Compare Trading Brokers
This free broker comparison tool saves you time from needing to manually compare brokers by compiling hundreds of brokers in one convenient and easy to use table that can help you to quickly find the best brokers depending on your individual trading needs.
Traders rely on the services of an online trading broker to trade the markets. With new brokers constantly coming online, choosing the best brokers for your needs requires a lot of research and patience. To save you time and help new traders, we have identified some of the key aspects that every trader must evaluate when choosing a trading broker.
Each individual trader will have certain investment objectives and goals. Some may be day traders who plan to enter and exit positions on a frequent basis whereas others may be swing traders looking to hold positions for the mid-long term. The amount of investment and experience level between traders will also vary.
For these reasons amongst others, it is important to compare trading brokers with each other to ensure that you can identify the best trading brokers according to your individual requirements. Some of the most important things to consider when comparing brokers include:
- Minimum deposit: The brokers trading account minimum deposit size should be achievable.
- Regulation: The broker would ideally be regulated by a top tier regulator.
- Leverage: The broker should offer a leverage that you feel comfortable with.
- Fees: The brokers fees should be competitive, including trading and accounting fees.
- Spreads: The brokers spreads should be suitable for your trading strategies.
- Trading platforms: The broker should provide trading platforms you are familiar with or a platform with a quick learning curve, such as MetaTrader.
- Trading instruments: The broker should offer a range of asset classes that you are interested in trading online now and in the future.
- Trading tools: If you require additional trading tools then it would be worth checking if these are provided by the broker. Additional tools can include trading calculators, sentiment analysis and economic calendars.
- Educational materials: If you are new to trading online, it can be beneficial if the brokerage provides clients with a range of trading guides, tutorial videos and webinars.
- Daily market analysis: If you are interested, some brokerages offer expert market analysis to clients. This can help to inspire potential trade ideas.
- Funding methods: Each broker will support certain methods of making deposits and withdrawals to and from your trading account. If you would like to use a specific method, you should check that it is available or if they broker provides alternatives that are convenient for you.
Each online broker will offer a wide range of different financial markets and trading instruments for you to trade including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Indices, Options, ETFs, CFDs, Futures and Spread Betting. If there is a particular trading instrument that you plan to trade, check that it is offered by the broker on their trading platforms. It is also worth considering what other markets they offer if you plan to branch into other market in the future. E.g. You may want to trade forex currencies now but if the broker also offers stocks you will have access to them should you wish. You will find there are brokers who offer a combination of financial instruments.
Amongst the most popular trading platforms are MetaTrader 4/5 and cTrader. Consider what trading platform you would like to use and if you need desktop, web or mobile options.
The trading platform will allow you to execute trades through an online broker so you should ensure that the trading platform is reliable and easy to use. The majority of online brokers listed on this website offer the most popular and user-friendly trading platforms – MetaTrader 4 (mt4) and cTrader. These platforms are free and available via desktop, web and mobile. If you plan to trade on the go, then make sure the broker provides mobile trading apps.
With these online trading platforms, you can follow multiple currency pairs across multiple timeframes. You can set alerts for trading signals via notifications, emails and SMS. Some brokers provide additional trading tools to assist with your trading. Most brokers will allow you to trades on one account across multiple platforms and markets.
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. If you don’t have the time or skills to trade and want to copy trading signals, you should look for a social trading platform.
Some brokers will have social trading platforms such as AvaTrade and eToro. These platforms enable you to copy trading signals of other traders and also to offer your own trading signals for copying. Just keep in mind that past results do not mean good future performance when it comes to trading signals.
Most brokers will offer different account types to traders depending on your deposit size and requirements. These can be standard, mini or micro accounts. Each account type will have its benefits and disadvantages. Whilst a micro account will tend to require a smaller deposit, the leverage may be limited and the spreads higher. A standard account may provide more trading instruments and lower commissions.
Some online brokerages will offer fixed and variable spread accounts. A fixed spread account can help control trading costs but during times of low market volume and news releases, the spreads can still increase. A variable spread account will tend to have lower spreads overall due to the direct access to raw spreads provided by liquidity providers.
Fixed spread accounts are 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.
Nearly all online brokers will offer a free demo account. As trading is very risky it is always best to practice on a demo account before opening a real account.
