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This is our list of best Forex demo accounts for South African residents. The best demo accounts for South Africans are operated by FSCA-regulated brokers and offer risk-free trading on Forex and cryptocurrencies. It’s also important to consider whether a demo account will expire or if you can keep it open forever. 

Free Forex trading demo accounts are the best way for South African beginner traders to learn how to trade the Forex market. With a free demo account, traders can learn how the Forex market works without risking any of their own money. 

To create this list we also rated the quality of each broker’s trading platform, education and the trading conditions on their entry-level accounts. These are important because many demo account traders want to open a live trading account with the same broker. These are the best demo trading accounts for South Africans in 2021.

  • AvaTrade - Best Overall Demo Account
  • FXTM - Best ECN Demo Account
  • IronFX - Best Regulated Demo Account
  • HotForex - Best MT4 Demo Account
  • XM - Best MT5 Demo Account
  • CM Trading - Best Demo Account by an SA Broker
  • IG Markets - Best Customer Support
  • XTB - Best Demo Account Platform
  • BDSwiss - Best Market Research
  • Eightcap - Best ASIC-regulated Demo Account

The best Forex demo accounts in SA

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Broker
Overall Rating
Official Site
Beginner Course
Unlimited Demo
Downloadable Ebook
Beginner Videos
Economic Calendar
Experienced Course
Advanced Videos
Webinars
Min. Deposit
Platforms
Regulated
Support Hours
Compare
AvaTrade
4.48 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
ZAR 1500
Avatrade Social
AvaOptions
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
Financial Services Agency
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Central Bank of Ireland
24/5
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 10
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Financial Services Commission
24/7
IronFX
3.74 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 50
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
24/7
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
ZAR 70
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
24/5
XM
4.25 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 5
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
International Financial Services Commission
24/5
CM Trading
3.24 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 250
Sirix
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
24/5
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 250
L2 Dealer
ProRealTime
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Financial Services Agency
Commodity Futures Trading Association
Finansinspektionen
24/5
XTB
4.14 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 5
xStation5
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Dubai Financial Services Authority
International Financial Services Commission
24/5
BDSwiss
4.32 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
USD 100
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
24/5
Eightcap
4.13 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
AUD 100
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Vanuatu
Securities Commission of the Bahamas
24/5
Plus500
4.09 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
ZAR 1500
Plus500
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand
24/7

How To Choose A Demo Account

Beginner traders should always use a demo account before using a real trading account. Demo accounts are a risk-free setup, which lets traders learn about Forex trading without losing money. While beginner traders will use demo accounts to test trading platforms and learn how trading works, experienced traders will use a demo account for testing new strategies without the risk of losing capital. In South Africa, traders need to consider the following when comparing demo accounts.

Regulation: Even with a demo account, regulation is important. In South Africa, brokers are regulated by the FSCA which provides protection for South African residents. FSCA regulation ensures that the Forex platform is secure and trustworthy and that traders are treated fairly. Other good regulators include the FCA in the UK, CySEC in Europe and ASIC in Australia. Many non-South African brokers will be regulated in small island states like Vanuatu, Seychelles or Mauritius. Regulation from these small island countries is not an issue when trading with a demo account. But most of these smaller regulators do not require brokers to offer negative balance protection or even segregated accounts, which is an unnecessary risk when using a real account.  

Account Size and Currency: Different Forex brokers will give you different amounts of money in your demo account. Some brokers will offer as little as 10,000 USD, others will offer 100,000 or even 1,000,000 USD. When you feel almost ready to start trading with a real account, you should use the same amount of money in your demo account as you plan to have in your real account. This will give you a better idea of the limitations and market conditions you will have when trading. Many brokers in South Africa will also offer Rand (ZAR) trading demo accounts. If you plan to use a ZAR account when you start trading with your own money it’s wise to use a ZAR demo account too.

Demo Account Expiry: Some demo accounts will expire after a set period of time, usually 30-90 days. The best demo accounts will never expire, or will only expire after a period of inactivity. As a general rule, demo accounts should always be kept open. Even experienced traders use demo accounts to test new strategies or try out trading on new assets. If your demo account does expire and you still want to keep it open, it is always worth getting in touch with your broker’s customer service to ask them to reopen it or extend it. 

