By Chris Cammack Updated: May 1, 2020

In recent years Kenya has emerged as one of the most dynamic economies in Africa; and as financial literacy has grown among the middle classes, more Kenyans are looking to Forex trading to supplement their income.

Unlike many other African nations, the Kenyan government has created a legal framework for locally based Forex brokers and the local regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), has established an accompanying licencing regime. The regime is still in its infancy and only three brokers are currently licenced by the CMA, but the steady growth of a regulated Forex market bodes well for the future.

But until there are more Forex brokers with Kenyan licences, we recommend trading with well-regulated international brokers. Trading with international, or offshore, brokers is fully legal in Kenya and has the added benefit of avoiding any scam brokers operating domestically. This is the list of the best offshore Forex brokers who accept Kenyan customers. They have all been highly reviewed by our team and are all well-regulated, with excellent trading conditions and client support. Additionally, they all have great resources for beginner traders.

By Chris Cammack Updated: May 1, 2020
Trading Experience
Trading Conditions
Account Types
Trading Platforms
Regulators
Trading Tools
11 matches
Filter Sort by:
Trading Experience
Trading Conditions
Account Types
Trading Platforms
Regulators
Trading Tools
  • Broker
    AvaTrade

    AvaTrade  - Best Broker for Kenyan Traders

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    B.V.I FSC B.V.I FSC
    FSA FSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    AvaTrade is one of the largest brokers in the world, with more than 200,000 registered clients globally and regulation from ASIC and the South African FSCA. Trading conditions are uniformly excellent, with a wide range of assets to choose from and spreads starting at 0.9 pips on the EUR/USD and 1.1 pips on the USD/JPY. A minimum deposit of 100 USD is required to open the single account, but higher minimum deposits grant access to a personal account manager, 20% deposit bonus and the DupliTrade copy trading platform.

    AvaTrade has full support for MT4, with hedging, scalping and the use of EAs and other trading robots all allowed. Deposit and withdrawals are fast and free, withdrawal times to e-wallets will take a maximum of 24 hours, though are often much quicker. AvaTrade also offers clients with deposits of more than 500 USD access to AutoChartist, a powerful pattern recognition tool which seeks out trading opportunities based on deep technical analysis of markets.

    Swap-free accounts are also available for Muslim clients and with low fees, tight spreads, a range of trading tools and great customer service, AvaTrade is an easy broker to recommend.

    • Good for beginners
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Dealing desk
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Professional0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Retail0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    FXTM

    FXTM  - Most Trusted Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 10
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    Established in 2011 and regulated by both CySEC and the UK’s FCA, FXTM has also held a licence from the South African FSCA since 2016. This means that funds are kept in local accounts and managed according to South African regulatory policies. 

    FXTM offers six accounts overall and splits its account types into two groups: Instant execution accounts and ECN Accounts:

    Instant Execution Accounts: The Cent Account, with a minimum deposit of only 10 USD, has spreads starting from 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD. With a higher minimum deposit of 100 USD you can open a Standard Account, where the spread is down to 1.3 pips on the EUR/USD. FXTM also offers a Shares Account for those interested in trading stocks.

    ECN Accounts: The ECN Zero Account has a 200 USD minimum deposit and minimum spreads of 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD but no commission. A 500 USD minimum deposit will get you access to the ECN Account, which has spreads as low as 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD and a commission of 2 USD per lot. FXTM also offers an ECN Pro Account, though this requires a minimum deposit of 25,000 USD.

    All accounts are available on the MT4 and MT5 platforms, except the Cent Account and Shares Account which are only available for MT4. Leverage is variable but can be raised to 1:1000 on most accounts type. Demo accounts are available for all accounts except the Shares Account and ECN Pro Account, demo accounts are unlimited and only expire after 90 days of inactivity. 

    FXTM has a great deal of quality educational material and market analysis, though this is focused on beginner traders. Swap-free accounts are also available for Muslim clients and hedging and scalping are both allowed.

