Best Forex Brokers List for Online FX Trading – Reviews and Comparisons 2021
BestForexBrokers.com is a leading website for top forex broker reviews, platform comparisons, and detailed evaluations of the trading performance of different online FX trading companies. We are the first to acknowledge that our readers will come across some of the best but also the worst or plain mediocre types of forex brokers in the market. Therefore, our mission is to find the best forex brokers in the business as we understand that choosing the right partner is imperative for safeguarding your investments.
We have an established team of professional reviewers capable of discovering the best FX brokers through a rigorous review framework. Our main priority is to recommend only the most reliable companies to our readers. A significant majority of our review panel members are expert traders themselves, which adds an extra dimension of credibility and authenticity to our reviews. We do not believe in being politically correct since finding the top forex brokers can be an arduous process. Being critical of the companies is inherent in our review process, and we constantly strive to update our reviews.
All of our top forex broker rankings are revised every three months, and the review guidelines are also constantly refreshed to give you access to the best FX brokers for your trading needs.
Best Forex Brokers for 2021
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Top Forex Brokers – Revealing the Winners!
Before we provide a more detailed insight into our review methodology and broker evaluation guidelines, let us offer you a peek at the companies that made it into our coveted best forex brokers list. They are known for their top-quality FX services, great reliability, and customer-centric approach.
These characteristics make them the most desirable brokers for all kinds of FX and CFD products. We will also provide a brief reasoning as to why these companies made the cut, along with some of their advantages and drawbacks. Without much further ado, here are the best online forex brokers as chosen by our expert reviewers.
XM – The Best Forex Broker for Competitive Pricing and Overall Service Quality
XM is one of the best forex trading brokers, providing top-notch FX products, competitive pricing, and an excellent range of online forex trading tools. It is also one of the very few companies that are supervised by multiple regulators, making it a safe and secure brokerage for FX and CFD trading. There are several reasons why we chose XM over some of the other best forex trading brokers in the market. For instance, the minimum deposit is just $5, making the broker accessible to a wide category of retail forex traders.
Despite the low minimum deposit requirement, the company offers the most competitive spreads for its entire range of financial instruments, which helps keep costs down. The low spreads certainly contributed massively to XM being declared the overall winner in our best forex brokers list.
There are also many other appealing aspects of trading FX and CFDs with XM. Traders are provided with the option of using both the MT4 and MT5 platforms, along with a micro trading option and access to the widest array of asset classes from financial markets worldwide. They can also choose a high degree of leverage for FX pairs – as high as 1:888 for micro lot trading. However, XM does not offer access to ECN or DMA accounts, which may prevent traders from indulging in direct market access trading or enjoying a zero pip spread under live market conditions.
However, the company compensates for the absence of ECN accounts with an excellent pricing structure for its market maker accounts, allowing traders to benefit from cost-effective trading. There are also no restrictions on trading activities such as hedging or scalping, so traders can employ all kinds of strategies. Therefore, in our experts' opinion, XM is the perfect choice for retail online FX trading.
- Strong regulation
- Competitive spreads
- Minimum deposit of $5
- Attractive trading conditions, including micro lot trading
- No ECN accounts
- No optimal conditions for shares trading
- No acceptance of US traders
FXTM – The Top Forex Broker for Beginner Traders
FXTM is one of the best forex trading brokers for beginner and amateur traders since it offers the most stable trading conditions, thus helping new traders navigate the rough environment of a volatile FX market. FXTM is known for its low degree of slippage and requotes, which ensures that traders can enter and exit the markets at a reasonably constant set of price levels. The company offers a combination of market maker and ECN/NDD accounts, thereby allowing traders to choose a protocol that best suits their trading needs.
With a low initial deposit requirement of $10 and high leverage of 1:1000, smaller retail traders benefit from some of the best retail trading conditions at one of the best brokers for forex trading in the entire market. However, FXTM also offers advanced account options for professional traders, especially through its ECN/NDD account, which provides competitive pricing for commission-based and commission-free trading.
The company's copy trading program is even more exciting: it allows new traders and investors to copy the trades of well-established and profitable strategy managers through the FXTM Invest program. Therefore, it is relatively easy for traders to find an FXTM trading account that meets their exact trading requirements, irrespective of their experience.
