Choosing the right Forex broker, a firm that facilitates the buying and selling of currencies and other financial instruments, is of the utmost importance. Also, it could be a daunting task not only for a nascent trader, who is making first steps in this space but also for more seasoned ones who had encountered scammers who would use anything from manipulations with bid-ask spreads to selling false signals in order to lure a gullible trader and then bleed his account dry.
One can't be careless when picking a broker because it is among the factors that will determine the overall trading experience for months to come. That is why we at Forex-Rating decided to compile a list of top 10 Forex brokers to help our readers and subscribers to find a safe haven in the roiling sea of currency trading.
All of the brokers present on that list were chosen in accordance with our strict methodology that takes into account the following factors:
- Broker's experience, reputation, and range of offered services;
- Compliance with regulatory requirements in the corresponding jurisdiction;
- The variety of available trading platforms and their operational capacity;
- Deposit and withdrawal gateways and their security;
- The number of accessible currency markets and trading options, such as leveraged trading;
- The size of spread and trading fees;
Since our primary mission is to help you make only well-considered and educated decisions using our unbiased opinion, we urge you to peruse this list carefully and pick a broker that is best suited for your trading requirements and capabilities, instead of opting for the very first one on our list. Remember that an honest and diligent broker is one of the keys to making a successful career as a Forex trader.
ForexTime (FXTM) is one of the most accoladed Forex and CFD brokers in the industry that was awarded the Best ECN Broker in 2020, the Best Investment Broker and Best Trading Experience in 2019, and the Most Innovative Broker and the Best Trading Experience in 2018. It is regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius and holds a corresponding investment dealer license, along with the market conduct regulator FSCA, CySec, and FCA. The broker offers access to such trading instruments as foreign currencies, CFD, stocks, and cryptocurrencies.
FXTM offers two kinds of trading platforms, which are MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, with two trading account types, namely Standard and ECN, which is the optimal selection for the contemporary industry.
Standard accounts have tight floating spreads and are divided into Standard, Cent, and Stock CFD's accounts that go mostly with MetaTrader 4. ECN accounts include Stock, ECN Zero, ECN, and FXTM Pro Accounts that could even offer a 0-pips spread for Pro users.
Speaking of spreads, it ranges from 0.1 pts to 0.3 pts on Forex; from 0.3 pts to 9 pts on CFD. But beware that FXTM charges additional fees - for instance, the inactivity fee - that can influence your overall trading performance.
The available leverage goes as high as 1:30 for the most popular foreign currency pairs, which is the usual ratio among top-notch Forex brokers. Indices and metal leverage vary from 1:5 to 1:20, depending on the market. Some accounts, like FXTM Pro, provide for floating leverage of up to 1:2000.
The broker offers a variety of deposit and withdrawal methods, which include local payment gateways, Visa/Maestro credit cards, e-wallets (Skrill, Neteller), and bank wire.
FXPro is among the leading Forex and CFD brokers in the industry that is known for its reliability and global reach. The firm was established in 2006, and now serves traders and institutions from more than 170 countries.
Over the years, FXPro received numerous awards, including the Best Broker by the Financial Times in 2015 and 2017, and the Most Trusted Forex Brand in 2017. FxPro Group Limited holds brokerage licenses from the Financial Conduct Authority (UK), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (South Africa), and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas, which demonstrates the global reach obtained by FXPro over the years. The broker also employs two compensation schemes: FSCS and ICS for traders from the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA).
FXPro affords its customers an opportunity to trade such financial instruments as CFD, futures, indices, foreign currencies, shares, precious metals, energies, and cryptocurrencies. Traders can choose from such trading platforms as MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, and broker's proprietary FxPro Trading Platform. Apart from the standard account, the broker offers the Pro and the Demo accounts.
One of the peculiarities of FxPro is that it employs the No Dealing Desk execution mechanism, which ensures that the majority of traders are executed within ten milliseconds.
The spread for Forex pairs ranges from 1.3 pips to 1.9 pips, with 69 assets being available for trading; the CFD spread averages at 1.7 pips; the oil spread is 0.03 points; stocks spread is 0.2%. It must be noted that FxPro doesn't charge the withdrawal and inactivity fees, though its overnight and rollover fees could go up to $8.