    • Good for beginners
    • Excellent education
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Expensive withdrawals
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Cent Account1.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10 Account Details
    Standard Account1.3 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    ECN Zero Account1.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    ECN Account0.1 pips$2.00MarketUSD 500 Account Details
    FXTM Pro Account0.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 25000 Account Details
  • Broker
    Blackstone Futures

    Blackstone Futures  - Best Research

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 1000
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • Cloud Trade

    Based in Johannesburg and active since 2009, BlackStone Futures is an established and well-regarded FSCA regulated broker.

    Trading conditions are particularly good for a South African broker, with both ZAR and USD accounts offered on the MT4 and CloudTrade platforms. Minimum spreads are as low as 0.6 pips on major pairs and STP execution ensures no conflict of interest and limited slippage or requotes. Maximum leverage is 400:1 but BlackStone Futures responsibly only offers this to experienced traders with a proven track record.

    BlackStone Futures has wisely invested in educating new traders and the educational material available here is of a higher quality than we are used to seeing at local brokers. Both webinars and in-person classes are offered, alongside a collection of guides and educational articles.

    Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free for South African clients, with withdrawals to local bank accounts posting same-day via the OZOW payment platform.

    Overall, BlackStone Futures are a responsible and dependable South African broker with the trading conditions and funding policies to keep all traders satisfied.

    • ZAR accounts
    • Tight spreads
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Limited platform choice
    • Local regulation only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    USD Account0.6 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    ZAR Account0.6 pipsNoneMarketZAR 1000 Account Details
  • Broker
    HotForex

    HotForex  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 70
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    An STP broker with tight spreads and low minimum deposits, HotForex is also extremely well regulated, with oversight from CySEC, the FCA and South Africa’s FSCA.

    With six different trading accounts, including the market execution Zero Account, traders will be spoiled for choice. Trading conditions at HotForex differ depending on account type, with minimum deposits starting at 70 ZAR on the Micro Account. The Micro, HF Cory, Auto, Premium and Premium Pro accounts have spreads starting at 1.0 pips and leverage starting at 400:1, though this can be increased to 1000:1. The Zero Spread account requires a minimum deposit of 2800 ZAR (200 USD), has a spread starting at 0.0 pips and a cost of 3 USD (6 USD round trip) commission per lot.

    Deposits and withdrawals are free and fast, and we recommend HotForex to new traders due to the high quality of its well-structured educational material and unlimited demo accounts. Both MT4 and MT5 are fully supported with a host of tools available for either platform, including free VPS hosting, free access to Autochartist and a collection of Premium Trader Tools such as live sentiment and correlation tracking, tick charts and an MT5 indicator package.

    Swap-free accounts are available, hedging and scalping are both allowed, and HotForex runs several bonus schemes - including demo account contests and a 2 USD rebate for every lot traded.

    • Low minimum deposit
    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Good range of accounts
    • Limited base currencies
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5 Account Details
    Islamic1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Premium1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Auto1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Zero0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    HFCopy1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 300 Account Details
    Premium Pro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5000 Account Details
  • Broker
    XM

    XM  - Best Overall Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    A large and heavily awarded market maker, XM was founded in 2009 and is particularly well-regulated - with oversight from all three major regulators: CySEC, ASIC and the FCA.

    XM offers three account types - the Micro, Standard and the XM Ultra Low - with a maximum leverage of 1:888 available on all three. Spreads are tightest on the XM Ultra Low Account, with average spreads on the EUR/USD at 0.7 pips. Spreads on the Micro Account and Standard Account are wider, with EUR/USD spreads usually around 1.6 pips, but minimum deposit on these accounts is only 5 USD, while minimum deposit for the XM Ultra Low is 50 USD. All accounts are available as Islamic accounts, and XM charges no extra fee for this - neither in the spread or in commission. 

    XM has a strong focus on client retention via excellent customer support, a wide range of account types and highly competitive trading conditions. Also notable is the quality and depth of its educational and analytical output and unlimited demo accounts, of which five can be active simultaneously.

    Both the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are supported with a no-requotes policy and deposits and withdrawals are fast and free, with XM covering all bank transfer costs on deposits and withdrawals over 200 USD. Scalping and hedging are both allowed across a wide range of assets and 57 currency pairs.

