RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
Sheer Markets is a recently established broker operating throughout the EU and focused on innovative financial instruments. Unlike most of the websites we describe, this is a legitimate and properly licensed broker that you can trust to offer the services it claims.
SHEER MARKETS REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
According to the information on the website behind the broker is a legal entity called Sheer Markets Limited, based in Cyprus and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under license number 395/20. A check of the regulator’s register confirms this:
There are many advantages to working with Cyprus-based brokers because they must comply with all the requirements of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ЕSМА). First, they must maintain a minimum net capital of at least EUR 730 000, which guarantees that the company is financially stable and has a serious long-term approach.
Whenever clients deposit money in their trading accounts, it is kept segregated from the broker’s operating funds in separate bank accounts. Thus the clients’ money remains shielded in case of mishaps like a broker’s bankruptcy. Retail traders also get negative balance protection.
All brokers licensed in Cyprus are also members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which may cover a maximum of EUR 20,000 per person in the event of broker insolvency. Cypriot forex brokers are required to report their clients’ transactions on a regular basis. This requirement is designed to improve investor protection and promote market integrity and transparency.
SHEER MARKETS TRADING SOFTWARE
Sheer Markets uses the industry’s most established trading platform, MetaTrader, and more specifically its latest version MetaTrader 5 (MT5). The software is available in versions for Windows, Android and iOS. A browser-based version is also available and can be used with any operating system.
Sheer Markets allows easy creation of a demo account, through which customers can familiarize themselves with the functionalities of the software. Here is how Sheer Markets MT5 platform looks like:
MT5 and its still very popular predecessor MT4 have established themselves as the industry standard for a reason. In addition to extensive customization options and features such as one-click trading, they allow the use of Expert Advisor bots for automated trading, as well as designing and implementing custom scripts for backtesting trade strategies.
Only recently has MT5 managed to overtake MT4 in the number of active users, although the newer platform does have some perks, not available with MT4, such as the Market Depth option, which features the volume of bids and offers for a financial security at different prices, as well as a built-in economic calendar. MT5 also has more technical indicators, graphic objects and time frames available.
Sheer Markets does not offer one other service that is increasingly becoming an industry standard – social trading. This allows you to copy the trades of a trader of your choice, allowing novices to benefit from the experience and savvy of seasoned investors. The Sheer Markets website also lacks many educational materials that are usually found at more traditional brokers. This shows that Sheer Markets services are mainly oriented towards experienced traders.
SHEER MARKETS TRADING CONDITIONS
Sheer Markets’ serious approach is also evident in the rigorous account registration process, which includes a detailed questionnaire to establish the level of knowledge of the prospective trader as well as proof of identity.
Sheer Markets tries to stand out from the established brands in the industry through the variety of financial instruments it offers its clients. The broker highlights as its main advantage that alongside forex, commodities, indices and CFDs, it facilitates trading with Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF) products.
Sheer Markets offers two types of accounts, Classic and Prime, which in turn are divided into standard and “Plus” versions. Along with slightly more favorable commissions, Plus accounts include free Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. The VPS allows automated trading scripts to be independent of the trader’s personal hardware and internet connection.
The minimum deposit for Sheer Classic and Sheer Prime accounts is 200 USD/EUR, while for Plus accounts it is 2,500 USD/EUR. This is comparable to the usual industry levels, but there are many brokers that offer even lower minimum deposits for beginner traders.
Classic accounts have a variable spread from 1.2 pips for the standard and from 1 pip for Plus version. Premium accounts use a Raw spread starting from 0.0 pips and have a fixed commission. For CFDs trading, this commission is 4 USD per lot per side for a Prime Account and 3.5 USD for a Prime Plus Account.
This means that with a Prime account the trader will pay the brokerage 8 USD per lot traded, while with a Classic account he will have to pay 12 USD. So if trading low volatility assets where the raw spread is close to 0, the Prime account is more profitable.
NDF trading commissions are higher – 5 USD and 4.5 USD for Prime and Prime Plus accounts, respectively.
A detailed table of swap fees for maintaining overnight positions can be seen on the website.
For retail traders, the leverage is in line with ESMA requirements – 1:30 for major currency pairs, 1:20 for other currency pairs, major indices and gold, 1:10 for commodities and non-major indices, 1:5 for shares. For cryptocurrencies, Sheer Markets offers a leverage of 1:1.333, which is actually lower than the 1:2 level allowed by the ESMA.
For professional clients, Sheer Markets offers a maximum leverage of 1:100. Many brokers offer even higher levels of leverage for professional clients because they bear the associated increased risk themselves.
To apply for professional trader status, you must meet at least two of these requirements – you must have a financial Instrument portfolio that exceeds 500,000 EUR, you must have traded with leverage at least 10 lots per quarter for the past year and/or have worked at least one year in a professional position in the financial sector. As a professional client, you give up the guarantees that retail traders enjoy, including negative balance protection.
SHEER MARKETS DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
As with most things, Sheer Markets payment methods are also straightforward – bank transfer, VISA and MasterCard credit cards, Skrill and Neteller e-wallets. Sheer Markets does not charge any additional fees for deposits or withdrawals, and withdrawal requests are processed within 24 hours.
Sheer Markets is a new but obviously ambitious brand. Its services, however, are mainly aimed at experienced investors who can take advantage of the wide range of financial instruments offered by the broker.