BrokerDNA

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

IronFX
8.6 /10

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

VISIT IRONFX
ActivTrades
7.6 /10

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

VISIT ACTIVTRADES
XTB
10 /10

The BROKERDNA score tells you, overall, how reputable, suitable, and affordable a broker is compared to other brokers.

This score is algorithmically-generated based on 31 factors. Neither our team, nor the brokers featured on our site, are able to change this without changing their service offering. Learn more here.

VISIT XTB
About

IronFX is regulated by CySEC. IronFX have provided Forex trading services since 2010.

ActivTrades is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ActivTrades have provided Forex, Indices, Shares and Commodities trading services since 2001.

XTB is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. XTB have provided Forex, CFD, and social trading services since 2002.

Why choose them?
  • Yes Over 8 years in business
  • Yes Segregates clients funds
  • Yes Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority, CySEC and ASIC
  • Yes Over 17 years in business
  • Yes Segregates clients funds
  • Yes Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority
  • Yes Over 16 years in business
  • Yes Segregates clients funds
  • Yes Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority, KNF, and CMB.
Headquarters Limassol, Cyprus 1 Thomas More Square London E1W 1YN UK Level 34, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, E14 5AA, London, UK

TRADING SERVICES OFFERED

Spot Forex Yes Yes Yes
Forex (CFD) Yes No Yes
CFD Yes No Yes
Spread Betting No No No
Social Trading Yes Yes No
MARKETS & INSTRUMENTS
Forex (currency pairs) 120 47 48
Commodities Offered 0 12 21
Stocks Offered 101 532 1606
Bitcoin Yes No Yes
Majors Yes Yes Yes
Indices Yes Yes Yes
US Stocks Yes Yes Yes
Penny stocks No No Yes
Energies Yes Yes Yes
Metals Yes Yes Yes
Agriculturals No Yes Yes
FTSE Yes Yes Yes
Dow Jones No Yes Yes
Dax Yes Yes Yes
Nikkei No Yes Yes
ETFs No Yes Yes
IPO No Yes Yes
See all instruments

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See all instruments

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See all instruments

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

PLATFORM & FEATURES

See the platforms and features offered by each broker

Screenshot image image image
MT4 Yes Yes Yes
MT5 No Yes No
MT4 Mac Yes No Yes
WebTrader Yes Yes Yes
Mirror Trader Yes No Yes
ZuluTrade No Yes No
Sirix No No No
cTrader No No No
PAMM No No No
Custom Platforms No Activ Trader Xstation5

APPS

iOS image Yes Yes Yes
Android image Yes Yes Yes
Windows image No Yes Yes
Available Languages

English, Bulgarian, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, Bengali, Urdu, Czech, Farsi, and Slovak

English, Spanish, Czech, Chinese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Turkish, Arabic, and Russian.

See platform & features

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See platform & features

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See platform & features

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

ACCOUNT INFORMATION

From micro accounts to ECN accounts, compare the accounts offered by IronFX and ActivTrades

Demo account Yes No Yes
Mini account Yes Yes Yes
Micro account Yes Yes Yes
Standard account Yes Yes Yes
ECN Account Yes No No
Islamic account Yes Yes Yes
Zero spread account Yes Yes No
VIP account Yes No Yes
Fixed spreads Yes No Yes
Variable spreads Yes Yes Yes
See account options

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See account options

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See account options

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

TRADING CONDITIONS

Scalping Yes Yes Yes
Hedging Yes Yes Yes
Expert advisors (EAs) Yes No Yes
Virtual private server Yes No No
Direct market access Yes No Yes
STP broker Yes Yes Yes
Market maker Yes Yes Yes
Min trade 0.01 Lot 0.01 Lot 0.01 Lot
Max trade None £100/point 100 Lot
Min deposit $500 $100 $1

RISK MANAGEMENT

Stop losses Yes Yes Yes
Limit orders Yes Yes Yes
One-click trading Yes Yes Yes
Trailing stops Yes Yes Yes
Price alerts Yes No Yes
Signal trading Yes No Yes

FUNDING METHODS

Credit card Yes Yes Yes
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Standard account Yes Yes Yes
Paypal No No Yes
Neteller Yes Yes Yes
Skrill No No Yes
Payment processing time Varies Varies Same day if requested before 1PM
Withdrawal processing time Varies 1 business day Same day if requested before 1PM
See all funding options

