HF Markets review: Should you sign up or not? – Broker test for traders
- Regulated broker
- MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5 available
- Free demo account
- Raw spreads from 0.0 pips
- Client funds are held in segregated accounts
- High leverage up to 1:1000
If you are looking to start online trading, you need a reputable broker offering good trading conditions. You will find many companies with shiny ads on the internet that promise the best trading conditions.
But many of them are not worth considering due to issues of regulations, high fees, or complicated platforms.
This review focuses on HF Markets, formerly HotForex Markets (previous name HotForex). We reviewed the broker’s trading conditions and tested their platforms to bring you our findings. We should first mention that HF Markets is a legit broker and well-regulated. Read on to learn about their services, including fees, assets, and platform features.
What is HF Markets? – Quick facts about the company
HF Markets is an internationally recognized online broker founded in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The company came into being in 2010 and now has several regional offices in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
HF Markets offers access to trade 1000+ popular markets in forex, commodities, indices, stock CFDs, ETFs, bonds, metals, and energies. HF markets operate with licenses from its global offices in the United Kingdom, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Over 3.5 million+ active clients across the world have accounts with the company. HF Markets has received up to 55 global awards and currently holds the European and South African awards for Best Forex broker (2022).
HF Markets facts overview:
- Founded in 2010
- Headquartered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Regulated in Europe, Africa, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East
- Over 3.5 million active customers
- 55 global awards
HF Markets group regulations: – Is HF Markets regulated?
HF Markets has its head office in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The company operates in its home country with a license from the Financial Service Authority FSA (SVG).
The broker is also regulated in all the jurisdictions in which it has a branch office. The Dubai Financial Service Authority DFSA oversees its operations in Dubai and the Middle East.
HF Markets also holds a license from the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority FCA. A license that allows the company to offer its services to other nearby regions, such as Gibraltar.
Broker regulations ensure that brokers conduct business fairly and operate in a manner that produces favorable outcomes for everyone. Regulators usually conduct regular audits to ensure brokers adhere strictly to fair business practices, which include transparency and trustworthiness. Customer protection is a major function of broker regulations. That is why it is unsafe to deal with brokers who operate with unrecognized or no license.
HF Markets Group regulations include the following:
- Financial Service Authority FSA (SVG) #22747 IBC 2015
- Financial Conduct Authority FCA Ref. # 801701
- Financial Sector Conduct Authority FSCA #46632
- Dubai Financial Service Authority DFSA #F004885
- Financial Service Authority of Seychelles FSA #SD015
Security measures for traders and your money
HF Markets ensures that customers can remain focused on trading without worrying about the safety of their money. So the company took added steps to safeguard clients’ funds.
The company’s liquidity providers comprise world-class global banks. According to regulations, the broker segregates customers’ funds from its own and keeps them in these major banks. This ensures safety in the unlikely event of insolvency.
Top regulators, such as FCA, require brokers to contribute to Compensation funds. As a licensee of such entities, HF Markets contributes to compensation schemes that further safeguard its customers’ interest in the event of a payable claim. In addition, HF Markets offer negative balance protection to all its customers. That means you can not lose more than your investment if stop outs or margin calls fail. This applies to any market conditions, especially during extreme volatility.
Review of the offers and HF Markets trading conditions
Though HF Markets is known more for forex trading, they offer a growing range of other profitable markets. These include ten asset classes, which we review below:
Forex is the world’s most liquid market, and HF Markets provides access to over 50 currency pairs. Customers can trade the most profitable markets in all currency categories, including GBPUSD, EURUSD, GBPJPY, USDCHF, and other minors and exotics.
