Richard Montana | May 20, 2022
Oanda is a multi-regulated and established online broker offering a generous range of trading instruments across multiple financial markets for you to trade on versatile and user-friendly trading platforms. They have tight spreads, low fees and rapid execution speeds. I found there to be some excellent tools to help with market analysis and finding trading signals. I like how the broker supports a variety of convenient funding options for both deposits and withdrawals. For beginners there are some good educational resources and a dedicated support team to help you along the way. It only takes a few minutes to sign up with a minimum deposit of just $1 required. You can also trade on a free demo account to build your confidence and get a feel for what the brokers has to offer before making any investment.
Pros / Cons
- Flexible & easy to use trading platforms
- Tight spreads, low fees & fast trade execution speeds
- Various account types for different trading strategies
- Range of convenient deposit/withdrawal methods
- Advanced trading tools for complex market analysis
- Trading guides to help educate beginners
- Low $1 minimum deposit to get started
- Free demo trading accounts to practice with
- Islamic accounts that are swap-free for Muslim traders
- Regulated in multiple jurisdictions
- Excellent 24/5 support
- Services vary depending on your country
- Cannot accept clients from a range of countries
- No fixed spread accounts
- No managed accounts
- Inactivity fees
Oanda was founded in 1996 by two professionals with a vision to change how the world interacts with different currencies. The company was incorporated in the USA but today, it has offices throughout the globe in Canada, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. They were actually one of the first brokers that I came across when I started trading online man years ago. The fact that they are still going strong today isa a testament to the top-class brokerage service that they provide.
The broker has a team of expert analysts who present insightful news, market analysis and commentaries. This can be great for inspiring trade ideas. They have been recognised with over 50 industry awards over the years, in different areas including trading platform features, mobile apps, customer service, risk management, trader education and more. I consider them to be amongst the best brokers for trading online.
Oanda asserts that it is the sole execution venue for all its clients’ orders. The broker also affirms that it does not operate an order book where clients’ orders could provide or take liquidity. All orders are executed at best available rates and optimum speeds. This method of execution makes the broker a ‘market maker’. I would actually prefer to trade with a non-dealing desk (NDD) broker that uses the electronic communication network (ECN) brokerage model. This is because I find them to have better spreads, pricing and execution. If you would prefer an NDD/ECN broker, then IC Markets are one of the industry leading brokers worth consideration.
Oanda are one of the most well-regulated brokers I have ever seen. They are regulated in multiple jurisdictions which gives me great confidence that they are a broker who can be trusted. I wouldn’t have any problem trading with them and trusting them with my account. AvaTrade is another well-regulated broker.
- In the United States, OANDA Corporation is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) with the no. 0325821. The broker is also registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED).
- In Canada, the broker is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC).
- Oanda Europe Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with the license number: 542574.
- Oanda Asia Pacific Ptd Ltd is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
- OANDA Australia Pty Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ASIC (ABN 26 152 088 349, AFSL No. 412981).
- Oanda Japan Co. Ltd. is regulated by the Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ). The license number is 1571.
- OANDA Global Markets Ltd is a is authorised and regulated by the BVI Financial Services Commission (BVIFSC) in the British Virgin Islands.
Clients’ deposits are maintained in different segregated bank accounts. These funds are kept in top European banks such as NatWest, Barclays and Lloyds, Ulster Bank in Ireland, Deutsche Bank in Germany and Barclays in France. Oanda accounts records are regularly crosschecked by internal auditors. Every year, ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers’ audits the records and the reports are sent to the relevant regulatory authorities.
Oanda UK and European clients are insured by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The scheme will compensate eligible clients for up to £85,000 per person if the broker becomes insolvent. The Canadian clients are insured for up to one million Canadian Dollars by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). The MAS regulated jurisdictions are entitled to an insurance of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars. This is some great protection if it ever needed but just keep in mind that eligibility can depend on numerous factors, including the entity that you hold an account with.
The broker protects its trading platforms and websites with Secured Socket Layer (SSL) encryptions to ensure adequate user protection from identity thieves and cyber hackers. This is pretty standard practice that you should expect from any broker.
Oanda accepts clients from across the globe but do not accept residents of some countries where there are certain restrictions in place. If your country is not accepted, please feel free to take a look at our broker reviews for an alternative option.
