Best Forex Brokers 2021

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Affiliate Disclosure DailyForex.com adheres to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the reviews and content we feature on this site are supported by affiliate partnerships from which this website may receive money. This may impact how, where and which companies / services we review and write about. Our team of experts work to continually re-evaluate the reviews and information we provide on all the top Forex / CFD brokerages featured here. Our research focuses heavily on the broker’s custody of client deposits and the breadth of its client offering. Safety is evaluated by quality and length of the broker's track record, plus the scope of regulatory standing. Major factors in determining the quality of a broker’s offer include the cost of trading, the range of instruments available to trade, and general ease of use regarding execution and market information.

With many hundreds of Forex / CFD brokers to choose from globally, finding the right broker for you can seem an impossible challenge. That’s why we at DailyForex keep our team of industry analysts at work, to make choosing the best broker easier for you.

1
Markets.com
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Marketsi strategy builder helps traders trade smarter
Competitive trade execution with low slippage
2
AvaTrade
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
High level regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Impressive range of tradeable assets including vanilla options and gold options
3
FP Markets
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
ECN-style trading
Daily market research and Autochartist access
4
Eightcap
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Globally trusted, award-winning broker offering free education
Lightning fast, reliable execution on over 200 markets
5
BlackBull Markets
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Solid broker for scalping and hedging
Institutional-style trading opportunities for retail traders
6
Capital.com
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Commission-free trading on 3000+ assets
User-friendly proprietary platform with top-level analysis
7
Pepperstone
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best ECN execution on the MT4 platform
Excellent implementation of cTrader and Smart Trader Tools
8
Plus500
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best platform for new Forex traders
Trailing stop losses
9
eToro
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best social trading platform on the market
Excellent choice of options for crypto traders
10
XM
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Quick and easy account registration
Excellent bonuses available in some locations

Top Forex Brokers 

Markets.com Excellent educational offerings.
AvaTrade Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
FP Markets ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500.
Eightcap Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos.
BlackBull Markets Competitive ECN trading environment with scalping and hedging available.
Capital.com Award-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4.
Pepperstone Great ECN execution on MT4 platform.
Plus500 Wide range of CFDs + trailing stop losses.
eToro Best broker for social traders and crypto traders : 75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
XM Exception range of assets + negative balance protection.

Markets.com
5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Excellent educational offerings

Markets.com, part of UK-publicly listed and FTSE 250 constituent Playtech PLC, offers traders one of the most trusted, secure, and competitive brokers. It operates four subsidiaries regulated in the UK, Cyprus, Australia, and the British Virgin Islands, with the latter two presenting the best trading conditions. Markets.com serves traders via Marketsx and investors through Marketsi. Besides its proprietary trading platform, Markets.com deploys the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. Traders also have access to fourteen quality trading tools, consisting of sentiment, technical, and fundamental indicators. They provide clients of Markets.com with a notable competitive advantage.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Cyprus

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, ASIC, FSCA

Year Founded

2008

Type of Broker

Market Maker

Minimum Deposit

$100

Maximum Leverage

1:300

Another benefit at Markets.com remains its asset selection. Forex traders have a choice of 67 currency pairs and 25 cryptocurrency pairs. Equity traders get access to 2,027 equity CFDs, 60 ETFs, and 40 index CFDs. Completing the selection are 28 commodities, 23 in-house created blends (in-house thematic portfolios), and four bonds. Markets.com also provides Forex traders with one of the best commission-free cost structures starting from 0.6 pips on the EUR/USD currency pair. It translates into $6.00 per lot or $12 per round lot. Equity traders pay a fixed commission of $10 or a currency equivalent per side for a total cost of $20 per trade. Other noteworthy advantages include the personalized financial live-stream service XRay, its Investment Strategy Builder, its outstanding order execution statistics, and its transparency.

 

Markets Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Very Competitive Forex Fees

  • Very Wide Choice of Assets

  • Choice of Trading Platforms

  • Excellent Customer Support

Disadvantages

  • Commodities and Indices Fees Higher than Forex Fees

AvaTrade
5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads

AvaTrade was founded in 2006 in Dublin, Ireland. They are one of the largest and most famous Forex / CFD brokers in the world and became well-known for offering their clients a choice of fixed or floating spread cost of trading models. They enjoy an extremely high and strong level of regulation, making them a favorite for traders who are extremely nervous about the security of their deposit, which in Ireland can be protected by a strong investor deposit protection provision. AvaTrade is directly regulated in Ireland (and by extension, the European Union), Australia, Japan, South Africa, and the British Virgin Islands. Outside the European Union, Ava’s maximum leverage offered runs as high as 400 to 1.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Ireland

Year Founded

2006

Type of Broker

ECN/STP

Minimum Deposit

$100

Maximum Leverage

1:400

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Proprietary platform, Web-based

In addition to their longevity and safe reputation, clients know that through AvaTrade they have access to a broad range of asset classes through which diversification can be achieved successfully: AvaTrade offers trading in over 55 different Forex currency pairs, 17 commodities, 20 equity indices, 14 cryptocurrencies, plus 66 individual stocks and shares. Even better, and unusually, 2 bonds and 6 ETFs are also on the menu. The diversity offered here stands out.

