RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
HFM is the new global brand of HF Markets – a reputable international broker that has been on the market since 2010 and in that time has managed to obtain licenses in some of the strictest jurisdictions worldwide and earn the trust of over 3.5 million traders. The brand has received over 60 of the most prestigious awards in the industry and offers efficient client support in 27 languages.
The global branch of HF Markets – HFM – strives to combine the reliability, transparency, and efficient service its parent company is known for with good conditions – low prices, a wide range of instruments, potentially high leverage, bonuses, and an emphasis on education and research.
HFM REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
HFM itself is the offshore branch of the global HF Markets brand. The broker has an office in St. Vincent and the Grenadines which means that is not formally regulated in the country where it is registered – the local financial authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not license forex brokers.
However, HF Markets is a brokerage regulated in many other jurisdictions – in fact, the most reputable financial regulatory bodies have issued licenses for this broker.
HF Markets has an office in Cyprus – a top EU regulatory hub – and is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
The broker is also regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the other top regulator in Europe.
All brokers licensed by the FCA or CySEC have to meet countless requirements in order to obtain a license and regularly report to authorities in order to ensure transparency. They have to maintain a minimum capital of €730 000 in order to prove their financial stability and long-term approach – but this number could go up to a few million if the broker has many clients. Licensed brokers have to participate in compensation funds – in case a broker goes bankrupt, client funds are insured for up to €20 000 in the EU or £85 000 in the UK. Client money is kept in segregated bank accounts – this prevents the broker from using your money for its own financial purposes, be it unknowingly, speeds up withdrawals, and means you would not lose money in case the broker becomes insolvent. Negative balance protection is a must – you could never lose more money than you have in your account, at least as a retail trader.
HF Markets also holds a license from Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) – a top regulator within the Middle East aiming to promote transparency, safety, and professionalism in the financial markets. There are again, minimum capital requirements – at least 1 million dirham ($275 000). At least 60% should be UAE nationals – foreign brokerages must have a domestic representative.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa (FSCA) also regulates HF Markets. South Africa is a top regulatory hub and in recent years the FSCA has become one of the respected global authorities regulating forex brokers. All FSCA-licensed brokers have to have a local office and prove that they are well-capitalized to cover all expenses and any potential debt. This means that there are no specific minimum capital requirements – they vary depending on the broker. All South African brokers have to be evaluated by the FSCA based on their reputation, financial stability, and the qualifications of the people who work for the broker.
HF Markets has another offshore branch regulated by the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (FSA). The regulatory framework in this country is far less stern – a company must have at least 2 shareholders and 2 directors but the same person can act as both a shareholder and a director. It must also prove that it has a capital of at least $50 000 but that money can later be used for the broker’s daily business activities. However, considering that most offshore locations either do not have a financial regulator or do not have a regulator that licenses forex brokers, this is still quite enough.
HF Markets has also earned the trust of the Capital Markets Authority of Kenya (CMA). According to some new laws, all Kenyan brokers must maintain a minimum capital of 50 million Kenya Shilling ($500 000). 80% of that capital must be kept in cash or equivalent instruments. In case the broker is not Kenya-based, they have to make sure that capital is kept in domestic financial instruments. On top of those 50 million Kenya Shilling, the broker has to keep an additional 5% of the money owed by its customers.
With so many licenses by so many regulators, HF Markets has surely proven its financial stability, trustworthiness, and intention to stay in the game. As a part of that brand, HFM makes no exception.
|Company Name||Regulator||Minimum Capital Requirments||Compensation Funds|
|HF Markets Fintech Services Ltd||CySEC (Cyprus)||€730 000||€20 000|
|HF Markets (UK) Ltd||FCA (the UK)||€730 000||£85 000|
|HF Markets (DIFC) Ltd||DFSA (Dubai)||1 million dirhams ($275 000)||No|
|HF Markets SA (PTY) Ltd||FSCA (South Africa)||individual for every broker||No|
|HFM Investments Ltd||CMA (Kenya)||50 million Kenya Shilling ($500 000)||No|
|HF Markets (Seychelles) Ltd||FSA (Seychelles)||$50 000||No|
HFM TRADING SOFTWARE
HFM offers access to the best trading platforms in the industry – MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
Both platforms are a good choice for complete beginners, and seasoned professionals alike – they are highly efficient and offer a variety of trading tools but are also quite user-friendly and accessible. You would get access to a full charting and analysis package but also to some more advanced features – Expert Advisors that allow you to track markets and trade automatically, a Strategy Tester, the chance to develop your own trading bots and indicators, or to set signals for prices going up or down, a market where you could purchase additional trading apps and indicators, etc. MT5 features some additional tools such as a community chat and a built-in economic calendar.
There are some key differences between MT4 and MT5 – which platform you choose depends mostly on what you would like to trade, your preferences, and your trading style. MT4 is mostly used for trading forex and CFDs while MT5 provides access to a broader range of markets, and a bigger number of indicators and analysis tools.
|Pending Order Types||4||6|
|Order Execution||Market Execution||Market Execution|
|Depth of Market||No||Yes|
|Strategy Tester||Single thread||Multi-threaded|
|Built-in Economic Calendar||No||Yes|
|Instruments||Forex, CFDs||Forex, CFDs, Stocks, Commodities, Options, Futures|
HFM offers its own HF App available for Android and iOS. The app allows you to access your account from your mobile device, and use a decent number of charting tools, deposit, withdraw and transfer money, get daily market analysis from experts, as well as live quotes, use an economic calendar, or trading calculators, or reserve spots for live webinars. The app also enables you to use HFM copy trading solution and copy the trades of successful traders.
