BROKER REVIEW

Strateo Review 2018

3.9 12 April, 2018
Best for Beginners
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Strateo logo

Strateo is a Swiss broker, regulated by FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator. It holds a full Swiss banking license, but it is not listed on any stock exchange.

As a plus

Strateo offers great research options within a good and easy-to-use trading platform. Their product portfolio is also exceptional, with a wide market availability. 

On the flip side

Strateo has relatively high trading fees and a minimum account balance requirement of CHF 1,000 or equivalent. The account opening process is not fully digital from some countries.

Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level.

Strateo review
Investor protection and regulation

Strateo has a good level of account protection and it is regulated by the Swiss financial watchdog. It also has a Swiss banking license. 

Strateo is a subsidiary of Arkéa Direct Bank SA, but also holds their own banking license, and therefore is under Swiss banking regulation which provides sufficient review and a good level of protection. They are regulated by FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. Furthermore, all Strateo accounts are protected up to 100,000 CHF per account, as part of the Esisuise Swiss deposit guarantee system. This is generally higher than the usual € 20,000 protection you get around Europe. 

Strateo was founded in 2009 in Geneva, under the name Keytrade Bank (Switzerland) and was a subsidiary of Keytrade Bank in Belgium. Currently, Strateo operates as a subsidiary of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, a major French banking group, and holds a full banking license.  

Strateo does not provide any negative balance protection. 

Strateo review
Account opening

Strateo account opening was not fully digital for our location, and rather slow. $/€/CHF 1000 minimum deposit is required. You can choose from 6 base currencies to open your account.

Who can open an account?

At the time of our Strateo Review, customers from 100 countries may open accounts. The exact country list of who can open an account is not public, but all European countries are covered. Brokerchooser bel You may want to check out Brokerchooser's guide to opening an international broker account. 

Minimum funding requirements

Initial deposit of $/€/CHF 1000 is required for a standard account. Strateo Pro trading platform can be unlocked at CHF 10,000 (or equivalent) minimum 

Good to know: even if your account balance were to fall below CHF 10,000 (the required amount for Strateo Pro) you will still be able to access the Strateo Pro features.

Account types

strateo-account-registration-process

Standard account:

The standard account on Strateo is designed for buy and hold investors. 

With this standard account, a minimum of CHF 1000 of funding is required. You will have access to Strateo’s trading platform, market research data, and other account related services. This includes foreign exchange conversion provided in 6 currencies at interbank rate +0.6% commission (+0.3% if over CHF 50,000).

You can trade the following instruments on a Strateo’s standard account:

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Bonds
  • Funds

Strateo Pro account:

If you wish to upgrade to Strateo Pro, you will need to have at least CHF 10,000 (or equivalent) on your account. This will get you access to the downloadable active trader platform, which has quite a few upgrades from the standard account, such as:

  • Chart analysis system
  • Live market information (standard is 15min delayed)
  • Price-monitoring board
  • Customizable workspaces
  • Quick instrument search

Strateo designed the pro account for active traders. Additionally, you also gain access to further instruments, such as:

  • CFDs
  • Forex
  • Futures

Account types are chosen wisely by Strateo, allowing for a bare-bones trading platform for buy and hold investors, while dishing out their full potential to active traders. 

Plese note: Joint accounts are also available for the standard and pro account level, where two holders can be assigned to an account with or without a representative. 

Demo account:

Opening a demo account is very easy, fast, and available to everybody.  All you have to provide is your email address, your phone number, and the amount of virtual money.

After, you will get a mail with your username and password enclosed. You will also find a link in the mail that takes you directly to your account. Now you are ready to test Strateo’s basic platform with your demo account.

The demo account has most of the same capabilities as their basic account, you can try to trade, exchange currency, view your positions, and read the research provided by Strateo.

Account base currencies

You can open an account with 6 base currencies: CHF, EUR, USD, GBP, CAD, SEK. This is good offering compared to other CFD brokers but is limited compared to the bigger stockbrokers, like Saxo Bank or Interactive Brokers. All currencies are always available to any account holder, as multiple currencies can be used under one account. 

Account opening process

We must note that most (20) major western countries have access to 100% digital account opening, where the validation of the documents is done via video. 

For the rest of the countries, the first part of the application is online. Here you need to fill out your personal information, and your fiscal data (the source of your funds, a rough amount to be invested, reference bank account number, etc).  

Next, you will need to download and print out a form and attach photocopies of your ID and proof of address, this will have to be sent to Strateo via physical mail.

Once Strateo evaluates the online data, and the information sent via physical mail, your account will be created.

At this point, you will need to wire at least $/€/CHF 1000 and your account will be opened. 

Strateo review
Funding and withdrawal

Strateo only offers funding and withdrawing via bank transfer. However, the process is user-friendly and fast. 

