AuthorBy Jeffrey Cammack
Updated: April 19, 2021

Good Forex brokers for beginners will help their clients get started. The better brokers will assist with verifying a trading account, setting up and configuring a new trading platform, and making available the best learning material possible. This way, the trader has the best chance of finding and acting on profitable trading opportunities. 

To test these beginner brokers, we opened demo trading accounts to experiment with the important features for newcomers – always keeping an open line with customer service to assess their responsiveness. As part of our test, we verified the broker’s regulation, checked for well-structured Forex education and verified that the demo account never expires, so novices can practice without risking their money forever. These are the best Forex brokers for beginners in South Africa for 2021, according to our testing and our research.

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Best Forex Brokers for Beginners 2021

Last updated on 19 Apr 2021
Updated 19 Apr 2021
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
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1
Blackstone Futures
Min. Deposit
ZAR 1000
4.484.48
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Support Hours
24/5
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
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2
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.174.17
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Standard
Support Hours
24/7
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
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3
BDSwiss
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.324.32
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Support Hours
24/5
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
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4
XM
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.384.38
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Support Hours
24/5
Overall Rating
11110.54.38/ 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. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.
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XM is a reliable multi-regulated CFD broker offering trading in Forex, stocks, commodities, indices, metals, and energies. XM leads the Forex industry in terms of education and market analysis, but with customer service closed on the weekend, beginner traders with technical issues could face difficultly.

With support for MT4 and MT5, trading costs below the industry average on both introductory and professional accounts, and a low minimum deposit of 5 USD (70 ZAR), XM Group stands out from a crowded field of market maker brokers.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
Read More About XM
5
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.184.18
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Standard
Support Hours
24/5
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
6
HotForex
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.494.49
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Support Hours
24/5
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 0.0 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
7
eToro
Min. Deposit
USD 200
3.693.69
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Standard
Support Hours
24/5
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
8
IC Markets
Min. Deposit
USD 200
4.464.46
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Support Hours
24/7
Overall Rating
11110.54.46/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.00 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. IC Markets is regulated by CySEC and ASIC.
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IC Markets is an Australian broker offering CFD trading on Forex, commodities, indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies, stocks, and futures. Compared to other ECN brokers, IC Markets has low trading costs, fast execution, and wide trading platform support – with MT4, MT5 and cTrader all available.

IC Markets caters to advanced traders with periodic strategy webinars, advanced analysis tools and a free VPS service for active traders. But – despite its focus on providing great trading conditions – IC Markets fails to deliver a structured course for beginners and Forex education in general is weaker than IC Market’s competitors.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
  • Great platform choice
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
  • Limited market analysis
Read More About IC Markets
9
FXCM
Min. Deposit
USD 50
4.134.13
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Standard
Support Hours
24/5
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
10
Admiral Markets
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.244.24
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Excellent
Support Hours
Business Hours
Overall Rating
11110.54.24/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.50 pips with 0.0 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4, MT5 & MT4 Supreme Edition platforms supported. Admiral Markets is regulated by ASIC, CySEC, and the FCA.
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Founded in 2001, Admiral Markets is renowned for its excellent education, industry leadership and wide range of tradeable instruments. Its industry leadership extends to platform support, where it has teamed up with MetaTrader to create Supreme Editions for MT4 and MT5, adding a range of practical tools to enhance the base platforms. 

All Admiral Markets accounts feature market execution, low minimum deposits and competitive spreads – and the company has one of the best cryptocurrency offerings on the market, with 30+ crypto pairs and cross pairs to trade; in addition, Admiral Markets have not just one, but two complete Forex courses for beginners.

