Best Forex Brokers 2019

Eric Rosenberg
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Foreign exchange is an exciting and fast-paced marketplace where fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye. If you want to get involved in foreign exchange trading or investing, also known as Forex, you’ll want to work with a top Forex broker.The best Forex brokers offer a combination of safe trading environment, competitive pricing, high-tech trading tools, and fast and reliable trade order execution. Sorting through the long list of Forex brokers and picking out the best is too much work for the average trader, so we took care of the hard part and whittled down to a list of the top Forex brokers for a variety of focuses and specialties.


The Best Forex Brokers 2019

Here’s a summary of the best brokers for forex trading.


How to choose a Forex broker

Every trader has different priorities and strategies when it comes to Forex broker, but there are a few common features that every trader wants in a Forex brokerage:

  • Regulation and reliability – By dealing with a regulated broker, you can have the assurance that the broker has met the operating standards imposed by the regulatory body.
  • Low fees A low-fee brokerage helps you keep more of your profits for yourself. Different Forex companies charge you through commissions and/or spread markups.
  • Great platform and trading tools When you log in to your account, you should have everything you need to succeed at your fingertips. The best brokerage platforms include a desktop, mobile, and web-based option to manage your account, research and track positions, and enter trades.
  • Fast trade execution When you click the buy or sell button, a delay of a few seconds can cost you big. It’s important to work with a platform that offers real-time data and near-instant executions.

FX Empire has years of experiencing researching and reviewing brokerages and other financial companies around the world, and is a leader in reviews in the Forex and CFD (contract for difference) industries. The FX Empire team put together this list of the top brokerages in each of the categories below.

Pro Tip: Most of these brokers offer free demo accounts so you can test the brokers and their platforms with virtual money. Give it a try with some play money before using your own cash.

Best FX Brokers for Forex Trading

Active traders in foreign exchange markets require a well-balanced brokerage that offers powerful tools and low costs and reliable trading environment. For those looking for an overall top brokerage for Forex trading, you’ll do well with any from the list below:

Note: Not all Forex brokers accept US clients. For your convenience we specified those that accept US Forex traders as clients. You can also visit our best US forex brokers

Plus500:

Regulated By:

ASIC, CySEC, FCA, FSB, ISA, MAS

Foundation Year
2008
Headquarters:

Building 25, MATAM, Haifa

Min Deposit
$100
Visit Broker

80.6% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Plus500 is a leading CFD trading platform with support for stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, and Forex. This commission-free brokerage charges very low spread-rates and offers fast trades on a great platform. Plus500 supports complex trades, includes negative balance protection, and makes trading an educational and hopefully profitable venture.

You can start with a free demo account to test the platform and any trading strategy. Real money accounts offer leverage of up to 300:1. This broker is based in Israel and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Check out our full Plus500 review here.

Pros: Cons:
  • Support for 2000+ products to trade across global markets,including Forex, commodities, shares, indices
    and cryptocurrency CFDs
  • No commission and low spread costs
  • Advanced trades and fast execution
  • Licensed in several regulatory hubs, and publicly listed
  • Only CFDs, no direct Forex trades
  • High rates on margin/leverage accounts
  • Less research data than some competitors
  • No phone support offered


FXTM:

Regulated By:

CySEC, FCA, IFSC

Foundation Year
2011
Headquarters:

FXTM Tower, 35 Lamprou Konstantara, Kato Polemidia, 4156, Limassol, Cyprus

Min Deposit
$10
Visit Broker

Your capital is at risk

FXTM, short for ForexTime, is a platform with a primary focus on foreign exchange. That specialization allows it to rise above many others when it comes to Forex focused trading platforms and tools. CFDs are available on 50+ currency pairs including major, minor, and exotic pairs. Leverage is available up to 1000:1.

Spreads are competitive across all platforms with 24-hour trading open 5 days per week. FXTM is based in Cyprus and licensed by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulators in and out of the EU. A free demo account is available. Read our detailed FXTM review here.

