Investors looking for the best online brokerage that offers services in Argentina need to know a few things about the country’s current fiscal position, its stock market
Best Online Brokers in Argentina:
- Best Overall in Argentina: Interactive Brokers
- Best Research Options: IG ES
- Best for News: Portfolio Personal Inversiones (PPI)
- Best for Trading Futures: Rava Bursatil
- Best for Advanced Traders: TradeStation
- Best for Versatility: TradeZero
Before You Start Trading in Argentina
Located in Buenos Aires’ Central Business District, the Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires (BCBA), or the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange was founded in 1854. It succeeded the Banco Mercantil as the prime market for stocks in Argentina, which is Latin America’s third-largest economy. Today, the exchange’s main responsibilities include keeping records and disseminating prices of securities. The exchange also handles the admission of new securities and the process of requesting financial statements from all companies listed on the exchange.
The BCBA’s main Argentine Merval stock index declined by a whopping -50.2% in 2018. That large drop was right behind the Venezuelan stock index, which declined -94.89% in U.S. dollar terms. Those steep valuation falls were reactions to a strong dollar combined with rising U.S. interest rates. Furthermore, inflation in the country ended 2018 at 47%, although the Argentine peso’s decline stabilized somewhat after the Merval index reached its low point in October of 2018. The Argentinian stock and bond markets have since somewhat recovered.
Last year’s notable stock market decline and economic crisis reflect not only current conditions in Argentina but also the fact that its economy has been subject to numerous geopolitical risks, such as the upcoming presidential election in October of 2019.
Trade wars and lower commodity prices that make up an important source of export revenue for the country have also adversely affecting Argentina’s emerging economy. Other contributing factors that have weakened the Argentine economy include poor fiscal policy, crime, corruption, an unstable currency and periods of high inflation, which have led to numerous popular revolts and the imposition of currency controls from 2011 to 2015.
This is also not the first time Argentina has been through such a crisis. The country experienced an economic collapse in 2001 during which the government stopped making debt payments in December of that year due to a deep depression that lasted from 1998 to 2002.
Before You Open a Trading Account in Argentina
Every broker is different, so make sure to select one that has all the features you need. The considerations listed below should generally be taken into account during your broker review process.
- Regulation: Financial regulation in Argentina is carried out by the Comisión Nacional de Valores (CNV), or National Securities Commission. This agency regulates the stock exchange and is overseen by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Treasury. If you live in Argentina and opt for an international broker to trade in other markets, then you should find a broker regulated by other quality agencies, such as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the U.S. National Futures Association (NFA) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). European regulators will generally need to operate under the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
- Trading Platform: A broker’s trading software or platform should be easy to navigate and place orders. It should also ideally include research and charting capabilities. Some regional stock brokerages that specialize in local stocks may just have a simple order form on their website or allow trading to be conducted only by telephone.
- Commissions and Fees: If you plan to actively trade the market, then commissions and fees could add up and eat into your profits. Even if you trade infrequently, a broker with a reasonable commission schedule can usually save you money in the long run.
- Research: Full-service brokerages usually offer research facilities or conduct their own research that they share with clients. If you prefer to do your own research, you might be better off opening an account with a discount broker, since most full-service brokers charge considerably higher commissions than discount brokers.
- Customer Service: Being able to contact your broker when you have a question or error could save you significant time and money if the issue you are inquiring about needs to be addressed promptly. Most online brokers offer a chat function as well as email and telephone support. They also usually have a FAQ section to address most issues on their websites.
The Best Online Brokers in Argentina
Several local Argentinian brokers offer an online trading platform, although they have limited online resources. That contrasts with the major international brokers that participate directly or indirectly on the BCBA. Once you define your needs as a trader, you can make a more educated decision about the kind of broker you would open an account with.
1. Best Overall: Interactive Brokers
U.S.-based Interactive Brokers does not have a presence in Argentina and is unable to trade stock directly on the BCBA. It still takes first position on our list to cater to traders living in Argentina who want to trade a wide variety of markets other than the BCBA.
This international broker allows you to trade on over 120 world exchanges with its Integrated Investment Account. In addition to stocks, Interactive Brokers gives you access to trade ETFs, options, futures, warrants, metals, forex, funds, bonds and structured products. Although Interactive Brokers does not execute trades on the BCBA, you can still participate in the Argentine stock market through its emerging markets ETFs.
Interactive Brokers’ trading platform includes its client portal, aimed at less experienced traders and its professional Trader Workstation (TWS) trading platform that includes many valuable features that seasoned traders will find useful. You can also access your Interactive Brokers accounts through a mobile app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablet devices.
