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HFM (HotForex) Broker Review

Editor Editor:  Chris Cammack Updated: June 21, 2024
Author Author:  Alison Heyerdahl

Last Updated On June 21, 2024

Alison Heyerdahl
Broker Score
4.53 4.53 / 5
Rated #9 of 80 Recommended Brokers
🏦  Min. DepositZAR 0
🛡️  Regulated By
💵  Trading Cost 
USD 10
⚖️  Max. Leverage2000:1
💹  Copy Trading
🖥️  Platforms
💱  Instruments 
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.

Last Updated On June 21, 2024

Alison Heyerdahl

75-90% of retail traders lose money trading Forex and CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs and leveraged trading work and if you can afford the high risk of losing your money. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we review. Please read our advertising disclosure. By using this website, you agree to our Terms of Service.

Our verdict on HFM

HFM (formerly known as HotForex) is a well-known international broker with a strong presence in South Africa. It has local FSCA regulation and local customer support, and unlike many other international brokers, it offers ZAR trading accounts. It also offers fast and free deposits and withdrawals in South African Rands from a range of local banks, including FNB, ABSA, Nedbank, and Standard Bank, among others. 

HFM offers four standard accounts and one specialised copy trading account.  Three of its three standard accounts have no minimum deposit requirements and have extremely competitive trading fees. We were also pleased to find that HFM has recently reintroduced cryptocurrency trading, no doubt because of the popularity of the asset. This is alongside an excellent range of trading instruments, including shares listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and over 950 other international stocks.

HFM supports the MT4 and MT5 platforms in addition to its own mobile HF App, which allows clients to trade from charts and make deposits and withdrawals. It also has several excellent trading tools to assist traders further. Unfortunately, access to tools such as Autochartist, which other brokers offer as a free service, requires an account balance of 1500 ZAR – well above the minimum deposit.

🏦  Min. DepositZAR 0
🛡️  Regulated By
💵  Trading Cost 
USD 10
⚖️  Max. Leverage2000:1
💹  Copy Trading
🖥️  Platforms
💱  Instruments 
HFM Award

Overall Summary

Trust Rating
11110.54.5/ 5
Trading Conditions
11110.54.5/ 5
Trading Platforms
11110.54.5/ 5
Deposit & Withdrawal
11110.54.5/ 5
Education & Research
111115/ 5
Assets Available
11110.54.5/ 5
Customer Service
11110.54.5/ 5
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Welcome Bonus

Account Information

Base Currencies
USD, ZAR
Number of FX Pairs
53
Crypto Pairs
40
Copy Trading
Hedging Allowed
Scalping Allowed
Islamic Account

Trading Conditions

Account Name
Zero
Trading Desk
Commission
6 USD / lot - Zero Account
EUR/USD
0.10 pips
GBP/USD
0.50 pips
USD/JPY
0.30 pips
Negative Balance Protection

Company Details

Company Name
HF Markets SA (PTY) Ltd
Founded
2010
Website
Website Language
English
Support Language
English, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi
Office Locations
Seychelles, South Africa, Dubai, UK, Cyprus, Mauritius

Pros

  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts

Cons

  • Limited base currencies

HFM’s Overall Rating

One of our favourite brokers for South African traders, HFM’s account structure caters to many different trading styles, with options ranging from Cent to Pro Plus accounts, all underpinned by STP execution to ensure transparency and speed. Notable for its comprehensive trading instrument lineup, HFM offers cryptocurrency trading alongside forex, and more, including over 950 international stocks. Trading is available on MT4 and MT5 platforms and the HFM Trading App. HFM’s focus on the South African market includes quick, free local bank transfers, an extra convenience for ZAR account holders. FxScouts gives HFM a high rating of 4.53 out of 5.


Is HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Safe?

A trustworthy broker with a large South African following, HFM is locally regulated by the FSCA and offers negative balance protection for all traders.  

FSCA Regulation: HFM has an excellent reputation in the South African Forex trading community and has been FSCA licenced since 2015. An FSCA licence means that HFM clients can rest assured that their funds are secure and that HFM will treat its South African clients fairly. 

