Best ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers of 2023

Since 2011, we’ve traded with and reviewed over 150 brokers in Australia. To find the best ASIC-regulated brokers for you, we’ve dedicated over 50 hours per broker, exploring more than 250 factors across 9 key areas. We’ve then compared them to identify the top performers in various categories. With decades of combined experience, our team of trading experts provides reliable and trusted opinions.

By: Plamen Stoyanov
Reviewed By: FX Empire Editorial Board
Updated: Sep 11, 2023
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Australian traders should consider signing up with a local broker that is licensed by the national regulator – the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This will give them extra peace of mind, as they can expect their broker to adhere to some of the industry’s strictest safety requirements.

ASIC-regulated derivatives brokers are required to provide segregated funds, negative balance protection, and cap the maximum retail leverage at 1:30. These safety mechanisms reduce the overall trading risk and enable traders to exploit different opportunities in the market. But what other considerations do traders in Australia need to make before choosing a trustworthy broker?

There is, of course, the question of costs – what spread rates and commissions are considered competitive? Traders also need to choose a broker with versatile platforms, diverse account types, a range of tradable instruments, and much more. Balancing these various factors can make the process of choosing a reliable broker quite daunting.

But worry not! With our years of experience reviewing brokers, we have developed a comprehensive methodology for evaluating brokers’ individual strengths and weaknesses so that our readers can make the right choice. Consequently, I was able to identify the best ASIC-regulated brokers across several categories.

And if you are interested to learn more about overseas brokers licensed internationally to provide trading services to clients in Australia, you can check out my other article covering the best Forex brokers in Australia.

List of the Best ASIC-Regulated Forex Brokers

  • IC Markets – Best Overall
    Fast order execution under 66 milliseconds. Choice of user-friendly platforms. Low spreads and commissions. VPS hosting. Private indemnity insurance.
  • FP Markets – Best Low Spreads
    Fast order execution under 40 milliseconds. Multiple tradable instruments. Multiple platforms. Sophisticated third-party tools, including Autochartist. Social trading.
  • TMGM – Best for Beginners
    Supports all trading strategies. Ability to practice tight risk management. Commission-free trading. Incorporates Trading Central.
  • GO Markets – Best MT4
    MT4 Genesis add-ons. A strong offering of Australian instruments. Competitive costs. Wide selection of third-party tools. 360-degree research content.
  • VT Markets – Best Trading App
    Versatile trading app. Top-tier licensing. Excellent trading tools. Choice of platforms and tradable instruments.
  • Plus500 – Best for Professional Traders
    Listed on the LSE. Sophisticated market research. Selection of instruments from different markets. Deep liquidity. The platform supports tight risk management.

How Did FX Empire Select the Best ASIC-Regulated Forex Brokers?

  • Transparency. Beyond just looking for the brokers licensed by ASIC, we prioritized those demonstrating high transparency. Our top picks offer easily accessible, detailed documents on their websites, where traders can read about trading conditions, execution standards, and more.
  • Convenience. We only considered brokers that accept payments in AUD and support AUD as a base currency.
  • Choice of Australian CFD shares. We looked for a broad range of instruments, such as share CFDs of Australian companies, to be traded during the Asian trading session. This is important as it gives traders in Australia greater freedom to trade while the other markets are closed.
  • Competitive pricing. Our picks for each category offer some of the lowest fees in the industry. When estimating the competitiveness of a broker’s pricing mechanism, we evaluate its spreads, commissions, swaps, and more.
  • User-friendly and feature-rich platforms. To ensure a broker delivers the best user-experience, we only consider those offering user-friendly platforms that facilitate in-depth technical analysis and are supported by sophisticated tools.
  • Diverse account types. Traders have different strategies, which is why they need to be afforded the greatest possible freedom to trade on inherently different market opportunities. That is why we selected brokers offering a wide range of accounts catering to different types of traders.
  • Range of markets. We look at how many instruments and from which asset classes are offered by a broker. If a broker offers more than one contract type (CFDs, options, futures, etc.) for the most popular markets, such as FX pairs, commodities, shares, and indices, we consider this an advantage.
  • Robust supporting content. Finally, we look into a broker’s research and educational content. We are interested in whether a broker affords a nuanced overview of current market developments, including where the market is headed and why. We also focus on the scope and applicability of the available educational content..