 Pros:  Cons:
  • Support for 250+ products to trade across global markets, including Forex, commodities, shares, indices and cryptocurrency CFDs
  • Competitive spreads
  • MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platform support
  • Low maximum order size
  • No native Mac desktop app

XTB:

Regulated By:

BaFin, CNMV in Spain, CySEC, FCA, IFSC

Foundation Year
2002
Headquarters:

N/A

Min Deposit
$250
Visit Broker

Your capital is at risk

XTB is an award-winning CFD platform that supports Forex, indices, commodities, stock CFDs, ETF CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. For Forex, XTB supports 48 currency pairs with low-cost spreads. Customers of XTB can choose between trading on the xStation 5 or MT4 platforms. For leverage accounts, this brokerage offers leverage of up to 200:1.

XTB was founded in 2002 with a headquarters in Warsaw. It is regulated in markets across Europe by the IFSC, FCA, KNF, and CySec. XTB has a free demo account and a Trading Academy set of courses for beginner and intermediate traders. Check out our full XTB review here.

Pros: Cons:
  • Choose between two excellent trading platforms (xStation 5 or MT4 platforms)
  • A collection of 3000+ trading instruments across six asset classes
  • Low spreads
  • Fewer Forex pairs than some top competitors
  • No 24/7 support

EightCap:

Regulated By:

ASIC

Foundation Year
2009
Headquarters:

N/A

Min Deposit
$100
Visit Broker

Your Capital is at Risk

EightCap is an Australia based foreign exchange and CFD broker. Supported assets include foreign exchange, cryptocurrencies, commodities, index CFDs, and share CFDs. EightCap supports 46 currency pairs. EightCap automatically offers 100:1 leverage. You can choose from 1:1 to 500:1. Fees and commissions vary by account type and are competitive.

EightCap supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. This broker offers both demo and live accounts. The company was founded in 2009 and is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Read our full EightCap review here.

Pros: Cons:
  • Support for two platforms including the modern MT5
  • Choose spread or commission charges
  • Adjustable leverage options from 1:1 to 500:1
  • Fewer currency pairs than some competitors
  • Demo limited to 30 days
  • Only customer service phone number is in Australia

FP Markets:

Regulated By:

ASIC

Foundation Year
2005
Headquarters:

N/A

Min Deposit
$100
Visit Broker

Your capital is at risk

This brokerage offers a massive range of tradable assets through Forex, CFD, and share trading accounts. FP Markets supports the MT4, MT5, and IRESS platforms and offers leverage up to 500:1. You can trade 45 currency pairs with competitive spread or commission pricing.

FP Markets was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. It is regulated by by the ASIC in Australia. Demo accounts are available. While it is suitable for beginners, education resources are limited. Check out our full FP Markets review here.

Pros: Cons:
  • 10,000+ tradable assets
  • Choose between 3 trading platforms
  • Competitive spread pricing on raw account
  • High spreads on the standard account
  • A range of possible additional fees
  • AU $200 minimum opening balance

Alpari:

Regulated By:

FSC

Foundation Year
1998
Headquarters:

N/A

Min Deposit
$null
Visit Broker

Your capital is at risk

Alpari is an industry veteran founded in 1998. It is headquartered in Port Louis, Mauritius and has an operations headquarters in London. The company offers services to international traders from 150+ countries, though the United States is a noteworthy gap – its membership to the US National Futures Association was revoked in 2015, forcing it out of the United States market.

This brokerage is originally from Russia. It is licensed in Belize as well as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. Forex traders can access 44 currency pairs and leverage is available up to 1,000:1. It is an exciting and innovative brokerage. Read our full Alpari review here.

Pros: Cons:
  • Innovative brokerage
  • 20+ years of history in business
  • Varying cost options to match your trading style

 

  • History of reguatory challenges
  • Past insolvency in the UK in 2015
  • Limited multilingual support

OctaFX:

Regulated By:

CySEC

Foundation Year
2011
Headquarters:

N/A

Min Deposit
$5
Visit Broker

Your capital is at risk

OctaFX is a Forex and CFD trading platform with a focus on low, competitively priced spreads. It supports MT4, MT5, and cTrader trading platforms. cTrader offers the lowest costs, but does require a bit more experience. Novice traders are best starting off at OctaFX using MetaTrader 4, which supports micro accounts.

OctaFX supports 28 currency pairs, a smaller number than many competitors. You can get leverage up to 500:1 for currencies. Different leverage is available for metals, indices, and crypto trading. OctaFX was founded in 2011 and is based in and licensed in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Read our detailed review of OctaFX here.

