Zurich Prime are an online trading platform which offer investors from all over the world the chance to invest in Contracts for Difference (CFDs). CFDs are highly leveraged investment derivatives. Using CFDs, individuals can invest relatively small amounts in markets which would usually be unavailable to them. Investing in leveraged instruments comes with a lot of financial risk. You should never put in more than you are willing to lose
CFD's enable everyday people to invest in instruments which would not usually be available to them. These include Foreign Exchange, Commodities Index funds and some International Shares. Compared to other CFD providers we have looked at, Zurich Prime offers a relatively small list of investment options
What is Zurich Prime
Zurich Prime is a platform which invests in CFDs, like all leveraged investments, CFDs carry a large amount of financial risk. If you invest with any CFD provider, it is possible to lose your entire deposit on a single trade. You should never deposit more than you are willing to lose. Zurich Prime is not the the only company offering CFDs, we think you should research all your options before depositing money with any CFD provider.
What Does Zurich Prime Offer
We decided it was time for a streetonomic review of Zurich Prime to see what their services and systems were all about. After some online searches and some direct contact with Zurich Prime, we decided not to deposit funds with Zurich Prime. Our research raised several red flags which gave us the opinion that there are better CFD providers available.
Finding information about Zurich Prime is surprisingly difficult. Our online searches for information only found pages trying to sign us to Zurich Prime, or one of their competitors. We believe this lack of information is an early warning sign! If Zurich Prime was proud of the service they provide, then we'd expect to find plenty of information available. All we found was sales funnels.
After failing to find any useful information online, a member of team TFG, decided to give Zurich Prime their contact details. We had several interactions with Zurich prime, and with each contact, the experience went from bad to worse! The highlights of our communications with Zurich Prime are shown below:
The First Phone Call from Zurich Prime
Our first interaction with Zurich Prime, came as a phone call from their outbound call center. It was one of the most unprofessional customer service calls we've ever experienced. The call was nothing more than a sales script designed to try and get us to deposit funds. We asked questions such as 'are these CFDs?', but he ignored everything we said and continued with the script.
The sales script included walking us through the Zurich Prime website, while claiming that once we have deposited funds, a broker will contact us with 'money making strategies'. I told him I would not deposit any funds unless I had seen evidence that the advice was worthwhile.
He mentioned that the advisers 'identify events to make money', but the brokers only share these secrets after funds have been deposited. Again we explained that no funds will be deposited, unless he could provide examples of these events. Eventually he agreed to give an example of a recent recommendation, but this is where things got a little odd.
The hot tip from Zurich Prime was that the British Pound (GBP) was currently falling because of the Westminster incident the previous night (March 22nd 2017). While we were on the phone to him, we checked, and the price of the GBP had not fallen sharply as he claimed, in fact it was rising mildly. We asked him what the current price of GBP was, but he ignored the question, so we asked where he was located... he claimed to be in London. We asked if the GBP price was falling now, and he said 'yes'.
We had a representative of Zurich Prime claiming to be in the London and telling us the the price of the British Pound was falling severely on March 23rd. The screenshot below is from the Zurich Prime mobile app (we added in the trend lines):
When giving examples of past 'tips', it's easy to look back and claim to have predicted a move in the market. Zurich Prime couldn't even do this! Despite our best efforts to ask them to check the current price, and look at the chart, they continued to tell us that the price had dropped substantially after the Westminster bomb attack. The time in question is shown by the blue trend lines in the chart above.
Accuracy of information was obviously not important for this salesperson. Rather than take the time to check the information, he continued with his scripted attempt to get our credit card details. We told him that we would not deposit any funds without speaking to a broker. He promised that a broker would call in the next few days. He then sent an email telling us to deposit funds. The email also claimed if we joined Zurich Prime, we'd get 'A Personal Account Manager with more than 10 years of experience'.
