Best Forex Brokers

Richard Montana | August 25, 2022

Forex trading is when you speculate on the price movements of currency pairs whose prices fluctuate constantly against each other, which presents multiple trading opportunities on a daily basis. When trading forex, you are speculating on the difference between the prices of currency pairs and looking to try and make a profit from these price fluctuations.

If you believe the price of a currency pairs would increase, you may look to buy it. If you felt that the price may fall, you may look to sell it. The difference in price from when you open and close your position, is the profit or loss minus any forex broker fees. You will need a forex broker if you want to buy and sell currencies.

Although more and more aspiring traders and investors are branching out into cryptocurrencies and trading stocks, forex trading still remains one of the oldest and most prominent forms of online trading. Therefore, you can find literally thousands of forex brokers providing currency trading products and services.

Hence, we have compiled this handy forex broker guide to help you discover some of the best forex brokers in an industry which has often garnered a bad reputation from unscrupulous companies.

Top 10 Forex Brokers

Here you will find our best forex brokers, based on thousands of hours of extensive research, testing and analysis across hundreds of brokers. Upon conclusion of each of our broker reviews, we have assigned each broker with a rating.

Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good broker for trading forex online have been considered including things such as the available currency pairs, other financial instruments, platforms, apps, tools, spreads, execution, liquidity, fees, education, funding options, regulation, customer service and more.

Each of our chosen forex brokers have undergone and passed our stringent broker reviews with flying colours, based on what we consider to be amongst the most important considerations when choosing a forex broker for trading online. These brokers are well-established within the online trading industry, providing top forex trading conditions to traders and investors of all experience levels.

Having the best forex brokers according to our findings listed in one place, can help you save time when looking for the best forex broker for your own individual needs.

Broker
Rating
Regulated
Min. Deposit
Founded
Max. Leverage
1.

ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA

Min $100 Deposit

2006

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
2.

ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA

Min $250 Deposit

1974

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
3.

ASIC, BaFin, CMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, SCB

Min $200 Deposit

2010

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
4.

ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB

Min $200 Deposit

2007

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
5.

ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, IFSC

Min $5 Deposit

2009

1:888

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
6.

CySEC, FCA, FSC, FSCA

Min $10 Deposit

2011

1:300

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
7.

ASIC, CySEC, FCA

Min $50 Deposit

2010

1:1000

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
8.

FSC

Min $100 Deposit

1997

1:1000

Trading in financial instruments is a risky activity and can bring not only profits, but also losses.
9.

BVIFSC, CySEC, SVGFSA

Min $1 Deposit

2007

1:1000

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
10.

IFSC

Min $10 Deposit

2009

1:1000

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade are one of the largest forex brokers across the globe, offering online forex trading services to traders and investors since 2006. They provide very competitive online trading conditions and have won multiple awards over a number of years including “best forex broker” and “best trading experience”.

Primarily an online forex brokerage, AvaTrade offer more than 55+ FX currency pairs for trading online, this includes minor, major and exotic currency crosses. If you are interested in other markets, they also have an excellent product range compared to any broker with hundreds of financial instruments including CFDs on forex, commodities, stocks, indices and cryptocurrencies.

Trading conditions are very competitive with tight spreads, no commission fees and rapid trade execution speeds. Traders also get free trading tools and educational resources whilst the award-winning customer support team are excellent. Their huge sponsorship deals help to emphasis the power of the AvaTrade brand within the forex brokerage industry.

AvaTrade Platforms & Tools

AvaTrade give traders a choice of flexible and advanced trading platforms that can be used on desktop and mobile devices. There is the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform and the proprietary AvaTradeGO platform. These platforms are available to all traders and can be selected depending on your individual trading requirements.

Each platform provides traders with an enjoyable trading experience, presenting a variety of financial instruments across multiple markets, range of analytical tools, indicators and charts. They also offer clients a generous selection of trading tools along such as Autochartist along with automated and copy trading solutions.

AvaTrade Research & Education

AvaTrade provide a large selection of helpful educational guides including free eBooks, webinars and video tutorials giving you plenty of forex trading knowledge all in one place and at no extra cost. As well as wide range of forex educational tools, you can also get free access to some handy tools including an economic forex calendar, technical analysis, fundamental analysis and important market updates. These can be very useful when it comes to analysing the markets for trading signals and making informed decisions.

AvaTrade are an innovative forex broker with some of the latest technologies including Sharp Trader which is a trading academy that can be very useful to retail forex traders and DupliTrade which is a social trading platform where you can share trades and analysis with other forex traders. They have top class products and services for those of you who are looking for both manual and automated trading.

AvaTrade Trading Accounts

AvaTrade have a standard trading account which requires a modest minimum deposit of $100 to take advantage of the excellent trading conditions that they offer. You can trade multiple trading instruments on the different platforms through one account.

Demo accounts are available free of charge where you can practice your trading strategies risk free by trading with virtual funds. This can help new traders familiarise themselves with trading online before opening a real account.

AvaTrade have Sharia compliant swap free accounts to cater for Muslim traders. Professional traders are also catered whilst there is the MAM (managed) account option for money managers and investors.

AvaTrade Account Funding

AvaTrade offer a generous selection of convenient account deposit and withdrawal method to their clients including cards, bank transfers and e-wallets.

AvaTrade Customer Service

The AvaTrade support team is on hand to rapidly answer all of your questions 24 hours a day in 15 different languages. Support can be reached via phone, chat and email. There is always someone available to answer your questions as and when required.

AvaTrade Regulation

AvaTrade is authorised and regulated across multiple continents by a good range of regulatory authorities. This means that they must abide by strict regulatory rules. The impressive number of regulators gives me complete confidence in the broker. Trading with a regulated broker can give you peace of mind that you have some protection should something go wrong. Most professionals would only ever trade with a broker that has implemented regulation from respected regulators as AvaTrade have done.

AvaTrade Summary

AvaTrade are considered one of the best forex brokers for a number of reasons, primarily due to their award-winning trading services and strict regulation. They have plenty of liquidity which helps to ensure fast execution speeds and tight spreads. They offer commission free trading on multiple major and exotic forex currency pairs. There is a generous choice of user-friendly trading platforms for multiple devices along with trading tool, educational resources and market analysis. Furthermore, they have quick and easy funding options to cater for different trader needs.

Pros
  • Great selection of FX currency pairs
  • Versatile and user-friendly trading platforms
  • Broad selection of innovative trading tools
  • Very helpful educational resources
  • No commission fees and tight spreads
  • Fast trade execution speeds
  • Good choice of account funding options
  • Self-directed trading and copy trading platforms
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Award-winning forex broker
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Inactivity fees may apply
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • No variable spread accounts
  • Minimum deposit of $100
  • CFD forex trading only

IG

IG are one of the biggest forex brokers in the world, offering a huge choice of over 18,000 tradable instruments from multiple asset classes, inlcuding forex, stocks, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, precious metals, energies, futures, spread betting and more. They are one of the few forex brokers who accept clients from the USA.