Financial Instruments: All Forex brokers in South Africa will offer Forex trading, but most South African traders want to trade other instruments, too. If you’re interested in trading cryptocurrencies or stock CFDs make sure that your demo account broker offers those instruments.

Trading platform: The first thing you should learn with a demo account is how to manage your trading platform. The most popular trading platforms are MT4, MT5 and cTrader but many brokers will have their own trading platforms too. MT4, MT5 and cTrader can be used with multiple brokers, but a broker’s own platform can only be used with that broker. With some MT4 demo accounts, you will not be able to trade stocks, as MT4 does not connect natively to centralised exchanges. So, if you want to switch brokers in the future – or use multiple brokers – and want to trade stocks, be careful which platform you start with.

Customer service: Demo accounts are mainly used by beginners, and beginners often need customer service support. Most South African brokers will offer local customer support in Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans and English while most international brokers will only offer English customer support. Almost all brokers offer 24-hour customer support during the workweek these days, but some brokers still only offer office hours support. If you are still learning how to trade and expect to be trading overnight, make sure that your broker can help you out with technical or admin support in the night.


AvaTrade – Best Overall Demo Account

Founded in Ireland in 2006, AvaTrade is an FSCA regulated broker with a free demo account available on the broker’s webtrader platform, MT4, MT5 and its mobile app, AvaTradeGO. South African traders can trade 1250+ instruments, including Forex, cryptocurrency, stocks, commodities, and indices. Voted the best Forex Trading App 2020, the AvaTradeGO mobile app has a sophisticated dashboard, complete with a set of intuitive management tools, clear zoomable charts, and many more helpful features.

  • The demo account includes a 100,000 USD balance
  • The demo account expires after 21 days but can be extended by contacting customer service.
  • AvaTrade has a library of educational material, tools and analysis to help beginners get started.
  • Customer support is available 24/5.
Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited market analysis
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.

FXTM – Best ECN Demo Account

Regulated by the FSCA in South Africa since 2016, FXTM is a hybrid market maker/ECN broker offering trading on Forex, commodities, metals, stocks, and indices. The free demo account at FXTM allows clients to trade 60 Forex pairs on their choice of the MT4 or MT5 trading platforms. The FXTM demo account never expires and is available as an option on all account types, including FXTM’s market execution Advantage and Advantage Plus Accounts.

  • High-quality educational material for new traders. The comprehensive education section includes articles, videos, and webinars.
  • Additional set of videos covering analysis topics and chart reading techniques. Market analysis is updated daily and offering many trading ideas.
  • FXTM Invest: Unique copy trading platform, which allows traders to copy the trades of experienced traders.
Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 2000:1. 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.

IronFX – Best Regulated Demo Account

Founded in 2010, IronFX is licenced by CySEC, ASIC, the FCA, and the FSCA, an impressive list of highly regarded regulators. IronFX is a market maker with MT4 support and award-winning education and research material for traders. Traders can choose between four demo accounts and all four come preloaded with 100,000 USD. South African traders can choose from variable leverage up to 1:1000.

  • 4 demo accounts: Floating Spread, Zero Spread, Absolute Zero, No Commission
  • Demo Accounts expire after three weeks.
  • Educational videos covering trading strategy, market analysis, social trading, crypto trading, and trading psychology for beginners.
  • Market analysis is updated daily by the dedicated IronFX research team.
Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
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. Only MT4 platform supported. IronFX is regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA - FSP:45276.

HotForex – Best MT4 Demo Account

HotForex is an FSCA-regulated STP broker with low-cost ZAR accounts for South African traders and trading products including Forex, commodities, indices, shares, bonds, and ETFs. The HotForex demo account never expires and comes with 100,000 USD preloaded on both MT4 and MT5. But the MT4 Demo Account experience is the standout here; with access to expert advisors for auto-trading and over 50 built-in indicators, this is the better MT4 demo experience for new traders.

  • 70 ZAR minimum deposit for live accounts
  • Award-winning 24/5 customer service
  • High-quality structured courses and market analysis will benefit beginners and intermediate traders
  • No deposit or withdrawal fees for South African beginners making the step up to a live account
Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.00 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.