Forex can be traded on all the broker’s account types, with a starting spread of 0.0 pips on the raw account. Expect an average spread of 1.3 pips on major crosses, such as the EURUSD. A leverage of 1:400 is provided for this market.
|Up to 1:1000
|Typical spread from 1.2 pips
|During trading hours
Gold and silver are available to trade alongside the euro and the US dollar. Customers can also trade platinum and palladium. Though the product range is quite average, these offerings are the most commonly traded in the metals market. Therefore, they see a good liquidity level and offer an excellent opportunity for diversifying one’s portfolio.
|All popular metals, including Palladium, Gold, Silver, Platinum
|Up to 1:500 for some metals, mostly up to 1:100
|Typical spread from 0.03 pips on Silver/USD, up to 23.4 pips on Palladium
|During trading hours
Indices trading allows you to search for opportunities in the stock market. HF Markets offer access to over 20+ global indices. You will find major markets like UK100, US500, France40, JPN225, Nasdaq, S&P500, Germany40, and more. Indices are a great opportunity to gain insight into a country’s economy or a specific industry. Trading and investing in this market broadens your knowledge of the financial world. They are also an excellent addition to one’s portfolio.
|Up to 1:200
|Typical spreads from 0.1 pips
|During trading hours
HF Markets’ energy products are limited but include two of the world’s most popular oil markets. Traders can access Brent and UK crude oil on a low margin, with speedy execution and low trading fees.
|Up to 1:66
|Typical spreads from 0.08 pips
|During trading hours
Traders can choose Direct Market Access (DMA) trading on stock CFDs. Or they can trade shares CFDs of popular companies. DMA trading means you interact directly with liquidity providers when you place trades. The best prices are therefore guaranteed, with the smallest spreads.
Stocks DMA trading is only available on the MT5. The market features commonly traded stocks, such as 21st Century Fox, Alibaba, Burberry, Coca-Cola, Amazon, and many more. The broker offers 1:5 leverage to trade these markets. Though, it depends on the stocks. A commission fee of $3 per side is applicable, depending on the account type.
|Various CFD stocks, including ones from well-known companies such as Facebook (META), Amazon and Apple
|Up to 1:14
|Typical spreads from 0.002 pips
|During trading hours
Exchange Traded Funds ETFs are the most affordable way to diversify your investment. It comprises various financial instruments grouped as one. So you can trade a group of commodities, stocks, currencies, bonds, etc., simultaneously. HF Markets offer 34 ETF products on its platforms. These ETFs are in various categories including consumer staples, commodities, currencies, health care, media, and pharmaceuticals, among others. The markets are traded in their different exchanges, which determine the spreads. HF Markets offer leverage of 5:1 for this asset class.
|Up to 1:5
|From 0.0 pips (depending on account type)
|During trading hours
Popular cryptocurrencies are available to trade as derivatives on HF Markets platforms. Though the product range is limited, the commonly traded markets are available, such as bitcoins, litecoin, Ethereum, ripple, and Binance coin. The leverage offered for this category ranges from 1:10 to 1:50. The spreads are floating and vary according to the crypto assets. The different cryptocurrencies are paired with the US dollar on the broker’s platforms.
|Up to 1:50
|From 0.0 pips (depending on account type)
|During trading hours
Apart from the hard commodities mentioned above, HF Markets offers several popular soft commodities. These include coffee, cocoa, sugar, copper, and cotton. Traders can access these products on a low margin and an average spread of 0.3 pips. The leverage varies according to the market. But 1:66 is available for products like cocoa and US cotton.
|Up to 1:66
|From 0.06 pips (depending on account type)
|During trading hours
Bonds, also known as fixed-income investments, are issued by big businesses or the government to raise money for projects. They are considered a loan, meaning the issuer (big business or government) owes the holder (investor). Bond CFD trading allows you to bet on the rise or fall in the bond’s value. HF Markets offer the opportunity to trade these securities. Three powerful government bonds are offered, such as Euro bond, UK Gilt, and US 10-year Treasury Note.
|Up to 1:50
|From 0.0 pips (depending on account type)
|During trading hours
Trading fees – How much does it cost to trade on HF Markets
HF Markets trading fees depend on the account type you choose. But overall, the fees are below average on the Zero (raw) account. However, the spreads fall within the average on the Premium account. The broker offers both commission-free and commission-based accounts.
Spreads start from 1.0 pip on the Premium account. This rate is pretty standard with commission-free accounts. The commission is included in the ask-bid spread to cover that cost. That is why spreads are often higher on these account types.