Funding options are limited at Strateo. Non-Swiss customers can only fund their account through bank transfer. The first time deposit has to be at least CHF 1,000 or equivalent. Brokerchooser believes that more funding options should be added. Funding through payment cards, or online wallet transfers could speed up the process. For Brokerchooser, it took T+2 days for the funds to arrive. 

Withdrawing your money at the time of our Strateo review could be done through several channels. The easiest is to transfer back to your referenced bank account, which you indicated on the signup form. This has a flat rate of CHF 15 per transaction for outside Switzerland and CHF 2 for within. You may also transfer funds to third party accounts. This can be done by sending a signed email/fax/letter to Strateo in advance. 

Cash withdrawals are also possible in CHF or EUR, but only in Geneva.

Strateo review
Product portfolio

Strateo has an excellent product portfolio offering, you can find all of the asset classes you would like to trade with.

At the time of Brokerchooser's Strateo review, these products were available:

  • Equities
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFDs
  • Cryptos

Equities, ETFs

When we were writing our Strateo review, a good selection of 18 European and North-American markets were available:

Stock markets
Europe North-America
Xetra, Frankfurt NYSE, New York
London Stock Exchange NASDAQ, New York
Euronext/Equiduct, Brussels-Paris-Amsterdam AMEX, New York
Bolsa de Madrid OTC-BB, New York
Borsa Italiana TSX/TSX Venture, Toronto
OMX, Helsinki-Stockholm-Copenhagen  
Oslo Bors  
SIX Swiss Exchange, Zurich  

 

Forex

Starteo offers 160 currency pairs to trade with that is one of the best offerings we have experienced so far.  Just to compare Pepperstone offers about 80 and Oanda about 70 pairs.

The currency trading is available in both cash and forward contracts.

Within forex offering, you can trade also gold and silver in cash. 

Mutual funds

More than 300 mutual funds are available at the time of our Strateo review.

The asset managers of these funds are usually the biggest names, like Frankin Templeton or Fidelity.

The fund offering comes with a useful fund searching tool, where you can search based on

  • historical performance: 1, 3, 5, 10 years
  • fund type: bond, equity...
  • regional exposure: Emerging Markets,US...
  • risk profile
  • rating score
  • and the asset manager.

Bonds

A good selection of European corporate bonds and some European government bonds are available. On the government bond side the geographical coverage quite ad-hoc: for example, you can find Hungarian government bonds, but German government bonds are not available.There are no American bonds.

Options

At Strateo, you can trade share options on US options markets, Eurex and Euronext Liffe (Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam).

Futures

On the futures side, Strateo is competing with the offering of the biggest names, like Interactive Brokers.

A well-designed coverage of the biggest regions is available including Europe, America, and Asia as well. 

CFDs

At Strateo you can trade with share and index CFDs.

In both the index and the share offering, all the biggest global stock markets are covered.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is available through ETFs at the time of our Stratero review.

Strateo review
Fee structure

Strateo has high trading fees and an ok non-trading fee structure. 

Trading fees

Within the trading fees, the stock, ETF and mutual fund pricing is quite the middle of the market, while bond trading and leveraged products like options, futures, and CFDs have quite high trading fees.

Below you can find the cost of a typical trade of the different asset types for Strateo and its closest competitors.

  Strateo Swissquote Saxo Bank DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
US stocks/ETFs $15 $25 $15 $1 $1
European gov. bonds $41 NA $42 $2 $3
European mutual funds $21 $9 NA $11 $5
US stock index options $25 $20 $30 $5 $10
US stock index futures $60 $20 $60 $5 $9

For further fee comparison and for the description of a typical trade please visit Brokerchooser's broker comparison table

Non-trading fees

Non-trading fees are not the most competitive, but satisfactory for a buy and hold investor. Financing rates are quite competitive.

The custody fee is an unusual fee within Strateo's peers, so you should count with this as an extra.

Non-trading fees
Account fee None
Inactivity fee 25 CHF / 6 months, if no trading in the previous 6 months or less than 5 trades in the previous year
Financing rate 3.5% for EUR and 2,5% for USD
Currency conversion fee No commission, but marked-up spread: interbank exchange rate + 0,6%, interbank exchange rate + 0,3% if the amount if greater than 50,000 CHF
Withdrawal fee

For bank transfers:

- 2 CHF/EUR/GBP/USD to a Swiss bank account

- 15 CHF/EUR/GBP/USD to a foreign bank account

Custody fee 0.02% / quarter, but minimum 15 CHF, maximum 35 CHF
Live broker assisted trades 1.4%, but minimum €50

Strateo review
Web trading platform

Strateo's standard platform has safe login, a clean and easy-to-use interface with a great search function and well-designed order panel.

