Plus500 Review – A Comprehensive Overview of the Platform

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Introduction

An international financial firm, Plus500, provides online trading services for CFDs (Contracts for Difference) across various asset classes and more than 2,000 securities. While having its headquarters in Israel, Plus500 has branches and subsidiaries spread globally in the UK, Cyprus, Australia, Bulgaria, and Singapore.

Its high trust factor is based on the number of regulatory bodies that authorizes its operations. These include the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Israel Securities and Investments Commission.

Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange since June 2018 and part of the FTSE 250 Index. The publicly-traded company has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion as of September 2018.

History of Plus500

Plus500 was founded in 2008 by a group of alumni from Technion Israel Institute of Technology, namely Elad Ben-Izhak, Shlomi Weizmann, Alon Gonen, Gal Haber, Omer Elazari, and Shimon Sofer. Gonen contributed to the initial investment of $400,000. The group started their venture on the Windows OS platform but later launched an online version of their web-based system.

Chronologically, the review of Plus 500 is as follows.

  • 2010 – Launch of the web-based version of its online trading platform that helped Mac and Linux users in online trading. In 2011, the first app for iPad and iPhone users was started.
  • 2012 – The first Android-based trading platform for smartphones and tablets was launched. In the same year, Plus500 was fined £205,128 by the FCA for not reporting transactions accurately.
  • 2013 – The first broker to introduce Bitcoin CFDs.
  • 2014 – Launch of the Windows app by Plus500.
  • 2015 – The year was a roller-coaster ride for Plus500. The UK Financial Conduct Authority ordered the UK subsidiary of the company to freeze UK-based traders’ accounts, pending an inquiry into money-laundering accounts. Plus500 took a massive hit, and its stock value dipped by almost 60%. However, most customers got their accounts up and running again in 2 months. The branches in Australia and Cyprus, though, were not affected. In June of the same year, Plus500 agreed to a $703 million bid for takeover by Playtech, an online gambling company with ambitions to expand into trading. The deal fell through in November when Playtech failed to get the necessary regulatory sanctions.
  • 2016 – From here on, the fortunes of Plus500 started on an upward journey. It was one of a few select companies to be granted a Trading Arena License by the ISA (Israeli Security Authority). It also took a giant technological leap when it released an app for the Apple watch. A trader can trade and view the account directly from the wearable.
  • 2017 – In December, a Capital Markets Services license was granted to Plus500SG Pte Ltd, the Singapore subsidiary of Plus500, by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • 2018 – Plus500 had the distinction of its shares being listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Like most Forex brokers, Plus500 is not available for US traders.

Overall Summary

A Plus500 review under several aspects gives these results.

  • Overall – 4 stars
  • Trust Score – 98
  • Investments offering – 4 stars
  • Commissions and Fees – 4 stars
  • Platform and Tools – 3.5 stars
  • Research – 3.5 stars
  • Mobile trading – 3.5 stars
  • Customer Service – 3.5 stars
  • Education – 3 stars

Overall SummaryOverall Summary

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Security and Regulation

Plus500 review shows that it acts as principal and covers its exposure with its primary company. This assists in eliminating market risk and minimizing losses. Though it has regulatory licenses from authorities in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, Plus500 does not offer any additional deposit insurance, being restricted to what is laid down in law.

The following are the authorizations obtained from various bodies around the world by Plus500.

  • Plus500CY Ltd is regulated and authorized by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Plus500UK Ltd is regulated and authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Plus500SEY Ltd is regulated and authorized by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority.
  • Plus500 AU Pty Ltd holds a license from the ASIC and FMA in New Zealand.
  • Plus500 is licensed by the FSCA in South Africa.
  • Plus500SG Pte Ltd has a capital markets services license issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Plus500 Israeli entity is regulated by the Israeli Securities Administration.

The security of Plus500 is further fortified by its policy designed on the lines of the UK’s client money rules. Client funds are kept separate from corporate funds. If the company ever becomes insolvent, clients’ trading money will be protected. Even if Plus500 defaults, a shortfall of funds to the extent of £85,000 will be compensated under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

In Forex trading often, accounts lose money, more than what is deposited. This possibility is not applicable for Plus500 as it provides negative balance protection as per ESMA rules that came into force in 2018. Assured stop-loss orders may be used on specific instruments and CFDs based on market conditions, but these are subject to a broader spread.

Additional security features provided by Plus500 are biometric authentication for its mobile apps and a timer that automatically logs out users from mobile and web-based applications if not used for a certain period.

Commission and Fees

The bulk of the revenue earned by Plus500 is from customer trading that exceeds the bid/ask spread and is very industry competitive. All trading costs are included in the spread of the instruments, and no additional commissions are levied on any customer transactions. The spread does not fluctuate with the size of the trades, but Plus500 does offer an incentive discount to high-volume traders.