Whether you are located within the European Union or not, all branches of AvaTrade will offer you negative balance protection, above and beyond what is mandated by the law. This means that under no circumstances will any client of AvaTrade ever be held liable by the firm for an amount larger than their deposit.

 

AvaTrade Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Well-regulated globally, with the Bank of Ireland, the primary regulator

  • Low minimum deposit and in-depth educational tools

  • Wide asset choice across seven sectors

  • Superior mobile trading platform

Disadvantages

  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • High quarterly inactivity fee

  • Unacceptable cost for AvaProtect

FP Markets
5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500

fpmarkets is an Australian brokerage which launched in 2005. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia’s financial capitol, they have carved out a solid niche for themselves as the best Forex / CFD broker enjoying ASIC regulation. Australian regulators are much more relaxed about leverage than their counterparts in the U.S.A., U.K., and the E.U. and so fpmarkets can offer a maximum leverage as high as 500 to 1.

For most traders, the standout unique selling point of this broker lies in the incredibly wide range of tradable assets offered, providing an opportunity to trade over ten thousand individual stocks and shares. These go beyond the typical U.S.A. and U.K. companies and include a good selection of publicly traded shares on the Hong Kong and Sydney exchanges, as you might expect from an Australasian-facing broker like fpmarkets. Also, over 60 Forex pairs and crosses, 11 equity indices, the major commodities, and 5 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin are also on the menu here.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Australia

Regulation

CySEC, ASIC

Year Founded

2005

Type of Broker

No Dealing Desk

Minimum Deposit

$100

Maximum Leverage

1:30

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, IRESS

They offer an unusual hybrid ECN/STP execution model which means that their clients can choose between ECN style of execution giving a very high level of speed, and a “straight through processing” execution style which allows for more “natural” spreads.

Traders can scalp and hedge at this broker, whose fast ECN execution speed makes it a natural home for scalpers. Clients may choose between the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, and shares can be traded through the IRESS trading platform which includes access to level 2 exchange data.

FP Markets Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Choice of trading platforms and auxiliary trading tools

  • Very competitive cost structure and excellent asset selection

  • Low minimum deposit requirement and leverage of up to 1:30

  • Well-regulated and trustworthy

Disadvantages

  • Availability of Iress geographically restricted

  • Limited commodities and metals selection

FP Markets is an Australian multi-asset broker with more than $1 billion in daily trading volume, serving clients from 80+ countries. Founded in 2005 in Australia, FP Markets grew into a trusted brand over the past 15+ years with more than 100 employees. The upgraded MT4/MT5 trading platforms, via the Trader Tools consisting of twelve plug-ins, present clients with a competitive edge. We have conducted an in-depth review of this CFD broker to provide traders with a complete overview of the trading environment at FP Markets.

Eightcap
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos

Unique Features

Headquarters

Australia

Year Founded

2009

Type of Broker

None

Minimum Deposit

$100

Maximum Leverage

Maximum Leverage 1:30 (or 1:500 for non-Australia clients)

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

Eightcap Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Low minimum deposit and high leverage of up to 1:500

  • Competitive ECN cost structure

  • Excellent technology infrastructure and seasoned management team

  • Daily research and quality educational content

Disadvantages

  • Limited asset selection

BlackBull Markets
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Competitive ECN trading environment with scalping and hedging available

BlackBull Markets is a relative newcomer as a Forex broker, being founded in 2014 in New Zealand, which along with Australia, has become something of a haven for exciting Forex brokerages. Like many antipodean brokerage houses, BlackBull Markets is an ECN broker, offering raw spreads and competitive commissions. They are regulated in New Zealand by the Financial Services Providers Register (FSPR) and offer a maximum leverage on some Forex currency pairs as high as 500 to 1.

Unique Features

Headquarters

New Zealand

Regulation

FSPR, FMA

Year Founded

2014

Type of Broker

ECN/STP

Minimum Deposit

$200

Maximum Leverage

1:500

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Web-based

In addition to their global headquarters in New Zealand, BlackBull Markets also has presences in the form of branch offices in New York and Malaysia

BlackBull Markets offers a relatively tight range of tradable assets: 27 Forex currency pairs and crosses, gold, silver, crude oil, natural gas, and 6 major equity indices. That should not worry the average trader who is more concerned to have a normal range of markets to trade without being overly worried about diversification.

BlackBull Markets impresses through a kind of quiet confidence – they do not make extravagant claims, they simply focus on providing the basics required for ECN trading well and at a reasonable cost.

