Nowadays most of us turn to the Internet to consult reviews, experiences, advantages and disadvantages, etc. that customers have of a certain product or service in which we are interested.
The financial sector, and specifically that of online brokers, is no stranger to this practice, and opinions can be found in various specialised forums, websites and blogs in the sector.
There are several elements to consider when choosing an online broker: its trading platform, the financial instruments it offers for trading, its types of accounts, its customer service, its regulation and the security of clients’ funds,..
In this article we will try to specify the main features of the Plus500 online broker so that you can form your own opinion on whether or not this broker is right for you.
Let’s get down to it:
What is Plus500?
Plus500 is a financial intermediary, a CFD broker.
It was founded in 2008, in Israel, when it launched its first digital platform for trading in the online financial markets. It is currently one of the leading brokers in this sector based on the number of clients it has worldwide.
Plus500 as a financial services company, unlike other online brokers, is listed on the London Stock Exchange, i.e. the London Stock Exchange (therefore it must comply with several solvency requirements, the presentation of audited accounts,…).
This broker offers fairly low costs and a wide range of financial assets available for trading (more than 2,000).
Throughout its history as a financial intermediary, this broker has signed sponsorship agreements with several partners. These include the Atlético de Madrid football club and the Australian professional rugby team Brumbies.
Its main features include:
- Large number of financial assets to trade.
- Trading platform with a wide range of tools and functions.
- Possibility of launching a multitude of orders (including Trailing Stops).
- Allows online trading from its web platform and mobile trading from its trading app.
Plus500’s trading platform reviews
Regarding the trading platform that Plus500 makes available to the user, it is a proprietary platform. Other online brokers choose to offer third party platforms (MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5, cTrader, ProRealTime, Visual Chart,…) but Plus500 has chosen to develop its own trading platform.
– Reviews of Plus500’s Desktop trading platform
Plus500 ‘s trading platform can be adapted to all types of traders, regardless of their profile. From this platform it is possible to manage the entire trading business thanks to its wide range of tools and customisable features.
Warning: The prices shown in the image above are illustrative and do not correspond to current prices.
The trader is able to access the function they require in a matter of seconds. All the necessary tools are at your fingertips:
- Advanced interactive charts with real-time quotes.
- Technical indicators for market analysis.
- Ability to place stop loss, take profit and trailing stop orders. Plus500 also supports the addition of Guaranteed Stops.
- Account balance management.
- Ability to set alerts on price movements.
Another feature of this trading tool is the ability to navigate between different financial assets, just a few clicks away.
As we will see a little further on, in order to test the Plus500 platform you can open a demo account and trade in a simulation environment without putting your money at risk.
The trading platform is not only available in its desktop version (for trading on Windows 10); thanks to the Web Trader technology, no download is necessary: it is possible to trade fully online (compatible with multiple browsers, such as Chrome or Microsoft Edge).
In addition, Plus500 also allows mobile trading with its app:
– Plus500’s mobile trading app reviews
The Plus500 mobile trading app has a 4 out of 5 star rating on the Google Play Store. The vast majority of users, out of over 90,000 who have participated in the review, give it the highest rating (5 stars).
Source: Google Play Store
The Plus500 Smartphone and Tablet trading app is a way to trade from anywhere and at any time (there are markets that do not close even on weekends, such as cryptocurrencies). In addition to being able to control and manage the entire trading business without the need to stay in front of the computer (edit trades, control the balance, adjust stop losses, etc.).
The Plus500 trading app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the Apple App Store (for iPhones and iPads). It works on either operating system and requires a download in any case.
Feedback on Plus500’s service
In this section we look at factors relating to the service; what does Plus500 offer its customers?
– Financial instruments available
The first element to consider is the number of markets that the broker makes available to find trading opportunities, to diversify or to choose between different assets (depending on the prevailing economic conditions). In this respect, Plus500 offers CFD trading on a wide range of financial markets around the world (over 2000 in total):
- Forex: This is the foreign exchange market; one of the most classic and preferred markets for short-term traders. Currencies offer great liquidity and less analysis (relatively speaking). Each currency pair is an experience, although there are correlations between the different world currencies.
- Stock Indices: Indices have also become a very popular type of market due to their characteristics. An index represents a market; therefore, investing in an index is investing in an entire stock market and its movements in general.