IG provides traders with a good selection of intuitive trading platforms, trading tools, and educational resources. They offer industry leading trading conditions with competitive trading fees, tight spreads and reliable trade execution speeds.

The IG Group is strictly regulated in multiple jurisdictions and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Founded in 1974, they have won multiple awards over the years.

IG Platforms & Tools

IG clients can choose from a range of powerful yet user friendly trading platforms, including their proprietary trading platform, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, and the more commonly used MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform. Professional traders can get direct market access via FIX API connectivity. Most of these platforms are available on multiple devices including desktop, web browsers and mobile devices for trading whislt on the go.

IG also have a vast array of robust trading tools to support traders with their daily activities. Some of the superb trading tools provided include trading alerts, trading signals, Autochartist, PIA-First, and automated trading tools which can help to streamline your day trading.

IG Research & Education

IG has a large selection of high-quality research and educational resources in their IG Academy which are accessible by traders of all experience levels and can help to improve trading knowledge and skills. This includes interactive courses, videos, webinars, seminars, forex trading guides, forex trading strategies and even a glossary of terminologies. The IG Academy App can be used for learning whilst on the go and has everything that a beginner needs to get up to speed with trading forex online.

IG Trading Accounts

IG have a choice of trading accounts with a minimum deposit of $250 and different features to suit the needs of different traders. The account types offered by IG are as follows:

  • IG Trading Account
  • IG Professional Account
  • IG Options Trading Account
  • IG Turbo24 Trading Account
  • Limited Risk Account
  • Share Dealing Account
  • Swap-free Account
  • Exchange Account (NADEX)
  • Islam-friendly Swap-free Account on request
  • Demo Practice Accounts

IG Account Funding

IG support a variety of convenient deposit and withdrawal methods, including bank wire, credit or debit card, and online payment processors such as PayPal. This selection makes account funding quick and easy.

IG Customer Service

The broker’s customer support team can be contacted from Saturday 8 a.m. to Friday 10 p.m via email, phone, and online chat. The large and knowledgable team are happy to answer any general, account or technical questions that you may have, in a prompt and efficient manner. Support is offered in a wide range of languages.

IG Regulation

IG is a brokerage brand used by many affiliates of the IG Group in different parts of the world, so they are regulated by financial authorities in many countries, including:

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK
  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA) in the US
  • Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany
  • Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in Switzerland
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
  • Financial Markets Authority (FMA) in New Zealand
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  • Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA)
  • Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa
  • Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)

This is one of the most impressive list of regulators that I have seen from any forex broker. It helps to emphasise the size of the IG Group and to give clients the peace of mind they are trading online with a well established forex broker that must comply with strict rules and reguations put in place to protect investors.

IG Summary

IG have won multiple awards for their brokerage services and are most certainly one of the biggest forex brokers in the world. They offer a wide range of assets for trading online via multiple flexible and user-friendly trading platforms. Clients get access to useful trading tools and a vast selection of educational resources. The broker is regulated in multiple jurisdictions and offers miultilingual support around the clock. There are a choice of trading accounts and convenient funding options to suit all types of trader.

Pros
  • Powerful and user-friendly trading platforms for desktop, web and mobile
  • Huge range of 18,000+ trading instruments including lots of currency pairs
  • Tight spreads, low commissions and fast trade execution speeds
  • Plenty of professional trading tools to assist with your market analysis
  • Excellent IG academy with educational resources for beginners
  • Convenient account funding methods including e-wallets
  • FIX API DMA trading for institutional trading conditions
  • Free demo accounts to practice your forex strategies
  • Can accept traders from most countries
  • Regulated in various jurisdictions
  • Fantastic customer service
Cons
  • Could offer some more account funding options
  • Inactivity fee after 2 years
  • No MetaTrader 5 platforms
  • Minimum deposit of $250 is not the lowest

Pepperstone

Pepperstone has been around for many years and have rightly earned a fantastic reputation amongst the forex trading community as one of the best forex brokers. They offer traders from around the globe online forex trading via the popular MetaTrader 4 forex trading platform for desktop, web and mobile devices.

Pepperstone provides some of the best forex trading conditions possible and lowest commissions of any forex broker. They utilise a vast range of liquidity providers (LP’s) which ensures that they have a deep liquidity pool. This enables them to provide some of the most competitive bid/ask price quotes for tight spreads along with reliable execution speeds and minimal slippage. I would say that Pepperstone have some of the lowest overall costs that I have seen from any forex broker, all things considered.

The fact that Pepperstone focuses primarily on the forex market ensures that they maintain some of the most innovative online forex trading conditions to traders worldwide. They have won multiple awards for their forex trading services. The award-winning customer support team is available in over 12 languages, 24-hours a day via phone, chat and email.

Pepperstone Platforms & Tools

Pepperstone offer online forex trading on some of the best trading platforms with over 70+ FX currency pairs to trade, including one of the largest selections of exotic currencies. You will also find the major and minor currency pairs that you would expect from all forex brokers, including the ever popular EURUSD and GBPUSD pairs.

There is a selection of 11 online trading platforms including the very popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 for Windows and MAC. They also offer cTrader, WebTrader and mobile apps for iPhone / Android for trading the markets from wherever and whenever you want, with reliable platforms and lightning-fast execution.

The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform is one of the most popular and widely used online trading platforms. MT4 is well regarded for its quick learning curve and vast collection of built in trading tools. It has plenty of features for conducting thorough chart analysis and support for automated trading.

MT4 is available for desktop (Windows & MAC), web browsers and mobile devices (iOS & Android). The web version of MT4 can run in most modern web browsers without needing to download or install any additional software.

In addition to having some of the best forex trading platforms, Pepperstone also have a great selection of trading tools to help you manage your trading risk, improve your trading strategies and stay up to date with the latest market movements. This includes the excellent Autochartist technical analysis tool which is provided free of charge to clients.

Pepperstone Research & Education

Pepperstone have a variety of free educational resources including trading guides, expert webinars available in English and detailed market analysis. These can help you improve your trading skills and knowledge whilst assisting with your trading decisions.

Pepperstone Trading Accounts

Pepperstone trading accounts offer cutting edge technology to trade the world’s markets and provide retail forex traders with incredibly low-cost pricing across all forex currency pairs with the added security of financial regulation and some of the forex industries leading customer support.

The broker has a variety of forex trading accounts to cater to the different needs of traders. Whatever your experience level, investment size or account requirements, they are likely to have something that is suitable for you.

Pepperstone accounts gain access to interbank pricing, cutting-edge technology, deep liquidity and super-fast execution speeds. All of the account types are set up in line with retail leverage limits and margin requirements. Professional clients can apply to trade with higher leverage.

