Tradeo Review (Our Opinion)
Tradeo is a social trading network and brokerage which allows you to trade Forex (FX), stocks (CFDs), indices and commodities, and copy other traders. This review focuses mainly on Tradeo’s social trading features and network, while also providing some feedback on their broker capabilities (open Tradeo trade website in a new window).
Just like any other reviews on our website, this one is based on our experience as a live customer with a real money account.
Signing up with Tradeo?
It’s worth noting that when Tradeo launched in 2012 (and we first tried the platform), they operated as a pure social trading network only. Anyone with an MT4 or ACT compatible broker could connect their account and use the platform. In order to copy other traders you had to sign up with one of their partner brokers.
Since 2014 Tradeo changed their business model and they now act as broker too. In fact, they’re a STP brokerage (not a market maker), meaning they don’t trade against you.
So now the social trading platform is exclusive to Tradeo customers. This does mean though that signing up is easier since only one sign up is required.
You can sign up and use their fully functioning free demo without the requirement to make any deposit. You can keep the demo running for as long as you like (some other networks restrict access to their demo for a limited period only). You’ll likely receive a call and some emails from their sales team but they’re not overly pushy.
If you decide to trade or copy other traders on Tradeo with real money you have to upload your id and proof of address documents. Real money accounts can be funded and managed in USD, EUR, GBP and JPY. Minimum deposit is $250. We still benefited from a nice 30% first deposit bonus. However because of some rule changes in relation to advertising by CySEC (which regulates Tradeo), bonuses are no longer offered from January 31st 2017.
In our own Tradeo experience the sign up process was very straightforward. Our account was activated within 24 hours after uploading the required documents. An account manager will also contact you to set-up a one-to-one session to take you through the platform (via remote screen sharing). Pretty useful and our account manager was able to answer all our questions (some very detailed) direct on the call without having to revert back (i.e. they were knowledgeable).
So on first impression there’re some positive points, such as the reasonable choice of currencies, unlimited demo account , low minimum deposit requirement, generous deposit bonus and delicated support.
Self Trading with Tradeo?
Tradeo’s brokerage offers you a choice of 170 FX and CFD instruments to trade on with up to 1:200 leverage.
You can bring up the order dialog pop-up for your favourite instrument direct from the webtrader interface, and for any other instruments from the instrument tab. Instant and pending orders can be entered from 0.01 lots with SL and TP. Up to 100 duplicate orders can be opened straight away too and one-click ordering is possible for the instrument displayed in the graph area.
The trade execution functionality and order execution speed on Tradeo worked fine in the few instances we tried so far. I.e. similar to what you’d expect from a standard online broker. Nothing more or nothing less.
Charts can be opened for any instrument and you can add lines, Fibonaccis and about 20 popular technical indicators. Orders can be opened directly from a chart too. All fairly standard and basic though anyone wanting advanced charting tools will use their own preferred software anyway.
If you like trading on-the-go then Tradeo has Apple iOS and Android apps available. The apps give you access to most, but not all of the functionality of the WebTrader platform.
We tried the Tradeo Android app (released October 2016) and in terms of self trading the presentation is slick and the trade execution worked seamless too. The app also gives you access to your current positions (handy on the go) and news feed. We’ve not tried the iOS version.
However if you prefer using mobile browsers to apps then unfortunately the WebTrader platform isn’t mobile response. We tried Tradeo on a 10.2 inch Android tablet and while the interface is visible, not all actions work. We certainly would not recommend using it for trade entry on tablet or mobile browsers, though checking open trades and balances is possible. It is however clearly designed to be used on a laptop or desktop PC.
While trading using laptops we’ve been using Tradeo on Firefox and Chrome browsers. While it’s been running fine for us, looking at the broadcast messages on Tradeo itself some people mentioned the interface is buggy in the past. Not clear though what devices they’re using (maybe mobile?) but something to consider and maybe try it first with their demo account before you use it to trade with real money.
Alternatively you can download MT4 for Windows or Mac from the Tradeo website too and use that instead of their webtrader platform.
Social Trading with Tradeo?
Where Tradeo’s “Social Webtrader” platform does differ from your standard broker trading interface is in the additional “social” features it offers.
When you look at a graph of any instrument, a sentiment indicator will tell you have many of the other traders on Tradeo are currently in buy or sell positions in this instrument.
In addition under the candles or bars in your chart you can see who was buying or selling at that specific time. This feature is very unique and can be quite useful. E.g. you can look back in time and find which traders were buying or selling at the right time. You can then follow them to see if their future performance is consistently good too and if so, you can copy them.
But the left hand column of your Tradeo Webtrader workbench is where the real social interactions take place. Various tabs are available to you depending on the information and communications you like:
- The Social Feed is where you can view the broadcast or trade signal messages from other Tradeo traders, or add your own message (which you can directly send to your Twitter or Facebook followers too).
- The Trading Feed shows real time trades executed by other traders. You can directly copy a trade from the feed if you want to take the same position.