Pros: Cons:
  • Low spread pricing
  • 3 different platforms and flexible pricing
  • Free Forex demo available
  • Just 28 currency pairs
  • Limited deposit options
  • Lost UK Financial Conduct Authority coverage in 2017

IG – US accounts available:

IG is a CFD and Forex brokerage located in Australia. It offers access to a wide range of markets in addition to Forex. Spreads are competitive, but not the cheapest in the marketplace. However, it does offer direct market access and trading on the MT4 platform.

IG was founded in 1974, making it one of the oldest Forex trading services available today. IG is a founding member of the CFD and FX Forum and works with Australia’s ASIC. Its transparency on pricing and regulations is refreshing in a sometimes cloudy industry. IG offers both an international platform and a US focused version regulated by the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association.

Pros: Cons:
  • Ultra-transparent pricing and regulations
  • Trusted brokerage with more than 40 years of experience
  • Demo available
  • Accepts US traders
  • Not the cheapest pricing around
  • Limited tradable assets
  • Limited education and research

TradeStation – US brokerage:

Regulated By:

CFTC, FCA, NFA, SEC

Foundation Year
1982
Headquarters:

8050 SW 10th Street, Plantation, 33324

Min Deposit
$500
Visit Broker

TradeStation International Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom and has passport rights in the EEA (registration number 554431). TradeStation International Ltd acts as an introducing broker to TradeStation Group's affiliates and non-affiliates, such as Interactive Brokers (U.K) Limited. The material on this website is for information purposes only. Any reference on this Web site to TradeStation and its affiliated companies should not be construed as an offer or solicitation, directed to residents in jurisdictions where TradeStation or Interactive Brokers, by and through any of its affiliates, is not registered to do business. TradeStation International Ltd does not provide investment advice, trading advice, recommendations or strategic advice in respect of any security, group of securities, market segment or market. Past performance, whether actual or indicated by historical tests of strategies, is no guarantee of future performance or success. Bitcoin futures, options and CFDs are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed deposits; therefore, you should not invest or risk money that you cannot afford to lose. TradeStation®, EasyLanguage® and the other company trademarks in the TradeStation Platform are owned by TradeStation Technologies, Inc., a technology research and development company affiliated with TradeStation International Ltd. Depending on the choice of account, the provision of brokerage and trading services to you is offered by TradeStation Securities, Inc, or Interactive Brokers (U.K) Ltd by means of the TradeStation Platform (or otherwise) and on such terms as you may agree with the respective broker-dealer. TradeStation International Ltd is not a party to any agreement that you may enter into with Interactive Brokers (U.K) Ltd for the provision of such services. We list educational workshops designed to demonstrate what we believe are the valuable benefits of using the TradeStation platform but do not endorse materials presented by third parties.

TradeStation is a US-based brokerage. While you can’t trade foreign currencies directly on the US TradeStation platform, you can access the foreign exchange market through Forex futures. Futures trade at a competitive $1.50 per contract per side. Options cost $5 per trade plus 50 cents per contract.

TradeStation is based in Plantation, Florida and was founded in 1982. With more than three decades serving clients, it is a great platform for expert and seasoned traders. TradeStation supports over 50 currency pairs. Traders utilize TradeStation’s own proprietary trading platform. Read our full review of TradeStation here.

Pros: Cons:
  • 50+ currency pairs available
  • Simple, predictable pricing
  • Reputable broker founded in 1982
  • Forex traded through futures and options
  • Mixed customer service reviews
  • The trading platform is not ideal for new or beginner traders

Forex.com – US brokerage:

Regulated By:

CFTC, NFA

Foundation Year
1999
Headquarters:

N/A

Min Deposit
$50
Visit Broker

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Capital at risk

Forex.com is a leading US foreign exchange brokerage with a clear focus on Forex, as the name implies. It claims to be the largest Forex broker in the United States. This US broker is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. It supports an impressive 83 currency pairs with up to 50:1 leverage.

You can get started with a demo account. With a live account, fees are competitive and you can earn a rebate with high trading volumes. It supports the MT4 platform, common for international brokerages but less common in the US. As a US commodity brokerage, it is regulated by the CFTC and a member of the National Futures Association. It was founded in 1999 and located in Bedminster, New Jersey. Our full Forex.com review is here.

