The initial impressions after entering the Plus500 website are average, the website is a basic layout of blue writing and images on a white background, nothing spectacular, however one image that does catch the eye is that they market themselves as the UK’s number 1 CFD broker. Their tag line is that it’s simple and innovative. I guess it goes along with the theme of the website (simple).
I also note that it is currently available in 32 different languages. For a company that declares itself as the “world’s trading machine”, this may be a fairly small amount in comparison.
The website seems easy to use and navigate. All of the basic information is laid out on the homepage. Along with the football club they sponsor. This association gives a feel of a more trustable company. But as we’ve seen in another review, that’s not necessarily true.
The company was founded in 2008 and is headquartered and based in Israel. It trades as LSE: PLUS, and they have subsidiaries in the UK, Cyprus, Australia, Bulgaria and Singapore.
It is important to note that the company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) , the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Israel Security Authorities (ISA). This shows that the company is heavily regulated by the various authorities in the countries they are present in. They are also listed on the London stock exchange and part of the FTSE 250 index.
Once deposited the company will hold your money in segregated accounts as per the FCA rules in the UK.
When looking through the technical information, one piece of information caught my attention. They do not allow scalping on their platform! I find it fairly strange as most retail traders will do, at least, some form of scalping at some point. Especially when learning to trade and going through different strategies.
You can trade via their online trading platform or through their app which is available on iOS and Android, although I am unable to find anywhere that says it can be traded through the MT4 platform as of today, such as Oasis Trade, Hugo’s Way and ActivTrades can.
They have a range of different assets that can be traded across their platform. Such as currencies, commodities, indices, stocks, crypto, futures and options. Options should be noted as it is not offered very often amongst retail trading brokers. Furthermore, it is a good option to have (pardon the pun) when trading the markets to sometimes offset risk. They also offer tools such as risk management, alerts and an economic calendar on their platform. These can all be found along with their charting tools once logged in via their web or mobile app platform.
They offer free demo accounts, standard trading accounts with a minimum deposit of $100 and professional accounts which require traders to have a much larger investment portfolio that can be traded on their platform, the professional accounts offer tighter spreads and higher leverage while also retaining the benefits of a standard account, however Plus500 also charge a fee of $10 if an account is not logged into for more then three months.
The spreads seem to be low and similar in comparison to some other reputable trading brokers, at the time of writing their spread on the EURUSD was around 0.6 although these are not fixed spreads so may be subject to fluctuation throughout the day.
They don’t seem to offer any trading educational tools for their clients.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Deposits and withdrawals can be made in a variety of different ways via:
- Credit card
- Or wire transfer
Customer support on Plus500 is available in a variety of different languages (32 to be precise) although they do not offer any direct phone support which isn’t always the best when trying to contact a broker urgently.
They offer a 24/7 service on their live chat platform which seems to be the quickest way to reach them as they are very efficient in answering, you can fill in a contact form on their website for any queries you may have or you can contact them via social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+).
So How Reliable Are They?
Unfortunately it seems that the majority of the reviews for the platform are fairly negative but sprinkled with some good. I am of the opinion that it is hard to tell with trading platform reviews. Unless there is a very clear reason that the broker is not acting in a reputable fashion. Then it’s difficult to decide especially as traders who may get angry after taking some bad trades may instead try to blame it on the broker rather then their own personal poor performance when trading the markets.
I must note that all negative reviews I have seen are replied to in a professional manner and handled appropriately by the company. It shows a degree of professionalism although they are a generic reply and I cannot confirm if any of the issues were dealt with.
What Have Clients Said?
There seems to be a range of issues in the negative complaints from customers of Plus500. But the main one seems to be that glitches on the platform are causing investors to lose their money now this could be because there is a legitimate glitch causing prices to spike, in which case I would expect that Plus500 would refund the clients for the money lost. The second reason for this is that the retail customers may not be familiar with the spread widening during periods of illiquidity, this happens when there aren’t enough participants in the market and is a usual occurrence at around 5pm EST due to the fact that the US session and UK sessions have closed and the Australian and Asian session are slow to pick up with less participants in the markets.
Even though the company has some negative reviews I would still not pass any firm judgement in the case of reliability, but I feel it is important to note that the company is regulated by some reputable financial authorities and that should ease traders fears when it comes to making a decision as to whether to deposit money into the broker.
I believe that Plus500 still probably has some work to do on their platform to stop the glitches causing issues and customers to lose money. However, I feel that they are a reputable company regulated by important financial bodies and they are part of the London Stock Exchange so they will be under close scrutiny at all times as any wrongdoing will affect their own business.
However I feel it is important to note that the majority of their customer reviews are not too positive and so I would proceed with caution when deciding to deposit money with them.