Freedom Finance - Official Review 2022
4.8 su 5
Alfredo de Cristofaro May 9,2022
|Only broker in Europe in which individuals can buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price.||Limited access to some European Exchanges.|
|First 30 days of activity with free unlimited trades.||€7 fee for withdrawals of funds.|
|Savings account with a 3% fixed return.||CFDs not available.|
|Optional deposits and withdrawals with credit card.||12% margin fees.|
Only broker in Europe in which individuals can buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price.
First 30 days of activity with free unlimited trades.
Savings account with a 3% fixed return.
Optional deposits and withdrawals with credit card.
Limited access to some European Exchanges.
€7 fee for withdrawals of funds.
CFDs not available.
12% margin fees.
Freedom Finance: What is it and how does it work?
In this review, we have tested and analyzed Freedom Finance, a new online broker that has recently made its debut in the UK landscape. Freedom Finance is not a broker similar to other investing brands. It is true that, like many of its competitors, it allows you to trade shares, ETFs, bonds and derivatives. However, Freedom Finance’s range of services goes beyond the competition.
With this broker, user transactions will not be limited to the mere purchase and sale of financial instruments. Users will have the opportunity to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price of companies about to go public.
With Freedom Finance, finally, even retail investors can grab the first shares issued by companies that are listed digitally through the trading platform made available by the broker. Think of past IPOs such as Robinhood, Alibaba and Airbnb.
Some of these securities became available to private individual investors only at a later time (on the stock market) and with a quotation often much higher than the starting one of the IPO (at which institutional investors such as investment funds and banks purchased the new shares in very large part).
We can affirm that Freedom Finance plays a crucial role in the ongoing process of democratization of finance, where investing is within everyone's reach and without barriers as in the past.
Another service offered by Freedom Finance is the D account. This is a savings account (denominated in dollars) that offers fixed returns at a rate of 3% per annum.
In the next sections of this review, we will examine the topics briefly mentioned so far in more detail. We will see what Freedom Finance is and to whom it is aimed, what investment services it offers and which platforms it makes available for its users.
In the final paragraph, you will find our opinions on Freedom Finance, which will help you understand if this broker may be the right choice for you to invest.
Who is Freedom Finance for?
Freedom Finance is an online broker that allows you to access the main global markets to buy and sell financial instruments. A Freedom Finance account is ideal for anyone who wants to:
- Trade on stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures and options, listed on regulated markets
- Buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price of companies that are about to go public
- Get a fixed return in USD through the deposit account
- Invest with minimal capital
The Freedom Finance account is therefore aimed at investors who intend to invest independently. The latter will have to determine how and where to invest; Freedom Finance will simply provide cutting-edge tools to do so.
Given the degressive fee structure, users who invest large capital will be able to receive a reduction on the commissions of stocks and ETFs, against a fixed monthly fee. Those wishing to invest with low capital will start from the lowest commission band, which is still quite affordable ($/€0.02 for each share or ETF traded) when compared to the fees charged by the main brokers in the UK.
Why choose Freedom Finance over another broker?
- No minimum deposit is required to start trading
- The platform is simple to use and requires no high-level skills
- Unlimited free trades for the first 30 days after account activation
The only broker that allows private individual investors to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price.
Freedom Holding Corp. serves its European users through the Freedom Finance Europe Ltd. branch. It is supervised by three regulatory bodies: CySEC (Cyprus), BaFin (Germany) and SEC (United States).
Freedom Finance Europe Ltd is based in Limassol, Cyprus. Therefore, it falls under the European Union MiFID II regulation for the regulation of financial markets.
Below is the note on the broker's website: "Freedom Finance Ltd provides financial services in the European Union in accordance with the CIF 275/15 license for all types of business required by companies, granted by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission ( CySEC) on 20.05.2015 ".
Given that Freedom Finance is based in the European Union, UK investors can benefit from important protections for the investor provided for by European legislation, namely:
- The European deposit guarantee scheme, e. a guaranteed coverage to traders equal to an indemnity of up to €20,000 (in cash or financial instruments) in the event that the broker is unable to return them to users in person (for example in a case of default);
- The segregation of funds: the separation of user funds from those of the broker, so that, in the event of failure of the trading platform, no creditor of the broker will have the option to claim back funds deposited by users;
- Negative balance protection: this protection allows users to avoid generating a loss on their account that exceeds the cash balance (i.e. the total amount of money paid into the account).
Since October 2019, Freedom Finance has been listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker FRHC.
The security has a Standard & Poor's rating equal to B, that is, with a significant speculative characteristic and an issuer able to meet its financial obligations, albeit with uncertainties that could affect its financial commitment.
Freedom Finance Account
Freedom Finance offers a diverse package of trading accounts to users.
Among these, it is worth highlighting the offer for the first 30 days of the Promo account, or the ability to carry out unlimited trading operations at zero commissions (click here to benefit from the promotion for new customers).
