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2nd in our ranking!
ProFxPremium Review – is it scam or safe?
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Trading Accounts and Conditions
|Account type||Minimum deposit||Min. trade size||Max. leverage||Avg. Spread (& Commission)|
|Starting||$500||0.01||1:400||2 pips, fixed|
|Silver||$1000||0.01||1:400||2 pips, fixed|
|Gold||$2 500||0.1||1:400||1 pips, fixed / floating from 0.5 pips|
|Platinum||$10 000||0.1||custom||Fix from 0.7 / Variable from 0.5|
|Diamond||$25 000||0.1||custom||Fix from 0.4 / Variable from 0.3|
ProFxPremium is a forex and CFD broker that offers the above account types, all of which allegedly offer commission-free trading and high leverage levels. Nonetheless, this broker does not provide free demo accounts.
What bothers us more is the fact that ProFxPremium is operated by an offshore company whose reputation is quite bad.
MT5 platform offered
ProFxPremium uses the MetaTrader5 (MT5) which we see as a positive. This platform shares most of the features that made its predecessor, the MT4, so popular among traders.
The MT5 offers great charting, with in-depth analytical tools, and also supports Expert Advisors to be used for automated trading. However, most of MT4’s EAs do not function on MetaQuotes’ newest software.
Seemingly good spreads
ProFxPremium offers spread fixed at 2 pips on EUR/USD, which is in line with the average in the industry. Nonetheless, if you prefer trading with fixed spreads, we suggest that you choose a more reliable broker that offers such. For example, multi-regulated, award-winning HYCM.
Up to 1:400 in leverage
The maximum leverage, offered by ProFxPremium is high, reaching1:400. Actually, that is in the upper range of what most brokers that are not restricted by legislative measures, offer.
Many financial instruments and payment methods offered
Good Choice for Beginners!
Free Trading Education, Free Demo Account!
Get a Sign-Up Bonus Now!
2nd in our ranking!
The financial instruments available for trade at ProFxPremium include forex pairs, and CFDs on indices, commodities, stocks., as well as cryptocurrencies. Besides, the broker says that it supports payments made by bank wire, credit/debit cards, Neteller, WebMoney, PayPal, Skrill and others.
The brand of a company in the focus of a scam investigation
We found that that ProFxPremium is yet another brand owned and operated by Black Parrot Limited, a company registered on the Marshall Islands, MH 96960. Offshore brokers are to be avoided as a general rule, but the case with Black Parrot Limited is even worse.
This company is present in the warning lists of a number of financial regulators, including Italy’s CONSOB, Netherlands’ AFM, and Poland’s KNF. Besides, we have reviewed a number of brokerage brands owned by this company, including Tradex1, IPT Markets, TradeGBP, TradeDAX, Tradex1, Tradedax, TradesPrime, and the notorious Vortex Assets. Considering the number of negative user comments on our reviews of those brokers, Black Parrot Limited is most likely a scam.
High initial investment required
In order to open an account with ProFxPremium, one has to invest at least $500. This is a high amount to start with, especially considering that this broker is not licensed. By comparison, you can start out with HYCM brokerage by investing a considerably lower amount, $100.
MT5 provided by another company
When we downloaded the broker’s MT5 platform, we saw that it isn’t provided by black Parrot Limited, but by another company: Index Premium – Trades Markets ltd. This is yet another disturbing fact about the offering of ProFxPremium.
As always, we have tried to be objective and have listed both the strong and weak sides of this broker. There are, however, too many red flags with regards to ProFxPremium: it does not offer demo accounts, it is registered offshore, and the company that operates it is in the blacklists of several financial regulators. Besides, it looks like the numerous brands owned and operated by Black parrot limited have the reviews our website.
In the current day and age, the online world is full of scammers, who promise high and easy profits, but are in fact only after your money and offer nothing in return. This is the reason why most governments have dedicated financial regulators who are in charge of licensing and supervision of financial services providers. Some of the most reliable among them is UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
To sum up our review on ProFxPremium:
|MT4 available||Brand of a company in the focus of scam investigation|
|Competitive spreads||No demo accounts|
|Many assets and payment methods available||High initial deposit|
|High leverage levels||MT5 provided by another company|
FXTM a regulated forex broker (regulated by CySEC, FCA and FSC), offering ECN trading on MT4 an MT5 platforms. Traders can start trading with as little as $10 and take advantage of tight fixed and variable spreads, flexible leverage and swap-free accounts.
