This list contains the best forex brokers that I have reviewed over the years based on my own opinion. Each broker has been given an overall rating and includes a link to the brokers review and official website. This way, you can quickly and easily view my top forex broker ratings all in one place to help you find the best forex brokers for your needs.
Top 5 Forex Brokers
I have gone through each of these brokers with a fine-tooth comb, conducting thorough research and analysis on the most important things to consider such as regulation, spreads, execution speeds, commissions, liquidity providers, funding methods, account types, trading platforms, trading tools, educational resources, customer support, forex strategies allowed (scalping, hedging, etc) and much more!
I could go on for days and days about the importance of forex brokers and what to look for, so to save time, please see a selection of some key things that I think it is important to look out for when choosing a broker below.
Please always conduct your own due diligence on all forex brokers.
AvaTrade are hands down one of my favourite forex brokers and there is a reason they have been around so long and had some huge sponsorship deals along with winning multiple awards for their industry leading brokerage products and services. That aside, the trading conditions I have found to be extremely competitive for retail forex traders with plenty of liquidity that can help to ensure fast trade execution speeds with minimal slippage. Not to mention the low spreads, commission free trading and excellent customer support. In addition to this, clients get access to social trading, copy trading signals, a range of powerful trading tools for market analysis such as Trading Central and plenty of educational resources in the AvaTrade academy. You can read more about them in my AvaTrade Review.
IG is a multiple award-winning broker and certainly one of the biggest brokers in the world. IG offer a wide range of tradable assets and provide multiple flexible and user-friendly trading platforms, powerful trading tools, along with a huge selection of educational resources and up to date market analysis. The IG support team is available 24 hours a day whilst the broker is regulated in multiple jurisdictions so traders can feel secure with a trusted provider. You can read more about them in my IG Review.
3. IC Markets
IC Markets are one of the best forex brokers that any level of forex trader can use in my opinion. Setting up a demo or real account at IC Markets is extremely quick and easy with 24/7 support on hand to assist you. They offer a diverse range of trading accounts to suit all traders, intuitive and versatile trading platforms, trading tools, educational resources, a huge range of trading instruments, multiple deposit and withdrawal methods, strict regulation and much more. I am personally very happy with them after many years of excellent service. You can read more about them in my IC Markets Review.
Pepperstone are one of the best forex brokers that I myself and many other forex traders over the world have had the pleasure to trade with. The simplicity of account opening / funding and the MetaTrader trading platforms make Pepperstone a very attractive forex broker not to mention the strict regulation that they have which gives great reassurance. The customer support is also amongst the best you can ask for whilst importantly, the trading conditions are excellent and everything that I could ask for in a forex broker. You can read more about them in my Pepperstone Review.
5. XM Group
XM Group are clearly one of the best forex brokers in my view, primarily due to the strict regulation from multiple regulative bodies, the deep amount of liquidity pools and huge global presence. They have thousands of financial instruments to trade on user-friendly platforms with some of the best trading conditions you will find anywhere. All of these factors help to ensure that XM Group provides among the best possible trading conditions for forex traders. You can read more about them in my XM Group Review.
How to find the best brokers?
To emphasise the importance of using a good forex broker, a forex trading system that performs well on one broker may not perform as well on another broker solely based on the difference in spreads, commission and slippage alone – that is how important it is to make the correct decision when choosing a forex broker. With so many trading brokers to choose from, it can seem like an overwhelming choice at first. However, there are some important factors worth considering which are listed below.
The spread is the difference between the bid and the ask price which you must pay the forex broker for each trade that you make.
Low spreads will lower your forex trading costs and ensue that you get the best possible prices when entering and exiting trades. Low spreads are especially important when using a scalping strategy that relies on making just a few pips per trade as spreads can vary from 0 to a few pips depending on the forex broker that you choose. Low spreads can give great results on some forex trading strategies that would have performed badly with higher spreads.
The more liquid a currency pair, usually the lower the spread. You will find that most of the time, forex brokers will have low spreads on the EURUSD currency pair and other major currency pairs as they have the most liquidity – these pairs have the highest trading volume. More exotic currency pairs tend to have wider spreads due to less demand for trading them.