A global presence, a progressive approach to knowledge sharing and competitive trading conditions have attracted both beginner and experienced traders to the Admiral Markets brand.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
Read More About Admiral Markets
11
easyMarkets
Min. Deposit
USD 25
3.983.98
Demo Account
Beginner Friendly
Standard
Support Hours
24/5
Overall Rating
1110.503.98/ 5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.80 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 30:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & the proprietary easyMarkets platform are supported. easyMarkets is regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the FSA in Seychelles.
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Founded in 2001, easyMarkets (then easyForex) was one of the first online brokers. Regulated by ASIC since 2003, CySEC since 2007 and the FSA since 2020, easyMarkets states their values as simple, honest and transparent which are reflected in their industry recognition – recently being awarded the Best Trading Platform and Most Transparent Broker awards in 2017 from FX Empire and Forex-Awards, respectively.

easyMarkets has always innovated, introducing tools like negative balance protection and guaranteed stop loss back in 2001 – these tools are now industry standards. Their innovation has continued with the unique Freeze Rate and dealCancellation tools, both intended to support new traders and keep trading transparent and simple. In 2018, easyMarkets won the Most Innovative Broker 2018 at the World Finance Markets Awards, a further sign that they are respected as innovators among their peers.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Wide range of assets
  • Innovative trading tools
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
  • Limited account options
Read More About easyMarkets

What is Forex Trading?

Forex trading is exchanging one currency for another currency to profit from the change in the exchange rate. This is known as buying and selling currency pairs. The Forex market is the largest financial market in the world, with an average daily value of 6.6 trillion US dollars (USD).

Online Forex trading can only be done via a Forex broker. This is because the Forex market is not a physical market, it is a virtual market made up of a network of computers all over the world. This network connects traders to other market participants, such as banks and other brokers.

Because the Forex market is global and virtual, it operates 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. From the moment the Australian market opens on Monday morning until the moment the New York market closes on Friday evening.

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 70-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss.

What is a Forex Broker?

Forex brokers are companies which provide a connection to the Forex market. Brokers also provide the software – called a trading platform – which connects the trader to the virtual network of computers that forms the Forex market.  To connect to the Forex market with a broker, traders need to open a trading account, which requires funding.

How do I choose a Forex broker for beginners?

When choosing a Forex broker, beginners should focus on a broker’s regulation, educational support, customer support and demo account. To better understand why these are so important we will look at all three in detail below.

After reading through this short guide you will:

  • Understand why regulation is crucial and how to check if your broker is regulated.
  • Understand the dangers of trading without education and how to educate yourself appropriately.
  • Understand how high-quality customer support can improve life for beginner traders.
  • Understand the importance of a demo account and how to choose the best one.

Regulation

Regulation is the single most important aspect of judging a Forex broker for all traders, not just beginner traders. Unregulated brokers cannot be trusted with your money and have no legal requirement to offer a fair trading environment. Simply put, having a regulated broker is not optional.

Regulation ensures that Forex brokers provide a fair and transparent trading environment. It ensures the security of your funds and offers protection against broker bankruptcy. It also ensures that Forex traders have a complaint channel and access to investor insurance.

Unregulated brokers will often claim to be regulated, so you should always check what they say is true. We know that unregulated brokers like to contact people on Facebook and via messaging apps, so be especially careful if this happens. Many unregulated brokers will often to entice beginner traders with incredible profits, offering to double or triple their money within weeks. This is a certain way to know that a broker should not be trusted, and broker regulation should always be verified independently.

Education

Forex education is at the very heart of customer retention. Educated Forex traders become successful and profitable traders, and the more successful traders a broker has on its books, the more successful the broker will be.

Forex education comes in two forms: Standard educational material, such as that found in our education section, which explains the concepts and function of Forex trading, and market analysis and research. Forex brokers or third-party analysis companies usually write market analysis. Market analysis and research are helpful once a trader has a firm grasp of Forex trading basics, including terminology and common themes.

Education and Structured Courses

Better Forex brokers for beginners are good at created structured Forex trading courses. These are the brokers with the highest quality structured courses in the industry. 

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Unlimited Demo
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4.24 /5
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A good example of a structured Forex course for beginners is the video series at XM. The videos are organised in an intuitive format, and are specifically designed to introduce you slowly to more advanced concepts:

XM Education

Good brokers will have structured courses for different levels of experience and expertise. The best Forex brokers for beginners have structured courses that cover the following:

  • Forex Terminology: What are the terms traders will encounter when trading? What does it mean to go long or go short? What are support and resistance levels?
  • Basic Topics: Which currencies are traded and what are their symbols? What are the important concepts like lots, pips, and order types (such as stop loss and take profit)?
  • Advanced Topics: What is technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis? What are indicators and robots and how do they work. What are common trading strategies and how do you implement them?

