Launched in 2007, Instaforex is one of a handful of online operators who accept traders from Canada. Can we wholeheartedly recommend this trading destination to Canadians though? Unfortunately, the answer to that is no.
More than a decade old now, Instaforex has had a rather troubled history, which includes several run-ins with various regulatory authorities and black-listings by review portals. Indeed, the user feedback posted online is quite atrocious as well.
What are the worst complaints/proven incidents involving the broker though? Apparently, in 2014, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a warning about this operator specifically, a warning which is still available at the official website of the organization. According to the document, the broker is not registered to engage in the business of securities trading.
In 2015, France’s AMF issued a similar warning, this one about several unauthorized brokers, among them Instaforex.
For a while there, the broker operated under the coverage of a Belize IFSC license. In October 2013, that arrangement was blown up, as some say the operation got booted out of Belize.
In regards to trader complaints: they do indeed run a wide range, but most of them agree on calling the broker a scammer.
Some traders say they started off meager deposits and built massive bankrolls in the thousands of dollars over time, only to be squarely denied their withdrawal when requested.
In addition to issues concerning withdrawals, Instaforex is apparently also guilty of aggressive and unethical promotion. Their representatives incessantly call those foolish enough to have registered with the operator, and egg them on to deposit more.
The bottom line in this regard is that one could hardly have a more abysmal reputation than Instaforex.
Is the operation regulated at all then? Yes: according to some reviewers it is based and regulated in Russia, by the RAFMM.
According to instaforex.com, the regulatory profile of the brokerage is much more generous.
It is apparently licensed by CySEC, by the FCA, and by the FSC of Saint Vincent.
What does the broker offer that sets it apart from its peers?
It apparently runs an impressive number of promotions, involving scores of brand ambassadors, most of them from Russia. These promotions are indeed at least a little peculiar. On one hand: regulators usually frown at ways to get traders to invest more into online trading, on the other, these promotions are indeed extremely generous: one of them dangled a Porsche Cayman car for instance, while another peddled a Lotus. Most of them are wrapped up though and their prizes awarded, so it is also peculiar that they are still present at the official site.
The operator says that it keeps traders’ funds in segregated accounts, and that it offers some pretty generous leverage at 1:1,000. The spreads are decent and hedging is allowed at the site.
A total of 5 account types are supported by the broker, one of which is a Demo account.
The minimum deposit requirement for every one of the other 4 account types is $1. The maximum deposit is only limited at $1,000 for the Cent. Standard and Cent. Eurica accounts.
Interestingly, most of the trading conditions are the same for the 4 account types (the interest rate, the stop out, the margin call as well as the maximum leverage), with the exception of the spreads/fees.
On the Insta. Standard and Cent. Standard accounts, the spreads start from 3-7 pips. The Insta. Eurica and Cent. Eurica accounts on the other hand, charge fees instead of spreads. These fees cover the 0.03%-0.07% range.
The flagship trading platform of the operation is MetaTrader’s MT4. MT5 is also available, together with a Multi Terminal version.
MT4 offers a plethora of useful features, coupled with superb charting and technical indicators. There are around 50 such technical indicators pre-installed, but traders can install more, or they can even create their own.
Automated trading (through EAs) is also available, together with one-click trading and trailing stops.
As MT4’s successor, MT5 takes several of these features a step further. The Multiterminal version is aimed at those who manage several trading accounts.
Mobile trading platforms for Android and iOS-based devices are also provided.
Instaforex support an impressive range of deposit options. In addition to the usual credit/debit cards (VISA and MasterCard), bank wire, Skrill, Neteller and other eWallets, the broker also accepts bitcoin deposits.
Besides the ubiquitous FX pairs, Instaforex also offers CFDs based on Indices, commodities, metals, futures, shares, as well as cryptocurrencies.
Besides the usual support channels, like email, phone and a variety of social media channels (Facebook, Skype etc). Instaforex support can be contacted through a handy callback feature too.
Support availability is 24/7.
Despite the abysmal reputation of the broker, no traders have ever really complained about having had their deposits stolen.
Instaforex looks like a well put-together trading destination, but its abysmal reputation defeats all its potential draws.