GFT UK Spread Betting Review

GFT Global Markets UK Ltd., the full name of GFT, used to be owned by Global Forex Trading in the US, a Forex dealer but it has been acquired by GAIN Capital (which owns UK) in September 2013. GFT launched its UK branch in 2006.

GFT Markets has offices in London, Dubai, New Jersey, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo and allows clients to speculate and trade in a broad range of markets. GFT boasts tight spreads and nearly 3200 products, including indices, stocks, commodities, currencies, and interest rates – including more than 120 currency pairs. Curiously GFT also offers some novelty markets like inflation futures allowing you to speculate on short- to mid-term global inflation rates.

The DealBook 360 software is free, and comes in several different versions. The DealBook 360 as such is a downloadable software application, but you can also trade with DealBook WEB, a browser based version usable on any computer, and with the iPhone or Mobile DealBook applications. DealBook also offers a number of popular technical indicators and chart types, as well as analytics and real-time news.

The GFT UK trading platform includes a range of order types, including trailing stops which are good for locking in profits, and guaranteed stops which prevent any loss beyond that anticipated when placing the order. While we only consider guaranteed stop losses to be useful in certain circumstances, because you are charged for them whether or not they are needed, you may find that your trading plan or the security you are interested in needs them.

Trading can be accomplished with one click, and the trading platforms are easy to use, intuitive and customisable in that the screen layout can be saved to hold your favourite templates on access. Some reviews have mentioned a slowness in response, and unfortunately they do not say whether this is with the downloadable software or the browser based version. The speed of Internet connection could make a substantial difference to the response rate.

“Most known for its award-winning DealBook® platform available for desktop, the web, or mobile phone, GFT also provides options for automated trading, 24/7 customer service, and competitive spreads even in times of market volatility.”

The spreads are tight, and spreads as low as 0.1% either side are offered on particular securities such as the FTSE and small-cap. Even with 24 hour trading on indices the spreads can be as low as 0.3 points. The margin requirements have been kept around 10%. The GFT charts are also good supporting up to eight different chart types and include an extensive range of technical analysis tools and more than 100 indicators (which include all the usual tools like Bollinger bands, Pivot points, Gann and Fibonacci retracements and fans, and moving averages) but on the downside some traders don’t like the platform from a trading viewpoint. Having said that the GFT trading platform also supports the setting of alarms and alerts for certain price points or technical indicators and traders can even trade off chart levels. In fact, GFT’s DealBook platform allows clients to trade and modify orders direct from the charts. News feeds from Reuters, Dow Jones newswires and Informa Global Markets and other trading tools, such as Autochartist are also available.

We give GFT UK a Rating of: 4 for range of markets, margins, spread sizes and general client satisfaction (ratings are from 1 to 5 with 5 being highest). It is worth noting that GFT have just cut their spreads on FX, 0.6 on EUR/USD and 0.8 on cable. The spreads are still variable but from what I can see their average spread is very close to this. I’m hoping it stays this way because their fills are fast too.

GFT has recently added binaries to its products range which comes with the inherent ability to know your maximum profit and loss from the outset.. These include short-term trades at five-minute, 20-minute and hourly intervals, as well as mid-session and daily markets. The binary platform puts a lot of emphasis on visual trading. The revolutionary deal-wheel is one example of this here – it consists of a count down tool that display the seconds before expiry of markets.

In addition to offering a free practice account, there are several different types of account available at GFT, and they come with different levels of facilities and support. The minimum Green account can be opened for £150, but this only comes with 13 technical indicators and one newsfeed. The upgrade to the Bronze account requires a deposit of £1500, and increases the number of indicators to 85. You need to deposit at least £6500 to get other trading tools, discounts, and for the complete range of premium services.

It’s useful to know that if you fund your account by credit card, you should send only £5000 at a time, as then GFT take care of any fees. If you send more than this amount, then you are liable for your credit card fees. Honestly, it seems that they have this policy backwards, as you would think they would want to attract higher deposits, but this rule helps the small trader, and a large trader just has to remember to make multiple deposits. There is an inactivity fee of $50 if you do not trade once every 60 days.

GFT offers videos, trading guides, seminars and webinars to help educate clients. The seminars and webinars have tutorials covering such topics from placing your first spread trade to technical analysis and advanced trading tools. This coupled with comprehensive trading education from GFT’s own trading experts and up-to-the minute news, analysis and market commentary from their sister site should cater for the needs of most traders.

Trade with GFT for:

Flexibility: GFT offers a choice of trading platforms including the comprehensive downloadable DealBook 360 software or access DealBook WEB from any web enabled device. You can also trade on DealBook for iPhone, DealBook for iPad, or DealBook for Android.

Analysis Tools and Education: GFT’s market strategists and technical analysts offer a wide range of guides, webinars, tutorials, and realtime news feeds and commentary to help ensure that you have the right information at your fingertips to maximise trading opportunities

Mobile Trading: Yes! GFT’s DealBook software supports the iPhone, BlackBerry, WAP-enabled phones and Windows Mobile operating systems amongst others. Clients who download the DealBook application can access their forex trading, CFD and spread betting accounts all through a single interface. We are told that DealBook’s mobile platforms support price alarms, charting tools and technical indicators as well as real-time pricing and a full range of order types. DealBook mobile also comes with a customisable mobile Reuters news feed

The company has also recently launched an iPad trading app for the DealBook platform. This includes features like drawing tools, technical indicators and alarms plus real-time streamng news via CNBC (for clients who deposit a minimum of GBP1,500 in their account). The iPad platform supports multiple indicators, drawing tools and chart timeframes and is already proving to be popular with clients.

Mobile Trading Experience: DealBook Mobile offering is particularly advanced with the quote screen displaying the present price as well as the open, high, low and close market data and a daily bar chart. You can open or close trades as well as access streaming Dow Jones news. To switch to the order screen simply tap the trade button – here you can set limits, stops and even contingent orders to manage your trading. This is complemented by a charting package with numerous technical indicators and price alerts and the ability to set different timescales. There is also the option to setup SMS or email notifications to highlight potential trade setups. The latest rollout is DealBook for the iPad. You can access your spread betting, CFD and forex accounts easily. The interface is quite flexible and contains such tools as full-screen charting with drawing tools, live streaming CNBC video and a multi-view interface.

Overall, GFT UK spread betting is a broker which is well worth investigating; spreads good, margins same as IG, no rolling charges for shorts. I have noticed some slippage at very busy times but that’s why I have IG. GFT’s charts are especially good, although not everyone thinks highly of their trading platform. The only hesitation we have is about the slow dealing speeds which a few clients have noticed, and you should make sure you use a practice account first to see whether it is a problem with your particular setup. About 20% of GFT’s client trades are placed on a mobile or tablet so that does say something by itself!