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Dealing desk
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    XM Ultra Low0.6 pipsNoneInstantUSD 50 Account Details
    XM Zero0.6 pips$7.00InstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    FxPro

    FxPro  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    SCB SCB
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader
    • FxProEdge

    A strictly no dealing desk (NDD) broker, FxPro is known for its fast market execution and first-class international regulation, with oversight from the FCA, CySEC and the South African FSCA. A wide range of account currencies are available, including ZAR, and over 70 currency pairs are available to trade.

    FxPro offers three account types, depending on which platforms you wish to use. MT4, MT5 and cTrader are all supported, with the cTrader account having the tightest spreads in return for a commission of 4.5 USD per lot traded, while the MT4 and MT5 accounts incorporate the fees in the spread. Spreads on the cTrader Account can get as low as 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD but often average about 0.4 pips. Spreads on the MT4 and MT5 accounts are decent, averaging about 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD, and fixed spreads are available on the MT4 account - though these are slightly higher at 1.6 pips.

    The minimum deposit for all accounts is 100 USD, though FXPro recommends a balance of 500 USD before you start trading, and deposits and withdrawals are fast and free for all funding methods. While FXPro does allow South African traders to deposit in ZAR, be aware that your trading will still take place in USD - so currency conversion costs will apply.

    Overall, FxPro is a solid, dependable broker with great platform choice and competitive trading conditions for all types of traders.

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Tight spreads
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    FxPro cTrader0.45 pips$4.50MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT41.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT51.52 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Islamic1.2 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4

    Founded in 2001, easyMarkets is a large but standard market maker, it states its values as Simple, Honest and Transparent and much of its product offering reflects this aspiration. Traders will find three simple live accounts, distinguished by the required minimum deposit, and the same set of services no matter which account you open – including an account manager, platform tour, Forex education, and an introduction to technical and fundamental analysis.

    Trading conditions are good, with fixed spreads on all accounts, 103 currency pairs to trade and leverage of 1:400. On the Standard Account, which requires a 100 USD minimum deposit, spreads on the EUR/USD are 1.9 pips, this tightens to 1.4 pips on the Premium Account (2000 USD minimum deposit) and even further to 0.9 pips on the VIP Account (and eyewatering 10,000 USD minimum deposit).

    Where easyMarkets really shines is in its innovative trading tools. easyMarkets was the first to introduce negative balance protection and guaranteed stop loss, and it now offers the unique easyTrade, Freeze Rate and dealCancellation tools, all intended to assist new traders and keep trading transparent and simple.

    MT4 is fully supported, though to take advantage of the tools mentioned above, traders will need to use the easyMarkets platform, a robust and simple platform that many beginner traders will find easier to use.

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets
    • Innovative trading tools
    • Limited platform choice
    • Limited account options
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic1.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Standard1.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Premium1.4 pipsNoneInstantUSD 2000 Account Details
    VIP0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10000 Account Details
    Super VIP1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 50000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader

    A well-regulated Australian ECN broker, IC Markets is consistently one of our highest rated brokers – ranking well for its regulation, platform choice, customer service and trading conditions.

    Oversight comes from both CySEC and ASIC, ensuring a fair and secure trading environment and all three major platforms are supported with a single account type per platform. The MT4 account is commission-free and includes its fee in the relatively low spread, averaging 1.1 pips on the  EUR/USD and equally tight across all majors pairs. The cTrader and MT5 accounts attract a commission per trade but both have spreads down to 0 pips (averaging 0.1 pips on the EUR/USD) and the cTrader account has a lower commission of 3 USD per lot (MT5 commission is 3.5 USD per lot). The minimum deposit on all three accounts is 200 USD and 64 currency pairs are available to trade with scalping and hedging both allowed.

    Deposits and withdrawals are fast and free, customer service is best in class and cutting-edge trading technology ensures ultra-fast order execution across all platforms. The only minor downside to IC Markets’ offering is a lack of structured trading course for beginners, but frequent market analysis is available through the IC Markets blog and the Trading Central application.

