is a new sponsor here at InformedTrades.com. I spent some time reviewing their platfom and business -- below is my review.
Currency Trading With Ava FX:
AvaFX offers currency trading in many pairs; all the major pairs, plus the Scandinavian currencies, the Singapore dollar, the Mexican Peso, the South African rand, the Israeli shekel. Spreads on the exotics can go into triple digits; the US dollar/South African rand and British pound/Israeli shekel both have 120 pip spreads. EURUSD is 3 pips. The rollover fee (for holding positions overnight) is $-0.19 if you are short EURUSD; you earn $0.11 per lot if you are long EURUSD. The lot size is 5,000 units, which is a bit unconventional.
CFD Trading With Ava FX:
AvaFX also offers CFD trading in many international stock indices: FTSE 100, CAC 40, DAX 30, NASDAQ 100, NIKKEI 225, and more. CFDs are also offered for US treasury bonds, commodities and precious metals, and major corporations like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Apple, Google, Citigroup, Berkshire Hathaway, and more. Many forex/CFD brokers do not offer CFDs for single stocks or treasury bonds -- just indices -- so this is a point of differentiation for AvaFX relative to many other CFD brokers.
As is customary amongst forex/CFD brokers, Ava FX offers commission-free trading, profiting primarily from the spread, rollover, and interest earned on client deposits. Maximum leverage is 200:1, and trading is available 24 hours day, 5 days a week (not on weekends). Deposits can be made via debit/credit card, Paypal, or wire transfer.
Ava FX Regulatory Status: AvaFX
has a different applicable regulatory status depending on where you're located -- something we're seeing more and more of, as it will allow firms to participate in the most favorable regulatory environments when possible. If you're in the European Economic Area
, you'll be a customer of customers of Ava Capital Markets Ltd, a company regulated by the Irish Financial Regulator (License Number C53877
). If you're outside the European Economic Area and NOT in the United States, you'll be a customer of Ava Financial Ltd, A British Virgin Islands company. The British Virgin Islands I think may be a new hot spot for forex and CFD brokers; I half-jokingly call it "the new Cyprus." (because many forex/CFD brokers are currently located in Cyprus).
As CFD trading is illegal in the United States, Ava FX does not accept US clients.
Ava FX uses ActForex
technology. Basically, ActForex is a company that makes a forex/CFD trading platform. It's pretty easy for someone to create their own forex/CFD brokerage firm just by using the ActForex platform; this is a common strategy used by brokerage firms in Cyprus and British Virgin Islands, where the regulatory environment is conducive to this. Personally, I think it's a wise business strategy; in fact, part of me wants to invest in setting up InformedTrades British Virgin Islands Ltd. to pursue this same opportunity!
The ActForex platform is definitely not as glitzy as many other platforms developed by larger brokers (like our friends FXCM
). It does allow for web-based trading, mobile trading, and MT4 trading, so it does get the job done. It also lets AvaFX focus on sales and customer service rather than software development, which I think is a business strategy that, if done properly, will benefit all: higher profit margins for AvaFX, and a better experience for AvaFX customers. Which leads to my next point....
I contacted AvaFX
during New York business hours via chat and was provided with fast service by a representative I found to be reasonably competent. There does seem to be reduced support during Asian market hours; I tried contacting them at 3:20 AM GMT via chat, but could not get through. I then called them via phone, and was directed to a dealing desk. The dealing desk was friendly, but it was clear they were dealers -- not sales/customer support staff. Phone trading is available 24 hours a day for all account sizes, and based on my short experience with the dealing desk, which I think is a great selling point. For questions that are more related to sales/support/operations, you may not be able to get an immediate response depending on when you contact them.
They do have staff to provide full customer support in 13 different languages: English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Indonesian, Swedish and Turkish.
Anecdotally, I have a friend who works at AvaFX
, out of their office in New York City. As they have enough capital to hire my friend, an experienced forex marketer, and set up an office in New York, that lends some credence to the notion that they are not a fly-by-night operation.
Account Opening Bonuses.
Like many of you, I am a cheapskate, and quite proud of it. And so, AvaFX's account opening bonuses are worth noting. There are all sorts of restrictions on your ability to withdraw these funds, so it's probably easier to think of it as "loss insurance" -- in other words, the amount of the bonus is the amount of losses you can incur without losing any of your own money. Ava FX has pretty big account opening bonuses which I think is a really nice selling point for them; see the breakdown below.
Initial Deposit Minimum / FREE Cash Amount:
$/€300 / $/€150
$/€1,000 / $/€300
$/€3,000 / $/€750
$/€10,000 / $/€1,500