XM – Best MT5 Demo Account

Awarded the Global Forex Broker of the Year 2020 in the Global Forex Awards, XM is a market maker offering trading on Forex, stock CFDs, commodities, equities, precious metals and energies. It also has a low-cost stockbroking service. The demo account at XM is funded with a 100,000 USD virtual balance, does not expire after a set time, and is available on both the MT4 and MT5 platforms. XM’s MT5 Demo Account is aimed at traders who want to trade more than just Forex:

  • 1000+ instruments available, including stock CFDs, stock indices, precious metals and commodities
  • The MT5 demo account also features a market depth indicator, hedging, and full EA functionality.
  • For beginner traders, XM Group’s educational content is world-class and is mainly in video form.
  • Educational offering split into three Education Rooms, aimed at traders of differing skill levels – primary, intermediate and advanced.
Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.

CM Trading – Best Demo Account by an SA Broker

Founded in 2012 in Sandton, CM Trading is a market maker with six trading accounts, including two ECN accounts, and tradeable instruments including Forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities, oil, and metals. CM Trading’s demo account is available on both MT4 and Sirix Webtrader, allowing users to copy other traders’ strategies. The CM Trading live account offers spreads starting at 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD. It is a reasonable choice for new traders who want educational material and access to the CopyKat copy-trading system.

  • The demo account is free, but traders need to first open a live account.
  • Demo account pre-loaded with 5,000 – 50,000 USD, up to the trader.
  • Maximum leverage is 200:1, and both MetaTrader 4 and Sirix Webtrader platforms are available.
Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Great customer support
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Local regulation only
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Sirix platforms supported. CM Trading is regulated by the FSCA.

IG Markets – Best Customer Support

The world’s largest broker, IG Markets is a market maker regulated by the FCA, ASIC and the FSCA. IG Markets offers both a Domestic Demo Account and an International Demo Account. The Domestic Demo Account gives South African traders 1 million Rand of virtual money but does not allow for Forex trading – the only tradeable markets are South African stocks, ETFs, and the SA 40 index.

The International Demo Account has 10,000 USD preloaded but offers access to all 17,000 instruments available at IG Markets (including all Forex pairs). This demo account is available on both MT4 and the IG Markets’ web trading platform. Both demo accounts are unlimited and provide free access to the IG Academy’s educational content.

With the Award for Best Forex Educators 2018 (UK Forex Awards), IG Markets provides accessible and high-quality educational material for beginner traders. Market analysis is equally superb, and 24-hour customer support is available from IG Markets’ offices in Johannesburg.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
  • Excellent market analysis
Cons
  • High minimum deposit
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.85 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4, ProRealTime and L2 Dealer platforms supported. IG Markets Group is regulated by FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA.

XTB – Best Demo Account Platform

FSCA-regulated since 2021, XTB offers trading on over 2100 financial assets including Forex, indices, commodities, stock CFDs, ETF CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. The XTB demo account automatically expires after 30 days, but a new one can be re-opened at any time and there is no limit on the number of demo accounts that can be opened. The XTB demo account gives traders an opportunity to familiarise themselves with XTB’s platform, xStation 5. xStation 5 is an intuitive and award-winning platform that shows sentiment data and offers powerful charting tools, one-click trading, and real-time performance statistics so traders can identify areas for improvement.

  • Demo account pre-loaded with 100,000 USD
  • xStation 5 is available in a web browser, on mobile for iOS and Android, and on desktop for Windows and Mac
  • Market analysis available from inside the trading platform
  • For beginners, the XTB Trading Academy offers clear and concise learning structured like a course.
Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Good for beginners
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.40 pips on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. xStation5 platform supported. XTB Group is regulated by CySEC, FCA, the DFSA, the FSCA, and the IFSC

BDSwiss – Best Market Research Provider

Founded in 2012, BDSwiss offers trading on Forex, commodities, shares, indices, and over 26 cryptocurrencies.  BDSwiss is not regulated by the FSCA in South Africa, but by the Seychelles FSA, giving South Africans fewer protections. But the free demo account at BDSwiss comes with 10,000 USD virtual credit and will not expire at any time. It is available on MT4, MT5, the BDSwiss WebTrader and BDSwiss’ mobile trading app.