Safety Features: Although the FSCA’s rules are not as strict as those of the regulators in the UK or Australia, it still requires HFM to segregate its client funds at top-tier South African banks and issue monthly statements to its clients.  HFM clients in South Africa are also granted negative balance protection, which means that they can never lose more than their initial deposit.  

Company Details:

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Group Regulators
Trading Desk
Website
Year Founded
Office Locations
Additional Fees
FSCA
CySEC
FCA
FSC
FSA-Seychelles
DFSA
STP
2010
Seychelles, South Africa, Dubai, UK, Cyprus, Mauritius
Inactivity fee of 5 USD after 6 months of inactivity

 

We confirmed each of the licences and regulations on the regulator’s online register. See below for details of HFM’s FSCA regulated entity:

Hotforex Regulation

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Trading Assets

We were pleased to find that HFM has recently reintroduced cryptocurrencies to its offering, a good move considering how popular this asset class has become. It also offers trading on a wide range of stocks, including those listed on the JSE. 

Cryptocurrencies:  HFM recently (at the end of 2021) reintroduced its range of cryptocurrencies. It has 40 pairs, including favourites such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dashcoin, and Litcoin. Leverage is up to 50:1 on pairs such as the BTC/USD, a higher level of leverage than is typically offered on cryptos by other brokers. 

Stocks: South African traders will be pleased to see that HFM offers a range of stock CFDs, including those listed on the JSE, such as Anglogold Ashanti and Firstrand Ltd. It also offers over 950 DMA (Direct Market Access) stocks, allowing clients to trade directly on stock exchanges from around the world, but this product line is only available on MT5.

Full List of Instruments and Leverage*:

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Financial Instrument
Number of Assets
Leverage
Bonds
3
50:1
Commodities
5
66:1
Cryptocurrencies
40
50:1
Energies
4
66:1
Stock CFDs
111
14:1
ETFs
34
5:1
Forex
53
2000:1
Indices
24
20:1
Metals
6
2000:1 gold 20:1 palladium
Stock DMAs
950
5:1
 

  • Forex pairs: HFM offers 53 Forex pairs to trade, including majors, minors, and exotics such as USD/ZAR and ZAR/JPY. While this is a substantial number, other brokers will offer 60+ pairs to trade. Maximum leverage is 1:2000.
  • Metals: HFM offers silver and gold crosses with both the EUR and USD, as well as palladium and platinum futures. This is an average selection of metals compared to other brokers. Maximum leverage is 1:2000 on XAU/EUR and XAU/USD, but falls to 1:20 on palladium futures.
  • Energies: HFM offers spot and futures contracts on both Brent and WTI oil. The maximum leverage is 1:66.
  • Indices: HFM offers spot and futures contracts on a range of international indices, including the NASDAQ, S&P500, FTSE100, DAX30, and the Nikkei. This is a broad range of indices compared to other brokers. The maximum leverage is 1:200.
  • Shares: HFM offers 111 share CFDs to trade, including popular US tech companies and multinational energy companies alongside some of the key constituents of the JSE, such as BAT and Absa Group. While this may seem like a smaller range of share CFDs than other brokers, HFM also offers 950 DMA stocks available only on MT5. The maximum leverage is 1:14.
  • Stock DMAs: In addition to its range of share CFDs, HFM also offers 950 DMA stocks, a larger range than other brokers. The maximum leverage is limited to 1:5
  • Commodities: HFM offers five of the most common commodity futures to trade, such as coffee and sugar. Maximum leverage is 1:66
  • Bonds: HFM offers CFD trading on the three most popular bonds in the world – UK Gilts, Euro Bunds, and the US 10-year. The maximum leverage is 1:50.
  • Cryptocurrencies: HFM offers 40 crypto pairs to trade, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin. Leverage is up to 50:1 on cryptos, but traders should be aware of trading with high leverage on such a volatile asset.
  • ETFs: Exchange Traded Funds have rapidly gained in popularity in recent years, and HFM offers spot contracts on 34 of the most traded ETFs in the world. The maximum leverage is 1:5.

