Ayondo (formerly GEKKO) is a relatively young spread trading company which was founded in 2008 but is using innovation to grow fast. It is registered in England and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that you can put your mind at rest that Ayondo is properly regularly and your money in anycase is safe up to £85,000, which can be important when there are tales of offshore brokers that come and go, taking the winnings with them.
Ayondo have recently launched a new trading platform which they have dubbed as ‘TradeHub®’ which they claim to have improved the level of level of functionality of trading on the platform. For example, these are some of the benefits that Ayondo claim their clients may now enjoy on the TradeHub trading platform:
- Intuitive, easy to use and easy on the eye functionality.
- Instant and fast execution.
- Choice of margin from low levels to 100%. This means that you can use Variable Margin to dial-down the leverage to as low as…none.
- Choice of notional value or stake per point. (e.g. “I want to invest £5000”) rather than pounds-per-point.
- Allow fractional bets down to (12p on the ftse) and give you “free” guaranteed stoploss on most indices yet the spread is only 1 point on the ftse.
- Extremely low life-cycle cost of trading.
- Institutional grade research.
- App TradeHub® for iPhone.
- Receive 100% of announced dividends nets of withholding tax for all shares. (100 for announced dividends for UK stocks.
Ayondo offers two platforms to suit different needs:
- TradeHub which is execution only and offers the tightest spreads if you wish to trade the financial markets. Sign up Here for Ayondo’s Tradehub Platform
- Ayondo also offers a ‘Social Trading’ platform with the ability to follow other ‘star’ traders. Being able to trade and follow other traders is great but this comes at the cost of slightly wider spreads. Sign up Here for Ayondo’s Social Trading Platform
In addition to offering spread betting and CFD trading across over 1,200 products including indices, shares, commodities, and interest rates – clients can now also take advantage of Ayondo’s pioneering social trading technology which permits users to follow the trading signals of ‘Top Traders’ automatically on their Ayondo markets trading account.
In particular, Ayondo claims to be one of the few spread betting firms that permits clients to go short on exchange traded funds. Minimum stakes size is dependent on the product but can be as low as £0.50 for certain currency pairs. Rather than using one of the available trading platforms, Ayondo has chosen to develop proprietary software and charting, and claims that the charts have been optimized for fast operation. The charting tool itself consists of ‘Stockpulse’ which we are told is going to be integrated into the core platform very soon and is a tool giving subscribers signals based on Twitters and other relevant media.
An interesting feature offered by Ayondo is the provision of automatic guaranteed stop losses on certain of its markets. This feature is usually charged for by other providers, by quoting a larger spread for the product, but Ayondo offer it free, at least up to a certain stake amount and subject to a minimum stock distance requirement. For example on GBP/USD the maximum stake size for a guaranteed stop loss is £16 per point or less, this minimum distance is 51 points away.
The software includes an information box, nicknamed an “i-Box”, and available for any of the tradable instruments. The i-Box details margin requirements, the automatic level of stop loss, the maximum and minimum bet sizes, as well as the limits for the guaranteed stop loss, and as such is a valuable source of information on hand before you make your bet.
There are a wide selection of videos available online for training, as well as a downloadable 50 page user manual which runs through the process of opening an account and using their Internet interface. The videos cover some of the same ground for those who prefer to learn in this manner.
In comparison with other spread betting companies, the particular benefit of Ayondo seems to be the guaranteed stop losses which usually have to be requested and paid for with other providers. Against this, there have been reports of the trading platform having some stability issues, and it is not known whether these have been satisfactorily dealt with yet.
The other benefit which is offered includes fractional spread bets, which effectively means that you are not limited to £1 per point, but allowed to take the reduced amount which can be useful when you are betting on, for example, shares of a company that have a high value. Ayondo also supports variable margins and allows the choice of fully funding a position (zero leverage), thus removing all additional funding costs apart from the dealing spread.
In particular, clients can now now specify bet sizes in terms of notional value (as in “I want to invest £3000”) as opposed to just pounds-per-point. Clients can also opt to use the variable margin feature which supports trading with no leverage.
The spreads that are offered appear to be decent, so can be called good value when you take into account the guaranteed stop loss, if that is important to your trading plan. But what really sets Ayondo apart is its social trading platform which permits you to follow other traders.
Verdict: Innovative Service. The trading platform itself appears sleek while the ability to control the leverage is something which many other providers lack. With Ayondo you will only be charged financing fees on the ‘amount’ you borrow while dividends are paid 100%.