- The News Feed is updated with real-time info from Reuters, FT, CNN, BBC and other sources. You can share any news you find interesting directly with the rest of the Tradeo community.
- The Chat Screen allows you to communicate via webchat privately with other traders currently online.
The social interaction features and freedom offered by Tradeo’s platform are the most profound of any social trading network we’ve reviewed or come across so far. We’re not aware of any other platform which gives you easy access to chat privately with other members or send broadcast messages as freely to the rest of the community as Tradeo allows. Unfortunately where such freedom is given abuse is likely to follow. While some conversations seem to be useful and show community members helping each other, some others are very irrelevant or promotional.
It would also be useful if language filters were added because at the moment the broadcast stream resembles a United Nations chatroom with English and French seemingly the dominant languages.
Trade Copying with Tradeo?
While you can use Tradeo to trade in a “social” environment, many of you reading this review will be interested whether you can make money by simply copying other traders.
Tradeo works as a very open network and you can automatically copy traders whose profile is set to visible, and when your profile is visible anyone can copy you. Unlike with any other major social or copy trading site, traders are not compensated in any way when their trades get copied by someone else. This obviously is a very unique approach and got us thinking about the pros and cons of this.
A positive point is that when you copy a real money account you can be certain that this trader is purely trading for their own benefit and only risking their own money. I.e. they’re not trading to get commissions which may impact their trading style and increase their risk attitude.
But on the other hand, why would a top trader share their trades for free on Tradeo, while they can make additional money if they use another network?
The argument here is that traders benefit from the use of the innovative “social” trading platform keeps them at Tradeo. Obviously this will depend on the perceived benefit by the trader and will be relative. Also, not everyone wants to make money of others and some people take pleasure of helping others for free (yes it does still happen … sometimes
In terms of our experience we’ve noticed quite a large turnover of popular (most copied) traders so far on Tradeo over the past few years (our first few years were only as demo user). To use a real example, at the end of last year we were copying a trader called Granados from Spain. While we actually profited from this trader, their account was only active for a month and a half.
Since our initial review in January 2016 it has however come to our attention that, while not “officially” (yet), Tradeo does reward the top performing and copied traders (to keep them on the network). As per the argument above that does make sense. We also noticed that the amount of active real money account traders increases weekly meaning to opportunity to find good traders to copy increases constantly.
Trader Evaluation Features?
You can filter the traders using a number of variables such as average trade duration, approach, maximum drawdown, account age, most traded pair and average leverage. Some of the variables are based on the information provided by the traders themselves and hence not very reliable.
At the time we started writing this first review, January 2016, the most copied trader on the list of filtered active traders with real money accounts was Corporation Boomdirect, but their actual historical graph showed a loss of -100% since December 16th 2015. It normally doesn’t make much sense that a trader who lost all their money is still the most copied trader. However, the number of followers and copiers also includes demo account users which may explain this inconsistency.
When you sort by gain % instead, you’ll notice quite a lot of traders with some very high unrealistic gain % on real money accounts. This is currently mainly related to the $25 real money bonus credit which Tradeo offers. It means plenty of people trying to make high profits using very high leverage on their $25. Obviously when hundreds of people try, some will statistically succeed … at least for a little while. And yes … you can try yourself (Tradeo $25 free offer – here) since you’ll have nothing to lose.
However in terms of trade copying, you should ignore those traders from your evaluation shortlist. Unfortunately this cannot be done using the filter criteria so you will have to manually browse through many pages of search results.
The filtered search results display up to 5 traders per page and for each of those traders you can display more information about the demo and real accounts they have with Tradeo. For each account you can find some basic additional information. This includes number of copiers, most traded pair, pips gain to date, gain % to date, win ratio, max drawdown, average trade time, total transactions and average leverage.
You can see how long the Tradeo account has been active by looking at the performance graph for the entire lifetime. You can also view all current open positions, pending orders and closed trades. However closed trades only show the closed datestamp and not when the trade was opened. You also cannot download the historical trades for your own offline analysis and showing more than the last 100 closed trades becomes fairly cumbersome. This means it’s very difficult to analyse the trading style at specific times in the past.
The position sizes of any open or closed trades are not shared and neither is the actual account balance. So while the trader may be risking their own money on Tradeo it’s not clear how much.
And finally, the maximum drawdown figures look questionable since with some traders it shows historic drawdown of over 500%! This is strange since the maximum possible drawdown is 100%, at which stage the account lost everything.
So overall, the past performance indicators and analysis tools provided by Tradeo are fairly basic. Nevertheless you can get some indication of the trader’s trading style and historical performance. You can also copy them using your demo account first, which will also give you a clearer indication of the expected trade copying sizes and daily/weekly drawdown before you start risking your own money.
The Tradeo trader search functionality can be improved significantly in our opinion. Currently there’s no way to filter out all the unrealistically high gainers, whichever order or filter criteria you apply. It would also be useful to filter out other copiers because you cannot copy them on Tradeo anyway.