The Zero account has much lower spreads, and major forex crosses enjoy raw spreads during peak trading hours. A $3 commission fee per side applies for major pairs, and $4 is applicable to the less liquid currency pairs. The $4 rate is slightly higher than the competitor’s commission fee of $3.5.
Costs also depend on the market you trade. For example, spreads on cryptocurrencies are much higher, averaging 6.0 pips+ during active hours. The average spreads on bitcoin is 48.49 pips. Whereas on hard and soft commodities, you can see spreads drop below 0.05 pips sometimes.
If you use the HFCopy account, additional fees for the copy service will apply. Overnight charges also apply if you leave positions open longer than one business day. Deposits and withdrawals are generally free, but inactivity fees are charged after six months of a dormant account.
Test of the HF Markets trading platforms
HF Markets provides STP and ECN execution methods on its several platform offerings. Customers can directly place orders in the interbank market or with top liquidity providers. Trades are guaranteed to get matched with the best prices, leading to low spreads and fast execution.
HF Markets offer these services on MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. We share our experience on these platforms below:
HF Markets MT4
The famous MT4 is available across all popular mobile operating systems. The desktop version is offered on MAC and Windows.
MT4 is popular for its rich trading tools, which meet and exceed all traders’ needs. Analyzing the market, placing trades, and using automated software is easy on HF Markets MT4.
Traders can access up to 9 timeframes and view several charts at the same time. Over 50+ technical indicators are provided, and the inbuilt EAs features allow you to automate trading. HF Markets MT4 has a simple design and is easy to use. The platform provides direct market news, account summary and statements daily. It also supports special orders like trailing stops.
HF Markets MT4 supports up to 27 languages and features all the broker’s product ranges except stocks.
HF Markets MT5 terminal
HF Markets offer different variants of the MT5, according to the device. There’s the iPhone trader, Ipad trader, HotForex Android, and the MT5 Web terminal.
These come with the best tools and is suitable for any trader, whether beginner, experienced, professional, or volume trader.
HF Markets MT5 includes up to 21 timeframes, and all its markets are available to trade on this terminal. Traders enjoy more efficiency with one-click trading and multiple chart display options.
Economic calendars are embedded, and more than 80+ technical indicators are available. Managing your orders is much easier with the enhanced features on the MT5. You can view longer order history and control your trades at any time. Pending orders are also included in addition to all the features on the MT4.
Indicators & charting availability on HF Markets
HF Markets MT4 and MT5 provide over 80+ indicators and charts. Drawing tools are embedded to help you effectively spot trends.
The famous autochartist, which helps you find the best trading opportunities, is available for free to ALL customers. No matter what charts you display, autochartist presents the best opportunities in all markets when enabled.
You can take advantage of the trading calculators included on the platform. It is a valuable tool that helps you weigh the risks and indicates the appropriate stop-loss levels. Different trading calculators are provided, including pivot points, pip value, multi-target, and risk percentage calculators.
Periodic market updates and video analysis are among the broker’s trading tools provisions for customers.
Mobile trading via the HF Markets app
Customers can download the HF Markets MT4 and MT5 on their Google Android or Apple phone. Because of screen size, trading on the mobile app offers a slightly limited experience. But the app offers standard functionalities that allow you to trade on the go.
Deposits and withdrawals are possible on the mobile app. You can scroll through various assets, monitor your trades, and manage your accounts on the mobile terminal.
Useful features, such as technical analysis tools, news updates, charts, and copy trading, are all included. So you wouldn’t miss much. Although, a full trading experience with access to all the indicators and charts is only possible on the desktop.
HF Markets Mobile trading summary:
- Straightforward design and easy to use
- Offers Copy trading functionality
- Includes news updates and useful technical analysis tools
- Place trades, monitor transactions, and manage accounts
How to trade on the platform (Tutorial)
The trading process, from opening to closing the position, is easy since the broker provides market access through the Meta trader platforms.
But you need first to choose your market or markets. HF Markets offer over 1200+ instruments from which you can choose.
Many newbie investors go for forex or stocks because of their popularity. Many enjoy trading these markets due to their volatility and high liquidity.
