Best Professional Trading Accounts

Enjoy higher leverage today and negative balance protection with a professional trading account. We've compared the best pro trading accounts in South Africa, and reviewed their eligibility criteria.

Brokers we recommend


4.7 / 5 AvaTrade
77.82% of retail CFD accounts lose money

AvaTrade.com is an award-winning online broker, in business since 2006. Trade CFDs on one of the widest possible range of instruments and asset classes, from Forex to ETFs and government bonds.


4.2 / 5 HYCM
85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

HYCM.com, formerly HY Markets, is an award-winning regulated online broker suitable for day traders as well as long-term investors. It's also an established broker, in business since 1999.


Comparison table

We rate brokers across 5 categories and 18 criteria, following a standardised methodology. Here are our overall and category-specific ratings:

OverallMarketsTrading environmentDeposits and withdrawalsInvestor protectionCustomer service
AvaTrade 4.7 5.0 4.2 4.7 4.8 5.0
HYCM 4.2 5.0 3.8 4.4 3.8 4.0
Forex (CFD)Cryptos (CFD)*Stocks (CFD)Indices (CFD)ETFs (CFD)Metals (CFD)Energy (CFD)Commodities (CFD)Bonds (CFD)
AvaTrade 5514612233191072
HYCM 6728151271334
MT4MT5Copy trading
AvaTrade
HYCM
Bank transferDebit cardCredit cardNETELLER *Skrill *
AvaTrade
HYCM
AustraliaCayman IslandsCyprus (EU)South AfricaSt. Vincent & the GrenadinesUAEUK
AvaTrade
HYCM

* Availability is subject to local laws and regulations.

Note: for brevity, this table only shows the most popular payment methods and regulators. Open a free account with any of these brokers to view funding options available in your country.



4.7 / 5 AvaTrade
77.82% of retail CFD accounts lose money

AvaTrade.com is an award-winning online broker, in business since 2006. Trade CFDs on one of the widest possible range of instruments and asset classes, from Forex to ETFs and government bonds.

  • Likes
  • Over 750 financial instruments on MT4/5.
  • Get free daily trading signals.
  • Easily copy professional traders.
  • No fees on deposits or withdrawals.
  • Get one-on-one assistance when you deposit US$1,000.
  • Dislikes
  • You cannot trade on raw spreads.
  • Quarterly and annual inactivity fees.
Our take on AvaTrade

The breadth of assets available to trade through its platform sets AvaTrade apart from the competition. You'll find over 750 instruments, including currencies, stocks, indices, ETFs (and leveraged ETFs), precious metals, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and government bonds.

AvaTrade supports the MT4 and MT5 platforms, available for Windows and iOS devices. Its web trading platform is sleek, with advanced charting tools. AvaTrade's spreads are competitive and fixed, which can provide a more predictable trading environment, well-suited for beginners.

Its customer service is excellent too. Every time a question has arisen, we've been able to speak to a customer support agent easily through a local telephone number. Our queries were resolved within minutes. AvaTrade support is available five days a week through various channels, including WhatsApp.


4.2 / 5 HYCM
85% of retail CFD accounts lose money

HYCM.com, formerly HY Markets, is an award-winning regulated online broker suitable for day traders as well as long-term investors. It's also an established broker, in business since 1999.

  • Likes
  • Trade CFDs or invest in over 1,000 "real" stocks.
  • Trade on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.
  • Get free signals from Trading Central.
  • Open a trading account in USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and AED.
  • Dislikes
  • Trading fees on its Fixed and Classic accounts are a little high.
  • Monthly inactivity fees apply after 90 days.
  • Copy trading isn't possible.
Our take on HYCM

Trade over 300 instruments across a wide range of markets, spanning currencies, cryptocurrencies, stocks, indexes, and commodities. HYCM offers a variety of trading accounts for beginners and more experienced traders, on the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms.

Of note, 'buy and hold' investors can now access over 1,000 'real' stocks, and earn dividends on their investments. It is possible to invest from as little as $10 through fractional ownership. This service includes American, Asian, and European stocks.

HYCM is an established broker, in business since 1999. It is also a safe place to trade, being overseen by regulators in the EU, the UK, the UAE, and other regions. HYCM provides a reliable trading environment. However, its trading fees are somewhat higher than the competition, unless you open a Raw account.

Professional account eligibility criteria

We reviewed the eligibility criteria behind the professional accounts featured on this page, including FxPro's and AvaTrade's professional accounts, and summarised our findings below. You'll need to meet at least two of the following three criteria to be eligible. Importantly, there's no automaticity and your broker will have the last word.

Criteria #1: Sufficient trading activity in the last 12 months

Requirement: you have carried out transactions, in significant size, on the "relevant market" at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous four quarters (with a regulated broker). The "relevant market" includes OTC derivatives such, as leveraged CFDs or Forex.

Evidence: you'll need to provide recent (within last month) account statements in PDF format, from trading accounts with regulated brokers.

Criteria #2: financial instrument portfolio in excess of EUR 500,000

Requirement: you have a financial instrument portfolio in excess of EUR 500,000 (including cash deposits and financial instruments). Financial instruments include shares, debt instruments and derivatives (only cash deposits made to fund, or profits realised from investing in derivatives). This does not include real estate, direct commodity ownership or the notional value of derivatives.

Evidence: you'll need to provide recent (within last month) bank account statements and / or account statements in PDF format from trading accounts with regulated brokers. Alternatively, some brokers will accept a statement from a notary public confirming your net worth.

Criteria #3: relevant professional experience

Requirement: you work or have worked in the financial sector for at least one year in a professional position, which requires knowledge of the transactions or services you desire to engaged in (e.g. OTC derivatives such as leveraged CFDs or Forex).

Evidence: you'll need to provide a letter from a current or former employer confirming that you were employed for more than a year in the financial sector and your role required knowledge of OTC leveraged derivatives/trading. Alternatively, some brokers may accept a payslip, or a screenshot from the FCA register.

Pros and cons of being a professional client

Once your broker has categorised you as a professional, rather than a retail trader, you'll immediately enjoy higher leverage. This will magnify both your potential profits and losses.

You'll also continue to enjoy negative balance protection from AvaTrade.com or FxPro.com, which means that you cannot lose more than your total deposit.

In addition, any funds you deposit with either AvaTrade or FxPro will remain segregated from your broker's own funds. However, this isn't necessarily the case. In the case of Fortrade.com, "your money will no longer be held in a segregated account, therefore when you fund your account, the ownership of your funds are transferred to (Fortrade) for the purpose of covering your obligations", unless otherwise agreed in writing.

Last but not least, you may no longer be covered by your regulator's investor compensation fund (depending on your jurisdiction). For example, if you live in the UK, you'll no longer be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). And if you live in the European Union, you will no longer be eligible for the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF).

Importantly, your classification as a professional trader need not be permanent. If you change your mind, you can ask your broker to re-classify you as a retail trader at any time. And finally, if you're looking to trade large volumes, why not take a look at our selection of the best VIP trading accounts.

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Author

About the author

I'm Stefan, a trader and an entrepreneur. My mission with TrustedBrokers is to help you find the right broker for you, whether you're a beginner or a pro. I've personally used and tested the brokers on our service, opening and funding real-money accounts, contacting customer service and placing trades. I started my career in investment banking in London.

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