Ayondo Review and Analysis
|Minimum 1st Deposit||$100 (this might change depending on your location)|
|Bonus||Social-trading platform with +10 years in the market | Demo Account|
|Leverage||Depends on the asset and the region.|
|Free Demo Account|
|Regulation||FCA license (registration no. 184333). Regulated portfolio management: GmbH.|
|Number of Assets||Indices, Currencies, Shares, ETFs, Commodities, Interest rates and bonds, and crypto|
|US Traders Allowed||Not available in the US|
Social trading platforms are an easy alternative for investors with less experience in financial markets. By copying or checking strategies from other traders, users are able to get better results and they don’t take the financial leap by themselves. However, it is very hard to choose the best platform for this purpose: the market is filled with brokers and tools that are getting better over time. In this article, you’ll find a thorough analysis of Ayondo. Based on its features and performance, we give our honest opinion in this Ayondo Review.
What is Ayondo and How it Works
Launched in Germany in 2008, Ayondo is currently one of Europe’s fast-growing social trading networks. Its client base is slowly expanding outside Europe as well. They aim to connect investors who want to benefit from the success of other traders with (what they call) their “Top Traders” system. For doing this, they provide an easy-to-use interface and trading platform, very suitable for beginners. So how does Ayondo achieve this goal?
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve been a real account customer since 2012 and this review is based on our experience using the latest Ayondo 3.0 platform and Ayondo markets. Like any of our other reviews, we update this one regularly. We mention this because Ayondo markets are their own broker solution which was launched in 2013 (well technically it’s a white labeled version of the Gekko Global Markets platform). In the past, when you signed up with Ayondo you had to sign up with a separate partner broker. Now they have their own broker solution, the sign-up procedure is easier and the overall experience more integrated.
A Social Trading Network That Lets You Copy Traders And Other Followers
They currently have over 40,000 members who use Ayondo to follow what they call “Top Traders”. Traders can trade in a wide range of Forex currency pairs, commodities (Oil, gold, silver, etc.), indices (US 30, US 500, US Tech 100, UK 100, DE 30, and more), interest rates/bonds (Euribor Fut, Long Gilt Fut, etc.) and individual company shares (Chevron, Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, Netflix, etc.). Members can use the Ayondo rankings to find the traders they like to follow based on past performance and risk indicators.
Can You Get a Free Demo Account With Ayondo?
Joining Ayondo is free, and as a member, you can view the performance and trades from over 500 traders on their network in real-time. You can create a portfolio of up to 5 traders and simulate the performance based on historic trade data. If you’re happy with your portfolio you can decide to execute it on your demo account (click here to try the Ayondo demo) or live account. Ayondo live accounts are opened with their fully integrated partner broker Gekko. Unlike most other social trading networks, Ayondo doesn’t just let you follow and copy other traders, but they also allow you to copy other followers. In case you want to try with a live account, the minimum investment is 100 Euros, GBP or American dollars. Even with these small amounts, you can copy up to 5 Top Traders because the Ayondo platform can execute trades at sizes smaller than micro lots.
Follow Top Traders
And yes, here’s where we start mentioning the main reason why someone would join Ayondo as an investor, and that is to follow and copy other successful traders. Currently (last updated January 2019), the total choice of top traders you can follow is over 400. If we filter only professional, risk-adjusted, and institutional traders, there’s a significant number of traders as well: 56. Only 6 traders have more than 100 followers. (Click here to view the current trader list and their performance). Some of those Top Traders are, however, fairly seasoned traders with already over 3 years trading history on Ayondo. So while the choice of “trusted” traders isn’t overwhelmingly massive (most have none or a handful of followers), in our first-hand experience, some of Ayondo’s leading (most popular) Top Traders have been providing us with consistent returns in our live account at relatively low risk.
Traders on Ayondo can trade on a wide variety of CFD instruments. These include over 30 forex currency pairs, the major US, European and Asian indices, interest/bond rates, precious metals and since October 2013 also a good choice of individual shares (e.g. Coca-Cola, Starbucks and McDonald’s). Most recently, Ayondo added some cryptocurrencies as well. As investors, this means you have the option to diversify your portfolio and follow a mix of traders who trade different underlying and have different risk profiles.
Analyzing and choosing Top Traders to Follow
So, how easy is it to analyse and select the traders you can copy? We’ll review the interface of Ayondo to check this. You can rank the list of Top Traders by the following parameters:
- Career Level: select among street trader, advanced, professional, risk-adjusted, and institutional.
- Risk Score: from 1 to 10. One being the least risky traders while ten means that the investors place high-risk trades. Try to find balance and set your goals straight!
- Maximum drawdown (DD): this is a risk measure that indicates the maximum cumulative loss in percentage.
