Trading with a broker who has over 20 years of experience is nothing but a positive thing. But is that really the case? Well, in most cases, yes, but there are some exceptions and today we will talk about one.
ChoiceTrade is a Forex broker founded in 2000. People can only assume that experience like this can positively affect the business since there was plenty of time to adapt everything according to the latest trading trends and investors’ needs. The thing is, ChoiceTrade did not work hard to fulfil the needs of its clients. Yes, this broker promised so many things, but if you look online, unsatisfied clients will tell you that those promises are nothing but empty words. So, let’s see together in this ChoiceTrade review what you can expect from this broker.
While we are talking about expectations, the best thing we can do is start this review with some promises this broker made. One of those promises is: “Regardless of the choices made, our customers are always assured that the benefits, convenience and service far exceed the commissions they’ll play at any level of trading sophistication. Efficiency, versatility and leading-edge capability – our trading products address these essential components.”
Now you see why people have such high expectations from ChoiceTrade, but is this broker able to fulfil those expectations? We will see in the rest of this review.
Account opening at ChoiceTrade will take some time. It’s not hard, but it requires a few steps. You need to choose the account you want and fill in all personal information. After that, you have to go through the investment profile and lastly send your application to a review. If they accept you, they will automatically create your account and you can start trading.
Unfortunately, there are some questionable things here. The first thing we like is the account selection. There are five different types, which is great. But the main problem is that you won’t find any information about those accounts. So, if you are interested in leverage, spreads, deposit requirements, you won’t be able to see that.
We won’t lie, this is a part where we expected to see a lot of different things. Unfortunately, it turned out that we haven’t seen a single blog post or educational article. This broker simply doesn’t put any of its focus to education and skill-improvement. So, as a client, you cannot expect to grow your knowledge with ChoiceTrade.
Under the FAQs page, you will be able to find some answers. But don’t get too excited, those are just simple explanations about using the most basic functions of this trader, nothing more. This means you won’t have any learning centre or organised webinars. You are completely on your own and once you decide to improve your knowledge, you will have to find another place for that.
When you take a first look at the trading platform, you get surprised by the possibilities. There is a web-based platform this broker provides, but aside from that, you can choose QuoteStream Trader, Direct ProTrader, ChoiceTrade Elite Trader. This looks excellent, but the reality is a bit different, unfortunately.
The web-based platform this broker provides won’t offer you anything. The only thing you get is free real-time quotes. That’s why ChoiceTrade suggests you choose one of the platforms we mentioned earlier. Well, that wouldn’t be a problem if those platforms don’t cost a lot. If you go with QuoteStream Trader, you need to pay $14.95 for the regular version and $24.95 for Pro version (each month). As the last option, you have ChoiceTrade Elite Trader, but this one costs $29.95 (waived with $30,000+ account) each month.
This is not a usual thing, because trading platforms are included, and each broker tries to create one that will give its clients proper user experience.
In Forex, customer support is one of the most important things a broker needs to provide. It has to be responsive and helpful because errors occur oftentimes. In this case, there is a customer support page and you can find it on the main menu. There are three different options (email, online form and phone number), which is an excellent start. We do have to mention that the support is not constant. Working hours are Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, but that’s fine as long as they provide answers on time.
Unfortunately, as soon as we sent a message, we faced a big disappointment. There were so many questions we wanted to ask because there are so little explanations on the website. Well, we were left without a reply.
The method we chose was an online form. It seemed like the most convenient option, so we asked a few things about withdrawals. Unfortunately, this broker didn’t find time to answer our questions, so we can only assume you won’t be able to count on support if something happens to your account.
It’s too bad that after all those years in business, ChoiceTrade did not learn about the importance of proper customer support. We won’t lie, the last thing we expected was to be left without any reply.
An interesting fact about this broker is that you are left without crucial information. For example, if you want to know more about withdrawals, you won’t be able to find that anywhere. So, there is no way to know how long you have to wait for the money in case of any profit.
The deposit method is explained well. It’s simple and convenient, but the problem is that you can use only Bank Wire. No Credit Cards or eWallets this time. We don’t even have to say this is not enough at all, but it is what it is. If you are not a fan of Bank Wire, the only thing you can do is find another broker.
If you go to the Fund Page, you will see how the deposit process goes. This part won’t take too much time, but once you come to the withdrawal part, prepare to go through inconvenience.
Why do we say that? Well, first of all, you need to spend a lot of time just to request a withdrawal. In the Forms page, you have to find the Withdrawal section. After that, choose the right form for you and download it. The next part is to fill that form manually and sign it. Once you do that, you need to make a scan of that signed form and send to their customer support (or send the original paper to their address). We have no idea how long they need to reply, but once they do, someone will inform you about the further steps.
This broker apparently doesn’t use the state-of-art technology as they claim, since this process is everything except innovative and modern. Keep in mind there are many other brokers who allow you to make a withdrawal with just a few simple steps, without any troubles or inconveniences.
Now it’s time to talk about the next segment that surprised us (not in a good way, unfortunately). In the beginning, we mentioned excellent technology and deeply discounted fees. Well, we didn’t get any of those. In the Terms and Conditions page, you can see the list of all commissions. The list is long and some of the fees you need to pay are transaction or business fee, transactions or revenue or profit on securities activity, fees on paper statements and trade confirmation, fees for excessive quote usage, etc. Of course, it’s not limited just to that, we only mentioned a few.
To see the amount of money you have to give for the fees, simply go to the page that’s dedicated to commissions and there is a full list of charges (prepare yourself for a long reading). For example, a non-U.S. account maintenance fee is $10 monthly, broker assist surcharge is $30 per trade, outgoing wire fee is $35, outgoing ACAT transfer is $75, etc. The list is much longer and if we start mentioning everything, we won’t finish this review soon.
Do we even have to say that all of this is quite questionable? Lack of information, commission for every step you make on the website, long and inconvenient withdrawal process. Everything we mentioned is quite questionable and we are sorry to say, but this is not the way someone should do business, especially not after 20 years of experience.
In the end, we have to mention that ChoiceTrade has a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) license and it is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). So, this is the perfect example of a broker with a license and horrible trading conditions. Now, you understand why we believe that regulation is not a mandatory thing. It’s much more important to provide good service and treat clients with respect. Unfortunately, ChoiceTrade does neither of that, so we cannot tell you to open an account and start trading here.