HFTrading Review

HFTrading

4
Score: Good

> Traders can access cutting-edge MT4 platforms.
> Low to moderate spread.
> Start trading with a minimum deposit of A$250.

About HFTrading

Previously called MahiFX, the firm was renamed HFTrading following its acquisition by LGT Solutions in late 2019. Currently, the brand name of CTRL Investments Limited, HFTrading is a multi-asset online retail forex CFD broker headquartered in New Zealand with a registered office in Australia. The forex CFD broker has an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), allowing it to offer dealing and execution services in FX and derivative CFD products.

Clients signing up with HFTrading have the choice of three individual and joint account types, with the minimum account opening charges fixed at A$250. Users can access hundreds of financial instruments across all the major asset classes- FX, Commodities, Shares, Indices, and Cryptocurrencies from the MetaTrader 4 range of platforms for computers and mobile devices.

The account types cater to all categories of investors; novice traders can register for the Silver Account, while experienced traders have the choice of Gold and Platinum Accounts. Despite the account type, you can access all the product offerings from HFTrading with the fundamental differences showing in the spread, leverage, and swap discount.

HFTrading is a zero commission broker, offering spreads from 0.03 pips and 12-hour support via multiple channels. The CFD broker comes under the financial regulations of the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (NZFMA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Since HFTrading acts as the principal for all client orders, there are certain trading restrictions, such as placing specific arbitrage or scalping orders and placing bets during system errors. Besides, the product disclosure statement on the broker’s website is for Australian and New Zealand clients only. So, if you are from any other country, you are not allowed to open an account nor access the broker’s demo trading platforms.

This HFTrading Review takes you through all the significant features of the CFD broker, including the products, platforms, fees, research, regulatory info, and what others say about the New Zealand-based broker. Besides, we have also put together a few positives and negatives to assist you in getting to know the broker better.

Products and Trade Offers

In this section, we take a look at all the tradable products at HFTrading, besides the various bonuses and trade offers to new and existing retail clients. Traders registering with HFTrading have the choice of more than 350 financial instruments comprised of CFDs in forex, commodities, indices, shares, and cryptocurrencies. In this HFTrading Broker Review, we have highlighted the various asset classes offered by the CFD broker and the individual product mix.

Traders listing with HFTrading can access 50 FX pairs covering all the major, minor, and cross-currencies, 17 commodities from the metals, softs, precious metals, and the energy space, 20 stock indices representing the US, UK, Europe, and the Asia Pacific markets, besides the Volatility index (VIX). You can also trade on 214 share CFDs, a majority of which are underlying stocks on the US exchanges, 51 cryptocurrencies, encompassing the regular and mini contracts against multiple currencies, plus three exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on the energy, industrial, and technology sectors.

Regarding trade offers, our HFTrading Review failed to reveal anything of interest to traders. That’s because ASIC regulations do not permit CFD brokers to offer bonuses or promotions to lure clients into signing-up with them.

  • Low minimum account opening charges.
  • The ASIC regulations require CFD brokers to maintain sufficient collateral and liquidity.
  • All clients come under negative balance protection.
  • Only residents of Australia and New Zealand can sign-up with the broker.
  • Clients can use only one base currency- the Australian dollar.
  • Market-making brokers generally carry high-counterparty risk.

Commissions and Fee Charges

Before we go into the trading costs, let’s quickly understand the process followed by HFTrading when it comes to executing client orders. Firstly, CTRL Capital, an associate of HFTrading, offers streaming real-time market data with two-way quotes. HFTrading directly transmits the real-time price data provided by CTRL Capital without spiking the spread or charging commissions to its clients. Also, to ensure that it does not take on the market or price risk, the CFD broker hedges all client trades with CTRL Capital, that in turn diversifies its exposure on predefined risk parameters. Based on the volumes of the hedged positions, HFTrading earns commissions from CTRL Capital.

In our HFTrading Review, we also analysed the various subsidiary charges, which include:

  • Overnight financing or swap fee.

  • A withdrawal fee of A$50 if the trading activity is low or the withdrawal amount is less than A$100.

  • Inactivity fees ranging from A$80-A$200 per month if the account is idle for 60 days or more.

