CFD Broker Summary
PLUS 500 is a UK based CFD provider focused mostly on a European client base, where it has become one of the largest market dealers. PLUS 500 offers more than simple CFD, as traders can also establish positions in spot forex, ETFs and future CFDs as well so if CFD investors are looking to branch out into other financial instruments, PLUS 500 offers that capability. PLUS 500 keeps margin levels low, catering to more conservative traders, as leverage maximums are seen at 50:1. PLUS 500 does not charge commissions or monthly fees, with trading costs mostly in line with competitor averages.
Trading Markets Offered
PLUS 500 divides its tradable CFD assets into 5 main categories to include: forex, commodities, stock indices, individual shares, and ETFs. Commodities choices are limited to most of the common options, with some of the more exotic choices being corn, sugar and heating oil. Stock shares are divided by country, and this will be helpful for traders looking to focus on specific regions. The ETF section is probably the most impressive of the asset lists, with many different industry sectors represented. Traders looking into ETFs will find PLUS 500 to be better served when compared to traders looking to set positions in hard commodities. In forex, all of the major pairs are offered as well as many of the more exotic and less liquid currencies.
The CFD platform that is used PLUS 500 clients can be utilized as either a web based program, or a downloadable application that is stored on your computer. The platform is called PLUS500 Trading, and has held up through rigorous efficiency tests. The platform is offered in 20 different languages and, as with most brokers, a demo application is available for testing before real money is put at risk.
PLUS 500 does try to distinguish itself by offering account incentives, which is something that is currently missing in some of the larger CFD brokers. At the moment, PLUS 500 offers deposit bonuses that are tiered, so the size of your bonus will depend on your initial account deposit. The bonuses range from $25 to as much as $10,000 for larger account sizes.
The learning center offered by PLUS 500 is one of its weak points, and is actually difficult to locate on their site. Their educational materials centers on the mechanics of opening a trade and understanding margin, rather than on helping to inform traders on what actually moves markets or on technical analysis. This is a glaring weakness in the platform, given that it doesn’t take much to offer trading materials that are educational for more advanced traders, so if you are looking for some instruction, PLUS 500 might not be the best choice.
The CFD charting package used by PLUS 500 clients is very basic, offering only what is needed to understand simple price activity and volatility. Traders looking to conduct extensive technical analysis or back testing methods will be better suited to find one of the more advanced brokers with more attention paid to customized trading styles. Traders with news or fundamental strategies would not have a problem with these charts, however, as they present market activity in a straightforward manner.
Site Strengths/ Weaknesses
Site strengths are seen in the promotional bonuses and ETF offerings. Traders looking for a strong broker in these areas will not be disappointed with PLUS 500. Weaknesses, however, are clearly seen in the educational materials and in the charting programs ability to conduct advanced technical analysis.
PLUS 500 is a lesser known company with some small strengths that are very specialized and will appeal to some investor types. But those looking to implement charting strategies or those who need advanced educational materials should probably look elsewhere. In some cases, PLUS 500’s ETF offerings will be enough for traders to open new accounts but those positions will probably need to be based on macro economic analysis, rather than charting.