In addition to its two main platforms, Interactive Brokers gives clients access to its IBKR WebTrader web-based platform. The broker also offers IBot, a hands-free add-on available for the TWS desktop version, IBKR mobile and Client Portal trading platforms. Customer service is available 24/6 and can be accessed through email, live chat and telephone.
2. IG ES
This award-winning broker has a worldwide presence and oversight by some of the world’s most respected regulating agencies, such as the U.K. FCA. IG offers trading in stocks, forex, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), contracts for difference (CFDs), indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies.
While IG does not have a direct presence on the BCBA, it acts as a stockbroker for U.K. shares and spread bets. Argentines can also participate in their local market through the broker’s Global X Funds. You can trade the Global X MSCI Argentina ETF or you can trade a CFD on Petrobras Argentinas SA ADRs via IG.
In addition to IG’s proprietary online trading platforms available in Spanish, the broker offers a mobile app for Android and iOS devices and the MetaTrader4 platform. It also offers Direct Market Access (DMA) terminals and an application programming interface (API) platforms for professionals and institutions.
IG’s research options consist of trading strategies, weekly reports, news feeds and trade ideas as well as a trading academy that gives you access to extensive educational resources. Customer service at IG is available 24 hours a day, from Saturday at 8 a.m. GMT until Friday at 10 p.m. GMT via telephone, live chat and email.
3. Portfolio Personal Inversiones (PPI)
Portfolio Personal Investments (PPI) is a stock brokerage based in Buenos Aires that is a full member of the BCBA. The company was founded in 1999 as an online financial news portal. In 2003, the company opted to invest in technology and firm up alliances with other world market players to develop a powerful online news platform for its clients.
In 2017, the company launched PP Inversiones SA (PPI) and became an “Agente de Liquidación y Compensación” (ALyC), which is also known as a “Sociedad de Bolsa,” or stockbroker. In addition to brokering shares on the BCBA, PPI gives clients access to trade U.S. shares, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, futures, indexes, currencies and options.
PPI offers a trading platform if you open an account with them. The company’s homepage states that you can trade worldwide on its platform. PPI’s research offerings consist of a news feed, an economic calendar, a stock exchange calendar, bond analysis and a bond calculator. You can reach the broker through email, telephone or a form on their website. The company can also be visited at their offices in the Central Area of Buenos Aires (CABA).
4. Rava Bursatil
With over 60 years’ experience, Rava Bursatil is a full member of the BCBA exchange and a licensed stockbroker in Argentina. In addition to stocks on the BCBA, the broker offers U.S. stocks and funds denominated in U.S. dollars or Argentine pesos. The broker also offers options, bonds, Argentine government notes and U.S. dollar futures traded on the Argentine Rosario Futures Exchange (ROFEX).
The broker’s trading platform for desktop computers has a mobile version for Android and iOS devices. Rava’s home page lists quotes on stocks, foreign assets, bonds and futures and includes local and international financial news stories. Except for those features and an online forum for clients, additional research resources are not apparent on the broker’s website.
In addition to self-directed trading, Rava offers clients two types of managed accounts. The first is an Argentine market managed account, with investments in Argentine interest-bearing government bonds and local stocks. The second is a global market managed account with U.S. and international assets, commodities, currencies and other tradable assets.
As far as customer service is concerned, a contact phone number and address appears on the bottom of the broker’s website. You can also select the free registration tab on the company’s website to fill in an online registration form.
TradeStation is for advanced traders who need a comprehensive platform. The brokerage offers an impressive range of investable assets as frequent and professional traders appreciate its wide range of analysis tools. TradeStation’s app is also equally effective, offering full platform capabilities.
TradeStation offers 2 distinct account types: its basic TS GO account aimed at new trades and its more in-depth TS Select account aimed at more advanced traders looking for a comprehensive set of tools and research options. There’s no minimum account balance required to open a TS GO account. TS Select accounts require a $2,000 minimum deposit.
If you’re new to trading, you’ll love TradeStation’s Simulated Trading tool. Its Simulated Trading tool allows you to practice entering buy and sell orders, using TradeStation’s suite of charting and analysis tools and using your trading strategy without risking any of your own money.
6. Best for Versatility: TradeZero
TradeZero makes it easy to invest by providing you with a robust mobile app and a desktop platform. The app is free to use, and you can make the most of your portfolio while also learning about investing. You can use either, or both, depending on your needs. Moreover, you can register for a Pro account if you prefer to have more functionality.
When you step up to a Pro account for $59 per month, you can use more advanced techhnical analysis features. You have access to all the major indexes, fees are very low and there are several free trading options.
Plus, 24/7 customer support is available if you ever have issues with your account.
If you’re an experienced trader and know what you’re looking for in a broker, you’ll be in good hands with any company we’ve listed. Keep in mind that trading stocks in Argentina does present significant risks, especially because of uncertainty due to upcoming elections scheduled for October 2019.