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See all funding options

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

See all funding options

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

DETAILED INFO

Excluded countries US US US,IN,PK,BD,IQ,IR,IL,AF,AU,CA
Contact email Send Email Send Email Send Email
Phone number 44(0) 203 282 7777 +44 (0) 207 6500 567 44 2036953085
Live Chat Yes Yes Yes
Website www.ironfx.com https://www.activtrades.com/en/ www.xtb.com
Spreads:
EUR/USD (Average: 0.7 pips) Not offered 0.5 pips + $0.00 0.1 pips
GBP/USD (Average: 1.1 pips) Not offered 0.8 pips + $0.00 0.1 pips
USD/JPY (Average: 1.1 pips) Not offered 0.5 pips + $0.00 0.1 pips
AUD/USD (Average: 0.8 pips) Not offered 0.6 pips + $0.00 0.2 pips
USD/CHF (Average: 2.3 pips) Not offered 1.0 pips + $0.00 0.2 pips
USD/CAD (Average: 2.9 pips) Not offered 1.0 pips + $0.00 0.3 pips
NZD/USD (Average: 3.6 pips) Not offered 1.0 pips + $0.00 0.3 pips
EUR/GBP (Average: 2.4 pips) Not offered 0.8 pips + $0.00 0.1 pips
View all spreads

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

View all spreads

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

View all spreads

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

FEES

Inactivity Fee No No
Commission No Yes Yes
Deposit Fee No Varies No
Withdrawal Fee Varies No No
View All Fees

73.26% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

View All Fees

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

View All Fees

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

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Last update

All information collected from www.ironfx.com. Last updated on 01/08/2019.

All information collected from https://www.activtrades.com/en/. Last updated on 01/08/2019.

All information collected from www.xtb.com. Last updated on 01/08/2019.

Company

Founded in 2010, IronFX is considered to be one of the leading online Forex trading platforms. The first primary benefit of this firm is that more than 60 offices are located around the world and 45 different languages are spoken. IronFX is seen as one of the most versatile Forex portals, arising from the fact that numerous trading platforms are available. These include their own proprietary Web Trader system, the respected Meta Trader 4, A Personal Multiple Account manager (PMAM) and a multiple terminal system for those who wish to oversee several trading accounts within a single screen.

For more information about trading with IronFX, we have put together an indepth IronFX review with all the pros and cons about this broker.

ActivTrades was found in 2001 as a small brokerage house in Switzerland, it has since grown to be a global award-winning broker for both retail and institutional traders. ActivTrades has seen rapid growth through with their focus on client satisfaction by providing the best trading technology including the latest MetaTrader 5, innovative trading tools like Autochartist and VPS hosting , outstanding customer service and competitive pricing with pips starting as low as 0.8 for EURUSD.

Since 2005, ActivTrades has made the financial capital of the world - London its headquarters and is regulated by the Financial Conduct of Authority in the UK. ActivTrades offer a wide range of popular products for traders including spread betting, CFDs and Forex trading. ActivTrades also offer their clients an unrivalled loyalty program - ActivTrades Rewards.

Trader training is another top priority at ActivTrades and they offer a customised and unique personal approach to their traders and offer one on one training sessions as part of their educational programs. They also offer Balance Protection policy to guarantee you will never lose more than your deposit and as an added protection, your account will automatically be credited to zero if it goes into the negative. With all the superior training, protection policies, low spreads and the latest trading technology, ActivTrades are a superior choice for traders.

XTB provides hyper fast execution and facilitates seminars with external professional traders, providing personalised education depending on your individual circumstances.

XTB operates with two factors in mind; to provide traders with the fastest execution speeds and to be the most transparent broker on the market, which is reflected by the services and products they provide.

XTB also have a dedicated education area - the Trading Academy - which contains material to help you become a better trader, including video tutorials, trading courses, articles and much more to improve your skills at every step of your trading journey.

If you are looking for a broker that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and focuses on transparency, fast execution speeds and customer service, XTB is a great option.

For more information about trading with XTB, we have put together an in-depth XTB review covering the pros and cons of this broker.

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IronFX or ActivTrades?

ECN execution or low spreads?

If you’re a trader looking for a broker that offers ECN execution (as opposed to a market maker), IronFX is likely the better choice. However, if you want a broker with lower spreads on currency pairs like EUR/USD, ActivTrades may be more appropriate.

Which broker is more reliable?

You can determine a broker’s reliability & trustworthiness by looking at eight factors:

  • Who are they regulated by?
  • How long have they been around for?
  • Do they hold your money in a separate bank account?
  • Do they use reputable “tier-1” banks like Barclays, Goldman Sachs or HSBC?
  • Have they been fined or penalised in the last five years?
  • The popularity of their service/website
  • Are they publicly listed?
  • Where are they located?

Based on these eight factors, we consider IronFX to be the more reliable broker. We’ve broken down why below:

Who are they regulated by?

IronFX is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority, CySEC and ASIC, while ActivTrades is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority.

As the Financial Conduct Authority are one of the most stringent regulators in the world, both IronFX and ActivTrades will have very strict guidelines to follow to ensure they protect their retail trader clients.

XTB are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

How long have they been around for?

If a broker has been around for a long period of time, they’re likely to be more reliable (in comparison, most scam brokers only exist for several years before they disappear).

This also suggests that a broker has good risk management processes that have prevented them being caught out by major financial events, as was the case with Alpari UK going bust when they were there was a policy reversal of capping the Swiss Franc against the Euro.

