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STO Review

STO Review

 

 

 

STO is a Cyprus-based online broker which offers access to a range of asset classes and financial markets, with global offices located in New York, China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Finding a reputable STO review local or worldwide can be a difficult process, especially finding a complete list from a trustworthy reputable source.

Below is an in-depth review regarding STO to help you make an informed decision before opening your account or trading on their platform.

Clients of STO are afforded the ability to trade more than 300 instruments using advanced trading platforms as well as VPS services.

The trading experience at STO is further enhanced by the broker’s partnership with Quantic to provide additional portfolio management and investment options for institutional clients.

As such, STO clients benefit from a variety of services not limited to simple online trading, which also includes portfolio management, education, a range of indicators, and a premium subscription service.

STO was first established under the AFX group in 2009 and is currently headquartered in Cyprus, though as already noted the broker also has several international branches, including in New York and the United Kingdom.

Prospective clients should note that both AFX Markets, Ltd. and AFX Capital Markets, Ltd. licenses are currently on hold with both FCA and CySEC.

While this process has not discontinued STO’s services permanently, it has caused the broker to halt its services until further notice.

 

Awards and Recognition

While STO has received numerous positive customer feedback for its range of services, as well as several positive reviews, the broker has not listed any awards on its website to date.

 

STO Accounts

Prospective traders need to make an effective study of the various account types which a broker may offer, as often these accounts are designed to suit the specific needs of certain trader experience levels and strategies.

The forex industry is populated by a vast array of traders with various trading needs, which most brokers aim to meet through the provision of suitable accounts. These may include commission-free accounts, low spread accounts, and managed accounts.

On the other hand, some brokers will offer one standard account type which aims to target a certain group of clientele.

Traders should also seek out brokers who offer a free demo account, as this will allow them to conduct a test run of the broker’s features before deciding to sign up for a live trading account.

 

Types of Accounts and their Features

STO offers an impressive selection of account types each tailored to specific trading styles, levels of experience, and trading strategies.

STO Classic Account

This is the broker’s entry-level account and is therefore tailored more for beginner and smaller retail traders.

  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • Leverage: 1:500
  • Spreads: 1.6 pips

 

STO Premium Account

The Premium Account is designed for more experienced traders and comes with more competitive trading conditions, including 15 indicators and EAs which are available free of charge for a period of three months.

  • Minimum deposit: $2000
  • Leverage: 1:500
  • Spreads: 1.6 pips

 

STO Pro Account

Designed for professionals, the Pro Account also provides free access to chart indicators and EAs for a period of up to six months, and also features tighter spreads.

  • Minimum deposit: $10 000
  • Leverage: 1:200
  • Spreads: 0.3 pips

 

VIP Account

The VIP Account is designed for high-volume professional and institutional traders, and the high minimum deposit comes with a full free year’s use of a variety of advanced trading tools and ultra-low spreads.

  • Minimum deposit: $50 000
  • Leverage: 1:500
  • Spreads: 0.0 pips

 

AFX Fast Account

The use of the AFX Fast account is linked exclusively to the use of the AFX Fast trading platform and includes STP execution.

  • Minimum deposit: $2000
  • Leverage: 1:500
  • Spreads: 0.4 pips

 

Crypto Account

Designed specifically for cryptocurrency traders, this is a proprietary account from STO which provides access to CFDs on Bitcoin Ethereum and Litecoin that can be traded with favorable trading conditions, a minimum deposit of $500, and leverage of 1:5.

  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Leverage: 1:5

 

FIX API Account

This is a protocol trading account featuring incognito trading systems and fast execution, providing access to Spot Forex, CFDs on metals, indices, crypto, and oil liquidity.

MAAM Account

This account is designed exclusively for asset managers.

 

Deposits and Withdrawals

Both deposits and withdrawals can be made at STO through a wide variety of convenient and popular methods, which include the following:

 

  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Rzelewy24
  • CashU
  • WebMoney
  • Paysafecard
  • Qiwi

 

STO also supports a decent range of deposit currencies, including EUR, USD, GBP, and PLN.

A wide selection of deposit currencies is often preferable when trading forex, as having to withdraw from a currency other than your base currency can rack up fees that impact your profitability, typically through the payment of a conversion fee.

These conversion fees can occur both when trading and when withdrawing funds from your trading account.

 

Cost and Fees, Commissions and Spreads

STO appears to offer commission-free trading, and therefore only takes a fee from the spread, which starts from 0.0 pips up to 1.6 pips, depending on the trading account.

The broker does not appear to offer an Islamic or swap-free account, and therefore interest charged on roll-overs, or positions held open overnight, will likely also be incurred.

 

Leverage

STO offers a relatively high leverage of 1:500, depending on the type of trading account which you select.

Most brokers, particularly those regulated in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom, offer a maximum leverage of 1:30, or 1:50 in some cases.

This is due to the fact the European regulators recently decided to cap the maximum leverage which brokers operating within their jurisdiction could offer, due to the high risk associated with the mechanism.