Pros: Cons:
  • Large number of supported currency pairs
  • Competitive pricing and volume rebates
  • 20 years in business
  • Does not yet support MetaTrader 5
  • Operates as a market maker
  • Limited tradable assets


Best Forex Brokers 2019 Comparison Table

Scroll for more details
Broker
Rating
Regulations
Headquarters Country
Foundation Year
Min Deposit
Max Leverage
Trading Platforms
Publicly Traded
Restricted Countries
Trading Desk Type
Currencies
Commodities
Indices
Stocks
Cryptocurrency
ETFs
Bonds
Futures
Options
Mutual funds
Deposit
Withdrawal
commission on trades
fixed spreads
OS Compatibility
Mobile trading
promotions
Visit Broker
ASIC, CySEC, FCA, FSB, ISA, MAS

Israel

2008

$100

1:30

Plus500

Yes

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, cayman-island, Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Niger, North Korea, United States

No dealing desk

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Credit Card, Moneybookers, PayPal, Skrill, Wire Transfer

Credit Card, Moneybookers, PayPal, Skrill, Wire Transfer

No

Yes

Desktop platform (Windows), Desktop platform (Mac), Web platform

Android, iOS

No
Open Account

80.6% of retail CFD accounts lose money

CySEC, FCA, IFSC

Cyprus

2011

$10

1:30

MT4

No

Belize, Japan, United States

ECN, STP

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Credit Card, Neteller, QIWI, Skrill, Webmoney, Wire Transfer

Credit Card, cryptocurrencies, Neteller, QIWI, Skrill, Webmoney, Wire Transfer

Yes

No

Desktop platform (Windows), Desktop platform (Mac), Web platform

Android, iOS

No
Open Account

Your capital is at risk

BaFin, CNMV in Spain, CySEC, FCA, IFSC

United Kingdom

2002

$250

1:200

MT4

No

United States

STP

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Credit Card, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, Wire Transfer

Wire Transfer

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

No
Open Account

Your capital is at risk

ASIC

Australia

2009

$100

1:500

MT4, MT5

No

United States

No dealing desk, STP

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

China UnionPay, Credit Card, Moneybookers, Poli, Skrill, Wire Transfer

China UnionPay, Credit Card, Skrill, Wire Transfer

Yes

No

N/A

N/A

No
Open Account

Your Capital is at Risk

ASIC

Australia

2005

$100

1:500

MT5

No

Japan, New Zealand, Niger, North Korea, United States

DMA, ECN

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Cash-U, Credit Card, Neteller, PayPal, QIWI, Skrill, Webmoney, Wire Transfer

Credit Card, FasaPay, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, Wire Transfer

No

No

N/A

N/A

No
Open Account

Your capital is at risk

FSC

Mauritius

1998

$null

1:1000

MT4, MT5

No

United States

ECN, STP

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

Credit Card, FasaPay, Neteller, OKPay, Skrill, Webmoney, Wire Transfer

FasaPay, Neteller, OKPay, Skrill, Webmoney, Wire Transfer

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

No
Open Account

Your capital is at risk

CySEC

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

2011

$5

1:500

cTrader, MT4, MT5

No

Russian Federation, United States

ECN, STP

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Credit Card, FasaPay, Neteller, Skrill, Wire Transfer

