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Plus500 Review

Summary

Plus500 is a global high-tech CFD and Forex trading platform founded in 2008. It is trusted by many retail investors around the world. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Plus500 is a leader in the Contracts for Difference (CFD) industry. They provide a solid trading platform for investors around the world. CFDs include: forex, ETFs, options, indices, shares, commodities and more. Plus500 is headquartered in Israel, but has subsidiaries in various different countries around the world. These include tier-1 financial hubs such as the United Kingdom (FCA), Australia (ASIC), and Singapore (MAS). Plus500 is considered safe, as it is regulated by top-tier financial regulators and fully discloses its financials.

We recommend this broker for advanced traders, looking for a reliable and trustworthy platform.

Here’s a list of the companies that Plus500 operates in different latitudes:

Israel (headquarters)Plus500IL Ltd
UKPlus500UK Ltd
SingaporePlus500SG Pte Ltd
AustraliaPlus500AU Pty Ltd
CyprusPlus500CY Ltd

Additionally, Plus500 is a publicly-traded company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Main Features:

Country of regulationUK, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Israel
Trading feesLow
Inactivity fee chargedYes
Minimum deposit$100
Withdrawal fee amount$0
Account opening1 day
Deposit with credit card/electronic walletAvailable
Base currencies supported10
Demo account availableYes
Products offeredCFDs on more than 2000 instruments

Why should you read this review?

This Plus 500 review will go over: financial instruments, fee structures, research tools, educational material, and more. Choosing the right trading platform is very important if you want to become an active trader. To help you out in this endeavor, we have come up with a comprehensive review of Plus500 to help you in understanding how its trading platform works, which are its main advantages and downsides, and what can you expect from trading through it.

Here is what is covered:

  • How safe it is to trade
  • Main advantages
  • Opening an account
  • Depositing and withdrawing money
  • Financial products offered
  • Trading experience and features of Plus500 trading platform.
  • Trading fees
  • Research tools available for traders.
  • Plus500 customer service review
  • Educational materials are available

What’s best about this broker?

The main advantage of Plus500 is their easy-to-use platform and low trading fees.

In a nutshell, the best things about Plus500 are:

  • Traders can open an demo account in only a few minutes through a process that’s 100% online (real money accounts need to be verified – time-frame depends on workload).
  • Fees are on the low-end of the industry.
  • This broker is considered safe due to the extensive regulatory coverage that it has.
  • The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Plus500 trading platform is very user-friendly and a good fit for advanced traders.

Platform Overview

Plus500 is a leading provider of Contracts for Difference (CFD). These innovative financial vehicles allow retail investors to take both long and short positions on a wide variety of financial instruments. These include, but are not limited to, stocks, foreign currency pairs, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and indexes.

CFDs are an agreement in which the trader benefits from the price movement of the underlying security without taking actual possession of the underlying asset (CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money). If the trader takes a long position, profits come from upward price movements. Short positions generate gains if the price of the underlying security goes down.

All of the financial instruments offered through this platform are traded through CFDs.

These CFDs are commonly meant for day-trading and not for long-term investments. There are certain additional costs associated with holding these contracts for a period longer than one day.

Web-Based Platform

Web Based Platform - Dark Mode

The web-based trading platform has a user-friendly interface that enjoys positive 4+ ratings from most of its users. It also provides an extra layer of security through two-step logins.

Plus500’s trading platform provides reports on fees, historical transactions, positions, and other important information regarding the user’s trading account.

The negative side of the Plus500 platform is that it is not fully customizable.It does not feature advanced charting tools and it has significant limits as to how much you can play around with the items within the screen.

The platform was conceived to facilitate the analysis of charts and other indicators without including highly-complex tools or technical indicators that may not be useful for beginners.

The search function works alright and it allows traders to easily find the security they wish to trade. Plus500 gives traders the possibility of receiving e-mail, SMS, and even push notifications about transactions. that have been triggered or variations in the price of a certain asset.

Mobile Trading App

Mobile Trading App On Tablet and Phone

Plus500’s mobile trading app features most if not all of the tools and options available within the web-based version. This includes its charting tools, search module, and reports.