After the 30-day trial, the user can choose between 3 different plans:
- Smart account: €0 per month but no discounts on transactions
- Fix account: €10 per month with intermediate discounts on transactions
- Super account: €200 per month with maximum discounts on transactions
Freedom Finance also offers users the possibility to open a cumulative D-account denominated in USD, to keep their money at an interest of 3% per annum and with interest calculated daily.
Freedom Finance guarantees considerable flexibility in the management of money and deposits to and from D-accounts. The user can easily transfer funds from D-account to the trading account in a couple of clicks, buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price, or carry out any trading operation.
On the other hand, in the event that the trader has generated a profit and wants to wait for a possible stagnation of the market, he can transfer money from the trading account to the savings account and earn interest.
» Account Opening
Opening an account on Freedom Finance takes place entirely online and consists of the following steps:
1. Click on the Registration button at the top right of the menu and enter your personal data
2. Upload a scanned copy of an identification document as well as a document showing your residential address, plus the taxpayer number in the country where you have your tax residence.
Furthermore, the user will be given a risk tolerance survey questionnaire to define their investor profile, with questions related to the investment time horizon, investment objectives, knowledge and experience with various financial instruments, savings capacity, etc. The questionnaire complies with Mifid II regulations for the regulation of financial markets to protect investors.
The duration of the registration process for a Freedom Finance account is approximately 10-15 minutes, at the end of which the platform will make a personal Private Area available to the user and he will be contacted by email with all the necessary information.
While the account opening is being formalized, the user can access the platform through a virtual account, using the credentials created in the registration phase for login.
» In which currencies can the account be opened?
It is possible to open a Freedom Finance account with USD or EUR currency. Within the Personal Area it will be possible to manually convert the deposited GBP into US dollars (and vice versa). As we will see, this operation will be necessary in order to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price.
» Deposits & Withdrawals
Freedom Finance users can make deposits and withdraw funds from their account by bank transfer or by credit/debit card. There is a €7 fee for each withdrawal as well as a $60 deposit fee for the reversal of securities.
No minimum deposit is required with Freedom Finance.
Products and Markets
Freedom Finance allows clients to invest in more than one million financial instruments, including stocks from Europe and the United States, ETFs and OTC, as well as the ability to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price.
Here is the list of stock markets that you can invest in via the Freedom Finance trading platform:
- Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX)
- London Stock Exchange
- Deutsche Börse
- Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE)
- Moscow Exchange (MOEX)
Over 1,500 ETFs from issuers such as iShares, Vanguard and BlackRock are available with Freedom Finance.
In regard to IPOs, the possibility to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price is certainly one of the major elements of differentiation of Freedom Finance compared to competing brokers.
A note on IPOs: the acronym for Initial Public Offering, represents the first sale of shares issued by a company debuting on the stock exchange.
The IPO allows the company to offer ownership of its shares to a wider market, passing from the status of "private", prior to the initial public offering, to "public" with admission to the stock exchange.
Freedom Finance allows its users to invest in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of American and European companies.
By purchasing new shares at their initial (IPO) price, investors will be able to buy the shares at the initial price a moment before the negotiations and, subsequently, earn on the sale after the listing on the stock exchange, a period in which the price can significantly increase, generating possible gains.
Trading Fees and Costs
The commissions applied by Freedom Finance have a degressive structure and depend on the type of account chosen by the client:
- Smart Account: €0.02 per share, with a minimum commission of €2 per order; SMS notification cost of €0.05
- Fix Account: €0.012 per share, with a minimum commission of €1.20 per order; SMS notification cost of €0.03
- Super Account: €0.008 per share, with a minimum commission of €1.20 per order; free SMS notification
- 5% on payments made by bank card (provided for each user account)
- € 7 on every cash withdrawal
- $ 60 on the reversal of securities
The custody of securities, on the other hand, is free.
Freedom Finance allows you to use margin (i.e. financial leverage). The annual interest rate applied to the margin used is 12%
In regard to IPOs, the commission depends on the value of the assets available in the account on the day preceding the IPO. This value is calculated by adding the available liquidity and the net value of the securities (NAV).
- If the value of the assets is less than $20,000, the fee will be 5% of the transaction amount
- Asset value between $20,000 and $49,999, the fee will be 4% of the transaction amount
- Asset value greater than $50,000, the fee will be 3% of the transaction amount
In addition, there is a sales commission equal to 0.5% of the transaction amount.
Freedom Finance allows you to operate through two proprietary platforms: a web platform and an app available on iOS/Android/Huawei
We tested both platforms - here's what we found and our opinions on both.
To use the Freedom Finance trading platform you will not have to download and install any software on your computer. To access the web platform, simply log into the Personal Area from the Freedom Finance website.
At this point you will need to go to the Web Terminal section and you will already be inside the trading platform. The web platform that you will find yourself in front of appears immediately with a clean and easy-to-use interface.
In the upper section you find the available markets (American, European, Russian and Hong Kong).
The search can also be done through the search bar, through which you can find a product by entering its name, ticker or ISIN.
On the right side we find the interface for entering orders.