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Great platform choice
    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    RAW - cTrader0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    RAW - MetaTrader0.0 pips$3.50MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard - MetaTrader1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 250
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • Sirix

    Active since 2012, CM Trading is an FSCA-regulated South African broker with a large client base and competitive spreads. A market-maker broker, CM Trading supports both MT4 and the Sirix Webtrader and hosts a range of trading tools, including the CopyKat copy-trading system and the Guardian Angel automated feedback tool.

    Four account options are available, each with a different level of required minimum deposit - the Bronze Account offers spreads on the EUR/USd of 1.5 pips and can be opened with 250 USD - but all have a maximum leverage of 200:1. The other three accounts require a much higher level of minimum deposit (Silver Account: 1000 USD, Gold Account: 10,000 USD, Premium Account: 25,000 USD) but spreads are tighter with the EUR/USD spread at 0.9 pips on the Gold Account. The higher tier accounts also come with other perks including risk-free trades and personal account managers

    Education and market analysis are basic but available and customer support is available 24/5 via a range of methods. Deposit and withdrawals are fast for South African customers, though fees for both deposits and withdrawals are quite high. We recommend getting in touch with CM Trading customer support for more information on funding fees.

    • Good for beginners
    • Great customer support
    • Copy trading accounts
    • Expensive withdrawals
    • Local regulation only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Bronze1.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 250 Account Details
    Silver1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 1000 Account Details
    Gold0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10000 Account Details
    PremiumNot Published pipsNoneInstantUSD 25000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSA-Seychelles FSA-Seychelles
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4

    Tickmill is an FCA and CySEC regulated STP broker with tight spreads and full support for the MT4 platform.

    Tickmill offers three accounts, the Classic Account has a minimum deposit of 100 USD and a minimum spread of 1.6 pips with no commission taken on trades. The Pro Account is a direct market access account and also has a minimum deposit of 100 USD but spreads can be down to 0 pips on the major pairs. The Pro Account has a commission of 2 USD per lot per side (4 USD round turn), but this is one of the cheapest commissions available for a direct market access account.

    The direct market access VIP Account is only available for those with a minimum account balance of 50,000 USD but commission is only 1 USD per lot per side.

    Tickmill runs a zero fees policy on all deposits and withdrawals and will even reimburse any fees charged by your bank up to 100 USD. Educational material is strong and useful for new traders and Tickmill has some great trading tools, including AutoChartist and a discounted VPS service.

    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Wide range of assets
    • MT4 only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Classic1.6 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Pro0.0 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    VIP0.0 pipsVariableMarketUSD 50000 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    MAS MAS
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 1500
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • Plus500

    A London-based broker with a single account, Plus500 keep things simple and straightforward. Plus500 only allows trading on its own platform, but this is easy to use, quick for new traders to learn and has a solid reputation in the industry.

    The minimum deposit is 100 USD but spreads on the EUR/USD average about 0.7 pips – as spreads are variable, expect spreads to be wider in times of low liquidity or high volatility. No commission is ever charged on trades and leverage up to 300:1 is available, depending on your location and traded asset.

    Customer support is open 24/7, but education and market analysis are slightly lacking compared to Plus500’s competitors.

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets
    • Limited education
    • Limited account options
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard0.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details

We pride ourselves on giving good advice, and we always put our readers first. When choosing partners, we do our research according to our review process which covers areas such as regulation, trading conditions, and the product offering.

We don't put just anyone up here. We put you first.

To pay the bills, and keep the lights on, we need a business model. That business model makes use of affiliate programs whereby we get a commission from partners featured on our website.

Our business model never influences our opinion of any partner, and the partner selection and review processes are separate. 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 can not be bought, and we always put our readers and their financial livelihoods first.

Forex Trading in Kenya

Despite its emerging market status, Kenya has a relatively strong regulatory regime when it comes to online retail Forex CFD trading. Unlike many of its peers, Kenya laid out a legal framework for local regulation in 2017 – and placed the traditional financial regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), in charge of enforcement.