The Pepperstone Razor account has the lowest spreads with a very small commission charge although you can opt for the no commission account with a small spread mark up if you prefer. You will find especially on the major currency pairs such as the EURUSD and GBPUSD, Pepperstone has some of the lowest spreads and fastest execution speeds that you are likely to find from any forex broker.

Pepperstone do offer Islamic accounts that comply with Sharia law and can cater to clients with significant trading volumes. If you are such a trader then Pepperstone has a vast amount of liquidity providers to help ensure that your large trading volume will be executed with minimal slippage and at the best possible prices.

With Pepperstone you can also quickly setup a free forex demo trading account to practice your trading strategies with virtual funds until you feel confident enough to open a real account.

Pepperstone Account Funding

Pepperstone have one of the largest selections of deposit and withdrawal options for safe and efficient processing of funds. Funding methods include Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Neteller, UnionPay, Skrill and other online payment processors.

Pepperstone Customer Service

Pepperstone have an award-winning multi-lingual customer support team that are available 24-hours a day via phone, chat and email. They are prompt, efficient and polite in their responses to any questions that you may have.

Pepperstone Regulation

Pepperstone Limited (UK) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Pepperstone Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This strict regulation helps to ensure traders that their brokerage account is with a safe and secure broker that has client’s best interests in mind. They are also regulated in other countries to help further expand their reach.

Pepperstone Summary

Pepperstone provides institutional grade trading to the online retail forex trader, without any complicated account structures or catches. They focus heavily on a fast execution experience with low cost trading and spreads starting from as low as 0.0 on the EURUSD. Pepperstone welcome all trading styles and apply a low minimum deposit requirement which makes them accessible to most traders around the globe.

Furthermore, Pepperstone have developed industry leading execution technology, whilst they also continue to introduce additional trading tools to benefit forex traders, including mobile apps and WebTrader, advanced account analytics and their very own proprietary client area.

With Pepperstone, you should have everything that you need to start or continue your forex trading at one of the best forex brokers in the word.

Pros
  • Great selection of major, minor and exotic FX currency pairs
  • Tight forex spreads from as low as 0.0 pips
  • Low trading fees and fast trade execution speeds
  • Superb forex trading platforms packed with robust tools
  • Free premium trading tools for complex market analysis
  • Social trading platforms including DupliTrade and Myfxbook
  • Good variety of educational resources including guides and videos
  • No restrictions imposed on your forex trading strategies
  • Multiple quick and easy account funding options
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Award winning customer support
Cons
  • Primarily CFD trading instruments offered
  • Do not have a proprietary trading platform
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Minimum deposit of $200 is not the lowest
  • Limited non-FX instruments compared to some brokers
  • No fixed spread accounts

IC Markets

IC Markets are one of our best forex brokers that offer online forex trading on the ever popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platforms for desktop, web and mobile devices. IC Markets has a great advantage of being a true ECN forex broker with a large range of instruments to trade across all of the different account types, including a huge portfolio of forex currency pairs, stocks, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, precious metals, energies and more.

IC Markets have some of the lowest trading costs available to retail forex traders and fast trade execution speeds. The spreads are very tight and commissions low when compared to many other brokers. There are no limitations on the type of forex trading strategy that you can use with IC Markets as they allow scalping, hedging, and automated trading with forex robots. They also offer 24/7 customer support who are always on hand to assist with general, technical and account related questions.

IC Markets Platforms & Tools

IC Markets offer the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader platforms. These are the 3 most popular and user-friendly trading platforms available today. The true ECN trading model is incorporated into all of the platforms at no extra cost for all levels of traders. Trading on the go is possible via the mobile and tablet apps. This is useful for those who need to access their account and trade whilst on the go.

IC Markets have partnered with some of the world’s best trading technology companies which allows them to bring forex traders the ultimate trading environment and unique cutting-edge tools. Some of these tools include: Depth of Market (DOM), inbuilt spread monitoring, ladder trading, automated close of trades with custom order templates, and more.

IC Markets provide traders with a range of additional forex trading tools and apps that can assist with detailed market analysis and help to enhance the overall trading experience. These tools include economic calendars, alerts, technical indicators, market data and free VPS if you qualify.

IC Markets Research & Education

IC Markets have a vast selection of educational materials including basic and advanced trading guides and video tutorials. These can help clients to learn some of the most importance aspects about online trading including how it operates, technical and fundamental analysis, market influences, trading platforms and more.

IC Markets Trading Accounts

IC Markets offer a variety of forex trading accounts to cater for the needs of each individual trader, including accounts suited towards both beginners and experienced traders. The main difference between the accounts are the pricing models implemented. There are commission free accounts with a small spread mark-up or variable spread accounts with tighter spreads and a small commission fee. The account type you opt for can depend on your trading strategy. If you are a scalper then you would most likely require the true ECN account whereas swing traders may not be as dependant on the spread.

The IC Markets true ECN account is the key factor that helps to separate IC Markets from other forex brokers. This account connects forex traders to a very deep and diverse mix of up to 50 liquidity providers, which again reiterates that they provide some of the best spreads and superior execution for forex trading.

You can open a free demo trading account with IC Markets to practice your online trading strategies with virtual funds. This can be a great way to become familiar with the trading platforms and to improve your trading skills before you gain the confidence to open a real account. IC Markets are a Muslim friendly broker as they offer Islamic swap free accounts that comply with Sharia law.

IC Markets Account Funding

IC Markets accept client’s deposits in 10 major currencies with a wide variety of convenient methods for making deposits and withdrawals including Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card and online payment processors which include Neteller, PayPal and Skrill. There is likely to be a method suitable for every individual anywhere in the world.

IC Markets Customer Service

IC Markets offer multilingual support 24/7 via phone, chat and email. They are prompt, efficient and polite when answering support questions.

IC Markets Regulation

IC Markets is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This means that they must abide by the strict rules put in place to protect investors and meet the strict capital requirements that they impose. All IC Markets client’s funds are held in segregated client trust accounts with the top Australian banks, thus helping to give the forex trader added security. IC Markets cannot use these funds for any other purposes such as running costs. This regulation helps to give you peace of mind that you are using a forex broker which must comply with very strict regulatory conditions.

IC Markets Summary

IC Markets have grown over the years to become one of the largest MetaTrader 4 and true ECN forex brokers in the world. They have achieved this by giving forex traders what they really want which is tight spreads, low commissions and plenty of liquidity to ensure trades get filled at the best possible prices with minimal slippage. They also provide excellent 24/7 customer support. I have always received an immediate response and never had any issues with making withdrawals.

Opening a demo or real account at IC Markets is extremely quick and easy. They offer a diverse range of forex trading accounts to suit the needs of all traders They offer user friendly trading platforms including the popular MetaTrader 4, a huge range of trading instruments, multiple account funding methods and strict regulation.