HFM TRADING CONDITIONS
HFM offers a variety of account types and allows clients to access a vast range of markets. With this broker, you would be able to trade Forex, Metals, Energies, Indices, Shares, Commodities, Bonds, Stock DMAs, ETFs, and Cryptocurrencies.
The broker offers the following account types – Micro, Premium, Zero Spread, PAMM, and HFcopy. You could first see what this broker has to offer in a Demo account. Muslim customers could request Islamic (zero-swap) accounts. The possible base currencies are USD, EUR, NGN, and JPY.
In order to open a Micro account, you would need to invest at least $5 – which makes HFM’s offer a very affordable one. The spreads on that account start from 1 pip – fairly tight considering that many brokers try to offer something around 1.5 pips – and the leverage could go extremely high – as high as 1:1000. The broker does not charge additional commission on Micro accounts. However, keep in mind that such trading accounts offer more limited possibilities – you will still get access to all the instruments the broker offers but you would have to trade in Micro lots and would only be able to trade up to 7 standard lots before having to move on to another account.
To open a Premium account, you would have to invest $100. Once again, spreads start from 1 pip, and there are no commissions but the leverage you are trading with could not go higher than 1:500 – which is still pretty high.
The Zero Spread account offers you the possibility to trade with spreads starting from 0 pips as the name suggests. You would, however, have to pay certain commissions – for example, the round-turn commission per lot for forex majors is $6. It is a bit higher for forex minors and exotics – $8 round-turn. This means that opening a Zero Spread account is definitely worth it – the price of a pip per lot is usually $10 which means that you would be paying at least $10 to the broker for every lot you trade on a Micro or Premium account. The leverage on the Zero Spread account is, once again, up to 1:500, and the minimum deposit you would have to make is $200.
The PAMM account allows you to manage multiple accounts and lets you choose between two options – Premium and Premium Plus. The minimum deposit is the same in both cases – $250 – as is the leverage – up to 1:300. However, spreads on the Premium variety start from 1.3 pips while those on Premium Plus start from 0.4 pips. There is an additional commission of $8 round-turn for the Premium Plus option. This means that there is only a slight difference in prices – everything mostly depends on your desire to have a specific number you would have to pay in mind before you start trading. You can only open PAMM accounts in USD.
HFcopy Account also comes in two variants – for Strategy Providers and for Followers. This is a good way for experienced traders to earn an extra income by sharing their strategies while beginners can benefit from trading without too much research and effort. The Performance Fee – the money you get for letting others copy your trades – could go as high as 50%. While you have to invest just $100 in order to be a Follower, Strategy Providers should deposit at least $500. Spreads start from 1 pip and leverage could go up to 1:400. Such accounts can only be opened in USD and do not get access to the same bonuses as all other types. The maximum number of followers you could have at a given time is 1000.
|Account Type||Minimum Deposit||Spreads||Commissions||Leverage||Account Currencies|
|Micro||$5||starting from 1 pip||None||1:1000||USD, EUR, NGN, JPY|
|Premium||$100||starting from 1 pip||None||1:500||USD, EUR, NGN, JPY|
|Zero Spread||$200||starting from o pips||$6 round-turn||1:500||USD, EUR, NGN, JPY|
|PAMM||$250||starting from 1 pip||None/$8 round-turn||1:300||USD|
|HFcopy||$100/$500||starting from 1 pip||None||1:400||USD|
HFM provides access to a vast number of educational features – from videos, trading courses, and webinars to a podcast and access to regular analysis and market data.
HFM BONUSES AND PROMOTIONS
Clients of the global branch of HF Markets could benefit from a few enticing, attractive bonuses. Most of these bonuses are non-withdrawable and only meant to increase your trading potential.
The broker offers a 50% bonus the first time you deposit more than $50 – the maximum amount of bonus funds you could receive goes up to $1000. Keep in mind that in case you are trading on a Micro account and you have received such a bonus, you could only trade with leverage up to 1:500.
If you deposit more than $250, you could receive a 100% supercharged bonus. This allows you to earn a daily cashback and is perfect for active traders – the amount of money you get per lot is $2. The maximum amount you could get on your account is $8000.
In case you are trading on a Micro or Premium account (Islamic accounts included), you could get a 100% credit bonus. If you deposit $100 or more, you could request to get access to this promotion – it could go up to $30 000. This bonus can actually be withdrawn in case you reach certain turnover requirements – the bonus amount divided by 2. If you have received $500, for example, you would have to reach a turnover of 250 lots in order to withdraw those $500.
Once you deposit more than $50, you could apply for the broker’s 30% rescue bonus. This bonus is meant to protect your account from drawdown periods and could go up to $7000.
HFM DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
HFM offers a wide variety of deposit and withdrawal methods – and does not charge any fees on either deposits or withdrawals. You could deposit with a Visa or MasterCard card, via wire transfer (including local banking solutions for clients from Singapore), as well as through FasaPay, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, PayRedeem, or in various cryptocurrencies through BitPay. Keep in mind that if you are depositing via PayRedeem, you might be charged some additional fees – not by the broker but by the payment provider.
HFM charges a standard $5 inactivity fee after no trading activity on the account for over 6 months.
HFM is a multi-regulated broker that has proven to be one of the best currently operating on the market. The broker offers not only the best trading platforms in the industry and very good conditions but also enough options for customization, a huge variety of educational materials, efficient customer support, and some very attractive bonuses. Do not hesitate to open a demo account first and see if this could be your broker.