About Saxo Capital Markets
Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) is part of the Saxo Group, a leading global investment and technology company. The firm has a strong international presence, with its Australian office based in Sydney, at the centre of one of the world’s thriving financial markets. Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), and has been in operation in Sydney since 2011.
Saxo Capital Markets offers a wide variety of products, with access to over 30,000 tradable instruments across global financial markets. Known for its forex trading, there are over 180 currency pairs on offer. Other products available include stocks, bonds, futures, commodities, listed options, and contracts for difference (CFDs). Saxo provides top-class customer support 24 hours a day, five days a week.
The broker offers a choice of innovative trading platforms, a broad product portfolio, and free deposit and withdrawal. A highlight of this award-winning forex broker is its outstanding research options, and there is an excellent level of security and reliability as an international financial company regulated across several jurisdictions. The company has won several awards and accolades, including being voted best overall broker in the ForexBrokers.com 2018 annual review. In this detailed Saxo Capital Markets broker review, we will take a close look at the company’s products, customer service and trading platforms.
Products and Trade Offers
Saxo Capital Markets offers a broad range of products for investors at all levels. With industry-leading prices, and tight, all-inclusive spreads, Saxo clients enjoy some attractive trading conditions. Leveraged trading is available in the form of CFDs, and a broad range of forex pairs is on offer, including all the major pairs, along with minor and exotic pairs.
As well as currencies, Saxo Capital Markets offers the opportunity to invest in a range of stocks, bonds and other financial products. Saxo offers over 19,000 stocks, over 1,000 listed options, and more than 3,000 ETFs, ETCs and ETNs. Commodities available include precious metals, crude oil and agriculture products. With the Australian office based in Sydney, Saxo is an international broker, but it is not open to US clients, and does not offer direct market access.
Saxo Capital Markets has a range of trading tools available within its client accounts, offering investors easy ways to customise their trading strategies. Account holders have access to stop losses, trailing stops, price alerts and one-click trading. With such a broad range of products and assets, customer portfolios can be fully customised to suit clients’ needs and requirements.
Saxo trading accounts come in three tiers, customised to meet the needs of both new and experienced traders. Most new traders will start with a classic account, which requires a minimum of AUD 3,000 in funding. A platinum account, which is aimed at more advanced, active traders, comes with added features and benefits, and requires an investment of AUD 50,000. A VIP account is available for high-volume traders and investors, with a minimum funding requirement of AUD 1,000,000. Both Platinum and VIP accounts include a personal relationship manager, and VIP accounts also include a dedicated sales trader.
Depending on your needs, there are also options to open corporate, joint, trust and SMSF accounts. For individual traders, there is a demo account available to allow new customers to try out the platform risk-free, with up to USD 100,000 of virtual money available. There is a range of payment options available, including major credit and debit cards, cheques and electronic funds transfers. Banker’s drafts are not accepted. Third-party funding is not accepted either.
- Broad product range
- Award-winning brokerage
- Tight spreads
- Outstanding research section
- No US clients
- No direct market access
- Fairly high minimum deposit levels
- Limited payment methods
Commissions and Fee Charges
A key aspect of any forex broker review is taking a close look at commissions and fees. Saxo Capital Markets offers a transparent pricing structure with volume-based fees that allow clients to benefit from more competitive prices as their trading activity increases.
With forex trading, spreads are tight, with all-inclusive spreads starting from 0.4 pips, though this, of course, changes with the market and varies across different currencies. Commissions on stocks start from AUD 6.99 on Australian stocks and from USD 9.90 on US stocks. The website includes a clear pricing overview of all trading instruments available. There are also few hidden fees, with free deposit and withdrawal, and no inactivity fee. There is a small custody fee levied on stocks, ETFs/ETCs and bonds.
|Commission on AU stocks||From AUD 6.99|
|Commission on US stocks||From USD 9.90|
|Forex spreads||From 0.4 pips|
|Custody fee for stocks & ETFs/ETCs||0.12% pa|
|Custody fee for bonds||0.12% pa|
Spreads at Saxo Capital Markets are competitive, as are commissions. A lack of extra fees for things such as deposits and withdrawals is a positive element, but always remember that you may be subject to fees from your bank or credit card company when making any payment or transfer. Saxo’s pricing structures and policies are clearly laid out on the website, and are easily accessible to potential customers, allowing you to look at all aspects of pricing before opening an account.
What Others Say
Independent forex broker review sites are generally happy with the service offered by Saxo Capital Markets. A Saxo Capital Markets review on Finder.com.au states:
“With competitive brokerage fees and access to more than 19,000 global stocks, Saxo Capital Markets can help you build a well-diversified share trading portfolio.”