Pros
  • Variety of powerful trading platforms for all of your devices
  • Free premium trading tools to get the best out of your forex strategies
  • Some of the best forex trading conditions you will find
  • Institutional grade liquidity from a large liquidity pool
  • True ECN model delivers exceptional execution speeds
  • Low fees with no hidden costs
  • Tight spreads from as low as 0.0 pips
  • Multiple account funding options
  • Social trading platforms for copy trading
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • Do not have a proprietary trading platform
  • Forex products can vary depending on your location
  • Minimum $200 deposit is not the lowest
  • Could add some more standalone tools
  • No fixed spread accounts

XM Group

XM Group are one of the largest and best forex brokers, providing traders around the globe with the popular and intuitive MetaTrader platforms for buying and selling over 55+ FX currency pairs, including minor, major and exotic currencies.

XM Group have a vast array of liquidity providers which helps to ensure they have a large liquidity pool which in turn gives retail traders access to some of the industry’s leading spreads, superior trade execution speeds with minimal slippage. XM Group also offers some of the lowest trading commissions for using their top-class trading services. They take great pride in being a transparent forex broker, with the XM Zero account offering spreads from just 0.0 pips.

They have a no-requotes policy which means that execution speeds are some of the leading in the online forex trading industry whilst commission fees are amongst the lowest available to online traders. Execution is a big thing to them with claims that over 99% of trades are executed within just 1 second. This is an impressive execution speed when compared to any other forex broker.

XM Group have won lots of forex awards and accolades, have a fantastic choice of forex trading platforms to choose from and a great selection of over 1,000+ instruments to trade online including forex, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, precious metals and energies.

XM Group Platforms & Tools

XM Group offer clients the option to choose from 16 variations of the popular MetaTrader 4/5 trading platforms for desktop (PC / MAC), web trading directly in your browser without needing to download or install any additional software and MetaTrader for mobile devices running on iOS or Android. The trading apps are especially useful if you need to access your trading account whilst on the go from anywhere in the world provided that you have an internet connection.

The platforms are user friendly and contain an abundance of built-in tools for in-depth analysis of various chart types and timeframes. You can quickly and easily place and manage trades on any of the 1,000+ instruments which are displayed with real time price quotes. The platforms are simple enough for those new to trading online whilst having enough advanced functionality to satisfy the needs of the more seasoned investor.

XM Group Research & Education

XM Group give clients free access to forex market research which can assist with your trading including webinars, video tutorials, trading signals, technical analysis, sentiment analysis and much more. I think there is more than enough to bring even the absolute beginner up to speed with trading forex online.

XM Group Trading Accounts

XM Group provides a wide variety of forex trading account types which allow you to trade on multiple financial instruments including the most popular forex currency pairs such as the EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY, etc. XM Group accounts allow you to trade from just 0.01 lots and allow you to open an account with a minimum deposit of just $5. This is great when you consider some brokers require an initial deposit into the hundreds and even thousands in some cases.

XM Group have a micro, standard, ultra-low and zero account – the XM Group Zero account has the lowest spreads and includes a small commission on top of the spread. It is usually more cost effective to use an account with variable spreads and commissions than it is to use a no-commission account which has a spread mark up. This is especially true if you are using a forex scalping system.

As with most forex brokers, XM Group offers free demo accounts which can be useful for beginner traders who wish to practice trading online with virtual funds until they feel confident enough to open a real account.

XM Group Account Funding

XM Group accept deposits and withdrawals in multiple currencies with a variety of convenient methods for quick and easy account funding. This includes Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card and online payment processors such as Neteller, UnionPay and Skrill.

XM Group Customer Service

XM Group has hundreds of employees with customer service in over 30 languages available 24/5. Support is available 24/5 in 14 languages via phone, chat and email. I have always found them a pleasure to deal with and have yet to have any issues with my account.

XM Group Regulation

XM Group is authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). This helps to ensure safety of client funds and that they abide by strict regulatory standards with some of the most sought-after regulators. They are also regulated with the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC) the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). I consider this to be solid regulation overall and therefore have no problem trusting them personally.

XM Group Summary

With so many forex brokers to choose from, XM Group can give traders the peace of mind that they are strictly regulated in multiple jurisdictions. XM Group also have accounts with very tight spreads and no requotes. This means that you can get your trades executed at the prices that you want. The commissions are also some of the lowest when you compare to other brokers.

The XM Group support team is available 24/5 via live chat, with prompt response times. They have clients in almost 200 countries and staff who speak around 30 languages, this backing up the fact that they are a globally renowned forex broker, without losing focus on individual clients. All clients are treated equally whatever your level of experience or investment size. You can even get your own personal account manager who is on hand to assist should you need them.

They have a selection of powerful forex trading platforms and good amount of forex trading tools to assist with your online forex trading strategies. They also have a range of educational materials to help improve your forex trading skills and knowledge. There are many methods of account funding and withdrawal to suit each individual trader needs, including wire transfer, credit/debit card and online payment processors such as Skrill.

Overall, we consider XM Group to easily qualify as one of our best forex brokers, primarily due to the strict regulation from multiple regulators, huge global presence, deep liquidity pools and industry leading trading conditions.

In addition to this, the minimum deposit makes them accessible to all levels of trader whilst they provide multiple account types, trading platforms and funding options. They have over 1,000+ financial instruments, providing free trading tools and educational resources. These factors amongst others make XM Group a great choice for both beginner and experienced forex traders alike.

Pros
  • Industry leading forex trading platforms
  • Powerful trading tools for in-depth market analysis
  • Lots of FX currency pairs to trade
  • Plenty of other financial instruments
  • No-requotes policy for superior pricing and fast execution speeds
  • Tight forex spreads from just 0 pips
  • Very competitive commission fees
  • Free educational materials for new traders
  • Various convenient account funding options
  • Min deposit of just $5 and free demo accounts
  • Multiple account types for all forex strategies
  • Automated trading and scalping allowed
  • Very good customer support
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Inactivity fees may apply
  • Only provide the MetaTrader platforms
  • No fixed spread accounts

FXTM

With FXTM, you can trade forex with major, minor and exotic currency pairs to take advantage of a currency’s increasing or decreasing value. FXTM provides forex traders with award winning trading services, strict regulation, deep liquidity for fast trade execution, flexible accounts/leverage, tight spreads and low minimum deposit requirements.

Pros
  • Great choice of currency pairs to trade
  • Various quick and easy account funding methods
  • Multiple account types to choose from
  • Tight spreads and rapid trade execution speeds
  • Commission free accounts
  • Free advanced trading tools
  • Relatively low minimum $10 deposit
  • Large selection of educational materials
  • Multilingual customer support 24/5
  • Islamic swap-free account options
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Inactivity fees may apply
  • No FIX API connectivity
  • Limited non-FX instruments

IronFX

IronFX is a globally recognised award-winning CFD broker offering a great range of trading products and services to retail traders and institutional investors. There are over 120 forex currency pairs (major, minor and exotics) to trade, 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. You can choose your own leverage and have unlimited access to some of the largest liquidity providers through IronFX. Spreads start from just 0 pips whilst all trading instruments can be accessed using one account across all trading platforms.