The mobile trading app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems. It also sends push notifications to smartwatches if you have one. Biometric authentication is also available for extra security.

Placing orders through Plus500’s mobile app is very easy. Traders can buy and sell securities in a matter of seconds by taking advantage of all its features.

How to Open an Account?

Types Of Accounts Available

Opening a demo account with Plus500 is fairly easy and it only takes a few minutes to register and complete the registration steps. The real money account can also be opened online. After real accounts need to be verified and can take a few days, depending on the workload.

Even though Plus500 accepts investors from many corners of the world, there are a few locations that are forbidden from registering including Cuba, Iran, and Syria, to name a few. Additionally, the US and Canada investors are not permitted to open an account with Plus500 as these countries have banned the sale of CFDs to retail investors.

Step-by-step process to open an account can be summarized as follows:

  1. Finish the online registration
  2. Provide proof of residency and documents to verify your identity (national ID, passport, utility bill, etc)
  3. Wait to get approved
  4. Deposit funds to start trading

Minimum Deposit

Traders can open an account with Plus500 with a minimum deposit of USD$100 – if the deposit is made using a debit card, credit card, or electronic wallet – and $500 if the deposit is made through a bank transfer.

Deposit Methods and Options

Plus500 deposit methods:

  • Bank transfers
  • Credit or debit card
  • Electronic Wallet
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
Deposit Options

Bank transfers may take several days to be cleared. Deposits made through debit cards, credit cards, and electronic wallets are usually credited to the account instantly.

All the instructions required to make your deposits are available in the Funds Management section of Plus500 trading platform.

Plus500 allows deposits without any fees. There are 10 different base currencies for their accounts. This is great for investors seeking to save money on conversion fees. These are applied in case you withdraw money from an account with a different base currency than your domestic currency.

Types of Accounts

There are two types of accounts available at Plus500:

  • Retail Account
  • Professional Account

Both accounts – Retail and Pro accounts – are the same in most aspects. The main difference between them is that the retail account features lower leverage ratios compared to the Pro account. Professional clients do not have ICF rights.

These accounts were designed to navigate through the limitations imposed by regulators in the UK and Australia regarding the degree of leverage that Plus500 can offer traders in their respective countries.

These accounts were designed to navigate through the limitations imposed by regulators in the UK and Australia regarding the degree of leverage that Plus500 can offer traders in their respective countries.

In order to be eligible for a Pro account, the trader has to have a certain minimum amount of net assets or a certain minimum amount of income. Additionally, traders have to answer a few questions to verify that they understand the risks involved in using higher leverage ratios.

Markets & Products Offered

Plus500 is a CFD and Forex broker. They offer a good selection of CFDs and currency pairs.

The range of CFDs offered, the portfolio is diversified compared to its competitors.

Currently, Plus500 offers the following products:

  • 1,800 Stock CFDs
  • 33 Stock Index CFDs
  • 92 ETF CFDs
  • 22 Commodity CFDs
  • 14 Cryptocurrency CFDs
  • 70 Spot Currency Pairs

Order Types

Plus500 has four different types of trading orders:

  • Market order – this order is executed at the current market price of the security
  • Limit order – a limit order sets a maximum price at which you are willing to buy the securities or a minimum price at which you are willing to sell the securities. The order will only be executed at the limit price or better.
  • Stop order – a stop order limits losses in case the market price falls below the stop price. The order will become a market order once that price is reached.
  • Trailing-stop order – a trailing-stop order allows traders to gain from any favorable price movement until the trend reverses and the price falls by a certain percentage or down to a certain price.

While limit, stop, and trailing-stop orders work by setting a limit or stop price Plus500 does not guarantee that the order will be executed at that exact price due to slippage.

Slippage occurs when the market price of a security experiences significant volatility and the broker is unable to secure the price established in the order.

While the platform will do its best to fulfill the order based on those price targets, if it is unable to do so they cannot be held responsible for any slippage occurred in the process of buying and selling the securities.

Trading Fees

Plus500 is known for having low trading fees compared to several of its rivals. They don’t charge a withdrawal fee on the first 5 withdrawals made each month, this is a plus for traders with small amounts of capital. According to Plus500 they don’t charge commission fees or trading fees as they benefit from the bid/ask spread of the CFDs they sell and the currency pairs they offer.