IronFX has been around for 9 years, while ActivTrades have been around for 18 years. Our third alternative broker, XTB, have been around for 17 years.

Do they hold your money in a separate bank account?

You wouldn’t want your broker paying their staff out of the same bank account account that you’re depositing your trading funds into, would you?

Fortunately, all regulated brokers must use segregated bank accounts to hold client money. This is one of the reasons why we only feature regulated brokers here on BrokerNotes.

All three brokers above will hold your money in a separate bank account.

Do they use reputable “tier-1” banks like Barclays, Goldman Sachs or HSBC?

Most tier-1 banks like Barclays and HSBC have been around for over 100 years and manage trillions of dollars of assets, proving that they have stood the test of time.

Both IronFX and ActivTrades use tier one banks, but we are not sure of which bank specifically.

Have they been fined or penalised in the last five years?

If a broker has been penalised by a regulator in the past five years, it may mean that they were caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing - which may be of concern to you as an end client.

We’re not aware of any penalties or fines imposed by regulators on IronFX or ActivTrades in the past five years.

How popular is their service/website?

While not always the case, the number of traders a broker has can be a good metric for understanding how reputable a brokers is.

Are they publicly listed?

Companies that are publicly listed on a stock exchange tend to be considered more reputable as they will be required to disclose their financials, and aspects of their operations, to the public.

Both IronFX and ActivTrades are privately owned companies.

Where are they located?

Most reputable brokers tend to be headquartered in a major capital city or a financial hub such as Cyprus.

IronFX are based in Limassol, Cyprus, while ActivTrades are based in 1 Thomas More Square London E1W 1YN UK .

Do they offer the features you need?

Assuming the brokers you’re choosing between are reputable, the next point to consider is whether they offer all of the features you require to trade.

This can be broken down into three categories:

  • Services & instruments
  • Platforms & account types
  • Trading features, risk management tools & funding methods

Services and Instruments

If you’re looking to trade currency pairs, both IronFX and ActivTrades offer forex trading. IronFX have a slightly larger variety of currency pairs with 120 pairs, compared to 47 offered by ActivTrades. Also, if you’re looking to trade cryptocurrencies, IronFX offers a handful of cryptocurrency CFDs to trade, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

Both IronFX and ActivTrades allow you to trade commodities like gold, silver and crude oil.

IronFX and ActivTrades both offer social trading, which is a modern approach to trading that allows you to follow like-minded traders, copy their trading activity, and engage in discussion around trading strategies.

Platforms & Account Types

If you trade forex, there’s a good chance you might want a broker that offers the popular MT4 trading platform. If that’s the case, both IronFX and ActivTrades offer this. ActivTrades also offer the new & improved MT5 platform. Our alternative broker, XTB, also offers MT4 and MT5.

In addition to the platform, you’ll also want to ensure that the broker you choose offers the account type best suited to your needs. IronFX, for example, offer a mini account, standard account and VIP account.

For Muslim traders, IronFX offers an Islamic account, which doesn’t accrue interest or incur/receive rollover swap points, as this is prohibited in Shariah law. You can learn more & compare Islamic trading accounts head-to-head here.

Trading features, risk management tools & funding methods

If you have a certain trading style (e.g. scalping, hedging, or using EAs), you’ll want to double check that the broker you choose allows this, as not all of them do.

IronFX does allow scalping and hedging. While ActivTrades also allows scalping and hedging. You can trade with EAs (expert advisors) on IronFX but you can't trade EAs (expert advisors) with ActivTrades.

In terms of risk management tools, both brokers offer negative balance protection to prevent you owing your broker more than you’ve deposited.

IronFX also offer stop losses, limit orders, and price alerts to help you automate aspects of your trading strategy.

IronFX accept Neteller while ActivTrades accept Neteller.

Are they affordable for what you need?

Comparing the fee structures of different brokers can be a minefield at times. The important thing to consider is what the spreads & fees are on the specific instruments and account type that you will be using.

For trading EUR/USD, IronFX charges 1.00 points, while ActivTrades charges 0.50 points. Therefore, ActivTrades is the more affordable for this instrument. If you want to compare their spreads across more instruments, You can jump back up to our comparison of their currency pair & indice spreads above.

Another consideration is whether or not your broker charges inactivity, deposit/withdrawal fees, or commissions on trades. If you’re a frequent trader, inactivity fees are unlikely to be an issue.

The Verdict: IronFX or ActivTrades?

There’s no such thing as a perfect broker, but some are going to be a better fit for you than others.

Objectively, IronFX is more reliable based on our criteria above. ActivTrades has a wider range of instruments to trade. IronFX offer lower spreads on popular forex instruments like EUR/USD and are used by more traders.

Both brokers offer demo accounts, allowing you to test their platforms to see which is suitable for you. You can test drive their demos using the links below:

Finally, if you’re really not sure you can always use our free tool (takes 15 seconds) that will help you find a suitable broker based on your precise requirements here.

Between 54-87% of retail CFD accounts lose money. Based on 69 brokers who display this data.