XM is broker with great bonuses and promotions. Currently we are loving its $30 no deposit bonus and deposit bonus up to $5000. Add to this the fact that it’s EU-regulated and there’s nothing more you can ask for.
FXCM is one of the biggest forex brokers in the world, licensed and regulated on four continents. FXCM wins our admirations with its over 200,000 active live accounts and daily trading volumes of over $10 billion.
FxPro is a broker we are particularly keen on: it’s regulated in the UK, offers Metatrader 4 (MT4) and cTrader – where the spreads start at 0 pips, Level II Pricing and Full Market Depth. And the best part? With FxPro you get negative balance protection.
FBS is a broker with cool marketing and promotions. It runs an loyalty program, offers a $100 no-deposit bonus for all new clients outside EU willing to try out its services, and an FBS MasterCard is also available for faster deposits and withdrawals.
FxChoice is a IFSC regulated forex broker, serving clients from all over the world. It offers premium trading conditions, including high leverage, low spreads and no hedging, scalping and FIFO restrictions.
HotForex is a EU Regulated broker, offering wide variety of trading accounts, including Auto, Social and Zero spread accounts. The minimum intial deposit for a Micro account is only $50 and is combined with 1000:1 leverage – one of the highest in the industry.
Is Your Forex Broker a Scam?
If you do an internet search on forex broker scams, the number of results is staggering. While the forex market is slowly becoming more regulated, there are many unscrupulous brokers who should not be in business.
When you’re looking to trade forex, it’s important to identify brokers who are reliable and viable, and to avoid the ones that are not. In order to sort out the strong brokers from the weak and the reputable ones from those with shady dealings, we must go through a series of steps before depositing a large amount of capital with a broker.
Trading is hard enough in itself, but when a broker implements practices that work against the trader, making a profit can be nearly impossible.
Separating Forex Fact From Fiction
When researching a potential forex broker, traders must learn to separate fact from fiction. For instance, faced with all sorts of forums posts, articles, and disgruntled comments about a broker, we could assume that all traders fail and never make a profit. The traders that fail to make profits then post content online that blames the broker (or some other outside influence) for their own failed strategies.
One common complaint from traders is that a broker was intentionally trying to cause a loss in the form of statements such as, “As soon as I placed the trade, the direction of the market reversed” or “The broker stop hunted my positions,” and “I always had slippage on my orders, and never in my favor.” These types of experiences are common among traders and it is quite possible that the broker is not at fault.
It is also entirely possible that new forex traders fail to trade with a tested strategy or trading plan. Instead, they make trades based on psychology (e.g., if a trader feels the market has to move in one direction or the other) and there is essentially a 50% chance they will be correct.
When the rookie trader enters a position, they are often entering when their emotions are waning. Experienced traders are aware of these junior tendencies and step in, taking the trade the other way. This befuddles new traders and leaves them feeling that the market—or their brokers—are out to get them and take their individual profits. Most of the time, this is not the case. It is simply a failure by the trader to understand market dynamics.
On occasion, losses are the broker’s fault. This can occur when a broker attempts to rack up trading commissions at the client’s expense. There have been reports of brokers arbitrarily moving quoted rates to trigger stop orders when other brokers’ rates have not moved to that price.
Luckily for traders, this type of situation is an outlier and not likely to occur. One must remember that trading is usually not a zero-sum game, and brokers primarily make commissions with increased trading volumes. Overall, it is in the best interest of brokers to have long-term clients who trade regularly and thus, sustain capital or make a profit.
The slippage issue can often be attributed to behavioral economics. It is common practice for inexperienced traders to panic. They fear missing a move, so they hit their buy key, or they fear losing more and they hit the sell key.
In volatile exchange rate environments, the broker cannot ensure an order will be executed at the desired price. This results in sharp movements and slippage. The same is true for stop or limit orders. Some brokers guarantee stop and limit order fills, while others do not.
