Dukascopy is a direct access Forex broker based in Switzerland that offer their services mainly to clients who trade large volumes on a regular basis. However, they do accept private traders as long as they are active and are willing to make the minimum $1,000 deposit required for retail accounts.
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Switzerland has always been one of the world’s largest financial centers and to maintain their stellar reputation they have a number of regulatory bodies for the financial markets that ensure strict supervision of all financial activities in the country. Dukascopy is also subject to these regulations as they fall under the supervision of the Federal Finance Administration, a division of the Swiss Federal Department of Finance and are also registered with the Association Romande des Intermediaires Financiers (ARIF) which is a private, nonprofit organization that combats asset laundering. They are also members of ACI Suisse, an international association for financial professionals with over 13,000 member institutions all over the world.
The main goal of Dukascopy is to create a professional trading setting for both their institutional clients and retail customers by focusing on certain priorities. Firstly, Dukascopy focuses on the security of funds allowing clients to deposit funds either through wire transfers or bank guarantees. They also offer Swiss custodian banking services meaning that clients do not have to make a direct deposit with the broker and can right on the Swiss foreign exchange market. Furthermore, they offer extremely tight spreads, namely under 1 pip for the EUR/USD and below 2 pips on the GBP/USD that are set by the marketplace rather than the Dukascopy, which ensures complete transparency in regards to filling orders.
They ensure a wide range of trading orders as well as instant execution and they guarantee that they never trade against their clients, nor do they tamper with filling orders. All clients receive the same prices and have access to the same liquidity. Dukascopy also offers a wide range of advanced trading platforms with features to satisfy even the most demanding traders, customer support for trading and technical issues 24 hours a day, 6 days a week and access to in-depth, comprehensive market analysis and news.
Dukascopy: Trading Accounts
Dukascopy offers accounts to both retail traders as well as large institutional clients. The different accounts are geared towards different client types, thus, for example, the minimum deposit for a retail account is $1,000 USD while a standard account for a professional trader, usually representing a fund, is $50,000 USD. The minimum deposit for a VIP account is $500,000 USD and it comes with additional services including priority in trading and technical support and a personal account manager.
The minimum transaction size is 1,000 units of the base currency, or one micro lot, and since the spreads are established by the marketplace and not the broker, fees and commissions apply to each trade. These vary according to the type of account. Dukascopy offers a maximum leverage of 100:1.
Besides self-trading accounts, traders also have the option to open managed accounts with Dukascopy, whether they are a money manager themselves, or wish Dukascopy to manage the trading for their account. As a money manager, the trader can open managed accounts for his or her own clients, while traders looking for a professional and reputable money manager can always use Dukascopy’s services to grow their account.
Dukascopy: Trading Platforms
Dukascopy offers a wide range of platforms, all designed to allow traders analyze the market at a glance and be able to enter and exit trades quickly according to different market conditions. The platforms are flexible and have a short learning curve with a very user friendly interface. The interface is set up in such a way that traders can see all the information they need on one screen including charts, any open trades and their account status. They can also execute orders from the same screen.
All the platforms support a wide range of order types, including market orders, limits, stops, take profit, stop losses, trailing stops, place bid/offer, one cancels the other and many more. An interesting feature the platforms offer is the ability to switch between Net Position and Hedging mode. When in Hedging mode, clients can take opposing positions in the same currency pair as a form of risk management and the orders are shown as separate trades while in Net Position mode all orders for a single currency pair are displayed as a single trade.
The JForex Platform is designed mainly for traders who prefer using automated systems such as Forex robots, no matter whether they are developed by the client themselves or a third party solution. This platform allows traders to develop, test and trade with their own automated solutions and strategies as the software is Java based allowing for easy customization.
The Java Platform is designed for those who like trading without the aid of automated strategies with all information being centralized on a single screen. As is to be expected from any high quality trading platform, both options come with a wide variety of tools to help traders analyze the charts and markets.
Furthermore, Dukascopy offers a web based platform and a mobile trading platform for traders on the go. The web based platform provides traders with the ability to conduct their trades from different terminals and is also a great way to overcome technical problems such as conflicting operating systems. Dukascopy also offers clients the ability to trade on the MetaTrader 4 platform but it should be noted that it is currently still in beta testing.
Dukascopy: Resources and Customer Support
Since Dukascopy is not geared towards novice traders, it provides virtually no educational materials at all. However, it fully makes up for this with the wealth of market analysis and research, up to date news and even a proprietary online Forex TV channel.
Dukascopy offers excellent customer support 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. They offer both trading and technical support via phone, email, Skype or live chat. The staff is friendly and helpful and they strive to do everything they can to make their customers’ experience with Dukascopy as enjoyable as possible.
While Dukascopy may not be the ideal broker for novice traders, it makes an excellent choice for retail traders with some experience. This way retail traders can gain an edge by benefiting from the same trading conditions as large, professional trading institutions including slippage control and tight spreads, excellent customer service and access to financial analysis and forecasts offered by a reputable team of expert analysts.
Additionally, the level of regulation and the fact that they are focused mainly on institutional clients means that funds are more secure than with any other broker. Furthermore, since their revenue model is based on commissions on trade volume, this means that there is little chance of you having issues such as the widening of spreads during volatile market conditions.
If you feel ready to deposit $1,000 in your account, then you can always head over to Dukascopy and open up a seven day demo account to get a feel for the broker and their software. If you are a complete novice, though, it is recommended that you gain some trading experience with a discount broker first.