In a nutshell
XTB is one of the best trading platforms out there. The software itself is super easy to use, fast and has great trading tools. There’s a good range of investment options, the fees are very low and the customer service is excellent. Highly recommended. 5 stars.
cracked open 🥥
XTB is one of the most established investment trading platforms across the world. They’ve been going for over 20 years and have over half a million customers.
With XTB you can trade (buy and sell) foreign exchange (currencies) and CFDs (Contract For Differences) on a wide range of assets. A CFD is trading the price of an asset (such as a stock) rather than buying it directly, and is very popular with traders. (We’ll cover this in more detail below.)
The software itself is great too, and very fast – available on the web, a desktop app, tablet, and a mobile app. In fact, it’s so good, it’s rated 4.7 stars on Android and 4.4 on Apple.
And when it comes to fees, it’s very low cost – it’s actually one of the cheapest out there (we’ll cover the fees in more detail below).
All sounds pretty good so far. Let’s dive into the details a bit more to see if it’s right for you.
If you’re already convinced XTB is for you, get started on the XTB website¹.
Is XTB good for beginners?
XTB is great for beginners – as long as you’re looking to trade regularly, not just buy and hold investments – it’s better to use an investment platform for that.
The platform is super easy to use, you’ll be able to pick it up in no time, and if not, the technical support is great.
Finding the assets you want to trade is easy too – all nicely categorised and on the same screen as the charts you’ll use to trade – so you don’t have to keep jumping around.
When it comes to trading, there’s a large ‘knowledge base’ on their website, with lots of tutorials and guides ranging from the basics of foreign exchange (forex or FX) to fundamental analysis of a company (reviewing the potential of a business itself in terms of an investment).
There’s also some great eBooks, they cover topics much more in depth, such as technical analysis (highly recommended), which is using things like the price history (how it’s performed in the past), and trading volume history (how many people are trading the asset at any time), among other things to plan your trades.
Technical analysis is very popular, it mainly involves looking at charts (a lot!) as charts show all the information you need in an easy to view way.
If you prefer to watch instead of read, there’s some great videos covering pretty much every topic – including full courses by expert traders.
It’s pretty safe to say you don’t need to go anywhere else to learn the basics of trading.
As a bonus, there’s also a demo account to get started if you don’t want to trade with real cash and just want to have a play. Get started on the XTB website¹. Also, there’s no minimum deposit size if you want to jump straight in with real cash.
How XTB works
XTB is straightforward to get up and running, it runs on software called xStation 5, which is the trading platform itself.
It’s available on their website, as a desktop application (so download it to your computer), and available on tablet, and mobile. It runs great on all devices, but the mobile app is particularly good.
A lot of mobile trading apps out there aren’t the best, and it’s pretty handy to make trades while on the move – we’re big fans of mobile trading here at Nuts About Money, especially when the app is as good as this one.
Once you're set up, simply open xStation 5, select which assets you want to trade, and trade!
xStation 5 is where you place all your orders (buying and selling). It’s pretty great, and has all the data you need to help your trading too (for instance, charts, volume and price history).
The key feature is the chart tool, which updates in real-time (so updates as you look at it), and has all the drawing tools and technical indicators you’ll likely need – they’re things that you can overlay on the chart to help determine good entry (buy price) and exit points (sell price) among other things.
You can also have multiple chart tabs open at once, which is pretty handy if you like to trade multiple assets simultaneously.
And then there’s the terminal that updates in real-time – this lists all of your open positions (things like your net profit and current prices). It also shows your pending trade orders and previous trade history.
All fairly straightforward to understand if you’re a regular trader. If you’re not, these are all great features to help your day trading, and of course you can learn all about them on the app.
You’ll also get a real-time view of your current balance, and your borrowing amount (margin amount and level).
Alongside the chart and terminal, you have a list of all the assets available, so you can navigate quickly to other assets you want to trade. You can even create your own watchlist – with asset prices updating in real-time, so you’ll always be up to date on your favourites.
Overall, it’s awesome trading software, with everything you would need to trade in one place.
Within the trading screen, you’ve also got a ‘news’ tab, which updates with the latest information on pretty much every asset you can trade, plus market news and news on the economy in general.
Alongside this is a calendar for all the key events happening that could impact trades, such as Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings (in the US) and trade updates across the world. There’s quite a lot going on all the time!