BlackBull Markets requires a minimum deposit of $200 which may put it out of the range of traders intending to make smaller deposits, at least initially.

 

BlackBull Markets Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • High leverage of up to 1:500

  • ECN/NDD execution model from a minimum deposit of $2,000

  • Competitive ECN pricing environment and volume-based rebate program

  • VPS hosting and social trading support via market-leading providers

Disadvantages

  • Limited asset selection

  • No MT4 upgrades despite labeling itself as a FinTech company

Capital.com
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Award-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4

Capital.com presents clients with a secure and trustworthy trading environment regulated in the UK, Belarus, and Cyprus. The MT4 trading platform caters to automated trading solutions, where it maintains a leadership position. Capital.com also offers traders its award-winning proprietary trading platform, an excellent choice for manual trading strategies. Forex traders get 138 currency pairs, making it one of the best choices based on available assets. Overall, Capital.com presents more than 3,000 trading instruments and is also home to one of the largest cryptocurrency selections with 200. Capital.com ranks among the top five brokers in both categories compared against all competitors.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Cyprus

Year Founded

2017

Type of Broker

Market Maker

Minimum Deposit

$20 or a currency equivalent

Maximum Leverage

1:30 retail, 1:500 professional

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, Proprietary platform, Web-based

Another notable benefit at Capital.com is the commission-free pricing environment. The minimum spread commences from 0.6 pips for Forex traders, which is $6 per 1.0 standard lot. Equity traders also get minimal mark-ups on 2,400 CFDs free of commissions. Beginner traders will find the high-quality educational section beneficial. It features Investmate, a mobile app that guides new traders through their learning process. Capital.com TV and the market commentary add value to the excellent core trading environment. The retail loss rate of 71.2% also places Capital.com at or near the top, a statement reflecting its educational efforts and competitive trading conditions.

Capital.com Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Excellent Forex and cryptocurrency selection

  • A competitive commission-free pricing environment

  • Award-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4

  • High-quality educational section built around Investmate

Disadvantages

  • Leverage for FCA/CySEC clients restricted to 1:30

Pepperstone
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Great ECN execution on MT4 platform


Pepperstone, founded in 2010 and headquartered and regulated in Australia, the U.K., and Dubai, is possibly the most well-known ECN Forex broker in the world. ASIC’s deft regulatory touch combined with local expertise made Australia a haven for broker startups heavy on technology and offering extra-speedy frictionless execution and extremely high maximum leverage. Pepperstone offer geographically eligible clients a maximum leverage as high as 500 to 1, which is enough for anybody’s trading needs.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Australia

Regulation

FCA, ASIC, DFSA

Year Founded

2010

Type of Broker

ECN/STP

Minimum Deposit

$1

Maximum Leverage

1:30

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader

As an ECN broker, Pepperstone offer raw spreads and low commissions. Taken together, Pepperstone’s “Razor” account gives one of the lowest and most competitive cost of trading in Forex that you will find anywhere.

In addition to their global headquarters in Australia, Pepperstone also have presences in London, England, where they enjoy full regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and in Dubai, where they are regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

Pepperstone is renowned for its advanced technology tools such as Smart Trader Tools and cTrader Automate. cTrader is one of the more popular trading platforms out there but is not offered by a majority of brokers, so Pepperstone can be a good choice if you want to trade with an ECN brokerage through the cTrader trading platform.

Pepperstone Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Low minimum deposit and high leverage

  • Choice of trading platforms and social trading alternatives

  • Comprehensive MT4/MT5 upgrade package and VPS hosting

  • Active trader program and competitive cost structure

Disadvantages

  • Limited asset selection

Plus500
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Wide range of CFDs + trailing stop losses

Plus 500 offers a wide choice of Forex pairs and non-Forex assets as commission-free CFDs. While this broker neither supports automated trading solutions nor social trading, manual traders have a clean user-interface, guaranteed stop-loss orders at an additional cost, alerts on price movements, and a trader sentiment indicator. This FTSE 250 listed broker maintains a safe and secure trading environment and offers a wide range of equity CFDs and an extensive selection of options contracts, allowing more sophisticated trading strategies. Plus 500 takes an opportunistic approach to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, offering a choice of 14 crypto pairs for traders.

Unique Features

Headquarters

Israel

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, ASIC, FMA, FSB, MAS

Year Founded

2008

Type of Broker

Market Maker

Minimum Deposit

$100

Maximum Leverage

1:30

Type of Platform

Proprietary platform, Web-based

Traders using smartphones or tablets will feel at home at Plus 500, where a report suggests mobile devices account for over 40% of all executed trades. Plus 500 does not offer in-house research and does not source it from third-parties, while the limited educational content is below average. It does maintain a News and Market Insights section, where it uploads commentary several times per week, but not necessarily daily. Despite its few shortfalls, it remains a highly ranked CFD provider on Google Play and Apple App Store, particularly with millennial traders.

