Plus500 Australia review

By   |   Verified by Nikita Sheth   |   Updated 29th August 2022

Plus500 Review
  • Plus500 offers beginners an introduction to trading and investing.
  • A free demo account enables you to get a feel for live trading and the opportunity to hone your trading strategies.
  • Trade on a wide range of CFDs including those on commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, forex, options, and shares.

The Plus500 platform is owned by Plus500UK, a global financial technology (fintech) company founded in 2008 and headquartered in Israel. It has been listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: PLUS) since 2013 and on the main market since 2018. That same year, Plus500UK joined the UK FTSE 250 for leading mid-cap listed companies.

So, is the online broker any good? Read our comprehensive review to find out.

What is Plus500?

Plus500 provides online trading services for a variety of contracts for difference (CFDs) including those on commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, forex, options, and shares.

CFDs enable traders to benefit from price movements in forex, stocks, indices or commodities over the very short-term without actually owning the underlying asset as you would when buying crypto or investing in shares.

Currently, its portfolio for traders exceeds 1,000 instruments. Plus500 also has a mobile app for trading. You can access the platform using Web-Trader, iOS app for iPhone and iPad, Android app, or Windows app.

Plus500 provides customer support through email and live chat.

Is Plus500 safe?

Plus500 is a well-established company listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2013.

In Australia and overseas, Plus 500 and its subsidiaries are regulated by a variety of government agencies including:

Being registered with and regulated by top rate agencies such as ASIC and FSA means Plus500 is required to follow stringent rules and regulations that are intended to protect the interests of retail investors.

Who is Plus500 for?

The web-based Plus500 platform does not require downloads or setup and is targeted at beginner traders. It requires a minimum opening balance of $100.

Plus500 caters to advanced traders with hedging, scalping, and copy trading. Leverage levels vary by product and range from 5:1 for shares and ETFs, 2:1 for crypto, 20:1 for commodities, and up to 30:1 for forex.

Leveraged trading is not for the feint of heart and is best avoided if you are not experienced.

That said, the Plus500 platform is designed with ease of use in mind. Beginner traders will not be overwhelmed, but advanced traders may find it a little too simplistic for active trading.

Demo account vs. trading account

Anyone can open a demo account on Plus500 and practice trading on the platform without spending any money and for as long as they want. It's a great way to get familiar with what the platform offers without risking any real money. Most of Plus500's competitors also offer demo accounts.

Benefits of Plus500's demo account

  • Get real market insights. You can familiarise yourself with the platform and get a feel for realistic trading conditions.
  • No time limit. Spend as long as you wish in learning and making yourself comfortable before you begin trading on the platform.
  • No financial risk. The demo account helps you to understand the features of the Plus500 platform before you put your capital on the line.
  • Learn and develop trading strategies. Set up, review, and simulate your trading strategies.
  • Customer care is available online and via email.

When you are ready to begin live trading, you have to open a trading account and fund it.

Tradable assets

Plus500 is designed to trade Contracts for Differences or CFDs. When trading CFDs, you are not purchasing the underlying asset. Rather, you are buying a contract based on the price movement of the underlying asset or index.

As CFDs are traded with leverage, you are only required to pay part of the underlying asset price when you trade a CFD. So if a share is offered with leverage of 1:10 and valued at $100, the initial payment to trade is only $10. But if the price goes down from $100 to $80 Euros, you will be liable to pay the full difference of $20. Alternatively, if the price increases, you will get the full value of the price difference.

You can trade on a wide range of CFDs including those on commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, forex, options, and shares.

  • Shares CFDs in Australia and over 20 countries including shares listed in exchanges in US, UK, Germany and France.
  • Forex CFDs with more than 70 currency pairings.
  • Index CFDs offer you diversification opportunities. Take your pick from among the Australia 200, S&P 500 and more.
  • Commodities CFDs beginning with as little as $100. Gold, silver and oil are popular commodities markets.
  • ETF CFDs including the VXX volatility index are available on the platform.
  • Call and put options CFDs on the AEX 25, CAC 40, Dax 30, MIB 40 and S&P 500 are available for trading.
  • Cryptocurrency CFDs on Plus500 are supported with price alerts, stop loss and trailing stop orders, as befits the volatile cryptocurrency markets.

Tradable currency pairs

Forex CFDs are available for over 60 global currency pairings in the Plus500 platform.

Fees

  • No trade commissions per trade.
  • No sign-up fees.
  • Overnight funding fees.
  • Currency conversion fees.
  • Inactivity fee of US$10 after failing to login to your account for three months.

Just because there are no commissions doesn't mean it is free. Plus500 may not charge a commission, but there is a trade spread. However, their spread is within the industry average.

How to open a Plus500 account

Accessing the demo account requires your name and email address. To begin live trading in CFDs or Forex you need to open a trading account. If you are Australian and can meet the minimum deposit of US$100, you can open an account on Plus500.

Step 1: Personal details

The first step is to click on the “Start Trading” button. You will be asked to fill in your personal details:

  • Name
  • Country of residence
  • Email address
  • Birth date
  • Level of education
  • How you plan to make the deposit

Step 2: Verification

You will have to submit the following information:

  • A copy of photographic ID, e.g. your passport open on the signature page
  • A copy of a recent utility bill or bank statement

When all your documents have been submitted, your account will be reviewed and ready within a day if everything passes their checks.

Step 3: Deposit funds

You can use a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, electronic wallets like PayPal or Skrill, or transfer funds directly from your bank account. Whatever method you do use, it must be in your own name. You cannot fund your account using company funds.

Once the funds have been deposited and cleared, you can begin live trading. Make it a point to read Plus500’s risk disclosure, their customer agreement, and terms of business.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Free demo account offers new users an opportunity to experiment and learn in a risk-free environment.
  • No trade commissions and no sign up fees.
  • Trade a wide range of assets with access to multiple international markets.
  • Advanced trading tools include limit setting, price alerts, stop loss orders, stop limit orders, trailing stop orders, and guaranteed stops.
  • Plus500 is an established company, regulated in Australia and in other jurisdictions around the world.
  • Trade from anywhere with their native iOS and Android app.

Cons

  • You can only trade CFDs. Multi-asset trading unavailable.
  • Requires an opening balance of $100 to begin trading.
  • Leverage limited by product to between 2:1 and 30:1.
  • Only one account per person and no business accounts. Available only for individual traders.
  • Inactivity fee charged if you don't trade for more than 3 consecutive months.

Verdict

As always, we recommend that you should gain a basic understanding on trading and investing — especially in CFDs — before you begin. Once you know what assets and markets you want to trade in, do some due diligence and compare various trading platforms available to Australians. Get a solid understanding of how they operate, their fee schedule, and the investing process before making a choice.

As for Plus500, they are a trusted, regulated, and very powerful platform for trading CFDs that strikes a balance for beginner to intermediate traders.