Some online trading brokers will offer managed accounts where you can copy signals or invest with other traders. If this is something you would like to do, check if this is part of the brokers service.
Every online broker has their own policies on handling client deposits and withdrawals. Some brokerages require funding trading accounts via bank transfer whilst others are more flexible and accept payment providers such as PayPal and Skrill which can make the process faster. Use a broker which provides payment methods which are the most convenient and cost effective for you. Check what currency options are offered as conversion fees do not usually apply when using an account in your own currency.
Oline trading brokers make money through the spread and commission that traders must pay for using their services. The spread is the difference between the bid/ask (buy/sell) prices. Commission is usually fixed depending on the volume traded whilst the spread can vary depending on liquidity. The lower the commission and spreads, the less your trading costs will be. Some brokers will charge no commission but add a mark-up to the spread. Be aware of additional fees such as those applied to deposits and withdrawals.
You need to factor commission into your online trading costs. If the broker does not charge a commission then consider how much mark-up they will put on the spreads and if this will impact your trading strategy. When a broker charges a commission, they tend to offer variable spreads which will vary depending on the liquidity pools that they use, without any mark-up. This will often mean lower spreads and overall trading costs, even after the brokers commission fee is factored in. If you are looking to save on fees, please feel free to browse our best discount brokerages.
Leverage determines the maximum position size that you can open on your trading account. If you had an account of $1,000 and leverage of 1:50, you would be able to open positions of up to $50,000 (account multiplied by leverage). Whilst high leverage allows you to trade with more than you would otherwise, it also increases risk. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of leverage and the high risks involved with trading before you start.
Margin is the amount of funds you would need to allocate in order to take a leveraged position with your trading broker. This is a deposit kept to cover potential losses and is used to keep your positions open. The more margin that you have available, the more positions you can take. Using too much margin can cause a margin call as you may not be able to cover potential losses.
Whilst most trading brokers offer instant market orders, make sure they allow stop and limit orders if you plan to use these. Consider if they have restrictions on the distance from current price when placing orders. If you plan to hedge, scalp or use automated software, check they allow this.
If the broker uses an STP/ECN model with no dealing desk then spreads come direct from the liquidity providers and are thus likely to be lower than those of a market maker broker who add a mark-up to their spreads.
Consider if the brokerages execution policy is suited to your trading style. If you need the lowest possible spreads and fast execution then you may consider an ECN/STP broker.
Online brokers can offer a wide range of trading tools that you can use to assist with your trading. These include technical analysis tools for identifying potential trading opportunities, economic calendars for keeping up to date with market news, daily analysis and more. These are usually provided free to clients or for a small fee.
Check what trading tools are available and if they are free to clients or come at an extra cost. These tools can help analyse the markets, make trading more efficient and allow you to keep up to date with the latest market news releases.
Some online brokers can provide free educational material to help improve your trading knowledge. If you are new to trading, this can be beneficial and help you get started on your trading journey at no extra cost. Education can include how to guides, video tutorials, webinars and a dedicated team member to answer all of your questions.
If you are a beginner then the more educational materials provided the better. Even the more advanced traders can find useful educational articles, videos and webinars from some brokers. You can see our best brokers for beginners if you need some guidance along the way.
Some trading instruments are available to trade 24 hours a day and a trading broker’s clientele may be located in different locations across the globe. It is therefore important that the broker provides at least 24/5 support to get assistance whenever you need it. Support is usually available via phone, live chat and email. Use a broker that provides the most convenient support method for you and in your language.
Those new to trading will want to have better access to both dealing support and technical support. See what services each broker provides and whether it will suffice for your purposes.
Check when the customer service team is available, how they can be connected and what languages support is offered in. Consider if you are in a country with a different time zone how this will affect response times.
It is important to know in which country the online broker operates from and if they have regulation from the relevant authorities. Not all regulations and licenses give the same protection. It would be a good idea to look up and verify the brokers regulatory license.
