AuthorBy Chris CammackAuthor InformationUpdated: December 2, 2020

Copy trading, or social trading, is a combination of social media and Forex trading. It allows traders to invest their trading funds with other successful traders, usually for a small fee or a cut of the investing trader’s profit.

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.

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Best Copy Trading Forex Brokers in South Africa

Last updated on 2 Dec 2020
Updated 2 Dec 2020
by Editorial Director Chris Cammackby Chris Cammack
Chris Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
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 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
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With over 200,000 active traders around the globe, on both the MetaTrader 4 and AvaGo platforms, and the award for Best Trade Execution 2016 by the African Finance Expo, AvaTrade is a good partner for all types of trader. AvaTrade has built its reputation on being a client-focused, dependable broker, and continues to add to that reputation with the recent addition of AvaProtect to its product lineup.

With great trading conditions across Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, bonds, and equities and boasting FSCA and ASIC regulation, AvaTrade is competitive with some of the best brokers in the world.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited education
Read More About AvaTrade
2
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.234.23
Min. Spread
0.10 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.23/ 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 regulated by the FCA, CySEC and the FSCA in South Africa and the educational material offered is first-class. By keeping the focus on beginners looking for reasonable trading conditions, the FXTM team of educators and analysts have succeeded in creating a welcoming environment for new traders. Additionally, FXTM are one of the few brokers with 24/7 support, allowing new traders to get set up on weekends or holidays.

For the absolute beginner, FXTM has a great deal of training material to help new traders get started. Materials include articles, videos, webinars and a searchable glossary of new vocabulary. This is an excellent resource and many hours can be spent covering the basics of Forex Trading. There is an additional set of videos that cover analysis topics, and more detail on chart reading techniques.

FXTM has an open “Daily Market Analysis” section on their website where research analysts post bulletins that connect daily news items with analysis and actionable trading ideas. This can be combined with other sources to achieve a more comprehensive view of global events and the trading opportunities they represent.

The Standard Account has a minimum deposit of 100 USD and spreads start at 1.3 pips. FXTM also offers a Cent Account where the minimum deposit if only 10 USD but the spreads will be wider. If you can afford it, I would recommend starting with the Standard Account.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
Read More About FXTM
3
eToro
Min. Deposit
USD 200
3.333.33
Min. Spread
1 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
1110.503.33/ 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. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
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Founded in 2007, eToro are renowned as founders of the social trading methodology and its platform has won multiple awards for innovation.

The social component, which sits at the centre of the platform, seeks to inspire and encourage traders. eToro also believes that making its community of 6 million traders integral to the platform creates transparency and makes the overall experience more enjoyable. As cryptocurrencies have become more popular, eToro has introduced a wide variety of cryptocurrency CFDs to traders.

eToro has succeeded in making trading more accessible to the beginner trader, but only by completely upending the traditional broker space.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Good for beginners
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited education
  • Wide spreads
Read More About eToro
4
Axitrader
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.434.43
Min. Spread
0 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.43/ 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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Built by traders, for traders, Axi is an ASIC and FCA regulated ECN broker for the serious trader, where traders execute their positions directly on the markets without any broker interference.

While the trading platform choice is limited to MT4, Axi has received strong industry recognition for their setup including Best MT4 Broker 2018 (Compare Forex Brokers Australia) and Best MT4 Provider 2018 (UK Forex Awards).

Joining Axi requires a $5 minimum deposit which gives you a strong MT4 setup and an ECN account.  This combination only highlights further that they are built by traders, for traders.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Wide range of assets
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
Cons
  • Poor customer service
  • Limited demo account
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5
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 0.16 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. 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 leading Australian ECN/STP Forex broker who has recently started gaining a lot of international recognition for their quality of service, culminating in winning the award for Best Forex ECN broker 2018 at the UK Forex Awards 2018.

Supporting more major trading platforms – MT4, MT5 and cTrader – than most other brokers, on two straightforward account types with a minimum deposit on both of 200 USD, Pepperstone offers a simple but attractive product.

Standard Account – 1.0 pip spread, STP execution and no commission on trades.
Razor Account – 0.0 pip minimum spreads, ECN execution, and commission on trades.

Unlike other brokers, traders who choose Pepperstone will be supported by award-winning 24-hour customer support, the best trading conditions possible, a reliable starter education and a 50K USD Free Demo Account.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About Pepperstone
6
HotForex
Min. Deposit
ZAR 70
4.294.29
Min. Spread
0 pips
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal Methods
Overall Rating
11110.54.29/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.20 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
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An STP broker regulated by multiple major authorities including the FCA and CySEC, HotForex has built a reputation among traders for its tight spreads, low fees, and fast market execution. Excellent educational and analytical material is available for both visitors and clients, and customer service is world-class.

Listed as one the Top 100 Companies by World Finance Magazine and with an award for Business Excellence 2015 (World Confederation of Businesses), HotForex is not just celebrated by their industry peers, but also by the financial industry as a whole.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
Read More About HotForex
7
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 500:1. 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
8
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

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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