- Last: this one is quite helpful when you want a quick view of the trader’s activity. This fields indicated—in hours, days or months—the execution of the last trade of the investor.
- Trades per month: nothing to add here.
- Followers: how many people follow the trader strategy.
- Chart: a small graph with the trader’s performance.
When their number of traders was still very limited, this made it fairly easy since depending on the size of the display you use, in all likeliness all of the traders were displayed on the same screen. However, because the list has been growing, Ayondo introduced a detailed search functionality in October 2013. This allows you to adjust 14 parameters (such as performance, win ratio, volatility, etc.) to filter their full list of traders to find the best ones for you. The parameters above, are just the basic ones to sort the list. You can enhance your search by selecting additional filters. Here’s an example updated in January of 2019:
A trader caught your attention? Check the detailed stats!
You can directly decide to follow the traders from these rankings list screens or get more detailed statistics on the trader in their Ayondo profile screen. The breath of indicators (about 15) and graphs (3) is pretty good, while the trader’s performance is always compared with the leading indices as well (see image on the right). You can also look at the full transaction history, though it’s fairly cumbersome to go back over a long period (since the data is only brought back bit by bit by scrolling down). Unfortunately, there’s no ability to download the trade history in Excel or other data format, for those investors who like to do their own analysis. If you have a real account, you can also view the current open trades of the Top Traders. With a demo account, you cannot do this easily. However, there’s a turnaround to this: add them to a new demo account’s portfolio and check your watchlist.
Limitations and risk management features
With Ayondo, you can follow and copy up to a maximum of 5 traders in your portfolio. Because the choice of Top Traders is still limited this isn’t much of a limitation to worry about. If you would have 5 traders selected in your Ayondo portfolio, by default you would follow each trader with 1/5 of your capital, and their trades are proportionally copied based on that amount. However, for each trader, you can also select the ‘order size’ (0.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x, … , 10x) which allows you to decrease/increase the leverage and risk you take when copying a trader. In addition, you can also set a capital loss protection on your overall account. While arguably Ayondo’s money management features could be slightly enhanced (e.g. with loss protection at trader level), overall they’re actually fairly simple and intuitive to use and, for the amount and type of traders they have, probably more than enough for most investors.
Once you’ve started copying a trader in your account it’s easy to monitor your progress from the Ayondo interface. You can view your own profit/loss, review all current open positions and (if you like) close positions manually from the same interface. However, you cannot view the individual contribution of each trader you follow to your overall or monthly profit or loss. Yes, you can review a trader’s individual monthly % performance in their trading profile, but because you don’t necessarily follow a trader from the 1st of the month or with the same ratio, this doesn’t tell you how well they did for you in your account. In our view, this is still an important omission we believe Ayondo should add to make the reporting a bit more useful.
Slippage at Ayondo
Slippage (i.e. the difference in opening/closing price the trader you copy gets and the price you get) can often be an issue with social trading as well, and therefore it’s important we investigate it as part of our review as well. While it’s not easy to check the slippage (you currently have to log in to your Ayondo markets account to check your individual trade closing prices) we’ve noticed only small levels of slippage (i.e. less than 1 pip per trade cycle). Obviously, this low slippage has mainly to do with the fact that both the Top Traders’ signals and your trades are executed on the same Ayondo platform (i.e. no time delays and price differences between different brokers causing slippage).
With regards to “social” interaction features, there’s currently no ability to interact with the Top Traders or other investors (e.g. no comments on the profile pages). The basic online help and FAQs are useful, while the telephone and e-mail support we received were responsive and knowledgeable. There are occasional webinars and all customers also get free access to Sentiment-Trader real-time market analysis.
How To Become a “Top Trader” on Ayondo
Anyone can join Ayondo to try to become “Top Trader” and make some extra money from their trading skills. There are 5 career levels to achieve (from Street Trader to Institutional) and reaching each level depends on their performance (profit made) as well as their risk management (drawdown). Remunerations are based on the career level, from 1 to 5USD per lot executed in follower accounts. The first career stage (street trader) can be reached after 30 days and a minimum of 15 trades during which period Ayondo evaluates the trader’s risk management (drawdown must be < 25%) and performance (P/L must be at least 1%). Better risk management and performance will get the trader to the next Ayondo career levels (highest level being ‘Institutional’). Traders can send trade signals manually from an Ayondo markets real money account or from a demo account.
Traders can send signals from a live or demo Ayondo account. The commissions that Ayondo pays to the traders increase with each level, though their performance is constantly monitored and they can drop a level too if performance drops off. We believe that Ayondo’s compensation method is currently probably the fairest and best (for investors) in the industry. The main reason for this is that they compensate traders not just for their performance (i.e. making profit) but also for their risk management approach. And the better they get at each of those the more money they make (which is fair in our view because as long as someone makes money in our account we’re happy for them to be compensated accordingly).
