AuthorBy Jeffrey Cammack
Updated: April 8, 2022

Our goal is to bring transparency to the Forex trading market by comparing and ranking brokers. To compare them fairly and without bias, we have a developed our own Review Process, the details of which you can find below.

The importance of hands-on experience in our reviews is paramount. For this reason, our team of Forex experts maintain trading accounts at every broker we review. For each review, we thoroughly test and evaluate all aspects of a broker. This includes, but is not limited to, a broker’s trading platforms, deposit and withdrawal fees, and withdrawal processing times. Most importantly we verify that the trading costs on the broker’s website are accurate. Brokers are always altering the products they offer, and we keep our reviews updated with the latest data available.

We have done the research. Now you choose your broker.

The results of our broker research are published in the State of the Forex Market Report, a detailed breakdown of our broker ratings, designed to help beginner traders find the most reliable and best-value brokers in the world.

We also maintain a broker directory which includes brokers we have not reviewed and brokers we do not recommend, usually because we consider them unsafe or unfairly expensive. We will always indicate if we do not recommend a broker.

We follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure our independence. Our editorial guidelines can be found on our about us page.    

How We Rank Forex Brokers

To rank Forex brokers fairly we must compare them using the same sets of metrics. In total we look at over 200 individual metrics which are grouped into the following categories: Trust and Reputation, Trading Conditions and Costs, Trading Platforms, Instruments (CFDs), Education and Analysis, and Customer Support.

By making our review process transparent, our readers will be able to find the best-regulated brokers, the brokers with the most favourable trading conditions, the perfect choice of a trading platform, and the learning material suitable for your level of knowledge. 

Trust and Reputation

Traders want to know they can trust a broker with their money. Trust in the Forex trading business is almost entirely founded upon regulation.

There are multiple regulators around the world, and some are better than others at protecting traders. For this reason, we have split up regulators into 4 tiers – where Tier 1 has the most committed regulators, and Tier 4 includes those that don’t regulate at all or regulate ineffectively.

Trust and Reputation

The most trusted regulators are strict and proactive in creating new regulations and enforcing existing rules. They post warnings about fraudulent companies and prosecute companies that don’t comply with the rules. Enforcement sets these organisations apart from their counterparts. Tier 1 regulators are the FCA (United Kingdom), ASIC (Australia) and MAS (Singapore).

A note on the FSCA – South Africa’s regulator. The FSCA’s job is to protect South African residents from financial wrongdoing, and it has become more active in recent years.  But because of the uncertainty around the new ODP licensing regime, a lack of global reach, and limited enforcement, we have placed them in Tier 3. While this should not discourage clients from trading with FSCA-regulated brokers, it is better to find brokers that maintain FSCA regulation in addition to higher tier regulators.

Most of the best Forex brokers are regulated by multiple Tier 1 and Tier 2 regulators.

Trading Conditions and Costs

Traders want to know the cost of trading at each broker. As our focus is on beginners starting their trading careers, we look at the minimum deposit required for an entry-level account, the number of Forex pairs available to trade, and the cost of trading. Let’s look at each of these areas in more detail.

Minimum Deposit

Traders should only deposit an amount they are ready to lose. Forex trading is a high-risk activity, so brokers who require traders to deposit amounts they potentially cannot afford to lose are less favourable to the client. While it is almost impossible to start a trading career with as little as $5, we do value brokers who have entry-level accounts that require less than $100.

Number of FX Pairs

Traders 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

When calculating trading costs, we measure the cost to trade one lot of EUR/USD using the broker’s account with the lowest minimum deposit. The cost includes both the spread and any commission charged. As the most traded Forex pair in the world the EUR/USD is a suitable benchmark for all brokers. The cost of trading one lot of EUR/USD at major brokers varies between 5 – 40 USD. 

Trading Platforms

Traders want Forex brokers to offer them a choice of trading platforms. While every Forex broker will provide clients with at least one trading platform, we value brokers who offer multiple options, including MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, cTrader and fully mobile and web-browser compatible experiences.

