Warning! PhoenixMarkets is an offshore company! Your deposit may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
PhoenixMarkets look promising enough, without going over the top. In fact it does not do too much. This is a very average looking broker, that has some shady aspects about it, despite it being regulated by a very respectable overseer.
The broker is regulated by CySEC, as evidence by its presence in the agency’s registry. CySEC is the most renowned European regulator of forex trading. The UK has the FCA, but the old continent relies on CySEC, and for a good reason. In order for a broker to become a Cypriot Investment Firm it must abode by a set of rules, whose purpose is to maintain the integrity of the market and the user. In fact these rule’s main goal is to ensure that the user’s private info and payments are kept safe and never misused.
Brokers must hold a minimum capital requirement of at least €730 000 in order to gain a license. Next, the broker must at all cost segregate clients’ funds away from its own, in different bank accounts. Crucially, there is also the very helpful Investor Compensation Fund which will reimburse a user up to €20 000 if the broker falls into insolvency. These are some of the main prerequisite; there are pages upon pages of other small and big requirements.
We registered easily, and opened what seemed a live account. For a CySEC licensed broker to offer so easily a live account without any identification documents is a steal. We find it illogical, and not very professional. Anyway, upon registering, we entered a decent looking client area, where we were able to open two trading softwares.
Both platforms gave us a EUR/USD spread of 3 pips which is way too much, and is only lucrative for the broker. As a EU broker, the leverage is capped at 1:30 as decreed by ESMA. However, a client can apply for a higher amount, up to 1:200, if he or she becomes a professional broker. Yet, in order to reach that status the user must meet very relentless necessities.
Users can trade with forex pairs, crypto, commodities, indices, and equities.
The website comes in English and French.
Users are given the opportunity to trade with the Sirix WebTrader and a MT4 as a desktop terminal.
This is one of the very few cases in which a legitimate broker is offering the Sirix Webtrader, a platform very known for its popularity amongst the illicit and offshore brokers. The webtrader has a range of useful capabilities including pending orders, one point clicking, chart customization options, and copy trading, not to mention that it looks pretty cool. Yet, as we have previously said in other reviews, Sirix is focused on more novice traders; the intermediate or expert users will get bored easily with it.
As for the MT4, this terminal needs no introduction. Holding the title for most popular and most effective trading software, the MT4 is always a sight for sore eyes! The range of options is overwhelming, in turn opening up endless possibilities. Tone can never go wrong with the MT4.
We return to the ridiculous cost of trade of 3 pips, of which both the MT4 and the Sirix offer, as they seem to be operating under the same server. This spread is really too much, and this kind of value is usually seen with scammer brokers. We soon discovered that this spread is one applied to the standard account, even the Accounts page on the website reveals so.
But here is the issue. This cost of trade completely impairs the standard account. Furthermore, the nest account in the hierarchy, the Silver one has a minimum leverage of 2.7 pips, which is again completely ridiculous and of no use to traders! In fact, is it the last two account types that have normal spread values, the Gold at 1.5 pips (anything higher than that is impairing it), and the Platinum account offering a 0.5 pip minimum.
Here is the issue though… the minimum deposit requirement for both the last two accounts are tremendous, with the Gold account being available for a minimum of $10 000, while the Platinum account is unlocked if a user deposits at least $50 000!
Users are left with no choice but to agree to these, because all other accounts before the Gold, are pretty much useless. This is a very smart, be it arrogant, way to trick users, and for a CySEC regulated broker to act like this is simply unacceptable. Needless to say that this is the main reason why we do not recommend PhoenixMarkets.
If that was not enough, there are commissions on certain assets. Futures are commissioned by $10, stocks by 1%, and cryptocurrencies by 0.5% for all account types. Currency pairs by $7 for the Gold and Platinum account. Note that it does not say if these are per side or round turn.
PHOENIXMARKETS MINIMUM DEPOSIT
According to the payment gateway, the user can deposit via credit and debit cards, wire transfer, skrill, dotpay, and paytriot.
The minimum deposit was $200.
There are no depositing fees.
Deposits via card and e-methods usually take a couple of seconds. As for the wire transfers, they can take up to 5 days.
The base currencies in which a user can open an account are EUR, USD, and GBP.
PHOENIXMARKETS WITHDRAWAL TIME AND FEES
The presence of CySEC is a guarantee that withdrawals are handled with care and safety first in mind!
Requests are usually processed within 5 days. However, it’s up to the payment providers to send the money at their own pace.
The withdrawal area in the user dashboard is very suspicious looking. It does not give us the necessary hope that our transaction is successfully registered.
Note that on overnight fees are multiplied by three every Wednesday, in order to compensate for the weekend, which is very ludicrous and unacceptable.
Furthermore, withdrawals that are requested prior to completing a set of trading volumes, depending on the payment methods, will be charged with a fee.
As you can see, for example, if the trading volume is below 2 lots for a user who has initially deposited $5000, and she requests a withdrawal, she will be charged a total 2.55% via Credit/Debit card. This is also unheard of with CySEC regulated brokers.
An account is inactive if there are no transaction for over 60 days. On the 61st such day, the user will be charged with a dormant account fee of €80. For 91 of inactivity the charge is €120, and so on. This is yet another acceptable provision.
There is also a clause too long to include that states that the broker may not accept deposits if it thinks the users will, at some point in the future, file for a chargeback.
We might be missing a few suspicious clauses, yet that should not pose a problem, for it is against all our wishes that you deposit here.
We wonder how PhoenixMarkets has been able to retain its license, seeing how bad things really are? The scammer-like provisions, the spread values, and the Sirix software are enough to turn away most users. And this is what we advice you to do. If PhoenixMarkets was not regulated, we would without a doubt dee this one a complete scam! And even if it is not, we urge users to NOT deposit here!