FXCM is one of the oldest Forex and CFD brokers on our list that was established back in 1999 as FXCM Group. Since then, the company has expanded its operations through opening branch offices in the European Union, Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, and South Africa. Its brokerage operations are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom. FXCM is an accoladed broker that was named among the best FX providers, although recently, it is praised mostly for its educational program and trading tools.
The list of tradable financial products includes Forex, shares, cryptocurrencies, commodities, gold, crude oil, and indices. The broker supports the following trading platforms: Trading Station, NinjaTrader, MetaTrader 4, and ZuluTrader, as well as a broad range of tools for algorithmic trading. FXCM features the demo account, the standard, the Active Trader, and the corporate account types.
The average spread cost for the Forex pairs goes from 1.4 to 100.6 points, depending on the currency pair; the CFD spread cost varies from 0.0004 to 14.88. As for the leverage options, they include 2:1 leverage for cryptocurrencies, 30:1 for Forex currencies, and 10:1 for commodities. What's interesting about FXCM is that it doesn't impose trading fees even on traders with standard accounts.
The history of Oanda dates back to 1997 when the company had first emerged as the aggregator of data from currency exchanges. But Oanda entered the elite league of brokers only in 2018 when the company was acquired by a huge investment firm CVC Capital Partners.
Oanda held the title of the Best Retail FX Platform and the award for the Highest Overall Client Satisfaction, among many other decorations. The broker's operations are regulated by FCA, CFTC, and ASIC. The range of available instruments includes spread betting, Forex, CFD, and cryptocurrencies.
Unlike many other brokers, Oanda has only two trading platforms: Oanda's proprietary web platform and MetaTrader 4, which has the standard and the premium version with unique features, such as OCO orders, automated trading, mini charts, and alert trading.
Oanda claims to have competitive spreads, such as 0.8 points on the UK 100, 1 pip on EUR/USD, and 3 points on crude oil. The leverage options vary, depending on the regulations in listed jurisdictions.
Oanda doesn't impose any fees on deposits that can be made via banking cards, PayPal, and wire transfer, though the withdrawal fees apply, depending on the chosen gateway. The broker also charges inactivity fees and currency conversion fees.
HotForex is an established broker that emerged on the scene around 2010 and began to establish itself as a global, transparent, and secure provider of brokerage services.
The parent company HF Markets Ltd is incorporated in St. Vincent & the Grenadine, while being regulated by FCA, DFSA, FSCA, and FSA.
Over the years, HotForex obtained 35 industry awards, such as the Most Transparent Broker, and attracted more than 2 million users who exploit the available platforms and tools to trade foreign currencies, commodities, shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals.
The trading activity on HotForex can take place either on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5, depending on the account type: Micro, Premium, Zero Spread, Auto, PAMM, and HFCOPY, with a minimum deposit ranging from $5 (Micro) to $250 (PAMM). The demo account has also been made available. The spreads here start from 1 pip across all account types, except for Zero Spread, which, as the name suggests, offers a 0 pip spread on Forex.
The offered leverage on HotForex is high compared to its peers as it goes up to 1:1000, while the leverage on cryptocurrencies doesn't exceed 1:10. Indices can be traded with the leverage of 1:50. Micro and Premium accounts can trade with zero commission, though the trading fee applies to Zero Spread and PAMM Premium Plus accounts. Deposits and withdrawals can be made by virtue to Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, and wire transfer on the no-fee basis.
Libertex is another old-timer in the cohort of top Forex brokers. The firm opened its first office in 1997 in Limassol, Cyprus, where it is currently headquartered. Now, Libertex serves more than 2,2 million traders and investors from 110 countries, which makes it one of the most popular brokers in the industry, as well as one of the most decorated. Over the years, the company received 30 international awards, the most recent of which are the Best Trading Platform and the Best FX Broker in Europe 2020. Libertex's parent company Indication Investment Ltd holds the investment services license issued by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC).
Libertex has two trading platforms for traders to choose from: MetaTrader 4, which features NDD (No Dealing Desk), simultaneous trading from different accounts, trading bots, and the proprietary mobile application that affords access to over 200 trading instruments with zero spreads and fees from 0.03%. Registered users can make money trading Forex, CFDs, ETFs, indices, oil & gas, stocks, metals, cryptocurrencies, and agricultural products.
The MT4 account ensures tight spread and low commission, with leverage of up to 1:30 for retail traders and 1:500 for professionals; Libertex account offers 0 spreads, trading fees from 0.03%, and leverage from 1:30 to 1:600.