Instruments to Trade

Forex CFDs are only one variety of CFD instruments that clients can trade. Traders want to know what other kinds of CFD instruments can be traded with each broker. Other CFD instruments 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 instruments – and a large range of CFDs for each instrument category – allow traders more opportunities for profitable trading. The best brokers will have many thousands of CFDs to trade covering all these instrument categories.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Traders want to deposit and withdraw account funds quickly and without fees. Most brokers will allow traders multiple instant funding methods for deposits without administration fees, but some brokers make it harder or more expensive to withdraw account funds.

The best brokers will process withdrawal requests within 24 hours, by multiple withdrawal methods and without charging processing fees.

Education and Analysis

Traders of different experience levels are going to need different kinds of educational material and market analysis from their brokers. Beginner traders need a high-quality, structured 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. Still, the best place to learn is with a demo account where the trader does not risk their account funds. We favour brokers that offer demo accounts that never expire. An unlimited demo account offers the beginner an indefinite period to learn hands-on, in a risk-free trading environment.

Educational material

All too often, we see that education sections have been removed by brokers or replaced with a set of cheaply produced blog posts. Beginner traders need a structured, well-presented course, written by the broker to get an effective start at trading.

Advanced traders will want webinars presented by experts and an advanced strategy section filled with new trading ideas. This section does not need to be as structured as the beginner course, but the quality and expertise of the instructors should be clear.

Market Analysis

Traders of all levels want access to reliable trading ideas. Research and market analysis are always better when produced in-house by the broker, and benefit traders most when they are updated frequently. Third-party blog posts don’t show the same dedication and expertise in the trading ideas, so strong emphasis is placed on frequent in-house updates. Additionally, brokers that have in-house teams often offer interactive webinars where traders can glean from the experience of professionals in the field.

Customer Support

Traders want their broker to be available around the clock, via many different channels and in their local 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.

How We Score Brokers

We score brokers in seven different areas, collecting multiple data points on each. The highest score a broker can receive in each area is 5. Each area is weighted to calculate a final score for each broker. The areas and the weightings are as follows.

  • Trust and Reputation – 20%
  • Trading Conditions – 20%
  • Platform and Tools – 17.5%
  • Instruments – 12.5%
  • Deposit and Withdrawal – 10%
  • Education and Research – 10%
  • Customer Support – 10%

More detail on how we review each of these areas can be found in our State of the Market Report page.

Broker Directory

Our broker directory includes brokers that we have not reviewed, but which remain an option for traders. Some of the brokers in our directory are not recommended for traders. Our directory is intended as a research tool for anyone seeking a professional opinion. If your current broker has not been evaluated by us, we hope that our selection of reviewed brokers will offer you a safer and superior alternative.

How can you help us?

Forex trading has a reputation for being a dishonest industry, and this notion is perpetuated by the corrupt players that still exist in the marketplace. We regularly receive emails from individuals who have questions about how to get money back from brokers or so-called professional Forex traders who have cheated them. We ask those who feel they have fallen victim to an unethical or criminal broker to complete our scam broker report so we can keep a record and provide data to the relevant authorities as required.

Affiliate Disclosure

TradeForexSA is a reader-supported website. 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, and continue our work.

We pride ourselves on our recommendations.
We never partner with bad brokers.
We always put you first.

Our business model never influences our opinion of any partner, and as such, our partner selection and reviews are two separate processes. The compensation we receive from partners may affect how our lists are arranged, but the reviews are genuine, and the data is accurate. Our opinion cannot be bought, and we always put our readers and their financial livelihoods first.

To read more about who we are, and our editorial process, read our about us page.

Share your knowledge

  • William Dikotope says:

    As I am about to be a starter, up to so far I’m starting to get an overview of what i’m gonna be in for and you guys are doing a marvellous facilitating work for us, keep the good work up, thanks

    • Chris Cammack says:

      Thanks William! Your comment is much appreciated by the team – we are doing our best for all the beginner traders out there.

  • Chris Cammack says:

    Hi Sipho, we had not heard of Fast FX before. Following a brief investigation, we would advise caution. Fast FX is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands but does not seem to have any regulatory oversight at all. As such, you will have no way of claiming your money back in the event of a dispute or broker bankruptcy and you have no guarantee that your trades are being treated fairly. We would advise choosing a broker from our list of recommended brokers in South Africa here: All the brokers we recommend are regulated by either the FSCA or another well-respected authority.

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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.