Risk and money management features
In this part of the review we look at the options available on the platform which allow you to manage your risk when copying other traders.
When you copy a trader account on Tradeo you can chose between 2 different options:
- Standard allows you to set a fixed lot size and every trade will be copied in that size in your account, regardless of the size the trader used in their account.
- Dynamic will copy the trades using Tradeo’s dynamic copying system which takes into account the other traders trade size and leverage.
The dynamic option also let you set your preferred and maximum position size. However, how the dynamic position size gets calculated is still a bit of a mystery to me (even after input from our account manager).
It sounded like your preferred size will be opened when the trader you copy trades using 1 to 1 leverage. When they use higher leverage, your trades will be opened at higher leverage up to your maximum position size. However in practise that doesn’t always seems to be the case. When I asked for the actual formula I was told there’s nothing official Tradeo can share on this.
So if you consider copying in Dynamic mode, it’s certainly worth trying in demo mode please so you get an impression of the lot sizes opened. Otherwise just use Standard mode, which is very clear and transparent.
Overall Tradeo’s risk management features are basic. There’s no way to limit how many trades a trader you copy can open or the maximum losses they can make before you automatically stop copying them. So if you copy one trader it’s still ok to manage because the maximum they can lose is your account balance. However once you start copying multiple traders, it only takes one trader going rogue to deplete your total account. So regular monitoring is a must.
Costs and fees
Because Tradeo acts as a broker as well, the cost of using their social trading network and platform is totally free. The cost is assumed in the spreads, which seem fairly standard. EURUSD spread averages about 1.8 pips, AUDUSD 2.2 pips, USDJPY 2.3 pips and GBPUSD 3.1 pips. More exotic pairs are averaging about 4 pip spreads which is very reasonable compared to some other brokers.
When you copy other traders you also have to take into account the “slippage cost”. This is the difference in price the trader you copy gets and the price you get. While slippage can be in your advance, due to the nature forex markets move when trades get copied, it normally goes against you.
The average slippage we’ve experienced so far with Tradeo on our live account has been on average just under 1 pip per round trip trade. This means that slippage is below the industry average based on our live account experience with about 10 other social trade copying platforms. When benchmarking the service we also copied their most popular trader at the time, David Broza, which makes the result even more credible (normally slippage gets higher when more people copy a trader as market liquidity dries up trying to fill all copied orders). We will however continue to track slippage with our live account and update this review if slippage numbers change (e.g. if they would normally increase while Tradeo grows their customer base).
Tradeo offers e-mail, live chat and telephone support with local numbers for the UK, France and Italy. They also have a dedicated support section on their website with a knowledge base of previous questions & answers.
In addition quite a few clients seem to use the social interaction features to ask support questions directly to other clients.
Once you register, even for a demo account, you’ll normally already get assigned an account manager who will contact you both by email and telephone to see if you need any further information (and try to entice you with bonus offers to open a real money account).
We already mentioned that Tradeo offers a free demo account for you to try trading yourself or copying other traders with $50,000 of virtual money. Unlike with some other social trading networks, there’s no limit on the duration you can keep your demo account open.
In addition the demo account does take into account slippage when you copy other traders giving you a more realistic experience for when you would start using real money. Some other copy trading platforms omit slippage from their demo experience meaning the results are often slightly inflated.
Tradeo review Pros:
- Single sign-up since Tradeo acts as broker too
- Full non-expiring demo available
- Demo results realistic because they take into account slippage
- Direct interaction possible with full community or individual traders
- Active social community
- Telephone and online chat support available
- Accounts possible in 4 currencies
- Below industry average slippage experienced to date
- iOS app
Tradeo review Cons:
- “Social Webtrader” platform not mobile friendly
- Trader evaluation tools fairly basic
- Difficult to view full trading history and not possible to download for off-line analysis
- Account balance or trade sizes not shared (no idea how much traders risk)
- Experienced high trader turnover to date
- Formula for Dynamic trade copying not transparent (and not known)
- Impossible to limit risk per trader you copy
- no Android app
In summary, Tradeo is one of the most advanced ‘trading platforms’ in terms of social interaction features offered. You can easily view the sentiment and trading activity of other traders and communicate directly with them. The features to evaluate the historic performance of other traders and manage your risk when automatically copying them are fairly basic. So far the turnover of top (most copied) traders has been fairly high in our experience. Hence Tradeo is currently more suited to active traders who enjoy engaging with others than passive investors who just want to copy other traders without monitoring their positions.
Based on our continued experience we’ll keep this Tradeo review up-to-date when new features get released or our view changes. Of course your comments and feedback is welcome too?
Last updated: January 27, 2017
Please note that this review is written based on our experience with a demo and real money account. Trading forex and/or with leverage can be very risky and result in loss of your full investment. Never invest money you cannot afford to lose and always consult a financial advisor if you’re unsure whether this type of investing is right for you.