Commission and FeesCommission and Fees

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The broker also charges premiums, which are essentially a financing charge. These are on positions held overnight and depend on currency conversion charges, provided trades are on other currency pairs against the base currency linked to the account. Fees are also charged for GSLO (guaranteed stop-loss orders). A dormant account fee of $10 per month is charged if the account has been idle for three months. Some brokers charge fees as high as $50 per month. Costs are the same for traders having a “professional” account with the investors having the option to increase the maximum leverage from 1:30 to 1:300, a ten-fold 2quantum jump.

An advantage of Plus500 is the absence of any ancillary fees on the usual withdrawals and account closing. The minimum deposit to open an account is 100 units of the selected base currency. Clients can fund an account through several options like e-wallets, bank transfers, and Visa or MasterCard debit or credit cards.

Spreads charged on more than 2,000 assets constitute the base of the revenues earned by Plus500. Trading costs are among the best in the industry for currency pairs, with the EUR/USD being 0.6 pips only. But check the pricing before trading as some asset classes are priced higher when compared to other brokers. This is especially useful for holders of multiple brokerage accounts, and accounts lose money when this is not done.

Traders can access the exact amount of swap rates leveraged on overnight positions by clicking on “Details” in the proprietary trading platform. All corporate benefits like dividends, mergers, and splits are passed on to the traders.

A Plus500 review shows that the commissions and fees structure of the broker is rounded off with third-party processing fees and a 0.3% currency conversion fee. All the charges are above board, and the broker maintains a completely transparent front in this regard.

Tools and Platforms

The WebTrader, the web platform of Plus500, is perfect for beginners and casual traders. The trading platform is easy to use, with the focus on the indispensable and essential tools only. The WebTrader is the best place for those testing the Forex waters before moving on to a more advanced and complex trading platform. While it is simple to use, there are a few advanced features incorporated here from the flagship platform of Plus500. These include trailing-stops and GSLO, which help in high-risk management by casual traders.

Tools and PlatformsTools and Platforms

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The WebTrader platform’s highpoint is the optimized solutions it offers for proper charting with more than 100 technical indicators and the facility to save chart templates. There are also 21 drawing tools in the charts that go a long way to assist investors in technical analysis.

The website desktop platform is not available now on Windows 10. During a Plus500 review and testing, it was seen that the website version meets the needs of an advanced web app, which can, in turn, be installed as a Chrome app. This proves that in the future, the Plus500 trading platform will be more inclined towards the web browser than direct desktop trading.  Further, algorithm trading and social copy-trading are not available on Plus500, and MetaTrader is not provided as the broker has a separate proprietary trading platform.

The Mobile Trading platform and the WebTrader platform provide a quick and seamless transition between the two, and the looks, feel, and functionalities are also the same.

However, there are some drawbacks. Both do not have the essential cutting-edge features and optimized tools to take on the industry leaders head-on. For example, the website charts do not sync with those on the mobile app, as seen with some of the leading brokers like Saxo Bank and TD Ameritrade, which is exclusive for the USA residents.

Therefore, the review of Plus500 concludes that though there is a significant improvement in charting with over 20 drawing tools and 109 indicators on the website platform, there is much scope for developing the mobile app. Critical aspects like news, research, and other advanced tools are all absent on the mobile app, and traders are denied the benefit of trading on the go to their satisfaction.

The Trading Experience

The proprietary platform of Plus500, WebTrader, overall provides a rich and user-friendly trading experience. The platform can be accessed from various devices such as a tablet, website, Windows PC, smartphone, and web browser. The platform has an easy-to-use interface where a trader can analyze charts, create watchlists, and monitor trades.

The charts provide more than 100 technical indicators applicable in different time frames, starting from tick charts to weekly charts. However, unlike its peers, the Plus500 services provider does not have a popular MetaTrader4 platform with more options for customization and functionalities.

Review Plus500 of WebTrader throws up certain cutting-edge features. Clients can select from 2,000 instruments, scrutinize their selection on a tailor-made technical analysis chart, and place their trades with just a few clicks from the same window.

Regrettably, WebTrader is not an open system, and professional traders cannot integrate third-party automated analytical tools directly on the platform. Also, some of the common features that are available on other platforms are missing on WebTrader. Some of them are the absence of automated trading through experts or trading algorithms, lack of back-testing functions, and not allowing clients to use third-party funds through MAM or PAMM platforms. In some markets, guaranteed stops are provided, but this is with an increased spread and cannot be linked to trades opened before.