Even in more transparent markets, slippage happens, markets move, and we don’t always get the price we want.
Communication Is Key
Real problems can begin to develop when communication between a trader and a broker begins to break down. If a trader does not receive responses from their broker or the broker provides vague answers to a trader’s questions, these are common red flags that a broker may not be looking out for the client’s best interest.
Issues of this nature should be resolved and explained to the trader, and the broker should also be helpful and display good customer relations. One of the most detrimental issues that may arise between a broker and a trader is the trader’s inability to withdraw money from an account.
Broker Research Protects You
Protecting yourself from unscrupulous brokers in the first place is ideal. The following steps should help:
It should be pointed out that a broker’s size cannot be used to determine the level of risk involved. While larger brokers grow by providing a certain standard of service, the 2008-2009 financial crisis taught us that a big or popular firm isn’t always safe.
The Temptation to Churn
Brokers or planners who are paid commissions for buying and selling securities can sometimes succumb to the temptation to effect transactions simply for the purpose of generating a commission. Those who do this excessively can be found guilty of churning—a term coined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that denotes when a broker places trades for a purpose other than to benefit the client. Those who are found guilty of this can face fines, reprimands, suspension, dismissal, disbarment, or even criminal sanctions in some cases.
SEC Defines Churning
The SEC defines churning in the following manner:
The key to remember here is that the trades that are placed are not increasing your account value. If you have given your broker trading authority over your account, then the possibility of churning can only exist if they are trading your account heavily, and your balance either remains the same or decreases in value over time.
Of course, it is possible that your broker may be genuinely attempting to grow your assets, but you need to find out exactly what they are doing and why. If you are calling the shots and the broker is following your instructions, then that cannot be classified as churning.
Evaluate Your Trades
One of the clearest signs of churning can be when you see buy and sell trades for securities that don’t fit your investment objectives. For example, if your objective is to generate a current stable income, then you should not be seeing buy and sell trades on your statements for small-cap equity or technology stocks or funds.
Churning with derivatives such as put and call options can be even harder to spot, as these instruments can be used to accomplish a variety of objectives. But buying and selling puts and calls should, in most cases, only be happening if you have a high-risk tolerance. Selling calls and puts can generate current income as long as it is done prudently.
How Regulators Evaluate Churning
An arbitration panel will consider several factors when they conduct hearings to determine whether a broker has been churning an account. They will examine the trades that were placed in light of the client’s level of education, experience, and sophistication as well as the nature of the client’s relationship with the broker. They will also weigh the number of solicited versus unsolicited trades and the dollar amount of commissions that have been generated as compared to the client’s gains or losses as a result of these trades.
There are times when it may seem like your broker may be churning your account, but this may not necessarily be the case. If you have questions about this and feel uneasy about what your advisor is doing with your money, then don’t hesitate to consult a securities attorney or file a complaint on the SEC’s website.
Already Stuck With a Bad Broker?
Unfortunately, options are very limited at this stage. However, there are a few things you can do. First, read through all documents to make sure your broker is actually in the wrong. If you have missed something or failed to read the documents you signed, you may have to assume the blame.
Next, discuss the course of action you will take if the broker does not adequately answer your questions or provide a withdrawal. Steps may include posting comments online or reporting the broker to FINRA or the appropriate regulatory body in your country.
The Bottom Line
While traders may blame brokers for their losses, there are times when brokers really are at fault. A trader needs to be thorough and conduct research on a broker before opening an account and if the research turns up positive for the broker, then a small deposit should be made, followed by a few trades and then a withdrawal. If this goes well, then a larger deposit can be made.
However, if you are already in a problematic situation, you should verify that the broker is conducting illegal activity (such as churning), attempt to have your questions answered, and if all else fails, and/or report the person to the SEC, FINRA, or another regulatory body that could enforce action against them.
How to Spot a Forex Scam
The spot forex market trades over $5 trillion a day, including currency options and futures contracts. With this enormous amount of money floating around in an unregulated spot market that trades instantly, over the counter, with no accountability, forex scams offer unscrupulous operators the lure of earning fortunes in limited amounts of time. While many once-popular scams have ceased—thanks to serious enforcement actions by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the 1982 formation of the self-regulatory National Futures Association (NFA)—some old scams linger, and new ones keep popping up.
