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In terms of resources, expertise and tools, Saxo Markets is easily among the best platforms I’ve seen. However, it is not the easiest to use. Beginners may find it daunting.
While the fees are not high, they are infuriatingly complicated. And investors need a £500 minimum to get started. These are factors to consider if opening a small account.
Top feature of Saxo’s account
Saxo’s expert commentators really know what they’re talking about. The platform’s research page is well worth your time, and certainly unique. It’s filled with insights and trading ideas you’d struggle to find elsewhere.
Saxo’s commission prices
None of Saxo’s charges appear onerous. But it’s hard to know, in simple terms, what you’ll actually pay.
For example, when you go to the pricing page, you’ll see “commissions from £5 on UK stocks”. Yet when you click the tab, you’re taken to a long-winded chart of execution charges.
In fact, trades cost £5 minimum, or 0.05%, if your account is over £1 million.
Accounts from £250,000 – £999,999 have a 0.07% fee (£7 minimum).
Accounts under £250,000 are charged 0.10% per trade (£8 minimum).
And that’s just the London Stock Exchange.
Every exchange has its own set of charges, which alter depending on the size of your account.
Fees you should know about
Unfortunately, Saxo’s fees are even harder to understand.
There’s no platform fee, so long as your account is active. However, if you “only hold cash funds”, you’re charged £25 per quarter.
There’s also a list of added fees to consider, including:
- Custody fees of 0.12% per annum on ordinary accounts with open bond, stock and ETF positions.
- 50-euro manual order fees if you place orders over the phone.
- Currency conversion fees: 1% on ordinary accounts when buying foreign investments.
Before opening a Saxo account, think about what you intend to use it for. How large will your account be? What do you wish to buy?
Afterwards, consult Saxo’s general charges page to estimate what you’ll pay.
Again, I don’t think the fees are unfair. However, it’s annoying when you can’t make a quick estimate. Further, its prices and services constantly vary based on your account size. At times it feels unnecessary, and it’s irritating to the extreme.
Buying shares, ETFs and funds with a Saxo account
Saxo’s search filters make it easy to pinpoint which stocks could be right for you. Screen stocks based on a wide range of criteria, including price/earnings ratios, dividend yields, country/region, industry and more. Saxo gives you a list of potentially suitable options. If you’re ever unsure about the suitability of an investment for your circumstances, you’ll want to seek out your own independent financial advice.
When you’re interested in a stock, click it once. You get a sheet of all the key data with 8 chart options. You’ve also 50+ technical analysis tools for studying a stock’s chart patterns.
Also, create your own investment list to watch. Set up alerts to notify you when they meet your ideal targets. When you’re ready to buy, double click the stock. This opens a simple trade ticket for placing your order.
If you’re just getting started, Saxo’s platform may seem a little daunting. It has heaps of information and investment options. There’s a lot to take in.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to start with their free demo account. This includes £100,000 of pretend currency. You can play around with the platform, and make mistakes, without risking any real money.
If you’re a beginner, the demo account could also speed up your learning. Saxo has an excellent ‘Education’ section, with lessons on fundamental analysis, technical analysis and risk management.
Saxo’s research offerings
Saxo’s research is undoubtedly my favourite part of this account. If you like intelligent, in-depth commentary, no doubt you’ll love it too.
The moment you open the ‘Research’ section, you’re greeted with a quick update on the major events happening right now. You’ll also find updates on important current affairs, such as how Covid-19 is impacting the markets.
Mainstream news arrives from outlets like CNBC. It’s arranged in order. Everything you need is in one place.
If you’re a trader, the charts are quick to navigate. They’re listed with short summaries of the key trends. Navigating Saxo’s fundamental research is just as straightforward. All of the major assets have their own section.
Things to watch out for
You don’t want to trade with real money until you really know what you’re doing. If you’re unsure about the suitability of an investment for your circumstances, please seek out your own independent financial advice.
It’s a good idea to start with the free demo, and take advantage of all the educational tools before opening a live account.
Service and support
Saxo has a technical and account support office. It’s open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. You can reach them by phone, or by opening an online ticket.
If you’re a large account holder (over £1million), you‘re also assigned a “personal relationship manager.”
One thing to note, Saxo has only scored 2.4 stars on Trustpilot. Most of the negative reviews complain about slow response times and difficulties getting hold of a real person.
Is a Saxo account a good choice for you?
I was hugely impressed with Saxo’s tools and research. This is an area where most brokerages leave a lot to be desired. If you’re an advanced trader, I think you’ll love this platform.
Its major drawback is the fee structure, which is poorly explained, unnecessarily complicated and difficult to understand. Okay, so there are three levels of service based on your account size. That’s fair. But does it have to affect every tiny aspect of the account? Should you really need a calculator and list of charts to work out what you’ll pay?
If you’re a small investor, you may feel more comfortable elsewhere.
At the very least it’s worth opening the free demo account. See if this works for you.
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