By Jeffrey Cammack Author Information Updated: June 25, 2020

The best Forex brokers for beginners are trustworthy and dedicated to educating their clients.

On this page, we will discuss the three essential features that beginner traders require from a Forex broker: Regulation from a trusted authority; high-quality education and an unlimited and accurate demo account.

Regulation is the most important factor when choosing a Forex broker, whether you are a beginner or not. Regulators protect consumers from illegal and unethical brokers. Trading with an unregulated broker is a huge risk: You have no guarantee your money will be safe, or that your trades will be executed in a fair and secure manner.

Forex education is essential if you want to be a successful trader. Knowledge of the financial markets, geopolitics, technical analysis, and your trading platform is crucial to profitable trading. The best Forex brokers for beginners will offer education on these subjects in a well-structured and uncomplicated fashion.

Demo accounts are the first step in trading for all beginner traders. A demo account will allow you to experience the movements of the live Forex market. It will also give you the opportunity to learn how your trading platform works. The best demo accounts will accurately mirror the real market and will not expire after a set time limit.

The best Forex brokers for beginners will also have accounts with a low required minimum deposit, maybe 100 USD or less. These beginner accounts should also have a low trading cost.

Using these factors as a guide, our experts have created a shortlist of the best Forex brokers for beginners in 2020.

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  • Broker
    XM

    XM  - Best Beginner Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    XM Group is renowned in the Forex industry for its customer service, educational support and its thorough understanding of financial markets.

    It is a great broker for beginners with an education section split according to a trader's experience level, excellent market analysis, and frequent webinars and seminars in 18 languages. 

    The Primary Education Room is open to the general public but you will need to register for an XM Account for access to the others.

    Trading conditions are superb and the customer service team is available 24/5 via telephone, live chat and email.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • 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
    FXTM

    FXTM  - Most Trusted Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    1110.50
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 10
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    FXTM is one of the best Forex brokers in South Africa for beginner traders and in 2018 won the award for Best Forex Education Provider Africa from International Business Magazine.

    FXTM has a comprehensive collection of articles and videos covering every aspect of trading and frequently host webinars for new and more experienced traders. FXTM is also one of the few brokers to offer 24/7 customer support – a real benefit for new traders with day jobs who want to get their trading rig set up on the weekend.

    This focus on creating a welcoming environment for new traders is also represented by low minimum deposits and support for MT4 and MT5 on a wide range of accounts, including a Cent Account with a minimum deposit of only 10 USD and relatively tight spreads (1.5 pips on EUR/USD).

    Four of FXTM’s six live accounts are available as unlimited demo accounts – only expiring after 90 days of use. This gives beginner traders the opportunity to find the right combination of trading conditions and trading platform that suit their style. The only two accounts not to have a demo version are the Shares Account, exclusively for trading stocks, and the Pro Account.

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Excellent education
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit

    Cons

    • 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 Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 1000
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2009, BlackStone Futures is an established FSCA-regulated broker based in Johannesburg. It offers both ZAR and USD accounts on MT4 and the proprietary CloudTrade platforms, and STP execution ensures no conflict of interest. Beginner traders are well-catered for with excellent educational support, really emphasising the duty of care BlackStone Futures feels for their clients. Spreads are tight and leverage is kept sensibly low until traders can prove their ability, thereby limiting the chance of account wipe out for beginners.

    Pros

    • ZAR accounts
    • Tight spreads
    • Fast and free withdrawals

    Cons

    • Limited platform choice
    • Local regulation only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    USD Account0.6 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    ZAR Account0.6 pipsNoneMarketZAR 1000 Account Details
  • Broker
    AvaTrade

    AvaTrade  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    B.V.I FSC B.V.I FSC
    FSA FSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    As you would expect from one of the larger brokers, AvaTrade has a large collection of educational material to get new traders started. A dedicated section called Trading for Beginners covers basic topics and the video library is one of the best in the industry.

