- 1 A Brief History
- 2 Minimum Initial Deposit
- 3 Spreads & Commissions
- 4 Leverage
- 5 Other Trading Fees
- 6 Trading Platform
- 7 ZuluTrade vs Competitors
- 8 Mobile Apps
- 9 Methods of Payment
- 10 ZuluTrade Accounts
- 11 Demo Account
- 12 How To Become A Signal Provider
- 13 Additional Features
- 14 Safety & Security
- 15 Regulation & License
- 16 Benefits
- 17 Drawbacks
- 18 Trading Hours
- 19 Contact & Customer Support
- 20 ZuluTrade Verdict
- 21 Accepted Countries
ZuluTrade is an online social and copy trading platform. Essentially, it allows traders to copy the trades of experienced traders in the forex and financial markets to achieve a level of automated trading. However, the social element also enables traders to leave feedback and share ideas. Today it boasts around one million users and executes a trade volume in excess of $800 billion. This ZuluTrade review will break down how it works, covering costs, live accounts, user reviews, regulations, and more.
A Brief History
ZuluTrade was founded in 2007 by Leon Yohai and Kosta Eleftheriou. Leon Yohai wanted to build software that allowed him to copy the trades of the best traders. By 2009, the company has over 4,500 ‘expert’ traders (signal providers), and it was their portfolios who users could copy to make money.
By the time 2014 rolled around, ZuluTrade had re-designed their website, added a number of features, such as ZuluGuard, and had 120 employees, 40 of whom were in customer support. In May of that year, the company announced a partnership with SpotOption, to create a social trading platform for binary options.
2015 brought with it a success as the platform was awarded an EU Portfolio Management License from the European Union. The resulted in the company becoming both legitimate and respected in the trading world.
Minimum Initial Deposit
ZuluTrade has a relatively low minimum deposit requirement. Certain brokers available with ZuluTrade require a minimum deposit of just $1, others may require $300, £210, €250, 25,000 JPY or 300 AUD.
You can sign up for their demo simulation account, however, for free. You will find more details about their practice account further below.
Spreads & Commissions
A commission is charged per trade by the brokers, in addition to the normal spread, for linking your account to ZuluTrade. This can be as low as 0 with ZuluTrade’s own broker, AAAFx, whose headquarters are in Greece, and up to three pips elsewhere.
The spread (the difference between the buy and sell price) will vary between brokers. The currency pair and time of the day can also influence the spread. For example, brokers often widen spreads during periods of high volatility.
Most people are aware leverage can be used to increase potential earnings. However, before you download an account, you should also note trading on leverage can amplify losses and open you up to margin calls.
Normally, the higher the leverage, such as 1:1000, the lower the used margin, which usually means an increase in the free margin and margin level. However, this can lead to overtrading and with a high drawdown, your account may hit a stop out level.
So, to avoid risk, it’s often recommended to use 1:100 leverage.
Other Trading Fees
Before you sign up and log in to ZuluTrade, you should also be aware of any additional costs. For example, you can be charged an overnight rollover/swap fee. The amount will depend on the currency pair you are trading. Although these costs can cut into profits over a considerable time period, intraday traders shouldn’t usually encounter these fees.
Aside from that, there aren’t any other additional costs. ZuluTrade has explained on their website that the traders you copy are paid directly by ZuluTrade, as part of the commission.
It’s also worth noting that if you head over to their website, every now and then you may find deposits bonuses and promotions.
How It Works
The ZuluTrade trading platform currently provides trading for stocks, forex, binary options, commodities, such as oil, and indices, such as the NASDAQ. The platform then allows you to clone the strategies of top traders.
For those wondering how it works, the user base is essentially split into two categories:
- Signal providers – These are normally traders who are willing to share and be copied by their followers. Their compensation fees are determined by the success of their strategies.
- Followers – These users can copy the strategies of the signal providers. As a follower, you can also copy strategies of the portfolios created by other followers.
Once you have your Classic login account details, you can then start using a number of useful features, including:
- Lock Trade – This allows you to verify the execution of a trade after the signal has been received.
- Automator – 2016 saw the introduction of ‘The Automator’. This notifies you by email or automatically executes actions when events occur. This function acts on rules that you add. For example, if profit and loss from Trader X is more than $1,500, then lock current profit. This can all help you minimise risk and free up time.
- Social network features – These include forums and comment sections. Here you can review signal providers, offer advice and ask questions.
- Margin Call-o-Meter – This estimates the chance your account will run out of money, for example, if you get a margin call. This helps you establish how much of your capital you are actually risking. However, this is just an indicator and should not replace an effective money management system.
- ZuluScript – This enables you to create scripts that form the parameters for trading bots. These are also commonly known as expert advisors (EA). This gives you trade automation, allowing you to execute far more trades than you ever could manually.
- Cryptocurrencies – Recently added to the portfolio, traders can now take a view on whether cryptos are the next big thing, or a bubble.
- ZuluGuard – A unique feature that protects Copy Traders if erratic trades are opened by traders they are following. An excellent risk management addition.