Credit Card, FasaPay, Neteller, Skrill, Wire Transfer

No

Yes

N/A

N/A

No
Open Account

Your capital is at risk

CFTC, FCA, NFA, SEC

United States

1982

$500

1:4

proprietary

Yes

N/A

DMA

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Wire Transfer

Wire Transfer

Yes

No

Desktop platform (Windows), Web platform

Android, iOS

Yes
Open Account

TradeStation International Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom and has passport rights in the EEA (registration number 554431). TradeStation International Ltd acts as an introducing broker to TradeStation Group's affiliates and non-affiliates, such as Interactive Brokers (U.K) Limited. The material on this website is for information purposes only. Any reference on this Web site to TradeStation and its affiliated companies should not be construed as an offer or solicitation, directed to residents in jurisdictions where TradeStation or Interactive Brokers, by and through any of its affiliates, is not registered to do business. TradeStation International Ltd does not provide investment advice, trading advice, recommendations or strategic advice in respect of any security, group of securities, market segment or market. Past performance, whether actual or indicated by historical tests of strategies, is no guarantee of future performance or success. Bitcoin futures, options and CFDs are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed deposits; therefore, you should not invest or risk money that you cannot afford to lose. TradeStation®, EasyLanguage® and the other company trademarks in the TradeStation Platform are owned by TradeStation Technologies, Inc., a technology research and development company affiliated with TradeStation International Ltd. Depending on the choice of account, the provision of brokerage and trading services to you is offered by TradeStation Securities, Inc, or Interactive Brokers (U.K) Ltd by means of the TradeStation Platform (or otherwise) and on such terms as you may agree with the respective broker-dealer. TradeStation International Ltd is not a party to any agreement that you may enter into with Interactive Brokers (U.K) Ltd for the provision of such services. We list educational workshops designed to demonstrate what we believe are the valuable benefits of using the TradeStation platform but do not endorse materials presented by third parties.

CFTC, NFA

United States

1999

$50

1:50

N/A

No

N/A

Market Maker

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Credit Card, Wire Transfer

Credit Card, Wire Transfer

No

No

N/A

N/A

No
Open Account

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Capital at risk

 

How To Choose the Best Forex Broker

The Forex market is the world’s largest financial market with a turnover in excess of around $4 trillion a day. Despite its huge size, this market has no central exchange for Forex traders to conduct their transactions. Instead, Forex traders must conduct their trading activities through an intermediary, the Forex broker. This shows the importance of the broker’s role in the trading process. When it comes to choosing a broker, traders have literally thousands of Forex brokers to choose from on the internet. But the real question is how can you be certain that the broker you have chosen is the right fit for your trading needs.

To help you in your broker selection process, we have prepared a guide with a list of key factors that you have to look at when choosing a broker.


Guide Sections


Regulations

The first thing that you should look at when selecting a broker is to see if the broker is regulated by a competent regulatory agency. By dealing with a regulated broker, you can have the assurance that the broker has met the operating standards imposed by the regulatory body. Some of these standard regulatory requirements include having adequate capitalization and maintaining segregated accounts in order to protect the clients’ funds. Additionally regulation offers fund protection should the firm become insolvent and ensures the broker is upholding rigorous standards as a financial service provider.

Countries that have financial regulatory agencies that are backed with strict regulatory enforcement include:

  • Australia  (ASIC)
  • Eurozone (Mifid and local regulators)
  • India (SEBI)
  • Japan (FSA and JSDA)
  • Switzerland (FINMA)
  • UK  (FCA)
  • USA (CFTC and SEC)

Trading Platform & Software

As the trading platform is your gateway to the market, you want to ensure that the trading platform that you are using can be relied upon. Most brokers will offer traders a selection of trading platforms to choose from. Most of the time, the trading platforms are provided by third party trading solutions providers such as MetaQuotes Software. There are also some brokers who have taken to developing their own proprietary trading platforms in an attempt to differentiate themselves from other brokers in the industry. Often times, these proprietary platforms are the best platforms to trade with as they are specifically designed by the broker’s client base.

Nevertheless a good broker should be able to provide a good selection of platforms. This is because some traders prefer to trade from the desktop computer and some traders prefer to trade from their smartphones. It should be noted that the most common trading platform that you will find among the different brokers in the industry is the MetaTrader 4 platform. It is estimated that at least 85% of brokers in the industry uses the MetaTrader 4 platform. So this means there is a very strong possibility that this is one of the platforms that you will be using.

Additional Features

Look at the features which the trading platforms have to offer. Do they come with:

  • Comprehensive charting package
  • Wide range of technical indicators
  • One click trading on the trading platform
  • Risk management tools such as stop loss order and trailing stops.

While all these may seem trivial initially, they will later play a crucial part in ensuring that you will get to enjoy a seamless and productive trading experience.

But when it comes to platform selection, it is really a matter of personal choice. Most of these platforms will have the same basic features. The best way for you to find out which platform is right for you is to try them out with the demo account provided by the broker. For those brokers that do not provide a demo account, they may not be worth considering.

