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4.6
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ActivTrades review summary

ActivTrades is a global forex broker founded in 2001. It is regulated among others by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) of Luxembourg.

ActivTrades having a long track record and being regulated by the FCA, a top-tier financial authority, are all good signs for its safety.

ActivTrades operates both UK and EU websites (under the co.uk and .eu domains), as well as an international one (.com). Some products, fees and conditions may differ depending on the entity concerned.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73-85% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal conditions
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73-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

You can't open an account at ActivTrades if you live in United States. See the best alternative available in your country.

ActivTrades pros and cons

ActivTrades has low trading fees. The account opening process is excellent and deposits and withdrawals are free.

On the negative side, ActivTrades's product portfolio is slim and its research tools are basic. Also, there is an inactivity fee and a currency conversion fee.

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Slim product portfolio
Excellent account opening Basic research tools
Free deposit and withdrawal Inactivity fee
ActivTrades main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation UK, Luxembourg, The Bahamas
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $500
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with bank card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 4
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Forex, CFD, Crypto
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73-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Fees

4.5
ActivTrades has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. As a plus, it charges no deposit and withdrawal fees in most cases.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees Inactivity fee
No withdrawal fee Conversion fee
ActivTrades fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
S&P 500 CFD Low Individual Account: The fees are built into the spread, 0.23 points is the spread cost during peak trading hours.
Europe 50 CFD Low Individual Account: The fees are built into the spread, 0.9 points is the spread cost during peak trading hours.
EURUSD Low The fees are built into the spread, 0.5 pips is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Inactivity fee Low If the account is not used for over 1 year and there is a remaining balance, a fee of £10 per month will be charged.

How we ranked fees

We ranked ActivTrades's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of ActivTrades for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading, the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared ActivTrades's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Spreadex and FxPro. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of ActivTrades alternatives.

To have a clear overview of ActivTrades, let's start with its trading fees.

ActivTrades trading fees

ActivTrades trading fees are low.

We know it's hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We have selected popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used was:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let's see the verdict for ActivTrades fees.

CFD fees

ActivTrades has generally low CFD trading fees.

ActivTrades CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
S&P 500 index CFD fee $0.9 $1.2 $1.1
Europe 50 index CFD fee $0.7 $2.5 $1.2
Apple CFD fee $3.1 $7.5 $9.4
Vodafone CFD fee $5.5 $5.5 $14.7

Forex fees

ActivTrades's forex fees are low.

ActivTrades forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
EURUSD benchmark fee $6.9 $6.8 $8.5
GBPUSD benchmark fee $4.9 $4.5 $6.7
AUDUSD benchmark fee $6.7 $5.1 $11.3
EURCHF benchmark fee $5.1 $5.0 $7.4
EURGBP benchmark fee $8.7 $7.6 $9.8

Non-trading fees

ActivTrades has average non-trading fees.

There is an inactivity fee: if the account is not used for over 1 year and there is a remaining balance, a fee of £10 per month will be charged.

ActivTrades also has a currency conversion fee of 0.3%. This fee applies to the conversion of the closed profit and loss from an instrument with a different quote currency than the account base currency.

ActivTrades non-trading fees
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

 

ActivTrades review
Account opening

5.0
Account opening at ActivTrades is seamless and fully digital, taking just a few minutes to complete and verified within one business day.
Pros Cons
Fast None
Fully digital
User-friendly

Can you open an account?

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What is the minimum deposit at ActivTrades?

The required ActivTrades minimum deposit is $/€/£/CHF 500, depending on the currency of the account. This refers to the Bahamian-regulated entity; the minimum deposit for example at the UK-regulated entity is $/€/£/CHF 1,000.

Account types

ActivTrades offers various account types for retail and corporate clients as well as Islamic accounts. 

  • individual account - account is owned by a retail investor
  • institutional account - account is owned by a legal entity
  • Islamic account - it has no overnight rollover interest, nor additional rollover commissions

How to open your account

The account opening process was fully digital, fast, and easy. The account was verified within a day.

The account opening process starts with selecting your country of residence and adding basic personal information, including your name, email address, and password.

Based on your country of residence, ActivTrades may offer to change the entity you would like to register at. This is significant because the entity affects your investor protection, and products and fees may also be different.

Then you have to go through a four-step registration process.