Before investing in a financial instrument, the first step is to learn about its market. Therefore, education and research are necessary.
Good knowledge of the market leads to the most profitable approach in trading. Thankfully, HF Markets provides special basic education resources for beginners.
Once you have basic knowledge of your preferred market, log in to the account and start trading. On the dashboard, click on assets and select your desired one under Symbols.
Click on the markets you wish to trade to include them in the quotes display. Select the instrument on the quote display to place an order. For example, select EURGBP if you wish to trade the euro with pounds.
Type in the order details and include leverage and stop loss. Add notes in the comment columns if you wish to journal your trading activities. Confirm the details and place the trade.
How to trade Forex on HF Markets
As mentioned, forex trading is the most liquid market, and HF Markets is mostly known as a forex broker. There are more than 52 pairs from which you can choose. Trading forex means speculating on price movements, up or down.
The best predictions require market analysis and research. So you would have to get basic information about the currencies you choose before starting. Foreign exchange rates are affected by inflation, interest rates, deficits, and other related economic factors. Gain insight into your chosen currencies by studying these factors.
Follow these steps to trade forex:
- Adopt an effective strategy
You can devise the best trading strategy for your chosen instrument through study and research. An effective plan should involve how and when to enter the market, stop loss and take profits levels.
- Trade on a demo
Test your strategy on the broker’s free demo. A demo is a virtual account that shows you exactly what the real market looks like. Therefore, whatever results you get on the demo should be expected on the real trading account. That is why it is important to test and practice on it first.
- Sign in and trade on a real account
Once you have practiced trading and gained some experience, you can move to the live account.
On your dashboard:
- Select quotes to see the list of currencies
- Choose your desired pair and click on New Order
- Choose to Buy or Sell and type in the transaction details, such as amount, leverage, stop loss, etc.
- Confirm these details and click on Ok to place the trade
How to trade cryptocurrencies on HF Markets
HF Markets offer the opportunity to trade cryptocurrency assets as derivatives. That means you can bet on price movements without owning the crypto assets.
Cryptocurrencies are paired with the USD on its platforms. So expect crosses like BTCUSD, ETHUSD, and so forth. If you believe the bitcoin value will increase, for instance, you place a BUY trade. But if you expect the value to drop, enter a SELL position instead.
Several factors cause cryptocurrency values to rise or fall. Studying these factors and staying informed increases your chance of making profits in this market. Although, crypto assets have high volatility and prices are difficult to predict accurately.
But keeping abreast in crypto-related news and elements, such as government regulations and market sentiments, gives you a chance.
An important thing to note is that spreads on crypto assets are generally higher. That means increased trading fees. Therefore, your strategy must include this consideration so that the profit gained is reasonable.
How to trade stocks on HF Markets
HF Markets offer stocks trading through derivatives. You can trade these stocks derivatives through the broker’s CFD offerings, ETFs, or indices. It depends on your trading goals.
A great way to trade stocks on the broker’s platform is through stocks DMA trading. Stocks DMA allows you to access the best prices because your trade goes directly into the stock exchange market.
If you choose stocks CFDs, you would be speculating on individual company stocks. For example, you can trade Amazon, Coca-Cola, Citigroup, or Barclays individually.
If you trade through ETFs or a stock index, you would be trading a group of companies’ shares simultaneously. In this case, an index or ETF may contain shares from companies like Microsoft, Verizon, Intel corp, Apple, and more corporations like them.
But DMA trading is not offered for ETFs and indices. Your trading goals should determine your choice. Once you decide on the markets you wish to trade; the next step is conducting an analysis to understand the price behaviors.
The basic factors that influence stock prices include:
- Company’s financial strength
- Consumer ratings
- Company’s performance in the industry
- The industry’s economic state
Analyzing the elements would help you understand the market and what direction to trade.
How to open your trading account with HF Markets
Account setup on HF Markets is a straightforward process and requires three easy steps:
- Completion of the account profile
The registration and profile completion take only a moment to complete. Verification requires document uploads. The broker may need one to two days to verify your identity. That means account activation gets completed within 48 hours tops.
