What is Saxo Markets?

Saxo Markets is a award-winning investment and trading platform. Founded in 1992 by Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, the institution has expanded rapidly over the past decade. The company is headquartered in Copenhagen.

Saxo Markets Expert Review

The rise in retail trading during the pandemic has propelled the company to new heights. The firm currently serves 660,000 clients in more than 100 countries. In addition, the firm also has 120 white-labeled partners. Last year was a bumper year for the company; net operating profits rose to DKK 750 million (compared to 2019’s DKK 40 million). New trading clients rose 150 percent from the previous year to 250,000.

A reason for Saxo’s popularity is the wide offering of instruments on its platform, which stands at 40,000. You can trade across a wide variety of asset classes, on the three main  Saxo platforms, SaxoInvestor, SaxoTraderGo and SaxoTraderPro.

Saxo Markets serve a combination of retail and professional traders plus a larger number of institutions on the wholesale side as a prime broker.

Saxo Markets Pros & Cons

  • Reliable market broker – for a wide variety of instruments, particularly macro-related instruments such as FX
  • Sleek trading platform – good graphics, and highly functional interface (SaxoTraderGo)
  • Tight spreads – on a number of marketable trading instruments under most market conditions
  • Good mobile app – that caters for traders on the move
  • Patchy customer service – needs to be improved according to many reviews on Trustpilot, especially on capital withdrawals and speaking to agents
  • Uncompetitive for low-frequency trading – Saxo is not the most competitive platform in the market for investors who do less trading

Saxo Markets Futures Trading

Futures are derivative contracts that are used for hedging and trading. Standard futures contracts have an expiry date, size and leveraged ratio. For an overview of futures, visit GoodMoneyGuide on futures. Typical futures include financial (Index, Interest rates or FX) or Commodity futures (e.g., Gold) or single stock futures (e.g. BP).

For traders, the most attractive part about futures is the ability to gain exposure to asset classes quickly. A few contracts may be sufficient for many given the high level of leverage embedded in futures derivatives.

Saxo Markets serves this sector generally well. Depending on your account level, spreads and commission are fairly competitive – although you have to bear in mind that futures trading requires maintenance margin to sustain the position. In addition, Saxo charges a “Carrying Cost” on opened futures positions. Make sure you trade the appropriate contract level relative to capital.

Saxo Markets Options Trading

Financial options are derivative contracts that allow buyers to buy or sell a pre-determined amount of the underlying instrument such as shares. For example, a call option allows the buyer of the option to buy the underlying instruments.

Like futures, options are geared instruments. This means that a small price move in the underlying will be magnified through the derivative contracts.

Saxo Markets allows options trading on wide variety of instruments such as FX, shares, or indices. There are, however, some option strategies with an unlimited risk profile, that is, you can lose a huge amount because the strategy has an uncapped downside. For these strategies, you will need further funding level before you’re allowed to undertake these strategies. Saxo called these ‘ Advanced profiles’ and the account must have at least US$5000 with the acknowledgment that the account holder understands the risk.

Spreads and commission for option trading depend again on tiered account levels.

Saxo Markets International Investing

Many wonderful stocks are listed in countries outside the UK. For investors wishing to diversify their portfolios, international investing should be considered. Saxo UK customers have access to a large number of international stocks. You can invest in North America, major European and Asian markets.

One added risk of cross-border investing, on top of price risk, comes from foreign currency. Movements in the foreign exchange market can either add or reduce your investment gains.

For Sterling-based ISA accounts, you will need to sell Sterling to buy, say USD, when buying US stocks. When you sell the position, you need to sell the USD and buy back Sterling. Saxo uses the mid FX Spot rate, plus/minus 1%, when converting these currency transactions. Sometimes, these rates can be unfavourable and run against your portfolio.

Saxo Loyalty Benefits

Saxo has a loyalty point system for their clients. Each time you place a trade through Saxo you will earn some points. For example, a spot FX trade will earn 30 points while a CFD equity trader 180 (see here for a list of points). Over time, these points add up. Once you attain a certain level of points, you can upgrade to the next account tier.

