Plus500 is a global online CFD broker that was founded in Israel in 2008 but its main subsidiary is based in the United Kingdom and it is listed on the London Stock Exchange as LSE: PLUS.
It is also a part of the FTSE 250 Index and it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA #509909), one of the highest financial regulatory bodies in the world.
|⚖️ Regulation||FCA, MAS, ASIC; CySEC, FSA|
|💳 Min. deposit||$100|
|💰 Base currencies||14|
|🔑 Type of broker||Market Maker|
It currently has about 200,000 active clients with further subsidiaries in Singapore, Australia, and Cyprus to add to its subsidiary in the UK along with its parent company located in Israel.
It is widely regarded as one of the leading CFD brokers in the world giving its clients access to trade several financial instruments such as commodities, indices, shares, and forex.
It offers protection for investors via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) along with guaranteed stop-loss orders. Due to being listed on a stock exchange, it makes its financial records available publicly which adds further credibility to its reputation as a broker.
The broker offers cash rebates to clients that are active on its professional account but its platform lacks extensive educational content that will enhance learning about various financial markets.
Furthermore, it lacks news headlines on its platform despite having an integrated economic calendar. However, its high level of regulation makes it a low-risk broker that can be trusted.
The process of opening an account is fast, smooth, and fully digital with a relatively low minimum deposit. The process usually does not take more than one business day to complete.
However, just like with every online broker, certain documents are needed for proof of identity and proof of residency. At Plus500, the following documents are acceptable to serve as means of identification:
- Passport, driving license, residence permit, and national ID can serve as proof of identity
- Utility bills, salary slips, bank statements, toll taxes letters, and address cards can serve as proof of residency.
To get started, go to the broker’s website and in the top right-hand corner of the page, there will be a ‘Start trading’ button which should be clicked. The next thing is to provide a valid email address along with creating a secure password that is case-sensitive.
Once you sign up, you will be given full access to the demo account with a balance of up to £40,000 and you can begin to initiate and execute trades on the demo account instantly. This enables clients to have an idea of how the trading process works with this broker. You can also open a live account directly if you wish to.
Once the client is comfortable and familiar with how the platform works, he/she can then change to a live account where a deposit can be made. This is where the client will need to finish the registration process to be eligible to start trading. The registration process is quite lengthy as there are some questions that the client must answer to complete the process.
The first step involves supplying the full name and date of birth exactly how it is written on the client’s official identification documents. The next stage involves the client answering questions about employment status, income, and job title.
The broker also asks whether the client’s main source of funds will be through the client’s employment or other investments. Furthermore, clients will need to answer a question about how much they can afford to risk every year as well as the expected frequency of trades and the primary reason for trading.
The next step will be answering a set of questions that test the client’s investment knowledge and this is important because it enables the broker to spot potential clients that are unlikely to be suitable for CFD trading.
The final stage of registration involves the verification of a client’s identity which is done by uploading any of the acceptable documents that have been previously mentioned both for proof of identity and proof of residence.
Deposit & Withdrawal
The deposit and withdrawal services at Plus500 are excellent with clients having multiple options for deposit and withdrawal. The two processes are straightforward without incurring any charges.
Account base currencies
Plus500 has several account base currencies available ranging from the major ones to the minor ones with the default account currency determined by a client’s country of residency.
The following currencies are available: EUR, AUD, CZK, SEK, SGD, USD, PLN, CHF, NOK, TRY, HUF, JPY, CAD, and GBP.
Clients can change their base currency but this can only be done by contacting customer support.
The account base currency is important because funding your trading account in a currency that is different from that of your bank or trading financial instruments in a different currency from that of the base currency of your trading account will lead to you paying a conversion fee.
However, there is another means of saving on conversion fees, and that involves opening a multi-currency bank account.
Two companies offering this service are Wise and Revolut which provide bank accounts in multiple currencies to go along with favorable currency exchange rates and free or less costly international bank transfers.
Opening an account is straightforward and does not take much time.
Deposit fees and options
This broker does not charge any deposit fees and has multiple options for clients to deposit funds which include:
- Credit/debit card
- Bank transfer
Skrill and PayPal are electronic wallets and their availability depends on the client’s region; also, it should be noted that the deposit options are not all available in every country of operation.
