By Jeffrey Cammack Author Information Updated: July 2, 2020

Released in 2010, MT5 is the latest version of the industry-leading MetaTrader trading software. MT5 features an advanced charting package, a depth of market indicator, a built-in economic calendar, an embedded chat system and a more intuitive interface than MT4.

Though MT4 is still the industry standard, MT5 has gained in popularity in recent years. While many of MT5’s benefits can be added to MT4 via plugins and other attachments, the MT5 scripting language is not backwards compatible. This means that any indicators and expert advisors created for MT5 will not work in MT4 and vice versa.

These are the best MT5 brokers in South Africa in 2020. If you are thinking of switching to MT5 - or starting your trading career with MT5 - one of these brokers will suit your needs. Use the filters to narrow the list until you find the right one.

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  • Broker
    XM

    XM  - Best MT5 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 has achieved substantial growth since 2009, earning 1.5 million clients living in 196 countries. Regulated by three major regulators and the recipient of many industry awards, XM Group stands out from a crowded field of market maker brokers for their customer service and educational support.

    XM Group has extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the global financial markets. XM’s operational philosophy is aimed at client satisfaction and low client turnover; they earn client loyalty through award-winning 24/5 personal customer service, varied account types and competitive trading conditions.

    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
    FxPro

    FxPro  - Most Trusted Broker

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

    With over 870,000 client accounts, FxPro is one of the biggest international brokers regulated in South Africa. Major awards shows and institutions are continually showering FxPro with honours including top accolades like Best Broker 2018 and Best Forex Trading Experience 2018, which is the pinnacle of success.

    The account options at FxPro are arranged by platform, which is not the case at most other brokers. Accounts are available with either MT4, MT5 and cTrader, where all accounts have a demo option, and the same minimum deposit of 100 USD and a spread as low as 0.6 pips.

    The education section is smaller than that of other leading brokers. Despite the lack of structure and depth, the material that is offered is updated and honest and hosted webinars are free to join a couple of times a week.

    FxPro is the broker choice for traders who need a reputable international broker while still being FSCA regulated, supporting a broad platform choice and a reasonable minimum deposit.

    Pros

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Tight spreads

    Cons

    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    FxPro cTrader0.45 pips$4.50MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT41.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT51.52 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Islamic1.2 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    FP Markets

    FP Markets  - Best Trading Conditions

    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 is an ASIC-regulated, STP broker with simple account options and an exciting set of tools for traders with higher minimum deposits. Spreads are tight, even on the Standard Account, and the lack of dealing desk intervention for all accounts removes any concern over conflict of interest.

    Trader education and market analysis are slightly weaker than other brokers, but the material presented is well-structured and useful. Overall, FP Markets is an excellent choice for beginner and more experienced traders alike.

    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
    MarketsX

    MarketsX  - Best Trading Platforms

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    Trading Desk Type
    Trading Conditions
    11110.5
    Minimum Deposit
    ZAR 2500
    Customer Support
    • Website Language: English
    • Support Language: English
    Trading Platforms

    Marketsx is a premium trading platform. It’s operated by Markets.com and offers traders fast, low-cost trading on over 2,200 financial instruments. Marketsx provides CFD trading on global stock, forex, commodity, indices, cryptocurrency, ETF and bond markets. Clients in the UK can also use spread bets on applicable instruments.

    The proprietary Marketx trading platform is packed full of features and trading tools and is optimised for lightning execution. As well as in-depth charting and asset comparison tools, Marketsx also gives traders a wealth of decision-supporting data with sentiment tools, tutorials, and regular live-streamed, expert analysis.

    Owned by Tradetech Markets (South Africa) Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Playtech PLC, Markets.com (South Africa) SA is one of the best-recognised Forex brands.

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • High minimum deposit
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Live0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 250 Account Details
  • Broker
    FXTM

    FXTM  - Most Assets Available

    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 regulated by the FCA, CySEC and the FSCA in South Africa and the educational material offered is first-class. By keeping the focus on beginners looking for reasonable trading conditions, the FXTM team of educators and analysts have succeeded in creating a welcoming environment for new traders. Additionally, FXTM are one of the few brokers with 24/7 support, allowing new traders to get set up on weekends or holidays.

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Expensive withdrawals
    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
    ThinkMarkets

    ThinkMarkets  - Best Education

    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

All Forex Brokers in South Africa

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Pros and Cons of Using MT5 Trading Software

Metatrader 5 (MT5) is the most recent version of the industry-standard MetaTrader trading platform. Though it is not as popular as MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MT5 is supported by a number of well-regarded brokers.

