Are you willing to bet the Chinese Yen will surpass the value of the US Dollar in the next week? Think the US Dollar will tank compared to the Euro in the EUR USD pair? Forex pairs are any currency betting against another. Some forex pairs are USD JPY or USD EUR as in the previous example.
Then you’ll need to play the forex market, or foreign exchange market, to win money on those bets. By far the easiest investment market to dive into as a beginner, forex investors speculate on the value of foreign currencies and which will have the highest worth.
To play the market though, you need an online forex broker. With unbiased and expert reviews of the top trading platforms for active traders of all levels, we hope to help you with your search for the best forex brokers. You’ll also have to decide whether you want in on a high-frequency forex trading platform. Here we give you the lowdown on what makes the best forex broker and the top ten best forex brokers out there. We also give you the rundown of our top five best forex brokers for high-frequency forex as well.
ACORNS SECURITIES, LLC
5300 CALIFORNIA AVENUE
IRVINE, CA 92617 USA
Level 34, One Canada Square,
Canary Wharf, E14 5AA,
London, United Kingdom.
Public Holdings Inc.
1 State Street, New York, NY 10004
eToro USA LLC
221 River St.,
Hoboken, NJ 07030
ROBINHOOD FINANCIAL, LLC
85 WILLOW ROAD
MENLO PARK, CA 94025 USA
The forex market has a low barrier to entry and anyone can start investing with a small-dollar initial deposit. Operating 24 hours a day, unlike other global markets, allows part-time traders and very active traders to make trades at any time rather than limiting their trades to business hours.
Forex traders also can set their stop-loss and exit price prior to making any trades. This allows you to mitigate your risk without having to constantly check your investments. A top forex broker will be able to point you in the right direction with high-quality research tools and forex and CFD know-how that U.S clients and a range of markets can take heed of.
Before choosing the best forex broker for you, you’ll need to understand how CFDs work, know the difference between forex and CFD and understand the qualities of the best forex brokers.
While some of what makes the best forex broker will be subjective there are a few aspects that are standard that you need to verify before handing your money over.
Any broker you’re considering working with should be regulated by at least one regulatory authority. No regulation means a risky broker. The best forex broker is regulated by more than one authority.
Every broker will claim that your forex trading money is safe with them this is what makes the search for the best forex broker tricky. Confirming their claims takes some digging. A great way to figure out if the broker has your best interests in mind is to see how they manage accounts.
If they offer segregated accounts then you will be able to place your funds in an account the broker has no access to. If they require you to put all your money in one place and the broker has access to the entire amount it should send off some red flags.
If the broker you’re considering cannot offer some sort of funds safety guarantee then you should pass on working with them for your forex investments. The best forex broker will guarantee the safety of your funds.
Depending on the broker, you’ll pay a different commission structure on each trade. Some offer $0 commissions and others take a percentage of your profits in exchange for execution of your forex trading. It’s a good practice to understand the broker’s commission structure before making your initial deposit.
When there is already high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage you’ll want to make sure you aren’t losing your shirt on commissions too. Somewhere between 74-89% of retail investor accounts can lose rapidly due to leverage so you want to pay attention to every fee and commission.
Here are the things you need to know about forex trading and forex trading platforms before choosing a forex broker.
Before you begin your search for the perfect forex broker you need to do some self-analysis. What type of investor do you want to be? Let’s go over the three types of investors so you know what will be best for your situation.
When beginners think of being a trader this is the most common vision they experience. A day trader is a person who buys into different currency pairs (EUR USD for example) at the beginning of a trading day and 90% of the time they’ll sell off one or more of their currency pairs sometime before the end of the trading day.
They also trade high volumes of currency pairs at a time to make the most amount of profit possible. Day traders depend on more volatile currency pairs, technical trading patterns, and quality trading platforms to plan and make their trades. This results in very high profits but also a high risk of losing money.