WebTrader, being a platform of Plus500, is regulated by the financial authorities of New Zealand, South Africa, and all other countries it operates in. There are primarily three basic order types, and clients can link “take profit” and/or “stop-loss” orders to them. These are as follows.

  • Market – This is the basic order where a trader enters a specific trade request that should be taken through at the prevailing market rate.
  • Stop – This is a pending order where the entry is at a pre-fixed level, which might be above or below the current market rate, depending on whether the intention is to buy or sell. The expiration time of the order can also be selected by the trader.
  • Limit – In this order type, a limit is set on the volume of trades performed within a predetermined trading level and avail guaranteed stop loss.

The mobile application, too, offers these functionalities, and to avoid accounts lose money, traders can analyze orders through the product catalog, see account details and check details of conditional orders and charting from their Android or IOS mobile apps. These dynamic charts can be seen as full-screen for greater clarity during the analyzing process. Clients can open an account and deposit and withdraw money from the mobile app. There is a concern of security, though, more so, when the apps provide a direct link to funded accounts. 

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Opening an Account, Deposits, and Withdrawals

As is with most brokers across the industry, Plus500 Pty Ltd offers an online account opening procedure where the minimum requirements are an email address and password only in the first step. Traders have the option to login through their Facebook or Google accounts. A copy of their ID and proof of residence is required to complete KYC norms as regulated by the financial authorities. With high control and monitoring by the central financial agencies, Plus500AU Pty, Plus500UK Ltd, and other subsidiaries in New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, Singapore, and elsewhere of Plus500 can be trusted with personal information.

Before trading CFDs, the account opened must be funded with a minimum deposit through bank wires, credit or debit cards, and PayPal as per the trading platform’s details. The minimum deposit required is 100 units of the currency that the account is linked with. The processing time and potential fees are not listed on the platform, but as per the financial services authority norms, the name of the trading account and that of the payment processor has to be the same. The same method is followed for withdrawals, too, and is in tune with the industry standards set by other brokers.

Promotions and Bonuses

Plus500 offers a deposit bonus for first-time traders on the platform. This scheme is valid in select jurisdictions, only like Australia (Plus500AU Pty), Singapore, and South Africa. The bonus is flexible, and Plus500 informs those trading CFDs and other instruments of the concurrent bonus plan by a Plus500 bonus code on their trading platform or via email or both. There are 6 tiers of trading CFDs, with the seventh being a special bonus with the code that is valid only for the relevant section of the trading platform. Traders should thoroughly read the fine print of the Plus500 Pty Ltd offer before opting for it.

Even though the bonus is not offered in New Zealand, the UK (Plus500UK Ltd), and certain other locations, the bonus plan is valid and legit as per the laws of the country. Plus500 offers this incentive to lure in more first-time deposits. This is when investors usually go for the highest amount even though many fail to build their regular trading CFDs account schedule. This is also when accounts lose money, and the bonus plan is an effort to balance things out and help the traders be active on the platform.

At the time of this review Plus500, it is seen that most traders fall into the first three categories called WELCOME, BRONZE, and SILVER. A minimum deposit of A$300, A$750, and A$1,500 for Australia, and the same amount in Singapore currency is required at that location. South Africa traders have to deposit R4,000, R10,000, and R20,000.

Plus500 reviews show that every Bonus Code grants more capital linked to TraderPoints (TPoints), which can be converted into cash that can be withdrawn. The amount of TPoints earned for trading CFDs or others depends on the asset and the volume traded. A chart is available on the website showing details of the table taking part in the promotion. The other three tiers are GOLD, PLATINUM, and DIAMOND, and the basic deposits required are A$/S$7,500, A$/S$15,000, and A$/S$75,000, respectively.

Customer Service and Support

Customer Service and SupportCustomer Service and Support

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It is seen from a Plus500 review that this financial services provider offers customer support 24/7. This is exceptional, as most brokers offer 24/5 services. The UK subsidiary Plus500UK Ltd and the Australian branch Plus500AU Pty and those in other locations also provide around-the-clock service without a break. The website of Plus500 covers thirty-two languages, and customer support through live chat and email is equally multi-lingual. This adequate customer support has received high ratings and helps prevent traders’ accounts lose money whenever a problem arises, regardless of whether the client is operating from a web browser or a mobile trading platform.

Customer Service and Support live chatCustomer Service and Support live chat

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Despite the general approval of the customer service from traders, a conspicuous omission is the absence of a telephone number of the services provider. Apart from issues in trading CFDs, a telephone number comes in handy for sales queries too. Hence, customer service is restricted to live chats and emails, but while the options for a client are limited, the reaction to customer queries is swift. Resolutions are offered within a few minutes only. This standard is as per the benchmarks followed by industry-leading brokers who are regulated by the financial authorities.