Beginning the process requires visiting the broker’s website. Click on Open Live Account in the center of the homepage. The broker will request your full name, email, phone, country, and new password for the registration stage.
After entering these details, the broker sends a confirmation link to your email. Open your message and click on the link to confirm your email address. Follow the broker’s instructions to complete your profile. Scan and send the necessary documents for verification. The broker processes the new account and sends you a message once it is ready.
Account types of HF Markets
HF Markets provides multiple account options to trade according to your level or budget.
There are five account types:
- Zero spread
- PAMM or Premium Plus
The micro account allows you to trade micro lots, with a trading amount (minimum deposit) starting from $5. The account is ideal for practicing in a real market environment after testing a demo. Seasoned traders sometimes use it to test trading strategies with low risks. The minimum spread is 1.0 pip with zero commission fees. Traders can access leverage up to 1:1000 if your region’s regulations allow such leverage. You open up to 150 orders at the same time on this account.
The premium is a standard zero-commission account, requiring a $100 minimum deposit. Spreads start from 1.0 pip, and a leverage of 1:500 is allowed. The account is great for any multi-asset trader with little experience and a low budget. You can open up to 300 trades simultaneously.
HF Markets zero account is a raw ECN account that requires a $200 minimum deposit. The lowest spread on this account is 0.0 pips. Note that raw spreads only apply to major forex crosses. Spreads on other assets may drop as low as 0.1 pip. The standard commission fee per lot side traded ranges between $3 to $4. The leverage offered is 1:500, and you can have up to 500 orders open at the same time.
A PAMM account is an account that allows you to earn from the financial markets without trading. The broker gives you money managers that allocate your capital to various assets. These managers earn rewards when they trade for you. The minimum deposit for this account is $250. The starting spread is 1.0 pip, and commission fees apply if you choose the PAMM plus. The leverage available is 1:300.
The HFCopy account allows you to share your trading strategies and earn. Or copy from a more experienced trader for a slightly higher trading cost. The minimum deposit for this account depends on the category you wish to join. A follower HFCopy account requires $100, while strategy providers have to deposit at least $500 to start trading. The starting spread is 1.0 pip, with zero commission fees. Other fees may apply to the follower. The maximum leverage offered is 1:400.
Can you use a demo account on HF Markets?
HF Markets provides a free unlimited demo to site visitors and customers. You can use this to test new strategies or practice trading. The demo account opening process takes two minutes or less.
The broker allows you to choose any of its platform offerings for demo trading. You can also access Expert Advisors. The full live account features with all the products are available to use.
How to login into your HF Markets trading account
You can log in to trade on the web terminal or the app on your desktop or smartphone.
To use the web terminal:
- Visit the broker’s website and click on login.
- Type your account ID and password in the appropriate fields.
- Click on Login to access your account.
To use the apps, you need to download and install the HF MT4 or MT5 from the applicable stores. Launch the app and select login. Type your account ID and password in the correct columns and click on login.
If you encounter password issues, click on the Forgot password button below the password column. Follow the instructions to reset or retrieve the password.
Verification: What do you need, and how long does it take?
As implied above, the account setup is incomplete till you verify your identity. The broker will request an ID and proof of residence as part of financial regulations.
The broker accepts international passports, driver’s licenses, or national IDs. Note that the ID must be scanned in color. Black and white photo or file will get rejected. A recent bank account statement, card statement, or utility bill is acceptable as proof of address.
The broker will advise you on how to send these documents during the registration. Once they receive the necessary files, they will confirm and verify the documents within 48 hours.
Available payment methods for deposit and withdrawals
15+ payment methods are provided through which you can deposit or withdraw funds from your HF accounts.
These methods are:
- Local deposits and international wire transfer
- Credit card and debit card
- Electronic wallets
The credit or debit card methods can be Visa or MasterCard. These methods are fast for deposits, taking only 10 minutes or less to credit the account.
The electronic wallets include:
For some of these e-wallet methods, the broker covers the deposit fees. So you are charged $0 for funding accounts. However, PayRedeem may deduct a small amount for transfers into your trading account.