    Beginners will also find the selection of tools and market research very useful. This includes AvaTrade's dedicated market research portal, Sharp Trader, which is frequently updated with both technical and fundamental analysis. Customer support is 24/5, as with most other brokers, and is available in 14 languages.

    Overall, AvaTrade are an excellent choice for beginner traders.

    Pros

    • Good for beginners
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit

    Cons

    • 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
    HotForex

    HotForex  - Best Overall Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 70
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    HotForex is an STP-only Forex broker and offers the MT4 and MT5 platform across six different account types. All six account types have competitive trading conditions.

    Beginner traders at HotForex can rely on excellent support from award-winning customer service and a well-structured and informative education section. 

    Webinars are run every few days and support is available 24/5 in over 27 languages from toll-free local phone numbers.

    The market research and analysis section is similarly award-winning and is updated on a daily basis with market news, trade analysis and outlooks.

    Pros

    • Low minimum deposit
    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Good range of accounts

    Cons

    • 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
    ThinkMarkets

    ThinkMarkets  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    FSCA FSCA
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11100
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    ThinkMarkets is a very well-regulated international broker which has been operating in South Africa since 2017. It offers support for MT4, MT5 and its own ThinkTrader platform on two account types: One with a very low minimum deposit and the other a commission-based ECN account for more experienced traders.

    Education is well-structured and useful for beginners, though market analysis is poor and sometimes left to in-platform third parties. Customer support is excellent and provided locally and execution times are world-class, perfect for automated trading.

    Pros

    • Low minimum deposit
    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice

    Cons

    • Limited market analysis
    • Non-transparent spreads
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard0.4 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5 Account Details
    ThinkZero0.0 pips7 USDMarketUSD 500 Account Details
  • Broker
    XTB

    XTB  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    XTB is an STP broker offering both its proprietary platform, xStation, as well as MT4. 

    Beginner traders will find much to like at XTB. Its Trading Academy is clear, concise, and well-structured, and one-on-one mentoring and dedicated account managers are both available. 

    The majority of research and analysis is free for all visitors and a wide range of fundamental and technical analysis tools are available within the xStation platform.

    Customer service is available 24/7 in 14 languages via email, live chat, and phone support. 

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Good for beginners

    Cons

    • Limited platform choice
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic0.28 pips$10.00InstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Pro0.28 pips$7.00InstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard0.35 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11000
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms
    • etoro

    eToro’s social trading platform is simple, intuitive and very popular with beginner traders.  It has a unique integrated social newsfeed, similar to Twitter, and advice and trading opportunities are available in a constant stream.

    Customer support is open 24/7, but there is no live chat or telephone assistance as eToro instead uses a ticketing system.  The focus at eToro is entertainment via trading.

    There is not much in the way of educational material and all market analysis (market sentiment excepted) is left to the trading community. This analysis is unfiltered and it is best practice to conduct your own research into trading opportunities before acting on anything you read.

     

     

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Good for beginners
    • Innovative trading tools

    Cons

    • Limited education
    • Wide spreads
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Professional1.0 pipsNoneMarketEUR 200 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSA-Seychelles FSA-Seychelles
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11111
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Tickmill offers low spreads and commission, fast STP execution on the MT4 platform and has an excellent reputation in the CFD trading industry.

    Regulated by the FCA in the UK, CySEC in Europe and the Seychelles FSCA international - and a regular winner of trade execution and trading conditions awards - Tickmill has the reputation, and the performance, traders should look for in a broker.

    Pros

    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Wide range of assets

    Cons

    • MT4 only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Classic1.6 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Pro0.0 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    VIP0.0 pipsVariableMarketUSD 50000 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    A hugely respected ECN broker, IC Markets has invested heavily to provide traders with the lowest spreads and fastest execution speeds possible - and has seen huge success as a result. ASIC and CySEC regulated and with support for MT4, MT5 and cTrader, this broker is serious about providing the best possible trading environment for its client base. 