Overall, we were pleased with the range and depth of financial assets available at HFM. The reintroduction of cryptocurrencies will be a major drawcard for the broker.

*Certain products & services may or may not be available to all clients depending on which HF Group entity their trading account(s) adheres to.

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Accounts and Trading Fees

HFM offers five account types, which is more than most other brokers. In May 2023, HFM restructured its accounts, removing the minimum deposits on three of its five accounts and increasing leverage from 1:1000 to 1:2000. 

HFM ZA Trading Accounts

Trading Fees: Despite the variation, overall trading costs are lower than average across all four accounts, and the accounts offer different benefits in terms of trading strategies and minimum deposits. 

Account Trading Costs

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Trading account
Min. Deposit
Min. Spread EUR/USD
Commission
Trading Cost (USD)
Pro Plus
ZAR 4700
0.20
Spread Only
2
HFM Copy Trading
USD 100
1
Spread Only
10
Cent
ZAR 0
1.20
Spread Only
12
Premium
ZAR 0
1.20
Spread Only
12
Pro
ZAR 1800
0.50
Spread Only
5
Zero
USD 0
0.10
6 USD / lot
7

Cent Account

The Cent Account is good for beginner traders who want to keep risk as low as possible while learning. With no minimum deposit requirement and trades denominated in USD cents (USC) rather than USD, trading costs are very low on this account, though potential profits are low too.  Variable spreads start from 1.2 pips on major pairs, leverage is up to 1:2000, and traders can open a maximum of 150 positions simultaneously. Because this is a Cent Account, it is only denominated in USC.

Premium Account

The Premium Account is a good entry-level account for beginner traders, with no minimum deposit requirement.  Variable spreads start from 1.2 pips on major pairs,  which is tight for an account with no minimum deposit requirement, and no commissions are charged. Leverage is up to 1:2000, traders can open a maximum of 500 positions simultaneously, and this account is denominated in both ZAR and USD.

ZERO Account

This is a market execution account with spreads starting at 0 pips on the EUR/USD.  Where previously there was a minimum deposit requirement of 200 USD to open the ZERO Account, there is now no minimum deposit requirement. As with all raw spread accounts, you will be charged a commission – in this case, the charge is 3 USD per lot (6 USD total round turn) on major forex pairs. These are some of the lowest trading costs in the industry.

Pro Account

With low spreads, leverage up to 1:2000 and no commissions, the Pro account caters to more experienced traders who want to take their trading to the next level.  Spreads start at 0.5 pips (EUR/USD), which is much tighter than other brokers, and the account has a reasonable minimum deposit requirement of 100 USD/1500 ZAR. 

Pro Plus Account

With even lower spreads than the Pro Account, the Pro Plus Account is geared towards traders who want the lowest trading costs available. With a minimum spread of only 0.2 pips and no commissions, the Pro Plus Account also features 1:2000 leverage and has a relatively low minimum deposit of 4700 ZAR/250 USD. In addition, traders of the Islamic faith will appreciate that there is no overnight interest charged on open positions on this account. 

HFM Copy Trading

Copy trading is available to both Strategy Providers (SPs) and Followers who have joined the HFM Copy Trading programme. SPs can open an HFM Copy Trading Account to build their inventory of Followers and trade in exchange for a Performance Fee as high as 50%.  Only available on the MT4 platform, the spread starts at 1 pip, and trading instruments offered on this account are limited to Forex, Indices, and Gold.  The minimum deposit is 300 USD for SPs and 100 USD for Followers, and accounts are only denominated in USD.

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Deposit & Withdrawal

HFM charges no fees for deposits and withdrawals, but withdrawals via credit and debit cards take up to 10 days to be processed, which is painfully slow compared to other brokers.

As an FSCA-regulated broker, HFM ensures that all Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations are followed. As such, all non-profit funds are returned to the original deposit source. 

