Best Forex Trading Sites in SA

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  • Broker
    Overall Rating
    Official Site
    Regulators
    Trading Desk
    Platforms
    Beginner Friendly
    Min. Deposit
    Max. Leverage
    Islamic Account
    Time to Withdraw
    Withdrawal Fee
    No. of FX Pairs
    Hedging
    Scalping
    Support Hours
    Website Language: English
    Support Language: English
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    Official Site
  • AvaTrade
    4.18 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC, FSA
    Market Maker
    Standard
    USD 100
    400:1
    USD 9
    Yes
    Two Plus Business Days
    Fees Included in Spread
    50+
    Yes
    Yes
    24/5
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • FXTM
    4.23 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    CySEC, FCA, FSCA, FSC
    ECN/DMA,Market Maker
    Standard
    USD 10
    Flexible
    USD 19
    Yes
    Same Day
    4 USD / ECN Accounts
    59
    Yes
    Yes
    24/7
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • XM
    4.38 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    CySEC, ASIC, IFSC
    Market Maker
    Good
    USD 5
    500:1
    USD 16
    Yes
    Next Business Day
    7 USD / lot - XM Zero Account
    57
    Yes
    Yes
    24/5
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • FXCM
    4.13 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    FCA, ASIC, FSCA
    Market Maker
    MT4 , NinjaTrader
    Standard
    USD 50
    400:1
    USD 13
    Yes
    Two Plus Business Days
    From 6 USD / lot
    39
    Yes
    Yes
    24/5
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • easyMarkets
    4.24 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    CySEC, ASIC, FSA-Seychelles
    Market Maker
    Standard
    USD 100
    400:1
    USD 10
    Yes
    Next Business Day
    Fees Included in Spread
    103
    Yes
    Yes
    24/5
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • Exness
    4.12 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    CySEC, FCA, FSC
    Market Maker
    Standard
    USD 1
    2000:1
    USD 7
    Yes
    Two Plus Business Days
    Fees Included in Spread
    120
    Yes
    Yes
    24/7
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • HotForex
    4.29 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    CySEC, FCA, FSCA, DFSA, FSC
    STP
    Good
    ZAR 70
    1000:1
    USD 12
    Yes
    Next Business Day
    6 USD / lot - Zero Account
    51
    Yes
    Yes
    24/5
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • MarketsX
    4.39 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    CySEC, ASIC, FSCA
    Market Maker
    Excellent
    ZAR 2500
    300:1
    USD 6
    Yes
    Next Business Day
    Fees Included in Spread
    50+
    Yes
    Yes
    24/5
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
  • Plus500
    3.69 /5
    Read Review
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk
    FCA, CySEC, ASIC, MAS
    Market Maker
    Plus500
    Poor
    ZAR 1500
    300:1
    USD 8.0
    Yes
    Next Business Day
    Fees Included in Spread
    70+
    No
    No
    24/7
    Yes
    Yes
    Visit Broker >
    Risk InformationYour capital is at risk

Cost of Trading

Total trading cost at the time of last update, for 1 lot of EUR/USD using the account with the lowest minimum deposit. Includes spread and commission.
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How to Start Forex Trading in South Africa

The great thing about Forex trading is that everyone can do it. But just because everyone can do it, does not mean that everyone should do it.

All serious Forex traders know that education, discipline, and strategy are essential elements of a profitable trading career. If you start trading Forex without these skills, you may profit from a few trades, but you will eventually lose.

Education, discipline, and strategy are essential

If you prepare properly and you are ready to learn, Forex trading can be a great way to create a steady income. But, before we look at the more complex aspects of trading, let us look at the essential things you are going to need:

A fast and stable internet connection

The Forex markets move fast, very fast, and if your connection is slow or drops out you are going to lose money. Winning trades can become losing trades in the blink of an eye. Many South Africans trade on their mobile phones, but this should be used as a backup (or to check on open trades when on the move) and not as a primary trading platform.

Mobile Forex Trading

A Forex broker

Finding a good Forex broker is of the utmost importance, TradeForexSA maintains an updated list of the best Forex brokers in South Africa so it is best to choose one of those. We also keep a complete Forex broker directory which includes brokers we do not trust or recommend. If you have heard of a broker and want to know if you can trust them, the directory is a good place to start.

