FxPro SuperTrader Review (Our Opinion)
Please note that FxPro discontinued their SuperTrader feature in Q3 2016. We’re leaving this review on the site though as it may be an interesting read when comparing different networks and platforms. You can still social trade with FxPro as a broker when you join other networks such as ayondo or ZuluTade.
FxPro was launched in 2006 and are currently a leading global FX broker with clients in over 150 countries. However, their SuperTrader platform, which is the subject of our review, was only released near the end of 2013. This social investment platform aims to bring FxPro’s clients and investors together with experienced traders and trading strategy leaders. It allows investors to review and automatically copy the trades of these experienced traders in their own FxPro account.
Because SuperTrader is exclusively available to FxPro clients, you first have to open a normal FxPro account, after which your SuperTrader account will be created as well. All of this sounds and should be fairly straight-forward. However, it’s important to note that SuperTrader accounts currently can only be in USD. Hence, if you’d selected another base currency for your main FxPro account and vault (GBP in our case) you actually end up going through 2 unnecessarily currency conversions if you fund your account in USD. Hence if you only want to use SuperTrader, ensure you select USD as base currency everywhere. The fact that the platform is currently only available in USD is a slight limitation as well for investors from non USD currency countries, since obviously their investments would all be held in USD to start with (i.e. you’re at that stage investing in the USD as well, unless you hedge of course, but that’s not something outside the comfort zone of most investors in these type of social trade copying services).
It’s also important to note that from 5th May 2014 (i.e. after we opened our accounts) FxPro increased for new customers the minimum equity you need to have in your SuperTrader account to $50,000 (or alternative you can deposit $10,000 and use their credit line to get your equity up to $50,000). I.e. the minimum deposit requirements are now fairly high. On October 13th 2014 they changed this again, reducing the minimum investment amount to $30K and the credit multiplier to 2. So this also means that with a minimum deposit of $10K you still meet the new minimum using the credit multiplier of 2 ($10,000 deposit + $20,000 credit).
Who are the SuperTrader Leaders
As mentioned above, the main aim of SuperTrader is to give investors access to “experienced” Fx traders. So who are they? On FxPro, these “leaders” are either corporate entities or individuals that act as strategy providers and send their trade signals in real time through SuperTrader. It’s important to note that all leaders send their signals from “live” trading accounts, so they all risk their own money as well. In addition FxPro mentions the leaders go through a stringent approval process during which the performance of their trading strategy is closely monitored to ensure consistency and adherence to certain FxPro risk management guidelines. Leaders get paid a 5% performance fee for any winning trades they make in the accounts of investors who copy them. This is paid to them on a monthly basis.
Because the service was very new at the time of our initial review and most leaders only had a short history on FxPro it was not really possible to comment on the thoroughness of FxPro’s selection process at the time. We mainly mention this because another social trading service we reviewed and who claimed to vet their trade leaders turned out to be very poor. I.e. over time many of their top performers ended up using martingale strategies, blowing their accounts and being removed from the platform (which any new investors would obviously be unaware off). However, the reward structure of FxPro seems to be fairer to avoid these type of practises, and so far (we’ve now monitored the list of SuperTrader strategies for 2 years) while we’ve seen some systems being removed, the performance seems very genuine. Our own results so far have been positive too.
Obviously we will keep monitoring and will update this review when any of the facts or opinions change (something we do with all our reviews). In our first update (in October 2014) after our initial review we noted that some strategies already came and went. The number of strategies to copy also decreased by then to less than 10, though FxPro seemed to be pro-active and they quickly remove any strategies which no longer meet their criteria (and who’s performance deteriorates) before too much damage is done. Since March 2015 the number of strategies offered started increasing again. You now get a mix of some strategies which have been around and performing well on SuperTrader for alomost 2 years and some which are still fairly new (less than 6 months history).
One of the most positive factors about the leaders on FxPro SuperTrader is not only that they trade with their own money but, that you can also work out how much this is. In fact, most leader accounts have balances of $10,000 or more. This is pretty unique since other social trading and trade copying networks normally don’t share that information.
Currently there are over 30 strategies you can review and copy. These are split in 2 types, FxPro or Third Party strategies. The difference is pretty obvious, meaning that the SuperTrader strategies listed as FxPro have been developed “in house” by FxPro, while the Third Party strategies are created by Leaders outside of FxPro. So far our best results have come from copying some of the third party ones.
We also mentioned the fact that FxPro actively monitors and manages the strategies, and I’d like to give 2 examples of this:
- We received an email saying that one of the SuperTrader strategies we were following got closed because they noticed that they changed their risk management strategy. This actually wasn’t even a bad performing system and we’d already made about 20% in 4 months. Because FxPro closed the system before exponential losses accrued, we still ended up making 10%. On other social trading platforms we’ve seen profits disappear to 100% losses with some traders (who ended up using Martingale type strategies).
- Due to the generally low liquidity experienced during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, most of the SuperTrader strategies get either completely stopped or operate under reduced trading in order to avoid unexpected volatility. This is part of FxPro’s standard risk management procedures in order to protect their clients’ funds. They begin trading regular again in January ones they deem conditions have returned back to normal.
Selecting the Leaders/Strategies to Copy on FxPro SuperTrader
With any social trading and trade copying service review it’s important to look at the data and features offered to investors to help them analyse the past performance and make a decision on which traders (called “strategies” on FxPro’s platform) to copy.
From the SuperTrader strategies page you can compare all strategies using key parameters like “average weekly returns”, “maximum drawdown” and “investor rating”. For each strategy you can drill down to get further information, including strategy description, performance graphs of time and historical statistics like average winning/losing trades $, profit factor, net P/L $ and winning %.