Oanda Next Generation Trading Platform
This is Oanda’s proprietary “next generation” platform that has won multiple awards. It has a great set of tools for conducting market analysis, advanced charting and trade management. The platform offers a flexible and convenient trading environment for traders of all skill levels. It is available in 3 versions; web, desktop and mobile. The web version runs directly in the browser and thus, works on every operating system in most modern web browsers. The desktop version is installable on Windows and offers a fully customisable user interface. The mobile version is designed for Android/iOS devices and is useful for those who need to access their account and trade whilst on the go. I am a big fan of the app as I like to take the markets with me in my pocket and check my account whenever I feel like it.
The following are some of the key features of the platform:
- Sophisticated technical analysis tools with over 10 chart layouts.
- Over 50 drawing tools and technical indicators for conducting chart analysis.
- News aggregator with search function.
- Access to algorithmic trading with Algo Labs
- Risk management features including stop loss.
- Trade performance analytics tool.
- Customisable layouts and interface.
- Powerful charting courtesy of Trading View.
- Market news and analysis, economic calendar available on the platform.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Platform
This platform is perhaps the most popular when it comes to forex trading and has become a standard among many brokers and millions of traders worldwide. The MT4 platform is intuitive, versatile, fully customisable and packed with a vast array of essential tools useful to traders. Oanda presents MT4 as a downloadable desktop application and as mobile trading apps. I have used MT4 for many years and find it perfect for analysing the markets using various indicators and running automated trading systems. It is packed with more tools than most traders will ever need. Not to mention that its capabilities can be extended even further with an almost unlimited amount of free and paid add-ons available for you to use. You can customise the platform to be as simplistic or complicated as you need it to be.
Here are some of the key features of the MT4 platform:
- Real-time price quotes in the market watch window.
- Multiple chart types (candlestick, bar, line) that can be displayed over 9 timeframes.
- 30 inbuilt technical indicators and over 20 drawing tools.
- Automated trading using Expert Advisors (EAs).
- Strategy tester for historically testing EAs.
- MQL editor for programming custom indicators, EAs and scripts.
- Trade directly from the charts.
- One-click trading.
- Order management tools as well as risk control tools like stop loss and take profit.
- Alert notifications via the platform, email and SMS.
- Online community and marketplace for additional tools.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) Platform
In addition to the MT4 platform, Oanda also provide its successor, the MT5 platform. Whilst this platform maintains the key features and functionalities of the MT4 platform, it also has some more advanced capabilities. You will be able to enjoy features such as built in depth of market, an integrated economic calendar, one-click trading, advanced trading tools and improved charting capabilities. Just like MT4, the MT5 platform is available for web, desktop and mobile on live and demo accounts. MT5 is a faster and more efficient platform that will improve the trading experience. You can automate trading strategies, buy and sell currency pairs with only one click and access greater market analysis tools. You can also create expert advisors in MQL5 to automate their trading strategies.
It is a pity that we cannot use MT4 tools on MT5 as they use different variations of the MQL programming language. This is one of the main reasons I have stuck with MT4 because I am well versed in MQL4 and have already built loads of tools for it. Regardless, I don’t think you can go wrong with either variation of the MetaTrader platforms. Another great thing is that they are available through most brokers such as Axiory. This means that you won’t have to learn another platform if you do decide to change brokers down the link. It can be frustrating to master a proprietary platform unique to a broker and then need to start over again if you switch.
Both the Oanda trading platform and the MetaTrader platforms support mobile trading via iOS and Android apps. These mobile apps can be downloaded and installed from the respective app stores. They integrate seamlessly with the desktop applications and maintain similar features and functionality. As mentioned earlier, I like the convenience of being able to check my account and follow the markets from my sofa, bed or anywhere else at any time.
Here are a few features of the apps:
- Real-time price quotes.
- Support for technical analysis via charts, indicators and drawing tools.
- Simple and user-friendly interface that can be customised to the user’s selections.
- Monitor live trades, charts and news on the go.
- Used to open, modify or close trade positions.
- Trade performance analysis and history.
- Push notifications.
There are a few additional tools available to help with your day trading activities. I actually think most of you will find the platforms to have more than enough built-in and third-party tools available. Unless you have some really complex trading strategies or want a specific market analysis such as Autochartist or Trading Central, then you should be fine. Alternatively, Forex.com have these and many other tools to greatly enhance your trading possibilities.