Our team of experts has identified each broker’s strengths and weaknesses using FX Empire’s comprehensive methodology. You can read more about it and how we conduct our tests here.

Now let’s dive into the selected brokers.

Best Overall

Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, and seek independent advice if necessary. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into a transaction with us. Raw Spread accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge of USD $3.50 per 100k traded. Standard account offer spreads from 1 pips with no additional commission charges. Spreads on CFD indices start at 0.4 points. The information on this site is not directed at residents in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Since its foundation in 2007, IC Markets has grown into a globally trusted broker that is known for its well-balanced offering. Traders can choose from over 2200 instruments from different asset classes and apply various trading strategies like scalping, day trading, position trading, and intraday trading.

IC Markets offers instruments from all major asset classes, including FX pairs and commodities, as well as lower-risk securities like bonds. I found this offering to be quite suitable for hedging and managing market risk.

Regional features:

  • Australian entity: International Capital Markets Pty Ltd
  • AFSL registration number: 335692
  • Office location: Sydney
  • Share CFDs of Australian companies: 21
  • Available platforms: MetaTrader 4&5, cTrader
  • Minimum deposit requirement: $200

I opened a cTrader Raw Spread account and evaluated its pricing mechanism to be very competitive overall. It has floating spreads starting from 0.0 pips and a $6 round-turn commission per trader lot (100,000 units), which meets the industry average. This type of offering is suitable for high-frequency and high-volume trading in the short term.

The cTrader platform is very versatile and user-friendly. Its intuitive design makes conducting technical analysis and placing orders fast and easy. In addition to its extensive array of technical indicators and drawing tools, what impressed me most about cTrader are its smart stoup out orders, which allow for tighter risk management, and advanced trading tools like volume-weighted average price indicators (VWAP).

  • Deep liquidity and fast execution.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • Range of instruments.
  • Advanced charting tools.
  • Limited choice of Australian CFD shares.

Best Low Spreads

This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

FP Markets is a great choice for Australian traders because of its low trading costs and a broad range of local stocks. The derivatives broker, which was founded in 2005, provides over 2800 CFDs of Australian companies.

FP Markets offers over 800 additional instruments from various markets. The inclusion of lower-risk securities like bonds, as well as higher-yield/risk assets like futures and ETFs, enables traders to hedge their market exposure.

Regional features:

  • Australian entity: First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd
  • AFSL registration number: 286354
  • Office location: Sydney
  • Share CFDs of Australian companies: 105 on MT, 2829 on IRESS
  • Available platforms: MetaTrader 4&5, IRESS, Mottai
  • Minimum deposit requirement: $50

I opened a Raw account with FP Markets, which has floating spreads from 0.0 pips and a $3 single-turn commission per lot, and determined that its spreads are generally very low. I opened a full-sized (100,000 units) position on the EURUSD that cost me a total of $7, which is below the industry average.

I measured the trade value by adding the EURUSD spread (0.1 pips x a $10 pip value) to the $6 round-turn commission. I thus concluded that FP Markets’ costs are quite favorable for high-volume trading and scalping.

With regards to non-trading fees, I checked that FP Markets does not charge any handling fees on deposits and withdrawals. There is also no inactivity fee.

In addition to the beginner-friendly MetaTrader 4&5, FP Markets offers the more sophisticated IRESS and Mottai platforms. The IRESS, in particular, pairs very well with FP Markets’ low spreads due to its extensive offering of over 10,000 CFD shares. The platform is feature-rich and allows for easy scaling up and down of price action.

  • Very low spreads.
  • A broad range of platforms.
  • Professional-grade tools.
  • Excellent research content.
  • No proprietary platform.

Best for Beginners


The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Investing in CFDs and Margined FX Contracts carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You may lose more than your initial deposit. You don’t own, or have, any interest in the underlining assets. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure fully understand the risks involved before trading. It is important that you read and consider disclosure documents before you acquire any product listed on the website. The information and advertisements offered on this website are not intended for use by any person in any country or jurisdiction where such use is contrary to the local laws and regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

TMGM was established in 2013. When I conducted my comprehensive review of the broker, I was impressed by how equally well TMGM performed in each major category. Due to this well-roundedness, I concluded that TMGM would be an excellent choice for beginners.