  • Adding another demo account or changing the demo account balance can be done by contacting the BDSwiss support team
  • Winner of our award for the Best Market Research Provider of 2020, beginner trader’s will benefit from BDSwiss’ market research
  • BDSwiss has trading accounts for both beginners and experienced traders, including a Raw Account with spreads down to 0 pips.
  • All accounts benefit from fast execution speeds, with 97.5% of all trades executed in less than 0.2 seconds. 
Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
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 platforms supported. BDSwiss is regulated by CySEC, BaFin, the FSC, and the FSA-Seychelles.

Eightcap – Best ASIC-regulated Demo Account

Founded in Australia in 2009, Eightcap is regulated in Australia and supports the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. In addition to Forex, Eightcap’s demo account offers trading on a selection of indices, commodities, and US and Australian shares. Share trading is available on the demo account, though only on the MT5 platform, and includes 250 of the largest US and Australian stocks. Alongside big US tech companies like Tesla, Apple, and Google the shares of Australian majors like BHP Group and Commonwealth Bank are also available.

  • The Eightcap demo account expires after 30 days but can be converted to an unlimited demo account by contacting customer support.
  • Two account types are available as demos: One commission-free Standard Account and a Raw Account with tight spreads and a commission of 3.5 USD per lot
  • EAs, scalping, and hedging are also allowed on both accounts.

 

Pros
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
Cons
  • Limited demo account
  • No swap-free account option
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 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Eightcap Markets is regulated by ASIC, the SCB, & the VFSC.

What is a Forex Trading Demo Account?

Demo accounts are trading accounts that let you trade on live markets with pretend money. You can use them to practice trading all manner of financial instruments including foreign exchange (Forex). Any trades you make will behave exactly as they would if you were using real money in a real trading account. This type of trading is also known as “paper trading” since no real money is involved. Demo accounts are a great way to learn how a trading platform works without the fear of losing money as you get to grips with the basics of trading as a beginner.

Trading platforms offer demo accounts to allow prospective customers to try out their knowledge and practise strategies before committing their hard-earned savings for real. Just as trainee pilots spend many hours on flight simulators learning how to fly a real aeroplane, demo accounts allow would-be forex traders to make all kinds of mistakes – and hopefully learn valuable lessons in the process – in a risk-free environment.

Demo accounts are always free, but some are better than others. Most traders who use a demo account will go on to open a live account with the same broker, but opening a demo account with a broker does not mean that you are tied to them. Demo accounts differ little from broker to broker, but they are a good way of learning how a particular broker operates and deciding if you want to use them.

Why use a demo account?

You can make money trading currencies and other financial instruments, but prospering at any endeavour requires hard work, determination and practice. The harder you work and the more practice you undertake, the more likely you are to succeed – and it clearly makes sense to practise as much as you can when you are considering risking your money trading forex. This is a highly complex financial market and you will be risking your savings against seasoned professionals who have spent years honing their skills and strategies. Moreover, many traders work for large institutions with vast technical and financial resources.

In short, the odds are stacked against you as a beginner. You can win, but only if you make the most of the resources available to you – and the most important of those is the demo account. So, research the market and find out what it takes to be a successful forex trader. Look for simple, profitable trading strategies, learn by heart how to implement them, and then rehearse them over and over again on a demo account.

Demo accounts are also useful when you have gained some experience in trading, to test out new strategies without the risk of losing capital.

Do all forex brokers offer demo accounts?

Most but not all do. Choosing a reputable broker is one of the critical factors determining success in FX trading. There are many issues to consider before you choose a forex broker and the ability to practise on a free demo account is among the key ones. All the brokers we recommend offer this option.

Is a forex demo account free?

Yes. Reputable brokers offer free demo accounts because they want you to deposit money with them and become long-term customers. That is more likely if you are able to trade successfully – and the best way of ensuring you will be successful is to learn the ins and outs of their trading platform and how to implement successful strategies.

How do you open a forex trading demo account?

