Alpari Launch Live Pro Account in the UK

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Alpari UK have just announced that as long as you have at least 20,000 US dollars to spare you are now able to use it to fund a shiny new Alpari Pro account. Demo accounts are available of course, just like in the United States and Russia, but Alpari UK are more than happy to let you open a real account with real money too, as long as you don't reside in the US or in British Columbia that is. Here's how the announcement put it:

The Alpari Group has partnered with Currenex, one of the world’s leading ECNs, to provide you with a professional and fully customisable Forex trading environment.

With the introduction of two new institutional-level platforms – Alpari Direct and Alpari Direct Pro – you can now access deep Forex liquidity, the fastest execution, competitive pricing and low-cost trading in 50 currency pairs.

It seems I was suffering from a misapprehension when I talked about "different accounts" in previous posts about what I now discover is called the Alpari Pro account. There is only one account. As long as you can stump up the aforementioned $20,000 you can open one whether you are a "retail" client or "institutional". The difference is in the choice of trading platforms. Alpari assume that amateurs will go for the .NET based Alpari Direct platform which has charts and news, whereas the professionals amongst you will choose the Java based Direct Pro platform, which has goodies like depth of market instead.

Although both platforms seem to accept orders as small as $10,000 in demo mode, Alpari assure me that the live accounts will refuse any deals smaller than $40,000. Leverage starts at 1:100 for account balances of less than $100,000, reducing to 1:50 above that. Commissions start at $15 per million, reducing at volumes over $500 million per month. Alpari say that:

We believe that our rates are, and will remain, amongst the lowest in the market.

As a sweetener to persuade you to open a Pro account Alpari are offering zero percent commission until January 20th next year. That certainly sounds competitive! The catch is your volume has to exceed a billion a month to get that rate. Any less than that and you'll only get a 50% rebate. Still a lot better than nothing though I suppose.

Now you may be asking yourself "what about spreads"? Alpari don't have a lot to say on this topic apart from "spreads from 0 pips", but I can tell you this. At this moment my Alpari Classic MetaTrader account is quoting me 1.49068/084 on the EUR/USD. My Alpari Direct Pro demo instead shows 1.49070/079.

Lower spreads and zero commissions certainly sounds attractive, but neither of the two platforms seem to support MetaTrader expert advisors like my Classic account. I asked Alpari if I would be able to use a platform of my own choosing with the Pro account, but they haven't got back to me on that one yet. I'll let you know what they say when they do.

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October 23, 2009

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