How to deposit money – The minimum deposit explained
Login to your account to deposit funds. Click on the deposit tab in the applicable menu.
The different payment methods will appear so you can choose. Select the one you prefer and fill out the account information.
Review the details you entered and type the bank account, card, or wallet pin to authorize this transfer.
If you choose the bank transfer option, expect the money to appear in your account within two days. The bank will deduct their charges.
For wire transfers, the broker covers all deposit charges. But the money can take 2 to 7 days to settle in your brokerage account.
Debit or credit cards and e-wallets are the fastest. The funds drop immediately or within 10 minutes of the transfer. The broker takes care of the fees, except for the PayRedeem method.
Deposit bonuses on HF Markets
HF Markets does not offer deposit bonuses. But newly registered traders get rewarded with a $30-$35 credit to trade with before funding your account. It is called a No deposit bonus. It also depends on the location you are registering from.
First deposits up to $50 also earn you a 50% reward in trading credits. Other appealing promotions are offered, including rescue bonuses and rebates. Visit the broker’s website to learn all about the terms of these rewards.
Withdrawal – How to withdraw your money on HF Markets
Click the Withdraw button on your account area to move funds out of the platform.
Select your preferred payment option and fill out the Withdrawal request form. Type in the necessary receiving account information. Review the details and click submit.
Withdrawals take more time, but HF Markets completes processing within one day. Bank or wire transfer may take two days to one week before it settles. Charges apply for this method and depend on the bank.
Withdrawals using other payment methods are free. The processing time can take between 1 minute to 1 day.
Customer support for traders
HF Markets provides 24 hours customer support during business days. The service supports multiple languages, including Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Spanish, and many more.
Toll-free lines are provided for various countries, such as the United Kingdom, Nigeria, India, China, Brazil, and others. You can visit the broker’s website to obtain your country’s toll-free phone number. The global toll-free line for traders in the UK is +44 20 3097 8571
Email support is also available via [email protected].
Other multilanguage email support services are:
- Spanish – [email protected]
- Korean – [email protected]
- Chinese – [email protected]
- Arabic – [email protected]
Education material – How to learn trading with HF Markets
All levels of traders will find it easy to join the broker’s platform. New and experienced investors, whether registered or not, can access various education materials on the broker’s website.
The broker provides several training courses on forex and other instruments. These are available on videos, e-courses, live webinars, video tutorials, and podcasts.
Existing customers can access numerous archived articles and webinars, YouTube videos, and other helpful resources for trading education. Their educational offerings are, no doubt, better than most regulated brokers. Traders of all levels can build and improve their skills with the rich resources provided.
HF Markets charge a non-trading fee of $5 for inactive accounts after six months of dormancy. We did not find any fees apart from the ones listed here.
Available countries and forbidden countries
HF Markets are available in almost all countries except restricted regions due to regulations or political systems. These restricted regions include Canada, the USA, Yemen, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Vanuatu, and regions in the EEA.
Conclusion – HF Markets is a reputable broker with good conditions
HF Markets is a reputable broker and a great option for any customer seeking a MetaTrader broker with top-rate educational and research tools. Its copy trading service also stands out, with the appealing strategy provider rewards. HF Markets’ asset selections are adequate for any multi-asset investor. Although, we believe the trading costs can be lower.
Frequently Asked Questions about HF Markets (FAQs):
Is HF Markets good for beginners?
HF Markets is great for traders of all experience levels, including beginners. The broker’s platform is easy enough to use, and they provide video tutorials for education. A free unlimited demo is also available that lets beginners practice while they learn. A micro account is provided for low trading volume so newcomers can slowly build confidence and experience trading smaller contract sizes.
Is HF Markets a scam?
No. HF Markets is a legit broker regulated in various top financial regions, including the UK, Europe, South Africa, Dubai, and Seychelles. HF Markets have been operating since 2010, and their customer base spans the world.
Do HF Markets have Nasdaq?
Yes. You can trade the Nasdaq100 index through derivatives on HF Markets platforms. It is sometimes listed as US100 in the quote.