AuthorBy Chris Cammack
Updated: March 22, 2021

Copy trading, also known as social trading, enables individual traders to invest their trading funds with other successful traders and copy their trading strategies, usually for a small fee or a cut of the investing trader’s profit. Copy trading platforms can either be automated, semi-automated or manual, which gives the trader varying levels of overall control.

To test these brokers, we signed up and verified a copy trading account and checked the broker regulation. After we installed the trading platform where newcomers discover experienced traders to follow, we tested the different copy trading tools available to make manual trade adjustments, as traders should have the opportunity to maintain full control of trades in line with a long-term plan and risk management strategy. These are the best copy trading brokers in South Africa for 2021, according to our testing and our research.

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Best Copy Trading Forex Brokers in South Africa

Last updated on 22 Mar 2021
Updated 22 Mar 2021
by Editorial Director Chris Cammackby Chris Cammack
Chris Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
Blackstone Futures
Min. Deposit
ZAR 1000
4.484.48
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.48/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.6 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 and CloudTrade platforms supported. Blackstone Futures is regulated by the FSCA - FSP:49846
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Blackstone Futures is an established FSCA-regulated CFD broker based in Johannesburg, offering clients trading in commodities, cryptocurrencies, equities, energies, Forex, futures, indices, and metals. Blackstone offers ZAR and USD accounts on MT4 and the proprietary CloudTrade platforms – both with STP execution.

While trading costs are low, and spreads are tight and maximum leverage is 400:1, Blackstone Futures restricts traders by offering a limited set of 32 FX pairs. Beginner traders are well-catered with outstanding educational support for beginners, weekly webinars, and in-person Masterclass sessions around South Africa.  Unfortunately while BlackStone Futures caters to Malaysian clients, it does not offer Islamic swap-free accounts.

Pros
  • ZAR accounts
  • Tight spreads
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
Read More About Blackstone Futures
2
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.174.17
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.17/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.
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FXTM is a multi-regulated FSCA registered CFD broker offering clients trading on Forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, metals and stocks. With a complete education and market analysis section, and the unique FXTM Invest copy trading platform, FXTM is plagued by unfavourable trading conditions and platform choice limits on their entry-level accounts and charging withdrawal fees.

Beginners at FXTM will find a good overview of how Forex trading works and the basics of a beginners course in their guides and tutorials, webinars, ebooks, trading glossary and videos that cover beginner and intermediate topics. Daily market analysis will help beginners understand the real-world implications of news events on the Forex market and where the opportunities lie. However, Serious beginners should consider the ECN Account (minimum deposit 500 USD) or the ECN Zero Account (minimum deposit 200 USD) as trading conditions dramatically improve to fall in line with industry averages.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
Read More About FXTM
3
BDSwiss
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.324.32
Min. Spread
1 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.32/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. BDSwiss is regulated by CySEC, FSC, and the FSA-Seychelles.
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BDSwiss is a European CFD broker regulated by CySEC, the FSC (Mauritius) and the FSA (Seychelles). BDSwiss offers trading on Forex, commodities, shares, indices, and cryptocurrencies. While trading costs on the entry-level Classic account are slightly above the industry average, the trading platform choice and the industry-leading education and market analysis material make up for it. A professional 5000 USD Raw account is also available with industry-competitive trading costs of 8 USD per EURUSD lot traded.

BDSwiss offers MT4, MT5 and a bespoke BDSwiss Web Trader application – the star attraction for new traders – with an intuitive and modern interface, an extended set of technical analysis tools, and advanced charting. The BDSwiss trading academy and market analysis are some of the best in the industry, with structured courses for all levels, frequent strategy webinars, and insightful market analysis headlined by a detailed daily market preview.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About BDSwiss
4
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.184.18
Min. Spread
0.90 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.18/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
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AvaTrade is an internationally and FSCA regulated CFD broker offering trading on Forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds and EFTs. AvaTrade has one of the best mobile trading applications in the industry and, unlike many global brokers, offers a local South African customer support team. 

AvaTrade has over 200,000 active traders on the MT4, MT5, and AvaGo platforms and provides free access to trading tools like Autochartist, Duplitrade and AvaProtect, its own innovative risk management system.

While AvaTrade is a dependable broker for beginners, professional traders looking for advanced educational material and industry-leading market research will be underwhelmed.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited education
Read More About AvaTrade
5
eToro
Min. Deposit
USD 200
3.693.69
Min. Spread
1 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
1110.503.69/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.0 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. eToro proprietary trading platform support. eToro is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and ASIC. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
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eToro is a world-famous multi-regulated CFD broker offering clients a unique experience trading Forex, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and indices. While eToro’s main attraction is a bespoke crowd trading platform built to encourage clients to follow expert traders or select market strategies, their trader community is continually let down by inadequate disinterested customer support and tortuously long response times.