 

Plus500 Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Well-regulated globally

  • Broad asset selection in equities and options

  • Guaranteed stop-loss order

Disadvantages

  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • Sub-standard trading platform without support for automated or social trading

  • No research and limited, below-average educational content

  • Lack of trading tools

eToro
4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Best broker for social traders and crypto traders : 75% of retail CFD accounts lose money

eToro was founded in the early days of the online retail Forex era, in 2007 – this broker occupies a unique space as the king of social and copy trading. eToro has a long track record and unique reputation to protect, although this image is more focused on its copy trading model than on any other individual feature, except maybe its special relationship with cryptocurrencies. 

Unique Features

Headquarters

Cyprus

Regulation

CySEC, FCA, ASIC

Year Founded

2007

Type of Broker

Market Maker

Minimum Deposit

$200

Maximum Leverage

1:30

Type of Platform

Proprietary platform

eToro is regulated in Cyprus, the U.K., Australia, and the United States although its U.S. offering is firmly differentiated from its offering to the rest of the world.  

eToro guarantees several benefits to anyone opening an Islamic account: no rollover interest or commissions on any trade contracts lasting for longer than 24 hours will be charged, and no commissions or fees are charged to Islamic accounts for account management. Notably, interest-free leverage is also offered to Islamic account holders. 

eToro is a leading cryptocurrencies CFD broker. Following its 2019 acquisition of Danish blockchain company Firmo and Belgian crypto portfolio tracker application Delta, it released its cryptocurrency wallet for mobile devices. The proprietary sentiment indicator for digital assets based on Twitter activity presents a social trading tool millennials favor.

eToro Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Excellent equity asset selection and broad cryptocurrency choices

  • Cryptocurrency wallet for Android and iOS

  • Twitter-based digital asset sentiment indicator

  • Simple social trading procedure

Disadvantages

  • Below average educational resources

  • Internal withdrawal fees plus higher core trading costs

  • MT4 trading platform not supported

  • Low leverage and higher minimum deposit

XM
4.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Exception range of assets + negative balance protection

Founded in 2009, XM has grown into a firm employing more than 450 professionals to service the financial trading community. It is a well-regulated firm with licenses from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySec) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). 

XM partners with investment grade banks and uses segregated accounts to ensure security. Retail client funds are insured up to €20,000 by the Investor Compensation Fund. Meanwhile, all clients benefit from Negative Balance Protection, so they are never at risk of losing more than their account balance. 

Unique Features

Headquarters

Cyprus

Regulation

CySEC, ASIC, IFSC

Year Founded

2009

Type of Broker

Market Maker

Minimum Deposit

$5

Maximum Leverage

1:888

Type of Platform

MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Web-based

XM offers micro accounts and standard account sizes, both just requiring a $5 deposit. There is also an “XM Zero” account with spreads on Forex majors as low as 0 pips, access to 55 Forex pairs and XM's no requotes execution policy. No requotes means you will always receive the price you see on the screen when you execute your trade. 99.35% of all trading orders are executed in less than one second, with no requotes and no rejections. 

XM sticks to the well-known and tested MetaTrader suite, offering MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, which are both available on desktop, smartphone, and tablets. 

Clients can contact XM by email and a support desk by phone through multiple languages.

XM Pros & Cons

Advantages

  • Outstanding trading tools and loyalty program

  • Low minimum deposit, high leverage, and competitive trading cost

  • Excellent research and education

  • Trustworthy and transparent with generous bonuses and incentives

Disadvantages

  • Inactivity fee

Other Online Forex Brokers

Capital.comAward-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4.  Read full review

PepperstoneGreat ECN execution on MT4 platform.  Read full review

Plus500Wide range of CFDs + trailing stop losses.  Read full review

eToroBest broker for social traders and crypto traders : 75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.  Read full review

XMException range of assets + negative balance protection.  Read full review

 

Our Reviews Methodology 

At DailyForex, we have assembled a team of expert traders who have experience in trading their own money with retail online Forex / CFD brokers to conduct an overall assessment of what is on offer in this space. They examined the 100 most well-established brokerages offering trading in individual stocks, and gave most weight in their assessments of each concerning cost of trading, reliability of execution, and internal and regulatory client protection, while also giving some weight to additional features offered by each broker, mostly concerning ease of use and customer service.

We ranked more than 100 Forex brokers. Each broker was graded on at least 50 different variables and, in total, over 100,000 words of research were produced.

The result is a finalized rating for each broker.

How Do I Choose the Best Forex Broker? 

Broker “Must-Haves” 

Let us be clear – opening an account and making a deposit at a Forex broker is something you should take seriously. You are putting some of your capital in the hands of a company, and in return, you should expect them to provide the tools you need. The more money you deposit as a percentage of your net liquid worth, the more careful you need to be. You should also expect that your deposit (and profits) will be kept in safe custody, and you want to know that that you will be able to make a speedy withdrawal.