    Headquartered in downtown Sydney, IC Markets represents the best of the Australian Forex industry; beginner traders will welcome IC Markets' simple account structure and responsive and informed customer service; the company understands customer retention involves a combination of tight spreads, cutting edge technology, fast trade execution and specialised support. 

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Great platform choice

    Cons

    • 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
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    FP Markets are an ASIC-regulated, STP broker with simple account options and a good range of educational material for beginner traders and excellent customer support.

    The collection of educational guides on offer will be particularly helpful for new traders as they cover a lot of important but often overlooked topics, such as avoiding common trading mistakes.

    Importantly for beginners, spreads are tight on the no-commission Standard Account, and the lack of dealing desk intervention for all accounts removes any concern over conflict of interest.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Good range of accounts
    • Great customer support

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard IRESSN/A pips$10 AUD min, then 0.1%STPUSD 1,000 Account Details
    Platinum IRESSN/A pips$9 AUD min, then 0.09%STPUSD 25,000 Account Details
    Premier IRESSN/A pipsNo min, then 0.08%STPUSD 50,000 Account Details
    RAW0.0 pips$3.50STPUSD 100 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 50
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    FXCM has an award-winning, education section which includes a set of eBooks and a video library covering both basic concepts and more advanced aspects of Forex trading.

    Webinars made specifically for the South African market are held frequently and FXCM also host free workshops at its offices in Pretoria and Johannesburg on a monthly basis

    FXCM's Market Data Signals and Market Scanner are excellent for new traders as they uncover potential trading opportunities in the market.

    Support is available 24/5 via live chat, phone, email and drop-in, there is an open-door policy for all traders that want to know more about FXCM and the Forex market.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Excellent education
    • Innovative trading tools

    Cons

    • Limited demo account
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard1.3 pipsNoneSTPUSD 50 Account Details
    Active TraderNot Published pipsYesSTPUSD 25000 Account Details
  • Broker
    Admiral Markets

    Admiral Markets  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    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
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Trade.MT40.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Trade.MT50.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero.MT40.0 pips$1.8-$3.0MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Zero.MT50.0 pips$1.8-$3.0MarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    easyMarkets

    easyMarkets  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Founded in 2001, easyMarkets (then easyForex) was one of the first online brokers. Regulated by ASIC since 2003 and CySEC since 2007, 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
    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

All Forex Brokers in South Africa

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Open

Forex Trading and the Broker’s Role

Forex trading is the buying and selling of one currency against another currency to profit from the exchange rate differences between them. Online Forex trading can only be done through brokers. 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 the banks at the interbank FX market and the brokers at the dealing desks.

Forex brokers enable traders to open an account and fund it. They also provide the software which connects the trader to this virtual network of computers that forms the Forex market. 

As a beginner, you must understand the aspects of the relationship between you and the Forex broker. The three most important are regulation, educational support, and demo accounts.

Regulation Means Protection

Regulation is all about consumer protection. You are the consumer of the Forex products that the brokers offer. Regulation ensures that Forex brokers operate by the laws of their jurisdictions and provide a transparent trading environment. The fact that most retail traders use market makers makes regulation even more critical.  Market makers are the brokers that take the other side of the trade from you. This represents a conflict of interest, as the broker in effect wants you to lose so they can win.

Regulation not only ensures that brokers play by the rules, but it also ensures that Forex traders have a complaint channel and access to investor insurance. Some of the best regulators in the business are:

These regulators provide access to investor compensation in case a brokerage firm has short-changed its traders or engaged in practices that have led clients to lose money. The financial regulators in Europe and the UK also have in place several features to protect their clients. These features came as a result of the MiFID II regulations, implemented by the European Securities and Monetary Authority (ESMA) in 2018. These are:

  • Segregated Funds – clients trading funds are kept in a separate account from the Forex broker’s operational funds.
  • Negative Balance Protection – prevents traders from incurring losses beyond their account balances.
  • Lower Leverage – trading of Forex and CFDs now comes with leverage caps, with Forex pairs being traded at 1:30 (major pairs) and 1:20 for exotic pairs.
  • Transparency – greater transparency via the conspicuous display of disclaimer notices and the percentage of traders that lose money on a brokerage platform. Brokers must also display their regulatory status and license numbers.
  • Complaints Procedure – a faster complaints process which leads to a speedy resolution of traders’ complaints.
  • Compensation – access to investor compensation via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for UK traders (which provides 50,000 GBP maximum compensation) and similar schemes run by CySEC and other regulators.