Commissions & Spreads

This market unlike other traditional financial markets mostly operates on spreads rather than commissions. This is the reason why most brokers advertise their services as being commission free.

So how do brokers make money?

Simply, they earn by charging traders a spread. The spread is the difference between the buying price and selling price. For example if the Bid & Ask price for the EUR/USD currency pair is 1.0875/1.0878, this means the spread is 3 pips.

As a Forex trader, you will come across 3 kinds of trading cost structure charged by a broker:

  • Fixed spread – where the spread is not changing and you know the spread amount before you trade.
  • Floating spread – this spread is variable and always moving depending on the market volatility.
  • Commission fee – this is calculated as a percentage of the brokers spread. You should be aware of the amount payable before you trade.

Generally for traders looking for certainty with their trading costs, fixed spreads will be the preferred choice. Traders who are looking to pay a smaller spread would prefer floating spreads. Ultimately as to which is better will depend on your specific trading needs.

The kind of spreads that you will receive depend to a large extent on the kind of business model the broker is operating on.

Broker’s Business Model

In the course of your search for a broker, you will come across terms like “STP”, “ECN”, “NDD” and “Market Maker”. All these terms are in fact used to describe the business model which the broker is operating by.  So what do they all mean?

There are two major types of broker – Dealing Desk and Non Dealing Desk.

Dealing Desk

Forex dealer or Market Maker processes their clients trading instructions through a dealing desk within their company. A dealing desk broker takes the other side of the trade to you, meaning when you open a position like the EUR/USD the trade will be executed by the broker and they are then exposed to that trade.

Non-Dealing Desk

A Non-Dealing Desk (NDD) broker passes the trade straight through to a third party. There are two kinds of NDD broker (ECN and STP). They are both essentially the conduit between you the trader and the market maker or dealer.

ECN

With the first type (ECN) when you press “Buy” on your trading platform, your trade orders will be processed on the broker’s computer trading system automatically and transmitted through the Electronic Communications Network (ECN) without a dealing desk (This is where the term “Non Dealing Desk” (NDD) comes from).

STP

With the second type of NDD broker, upon receiving your trade orders they will pass the trade orders directly to another party to be executed by the market maker’s dealing desk. In this instance, the broker is known as a Straight Through Processing (STP) broker.

Both the Forex ECN and STP brokers are intermediaries to several dealing desks or market makers in the global Forex market. Market makers or dealers will transmit their pricing to the ECN or third party liquidity provider together with the volume which the quote is valid for. The ECN/STP will in turn distribute the pricing to traders/market makers linked to the system. It should be noted that the ECN/STP does not execute trades but rather acts as the conduit for transmitting the trade orders from the trader to the dealing desk where the trader took the price from.

Why is this important?

The business model of the broker is important as this will affect the kind of spreads that you will receive and whether the spread will be fixed or variable.

Forex Broker for Beginners

For beginner traders, look for brokers with the following qualities:

  • Comprehensive trading education resources – many brokers supply a suite of education materials to help push traders into mastering their skills. These usually include webinars, videos, courses, guides and articles.
  • Unlimited access to the demo account for practice trades – most if not all Forex brokers supply demo-trading accounts to their clients. This is particularly useful if you are new to the world of Forex trading or if you’d like to test-drive a broker’s platform before you trade for real.
  • User friendly trading platform – there are a whole host of trading platforms on the market, some more complicated than others. As a beginner trader you will not need a complicated platform with features like EA’s and complex trading strategies. That comes later, but now you should be looking for a platform that is fast and simple to grasp.

Here you can find the best forex brokers for beginners

Forex Broker for Professionals

For professional traders, their trading needs differ significantly from those of a beginner trader. Generally, professional traders prefer brokers which can provide them with:

  • Comprehensive trading tools – as a professional trader you will now need a variety of tools including commission calculator, economic calendar and of course complex live charts in order to implement trading strategies.
  • High leverage – not for the faint hearted, professionals will seek to use leverage in order to multiply their capital. Leverage increases the risk and equally increases the reward.
  • Low spreads – if you trade a lot you want to ensure that your spreads aren’t eating away at your capital. It’s important to check the spreads payable before you select a broker, usually the greater the account type you take the lower are your spreads.