- Stocks: In addition to stock indices, there is the option to trade individual stocks. They represent one of the oldest methods of investing. Investing in shares allows great versatility, each company has its own personality and a large number of strategies can be set up. The trader can choose from more than 1,900 stocks available, belonging to the main world markets (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong…).
- Commodities: Commodities are listed products in which it is possible to invest (at any term). These types of financial instruments, available at Plus500, can be of various types; from agricultural products to energy (oil, natural gas, etc.), not to mention precious metals (gold, silver, palladium, etc.). Each commodity is different and global economic conditions affect them differently. Gold is a safe haven asset, oil has strong price movements that can be exploited, wheat has long trends. Geopolitics, global economic growth, weather conditions, dollar movements and other factors affect supply and demand. It is an exciting market.
- ETFs: ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are investment funds whose units are listed on a stock exchange, just as if they were shares. The difference is that you do not invest in a single asset, but in a diversified portfolio and minimise risk. More and more investors are using these derivative products in their trading and, by opening an account with Plus500, you have them at your fingertips.
- Cryptocurrencies: This is one of the newest, most electric and exciting markets. Digital currencies may become the money of the future. Many of them allow additional functions, such as Ethereum, which allows the formalisation of smart contracts. Bitcoin, the reigning currency, is often trend-setting and its characteristics are more akin to gold, so it has the ability to act as a safe haven from adverse conditions. With Plus500 it is possible to trade up to 14 cryptocurrencies. It is a market with unique characteristics and does not close at any time.
- Options: Plus500 also offers its clients the possibility to trade financial options on CFDs on shares, commodities and stock indices. Options trading allows a wide range of strategies to be devised.
– Trading accounts
Plus500 only has one type of trading account. Actually, there are two if we take into consideration their demo account.
Live trading account
This is the only account available to retail users, regardless of their knowledge, starting capital level or other issues. In other words, all Plus500 customers have the same conditions.
CFD trading uses leverage, all financial instruments traded with this broker are leveraged. The maximum leverage allowed for retail traders in Europe is restricted to 1:30 (and only for major currency pairs, and can be as high as 1:2 for cryptocurrencies).
As for the minimum position size or minimum required to trade, each of the different financial instruments that Plus500 offers to its clients has a minimum number of contracts/lots/shares. In the following link you can access the file of each financial instrument available for trading with Plus500 and all the information about it:
List of financial instruments available at Plus500 and information about each of them
Another feature that arouses more opinions when contracting the services of a broker is everything related to the commissions and fees applied for trading in the financial markets.
One of the main objectives of a trader when starting to gain experience is to optimise costs. In trading, every operational cost has a direct impact on the profitability obtained.
If you want to know in detail what Plus500’s costs are and how they are applied, we recommend the following article we have on our website: Plus500 Fees.
In addition to the live account, Plus500 offers its clients the possibility to open a demo account. This is a trading simulator where you can practice and gain experience in trading the financial markets.
The demo account works in the same way as a real account: with the same platform, almost identical conditions, the trades are made on the real prices, the analysis is identical, the same functionalities, etc. The only difference is that the account balance is not real, but virtual.
Therefore, the profits obtained are fictitious, but so are the possible losses and the trader assumes no risk. Thus, with a demo account you have the possibility to:
- Complete the training period.
- Gain trading experience.
- Get to know the broker’s trading platform in depth.
- To become familiar with the broker’s conditions.
- Design and test new strategies.
- Refine your trading style.
We can conclude that a demo account is a useful tool for all types of traders (experienced traders use it to test their strategies and design new ones. You could say that it is “their trading laboratory”).
Plus500 offers a free demo account for an unlimited period of time. The initial (let’s remember, fictitious) capital available for this trading simulator is 40,000 EUR / USD / GBP.
You do not need to enter any bank or personal details to open a demo account at Plus500. All you need is the minimum registration details (a username and password). In a few seconds you will have your demo account ready to start testing.
Warning: The prices shown in the image above are illustrative and do not correspond to current prices.
– Access requirements
To open an account with Plus500, all we need to do is to express our intention to contract their services as a financial intermediary through their website (see image above) and fill in a form.
The financial regulations require you to send certain documents proving your identity and address, for security reasons (this avoids fraud due to identity theft and complies with money laundering prevention regulations).
Once the account opening process is completed, it must be submitted to Plus500 (digitally):
- Copy or photograph of your ID card, driving licence or similar document.
