Saxo Bank Broker Review
- Commissions & Fees
- Investment Offerings
- Trading Platforms
- Customer Service
- Education and Research
Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank and broker. Saxo Bank offers stock traders many interesting options and features that any trader could want. Read more here to discover all that Saxo Bank has to offer and if it is the right broker for you.
About Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank specializing in online trading and investments. Established in 1992, originally under the name of Midas Fondsmæglerselskab, the company changed its name to Saxo when it obtained a banking license in 2001. Based in the capital city of Copenhagen, Saxo has been well known throughout the European Union for its wide array of trading instruments, access to the worlds markets, allowing retail traders a “one-stop shop” for global trading.
Saxo offers over 35,000 financial instruments from a single account. This includes Forex, Forex options, CFD markets, stocks, listed options, commodities, ETF markets, futures, and bonds. To give you an idea of the diversity of financial instruments available, you have the ability to trade Forex pairs as exotic as the Swiss franc against the Mexican peso. There is also the New Zealand dollar against the Turkish lira, or perhaps the Euro against the Chinese yuan. Obviously, there are plenty of other more standard currency pairs for offer as well, with tight spreads.
CFD markets track indices around the world, such as the Australian Securities Exchange, Singapore Exchange, Prague Stock Exchange, NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, and of course all of the usual stock exchanges that you would expect. Those indices also are represented by individual stocks in those countries. Options markets are wide and varied, while futures markets will cover all of the usual markets you would expect with the futures brokerage, based around the typical Chicago-based futures, but including many of the European ones as well, giving you access to the agricultural sector in ways that most places cannot. Beyond that, Asian futures are also available. Bonds are available from Europe, the United States, and emerging markets. In other words, you will never run out of places to trade.
Saxo Bank has a strong reputation in the Forex and trading world, as it is a highly regulated bank in a highly regulated part of the world. They have been registered in a multitude of countries, with the lone exception of the majors being Canada and the United States. However, they are regulated in such places as Denmark, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Japan, and many others.
Saxo Bank Account Opening
Saxo Bank allows traders to open up an account with as little as $2000, which is quite minimal when you consider the amount of investable assets available. Unfortunately, Saxo does not take US citizens, mainly because of US governmental regulations.
The process for opening up an account at Saxo Bank is rather quick, as you can open up an account and as little as five minutes. You can fund your account via credit card or bank transfer, and almost immediately gain access to all 35,000+ trading instruments. However, you also need to provide all of the usual documentation, but Saxo does give you access before all of that actually goes through it, assuming that you have deposited the proper amount.
This is where Saxo truly shines above most other brokerages. As mentioned previously, there are over 35,000 financial instruments available at Saxo Bank. For example, in the Forex markets, there are 182 FX spot pairs available, and 140 forward contracts. In other words, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a Forex pair that isn’t represented at Saxo Bank.
The CFD markets offer access to stocks, indices, Forex, commodities, and bonds. There are over 9000 variations of contract for difference markets, giving you access to indices around the world, as well as over 19,000 stocks. These are comprised from 36 exchanges worldwide. There are also 3100 ETF, ETC, and ETN markets available, as well as over 1200 listed options.
Interestingly enough, Saxo Bank has stepped away from the crypto currency markets, avoiding the boom and bust cycle of the recent bubble that has just been popped. Because of this, if you are looking at trading crypto markets, you may have to do that somewhere else.
Commissions and Fees for Saxo Bank
Commissions and fees are quite complex at Saxo, as there are so many different asset classes to choose from. There are also volume discounts, and needless to say the more you trade, the cheaper your trading costs will be per transaction. For example, if you are trading CFD markets on US stocks, standard rates could be as little as $0.02 per share, with a minimum of US$20. CFD trades on UK stocks are 0.10% of trade value, with a minimum of 8 GBP. Looking at the spot Forex market, the EUR/USD is typically a 0.4 pips. The gold CFD market is in the realm of 8.0 pips, but keep in mind that those markets are variable spread. Government Bonds are a bit more expensive, with European government bonds having a minimum of €80, based upon 0.20%. US Government Bonds are charged at the same rates.
