anything with an online broker, you need to open an account first, and what better way to start a new forex trading endeavor than with a demo account?
A demo account is a feature that lets you use a realistic trading simulator with virtual funds. Almost all forex brokers offer this service to customers, but the Plus500 demo account really takes the cake, as it is super convenient compared to most.
First of all, the demo account is permanent and totally free, even if you use a live account as well, which is different from many other brokers who will start charging you for the demo account after a certain time.
Second, you can test different trading strategies with fake funds and if you lose all of it, no problem, just open the Accounts tab on your Backoffice profile and you can reset the account, erasing your portfolio and boosting your balance with the desired amount of virtual money.
The demo account has all the products that the real accounts have, and you can effortlessly switch between these accounts by clicking on the blue button at the bottom of the platform’s UI.
Plus500 doesn’t offer very good educational resources, so the demo account is the best place for new investors to learn about the trading platform and test strategies without risking their own cash.
The standard account is the typical live account that all traders start with. With the standard account, users have access to the basic pricing scheme, which is pretty good, although, the leverage depends on where you are based.
With this account, you can get mostly commission-free trading, four stop order types that can protect you from slippage, and of course, the access to Plus500’s proprietary trading platform which is often praised by traders as one of the most user-friendly in the industry.
The upgraded version of the standard account is currently the most popular account type among Plus500 clients. The company is making efforts to make the gold account the starting account for new traders.
Right now, this option is only available in the UK and the EU, and you can upgrade the standard account to gold by requesting it from the company. According to Plus500, the gold account will replace the standard account in the future, which is a good thing to hear since it provides a few perks.
Gold users get a 5% discount on all overnight funding fees, as well as access to more trading instruments, which is very nice since Plus500’s basic offer of investment types has room for improvement.
If you do not like this account for some reason, no problem, you can downgrade anytime you wish. However, if you’re an active trader with a serious portfolio, you can go one step further and get the Plus500 Professional account.
Higher leverage is the main feature of the pro account. This provides traders with an ability to make more but also lose more, so the pro account is only recommended to investors experienced in forex trading.
The professional account users have the same client protection as other users including the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS is an ombudsman that settles disputes between UK-based companies that provide financial services and their customers, so it is nice to have them watching your back just in case you need legal representation.
There is a series of requirements you have to meet to qualify for the pro account. First, you must have made 10 or more significantly-sized trades per quarter over the past four quarters with Plus500 or/and other providers.
Then, you must have a sizable portfolio of €500,000 or more, which includes financial instruments and cash savings.
Finally, you must prove that you’ve worked professionally in a relevant position in the financial sector for a year or more.
How To Open An Account With Plus500?
Opening an account with Plus500 is fairly quick and seamless. Account creation requires the typical personal data and legal documents, and the verification takes no time at all, so you can start trading quickly and without a hassle.
First off, you need to provide a legal document (like a passport or a personal ID card) that contains your picture, full name, date of birth, personal identity number, and the document’s expiry date.
Next, the broker needs to verify your address. For this, you just need to send them a picture of a bank statement, credit card statement, or a communal services bill (e.g. electricity, internet, phone, etc.).
You’ll also need the bank/credit card statement to prove that you are the owner of the bank account you want to link to your trading account. Finally, there is a minimum initial deposit of $100 you need to take care of before you start trading, and you’re all set.
What Plus500 is Great At
First Off, How’s The Pricing?
Prices on Plus500’s platform are on the low side, the fees are also low in general, and there are many options for no-commission trading.
|Europe 50 CFD||0.45 pips|
|S&P 500 CFD||1.0 pips|
For a deeper look into Plus500’s prices, it’s best to look at their website, which has listed current prices for all investment types like crypto, for example.
The leverage you get is based on what country your account is registered to. The leverage for EU-based clients is capped at 1:30, due to ESMA regulations and Singapore-based users can get up to 1:50. On the other hand, traders from Australia, as well as most other countries, can get up to 1:500 leverage for certain products.
If you plan to withdraw more than $100 with a debit/credit card, then you have 5 free withdrawals each month, otherwise, the withdrawal fee is $10, which is better than average. Withdrawals via bank transfer are fixed at $6.
Bank transfers usually take about 5 days but may take even longer, depending on how fast your bank works, however, a credit/debit card transfer should take less.
Paypal and Skrill are a little more convenient since the minimum withdrawal is $50, and the transfer delay is about 3-7 days.
If you do not use your account for 3 months, Plus500 will charge you a $10 monthly inactivity fee, however, this doesn’t mean you need to make trades frequently, rather, you just need to log in and show any sort of activity.
This is very convenient for investors who can’t trade that often, especially since most other brokers charge the inactivity fee to accounts that don’t make frequent trades. However, keep in mind that your account can beterminated if you leave it inactive for 18 calendar months, in which case all your funds will be lost.
Plus500 only offers a single platform, but a great one. The company’s proprietary WebTrader is a browser-based platform, and its mobile counterpart is even better. Let’s take a deeper look into what this software has to offer.
Above all things, Plus500’s flagship platform, WebTrader, is well known for its ease of use and accessibility. The platform is a fantastic starting point for new traders due to its intuitive design but lacks some advanced features and customizability that experienced traders might find valuable.