- Copy or photograph of a basic household utility bill (electricity, water, telephone, gas, etc.) in order to prove the client’s residence (the bill must be in your name). Bank or official documents (such as a census certificate) are also acceptable to prove this information.
Otherwise, to open a trading account and access Plus500′s services, the trader only needs to:
- Capacity to contract (presumed to be of legal age).
- A computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.
- Capital in the account to invest.
In terms of capital, the minimum required to open an account with Plus500 is €100 or $100.
– Customer Service
The customer service of any broker is important because, as traders, the broker is our main partner and the platform is our main tool. In the trading business we must be quick to clarify doubts and resolve any issues.
Plus500 broker offers several means of contact. There are different alternative channels (important for when the connection fails or we have problems with a particular communication channel):
- Online chat
The opening hours are continuous: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is important because our trading is not time sensitive and there are markets, such as cryptocurrencies, that do not close even on weekends. Plus500’s service isalso offered in English.
To generate your own opinion of the quality of Plus500’s customer service you can contact them through any of the contact methods they offer and ask them your questions.
– Experience and additional services
To conclude the section on Plus500’s operation and services, it is worth mentioning the parallel services they provide to their clients.
Plus500, as mentioned above, is a broker founded in 2008 and therefore has more than a decade of experience in providing solutions to traders.
In addition to the demo account, Plus500 offers the “Trader’s Guide”: a series of explanatory videos covering all the basics of CFD trading and the terms used. A support material for those who want to get started in the world of trading. This service can be accessed free of charge from the Plus500 website.
In addition, anyone can access Plus500’s Facebook page for market updates. This page has over 200,000 followers.
Plus500 also has an alert service. These are real-time notifications on price movements, percentage change and investor sentiment.
Opinions on the reliability of Plus500
Moving on from the performance and service issues (having looked at all the factors), we move on to another pillar of the decision to engage the services of a financial intermediary:
– Company facts
Behind Plus500 is a financial intermediary services company whose company name is Plus500 Ltd.
This company is a holding or parent company: it operates through several subsidiaries, in order to be able to offer its services in different countries. In other words, Plus500 is the trading name of all the companies belonging to this parent company.
For european traders, the company (subsidiary) with which the platform is contracted and offered is Plus500CY Ltd. a company based in Cyprus.
In addition to Plus500CY, Plus500 has several locations around the world. All of them are subsidiaries of Plus500 Ltd. and aim to provide services in the regions where they are located
These are the other Plus500 locations:
- Plus500Uk Ltd.: a UK based company.
- Plus500AU Pty.: a company based in Australia.
- Plus500SEY Ltd.: a Seychelles-based company
- For Plus500SGSG Pte: a Singapore-based company
The reason for having different companies authorised and offering services through them in each of the regions in which they are located is none other than to comply with financial regulations.
These regulations require that, for the benefit of customers and in the interests of security, any company seeking to market financial intermediation services must be licensed and supervised by the financial authorities of the country in which it is based.
The financial authority is what we call the regulatory body and acts as a supervisor in the world of financial markets and their agents, to prevent fraud and increase confidence, transparency and security.
When contracting an online broker it is necessary to check that it is indeed registered with the regulatory body in which it is based, as this is synonymous with legality and good practice. If this is not the case, the likelihood of fraud increases, as it could be considered a fraudulent company because it offers its services outside the regulations. In other words, without a licence.
In this respect Plus500 is a regulated broker: Plus500 UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the UK (FRN 509909). Plus500 CY Ltd is authorised and regulated by the CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) with licence number 250/14. Plus500AU Pty Ltd is regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) with licence ACN 153 301 681, AFSL # 417727.
The company providing services in Europe, i.e. Plus500CY, is based in Cyprus, a member country of the European Union. Therefore, Plus500CY has a European passport and can act as an agent in CFD brokerage throughout the common territory. But is it registered and supervised by the Cypriot financial authority?
Looking at the CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) register, we can see that it is indeed registered and therefore complies with the guarantees of solvency, transparency and good practices imposed by national and European financial regulations (its licence number is 250/14).
Plus500 is a company that provides its services legally.
Furthermore, Plus500UK, a UK based company, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in London (reference number 5099909), one of the strictest and most reputable regulatory bodies in existence.