  • Account holder information: personal details, tax residency, home address
  • Trading experience: how long you have been trading CFDs, the number of trades, the average lot size per trade
  • Financial and account information: employment status, income and savings, source of funds, trading preferences
  • Trading account setup: choose your trading platform, base currency

 

Finally, you have to add some documents (ID or passport, bank statement or utility bill, etc) and a photo for client verification. 

ActivTrades review - Account opening

Our best alternatives to ActivTrades are:

The highest ranking competitors are:

  1. Spreadex full review
  2. FxPro full review
  3. City Index full review
  4. CMC Markets full review

ActivTrades review
Deposit and withdrawal

4.5
ActivTrades offers mostly free deposit and withdrawal options, including bank transfer, credit card and various e-wallets. On the negative side, minor currencies are not offered.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Minor account currencies not available
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At ActivTrades, you can choose from four base currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, CHF.

ActivTrades's account base currency range is narrow, as minor currencies are not available.

Base currencies at ActivTrades vs similar brokers
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
Number of base currencies 4 4 8

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates, as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

ActivTrades charges no deposit fees for bank transfer and electronic wallets.

Credt/debit card deposits are charged with a 0.5% fee in the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) and 1.5% for non-EEA clients. The EEA includes EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Beside bank transfer and credit/debit cards, the following electronic wallets can be used:

  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Sofort (only available for UK/EEA clients)
  • PayPal (only available for UK/EEA clients)
ActivTrades deposit options
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes No Yes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

ActivTrades review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

ActivTrades withdrawal fees and options

ActivTrades charges no withdrawal fees for credit/debit cards and electronic wallets. 

Bank transfers are also free in most currencies at the UK/EEA entities, but USD bank transfers cost $12.50 per withdrawal. At the Bahamian entity, however, all bank transfers carry a £9 fee.

ActivTrades withdrawal fees and options
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from ActivTrades? We tested the debit card withdrawal and it took more than 3 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from ActivTrades?

  • Go to your Personal Area in ActivTrades.
  • Click on 'Make a withdrawal' under Transactions.
  • Choose the account and the amount.
  • Enter or change the bank details if required.
  • Click 'Proceed'.

ActivTrades review
Web trading platform

4.4
ActivTrades has its own web trading platform called ActivTrader. It's highly customizable, multilingual and has a clear fee report. On the other hand, there are no price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No price alerts
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
ActivTrades platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4.4 stars Yes
Mobile 3.9 stars Yes
Desktop 3.4 stars Yes

ActivTrades offers the following trading platforms:

  • ActivTrades's own trading platform, called ActivTrader
  • Third-party platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

We tested ActivTrades's own platform for this review.

The web trading platform is available in Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Look and feel

ActivTrades's web trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed.

Customizability is average, as some features cannot be moved around on the platform. The search bar and the portfolio report features are, for instance, fixed.

ActivTrades review - Web trading platform

Login and security

ActivTrades provides a safer, two-step login.

Search functions

The search functions are good. You can search for the name of the asset and there are search categories, too, like forex, cash index, etc.

ActivTrades review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following basic order types:

  • Market order
  • Limit order
  • Stop order

To get a better understanding of these terms, read our overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)

ActivTrades review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set price alerts. Notifications on the changes to your account, when for example an order is executed, are available.

Portfolio and fee reports

ActivTrades has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can see the commission, swap fees and the performance of your portfolio. 

A right click on the 'History' tab will take you to a website, where, you can download the reports, but only in HTML format. An Excel or CSV format would be preferable.

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ActivTrades review
Mobile trading platform

3.9
ActivTrades has its own great mobile trading platform. It is well-designed and user-friendly with a good search function. However, it lacks a safer two-step login and price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No price alerts
Touch/Face ID login

Similarily to the web platform, ActivTrades has its own mobile trading platform besides MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. In this review, we tested ActivTrades's own mobile app. 

You can log in using biometric authentication, which is a convenient feature. However, there's only a one-step login, instead of a safer, two-step authentication.

The mobile platform's design and functionality is exactly the same as the web platform's. The functionalities are quite basic. The search function and the order types are also the same.

You cannot set price alerts in the mobile app.

ActivTrades review - Mobile trading platform

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ActivTrades review
Desktop trading platform

3.4
ActivTrades's desktop trading platform is provided by MetaTrader. It is highly customizable, has a clear fee report and price alerts, but lacks a two-step login and its design is outdated.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Poor design
Price alerts

ActivTrades doesn't have an in-house developed desktop trading platform, it uses the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. These are third-party trading platforms. We tested MetaTrader 4 because it's more popular.