Many brokers will also run webinars, which are live and often interactive tutorial sessions. Many of the best Forex brokers for beginners offer weekly webinars and store them in an archive for later viewing. As a leading broker in terms of educational support, FXCM is a good example. In the image below we can see that FXCM has a large archive of previous webinars:

FXCM Webinars

This is exceptional from a beginner’s standpoint, as these rich learning experiences are all available free-of-charge and without registration.

Market Analysis and Research

Market analysis and research is the other cornerstone of Forex education. For traders with a solid understanding of how Forex trading works, market analysis will be the next step to profitable trading.  These are the brokers with the best research and market analysis teams in the industry.

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Trading Central
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4.24 /5
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5/5
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5/5
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5/5
ZAR 1000
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Most of the best brokers for beginners will have large research teams which provide frequent updates on market movements and insightful analysis on potential developments. A good example of this is easyMarkets’ market news section:

EasyMarkets Market News

Updated every few minutes, easyMarkets’ market news offers deep insight into the price movement of a wide range of assets. Analysts also offer their thoughts on possible future outcomes based on their research. This is ideal for new traders seeking to build a deeper understanding of the Forex market and new trading opportunities.

Some Forex brokers, such as Admiral Markets, enter into partnerships with specialist third-party companies like Trading Central, to provide traders with market analysis. Trading Central is a collection of products that offer actionable investment ideas with 24-hour multi-asset coverage, technical and fundamental analysis, and back-tested trading strategies.

Admiral Markets Trading Central

Demo Accounts for Trading Practice

All Forex brokers will offer free demo accounts to all clients. These are trading accounts that mirror the live Forex market but allow traders to use virtual funds to simulate the trades and strategies they would ordinarily use when trading with real money. Demo accounts provide an exact simulation of real market conditions

Demo accounts serve several purposes. Apart from accurately simulating live trading conditions, they can also be used to test-drive a Forex broker and test new strategies. These are best Forex brokers for beginners that provide free and unlimited Forex demo accounts.

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IG Markets, one of our highest ranked brokers, provides unlimited demo accounts on two different platforms with 20,000 USD of virtual funds.

IG Markets DEMO

Demo accounts are so important because they are the only way for beginners Forex traders gain experience without risking money.

Customer Support

Beginners beed good customer support from their broker. It is one of those things that you hope you never need; but when you do need it, it must be easily available, fast, and genuinely helpful. Setting up a trading platform can be tricky for beginner traders.

The best customer support will be available 24 hours a day (Monday-Sunday) via live chat, telephone, messaging services and email. It is also important that a broker has great IT support, as setting up a trading platform can be tricky for new traders. Many new traders cannot find the time during the workweek to get set up, so weekend support can be helpful but is rare.

Customer support should also be multi-lingual. Apart from English, many South African brokers now offer customer support in Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa. It is helpful to have a customer support agent who speaks your language and understands the local needs as needs of a beginner in South Africa are not the same as the needs of a beginner Forex trader in Russia. The best beginner Forex brokers understand this and set up their customer support desks to accommodate the needs of their clients.

How much money do you need to trade Forex?

Most brokers require a minimum deposit to start trading. This varies from as low as 5 USD to as high as 2000 USD, depending on the broker and the account type you are opening.

In South Africa, some brokers will offer ZAR Accounts, which means that you can keep your trading balance in Rand. For ZAR Accounts, minimum deposits start as low as R70 and can rise to R1500 or R3000.

Can you get rich by trading Forex?

It is possible, but it will not happen overnight. Forex trading is not a get-rich-quick scheme and while large profits are possible, so are large losses. Most successful Forex traders have developed a strategy that allows them a steady stream of income.

The Bottom Line

As well as providing market access, Forex brokers also play a crucial role in the learning process for beginner traders. Beginner Forex traders should use the parameters above to decide whether the broker they are considering is truly the best Forex broker for them or not.

Such a broker should be regulated, provide sound Forex education, a free and unlimited demo account, and excellent customer support.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers

References

  1. Foreign exchange turnover in April 2019
 

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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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