Our first concern in reviewing a broker is the integrity of the firm, the soundness of their business practices, and the quality of the regulatory framework which they work under. After all, if you find a broker is not to your liking, there is little damage done if you are able to close your account.

Our second priority is determining whether a broker gives value for money to its customers in return for the services it provides. This is measured mostly by the cost of trading, in spreads, commissions, overnight swap rates and other incidental fees. Of course, generally, the more money you deposit, the more you can expect from your broker in return.

Broker “Nice-to-Haves” 

After dealing with bread and butter issues, our Forex broker reviews assess how each broker measures up in terms of the range of assets offered for trading, maximum leverage offered to traders, spread and commission models available (e.g. fixed vs. floating), and choice of trading platforms. Finally, we might consider the “bells and whistles” which are a relatively unimportant part of any broker’s offering, such as educational materials and bonuses and promotions.

Trading Conditions 

A good Forex broker should offer consistently good liquidity and smooth execution, which are the mainstays of smooth trading conditions. This is because trading is easiest in such conditions, and loss causing events such as slippage less likely. Liquidity can of course shorten at certain times of the day, making spreads wider at certain time. No broker can be expected to provide narrow spreads just before a major news announcement. Yet generally, entering and exiting trades should be easy, without any glitches or platform freezes.

Market Coverage 

Probably the most important factor here is, will you be able to trade everything you want to trade? If you are only interested in the major Forex currency pairs, that will be easy, but if you really want to trade individual stocks and shares, or say, the less common commodity offerings, you will find that not all brokers offer them, although most offer some of them wrapped as CFDs. There is nothing wrong with being diversified, but you should keep in mind that the cost of trading such relative rarities tends to be higher than the cost of trading Forex. Also, you might consider opening accounts with two different brokers, as you could find that there is not one perfect solution but there might be two.

Accessibility and Affordability 

For various reasons, some Forex / CFD brokers will not allow residents or citizens of certain countries (most often, the U.S.A.) to open accounts. This means that depending upon where you live and what nationality you have, you may not be able to access certain brokers.

A good Forex broker you also must be affordable. This means that you can afford to meet their minimum deposit, although there are many brokers here requiring a minimum deposit of only $10, and in some cases, imposing no minimum deposit at all.

Trading Platforms 

If there is really nothing between your shortlisted brokers, and one has a nicer trading platform, or offers some better minor condition somewhere, then why not let that break the tie? Remember, it is easier to get used to a trading platform you do not initially like, than it is to get used to a broker who gives you a bad overall deal. Unfortunately, many new traders get hung up on small things like trading platforms and bonuses. These are relatively unimportant.

Mobile Trading Apps 

Almost every Forex broker offers their own mobile trading app. This can be useful if you intend to ever trade using a handheld device. Most traders probably do find themselves checking up on trades while they away from their desks, so you will might want to download a broker’s mobile trading app and see how you like using it with a demo account, when you are in the process of deciding which broker to open a real live money account with.

Deposits and Withdrawals 

Deposits and withdrawals are usually nothing to worry about, except in a few rare cases. A broker that will not speedily send you funds which you have requested and are in your account, raises a big red flag, and is to be avoided at all cost. Deposits are made speedily almost everywhere, for obvious reasons. Occasionally, you may wish to use a payment method which a broker will not accept, for some reason. You will have to find another payment method or another broker which accepts your preferred payment method in such a case.

Reputation 

Examine the reputations of the brokers making your shortlist, one by one. A quick google search can determine if they have ever been fined by their regulator for a breach of rules, and which rules were breached. Are they a public company? Does their financial position look healthy? Have they been in business a long time? There are plenty of newer Forex brokers which are perfectly sound but using longevity can be an effective rule of thumb.

Regulation 

Your first step in seeking the best Forex brokers is to restrict your search to include only the brokers you feel comfortable trusting as a custodian of your money. Ideally, you should only be looking at regulated Forex brokers, and it is advisable strongly consider the stronger financial centers such as brokers regulated in the U.S.A., brokers regulated in the U.K., or brokers regulated in Cyprus. Consider also whether you would be in a stronger position choosing a Forex broker regulated in the same country in which you live: in the event of any dispute with them, you could be better placed to pursue it more effectively. Alternatively, you could focus on the offshore center which has the strongest relations with your country of residence – for example if you live in the European Union, you might find it easiest to choose a Forex broker in Cyprus, another E.U. member state. Don’t forget that some regulators, mostly the stronger ones, may be prepared to pay back all or part of your deposit if one of their brokers go out of business. It is not wise to rely upon the promise of “segregated accounts” to protect your funds from broker bankruptcy.

Customer Support 

This is a relatively minor consideration because the vast majority of retail Forex / CFD traders will never need to use customer support. However, in the case of a problem or emergency, you will want to know that at least a fairly competent customer support team is there ready and able to help you. It could be a good idea to give them a call if you can find any question with your demo account, just to test out how good your potential broker is in this department.