Regional features:

  • Australian entity: Trademax Australia Limited
  • AFSL registration number: 436416
  • Office location: Sydney
  • Share CFDs of Australian companies: 2000+ on IRESS
  • Available platforms: MetaTrader 4, IRESS
  • Minimum deposit requirement: $100

I opened a Classic account with the broker and downloaded the desktop version of MetaTrader 4, which is the combination most newbies go for. The account type allows the implementation of various strategies – from highly speculative to highly conservative ones. This is crucially important for inexperienced traders looking to experiment. Newbies can give it a trial run by opening a demo Classic account and getting used to its features.

What I also found quite beneficial is that there are no restrictions on the minimum stop-loss distance you can place. That means traders can practice tight risk management by placing stop-loss orders as close to a trade's entry price as they wish.

Regarding its costs, the Classic account offers commission-free trading and floating spreads from 1.0 pips, which I found to be in line with the industry average.

Beginners can opt for MetaTrader 4, which has an easy learning curve and affords basic technical analysis, or the professional-grade IRESS platform. The latter is tailored for stock trading and offers access to over 12,000 share CFDs.

Finally, TMGM incorporates Trading Central, one of the industry's most popular and trusted signal providers. Beginners can benefit from its well-informed market analyses, trading signals, and comprehensive market sentiment tools.

  • Well-balanced offering.
  • Competitive prices.
  • Choice of platforms.
  • Reliable customer support.
  • High inactivity fee.

Best MT4

Risk Warning: GO Markets Pty Limited, ABN 85 081 864 039, AFSL 254963 is a CFDs issuer. Investing in CFDs carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You do not own or have any interest in the rights in the underlying assets. The information on this website is general in nature and doesn’t take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether you are part of our target market by reviewing our TMD. You should read our PDS and other CFD legal documents to ensure you fully understand the risks before you invest in CFDs. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before you invest in CFDs.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Founded in 2006 and regulated in multiple jurisdictions, GO Markets is a well-rounded broker that caters to the needs of newbies looking to start their trading careers on MetaTrader 4. The platform has an easy learning curve, making it popular among beginners. Additionally, Australian traders just starting out can choose from over 280 share CFDs of Australian companies offered by GO Markets for trading on MT4.

Regional features:

  • Australian entity: GO Markets Pty Limited
  • AFSL registration number: 254963
  • Office location: Melbourne
  • Share CFDs of Australian companies: 280+
  • Available platforms: MetaTrader 4$5, cTrader
  • Minimum deposit requirement: $100

I checked GO Markets’ trading fees by opening a GO Plus+ account, which offers raw spreads starting from 0.0 pips and a $6 round-turn commission per traded lot. Alternatively, traders can go for the Standard account with floating spreads from 0.8 pips and zero commissions. Overall, I assessed GO Markets’ fees to be below the industry average.

I tested GO Markets’ services on MetaTrader 4, which incorporates all the essential features needed to be present in a platform. For charting, traders can choose from 50+ technical indicators and drawing tools. There are multiple oscillators, volume-based and trend-based indicators that can be used to examine price action behavior.

GO Markets also incorporates some of the best third-party tools in the industry, such as Autochartist and Myfxbook. You can use these to enhance your trading by getting a different perspective on current market developments.

  • Low spreads.
  • Choice of Australian CFD shares.
  • Probing research and educational content.
  • Excellent third-party tools.
  • No proprietary platform.

Best Trading App

Risk Warning: Trading Forex and CFDs carries the risk of losing substantially more than your initial investment and should only be traded with money you can afford to lose. You don't own or have any rights to the assets that underly the derivatives (e.g. the right to receive dividend payments). Ensure you fully understand the risks involved. Trading leveraged products may not be suitable for all investors. Before trading, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary. Please consider our legal documents and ensure that you fully understand the risks before you make any trading decisions. General Advice Warning: The information in this website is of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly, before acting on the advice, you should consider the appropriateness of any advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs, and after considering the legal documents. Regional Restrictions: The information or services described in this website is not directed at or offered to residents of North Korea, Japan, United States and some other regions or any other person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local laws or regulations. For more information please contact our support.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

VT Markets was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The broker is quickly developing a reputation as a trustworthy partner that is continually expanding the scope of its services.

In my experience as a high-frequency trader, I learned that the market is ever-changing and can turn at a moment’s notice. That is why you always have to have quick access to your account to make necessary adjustments when needed. This is made possible with a mobile app.

