AxiTrader Review: Complete Broker Overview
AxiTrader is a relatively well established CFD broker that comes to us from Australia.
They have an extensive track record in the industry and are well known for their relatively attentive customer service and extensive asset coverage. They also have a range of trading platforms and give traders numerous customisation options.
However, are they safe and can they be trusted?
In this Axitrader review we will take an in-depth look into the broker’s regulation, technology, fees and much more. We will also give you some top tips in order to make the most of your trading experience.
AxiTrader was founded in Sydney in 2007 originally as an Australian broker under AxiCorp financial services which has offices at Level 10, 90 Arthur St.
They have steadily grown their international presence as well and in 2012, they established their UK arm of the business under AxiCorp limited. They have offices at 55 Baker Street in London.
The broker has kept expanding since then and started offering their services in China in 2015 and the middle east and Germany in 2016. The expansion has continued unabated and has since seen AxiTrader reaching 150 different countries.
As a CFD broker, AxiTrader gives their clients access to a range of assets with which they can trade with leverage up to 400:1. These include the likes of Forex, Equities, Commodities and cryptocurrencies.
They are perhaps best known for their relatively straightforward product offering and their “no nonsense” approach to their business. They regularly score top marks for their customer service, trading tools and general transparency.
More recently, the broker has tried to appeal to customers with their offer of some of the lowest spreads on the market. For example, with their pro accounts they are offering traders close to 0 spreads on some of the major forex pairs.
Regulation is perhaps one of the most important questions that any trader may have about a broker. We would strongly recommend any trader that is considering using an online CFD broker to confirm their regulatory status.
When it comes to AxiTrader, they have two licences of importance. These are their ASIC licence (AFSL #318232) and their FCA licence (FRN: 509746). The latter allows them to offer their services into the UK and Europe and the former is their Australian licence.
Extract of the UK FCA licence for Axicorp Limited. Source: FCA
So, why do these matter?
Well, there are a number of protections that clients have the privilege of when they are dealing with a broker with these licences. These include numerous costs that they have to incur upfront as well as regular reporting standards. Here are some of the requirements for a licence:
- Large Capital Reserves: Before a broker will get a licence issued by ASIC or the FCA they will have to have a large amount of capital as a buffer for protection. In the case of ASIC this should be A$1m and in the case of the FCA they will require 1m GBP.
- Segregated Client Accounts: This means that the broker is obligated to keep their client funds that have been deposited separate from their business accounts. This is done to ensure that anything that goes on with the broker funds cannot impact on your money that you have deposited.
- Upfront and Regular KYC: The regulators will conduct a thorough KYC on the broker and its operators. They will dig into the financial history of the directors and conduct through background checks and the like. They will also require all changes to the structure of the business to be reported timeously
- Client Complaints and Advertising: There are also strict protocol from these agencies as to how client complaints are dealt with and how these brokers are allowed to promote their services. There should be full transparency which is indeed welcome
Given that AxiTrader will have to had to have conformed with these requirements, you can feel at ease about the safety of using their services. Moreover, unlike with an unregulated brand, you know exactly which regulator to turn to should you have any issues with AxiTrader. There are arbitration processes in place that are able to deal with these issues.
At AxiTrader, you can trade CFDs on the margin. This means that you can leverage up your trades up to a certain factor. At AxiTrader, the maximum leverage that you can attain on some of the professional accounts is up to 400:1.
However, leverage levels will vary a great deal depending on the type of account that you have as well as the instruments that you are trading. In order for you to get a good idea of the kind of leverage levels that you can trade with you will have to take a look at the product schedule. Below is the Initial Margin rate and leverage tables at AxiTrader.
The Margin requirements from Product Schedule
This actually looks much more complicated than it actually is. On top you have the account leverage numbers which will range from 1:50 to 1:400 depending on whether the account that you have set up is a standard or a pro account.
Then, to the left of that you have the standard margin rate that will differ according to the asset in question. For example. A client on 1:400 account leverage may receive on EURUSD a 0.25% Initial Margin requirement for a symbol with 1% Standard Margin.
When it comes to liquidation levels at AxiTrader, they will take out a position once your total equity falls below 20%.
As most traders may know, fees are one of the most important criteria when it comes to choosing a broker. We also want a broker to be transparent with the fees that they charge.
AxiTrader seems to be fairly transparent with their fees and have a similar fee model to a range of other brokers in the industry.
The spreads and commissions at Axi are based on what sort of account that you register with them. The Pro account comes with lower spreads but will charge you a commission based on the number of lots that you trade. The lot commission is about $7 or the local currency equivalent per round trip.
The standard account will not charge you a commission on the lots but spreads will start from 1pip. The below table will give you an idea of the types of spreads that you can achieve with various different markets (in pips).
|Symbol||As low as||Average Spread|
|Standard Account||Pro Account||Standard Account||Pro Account|
There are other fees that you are likely to incur that are related to the CFD product. These include a “swap fee” that is used to adjust for interest rate differentials between the two base currencies.