Quite helpfully, there’s also full analysis on every company you can trade too – with information on their fundamentals, such as:
- The market cap (size of the company)
- Net profit margin (how much a company makes as a % of sales)
- Earnings per share (how much a company earns in relation to each share)
- Price-earnings ratio (the price of a share in relation to a company’s earnings).
Plus, a lot more information you might need. It's a great feature.
One of the main reasons why people use XTB is because you can trade CFDs. CFDs allow you to trade a bit differently to simply buying stocks and shares.
CFDs stand for Contract For Differences, and although that sounds a bit complicated, they’re really simple.
Instead of buying and owning the asset (such as a stock), with CFDs, you enter into a contract with a broker (XTB) about the price of the asset instead. You agree to settle the difference between the price you buy at, and the price you sell at. All handled with the broker directly. Make sense? If not, don't worry, we've explained below.
It works very similar to buying an asset itself, and then selling it in the future, however with CFDs, there’s a few more benefits. You can trade both price directions, so you can go ‘long’ which is betting the price will increase in future, or, you can go ‘short’, which is betting the price will go down in future (which isn’t possible when buying the asset).
You can also trade with leverage (called margin trading). That’s where the broker will lend you cash so you can trade with more than you actually have, and is a great addition to trading (when used sensibly).
For instance, if you want to make a trade with £50, and the leverage is 5x, your actual trade size becomes £250. So, if a stock increased 10%, you’d make £25, rather than £5.
However, there’s much greater risk, as your losses also multiply. If the stock went down 10%, you’d have lost £25 rather than £5. Please be sensible when using leverage!
So with CFDs, there’s 2 main benefits: trading both price directions and leverage trading. Both of which make CFDs very popular.
With XTB, you can trade CFDs on a huge range of assets, over 1,000 stocks (we’ll cover these more below).
XTB trading features
Alongside the great platform experience itself, there’s also pretty much everything you need to trade effectively. Here’s a few of the best features:
Full suite of trading tools: all the tools you’ll need, for instance, stop-loss orders and take profit orders (both are orders to buy or sell at certain prices). Plus even more advanced tools.
Built-in trading calculator: plan your orders and estimate profit and costs before you place a trade. You can also adjust trades directly within the chart itself.
Up to 30x leverage: in the UK you can trade with up to 30x leverage (30:1). Although this depends on which asset you want to trade.
Negative balance protection: you cannot lose more money than you actually have in your account. This can sometimes happen with other brokers when you trade with leverage (borrowed money).
Margin-level protection: if your margin level falls below 50% (your equity divided by your borrowings), your positions will begin to be sold to get back up to 50%. This is quite low, which is good for traders – on other platforms it can be 100%.
Automated trading: you can also build your own systems and automate trades through XTB (one for the pros).
Range of investments
There’s a wide range of investments to trade on XTB. There’s actually over 2,100 – which is a good range for a trading platform. (With stock brokers you can find a bigger range.)
The range covers: currencies (foreign exchange), stocks and shares, ETFs (investment funds), indices (stock markets) and commodities (like gold and silver).
Stocks and shares (CFDs)
There’s over 1,850 stocks to trade on XTB, which is a pretty decent amount. These include all the major companies across the world (16 countries) – including the UK and USA of course, but there’s also Germany, France and Spain and many other European countries.
Stock CFDs are completely commission free to trade.
ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are groups of stocks and shares (and sometimes other investments), all packaged together into a single investment. And they’re super popular with investors – they make buying investments much easier and cheaper.
ETFs can represent things like whole industries (such as electric vehicles, or artificial intelligence), and even things like crypto.
The range of ETFs on XTB is good – there’s over 150. Most of which are the most popular ETFs across the world.
ETF CFDs are also commission free to trade.
Indices (an index) are groups of stocks that represent a stock market, or a country’s economy in general (although can be other things). For instance, the FTSE100 is an index that tracks the top 100 companies in the UK.
You can trade indices with up to 20x leverage with XTB.
Commodities are real things, such as gold and silver, and even coffee. There’s a good range to trade on XTB – essentially all the popular ones.
You can also trade these with 20x leverage.
Foreign exchange (forex or FX)
Foreign exchange is super popular on XTB, and with traders in general.
Forex (FX) is swapping one currency for another. Each currency you can swap with another is called a currency pair. For instance, swapping Pounds (GBP) for Dollars (USD) is a currency pair and represented as GBP/USD.