What Others Say

Besides our extensive evaluation of the HFTrading Broker, we have also included a couple of HFTrading Reviews by analysts, FX broker websites, and existing clients. The purpose of these reviews is to give all our readers multiple assessments of the FX broker, although we do not guarantee the authenticity of the reviews.

The HFTrading Review by tradingbrokers.com emphasises the broad product range, educational resources, and competitive trading conditions. Besides, tradingbrokers.com has positively rated the broker’s trading tools and the customer support team. Analysts at the firm have given the broker an overall rating of 4.0/5.0.

Financebrokerage.com has a 5.0/5.0 rating on the CFD broker. The HFTrading Broker Review was on the regulators governing the broker, account types, trading platforms, educational material, and customer support. The reasons for the maximum rating were due to the favourable trading conditions, competitive spread, and automated trading offerings.

Here is a client review posted on the Forex Peace Army site:

Reviewer: Guest

Place: Wellington, New Zealand

Date of Review: Aug 30th, 2019

Rating:

“This was my first broker I signed up with and did end up noticing some inconsistencies with their spreads jumping up 2x -3x with some pairs and not exotics. (Don’t market makers have fixed spreads?) Also, their demo and live spreads are wildly different.

Being a market maker I thought their execution would be better too in faster-moving markets you would be lucky to get in or out without a re-quote, and their site still heavily relies on flash instead of html5.

This broker does offer great leverage though for beginners at 1:100 and no commission with fairly good spreads usually. I don’t regret signing with them, but they need to work to improve their systems reliability to bring in more customers.”

Customer Service

The customer helpdesk at HFTrading includes phone, email, contact us form, and live chat support, all of which are open from 2.00 am – 1.00 pm GMT, Monday through Friday. Besides, investors can directly get in touch with the broker’s management via email if they are not satisfied with the quality of support or if they wish to escalate complaints. In this HFTrading Review, we contacted members from the LIVE Chat team to monitor the quality of support offered and the professionalism of the members manning the helpdesk.

Based on our interaction, here’s our mixed experience:

The positives include an initial reaction time of less than a minute and a professionally managed team. On the flip side, the support team took anywhere between 1-3 minutes to answer our questions – slow response time for a CFD broker.

Platform Features and Tools

HFTrading is a MetaTrader broker, offering only the MT4 platform across computers and mobile devices, accessible from the client area. The platforms comprise the downloadable desktop, web, and mobile applications, support Windows, macOS, all browsers, plus Android and handheld Apple devices. The MT4 is the most widely used trading platform by FX and CFD traders, comes with a user-friendly interface with easy to understand functions, and a detailed user-guide. The trading terminal from MetaQuotes also has reliable data protection and meets high-security standards, while the servers are encrypted and support RSA digital signature.

Although some brokers provide third-party software/plug-ins to assist traders to enhance their analysis of the markets, if you are signing up with HFTrading, be prepared to receive only the base MT4 terminal without the add-ons. Besides, you have to create an account with the broker to access the demo MT4 web terminal and request for a username/password for the downloadable desktop platform, a tedious task.

As part of the HFTrading Broker Review, we evaluated all versions of the broker’s offering from a demo account and here is our verdict.

The HFTrader MT4 Web Application supports all browsers and users can quickly log in from the broker’s client area. The workspace comprises the watchlist, charts, and the toolbox to monitor positions. The platform also comes with the option to view your historical trades. The trading tools include three types of charts in nine-time frames, coupled with 30 indicators and 24 graphical objects. The platform also supports all order types and trade execution modes, including one-click orders. We also noticed a couple of drawbacks with the HFTrader MT4 web terminal. First, we were only able to access FX and precious metals and two, the terminal stopped relaying prices at times.

The HFTrader MT4 Desktop Terminal is a far more advanced platform than its browser-based counterpart and comes with a user-friendly interface. Besides all the functions of the web terminal, the platform features a market-depth window, the option to open multiple charts, ability to place trading alerts, and supports fully-automated trading. You can also monitor numerous charts, place trades from several panels, download trading indicators and EAs, interact, share ideas, and chat with the MQL5 community of traders. However, HFTrading has not included additional tools other than the ones that are readily available in the standard offering from MetaQuotes.

