ETX Capital review
Author: Skerdian Meta, Leading analyst /Thursday, July 31, 2015
ETX Capital’s different platforms
A few years ago we started the broker review section on our site and conducted reviews on several brokers that we either had a good experience trading with or brokers that stood up to the challenge of a professional anonymous review. Normally every decent broker has its bright points and advantages for a specific group of traders, it can be local regulation, customer support, execution speed or simply prices.
In the past, we would remove a broker from our reviews list if we received some negative feedback from traders. In rare cases, we wouldn’t publish our opinion on brokers that were not worth mentioning. After taking a break from putting brokers up to the test, we are happy to rescind, choosing ETX Capital (etxcapital.com) as our first review after the break! We opened a demo account about two months ago and then moved to a live account. We traded with them for about a month with real funds in order to assess their service. Apart from trading, we also carried out inquiries on different aspects, such as customer service, broker security, the account opening process, deposit and withdrawal process etc., in order to get a better understanding of their overall service and operation.
Opening the account
The demo account opening process was easy; we received the username and password instantly in the email that we provided. However, it took a bit longer to open a live account. After filling in all the required fields, the account remained pending for about a week. When we contacted customer service they asked us to send proof of address and identity since they are registered with the FCA. That´s a very normal requirement for a serious broker, but the clients should be able to see the requirement when they apply for it, so that we can send the documents immediately, instead of waiting a week without knowing if we need to. After that, we had to wait 5 more days for our anticipated live account to be approved, which is a shame as any trader knows that feeling: when you sit on the market, your strategy, body, and mind are set for trading. Being on hold at this point is not the best way, but after nearly 2 weeks our account was finally ready to get to business.
The account funding went smoothly, taking less than 2 days through wire transfer, which is a very reasonable amount of time. We were offered bonuses as well, but we´ll cover this in the sections below. I haven’t made a withdrawal request as of yet so I cannot give an opinion, but we’ll add comments on this matter after when the time comes.
Opening an account with ETX Capital
My first impression of ETX Capital customer support was ‘I’ve seen better…”. The slow response during the account activation process was combined with a lack of live-chat support that is so effective nowadays. All of this changed after my account was activated; the support improved and their response time was very fast. They would call whenever I sent an email to them asking for assistance on technical problems and give informative answers regarding the platform and market conditions. ETX offer customer support in English, German, Italian, French, Danish, Greek, Spanish and Chinese, which is good enough for most regions on the globe. The customer service hours are kept according to GMT, between 07:00 am and 21:00 pm.
Informative list of features, parameters, and service
ETX Capital is a UK based broker and the holding company is Monecor Ltd. This broker operates under the regulation of the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Under this authority, they are required to keep the clients funds segregated and their clients are entitled to 50,000 Pounds Sterling in compensation by the (FSCS). In their terms and conditions it states that the stop loss and the limit orders are guaranteed, offering peace of mind during rough times like the market crash in January (caused by the SNB). They offer four trading platforms:
- ETX Binary
- TX MT4
- ETX Trader
- ETX TraderPro
Real-time multiple chart display
The ETX Binary platform is for binary options traders obviously. The MT4 platform is for forex, but not exclusively, as there are other instruments included such as commodities, precious metals, Brent crude oil, gas, US and German stock exchange companies and the major stock exchange indexes (UK FTSE 100, NASDAQ 100, DAX 30, S&P 500 etc.). I was unclear about the difference between the MT4 and the ETX Trader platform, so I asked customer support. They told me that they offer the additional options to trade bonds and obligations in this platform in their ETX Trader platform. The ETX TraderPro platform is just like the ETX Trader but designed for traders with larger accounts. Their MT4 platform is easy to use with one-click trading and trailing stops – it can be downloaded on mobile devices as well.
