Saxo Bank Forex Broker Review
Saxo Bank is a unique case. They have an extensive collection of assets for trade. There are 40,000 of them, to be exact – half of it stocks. It is a Danish bank, but they seem to be so tightly intertwined with the investing business that they accumulated more expertise in that than in banking.
At any rate, most people know them for being an elevated marginal broker. It’s not their only activity, of course, and there are tons of additional services to appeal to general public.
They’ve been around since 1992, so they aren’t at all a minor brokerage provider, even though Saxo’s primary business is still banking. Anyhow, let’s see what they have to offer on this website.
Saxo has several account types to offer. They don’t differ that much in terms of features and possibilities the broker gives you. However, these plans are deeply intertwined with the pricing and the money management. Like elsewhere, you need to deposit more money to unlock a new account level, but that’s not as simple.
On SB, you are placed into one of the three levels based on the size of your initial deposit. After some time, the algorithm can place you onto another level if your volume of trading declined or grew.
This will either unlock new or lock old features. Some are very helpful, but it’s not too big of a deal, in the end.
So, let’s see what these account levels are.
1. Classic account – 2.000 USD
That’s what you get if your initial deposit was at least $2,000. It’s a minimal account type, which means you can’t trade on SB unless you have this amount of money on your account balance.
This account type will supply you with all the assets the broker has from the start, as well as all sorts of trading software they have. It’s really just a basic account, which is great, because brokers elsewhere like to basically restrict their users from trading certain products until they deposit more money.
On Saxo, the progressing system (the way you travel between the levels) seems more organic, although you don’t lose anything if you stick to the lowest trading level. You will get bonuses if you upgrade your plan, however.
2. Platinum – 200.000 USD
If your first deposit was worth 200K USD or if you accumulated and kept above this line for several months, you’ll be granted a Platinum plan. It’s virtually the same offer, but with two bonuses.
First, the pricing is 30% cheaper, and that affects all fees throughout Saxo Bank product array. So, if the EUR/USD spreads were 1.2 pips on Classic, this offer will decrease it to 0.8 pips. It’s not particularly lucrative, but if you intend to trade here often, the saved funds will accumulate to a large sum shortly enough.
Secondly, you’ll get an improved customer support. On Classic, it works in English all the time except of weekends. If you upgrade to Platinum, you can count on a support in your regional language (given it’s one of the tongues the website supports, there are 16 of them).
That’s an optimal offer, because the next one doesn’t really give you anything that particularly improves your trading routine.
3. VIP – 1.000.000 USD
The principle is the same – if you deposit 1.000.000 as your first funding operation on Saxo, you’ll be placed into the VIP section. It mostly just means special treatment and direct contact with the broker representatives.
What it translates into in practice is: personal manager that speaks your language, access to premium experts, personal ‘SaxoStrats’ access, and even lower prices.
The experts can be contacted anytime (except on weekends), just like the customer service. However, they won’t solve your technical issues or answer basic questions. They’ll instead give you practical advice about investing and trading.
SaxoStrats, on another hand, is a group of investor researchers who publish their findings on SB. You can read their publications in free access. These materials can be quite useful. Well, with VIP, you can contact one of these people directly and ask questions or advice – also a decent initiative.
Other account offers
Although 3 account levels are more than enough, considering that even the cheapest deal is very generous, there are two more options.
1. Corporate account
This is pretty much the same thing as your usual account. The previous three were deals within the Individual Saxo account. The same three deals are available here, on the Corporate Saxo account, without any differences.
The only distinction is that, if you represent the organization, then the Individual plans aren’t for you. This account needs special paperwork, and. if set up, it’ll be technically a property of your organization. That’s the only difference, nothing more.
2. Professional account
This one, however, is special. You need to fill out the form if you want to be counted among the Professional traders on Saxo. This status will supplant your previous account type (Classic, Platinum or VIP) and give you special privileges.
For instance, you’ll be able to trade on a much larger leverage, and the broker will frequently contact you as an individual elected partner. This will also mean that you don’t have special protection for careless traders, such as negative balance protection.
With that said, not all people can apply for a Professional status. To do so, you have to be an experienced participant in the financial sphere (for more than a year, at least). You are also required to have an established portfolio worth 600.000 USD and an active record in the last year.
