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
Here's how and why rated these brokers, or learn more about our impartial 18-point methodology.
* 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.
- 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.
- You cannot trade on raw spreads.
- Quarterly and annual inactivity fees.
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.
- Trade CFDs or invest in over 1,000 "real" stocks.
- Trade on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.
- Get free signals from Trading Central.
- Account currencies include USD, EUR, GBP, CAD and AED.
- Trading fees on its Fixed and Classic accounts are a little high.
- Monthly inactivity fee after 90 days.
- Copy trading isn't possible.
HYCM is an established broker, in business since 1999. It also is a safe place to trade as it's overseen by regulators in the EU, the UK, the UAE and abroad.
Trade CFDs on a wide range of markets through its Classic and Raw accounts. You may also buy and hold over 1,000 "real" stocks, without leverage, and earn dividends.
Every client receives complimentary trading signals from Trading Central. Trading Central uses technical analysis to identify potential opportunities on a daily basis. Their signals could spark new ideas, or reinforce your existing convictions.
Overall, we have found HYCM to provide a reliable trading environment. However, its trading fees are a little 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.
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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About the author
I'm Stéphane, 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.