When choosing the best forex broker for you, you will see a list of spreads on the brokers website. Just remember, the lower the spreads you see, usually the better. The spread is less important when trading long term strategies where you hold a trade for days, but you can still save on your trading costs long term and increase winning percentage when using a forex broker with low spreads.
Most forex robots will have a maximum spread setting to stop trades being placed if the spreads are too high. There are fixed spread forex brokers available although these tend to include commission mark ups are widen spreads in times of certain volatility. Often, a variable spread broker will be cheaper to trade on than a fixed spread broker.
Slippage is the difference between the price that you placed the trade and the price at which it is executed by your broker. For arguments sake, if you tried to enter a sell trade at 1.5000 and your broker executed your order at 1.5020, the slippage is 20 points (2 pips).
Along with the spread and commission your broker charges, slippage can also add to your trading costs especially if your broker is prone to slippage. Too much slippage can turn a winning strategy into a losing strategy especially if your trading system relies on scalping a few pips, the slippage could end up eating into all of your profits.
The larger the broker in terms of trading volume and liquidity pool, the lower the slippage. If you often see “off quotes” errors in your trading platform that means that your broker is often having so much slippage that orders may not get placed.
You will see that many forex robots have maximum slippage settings in them to prevent orders being placed if slippage is too large. You will also notice around news that your trades are more likely to incur slippage.
Liquidity Providers (LP’s)
Forex brokers use liquidity providers (LP’s) to provide liquidity pools to retail traders to trade on. You can check with your forex broker what LP’s they use and how many they have.
The higher the liquidity provided by the forex broker, the lower the spreads and slippage can be, this can lower your overall trading costs and also improve your trade execution speed, so you get in and out of trades at the best possible prices provided with minimal delay.
LP’s directly affect the spreads/slippage which as mentioned above are very important factors that can impact trading performance and lower trading costs.
When you place a trade, most brokers will charge a commission. This is part of the way they make their money and can provide the services that they do. Commission is usually around $1-$9 per standard lot.
The lower the commission your forex broker offers, the better. Commissions can eat into profits along with spreads and slippage. Thus, you should account for commissions when planning your trading strategy.
Especially in forex scalping systems, high commissions can eat into all profits so make sure you take this into consideration and use a forex broker with the lowest possible commissions. Some forex brokers even offer rebate programs where they pay back some of the commission.
Leverage is effectively borrowing money to trade a larger amount than you would usually be able to without it. The higher the leverage the forex broker offers, the larger the lot size you will be able to trade as you will have more free margin.
However, be careful not to over leverage your account as you may end up trading lots unrealistically high that can cause your account to suffer large drawdowns and possible lead to a margin call or stop out.
In my opinion it is best to trade within your means and use sensible leverage which most brokers will offer. Forex brokers usually offer leverage from 1:1 all the way up to 1:500. If you are a risk taking trader then of course you may wish to use higher leverage for higher rewards.
When choosing a forex broker, you should consider the forex trading platform that they offer. By far, one of the most popular forex trading platforms is MT4 (MetaTrader 4) and you will find that nearly all forex robots run on MT4.
There are other trading platforms available but MT4 has one of the quickest learning curves and a ton of tutorials online. I find it very user friendly and the good thing about becoming an MT4 expert is that if you decide to switch forex brokers at a later date, the new broker you choose is likely to offer the MT4 trading platform whereas they may not offer the other trading platform you were using thus limiting your forex broker options.
Deposit / Withdrawal Methods
It is important to look into what deposit and withdrawal methods your forex broker uses. If you only want to make deposits and withdrawals via PayPal or Skrill, you should check that they offer these services.
If you are happy with bank transfers, then most forex brokers will offer this funding method. You will usually find that most forex brokers offer more than enough deposit / withdrawal methods. In fact, some brokers will offer so many options you will be spoilt for choice and they even have methods you have never heard of before!
Funding methods used will affect speed of transferring funds and also the security. I tend to look for faster methods that are very popular and secure.
By account size I am referring to the minimum deposit required to open a forex trading account with a broker. Some forex brokers have minimum requirements for opening certain types of accounts. E.g. the forex brokers standard account may have a min $100 deposit requirement but it may not offer the lower spreads / commissions of the pro account that requires a $5,000 min deposit.
