RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
Alpari is a popular brand in the world of trading that has existed for almost 25 years and has managed to attract a decent number of clients. Considering that this is a very affordable broker that charges low commissions and fees and can offer high leverage, decent spreads, a variety of trading account types, and amazing platforms to trade on, it is easy to see why Alpari has managed to remain on the market despite the many financial and legal issues it has had in the past. The broker has obtained and lost multiple licenses and is currently only licensed by an offshore regulator. However, this is surely not a scam broker – in fact, if you choose to open an account with Alpari, you will probably get access to a decent trading environment. Still, there are some concerns we urge you to consider before opening an account with this broker.
Alpari REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
Alpari is a well-known broker with over 2 million clients worldwide and over 20 years of history. The company behind the broker was originally founded in Russia back in 1998 and has been licensed by the Central Bank of Russia. The broker also has a history in the intranational markets with licenses by the FCA (the UK), the NFA (the US), and the FSC of Mauritius. The owner of Alpari – Andrey Valerievich Dashin – also owns one of the most reputable and respected brokerages in the industry – FXTM.
However, Alpari’s history is far from spotless – although the broker has obtained many solid licenses in the past and is trusted by countless clients, this is far from the most reliable brand. The broker got its Russian license revoked in 2017 and has effectively stopped offering services on that market.
Alpari UK also no longer exists – the broker entered insolvency in 2015. The broker has had certain problems with the FCA in the past due to money laundering charges. The broker’s US license was revoked that same year which essentially means that the broker can no longer offer services to US customers.
Essentially, the only license this broker still holds at the present moment is the one issued from the FSC of Mauritius. This is hardly the strictest jurisdiction in the world – one of the few requirements the local regulator has for forex and CFD brokers is for them to hold a minimum capital of between €25 000 and €250 000 depending on the type of services they want to offer.
Alpari is definitely not a scam broker – this is in fact a very well-known brand. However, the broker has had a lot of problems with regulators in the past, and currently only has a license from an offshore regulator – so consider trading with a broker regulated by a reputable financial authority such as the FCA or CySEC (Cyprus). Such brokers have to prove their reliability in many ways – they have to report to authorities regularly to ensure transparency, and maintain a capital of at least €730 000 to prove their financial stability. If such a broker goes insolvent, each of their clients could get a compensation of up to £85 000 in the UK or €20 000 in the EU because all licensed brokers participate in compensation funds. Client money is always kept in segregated accounts – this keeps your money safe in case of broker insolvency, proves the broker would not be able to use your money for their own business activities, and speeds up withdrawal.
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Alpari TRADING SOFTWARE
Alpari offers the two best-known and most used trading platforms – MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. Keep in mind that you will only be able to trade on MT5 if you open an ECN MT5 account with the broker. Alpari offers both the desktop and the web version of the platform as well as mobile apps available for Android and iOS.
Here is what the broker’s MT4 terminal looks like:
Both platforms are highly functional and offer a variety of tools – admittedly, the number of features you would get access to is bigger on MT5. However, the basic features are the same – a variety of indicators and timeframes, Expert Advisors you could use to track markets and trade automatically, VPSs, a Strategy Tester, the chance to develop custom scripts, set signals for prices going up or down, and subscribe to those set by other traders for a small monthly fee, a market where you could purchase additional trading apps, etc.
MT4 is considered to be easier to use and better suited for new traders while MT5 is more advanced and provides access to a wider range of markets. However, both platforms are a good choice if you want to trade on an intuitive, robust platform that is equipped with many useful features.
|MetaTrader4 vs MetaTrader5|
|Order Execution Types||3||4|
|Pending Order Types||4||6|
|Strategy Tester||Single thread||Multi-threaded|
|Built-in email service||Yes, without attachments||Yes, with attachments|
Alpari TRADING CONDITIONS
Alpari offers quite decent trading conditions and can be considered a pretty affordable broker. Clients could open accounts in USD, EUR, GBP, and NGN. However, the range of markets get access to is a bit disappointing – you can trade a fair number of currencies, and spot CFDs, as well as a few spot metals, and popular cryptocurrencies. However, this number of instruments is limited compared to what most big brokerages can offer.
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The broker offers two types of Standard accounts and two types of ECN ones. Most of these accounts can only be on MT4 – however, for the Forex ECN Account, both MT4 and MT5 are available. Demo accounts are available for all account types while Islamic (swap-free) ones can only be on all sorts of MT4 accounts.
The Standard accounts are simply called Forex Standard Account and Forex Micro Account. The minimum deposit for the Micro account is just $5 while clients who wish to open a regular standard account have to invest at least $100. Both prices are pretty low and very attractive. Keep in mind that the maximum number of orders you could go up to on a Micro account is 1000.
