Founded in 1998, the Alpari group of companies has a long history in the retail forex trading industry as an early pioneer in offering the Metatrader platform suite, including the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading software.
Today, the Alpari brand offers traders access to nearly 50 forex pairs and nearly 30 CFDs on indices, commodities, and precious metals, and provides managed account investors with PAMM funds, structured products, and social-trading via the Signals Market on Metatrader.
The Alpari group of companies have multiple entities that use the Alpari brand that are regulated in different emerging and offshore regulatory hubs, with offices in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, and Mauritius. Two of Alpari’s entities in the Russian Federation are licensed by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), including Alpari Forex LLC, and Alpari-Broker LLC. In Belarus, the brand has an entity authorized by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
Its other offshore entities include Alpari International Limited which maintains licenses with Belize’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), and Alpari Limited is licensed by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius, and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the same entity name (Alpari Limited) and is a member of the Financial Commission, a Hong Kong-based EDR for forex.
Commissions & Fees
The commissions and fees at Alpari vary depending on the account type and platform used. For example, in the ECN.MT4 account, average spreads on the EUR/USD were listed as 0.8 pips by Alpari, whereas spreads on the NANO.MT4 account were 2.0 pips for the EUR/USD pair.
Aside from the nano account, which has no minimum deposit requirement, the other accounts can be opened with amounts ranging from $300 to $500, and the execution method may also vary across account types, depending on the account opened. An example of differences in average spreads across account types, among other differences, can be seen in the excerpt below from Alpari:
In addition, Alpari offers commission-based pricing on its PRO.ECN.MT4 account, and ECN.MT5 accounts, with average spreads of 0.8 and 0.3 pips, respectively for the EUR/USD, and a commission of $16 per million or $32 round-turn (0.32 pips), bringing the all-in cost to 1.12 and 0.62, respectively.
These account types also provide a greater range of tradable instruments, including ten-stock index CFDs and three commodity CFDs, in addition to nearly 50 forex pairs. The ECN.MT5 account is the most competitive of Alpari’s account offerings, in terms of the all-in cost for commissions and spread fees to trade (using the above example).
Alpari integrates research content from several third-party providers under its Forex Analytics section, including online videos from Trading Central TV, signals from AutoChartist and Trading Central, headlines from FxWirePro, and an economic calendar and global interest rates from FxStreet.
Overall, Alpari has as a good range of research slightly beyond the bare minimum by industry standards, including a comprehensive list of definitions of macroeconomic indicators organized neatly to help keep clients informed.
Platforms & Tools
Alpari is a MetaTrader-only broker. This means it offers the suite of platforms from MetaQuotes Software Corporation, developer of the widely popular MT4 and MT5 platforms for desktop, mobile, and web.
While MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 come standard with little that varies from broker to broker on the surface of the platform, there can be significant differences in how the platform is set up when it comes to trading spreads and commissions, the available execution method, and other tools, features, and administrative areas that can affect your trading experience.
Here is a summary of the differences in features between Alpari’s MetaTrader platform setup and other brokers’ MetaTrader experience:
- Spreads in MT4 and MT5 vary for the same instruments (i.e., EUR/USD) based on account type
- Commission & Fees vary, based on account type and platform chosen
- News headlines in the platform are streamed from Dow Jones Newswire
And to round off its Metatrader offering, Alpari has a wide variety of funds for investors from its Percentage Allocation Money Management (PAMM) offering, where users can choose to allocate money to PAMM managers and structured PAMM Portfolios.
The native versions of the mobile app for MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are available for Android and iOS devices straight from the developer.
Alpari lets clients convert their deposit to an equivalent in Gold (GLD), where their account balance will be denominated in units of GLD, and where the underlying fluctuating price of gold will have a subsequent effect on the value of their balance when converting back to a base currency. This provides traders with more ways to have their account balance denominated in other assets beyond the typical major currencies offered.
It’s worth noting that when users register for a demo account trial, a live account will also be created along with a set of credentials to login to the myAlpari web portal for account management. The customer agreement will be with Alpari’s Belize-regulated entity or with its entity that is FSA-registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, depending on where the account is established.
In early May 2017, Alpari announced the addition of several new currency pairs and precious metal CFDs, including the USD/TRY, EUR/TRY, GBP/TRY, and TRY/JPY pairs, as well as Gold and Silver versus the EUR, GBP, and CHF (a total of six new metals instruments).
Alpari has done a great job streamlining the signup process so users can easily select from the five available account types during the registration process. With three different account options for MT4 and two for MT5, traders have plenty of choices when considering the range of markets, execution type, and applicable spreads to access at Alpari.
Lastly, it would be beneficial to see Alpari acquire another regulatory license in a major financial center. Alpari used to have a US-regulated entity and a UK-regulated entity in the past, although the former was closed as the US forex market consolidated, and the latter was one of the unlucky victims of the Swiss Franc anomaly in 2015.
Overall, Alpari delivers for traders that place high value on having access to some of the lowest margin requirements for forex, competitive spreads on several of its account types, and access to PAMM managers and portfolios to help the firm cater for self-directed and passive investors.