While leverage can significantly increase the potential profitability of your initial investment, it can also increase the potential losses which you may incur, particularly when investing large sums of money.

 

Bonuses

STO does not appear to be offering any bonuses, promotions, or other incentive schemes to new clients at this stage.

 

Trading Platforms, Software, and its Features

STO offers two types of trading platforms, consisting of the highly popular MetaTrader 4, and the AFX Fast Platform.

While this might seem like a limited offering, both of these platforms come with advanced features, particularly MT4, on which the bulk of trading at STO is conducted.

MetaTrader 4

The MetaTrader 4 trading platform is designed for Forex and futures trading. With MetaTrader 4, traders can analyze financial markets, perform advanced trading operations, run trading robots (Expert Advisors) and copy deals of other traders.

The platform supports three trade execution modes, including Instant Execution, as well as 2 markets, 4 pending and 2 stop orders, and a trailing stop function. Quick trading functions allow sending trading orders straight from the chart with one click.

The built-in tick chart feature provides an accurate method for determining entry and exit points. With the rich functionality of MetaTrader 4, you can implement various trading strategies in the Forex market.

The MetaTrader 4 platform provides wide analytical opportunities. Each symbol can be displayed in 9 time-frames, allowing traders to see the price dynamics in detail.

30 built-in technical indicators and 24 graphic objects are available for the most comprehensive analysis of price dynamics.

Users can combine these tools, identify trends, determine entry and exit points, and with the wide analytical capabilities of MetaTrader 4, can thoroughly analyze market movements to catch the best time to trade.

The MetaTrader 4 platform meets the highest security standards. Data exchange between the client terminal and the platform servers is encrypted.

The platform additionally supports the use of RSA digital signatures, so that you can rest assured that your trading accounts are securely protected.

All in all, MetaTrader 4 is equipped with an impressive set of advanced trading and analytical features.

The platform provides a user-friendly interface to help you easily understand all functions and operation principles.

AFX Fast

STO’s proprietary AFX Fast platform is used when signing up for the AFX Fast account, and while not as comprehensive as MT4, allows for STP execution, which eliminates any conflict of interest with the broker.

 

Markets, Products, and Instruments

STO offers a rich product portfolio with access to a variety of the most popular asset classes, including the following:

  • Forex
  • Commodities
  • Shares
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • CFDs on Cryptocurrencies
  • CFDs on Metals
  • CFDs on indices
  • CFDs on energies

 

However, there is no further information available on the number of currency pairs that can be traded with STO.

 

 

Safety and Regulation

STO offers a safe and secure trading environment through its regulation under both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), two of the most reputable regulatory bodies in the industry.

The Financial Conduct Authority is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.

As such, the FCA is the conduct regulator for 58000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK, providing extensive client protection measures and strict financial oversight of its participating brokers.

CySEC is the financial regulatory agency of Cyprus. As an EU member state, CySEC’s financial regulations and operations comply with the European MiFID financial harmonization law.

This regulation is further complemented by the broker’s authorization with CONSOB in Italy, adding a further layer of MIFID compliance.

That said, prospective clients should take note of the fact that the licenses belonging to STO’s parent companies have currently been placed on hold by both the FCA and CySEC.

The reasons regarding this development are not made clear as of yet, but it will affect the broker’s operations and regulatory framework for the time being.

 

Customer Support

STO offers decent customer support, which can be contacted via telephone, email, or the more antiquated fax option. Live chat support is also made available for more pressing client queries.

The support team is available 24 hours, 5 days a week during the operating hours of the forex market, although support is not available over the weekends, unlike with many other brokers who offer support 24/7.

 

Research

STO offers a variety of research tools in the form of fundamental daily analysis, market commentary, webinars, and an economic calendar.

Apart from these independent research tools, the broker also offers an excellent suite of analytical tools through its provision of the MetaTrader 4 platform.

When using MT4, technical indicators and line studies are built into the terminal for analytical purposes. These objects are imposed directly into the chart and allow to forecast further price changes.

At that, indicators are imposed automatically, and line studies are attached manually. Parameters of indicators can be set up manually, as well. Technical indicators can have different settings for different symbols or periods.

The use of technical indicators and line studies allows users to open and close reasonable trade positions, place and modify pending orders.

Moreover, the use of analytical means allows users to perform systematic trading activities and reduces in that way the influence of human emotions.

Along with technical indicators, custom indicators are written in MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4) can be used for analytical purposes.

Another advantage is the built-in Economic Calendar keeping you updated on all important current and upcoming events.

Analyzing reports and macroeconomic indicator parameters is an integral part of the fundamental analysis, and the MT4 terminal offers all you need for that.

This includes instant delivery of events concerning 13 currencies and 18 countries, Calendar functions for automatic handling of news, and displaying release time on a chart.

 

Education and Training

STO also offers a range of educational tools which cater not only to beginner traders but also to intermediary and advanced clients.

These are offered primarily through video tutorials that feature important topical points like the use of indicators, and how to analyze the markets for more profitable trades. The broker also offers free educational courses.

