Harborx is an unusual broker (see our full Harborx review here) that stands out from the crowd with its proprietary trading platform. If you’re not familiar with Harborx, the first and the main thing you should know about this broker is that they offer a mobile-only trading platform. Harborx does not provide a desktop solution, nor do they support MT4. Harborx trading platform is a mobile app available for iOS and Android, which is, in fact, pretty close to a financial game.
The approach Harborx trading app takes towards trading with their platform may be a bit unexpected if you’re used to trading with traditional brokers. Yet, the in-house developed platform and idea behind it have drawn attention as the company has recently won the awards of The Most Innovative Forex Broker and The Most Innovative Finance Firm 2017 from The World Finance Markets, a UK-based financial publication. Our research has shown that Harborx platform has been getting a lot of buzz lately, including showcases at Finovate, FinDEVr and other fintech events and conferences. So, naturally, we had to take a closer look and find out if it’s really worth the hype.
First Impressions about Harborx Trading Platform
When you login to Harborx app for the first time, the interactive tutorial will take you through the app. You are guided over the main Harborx features, such as following recommendations, competing on the Leaderboard and so on. We’ll talk about these particular features in detail later. For now, our first impression was that Harborx platform is colorful, fun and generally intuitive. In fact, you feel like you’ve hopped on yet another social network or a game. Seems like Harborx creators went for this look and feel on purpose, to set their trading platform apart from the competition. In terms of the look and feel, we can say that it worked, and we’re intrigued to explore it further.
Harborx ‘Trending’ page reminds us of the Facebook newsfeed. Well, maybe not exactly Facebook, but it has different information put together so you can scan it and get a general idea of what’s going on in Harborx application. First, there is the Leaderboard competition (we’ll talk about it later), Star Traders’ Recommendations, the menu of your favorite trading pairs which is automatically pulled up from your most traded pairs for easier access, the Promo codes field and the weekly top Star Traders (Star Traders are an interesting concept, and we’ll talk more about it below).
The Leaderboard Competition
The Leaderboard is an ongoing ranking of all traders with Live accounts. If you have a Trial account with Harborx Forex broker, you can see the Leaderboard, however, you’re not included in the ranking. Which makes sense as it would not be fair to compare the performance of traders who use the real funds with those who are experimenting with virtual money.
If you have a Live account, you are automatically in the Leaderboard competition. You don’t have to make any extra effort to enter it. The competition resets every week when markets open on Sunday night (or Monday morning, depending on where you are geographically), and each user starts the week with 1000 points. Whenever you close a trade, positive or negative, it is reflected proportionately on your Leaderboard points amount. At the end of the week, the top 3 traders get withdrawable prizes of $100, $50 and $25 respectively.
Having played with the Leaderboard competition for a week, we can say that it definitely adds something special to your usual trading activity. Especially if you have some Facebook friends who trade on Harborx platform, you can compare your score against theirs (you have to go to the ‘Friends’ section of the Leaderboard and connect your Facebook account). This is where things can get fun and competitive.
Besides the Leaderboard, Harborx leverages the idea of gaming and trading fun with ‘Missions’ and other competitions. Once a week or so, you get an Inbox message suggesting that you complete a special ‘trading mission’ for an additional bonus. These missions can differ in difficulty and sometimes you may just be too distracted to trade on that particular day, but it’s definitely a refreshing feature that we haven’t seen with other trading platforms.
Harborx Star Traders
The Harborx trading platform offers limited copy-trading possibilities, carried out through the Star Traders. These are professional traders who post Recommendations/Trading Signals, which other traders – both on Trial and Live accounts – can follow. The recommendations can be followed individually, which means that you don’t have an option to ‘Subscribe’ to a trader to copy all their trades automatically. You can only do it manually, which may mean some extra steps, but this way you actually check every recommendation you follow. Since Harborx ‘makes trading accessible for beginners’ as they say, following recommendations individually is not a bad idea. People end up checking the recommendations as opposed to just copying whatever is fed to them. We must admit that this is a good way to teach beginners to trade.
Before following the recommendations, you can tap on a Star Trader’s profile and check their stats, including the Win Ratio and the number of trades won. You can also rate the trader, comment on their profile as well as read other people’s comments.
Harborx Broker – The Rates Page and Self Trade
While Harborx offers partial copy-trading, it seems like the higher emphasis is put on ‘self-trade’. This can be done from the Rates page, where you can check the rates of the instruments. The platform offers 50+ currency pairs, plus Gold and Silver. By tapping the Search button in the upper right corner of the Rates screen, you can customize your pairs choice by selecting/deselecting the pairs to suit your trading needs.
Once you tap on a pair to place a trade, you can go for a Market Order and set up your Take Profit and Stop Loss levels, as well as set up a Pending Order. Harborx app offers a rather simplified version of charts. While the timeframe may be changed, the charts do not include technical indicators. This is a pretty minimalistic approach to analysis, and it seems like the app creators believe that ‘less is more’ when it comes to serving the info to beginners.
Harborx Unique Touches
As you play around with the app, you realize that Harborx makes its special little touches to customize your trading experience. For example, they measure the trade volume in ‘Units’. Now, what’s that? When you try to open a trade, the minimum default amount is set to 1 Unit. 1 Unit is essentially 1 microlot, a 0.01 of a standard lot. But, again, not all beginner traders may have a clear understanding what the Lot is, so Harborx is simplifying the terminology not to confuse people with extra zeros and decimals.
Another interesting concept, unique to the Harborx trading platform, is the Trading Power. It is calculated in percent and represents the percentage of your equity. Again, the concept seems to have been introduced to make things simpler for beginners who may be fuzzy on the concepts of correlation of equity, margin, and leverage. When it falls to 33%, traders get a margin call, and their positions are closed out when the Trading Power reaches zero.
Harborx traders can find lots of relevant information in their account section. This includes the unique code which can be shared with other users for a referral bonus. Each user can refer up to 100 friends and get $10 for each person who proceeds to register a live validated account. The person you invite receives a $10 bonus, too. This means that you can get up to $1000 for inviting friends, which, for sure, sounds cool.
The platform offers all the usual options for deposits and withdrawals, and the processes are pretty smooth and efficient. You get notifications to your app Inbox as well as email, and we didn’t find anything to complain about.
Harborx Platform Review conclusion
The Harborx app is quite different from other trading platforms. It is the company’s own technology, it’s not MT4 and not what you see with other brokers. It’s fun, interactive and truly has the vibe of the now-fashionable ‘social trading’. The design is nice and clean, you don’t find yourself overwhelmed with the experience, even as a beginner trader.
Our team has generally enjoyed playing with Harborx, so we recommend that you take a look if you’re looking for an approachable and refreshing trading platform.
Another unique feature that we would like to point out is that this brokerage offers an enhanced mobile trading experience, and we can certainly recommend Harborx platform for those who are looking to trade FX from the comfort of their couch.