ZuluTrade Review: Brokers
To start trading real money on ZuluTrade you need to open a broker account and fund it. There’s a choice of over 40 brokers to choose from (and the list increases constantly). To help you choose you can refine the list based on a number of criteria (SEE IMAGE). E.g. whether they’re regulated in Europe, the US or elsewhere, whether they support mobile apps (iPhone, iPad or Android), support trading micro lots and CDFs, whether they’re MetaTrader 4, ActForex, FXCM Trading Station or FXDD Swordfish compatible. Some of these selections, such as Directly Integrated with ZuluTrade and Full Refund Policy will only return their own broker, i.e. AAAfx.
The sliders allow you to search through the list of supported ZuluTrade brokers by maximum leverage offered to customers and by minimum deposit required.
The maximum Commission is a sliding parameter you can select and is a key one. The commission level is the amount of pips your broker will charge you, in addition to the normal pip spread, for each trade in your account which is generated through a ZuluTrade signal. E.g. if the broker spread on EUR/USD is 1.5 pips and the commission is 1 pip, your total cost for the trade is 2.5 pips. The commission is used by the broker to pay ZuluTrade and any additional costs they associate with integrating with the ZuluTrade social trading platform.
AAAfx, ZuluTrade’s own broker, doesn’t charge a commission (i.e. 0 pip commission), so your only trade cost with this broker is the spread. However, this doesn’t mean that they will always be the cheapest on every currency pair. E.g. a spread of 2.5 pips compared with a spread of 1.5 pips + 1 pip commission will cost you the same per trade in pips.
It’s worth mentioning that due to its direct integration with ZuluTrade and 0 commission, AAAfx probably provides you with the quickest and easiest way to start trading real money on the social trading platform. Through them you can start trading from as little as $300, £210, 250 Euro, 25,000 JPY, 300 AUD, Fr282 or 10,000 Rub, and looking at the list of followers, they’re probably the most used.
Your account however will be held either in EUR, USD, JPY, GBP, AUD, RUB or CHF. If you fund in another currency this will be converted straight away into one of these currencies, depending on the one you chose when you opened your account. Most investors like to keep their account and in their own base currency (e.g. GBP for UK residents). Some of their other supported brokers offer a further choice of currencies as well.
Other factors that may drive your choice of ZuluTrade broker are:
- the support level the broker offers (when investing large sums, you may want a personal account manager)
- which languages the support is available in
- account funding process (i.e. which payment options available, e.g. wire transfer, debit card, credit card, Skrill/Moneybookers, …)
- withdrawal process, time and cost (some broker levy a fee depending on the method of withdrawal)
- country where the broker is registered and legislated (some investors prefer to use a broker based in their own country, especially when investing large sums of money)
- any funding offers (though to be honest none of them currently give offers if you trade via ZuluTrade due to the commission they have to pay – i.e. the broker will make less per trade on you and hence won’t give funding offers)
The key here is that there’s a wide choice of brokers and everything is transparent. You can compare every trade between your own and your signal provider’s account. If you don’t like one broker, then just stop using them and try another one. There’s no cost for opening a broker account and the only cost for closing one may be any withdrawal fee the broker charges to return your funds (this will depend on the transfer method).
Performance between the brokers will differ per signal provider:
- Some brokers widen their spreads during news events, which will have a negative impact on trades you follow from “signal providers” who trade during news releases
- Broker spreads differ between instruments, and more so for more exotic Forex pairs, so the results for a “signal provider” who trades AUD/JPY may vary significantly between brokers
- Each “signal provider” uses a broker too (though most use AAAfx, i.e. ZuluTrade’s integrated broker) and this can also impact performance
- Overnight costs vary between brokers, so if your strategy involves following traders who leave trades open overnight, this factor can impact your overall result
It is not in the remit of this ZuluTrade review to review and compare every single broker they work with. It’s a matter of personal taste and will depend on your investment strategy and the “signals” you follow. AAAfx is an obvious choice for many people because of their close integration and 0 commission costs. However they only allow you to keep your account in Euro or USD which, depending on your home currency, may mean you’re straight away speculating (i.e. taking a position in the market) with your full account balance. You can have a look in the ZuluTrade Forum as well, and perhaps ask people to recommend one for the country you live in.
Below is the list of brokers available with ZuluTrade on 10 February 2014 (click here for the latest list of supported ZuluTrade brokers):
AAAfx, FXCM, Forex.com, AVATrade, FXDD, IBFX, Alpari ru, Alpari UK, Liquid Markets, Saxo MT4, ForexTrading, Activ Trades, FXopen, MIG Bank, Dukascopy, FXopen ecn, FXCC, FX Solutions, Boston Merchant Financial, Varengold Bank FX, Interactive Brokers, Weltrade, Weltrade ECN, Real Forex, FX Lider, ADS Securities, Lionstone, Nord FX, FXTG, SuperTradingOnline, ThinkForex, ACFX, Real Forex, IKON NZ, KVBm divisacapital, IKON Finance, BMFN, Alfa-Forex, FXcbs, FXCC, AGEA, Ajax Financial Inc., Chase Trade FX, Colmex, divisa capital, WWM Worldwide Markets, SkyFX and StarfishFX.