I have noticed in recent years that brokers seem to be lowering the min deposit requirements for accounts and of course, nearly all brokers will give you the option to try a demo account for free.
Just keep in mind that the demo account conditions can differ greatly from the real account conditions. This can make you believe a strategy will work when testing on demo but then you find it will not work when running it live once potentially different slippage, commission and spreads are added to the equation. Demo account trading is best used to improve your trading skills and emotions.
You should consider the different types of trading accounts that the forex broker offers. Most brokers will have a selection of trading accounts to choose from that vary in min deposit size, leverage, commissions and spreads. As mentioned above, the lower the trading costs can be, the more you could save in the long term.
When you have a support question for your broker you want it answered right away! It can be frustrating to have a technical question and have to wait days, even weeks for answers.
I have experienced this from certain brokers and it does not install me with confidence. What if it is an emergency! I find the best forex broker support teams are those who have live chat available 24/7 on the website. This way anytime you have a question, you can just hop onto the website and ask rather than having to wait hours for a response.
Consider the GEO location of the broker also due to time zone differences. If you open a support ticket on EST but your broker runs support during GMT hours, then you are more likely going to need to wait 12+ hours for a response. In saying that, most popular and larger forex brokers have support teams around the world ready to answer your questions.
Some forex brokers do not allow hedging, scalping, arbitrage or other strategies they consider detrimental to business. Check with them that your trading style will be accepted before going through the signup process as it can save you wasting time. You also don’t want any nasty surprises down the line should you start making profit from a specific strategy that your broker frowns upon.
Regulation is a key factor to consider when choosing your forex broker. I always like to make sure they are regulated by a governing body such as the FCA, ASIC, CySEC, CFTC, NFA, etc. This gives extra peace of mind that they are trading with a forex broker who has their best interests in mind.
There may also be certain securities in place to protect your funds if there is a market shock such as that which occurred with the swiss franc in 2015 that wiped some out.
Some of the more recognized Forex regulators for brokers are the FCA located in the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), CySec out of Cyprus and the CFTC / NFA in the United States if the broker is allowed to offer services to US clients.
What is CySEC Regulation?
CySEC license is one of the most recognized among regulators. CySEC is a Cyprus-based institution and is part of the EU MiFID regulation.
Included amongst the responsibilities of CySEC are the control over the Cyprus Stock Exchange, provision of licenses to brokers/investment firms and the application of sanctions if and when necessary.
Most believe that CySEC impose less stringent control over forex brokers in comparison to some other regulators which can perhaps explain its popularity amongst overseas brokers.
What is FCA Regulation?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a UK regulator. It can be difficult for UK based forex brokers to obtain a license from the FCA thus it usually means a broker which is FCA regulated has undergone a lot of due diligence from the regulator.
The FCA will thoroughly check the activities of the broker prior to allocating any license. If the rules implemented by the regulation of the FCA are not abided to, the FCA has the rights to impose sanctions or ban further activities of the broker.
What is ASIC Regulation?
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is an independent Australian governmental regulatory body. ASIC provides corporate governance to control the trading of securities and derivatives (including Forex), grant insurance and to help ensure consumer protection. ASIC is also the primary regulator of the Australian Stock Exchange.
What is CFTC / NFA Regulation?
NFA & CFTC were incorporated to help regulate the US market activity of futures, options and forex. A broker wishing to operate in the US must be licensed by NFA and CFTC as it is considered compulsory. Although the regulatory environment in the US is considered amongst the strictest there is, this helps to limit the potential forex frauds as much if not more than anywhere else.
The primary goal of the NFA & CFTC is to ensure that US forex brokers stick to the rules with the upmost openness and transparency. In the USA, any forex fraud is sanctioned very seriously.
Logically, you should make sure that the forex broker accepts clients from your country. A lot of forex brokers are restricted to offer services to some client locations, specifically the US.
You may wish to read my forex broker reviews for more detailed information on each forex broker. New forex brokers will be added frequently so please bookmark this page to keep up to date with the latest forex brokers.