- Calendar – An easy to access summary of all key events for the financial markets around the globe.
In addition, if you’re concerned about how to choose a signal provider on ZuluTrade, you can use the ZuluRank calculation. This proprietary algorithm ranks traders by a number of different factors, including:
- Sharp ratio
- Low drawdowns, High profits
- Age of signal provider
- Amount of trade activity
- Frequency that trader logs in
- Length of time trade stays open
ZuluTrade To MetaTrader
It is possible to link an external live or demo MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform to a trader account. So, for those asking does ZuluTrade work with MetaTrader accounts? The answer is yes.
ZuluTrade vs Competitors
What does ZuluTrade offer vs eToro, Mirror Trader, NinjaTrader and other systems? You can easily view rankings of investor performance. The simulator also shows the overall profit.
In addition, you can set up email notifications for when margin calls occur. You can even download an Excel spreadsheet of all simulated trades.
Perhaps it is the sheer number of traders you can copy that sets ZuluTrade apart. You have access to over 10,000 traders from 192 countries. You can then use ZuluTrade’s advanced search engine to hone in on the best. For example, you can choose to see only those who have traded their own money, had a maximum drawdown of 20%, and have traded for at least a year.
Many users also like to copy more than one trader. So, you can utilise UserLists to manage your potential candidates. This will also allow you to monitor an individual for a while before copying. In addition, you can share lists amongst users.
After you have found a trader you wish to follow, you can assign a specific amount you want to trade per signal you copy. Alternatively, there is a ‘Pro rata %’ option. For example, 20% would mean if the trader opened 1 lot, 0.2 lots would be opened in your account. On top of that, you can set a ‘Max Open Position’ for a particular trader.
You can review your account performance at any time. Daily and weekly summary reports will be sent via email. You will also receive email notifications when the behaviour of one of your signal providers changes. In addition, you can review trade performance by provider and time frame. This should help you establish who has been generating gains and losses in your account.
ZuluTrade also provides Android and iPhone trading apps. Those with Windows mobiles and tablets can also download their trading apps. Once in the application, you can view your performance, review new traders to copy, plus close trades manually. In addition, select go ‘real-time’ and you can manage your risk settings.
Overall, the ZuluTrade applications and mobile site effectively compliment the desktop-based platform. Plus, functionality has continuously improved with each update.
Methods of Payment
Money funding and withdrawal methods will vary based on the broker the trader uses, but include:
- Bank wire transfer
- ZuluTrade Mastercard
Testimonials and reviews of ZuluTrade have been quick to highlight payment commissions and withdrawal fees, but again, these will vary based on which broker is used.
When choosing to open a live account, you will have to decide between two straightforward options. These are:
- Classic – This is recommended for advanced users. You will benefit from manual or fully customised copy-trading, plus standard volume-based commissions. However, be sure you are sufficiently experienced before you open a signal provider account.
- Profit sharing – This option is recommended for beginners as you get to learn by copying others. Traders will be compensated when you profit and penalised when they lose. You also benefit from reduced commissions.
Note both options give you access to charts, data, alerts, and forex signals. Both also allow for straightforward account maintenance. Head over to ‘my account’ and you will get access to all the basic functions, from reviewing performance rankings to the ‘delete account’ button.
Once you have decided on your account you will then need to choose between supported brokers. Details of which can be found further below.
ZuluTrade offers a free fully functioning demo account. Simply head over to their website and select the demo option. You will then need to enter the following basic information:
- Phone number
- Base currency
- Virtual account balance
Once you have your demo login details, you will be able to conduct in-depth analysis and follow trading gurus. You can also use their social features to find the best settings, brokers, plus tips and tricks.
Overall, the demo account signal provider is easy-to-use and replicates many of the features you will get, should you choose to upgrade to a live account.
How To Become A Signal Provider
Many reviews highlight that educational sources focus on forex trading videos and broker comparisons while leaving out guidance on how to become a signal provider. Yet some of the best ZuluTrade success stories are from those who have in effect sold the rights to their trading strategies.
This is because you get 0.5 pips per lot traded by someone following you with a real money account. ZuluTrade reports the weighted average is around $4 per trade per standard lot. So, if you can accumulate over a hundred followers, that can add up to fairly significant commissions.
So, what do you have to do? Firstly, you will have to meet the following criteria:
- Maintain a maximum historic drawdown of less than 30%
- Average pips per trade must be more than 3 pips
- Trade on ZuluTrade for at least 12 weeks
Obviously, you can’t maintain a negative balance, but what else would a good trader guide recommend you do to get a sizeable amount following you?
- Upload a professional, friendly default photo. The right photo icon will help build trust.
- Be clear and concise when you explain your strategy. For example, suggesting how many lots a follower should invest and how you plan to offset any potential pitfalls.
- Trade with a real money account. This is because people will trust your decision making more if they know you are risking real capital too.
- Make sure you meet any criteria, whether it’s necessary minimum equity or win ratio. Meeting the EU criteria above is particularly important if you want to appeal to the European market.