Upon sign up, eToro’s clients become part of a massive community of traders all following expert traders or professional traders contributing to their social trading platform. Although traders can make trades independent of the community, the popular CopyTrader tool allows clients to copy individual trader’s strategies automatically. Similarly, the CopyPortfolios tool allows traders to invest in a single market strategy that includes multiple assets assembled into a single investment vehicle.

For the most part, the trading conditions at eToro align with other market makers with a unique platform offering, but in contrast, eToro has numerous non-trading fees on both deposits and withdrawals. All in all, a trader who is looking for a traditional trading environment eToro won’t find a fit. Still, for those looking for a strong copy trading platform, eToro wrote the book on copy trading and still stands out as the leader.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Good for beginners
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Wide spreads
Read More About eToro
6
Axitrader
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.344.34
Min. Spread
0 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.34/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Axi Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the DFSA.
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Axi (formerly Axitrader) is an Australian CFD broker regulated by ASIC, the FCA and the DFSA, and an FSCA application pending approval. Axi offers clients trading on Forex, metals, cryptocurrency, commodities, and indices. Axi accounts seem to offer clients industry competitive trading costs – the Standard Account (from 0.4 pip EURUSD) and the Pro Account (0.0 pips EURUSD + 7 USD commission) – but unnecessarily dodges transparent practices by not publishing their average spreads.

Although Axi limits its platform choice to MT4, it offers traders free use of various powerful platform-integrated technical analysis tools, including Autochartist, MyFxBook, PsyQuation, to help professional or serious newcomer traders make better trading choices. Beginners to Axi have structured learning material and frequent market analysis, making them a front-runner in the education space only empowered by their powerful trading tools.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Wide range of assets
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Poor customer service
  • Limited demo account
Read More About Axitrader
7
Pepperstone
Min. Deposit
USD 200
4.514.51
Min. Spread
0 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.51/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.09 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & cTrader platforms supported. Pepperstone Group is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the DFSA.
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Pepperstone is a multi-regulated CFD broker offering ECN trading on Forex, indices, commodities and shares. The beginner and professional trading community admire this Australian broker for their wide trading platform selection including cTrader, MT4 and MT5 and highly industry competitive trading conditions despite a limited selection of tradable products and slightly unimpressive market research.

The cTrader platform, while not the most popular in the world because of limited broker support, is one of the most powerful trading tools available to the retail trader. This cTrader platform, in addition to the MT4 & MT5 choice, combined with remarkably tight spreads (EURUSD – 0.09 pips) on the Razor account, is perfectly suited for the professional or serious amateur trader. For the beginner, the standard account with reasonable trading fees (EURUSD – 1 pip), and the structured education offering will provide a strong base for success. Nevertheless, while some withdrawal methods charge a small fee, it is hard to find fault with Pepperstone and their trading solution.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About Pepperstone
8
HotForex
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.494.49
Min. Spread
0 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.49/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
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HotForex is a global CFD broker with FSCA regulation offering a variety of trading products including Forex, commodities, indices, shares and crypto. Trading conditions are unusually good on the 5 USD (5 USD) introductory account, with fast market execution and competitive spreads. Experienced traders will be interested in HotForex’s professional account with EUR/USD spreads starting at 0 pips pips and a 6 USD commission.

HotForex supports both the MT4 and MT5 platforms and provides 18 trading tools to further assist traders. Unfortunately, access to better trading tools like Autochartist, which other brokers offer as a free service, requires an account balance of 6500 ZAR – well above the required minimum deposit.

HotForex offers a structured beginner course and webinars to help newcomers get started, but customer support is closed on the weekend, leaving novices stranded when they may need help the most.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
Read More About HotForex
9
FxPro
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.214.21
Min. Spread
0.60 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.21/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5, cTrader and FxPro proprietary trading platform supported. FxPro Group is regulated by FCA, CySEC, FSCA, and the DFSA
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FxPro is one of the most respected Forex brokers in the industry. Regulated by the FCA and CySEC and with over 870,000 client accounts in 173 countries, FxPro is a truly global powerhouse.

FxPro offers a no dealing desk execution model on MT4, MT5, cTrader and a browser-based platform. A reasonable 100 USD opening deposit and outstanding customer service are combined with competitive spreads – often as low as 0.6 pips – to match profitability with security.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Limited education
Read More About FxPro
10
FXCM
Min. Deposit
USD 50
4.134.13
Min. Spread
0 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.13/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.3 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Ninja Trader platforms supported. Forex Capital Markets is regulated by FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA.
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FXCM has been a global Forex and CFD broker since 1999 and are regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA in South Africa.

One of the major advantages of FXCM for beginner traders is the quality of the educational material they offer. FXCM offers eBooks on Forex basics, trading strategies, trading habits, the FXCM’s proprietary Trading Station platform, and how to identify potential trading opportunities on the market. FXCM’s extensive video library is organised into different categories that span from how to make deposits, to more advanced trading topics like order types that help traders manage risk in trades.