It is very easy to open a demo account. Having decided which broker you wish to use, you simply:

  • Fill in a registration form
  • Receive a demo account number and a trader’s password
  • Download the software, often the well-known MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms.

You can explore the platform within a few minutes of opening an account and start learning how forex trading works. It is much easier to open a demo account than a live account, a process that usually requires traders to send some form of an identification document to the broker, fill out an application, and make a deposit.

Here is a video tutorial showing how to open a demo account on FXTM, but the process is similar to other brokers.

How does a demo account work?

Demo accounts work in exactly the same manner as real live accounts using real money. That is why they are so useful. The amount of virtual money you are given varies from broker to broker. Some brokers will offer as little as US$10,000, while others will offer US$100,000 or even US$1,000,000. When you feel almost ready to start trading with a real account, you should use the same amount of money in your demo account as you plan to have in your real account. This will give you a better idea of the limitations and market conditions you will face when trading.

Financial instruments: All reputable forex brokers will, of course, offer forex trading, but most traders also want to trade other instruments. If you are interested in trading commodities or stock CFDs, make sure that your demo-account broker offers those instruments.

Tips for using a forex demo account

You should approach the use of a demo account in the same way as if you were using real money. That way, you will get the most out of the experience. For example, real trading can spark a strong emotional response and you have to be aware of how this can influence your decision-making. The fear of making losses, for example, can cause a trader to execute their trade too early or hold on to a position for too long in hopes of the market reversing. Greed, meanwhile, can drive a trader to make reckless decisions.

Monitor your emotions and make the trading experience more realistic by giving yourself a reward for trading well or withholding something if your trading is poor. Do anything that will make the experience more realistic. That will allow you to learn to control your emotions and stop them from influencing your trading decisions in the live market.

It is also a good idea to practise with the same amount of capital that you would deploy if you were trading for real. That will prepare you better for live trading and will give you a better understanding of how much money you could realistically make… and how much you could lose.

  • Research and open/close a trade

A forex trade involves a simultaneous purchase of one currency and the sale of another, the combination of which is commonly referred to as a cross pair. You can open virtual trading positions – using a demo account – for just about any currency pair you wish, make use of various trading tools and features into your positions, and see how the trade would have fared had it been in the real market. 

Imagine you have a demo account and you have decided to focus on trading the euro against the US dollar. The currency that is used as reference is called the quote currency (in this case the euro), while the currency that is quoted in relation is called the base currency, the US dollar in this example. Trading platforms generally show one ticker symbol per each currency pair, and the EUR/USD currency pair’s ticker symbol is EUR.USD

Imagine you expect the euro’s value to rise against the dollar, you would then “buy the pair”. If you were expecting the euro to fall in value against the greenback you would “sell the pair”. In this case, based on your analysis you believe it is a good time to buy euros as you anticipate the currency will rise further. Having clicked in the ticker symbol (using the Meta 4 platform) to get the EUR.USD, you will see a chart showing how the pairs are performing. You simply press the buy button in the top left-hand corner of the screen to execute a buy order and a green horizontal line will immediately appear showing at what price you bought into the market. You also are shown how the trade is performing in terms of profit or loss. Any profit or loss is notional until you close the position, again achieved with the click of a mouse.

The decision whether to buy or sell or even whether to trade at all will be based on analysis you have already conducted. The two main types of research are fundamental and technical. Fundamental analysis is based on a thorough understanding of the impact of political, economic and social factors on the relative value of a currency, and using that knowledge to develop informed trading decisions. Technical analysis involves using historical price movements and patterns to try and predict future price movements.

  • Exploring the platform

Demo accounts are the perfect way to find out how a trading platform works, allowing you to explore the platform without risking any real money. Try to find the answers to questions such as the following:

Is the platform easy to navigate? Can you adjust it to best suit your specific needs?

Does the platform work well on the device you favour and using your internet connection?

Does it contain all the instruments you are ever likely to need to trade?

Do you understand how to conduct research into trades? Are you able to use the tools for technical analysis, charting, etc and do they suit your particular needs?

Do you understand how to open and close positions, apply stops and limits, and do other trading-related tasks?

Do you know how to use the platform to implement a particular trading strategy?