Paying via credit/debit and electronic wallets is immediate while bank transfers take several business days. As a client with this broker, you can only deposit funds from accounts that are registered in your name.
The minimum deposit is generally $100 or equivalent in other currencies but it varies with the deposit option chosen. It remains $100 if payment is by e-wallet or credit/debit card but if it is via a bank transfer, the minimum deposit becomes $500.
Withdrawal fees and options
There are no fees charged for withdrawals with this broker. However, there is a limit to the number of withdrawals that can be made each month and that is five.
Any additional withdrawal over the acceptable limit will lead to charges of $10 per extra withdrawal. Also, there is a minimum amount for withdrawal which is $50 for Skrill/PayPal and $100 for credit/debit cards and bank transfers.
Withdrawing money from a trading account with this broker takes about 3-7 business days depending on the payment method selected and withdrawal is only possible to accounts registered in the client’s name. Similar to deposits, the same options are available for withdrawal but not all options are available in all countries of operation.
The steps involved in making a withdrawal are:
- Log in to the account
- In the top left corner is a ‘Menu’ icon, click on it
- Click on ‘Withdraw’
- Enter the amount for withdrawal according to the acceptable minimum
- Complete the transaction by clicking on ‘Open a Withdrawal’
Regulation and Security
The broker operates as principal and applies the hedging technique to its exposure with its parent company. This enables the broker to eliminate market risk and ensure that there is no exposure to material losses.
While the broker does not offer insurance for additional deposit, it is duly registered with the appropriate regulatory bodies across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region:
- Plus500UK Ltd is regulated and licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority with number FCA #509909. The office is located in London.
- Plus500AU Pty Ltd is regulated and authorized by Australia Securities Investments Commission (ASIC) with license number AFSL #417727 while holding an FSP number 486026 issued by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in New Zealand and Authorized Financial Services Provider #47546 made available by the FSCA in South Africa.
- Plus500SG Pte Ltd (UEN 201422211Z) has a capital markets services license issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to deal in capital markets products (License Number CMS100648- 1).
- Plus500CY Ltd is regulated and licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commissions (CySEC) with license number 250/14.
- Plus500SEY Ltd is regulated and licensed by the Financial Services Authority in Seychelles with license number SD039.
According to the client money rules put forth by the FCA in the UK, this broker is mandated to take steps that will ensure client funds do not become intertwined with corporate funds, thus protecting the money and assets of clients if it ever happens that the company becomes insolvent.
This is achieved by ensuring that these funds are kept in segregated accounts at regulated banks. Also, if the company should default, there is a compensation of up to £85,000 available to investors under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The broker is also mandated under the ESMA rules that came into effect in 2018 to provide negative balance protection which ensures that investors cannot lose more than the funds deposited into their trading accounts.
Fees and Spreads
Plus500 is certainly not the cheapest broker available today but it offers competitive pricing and trades executed on this broker’s platform are free from commissions. There are also no deposit or withdrawal fees but there are some fees charged by this broker that needs to be noted.
- Currency conversion fee – A currency conversion fee is charged by this broker when an instrument is traded in a denominated currency that is different from the currency of a client’s account. The broker states that this fee can be up to 0.7% of the client’s net profit and loss and it is incorporated in real-time into the net profit and loss of an open position that is yet to be realized.
- Overnight funding fee – The broker applies this to a client’s account when a position is held beyond a specific period (it is usually displayed as ‘Overnight funding time’). There is a ‘Details’ link beside the name of an instrument being traded that shows the daily overnight funding percentage of that instrument.
- Guaranteed stop order – Most times, stop-loss orders do not get executed at the precise preferred price due to the volatility that is constantly present in the market. However, with a guaranteed stop order, the trading position will be forcefully closed automatically at the selected price even if the market exceeds it. This means once the desired level is reached, the position will close automatically, and this comes with a fee because the trade will be affected by a wider spread.
- Inactivity fee – If a client should go three months without any activity on his/her trading account, a fee of $10 is charged every month following the period of inactivity.