Accepted Currencies: When we opened our account at HFM, we were given the choice of only two base currencies: USD and ZAR. While this is a limited choice compared to other brokers,  it is good for South Africans who will likely have bank accounts denominated in ZAR and will have the option of avoiding conversion fees.  

Local bank transfers: We were pleased to find that HFM offers free online bank funding for clients who have online bank accounts with major South African banks.  This includes African Bank, Bidvest Bank, Capitec Bank, FNB, Investec, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and TymeBank. This is a much faster method of depositing and withdrawing funds than a standard bank wire, with deposits reflecting almost instantly and withdrawals received within 2 business days.

HFM Deposits and Withdrawals

Traditional deposits are handled on weekdays and conditions apply to each of the deposit options.

  • Bank Wire – HFM will cover the fees for transfers over the minimum amount of 100 USD. The funds will be added to your trading account within one business day of the funds reflecting in HFM’s account.
  • Visa/Mastercard and Skrill – A minimum deposit of 75 Rand (5 USD) is required and will take approximately 10 minutes to reflect in your trading account. There are no fees for this deposit method.
  • Skrill – A minimum deposit of 5 USD is required, which takes up to 10 minutes to be processed, and no fees are charged.
  • Crypto – A minimum deposit of 30 USD is required, it is processed instantly, and no fees are charged.

Traditional withdrawals are processed within 24 hours (weekdays only) of receiving them, but different conditions apply to each of the payment methods.

  • Bank Wire – No fees and a minimum withdrawal of 100 USD. Bank wire withdrawals can take 2-10 days to receive depending on your bank.
  • Visa/Mastercard and Skrill – No fees and minimum withdrawal of 5 USD. Card withdrawals can take 2-10 business days depending on your bank, but Skrill withdrawals are almost instant.
  • Skrill – No fees and a minimum withdrawal of 5 USD.
  • Crypto – No fees and a minimum withdrawal of 10 USD.

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Mobile Trading Platforms

HFM has recently upgraded its mobile trading app, which is now highly customisable and easy to use. It also offers MT4 and MT5 mobile apps on Android and iOS.  

HFM App

Highly Customisable: A portal for MT4 and MT5, the upgraded HFM App is highly customisable, and has a sleek design and intuitive interface.  One of the best mobile trading apps available, we were very impressed with how traders can customise their chart types and views, change their trading and appearance settings, and choose whether they place an order based on the amount, lots, or in units:

HFM App Chart settings HFM App Views HFM App Settings

The HFM App also allows traders to easily transfer, withdraw, and deposit funds, and has an integrated economic calendar. Traders can access HFM’s educational materials (including registering for beginner, intermediate, or expert level webinars) and news based on their favourite instruments:

HFM App News

Overall, we think this is one of the market’s most user-friendly and feature-rich apps, and the recent upgrade will certainly attract many traders.

MT4/MT5 Mobile Apps

We found that the HFM MT4 and MT5 apps allow traders to work from anywhere, with nine timeframes, 30 indicators, and interactive currency charts. We were able to close and modify existing orders and calculate profit/loss in real-time. We also find it easier to search for instruments than on the web trader versions of the platforms.

Other Trading Platforms

Like many other brokers, HFM offers MT4 and MT5 but does not offer its own desktop trading platform. 

While MT4 and MT5 are both excellent trading platforms, many other CFD brokers also offer their own web-based platforms, which tend to be easier to use for beginner traders. On the other hand, the benefit of HFM offering third-party platforms such as MT4 and MT5 is that traders can take their own customised version of the platform with them should they choose to migrate to another broker.

For the purposes of this review, we tested both of HFM’s web trader platforms.