I didn´t see any promotions or trading competitions during the time that I traded with them, but they have a nice bonus scheme. When I applied for the MT4 account, they offered me a 30% bonus if I deposited more than $1000 and the customer support advised that depositing more than $10,000 would result in an upgrade to ‘premium’ for free with a 50% bonus. I´ve read some reviews about ETX Capital where people complained about not being able to withdraw the bonus funds. Some people think that they can withdraw these bonuses so they get furious when they are told otherwise, but you can´t really withdraw a broker´s bonus. You can trade it and use it as a cushion during difficult times when more liquidity is needed on high volatility trading conditions, but don’t be mistaken, bonuses are not free money from Santa Claus.
Trade on the go
The MT4 software provider has removed the instant execution option for some time now so ETX Capital offer only market execution on their MT4 platform. Market execution has its advantages, for example: trade is processed almost instantly and you don´t get re-quoted. But you do get slippage from time to time which is not good if you scalp or trade during volatile times (… avoid unless you are a pro). During normal times the slippage varies from 0 to 2-3 pips. I haven´t executed trades with this broker during volatile times, but as with all other brokers who use market execution, the slippage might increase to 20-30 pips. They don´t offer managed accounts but I asked them about EAs and automatic trading, and the customer support confirmed that everything was allowed from following signals and automatic trading to scalping and hedging at any time (big advantage).
The minimum amount for the ETX MT4 and ETX Trader accounts is 100 USD, 100 Euros or 100 GBP. The minimum trading size is 0.01 lots or 1 micro lot. In real terms that´s 1,000 USD, Euros or GBP, which is convenient for new traders with small accounts. It also makes it cheaper to give this broker a try, before you go all in with a large account. They have 44 pairs on their MT4 platform and the currencies are listed in alphabetic order, starting with the AUD pairs, then the CAD pairs and so on, making it easy to find them. They offer a lot of exotic currencies which I find very interesting and can be very important to traders who specialize in tier 2 and 3 countries, but inexperienced traders might get lured into trading them and these currencies are very volatile so beginners, stick to the majors!
ETX Capital offers a range of educational methods and tools. They hold free seminars and courses to their clients in different major cities of the world as expected from a large broker at this scale, check their site for more details about the closest one to you. Apart from that, their clients can follow them on most of the social media websites where they can watch video commentaries about the market and the morning brief, which is a daily snapshot of the relevant market news for the day. There´s also a section on their platform where I regularly received real-time economic news, so that was sort of helpful and time-saving.
After I downloaded the MT4 platform and logged into my live account, I couldn´t find the EUR/USD and GBP/USD, two highly traded pairs. After contacting customer support they told me to right click at the symbols table and select “show all”. I had to do that many times after removing the program and downloading it all over again until these two pairs finally showed up in the symbols section.
Automated trading via EAs
Additional notes: DPR email formats are not accepted when you contact the customer support through their site. For some reason I couldn’t submit a contact us request with my .co.uk email and had to use anther email with a .com ending. I am not sure if it was a temporary issue, a local problem on my computer or a system error they need to be fixed. ETX – better check this.
- Customer service – 3.7
- Spreads – 3.5
- Broker security – 4.5
- Regulation – 4
- Execution – 3.8
- Account opening process – 3.5
- Bonuses – 4.2
The overall experience with ETX Capital has been satisfactory so far. The security of funds is one of the most important things for a trader, and this broker ranks quite high in this aspect. Being based in the UK, regulated by the FCA and the funds are kept in segregated accounts. They offer competitive bonuses and a variety of accounts and platforms.
In their MT4 platform, you can find many other financial instruments like equities, commodities, precious metals etc and there aren’t any restrictions on trading, apart from a wide range of currency pairs.
But their service contains some flaws which we experienced during our time with them. The delay during the opening of the live account made us lose about two weeks in the process. Their customer support is not terrible but they don´t offer a live-chat option, a must for a broker. The execution and spreads are only average and that makes scalping more difficult. They offer webinars but not on a regular basis.
- Broker security
- A wide range of financial markets
- The variety of platforms and accounts
- Personalized customer support
- A competitive bonus scheme
- Lengthy account opening process