This is an important point for many traders. Saxo Capital Markets is known for its forex trading options and large number of currency pairs, but its access to large numbers of other instruments and products make it a good choice for investors who want a strong, diversified portfolio, as well as the dedicated forex traders who want a broad range of currencies.
Another independent forex broker review site, BrokerNotes.co, also provides a favourable view of the company in its 2019 Saxo Capital Markets review:
“Saxo Capital Markets provides both retail and institutional traders access to FX, CFDs, ETFs, Stocks, Futures and Options markets using their award winning SaxoTrader platform providing traders the speed and performance you need.”
The SaxoTrader platform is indeed a fast, high-performance platform. This is an aspect of the broker that appeals to many traders looking for a reliable, intuitive trading platform.
Brokerchooser.com agrees that the trading platform is an important and valuable consideration for traders considering this broker. The site makes this statement as part of its independent Saxo Capital Markets broker review:
“Saxo Bank’s desktop trading platform is one of the best desktop trading platforms on the market. It is easy-to-use and well-designed. It has also a great customizability.”
As most traders know, the ability to customise a platform to suit your own needs and preferences can have a big impact on the quality of your online trading experience, especially as you become more experienced, and know exactly what you want from your trading platform. The functionality and customisable nature of Saxo’s trading platform is a distinct advantage for many forex traders, and other investors.
Any Saxo Capital Markets review would not be complete without mentioning its outstanding customer service. This broker provides excellent customer support options via a dedicated customer support section on the website, plus 24-hour customer service throughout the trading week, via a customer phone line and a responsive email helpdesk. Customer service is available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian and Polish. Customer support staff seem well-trained, polite and helpful, and response times are fairly quick. Saxo does not, however, have a live chat option, which is an increasingly popular option for this tech-savvy customer base.
Every Platinum and VIP account comes with the services of a personal relationship manager to help clients with queries regarding the platform and their accounts, as well as general trading questions. These managers will curate news and market information specific to their customers’ trading interests, and invite them to exclusive events and webinars that may benefit them and help inform investing decisions. VIP members have access to sales traders who provide expert one-on-one support, including help with placing complex orders and advice on trading strategies and risk management issues.
If you have a classic (standard) account, these benefits are not included, but the customer service provided is certainly adequate, and the customer support section provides a lot of the information and answers that you may be looking for. The support section includes guides to all the major questions that new customers will have, including all the basics such as “How to open an account” and “How do I fund my account?” You can also browse by topic, such as “trading platforms” or “funding and withdrawals” for specific queries that you may have, and there is a handy search bar at the top of the page so that you can search for answers to your specific questions. A wealth of information, training and online courses can also be accessed in the education section, which addresses many specific “how to trade” questions and concerns.
Platform Features and Tools
As already mentioned, the SaxoTrader trading platform is considered by many as one of the best broker-developed platforms in the industry. There is actually a choice of two trading platforms, SaxoTraderGO, which is a beginner-friendly, web-based trading platform that is ideal for traders at any level, and SaxoTraderPRO, which is a desktop application designed for more advanced, professional traders, offering a highly customisable interface and a wide range of advanced trading tools.
Both platforms offer full access to all assets and instruments. The desktop platform requires a download of software and can only be accessed via desktop. The SaxoTraderGO option is accessible from most web browsers and is compatible with most devices, including mobile devices.
The broker also offers a free demo account to allow new users to become familiar with the platforms.
Both platforms offered by Saxo Capital Markets are robust, user-friendly and flexible. They provide traders with access to the extensive product range provided by Saxo, with an intuitive interface, allowing access to charting tools and the ability to place trades and manage orders easily from any device. The platforms include trading tools covering performance analysis, risk management, technical and fundamental analysis, and research insights.
Saxo Capital Markets provides mobile apps for both iPhone and Android devices. In addition, you can use the web-based SaxoTraderGO platform from almost any browser on any device, allowing for trading on the go without having to download a mobile app or other software.
The mobile platform has the same user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface as the web platform, with almost the same level of functionality. As is always the case with mobile apps, there are some features of the desktop and web platforms that are not available, but Saxo Capital Markets has done a great job of making the mobile experience as similar to the web-based experience as possible.
The app is easy to navigate your way around, with a handy search function if there is anything you can’t find. The look of the interface, the alerts and the order process is the same on the app as on the web-based platform. As with any app, there is not room for a full, easily accessible menu, so this will take a little getting used to, but it is something that will be familiar to those who regularly use mobile devices for web surfing and other online tasks. If you are crossing over from using the web-based platform on a PC or Mac, then it does take a while to adapt to the different layout that is displayed on mobile devices.