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Broker
Platform Choice
Copy Trading
Platforms
HFM (HotForex)
11110.54.5/ 5
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AvaTrade
11110.54.5/ 5
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AvaOptions

Metatrader 4 (MT4)

Our review found that HFM offers the standard version of MT4, which has 24 graphical objects and 30 built-in indicators. However, it also offers Premium Trader tools, available to clients who deposit more than 100 USD/1500 ZAR, which plug directly into the MT4 platform, enhancing its functionality (click here for more on Premium trader tools)

We found that the platform’s interface is dated but fully customisable. There are three chart types, including Line, Bar, and Candlestick charts and you can access a wide selection of indicators in multiple timeframes:

Hotforex MT4 Indicators

We also found it easy to add new charts:

Hotforex MT4 Adding charts

HFM also offers support for MT4 MultiTerminal, providing a convenient method of managing multiple accounts simultaneously from a single interface.

Metatrader 5 (MT5)

MT5, the newer version of its predecessor, MT4, is also available at HFM. We recommend using MT5 if you are looking for a more powerful and faster trading platform when it comes to back-testing functionality for automated trading algorithms.  Additionally, traders prefer MT5 for its depth of market display, additional technical indicators (38 as opposed to 30 on MT4), and analytical tools. 

In our review of MT5 web trader, we noted that it has a great depth of market display:

Hotforex MT5 Depth of Market

It is also much easier to search for an instrument to add to the market watch list than on MT4. You can simply type the name of the instrument:

Hotforex MT5 Search

Both MT4 and MT5 are available as downloads, browser-based, and on iOS and Android devices. Mobile access is 24/7, and mobile apps employ the latest SSL encryption technology for security.

Overall, we found that HFM provides a good selection of third-party platforms but lacks its own in-house trading platforms, which are usually more user-friendly.

HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Bonuses and Promotions

We were impressed that HFM offers multiple bonuses, trading contests, and promotions for South African traders*.  At the time of writing, the following bonuses are available:

  • R900 No-Deposit Bonus: This bonus is only available for new HFM traders and must be used within 7 days of registering a No-Deposit Trading Account. Traders can only use the funds for trading and cannot withdraw the funds. To claim any profits from trading on the No-deposit bonus, a few conditions must be met. See HFM’s website for more details.
  • 20% Top-Up Bonus: All traders can access this bonus, but it can only be applied to the Top-Up Bonus Account. Traders can withdraw all profits generated on this bonus account.

*Terms and conditions apply

For all the current HFM Bonus information, please refer to its website.

Opening an Account at HFM (formerly known as HotForex)

Opening an account at HFM is a quick and hassle-free process. However, it took two days for our accounts to be verified, which is longer than other similar brokers.

It took us about 3 minutes to open an account at HFM. We could immediately deposit funds into our accounts, but our accounts were only ready for trading after two days.

As a South African trader you can open an account at HFM, but will need to meet all the minimum deposit amounts to do so; these are:

  • Premium Account: 0 USD
  • Zero Account: 0 USD
  • Pro Account: 100 USD/1800 ZAR

We found that opening a live account at HFM is easy and takes less than 3 minutes. While HFM also offers Corporate Accounts and Joint Accounts, we will focus on opening an Individual Account:

  1. Initially, we were required to provide our country of residence, phone number, full name, email address, date of birth and password. We also had to choose whether we wanted the base currency of our account to be USD or ZAR.

    HOtforex account opening
  2. Once this step was complete, we accessed our MyHF dashboard. This is the administrative hub for demo accounts, live accounts, and finances.
  3. From the MyHF hub, we chose our account type and submitted our Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation. HFM needed at least two documents to accept us as an individual client:
    1. Proof of Identification – current (not expired) coloured scanned copy (in PDF or JPG format) of your passport. If no valid passport is available, a similar identification document bearing a photo such as an ID card or driving licence will work.
    2. Proof of Address – a Bank Statement or Utility Bill. The documents provided should not be older than 6 months and your name and physical address should be clearly displayed.
    3. Important Note: The name on the Proof of Identification document must match the name on the Proof of Address document.
    4. We were able to upload our documents directly from the myHF area; but you can also scan them and send them to [email protected].
  4. We were also asked to complete a short form to help HFM assess the state of our finances and trading knowledge. While most brokers don’t include this step in the account-opening process, it is a responsible move in an industry that is often accused of an irresponsible approach to consumer protection.
  5. Once this step is complete, we were required to make at least the minimum required deposit for our chosen account via one of HFM’s deposit methods.

