Best Australian Forex Brokers 2019
While there is a magnitude of brokers to choose from on the internet, many beginner Australian traders will find it difficult to know which are the right brokers, who will be a true partner to them. It’s hard to know just which broker to trade with in Australia. FX Empire is here to help you decide exactly who to choose as your trusted trading partner. With the insight of our readers from across Australia and the in depth research of our experts we have created a list of the best, most trustworthy and technologically advanced brokers in Australia.
The brokers below represent the best brokers for Australian traders
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By 22 User Reviews
No dealing desk
By 46 User Reviews
80.6% of retail CFD accounts lose money
ASIC, CySEC, FCA, FSB, ISA, MAS
No dealing desk
80.6% of retail CFD accounts lose money
By 12 User Reviews
ASIC, CySEC, FCA
No dealing desk, STP
By 11 User Reviews
cTrader, MT5, Zulutrade
By 5 User Reviews
By 7 User Reviews
ECN, Market Maker, No dealing desk, STP
By 16 User Reviews
Here’s a list of Best Forex Brokers for forex trading in Australia
- Admiral Markets
- FP Markets
- GO Markets
- Vantage FX
- How to Choose a Forex Broker (as an Aussie trader)
EightCap is an Australian based forex broker that was founded in 2009. The broker has its head office located at Level 11, 356 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000 Australia. Apart from its Australian office, the broker also maintains offices in various locations in Asia and Europe. Regulated by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), EightCap holds an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) number 391441. This means the broker maintains segregated accounts to separate its operational funds from its clients’ deposits. In addition, the broker is required to submit audited financial reports to ASIC to ensure its compliance with the regulatory requirements.
On the trading aspect of the broker, EightCap has provided its traders with the industry proven MetaTrader 4 trading platform. This platform is the most widely adopted trading platform in the industry due to its known reliability. As for trading costs, EightCap only charges $3.5 commission per lot traded for those trading on raw spreads. For the standard account holders, the spreads are reasonable with the minimum spread for the EUR/USD at 0.8 pips.
Plus500 has been in the brokerage business for a decade. They boast of 317,000 clients from all over the world. They are properly regulated in four different countries including Australia, UK and Cyprus. The trading platforms are simple, user-friendly, fast and secure. Platforms that can be used across multiple devices and operating systems are available for trading in various situations.
No educational materials are available, which is a huge minus. Furthermore, no research materials (else then the economic calendar) or technical analysis is provided.
Established in 2001, Admiral Markets is a UK based broker that has expanded its operations to Australia. The brand operates in Australia under the subsidiary company called Admiral Markets Pty Ltd and holds the Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) number 410681. The Australian office is located at level 10, 17 Castlereagh Street Sydney. Admiral Markets operates as a hybrid broker. This means trades are executed on a Straight through Processing (STP) basis or by market execution. That’s where the broker does not take the other side of the trades but passes them through to third party liquidity providers.
For trading platforms, Admiral Markets offers it traders both the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platform. As for the spreads offered by the broker, they are competitive with the benchmark EUR/USD trading at a minimum of 0.1 pip.
Owned by International Capital Markets PTY, the IC Markets brand was founded in 2007. The platform operates under the AFSL license number 335692 issued by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC). Its head office is located at Level 6 309 Kent Street Sydney, NSW. The broker also maintains an office in Limassol Cyprus.
For market access, IC Markets offers 3 main types of trading platforms, the MetaTrader 4, the MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms. Both the MT4 and MT5 are proven trading platforms with a high level of reliability. As for the cTrader, the platform was designed especially for true ECN connectivity. Other advantages of IC Markets include low spreads and high leverage ratio. The broker is also well known for offering its traders a complete educational center.
FP Markets is an online forex and CFDs trading platform that is owned by First Prudential Markets Pty. The holding company is an Australian based company with its head office located at Level 5, Exchange House, 10 Bridge St, Sydney NSW. Founded in 2005, FP Markets is regulated by ASIC and holds an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) number 286354. Apart from offering its traders the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) trading platforms, the broker also offers them the Iress trader platform.
Spreads on FP Markets starts from as low as zero pip as the broker claims to offer true ECN connectivity. Traders at FP Markets also have a selection of trading accounts to choose from, whether it is for spot forex trading or for CFDs trading.
Managed and owned by Vantage Global Prime Pty Ltd, Vantage FX is a forex trading platform that was founded in 2009. The broker’s head office can be found at Level 29, #31 Market St, Sydney, New South Wales. Regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Vantage FX is authorized under the AFSL license number 428901.
Vantage FX selection of trading platforms comprises of the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, WebTrader, ZuluTrade and MyFXBook Autotrade. The latter two trading platforms are geared towards beginner traders as it allows for copy trading. As for the cost of trading at Vantage FX, the broker offers ECN access on its MetaTrader platforms. Spreads starts from as low as zero pips.