It should also be noted that the app can be likened to the basic SaxoTraderGO platform, but does not, understandably, have all the advanced trading tools and other functions of the SaxoTraderPRO desktop software, which is aimed at more experienced traders. For basic functions such as placing orders and tracking watchlists, the app is more than adequate.
The Saxo Capital Markets platforms provide some options for automated trading, facilitating the ability to use automated trading signals to guide trading decisions and strategies. Powered by Autochartist, trading signals are fully integrated into the SaxoTraderGO platform, which offers easy access and control across all your devices.
Automated trading comes with pros and cons, of course, and Saxo Capital Markets stresses on the website that it cannot in any way guarantee the accuracy or results of automated trading signals. While automated trading options offer an accessible, low-cost way to easily manage your portfolio, investors should always be aware that any automated trading system has limitations, and should not take the place of market research, training and education, or a qualified financial advisor.
Research and Learning Section
Education is an area in which Saxo Capital Markets works hard to provide the training and support needed by traders at all levels. Under the “insights” tab on the website, you will find plenty of information for traders and investors. There are instructional video guides to help customers increase knowledge around trading a certain product, training courses for new traders or those wishing to dig deeper into a specific subject, and webinars hosted by analysts and experts from across the Saxo Group.
Online courses include introductory training on CFDs, equities or forex, for example, as well as more specific topics such as “Forex – Margin and Leverage” or “Equities – How do investors choose shares?” There is also a news and research section with detailed market analysis, industry news and a daily “morning call”, where analysts track the market movements of the previous day, giving thoughts on any major market moves and trends, to help prepare Saxo clients for their next day of trading.
This education, training and market analysis make Saxo an excellent choice for new or less experienced traders, as well as those who already understand the market well enough to benefit from expert analysis. Remember that in terms of learning specifics about the Saxo Capital Markets platform, there is also the extensive customer support section, where all frequently asked questions specific to the broker are addressed. This is a useful first stop if you have account queries or a specific question about trading with Saxo Capital Markets.
Saxo Capital Markets Australia is based in Sydney and licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia as well as relevant other bodies in the other jurisdictions in which the group operates. International regulators include the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, and the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
In accordance with best practices within the global financial industry, all client money is kept separately from broker-owned funds in segregated client bank accounts. This means that if Saxo Capital Markets was ever to run into financial difficulties, or even become insolvent, then client accounts would be protected, and all funds held in these accounts would be returned to clients, rather than being treated as recoverable assets by any creditors that might have claims on Saxo Capital Markets company assets.
Saxo Capital Markets’ clients are further protected by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which acts as a safety net for clients of any FCA-authorised company. This compensation scheme is available to private individuals and can result in compensation payments of up to £50,000 per person. The broker website shows a dedication to transparency and ethical standards, with all legal documentation, client money FAQs, and other terms and conditions available on the site.
As a member of a group regulated by the FCA, each Saxo-owned company is obliged to adhere to the key principle known as “treating customers fairly” (TCF), which requires the company to “pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly”. Treating customers fairly is central to the delivery of the FCA’s retail regulatory agenda, and aims to make it easier for clients to understand the features, benefits, risks and costs of the products that the company offers, and to prevent the firm from offering unsuitable products by adhering to best industry practice before, during and after the point of sale.
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Best platform for Active Trader, 2017 ADVFN International Financial Awards
There is no doubt that Saxo Capital Markets provides an excellent choice for many Australian traders and other investors across the globe. The broker provides high-quality trading platforms, with options for web-based, desktop and mobile access; outstanding customer service; and a wide range of financial assets. Forex traders are able to choose from over 180 currency pairs, and there are a large number of shares, equities and commodities also available. The company is well-respected, well-regulated across multiple jurisdictions, and committed to the safety and security of client funds and data. Add to this the outstanding research and education section and comprehensive customer support and it is unsurprising that Saxo Capital Markets is a popular choice for online traders.
As with any broker, there are some drawbacks. Minimum deposit levels for new account holders are quite high, and only premium accounts come with certain benefits such as a personal relationship manager. The broker is not able to take on US customers and does not provide direct market access. Payment and withdrawal methods are somewhat limited, and withdrawals can take a few days to process. For new customers considering a Saxo Capital Markets trading account, it is vital to examine the pros and cons and decide which features are most important to you, given your resources and trading requirements.
As this Saxo Capital Markets broker review has demonstrated, while there are certainly some potential disadvantages to consider, the company provides a high level of service and security, and remains a popular and trusted Australian online broker.