You can choose between a daily and a continuous order. The available order types are:
- Market Order
- Limit Order
- Stop Order
During this step you can also indicate the intention to use the margin, or a loan from the broker to execute the operation.
The offer of charts for each financial instrument on the platform is interesting.
In fact, on the dedicated page you can customize each chart, adding a multitude of indicators and/or geometric tools, thus having the ability to conduct a technical analysis of stocks.
» How to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price
Below we list a step-by-step guide to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price with Freedom Finance:
1. Fund Deposit: Once the account has been verified, to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price, the account must first be funded.
The purchase of new shares at their initial (IPO) price requires a minimum available account balance of $2,000.
As stated earlier, there are two ways of paying the funds available to the user:
- Bank Transfer: Transfer euros or dollars to an investment account
- Credit Card: Deposits only in euros and has a 2.5% commission
2. Conversion into USD: Since US shares are traded in US dollars and there is no automatic currency conversion within the platform, the user will be responsible for converting the money deposited in euros into dollars. This procedure also involves specific steps:
- Opening a secure session: To protect the account from unauthorized access
- Conversion: After opening the protected session, the user must go to the Trading/Account balance section and click on the green Convert button next to the USD field, enter the amount to be converted and confirm the purchase.
However, if there are enough euro funds in the account, the user has the option of submitting an IPO application without converting to US dollars.
Once the request has been made, the account will be negative US dollars and the platform will apply a commission for the use of the margin equal to 12% per annum.
In order to interrupt the accrual of this interest expense, the losses in US dollars must be reduced to zero: to do this, it is necessary to make a deposit directly in US dollars, or in euros and then convert the necessary amount into US dollars from the platform.
3. Submit a Request to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price: In the Members Area, the user can send a request to purchase the shares of the chosen company, indicating the desired amount and selecting the relevant Ticker. It is possible to cancel the request only before the closing of the book.
4. Start of Trading Activities: Once trading activities on the stock exchange have begun, a "lock-up" period of 93 days will follow, in which the client is unable to sell the shares purchased at their initial (IPO) price, but you can monitor its current value by accessing the Members Area.
5. Closing the Operation: Once the lock-up period is over, the user can decide whether to leave the shares in the portfolio or sell them, by clicking on the Sell button next to the name of the stock.
For this operation, there is a commission equal to 0.5% of the amount of the sale transaction. The user may also withdraw the shares from the account and deposit them into another securities account in their name.
An interesting promotion offered by Freedom Finance to its customers is the Promo Account. The Promo account provides a 30-day trial of the platform in which it is possible to carry out trades without any commission applied by the broker, neither on the sale of shares/ETFs nor on sending SMS notifications or on card deposits.
Freedom Finance customers have several channels available to get in touch with the broker's customer service, which we list below:
- Live chat on the website
- Speak with an operator via Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram, Instagram and Facebook
- Telephone: +49 30 863 21 84 0 for German customers and +357 25 25 77 85 for international customers
- FAQ section with general questions and answers
Extremely interesting is the Freedom Finance training center made available to users, where it is possible to find investment ideas by asset, sector, market momentum. Each investment card will present valuable information that will help the user get an in-depth picture of the financial instrument, such as the potential return, risk level, target price, etc.
In this regard, Freedom Finance received a certificate of merit from Bloomberg for advice on Beyond Meat and Zoom Video shares, ranked by the popular financial newspaper at the top of the Bloomberg rating for the accuracy of the forecast.
Not having its headquarters in the UK, Freedom Finance for tax purposes is considered a foreign broker. As a result, the funds and securities held by Freedom Finance are considered financial assets held abroad.
Depending on the country in which you are a resident, there will be taxes to be declared and paid. For this matter, we suggest contacting a tax advisor to fulfill all your tax obligations.
Within this review, we discovered the options of Freedom Finance, a new broker in the online trading landscape with great potential.
IPOs have normally been reserved for large investors such as investment funds and banks. However, Thanks to this new intermediary, even novice investors will be able to buy new shares at their initial (IPO) price.
Also interesting is the offer of the D-account, a deposit account that offers returns in dollars at an annual rate of 3%. In the era of negative rates, this can be a good choice for those who do not want to take risks with investments but are satisfied with a lower but less risky return.
Freedom Finance allows you to trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures and options. However, some tools such as CFDs are missing.
The markets to which you can have access are different: from Europe to the USA to Asia. Also, there is no access to some relevant stock exchanges, such as the Borsa Italiana. In this regard, we hope that Freedom Finance can remedy this absence.
The platform through which to operate is decidedly user-friendly and intuitive. Due to its characteristics, it can suit both novice investors and those with experience in online trading.
Overall, therefore, our views on Freedom Finance are positive. Although relatively new, this broker passes our tests, with flying colours, on safety, transparency and quality of the services offered.
We expect that over time it will be able to extend its offer to make it even more advanced and complete.
*Investments in securities and other financial instruments always involve the risk of loss of capital. Past performance does not guarantee future returns.
Risk disclosure: Investing involves risk of loss
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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.