In addition, Plus500’s various locations are also regulated in their respective countries:
- Plus500AU Pty Ltd: Australian Securities and Investment Commission; ASIC (AFSL #417727), FMA in New Zealand (FSP No. 486026) and FSCA of South Africa (Authorised Financial Services Provider #47546).
- Plus500SG Pte Ltd: Monetary Authority of Singapore (Licence No. CMS100648-1).
- Plus500SEY Ltd: Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039).
– Security of funds
The security of deposited funds is a priori linked to the regulation we have just discussed. Financial regulations often impose means on intermediaries to guarantee their clients’ money.
In the case of Plus500CY, being a broker based in Cyprus and regulated by CySEC, the financial regulation is framed within the indications expressed by the European MiFID Directive and the ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority). The measures imposed on it in this respect are as follows:
- Segregation of client funds: Client money is completely segregated from the broker’s assets. These funds are held by a bank outside Plus500 and are not available to the broker for its liquidity needs (even if only occasional). Nor will the money be subject to seizure in the event of any financial problem. The funds are completely segregated and are only used to execute any orders that the trader may place.
- Protection against negative balance: the trader can never have his account in the red. In other words, it is impossible to incur debts with the broker. The maximum amount of money that can be lost is the amount deposited in the account and Plus500 cannot demand more than that in case of losses. “Negative balance” protection is a regulatory requirement with which Plus500 complies.
- Investor Compensation Fund: Plus500 (Plus500CY Ltd) is a member of the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) for the Clients of Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs).
According to the broker itself, it does not initiate speculative positions and is not exposed to corporate or sovereign debt. It does not use client money for hedging purposes.
Moreover, the fact that Plus500 is listed on the London Stock Exchange also means that the company must file audited accounts and that it is creditworthy.
– Deposit and Withdrawal Policy
In principle, with Plus500 it is possible to open an account in several supported currencies (up to 14):
As for the payment methods available for cash transfers, they are as follows:
- Bank transfer.
- Credit or debit card.
- Sofort Überweisung
(NOTE: The payment methods chosen depend on each Plus500 site. Sofort Sofort Überweisung is not available at Plus500CY).
Plus500’s policy, like most online brokers, is to use the same mechanism for withdrawal as was selected for deposit whenever possible. This streamlines the process and avoids security and ownership issues with the payment method.
All withdrawal requests are dealt with by Plus500 within 24 hours (as long as it is a business day). After that, the elapsed time will depend on the chosen payment method. The customer has the option to monitor the status of the request.
Opinions on the use of one means of payment or another are also subjective. On the one hand, it will depend on the customer’s country, since depending on the company offering the service, more or less means of payment will be available for the customer to choose from. Then there are personal preferences when using one means of payment or another depending on the data to be provided, the commissions that these means of payment may apply in your particular case,…
In the case of Plus500 broker, cash withdrawals do not accrue any commission, but there is a minimum amount to withdraw depending on the chosen payment method. According to Plus500‘s customer service, the minimum withdrawal amount depends on the payment method.
Please note that the payment method you use may apply a non-broker commission for sending/receiving money, for currency exchange,…
Throughout this article about Plus500, we have been able to analyse the most important points in order to be able to form an opinion about how it works as an online broker when trading CFDs.
In terms of the main features, these are the ones you will find if you decide to open an account with Plus500:
- This is an internationally regulated broker.
- Trading platform with a multitude of tools.
- Possibility of accessing more than 2,000 different financial instruments and trading them via CFDs (contracts for difference).
- Allows the launch of guaranteed stop orders.
- Adjusted spreads
- 24/7 customer service in English.
- Does not allow certain trading strategies (such as automatic trading, scalping or hedging).
So much for our Plus500 review article. From InvertirEnBolsaWeb.net we hope you found it useful. We encourage you to share this information on your social networks so that other traders can have access to it.
Thank you very much for your attention.
You can register with Plus500 here:
Risk warning: CFDs are complex instruments and have a high risk of losing money quickly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford the high risk of losing your money.
The information presented here about Plus500CY Ltd. and its services is purely generic and derived from reliable publicly available sources or received from Plus500CY Ltd. (entity authorised to operate in Spain through the passporting regime, reg. 3848).
References and sources:
- Plus500UK Ltd – FCA register
- Plus500CY Limited CySEC Licence
- PLUS500 share price (PLUS) – London Stock Exchange
- Plus500 – Wikipedia