Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of six months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting over 3,000 data points that we weighed into our star scoring system.
The global foreign exchange (forex) market is the largest and most actively traded financial market in the world, by far. When looking for the ‘best’ forex broker, both beginners and experienced traders generally look for several key features and benefits. Among the most important of these are fees (including spreads and commissions), trading platform(s) (including software, web-based, mobile, charting and third-party platforms), customer support, trading education along with currency research, and trustworthiness.
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Pepperstone is an Australian broker based out of Melbourne. It offers competitive, full-featured trade execution through multiple platforms, including MetaTrader 4, browser-based entry, and mobile devices. Customers can choose among 80 tradable instruments in 72+ asset classes (including forex, index CFDs, commodities, metals, and cryptocurrencies) across the globe through a diverse range of account types that include commission-free execution and active trader benefits. An AUD $200 minimum deposit supports small trading accounts; extensive research and educational resources build users' skill levels and profit-opportunity recognition.
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more. Does Forex Trading Really Work?
IG is the largest CFD dealer (based on trading revenue) with the largest number of active financial spread betting accounts in the UK. As noted, the company just began serving U.S. clients once again, in February 2019 (IG had operations in the U.S. previously before leaving). Its size allows it to offer some of the lowest spreads and commissions in the industry. IG Group is a FTSE 250 company with more than 185,000 clients worldwide. Are there successful day traders?
Key points about OANDA include the fact that it has a $0 minimum for live accounts, which is not too common for any type of broker, including forex-specific brokers. Also, the company is well known for its quality of trade execution and transparency when it comes to pricing and fees. Finally, OANDA has long focused on its trading technology, which includes its proprietary web-based and desktop platforms, as well as mobile and MetaTrader 4 options.
If you are not interested in the above-listed features, you may consider contacting your local bank or joining a currency futures exchange (e.g., the IntercontinentalEchange). However, their requirements to customers are usually much stricter than those of online Forex brokers. In addition, their trading conditions may not be as favorable as those of the top brokers listed in the table above.
Furthermore, execution policies vary across firms in terms of how orders are handled (slippage/rejections), even when all else is equal. Brokers may be acting as market makers (dealers) to execute your trades and/or may be acting as agents for execution (relying on other dealers to execute). Forex spreads may include a round-turn commission. In addition, not all brokers publish their average spread data, and for those who do – not all brokers record their average spread over the same time-frames, making it difficult to make an accurate comparison.
True ECN and STP forex brokers do not care about how much their particular traders make. Therefore, these types of brokers allow traders to utilize scalping techniques to close their respective positions. Note that false ECN and STP brokers cannot allow you to use scalping techniques as a trader since they will be disadvantaged anytime you make small profits. How do I start day trading forex?