Pros
  • User-friendly trading platforms
  • Good range of forex currency pairs to trade
  • Variable and fixed spread accounts
  • Commission free accounts available
  • FX spreads starting from just 0 pips
  • Powerful tools and lots of educational resources
  • Convenient account funding options
  • Swap-free Islamic accounts
  • Free VPS for eligible clients
  • Excellent 24/5 customer support
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Could add some more additional trading tools
  • Currently do not support crypto funding
  • Could add more individual stocks

Libertex

Libertex is a regulated forex broker proving you with convenient market access to trade on user-friendly trading platforms for all of your devices. They have good trading conditions with plenty of handy tools for conducting market analysis to find trading signals and make informed decisions. Libertex give you access to trade a generous selection of more than 244+ instruments including a variety of major, minor and exotic currency pairs to trade. I think the forex traders amongst you will be more than satisfied by what is available.

Pros
  • Proprietary trading platform for all of your devices
  • Good range of forex trading instruments
  • Tight FX spreads and low fees
  • Quick and easy account funding options
  • Professional trading tools provided free of charge
  • Good customer support
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • Minimum $100 deposit
  • Could add more non-FX trading instruments

InstaForex

Founded in 2007, regulated and multi-award winning InstaForex are one of the best forex trading brokers. They offer a great range of 110+ FX currency pairs with flexible accounts, powerful platforms, excellent trading tools and educational materials to help beginners. You can trade forex with fixed and variable spreads, starting from as low as 0.0 pips.

Pros
  • 110+ FX currency pairs to choose from
  • Intuitive and powerful trading platforms
  • Great choice of account funding options
  • Commission free accounts
  • Free VPS for those who qualify
  • Lots of educational materials for beginners
  • Good range of additional trading tools
  • Pattern graphix price action analysis tool
  • ForexCopy system for trading signals
  • PAMM system for account managers and investors
  • Practice accounts to try them out risk-free
  • Islamic swap-free accounts for Muslim traders
  • Low minimum $1 deposit
  • Excellent customer service
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • No Autochartist or Trading Central
  • Could add some more individual stock instruments

RoboForex

RoboForex is another award-winning forex broker offering 9,400+ trading instruments across multiple asset classes. They provide a range of flexible trading platforms and accounts along with trading tools and market analysis to assist you with your day trading activities. The broker provides forex trading on 40+ major, minor and exotic currency pairs, including EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY, EURGBP and USDCHF. Flexible leverage is available with spreads from as low as 0 pips and quick execution speeds from just 0.1 seconds.

Pros
  • Great choice of 12,000+ trading instruments across various financial markets
  • Professional and user-friendly trading platforms
  • Tight spreads and low trading fees
  • Flexible account types and funding options
  • Good educational resources
  • In-depth market research
  • Free powerful trading tools
  • Very good analytics center for inspiration
  • Low minimum deposit of $10
  • Free demo practice account
  • Swap-free Islamic accounts
  • Excellent 24/7 around the clock support
Cons
  • Cannot accept traders in the USA
  • No fixed spread accounts
  • No managed accounts
  • Could improve regulation

Forex Trading Guide

What is the Forex Market?

The Forex (FX) is a currency trading market. The forex market is the largest financial market in the world, with trillions of dollars in volume traded every day. Anyone who opens a forex trading account with a forex broker can trade the extremely liquid forex market.

The forex market does not have a centralized location, instead it is an electronic network consisting of participants who have foreign exchange currency needs such banks, financial institutions, brokers and speculative retail traders. The main factors that move the forex market are speculation, economic growth and strength and differentiating interest rates.

Those who participate within the forex market place orders to buy and sell currencies from each other through a forex broker. The forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week, excluding holidays. The size and deep liquidity of the forex market, combined with its availability make it an appealing choice for traders. This allows you to buy or sell currency pairs anytime during the week.

The largest forex markets are based in major global financial locations such as London, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Trading liquidity usually peaks when these markets are open or overlap, especially when trading a currency pair that includes a major markets currency.

Forex is the foreign exchange market where currencies are traded. The forex market is one of the largest in the world with trillions of dollars traded amongst participants each and every day. This makes it a highly liquid and dynamic market. The fact there is high market liquidity means that forex prices can change rapidly in relation to news events. This creates multiple trading opportunities for forex traders.

The forex market is decentralized which means that it does not have one physical location. Instead, the forex market is an electronic network of participants who trade currencies such banks, financial institutions, brokers and speculative retail traders. Some of the key factors that cause movements within the forex market are speculation, economic growth and varying interest rates.

The largest forex markets are based in major global financial locations such as London, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Trading liquidity usually peaks when these markets are open or overlap, especially on currency pairs that include a major markets currency.

Forex Market Differences

The forex market is different from other major markets. There are less rules especially when not using a regulated forex broker. Fees and commissions can vary depending on the forex broker you use. Most will charge a commission for each trade you make whereas some may also add a mark up to the spread. The spread being the difference between the bid and ask prices. Forex brokers can provide leverage of up to 1:500 or even higher in certain jurisdictions. This means that you can have $1,000 in your account and take a position of $100,000 when using 1:100 leverage. Whilst this may seem attractive, it can increase both profits and losses. High leverage makes forex trading very risky and most traders lose money attempting to trade in this way. Trading with a regulated forex broker that has no dealing desk can help to provide the best possible forex trading conditions. Traders should always manage their position size and control risk so that one trade does not results in a large loss.

What is Forex Trading?

Forex trading is when you want to speculate on the price movements in the global currency market. Currency prices fluctuate constantly against each other, which presents multiple trading opportunities on a daily basis.

When you trade forex, you are speculating on the difference between the prices of a currency pair and looking to make a profit from these price fluctuations. If you sell one currency, you are buying another and if you buy a currency you are selling the other.

Those who participate within the forex market place orders to buy and sell currencies from each other through a forex broker. The forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week, excluding holidays. The size and deep liquidity of the forex market, combined with its availability make it an appealing choice for traders. This allows you to buy or sell currency pairs anytime during the week.

What are Forex Currency Pairs?

Forex currencies are listed in pairs, such as the most popular fx pairs the EUR/USD and GBP/USD. When you are trading the forex market, you buy and sell a currency pair of one country that is relative to another. When you sell one currency, you are buying another and if you buy a currency you are selling another. The most traded currency is the U.S. dollar whereas the euro is the most traded counter currency. Other significant pairs include the Japanese yen, British pound and Swiss franc.

Each currency pair has its own price on which traders can speculate to make profits from increasing or decreasing value of the associated currencies. If you anticipate a currency pair will decrease in value then you would look to short (sell) the pair. If you expected a price increase, then you would look to long (buy) the pair. A profit or loss is made between the difference in prices from when you entered and exited your trade position.

