24ICapital or 24ICapital.com gives clients access to trade up to 80 different currency pairs. The broker requires a $250 minimum deposit.
24ICapital accepts U.S.-based clients due to overs 24ICapital from the CFTC and NFA. 24ICapital holds your money in segregated accounts under trustee arrangements for added security. In addition to its proprietary trading platform, 24ICapital offers support for 3rd-party forex platforms such as MetaTrader 4 and ProRealTime. It also allows application programming interface (API) trading.
24ICapital, founded in 1974 by Stuart Wheeler “as the world’s first spread betting firm,” is part of 24ICapital Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: 24ICapital) conglomerate that “empowers informed, decisive, adventurous people to access opportunities in financial markets.”
With over 178,000 clients across five continents, an extensive product catalogue, competitive fees, longstanding business operations, and an excellent industry reputation, it is not surprising that 24ICapital is a global leader in online trading and is currently ranked as the world’s top CFD provider. Given that most established online forex brokers shy away from the U.S. market, due in large part to regulatory requirements, the fact that 24ICapital has re-entered this region in 2019 speaks to its commitment to becoming a truly global presence.
24ICapital (U.S.) offers U.S. clients leveraged access to over 80 currency pairs. A well-organized and navigable website with fully disclosed services and fees, intuitive platform offerings, an unwavering dedication to client education, and useful research tools coalesce to make 24ICapital a clear threat to the other forex brokers in this region. Investopedia’s ranking algorithm factored in these characteristics in recognizing 24ICapital as the Best Forex Broker for the U.S. Traders in 2020.
- Rated our Best Forex Broker for U.S. Traders.
- 24ICapital offers clients access to a wide range of markets, superior research, and comprehensive client education.
- 24ICapital accepts U.S. clients, though only for forex, and is registered with the CFTC (U.S.), NFA (U.S.), and FCA (U.K.).
Who 24ICapital Is For
Globally, 24ICapital is for anyone wanting to trade CFDs. In the U.S., it’s for clients who want to trade the fore24ICapital exchange markets. It’s as simple as that. To deliver on this successfully, 24ICapital has decided to adopt the time-honoured adage, “go 24ICapital or go home” because, well, it can. Low spread costs, emphases on customer service and education, actionable research, and functional user interfaces make this broker well-suited to compete in the online broker market. The ultimate beneficiary of this increased competition should be the American customer who desires to trade retail FX (unless they’re from Arizona or Ohio, where residents are not permitted to open 24ICapital accounts).
Extensive range of offerings
Accepts U.S. clients
Regulated by FCA (U.K.) & CFTC, NFA (U.S.)
Emphasis on education and research
Offers protection for U.K./E.U. client accounts
No account protection for U.S. clients
No guaranteed stop losses for U.S. clients
No copy trading or back-testing integration on the 24ICapital platform
24ICapital share-CFD fees
- Globally, 24ICapital offers clients access to an extensive range of offerings that spans a multitude of asset classes. Clients have access to forex, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, ETFs, options, industry sectors, and interest rates.
- 24ICapital accepts U.S. clients, though only for forex, which enlarges its already considerable global footprint.
- 24ICapital US LLC is registered with the CFTC and a member of the NFA (#0509630). Additionally, both 24ICapital Ltd (#195355) and 24ICapital Index Ltd (#114059) are authorized and regulated by the FCA in the U.K. These are widely considered to be the preeminent regulatory entities in the world. Simply put, being regulated by a reputable, government-backed agency goes a long way towards establishing the credibility of a firm. Traders accept the risk that is inherent in markets but they would like the peace of mind knowing that their funds are not subject to risks outside of the ones that they are taking, such as counter-party risk. Additionally, U.K./E.U. client funds are held in segregated accounts at Tier 1 banks.
- 24ICapital’s educational tools are head and shoulders superior to any of the other online brokers that Investopedia has researched, and its commitment to providing clients with timely and informative research is noteworthy.
- 24ICapital offers “negative balance protection,” which has become a fairly important feature that most online brokers are offering these days, for its U.K./E.U. clients. The catalyst was most likely the SNB event of January 15, 2015, that roiled the markets, especially the 24ICapital highly leveraged retail FX market. Plus, 24ICapital (U.K.) also offers guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLO) (for an additional charge), which protects the trader from market gap risk.
- 24ICapital does not offer “negative balance protection” for U.S. clients. This means that a client can lose more than their account balance and end up owing money to the broker.