Oanda offer an advanced charting package on its proprietary Oanda Trade platform. The charting package consists of over 65 indicators and drawing tools. You can trade directly from the charts. There are about 11 customisable charts including the Heikin-Ashin, Renko, etc. The charting package is provided by TradingView; a leading web-based charting package and social networking site. The broker has conveniently integrated TradingView’s charting package into the ‘Oanda Trade’ platform.
This module gives access to historical back tests, coding and deployment of automated trading strategies. It is powered by QuantConnect; a free algorithmic trading platform for forex and CFD trading. With the Algo Labs, you can back test Oanda’s tick data from 2004. This is excellent to get a rough idea of how automated systems may have performed historically speaking. It is available in multiple programming languages such as C#, Python and F#. I like how you can deploy their strategies straight from the Algo Lab to Oanda’s trading servers and trade forex and CFDs. It should be noted that historical performance is by no means any guarantee of future performance. I would say the MetaTrader strategy tester is slightly more user-friendly and my preferred way to back test trading robots. However, I would always use tick data for the most accurate results possible.
Pattern Recognition & Price Projection
The pattern recognition is a tool inbuilt into the Next Generation trading platform. It scans the charts and recognises technical patterns such as triangles and wedges, etc. When the patterns are complete, it creates a price projection box highlighting an area where it predicts the price action may go. I think this is a great tool for finding potential trading signals and like that it does all of the leg work so you don’t need to be staring at charts all day long waiting for a valid setup.
This tool enables the grouping of charts together for the sake of comparison. This tool is useful for examining the same assets over multiple charts, timeframes, indicators, etc at the same time. I think this is a really unique trading tool that I would certainly be using for my market analysis. Anything that can help to give you that extra edge is worth consideration in my humble opinion.
Chart Forum Community
This is where you can discuss with other traders your strategies, exchange ideas and share chart analysis. It is part of the Next Generation trading platform. Traders can copy analysis, save and comment on posts. If you like the sounds of the Next Generation platform and what it has to offer, you might want to consider CMC Markets as an alternative.
This tool shows the percentage of traders that have bought a particular instrument as well as the percentage that have sold the same instrument. Sentiment analysis is commonly used as part of a contrarian trading strategy. I find this to be a really powerful tool for identifying market moves. I think it is vastly under-rated and wonder why most brokers do not provide it by default. After all, it is the sentiment that moves the market a lot of the time so I believe that we should know what the sentiment is at any given time.
This shows the dates and times scheduled for different global events as well as their predicted impact on the market. This calendar is powered by Reuters and it is streamed on the Next Generation platform. I always like to check the market news before taking any trade decisions. There is also a handy calendar implemented within the MT5 platform if you prefer to use that.
This consists of daily commentaries and video analysis as presented by Oanda analysts. It is accessible via the trading platform. The aim is to give you an idea on how to proceed based on the analysis and price movements surrounding various assets. I found them to be insightful but would always prefer to do my own market analysis before taking any position.
Market News & Analysis
The topics covered are market commentary, chart analysis, weekly outlook, technical and fundamental analysis. This is also prepared and presented by the team of analysts at Oanda. I think it is good that everything is available under one roof so it saves you from needing to get your information from multiple different sources. That being said, it can also be considered beneficial to verify ideas from as many places as possible.
The brokers website has a ‘Learn’ Section where a comprehensive range of educational materials for traders is provided. There are several training videos covering a variety of different trading topics including fundamental analysis, technical indicators, forex/CFD trading, etc. The videos are grouped for beginners, intermediate and advanced traders. There are trading guides covering different types of trading. In addition to this, there are articles explaining basic concepts which beginners may find useful if they are just getting started with online trading.
Oanda offers a reasonable choice of 126 instruments including approximately 70 forex assets including the major, minor and exotic pairs. The only assets available to US clients are currency pairs. CFDs are not available for trading in the United States. I think this would be more than adequate for forex traders but anyone who wants to trade stocks, then IG would be my top choice as they have a huge amount of over 17,000 financial instruments to choose from and are also very well-regulated.