There are hundreds of forex currency pairs that you can trade. They are typically divided into three categories; major, minor and exotic. The grouping depends on popularity and liquidity.

Major currency pairs

These are the most liquid currencies and most actively traded. Major currency pairs consist of around 85% of the total trading volume in the FX markets. The amount of liquidity usually means that the spreads for these pairs are usually tighter when compared to the less traded minor currency pairs. Examples of major currency pairs include EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CHF and USD/CAD.

Minor currency pairs

Minor currency pairs are not as popular and therefore not traded as much as the major currencies. The spreads for minor currency pairs can often be much wider when compared to major currency pairs, primarily due to the medium sized liquidity in the market. Examples of minor currency pairs include AUD/NZD, EUR/NOK, EUR/SEK, EUR/AUD, GBP/CAD, CHF/JPY and NZD/JPY.

Exotic currency pairs

Exotic currency pairs are very rarely traded. Due to the low volumes of trade, exotic currency pairs are considered to be illiquid and therefore tend to be expensive to trade with much wider spreads than major currency pairs. Examples of exotic currency pairs include USD/MXN, EUR/TRY, USD/TRY, USD/ZAR, EUR/SGD and EUR/HUF.

How does Forex Trading Work?

Forex trading instruments are quoted in pairs, with one currency paired against another. For example, the EUR/USD (euro vs US dollar), GBP/USD (sterling vs US dollar), EUR/JPY (euro vs yen) and USD/CHF (US dollar vs franc).

The exchange rate between the currency pairs are where a forex trader looks to make profit. The first currency is known as the base currency whereas the second currency is known as the quote currency.

In the instance of the EUR/USD, the euro is the base currency whilst the US dollar is the quote currency. Thus, if the price of the EUR/USD currency pair is 1.06235, this means that 1 euro is the equivalent of 1.06235 dollars.

If the price increases, this means that the euro is increasing in strength in comparison to the US dollar. If the number decreases, it means that the US dollar is increasing in strength in comparison to the euro.

Forex traders would look to go long (buy) a currency pair if they expected a price increase and go short (sell) a currency pair if they believed the price would decrease. The difference between the price from when you entered a forex trade and the price when you exited, will determine the amount of profit or loss made from the trade.

In the EUR/USD example above, if the trader thought that the euro would increase in strength against the US dollar, they would look to place a buy trade. Once in a buy position on the EUR/USD, every point (pip) that the euro increases in value against the US dollar, they would make a profit. However, should the price of the euro weaken against the US dollar, every pip movement would result in a loss.

How to Analyse the Forex Market?

The majority of forex traders will conduct thorough market analysis in order to try and identify potential entry and exit opportunities on various currency pairs across different chart time frames. This can include technical analysis with indicators, fundamental analysis, price action analysis and market sentiment analysis.

Forex technical analysis

Forex technical analysis involves using a combination of technical indicators on forex charts to try and identify the direction in which a currency pair will move. Many technical indicators use complex mathematical algorithms that crunch historical data in order to present a visual interpretation of a currency pairs behaviour. Traders will then use this information to assist with trading decisions.

When you trade forex online, you will be using a forex trading platform which should have a range of technical indicators built-in. Some of the most popular indicators include the moving average, relative strength index (RSI), Bollinger bands, stochastic oscillator and moving average convergence divergence (MACD). These are often combined together to form a trading strategy template.

Forex fundamental analysis

Fundamental analysis in the forex market is the analysis of economic factors that can affect currency pairs. It is usually conducted by studying news releases that can impact the strength and weakness of a currency. Positive news can cause an increase in the value of a currency whereas negative news can cause a decrease in a currency value.

Traders who follow the news can anticipate how currency pairs are expected to react to news releases. Most forex brokers will have an economic calendar which is a popular trading tool that allows you to keep track of the latest news releases along with the previous, forecasted and actual impact they have on various currencies. News can be filtered according to date, time and currency.

Forex price action analysis

Price action analysis when trading forex is the study of price to assist with trading decisions. Forex traders use price action analysis to help determine how a currency pair will react. Common methods of price action analysis include support and resistance levels, pivot points and candlestick patterns.

Forex sentiment analysis

Forex sentiment analysis involves looking at what other market participants are doing and using this information to assist in trading decisions. The sentiment can be referred to as the overall bias of traders. If the majority of traders are buying a currency pair then the sentiment is said to be a buying sentiment. If the majority of traders were selling a currency pair then the sentiment would be considered a selling sentiment. Some traders believe that trading with the sentiment can gain momentum whereas others use the sentiment as part of a contrarian trading strategy, to trade against the crowd.

What is a Forex Broker?

Foreign exchange had previously only been traded on the interbank market by larger clients such as banks and multinational corporations who used it to trade for commercial purposes and to hedge against currency risks. Since then, retail forex trading has been introduced through forex brokers.

A forex broker (short for brokerage) is an intermediary who buys and sells currency pairs on behalf of its clients for a commission fee and/or spread mark up. They allow individual retail traders access to trade the previously inaccessible forex market through online trading platforms.

Since they first began in the 1990’s, forex brokers have offered a service that is essential for traders to be able to trade currencies and have been vastly improving their services over the years. Opening a forex trading account is now a quick and easy online process. All you need is an internet connection, forex broker trading account and trading platform. Previously, this was only available to banks and other financial institutions.

There are hundreds of forex brokers located throughout the world with differing trading conditions, products and services. Most will offer a wide range of major and exotic currency pairs to trade whilst also offering other trading instruments such as stocks, CFDs, indices, commodities, energies, precious metals and cryptocurrencies. This makes it convenient for a trader to be able to trade multiple markets on one trading broker. Trading is risky, thus if you are a beginner trader it is best to start on a demo trading account.

In addition to providing an account and platform to trade from, forex brokers offer other relevant services such as educational material, forex news, market analysis, trading tools and more. These services may be free to the brokers clients or come at an additional cost.

With so many forex brokers to choose from, it is very important to check if the broker is regulated and offers negative balance protection. Regulation will help to ensure that your funds are safe and held in a segregated account away from the brokers account so that they cannot be used for any other purpose. A regulated broker has to stick to strict regulatory guidelines which can give clients peace of mind.

Market Makers

There are forex brokers who operate as a market maker and use a dealing desk. These brokers can take the opposite position of a trader and add mark-ups to the spread which can increase trading costs. Some may even delay order fills that can lead to negative slippage. A dealing desk model can be problematic if there is a conflict of interest, although broker regulation has helped to significantly reduce this happening.

STP/ECN Brokers

Other brokers have no dealing desk and provide STP/ECN accounts with direct access to trade the markets through liquidity providers (LPs) for a small fixed commission fee. This model usually gives lower spreads, faster execution and more favourable trading conditions as there is no broker interference with your trading. This is why it is so important to compare brokers and choose only the best forex brokers with strict regulation in place.