How to Choose a Forex Broker (as an Aussie trader)
- The most important factor to look for in a broker is to see if the broker is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). ASIC is the regulatory body that is in charge of regulating the Australian financial industry. ASIC is also tasked with consumer protection as well as corporate governance which helps to ensure that your rights as a consumer are not abused by the brokers.
- Apart from regulatory oversight, you should also ensure that the broker has provided you with a reliable trading platform. The trading platform is every trader’s gateway to the financial markets and without a reliable platform, one will not be able to trade effectively.
- Finally, look at the spreads or commissions that the broker is charging. If the broker charges high spreads or commission, then your profitability will be affected. To help our Australian readers get a head start, we have compiled a list of recommended brokers that are based in Australia.
Australian inhabitants have often demonstrated resourcefulness in overcoming the numerous hurdles of living in such a sparsely populated area. Over the last 10 years with China’s economy booming at a furious rate, this has resulted in an upswing of exports from Australia and the appreciation of the Australian dollar. As a result, many Australians seeking to gain from the gain in the Australian dollar have taken to retail forex trading. This increased interest in retail forex trading goes to explain why the retail forex trading industry in Australia has been growing at a tremendous pace in recent years.
When it comes to selecting a Forex broker, there are a variety of things to bear in mind. Over the course of this article we will explore the key areas you as an Australian trader should be aware of when it comes to selecting a Forex Broker that will be a true partner to you. We will look at the Australian regulation of brokers, the importance of working with a locally regulated broker, how to choose the best trading platform to trade with, and other key areas such as commissions, spreads and leverage offered by the broker, plus the importance of good customer support.
General Regulations & Australia Regulation
Generally speaking in the online forex trading industry, the untrustworthy brokers tend to be unregulated. To attract your patronage, they often make outrageous claims which they fail to deliver on further down the road. Because of the high risks of getting scammed by an unregulated broker, your search for a reliable and dependable broker should start with those brokers which are regulated.
The Forex market is an over the counter (OTC) market. This means that the market is not regulated by any central regulatory body. In fact before Forex trading became popular on the retail level, Forex trading was largely confined to an institutional level and is largely self regulatory. But as Forex trading became more popular on a retail level, financial regulatory agencies in the more developed economies around the world began to step in, in an effort to protect the interest of the small retail investors.
Some of the standards which financial regulatory agencies around the world have established for Forex brokers operating in their jurisdictions include requiring the broker to have segregated accounts for their clients and the company’s operational funds. This requirement helps to ensure that the broker does not misuse the trading funds that have been entrusted to it by the clients. In other words, traders can rest assured that their funds will be in their trading account whenever they want to make a trade.
In addition, having segregated accounts helps to protect the clients money from being used to pay the broker’s debts, in the event the broker becomes insolvent. In other words, creditors of the broker are not permitted to claim the funds in these segregated accounts as part of the broker’s assets which can be used to pay off the broker’s debt. Another standard industry requirement for a regulated forex broker is the maintenance of a capital adequacy ratio. The purpose of requiring brokers to maintain a capital adequacy ratio is to ensure that the broker will at all time have sufficient liquidity to meet its contractual obligations.
Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
For traders in Australia, the regulatory authority which they should take note off is the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Established in 1998 under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act, 2001, ASIC is empowered by the Corporations Act, 2001, the Insurance Contracts Act, 1984 and the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, 2009 to be responsible for the following in the financial industry in Australia:
- Consumer Protection
- Corporate Governance
- Promotion Financial Literacy
- Regulating Financial Services
- Regulating Insurance Industry
- Regulating the trading Securities and Derivatives
If you are a beginner trader who is unfamiliar with the online forex trading industry, the best starting point for you is to deal only with ASIC regulated brokers. Regardless of how attractive an unregulated forex broker’s offer may be, there is no point in taking up their “offers” if at the end of the day you find yourself unable to get your money back. Go for the benefits of an ASIC regulated broker which can provide you with peace of mind.
Trading Platform & Software
The next factor to take into consideration when selecting the best forex brokers in Australia to partner with is the performance of their trading platforms. The trading platform is your gateway to the forex market and without a reliable and efficient trading platform, you will not be able to trade the forex market effectively.
What are the main types of trading platform that the broker has provided. Here we are referring to:
Do you have to download a client software such as the MetaTrader 4 client software before you can use the trading platform? This means you can only use that platform from the computer that you have originally downloaded to.
- Web based
Or is it a web based platform which only requires you to use a web browser to connect to the trading platform? This means you can literally trade from anywhere that you have internet connection. You will login using your username and password.
- Mobile platforms
These are usually a stripped down version of the download or web based trader specifically built for the smartphone or tablet. Additionally some brokers offer their platform as an app which can be downloaded through the app store or Google Play.
In addition, consider if the trading platform is proprietary or a generic platform widely used by the industry.
A proprietary platform can be indicative of the broker’s willingness to invest to improve the quality of its clients trading experience. This is a platform that the broker designs and builds for the use of their traders. It is often highly customizable to the user and can cater for all level of traders.