Our documents were checked by the verifications department and were approved in around 48 hours, which is longer than other similar brokers. Note that any deposits will be credited to the account only after your documents have been approved and the myHF area is fully activated.

We advise you to read HFM’s risk disclosure, customer agreement, and terms of business before you start trading.

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Research and Trading Tools

Our review found that HFM has a competent in-house research team that produces high-quality and useful market analysis materials. It has also partnered with several third-party analysis companies to further enhance its offering.

Research

HFM’s research and market analysis is divided into three main sections, each of which provides a specialised benefit for traders looking for market insight and trading opportunities.

Forex News – In partnership with FXSTREET, a respected market news aggregator and publisher, HFM provides a constant stream of news that impacts the markets. While the main focus is on geopolitical events and macroeconomic movements,  we found that there is some reporting on technical analysis – mainly from large banks and other financial institutions. With new stories every few minutes, 24/5, this is an excellent resource for traders using all types of strategies.

HFAnalysis – This is the hub for HFM’s own market research content. The focus is a market news blog, split between fundamental analysis and technical analysis, and trader education. From here we were able to access monthly and quarterly outlooks, video analysis, special reports, and intraday charts. We were also able to access the HFM podcast; generally published mid-week this is a detailed look at recent market movements and a look ahead to potential market-impacting events. Overall, we found that the analysis provided by HFM’s experts is detailed and accurate and is on par with the in-house research provided by other large international Forex brokers.

Advanced Insights – This plugin for MT4 and MT5 provides sentiment and volatility analysis from an insight engine that applies big data AI to millions of news articles and live trading positions. The plugin also provides a timeline of the upcoming events and presents detailed infographics on HFM’s full range of assets. While this tool is provided free, traders will need to have deposited at least 100 USD/1500 ZAR and made closed trades worth 10 lots or more in the previous two months.

Trading Tools

We found that HFM offers an excellent range of trading tools, including Autochartist, a free VPS service, and a set of Premium Trading Tools. While all these tools are provided free, we were disappointed that traders are required to make a substantial deposit before access is provided.

Autochartist

For all HFM clients with a minimum deposit of 100 USD/1500 ZAR, Autochartist is an award-winning automated technical analysis tool that plugs into MT4 and MT5 and scans all available CFD markets for trading opportunities. It is one of the best technical analysis tools on the market, and we were pleased to see that HFM subscribes to its services.

Autochartist’s advanced pattern recognition engine identifies the strongest potential trading opportunities and predicts future price movements. Some of Autochartist’s key features are:

  • Chart pattern recognition
  • Fibonacci pattern recognition
  • Key level analysis
  • Pattern quality indication

Hotforex Autochartist

VPS

HFM clients with a minimum deposit of 5000 USD can also subscribe to a free VPS hosting service provided by external third-party providers. VPS services ensure trades are never disrupted by technological or connectivity issues, such as load-shedding or internet service failure. The VPS service is only available to traders using the MT4 platform. See below for more details:

Hotforex VPS

Premium Trader Tools

Available to all HFM clients with a minimum deposit of 100 USD/1500 ZAR, Premium Trader Tools give traders access to institutional quality technology, including advanced trading tools, user-configurable news and information, and trade analysis.  It also includes an array of sophisticated alarms, messaging systems, and live sentiment and correlation tracking. A few of the tools in the package include:

  • Trade Terminal: A feature-rich professional trade execution and analysis tool, providing several trading features and order controls that are not included in MT4 or MT5.
  • Mini Terminal: The mini-terminal facilitates trade management by making commonly-used trading features more accessible than in the native version of the software.

    HOtforex MT4 Mini Terminal
  • Connect: A customisable news feed aggregator and interactive economic calendar
  • Correlation Matrix and Correlation Trader: These tools work together to show correlations between pairs of trading symbols. It functions with any symbols available in the trading platform, allowing a calculation of the correlation between multiple asset classes against Forex. The Correlation Trader will then allow for a detailed inspection of the correlation between any two instruments.