You will also have financing or “overnight” fees that are charged on those positions that are kept open overnight. This will vary depending on the interbank interest rate that is being applied on the currencies at the time. AxiTrader will charge their own spread to this which is +1.25% for a long position and -1.25% for a short position.
Banking & Other Fees
Surprisingly, you are not charged any fees for a deposit / withdrawal at Axi. So, irrespective of your funding method they will not charge a broker fee to it.
Of course, there may be other fees that are applied by third party payment processors and banks. For example, if you are funding via SWIFT then there may be fees charged by third party banks or if you fund via card then your credit card provider may charge a fee.
There are other administrative charges that you may incur which include things like sending duplicate statements as well as debt collection charges. However, these are unlikely to affect most traders.
There are a range of different CFD products that you can trade at AxiTrader. These are both spot CFDs as well as a selection of CFDs on Futures (future price).
These are all laid out in the product schedule together with information on the leverage, lot sizes, trading value and trading hours. Here is a list of some of the assets that they offer on the platform:
- Forex: AxiTrader has a pretty extensive list of forex pairs that you can trade. These include all the majors and minors. They also have got some of the most exotic crosses that we have seen for a forex broker. For example, they have the AUDPLN and EURZAR. Most of these forex pairs have 1-2% initial margin rate with some of the more volatile pairs like Ruble crosses up to 10%.
- Precious Metals: There are a range of metals that you can trade on the platform. These include the likes of Silver, Gold, Palladium and Platinum. For gold and silver, they have also crossed it with a number of currencies. Margin rates will vary from 1-3%
- Commodities: AxiTrader provides not only cash (spot) CFDs but they also have future CFDs on a range of commodity assets. These include both the hard variety such as crude, natural gas and the soft kind like soybeans, coffee and cocoa. Margin rates vary from 1-4%.
- Indices: They have a range of Equity indices that you can trade. These are from stock exchanges in a number of different regions in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The standard margin rate for these is 4% but is 12% for the Chinese indices. They also have CFDs on the future price of these indices and these have a lower margin rate of 1%
- Cryptocurrencies: Finally, they have 6 cryptocurrencies that you can trade including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Dash and Litecoin (LTC). These are all USD based but have really high margins at 80%.
While this looks like a pretty attractive asset offering, there seems to be a distinct lack of any single name equities to trade. This is unfortunate for those traders who like to open positions on particular companies.
AxiTrader Account Types
There are a range of account types that you can choose from at AxiTrader. These include the demo account as well as two different “live” accounts.
Which account you end up choosing will depend a great deal on your own personal preferences and trading experience. For those who are uncertain, they can start with the demo account and move their way up.
As has become standard for most brokers these days, AxiTrader offers a demo account. This is a great way for a trader to practice their trading in a non-threatening and beginner friendly way.
When you first create the demo account, AxiTrader will give you $50,000 in demo funds so that you can replicate live trading conditions by placing actual trades. They will just require a few personal details before they are able to give you the demo account.
Demo Account at AxiTrader
While the demo account is welcome, we were surprised to learn that it had a 30 day limit. While some other brokers may implement similar limits, it is becoming less common these days.
However, if you really did want to keep on practicing past 30 days then you could always re-register with another email address and password. While this may see you losing “profits” that you picked up, it is better than nothing.
There are two types of live accounts and these are the standard and the pro accounts. These basically differ according to their fee structure as well as the amount of leverage that you can employ with them.
As mentioned in the fees section, with the pro account you have much lower spreads than the standard account although you do have to pay lot commission. With the pro account you also can trade with up to 400x leverage.
Which account you choose will depend to a great degree on your trading volume and experience. If you do high volumes and you have extensive experience trading then the pro account is definitely for you.
Steps to Create a Live Trading Account
However, if you are just starting out or you do not trade with that much regularity then you should consider the standard account. There is nothing else really that differentiates the two.
You also have to consider the risks that come with leverage of up to 400x. While this could be a great way to enhance your returns there is also a large downside risk. Remember, if your account gets to 20% equity then your position will be liquidated quickly.
AxiTrader Customer Support
The online broker space is littered with examples of pretty awful customer service. Hence, it is quite a big criteria for us when we are selecting CFD brokers.
Something that we quite liked about AxiTrader is that they are fairly open and transparent. They have a number of methods by which you can contact them with the fastest probably being by telephone.
They have over 10 different toll-free numbers that you can call any time of the day (Monday-Friday) should you have problems with your account. These are based in a number of different regions which means that you will get local language support.
The Australian toll-free number is 1300 888 936 and the international toll-free number is +61 2 9965 5830.