Saxo Markets Education & Research

Saxo research is well known for its ‘Outrageous Predictions’ (see 2019 copy). Their experienced research team cover a wide variety of topics.

On the more regular news flow and topic discussion, Saxo provides:

  • Podcast – a summary of some of the market moving events
  • Webinars – outlook discussion and discussion of special topics such as inflation.
  • Macro Summary – a daily compilation of trending topics
  • Education – a series of videos that outlines the basics of trading

This is a fairly standard offering that you can find from established brokers and financial institutions. Most of them are free to read. For VIP clients, they will have some access to research analysts and more in-depth discussion of topics.

As a trader, you should be able to get some market information from Saxo – ideas, for example – but planning a trade based on these ideas is not easy because market movements can run independently. Bear in mind that detailed stock research is harder to extract from Saxo Markets as they cover mostly macro and thematic ideas.

Saxo Markets Versus IG

Traders often make a comparison between Saxo and IG because they are two of the largest financial online trading companies. A few years ago, Saxo exited the spread betting arena to focus on DMA, CFDs, futures, FX and a more professional client base.

For UK-based users, this has an important difference in terms of tax. For example, any profits from CFDs are subjected to capital gains tax (HMRC has provided some detailed examples here) while spread betting is essentially tax-free, as advertised by IG.

Saxo Markets Customer Reviews

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Saxo Capital Markets
Average rating:  
 3 reviews
 by Farhang

The platform is difficult to use, one has to have Demo platform for month to be able to use the platform, on line or web platform. Customer service us OK but it seems they don’t know much about the banks they are associated with. I tried to transfer funds from USA but their associated Deutsche Bank declined funds and no body knew why SAXO account is not active in Deutsche Bank. I hope they start to understand and offer MT4 as 3rd part platform where traders are comfortable with, and take a look at their Bank accounts in US for fund transfer. This would be very unprofessional that a bank says Saxo has no active account with us.

 by James Taylor

Very easy to use, the best trading platform out there today. 10/10

 by Pietro Carlucci

Very happy with Saxo – the platform does everything I need it to do. Pro platform is on a different level to other platforms. Use them for both trading and investment purposes.
Professional company with professional staff who know what they’re talking about.

Saxo Markets FAQ

Is Saxo Markets safe?

Saxo Markets is a regulated entity by the FCA. The firm acquired a banking license in Denmark in 2001. According to Saxo’s website “all retail client funds (including cash balances, any unrealised profits and funds used as margin collateral) received by Saxo Markets are held in trust in one or more segregated bank accounts with the retail clients as beneficiaries.”

How does Saxo Markets make money?

Saxo earns fees from clients’ trading activities. The more trading, the larger the fees. White-labelling projects with other institutional partners also generate a steady income for the bank.

Can you short stocks on Saxo Markets?

The traditional method of borrowing shares and short them on the market is not available on Saxo’s platform. However, you can place bearish CFD bets on the instruments.

Is Saxo Markets a good app?

The app is sleek and highly functional. While there are certain issues and glitches, the firm is pro-active in improving them.

Saxo Markets Facts & Fees

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62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
Saxo Markets Reviews
Saxo Markets Total Markets
9000
Forex Pairs182
Commodities19
Indices29
UK Stocks5000
US Stocks2000
ETFs675
Saxo Markets Key Info
Number Active Clients525000
Minimum Deposit500
Inactivity Fee£25 per quarter
Founded1992
Public Company
Saxo Markets Account Types
CFD Trading✔️
Forex Trading✔️
Spread Betting
DMA (Direct Market Access)✔️
Futures Trading✔️
Options Trading✔️
Investing Account✔️
Saxo Markets Average Fees
FTSE 1001
DAX 301
DJIA3
NASDAQ1
S&P 5000.5
EURUSD0.6
GBPUSD0.7
USDJPY0.6
Gold0.6
Crude Oil0.5
UK Stocks0.0005
US Stocks$0.01 per share
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Table last updated: 24th November 2021 2:36 pm
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