Regional features:

  • Australian entity: VT Global Pty Ltd
  • AFSL registration number: 516246
  • Office location: Sydney
  • Share CFDs of Australian companies: 0
  • Available platforms: MetaTrader 4&5
  • Minimum deposit requirement: $100

I tested VT Markets’ mobile app and found it quite light and easy to navigate. Trading apps generally struggle to accurately portray price action behavior since they must be run on low-resolution devices. Still, VT Markets’ app does a very good job of allowing price action to be scaled up and down.

You can easily place fast orders on over 230 instruments on the app. It also has a news screener so that you can learn about current market developments even on the go.

I also checked VT Markets’ pricing mechanism. The broker’s STP accounts support commission-free trading and floating spreads starting from 1.2 pips, whereas its ECN accounts have a $6 round-turn commission per lot and raw spreads from 0.0 pips. This meets the industry average.

  • Versatile mobile app.
  • Strong licensing.
  • Choice of supporting tools.
  • Good range of instruments.
  • No Australian share CFDs.

Best for Professional Traders

82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Plus500, headquartered in israel, was founded in 2008. One aspect that stood out almost immediately was Plus500's listing on the London Stock Exchange. Being publicly traded on one of the world's largest exchanges is a testament to reliability and stability that only a few other brokers can claim.

The broker has access to deep liquidity, which affords fast and precise order execution. It also offers generally low costs, a professional-grade platform, and an impressive assortment of over 2000 instruments from various markets.

Regional features:

  • Australian entity: Plus500AU Pty Ltd.
  • AFSL registration number: 417727
  • Office location: Sydney
  • Share CFDs of Australian companies: 69
  • Available platforms: Plus500 WebTrader
  • Minimum deposit requirement: $100

Plus500 offers CFDs from different markets with varied spreads. We measured the spread on the EURUSD at 0.8 pips, which is below the industry average (spreads are dynamic and subject to change). Plus500 also charges no fixed commissions, except for some share CFDs, which aids high-frequency trading.

In my experience as an intraday trader, I have always looked for precision. Plus500’s proprietary platform certainly delivers on this front with its intuitive design and multiple features.

I tested the platform at a time of heightened market volatility as I wanted to see how well it performed under pressure. The platform proved to be quite versatile when scaling price action up and down. Order execution is also quite easy, with reduced risks of negative slippage. I found its guaranteed stop orders particularly useful, especially for implementing tight risk management.

  • Transparent broker.
  • Intuitive platform.
  • No commissions and tight spreads.
  • Market insights available from the platform.
  • A broad range of instruments.
  • No alternative platforms.
  • No desktop platform.

How to Choose an ASIC-Regulated Forex Broker?

Now that I have covered our top picks for each category, it is time to outline the specific considerations traders need to make when looking for a trustworthy partner:

What Key Safeguards Should You Be Aware Of?

I have broken down the most important safety mechanisms mandated by ASIC:

  • Segregation of client funds. Brokers must keep their clients’ funds in separate bank accounts from the ones used for their corporate capital. This is crucial for mitigating the risk of accounting errors.
  • Negative balance protection. Negative balance protection means that a trader’s losses cannot exceed their account balance. This protection is indispensable when trading high-risk instruments, such as Contracts for Difference (CFDs).
  • Limited market exposure. Beginners are especially susceptible to the risk of adverse price fluctuations, which is why the maximum leverage for retail traders is capped at 1:30. Anything beyond that can be too risky for inexperienced traders.

How to Verify if a Broker is Regulated?

You can do several things to verify if a broker is regulated. When you open a broker’s website, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the entity’s legal name. This is where it is stated who the regulator is. You need to look for a reference/licensing number, which you can then use to verify the entity by going to the regulator’s own website and checking its registry of authorized entities.

You can check the registry of ASIC-regulated brokers here.

We also have a detailed guide on the best regulated forex brokers.

How to Measure the Competitiveness of a Broker’s Fees?

A broker may offer one, two, or several account types, each with its unique pricing mechanism. The question is, how to know which one is most suitable for your particular trading style? I will try to answer this question by providing an example with two distinct accounts, an STP and an ECN:

The biggest difference between STP and ECN accounts, apart from the execution model, is the pricing mechanism. Usually, STP accounts afford commission-free trading and floating spreads, whereas ECN accounts have fixed commissions and raw spreads (typically starting from 0.1 pips). At first glance, the former sounds more favorable because you only have to pay one cost – the spread – rather than two.