What is a Forex Trading Platform?

An online forex trading platform allows traders to access different global markets for speculating on the price movements of various trading instruments. This can include Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies, Options, Bonds, ETFs and CFDs.

In the past, forex investors and traders would have had to go through an offline foreign exchange broker which meant that the markets were less accessible than they are today. As technology has improved over the years, there are now many online forex brokerages to choose from. Anyone aspiring to be a successful trader can open a forex trading account with a forex brokerage and gain access to the brokers trading platforms to trade forex from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Most forex brokers provide these platforms free of charge and for use on desktop and mobile devices.

Through a forex trading platform, you can view real time bid/ask prices of various currency pairs and load charts that show the historical and current prices of these currencies over multiple timeframes ranging from tick to yearly charts. You can add technical indicators to these charts to help identify potential trending and ranging market conditions. These indicators can provide forex trading signals and are often used as part of a forex trading strategy that involves technical, fundamental, sentiment and price action analysis. When you find a suitable trading opportunity, you can execute, manage and close your buy or sell position directly through the forex trading platform.

Choosing a Forex Broker

Following on from our best forex brokers list, we will now look at what forex trading platforms are used for and some of the most important factors to consider when looking for a reliable forex platform. The key factors to consider when choosing an online forex broker include:

Regulation

When you choose a forex trading platform it is very important to ensure that the forex brokerage providing the platform is regulated by a respected government authority. Investors have more protection when using a regulated forex broker as they have to conduct business according to strict rules and regulations put in place to protect forex investors. If a broker claims to be regulated, you can verify this by checking the broker’s license number with the relevant authorities to ensure the regulation is legitimate and up to date.

Platforms

If you are already familiar with a specific forex trading platform then it could be a good idea to choose a forex broker that offers that platform. However, if you have yet to use a trading platform then it may be a good idea to start with a broker that offers a user-friendly forex trading platform which has plenty of tutorials available to help you learn how to trade online. The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform is often considered as one of the most intuitive and easy to use forex trading platforms which makes it a popular choice amongst new forex traders across the globe. You will find that there are lots of MetaTrader brokers which is one of the most user-friendly platforms that gives convenient market access for manual and automated trading strategies.

Most forex brokers will provide traders with free forex trading platforms although there are some who charge monthly and volume-based fees, usually for specialised trading platforms that have specific features a professional forex investor may need. That being said, the free platforms will most likely be sufficient enough for the average retail trader.

In addition to potential fees for gaining access to the brokers trading platforms, you should consider other online forex trading costs. Most forex brokerages will charge a commission for placing trades in addition to the spread and overnight swap fee. These costs can vary significantly from broker to broker so it is important to consider the overall costs you will incur and the affect that will have on your money management.

Tools

All forex trading platforms come with a range of free built in trading tools to assist with your forex trading, helping to improve overall efficiency and performance. These can include technical indicators for analysing charts such as a moving average, MACD, Bollinger Bands, RSI, CCI and many more.

Some forex platforms offer fundamental analysis tools such as built in economic calendars to efficiently keep track of the latest forex news releases. They may also have trading calculators to help with planning your trades. The more advanced platforms will have depth of market (DOM) with level 2 pricing and sentiment tools that show how many traders are buying/selling a particular currency pair.

If you require a specific set of trading tools or would like access to as many as possible, you should check what forex trading platforms the broker offers along with the trading tools included. Some trading tools are stand alone and thus will not be incorporated into the platforms but can still be very useful.

Currency Pairs

Forex is one of the most popular markets for online traders and is a large focus of the service that trading brokers offer. Each forex broker will offer a range of different markets and trading instruments to trade via their online trading platforms. If you wish to trade a particular asset class such as forex, stocks, cryptos, etc, you should check whether the broker offers that market through its platforms. It may also be wise to consider if you plan to diversify your investment portfolio in the future. If so, the more trading products and markets offered by the broker, the easier it could be to expand your portfolio when the time is right.

You will want to check that the forex broker offers a good range of forex currency pairs for trading, this will include major currency pairs such as the EURUSD and GBPUSD, minor currency pairs such as the EURGBP and EURAUD, exotic currency pairs such as the EURTRY and USDDKK. The more currency pairs available, the greater your options will be. You will find there are many brokers who offer a combination of financial instruments.

Broker Fees

A forex broker makes money by charging a fee for using their services. This fee is usually a commission for each trade made through the brokerage and/or a spread mark-up if using a market maker. These brokers charge zero commission but will increase the liquidity providers spreads to cover costs and make profit from every trade processed through them. They can offer fixed spread accounts which is not always a sustainable model as actual spreads may be greater than the fixed spread set by a broker. When using a fixed spread trading account you should check the small print as they are not always fixed 24/5 especially around economic releases or hours of low liquidity. When a broker charges a commission they tend to offer variable spreads which will depend on the liquidity pools that they use, without any mark-up. This will often mean lower spreads and overall trading costs, even after the discount brokers commission fee is factored in.

Commissions

When you trade forex online with a forex broker, you may be charged a commission fee for each trade. Generally speaking, the lower the commission fee, the more you can save on trading costs in the long-term. If you are someone who plans on placing trades on a frequent basis, then you may wish to shop around for a discount broker.

Some brokers do not charge a commission but will usually compensate by including a spread mark-up to cover costs. The type of broker you choose can depend on your trading style. Those who use scalping strategies may look for brokers with the lowest commission and spreads possible. However, swing traders who hold positions over the long-term, are less likely to be as concerned by the commissions and spreads.

Most forex brokers will charge a commission for each trade that you place. Check the commission amount is listed “per round turn”. Some brokers will list a commission of $3.5 per trading lot which is actually $7 once you have opened and closed the trade. It would be a wise idea to factor the commission in to your money management plan as it is a key trading cost, along with the spread.

Spreads

The spread is the difference between the buy and sell (bid/ask) price which can vary depending on the volume of liquidity and quality of liquidity providers that a forex broker has. Some brokers offer fixed and variable spread accounts, some will offer commission free accounts but instead mark up the spread to make up for this. In general, the more liquidity that the broker has, the tighter the spreads can be. It is important to account for the spread when planning your forex trading strategy, especially if you are planning on using scalping strategy.

Every time you buy or sell a currency pair, you need to pay the spread. This is the difference between the buy and sell price. Whilst the spread will be similar across most brokers, some forex brokers have more liquidity providers (LPs) than others which means their spreads can be lower. This is especially important if you are taking short term trades as the spread can quickly add up.

Swaps

If you hold a position with your online forex broker overnight then you will probably need to pay a swap fee. This is an interest fee for the procedure of moving open positions from one day to another, also known as the rollover. Weekend rollover is usually charged on Wednesday which will give a credit or debit of triple the normal amount. This is another cost to factor in to your money management planning. Some brokers offer swap free Islamic trading accounts that conform with Sharia law which allows Muslims to engage in online trading through their forex platforms.

