It’s not easy to choose a Forex Broker. You have to do lots of research to eliminate unreliable companies and find the rare gems.
Much is at stake. The price for making the wrong choice can be very high –as high, in fact, as losing your whole initial balance.
Personally, I have found a broker I am satisfied with in all respects, and today I want to tell you about them. However, this will NOT be one of those B.S. articles that says “This is the BEST Broker in the world, I like them soooo much. Trade with them…!”
No! I’ve seen enough of that in the FX World already.
I know you’re here because you trust me. I know you’re here because you want facts, honesty, and the truth. I won’t let you down.
What I will offer you is a full-fledged review of this broker. I will share with you my diligent four-step investigation and testing, which spanned several months.
I’ll give you all the facts, and you can make the final decision yourself.
Table of Contents
I came across AxiTrader (now Axi) in mid–2015. ForexBoat was growing rapidly, and the number of students was already in the thousands.
I realised that if this trend was going to continue, we would soon need a reliable broker to call “Home”.
To answer this question, we’ll apply the following four tests to AxiTrader:
- Trading Conditions
- Customer Service
Buckle up! This is going to be a fun ride.
Note: A quick heads up: unfortunately, this broker cannot accept U.S. residents.
How do you establish a broker’s trustworthiness?
The first thing I checked was whether AxiTrader is regulated by any government body.
Yes, they are.
AxiTrader holds Australian Financial Services License number 318232 and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC): Source: search.asic.gov.au
ASIC is the regulatory watchdog that oversees securities and investments markets in Australia. I have been in this country for 5+ years, and know first-hand what a tight ship they run.
For instance, as an Australian resident, when you want to open an account you first must show that you have prior trading experience. If you don’t, you have to complete a Forex Quiz to open your account:
For some, this may sound too Big-Brother-like. To me, this is strong evidence that if a company is regulated by ASIC, there will be NO shady business.
Update: UK residents can open accounts under FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). Also, Axi is registered with the Financial Services Authority in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), number 25417 BC 2019 by the Registrar of International Business Companies. Accounts under SVG offer more leverage and benefits.
The second check was to see what credible industry reports said about the company.
In Australia, there is a financial-services research organisation called Investment Trends. You may have heard of them:
They survey thousands of people on a regular basis, and are very diligent about what they do. That’s why companies pay thousands of dollars for their reports.
Investment trends found that AxiTrader had the strongest brand association for being “trustworthy” among current FX traders.
– Source: Investment Trends Dec 2014 Australia FX Report
Now, that says a lot about a broker.
For me, stringent regulation by ASIC and positive findings by Investment Trends certainly puts AxiTrader on the list of brokers I can trust.
2. Trading Conditions
Now that the main points are out of the way, we can finally get to the fun stuff: Trading Conditions. And by conditions, I mean everything from Account Types to Spreads and Execution.
Let’s look at these key points, one by one:
Nice and simple, isn’t it? Two account types, and both use MetaTrader 4.
The main difference between the two account types is:
- Standard accounts have no commissions (all costs are built into the spread)
- Pro accounts have commissions (hence the spread is much lower, like ECN)
As you can see, both account types are EA-optimised. Score! More on that when we get to execution.
Pro accounts are specifically good for scalping-type EAs, since they have much lower spreads. I’m using one as I’m typing this review.
The other distinctive feature you will notice here is MT4 NexGen. It’s a really cool set of tools, but hold on! 🙂 We’ll talk about MT4 NexGen when we get to the assessment of Customer Service.
If you know me well, then you know I mostly trade with Robots (scalpers, in fact). This means that I don’t take spread lightly. Spread is crucial to the performance of my strategies.
For March 2018 I monitored and recorded the live spreads I was getting on a PRO account I had opened with AxiTrader:
There are over 7081 rows in the Datafile. Each one corresponds to a separate minute. Each cell stores the Maximum Spread for that minute for a given currency pair.
Being a Data Scientist, I didn’t stop there. I went ahead and built distribution curves for the recorded MaxSpreads. Here, for example, are two of the majors and a popular scalping pair (which I am interested in):
- EURUSD: mostly between 0.3 and 0.7
- USDJPY: mostly between 0.4 and 0.8
- EURCAD: mostly between 1.7 and 2.3
These are just some of the results – I checked more currencies. For the most part, the findings align rather well with what is reported on the company’s website.
Let’s not forget that the script I was using records the Maximum Spread within every minute, meaning that we’re looking at the worst-case scenario. The real situation is even more favourable.
Here’s the file if you want to investigate for yourself: Download Datafile
Now I’m going to reveal, hands down, one of my favourite features of AxiTrader.
Are you ready for this?
Are you sure?
Their servers are in New York!
That’s right. I was shocked, too!