Many brokers recognize the psychological significance of this sort of thinking and seek to exploit it by raising the spreads on their STP accounts to the point where they no longer represent the more competitive option. I will now demonstrate how to do a quick test for yourself to evaluate the competitiveness of a broker’s ECN and STP accounts.

Pick an instrument, say, the EURUSD. Assume that the spread on this pair is 0.9 pips on a broker’s STP account and 0.1 pips on its ECN account. Also, there is a $6 commission for trading a 1 lot (100,000 units) contract. If the EURUSD pip value is $10, you can perform a simple calculation to determine the value of a hypothetical position on the EURUSD executed on both account types. The formula is the value of a trade = (spread x pip value) + commission. When we pop in the above values, here’s what we discover about our hypothetical broker:

Account Type Spread Commission Net Cost
STP 0.9 pips $0 $9
ECN 0.1 pips $6 $7

This is just a hypothetical example, but hopefully, it illustrates how “more” can sometimes be “less” in trading. Thus, it’s worthwhile to evaluate the costs of a broker you consider opening an account with, before doing so. And if you are still uncertain, you can always check out our database of reviews to identify the most competitive brokers.

You can also see the list of Best STP Forex Brokers and Best ECN Forex Brokers, carefully selected by FX Empire.

What to Look for in a Trading Platform?

A trading platform is your window into the market. It allows you to observe price action behavior and study potential opportunities for placing orders. Technical traders use the platform’s array of indicators, drawing tools, and other features to examine various price patterns, changes in volatility, liquidity, and so on in order to gauge the most favorable times to enter or exit the market.

The best platforms are also the most versatile ones. They include a wide spectrum of technical indicators, such as Fibonacci retracement levels, oscillators, trend-based and range-based indicators, and others, as well as drawing tools, such as trend lines, channels, wedges, etc. They are also the ones that allow you to easily scale price action up and down.

In addition to these components, when looking for a suitable platform, you must also look for efficiency. Ask yourself: Does the platform facilitate easy and rapid order placement through one-click trading? Does it support algorithmic trading via Expert Advisors (EAs)? Can it handle market, limit, and stop orders? These factors, and more, contribute to a platform’s overall effectiveness.

The two most popular retail platforms in the industry are MetaTrader 4&5. Over the years, both of them have become the benchmark for simplicity and reliability. The two entries in the popular franchise have a decent range of technical indicators and drawing tools and afford multi-timeframe analysis.

However, despite MetaTrader’s easy learning curve, its rugged design becomes apparent when contrasted against newer and sleeker platforms. In my estimation, MetaTrader is a good choice for newbies wanting to learn the ropes, but to take your trading to the next level, you may need something more sophisticated.

Some brokers’ solution is to develop their own proprietary platforms. The advantage of most of these platforms lies in their convenience. Features like searching for instruments by asset class, scaling price action up and down with ease, or executing complex box orders are benefits you cannot find in MetaTrader. To summarise, the question of choosing the best platform for you is one of simplicity vs practicality.

Read more about the platforms in our detailed guides on the best MT4 and best MT5 brokers.

Why liquidity matters?

The deeper the liquidity pool a broker can access, the better the order execution conditions it can provide its clients. This is why traders, especially professionals, should always verify the speed and quality of order execution. The simplest way to do this is to check whether the broker adheres to a ‘best execution policy.’ This means that the company is committed to delivering the best price quotes, given the prevailing market conditions, when an order is placed.

Precision and speed of order execution are also likely to be enhanced when a broker provides Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. As a rule of thumb, look for brokers that can accommodate ultra-fast order execution speeds of no more than 100 milliseconds.

You can confirm a broker’s performance by going to the Legal Documents section of its website and opening its latest execution statement/review. Keep in mind that not all brokers are mandated by their regulators to post such reviews yearly. However, the ones that do are more likely to afford you precise order execution and diminished risk of negative slippage.

What Should You Consider When Evaluating Trading Instruments?

Traders in Australia should be especially mindful of the assortment of tradable instruments presented to them by their broker.

It’s fine and well if you are offered access to thousands of instruments, but if you happen to live in Sydney, for example, and 70-80% of your broker’s instruments are CFDs of U.S. companies, then that variety will be of little use for you. With a 16-hour difference between New York and Sydney, you will struggle to stay awake for the stock market opening at 1:30 am every morning. That is why it is worth choosing a broker that offers plenty of local instruments, such as share CFDs of Australian companies.

Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for deciding what instruments to trade and when, but affording yourself some flexibility can be beneficial. Given that the forex market operates 24 hours, it’s advantageous to select a broker that offers a wide range of currency pairs – including majors, minors, and exotics.

In order to broaden your options further, also look for diversity in commodities, indices, bonds, and ETFs, especially in Australian businesses and sectors.

Speaking of options, consider how you can trade the available instruments. CFDs are extremely popular due to the allure of margin trading. And your ultimate success when trading CFDs, essentially, boils down to whether your forecasts pan out.

But more experienced traders may exercise greater control over their positions by using more sophisticated instruments, such as vanilla options. By purchasing the right without obligation to execute an order, you can profit from changes in the underlying volatility.

What to Avoid When Choosing a Forex Broker?

Here is a quick rundown of what Australian traders must avoid:

  • Unregulated brokers. Trading with an unregulated broker exposes you to a higher risk of fraud or unethical business practices, as they are not bound by any regulatory standards or rules.
  • Brokers that do not offer a sufficient number of Australian instruments: FX pairs comprising AUD, share CFDs of Australian companies and ETFs, and others.
  • STP accounts with floating spreads from 1.8 pips or above.
  • ECN accounts with round-turn commissions above $7.

How to Avoid Forex and CFD Scams?

Scammers rely on the gullibility of traders. A common strategy they use is to promise swift and effortless profits without any risk to the trader. Often fraudsters would use labels that closely resemble the brands of real and legitimate companies. That is why regulators like the FCA have registers where traders can read about such fraudulent companies pretending to be others.

The best and easiest way to protect yourself is to make sure you work with a trustworthy and transparent broker. You can find a comprehensive list of reliable brokers by jurisdiction here.

Another important consideration is online safety. Be cautious about where you leave your personal information. Registering your details on suspicious pop-ups that promise enormous profits could lead to your contact information landing on a scammer’s dialing list. Remember, no licensed broker would make unsolicited cold calls.

The next time you get contacted out of the blue with promises of becoming the next Warren Buffet, you must remember that you are most likely speaking to a scammer. I am of the opinion that nowhere is the “if something sounds too good to be true…” saying more accurate than in the world of trading. That is why you should do your due diligence before opening an account with any broker.

Our Methodology

Here at FX Empire, we have pioneered a unique methodology for evaluating Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives brokers worldwide. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive picture of the broker’s pros and cons so that our readers can make informed decisions. We understand your need to choose the best partner for your particular goals and needs.

Our team of dedicated professionals is working continuously to improve our system and keep it up-to-date with current market trends. We test each broker systematically by employing over 250 variables across nine categories:

  • Trust
  • Fees
  • Account Types
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Platforms and Tools
  • Deposits and Withdrawals
  • Customer Support
  • Research
  • Education

We strive to be as objective as possible, which is why our rigorous examinations are devoid of any personal bias as much as possible. We review the licenses of all the subsidiaries of a broker and check the fine print in the Client Agreement. The reliability of a broker is further determined based on the website’s regulations, fees, and general transparency.

We collect essential information by opening a live account with a broker entity and testing its services in real-time. We measure the spreads, swaps, and commissions on its most popular account type and compare our findings to the industry average.

We also test the functionality of the available platforms, the number and types of tradable instruments, the reliability of customer support, and the quality of the research and educational materials.

Regarding the current topic, we only considered ASIC-regulated brokers with an overall score of 4+. We selected highly transparent brokers with below-average costs, diverse account types, and a choice of user-friendly and feature-rich platforms. We also only selected brokers that offer CFD shares of Australian companies.

We abide by our strict guidelines for editorial integrity based on the objective standards we have set for our reviews. You can read more about our review process here.

Meet Our Writers

The team of forex and CFD analysts and editors at FXEmpire is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists. Our experts have been published on leading financial websites such as Investopedia and Forbes. In addition, they all have extensive trading experience.

Get to Know Our Authors

Dan Blystoneauthor

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Jitan Solankiauthor

Jitan Solanki is a professional trader, market analyst, and educator. He day trades major currency and index markets and focuses on swing trading US equities and commodities. A qualified Market Technician, Jitan also works with trader education and brokerage companies on various projects. These include market analysis, live trading events, and broker reviews. As an experienced trader and educator, Jitan brings all his qualities in action when reviewing and recommending brokers.