Other trading tools available at HFM include a range of trading calculators, which can be used to calculate pip value, swap fees, risk percentages, and support and resistance levels.

Between the analytical tools and the sheer scale of market research on offer – in audio, text, and video format – from both in-house and third-party experts, we think HFM’s market analysis is considerably more useful than most other brokers – though about equal when compared with other international brokers with large research and analysis budgets.

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Broker
Economic Calendar
Autochartist
Trading Central
Trading View
Free VPS
HFM (HotForex)
Admirals
AvaTrade
 

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Education

Our review found that much like the market analysis at HFM, the educational content available is multi-format, of very high quality, and more useful for beginners than what is available at most other brokers. It also offers a free demo account that does not expire.

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Broker
Beginner Course
Advanced Course
Well Structured Education
Education Quality
Webinars
HFM (HotForex)
High
Admirals
High
AvaTrade
High

Because we opened a live account, we had access to the HFM e-Course.  We found the course well-structured, and it includes the basics of Forex theory and Forex trading, reading and interpreting charts, trading strategies, trading psychology, and technical analysis.

Video tutorials are available without registration; these cover introductory concepts, Metatrader tutorials, trading strategies, and lessons in economic theory.

We enjoyed HFM’s webinars. These cover current events, advanced trading strategy, and risk and money management, and are run every few days. The webinars do not require an account at HFM, but you will need to register.

Overall, we found that the quality of the educational content is very high and HFM obviously does its best to educate beginner traders. More experienced traders will also find the information and material on offer useful, especially the webinars and video analysis on more advanced topics. This is unusual in the industry, as while most brokers will try to educate beginners, traders with more experience are often underserved.

HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Demo Account

We opened a demo account and found that it does not expire, which is helpful for beginner traders.  We were provided a virtual starting balance of 100,000 USD, which can be topped up on request. We could view charts, news, and analysis, access the full-featured MT4 and MT5 platforms, and experience real-time prices and real forex market volatility.

Hotforex Demo Account

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HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Customer Support

With a local South African support team, we found that HFM’s customer support is better than most other brokers.

Award-winning customer service and a client-focused approach to business mean that beginner traders at HFM can rely on excellent support. 

Support is available 24/5 in over 27 languages via email, live chat, and telephone.  Toll-free local phone numbers (available in South Africa) and local email addresses give clients direct free access to quality customer service in their language. 

For the purposes of the review, we tested the live chat and telephone services. Our call was received immediately, and we were transferred to the correct department, which answered all our questions to our satisfaction. The live chat agents were also responsive and highly knowledgeable. As you can see, they responded to our questions within a matter of seconds:

Hotforex Customer Service

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Safety and Industry Recognition

Regulation: HFM (formerly known as HotForex) is the unified global brand name of HF Markets Group. Entities within the group are regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Financial Sector Conduct Authority of South Africa (FSCA), and the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles.  See below for HFM-listed companies:

  • HF Markets SA (PTY) Ltd – authorized by FSCA (South Africa) registration no. 46632
  • HF Markets (Europe) Ltd – authorized by CySEC (Cyprus) registration no. 183/12.
  • HF Markets (UK) Limited – authorized by FCA (UK) registration no. 801701.
  • HF Markets (DIFC) Ltd – authorized DFSA (Dubai) registration no. F004885.
  • HF Markets (SV) Ltd – authorized by FSA (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) registration no. 22747 IBC 2015.
  • HF Markets (Seychelles) Ltd – authorized by FSA (Seychelles)registration no. SD015.

Awards:

HFM has won numerous awards for its services and offerings over the years, recent awards include:

  • Most Transparent Broker 2020 (The European – Global Banking & Finance Review Awards),
  • Best Client Services – Global 2020 (Capital Finance International Magazine),
  • Best Broker in Africa 2020 (AtoZ Forex),
  • Best Trading Experience South East Asia 2020 (International Finance Awards),
  • Best Partners Program Global 2020 (International Investor Awards),
  • Excellence in Customer Service Global 2020 (International Investor Awards),
  • Best Global Copy Trading Platform (Global Forex Awards 2019) for the HFcopy trading service.