These traders scan the trading platforms for short term opportunities to jump on at the moment, get their money quickly, and get out. The last thing they want is to enter into a currency pair on a trading platform and have their investor accounts lose money. When retail investor accounts lose money it makes day trading seem less appealing. After all the goal is not to lose money when trading it’s to make money. If you lose money when trading you have to adjust your trading style and research.
If you’re not interested in the highest risk options consider some of the more stable trading styles.
The swing trader is flexible in the amount of time they hold their positions. While they sometimes trade within hours of purchase, especially if their accounts lose money all of a sudden. this same investor may hold for days or even weeks at a time in certain investments. In others, they may maintain just the account minimum to stay active.
Timing becomes the most important aspect of the swing traders’ strategy. Calculating probabilities of when the most profit is possible. Savvy swing trades take place in more liquid currency pairs like the EUR USD pair. Great forex brokers offer customer service to help with this research and analyzing the trading platform so you can make an educated decision.
Most of the best forex brokers also won’t allow your account to dip below zero or the account minimum.
This professional is focused on long-term strategy over short-term wins. The position trader holds for days, weeks, months, even years before trading a position. They do a lot of research using government decisions, policy changes, and other legislation and regulation with long-term effects. Then they make the best overall decision and stay the course.
They also look at G7 and emerging markets for the best overall long-term plays and better probabilities over the span of time.
You should never deal with a broker that isn’t regulated. Especially as a beginner, using an unregulated broker puts your finances at higher risk.
Make sure to check the regulation of any broker you’re considering. Regulations were a big consideration for us when choosing the best overall forex broker, along with the level of customer service they provide, and the funding and withdrawal procedures of the brokerage.
When you’re starting forex trading your initial account will be a margin account. This allows a new trader to play in the markets as if they had a lot more money invested with a small initial deposit. The margin depends on the broker you choose.
Some require low initial deposits, as low as $100. Then they provide you with a specific percentage of margin. So if you have a 50:1 margin that means you can trade as if you have $5000 with only $100 in the account.
Why do they do this? Currencies, unlike typical stocks, have very small incremental changes. They also rarely go to 0. So in order to see any tangible profit, you need to be playing with much larger sums of money.
If you’re working on limited funds you’ll need to consider the minimum deposit to your margin account before choosing your broker. While some offer low entry others require higher initial deposits, sometimes in the thousands of dollars.
Depending on the broker you choose you could have a long waiting period before you can start trading. This is usually associated with check or wire transfers. Sometimes you’ll have access to the cash immediately.
Other brokers may also charge significant fees to withdraw funds from the account. These are both things to consider before settling on the best forex broker for you free of fraud.
Most brokers won’t charge any trade execution fees. Some may have trade execution procedures that can cause a conflict of interest. Most reputable brokers will have information about their trade execution processes available to review on their website before you decide to choose them.
Specifically, check to see if the broker is using a dealer desk to execute the trade or communicating directly with the interbank system themselves.
Most online broker systems and traders will be able to give you a traders demo account to practice with before you jump into the real online broker traders game. This web-based account shows how well the pairs you bet would do with real money. Beginner traders get a leg up if they want to trade forex because most traders in other markets don’t get a practice account if they want to trade.
Before we get into the meat of the matter we want to clear up a couple more questions that are commonly asked by traders in the search for a forex broker.
You’ll hear high-frequency mentioned a lot in the forex world. This refers to traders that participate in multiple deals a day or even potentially utilize a program to do the trades for them, like automatic traders. They don’t hold their positions and they use many different charts to create their trades.
The benefit of high-frequency traders is that they get their returns right away. The drawback is the greater risk and lower overall profits associated with high-frequency trading CFDs and FX. While a longer play doing around 4-5 trades a month can average 400 pips per trade, high-frequency will garner 20-40 pips per trade and have a much higher probability of losses. Why? High=frequency traders are subject to overconfidence and a higher risk of burnout and seeing opportunities that don’t actually make sense.
Taking your time and always looking at charts with fresh eyes is beneficial because you see legitimate opportunities more clearly.
Plus500, based out of London, is the biggest forex broker in the world and one that has been around a while since 2008. They are listed on the stock exchange and are considered a safe and reputable forex broker. They offer both desktop and mobile trading.