There are 7 different account options granting access to five asset classes, but the actual number of tradeable instruments is lower. One of the best aspects of FXTM is that it is regulated by top-tier watchdogs and independently audited by PwC, which inspects elements such as client satisfaction, fund processing, order execution speed, slippages, requotes, and FXTM Invest Manager performance. Overall, beginners will certainly appreciate the trader-friendly conditions offered by FXTM as they can scale up their trading strategies by choosing the advanced account options in the future.
- Fast order execution, low requotes, and minimum slippage
- Access to both market maker and ECN/NDD accounts
- Strong regulation and independent audits by PwC
- Excellent customer service
- Slightly expensive initial deposit requirement for ECN/NDD account
- Withdrawal fee
- Limited choice of instruments
IG – Top Choice for Advanced and Professional Traders
IG is the largest FX and CFD broker globally, boasting over 4 decades of experience in the financial market. Given that the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and supervised by some of the top EU regulators, there is no question as to its credibility and ability to weather market turbulence. IG is our preferred broker for professional trading, primarily due to the diverse range of financial instruments, trading platform options, and outstanding trading conditions. There are more than 17,000 assets to choose from, making this one of the most exhaustive collections of tradeable instruments offered by any broker.
Therefore, professional traders can access their preferred instrument from different financial markets across the world through a single FXTM account, without switching between multiple brokerage accounts.
Traders can also choose from three different trading platforms, each app offering some unique trading conditions. One of the key features of the FXTM trading platform is access to weekend trading, which allows users to indulge in meaningful trades even when the markets are closed. However, all of these features come at a price because the trading costs are higher than the industry standard. Furthermore, the company does not offer an ECN account, but all of these are minor concerns since the overall costs are quite manageable. All orders are filled at market price through an automated dealing desk protocol where the broker makes a market for its customers by working with multiple liquidity providers.
Despite the absence of an ECN/NDD protocol, our in-house experts found the trading conditions remarkable, especially for high-volume traders. The company provides a few additional tools, such as trading signals, algo trading support, APIs, ProRealTime, and advanced analytics. As a result, IG was chosen as one of the best online forex brokers for professional FX trading, particularly when considering that traders&*apos; funds are always secure at IG.
- Largest and most experienced FX broker
- Strong regulation and assured safety of traders' capital
- Access to over 17,000 financial instruments from over 5 different asset classes
- Excellent choice of platforms and remarkable trading conditions
- No ECN protocol on offer
- No access for US traders
- No copy trading or social trading options
eToro – Excellent Choice for Crypto and Social Trading
eToro is among the best FX brokers on this elite list of winners courtesy of its excellent crypto and social trading products. When the company launched its services in 2007, it had developed one of the most futuristic and trader-friendly platforms of the time. It is still renowned for its trading platform, especially in its new guise, where users are introduced to one of the most advanced social trading networks in the entire FX market. The broker's expansive community of online traders contributes to one of the most exciting, innovative, and admired social trading platforms. While the market is filled to bursting with social trading tools from numerous mainstream brokers and third-party service providers, we found eToro’s offering to be the best.
Another advantage of the eToro platform is access to the cryptocurrency market. Most brokers offer a few crypto instruments and their crosses for the namesake, but eToro is different. It has a comprehensive collection of 16 different cryptocurrencies and adds new ones to the list as and when they become available for trading. There are two options for trading cryptocurrencies at eToro: buying the crypto assets outright or trading cryptocurrency CFDs. Either way, traders are treated to remarkable crypto trading conditions, including the option to earn interest on crypto holdings through eToro's Staking service.
Therefore, if you are looking for a cryptocurrency account or simply prefer copying trades from other successful traders, eToro is certainly one of the best forex brokers in the market for you.
- Excellent choice of assets, including FX and stock CFDs
- Crypto trading capabilities
- Amazing social trading network for copy trading
- User-friendly trading platform
- No access to third-party terminals such as MT4 or MT5
- No ECN offering
- High trading costs
XTB – For Gaining Market Knowledge and Trading Experience
If you are new to FX trading or just looking to improve your market knowledge, XTB is one of the best brokers for mastering the underlying concepts of online forex trading. It has quite a sophisticated Trading Academy, with courses divided into 4 categories: basic, intermediate, expert, and premium. These courses are carefully crafted to reflect the needs of traders while taking into account their experience and learning capabilities. XTB also offers categorization by subject, making it quite simple to choose your preferred topic from the extensive Training Academy database. In addition, the broker supplements its training articles with extensive market analyses, all of which are offered to traders free of charge.