Company Background & History 

As mentioned previously, a quick google search can tell you all about a broker’s corporate background and history, including any trouble they may have got in with regulators for breaches or omissions of appliable regulations.

Education 

The majority of Forex / CFD brokers offer free trading education. This really is not important, because the internet is full of free Forex education anyway, so you do not need to worry about getting it from your broker. Worry about their trading fees, execution, reliability, and regulation instead. Many brokers offer very low-quality educational materials as a sales gimmick.

Account Opening / Registration 

Almost every Forex / CFD broker makes it as easy as they possibly can to sign up and open an account, of course, as it makes good business sense to do so. With many brokers, you will be able to get an account registered and opened, ready to receive your deposit, within a day of submitting your online account-opening form. To some extent, this will depend upon which regulatory regime the broker is subject to, and which country you, the client, is resident in.

Minimum Deposit 

Check the minimum deposit each potential broker requires from you in order to open your account. This can range from $10 at the low end to as much as $10,000, although fortunately most brokers accept clients willing to deposit as little as $100 or perhaps $200.

Deciding how much money you should deposit with a Forex broker is also important. Not only should you only deposit funds which you can afford to lose, it is also worth considering whether all the funds you can afford to lose should be in the custody of only one broker. You could consider splitting the amount in half and opening accounts with two different brokers, for example, as an effective way to limit your overall risk as a trader. There can also be other valid reasons to do this, for example, you might want to trade stocks with broker A and forex with broker B because their respective offerings in each differ in quality.

Keep in mind that generally, the more you are prepared to deposit, the better deal you are going to get. Many brokers offer a lower cost of trading (e.g. cheaper spreads, etc.) to anyone depositing more than say $500, $1,000, or $10,000. You should never deposit more than you can afford to lose with a Forex broker, but it is another factor worth considering.

Trading Style 

Some brokers do not allow scalping (opening and closing trades within just a few seconds). There are plenty that do. If you are set on being a scalper, it is something you will need to check you can do.

Execution Method 

Forex brokers typically advertise themselves as one of the following: ECN brokers, STP brokers, or market-makers. Some brokers claim they are a hybrid of two of these. Some traders are very keen to deposit with ECN brokers because they think the cost of trading will be less or that this model makes the broker more honest somehow. The truth is more complicated: each execution method has both potential advantages and disadvantages. Another problem is that there seem to be quite a few brokers claiming to be ECN brokers, but it is hard to believe that they really all are true ECN brokers when viewing their conditions of trading. Some brokers offer all the major options in different account types. The bottom line is, it is worthwhile doing some research on the different models and seeing whether one really makes sense for you, or whether in practice there will be little difference.  

 

Best Forex Trading Platforms 

The best Forex trading platforms are widely held to be MetaTrader 4 and cTrader, although many brokers have their own unique proprietary platforms that are arguably as good.

Almost every Forex broker offers the use of the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, although cTrader is less common.

It is a fact that choice of trading platform is not really that important, although traders will have their favorites based mostly upon the intuitive usability of the platform.

If it is a deal-breaker for you and you are set on one of the less common Forex trading platforms, this could restrict your choice of broker, so you would be well-advised to try to be flexible here in this case.

Best Forex Brokers for Low Costs 

The most important fees charged by brokers are spreads and commissions applied to every trade you make, but there are other, more hidden fees as well.

Overall, we feel that the best Forex brokers for low costs are FXTM and Pepperstone.

Examples of more “hidden” fees worth looking into include such fee types as overnight financing charges on open trades, otherwise known as swaps, which are charged by every Forex / CFD brokerage we have ever seen. If you will be keeping positions open regularly past 5pm New York time, you will probably be charged a small fee based upon an interest rate and the size of your open trade. Unfortunately, these fees fluctuate in line with money markets so they can be difficult to assess, but you can compare the rates charged on the same day by different brokers and see which one offers a better deal. Some brokers publish these rates on their websites and update them daily as they change. Others are less transparent, but you can typically find the rates in their trading platforms, although demo accounts may not reflect the true rates offered. A few brokers also charge account inactivity fees, and some charge withdrawal fees in addition to the cost of the withdrawal method which may apply. It is worth considering how often, how much and how long you expect to be trading, to get some idea of the total fees you will be paying each broker you are considering depositing with.

Best International Offering 

“International Forex brokers” are brokers outside the U.S.A. who offer account services to U.S. residents and nationals. We have published a listing of the best international Forex brokers.

While the majority of our listed Forex brokers focus on catering to customers resident in OECD nations such as the U.S.A. and the U.K., in our listing of international brokers you can find brokers that offer their services to clients from Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe and many other developing nations.

Best Forex Research

Some Forex brokers will claim to provide their clients with “research” about the Forex and CFD markets, in the same way major banks provide similar to their high net worth clients.

