Starfinex is a China-based ECN forex and a spread-betting broker. There are a few areas that they have decided to focus on which are offering personalized customer service, reliability, the safety of funds, competitive spreads and commission, technology & tools, speed of execution and alignment of interests with the clients. Starfinex was founded by traders so they are bringing that experience and desire to the broker world. Throughout this review, we will outline the services being offered to try and help you decide if they are the right broker for you.
Should you decide to sign up with Starfinex, the first thing you will need to do is decide which of the 5 accounts you want to use, we will briefly outline them so you can see what they offer.
Micro Account: This account requires a minimum deposit of just $5, it can use MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 as its trading platforms. The account has variable spreads starting from 3 pips and can be leveraged up to 1:500. Trade sizes start at 0.01 lots and go up in increments of 0.01 lots up to a maximum of 20 lots. The margin call level is set at 200% and stop out level at 30%.
Standard Account: The standard account requires a minimum deposit of $50, it has variable spreads starting from around 2 pips, it can use MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 and trade sizes start at 0.01 lots with a maximum trade size of 80 lots. Leverage on the account can go up to 1:400, the account is able to trade forex, CFDs, indices, metals, and energies and it has a margin call level set at 150% and stop out at 30%.
Premium Account: The minimum deposit for this account increases up to $100, the account must be in USD as a base currency. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are both available to use and the account has a variable spread starting at 1.6 pips. There are forex pairs, indices, metals and, energies available to trade with leverage up to 1:300. The accounts trading stats at 0.01 lots and go up in increments of 0.01 all the way up to 200 lots as a maximum. The account has a margin call level set at 1090% and stops out at 30%.
ECN Pro Account: The ECN Pro account requires a deposit of $100, it is available on MetaTrader 4 and 5 and can trade forex, CFDs, metals and, energies. As it is an ECN account the spreads start as low as 0 pips (variable) and due to this, there is an added commission of $6 per lot on the account. Maximum leverage of 1:200 is available and trading starts from 0.01 lots and goes up in increments of 0.01 up to 200 lots. The margin call is set at 100% and stop out 30%, the account must be in USD as a base currency.
Star VIP: This is the top-tier account and so requires a larger minimum deposit of $10,000. It can be used with both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 and comes with a variable spread starting at 0 pips, due to this there is an added commission of $16 per mission traded. Trade sizes start at 0.01 lots and go up in increments of 0.01 lots, there is no maximum trade size. The account can be leveraged up to 1:200 and has a margin call level at 100% and a stop out level at 50%. The account also comes with a personal account manager and personalized services.
As seen in the accounts overview, there are two different platforms available to trade with. These include both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. There are no 3rd party bridges nor any automated account syncs when trading with Starfinex. They offer a wide variety of features to help upgrade your MetaTrader 4 trading experience. The platform is offered for desktop, Android, and iOS. Metatrader 4 is very easy to customize and includes charting tools, scripts and Expert Advisors, market indicators, risk management, real-time market analysis and more.
The maximum leverage that you get depends on the account you are using, we have outlined them below.
- Micro: 1:500
- Standard: 1:400
- Premium Account: 1:300
- ECN Pro: 1:200
- Star VIP: 1:200
You can select which leverage you want when opening up an account, once an account is open, should you wish to change the leverage on it you will need to send your request to the customer service team.
Trade sizes on all accounts start from 0.01 lots which are also known as a micro lot, the trades then go up in increments of 0.01 lots so the next trade would be 0.02 lots and the en 0.03 lots. The maximum trade size available depends on the account that you use. We have outlined the maximum single trade and overall open trades below.
- Micro: Single trade is 20 lots, overall open trades is 150 lots
- Standard: Single trade is 80 lots, overall open trades is 200 lots
- Premium: Single trade is 200 lots, overall open trades are 250 lots
- ECN Pro: No limit to a single trade or overall open positions
- Star VIP: No limit to a single trade or overall open positions
While some of the lot sizes go quite high, we would not recommend trading over 50 lots in a single trade due to difficulties executing the trade quickly and without any slippage.
The ECN Pro and Star VIP account both come with commissions due to their low spreads, the ECN Pro account has a commission of $6 per lot traded which is in line with the industry standard of $6 per lot. The Star VIP account has a commission of $16 per million traded which is around $1.6 per lot traded, well below the industry standard. The other accounts use a spread based system that we will look at later in this review.
There are also swap charges, these are interests that are either positive or negative and are paid for holding trades overnight, they can be viewed within the trading platform of choice. Islamic account sare available and if using one, there are no swap charges added to the account.
There aren’t actually that many assets to trade, they have all be lumped into a single list so we have separated them out into different categories for you to easily see what is available.
Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY, USDCHF, AUDUSD, NZDUSD, USDCAD, EURGBP, EURJPY, EURCHF, EURAUD, EURNZD, EURCAD, GBPJPY, GBPCHF, GBPAUD, GBPNZD, GBPCAD, CHFJPY, AUDJPY, AUDCHF, AUDNZD, AUDCAD, NZDJPY, NZDCHF, NZDCAD, CADJPY, CADCHF.
Crypto: BTCUSD (Bitcoin), ETHUSD (Ethereum), LTCUSD ()Litecoin).
Metals: XAGUSD (Silver), XAUUSD (Gold.
Indices: Australia 200, German 30, Nasdaq 100 and, Dow Jones 30.
Just like most things, this depends on the account you are using, we have outlined the minimums below.
- Micro: Variable spread from 3 pips
- Standard: Variable spread from 2 pips
- Premium: Variable spread from 1.6 pips
- ECN Pro: Variable spread from 0 pips
- Star VIP: Variable spread from 0 pips
The spreads are variable which means that they are constantly changing and during times of high volatility they can be seen a lot higher than the stated number. It should also be noted that different currency pairs will have different spreads, as an example EURGBP currently has a spread of 2.4 pips while EURNZD has a spread of 5.7 pips.
The minimum requirement to open an account is $5 which will get you the Micro account, once any of the accounts are open, the minimum amount to top up is set at $5. Different payment methods have different minimum deposits though. The minimum deposits are as follows:
- Bitcoin: 0.00040 BTC
- Visa / MasterCard: 5 USD
- Local Banks: 500 INR
- Neteller: 50 USD
- Skrill: 50 USD
Deposit Methods & Costs
There are a few ways to get your funds into Starfinex, you can use Bitcoin, Visa and MasterCard Credit / Debit, Local Banks, Neteller and Skrill. There are no added fees when using any of the deposits, but when using Credit / Debit Cards or Bank Transfer be sure to check with the bank or card processor to see if they have any added transfer fees of their own.
Withdrawal Methods & Costs
You are able to withdraw using Bitcoin, Local Banks, Neteller and Skrill, you are not able to withdraw using Credit or Debit card. The minimum withdrawal amount is $5 for all the methods and there is no added commission or fees from Starfinex, as usual, check with your bank or processor to see if they will charge any incoming transfer fees.
Withdrawal Processing & Wait Time
We did not locate any information relating to withdrawal or processing times, however, depending on the method you are using you can expect withdrawals to take between 1 to 5 business days to fully process.
Bonuses & Promotions
When looking through the accounts pages, it is clear that there are no bonuses or promotions related to these accounts as they all state that there are no flexible bonuses available to the accounts, there are however a few different promotions going on, we will only briefly touch on them as they are not 100% relevant to the accounts we are looking at.
There are two demo contests, however, the pages for them are not loading so we are not able to comment on the conditions or prizes. There is a 20% bonus for people investing in a MAM account, we won’t go into this as we are not focusing on this type of investment in this review.
Educational & Trading Tools
There is an education and also a tools section of the site, the education section ahs some basic information however at the moment the pages don’t seem to be loading properly and are just coming up blank, so we are not able to comment on the quality of the educational material.
In terms of tools, there are some basic ones available, there is an economic calendar to show upcoming news as well as what markets they may affect, there is also a news section and then some calculators such as profit and trading calculators. Free FX trading signals are also provided, which is excellent (provided that they are highly accurate).
If you feel the need to contact Stargfinex, you can do so in a number of different ways, the opening times of the support are not specified however we would expect them to be closed over the weekends and bank holidays just as the markets are. You can use the online submission to fill in your query and you should then get a reply via email, there is also a postal address along with a number of emails.
Address: 9th floor, Kham Thien Building,195 Kham Thien, Dong Da, HaNoi
Demo accounts are available, you can sign up for one using a simple sign up form. When opening an account you can choose a few different options, the base currency of EUR, USD or GBP, although the main account sonly have USD available, you can then select leverage up to 1:1000, again the main accounts only go as high as 1:400. You can then select a balance between 100 and 5,000 units. We do not know which of the accounts the trading conditions mimic and we also do not know if there is an expiration on the demo account.
Demo accounts are great as they usually allow new traders to test the markets and conditions while allowing existing traders to test new strategies without risking their own capital.
The following statement is present on the Starfinex website: “Forex Trading is not allowed in some countries, before investing your money, make sure whether your country is allowing this or not.” This isn’t the most helpful of information so if you are interested in signing up we would recommend getting in contact with the customer service team to see if you are eligible for an account before signing up.
Starfinex offers a wide range of accounts each with varying trading conditions, the conditions in the first couple accounts are a little expensive with spreads starting from 3 pips, however, as the accounts go up in tiers their costs come down to an acceptable ECN and VIP account. There is a slight lack in tradable assets, it would be good to see some additional ones added, in terms of deposits and withdrawals there are enough methods to allow most traders to participate and there are no added fees for depositing or withdrawing which is good. The main concern is the fact that some pages of the site are not loading properly, apart from that they seem like a competent broker.