OInvest is a financial services broker that provides online trading in CFDs and forex. The broker has a wide-ranging selection of financial instruments available to traders. Unfortunately, the broker doesn’t have reliable regulatory oversight. One of their branches is in Seychelles, an offshore haven, and one is in South Africa, where they have lost their license. Furthermore, the broker has fees that can quickly add up to drain your account. We suggest looking elsewhere for your online trading needs.
|Headquarters||Seychelles, South Africa|
|Platforms||MT4, WebTrader, OInvest App|
OInvest operates as two distinct brokers. The first is just OInvest, with headquarters in Seychelles. The second is OInvest South Africa. Their South African branch only provides services within South Africa, with their website limiting access and only accepting users from that country. Unless you’re in South Africa, you would be trading with their main branch out of Seychelles.
The Seychelles branch of their operation is under the operating company Aronex Corporation Ltd. The broker began operations in 2018. Their parent company also runs the very similar broker 2Invest. The broker has a Security Dealer’s License from the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles. This holds the companies to the financial regulations of Seychelles. However, there is reason to believe that this financial regulator is not effective in managing their brokers’ conduct.
Seychelles has the reputation of being a haven for companies from the strict financial regulation they would find elsewhere. The small nation includes over 100 islands off the eastern coast of Africa, north of Madagascar. Several international agencies have condemned how the country handles financial law, most notably the European Union’s blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
The Council of the European Union started the list in 2017 because of a lack of international cohesion in tax regulations. They evaluate countries and how well they manage against fraud and tax evasion. The list currently contains 12 countries, almost entirely small island nations like Seychelles. Furthermore, their list claims that the countries do not cooperate on international finance law, meaning that domestic legal challenges against these offshore brokers are likely to fail. Seychelles has had its place on the list since February of 2020.
Major Trouble for South African Operations
In addition to its Seychelles branch, the broker offers financial services in South Africa. Their South African wing is under the parent company Basfour. That company, at one point, had a license with the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority. This is a much more reputable jurisdiction for a broker to operate out of than Seychelles. However, traders must remember that only traders in South Africa were under the protection of this license. Traders from anywhere else in the world are dealing with OInvest Seychelles.
Our OInvest review has uncovered that in October 2020, the FSCA withdrew OInvest South Africa’s license. Furthermore, the financial regulator disbarred the head of the parent company, Basfour, for a period of ten years. Because of this, the South African branch is now an unregulated broker, with no license to offer financial services.
FSCA’s statement clarifies the exact reasoning for the license’s removal. They say that the broker, firstly, provided financial advice to clients without the necessary authorization to do so. Secondly, they traded with clients without advising the clients that the broker itself was the other party in the trade. Furthermore, they say the broker applied under pressure to clients to make deposits and trades. The report also included allegations of failure to process withdrawals in a timely manner and a failure to disclose information on fees and risks.
What Former Clients Say About OInvest?
There are numerous online OInvest reviews from former clients that paint a very negative picture of the broker. Many former clients refer to the broker’s operations as the OInvest scam, with a large proportion of clients claiming fraudulent actions on the part of the broker. Similar to the many other less than respectable brokers out there, the bulk of complaints criticize the broker’s aggressive representatives.
Clients say that the representatives of the broker would call them incessantly. Furthermore, when the clients did answer, they would be very strongly persuaded to make more trades and deposit more money. It certainly seems that there is some credence to these claims, as the FSCA report on the South African branch of OInvest cited the exact same activity as a reason for removing their license.
The broker has three different account types, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The OInvest minimum deposit for the lowest account type is $250, standard among offshore brokers. The main draw for higher accounts is the improved spreads, with the Silver spreads being very poor. In addition to better spreads, the higher account holders also have discounted swaps. The broker also locks a number of their educational resources behind their premium accounts.
Financial Instrument Selection
The bulk of OInvest’s financial instruments are CFDs. The broker offers both long and short trades on these assets. Their CFDs cover a wide range of financial products. The broker has CFDs on cryptocurrency pairs, which operate the same as any other currency pair. Because each cryptocurrency can be paired with any other, the broker has 33 options overall for cryptocurrency pairs. Most pairs are standard fares like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but some include alternative coins like Verge and Zcash.
The broker has 15 index CFDs from around the world, along with 17 commodity CFDs. The largest individual category for CFDs with the broker is stocks. With over 194 options, there are more than the other categories combined. The breadth of the selection allows traders to take diversified positions and exploit any market opportunities.
The broker also carries forex currency pairs, over 45 in total. All the big ones are there, along with a scattering of exotic and minor pairs. Leverage on forex trades with the broker goes up to 1:500, although they offer lesser leverage on other asset classes. The broker doesn’t have to meet the strict ESMA leverage limit of 1:30 because they aren’t in the European Union, operating out of an offshore headquarters instead.