You are unlikely to receive any true “research” except from the biggest brokers, or at least, from those brokers requiring relatively high minimum deposits of $10,000 or thereabouts.

In other cases, offers of “research” are likely to be a marketing gimmick.

If you are getting good research, it might be comparable to a paid “squawk” service in quality, although probably it will not be as time sensitive.

Quality of research should probably not be a major factor in your choice of broker.

Best Customer Service 

All you need from your Forex broker is to have adequate customer service, because you will probably never need to use a broker’s customer service department. There is no reason to choose a broker just because it might have the very best customer service.

Having said that, if the level of customer service is really important to you, we know that FXTM excels in this area as a result of conducting random test calls. Their customer service representatives are prompt and responsive, and they offer support in a range of languages which is almost unparalleled by any other Forex broker.

Best Forex Trading Apps 

Practically every Forex broker offers a trading app so you can trade with them from any mobile or handheld device with internet or 4G connectivity. Some apps are especially popular as trading intelligently from a portable device can be challenging in that user environment. Of the five brokers listed here, the apps that are seen as most helpful and therefore get the best reviews tend to be FXTM and AvaTrade. In particular, AvaTrade’s app offers some really quite unique features.

Best Brokers for Day Trading 

Day traders do not have to worry about swaps (overnight financing fees) because day traders rarely hold positions open over 5pm New York time when they are generally charged or paid. Instead, day traders need to be especially concerned with swaps and commissions, because day traders will often be making a relatively large amount of trades. The best brokers for day traders tend to be those that do not impose minimum trade times over which any open trade must be held – this can be shocking, but some brokers do this, so check the small print on their sites carefully. Finally, brokers suiting day traders will have no problem with scalping, and will offer very competitive spreads and commissions – very often, these will be ECN Forex brokers.

Broker Costs 

After safety of deposit, this should be your second or perhaps third consideration in choosing a broker. Your cost of trading will impact your profitability, so this is very important. Choose a broker that offers competitive spreads. As a good benchmark, any broker charging more than 1 pip as an average spread on the benchmark EUR/USD currency pair is probably not going to be competitive here, even when all issues are considered.

Keep in mind that the spreads you see when you are paper trading a broker’s demo account will not necessarily match the spreads offered in real time in a comparable live account.

Micro Account 

Most brokers today offer trading in Forex with a minimum trade size of only 1 micro lot in a micro account. A micro lot is 1% of the size of a standard lot (typically 10,000 units of the denomination currency). This means that brokers offering micro accounts make it possible to trade with quite suitable, conservative leverage and money management, even with a deposit of only approximately $100 or equivalent. This is great news for smaller depositors, but they should still be sure to check their favored brokers do allow trading in micro-lots.

Trading Condition

Most brokers publish on their website a list of all the assets the offer their clients the ability to trade. You will of course always find the major Forex pairs there, but the more minor pairs and crosses, not to mention the exotic currencies, are a little rarer.

There is no reason why Forex trading cannot be profitable with just a handful of major currency pairs. However, some traders may require a very diversified trading style, or might wish to trade particular exotic currencies. If you fall into this category, it is worth searching through your shortlisted broker’s websites and checking exactly which Forex pairs and crosses are on offer.

Markets & Products 

Most Forex brokers are not just selling the ability to trade Forex but are also offering trading in CFDs covering commodities and major equity indices, and sometimes also individual stocks and shares. There are even a few brokers, including some of the ones listed here, offering more unusual products, such as the Forex options offered by AvaTrade.

Demo Accounts 

It is practically unheard of for any Forex broker not to offer a demo account. This means that if you are considering opening a real money account with any Forex broker, you can try them out first in something approximating real conditions by opening a demo account with them, in which you trade imaginary funds in real market conditions, albeit without real liquidity and execution issues.

Leverage 

Forex brokers invariably offer leveraged trading, meaning a client can trade with more funds that they have actually deposited.

The exact amount of leverage offered is partly up to the broker, although each different regulatory regime imposes different maximums on different types of assets.

Forex is usually the most highly leveraged offering.

Basically, the very highest leverage is offered by the least regulated or unregulated Forex brokers, often at 1000 to 1 or even higher. This is far more leverage than anyone could ever need.

Forex brokers usually publish the details of the maximum leverage offered. There is no obligation to use it – even if your broker is offering you lots of leverage, you do not need to take it.

Traders looking for brokers with unusually high leverage will have to make a point of checking this, but for most traders, it should not become an important issue.

Bonus 

Some brokers regulated outside the European Union offer bonuses to new depositors, which usually take the form of adding funds to the account.

If this sounds too good to be true, that is because it usually is – read the small print, which generally stipulates that bonuses cannot be withdrawn until the funds have been used to make a large number of trades. This means that bonuses are mostly not only a marketing device but may be used to encourage clients to over trade and delay withdrawing profits.