Having emerged in 2011, OctaFX has quickly become an immensely popular Forex broker that serves more than 1.5 million trading accounts. Over the years, OctaFX received numerous awards, including the Best Forex Broker 2019. Its head office is located in London, while the operations are regulated by FCA UK. The broker provides means for trading Forex, CFD, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and stocks.
There are three trading platforms accessible on OctaFX: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader, all available in desktop, iOS, and Android versions. The last one is packed with features such as hedging, volume calculation, back-testing, and more than 70 indicators. Each platform is tied to a separate account type: Micro (MT4) that has both floating and fixed spread options that start from 0.4 pips, and requires the minimum deposit of $100; Pro (MT5) that has floating spreads from 0.2 pips and no commission - minimum deposit is $500; ECN (cTrader) - floating spread from 0 pips, $100 minimum deposit and the leverage of up to 1:500 for Forex and 1:200 for metals. Traders can also opt for a demo or an Islamic account. OctaFX has other interesting feats like copytrading, educational programs, a 50% deposit bonus, and various trading contests. Both deposits and withdrawals are free of charge, available through Visa, Mastercard, crypto, Skrill, and Neteller.
XM is a Forex broker that opened the first office in 2009 in Cyprus, a popular jurisdiction among other top Forex brokers. Naturally, its activities are regulated by the local financial authority CySEC, along with IFSC and ASIC. The broker claims to serve 3.5 million regular customers worldwide who are engaged in trading foreign currencies, commodities, precious metals, energies, equity indices, and CFDs on either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5; both platforms are available for download in both desktop and mobile versions. XM offers the following four types of trading accounts:
- Micro - a basic account with the minimum required deposit of $5. It features hedging, negative balance protection, and the 1 pip spread;
- Standard - all the features of Micro, except for the larger contract size (1 lot - 100,00) and lot restrictions per ticket - 50 lots;
- XM Ultra Low - $50 minimum deposit, 100 lots restriction per ticket, and spread of 0.6 pips.
- Shares Account - available only for USD markets, offers no leverage, and imposes trading commissions.
There is also the Islamic account that has some additional perks like no charge on interest/swap on overnight positions. The leverage options across all account types range from 1:100 to 1:888. Deposits and withdrawals can be made on a no-fee basis through Visa, Mastercard, wire transfer, Neteller, and Klarna.
NordFX is a well-regarded Forex broker that entered the industry in 2008. Its primary jurisdiction is Mauritius, where the broker's headquarters are located, although it also holds licenses from CySEC, VFSC, and SEBI. In 2020, NordFX was named the Best Managed Account Platform.
The range of trading platforms provided by NordFX is limited to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 4 Multiterminal. Foreign currencies, stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, gold, silver, and oil constitute the available trading instruments. Users can choose from four account types: Fix (minimum deposit of $10, spread from 2 pips); Pro ($250 - minimum deposit, spread from 0.9 pips), Zero ($500 deposit with zero pips spread); Stocks (CFD on 68 stocks, commissions apply).
The first three accounts offer leverage of up to 1:1000, which is among the highest in the industry, while the Stocks account provides for the 1:5 leverage. Those who are new to trading can open a demo account. The minimum deposit ranges from $50 to $500, available through Visa, Mastercard, Bitcoin, Skrill, and several other gateways that are also suitable for withdrawals.
Swissquote is an esteemed financial institution that was founded in 1990 first as Marvel Communications SA, and then rebranded to Swissquote in 1996. Over the years, Swissquote consolidated its position as the leading European Forex broker through acquisitions of ACM, MIG Bank, and Internaxx Bank. It holds corresponding licenses from FINMA, MFSA, and DFSA.
The broker supports three trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and Advanced Trader. The list of tradable instruments includes Forex, CFDs, cryptocurrencies, metals, indices, and oil.
Swissquote has a high entry barrier, compared to other Forex brokers, as the minimum deposit to the Standard account amounts to $1000 - it allows trading with zero commissions and offers the spread from 1.7 pips. Other account types include Premium ($10,000 minimum deposit, zero fees, and spread from 1.4 pips), Prime ($50,000 deposit, no fees, spreads start at 1.1 pips), and Professional that has custom spreads and minimum deposit that is based on volume. The maximum leverage here stands at 1:100, which is rather modest for such a big broker. The deposit and withdrawal options are limited to PayPal and wire transfer.
Author: Alex Paulson for Forex-Ratings.com