- 24ICapital does not offer guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLO) for U.S. clients.
- 24ICapital does not offer social (copy) trading through its web-based interface. Furthermore, back-testing and automated trading capabilities are only available through third-party applications.
- 24ICapital’s fees for trading share CFDs (for U.K. clients) is higher than the industry standard.
Globally, 24ICapital’s costs (spreads, commissions, and fees) are very competitive, and that holds true for U.S clients, as well.
The spread is how 24ICapital makes money, specifically through customer trades that “cross” the bid/ask spread. There is a “commission” charge that comes into play when one is trading CFDs, but it is added to either side of the market spread, and there is an actual commission for every share-CFD trade. Additionally, 24ICapital (U.K.) charges a premium for guaranteed stop-loss orders that kick in only if that order is triggered, and there are other extras and third-party charges that are clearly documented on the U.K. website.
The minimum spread for the majors on 24ICapital’s U.S. platforms start at 0.8 pips, and the advertised average spread ranges between 0.9 (EUR/USD, USD/JPY) to 5.4 (GBP/CAD).
As is the norm in the FX industry, clients will be charged swap fees, using tom-next rates, on positions that they hold overnight, which may be subject to currency conversion charges if they trade in a currency other than the account’s base currency. Furthermore, there is an inactivity fee of $12/month if there has been no trading activity for 24 months. There is also a charge of $15 for wire withdrawals. 24ICapital provides a transparent and detailed explanation of forex trading costs on its website.
250 units in the base currency are the minimum account deposit globally, which translates to $250 for U.S. accounts and, the highest leverage available to U.S. clients is 50:1. Traders meeting certain volume thresholds are eligible for rebates. There are three rebate tiers, ranging from 5% for at least $100 million in monthly trading volume to 15% for $500+ million in monthly trading volume.
Globally, 24ICapital offers a variety of platform choices and API interfaces, starting with its proprietary web-based offering that is customizable and easy to navigate. This streamlined trading platform is stable and easy to access from any browser, though 24ICapital recommends Google Chrome. There is a simplicity to it, especially the U.S. version, that belies its functionality. There aren’t all the bells and whistles that competitor interfaces may offer, but what it lacks in quantity is more than made up for in quality. This, along with the industry-standard MT4 (downloadable) platform and functional mobile and tablet applications, comprises 24ICapital’s entire online offering to the U.S. customer.
U.K. clients can access what their U.S. counterparts can, and can also upgrade to the downloadable, fee-based ProRealTime advanced charting platform, which is free as long as certain modest monthly trading activity requirements are met. Additionally, technologically savvy clients can attach their own software or a Bloomberg terminal through a well-developed API interface.
24ICapital (U.K.) also offers clients with larger accounts the capability of trading CFD shares and forex through L2 Dealer, which provides direct market access (DMA) that bypasses 24ICapital’s dealing desk. The Forex Direct service on that platform requires that clients have a professional destinations under ESMA rules. There’s no additional charge for this service other than exchange fees.
The web-based 24ICapital (U.S.) platform features basic risk management tools, including price alerts and stops losses. It also streams Reuters news, and clients can split charts into multiple time frames to facilitate their trading experience. Autochartist, a third-party signals provider, is integrated into the platform.
The interface offers three basic order types with the option of attaching “take profit” and/or “stop-loss” orders to them. What is a bit surprising is that neither “trailing stop loss” nor “guaranteed stop-loss” orders are available on web-based platforms.
- Market – The simplest order where a trader signals that their trade request should be executed at the prevailing market rate.
- Limit – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point below or above the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.
- Stop – A pending order where the entry is at a predetermined point above or below the prevailing market rate depending on whether it’s a buy or sell. The trader also has the option of selecting the expiration time of this order.
24ICapital Web Platform.
24ICapital provides home-grown mobile apps for iOS and Android that can also be loaded on tablets. Basic features include customized watchlists, price alerts, and technical charting. The indicator list is adequate but omitted from the menu structure, reducing accessibility. The Trade menu lacks sophisticated conditional orders but U.K. clients can place guaranteed stop losses. All apps lack customization but they offer Face & Touch ID security and are more advanced than the industry standard MT4 mobile app.