Numerous Toll Free numbers at AxiTrader
If you are slightly more traditional then you can make use of their specific customer support emails. You can reach them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We tested this out and we were able to get a response in under an hour.
Alternatively, if you do not want to wait for a response on the email then you can always speak to them over live chat. We also used this and we were able to get an instant response from an agent at AxiTrader.
What really put the cherry on top for us was the fact that they were quite open to traders visiting their account managers at the offices. This adds further weight to their “personal touch” argument but you will have to call prior to arriving to make sure that they manager is present.
MT4 Trading Platform
In terms of the trading platforms and technology at AxiTrader, they make use of the MT4 software. Most traders will no doubt be aware of this platform and many will have used it at other brokers.
For those who do not know, MT4 is a third-party trading program that was developed by a company called Metaquotes. This is one the most widely used external trading software currently on the market.
The MT4 platform is also much more sophisticated than any other technology that has been developed in house by a broker. It has a plethora of charting functionality as well as technical analysis. It also allows you to code your own bots or “EA” in order to automate your trading.
User interface of the MT4 platform on PC Client
The MT4 platform is available to either be traded through your web browser or on the computer client. The latter is available for download on the AxiTrader platform and is available for both Windows and Mac machines.
While it is great that you have so many options for trading with the MT4, we would suggest that you err towards the computer client. This is because it is easier to complete your charting on this and there is also much less latency than there is on a web version.
Next Gen MT4
AxiTrader is one of the few brokers to start offering the NextGen MT4 platform. This includes a number of other tools and features that you will not find on the standard platform. The following is an example of some of them:
- Sentiment Indicator: View what other traders are doing to get further insight
- Correlation Trader: Try and spot new opportunities and cut down the management costs
- Alarm Manager: Give yourself more control around the types of alarms you set and how powerful they are.
- Economic Calendar: You can set your alerts to big economic events that are coming up
- New Terminal Window: More post-trade features including managing OCO, alerts, templates and group functions.
- Automated trade journal: Improve the analysis and reporting through and enhanced trade journal.
- Session Map: Interactive map that shows which markets are currently open for business.
- Mini Manager: Enter and exit trades more quickly than ever before.
The Next Gen MT4 platform is available to all of those AxiTrader clients who have more than $1,000 in their accounts. Of course, you can also give it a whirl with a free demo account beforehand.
For those traders who are constantly on the move, you will be happy to know that MT4 platform is also supported on your mobile device. Metaquotes has developed MT4 applications for both iOS and Android devices.
When you install it on your device it connects to the AxiTrader server from with your MT4 account details. This has a pretty extensive array of features for a mobile trading application. For example, you can still do a great deal of charting as well as implement a many of the studies.
However, we would still prefer to use the PC client for most of the advanced trading. When you are using a mobile you will have to contend with potential connectivity issues, not to mention the difficulty of placing trendlines on a mobile interface!
Something else that AxiTrader has included free for all of their clients is their Autochartist. This is a tool that will scan the market and look for potential trade opportunities or profitable setups based on resistance levels.
This is an MT4 plugin that is relatively easy to install and comes in 11 different languages. It is also managed from a single user interface which you can customize to suit your trading environment.
AxiTrader Autochartist user interface
When you have it open and you spot a potential trading opportunity, you can quickly hit the “view” button and it will open the chart in question. This will allow you to quickly place the trade should you still find it favorable.
You can also use the volatility analysis which will help you set realistic exit levels that are based on current market conditions. Should you want to receive alerts for these opportunities while away from your desk then you can also get them sent to your email.
Third Party Plugins
In order to further sweeten the deal for all of the traders, Axitrader has built in integrations for a number of third-party trading services.
This is actually quite an impressive list of services that range from trade copying software to social trading and trade analytics software. Some of these services are also well known to more professional traders.
Hence, if you already have an account with one of these providers then you can link up your account with them. If you do not have an account then you can easily create one straight from the AxiTrader website.
Duplitrade allows you to automatically duplicate the actions of other expert traders on the platform directly in your trading account. These traders will be chosen by Duplitrade based on their database of successful traders.
Once you have created an account at Duplitrade these signals will be sent directly to your Axi trading account in the MT4 interface. It will also give you tools in order to better analyse the returns of the other traders on the platform.
Duplitrade is an extra feature that is offered for free to all of those AxiTrader clients who have more than $5,000 in their accounts. You can of course also test it in a demo to make sure it works for you.
Tradency is a well-known mirror trading software. This allows you to follow the trading strategies of a group of professional traders. You can also make use of algorithmic strategies that have been developed by these same professionals.
So, Tradency is a bridge between these expert developers and your trading account. It allows these expert developers to create their own fully tested trading algorithms. You can either run these live in your account automatically or you can choose to copy select developers.