However, XTB is not only about gaining market knowledge: the company is also home to an excellent set of trading conditions. The broker facilitates low-cost trading by offering tight spreads even though it does not offer the ECN protocol. The market maker protocol enables traders to enjoy a more stable trading environment, which can help them hone their strategies and understand the fundamentals of the market without being exposed to the volatility of direct market access trading. They can even choose between two platforms, xStation and MT4, both of which are excellent apps for FX trading. With strong European regulation thrown into the mix, XTB should be your default choice if you want to gain experience.
Still, we should warn you that XTB is a European broker that is publicly traded on the Warsaw exchange, which means that it may not accept traders from all countries. Nevertheless, for those who can open an XTB account, this is one of the best FX brokers in the entire market.
- EU-based broker with strong regulatory compliance
- Massive number of financial assets on offer
- Choice of xStation and MT4 platforms
- Competitive spreads and pricing
- Excellent Trading Academy for trader education
- Limitations on countries accepted
- Potential fees for depositing funds
- No ECN or DMA account
AvaTrade – For an Outstanding Forex Trading App
There are some pretty amazing platforms out there, but in terms of sheer innovation and features, we could not find any broker to beat the choice of platforms offered by AvaTrade. It supports more than 5 different platforms, which gives traders great flexibility as it allows them to switch between platforms and select the one that perfectly suits their preferences. It is possible to trade with conventional MetaTrader terminals, such as MT4 and MT5, or choose the broker's proprietary platforms, such as the web trader, AvaTradeGo, AvaOptions, and the AvaSocial apps.
Professional traders will usually prefer the MT4 and MT5 terminals, but the company's proprietary apps offer several innovative features, for example, AvaProtect – a paid insurance option for traders to get out of losing trades if the markets move against their positions. The feature is available for a fee, but it can be an excellent tool for those who would like to be protected against market volatilities.
The company even allows its clients to trade the cryptocurrency market 24X7 through its proprietary app, which is a bonus for those who prefer to trade crypto assets over the weekend. However, the standard instruments are available only during their regular market hours. The broker offers 8 different asset classes through its trading platforms, both on the desktop and mobile versions of the AvaTrade apps. Furthermore, AvaTrade is committed to providing an excellent social trading platform where users are given access to its proprietary offering, DupliTrade, and several third-party copy trading tools.
For MetaTrader terminals, the broker fully supports third-party EA trading and even provides multi-terminal support for fund managers. Therefore, we have ranked the AvaTrade apps among the best platforms for online forex trading.
- More than 5 different apps on offer
- Several ground-breaking features, such as AvaProtect
- Support for both proprietary and third-party tools for social and automated trading
- Solid regulation and favorable reputation in the market
- No direct market access through ECN or NDD protocols
- High ancillary costs
- Proprietary features exclusive to the proprietary app
Interactive Brokers – One of the Best Forex Brokers for US Clients
Our best forex brokers list will be incomplete if we fail to mention the best forex brokers for US clients since most global brokerages do not cater to the US market. There are several reasons for this, among them the stringent regulatory and high minimum capital requirements imposed by US watchdogs. As a result, overseas brokers tend to avoid the US market, concentrating instead on other lucrative jurisdictions, such as the EU member states. In our hunt for the best brokers for forex trading in the US, we found Interactive Brokers to be the pick of the lot.
An exciting facet of the company is that it caters to the global retail trading market through subsidiary brokerages, but its main operations are based out of the United States. Several positive aspects to Interactive Brokers ultimately made it a winner in this category.
The largest brokerage in the US, this company offers 11 different asset classes, including forex, stocks, ETFs, fixed income, and mutual fund markets. The broker has developed proprietary apps for web, desktop, and mobile, along with an API option for advanced traders. These platforms provide access to the entire range of financial instruments, allowing users to reach the global markets through a single interface.