You may be tempted to work with SuperForex. But, they are not a reputable or safe forex broker. They are based out of Belize and are not subject to strict regulation. Belize is a major offshore financial hub because they require very little to maintain accounts there. They aren’t publicly traded and a lot of U.S clients don’t use them.
It’s not a good idea to work with offshore brokerages because your money won’t be as safe as with a fully regulated forex brokerage. Especially if you’re looking at trading common currency pairs like EUR USD there is no reason to take the high risk of working with an unregulated broker. You already take the high-risk route in a market like forex without losing money rapidly due to legal and unregulated circumstances.
Remember that FX, foreign exchange investments, are complex instruments and come with high risks. You want everything to mitigate the risk of these complex instruments and come at the search with your eyes wide open.
Know which types of orders you’ll want to make and then make sure the broker offers those options.
Reputable top forex brokers will be able to get you any order you want but some may be more limited than others. Do your research, especially as a beginner.
It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that trading CFDs and FX, the foreign exchange, are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly. Choosing a quality broker that offers forex pairs with good spreads and a high level of customer service is your best bet at avoiding the downfall.
Here we go over our top 10 best forex brokers. Here is the shortlist and then we will give you more information about each broker and why they made it on our list.
CMC Markets is a very trustworthy forex broker that is publicly traded, accessible to U.S clients, and that has five-star ratings across several different platforms and a whole range of markets. CMC Markets is a leader for low-cost trading. Their margin rates start at 3.3% for trading forex. They also guarantee tight spreads even in the face of heavy market volatility.
CMC Markets has an extensive range of offerings, industry-leading research amenities, and client account protections. CMC Markets is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which is held in high regard worldwide for upholding strict regulations to keep market practices fair for both the traders and the businesses involved.
CMC Markets is for all forex traders from beginner level to more advanced. The account offerings at CMC Markets appeals to all sorts of forex traders of all experience levels. Trading forex is at your fingertips with CMC Markets.
LCG has been in the game for over 20 years and is considered one of the best forex brokers available. They come with a high recommendation and they’ve won a variety of different awards and offer incredible support for their traders. They offer seamless trading experience regardless of the operating system you use. They have a mobile app on both iOs and Google Play for mobile trading.
They are considered one of the best brokerages for beginners because they offer lots of research and learning opportunities. Consider whether you understand the nuance of the forex trading market, LCG can help you learn. LCG has a strong emphasis on customer service and their brokers offer a wide range of asset classes along with a seamless trading experience. Their customer support agents are well-versed and knowledgeable making for a more satisfactory trading experience. More and more forex brokers offer negative account protection and LCG is no exception.
LCG is also regulated by the FCA so you can trust your money and trades are in good hands no matter your level of forex trading experience.
Saxo Markets (Saxo Bank) is fully regulated in over 15 markets. They’ve been operating out of Singapore for over 25 years and are one of the most trusted names in forex brokers. Saxo Bank holds over $16 billion in assets and performs over 125,000 trades every single day. They pride themselves on adherence to the FX global code of conduct.
Saxo Bank is a phenomenal brokerage for more advanced forex traders. They offer some of the best research tools but they may fly over the heads of the beginning forex traders. Saxo Bank does have higher than standard account minimums and limited support options along with their higher-than-average trading costs which make them less than ideal for the newbie investor. But, for the more seasoned trader using Saxo Bank as your forex broker is a great option.
Saxo Bank’s superior user interface and by far the industry’s best research and trading tools allow them to easily make our best forex brokers list regardless of the drawbacks to beginners. If you’re looking for a team that sticks to the rule book and is ready to make you money, Saxo Bank is a great place to start.
XTB online brokers have been in business for over 15 years and are fully regulated and licensed. They have offices in a variety of locations all across Europe. They offer different asset classes for every trader.
They offer a very easy-to-use help section for beginner traders or anyone using the trading platform with hundreds of helpful articles. They have an easy-to-use and fully customizable trading platform which makes using them a breeze. Their lightning-fast excellent trading speeds are also a huge plus in the pros column.