As a result, Forex brokers with a physical presence in Kenya are required to hold a licence from the CMA and adhere to strict regulations, similar to those seen in Europe and the United Kingdom. For Kenyan Forex traders the most important measures taken are:

  • Operating Capital Requirements: CMA licenced Forex brokers must maintain an operating balance of at least 50 million KSH, plus 5% of liabilities owed to clients.
  • Capital Reserve: In addition, they must also retain a reserve of 40 million KSH (or 80% of their operating capital, whichever is higher) in cash or cash equivalent.
  • Leverage Restriction: Much like the European and British regulatory regimes, the CMA requires all Kenyan brokers to restrict leverage, in this case to a maximum of 1:20 for non-finance professionals.

These regulations are important because they protect traders – operating and reserve capital requirements ensure that in the case of the broker bankruptcy traders can still claim their funds back, and leverage restrictions ensure that beginners traders don’t lose all their money while they are still learning.

The regulatory functions of the CMA as provided by the Capital Markets Act include; licensing and supervising all the capital market intermediaries; ensuring compliance with the legal and regulatory framework by all market participants; regulating public offers of securities, such as equities and bonds & the issuance of other capital market products such as collective investment schemes; promoting market development through research on new products and services; reviewing the legal framework to respond to market dynamics; promoting investor education and public awareness; and protecting investors’ interest.

Unfortunately, there are only three brokers currently regulated by the CMA and none of them have the trading conditions to match the international brokers offering their services in the country. But, by having a regime in place and brokers already licenced, Kenya is far ahead of many of its neighbours and we are optimistic that the Kenyan Forex industry is well-placed for secure and stable growth over the next few years.

It’s important to note that since 2017 a number of disreputable brokers and companies posing as Forex brokers have been operating in Kenya, so if you are going to work with a local broker it is essential that you investigate their regulatory status before opening an account.

According to the Capital Markets Act, section 23 (1),“No person shall carry on business as an online forex broker or hold himself out as carrying on such a business unless he holds a valid license issued under this Act or under the authority of this Act.”

Trading with Regulated Offshore Brokers in Kenya

As mentioned above, there are several scam brokers currently operating in Kenya, and the three CMA licenced brokers are greatly restricted in the trading conditions they can offer. The safest and most profitable way to trade Forex CFDs in Kenya is to trade with a well-regulated offshore broker.

Most of the larger international brokers are regulated by one of three trusted government authorities, the most trusted authorities in the world are:

It is crucial to choose a broker that is regulated by at least one of these authorities, and you will find that some are regulated by more than one. The FCA is seen as the most rigorous of these authorities, as they charge a much higher licencing fee and require brokers to have more operating capital than ASIC or CySEC.

All three of these regulators have much higher operating capital requirements than the Kenyan CMA and impose much stricter oversight and auditing of the brokers under their supervision, thereby ensuring a fair and secure trading environment.

Brokers with regulation from one of these authorities often have regulatory oversight from smaller, more lenient, regulators too. This allows them to offer a different range of products to overseas clients. For instance, the UK’s FCA requires that maximum leverage is set at 30:1, but an FCA-regulated broker with a subsidiary company regulated by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) would be able to offer leverage of 400:1 to clients outside UK and Europe.

While regulators like the Mauritian FSC are not as well regarded as the FCA, ASIC or CySEC, most of the brokers we recommend for Kenyan traders are regulated by at least one of the major regulators alongside any more lenient authorities.

How we rate Forex Brokers in Kenya

There are several factors we asses when rating Forex brokers for Kenyan traders; we have already discussed the most critical factor (regulation) above, but we also pay close attention to the following areas too:

Broker Type

After regulation, choosing what broker type you want is probably the second most important decision you will make a when selecting a Forex broker. Most brokers offer commission-free trading; these are usually market maker brokers, these brokers will create an artificial market and will always be the counterparty to your trade, meaning that when you profit, they lose and vice versa. Because this type of brokers sets the market prices, they also tend to offer fixed spreads, which many traders prefer to the volatility of floating spreads.