TradeForexSA only works with the best Forex brokers in South Africa

A Forex Trading platform

This is the software that you are going to use for trading and will be provided by your Forex broker. Some brokers have their own platforms, but most support third party apps like MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. The best Forex trading platform is the one that you find the most comfortable to use. So, do not be afraid to shop around and check out different platforms at different brokers. Some brokers will offer more than one type of platform.

The best Forex trading platform is the one that you like to use

A demo account

Never start trading with your own money straight away. All Forex brokers will have demo accounts, which let you learn how the market works (and how your trading platform works) without losing any of your own money. They are also great when you want to try out different strategies or trade different currencies without taking any risk.

Always start with a demo account

A Forex Trading strategy

This will be the final piece of the puzzle. Creating a profitable trading strategy will require a good level of Forex education and experience with the markets. Forex trading is risky, but a good Forex strategy will help eliminate some that risk.

What is Forex Trading?

Forex trading is the exchange of currencies to make a profit from fluctuations in the exchange rate. To open a trade, a trader must choose a currency pair, and the direction they expect the exchange rate to move. As the exchange rate between the two currencies changes, the trader can close the trade for a profit or a loss. More detailed information on how Forex trading works is here.

cTrader GBPUSD

Forex trading is one type of Contract for Difference (CFD) trading.  This is a contract between you and your broker to pay any difference in the price of the currency pair between opening and closing your trade. This means that neither you nor your broker need to hold any currency.

Other CFDs that you can trade include commodities, metals, equities, energies and many more.

All Forex trading is CFD trading, but not all CFD trading is Forex trading

What is the difference between Forex trading and stock trading?

When people think of trading, they often think of stock trading and believe Forex trading is almost the same thing. But this is incorrect.

Stock trading is the buying and selling of shares from individual companies. Forex trading is the simultaneous buying and selling of currencies to profit from the change in the exchange rate. A couple of other major differences:

  • The Forex market is a global, decentralised, over-the-counter exchange and all transactions and participants are confidential. Stock markets are based at a single location and public records are kept of buyers and sellers.
  • Forex trading has a low cost of entry. To make serious profits, stock traders use large amounts of money, which is not an option for traders with limited incomes.

Forex trading is not investing. Forex traders never take ownership of the asset being transacted. With Forex trading, the trader is speculating on the future value of a currency pair and to call it an investment would be incorrect.

Laptop Trading

How do beginners learn to trade Forex?

Beginners should learn to trade using a demo account before depositing money into a real trading account. We have a guide full of practical advice to get you started, and more on how to place your first trade.

It will take some time to learn how to trade Forex successfully, as traders need to understand the many components and strategies to be profitable.

How to choose the best Forex strategy?

There are a huge number of Forex trading strategies, in fact, traders keep coming up with new ones all the time. The best traders will use many strategies and they will know exactly when to use each one. Forex trading strategies will rely on either fundamental analysis (analysing economic trends and news events) or technical analysis (analysing historical price action on charts).

The most popular trading strategies are:

Price Action Trading: This is the study of historical changes in currency prices to predict which way the price is going to move next. If you love studying charts and looking for patterns, then price action trading is for you. It relies almost entirely on technical analysis and there are many methods of trading using price action.

Range Trading: Range trading relies on figuring out at what point other traders are going to buy or sell a currency. Like price action trading, range trading relies on technical analysis but also needs a good understanding of the currency pair you are trading.

Scalping: Scalping is when a trader opens and closes many trades over the course of a day. The goal is to make lots of small profits. Technical analysis is an important factor with scalping, but the main problem is the time investment required. Scalpers can spend the whole day glued to their trading monitor.

Positional Trading: Positional trading is when a trader holds a position, or several positions, over a long period of time – sometimes for week or months or even years. Positional trading is heavily reliant on fundamental analysis, though technical analysis can be important too.

Other factors to consider when planning a Forex strategy are the time of day (as this affects how many other people are trading and the volatility of the market), order types (such as stop loss and take profit orders) and automated trading software/bots (which can see movements in the market that you may miss).

Reading Charts

For more detail on analysis and how to use it, we cover strategies and building a trading plan in our learn to trade section.

How much do I need to start trading Forex?

Trading accounts can be opened for as little as 5 USD (70 ZAR), though most brokers require a minimum deposit between 100 USD and 200 USD. But how much should you start trading with? The answer depends on how much you can afford and how much risk you are willing to take.

