There has been a rise in the number of social trading platforms and brokers in recent years.To receive an award for ‘Best Social Trading Platform’, a provider must meet several strict criteria. Picking the right broker is an essential part of the trading journey. If you are a new trader, it’s the beginning, and you will want to start correctly. If you are an experienced trader, maybe you have had some issues with your current social trading broker, or want to switch and utilise the benefits of a social trading platform. In our broker comparison, we take a look into critical criteria, such as fees, support and trading offers, and explain what to look for when selecting providers. We also take into account the current market situation – to identify the right social trading broker for you.
Like opening a normal spread-bet or CFD trading account, opening a social trading account is often free of charge to open. To be able to make a profit from the trading services they provide, many social trading and copy brokers may charge fees based on the dealing spread, real-time prices, and add-ons for trading platforms. Depending on the broker, you could incur costs for deposits, withdrawals or there may be a fee for a certain number of payments per month.
In addition to trading costs and fees, leverage is an essential aspect of a social trading platforms comparison. Leverage allows you the ability to hold and trade with a more significant amount of capital than you have available in your account. Some brokers stagger the leverage on invested capital. High leverage can be attractive for the more experienced traders. However, for less experienced traders, we suggest using a lower level of leverage.
An increasing number of brokers now offer a choice between accounts for beginners, advanced traders, or VIPs. It is the same for social trading brokers as well. As with other more traditional CFD platforms these account types will vary based on your deposit size when opening the account. The trading volume can also determine the account type – traders might begin with a starter account and may choose to upgrade to another account, according to trade volume. It is, in some cases, possible for traders to immediately opt for a higher account, although this will depend on you adhering to the broker’s criteria.
When looking at the various social trading brokers, focus on these points – what services you receive with each account, and how do the accounts differ? Also, consider if there are any offers available, but we will talk more about offers later.
A determining factor in choosing the perfect broker is selecting the right trading platform. The best social trading platforms available have an intuitive user interface and allow for ease of operation. In some instances, there are specially developed software solutions available for customers – this depends on the broker. However, many providers also allow the use of existing platforms such as MetaTrader 4.
The platform’s structure is essential and being able to utilise a customisable interface is particularly beneficial. When comparing trading platforms, the focus should be on technical indicators and the trading systems offered. When creating a strategy, technical indicators are indispensable. The more reliable and supportive the platform is, the more you will be able to focus your attention on trading.
We have to also mention trading while on the move. Applications for mobile and tablets have become a must-have feature and they must allow for flexible use at any time. Many brokers have apps for smartphones and tablets that are typically well-designed and easy to use. A bright and simple layout with an overview of your current trades is particularly helpful.
When first landing on the social trading brokers website, it is essential to make sure that you can navigate around efficiently and smoothly. The site should be organised and have a professional feel. Being able to use one-click’ navigation is particularly popular as it allows you to find everything about the broker’s offer immediately. Make sure the website provides the following information – Contact options, fees, account types, terms and conditions and further details on the broker and their background. You may also find an FAQ page helps answer any unanswered questions.
When comparing providers, make sure you check that the website is in a language you fully understand– sometimes, this is only obvious upon second glance. Some brokers may have an English language website, but it is often possible to set the language to your preference. Make sure that the translation is complete and easy to understand.
Another essential aspect when looking at a social trading broker is their customer support service. During your trading experience, you may find that trading, payout, or trading platform issues arise. Here at AskTraders, we place great value on the contact options and the quality of the provider’s customer service. Many brokers provide a live chat option, and you can usually reach customer support via hotlines, e-mail or a contact form. In any case, you should be able to contact a member of staff free of charge. As this is a social trading platform, if you require any help, you will be able to interact with other traders. It is a fantastic aspect of social trading and will give you an extra support option.
Equally important are what languages the customer support team can interact in. Quite often, the support staff are English speaking, but many brokers offer other languages too. Going back to account types, some brokers will alter the level of support depending on the type of account you have. They may also provide a personal account manager if you have a higher account level. So, be sure to check that out.
You will need to deposit money into your trading account before you can start trading or following other traders positions and, if successful, you are going to want to transfer your profits to your private bank account. So, payment methods are another vital factor to consider when choosing a broker.
All of the best social trading brokers will offer the opportunity to deposit or withdraw via credit cards, bank transfer and online payment services such as Neteller or Skrill. Credit cards are still by far the most popular choice due to the fact it is quick and easy. Bank transfers are considered very secure, but processing usually takes several days. Most brokers also allow deposits and withdrawals via online payment systems such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal – These are also popular due to their speeds.
Some brokers may implement fees and limits, it may well be that there is a minimum payout, for example. Some providers allow only a certain number of payments per month. So any additional transfer after that may come with a fee. It is often the case that brokers will only allow withdrawals by the same method in which you made the initial deposit.
A lot of brokers will provide their customers with other offers. These will usually include education and training. However, as social trading has a focus on following and learning from others, and we have found that their education and training can be limited in some cases. Any social trading platforms that provide comprehensive training and education platforms show a strong commitment to their customer base. Even experienced traders can benefit from offers such as webinars or video tutorials. Some brokers also offer seminars, while others limit themselves to a few video tips or even a trading academy. An economic calendar or any market analysis tools are handy as well.
Now, probably the most crucial aspect of a broker is the regulation and deposit protection. It can be the difference between choosing an unreliable and, in some instances, illegally operating broker or a fantastic one that provides a safe platform to trade. It is not possible to completely exclude the possibility of social trading fraud in trading, still, if a broker is regulated, you can be sure that they are licensed to offer their services on the market. The financial authorities responsible will regularly check up on the brokers to ensure they are abiding by rules and regulations.
To confirm that a social trading broker is regulated, you can look up the directory of the authority specified on the broker’s website and examine their licensing information or possible stock market quotations, amongst other details.
Now, let’s turn our attention to deposit insurance. We recommend that you find out about the amount of deposit insurance offered by the broker. It will provide you, the client, additional protection and secures your funds if the broker becomes bankrupt, and are protected up until a specific amount.
When looking at social trading brokers awards, financial press information can be helpful in the assessment. We would encourage you to give less attention to forums as we have found they are less reliable.
You may have noticed and seen that experienced brokers will appear regularly in the press and via advertising. These brokers have usually won awards in the past. In many cases, brokers will provide a link to media coverage on their website. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain an overview of the current media coverage of the broker and the awards they have won.
Regardless of whether they have won awards previously, it is worth checking to see if they have won any more recent awards. Distinctions such as “Best Social Trading Platform” are important for brokers to build trust with their customers. Various magazines, financial press associations and awards committees subject brokers to a test and give annual titles and awards for social trading. The platforms, broker support services and security are researched heavily. Awards are certainly a reasonable means of assessing a broker. You can be sure that if a broker has won an award, they will mention it on their website.