For investors who want to be a part of the complex world of foreign exchange, forex education has to be on top of the list before doing some investments.

Forex education enables traders to reason and apply knowledge to important daily trading activities.

For long-term progress, it is a helpful tool that guides traders to optimal systems and the best solutions.

With a solid education, traders are prepared to make informed trading decisions instead of impulsive emotional ones that can often lead to major account disasters.

Trading currencies is not just about blindly exchanging one currency for another and profiting from the difference in prices. Trades need to at least use price charts to know how much each currency is worth.

Additionally, traders may need various indicators, signals, and oscillators to help them identify price trends and future currency price shifts.

Arming oneself with a forex education will enable you to identify what tools are available for monitoring and predicting market movements.

 

Conclusion

STO is a well-regulated broker which provides access to a wide range of popular asset classes, as well as a good variety of CFDs and forex. However, while the broker is technically regulated by the FCA and CySEC, both of these governing bodies put the licensing STO’s parent companies on hold.

 

Disclaimer

Risk Warning: The Company also offers CFD products which are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with GCI Trading.

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptocurrencies are complex, high-risk, and volatile and may result in the loss of all invested capital over a short period of time; they are not appropriate for all investors.

Investors must understand and acknowledge these specific characteristics and risks and be warned that there is no EU regulatory framework governing trading in cryptocurrency products.

 

CFDs and Forex are not only complex instruments, but they also have a high level of risk which may result in loss of funds that exceed the trader’s initial deposit.

Traders need to evaluate their objective, level of risk exposure and willingness to be exposed to risks.

 

 

STO at a Glance

Broker’s name STO
Headquarters Cyprus
Year founded 2009
Regulating authorities Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cypress Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
Countries not accepted for trade This is not indicated
Demo account Yes
Islamic account (swap-free) No
Institutional accounts Yes
Managed accounts Yes
Maximum leverage 1:500
Minimum deposit $100
Deposit options ·        Credit/Debit Cards

·        Bank Wire Transfer

·        Neteller

·        Skrill

·        Rzelewy24

·        CashU

·        WebMoney

·        Paysafecard

·        Qiwi

Withdrawal options ·        Credit/Debit Cards

·        Bank Wire Transfer

·        Neteller

·        Skrill

·        Rzelewy24

·        CashU

·        WebMoney

·        Paysafecard

·        Qiwi

Platform(s) provided MetaTrader 4, AFX Fast
OS compatibility Mac, Microsoft Windows, Mobile, Web, iPhone
Tradable assets Forex, commodities, shares, cryptocurrencies, CFDs on cryptocurrencies, metals, indices, and energies
Languages supported on the website English
Customer support languages English
Customer service hours 24/6

 

 

FAQ’s

 

Trading Environment

 

How many instruments can I trade with STO?

You can trade the following instruments:

  • Forex
  • Commodities
  • Shares
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • CFDs on Cryptocurrencies
  • CFDs on Metals
  • CFDs on indices
  • CFDs on energies

 

Which platforms are supported by STO?

Metatrader 4 and AFX Fast.

 

Does STO offer leverage?

Yes. STO offers maximum leverage of 1:500.

 

What spreads can I expect with STO?

Spreads from as little as 0.0 pips and go up to 1.6 pips, depending on the account type

 

Does STO charge commission?

No, STO appears to offer commission-free trading

 

Is STO regulated?

Yes. STO is regulated by FCA and CySEC

 

Is STO a recommended forex trading broker for experts and beginners?

Yes. STO caters to both beginners and experts.

 

What is the overall rating out of 10 for STO?

6/10

 

Accounts

 

What is the difference between a demo and a live trading account?

A Demo Account is a risk-free account that is funded by virtual money and allows traders to either practice trading, explore the broker’s offering, or test trading strategies in a mimicked live trading environment.

 

Does STO offer a demo account?

Yes.

 

For how long is the demo account valid?

This information is not available but when generally comparing demo accounts between brokers, the frequent term is 30-days.

 

Which live trading accounts does STO offer?

STO offers the following accounts:

  • STO Classic Account
  • STO Premium Account
  • PRO Account
  • VIP Account
  • AFX Fast Account
  • Crypto Account
  • FIX API Account, and
  • MAAM solutions

 

What are the available deposit currencies for a live trading account?

  • EUR
  • USD
  • GBP, and
  • PLN

 

Deposits and Withdrawals

 

What is the minimum deposit for STO?

$100.

 

How do I make a deposit and withdrawal from STO?

  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Bank Wire Transfer
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Rzelewy24
  • CashU
  • WebMoney
  • Paysafecard, and
  • Qiwi

 

Does STO charge withdrawal fees?

No. All fees for withdrawals are covered by STO.

 

How long does it take to make a withdrawal?

This will depend on the method through which withdrawals are made along with the process involved and generally it can take between one and several business days.

 

 

Author Details

Louis Schoeman

Louis Schoeman

Featured Forex and Stocks writer

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