The spread is a fee that is automatically adjusted and includes a specific amount payable to a broker. Spreads at Plus500 are either fixed or variable which means the spreads for some of the tradeable assets will fluctuate throughout a trading day.
Below is a table showing the spreads for some of this broker’s popular instruments but remember to always consult the broker’s website for the latest information on spreads.
|UK Stocks||0.08 pips|
|EU Stocks||0.08 pips|
|US Stocks||0.08 pips|
Leverage at Plus500 is determined by the instrument the client trades and ranges from 1:20 to 1:300 but the leverage is fixed and cannot be adjusted.
Below is a table showing the leverage for each of the instruments available for trading at Plus500.
Plus500 offers two major types of accounts namely the retail account and professional account.
This is also known as the standard account and it is available to the UK, Australia, the EU, Singapore, and the global market that is under the operational jurisdiction of Plus500.
Its features include access to the major instruments offered by this broker along with negative balance protection and trading free of commissions.
This is also known as the Gold account and has similar features to the retail account but clients must meet certain requirements to be eligible for this type of account.
Plus500 has a web trading platform and a mobile trading platform.
Web trading platform
The web trading platform is the proprietary trading platform of Plus500 and it is known as WebTrader; it also has a mobile platform that functions as the broker’s mobile app.
It is straightforward to use with an excellent design but lacks customizability. The web trading platform is available in about 29 different languages which open it up to a wide array of clients from several countries.
The platform offers a secure, two-step login along with Facebook and Google authentication which is convenient and adds an extra layer of security.
The search function is excellent as it is easy to find assets and information on the platform. The assets are divided into categories on the left side of the screen and a search can be executed by simply typing in the name of an asset.
The web platform offers the following order types namely: market, stop, trailing stop, limit, and guaranteed stop orders.
The alert and notification functions are prompt and very useful as clients can lose money easily when they are not duly informed of sudden price changes.
Furthermore, clients can set up SMS, email, and push notifications. There is also the ability to add alerts based on client sentiment data.
The broker also makes clear portfolio and fee reports available to clients to inform them of exactly the amount paid in overnight fees.
There is a bar at the top of the platform where clients can check their current portfolios. Plus500 also enables the display of up to nine charts simultaneously on WebTrader.
This is very similar to the web platform with the only difference being that this is suited to mobile devices and runs on Android, Windows, and iOS devices. The same functionalities are present along with a similar design that is user-friendly. There is also a secure two-step login along with biometric authentication instead of Google or Facebook authentication.
Plus500 is a CFD broker and has a relatively solid selection of CFDs even though it lags behind other brokers offering a similar service but then it offers a wide array of stocks which distinguishes it from its competitors.
Below is a list of the instruments offered by this broker.
- Shares: Plus500 provides trading CFDs on the most prominent stocks from major stock exchanges around the world. Some of the stock CFDs include AMZN (Amazon), TSLA (Tesla), and AAPL (Apple).
- Forex: Clients can trade all the major currency pairs with this broker. Around 70 currency pairs are available.
- Indices: Plus500 also offers some of the most popular indices in the world in two categories: sector and country indices. Sector indices include the cannabis stock index, FNG, and Real Estate Giants index. Country indices include Germany 30, USA 500, ASX 200, and Japan 225.
- Cryptocurrencies: Clients can trade some of the most popular cryptos in the world with 14 of such available such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ripple but it should be noted that when trading cryptocurrencies with Plus500, clients are trading cryptocurrency CFDs and as such, they do not own the underlying asset.
- ETFs: Plus500 makes about 90 ETFs available for trading with popular ones such as GLD Gold, OIH-Oil Service, and UNG-Gas Fund.
- Commodities: These are available for trading as well. Examples include Gold, Silver, Palladium, Copper, and Platinum.
The customer service provided by Plus500 is quite impressive with 24/7 availability. Customer support can be contacted via live chat, email, and WhatsApp.
However, it lacks phone support but there is an integrated ‘Contact Us’ page that clients can use for inquiries.
The live chat and email are great as they provide relevant answers thus adding to an excellent quality of customer service overall.