A Call From a Zurich Prime Broker
We did not deposit any funds with Zurich Prime, but we did get a second call from a lady claiming to be an experienced broker. The conversation got off to a good start when she confirmed that the falling British Pound was indeed their hot tip from the previous week. She then went on to claim that the price had fallen dramatically after the bombing. It was starting to look like the staff at Zurich Prime were intentionally lying, or they were looking at some very different data.
It didn't take long for the 'broker' to start asking for credit card details. She claimed that she could only share information with us if we deposited at least US $250 with Zurich Prime. We explained that we would not be depositing funds on blind faith, but would be happy to hear her tips for one week and if we were happy with them, then we would deposit funds.
Our offer must have been offensive in some way because she became very rude, and even told us that she 'is not a secretary'. Once again we explained that we needed examples of the type of events (or non-events) we'd be investing in. The next example she gave was somewhat absurd. She claimed that 'the price of sugar goes up in winter because people drink more tea'.
Her theory ignores the fact that the planet has two hemispheres with opposite seasons. So while half the planet is drinking more tea in winter, the other half is drinking less because it's summer. It's a self canceling effect. Her advice also overestimates the impact of tea drinkers on the total demand for sugar. When you consider how much sugar is used in producing foods, then it's not hard to see that tea drinkers would not represent a significant share of the total demand for sugar.
This Zurich Prime broker didn't appear to know what she was talking about. According to their email and her own claims, she has 'more than 10 years experience', but we find this difficult to believe. Even after we told her that we were looking at the price of GBP, she continued to purport that the price had fallen, even though it had actually gone up slightly. Then when given a second chance she provided this nonsensical investment strategy for sugar.
Should You Join Zurich Prime
After completing our research for this review of Zurich Prime, it is our opinion that you should not sign up with, or deposit any money with Zurich Prime. Along with the less than impressive service we experienced, we also found several red flags which should act as warnings about Zurich Prime.
Zurich Prime does not have a financial services license - you should never invest funds with any company who does not have a financial services license. While this license is not a guarantee that you are getting good advice, it does at least prove that the company has met the legal qualifications to give financial advice. The staff has completed at least the minimum level of education required by the country in which the license was issued. Perhaps this explains the ridiculous information they were giving us. It turns out that Zurich Prime staff are not qualified to give investment advice.
There are several complaints and warnings about Zurich Prime - several Government agencies have issued warnings about Zurich Prime. In the U.K the Financial Conduct Authority, have warned people to be 'especially weary of dealing with this unauthorized individual', and further states that Zurich Prime could be a fraudulent scam. In Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission, has warned that Zurich Prime is an 'unlicensed company' and that Zurich Prime are 'engaging in activities that may pose a risk to investors'.
Individuals are also making an effort to warn people away from Zurich Prime. The Zurich Prime app in the Google Play store has several such warnings. We have shared some of them below (with names and photos removed).
Zurich Prime target inexperienced investors - The broker we spoke to didn't seem to like the fact that we have had some experience with investments. She said that '83% of Zurich Prime clients have no experience', she then went on to claim that they 'are the most successful clients because they follow advice, and don't ask questions'. It could be a coincidence, but this is a strategy used my many con artists, to avoid having to explain why they want your money
The Demo Mode on the App is not functional - On the login screen, there is an option to use either real money or a demo account, however only the real money login works. Our Zurich Prime broker avoided answering questions about the demo account. We explained that we'd like to test the system before depositing real money, but she insisted that this was wrong.
We have used demo modes on other CFD platforms, and they are a great way to try the system and test your investment strategies without risking any real money. Providers understand that the demo account helps investors build confidence in their services before putting in real money. Maybe the demo account was temporarily down, or maybe Zurich Prime has no confidence in their own system, and don't want to risk people seeing how bad it is before they've put in real money.
Our Final Say
We can not say whether or not Zurich Prime is a legitimate business. However the services they offer are not unique, and there are several other companies we have seen who we believe are doing it better. Any investment you make with Contracts for Difference will be extremely risky, however if you would like to use these instruments, then we would recommend finding a broker with a valid financial services license.
As always, we'd love to hear from you in the comments section below. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to share any experiences you've had with Zurich Prime (either good or bad)