Some traders are uncomfortable with the inherent conflict of interest in the market maker model and prefer to use Electronic Communication Network (ECN) brokers. ECN brokers use a network of liquidity providers to be counterparty to your trade, thus ensuring direct market access. ECN brokers will charge a commission per trade for access to the market and spreads are variable but almost always tighter than a market maker. ECN brokers are also known as direct market access (DMA) brokers.

Some brokers will also offer Straight Through Processing (STP) execution, meaning that there is no dealing desk intervention and your order will be sent straight through to a liquidity provider. STP execution is also much faster than standard execution, ensuring less slippage or requotes on your trades. 

Trading Conditions

It is important to find a broker with the trading conditions that will support your trading strategy. Think about how much leverage you want to have available; keeping it low (100:1 or less) is a good idea if you are still learning how to trade. Also, consider what account currencies are supported by the broker and what currency pairs you want to trade, you do not want to be spending a fortune in conversion fees.

Other trading conditions to consider will be how tight the spreads are on the currency pairs you will want to trade, and what other assets are available that you may wish to trade. Most Forex brokers will also offer CFD trading on commodities (such as oil, gas, etc.), precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), indices (FTSE, DAX, NYSE) and cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, etc.).

Account Types

Consider the different account types on offer at your broker, most brokers offer swap-free Islamic accounts, and all brokers will offer demo accounts to practice with – the best demo accounts are unlimited and perfectly mirror the real market.

Other popular account types are copy trading and social trading accounts. These will allow you to copy successful traders, who will then take a cut of your profits. A similar idea is the PAMM (Percentage Allocation Money Management) account which is a pooled money operation, where the members of the money pool can choose what proportion of their account they want to allocate to a particular trader.

Trading Platforms

It is important to choose a trading platform and find a broker that supports that platform. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is a safe choice as it is the industry standard, and there is a multitude of online tutorials. However, it is gradually being replaced with MetaTrader 5 – which has a more modern look and feel and has many features missing from MT4.

cTrader is another popular platform but is only available via ECN brokers, cTrader significantly limits broker intervention and has been praised for its intuitive layout and modern features.

Broker Fees

We always check for additional broker fees that may be charged, and so should you.

Brokers generally make their money from the spread, or from commission in the case of ECN brokers, but some will also charge additional fees to boost their profits further. The most common charge is withdrawal fees, and it is good practice always to ask your broker if and how much they charge for withdrawing from your account. Generally, withdrawals fees are cheaper or non-existent when online payment systems (such as Skrill) are used for funding your account.

We always highlight any extra fees charged by brokers in our reviews and will penalise brokers with extortionate fees.

Customer Service

The best customer service will be available by live chat, email, messaging apps and over the phone. Many brokers will also offer a call-back service, so you do not have to make expensive international calls.

Good brokers offer customers support 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday and a few brokers will also offer weekend service. If you are new to Forex trading, you will want a broker with responsive technical support and customer support representatives with an in-depth knowledge of their products and platforms.

Education and Research

High-quality Forex education is essential for new traders, many of the larger brokers offer excellent structured Forex courses for beginners, and a few will also have courses covering more advanced topics, like strategies and indicators. If you want to be a successful Forex trader, you will never stop learning, so having a broker with excellent educational resources is critical.

Alongside educational support, a good broker will also have an in-house analytical team offering insightful market analysis on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Many brokers often leave market analysis to third-party companies such as Trading Central or TradingView; while these applications are both useful, we find that brokers with internal research teams often provide a more focused analysis of trading opportunities and more helpful information for new traders.

Summary

With the Capital Markets Authority at the helm, Forex trading in Kenya has a bright future. Though it’s still early days, the CMA has shown itself to be an active and competent regulator of traditional financial markets, and there is no reason to think that its oversight of the Forex market will be any different. We fully expect that in a few years we will be able to recommend a multitude of Kenyan-regulated Forex broker, but until then we firmly believe that it is safer and more profitable to trade with one of the well-regulated offshore brokers above.

 

Stay updated

This form has double opt in enabled. You will need to confirm your email address before being added to the list.

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.

>