The spread means that you’ll pay a certain amount above the quoted price for buyers or receive a bit less than the price quoted. This is based on the average spread cost per asset.

Here are the average spreads charged for some of the financial instruments available:

  • S&P500 CFDs – average spread cost 0.45.
  • Europe 50 CFDs – average spread cost 1.
  • Forex – cost per EUR USD trade is typically 0.6 pips.

It is a bit difficult to list all the fees per trade based on the information that Plus500 has made available. Spreads vary per each of the financial instruments the trading platform offers.

Based on hypothetical calculations on the trading leverage used, the amount of capital invested, and the type of position held, fees are low. The average cost per trade at Plus500 is on the low-end of most trading platforms available.

Inactivity Fee

Finally, Plus500 charges an inactivity fee. Customers who have not logged into the account for more than 3 months are subject to inactivity fee. The fee is $10 per quarter after this 3-month period has passed.

The good news is that the inactivity fee is triggered for not logging in rather than not trading. The latter is the case for most trading platforms.

Overnight Funding Fee

Overnight funding fees are charged for holding a security for longer than a day. You can read more about it here.

The overnight funding amount is either added to or subtracted from your account whenever a position is left open after a certain cut-off time.

These fees are calculated as a percentage of the amount of leverage associated with the position. The percentage is quoted right next to the price of each financial asset.

Leverage

Leverage levels available for traders vary. Depending on where traders are located and the particular laws that regulate trading activities within their respective countries.

In most cases, leverage levels are the following for retail accounts:

  • Stock index CFDs – 20:1 leverage
  • Stock CFDs – 5:1 leverage
  • Forex – 30:1

How much you can borrow per each $ committed to the transaction, depends on the leverage used. A 30:1 level means you will be able to borrow $30 per each $1 committed.

That said, one of the downsides of Plus500 is that leverage levels are fixed. Leverage cannot be modified, which is a disadvantage in case the trader wants to reduce the risk associated with the position.

Research Tools

The research tools available within Plus500 trading platform are fairly limited. Its charting tools are good, especially for beginners. There are 107 technical indicators that can be applied to the charts through both the web-based app and the mobile app of Plus500. Even though the aspect of the charts in the mobile trading app may not look as nice as in the web-based platform due to the lack of space.

Charts can be saved after the trader has applied all the indicators to it. This is nice, considering the high number of different securities a day-trader may analyze during a single session.

There’s also a news feed comprised of an economic calendar and a corporate events calendar. There is no real-time news feed featuring major news outlets such as Reuters or CNN Money are available within the platform. That’s definitely a downside for Plus500 traders.

A “Trader’s Sentiment” tool is also embedded within the overview section of the different assets offered by Plus500. It indicates the percentage of traders that are buying/selling the security during the session ie. 41% sellers vs. 59% buyers.

Another point worth noting for the Plus500 platform is that no data on the fundamentals of each of the stocks are available for traders. This means that they have to do their own research outside the trading platform.

Educational Tools

Education and training ins’t the best at Plus500. The company has made available a demo account for traders who want to first try out the platform before they deposit any money into it. In most cases, experimenting with the demo account is a good idea, especially for beginners who have not been exposed to a trading environment in the past.

That said, Plus500 website has a section called “Trader’s Guide” featuring 6 short videos that cover the following topics:

  • Slippage when opening a position
  • How to trade with Plus500?
  • Popular trading strategies
  • What is a Rollover?
  • What are options?

These videos are mostly tutorials on how the trading platform works. These educational tools aren’t for traders who are seeking to enrich their knowledge to boost the performance and results of their portfolios.

Additionally, the company has a Risk Management section. It explains how each of the types of orders available within the platform can help the trader in preventing large losses.

Furthermore, there’s also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that covers the following topics:

  • Account verification process
  • Bonuses
  • Deposits
  • Fees & Charges
  • Financial instruments
  • Opening an account
  • Regulators
  • Submitting identification documents
  • Trading
  • Withdrawals

To sum up, while there are certain materials designed to guide the trader in understanding how the platform works. None of the educational resources provided by Plus500 help traders in improving their skills.