The broker also promises the lowest costs among US peers, along with ancillary services such as integrated cash management and portfolio analysis. Traders can also enjoy benefits that include advanced analytical tools and trader education, which enable professional trading at the next level. These services are supplemented with excellent regulatory supervision, and it certainly helps that the broker is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Therefore, if you are looking for one of the best regulated forex brokers in the US that also accepts international clients, Interactive Brokers is a perfect choice.
- One of the best forex brokers for US clients, with strong regulation
- Acceptance of global clients through international subsidiaries
- Access to the largest array of financial instruments
- Excellent liquidity through interbank access, ensuring the lowest costs
- No support for third-party platforms such as MetaTrader or cTrader
- No bonus of any kind
- High initial deposit requirement
HYCM – One of the Best Regulated Forex Brokers for Non-US Traders
HYCM is one of the oldest financial companies in the market and certainly one of the best regulated forex brokers for online forex trading. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has overseen the broker for more than 20 years, which is clear evidence of its long-standing reputation as one of the world's safest financial companies. HYCM is also supervised by other top regulators, such as the CySEC of Cyprus and the DIFC of Dubai, while the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Financial Services Authority (SVGSFA) regulate its international operations. Given this robust regulatory oversight, traders using HYCM can enjoy some of the best trading conditions without worrying about the safety of their investment.
HYCM provides three different types of accounts: fixed, classic, and raw. The raw account offers ECN conditions with tight spreads, while the classic and fixed accounts enable variable and fixed spread trading. The asset classes include forex, stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and ETFs, taking the total tally to more than 300 financial instruments. The company always ensures that its financial transactions are audited to the best industry standards, which allows traders to withdraw their funds without any hassle. Therefore, HYCM has indeed done enough to be declared one of the best regulated forex brokers for traders outside the US.
- Over 45 years of market participation
- Both ECN and market maker accounts available
- Oversight by the FCA in the UK and CySEC in the EU
- Competitive spreads and great platforms
- Lack of innovative trading tools
- Limited number of financial instruments
- High spreads for fixed accounts
Other Top Forex Brokers That Nipped at the Winners’ Heels
Many similar types of forex brokers narrowly missed out on making it into our best forex brokers list. Some of them offer excellent products and failed to enter our rankings by the narrowest of margins, so we thought it only fair to give them an honorable mention.
Plus500 – A Solid Option for Professional Traders
Plus500 is a leading broker under the supervision of top regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The company does not have a presence in the Americas, but it does cater to global retail traders through its brokerage in the Seychelles. Plus500 had the potential to make it into our best forex brokers list as it offers the widest range of financial instruments, a transparent fee structure, and a professional account option for high-volume traders. However, the broker is very restrictive in its acceptance of clients from all countries despite having a global presence.
Additionally, the company only offers users its proprietary trading platform and does not support third-party apps such as MetaTrader or cTrader. It also does not provide access to social trading tools, nor does it offer the option of custom indicators, automated trading, or advanced analytical tools for professional traders. These factors ultimately spoiled the broker's chances of making it into our list of winners. Nevertheless, Plus500 is truly one of the best regulated forex brokers in the market and certainly worth your time and investment if you are not overly worried about the few minor drawbacks.
- Reliable broker with excellent regulatory compliance
- The most comprehensive collection of tradeable assets on offer
- Competitive spreads and pricing model
- No third-party app support and no option to use MetaTrader or cTrader
- No acceptance of traders from all countries
OctaFX – Trader-Focused Broker with Excellent Customer Satisfaction
OctaFX is the fastest-growing forex broker in the world and enjoys a stellar reputation among retail traders. The company appears committed to improving customer satisfaction, which explains the positive feedback we see in online customer testimonials. OctaFX provides a wide range of dealing protocols, including STP and ECN accounts, as well as access to the top trading terminals, such as MT4, MT5, and cTrader. Traders can also sign up for amazing bonuses via the broker's different promotional programs. However, the best feature might be the availability of live trading contests, which promise real cash prizes for winners of the broker's numerous competitions.
While OctaFX may appear to be the best option for smaller retail traders, the lack of some elements prevents it from being featured in our list of the best FX brokers. For instance, the company is supervised only by a couple of tier-2 regulators, which does not generate a great deal of trust in its operations. Besides, it has higher costs for its forex and CFD products, especially its cTrader accounts, resulting in an expensive trading environment for high-volume traders. The broker also focuses more on the Asian and Middle Eastern markets, which may deter traders from other regions from signing up. Nonetheless, if you are looking for the ultimate in customer satisfaction, OctaFX is undoubtedly one of the top forex brokers in the industry.