Risk management is a very important part of Forex trading and most serious traders agree that you should never risk more than 3% of your balance on a trade. If you have a starting balance of 100 USD, this means that you should never risk more than 3 USD on a trade.

Beginners should never use more than 3% of their trading balance on a single trade

Using the same formula, with an account balance of 2000 USD you can risk 60 USD per trade. Many beginner traders cannot afford to start with a balance of 2000 USD, but if you start with an account of 100 USD be aware that it is going to take patience and solid risk management to create a steady income stream.

Beginner traders should start with a minimum account balance between 200 – 500 USD. This allows traders to make small profits, while still maintaining a sensible approach to risk.

What is the best time for trading Forex?

The Forex market is open 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday, but the best time to trade Forex is when the world’s major stock markets are most active.

The more traders are active in the market, the more volatile the market is – and the more volatile the market is, the easier it is to make profits

The two cities with the largest financial markets in the world are New York and London, so the best time for South Africans to trade Forex is the crossover period when both the London and New York financial markets are open.

Market Hours

The two other major markets are the Sydney market and the Tokyo market and trading when these markets are open is also a good approach, though you will have to stay up very late, or get up very early.

For more detail on the best times for trading and how daylight savings time affects the major markets, read our piece the best times for trading Forex in South Africa.

Do Forex traders pay tax?

Yes, they do. Forex gains are not tax-free income, and all profits are taxable even if your brokerage and capital are overseas. South Africans are expected to declare taxes just as with any other income either as an individual or a company. For more on this read our taxation article.

What are the risks of trading Forex?

Trading Forex and CFDs carry a significant risk that includes losing all the money in your trading account over a short period. 75-90% of traders lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to the high risk of losing your money. The principal risks of trading are:

Risk 1 – Volatility: The Forex market is extremely volatile at times. It is, after all, because of this volatility that we can profit from trades. But the market can move very swiftly, and this can mean a trade can go against you in a short period. If you are trading, you must actively watch your trades all the time.

If you have an open trade, never take your eyes off it

Risk 2 – Unpredictability: The Forex market is not something you can predict. There are just too many factors and actors on the market for it to be fully predictable. Traders need to set a win-loss target ratio where you account for some losses and use a strategy to minimise them.

You are always going to lose some trades, so prepare for it

Risk 3 – Leverage: CFD trading requires using leverage. Leverage is a tool used in trading to amplify your profits, but it also amplifies your losses which are automatically deducted from your trading account. Your account balance can be wiped out with a single bad trade.

Leverage amplifies your gains, but will also amplify your losses

Risk 4 – Interest: In some cases, interest will be charged on your trades. For example, interest can be charged when you carry trades overnight and your broker will take funds from your account to pay this fee.

Brokers may charge you for keeping trades open overnight

Is Forex Trading Right For Me?

Thinking Man

By now you should know that it is high risk, that you need to find a broker that you feel suits you best and the amount you want to put into your account with a broker. Trading Forex takes a commitment to learning, and you should be ready to:

  1. Compare the best brokers in South Africa to find one that suits you.
  2. Read our education section and learn everything you can.
  3. Understand the way the Forex market and CFD trading works.
  4. Learn about the software and tools that will power your trading.
  5. Be prepared to lose all the money you place in an account. Do not deposit any money you cannot afford to lose.

Learn To Trade

How Does Forex Trading Work?

Learn how Forex Trading work with our essential guide. Understand the terminology with examples and learn how to make a successful first trade.

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The Complete Guide to Opening a Forex Trading Account in South Africa

So you want to get started in Forex trading but feel a bit daunted by the process - maybe you’re not sure where to start? Or you’re not sure how to pick the right broker? Maybe you’re worried that South African brokers are untrustworthy? Well, we have made this quick step by step guide to getting you started.

Read article

Forex Trading for Beginners

Can you get rich by trading forex? Learning to trade forex may seem like a daunting challenge. In this article, you will find handy tips and practical advice to get you started with forex trading in no time!

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How to Place My First Forex Trade

Online forex trading platforms enable traders to conveniently speculate in the most liquid market in the world. Learn how to place your first trade step-by-step on either a demo or live account.