Data is not free unlike most Forex brokers, at least for non-Forex markets. It comes down to which markets we are talking about, but as you are trading on the stock exchanges, there are various fees that can differ drastically, depending on the exchange itself. For example, the NASDAQ is $7.00 a month for private individuals, while $27.00 four professional traders. The Toronto Stock exchange is $25.00 a month for level II private but is free for level I private. The majority of European exchanges are €7, at least for the basic feed. Johannesburg Stock Exchange is billed at $11.00, and so on.
Saxo Bank Platforms and Tools
The main platforms for Saxo Bank include SaxoTraderGo and SaxoTraderPro. The main difference between the two is that SaxoTraderGo is web-based, meaning it can be traded from anywhere, including the apps that are dedicated for use with Android, iPhone, and iPad. The original software is browser-based and can simply be used from anywhere. The SaxoTraderPro platform is a bit more robust, with multi-screen platform abilities in both Windows and Mac machines. Thankfully, you can trade the same account from either platform, giving you the ability to customize how you trade at home or on the go.
Some of the features of the platform is an excellent charting package, news and research, and ability to enter in multiple order types such as one cancels other, market, limit, and the usual. Trailing stops of course are also represented, giving you a multitude of ways to get in and out of the market. The platform is very easy to use, although for those who are relatively new traders, it may be a bit overwhelming with all of the bells and whistles. Autochartist is built in, giving you technical signals and alerts when it comes to specific patterns appearing.
There is an excellent features of the platform called the “news and research” panel, which can give you a multitude of looks at a market. For example, you can have an index pulled up, showing you the largest gainers and losers in that country. It also gives you trade signals based upon technical patterns, and of course headlines. Economic figures are also shown on the calendar, while keeping an eye on indices or other markets around the world.
Ultimately, this platform gives you the world at your fingertips, and not just through execution but also through research and news. Autochartist has been trusted by traders around the world for several years now, so although not a unique factor to Saxo Bank, it certainly is a nice bonus in the platform.
Saxo Bank Differentiators
Clearly, the biggest differentiator of Saxo Bank two other brokerages will be the huge amount of offerings available. If you are looking for a “one-stop shop” for trading, Saxo Bank is probably going to be one of the best brokerages in the world that you can be involved in. After all, there are few places in the world where you can trade both options on the Danish krone and short Portuguese stocks at the same time. The commissions are hit or miss, while the platform is excellent.
Saxo Bank Customer Service
Customer service at Saxo Bank is strong, as they have not only a huge video library on how to use the platform, they also have a huge section of FAQ’s that you can refer to. However, there are also plenty of operators looking to help you as you need. You can call into a multitude of phone numbers around the world, and of course contact via email. Saxo Bank is available 5 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Saxo is highly regulated in the of course has had thousands of customers from across the globe over the last couple of decades. Currently, they are one of the more highly regulated brokerage that you can use and have a strong support system for their traders. As they are regulated in countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, and many others, they are truly trustworthy, and of course well-capitalized.
If you are looking to trade the world, you would be hard-pressed to find a better brokerage firm than Saxo Bank. Being able to trade all of these markets gives you a “leg up” on the average retail trader, as in the last few years we have seen correlations between markets strengthen. This gives you the ability to either take advantage of inefficiencies in the global markets or find non-correlated assets in order to diversify your portfolio. However, your trading prowess can either be your greatest weapon at Saxo Bank, or having a lack of prowess can be very dangerous with these many markets available to you.
- Over 35,000 financial instruments to trade
- large swath of correlated and non-correlated instruments
- robust trading platform offering advanced charting and news
- highly regulated and well-capitalized
- Not necessarily an account for beginners
- $2000 minimum deposit
- commission schedule heavily favors high-volume traders