- Excellent customer service
- Huge range of promotions, bonuses, and trading contests
- Choice of MT4, MT5, and cTrader accounts, along with STP and ECN protocols
- Regulatory compliance not as confidence-inspiring as with other regulated brokers
- Higher spreads and commissions for certain account categories
Alpari – A Commendable Copy Trading Platform
With more than 2 million clients and over 20 years of experience in the industry, Alpari is another huge name in the forex market and one that is tough to ignore. The broker used to be among the top players from 2000 to 2015 and continues to be a household name in many countries. However, it has been on somewhat of a downward spiral in recent years, partly due to regulatory restrictions and competition from some of the other best forex trading brokers in the industry. So, what did the company do that pushed it down the overall rankings?
One of the pressing concerns with Alpari is the lack of regulation by any top watchdogs, such as the FCA or the CySEC. The FCA did supervise the company in the past, but the UK division filed for insolvency and was put in administration. Therefore, it is normal for traders to feel insecure about the broker's overall safety. Regardless, Alpari operates from its international office in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and has developed an excellent FX platform that boasts one of the most advanced copy trading systems in the market. The broker offers both the ECN and market maker protocols, which adds to the appeal of signing up for an Alpari account.
- Availability of both MT4 and MT5 platforms
- ECN and standard account options on offer
- Great copy trading system
- No regulation by top-tier agencies
- Higher spreads
CMC Markets – Low-Cost Trading for Beginner Traders
CMC Markets is one of the best online forex brokers for beginner traders, who get access to some of the most advanced research and educational tools through the company's website. The broker offers 6 different asset classes and low-cost trading through an automated dealing desk protocol. The CFD trading conditions ensure that beginners can access a relatively stable trading environment while building their way to advanced trader status through the broker's learning resources. However, there are a couple of reasons why our expert reviewers did not choose CMC Markets as the outright winner in the best forex brokers for beginners category.
With CFDs, there is a conflict of interest between the broker and the trader. An ECN, STP, or DMA account could minimize the risk for advanced traders, and such an option can also help beginners when they are ready to move to advanced trading. The absence of direct market access trading was a huge deterrent for our reviewers. Additionally, the broker does not offer automated or social trading platforms. Most peers offer some form of social trading tools to their users, and such an absence may disadvantage new traders. Regardless, the impressive number of tradeable assets, lower spreads, and strong regulatory compliance should help beginners enjoy a safe trading experience.
- Properly regulated broker in the EU
- Competitive fees and spreads
- Excellent database of learning resources
- No ECN or direct market access accounts
- Potentially tedious and complicated account verification process
Saxo Bank – Excellent Option for Corporate and Institutional Traders
Saxo Bank is an investment bank that provides advanced brokerage services for professional trading. It delivered consistently solid results in our live performance tests and scored great points in our best forex brokers review. The company has the best platforms, competitive spreads, and remarkable trading conditions. Why then did Saxo Bank fail to secure a spot on the winners' list? Despite the numerous advantages, the minimum investment required for opening a basic Saxo Bank account is $10,000.
While this is a negligible amount for professional, corporate, and institutional traders, smaller retail traders may find it hard to cough it up. Higher account categories are even more expensive, with the platinum and VIP accounts requiring at least $200,000 and $1 million, respectively.
The broker has a proprietary trading platform that is far more advanced than any other proprietary apps in the market. It offers excellent features, such as workspace management, algorithmic trading, advanced charting, and API support. Still, we could not find the MetaTrader or cTrader option, which would be more familiar to retail traders. Regardless, we recommend Saxo Bank to those of our readers who can invest at least $10,000 and endorse it for corporate or institutional investors.