Forex trading is a 24 hour market during the week and with XTB you can trade non-stop from 11pm Sunday to Friday 10pm (CET time).
There’s 57 currency pairs on XTB too – that’s quite a lot. With all the major pairs.
First of all, there’s no fee to set up an account, deposit money, or hold investments within your account (like there can be with a regular stock broker). And there’s no commission either.
You’ll instead pay fees when you trade. And the majority of these are in the form of a spread fee.
A spread fee is the difference between the price you pay for an asset, such as a stock, and the price it would be to immediately sell it. This small margin (difference) is called the spread and it’s how almost all trading platforms make money.
The spread fees vary across all the different assets, and types of assets (asset classes). And even the time of day. It all depends on how many people are trading the same asset at the same time (the more people trading, the lower the spread fee is).
As there’s thousands of assets to trade, that’s a lot of fees to go through! So it’s best to check out the XTB website¹ if you’re interested in any particular asset fees.
Although saying that, with stocks and ETFs the rate is 0.30%, which is low. And in general, the spread fees are very low – one of the cheapest brokers in fact.
Currency conversion fee
If you want to trade an asset, such as a stock, that’s priced in a different currency, you’ll have to pay a 0.5% currency conversion fee. This fee is standard across all trading and investment platforms, and in-line with all the cheapest. Some are in fact as much as 1.5% (Interactive Investor).
Overnight fees (leverage)
For margin trading, if you want to keep your position open overnight, you might be charged a fee, which is called a swap fee. It will depend on the asset you are trading (typically not very much), it’s effectively the interest rate for the borrowing.
Sometimes you’ll actually receive money (the platform is paying you interest for keeping your position open – because lots of traders are on the other side of the trade).
The trading platform (xStation 5), has an in-built calculator to clearly show you how much you’ll actually pay for each trade.
The customer support is excellent.
When you first sign up, you’ll get a dedicated account manager who will help you with anything you need to get started. You can get in touch over the phone or over email, and they’re very responsive.
Your account manager will be based in the UK, and they’ll introduce themselves to you over email when you register to see if there’s anything you need. It’s a nice touch.
There’s also general support that runs 24 hours per day except over the weekend, which is also phone and email based.
Plus, there’s a good help centre on the website, which should answer any questions you might have.
Is XTB safe?
Yep! XTB is perfectly safe to use. It’s one of the biggest trading platforms in the world, and is actually listed on a stock exchange (Poland) – which means super strict business management and operations.
In the UK it’s authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means they’ve been approved to look after your money, and are constantly monitored.
Your money is also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means should anything happen to XTB, such as going out of business (very unlikely), you’ll get up to £85,000 back.
There’s more protection too. XTB stores customer’s money in a completely separate bank account from their own funds, which they cannot access, and stored with a custodian bank. Meaning your money can only be returned to you.
XTB customer reviews
Customers from across the world are big fans of XTB. On Trustpilot, the popular reviews website, it has a score of 3.9 out of 5. That’s great for a company in financial services where reviews tend to be a lot lower (due to bad service).
There’s lots of 5 star reviews, which mention the great trading platform and the low fees. Most of the 1 star reviews are actually about not being able to open an account and not the platform itself (normally issues around European documents).
XTB pros and cons
Here’s a quick recap and the pros and cons of XTB:
- Low trading fees
- Awesome trading software
- Good range of investment options
- Available on desktop, tablet and mobile
- Personal account manager and 24/5 support
- Demo account
- Can’t buy assets directly (e.g. stocks)
- No crypto (in the UK)
- Not much else!
We’re big fans of XTB. It’s a great broker in general, but the trading platform is one of the best out there.
Using xStation 5, the trading platform, makes trading super easy, and trades are super fast too. It’s got all the trading features you need, such as setting stop-losses before a trade, and the chart is great – with everything updating in real-time. Plus, it works well on mobile too (and tablet, desktop and web).
The ability to trade with leverage (borrowed money) is great, and available across all assets. And trading both directions (up and down) is super easy to do.
The fees are low – one of the cheapest out there. There’s no account fees, or commission, almost all of the fees are included in the spread fee itself.
Overall, XTB is awesome, and highly recommended. It’s a big 5 stars from us.
To get started and get trading, simply head over to the XTB website¹.