Forex Broker for Day Trading

Generally for a day trader, most brokers will be able to meet their trading needs. However given the shorter time period with day traders are trading with, it is best that the broker is able to provide a diverse range of instruments for the day trader to scout for trading opportunities. These can include a signal service, tools like an economic calendar, updating market news and also earnings reports. As you will probably be placing more short term trades make sure that you are aware of the spreads before you trade.

Forex Broker for Scalping

Scalpers are traders who hold their market positions for an extremely short period. While they only hold a market position a short period of time, the frequency of their trades is higher than the average trader. Their objective is only to make a small profit on all the trades that they make spread across a large number of trades. Note that not all brokers allow scalping. As such if you intend to trade as a scalper, you should always check with the broker that you intend to sign up if they allow scalping.

Account Types

The majority of the forex brokers in the industry offer traders a selection of trading accounts to cater for different categories of traders.

  • Micro Account – The smallest type of trading account is the Micro trading account where one trading lot is equivalent to 1000 units of the instrument traded.
  • Mini Account – The next type of trading account higher up the hierarchy is the Mini account where one lot represents 10,000 units.
  • Standard Account – The standard account is where one lot is equivalent to 100,000 units.

With the Micro and Mini account, only a low minimum initial investment is required to let you start trading. With the standard account, although the minimum investment may vary from broker to broker, generally you will need a higher amount of trading capital. Given the varying minimum investment for each type of trading account, you should select the trading account that is commensurate with your investment capital.

Customer Service

Most beginner traders tend to forget to factor in customer service when making their choice of the broker to sign up with. They may not realize the importance customer service plays in their overall trading experience. With customer service, it is not whether you will ever need their assistance but rather a question of when you will need their assistance. Because regardless of how experienced or knowledgeable a trader might be, there will always come a time when assistance from customer service is required. When that time comes, you want to be able to get in touch with the support team without any difficulties. So it is important to check if the broker that you intend to sign up with is able to provide you with reliable customer support.

Check to see if there are multiple ways of contacting customer support. Most brokers will provide their clients with several ways such as email, live chat and telephone for their clients to get in touch with customer support. In short, you don’t want to be in a position where you have to spend countless nights worrying about what your broker is going to do with your problem.

Value Added Services

In an industry as competitive as the online forex trading industry, some brokers will try to distinguish themselves from other brokers, by offering additional value added services such as free market analysis, real time news feeds and trading signals. Most of these value added services are provided free of charge but there are some brokers which may require you to deposit a minimum amount before you can have access to these services.

Questions to Ask the Broker

If you have any general questions regarding brokers we can usually advise and recommend, however for more specific information you can read our broker reviews for deep insight. Our video reviews cover many aspects of the trading cycle. Please note, it is important that if you have any doubts about a broker’s product offerings or service, by asking the right questions you can clear up any ambiguity that you might have before they develop into an issue later after you sign up.

The kind of questions that you should ask include:

  • How the broker maintains the safety of your funds
  • The broker’s regulatory status
  • The range of instruments that is available for trading
  • Their business model
  • Their customer service hours
  • Their deposit and withdrawal process and whether there any fees involved
  • Whether there are any conditions attached to the value added services provided

Q&A

  • How Can I Choose A Broker?

We are here to help with that! Check out our list above and choose the most suitable broker for you.

  • Should I Pick a Regulated Broker?

Yes, you should try to pick a regulated broker to work with. This ensures recourse in the event of a dispute or should your broker face insolvency. Remember by using a regulated broker you will also have access to an investor compensation fund, which insure your deposit up to a certain amount.

  • What Else Should I Look at When Selecting a Broker?

You should look at the range of platforms on offer and even ideally test-drive the platform you may wish to use. Take a look at the additional resources being offered by that broker eg. Signal service, educational tools, copy trading. Finally remember to find out about spreads, and account types before you place a deposit.

Conclusion

As noted above, there are many factors that you have to consider when selecting your broker. Nevertheless with the help of this guide that we have provided, you should be able to see which broker is better suited to your needs. To further facilitate your search, we have also conducted in-depth reviews and vetted each of the brokers in our recommended list to ensure they meet up the right standards. Once you have found the right broker to work with, you can focus more on your trading activities and trade more confidently thereby increasing your chances of success trading the market.