MetaTrader 4 is available in an exceptionally large number of languages:

ActivTrades desktop trading platform languages

Arabic

Bulgarian

Chinese
(Simplified and Traditional)

Croatian

Czech

Danish

Dutch    

English

Estonian

Farsi

French

German

Greek

Hebrew

Hindi

Hungarian

Indonesian

Italian

Japanese

Korean

Latvian

Lithuanian

Malay

Mongolian

Persian

Polish

Portuguese

Romanian

Russian

Serbian

Slovak

Slovenian

Spanish

Swedish

Tajik

Thai

Turkish

Ukrainian

Uzbek

Vietnamese

   

Look and feel

ActivTrades's desktop trading platform has great customizability. It is easy to change the size and position of the tabs.

However, the platform feels outdated and some features are hard to find. For example, it took some time until we found how to add an asset to the watchlist.

ActivTrades review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

ActivTrades provides only a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be more secure.

Search functions

The search functions are OK. You can find the assets in categories. However, categorization is a bit confusing as there are several forex categories. We also missed the usual search function when you can type in the asset names manually.

ActivTrades review - Desktop trading platform - Search

Placing orders

Here, you will not find very sophisticated orders like one-cancels-the-other. The following order types are available:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing stop

If you are not familiar with the various order types, read this overview.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)

ActivTrades review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications in the form of email, push notifications to mobile, or notification to the desktop platform. 

To set email or mobile notifications, you have to add your email address and your mobile MetaQuotes ID (it can be found in the MT4 app's settings). You can add them if you go to 'Tools' and then 'Options'.

Portfolio and fee reports

ActivTrades has clear portfolio and fee reports. It is easy to find your profit-loss balance and the commissions you paid. These reports can be found under the 'Account History' tab: right-click on a position, then choose 'Save as Detailed Report'.

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ActivTrades review
Markets and products

2.0
At ActivTrades, you can only trade forex and other CFDs, including crypto. Other popular asset classes such as real stocks, bonds, funds or options are not available.

ActivTrades is a CFD and forex broker. If you're not familiar with CFDs, read this article.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73-85% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ActivTrades has a limited product portfolio. You can trade mainly CFDs and forex products. Cryptocurrency CFDs are also available, but only for those under the Bahamas-regulated entity. 

ActivTrades product portfolio:

  • selection of stock and ETF CFDs is relatively high
  • range of stock index and commodity CFDs is average
  • ActivTrades offers fewer currency pairs than some of its competitors and there is also a limited number of bond CFDs
  • futures CFDs are not available
  • crypto CFDs are available only for international clients falling under Bahamas regulation
ActivTrades product selection
  ActivTrades Spreadex FxPro
Currency pairs (#) 49 51 70
Stock index CFDs (#) 27 27 29
Stock CFDs (#) 660 3,000 1,700
ETF CFDs (#) 500 200 -
Commodity CFDs (#) 22 26 25
Bond CFDs (#) 7 10 -
Futures CFDs (#) - - -
Cryptos (#) 16 - 30

You can change leverage levels, which is great. Changing the leverage is a useful feature when you want to lower the risk of your trade. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, as the preset leverage levels are high.

ActivTrades offers access to 10 stock CFD markets. This is an average selection compared to its competitors. 

ActivTrades review
Research

3.4
ActivTrades's selection of research tools is average, but they are user-friendly. Charting and other technical tools, like APIs, are great. However, there are no trading ideas or fundamental data.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No trading ideas
User-friendly No fundamental data available
Good set of analytical tools No/poor quality news flow

Research tools are available on the website and on the trading platform. We've tested the research tools only on ActivTrades's own platform.

Trading ideas

ActivTrades does not provide trading ideas. There are some short market analysis articles and videos on the website. These are commentaries rather than deep insights into certain developments. They don't include clear trade ideas or recommendations.

Fundamental data

ActivTrades does not offer fundamental data.

Charting

ActivTrades has good charting tools, including a wide selection of 103 technical indicators.

ActivTrades review - Research - Charting

News feed

There is an economic calendar on the website, under the 'Markets' tab. The calendar helps clients monitor the most important events all over the world. You can filter the news by countries, even types, and impact. On the downside, there's no historical data to these events. You cannot look up, for example, historical US inflation data. 

Other research tools you may enjoy

There are other technical tools, like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which help implement an automated trading strategy. APIs allow traders to directly connect their screening software with their broker account to place orders. 