The most trusted and reliable brokers are regulated which ensures that they must operate with the upmost transparency and fairness. These regulatory authorities are to protect the interest of traders whilst upholding the rules that dictate how brokers should conduct their operations. They monitor the activity of brokers under their jurisdictions to prevent abuse, fraud and manipulations. The regulatory authorities you should look for are:
- Australia: Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL)
- Austria: Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA)
- Bahamas: Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB)
- Belarus: National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB)
- Belgium: The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA)
- Belize: International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC)
- British Virgin Islands: British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVIFSC)
- Bulgaria: Financial Supervision Commission (FSC)
- Cambodia: Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC)
- Canada: Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC)
- Cayman Islands: Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and Securities Investment Business Law (SIBL)
- Croatia: Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA)
- Cyprus: Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
- Czech Republic: Czech National Bank (CNB)
- Denmark: Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA)
- Dubai: Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
- Estonia: Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (EFSA)
- Finland: Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA)
- France: Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR), The Financial Agents Register (Regafi)
- Germany: Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin)
- Gibraltar: Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC)
- Greece: Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC)
- Hong Kong: Securities & Futures Commission (SFC)
- Hungary: Hungarian National Bank (MNB)
- Iceland: Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland (FME)
- India: Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
- Ireland: Central Bank of Ireland (CBOI)
- Italy: Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB)
- Indonesia: Badan Pengawas Perdagangan Berjangka Komoditi (BAPPEBTI)
- Japan: Financial Services Agency (JFSA)
- Jordan: Jordan Securities Commission (JSC)
- Kenya: Capital Markets Authority (CMA)
- Kuwait: Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK)
- Labuan: Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA)
- Latvia: Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC)
- Liechtenstein: Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein (FMAL)
- Lithuania: Central Bank of the Republic of Lithuania (CBRL)
- Luxembourg: Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF)
- Malta: Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)
- Mauritius: Financial Services Commission (FSC)
- Montenegro: Commission for Capital Markets (CMA)
- Netherlands: Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), Dutch Central Bank (DNB)
- New Zealand: Financial Markets Authority (FMA), Financial Services Provider Registry (FSPR) and Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL)
- Norway: Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (NFSA)
- Puerto Rico: Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF)
- Poland: Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego (KNF), Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA)
- Portugal: Portuguese Securities Markets Commission (CMVM)
- Romania: Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF)
- Seychelles: Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA)
- Singapore: Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- Slovakia: Central Bank of the Slovak Republic (NBS)
- Slovenia: Slovenian Securities Market Agency (ATVP)
- South Africa: Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and Financial Services Board (FSB)
- Spain: Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV)
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Financial Services Authority St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVGFSA)
- Sweden: Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA)
- Switzerland: Swiss Federal Banking Commission (SFBC), Swiss Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
- Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC)
- Turkey: Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMB)
- United Arab Emirates (UAE): Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE)
- United Kingdom: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)
- United States: National Futures Association (NFA), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- Vanuatu: Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC)
Many regulators have an investor compensation scheme that will protect deposits up to a certain amount if the broker was to become insolvent and overly exposed to the markets. This gives added peace of mind to clients. All brokers listed on this website must be regulated, some will be regulated by more than one regulatory authority.
UK brokers must comply with the strict regulation and compliance guidelines of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Australian brokers must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). US brokers need to be registered with the National Futures Association (NFA) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). When choosing a broker, it is best practice to make sure that they are regulated by one of the major regulatory authorities.
It is a wise idea to check how long the broker has been providing its services and how proven their track record is. You should read all agreements with a fine-tooth comb as part of the due diligence process.
Wherever you live in the world you will want to ensure that the broker offers its services in your country. Some jurisdictions have tougher rules/regulations than others and this can place some obstacles in your way when opening a trading account.
Our trading broker reviews contain brokers that allow traders across the globe the hassle-free opening of a trading account, the funding of that account and the withdrawing of any earnings. We include brokers in the United States, UK, Australia and the rest of the world. You can use our broker comparison tool to identify brokers who offer services to your country.
The location can impact the regulatory authority of a broker. Trading brokers located in the United States, UK , Australia, Canada and South Africa, who are regulated, have some of the strictest regulation rules that they must follow which make them a popular choice amongst traders
Online brokerages should encrypt client’s data using SSL-encryption or the equivalent. You want your data to be stored safely with high security and protection in a worst-case scenario.
Hopefully you now have a good idea of the key things to consider when comparing trading brokers. All of the brokers listed on the trading brokers website have undergone our in-depth broker research and analysis procedures then been allocated unbiased broker ratings based on our findings.