You will never get lost in WebTrader. The main screen displays pricing info, balance info, and positions, and it gives users quick access to trade execution and charting.
If you’re looking for specific products and functions, you can use the fantastic search function to find what you need in no time. This kind of design is incredibly handy since you can access almost everything you want without leaving the main platform window.
To see when the markets are open, just click on the “Details” button on the main screen, and the hours will be displayed at your local time. From the main screen, you can also access the charting tool with 100+ indicators, which will go to fullscreen when you click on it.
Plus500 doesn’t offer MT 4, and this is a slight problem because WebTrader is a closed system with certain limitations. Aside from the lack of customizability, the platform doesn’t support social/copy trading and algorithmic trading.
On top of that, the research tools on Plus 500’s WebTrader are mostly basic, and advanced traders will probably not find the technical analysis capabilities they need here since it is not possible to import third-party analytical and automation tools.
Plus500’s mobile app is a fantastic mobile port of the WebTrader. The mobile app allows users to access the full suite of 2,000+ trading instruments, make conditional orders, and view their account info.
The charting tools retain the great 100+ indicators from the web-based version, and the app is very safe. WebTrader mobile uses two-step authentication, which means you can access your account through fingerprint authentication if you want.
The mobile platform is a fantastic app but suffers from some of the same issues as the browser-based platform, namely, advanced traders will find it lacking in advanced functionality. The app is available in 36 languages on Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
Plus500 has a customer service system that’s a bit different than most. The company doesn’t have phone service or a traditional live chat on their website, however, you can contact the customer support representatives via WhatsApp.
Contacting the support agents through email and WhatsApp is very quick, as most inquiries will be solved in a few minutes on average. On top of that, the representatives are courteous and knowledgeable, so the absence of a phone service isn’t a big deal.
There is no way to get hands-on help from a representative at a physical location, but the email and WhatsApp services are available 24/7, so no worries.
What’s more, the FAQ section on the broker’s website is very comprehensive, so it will likely provide sufficient help to most clients, and the trading platform has an integrated live chat function in case the FAQ isn’t helpful enough.
All in all, there are better customer support services, but Plus 500’s modern solution is pretty good in its own right. The company provides a reliable, quick customer support system that gets positive criticism overall.
Where Plus500 Can Improve
Range of Offerings
Plus500 offers over 2,000 trading instruments to clients. You can trade forex and CFDs on stock indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and about 1800 stocks.
There is a large selection of currency pairs you can trade with as well, and this includes all major pairs, as well as 8 cryptocurrencies. Upgrading your account will give you access to more markets and greater leverage, but still, Plus500’s offer of investments is not super impressive.
This is not a huge spectrum of tradable assets, so if you want more trading options, maybe you should take a look at some alternatives. For example, LCG is a forex broker with one of the most impressive selections of products you’ll find anywhere, so check them out if Plus500’s offer isn’t enough for you.
Research & News
The research tools available at Plus500 have their good sides but they are lacking in general. The charting tools and the economic calendar offered by the broker are very well-designed and easy to use, also, the calendar even displays trader sentiment data, which makes it easy to gauge the public opinion about certain products.
Aside from the basic research functions, Plus500 doesn’t have much to show. The situation with news providers is even more bleak, as there are no reputable third-party news sources like Reuters, TradingCentral, or Dow Jones available on the platform.
Moreover, there are no opinions or news from the company’s internal experts, so in short, you won’t get fundamental data, news or recommendations on Plus500’s platforms. Relying on basic technical analysis and a very good economic calendar might be sufficient for some traders, but advanced day trading types will likely require more.
There are much better alternatives for traders who want to conduct extensive research and get good data. For example, top-tier forex brokers like Oanda and Saxo Bank have much more to offer in all aspects when it comes to news and research, so check them out if you are looking for platforms with powerful market analysis capabilities.
Doing research about Plus500’s educational offer was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done. Why? You might ask. Well… Mainly because there is no education offer.
Plus500 doesn’t offer courses, blogs, e-books, or quizzes like most other brokers, rather, the company only offers the legally-required “key information document” on its website. This is a document that contains the basic summary of products like cryptocurrencies, commodities, forex, ETFs, options, indices, and equities.
There are some excellent videos on the Plus500 Youtube channel, however, they amount to 6 minutes of content in total. The rest of the videos on the channel are mostly commercials in different languages.
The great demo account is the best educational resource that Plus500 has to offer. Other than that, there’s practically nothing to see here. Plus500 expects traders to come to their platform with knowledge and skill they’ve gotten from other sources. Luckily, there are great alternatives for learning about forex trading.
If you are a beginner and want a great education before you start trading, take a look at City Index and AvaTrade. These brokers offer comprehensive courses that can take a new trader to an intermediate-level trader, or even further in no time.
Plus500 has a huge client base for a good reason. The combination of the broker’s good pricing and the fantastic, easy-to-use platform has attracted traders of all levels, and will likely continue to do so.
The brokerage also has its downsides, for example, you can’t get an education here. What’s more, the news and research are really lacking when compared to other top-tier brokers, which is why some traders will prefer a different trading medium.
All in all, Plus500 has a reputation for being a safe, ever-improving brokerage service, and will make a good home for traders who like its powerful, accessible trading software and low fees.