It is probably most worthwhile ignoring bonuses completely.

Additional Account Details 

Order Execution Types 

Almost every Forex broker today offers the full range of order execution types. However, there are two in particular worth checking which can be especially useful for some trading styles: trailing stop, and OCO (“one order cancels the other”).

Broker Reporting 

Some brokers offer a reporting function which can be useful when you are writing your tax return at the end of the year if you have profits or losses to report. This is probably most useful for U.S. persons who are subject to fill in highly complex tax returns.

Account Types 

Traditionally, brokers were either ECN or market-making brokers. Today, many brokers offer a choice between the two as different account types. Many brokers also tend to offer a wide range of different account options, which offer better deals depending upon how much you want to trade, and what trading style you tend to utilize. Therefore, it is worth reading the various options carefully and considering what best meets your requirements as a trader.

Scams 

Unfortunately, the Forex industry has historically suffered from scammers setting up unregulated or extremely lightly regulated brokers. These scam brokers tended to use a range of tricks to make their clients lose money, or to make it very difficult for clients to withdraw any funds they deposited.

We have taken care to ensure the brokers we list do not fall into this category.

FAQs 

What is the Best Forex Broker for Beginners?

The best Forex broker for beginners is one that offers not only competitive spreads and commissions, but also competitive overnight swap rates, as beginners usually find longer-term trading styles more profitable. Offering an intuitive, easy to use trading platform is also a big help to beginner traders.

Are Forex Brokers Reliable?

Some Forex brokers are reliable, and some are unreliable. The easiest and best way to tell whether a broker is reliable is to check whether they have secured regulatory approval in a major financial center with a good regulatory reputation.

What is the Best Website for Forex Trading?

Forex brokers offer trading in Forex, not Forex websites, although all brokers have websites. The best Forex broker for you will depend upon how much money you want to deposit, what you want to trade, how often you want to trade, and your overall risk tolerance. Your country of residence and citizenship can also play a role in answering this question.

How Do I Choose the Best Forex Broker for Me?

Consider what assets you want to trade, what style of trading you want to do (long or short-term), and how much money you wish to deposit. These factors are the most important considerations and applying them will enable you to create a shortlist from brokers which are well-regulated and have good reputations. You can then make your final choice on the nice-to-have factors.

How Do I Know if a Forex Broker is Regulated?

Forex brokers which are regulated will always mention the details of their regulatory licenses on their websites, usually under the heading “regulation” or “about us”. If you cannot find any details about regulation, the broker is probably unregulated and should be avoided.

What is the Minimum Deposit for Forex?

Many Forex brokers require a minimum deposit of $100 or the equivalent, but it is becoming more common to find brokers requiring only $10 or even stipulating no minimum at all. Remember though, that it is very difficult to trade safely with even a micro account unless you deposit at least $100.

What is the Best Forex Trading Platform?

The best Forex trading platforms are MetaTrader 4 (if enhanced add-ins are used) and cTrader.

How Do I Know if My Forex Broker is Regulated? 

You can tell very easily whether a Forex broker is regulated, as brokers will almost always publish this information prominently on their websites, as it is good marketing to potential customers.

You do not have to take a broker’s word that it is regulated by a particular regulatory authority – you can and should check the regulator’s website to ensure the broker in question is listed there as having secured their regulatory approval.

What is the Difference Between a Dealing Desk and an Agency Broker? 

A dealing desk broker gives its clients a price to trade, but often makes no actual trades in the real market to cover this, or only partially covers the net trades being made by its clients. Dealing desk brokers get to keep so or all of the money their clients lose.

An agency broker just matches the orders of their clients, so if one wants to sell and the other wants to buy in the same quantity, they effectively just facilitate the exchange, while taking a commission and/or a spread as their profit margin. ECN brokers are agency brokers.

How Do I Calculate Forex Trading Costs? 

You can calculate your likely cost of trading with any broker by looking at their typical spread and / or commission in what you want to trade and multiply that by the quantities you typically trade. If you hold trades open overnight (past 5pm New York time), you will need to do the same with their overnight swap rates applicable, although these can change quite markedly from day to day so are difficult to calculate in advance.

Huzefa Hamid

I’m a trader and manage my own capital. I trade the major Forex pairs, some Futures contracts, and I rely entirely on Technical Analysis to place my trades. Today, I am also a Senior Analyst for DailyForex.com. I began trading the markets in the early 1990s, at the age of sixteen. I had a few hundred British pounds saved up (I grew up in England), with which I was able to open a small account with some help from my Dad. I started my trading journey by buying UK equities that I had read about in the business sections of newspapers. The 1990s were a bull market, so naturally, I made money. I was fortunate enough in my early twenties to have a friend that recommended a Technical Analysis course run by a British trader who emphasized raw chart analysis without indicators. Having this first-principles approach to charts influences how I trade to this day.

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