If you are the kind of person who likes to bounce ideas off other traders then you may appreciate Zulutrade. This is the world’s leading online and mobile Social Trading platform. It can also be used for copy trading purposes and traders are ranked on the platform according to “ZuluRank”.
You can also make use of some of the other neat features on Zulutrade including an account management suite that is equipped with advanced risk management tools. For example, “Zuluguard” is a risk management tool that will protect you from extreme volatility.
This is one of the world’s most advanced data analytics platforms for retail traders. It makes use of some of the most sophisticated algorithms which will analyse your own personal trading style to give you hints and tips about how to improve it.
Not only will it analyse your trading history and make suggestions around this but it will also make use of the reams of trading data that it has gathered over the years. This could help you by making suggestions which could significantly improve your trading performance.
PsyQuation on Axitrader
You can also set the platform up to receive notifications via the app, email or an SMS. These alerts could be set at the intraday level in order to provide up to date suggestions for improving your trading.
Lastly, if you think that your trading is impressive then you can always export your trading data and use it to secure external funding from investors. This would be through the AxiSelect program.
It’s always helpful when a broker includes resources that can help the beginner traders among us to better understand forex and CFD trading. AxiTrader is no exception in this regard.
They have included a number of guides, videos and resources on their website that are positioned at traders with varying skill levels. Below are some of these materials:
This covers elementary concepts in Forex and CFD trading. It will give you a list of helpful explanations and descriptions that can break some of the jargon that you will encounter when trading on any forex trading platform.
They also take you through some of the more important mechanics of CFDs. This can be helpful when it comes to calculating your margins and understanding how price movements in the asset can impact on your PnL.
Lastly, they also have a glossary that covers some of those terms that you may not have heard about before.
For those traders who prefer to watch videos for guidance, AxiTrader has included a host of video tutorials on demand. These tutorials help those traders new to the MT4 platform about how to set it up and make the most of its functionality.
If you prefer to get a print version that you can download for offline reading, then they include their free ebook. This is actually available for free and anyone can download it. You will need to hand over your contact details in order to get sent the ebook. We downloaded the book and it appears to be pretty stock and standard (not a customised solution).
They also have a section that covers some of the latest charting setups from a technical analysis perspective. However, this seems to be quite outdated and has not been updated since October in 2018.
Forex Economic Calendar
Something else that you will most likely want to make use of is the Economic calendar. These are pretty standard for Forex traders and is used to mark all the important Economic announcements that are coming up over the coming weeks / months.
This is helpful for traders to manage their risk around potentially market moving news. It can also be used by those who like to trade using an event driving strategy. They will trade the excess market volatility created by misses or overshoots of the forecasted numbers.
While the economic calendar is a great tool to have on the AxiTrader website, you can get them anywhere really. For example, you can always use the economic calendar on Yahoo finance.
Traders who like to develop their own trading algorithms and Expert Advisors usually tend to purchase a VPS server to run their scripts on. This is because these are running 24/7 and have very little downtime.
Moreover, given that these VPSs are located in high speed datacentres, you have very little latency when it comes trade execution. This is especially important for those traders who use high frequency trading algorithms.
ForexVPS.net Hosting Benefits
AxiTrader works with a host of VPS providers that they can help you set up hosting accounts with. Moreover, for those traders who trade more than 20 lots per calendar month, Axi will credit your account with $34.99 which can be used to pay for hosting.
This could be an attractive solution for those professional traders who trade high volume through their algorithms.
What We Didn’t Like
While there are a number of things that we liked about AxiTrader, there were a few things that we were quite disappointed by.
Firstly, we were surprised to see that they do not have any single name equities or stocks available to trade in their product offering. This is pretty standard for online brokers these days and may hurt them when it comes to stock traders.
Secondly, although they do offer cryptocurrency trading, the margin levels are very disappointing. With an 80% margin on all crypto pairs, it means that you are only getting an effective leverage of about 1.25x. For those traders who want more leverage they should try the likes of IQ Option and Plus500.
We were also quite disappointed that although they did have a range of educational material, there were no live courses or webinars. These are offered by numerous other brokers and are a great way to provide ongoing support to the traders.
Lastly, AxiTrader is still unavailable to large markets in regions such as the United States and Canada. This may limit their growth opportunities globally.
Our review has found AxiTrader to be an honest, respected and well-established broker. Having been in operation for over 10 years, the broker has clearly earned the kudos that have been bestowed upon it.
They seem to offer a beginner friendly trading package with personalised customer service all with the security of a well-regulated international brand. Moreover, they have a host of other features which will satisfy the professional traders among you.
There are of course some areas for improvement as it relates to their asset coverage and educational material. However, these are relatively easy to rectify and it is possible that with enough requests, they could include them.
So, should you consider AxiTrader?
Well, if you are looking for a well run and fully regulated broker with strong customer support and a reasonable product offering then it could the broker for you.
Featured Image via AxiTrader