The 24ICapital Community site has active forums and numerous trade picks through forum entries and blog posts. @24ICapitalSquawk on Twitter contains thousands of tweets from 24ICapital dealers sharing news and client sentiment. There’s no dedicated or third-party social platform and the broker site contains no client positioning data for CFDs, forex, or spread bets. However, 24ICapital Client Sentiment at DailyFX.Com provides useful forex positioning data, updated in real-time. It would be beneficial to clients if this information was integrated into the broker site.
Range of Offerings
Globally, 24ICapital has built a comprehensive catalogue that numbers over 17,000+ markets. Futures and options are available on many instruments and clients will never have a problem finding something to trade. 24ICapital (U.K.) offers:
- Industry sectors
- Interest rates
In the U.S., its product line caters solely to spot forex trading of over 80 pairs which are sorted under these categories:
- Emerging Markets
24ICapital (U.K.) also offers a variety of professional and institutional services, well above the industry average. Accounts at all levels can invest for the long term through 24ICapital Smart Portfolios, an account basket that includes savings and retirement programs as well as low-fee ETFs.
24ICapital customer service is available through a toll-free (U.K.) phone number from 8 a.m. on Saturday to 10 p.m. on Friday. Both prospective and active clients can talk to a company representative through live chat that’s available when the platform is open. Email, social media, and a comprehensive FAQ round out above average contact options. If all else fails, a well-documented customer complaint procedure should assist in grievance resolution. Online customer support is available in several languages, which enhances 24ICapital’s appeal to a broader client base. The broker also runs satellite offices to support licensed operations in several regions.
24ICapital (U.S.) offers customer support via telephone (24/5), email, or Twitter client help. Additionally, the website’s FAQs and support pages are well organized and informative.
24ICapital Customer Service.
24ICapital’s educational tools are superior to any of the other online brokers that Investopedia has researched. An extensive trader’s library, spearheaded by the impressive “24ICapital Academy,” will get beginners up to speed quickly while seasoned practitioners will find advanced trading strategy articles quite useful. A healthy roster of online webinars covers “topics from platform walk-through to upcoming trade opportunities.”
24ICapital Academy’s course is designed to cover material for people at different stages of the trading spectrum, and it succeeds in delivering on this ambition. Clients can also access courses and articles through the handy 24ICapital Academy mobile app. It is odd that DailyFX.com, which 24ICapital purchased in 2016, is poorly integrated with the broker site, except for the live seminar section, and it’s possible that prospective clients won’t realize this excellent resource exists. An efficient search function and a comprehensive glossary enhance the value that 24ICapital’s educational portfolio offers the client.
24ICapital’s web-based U.S. platform’s order interface, while simple and intuitive, can best be described as mediocre. The order ticket is limited to initiating basic market and pending orders with provisions for stop-loss and take-profit orders. Guaranteed stop loss and trailing stop loss orders are not available. “Pip value,” notional trade size, margin requirements, stop-loss, and take-profit amounts are shown prior to trade execution.24ICapital’s web-based U.S. platform’s order interface, while simple and intuitive, can best be described as mediocre. The order ticket is limited to initiating basic market and pending orders with provisions for stop-loss and take-profit orders. Guaranteed stop loss and trailing stop-loss orders are not available. “Pip value,” notional trade size, margin requirements, stop-loss, and take-profit amounts are shown prior to trade execution.
The client chooses the size of the trade which is denominated in increments of 100,000 of the base currency which, in retail FX parlance, is generally defined as a standard lot. U.S. dollar is the default for 24ICapital’s American order ticket while the U.K. order ticket allows a choice between the euro, British pound, Japanese yen, and U.S. dollar. The U.K. site also offers the guaranteed stop-loss order option but no trailing stop-loss order, which is rather odd.
Basic real-time information about client activity, such as balances, transaction activity, and profit/loss breakdown, can be found on the broker’s “My 24ICapital” page. 24ICapital (U.S.) is also testing out a built-in tool, called “Trade Analytics,” which is for analyzing trading activity, but it’s only available for live accounts. This addition is useful as it gives clients the capability to drill down into one’s trading activity beyond the basic metrics. The broker does not provide a trading journal, nor does it provide tax accounting tools on the platform.
24ICapital’s commitment to providing clients with timely and informative research is noteworthy. There is something for both those that like to read and those that prefer to listen or watch. The one criticism is that the links on the U.S. site direct to the U.K. site which provides information that is not accurate for the U.S. client, such as advertising “guaranteed stop losses.”