- Due to inevitable broker slippage, you may want to avoid scalping strategies.
- Also, trading during news announcements can lead to substantially different results between yours and your follower’s accounts. This is because some brokers will widen spreads during news events.
- If the website goes down, or people have questions about your strategy on a Mac, your score on the risk meter bar, or anything else, try to respond swiftly. Communication is key to building trust.
- Try practising with a ZuluTrade demo account first. This will give you an idea as to how other experienced signal providers trade and communicate with their followers.
Forums and blogs are quick to highlight that there are a number of attractive additional features you get with ZuluTrade. These include:
- Pip calculator
- Profit calculator
- Margin calculator
- Currency calculators
- Economic calendar
- Access to news
On top of that, there are also training videos, tutorials, user guides, and PDFs that should be able to help you with any problems. Through their Followers Academy, they also offer advice on how to choose from their long list of supported brokers.
Safety & Security
ZuluGuard is often highlighted as a particularly well-liked feature in review forums. It is an effective account protection feature. It works by monitoring each trader’s behaviour and removing a user when a draconian strategy is detected. This should help keep your income safe from erratic traders.
Also, note you can manually set the ZuluGuard protection by looking at the Advanced Mode in the Settings section of your account.
Regulation & License
The ZuluTrade trader program is now regulated. As a copy trading solution for brokers in the EU, ZuluTrade has obtained a Triple-A Experts SA license from Greece’s Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC).
Unfortunately, this does not automatically mean you will now be able to receive huge millionaire payouts without any risks. It simply means according to ZuluTrade, that their platform fully complies with EU framework for auto trading service providers. As such, brokers do not require additional regulation themselves to offer the platform to their clients.
ZuluTrade signal provider reviews are particularly impressed with a number of features found on the platform. These include:
- The totally free and fully functioning demo account. This is perfect for beginners looking to get familiar with the markets.
- A huge number of traders to follow and copy. This could result in greater signal provider earnings.
- There is a wide choice of brokers from a long list of different countries. See below for more details.
- Some social trading networks only give you access to the last 50 or 100 traders. However, all historical trades are made available at ZuluTrade. This ensures total transparency.
- ZuluTrade offers relatively low on-going fees. You only have to pay for the spread. In addition, there are no entry costs and minimum deposits start at just a few hundred dollars.
- Reviews from forex trading show users are impressed with the wide range of performance indicators and graphs provided to help evaluate signal providers.
- Users of ZuluTrade can also comment directly on signal provider profile pages. This helps to hold traders to account and creates a relatively effective review process.
- On top of forex, users also have access to Cryptocurrencies.
- You can benefit from reliable and easy-to-use mobile apps.
- December 2014 saw ZuluTrader make changes to increase investor protection to stay in line with EU legislation. EU residents can now only view the top 1,000 traders who comply with stringent criteria, demonstrating consistent and reliable performance. The result of this is that all traders now aim to adhere to these rules.
Despite many of the benefits highlighted in Zulutrade.com reviews, there are also certain downsides and risks to consider. These include:
- For each successful signal provider, there is also a whole load of inconsistent traders.
- Signal providers are not required to use their own capital. Therefore, you may be risking your capital copying the trades of an individual using simulated funds from a demo account.
- Signal providers are not formally vetted. The ZuluGuard feature does mitigate this risk however, removing traders and/or withholding fees where appropriate.
- Employing an effective money management system can be difficult for beginners. It is also particularly challenging for those not focussed on forex, such as gold, CFD, and cryptocurrency (bitcoin) traders.
- A significant amount of monitoring is required to select an effective mix of traders.
To conclude, you shouldn’t necessarily run to ZuluTrade alternatives because of the downsides listed above. These are problems with most similar sites. As long as you are aware of the risks and willing to put in the time, you may still make attractive gains.
Trading should not be performed outside of ZuluTrade’s market hours. The market opens at Sunday 22:00 UTC and closes Friday 22:00 UTC. During Eastern time daylight saving, the market will open on Sunday at 21:00 UTC and close Friday 21:00 UTC.
Note trading hours are close to competitors and similar sites.
Contact & Customer Support
If you have any technical issues or account requests, such as to change leverage, simply head over to the ZuluTrade homepage. From there you can find live chat is available 24 hours a day. This is the most popular method of contact for ZuluTrade users at present.
On top of that, there is email and phone support to 10 countries, plus a 24-hour hotline. You can also go about using the ZuluTrade website to submit feedback via an online form or by selecting ‘contact us’. The website is available in all of the following languages:
In fact, their long-term commitment to reliable customer support was recognised with a BrokerNotes triple AAA support rating.
Overall, the ZuluTrade.com offering is attractive to traders of all experience levels. The ever-growing number of users alone demonstrates that. Yet despite being user-friendly, the service does work best if you opt for the company’s own brokerage, AAAFx.
In addition, staying profitable isn’t always straightforward. You need to be aware revenue can disappear just as quickly as it appears in your account. So, having an effective strategy and money management system in place is essential.
ZuluTrade accepts traders from Australia, Thailand, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar and most other countries.