XTB offers the lowest forex spreads and emphasizes stellar customer service and customer support. They are also regulated by the FCA and offer protections for all client accounts. While they have a lot going for them there are some drawbacks. They have no guaranteed stop loss and have no automated trading capabilities. But, the low-cost startup and trading costs are appealing to those breaking into the social trading and forex markets.
IG Group is one of the longest in business on this list. They have been in operation since the early 1970s. They offer over 80 currency pairs. They are fully regulated and licensed. They have over 170,000 clients.
They won the best forex traders award from Investopedia in 2019. They offer expert customer service, customer support, and access through their online site. You can access their complete charges document here.
They are certainly one of the best brokers for US FX traders. They are regulated by the FCA, CFTC, and NFA. IG emphasizes research and education. While they have no guaranteed stop loss and high share trading CFDs fees, along with no copy trading, they also have an extensive range of offerings that other brokerages do not. Couple that with their excellent trading tools and you have a winning combo.
Founded in 2010, Pepperstone has a great reputation as a forex broker. It has gotten to be one of the largest forex brokers in the entire world. They are at the top when it comes to customer service and customer support.
Pepperstone is regulated by ASIC, BaFin, CMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, and SCB. They segregate their client’s money with only tier one banks. This makes them a safer forex broker choice.
Their MetaTrader 5 excellent trading platform is available on any desktop or mobile device so it’s easy to trade wherever you are. It’s also a customizable environment so you can tailor it to your needs.
One of the best things about Pepperstone is its offering of a fully digital account opening experience which gets you to trading faster and not sitting on the phone. While they do have a more basic news flow they have a superior customer service experience, customer support team, and free deposit and withdrawals.
Forex.com is a quality forex broker and has a phenomenal execution rate with 99.76% of trades executed in less than 1 second.
Nearly half of all their trades are completed at a better price than requested. 100% of their limit orders are filled at the requested rate or better.
Forex.com is registered with the CFTC and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). They also hold regulations with six other jurisdictions around the world.
All of their customer deposits are kept in segregated accounts from their operating expenses. Their customer service, currency trading platform, and customer support departments make sure you’re kept in the loop on everything you need to know to trade forex and do a great job at answering any of your questions.
Interactive Brokers have been around a long time. Founded in 1977 they are a public company. They’re regulated in 6 of the tier-1 jurisdictions around the world.
This is not the best choice for a beginner or inexperienced forex trader. Their trading platform is quite complicated with a variety of advanced tools that a more seasoned investor will appreciate but could overwhelm a newbie looking to trade forex. However, they do have phenomenal customer service and customer support. Make sure you can afford to take the risk and afford to take the feedback if you get in over your head.
Interactive Brokers offers a larger selection of global financial markets than other forex brokers. You’ll be able to access 125 market centres across 31 different countries.
eToro is quickly becoming one of the best forex brokers in markets outside the US. In the USA they are limited to cryptocurrencies. eToro’s intuitive multi-asset trading and social trading platforms are user friendly and accessible to traders of all levels and do their best to give you all you need to prevent losing your money.
While they do not charge explicit commissions the brokerage does take the spread on any trades. They offer copy trading, the ability to follow and copy the trades of the most profitable traders to get you some of the action even as a beginner and prevent you losing your money due to tp inexperience. They also offer 24/7 trading which sets them apart from other online forex brokers.
Whether you’re trading on a desktop or the mobile app your experience is nearly identical which is beneficial for traders that want to maintain the same type of trading experience no matter where they are.
While TD is relatively new to the forex game they have been an institution since 1975. They’re regulated in 5 tier-1 jurisdictions and are considered low risk for online forex trading.
Their thinkorswim trading platform lets them finish best in class for platforms and tools in the forex trading space. They offer US-only forex so they don’t have copy trading or MT4.
While they have more commissions and fees to consider than another forex trading online broker on this list, they provide super high trust scores and investments to balance the scales. They have a phenomenal trust score among forex brokers and offer over 70 currency pairs to trade from.