However, making phone support available might be a good idea to give clients more options to reach customer support.
Education and Research
In terms of education, Plus500 is limited as the broker only offers a demo account along with a few rudimentary articles and videos about trading. Furthermore, it lacks webinars as well as a proper structure in its education section.
The demo account will allow traders, especially beginners to practice and get familiar with the broker’s platform. There are rudimentary educational and trading platform videos that will further enhance the trader’s knowledge of and familiarity with the platform.
Also present are educational articles about risk management tools and asset categories as well as an FAQ section. The FAQ section is good because it contains videos that further clarify the process of verifying payment which is quite beneficial due to the high risks of losing funds when trading CFDs. The major downside is that the educational materials are poorly structured which makes it difficult to locate the different educational tools.
Plus500 has limited research tools which feature charting and market analysis but there are no recommendations, fundamental data, or news.
The charting tool is excellent with over 110 technical indicators and impressive editor tools; charts can also be saved. This makes the broker an excellent choice for clients that are interested in a wide array of technical indicators. Multiple charts can also be used and viewed by clients simultaneously.
There is a well-designed economic calendar along with market analyses but there is a lack of a newsfeed or newsletter. The economic calendar is good as clients can sift for macro or company-related events. There is also a Trader’s Sentiment tool that displays the percentage of buyers and sellers for a specific asset on the broker’s platform. Furthermore, there is a ‘Live Statistics’ feature that displays data regarding an asset’s price such as the lowest or highest price within specific periods such as 5 minutes, 60 minutes, or one day.
Due to the broker running a closed system, advanced traders that depend on integrating third-party analytical and automation tools in their trading process are left unimpressed as these tools cannot be directly integrated.
Furthermore, the broker does not offer any special trading features such as automated trading through expert advisors or other trading algorithms while also failing to offer backtesting functionality.
The broker also does not give clients access to manage third-party funds via MAM or PAMM trading platforms. Furthermore, the broker does not support social copy trading or even the MetaTrader suite of platforms.
Plus500 makes most of its money from the spread that is incorporated into each transaction executed on its platform.
Other means by which the broker generates revenue include overnight financing fees, currency conversion fees, guaranteed stop-loss which comes with a wider spread, and inactivity fees.
Experience with Plus500
We contacted customer support via live chat various times and we were pleased with the results as the responses were fast and reliable.
There was a point where we asked about the fees and the necessary information about all fees was provided including financing rates.
We also used email to contact customer support and it was a similar result as well with a response provided within an hour while relevant answers were provided too.
However, when we tried to initiate withdrawal with our debit card, it took more than two days which is a bit extended when compared with the withdrawal process of its competitors.
History behind Plus500
Plus500 was established in 2008 in Israel and got its FCA license in 2010 after which it obtained operating licenses in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Cyprus, South Africa, Israel, and Seychelles.
In 2013, the company was listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the symbol ‘PLUS’ and five years later, the broker was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
The plus500 brand has only continued to grow with the company displaying pitch-side ads at football and rugby events while also sponsoring some high profile football teams in Europe like Atletico de Madrid in Spain and Atalanta B.C. in Italy.
Despite Plus500 having limited educational content, its simplicity and ease of use make it ideal for traders that do not have a ton of experience.
Combined with the integrated economic calendar, these are strong points for the Plus500 web platform but it comes up short in terms of market research as it leaves a lot to be desired in that regard.
This is why it is not suitable for advanced traders due to a lack of certain features and tools necessary to provide an advanced trading experience.
With almost 2,000 CFDs available on the offering as well as a low minimum deposit requirement to open a live account, it makes it highly suitable for traders that are just entering the market by providing them with an easy way of exploring the world of online trading.
This is further evidenced by the simplicity of the platform’s design which makes it easy for beginners to navigate and become familiar with the software.
While it is not necessarily a guarantee that traders will succeed, using a less complex trading platform is necessary for beginners that are looking to avoid a steep learning curve.
But it should be noted that CFDs are complex instruments and traders need to have a solid understanding of how CFDs work because over 70% of clients tend to lose their money while trading CFDs with this broker.