In addition to the standard MetaTrader 4 platform, our OInvest review evaluated the broker’s other two options. MetaTrader 4 is, of course, the best choice. It has industry-leading technical indicators and trading tools that let traders stay in control of their positions. Because of the wealth of analysis tools, traders can always stay informed and ahead of the game. MetaTrader 4 is available through their desktop version, mobile apps, and browser version.
The broker also has a WebTrader platform with a much less extensive selection of tools and charts. It’s clear that traders are better off going with MetaTrader 4, which also has availability through web browsers. Really, there’s no good reason to go with this pared-down browser platform.
The broker also has a mobile app for traders on the go. Even well-made mobile apps aren’t great. Traders are generally better off trading through a desktop or browser app. The layout is simple but lacks a lot of important features. It’s clear that the trade-off between accessibility and functionality has gone too far in one direction.
Spreads and Fees
OInvest derives its revenue solely from spreads, meaning all trades are commission-free. Unfortunately, the broker tries to squeeze as much revenue from their spreads as possible. With a basic account, the benchmark EUR/USD spread sits around 2.2 pips. This is catastrophically high. The spreads get better with higher account types, but they require higher minimum deposits. With a Platinum account, the spread on the pair goes down to 0.7 pips. Undoubtedly competitive but locked behind an exorbitant minimum deposit.
While the broker doesn’t charge commissions, they don’t hesitate to charge other fees. There isn’t any additional fee to make an OInvest withdrawal, but that’s about the only action that doesn’t incur a fee. The broker has steep inactivity fees. After two months of inactivity, the fee starts at $80 per month. Just one month later, it increases to $120 per month. In the end, inactive users will be charged $500 per month after nine months of inactivity. Beyond this, there is an arbitrary insignificant trading activity fee of $50 that is at the broker’s sole discretion to charge.
Anyone looking to take their OInvest complaints straight to the source has several options for contacting them. Their website has an integrated live chat and a contact form. Of course, the broker has phone lines for customer support, and clients can reach them through email. Customer service hours run from 6 am to 3 pm GMT, Monday to Friday. The broker also maintains several social media accounts on different platforms, but that isn’t an overly reliable way to contact them.
Deposits and Withdrawals
The broker accepts a variety of payment processors for users to fund their accounts and make withdrawals. In addition to the standard credit cards and wire transfers, they accept many different online payment processors like Skrill and Neteller. The broker says that all withdrawals should be processed within seven business days regardless of the payment method selected.
Our OInvest review took a look at the broker’s educational offerings. They provide resources for all experience levels, from beginners up to advanced traders. However, many of the offerings are reserved for higher account types. The broker has a series of educational videos on different aspects of trading, available for Gold or higher account holders.
In addition to their video content, the broker also provides 11 e-books on a variety of trading topics. Some of the content here is very basic, including two separate e-books that are just glossaries of trading terms. Further topics include beginner trading strategies and market analysis. It doesn’t seem too likely that a trader is going to build up a solid foundation based on these educational resources.
Gold and Platinum account holders also enjoy access to weekly webinars. The virtual seminars cover different topics each week, providing trading insight and advice to their clients. There’s also a fair amount of content from the broker available on YouTube. These videos cover some beginner trader advice and information on the MetaTrader platform. Furthermore, the broker has a trading academy series on their website that they make available to the general public.
Final Say From Our OInvest Review
Our review certainly uncovered some disparaging facts about this broker. Their foundation appears very shaky from where we’re standing. There is a warning against their parent company from the CMF of Chile. Furthermore, Seychelles is where they do most of their business from, and it’s on the European Union blacklist of tax havens. Even those who traded through the seemingly more legitimate OInvest South Africa are now in the same boat because the FSCA has rescinded the broker’s license. It’s clear that traders will have very little security trading with OInvest and should look for a broker elsewhere.
Chargebacks Could Be the Answer to Your Broker Dispute
Promising startup brokers draw in their first clients quickly, before any consensus on the broker’s reputation can form. If the broker is operating properly, there’s no issue. But for unscrupulous brokers, this early period can lead to many traders losing out with no sign of warning. If you’ve taken a chance on a new broker and now see that they can’t be trusted, we might be able to help. Contact us today to initiate a chargeback that can bring your funds back home.
Q. Who Am I Actually Doing Business With Through OInvest?
Their services are provided through two distinct companies, Aronex Corporation Limited out of Seychelles and Basfour out of South Africa
Q. Is This Broker Properly Regulated?
No, their license in South Africa has been revoked, and their other license is with Seychelles, a known tax haven
Q. How Much Do I Stand To Lose Through Inactivity Fees?
Up to $500 per month after nine months of inactivity
Q. Does This Broker Have Competitive Spreads
Not for their basic accounts, only VIP members who put down huge minimum deposits can access viable spreads