Login

Logging into the platform is done by logging into the Strateo client area. Logging into the account is through a two-step authentication system, using a Strateo Token ID. Once you have set up a trading account with Strateo, they provide a two-step authentication to your trading profile. The account login details and a physical login token (Strateo ID token) will be mailed to your registered address. Brokerchooser feels that this additional security step is great, while it may lengthen the account opening process.

Customizability

You can set up a virtual portfolio, where you can preview a portfolio, and track the performance without having to invest your funds. Brokerchooser felt that this is a good way to come up with some investment ideas inside your live account. On the other hand, Strateos standard web platform offers limited customizability. You are not able to customize multiple chart-view, which Brokerchooser felt is lagging behind other brokers. This should not be a big letdown for buy and hold investors.

Product search function

Product search can be done through a simple search field that is connected to all the products in Strateo's portfolio. There are multiple search queries available, which Brokerchooser felt was a good way to customize your searching. 

Chart tool

Charting tool in Strateo's standard web trading platform is simplistic, yet informative. You may customize your charting view using many analyst tools. There is a help function describing each tool, which Brokerchooser felt is a great way for beginner traders to learn. Strateo offers 27 chart analysis indicators, which is lower than the average. 

stateo chart analyst tool with sample analyisis

Order panel

The order panel is straightforward and simplistic. You can make an order for a selected product only on the products page, let us explain, with many brokers use an aggregate order page, where you enter the ticker and you are ready to make your order. On the other hand, Strateo has a 'make an order' button when you visit the product's page.

Alerts, Notifications

Brokerchooser could not find any alerting functions on the standard web trader platform at the time of our Strateo review. Notifications of completed trades are sent via e-mail.

Order types 

With the standard web trader on Strateo, you can set the following order types:

  • Limit
  • Market
  • Stop
  • Stop limit
  • Trailing stop market

(Not sure what these mean? Check out Brokerchooser's guide to order types.)

These orders can be set either for a day or a GTC (good til contract) timeframe.

 strateo buy and sell trade panel

Available languages

The standard web platform was offered in 4 languages at the time of our Strateo review:

  • English
  • German
  • Dutch
  • French

UX, user-friendliness

User friendliness is one of the key benefits of Strateo's standard web trader platform. It may look a bit outdated compared to other brokers web trading platforms, but in simplicity lies ease of use. Brokerchooser felt that the simplistic design lets customers become familiar with the system quickly.

Fee report

A report of your portfolio can be easily exported to excel, or as a CSV file. A pdf file detailing all your costs and related fees can also be easily accessed from the client center. 

Strateo review
Mobile trading platform

The mobile trading application was ok, it has some minor bugs, but basic search and trading functions are well designed. 

The mobile platform shares it's main functions with the web trading platform, Strateo did a good job porting the design and functionality of the search and order panel. 

Strateo-mobile-app-heat-map

Available on…

As we write this Strateo review, the app was available on iOS, and Android platforms. 

Login

You have to use your Strateo token ID when logging-in the first time, you can opt-out of using it again. There is no touch ID, or other fingerprint login option. 

UX, user-friendliness

The app is somewhat user-friendly, the menus and sections are easy to navigate and well defined. Some functions, like entering trade data, and looking up market information takes some time getting used to, but its not impossible to master. 

Product search function

The search function is predictive and well defined. Products can be added to the watch-list from the search bar with a single click. 

Chart tool

Only basic chart viewing is available, in landscape mode, you can view the chart historically up to 2 years, but no indicators or custom timeframe can be set. 

Strateo-mobile-app-porduct-screen

Order panel

Order panel is very simplified. Ordering can be accessed by clicking on the desired product from the search function. 

Strateo-mobile-app-trade-screen

Order types available including available time frames

Basic trading functions, buy/sell (market, limit, stop, stop limit), with day or GTC timeframes.

Alerts and Notifications

Notifications will be sent to you once a trade is realized. At the time of our Strateo review, we were not able to set alerts.

Available languages

The Strateo mobile trading app will be set in your accounts default language. Currently the following languages are available: English, German, French, Dutch.

Strateo review
Desktop trading platform

Currently, Strateo does not offer a desktop trading platform.

Strateo review
Research

Research on Strateo is extensive and well organized, with relevant analysis and tips for investing opportunities.

Please note that Excess Return research company provides rthe information.

Brokerchooser tested the Strateo Standard account, therefore we had access to the standard research center, on Strateo’s client website. Strateo states that the research you get with the standard account is a summary/conclusion, for an extensive research, you need to unlock Strateo Pro (CHF 10,000 or more of funding).

Research on Strateo is extensive and well organized, with relevant analysis and tips for investing opportunities.

User friendliness

Easy to use, and well displayed. For example, the overview of performance data is logically segmented and can be reviewed at a glance due to the use of color indicators. 