Can you easily gain get access to information about your previous trades and is it easy to analyse them to learn how to improve as a trader?

Do the news feed work well and does it contain useful information?

Is there a watch-list feature? This is a list of financial securities that are monitored for potential future trading opportunities.

  • Understanding the basics of forex strategies

Forex trading strategies help traders decide when or where to buy or sell a currency pair. They are simply a set of rules that help a trader determine when to enter a trade, how to manage it and when to close it. There are many, many strategies available.  Fortunately, there is also a vast amount of information available on forex strategies, from books to YouTube videos to the educational information offered on broker platforms.

No single strategy is best, and the type of strategy you decide to employ depends upon many factors, not least your skill and experience. As a beginner, it is best to focus on the most basic and effective strategies. Other variables include: how much time you want to devote to trading; which pairs you want to focus on; the size of your positions; whether you are going long or short etc, etc. Moreover, some may work better in certain situations than others.  A demo account allows you to practise these strategies over and over again until you find the ones that you are most comfortable with and are ready to use in live trading.

A trading strategy can be very simple or very complex.

  • Charting and trading tools

Learn how to interpret and utilise charts, from testing technical indicators to identifying patterns on a demo account. You can also learn how to interpret and utilise information from news feeds and market data.

  • Find out what the customer service is like

Demo accounts are used mainly by beginners, and beginners often need customer support. Almost all brokers offer 24-hour customer support during the working week, but some still offer only office-hours support. If you are still learning how to trade and expect to be trading overnight, make sure that your broker can help you out with technical or administrative support during the night.

FAQs

How long do demo accounts stay open?

Some demo accounts will expire after a set period of time, usually 30–90 days. The best demo accounts, however, will never expire or will only expire after a period of inactivity. As a general rule, demo accounts should always be kept open. Even experienced traders use demo accounts to test new strategies or try out trading on new assets. If your demo account does expire and you still want to keep it open, it is always worth getting in touch with your broker’s customer service department to ask them to reopen it or extend it.

Here are the FSCA regulated brokers with unlimited demo accounts. They are ordered by overall score, showing the broker with the highest overall score at the top. 

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Unlimited Demo
FSP #
All Regulators
Beginner Friendly
Beginner Course
Experienced Course
Beginner Videos
Advanced Videos
Webinars
No. of FX Pairs
Compare
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
41393
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Commodity Futures Trading Association
Excellent
80
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
46632
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
Excellent
53
Markets.com
4.49 /5
Read Review
43906
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Excellent
67
Tickmill
4.48 /5
Read Review
49464
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Labuan Financial Services Authority
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Excellent
62
Blackstone Futures
4.30 /5
Read Review
49846
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Securities Commission of the Bahamas
Excellent
32
FxPro
4.29 /5
Read Review
45052
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Excellent
70
FBS
4.23 /5
Read Review
50885
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
International Financial Services Commission
Excellent
37
ThinkMarkets
4.18 /5
Read Review
49835
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bermuda Monetary Authority
Excellent
46
IronFX
3.74 /5
Read Review
45276
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Standard
83
BKFX
3.69 /5
Read Review
49288
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Standard
40

Are demo accounts as accurate as real trading?

You will be trading the real market only with pretend money so they are accurate. Remember, however, that you can never replicate the real emotions you will experience when trading your own money.  So, while useful for practicing different approaches and strategies, traders are likely to behave far less cautiously on demo accounts than on a real, live account.

Why use a forex demo account?

A demo account allows you to learn all about forex trading without risking your own money. This is vital given that forex markets are highly complex and volatile and subject to seemingly random movements. Diving straight into trading your own money without any or very little experience is a recipe for financial disaster. Using a demo account helps you to build up your knowledge and this may take weeks and even months in a risk-free manner. At the very basic level, it can provide guidance on whether you can actually make money trading Forex, and whether it’s something you like doing. It can also, determine how much time, effort and money you want to devote to trading and influence your choice of strategies etc.

What is the difference between live and demo accounts?

There is no distinction other than the very important one that in a demo account you are trading without risk since no money is involved.

How long should I trade on a platform before depositing real money?