- One of the best regulated forex brokers operating as an investment bank
- Advanced trading platforms with great customization options
- Excellent fee structure for low-cost trading
- High initial investment
- Mostly unsuitable for smaller retail traders
Forex.com – Great Choice of Trading Platforms for Active Traders
Forex.com is an excellent choice if you are looking for the best collection of trading platforms, superior trade execution speeds, competitive pricing, and ECN/STP protocol options. The broker supports more than 4,500 markets, offering access to 7 different asset classes along with transparent pricing, competitive spreads, and impressive cashback rebates. There are multiple platform choices, starting with the standard MetaTrader terminal in both the MT4 and MT5 versions. However, Forex.com has also developed a proprietary app, the Advanced Trading Platform, which is available for desktop and web-based trading. All of these features contribute to an extraordinary trading environment for active traders.
In general, we could not find any profoundly consequential drawbacks with Forex.com, but there are a few minor inconsistencies in the broker's service portfolio that relegated it to a lower spot in our best forex broker comparison rankings. The company does not accept clients from several major markets. Its international operations are overseen by a branch located in the Cayman Islands, which is not an ideal jurisdiction for financial companies that value a good reputation in the market. We also found the website to provide outdated information, possibly due to a lack of proper maintenance. Nevertheless, the overall services are impressive, and we determined the choice of platforms and ECN/STP conditions to be excellent for active traders.
- Awesome cashback rebates for active and high-volume traders
- Impressive choice of platforms
- Excellent regulatory protection for traders from certain regions (US, UK, and EU)
- No acceptance of traders from other major markets
- Low leverage due to regulatory restrictions
FP Markets – Raw Spread Trading with Minimum Investment
Australian brokers such as FP Markets provide a competitive trading environment that promises raw spreads, low minimum investment, and outstanding regulatory compliance. The broker offers the standard and ECN protocols with a minimum deposit requirement of $100. Both protocols connect traders directly to the liquidity pool, thereby ensuring no conflict of interest. Traders have a choice between the MT4 and the MT5 terminals, which ensures fast order execution, direct market access, and lack of restrictions on the use of EAs or other custom tools.
FP Markets has the necessary attributes to emerge as a winner in a highly competitive marketplace. In spite of this, we could not include it in our winners' list due to some pressing concerns. ASIC regulatory protection extends only to traders in Australia, while global clients are redirected to the company's international brokerage division, which operates out of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Another major concern is that the broker does not guarantee negative balance protection, implying that traders can lose more money than deposited. This feature is mostly standard across the industry, and its absence does detract from the appeal of FP Markets.
Nevertheless, the raw spread access and the low barrier to entry make FP Markets a highly reliable option for retail traders.
- Low minimum deposit requirement for ECN accounts
- Competitive spreads and low pricing
- Direct market access trading with deep liquidity and fast order execution
- Regulatory concerns for international clients
- No guarantee of negative balance protection
Markets.com – Honorable Mention for Overall Services
Markets.com had all the makings of an overall winner in our best forex trading brokers review list, but we found some pressing concerns that need to be addressed. We were surprised to discover that the spreads were a little higher than the usual.
The company has also failed to introduce a social trading or a copy trading platform, which are nowadays a permanent fixture of online brokerages. There is no ECN or STP account on offer since the broker acts as a market maker with an automated dealing desk protocol. It does work with global liquidity providers for passing trades to the interbank liquidity pool, but if needed, it may match orders internally and take the opposite position to its traders. Therefore, there might be a conflict of interest when dealing with the broker.
Despite these slight inconveniences, we found Markets.com to be one of the best brokers for forex trading. Traders can access more than 2,000 financial instruments, including shares, bonds, crypto, and indices. Traders can choose from a wide range of platforms, including the conventional MT4 and MT5 terminals, and the broker's proprietary apps, for example, marketsx and marketsi. The company also provides complete mobile trading support through the MetaTrader and proprietary platforms, which are available for Android and iOS devices. When it comes to overall services, Markets.com is undoubtedly a robust option for retail traders.
- Best overall brokerage services
- Wide market coverage with support for 8 asset classes
- Innovative proprietary platform options alongside regular MT4 and MT5 terminals
- Market maker broker with no ECN protocol on offer
- Somewhat high spreads
Methodology We Use to Rank Companies in Our Best Forex Brokers Reviews
As promised in the beginning, here is the section with a brief outline of the methodology we use to compile the best forex brokers reviews on our website. We pay special attention to understanding the intrinsic features of the different brokers and use several parameters to rank them according to their real-world performance. We have developed an unbiased formula to draw the best forex broker comparisons, and it allows us to construct a more realistic picture of how a company performs under live trading conditions.