Is there an own research team? What do they provide?

Strateo provides its research through Excess Return, a third party research company.

strateo online application research center screenshot

What kind of fundamental data is available?

All the relevant financial fundamental and valuation data is available for stocks. Brokerchooser could not find fundamental data for other asset classes.

Is there any recommendation on any asset classes? (e.g. target prices on stocks, commodities? Chart patterns for trading?)

Over on the ‘Invest’ tab, further research data is provided. The ‘Market Overview’ section has index composition data for all major indices, riser/fallers charts, and relevant news automatically selected. Also under the ‘Invest’ tab is the ‘Idea center’, where several sections, per example: ‘American Speculative Stocks’ and ‘Defensive European Stocks’ are automatically filled with suggested investment opportunities.

Should you feel up to it, you may also run your own research with the ‘Advanced Search’ function. You can get a great overview of many stocks, which can be analyzed with the following criteria:

  • Valuation
  • Outlook
  • Technical Analysis
  • Financials
  • Risk

Is there any news flow?

Once you log in, you are greeted with the latest financial news. The list is refreshed every minute. We would have liked to see a ‘Top News’ section. Opening hours of markets are also displayed in real time. Brokerchooser was greeted with a ‘US market opens in 20 minutes’ update, which was a nice touch in any case.

Newsletters?

At the time of our Strateo review, we were unable to find a newsletter option.

Available languages

Currently, the available languages are English, German, French, and Dutch. 

Strateo review
Education

Strateo offers the bare minimum educational content, there is an 'Education' section in your account with basic content on trading, markets, and platform tutorials.

Strateo review
Customer service

Strateo has a good quality customer support. E-mail, phone, and Skype customer support are available, but there is no live chat.

strateo customer support time and contact numbers banner  

Brokerchooser tried to contact Strateo via Skype, there was a little bit of waiting, but the support agent was friendly and had all the relevant information that we inquired about.

Contacting Strateo via e-mail was also ok, they responded within 24 hours, answered all our questions in a nice and informative manner. 

Strateo review
Bottom line

Strateo is a great online Broker, regulated by Swiss financial authorities and providing account protection up to CHF100,000. It also has a banking license, which allows for stringent oversight. 

Strateo has a great product portfolio. Further highlights include the easy-to-use trading platform and the well-rounded research functions, which is a plus for beginner traders. 

On the flip side, they have relatively high trading fees, and require a minimum of CHF 1,000 balance. They could also improve their account opening process, as it isn't fully digital from all countries. 

To sum up, we recommend Strateo for buy and hold investors with any experience level.

Strateo logo

Strateo is a Swiss broker, regulated by FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator. It holds a full Swiss banking license, but it is not listed on any stock exchange.

As a plus

Strateo offers great research options within a good and easy-to-use trading platform. Their product portfolio is also exceptional, with a wide market availability. 

On the flip side

Strateo has relatively high trading fees and a minimum account balance requirement of CHF 1,000 or equivalent. The account opening process is not fully digital from some countries.

Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level.

Overall

Pros
  • Great research
  • Easy-to-use trading platform
  • Good product portfolio
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Minimum account balance of 1000 CHF/EUR/USD
  • No full digital account opening for some countries

Investor protection and regulation

Pros
  • Regulated by FINMA
  • Up to 100,000 CHF protection per account
  • Has a full banking license
Cons
  • No negative balance protection

Account opening

Pros
  • Six account base currencies available
  • Customers are accepted from over 100 countries
Cons
  • Minimum account balance of $/€/CHF 1000
  • Not fully digital (for some countries)
  • Slow account opening (over 3 days)

Funding and withdrawal

Pros
  • Bank transfer is available
  • Speedy funding (and withdrawal) (within 3 days)
  • User-friendly funding (and withdrawing)
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card funding (and withdrawing) not available

Product portfolio

  • Equities
  • ETFs
  • Forex
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • CFDs
  • Cryptos
  • Mutual funds

Fee structure

Pros
None
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Inactivity fee (25 CHF / 6 months)
  • Custody fee

Web trading platform

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Good order panel
Cons
  • No price alerts available
  • Must have pro account for pro features
  • Bad customizability for chart and workspace

Mobile trading platform

Pros
  • Good search function
  • Good order panel
Cons
  • No price alerts available
  • Minor bugs

Research

Pros
  • Equity recommendations
  • Fundamental data available
  • Good set of analytic tools
Cons
  • Fundemental data only for stocks
  • No newsletter

Education

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial documents available
  • Educational documents available
Cons
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No educational videos

Customer service

Pros
  • Phone support available
  • Relevant answers
  • Professional tone
Cons
  • No live chat
Gergely Korpos
Author
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager

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