As one of the largest US forex brokerages, they offer zero-dollar commissions for U.S clients but you should consider your carry costs with their estimated costs calculator tool if you plan on staying in a position for longer than a day. They offer forex trading 23 hours a day with a break from 5-6 pm EST.
Learn more about our other picks for the best forex brokers here.
High-frequency traders need different things than portfolio traders, copy trading, or even swing. Now that we have gone over our best overall forex online brokers, here’s the list of our top 5 high-frequency forex brokers:
High-frequency trading presents a different set of concerns. Are there daily limits on trades? What kind of fees are you looking at for high-paced trades? You also want to make sure the broker has a great research tool so you can stay up to the minute with changes.
Let’s look at each of our top 5 picks in greater detail.
IC Markets offers MT4 and has a phenomenal scope of market research encompassing technical and fundamental analysis including forex news articles. This is a big benefit for the high-frequency trader that needs to stay up-to-date on every movement of the market.
Their low-costs are also attractive to high FX traders. Their standard account features 64 currency pairs and $0 in commissions per lot. The best high fx account is their cTrader account which has a $3 commission per lot with the 64 currency pairs. The server location is based in London rather than New York for the standard account.
RoboForex is a regulated forex broker with negative balance protection and execution quality certifications. They offer a variety of different account types so you can choose the best one for your trading style. In addition to account types, they have three different trading platforms to make sure you’re always getting the best execution.
You can trade with a leverage value up to 1:2000 and they offer spreads from 0 pips.
While Easy Markets is not a publicly-traded company and they don’t own a bank they are regulated. They offer three different account types. You’ll do best on pricing with their VIP accounts but there is a $2500 minimum deposit. The web trading platform also requires a $250 deposit.
The research available is good but not the best. However, they offer a decent amount of insights and their trading platform has an easy user interface garnering them 2020 Best in Class for Beginners award.
Yadix is one of the only forex brokers that markets themselves specifically as a high-frequency specialist. They allow unrestricted trading allowing for speed, accuracy, and efficiency in trades and a greater ability to lock in profits.
They offer super fast server speeds and high-quality tick data to keep you in the know second by second. In addition to high-speed execution, they offer micro-lots, flexible leverage limits up to 1:500, they’re an STP broker so you’ll have direct to market execution, and they offer tight spreads from 0.0 across all pairs. Their web-based platform makes it easy to manoeuvre the days trades.
For extra security, they also offer negative account protection to avoid going below zero. They offer anonymous trading as well to protect your trading strategies no matter the techniques you’re using.
Octa FX focuses on security and cost-efficiency. They also offer attractive bonus structures. They were founded in 2011 and they are regulated by many different entities.
They offer a wide variety of account types so you can customize your account to your trading style and needs. You can trade with 1:500 leverage. You can trade on MT4, MT5, and cTrader across Desktop, Web, and Mobile. There are also a wide variety of research types available for you to study to make your trade decisions.
There are no commissions and they offer 50% deposit bonuses along with a rewarding loyalty program.
The decision of the best forex broker for you is super personal. It depends on what kind of range of markets you need, the number of pairs offered, trading costs, mobile app integration, using US traders vs other locations, online trading execution completions, and more.
You need to figure out what kind of forex trader you want to be before picking trading platforms and landing on the best overall forex broker for you. Make sure to take a look at the trading tools available, account minimum, your risk of losing money with a broker, whether the broker is regulated, and how many active traders are on the platform.
Learning which retail investor accounts lose money and whether you have a high risk of losing your shirt is something else to consider. At the end of the day, no matter which broker you choose you can lose money when trading and you need to make sure you can handle the risk.
Making sure the broker you choose has the best research tools, the best rates, and that you won’t be losing money rapidly due to excessive fees and commissions are all ways to mitigate your risk. Brokers for forex should be there to help you not trick you.
Looking for more information on a specific forex broker? Want to learn more? Click here to check out our full rundown of zero commission forex brokers.