The spreads for the regular standard account start from 1.2 pips while those on the micro one start from 1.7 pips. We opened a regular account and got spreads of around 1.4 pips which is pretty acceptable. Those spreads are not impressive but are quite regular – in fact, most brokers try to offer similar numbers.
As for leverage, the numbers vary. On a Micro account, you can trade with up to 1:400 depending on the instrument you would want to trade. Regular accounts offer floating leverage of up to 1:1000 – but you could only get access to such high numbers if you have under $200 000 in your account. If you have more, the number gets significantly lower – which is understandable since trading with high leverage could result in significant losses of capital.
The ECN account types are also tw0 – Forex ECN Account, and Forex Pro Account. As mentioned, Forex ECN Accounts could be on both MT4 and MT5. The minimum deposit for the Forex ECN account is $500 which is still pretty low for such an account while the one for Pro accounts is $25 000 – this makes Pro accounts mostly suited for well-capitalized, experienced traders.
Leverage on Pro accounts could be up to 1:300 while the rates you could trade with on Forex ECN account go up to 1:1000, again, depending on the amount of money you have in your account.
Spreads are, as expected, much tighter and start from 0.4 pips on both account types. If you have a Pro account, you would not have to pay any additional commissions. If you are trading on a Forex ECN account, you would have to pay $3 per lot round-turn – a very low commission considering how much most ECN brokers would charge you. However, the spreads here are also slightly wider than those most other ECN brokers can offer – usually, you would see numbers starting from 0-0.2 pips.
|Account Type||Minimum deposit||Leverage||Spread||Commissions||Trading Instruments||Maximum Number of Orders||Stop Out|
|Forex Standard Account||$100||Floating from 1:1000||From 1.2||None||61 currency pairs, 5 metals, 14|
|Forex Micro Account||$5||Fixed 1:400||From 1.7||None||25 currency pairs, 2 metals||Up to 1000||30%|
|Forex ECN Account||$500||Floating from 1:1000||From 0.4||$1.5 per lot per side ($3 round-turn)||MT4: 56 currency pairs, 3 metals, 25 CFDs|
MT5: 57 currency pairs, 2 metals, 14 CFDs
|Forex Pro Account||$25 000||Floating from 1:300||From 0.4||None||54 currency pairs, 3 metals||Unlimited||100%|
Alpari provides access to a quite decent range of free educational tools. You would be able to get access to regular webinars and tutorials as well as to a few trading guides and a guide on forex trading strategies.
The broker offers a copy trading solution that allows you to follow and copy the trading positions of experienced traders (Strategy Managers). Strategy Managers are evaluated based on their return rates. You do not have to worry about conducting complex analyses or drawing advanced charts – you just profit whenever your Strategy Mangaer profits. You pay a 10% fee to this Strategy Manager every time you turn a profit. If you are more experienced, of course, you could try and become a Strategy Manager yourself and earn an extra income.
Alpari DEPOSIT/WITHDRAWAL METHODS AND FEES
Alpari offers a huge variety of payment methods clients can choose from. There are no deposit fees and withdrawal fees vary depending on the payment method. You could use your Visa, MasterCard, or Maestro card to make a deposit, or transfer money via wire transfer. Most popular e-wallets are also available – you can deposit with Neteller, Skrill, VLOAD, WebMoney, PerfectMoney, TC Pay Wallet, as well as in crypto. Depending on your country or region, you could also get access to different local payment solutions – check the broker’s website for an extensive list.
As mentioned, withdrawal fees depend on the payment method and are hardly excessive. Credit and debit card withdrawals cost $3 while wire transfers are charged a standard fee of $30. No commission is charged on most electronic payment solutions – if you are using WebMoney or PerfectMoney, however, you would have to be ready to pay a fee of 2% and 0.5% of the transferred amount respectively. Bitcoin transactions are subject to a 1% fee. When it comes to local payment solutions, some of them are again commission-free. If you are using FasaPay (which is popular in India) or Nganluong (which is mostly used in Vietnam), there are fees – of 0.5% and 1.1% plus $0.05 respectively. Again, the full list is available on Alpari’s website.
Alpari charges a standard inactivity fee after 6 consecutive months of no trading activity – that fee is $5.
Alpari is a broker who can offer good conditions, and a number of robust trading platforms, accepts a variety of payment methods, and charges low fees. However, the range of markets the broker can provide access to is a bit limited. Moreover, the broker has a complicated history when it comes to regulation and is currently only licensed by an offshore regulator. This is surely not the best broker you can turn to despite the good trading environment you would get access to if you open an account with them.