Of course, we are critical in our approach to producing the best forex brokers reviews, and we update our best forex broker comparison guidelines from time to time to offer top-quality content to our readers. Here is a brief description of the parameters we use to compile the best forex trading brokers reviews for the different types of forex brokers that we deal with.
Types of Online Forex Trading Accounts
The first consideration when drafting a best forex broker review is the choice of accounts on offer. We look at the types of accounts, the ease of registration, the time taken to verify user identity, and the availability of dealing desk protocols such as ECN/NDD or DMA. Our best forex broker comparison strategy also involves examining the benefits and features of different accounts to better understand which account category best suits individual trader preferences. We also spend time evaluating the pros and cons of each broker to provide an unbiased opinion as to whether it is indeed a good option for our readers.
Choice of Online Forex Trading Platforms and Mobile App Support
The choice of platforms is another pillar of our best forex trading brokers review framework, primarily because the efficiency and performance characteristics of a forex platform can have a tremendous impact on trade outcomes. Several third-party platforms, such as MetaTrader and cTrader, are popular within the trading community. However, brokers may also develop a proprietary app to offer something new to their clients. We have come across several proprietary apps that boast ground-breaking features, but in some cases, professional traders may prefer conventional platforms such as MetaTrader to use its API, custom tools, and EA options.
Our reviews also cover the mobile platform options offered by brokers, such as the availability of Android and iOS apps and their real-time performance stats for smartphones and tablets. We even look into whether a company’s web browser-based app works well on a mobile browser.
Bonuses, Promotions, and Offers Provided by the Broker
It is no secret that traders always look for the minutest of advantages when operating in the highly risky and volatile forex and CFD market. Even a slight edge can make the difference between winning and losing. Retail traders understand that the lowest-risk means of increasing their trading capital are bonuses and free trading credits. Until recently, most brokers used to provide attractive bonus programs and extravagant promotions to lure retail traders. However, several misperceptions regarding bonus T&C have led to major broker-trader conflicts, which forced regulators to intervene and ban free money promotions.
Nevertheless, a handful of the best online forex brokers still make available offers and bonuses in certain cases, and we provide in-depth information on these promotions in our best forex trading brokers reviews.
Spreads, Commissions, SWAPs, and Other Costs in FX Trading
Costs are another primary concern when choosing a forex broker, especially for high-frequency and high-volume traders. Spreads alone can eat up a significant chunk of the profits, not to mention other costs, such as SWAP fees and commissions. Commissions are charged only for ECN accounts and as a fixed percentage of the lots traded in exchange for tighter spreads. Although ECN accounts are known for their tight spreads, not all ECN brokers offer competitive pricing for their forex and CFD instruments.
In our quest to find the best brokers for forex trading, we have come across a few remarkable market maker brokers that offer spreads comparable to ECN brokers, while some renowned ECN brokers quote insanely high spreads that in no way align with the true market pricing. However, SWAP is applicable for both market maker and direct market access accounts, where traders are charged a certain amount of money for overnight positions. We analyze all the charges levied by a broker for its entire range of services, and our reviews provide a detailed assessment.
Ease of Payments – Depositing and Withdrawing Funds
Traders must be able to deposit and withdraw funds freely. Brokers offer the best deposit options to their clients, but not all of them facilitate the withdrawal process. In our reviews, we always make it a point to open a live broker account, deposit money into it, trade the markets, and withdraw funds. By replicating the experience of a trader, we can check whether the broker treats deposits and withdrawals equally. Our expert reviews also offer details about the different payment methods along with detailed information on the safety and encryption protocols installed for the payment gateways.
Safety of Funds – Primary Regulatory and Licensing Information
The quality and safety of a broker are determined not only by its overall trading conditions but also the mechanisms put in place to safeguard clients’ investments. The safety of funds is a key factor in choosing a broker, and we only recommend companies with a proven track record of processing client withdrawals on time. We consider several factors related to a broker’s safety, among them regulatory compliance, licensing details, segregation of funds from operating capital, insolvency policies, auditing standards, trader insurance, and overall attitude to customers.
We also pay close attention to how the broker maintains its reputation online and how it responds to customer queries. Finally, we evaluate the broker through our own withdrawal experience, which is indeed the best part of our best forex broker reviews.