With many years of responsible operation, regulation from some of the strictest authorities in the world, and a long list of awards for customer satisfaction, HFM is considered a reliable and safe Forex broker. 

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Group Regulators
Trading Desk
Website
Year Founded
Office Locations
Additional Fees
FSCA
CySEC
FCA
FSC
FSA-Seychelles
DFSA
STP
2010
Seychelles, South Africa, Dubai, UK, Cyprus, Mauritius
Inactivity fee of 5 USD after 6 months of inactivity

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Evaluation Method

We value transparency and openness in the way we review the partners. To bring transparency to the forefront, we have published our review process which includes a detailed breakdown of the HFM offering. Central to that process is the evaluation of the reliability of the broker, the platform offering of the broker, and the trading conditions offered to clients, which are summarised in this review. Each one of these is graded on 200+ metrics across seven areas of interest, and an overall score is calculated and assigned to the broker according to the diagram below:

XM Scores

HFM (formerly known as HotForex) Risk Statement and Disclaimer

Trading Forex is risky, and each broker is required to detail how risky the trading of Forex CFDs is to clients. HFM would like you to know that: Trading Leveraged Products such as Forex and Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors as they carry a high degree of risk to your capital. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, taking into account your investment objectives and level of experience, before trading, and if necessary, seek independent advice.

Disclaimer: Certain products & services may or may not be available to all clients depending on which HF Group entity their trading account(s) adheres to.

Legal: HF Markets SA (PTY) Ltd is authorized by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) as a Financial Service Provider (FSP) with authorization number 46632.

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Overview

An FSCA-regulated broker, HFM focuses on providing an optimal trading environment for its South African clientele. It offers ZAR trading accounts, and supports local bank transfers from all of South Africa’s major banks with instant deposits and two-day withdrawals. It also has a local customer support team that is responsive and knowledgeable, available to help with any account or technical queries. 

Another attractive feature for South African traders is that HFM offers trading on a range of JSE-listed shares and has recently reintroduced cryptocurrencies to its books. Overall, there is no doubt that HFM has pulled out all the stops to ensure South African traders will be satisfied. 

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Editorial Team

 

Chris Cammack
Head of Content

Chris joined the company in 2019 after ten years experience in research, editorial and design for political and financial publications. His background has given him a deep knowledge of international financial markets and the geopolitics that affects them. Chris has a keen eye for editing and a voracious appetite for financial and political current affairs. He ensures that our content across all sites meets the standards of quality and transparency that our readers expect.

 

Alison Heyerdahl
Senior Financial Writer

Alison joined the team as a writer in 2021. She is the Senior Editor for FXScouts.  She has a medical degree with a focus on physiotherapy and a bachelor’s in psychology. However, her interest in forex trading and her love for writing led her to switch careers. She has a passion for Forex trading and over a decade of editorial experience researching Forex and the financial services industry, producing high-quality content. She hosts a weekly podcast, “Let’s Talk Forex,” alongside her colleague, Chris, and has produced over 100 Forex educational videos for the FXScouts YouTube channel. She also writes weekly technical analyses and has tested and reviewed over 100 Forex brokers.

 

Ida Hermansen
Financial Writer

Ida joined our team as a financial writer in 2023. She has a degree in Digital Marketing and a background in content writing and SEO. In addition to her marketing and writing skills, Ida also has an interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. Her interest in crypto trading led to a wider fascination with Forex technical analysis and price movement. She continues to develop her skills and knowledge in Forex trading and keeps a close eye on which Forex brokers offer the best trading environments for new traders.

 

AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
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Broker Score
4.53 4.53  / 5
Rated #9 of 80 Recommended Brokers
Site Icon Data provided by FxScouts

HFM Financial Regulation

Regulator License
Regulator License

HFM Trading Cost Comparison

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