Are you looking to embark on forex trading? Or maybe things didn’t go too well with your first forex broker, and you’re looking for a second one.
With a daily turnover that easily exceeds $6.6 trillion, the global foreign exchange (forex or FX) market is undoubtedly the biggest and most actively traded financial market in the world.
Ever since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, the foreign exchange market has seen a 300 percent increase in trading.
The recent market volatility is attributed to the fact that people worldwide are losing jobs and business revenue. These people view forex trading as a very appealing prospect due to the low capital requirements and high profit potential.
Despite forex trading being the largest market in the world, there’s no central exchange for it.
A reliable online forex broker can help you start your journey as a retail forex trader.
Best Forex Brokers for Beginners (2021)
Starting us off is eToro, a purely social, full package forex broker held in high regard by many beginners, especially crypto enthusiasts.
The Israeli multi-asset brokerage company has registered offices in Israel, the U.K., the U.S., Cyprus and Australia.
As one of the top forex brokers, people like eToro for many reasons. The main one is that the trading software has a very intuitive platform. It’s a breeze to use, even for complete beginners who want to spend as little time as possible studying financial markets and developing trading strategies.
Besides currency pairs, you can trade stocks, ETFs, commodities and indices. The broker has added Cloud Computing Portfolio that allows traders to invest in innovative tech companies.
eToro’s CFD fees are very low and trading forex is commission-free. You will, however, need to pay forex fees and a $5 withdrawal fee. The minimum deposit amount is $50, which means you can get started quickly.
An exciting feature called copy-trading allows you to follow expert traders on the platform and view all the trades they make. You can then click a button to copy their trades.
By watching pro traders ( known as Popular Investors) location, portfolio performance and trading history, you can learn the game, use their patented CopyTrader to copy strategies that suit your investment objectives and risk tolerance, and make a safe profit.
With users from over 140 countries, eToro is regulated in Australia, the UK and Europe. American users can only use the platform to trade cryptocurrency.
Try it if you want something different from the classic brokers.
You’ll probably find Forex.com very fascinating if you’re all about low forex-trading fees.
While it’s not the best platform for stock CFDs, trading currency pairs is very affordable.
The minimum deposit is only $50. There are no inactivity or withdrawal fees and you can select the pricing structure that suits you best.
Opening an account is fully digital. It will take you up to 3 days to get verified and start trading.
Forex.com may not be the most beginner-friendly trading platform on this list, but once you get used to it, you’ll appreciate its wide functionality.
The mobile version of Forex.com is regarded as a leading top forex trading app that offers various charting tools, customizability, an informative newsfeed and recommendations.
Education is another area that Forex.com stands out. You’ll come across a detailed course on using the platform and video tutorials for all levels of forex traders.
To test your skills with virtual money on live rates in real market conditions, Forex.com offers 2 different demo accounts. One is designed for MetaTrader4, and the other for the broker’s proprietary trading platform.
There are 4,500+ markets, including forex, equities, commodities, Indices and Cryptos. The broker gives traders access to 90+ currency pairs and metals.
Forex.com is well regulated. It’s one of the most reputable forex brokers in the world. Its parent company, GAIN Capital, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
CFDs are not available to U.S. residents.
CMC Markets is a publicly-traded, global CFD and forex broker that was established in 1989.
Over the years, the company has managed to adapt to the ever-changing online brokerage landscape. Headquartered in London, CMC Markets has hubs in Singapore and Sydney.
It provides 10,000+ financial instruments. You have access to 330+ currency pairs, 9,000+ shares, 100+ commodity products, 90+ major indices and 50+ treasuries.
Due to its exemplary track record, the forex broker is considered safe. It’s also listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by multiple top-tier authorities globally.
You’ll need to use the broker’s proprietary trading platform (Next Generation) to trade their full CFD product range.
Next Generation is available in a standard interface suited to beginners and an advanced interface for experienced traders.
When it comes to buying/selling currency pairs, CMC has low fees. Except for international banks or same-day withdrawals, withdrawals are mostly free. Also, there’s no minimum deposit and the account opening process is fully digital.
Besides the low forex fees, the company allows traders to use CFD account base currencies and multiple deposit/withdrawals.
Other inbuilt features that will help you with trading and risk management include client sentiment data, comprehensive charting tools, automatic price projection and pattern recognition tools, real-time news and financial market calendar, and an active trading community.
Are you looking to become a CFD trader? Then Plus500 is the perfect choice for you as a beginner.
The company was founded in 2008 in Israel. As a provider that exclusively focuses on CFDs, Plus500 offers CFDs on forex, ETFs, options, stock, stock indices, cryptos and commodities.
You can use its proprietary trading software as a mobile app or web trader platform. The broker’s trading software is beginner-friendly, offers quick execution and features order types and price alerts – everything you need as a CFD trader.
Overall, there are minimal account management costs and trading fees. You don’t pay a fee when depositing funds or a commission fee when you open/close a trade.
You may experience trouble organizing your charts as the platform is not customizable. Also, the lack of analyst recommendations means that you’ll have to search for a third-party source for that.