Many account bonuses on SB are revolving around pricing alleviations.
For instance, each new account tier comes with lessened commissions and spreads. However, even in their full form, these fees aren’t too devastating. The minimal charges are very low. For instance, the stock commissions begin at $1, and Forex spreads start at 0.6 pips – both pretty generous.
It’s not uncommon, since much of the Saxo earnings come from margin rates – interest rates this broker sets on the borrowed commodities, options, currency, etc. You should remember that it’s a margin broker first and foremost.
There are 13 product types, and 7 of them are both available for direct investments and margin trading. 4 of them (stocks, ETFs, bonds and mutual fund) can only be traded directly, although they still constitute more than a half of available assets.
Saxo Bank has two trading platforms to pick from. Neither of them is MT4, and you can’t connect to MT4 through this broker. Despite what many brokers think, it’s a very sizeable shortcoming. However decent their own interfaces could be, if you can access a familiar and explored UI right after signing up with the broker, it’ll simplify everything.
But… there is still no MT4 or any other widely-acknowledged platform. There are only two interfaces Saxo developed themselves (or someone developed them on their behalf, no matter).
One of them allows you to enter a basic trading routine without complex charts or tool-littered interface. It has all the necessary tools available on a user-friendly UI, and that’s largely it. The other is more suited for multi-tasking and extensive analysis. It’s great that you can pick software you like based on your preferences and abilities.
So, let’s go through each of them in detail.
1. SaxoTrader GO
GO is a comprehensive interface that, nonetheless, provides an in-depth insight into the markets history, markets condition and other practical research material. It’s coupled with a basic order ticket system and just a necessary array of features and tools. There is also a bare minimum of indicators, all to give you a user-friendly trading environment.
By trading on GO, you get access to all the available product types, and you can exercise all of your account-given privileges if there is a functionality to do it. However, if you happen to be a Platinum, VIP or Professional user, you might be better off with SaxoTrader PRO.
In terms of key features, on GO you get to observe all your margin trades with ease, place stop-loss orders and, curiously, cancel all of your orders or margin positions by clicking the respective buttons. Oh, and there are also a margin signals feature.
2. SaxoTrader PRO
Unlike GO, which only supports one display due to its comprehensive and simple nature, you can spread PRO across several screens, boot one of the menus on each and happily observe what’s going on with the market.
There is generally just more information and charts on PRO, which is still enough to drive a new trader to desperation. The order tickets have more information, there are more integrated charts, you can set up algorithmic orders with ease, view your sales data, portfolios data or options data, and much more.
All this stuff is still pretty simple to grasp if you spend enough time here. It’s basically the same functionality as GO but with more stuff and data attached.
Other trading solutions
There are also several minor software solutions that may improve your routine. For instance, you can integrate tools and indicators to use them on one of the two major trading platforms here. If the tool you know is based on a widely-known system, it’ll likely be available here.
The other is a collection of APIs – basic interfaces that can be tailored to your preferences if you know how to do it. They can access SB markets just the same, and your efficiency can potentially be improved if you manage to customize one, but it’s not for beginners.
Another thins that Saxo Bank is known for is their effective research material. It’s not too extensive, compared to what some other brokers have to offer. However, Saxo is more deserving of trust than most brokers, considering that they’ve long been in this industry and that they are a real life reputable establishment. Their expertise is undeniable.
Their educative section includes tutorials about their software, about trading in general and certain products. Plus, there are interesting webinars on relevant topics broadcasted several times a week.
The cherry on top is a regular podcast. Unlike webinars, you can simply turn it on at any given moment and just listen to the people discussing important subjects in the background while you’re doing something else.
And don’t forget about the SaxoStrats – a team of experts with their own regular publications on various topics. Pick one that cares about things you like and start going through their research.
Saxo Bank seems like a great brokerage providers. And, in fact, they have a lot to offer to the trading world – their decisions rarely go amiss, and it’s very comfortable to trade on their platforms.
But then, they’ve also been suffering from technical issues and lack of proper customer support lately. If you jab long enough, a broker component will work, and the support will eventually answer you, but it just wastes so much time.
If not for these problems, SB would be amongst the best brokers out there – they are transparent, helpful, and their products are high-quality.