Education is the Root of Success

An uneducated trader is always going to fail in Forex trading. How can you succeed when you do not know what you are doing? This is why the best Forex brokers for beginners have realised that Forex education is at the very heart of customer retention. In the last five years, Forex brokers have realised the importance of creating structured Forex trading courses.

Structured courses are Forex courses that are created for different levels of experience and expertise. The best beginner Forex brokers run structured courses that should ideally cover the following:

  • Forex trading basics: know what currencies are traded, their symbols and terms like a lot, a pip, stop loss or take profit.
  • Forex trading language: what are the terms and concepts traders will encounter when the trade Forex? What does it mean to go long or go short? What is support/resistance?
  • What is technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis? What are indicators, robots, strategies?

Courses can be delivered in several formats. Webinars are very popular as they are interactive and allow the beginner to ask questions along the way. Some of the best Forex brokers for beginners offer weekly webinars.

Video tutorials are also popular. Some of them are downloadable and allow the users to view them repeatedly for better understanding.

Some of the best beginner Forex brokers have also entered into a partnership with companies like Trading Central, to provide their users with daily and weekly market analysis, which usually features a mix of fundamental and technical analysis.

Demo Accounts for Trading Practice

Forex brokers also provide demo accounts. These are trading accounts that mimic 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 serve several purposes. Apart from trade simulations, they can be used to test-drive a broker, for historical studies and for the testing of strategies. The best Forex platforms for beginners provide free and unlimited Forex demo accounts, which do not require the trader to have real funds in a live account before getting access to such a demo account.

Trading Conditions and Execution

Trading conditions refer to the factors set by a Forex broker which will impact your trading environment and costs. It is important to understand the trading conditions you will be exposed to as they can affect your trading outcomes and determine the level of risk you will face.

In Forex, you are risking a little money in the hopes of getting more money, just as fishermen use a little fish as bait to attract bigger fish. Just as these fishermen have to contend with weather conditions, conditions of the water and other factors that determine success or failure, Forex traders also have to understand the conditions that can determine if they will succeed in or not.

One of the first trading conditions is the broker type: Is your broker an ECN, Market Maker or STP execution broker? Market makers operate dealing desks, which is where Forex orders of various clients are matched. STP brokers provide execution at the interbank Forex market. Whether your trades end up on a dealing desk or at the interbank Forex market can impact your entry prices, spreads, and your ability to profit.

The Ins and Outs of Spreads

Now that we have mentioned spreads, it is important to discuss them in detail. Spreads are the difference between the bid and ask price in any Forex quote. This is the broker’s compensation. Long trades are executed at the ask price, and short trades at the bid price. Spreads can be fixed (with market makers) or they can be variable (STP and ECN brokers).

Different brokers have different spreads for each currency pair. The spread is a cost to the trader, so the lower the spread is, the more desirable it is for the trader. Spreads also differ from one currency pair to the other. Spreads are lowest in liquid pairs such as the EUR/USD and GBP/USD, and are highest in exotic pairs such as the USD/ZAR or USD/NOK. Before you trade a currency pair, you should know what the spread for that pair is and how the cost of the spread will affect your profit targets.

Commissions are typically charged by ECN and STP brokers for trade entries and trade exits. Market makers do not charge a commission. So if you use an STP or ECN broker, you must also factor in the cost of the commissions for each trade as well as the spread costs.

Asset Types: Not Just Forex Trading

The best Forex platforms for beginners now offer a wide array of asset classes for trading. A typical Forex platform offers not just currency pairs, but also stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Each asset class comes with its own leverage provisions, spreads, trading hours and contract specifications. Overnight swap charges also differ and may impact your profit margins.