To show its transparency, Plus500’s financial data is publicly available.
When it comes to security, Plus500 is regulated by top-tier financial authorities in 8 countries. It’s also listed on the London Stock Exchange and offers guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLOs).
CFDs are complex instruments with a high risk of losing money, so the risk management features are welcome.
Here’s something for Mac users.
AvaTrade is a leading, fully regulated broker that offers direct access to several financial markets via MT4. The broker boasts regulatory oversight from multiple top bodies in the industry around the world.
The MetaTrader4 Mac interface is very intuitive. It’s specially designed for Apple devices to ensure efficient analysis.
You don’t have to download any software to use the web trader platform – it’s accessible from most browsers. You can also trade on the go with the free award-winning AvaTradeGo app.
The company allows you to incorporate a wide range of asset classes into your trading strategies. Besides forex, you can trade stocks, ETFs, indices and commodities.
AvaTrade’s negative balance protection means you can never lose more than your account balance.
Beginners get a Mac demo account for a 21-day period. For analysis, you get 3 chart types and 30+ analytical tools.
The broker has also heavily invested in developing the best educational materials for their customers by providing live webinars and frequent market analysis updates.
In case of any questions, there is multi-lingual live customer service.
TorFX offers good exchange rates, fee-free money transfers, a customer first approach, and regular market updates to help users make the right decisions regarding their forex exchange timing.
Founded in 2004 they enjoy a loyal customer base and positive reviews.
TorFX offers a range of transfer options, including: Spot contracts, forward contracts, market orders, limit orders, stop loss orders and more.
IG Market’s interface has broad functionality and is very easy to use, making it a great platform for newbies and experts alike.
The mobile version of IG Markets mirrors the web version’s functionality, meaning you can trade on the go. You also get access to ProRealTime and MetaTrader4 platforms.
Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded and gives users flexible access to 17,000+ global markets. You can trade 80+ currency pairs, as well as bonds, ETFs, commodities, equities, short-term interest rates and indices.
Price-wise, there are zero withdrawal fees. The only high commission you’ll find is for stock CFDs. If your account has been dormant for 2 years, you’ll be required to pay a $12 inactivity fee to activate it.
To get started, the broker requires a minimum deposit of $250.
IG Markets is probably one of the best choices you can make if you’re serious about getting comprehensive education. Educational resources include courses, tutorials, webinars and educational videos.
The high-powered forex broker offers a demo account for novice traders. The broker also provides wide-ranging charting capabilities across its platforms.
With a clean and long track record, the forex broker is regulated in 6 tier-1 jurisdictions.
Oanda is fairly new in the market but is among the few forex brokers who have managed to use fancy new software to automate their trades. You can access Oanda’s website in 4 different languages.
As part of the new breed of API traders, Oanda automatically uses an algorithm to trade for you through your platforms. The whole application process is fully digital, so you can set up your account and start trading in under 10 minutes.
Go long or short on 38+ forex pairs. The forex broker allows you to use their “Algo-Lab” to make your own trading algorithms which you can then implement into the platform. You can only trade forex currency pairs and CFDs.
Let’s talk fees. There are no minimum initial deposit or withdrawal fees.
The mobile apps mirror the excellent functionality of the web version, including price alerts. Oanda also provides great educational resources.
If you want to fully automate trading, First Prudential (FP) Markets is a great option.
The Australian global forex and CFD broker was founded in 2005 and offers top tier liquidity and segregation of client funds.
You can trade 10k financial instruments covering FX, metals, equities, indices, commodities and crypto CFDs.
FP Markets provides both MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5 automated trading tools plus ultra-fast execution. This, together with ECN-style pricing, will allow you to trade confidently, knowing your orders are promptly executed with minimal spillage.
Develop and run trading robots on both tools using either MQL4 or MQL5 programming language. If you find writing and developing your own trading robots intimidating, you can purchase and download Expert Advisors and indicators online.
If you want copy trading, you can connect Myfxbook to your MT4 account. This will allow you to easily find and copy wide-ranging systems and reduce the time and energy you spend performing analysis and trading manually.
As an ASIC and FCA-regulated broker, Pepperstone offers cTrader, MetaTrader5 and MetaTrader4 trading platforms to facilitate trading across a wide collection of asset classes, including forex, commodities and CFD trading.
Each of the mentioned platforms provides great market access, ultra-tight spreads and fast execution.
MetaTrader4 (MT4), one of the platforms Pepperstone offers, is currently the widest trading community available for retail investor accounts. It allows beginners to switch between MT4 forex brokers if needed.
It also lets traders purchase automated robots, copy-trade and use various order types to manage the high risk of trading. Other MT4 features include real-time news, algorithmic trading via Expert Advisors, charting tools with 85+ inbuilt indicators and third-party account mirroring services for social trading.
Pepperstone offers some of the industry’s lowest spreads today. As a trader, you gain access to raw spreads. This means that you know exactly what they earn and how much you’re getting charged from a liquidity provider.