Other Fees

Along with trading platform, spread, commission and swap fees, most forex brokers will charge additional fees that should be checked and clearly understood. Other fees that are worth considering include withdrawal and inactivity fees.

Leverage

Forex is a margined product, also known as leveraged trading. Leverage involves borrowing a certain amount of the money needed to invest in something. In the case of forex trading, money is usually borrowed from a forex broker. Forex trading does offer high leverage in the sense that for an initial margin requirement, a trader can leverage their account in order to control a much larger position size.

Nearly all online brokers offer leveraged forex trading via their platforms. Leverage basically means that you can open a position larger than you could without it. If for example you had leverage of 1:50 and a trading account balance of $1,000, you could effectively open a position size of $50,000 (1,000 x 50 = 50,000). Some forex brokers can provide leverage of up to 1:100 or even higher in certain jurisdictions. With a leverage of 1:100, you could have $2,000 in your account and take a position of $200,000.

Although leverage can increase profit potential, it also increases trading risk and thus, can lead to large losses. It is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of leverage and the significant risks involved before you start trading online. Check the broker offers a leverage that you require via your preferred forex trading platform.

Orders

Forex brokers will usually offer the instant execution of opening/closing trades and stop/limit orders if you wish to enter a specified distance away from the current price. Trailing stops and break evens are other options they can allow. Some brokers will have a minimum distance requirement if you try to modify an order at a level to close to the current price. Most brokers will allow scalpers, hedging and automated trading. It is worth considering what order types you plan to use and if these are supported by the broker.

Lots

The forex market is traded in lots which can be micro, mini or standard. Check to make sure the broker supports the lot size that you wish to trade. Many new traders start with micro lots to get a feeling for trading in a real environment with less risk. You can trade single or multiple lots, e.g. six micro lots (0.06) or thirteen standard lots (13).

  • Micro Lot: 1,000 currency value (0.01 lots)
  • Mini Lot: 10,000 currency value (0.1 lots)
  • Standard Lot: 100,000 currency value (1 lot)

Resources

Some brokers also provide traders with educational resources such as videos and trading guides to help them improve their forex trading knowledge and skills. They may include detailed tutorials on how to use trading platforms which could be helpful for those who are new to online trading and need help to familiarise themselves with the different platforms available to them. If you require specific tools or would find them beneficial, check that they are offered to clients of the broker and if they free or come at an additional cost. If you are new to trading and need as much guidance as possible, you might want to explore our best brokers for beginners.

Funding

Each online forex broker will offer different options for making deposits and withdrawals to and from the trading platform. Most brokers accept bank wire transfers and credit/debit cards but some traders prefer online payment processors such as Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, etc. Ensure that the trading platform supports your preferred method for funding your forex account.

Support

Whatever the skill level of a trader, it is very likely at some point you will need to contact customer service. This may be more frequent for beginners or a one off for the more experienced traders. However, the customer service should respond in a prompt and efficient manner. Consider what customer services they offer as one may be more convenient to you than others. Some traders prefer to communicate over live chat whereas others want to speak to someone directly on the phone. Online chat is often the quickest way to speak with someone. Also consider the location of the forex broker as the time difference may cause difficulties although most brokers should offer multilingual support 24 hours a day, five days a week. The more hours the forex brokerage support team is available, the better.

Requirements

You will need to make sure that the forex trading platform will run on your computer, VPS or mobile device by checking the specification requirements. Each forex broker trading platform will have a minimum deposit requirement which is worth considering.

How to Trade Forex Online?

Now that you have had a brief overview of what forex trading platforms are and what to look for, you may be considering opening a forex trading account with an online broker to gain access to their trading platforms. This can be a quick and easy process that requires completing an online registration form. Simply choose a broker, follow the account opening process and you will be able to start trading online through one of their trading platforms. If you have taken the time to read through the above, you should hopefully have an understanding of the forex market and how to trade forex online. Here is a summary of the key steps summarised:

1. Decide if forex trading is for you

Trading forex online requires investing time and money. It also carries an element of risk, especially when trading with leverage. You will need to research and analyse currency pairs, follow market news and manage your forex trades. It is important to understand the risks and dedication that comes with trading forex online.

2. Educate yourself

Before trading forex, it is important to learn as much as possible about the forex market. This way you can be prepared as any mistake could prove to be costly. There is a vast array of free educational materials provided by many forex brokers that can help you to improve your trading skills and knowledge.

Most brokerages will also provide a free demo trading account so that you can practice trading forex online with virtual funds in order to familiarise yourself with the trading platforms and practice your forex strategies until you feel confident enough to open a real trading account.

3. Choose a forex broker

In order to trade forex online, you will need a broker account and forex trading platform to execute your trade positions through to the forex market. When choosing a broker, there are a few important things to consider such as regulation, commission fees, platforms, tools, education, funding options and customer support.

4. Research forex currency pairs

If you have made it this far then you may be ready to start trading forex online! The next step is to research the different forex currency pairs to discover which currencies you have an interest in. Perhaps there is a particular country that is already of interest to you and you would like to use your knowledge of the country’s currency. You can choose from major minor and exotic currency pairs. Some experts suggest mastering one currency pair rather than trying to follow multiple currencies with different characteristics.

5. Have a forex trading plan

Amongst the most important factors that can help determine forex trading results can be the trading plan and discipline. It is important to have a solid trading plan personalised to your own needs that includes the money management and trading strategy that you will use. Most experts and professional traders would try to not let negative emotions such as fear, anger and greed affect their forex trading.

6. Buy and sell currency pairs

Once you know what forex currency pairs you want to trade online, you can analyse them to help decide if and when you will place your trades. After placing a forex trade, you will need to keep track of how it performs and manage it according to your forex trading plan. Some traders will keep hold of currencies for the long-term, whereas others may buy and sell currency pairs on a daily basis.

Conclusion

Forex trading is a popular choice for active investors who would like to trade a market that is open 24 hours a day. The liquidity of the forex market also means that there is ample opportunity to look for trades. It can be suitable for scalping, day trading and swing trading.

You can start trading forex with as little as $1 depending on the minimum deposit required by the broker. However, it is important to understand the significant risks involved with trading forex online, especially when using leveraged positions. Most experts would suggest trading on a demo account with virtual funds to begin with.

This can be a useful way to familiarise yourself with how to trade forex and use the trading platforms whilst allowing you to practice your trading strategies until you feel confident and produce consistent results. Most forex brokers provide unlimited demo accounts free of charge.

Forex trading requires patience, discipline and lots of practice. According to our research across hundreds of forex brokers, most online forex traders actually lose money. Most aspiring traders start trading on a demo trading account before going live.

Take your time to research brokers and do your own due diligence, the above information is only for educational purposes and not advice. Please feel free to use our broker comparison tool if you need some further inspiration before you get started.

About the Author

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Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.