Broker Fees

You should also be aware of any fees associated with deposits or withdrawals using certain payment methods. E-wallets, credit/debit cards and bank wires are the common payment pathways on Forex broker platforms. Be aware of what your broker charges in terms of admin fees and take note of processing times.

Many of the best beginner Forex brokers also operate a cold wallet system which allows the trader to move funds from a wallet in the members’ area to the trading platform, where such funds can be used for trading.

The Importance of Good Customer Support

It is essential that beginners get good customer support from their broker. Gone are the days when brokers provided only 18 hours of customer support, 5 days a week. These days, the best Forex platforms for beginners should provide customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What is the value of weekend hours for beginners? The weekends are a good time for beginners to go through the trades they made in the week and study them to see where they went wrong or where things went well. Occasionally, there are issues that may need clarification from the broker’s end. Besides, some of the best beginner Forex brokers now provide trading of assets such as cryptocurrencies, which can be traded on weekends.

Customer support channels have been radically expanded with the advent of various social media channels. Apart from the traditional channels such as telephone, email, live chat and online contact forms, the best Forex brokers for beginners also offer social media channels such as Telegram, Facebook, and Twitter. The visibility of these social media channels to the public usually ensures fast and timely responses to any issues the trader might have.

Customer support is generally multi-lingual. Apart from English, many brokers now offer customer support in French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and Mandarin. It is important to have a customer support agent who speaks your language and understands the local needs of your region. The 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 varying needs of their clients.

The Best Forex Platforms

Trading platforms are the software that connects the trader with the broker and the rest of the Forex market. They allow traders to buy and sell currency pairs and conduct other functions such as chart studies, strategy optimisation and trade analysis. A trading platform usually has a front-end (the trader’s side) and a back-end (the broker’s side).

The front end consists of the client terminal which the trader either downloads onto a desktop computer or laptop, or it can be the web-based software or mobile app that is downloaded onto a smartphone/tablet device. This is the end from which the trader can analyse the market and place trades.

The back-end is a more complicated piece of software. This is used by the broker and harnesses information and data from the hundreds of thousands of clients that use the broker’s platform. The back end also synchronises payment solutions, clearing and settlement and handles deposit and withdrawal requests.

Which Trading Platform for You?

MetaTrader 4 – MT4 is the most popular retail Forex trading platform. It was launched in 2005 and since then, it has become the mainstay of most of the best beginner Forex brokers. It has a programming interface for coding and remodelling robots (MQL4) and indicators. It also has a robust charting feature which features several tools and indicators such as line tools, Fibonacci tools, Gann tools, trend and momentum indicators as well as volume indicators.

MetaTrader 5 – Metaquotes has tried hard to replace MT4 with MT5, but the company has simply not been able to do it. So after many tweaks and announcements intended to shift attention away from MT4 to MT5, the company has simply decided to let both platforms run together. However, MT5 is really an improvement over MT4 if you know how to get the best out of the extra features. Some of the extras in the MT5 include a Depth of Market tool, an in-built economic calendar as well as expanded time frames for trading. It also has an improved backtesting process for trading robots.

cTrader – This platform was created by Spotware Systems to provide a market execution-only, non-intervention system of trading Forex. It also goes hand-in-hand with the cAlgo platform, which is used to program algorithmic trading strategies for use on cTrader. cTrader offers features such as cTrader Copy, which is a copy trade system that allows signals providers sell their service to other cTrader users. cTrader also has an Open API and a FIX API, as well as a web-based platform.

Proprietary platforms – Some brokers have their own platform software. These are usually web-based platforms and have most of the features you will find in MT5 or cTrader. Some have the added advantage of being easy to use for beginners. Notable examples of proprietary platforms are the eToro social trading platform, IG Market’s Webtrader and the brand new MarketsX platform from Markets.com.

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, great trading conditions and a free and seamless system for the deposits and withdrawal of any profits made from your trading endeavours.

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

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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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