Plamen Stoyanovauthor

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Vladimir Zernovauthor

In more than 15 years of trading in the financial markets, Vladimir dealt with a wide range of brokers and financial instruments. His career as a day-trader at a proprietary trading firm goes back to 2007. Later, Vladimir turned to longer time frames and became an independent trader and analyst managing his own portfolio. Using his experience, he helps traders find the best broker in his reviews.

ASIC stands for the ‘Australian Securities and Investments Commission’. It regulates financial operations and dealings with financial securities in Australia. Forex brokers based in Australia must obtain an Australian financial services (AFS) license from ASIC to conduct a financial services business.
A broker must have sufficient capital, ensure segregated funds, negative balance protection, and cap the maximum retail leverage at 1:30.
By regulating brokers with AFS licenses, ASIC ensures they adhere to Australian laws of dealings with financial securities. And in cases of disputes between a trader and a broker where the complaint cannot be resolved internally, ASIC will intervene to weigh in on the issue.
A forex broker must first meet the criteria set by ASIC to obtain an Australian financial services (AFS) license to serve traders in Australia. ASIC will then monitor the operations of AFS holders and ensure they continue to adhere to policy regulations, such as ensuring negative balance protection, a cap on the maximum retail leverage, and more.
When on the broker’s website, scroll down to the bottom of the page, where the broker must state the entity's legal name and registration number. You can then double-check this number in ASIC’s registry of licensed brokers.
ASIC-regulated brokers are required to have complaints handling policy on their websites, which outlines the steps traders can take to file their complaints.
The differences can be huge. For instance, some offshore regulators may not mandate negative balance protection, and they can also have no restrictions on the maximum market exposure.
Based on our database of reviews, the best broker for beginners is TMGM. It has a well-balanced offering that allows traders to exploit different opportunities on the market.
We determined that Plus500 is the best broker for professional traders. The LSE-listed company is publicly traded on the FTSE250. The broker has a professional-grade platform, diverse account types, access to deep liquidity, and low spreads.
We employed our comprehensive methodology consisting of over 250 variables and determined that overall, the top 5 ASIC-regulated forex brokers are: IC Markets, FP Markets, Plus500, GO Markets, and TMGM.
As a whole, the most well-rounded ASIC-regulated forex broker is IC Markets. It has a competitive pricing mechanism, a wide range of instruments, and supports fast order execution.
Yes, ASIC permits trading with cryptocurrency instruments.
The maximum leverage for retail traders in Australia under ASIC is 1:30.
Negative balance protection is a safety mechanism that ensures your trading losses cannot exceed your account balance.
If your broker holds an AFS license and is regulated by ASIC, it will ensure negative balance protection. But this safety mechanism is only available to retail traders. And if ASIC does not regulate your broker, you need to check the Client Agreement to see what protections you are entitled to.
A compensation scheme protects traders against the broker’s credit risk and liabilities. For instance, brokers regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) participate in the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF). In the unlikely event of the company becoming insolvent, traders can be compensated by up to 20,000 EUR. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) – under The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom – protects traders by up to 85,000 GBP. ASIC, however, does not have such a compensation scheme.
All relevant information will be included in the legal documents section of the broker’s website.
It means that the broker is required to keep its corporate capital in separate accounts from the ones used for its traders’ funds. This mitigates the risk of accounting errors and protects clients' money in case the broker runs into financial difficulties.
By checking the client agreement, which is available in the legal documents section on the broker’s website. Brokers regulated by ASIC are required to segregate client funds.

About the Author

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

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Why you can trust FX Empire

FXEmpire was founded in 2011, making us one of the first forex broker review sites. You can trust FXEmpire because of our thorough and unbiased review process. With over a decade of experience, we have a team of industry experts who conduct rigorous tests to ensure our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Our reviews are designed to bring clarity and confidence to the process of choosing a broker, and are based on objective criteria and measurable data. Our editorial team is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists, who ensure that our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Additionally, our review system is based on 9 core categories and over 250 distinct variables, which ensures that all aspects of a broker are considered before giving a final rating. So, you can trust FXEmpire to provide you with honest and informative reviews that will help you make an informed decision on which broker will best enable you to reach your financial goals.