Research and Education Facilities

If traders have to avoid high-risk transactions and prevent a scenario where accounts lose money on any brokerage platform, the site must have ample research and education amenities. Trading in CFDs and other instruments becomes easier as more information about the various techniques on the site helps traders avoid high-risk trades. It is necessary to know more about the CFDs and instruments markets where investments are being made. Unfortunately, what Plus500 offers on this score is not adequate.

Plus500 does not provide trading courses, e-books, videos, and similar material where traders can pick up the intricate aspects about guaranteed stop loss and other techniques to prevent accounts lose money in high-risk transactions. The broker has one “Key Information Document” (KID) that is legally required. It contains basics of CFDs and various instruments, handling high-risk trades, and how to avoid accounts lose money. It also includes details of available instruments and the low or high risk associated with each of them and information in a nutshell on commodities, ETFs, Forex, options, indexes, equities, and cryptocurrencies.

Research and Education FacilitiesResearch and Education Facilities

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Further, Plus500 provides useful economic and earnings calendars and customizable charts to enable traders to carry out technical analysis of CFDs and instruments that are high risk before trading in them. A “Traders’ Sentiment” indicator is also offered by Plus500 to show the percentage of the broker’s clients that are trading in specific instruments. Additionally, the site of Plus500 also has a “Live Statistics” section to indicate the performance of instruments and CFDs in time frames of 5 minutes, 60 minutes, and 1-day.

Types of Accounts

Plus500 provides the same CFDs trading account to all traders. However, a professional account is on offer if certain requirements are met. As is prevalent in today’s broking industry and mandated by regulators, different cutting-edge services are given to a holder of a pro account trading in large sums of money. The leverage for a standard account is limited to 1:30, but professional portfolio holders get an upgrade to 1:300. The Australian subsidiary of Plus500 under the control of the ASIC grants a 1:300 leverage for standard accounts, too, with more options for a pro account. Qualified traders on Plus500 can request for an upgrade to a professional account.

Trading possibilities

Plus500 has excellent opportunities in asset selection through small portfolio management operations for retail traders. Traders can make money from a wide selection of over 2,000 CFDs across commodities, equities, indices, Forex, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies. Trading can be carried out in diverse portfolios to benefit the large spectrum of possibilities across the many subsidiaries of Plus500 worldwide.

Trading possibilitiesTrading possibilities

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A breakup of the portfolios is as follows.

  • Commodities are well presented and present good hedging capabilities for trading to make money.
  • Forex traders on Plus500 can effectively manage currency-only portfolios in a trading environment that offers more than 50 currency pairs. It is a great opportunity for increasing money in the accounts of traders.
  • Index CFDs assist traders with a much-optimized diversification tool that matches the equity CFDs choice.
  • ETF CFDs prop up passive trading, which is now an increasing trend across portfolios.
  • Options are the final highlight of the cross-asset trading ecosystem at Plus500.

Overall, the asset portfolio options of Plus500 are quite impressive and a good route to make money.

Conclusion

Apart from a lack of educational material and some other minor glitches, Plus500 is the clear winner in options for beginners and less-experienced traders wanting to try their hand to make money. It is because Plus500 is user-friendly and has a high degree of simplicity. In 2020 alone, Plus500 has emerged as the Best in Class in three sections – Ease of Use, Trust Score, and Beginners, where it has bagged the 1st place.

On the flip side, Plus500 can do with more research and educational capabilities. Further, the presence of advanced tools on Plus500 is sorely missed. But beginners have plenty of scope at making money on the 2,000 CFDs and 70 Forex pairs on Plus500.

FAQs

1. Can you make money on Plus500?

Yes, it is possible to make money with Plus500. A regulatory finding shows that 23.36% of retail investor accounts on Plus500 were making money while trading in CFDs and other instruments. Additionally, Plus500 is an excellent chance for beginners to get into trading as Plus500 has been ranked 1st in this class.

2. Is Plus500 suitable for beginners?

Yes, Plus500 is especially recommended for beginners. It has a user-friendly trading platform and is simple to use. In 2020, Plus500 bagged first place in the Beginners category for Best in Class awards among brokers. Another section where it has also ranked high is the Ease of Use and Trust Score. The deposit required for opening an account is 100 units of the chosen currency, a good move for beginners.

3. Is Plus500 suitable for day trading?

Without a doubt, Plus500 is good for day trading. It is because Plus500 has a high degree of operating efficiency, has a wide choice of trading options, and is very simple to use. There are also many trading opportunities in CFDs and other instruments on the Plus500 platform.

4. What is the minimum deposit on Plus500?

The deposit for opening an account on Plus500 is 100 units of the linked currency, with account opening being a fast and simple activity.

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