You can see the number of long/short (buy/sell) positions in the search bar. This is a good sentiment indicator to gauge the market mood.

ActivTrades review - Research - Market Sentiment

Compare research pros and cons

ActivTrades review
Customer service

4.5
ActivTrades offers several customer service channels. We found the live chat to be fast and relevant, and emails are also answered within a day. We missed however 24/7 availability.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat
Fast response time

ActivTrades providers several customer service channels. You can contact them via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email

ActivTrades has a fast live chat. The relevance of the answers was satisfactory. However, they ask for contact details (email, phone) before answering, which we found a bit annoying.

ActivTrades's phone support was fast and we got relevant answers. The agent was very helpful, giving detailed answers to our questions and even sending a follow-up email. 

By email we also got quick and relevant answers.

We missed however 24/7 availability, as customer service is only 24/5. 

ActivTrades review - Customer Service

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73-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Education

5.0
ActivTrades has great educational content, including webinars, manuals, a demo account to test your skills, and one-on-one training where you can chat with an expert.
Pros Cons
Demo account None
Trading platform tutorial
One to one training

ActivTrades provides the following learning tools:

  • Demo account
  • One to one training
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars and seminars
  • Quality educational articles

We think that the demo accounts are the most useful because they allow you to become familiar with the platform and its features without any risks.

ActivTrades provide one to one training, where you can chat with an expert online. This is a personalized education session to help you understand the main features of the trading platform. This is a very special service, as individual coaching is not at all common at other brokers. 

ActivTrades review - Education

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ActivTrades review
Safety

ActivTrades is regulated by several financial authorities including the top-tier FCA, but it is not listed on any stock exchange and its financial information is not publicly available.
Pros Cons
Negative balance protection Does not hold a banking license
Regulators include top-tier FCA Not listed on stock exchange
Financial information is not publicly available

Is ActivTrades regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) of Luxembourg, and The Securities Commission of the Bahamas.

Is ActivTrades safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

ActivTrades has three entities that are all regulated. The amount of investor protection depends on where you open an account. 

ActivTrades investor protection
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
UK £85,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ActivTrades Plc
European countries €100,000 for cash deposits, €20,000 for securities Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) ActivTrades Europe SA
Other countries No protection The Securities Commission of the Bahamas ActivTrades Corp

ActivTrades provides negative balance protection. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

In addition to the protection that for example UK retail investors get by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), ActivTrades has purchased, at no direct cost to clients, separate insurance protection from Lloyd’s of London. This provides up to £/$/€ 1 million per client additional coverage and applies to all clients, regardless of which entity they are under.

Background

ActivTrades was established in 2001. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Being regulated by the top-tier FCA and being in operation for a long time are all great signs for ActivTrades's safety.

Find your safe broker

ActivTrades review
Bottom line

All in all, ActivTrades is a good CFD/forex broker.

ActivTrades has low trading fees. The account opening is excellent and the deposits and withdrawals are free.

On the downside, its product portfolio is limited to just a few products, as it offers mainly CFDs and forex instruments. Research tools are basic, and there are no trading ideas or fundamental data. There is an inactivity fee as well as a charge for currency conversion.

As trading fees are low and your account will be ready quickly, we encourage you to try ActivTrades.

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73-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
FAQ

We recommend ActivTrades for forex and CFD traders looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal conditions.

Below you can find links to all aspects of ActivTrades in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our ActivTrades fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the ActivTrades minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your ActivTrades account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the ActivTrades account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the ActivTrades trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the ActivTrades customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is ActivTrades legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether ActivTrades is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is ActivTrades good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on ActivTrades?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on ActivTrades guide

I want to trade options, are they available at ActivTrades?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on ActivTrades?

What is the minimum account balance at ActivTrades?

Check out the current account balance requirements at ActivTrades in our What is the minimum account balance at ActivTrades article.

Author of this review

Krisztián Gátonyi

Author of this review

Krisztián has 15 years of experience in proprietary trading, mainly in the interbank currency market as a foreign exchange risk manager. He received his MSc degree in International Business from the University of Middlesex. He is interested also in real estate and dividend growth investing. His purpose is to help people find the best investment provider.

Krisztián Gátonyi

Senior Broker Expert

Krisztián has 15 years of experience in proprietary trading, mainly in the interbank currency market as a foreign exchange risk manager. He received his MSc degree in International Business from the University of Middlesex. He is interested also in real estate and dividend growth investing. His purpose is to help people find the best investment provider.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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73-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

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