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Before you read on, SaxoBank is not an online stock trading platform for your casual speculator or first time investor. The minimum initial deposit required for opening an account is £6000 and they provide various accounts and services for individuals and institutions looking to invest £300,000 and upwards. With one click trades at a minimum of $5000, leverage settings with which you can end up losing more than your initial investment and an extensive range of trading opportunities, this is certainly not the platform with which which to take your first steps into the world of online stock trading.
Registration to SaxoBank is relatively straight forward and the amount of support you receive depends on your account type. Classic account customers will be taken on a walkthrough and tutorial which explains the basic functions and tools of the platform. However, you will need some basic knowledge of stock trading in order to understand what your are actually being told. You will also have customer services available to you by phone, chat or email who will answer most of your queries promptly. However, it must be noted that during times of high market activity it can be very difficult to get in touch with customer services.
Premium account holders enjoy basically the same set up service but have their own personal account executive who will be directly in contact with you to help you get set up as well as answer questions and give advice whenever you may need it. If your account executive happens to be sleeping or on holiday (after all, they are people as well) there is a backup desk to handle your calls.
It is with the Platinum Account where SaxoBank really comes into its own. With a dedicated account opening team and a personal visit from your account executive wherever you may be in world, you will not only be set up and ready to trade as soon as possible, but you will also be able to negotiate a personalized charging scheme depending on what kind of spreads you are looking for and your anticipated trading volume. This is very flexible of SaxoBank, yet we must take into account the kind of deposit required to be eligible for such terms.
In the end, SaxoBank are looking to make money and you will have to be pretty sharp on your knowledge of markets and trading law if you are to get anything out of these negotiations. Similarly, when using SaxoBank all users must navigate their way through a complex web of stipulations, formulations and conditions which are indecipherable to anyone without considerable knowledge of stock trading.
Once you start trading SaxoBank offers you some of the best spreads, trading fees and range of investment opportunities in this category; considering the size of the minimum deposit and transaction, this facilitates a relatively high volume of trades on volatile markets. We were especially impressed that SaxoBank offered interbank spreads of FX options to Platinum Account holders which is basically the best spreads you can get. You also have the option of increasing your leverage on FX pairs. This is basically equivalent to a multiplier meaning that you are effectively borrowing money, increasing risk and multiplying both potential benefits or losses. This way, with the right trades you can increase your profits significantly although you can also lose more than your initial investment!
We found the amount of information available through SaxoBank mind boggling and, furthermore, before you have even dipped in your toe, everything has been updated. You get access to company reports, market alerts, free streaming of market news channels and seemingly infinite charts and graphs. You can set up your dashboard with your selection of charts and alerts that are most relevant to the type of trading in which you are engaged. To be honest, we weren't especially impressed with this part of SaxoBank. The user interface seems cluttered, the charts are constantly (and annoyingly) blinking and too small for you to effectively read.
Furthermore, they are often distorted and sometimes the information they contain is just plain wrong. Users do have the option to use SaxoBank's Trademaker which entails that you entrust your investment to SaxoBank experts who offer you a given set of strategies from which you can choose depending on your market inclinations. This tool is useful for those who have less time to commit to managing their investments personally.
With 6 EuroMoney awards to their name and an exhaustive list of trading opportunities, features and sources of information, SaxoBank is, without a doubt one of the most (if not the most) comprehensive online stock trading platforms available. Although they offer great spreads and transaction costs, we have read reports of some discrepancies in their fees policy. For example, they reserve the right to charge different spreads to different customers which does leave some potential for manipulation. Also, spreads can change between FX pairs and can increase during times of high market volatility.
As with most online stock trading platforms, stop/loss orders can be placed with which users can set points at which to sell/buy automatically; great for keeping on top of volatile markets. However, it is slightly worrying that SaxoBank reserve the right to cancel autotrades during times of high market volatility, i.e. the exact situations they were designed for!
Overall, SaxoBank has a few problems which need to be ironed out. As the most comprehensive platform out there, we would only recommend it to institutional investors who have sufficient expertise to both make the most of the vast trading options and information available and untangle the web of terms and conditions. The free trial is an excellent opportunity to check out the platform for yourself to ensure it is what you are looking for. Registration for this is quick and straight forward and we would certainly encourage you to give it a go before making any decision in this category.
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