How the Top Trader programme works
One restriction for traders is the fact that they have to enter their traders via the Ayondo “TradeHub” trading interface, which doesn’t support automated trading robots. However, the web interface is very easy to use with fully functioning iPhone and Android apps available to trade on the go. Ayondo has also mentioned that traders can soon use the MetaTrader platform as well to send signals (which support EA robots). To be honest, though we prefer following or copying manual traders instead of automated trading robots. Hence not an issue for us, though it may explain why the total number of traders on Ayondo is less than on those platforms which support these automated systems.
At the moment, almost every trader in the Top 10 on Ayondo sends their trade signals from a real money account (i.e. they risk their own money). Outside the top 20, this amount drops quite a bit and quite a few traders send signals from virtual money accounts. Nevertheless, the number of Real Money Traders has been growing ever since the option to send trade signals from a real-money account was released on August 28th 2013. Traders get their Ayondo “Real Money Traders Badge” when they have a balance greater than 500 EUR or 500 GBP (though unfortunately the actual balance they trade with and hence risk themselves is not shared).
Can I make money by becoming a ‘Top Trader’?
If you’re a successful trader yourself than the earnings potential at Ayondo is quite substantial since you can earn up to $5 for every LOT generated by someone following you. While Ayondo’s investor base may not be the largest among similar social copy trading networks, the earnings potential is significantly boosted by the fact that the majority of them are from more affluent countries and invest larger amounts. Anyone with over 100 followers will have a nice extra income.
Ayondo Pros and Cons
Ayondo review: PROS
- Automated risk management (proportional to the trader)
- Top Trader’s commission is based on their performance AND on their risk management approach
- Some good quality/low-risk Top Traders to follow
- Low investment entry cost (from 100 $, Euro or £)
- Low slippage
- A wide range of instruments can be traded
- Fully functioning demo account available to try
- Easy sign-up with integrated broker solution (Ayondo markets)
- Spread-betting accounts available for UK and Ireland customers
- Client deposits protected up to £500,000
Ayondo review: CONS
- A limited amount of popular/high performing “Top Traders” though most of them now send their signals from a real money account instead of a virtual money one
- While available to view in the interface (but difficult), no ability to download trader’s transaction history in Excel or other data format for external analysis
- No capital protection at trader level (only at account level)
- Unable to view the contribution of individual traders towards your overall portfolio performance
Spreads on Ayondo
With regards to the broker spreads, the ones offered on Ayondo markets are some of the best you’ll see among leading brokers (for the major pairs) and because there’s no commission to pay to 3rd party brokers (like with some of the other social trading networks), that’s also the spread you’ll get charged when you follow and copy other traders.
UK and Ireland customers can also sign up for an Ayondo spread betting account (something popular in these countries for tax purposes). In addition, on December 1st 2015 Ayondo also announced their free insurance policy which protects client deposits in personal accounts for up to £500,000. This goes well beyond the existing Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection of £75,000 and is the largest cover we’ve seen in this industry. Very good and important if you consider investing larger amounts.
Fees: What Does it Cost to Trade With Ayondo?
There’re no fees to pay for joining Ayondo or for following and copying their “top traders”. The only cost to you is the spread you pay to your broker (e.g. 2 pip per trade on EUR/USD) and any broker roll costs (if trades are left over overnight). Ayondo receives part of the broker spread which they use to pay the “top traders” and to run their business.
Minimum Deposit to start trading with Ayondo
Currently, you can open Ayondo accounts in Euros, GBP and USD and in theory you can start copying other traders with as little as 100 Euro. However, if you like to follow more than 1 trader this is fairly unrealistic and a minimum account balance of 500 to 1000 Euros is slightly more realistic. Having started in Germany, the Ayondo social trading network is currently expanding rapidly throughout Europe. They also become the first social trading network to offer social trading to the UK spread betting customers.
Check other Browsers and social-trading platforms
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Final thoughts on Ayondo
In summary, while there are certainly some additional features Ayondo can add to their social trading platform, overall their interface is fairly intuitive and easy to use. The number of top traders is not massive, but, this might be a good thing if you think about it. It means that the system is strict and picky and not everyone can become a top trader. The number of traders is increasing substantially, though.
We believe that the Ayondo commission model should over time help ensure the great traders rise to the top and keep their trading style within acceptable risk levels. The fact that investors can try with a demo account first and start with a very small investment should also help with minimising their overall risk.
Like any of our other reviews, this one is also based on our experience with a live account and is updated regularly if our views or performance changes, or if new features are launched. Please also note that CFDs and Spread Betting are high-risk investments. If you don’t understand the risks of investing on a platform like Ayondo, then please obtain independent advice to see if this is suitable for you.