It’s not the most comprehensive list of statistics (e.g. average trade duration, numbers of copiers and FX pairs traded historically would be nice additions). However, for most investors the performance graphs and historical statistics available will be more than enough to make informed decisions to pick strategies which match their risk profile. In addition all historical trades can be downloaded in Excel, which is very useful if you want to do your own off-line analysis.
Current open trades are displayed too and all data is updated real-time. In fact, it’s fair to say that FxPro SuperTrader is fully transparent, even including the actual USD amount the leaders gained or lost themselves.
SuperTrader Risk and Money Management features
Once you’ve decided which strategy to copy, you can set a number of parameters in SuperTrader to help you manage your risk:
- “Amount Allocation in $”, which is how much of your account you want to allocate to the strategy (the minimum amount is $500 though a few strategies may require a higher amount). Please note that all trades will be copied proportionally. So if you allocated $500 and the strategy’s equity is $5,000, when the leader opens 1 lot, in your account 0.1 lot will be opened.
- “Ratio Multiplier” of 1 or 2 which you can use to increase your risk (until October 13th 2014 a multiplier of 3 was available to, but that got removed by FxPro).
- “Strategy Maximum Loss %” you allow before you want all trades to be closed and to stop following the strategy (between 5 and 30% allowed).
- “Trailing Stop (Equity) %” is similar to the previous stop, but takes into account gains as well, so you can lock in profits.
FxPro’s SuperTrader user guide explains these in more detail, but overall the money and risk management parameters are fairly intuitive and offer enough scope to manage your account depending on your personal risk profile.
Once you’re following strategies you can follow the performance of your account in real-time, and if you like, can manually close any trades which were opened by a strategy.
Registering for FxPro SuperTrader is totally free and the spreads are the same as you’d get in a normal FxPro account (they’re industry standard and competitive). Only when you copy a 3rd party strategy you’ll have to pay a 5% performance fee on profitable trades. We don’t mind paying a fee for profits made and believe this approach is very fair. An argument can be made that the fee should be based on your account’s high water mark, but from experience this seems to push certain trader’s into high risk approaches when they try to recover from large losses. Overall the costs of FxPro’s SuperTrader are low compared to other similar services.
When talking about costs we always like to mention and review the slippage as well. Slippage (for those not familiar with social copy trading) is the difference in price you get in your account and the price the trader you copy got. Because the traders/strategies on SuperTrader all use FxPro trading accounts as well (like yours), you’d expect the slippage to be lower than on social trading platforms where different brokers are involved. From our experience so far on SuperTrader, this is also the case. We notice some slippage but on average 1 pip or less per round trip (i.e. open and close together).
As mentioned we had some issues with setting up the SuperTrader account. I found the support we received via e-mail and from our account manager very good. Unfortunately the support from the call back feature can only be described as incompetent and useless (“Stating a problem does not resolve the problem.”). Their response seemed to be scripted so better use e-mail (so they have time to find the right person to answer) or use your account manager. FAQs and help guides are available and their “FxPro SuperTrader User Guide .pdf” (click here to access) is probable the most detailed and useful we’ve seen among the social trading platforms. The lack of a demo account on the other hand is disappointing since it’s always nicer if you can try something before you invest “real” hard cash. You can however start small-ish from $500.
“Social Trading” covers everything from sharing trade ideas with others to automatically copying trades from others. FxPro SuperTrader has approached this from the latter perspective, and there are very limited social interaction features offered. Leaders can amend their descriptions (though we’ve not seen any of them do this regularly), and that’s all. Personally we sometimes like updates from the traders we copy since it provides some further inside into their trading behaviour. However as long as the quality of the traders is good, this a more a nice to have in our opinion.
Until June 2015, investors were also able to rate the strategies they followed. In our opinion ratings were a good addition since it provided feedback from real customers who were copying or copied the strategy with “real” money. Hence it’s a slight disappointed that the ratings got removed.
FxPro SuperTrader review Pros:
- Leaders are vetted by FxPro
- All leaders trade from real money accounts
- All data (including $ amounts) is fully transparent
- Some good quality leaders to copy
- Good risk/account management controls
- Leaders on paid for profitable trades
- Very clear user guide
- Trade history can be downloaded in Excel
- Low cost and reasonable slippage
- Fully integrated service with intuitive interface
FxPro SuperTrader review Cons:
- SuperTrader accounts can only be in USD
- No demo account
- High initial investment required (min. $10,000 deposit + use $40,000 credit line)
- Some strategies require high minimum investment ($10,000)
- So far still new overall platform and limited trading history of leaders
- No interaction with leaders possible
In summary, FxPro SuperTrader is a social investment platform for more serious investors. It’s not for people looking to play with $50 or $100, but invest $10,000 upwards. The interface is pretty intuitive and all the data provided on the leader traders and strategies you can copy is fully transparent. FxPro also pre-selects the strategies and monitors them actively, meaning the list to select from is fairly manageable and the statistics provided useful. You can manage your risk per strategy pretty closely. At the beginning the list of strategies available on SuperTrader changed quite a bit. However, for the past year, the list of strategies has been fairly stable and quite a few now have almost 2 years of historical data available. Still, as always, past results are never a guarantee of future success. It is however very positive that they all invest significant amounts of their own money which can be seen as a mitigating factor to the lack of historical data.
Last updated: December 2, 2016
As usual with the reviews on Social Trading Guru, please note that this review is based on our personal experience of using FxPro SuperTrader as a “live” customer with “real money” invested. Images included are from my live account. Before you consider investing yourself though, please make sure you understand the risks since this type of investing may not be suitable for everyone.