A large majority of Forex brokers are market makers, meaning they determine prices offered for trading to their clients, and act as counterparties to their clients’ trades. While many argue this creates a potential conflict of interest, other analysts point out that for some traders, using a market maker can result in a better and less risky trading.
High floating leverage + fast execution
Daily market research and Autochartist access
High level regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Impressive range of tradeable assets including vanilla options and gold options
Solid broker for scalping and hedging
Institutional-style trading opportunities for retail traders
Most extensive crypto derivatives offering. Choice of 250+ Crypto CFDs
Multiple funding and swift withdrawal options
Ultra-low spreads across all Crypto derivatives
- FXTM, Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution.
- FP Markets, ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500..
- AvaTrade, Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
- BlackBull Markets, Best ECN trading environment, with scalping and hedging.
- Eightcap, Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos.
5.0/5 in this category
Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution
FXTM, or Forex Time, is one of the best all-around brokers in the world. The 10-year anniversary of this fast developing forex broker was celebrated this year. This reputable broker, with a decade of experience, is now accepting traders from Cyprus, the United Kingdom, and Mauritius. You can trade a wide range of currencies, as well as gold, silver, and other precious metals, with FXTM. Traders who buy stocks through Forex Time become the complete legal owners of the stock. FXTM is the appropriate broker for you if you want to invest in commodities, CDFs, equities, metals, indexes, or oil.
Excellent commission-based Forex pricing environment and transparency
Upgraded MT4/MT5 trading platforms plus proprietary mobile trading app
Quality market research and educational content for beginner traders
Proprietary copy trading platform, low minimum deposit, and high leverage
5.0/5 in this category
ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500.
fpmarkets is an ASIC-regulated Australian brokerage which launched in 2005. For most traders, the unique selling point of this broker is in the extremely wide range of tradable assets offered, providing the opportunity to trade over ten thousand individual stocks and shares including publicly quoted Hong Kong and Australian companies. Ffpmarkets also offers 60 Forex pairs and crosses, 11 equity indices, the major commodities, and 5 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. fpmarkets offers an unusual hybrid ECN/STP execution model, meaning 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.
FP Markets Pros & Cons
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 1:500
Well-regulated and trustworthy
5.0/5 in this category
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads
AvaTrade is a fantastic forex broker for both novice and experienced traders. While AvaTrade is available in a number of countries and has official regulator certificates in Australia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, the British Virgin Islands, and Japan, it is evident that the broker is best suited for traders from South Africa and the British Virgin Islands. This is especially true for traders from various parts of the world that require larger maximum leverage. With over 50 currency pairings, almost 30 commodities, many cryptocurrencies, CDFs, assets, certain bonds, metals, and much more, you will have a wide range of trading possibilities.
High-quality educational offering via SharpTrader
Excellent choice of trading platforms catering to various trading needs
Broad asset selection and cross-asset diversification opportunities
Well-regulated and trusted broker with oversight from a central bank
4.5/5 in this category
Best ECN trading environment, with scalping and hedging
BlackBull Markets was founded in 2014 in New Zealand. Like many antipodean Forex brokers, BlackBull Markets is an ECN broker, offering raw spreads and 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. 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 be sufficient for those traders with more focused strategies not requiring wide diversification.
BlackBull Markets Pros & Cons
ECN/NDD execution model with deep liquidity
Institution-grade pricing for retail traders via proprietary price aggregation
ZuluTrade and Myfxbook for social trading
Leverage of up to 1:500
4.5/5 in this category
Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos
MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5
Eightcap Pros & Cons
Low minimum deposit and high leverage of up to 1:500
Competitive cost structure
Excellent technology infrastructure and seasoned management team
Daily research and quality educational content
Once you have decided that a market maker Forex broker suits your trading needs, you will have plenty of choices. The most important considerations you should have in making your final choice are the broker’s regulation and reputation, fees, and range of assets offered. The best approach is to make a shortlist based upon these factors then compare our assessments to see what will give you the best deal for your trading style.
Despite the widely negative portrayal of the market maker broker execution model compared to ECNs, market makers can offer a good deal to many traders. Additionally, they remain essential to the financial ecosystem and provide liquidity. Without market makers, the retail Forex market would be considerably less fluid, and trading for all would be riskier. Traders will often find that during more illiquid markets, market makers offer superior spreads, execution, and liquidity to what is offered by ECN brokers.
Market makers do not charge commissions but earn revenue via mark-up on raw market spreads which they get from their liquidity providers, who are larger (usually non-retail) brokerages or banks. For example, if the EUR/USD trades with a 0-pip spread on an ECN (electronic communications network), accessible via ECN brokers which charge volume-based commissions, a market maker might display the same with a mark-up of 0.8 pips. It covers their costs, results in profits, and usually protects market makers from a loss in the asset value after buying it from the seller and selling it to a buyer. However, market makers do take risk in effectively taking uncovered positions in the market and can find themselves fatally exposed by sudden and dramatic market movements.
Since market makers brokers have their own inventory of assets, they can also directly profit from the losses of their traders. Market makers typically operate two order books, often known as the A and B books. Traders with profitable records are assigned into the A book, with all others placed in the B book. The former is the one they access the markets with, and the latter handles internal order flows from clients. For example, if one group of traders at a market maker wish to purchase 50 lots in the EUR/USD and another group seeks to sell 100 lots, the market maker might match the 50 lots between clients in their B book and purchases the reaming 50 lots for its inventory in the A book. It can then sell the 50 lots in the open market to any buyer. The B book handles internal retail orders, and with an average of 75% to 80% of traders losing their deposits within a few months, it presents a highly profitable (but potentially very risky) business model for brokers. Market makers brokers earn money from their A book via mark-ups on raw spreads, where they compete for orders.
There is a strong reason why it is important to be very careful in selecting a market maker Forex broker, and to use a reputable listing such as ours as a guide – the execution model can be ripe for abuse in the hands of unregulated or unscrupulous brokers. Sharp practices to watch out for include stop-loss hunting, which generates premature trading losses by spiking spreads artificially, typically using a news event as cover for plausible denial. Traders should ensure that market maker brokers offer reasonable mark-ups. The best market maker Forex brokers will quote EUR/USD spreads ranging between 0.4 pips and 0.8 pips during the London/New York overall, with all major currency pairs below 1.2 pips and most minors below 2.2 pips.