Best Forex Brokers by Country
Which Is the Better Option, ECN or Market-Maker/Dealing-Desk Protocol?
It is difficult to label either one as the best option for forex and CFD trading because traders have varied requirements for their strategies and investment goals. ECN/DMA/NDD accounts are perfect if you want tight spreads, direct market access, and zero interference from the broker. On the flip side, ECN accounts will charge a commission for trading, and there will be instances of partial order fills, requotes, and slippages. Market maker protocols using an automated dealing desk help minimize the risk of these occurrences, but the spreads will be higher, and there is a conflict of interest since the broker acts as the counterparty to its clients' orders. Ultimately, it depends on which protocol satisfies your trading requirements.
How Will I Know If My Broker Is Regulated?
Our best forex brokers reviews contain detailed information about the regulatory licenses, international branches, and contact details of all the brokers we review. We also look at the company's different brand names, history, market experience, and sister concerns to provide you with a finely detailed picture of its reputation in the market.
In addition, brokers are legally required to publish regulatory information on their websites, which traders can verify by visiting the regulator’s official portal and searching for the license number. Regulated companies are always willing to share such information, while non-regulated ones may be reluctant to provide it. In general, it should be relatively easy to determine if your broker is regulated or not.
What Are the Risks of Forex Trading?
Forex trading is the most volatile financial market in the world, and unlike conventional stocks, FX pairs are active around the clock 5 days a week. With more than $6.6 trillion in notional daily volumes, the forex market is in constant flux, which can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the increased volatility offers attractive trading opportunities, but on the other, dramatic market swings can move against a trader's position and result in a margin call. The risks are magnified by the use of leverage since brokers are known to offer anywhere from 1:30 to 1:3000 leverage.
News events, macro-economic data, and other factors can affect the pricing of currency pairs, adding to the risk. The top forex brokers always warn their traders about the potential risks of forex and CFD products, while the best regulated forex brokers minimize the leverage offered to their clients.
How Do I Calculate My Forex Costs?
There are several types of costs associated with the FX market. These include the spreads of currency pairs, the commissions for ECN trading, SWAP fees for holding positions overnight, deposit/withdrawal charges, performance fees for copy trading, subscription costs for educational materials, trading signal premiums, and account maintenance fees.
The best FX brokers are always transparent about their costs and will usually provide a dedicated cost calculator on their website. These calculators can help traders compute their expenses for trading certain currency pairs, while ancillary fees such as deposit/withdrawal fees, subscription costs, and copy trader commissions are displayed prominently on the website.
How Do I Choose the Right FX Broker?
We make it easy for our readers to choose the best forex brokers by offering them the most professional reviews of all types of forex brokers currently operating in the market. Our expert reviewers work hard to collect all essential information about a broker and compile a comprehensive review by subjecting the company to a rigorous review process. Our unbiased ranking methodology and the subsequent results of our best forex broker comparisons have helped us develop the most complete best forex brokers list out there. Make sure to read our best forex trading brokers review before choosing a company for online forex trading.
Which Platform Should I Choose?
There are different platforms in the market, and the choice depends entirely on your personal preferences. Professional traders may feel more at ease with third-party terminals such as MetaTrader and cTrader, which grant them the freedom to add indicators, custom tools, and EAs to their platforms. On the other hand, institutional traders may develop their own terminals for managing their large funds, which can be expensive but justified given their needs. Some leading brokers also build proprietary platforms that offer innovative trading tools, providing several unique features for retail traders.
Ultimately, you can try out different platforms by opening a demo broker account and trading the markets using a simulated balance. This will help you find the right platform for you without risking real money.
How Can I Access the Markets on My Mobile?
Third-party apps such as MetaTrader and cTrader are also offered as standalone mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. Brokers that support these platforms provide unfettered market access to all smartphone and tablet users. In contrast, proprietary forex broker apps for iOS and Android are only offered by a handful of brokers due to the complexities and resources required to develop and maintain these apps.
In our broker reviews, we evaluate mobile app options and assess the real-time performance of these apps under live market conditions. In case brokers do not have a proprietary mobile app, traders will have to access their accounts through the browser-based platform.
These web applications may not be as smooth or dependable as a dedicated app, but they do offer a great opportunity to trade the markets while on the move.