The company fills orders using 22 top-tier liquidity providers. What this does is grant traders access to some of the best spreads available to retail investor accounts.
For educational purposes, Pepperstone offers quality educational resources and a demo account with real market pricing and $50k virtual funds.
The account minimum is 200 units of the base currency.
Thanks to its xStation5 trading platform, XTB offers traders an overall excellent trading experience.
The company was founded in Poland in 2002 as T-Trade Brokers. It was the country’s first leverage forex brokerage house. In 2009, it went public for the first time. In 2016, it was listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol XTB.
The trusted multi-asset broker has low fees and outstanding customer service. Trade 1,500+ global markets in forex, commodities, indices, crypto, stock CFDs and ETF CFDs.
Perfect for beginner traders who want to minimize costs, the account minimum is $0.
XTB offers relevant research amenities and educational materials best suited for novice traders.
The free demo account offers 1-month risk-free trading with $100k virtual funds.
What is Forex Trading?
While forex trading may seem like a mystery wrapped in an enigma, it really isn’t.
Put simply, forex trading involves exchanging one currency for another as their price change.
It’s also known as buying or selling currency pairs to make a profit.
Consider the GBP/USD pair. If you buy this pair, you’ll be buying pounds and selling dollars. If you sell this pair, you will be selling pounds and buying dollars.
Deciding whether to buy or sell a currency pair depends on your expectations of the future price. If the price changes in line with your expectations, you get a profit.
All trading is done through the Internet. You need to open an account, deposit funds and use a trading platform to buy and sell currency using margin.
The forex markets are open 24/7/365 and the trading is based on the prevailing exchange rates from the forex market.
What is a Forex Broker?
Retail traders cannot trade the forex market directly. If you’re looking to get in on this action, you need to use an online broker.
Brokers are financial institutions that will serve as your primary access point for the forex market. They are the only legal way to trade in the markets directly.
Also known as a retail or currency trading brokers, they allow you to execute forex deals using their supported trading software, third-party forex trading platforms and other resources you need to trade.
A forex broker has an online presence and targets smaller traders like you who wish to trade on a margin basis. They make money by charging a commission for every trade you make.
The right forex broker can significantly increase your performance.
How Much Money Do I Need to Trade Forex?
While some forex brokers don’t ask for a minimum deposit to start trading forex, most of them do.
Most forex brokers ask for a minimum deposit of $100-$250.
If you’re opening a demo account, you can use virtual money to hone your skills.
What are The Most Popular Currency Pairs?
Forex trading allows you to trade all major currencies. Over 100 currency pairs exist, and most major currency pairs are associated with the U.S. Dollar, the world’s reserve currency.
EUR/USD (the world’s most liquid currency pair); GBP/USD, USD/JPY, USD/CH (the most frequently traded currency pairs); AUD/USD, USD/CAD and NZD/USD(the three commodity currencies); EUR/GBP, EUR/JPY, EUR/CHF (the 3 non-US currency pairs).
The 10 currency pairs account for over 85 percent of all daily trading.
Tips for Beginners in Forex Market
Since you’re a beginner, you first have to learn how forex trading works through your broker’s educational resources or tutorials on other websites.
Do proper testing before funding your account with real money. A demo account helps you make progress in your learning curve by trading virtual currency using real forex software.
Get familiar with the forex terminology and go for the market you like and understand the most. Don’t just randomly swing at something just because everyone else is doing it.
It will be much easier to stay on track with the latest developments and know how to react if you find something interesting. For instance, if you plan to trade USD and GBP, you need to follow the current trends and events to predict where the prices are going.
Once you feel ready, use one of the aforementioned forex brokers to trade the products you’re interested in. 95 percent of beginners will lose money, so don’t invest too much at the early stage.
Even though high-stakes, high-profit trades can be tempting, patience and steady progress are the keys to successful forex trading.
Remember, it’s normal to fail with your first few trades. Just focus on being better every day. Also, don’t get too comfortable just because you completed a few good deals. The market is always changing, and so should your tactics.
How Do I Choose a Forex Broker?
There’s a big difference between trading forex for beginners and experienced traders.
Beginner traders have some needs that need to be reflected in the choice of forex brokers.
There’s a bucket load of forex brokers out there. You’ll come across the good, the bad and the ugly. The wrong broker can turn your profitable strategy into losing one.
Best Brokers Ranking Methodology
If you’re new to the trading arena, you might be confused about what to look for when picking a reliable broker – that’s why we wrote this article.
To help you swift the wheat from the chaff, we dug deep, so you won’t have to.
We checked and compared:
- Regulatory oversight
- Fees (commissions and spreads)
- Account minimums
- Products (currencies, indexes, CFDs, cryptos)
- Trading platform/software
- Currency pairs
- Speed of order execution
- Trading research and education
- Customer support
While it may seem terrifying at first, millions of people worldwide are making a living just trading forex.
The forex world has a combination of profitable and very risky opportunities that every so often destroy the balances and the confidence of beginners.
But if you stick to the right brokers, have discipline and follow the rules, chances are that you can do much better than most traders. Happy trading!