Read article

How To Compare Forex Brokers

At TradeForexSA, we want to help you compare the best brokers in South Africa so you can find the right one for your needs. We also want you to feel secure when you place your money with that broker.

Compare Forex Brokers Side-by-Side Using Complete and Accurate Data.

We are big believers in transparency. To help you make an informed choice, we publish our comprehensive broker comparison process and constantly update our State of the Forex Market report

There are several aspects of a broker to examine when making a comparison. To produce our reviews, we compare and rate every Forex broker using the following criteria:

Trust and Reputation

Traders want to know they can trust a broker with their money. And trust in the Forex trading industry is entirely based upon regulation.

There are multiple regulators around the world, and some are better than others. The most trusted regulators are active in both creating new regulation and enforcement of existing rules. The best regulators in the world are the FCA (United Kingdom) and ASIC (Australia), though CySEC (Cyprus) is also well-respected.

The FSCA in South Africa is a good regulator – they have a track record of protecting customers and taking down bad brokers. But for additional security, you should look for a broker also regulated by at least one of the FCA, ASIC or CySEC.

Trading Conditions

Trading conditions are the aspects of a broker which directly affect the trading experience. For beginners starting their trading career, it is important to look at the minimum deposit required for an entry-level account, the number of Forex pairs available to trade, and the overall cost of trading.

Minimum Deposit

Traders should only deposit money they can afford to lose. Forex trading is high-risk, so brokers who require new traders to deposit large amounts are less favourable. While it is almost impossible to start a trading career with as little as $5, brokers who have entry-level accounts that require less than $100 are good for beginners.

Number of Forex Pairs

A trader should be able to choose from the broadest range of assets possible. Should brokers offer an insufficient number of FX pairs to trade, this will limit a trader’s opportunities and strategy.

Cost of Trading

Comparing the cost of trading between brokers can be difficult to determine exactly. We find that the cost to trade one lot of EUR/USD (using the account with the lowest minimum deposit) is a good measure. This takes both the spread and commission into account and as the EUR/USD is the most traded FX pair, it is a good benchmark for all brokers.

Trading Platforms

Forex traders appreciate having a choice of platforms. All Forex brokers provide clients with at least one trading platform option, but better brokers offer multiple options – including MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, cTrader and their own proprietary platforms. It is also important that a trader’s experience does not suffer on mobile or web-based platforms.

Assets Available

Forex is only one of a variety of CFDs. Traders often want to trade other kinds of CFD products. Other CFD products offered by a broker could include:

  • Commodity CFDs
  • Cryptocurrency CFDs
  • Metal CFDs,
  • Equity CFDs
  • Energy CFDs
  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETFs) CFDs
  • Bond CFDs
  • Blend CFDs

A variety of CFD products besides Forex CFDs allow traders more opportunity.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Traders want fast and free deposit and withdrawal options. Most brokers will provide multiple free and instant funding methods for deposits, but some take longer or charge fees to withdraw account funds.

The best brokers will process withdrawal requests within 24 hours without charging fees. All brokers accept traditional payment types such as debit/credit cards and bank transfer. Most also accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller and some will accept Bitcoin.

Education and Analysis

Traders of different experience levels are going to need different kinds of educational material and market analysis from their broker. Beginner traders need a high-quality, structured, beginners’ course to get started with Forex trading. Intermediate and advanced traders want an advanced education section introducing them to new strategies alongside daily analysis from in-house experts.

And the best place to learn is with a demo account where the trader does not risk their account funds. We favour brokers that offer unlimited demo accounts.

Customer Support

Traders want their broker to be available around the clock, via many different channels and in their language. We favour brokers who offer phone, email, and live chat support 24/7. As most of the best Forex brokers are international, we believe that the more languages the support team speaks, the better. Broad language support gives our global audience a way to get their problems solved in the easiest possible way.

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We Are Proudly Reader Supported

TradeForexSA is a reader-supported magazine. When you sign up for an account through our links, we sometimes earn a commission, which enables us to continue making our website better for you.

Our goal is to create high-quality, factually correct, and meaningful educational content that furthers our readers interest in trading and education. It is free from commercial bias, conflict of interest and as accurate as our writers are able. To read more about our methodology, and how we rate Forex brokers, read all about our review process here.

To read more about who we are, how to contact us, and how we work, read our about us page.

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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