Alfa Financials detailed review and analysis of operations in SA
This AlfaFinancials.co.za review is of the opinion that the South African enterprise seems to be struggling to reconcile itself with the context of its origin. One of the reasons we believe so is the non-competitive pricing and business models that they are trying to introduce to the market. Combined with some poor website design choices, as well as a lack of an educational source and some other important bits, we think Alfa financial might not be the best choice of a brokerage for most traders on this market.
Hopefully, if they ever take notice of this review, they will reconsider some of their choices and tailor the tools and costs better to the South African market. So far it seems like the Alfa financials Forex broker was trying out the market in terms of pricing and business, and found themselves lost and without clients, eventually.
The page that the broker offers to their clients is a little jarring. The design is derivative, for sure, of the pages of some of the largest brokers in the world. But despite the similarity, the page fails to understand what makes those other ones good and why they are successful. Instead, the design of the page has clashing colors and feels overcrowded. There is a constantly scrolling image on top, promoting the website, while not offering too much information about the broker. Whether the poor design is because of financial constraints or a lack of understanding, such a thing is never a good sign. The navigation on the website is rather straightforward but is also limited. The navigation bar provides several drop-down menus that will lead the client to several interesting sources of information, so that is pretty useful. The website does provide information about the way trading is done with the broker, which is more than we can say about some other South African based brokers. The Alfa Financials review does not get too many points for having information on their website though, because the information they have is a bit daunting.
The company offers its clients several ways of communicating. One of the ways is a live chat that you have to sign in for. The good news is that the live chat actually does work if you are of course a signed in user. The problem is the speed of communication that the company has with the client seems on the slow side if by slow we mean that they never really replied to us. Which is kind of a shame, since if the user needs to sign in, they are probably not getting too much chat traffic. Might as well have a no sign in live chat and get the same rate of replies. The other ways of getting in touch with them are through phone calls and through email. The email reply is slow as well, as we have yet to receive an answer from them. The phone call was not answered either, which leaves us to wonder what is going on. Can Alfa Financials be trusted to reply to you on time? Well, not really.
They have other ways of communicating listed on their website too: they have listed several of their social media outlets. Unfortunately, not all of them work, with the Facebook page for the company being unavailable, the Instagram page and the Twitter page being inactive for months at a time. The last post at the time of writing this review on Instagram was on March 28th, while on twitter it was November 1st, 2018. These big gaps give us a sense that the company is not too good at communicating with their clients or it might be going through a sort of a slump in its user base.
The company does not offer much in the way of in the way of education or news either. While it does have an FAQ and a market outlook pages available in its navigation menu, these two do not provide much in the information regarding the market or how to handle it. Which is unfortunate to see, since we like our brokers to be able to provide us with information, especially ones that charge as much as they do and request minimum deposits to be as high as they do. On the other hand, they also offer the users a blog page, which is always a welcome sight, when done well. In the case of this website though, we find ourselves confronted by a rarely updated blog with articles describing in very general terms market expectations, certain market strategies and very little in actually useful advice. A shame indeed, so much so that we start to wonder whether the company, Alfa Financials scam like traits are being exhibited because they are one in the first place. Though we are not going to push anything so far.
What the company offers: our Alfa Financials opinions
Alfa financials seems to have had a strange pricing model for their clients, especially when you consider the average client in South Africa. It could be that the company had been operating with the goal of getting high net worth individuals as their clients, which they do state on their website, but they failed to do so. Let us take a look at what their team offered to their clients and see why the company might have had a hard time attracting new clients.
We were pretty surprised to find out that the company did not offer their clients any spreads. Instead, they operated on a fee per trade basis, which is always a disheartening thing for most traders. They offered a 220 Rand fee for every trade, opened and closed. This meant that the traders would have to be making more than that every time they attempted to make a trade, which might have been disheartening and caused some traders to refrain from opening positions. Some trades do not end up making that much money, especially intraday positions or low betting positions. Charging to open a position on trade will have resulted in the lowering of trading volumes on their platform, less profit being made and eventually fewer people actually trading on the platform. This is why the spread technique is preferred by so many Forex brokers – they only charge a small part from what the trader is making, allowing a natural volume and high amount of trading to happen, which is what earns them more money.
The platform that the company offers to their users is a custom, Alfatrade platform. It seems that the platform was customized as to be able to charge their users the price of opening a trading position, but with the company trading volumes being so low, we assume the platform was not worth the money it took them to develop it. The platform itself seems pretty simple to use, but with the problem of the company not having a license and not being too communicative leads us to believe that it could have been developed in ways that are not trustworthy for most traders. So we would advise you avoid the Alfa Financials Alfatrade platform.
Alfa Financials Withdrawals and deposits
It seems that Alfa trade did not charge any commissions for withdrawals, and the process of receiving your funds only took a couple of days tops, through bank transfers. Though there is one big problem – all of the charges that the bank imposed upon the transaction would be born by the customer, further increasing the client costs in the case that this ever happened. What exacerbated the situation further was the fact that the company’s minimum deposit was unreasonably high, reaching around 14500 Rand. The industry average is a fifth of that. This meant that the company was aiming to capture the market segment that was much richer than the average South African. Combine that with a seemingly unfriendly design and other possible inadequacies of the company, and you have yourself a recipe for disaster. The Alfa financials FX brokerage was unable to capture a significant enough part of the market to support itself: they could not attract high profile investors and they did not have the pricing for the average South African investor, which resulted in them being unable to conduct business. Which led to the situation described below.
Company info and story
Every company has a bit of history to talk about when discussing them. The thing with online Alfa Financials reviews is that there aren’t that many. These guys have only been in business since, what looks like, 2016, which is when their blog became active. Though it seems their success has been limited and they have been going through enough trouble that the company has been left, sot of, abandoned. It looks like the company had been struggling because of the high costs associated with working with them, ones that would not be accessible to the people in South Africa. So over the years, they sort of lost their clientele. What seems even stranger is that the license they are boasting about on their website, while registered with the FSB (The South African financial regulatory body) seems to have expired not too long ago. Whether this is the reason why their activity has been down or the result of it, we are not sure. We can for sure say that Alfa Financials fraud is real if they still keep practicing and providing Forex trading services to some clients.
Is Alfa Financials legit?
Well, maybe it was at some point. Nowadays, with an expired operational license and the pricing method they offer, we can legit say that we would not recommend trading with them. While the Alfa Financials opinion consensus is that it is a fraud, we would also recommend against trading with them, because they do not offer anything beneficial, especially over the other South African brokers you might want to look into.