You should stay on the demo account until you completely understand the basics of forex trading and feel comfortable risking your own money. The answer will vary from individual to individual and will depend on your aptitude and how much effort and time you put into trading on the demo account. Never feel that you need to rush into live trading, the more time you spend practicing on a demo account the more likely you are to be successful using real money.

When you do start trading for real, begin with a small amount such as US$250 to US$500; any less limits the number of trades you can make. You need to be prepared to lose some or all of this money. Also, trade cautiously. You don’t want to risk more than 1% to 2% of your capital on each trade. That will allow you to make 50 to 100 trades, by which time you will be well placed to know if you can make a profit trading forex.  

Which trading platforms can I use with my demo account?

The type of trading platform you use will depend on which broker you open a demo account with. The most popular trading platforms are MT4, MT5 and cTrader. They can be used with multiple brokers, and all will prepare you for any number of potential markets. You may be unable to trade stocks with some demo accounts, so if you want to switch brokers in the future – or use multiple brokers – and want to trade stocks, be careful which platform you start with.

Many brokers also off their own speciality trading platforms but these tend to be devised for experienced traders with particular requirements. For example, there are speciality platforms aimed at technical and algorithmic traders (who use computer codes and software to open and close trades according to set rules such as points of price movement in an underlying market), and automated trading. 

Some brokers will offer more than one choice of platform. Choosing a broker with a wide platform choice would allow for the trader to try different trading platforms on the demo account. Here are the FSCA regulated brokers with a wide platform choice. They are ordered by overall score, showing the broker with the highest overall score at the top. 

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Broker
Overall Rating
Min. Deposit
All Platforms
FSP #
All Regulators
Unlimited Demo
Android App
iOS App
Support Hours
Compare
IG Markets
4.69 /5
Read Review
USD 250
L2 Dealer
ProRealTime
41393
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Commodity Futures Trading Association
24/5
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
ZAR 70
46632
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Financial Services Commission
24/5
Markets.com
4.49 /5
Read Review
ZAR 2500
43906
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
24/5
AvaTrade
4.48 /5
Read Review
ZAR 1500
Avatrade Social
AvaOptions
45984
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Central Bank of Ireland
24/5
Tickmill
4.48 /5
Read Review
USD 100
49464
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Labuan Financial Services Authority
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
24/5
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
USD 10
46614
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Financial Services Commission
24/7
Blackstone Futures
4.30 /5
Read Review
ZAR 1000
Cloud Trade
49846
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
Securities Commission of the Bahamas
24/5
FxPro
4.29 /5
Read Review
USD 100
FxProEdge
45052
FCA Regulated Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
Dubai Financial Services Authority
24/7
FXCM
4.24 /5
Read Review
USD 50
NinjaTrader
TradeStation
46534
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Bermuda Monetary Authority
24/5
FBS
4.23 /5
Read Review
USD 1
50885
CySEC Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
International Financial Services Commission
24/7
ThinkMarkets
4.18 /5
Read Review
USD 5
ThinkTrader
49835
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
FCA Regulated Brokers
ASIC Regulated Forex Brokers
Bermuda Monetary Authority
24/6
Exness
4.12 /5
Read Review
USD 1
51024
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
The Seychelles Financial Services Authority
24/7
ETX Capital
4.07 /5
Read Review
GBP 100
ETX
FCA Regulated Brokers
FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers
CySEC Regulated Brokers
Monday to Friday - 07:30 - 21:00 (CET)

Can I trade on my mobile?

You can download demo accounts on a laptop, desktop, and portable devices such as iPads and mobile phones. The main thing is to practise as often as you can, wherever you can.

Do Demo Accounts have Customer Support?

All brokers will have customer service open on weekdays, but the better brokers extend their customer service into the evenings and weekends. We include the customer service hours in our reviews and some of the tables on this page. Contact methods can vary from poor customer service ticketing systems (eToro) to direct email addresses and local toll-free phone numbers. Live chat and other messenger services are also available with some brokers, but responsiveness can vary depending on the time of day.

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 results 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 sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers and our advertiser disclosure.

References

FCA proposes stricter rules for contract for difference products – Press Release – Published: 06/12/2016 – https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-proposes-stricter-rules-contract-difference-products

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Featured Brokers

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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