Like most of their competitors, FXCM ZA uses webinars to teach Forex trading – these are exclusive webinars for South Africans and hosted by Russell Shor, the Senior Analyst for FXCM’s South African team. Having a dedicated education section for South Africans is extremely rare and is one of the greatest advantages to using FXCM ZA. Moreover, FXCM ZA runs free workshops in Pretoria and Johannesburg on a monthly basis.

FXCM has a standard demo account and a single live account offering. The demo account has 5000 USD virtual money and expires after 30 days of inactivity. The standard account is commission free with a minimum deposit of 50 USD

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited demo account
Read More About FXCM

What is Copy Trading?

The biggest advantage of copy trading is that it allows beginner traders to profit from the sophisticated trading strategies used by professional traders. The downside is that beginner traders may end up following risky trading strategies without fully understanding the consequences.

Most Forex brokers now offer some form of copy trading function, but there are major differences between the products they offer and how they integrate into trading platforms.

The best copy trading and social trading brokers will offer a clear explanation of how the copy trading platform works with detailed metrics on each trader offering their services. These metrics should include the return as a percentage over time (days, weeks, months, years), largest drawdown (peak to trough decline), average daily profit, the total time the trader has been active and a risk rating.

How does Copy Trading Work?

Copy trading requires two traders and a Forex broker, which provides the platform for them to co-operate. One trader is the provider, or manager, and they will make their trading strategies available for others to follow. The other trader, or investor, selects the provider they wish to follow – usually for a fee or a cut of the investor’s profits. The broker provides the social platform for the provider and the investor to meet and co-operate, brokers also provide the trading platform that the provider will use to trade.

Most copy trading platforms will also display the manager’s investment return, risk profile, length of experience and trading style. It is essential to also examine the manager’s largest drawdown, this the largest single peak to trough decline in the manager’s trading account. If you are thinking of investing a smaller amount than the manager’s largest drawdown you are putting yourself at serious risk of losing all your capital.  Controls for investors are also a key feature, allowing you to choose how much money to invest with a provider and which strategies to follow.

Is copy trading legal?

Yes, copy trading is legal in almost all jurisdictions. Prior to the explosion in social trading, copy trading was only available via a managed account. Managed accounts required a power of attorney and a large account balance, and so are unpopular amongst typical retail traders. Copy trading, or social trading, on the other hand is considered self-directed by most regulators, as traders who use this function always select the trading system to copy.

A brief history of Copy Trading

Prior to the merging of Forex trading and social media, the only form of copy trading available was managed account trading. While managed accounts are still an integral part of institutional trading, on a retail level they have been almost completely eclipsed by the rapid rise of copy trading.

Also called mirror trading, auto trading and social trading, copy trading began in the late 2000s with the advent of the eToro and ZuluTrade platforms. eToro has since become one of the most successful Forex brokers in the world, purely based on the strength of their social trading platform, while ZuluTrade is one of the most popular copy trading platforms in the Forex community.

The success of these early pioneers means that most major brokers now offer some form of copy trading or social trading, either through their own platforms or via a third-party, such as ZuluTrade, Mirror Trader or Myfxbook.

Which broker is the best for Copy Trading?

eToro, FXTM and AvaTrade are the best brokers for copy trading.

eToro’s unique social trading platform allows for users to copy each other’s trades and share trading tips. Easy-to-use and web-based, the eToro platform has won many awards over the years for innovation and simplicity. With over 6 million clients, eToro has successfully made social trading an integral part of Forex industry.

FXTM run the FXTM Invest platform, which connects investors with Strategy Managers. Strategy Managers are graded on several metrics and investors can filter Strategy Managers to find the right combination of return and risk they feel comfortable with. Investors only pay a fee on successful trades.

Avatrade offers multiple direct and indirect copy trading options. AvaTrade has also partnered with the Mirror Trader and ZuluTrade platforms to offer a wide range of copy trading functionality. Mirror Trader allows investors to switch between manual copy trading, semi-automatic trading, or automatic trading when following a provider. ZuluTrade is a community of providers, who have been ranked using various practical parameters including maximum drawdown and average profitability.

Read this more detail on how to compare Forex brokers yourself outside of copy trading alone. 

How do I choose the best copy trading system?

The best copy trading system will not always be the most profitable. It is important to look at a provider’s long-term strategy and risk management to make sure these align with your account balance and goals. Aggressive strategies may make money in the short-term – and may even be successful for those with larger account balances over the long term – but can lead to account wipeouts for those with smaller balances.

Like with all Forex trading, it is important to do your own research and manage your risk appropriately.

Final Word

While a relatively recent method of Forex trading, copy trading has fast become one of the largest. The advantages are obvious for beginner traders, and many experienced traders also swear by it. But, like all Forex trading, it must be entered into with education, caution and a thought for risk management.

References

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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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