We’re talking about an Australian broker, whose servers are in the US. What a great solution to the Australian latency problem!
This country is so far away from everywhere else. Why host our trade servers here? Let’s put them smack-bang in the middle of New York, right next to the biggest liquidity providers. Genius!
This way you get the best of both worlds: stringent Australian regulations, and lightning-fast US execution.
Better yet, if you’re using a VPS server, chances are good that your provider is in the US. Meaning that your FX Robots will be performing at or very near their maximum execution speeds. For me, this is the ideal setup.
You might ask, “What more could one want?”
Which brings us to the next point.
3. Customer Service
With the FX market becoming more competitive by the day, spreads and execution across different brokers are getting more and more similar (although trade servers in New York are hard to beat).
This means that Customer Service is starting to become the key differentiator. Traders will go where they are understood, looked after, and, ultimately, treated in the best way possible.
AxiTrader excels in this realm. It truly puts itself well ahead of the competition. Here are just some of the awards they have won in recent years:
“Most Recommended”, “#1 For Customer Service”, “Financial Institution Of The Year” – the list goes on.
One of the more apparent reasons is that, unlike many other brokers, AxiTrader’s customer support is available 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. And this includes all channels: email, chat, and even phone support. You can call anytime! International phone numbers also available.
Everywhere you look, it seems that everything this company does is aimed at improving the trader’s experience.
And if previous examples (such as great spreads, simplicity of Account types, lightning execution) are insufficient, then how about this:
Not available anywhere else, MT4 NexGen is an invention of AxiTrader that will forever change your trading experience.
MT4 NexGen is a set of tools designed specifically for MetaTrader 4. Think of them as plugins that enhance everything you do on the platform. In total, there are 10 tools:
Once you attach one of these features onto your chart, it either adds to it or transforms it completely. Let’s have a look at a couple of examples to illustrate what it’s all about.
One of my favourite tools is the Sentiment Trader:
As you can see, this feature adds a gauge-style view to your chart that shows the percentage of traders that are in buy or sell positions. The information is based on a relatively large sample of retail traders.
How good is that? Normally this information is not available in the MT4 terminal at all.
Another invaluable feature is the MT4 NexGen Calendar:
It actually adds an Economic Calendar into your MT4! And that’s not all – it also adds news feeds, helps you analyse your trades, and more. Plus, you can even un-dock the feature and place it anywhere on your desktop.
These are only two of the 10 tools. When you experience all of them, you’ll wonder why MT4 doesn’t come with them natively …
The best part is that AxiTrader provides MT4 NexGen for FREE to all traders who open an AxiTrader live-trading account with a minimum deposit of $1,000. I would take this deal 10 times out of 10.
The final, but still very important, question: How can you fund your account?
One way is to fund your account is via Bank Wire. It takes 1–3 working days.
A much faster way is via Credit Card.
“But commissions are high for credit-card transactions,” you say. Maybe as most of the brokers take up to 3.2% in funding fees.
Well, speaking of customer service … AxiTrader has another surprise for you:
For your AxiTrader will waive Credit Card fees!
That’s right you can save a lot on funding taxes – so make it count!
A quick calculation below is actually showing you how much you can save:
When you deposit $5,000 into your account.
You save: 3.2% x 5,000 = $160
Not bad, huh?
I started trading Forex back in 2007. Since then I have seen many brokers rise and fall. I have worked for brokers, I have worked with brokers, I have liked some, I have hated others, but never has any broker satisfied all my quality criteria.
This investigation took me three months, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. AxiTrader not only deliver on spreads and execution, but they are trustworthy and go above and beyond when it comes to customer service.
Let’s tally up the points for AxiTrader:
- Regulated by ASIC (FCA in the UK). This is a no-B.S. broker!
- Award for most “trustworthy” among current traders
- Trading Conditions:
- Account Types: two. Simple and to the point
- Spreads: Verified tight spreads, good for expert advisors
- Execution: Servers based in New York maximize proximity to liquidity providers
- Customer Service: Multiple awards, 24-hr support
- MT4 NexGen: I had to put this separately. It’s that good!
- Funding: Fees waived for first-time funding via Credit Card
That’s five points out of four possible, and a solid Five-Star review. Hands down, the best I’ve seen:
That sums up this assessment. Personally, I’m very satisfied with AxiTrader and plan on growing my real trading account with them over the years to come.
Also, based on this review, AxiTrader is now officially the broker of choice for ForexBoat! If you’re a student of mine make sure to check them out:
On top of what you have read above, there is another reason why I like AxiTrader so much…
If you are ForexBoat student or reader, you could get an exclusive 30% deposit extra credit* with a new AxiTrader Live Account, this can help you ease the fund barrier every trader faces when transitioning from a demo to a live account.
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