For clients from other regions, the following pairs are available:
- 70 currency pairs
- 16 indices
- 8 Commodities
- 6 Bonds
- 23 Metals
Oanda operates from 5 regions: Europe, United States, Canada, Asia Pacific and Australia. Each of these regions is regulated by a different authority. The account types and leverage offered to clients depends on the region. OANDA Global Markets Ltd have leverage up to 1:200. Spreads are variable according to liquidity with EURUSD spreads starting from as low as 0.0 pips, depending on the account type. Generally, I found the broker to have very competitive trading conditions in terms of spreads and commission fees. You could probably shop around for a cheaper broker but the savings would probably be minimal. I also think the other features Oanda has such as excellent platforms, tools and regulations, makes them worthwhile.
Here are the various Oanda account types for you to choose from:
- Standard Account: There is no minimum deposit on this account and it is available to all clients.
- Premium Account: The minimum deposit is $20,000 for US clients, 50,000 CAD for Canadian clients, $50,000 for European clients & Asia Pacific clients. Australian clients can open this account with 50,000 AUD.
- IRA: This account is only available for US clients. The account is supported by IRA custodians like Midland IRA, Real Trust IRA, Pensco trust company, etc.
- Professional Account: This account is available to European clients only.
- Joint Account: Available to European & Canadian clients.
- Business Entity Account: This is for Europeans & Canadians who run a business.
- Eligible Contract Participant (ECP): This is available to US residents that have more than $10 million.
- Corporate Accounts: This account is for Asia Pacific & Australian clients only.
The Oanda support desk is available 5 days a week via phone, email and live chat. Oanda chat is a virtual assistant that first initiates the chat. It speaks English, Chinese, Spanish and Dutch. The support page on the website has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section that can give instant answers to some common questions that you may have. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the social media channels available. I have always received excellent support from them over the years and wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to them should I need help with anything.
The payment options available to you depends on your country of residence. As with most brokerages, they do not accept payments from third parties.
The following payment options are available:
- Automatic Clearing House (ACH): This method is payment is only available for USD accounts. Maximum limit is $50,000 and it takes up to 6 days.
- Credit/Debit Cards: The cards are accepted are Mastercard and Visa card. There is a limit of $20,000 per month.
- Wire Transfer: This takes 1-3 working days to deposit money through this method. International transfers can take up to 5 business days. There are no limitations on bank transfers.
- Checks: This is only acceptable in the United States for only deposits. There are no deposit fees and it takes 4-6 days before the check clears.
- Online Payments: The accepted payments are PayPal, BACS, CHAPS, Swift, SEPA and BPay.
- PayPal, Neteller & Skrill: Clients in Europe can use PayPal, Neteller or Skrill for deposits and withdrawals.
Accounts can be opened in a decent amount of currencies: USD, EUR, HKD, SGD. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
To create a new trading account, visit the Oanda website and click on the ‘Open Live Account’ button which is found at the top of every webpage. The new account opening page opens. Type in your country in the textbox, if they do accept residents from your country the form loads and opens, but if not, registration cannot continue.
There are forms to complete including account information, personal information and identity verification. If everything is done correctly, the account is approved and an email containing further instructions is sent by Oanda to the new client. I found it to take a lot longer than most brokers that I have signed up with in the past. I think this is probably due to the regulations and all of the things they need to check before accepting clients. If you want something much quicker, you can create an account with Hankotrade in just minutes.
You should not have to provide any documents when you open an account with Oanda for deposits up to $9,000 (or USD equivalent). You can open a Standard, Core or Swap Free account without submitting any documents. Then you can deposit with various payment options including Neteller and Skrill and trade right away. Full account verification will still be needed before traders can deposit over $9,000 (or USD equivalent).
Overall, I like that Oanda is a well-established broker that continues to implement the latest innovative trading technologies. This makes sure they can keep up with the latest trends in an ever-evolving market. The broker holds multiple regulations from different authorities and thus must carefully abide by the stringent regulatory provisions. This can give you peace of mind that the broker will operate in an honest and transparent manner.
The proprietary Next Generation trading platform is a multiple award-winning platform. It has a myriad of innovative tools to assist traders. The sentiment analyses, social forum, news from Reuters as well as analysts’ insights are all welcome additions that make the platform an acceptable choice for all levels of trader. There is also a comprehensive range of training videos and other educational resources available on the Oanda website and platform.
I found them to have a decent selection of trading instruments, especially when it comes to currency pairs. There is no minimum deposit, meaning that anyone is welcome to use their trading services irrespective of trading capital or experience. You can fund your account with a good variety of funding options to choose from. The broker can accommodate individual, corporate and international traders alike.