Customer Support

Plus500 customer support enjoys positive reviews from traders within their platform.

The Plus500 platform has live chat customer service and e-mail customer support and representatives are available 24/7. They help traders in solving any potential issues they may encounter during their trading activities.

Users have reported that e-mail responses take up to an hour, even though response times may vary depending on the complexity of the issue.
Additionally, traders also report that this broker is very transparent with disclosing their rates and fees if asked.

Plus500 does not provide phone customer service.

Withdrawals Options and Fees

Plus500 withdrawal is easy and straightforward. They allow traders to take money out five times a month without any fees, after that the withdrawal fee is $10. There’s a minimum withdrawal amount of $50 for PayPal withdrawals and $100 for bank transfers. If the withdrawal amount is lower than the minimum, a $10 fee will be applied.

Withdrawal Methods

There a variety of withdrawal options available at Plus500:

  • Credit or Debit Card
  • Wire/Bank Transfer
  • e-Wallets (PayPal or Skrill)

In general, withdrawals made towards a credit/debit card and bank account are received within 2 business days.

Is This Trading Platform Safe?

Plus500 is considered to be a safe broker. It is regulated by various top-tier financial authorities including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom (traders are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)),the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Plus500CY Ltd is authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14).

Additionally, Plus500 is a publicly-traded firm listed at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This adds a significant degree of transparency to its operations, especially when it comes to the company’s solvency and liquidity. This is crucial to protect the money it holds for its investors.

Plus500 is regulated by different top-tier institutions around the world. This lowers the risk, as these regulatory bodies promote transparency and a certain degree of reliability to the company’s operations.

Balance Protection

ResidenceBalance Protection AmountRegulated byPlus500 Entity
ResidenceBalance Protection AmountRegulated byPlus500 Entity
UK£85,000Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909)Plus500UK Ltd
South Africa, New Zealand and South AfricaNo balance protectionASIC (AFSL #417727), Financial Markets Authority (FSP #486026), and FSCA (FSP #47546)Plus500AU Pty Ltd
EU, Norway, Switzerland (EEA)€20,000Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (#250/14)Plus500CY Ltd
IsraelNo balance protectionIsrael Securities Authority (#515233914)Plus500IL Ltd
SingaporeNo balance protectionMonetary Authority of Singapore (#CMS100648-1) and the IE Singapore (#PLUS/CBL/2018)Plus500SG Pte Ltd

How safe is it to trade CFDs?

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial regulatory body, and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), investors who trade CFDs are exposed to a high risk, as trading CFDs involves taking very short-term positions – usually overnight – in highly volatile financial instruments.

In fact, research shows that more than 80.5% of investors who trade CFDs through Plus500 lose money when trading as the high costs associated with these transactions, the amount of leverage used, and the inherent volatility of the markets tends to evaporate their account balances.
In March 2019, ESMA decided to renew a restriction that forbids the marketing, distribution, and sale of CFD products to retail clients in Europe for a period of three months starting on May 1, 2019.

These restrictions included a limit on the degree of leverage that a client could take on various types of CFDs, the minimum required margin that would trigger a margin call, and a restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs.

Additionally, the institution enforced the publication of risk warnings that seek to inform investors about the potential of losing money when trading.

Therefore, before you trade CFDs with this provider, you should make sure you understand CFDs.

Furthermore, investors are also advised to invest money they can afford, as the money will be exposed to high risk, either entirely or partially.

Conclusion and Summary

Plus500 is, an excellent online broker for advanced traders who are seeking to trade CFDs.

Plus500 is a publicly-traded company and that it is regulated by tier-1 agencies. This provides enough assurance to traders that this broker is safe enough to consider trading securities using their services.

Plus500 is also considered to be on the low-end when it comes to trading fees. The user interface of its web-based and mobile platforms are great.
Additionally, minimum deposits are low. Pro account provides significant levels of leverage for those who seek to trade Forex.

Plus500 is probably among the best platforms available.This review should provide enough details for you to know what to expect when you sign up for their trading platform.

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