Mobile Trading

The HFTrader MT4 Mobile Application is accessible on all Android smartphones, tablets, iPhones, and iPads. The CFD broker has not included additional analytical tools or third-party software to scale up the potential of the handheld application. However, the terminal comes with a host of analytical tools and trading features, making them one of the best handheld applications to trade the CFD markets.

In the HFTrading Review, we tested the mobile app on an Android device and here are our findings:

The default app comprises the watchlist, charts, trade info, history, news, and a login to connect with the MQL5 community. You can monitor real-time streaming data from the watchlist panel, analyse markets using three chart types and multiple technical indicators, place market, pending, trailing and one-click orders. The app also comes with alerts, push notifications, and you can stay tuned to all the major global events impacting the markets even on the move.

Robo Trading

Individuals registering with HFTrading can program their strategies using MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4). A large number of traders use the MQL4 to develop technical indicators, trading robots, scripts, and function libraries which they eventually employ on the MT4 platform. The programming language, based on the concept of C++, has the required flexibility to help users develop complex programs using large amounts of calculations while managing the robots and the indicator parameters accurately.

If you are not familiar with programming but would like to learn, MT4 comes with an in-built MQL4 IDE development setting, where you can develop, test, and optimise your robot. Besides, you can also download tons of technical indicators and trading robots from the Code Base, or purchase, rent or order them from professional developers.

Research and Learning Section

HFTrading offers quite a few resources under its research and learning banner, although most of them are related to learning. Besides, the global economic calendar and the earnings reports, traders, especially freshers, can access tons of information from the ‘Education’ section. In this HFTrading Review, we studied the broker’s educational offerings in detail and highlighted the central topics under the various headings. These include:

  • Video on demand (VOD)- The section consists of short films on risk, chart patterns, financial terms, MetaTrader, and other topics.

  • eBooks- These contain informative guides on the markets, a glossary of terms, technical analysis, and strategies.

  • Courses- Comprise short videos on trading strategies, tools, social trading, and something for beginners as well.

  • Tutorials- This audio-visual segment is for beginners to get an insight into the various functions of the MetaTrader platform.

Regulatory Details

HFTrading, operated by CTRL Investments Limited and headquartered in New Zealand, comes under the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (NZFMA), FSPR number: FSP197465. In Australia, the CFD broker’s operations are governed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) with AFSL number 414198. We have covered the scope of the regulatory authorities and the safety of client deposits in this HFTrading Broker Review.

Under the AFSL licence, HFTrading can provide dealing and execution services in FX, CFDs, and OTC derivative products to clients residing in Australia. These services can be either directly or through an authorised person. According to the ASIC regulatory framework, all members have to maintain sufficient financial resources, uphold financial requirements, have acceptable risk management systems in place, and comply with the conditions of the AFSL licence. Also, clients can forward complaints not resolved by HFTrading to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) for an independent and fair resolution.

HFTrading has a professional indemnity insurance policy, in line with section 912B of the Australian Corporation Act 2001; however, it only covers the CFD broker and its representatives. According to our HFTRading Review, investors do not receive any insurance cover or protection and could lose their deposits if the broker fails.

OUR SUMMARY

HFTrading Review: A complete analysis of the ASIC broker

4
Score: Good
GET STARTED

We conclude our HFTrading Review by summarising all the features of the New Zealand-based CFD broker. Beginning with the positives, HFTrading has an excellent product mix, a cutting-edge platform with an outstanding user-interface, max leverage of 500:1, several educational and training resources. The CFD broker comes under stringent regulatory guidelines that require them to maintain sufficient capital, follow adequate risk management, carry out regular audits, and fairly resolve client complaints.

On the negatives, the variable spread is high, and the several additional charges in the form of fees spike the client trading costs. The broker does not offer 24/5 customer support; a must-have for CFD brokers. Also, since HFTrading is a market-making broker, there is always uncertainty when it comes to the speed of order execution and other trading conditions.

Based on our broad HFTrading Review, we did not find any evidence to suggest that the broker has committed any kind of fraudulent activities in the past. Besides, HFTrading has been in the markets for less than a year and deserves the benefit of the doubt. That said, there are several areas where the broker should improve to stay competitive.

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