Often called a white label this is a platform offered by many brokers and branded to them eg, with their logo. The most popular version of this is the MetaTrader 4 provided by Metaquotes. Sirix Trader and cTrader are the next most popular white labeled platforms.
Things to look for in your platform:
- Check if the trading platform is easy to use and executes trades instantly
- Can provide you with a wide array of trading tools to enhance your market analysis
- Look at the quality of the trading charts and see if they can provide you with an in-depth look of the price movements
- Additional tools which further extend your trading capabilities such as economic calendar, currency and pip calculator, updating news stream, trading directly from charts.
If in doubt about the above refer to the below list before you select a platform to trade on:
- Comprehensive charts
- Fast Execution of trades
- Mobile capable
- User Friendly Interface
- Wide range of trading tools
Commissions, Spreads & Leverage
With trading costs being one of the main factors which determine a trader’s profitability, most forex traders’ first instinct is to look at the commissions that brokers charge as well as the spread that they offer. Depending on the broker’s business model, most brokers do not charge any commissions. Instead, their main source of revenue will be the spread which traders pay each time they make a trade. The spread is merely the difference between the BID and ASK price. For frequently traded currency pairs, the spreads which a trader pays can range from zero pip to 5 pips. In addition when evaluating the spreads offered by the broker, check if the spreads offered is fixed or variable. For traders who wants certainty with their trading cost, it is better to opt for fixed spreads as they do not change according to market volatility as opposed to variable spreads.
Although most brokers do not charge any commissions, this is not the case with brokers who offer ECN trading capacity. An Electronic Communications Network or ECN broker allow traders to deal directly with the liquidity providers hence allowing then to take advantage of the interbank rates offered by the liquidity providers. To compensate for the loss of revenue by giving traders direct access to interbank rates, ECN broker’s charge a small commission instead. This commission can be fixed or based on a percentage of the trading volume.
The leverage ratio offered by forex brokers is also another important consideration to take into account. For Australian traders, the leverage enjoyed by them is considerably higher than what most brokers in Europe are offering their clients. Most European brokers due to regulatory restrictions are only permitted to offer their clients up to a maximum of 1:100 leverage ratio. Whereas for Australian regulated brokers, they are permitted to offer a maximum of 1:500 leverage ratio.
The types of trading accounts offered by forex brokers depend on the target market which the broker is targeting. For beginner friendly brokers, the type of trading accounts offered usually have a low minimum deposit requirement as well as the ability to trade in small amounts or lots. For premium brokers, the account opening requirements is usually higher and often beyond the financial capability of the small retail trader. Nevertheless, the services offered by these premium brokers are usually personalized and exceptional. In addition when looking at the types of trading accounts that are provided by a broker, always make it a point to study their withdrawal policies and ensure that you are comfortable and agreeable with the terms provided. Some brokers may provide free withdrawals while others may charge their clients a high fee each time their clients makes a withdrawal request. Finally, check how long a broker usually takes to process a withdrawal request. Most regulated brokers usually take 3 business days to process a withdrawal request whereas some process a withdrawal within the same day.
It should be noted that the forex market is a 24 hours market with continuous trading activities going on throughout the entire trading day. Because of this, you want to ensure that your broker is capable of supporting you on a 24 hours basis and not just during office hours. Furthermore, check if the broker provides multiple methods of communicating with the support team. The more methods that the broker has made available, the more accessible the broker is when you have to contact the support team for assistance. Other factors to consider with regards to a broker’s customer support service are whether the broker provides multilingual support and localized support telephone numbers.
In a competitive industry such as the online forex trading industry, most forex brokers try to provide additional services in order to help them differentiate their services from other brokers in the industry. Some of the added features or benefits provided by these brokers may include the following:
- Free Trading Alerts
- Free VPS
- Interest on trading account balance
- Loyalty program and rebates on trading cost
- Market Analysis
- Market commentary
- One to One Consultation with in house expert
- Robot or Signal Trading Services
- Sign up Bonuses
- Social Trading Support
- Trading Competition
Because of the proliferation of forex brokers on the internet over the last decade or so, many beginner traders find it difficult to differentiate between the various types of brokers in the industry. To help our readers make the right choice, we have conducted in depth reviews of various brokers in the industry based on the guidelines that we have mentioned in this guide. Our goal is to provide you with a shortlist of brokers that meet a high operating standard as well as being able to meet all the traders’ trading requirements.
Always be wary of brokers that make outrageous claims such as “Risk Free Trading” or “Guaranteed Profits” as risks will always be present when trading the financial markets. Remember, no one can guarantee your profits. As an Australian trader, the best forex brokers to trade with in Australia are those brokers which have taken the initiative to be regulated by ASIC. This shows that the broker is willing to invest time and effort to gain their clients’ trust as well as to protect the legal interests of their clients. In other words, they are not fly by night operators that will disappear with your money. Lastly, by trading with ASIC regulated forex brokers, you will have fewer difficulties in referring any complaints that you might have about your broker to ASIC.