Back in the Day: The Point-Spread Scam
An old point-spread forex scam was based on computer manipulation of bid-ask spreads. The point spread between the bid and ask basically reflects the commission of a back-and-forth transaction processed through a broker. These spreads typically differ between currency pairs. The scam occurs when those point spreads differ widely among brokers.
For instance, some brokers do not offer the normal two-point to three-point spread in the EUR/USD but spreads of seven pips or more. (A pip is the smallest price move that a given exchange rate makes based on market convention. Since most major currency pairs are priced to four decimal places, the smallest change is that of the last decimal point.) Factor in four or more additional pips on every trade, and any potential gains resulting from a good trade can be eaten away by commissions, depending on how the forex broker structures their fees for trading.
This scam has quieted down over the last 10 years, but be careful of any offshore retail brokers that are not regulated by the CFTC, NFA, or their nation of origin. These tendencies still exist, and it’s quite easy for firms to pack up and disappear with the money when confronted with actions. Many saw a jail cell for these computer manipulations. But the majority of violators have historically been United States-based companies, not the offshore ones.
The Signal-Seller Scam
A popular modern-day scam is the signal seller. Signal sellers are retail firms, pooled asset managers, managed account companies, or individual traders that offer a system—for a daily, weekly, or monthly fee—that claims to identify favorable times to buy or sell a currency pair based on professional recommendations that will make anyone wealthy. They tout their long experience and trading abilities, plus testimonials from people who vouch for how great a trader and friend the person is, and the vast wealth that this person has earned for them. All the unsuspecting trader has to do is hand over X amount of dollars for the privilege of trade recommendations.
Many of signal-seller scammers simply collect money from a certain number of traders and disappear. Some will recommend a good trade now and then, to allow the signal money to perpetuate. This new scam is slowly becoming a wider problem. Although there are signal sellers who are honest and perform trade functions as intended, it pays to be skeptical.
“Robot” Scamming in Today’s Market
A persistent scam, old and new, presents itself in some types of forex-developed trading systems. These scammers tout their system’s ability to generate automatic trades that, even while you sleep, earn vast wealth. Today, the new terminology is “robot” because the process is fully automated with computers. Either way, many of these systems have never been submitted for formal review or tested by an independent source.
Examination of a forex robot must include the testing of a trading system’s parameters and optimization codes. If the parameters and optimization codes are invalid, the system will generate random buy and sell signals. This will cause unsuspecting traders to do nothing more than gamble. Although tested systems exist on the market, potential forex traders should do some research before putting money into one of these approaches.
Other Factors to Consider
Traditionally, many trading systems have been quite costly, up to $5,000 or more. This can be viewed as a scam in itself. No trader should pay more than a few hundred dollars for a proper system today. Be especially careful of system sellers who offer programs at exorbitant prices justified by a guarantee of phenomenal results. Instead, look for legitimate sellers whose systems have been properly tested to potentially earn income.
Another persistent problem is the commingling of funds. Without a record of segregated accounts, individuals cannot track the exact performance of their investments. This makes it easier for retail firms to use an investor’s money to pay exorbitant salaries; buy houses, cars, and planes or just disappear with the funds. Section 4D of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 addressed the issue of fund segregation; what occurs in other nations is a separate issue.
An important factor to always consider when choosing a broker or a trading system is to be skeptical of promises or promotional material that guarantees a high level of performance.
Other scams and warning signs exist when brokers won’t allow the withdrawal of monies from investor accounts, or when problems exist within the trading platform. For example, can you enter or exit a trade during volatile market action after an economic announcement? If you can’t withdraw money, warning signs should flash. If the trading platform doesn’t operate to your liquidity expectations, warning signs should flash again.
The Bottom Line
Conduct due diligence on the forex broker you’re considering by going to the Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC), created by the NFA. Many changes have driven out the crooks and the old scams and legitimized the system for the many good firms. However, always be wary of new forex scams; the temptation and allure of huge profits will always bring new and more sophisticated scammers to this market.
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