Recently, MetaQuotes – the makers of MetaTrader – have stopped handing out new licences for MT4 as they attempt to move retail traders onto the more modern MT5 platform. This has resulted in many more MT5 Forex brokers, with some brokers replacing their support for MT4 altogether. There are lots of good reasons to trade with an MT5 broker:

  • True Multi-Asset Platform: Much like MT4, MT5 allows traders to access the Forex market via a broker, but it also provides native access to other CFDs, like stocks, futures and commodities. This also means that it is more valuable for brokers as it allows them to reach a broader base of clientele.
  • Compliance: MT5 also makes it easier to comply with US restrictions on hedging by aggregating all open positions – preventing traders from individually managing open positions separately, though this can be deactivated upon request. 
  • Better Scripting: MT5 comes with a new script-writing language, MQL5, which is much more efficient than MQL4, if harder to learn for beginners. 
  • Advanced Charting: Though the interface is similar to MT4’s, MT5 has more advanced charting tools, including 12 more timeframes and more built-in technical indicators. 
  • Modern Features: MT5 also allows for an unlimited number of charts to be used, shows Depth of Market and has a built-in Economic Calendar. It also has a larger number of pending order types than MT4 and features an embedded chat system.

Keep in mind that MT5 scripts are not backwards compatible with MT4 – so anyone making the transition will lose all their EAs and indicators.

How to Choose an MT5 Broker?

Choosing a good MetaTrader 5 Forex broker is much the same as choosing any Forex broker. It is essential to look at the detail of each broker to find out what differentiates them from each other.  When looking for an MT5 broker, it is important to judge them on the following areas:

  • Regulation: The most important aspect of selecting an MT5 broker, as it is with any Forex broker. You want to make sure your funds are secure and kept in a segregated account and that your broker maintains a fair trading environment. FSCA regulation is best for South African traders but the safest brokers tend to be regulated by the FCA, CySEC or ASIC.
  • Broker Type: Most brokers are either ECN/STP or Market Makers, but some can be a combination of both. You will find that many brokers will provide an ECN/STP service on their higher-deposit account types while acting as a Market Maker for their Cent and Standard accounts. Many of the best MT5 brokers are ECN/STPs.
  • Trading Conditions: This includes what kind of spreads are available, how much leverage is offered, and how many currency pairs are available. These factors will directly impact your profit or loss, so you don’t want any surprises.
  • Minimum Deposit: This changes by account type for many brokers, with higher minimum deposits often linked to better trading conditions. We will always highlight the minimum deposit available regardless of the account type.
  • Deposit and Withdrawal Methods: All brokers accept traditional payment types such as debit/credit cards and bank transfers, many accept online payments through Skrill and Neteller, and some will also accept Bitcoin. Always check for deposit and withdrawal fees, a few brokers charge a percentage fee for some withdrawals methods, making large drawdowns very expensive. 

MetaTrader: A brief history

Metatrader is a series of electronic trading platforms developed by my MetaQuotes software which allows retail (independent individual) traders to access financial markets via a broker. 

All versions of MetaTrader software have a client-side – which is downloaded to a trader’s desktop, mobile phone or accessed through a browser – and a server-side – which is run by a broker and provides the trader with access to financial markets and allows them to place trades.

The most common version of MetaTrader is MetaTrader 4 (MT4), which was built exclusively for trading the Forex market. MT4 was originally developed in 2005 and became successful mainly because it allowed the user to build their own automated trading scripts using the proprietary MQL4 coding language. Not only can users build their own scripts but they can make them available for other traders to use or purchase.

MT4 is now almost fifteen years old and certainly appears dated, though its excellence as a platform for trading the Forex market remains relatively undisputed, though some would argue that cTrader is a superior platform

Should I use MetaTrader 5?

The answer to this question depends on what you want from your platform and your previous trading experience. 

If you are going to be trading more than Forex but want to have a standalone client then MT5 is a good platform. If you are only looking to trade Forex and want a simpler, more user-friendly platform, then it may be a good idea to start with MT4. 

If you already have some experience with MT4 and are thinking of switching, it really depends on your reasons why. The only significant reason I can think of for switching to MT5 is if you want to trade other markets. The significant reason for not switching is that programmes written for MT4 will not run in MT5, so you will lose all your EAs, indicators and automated scripts in the transition.

The big question is how much longer MT4 is going to be supported by the main brokers. It is unquestionably the industry standard at present and recent upgrades to the MQL4 language have made it almost as easy and efficient as MQL5 to create automated trading scripts.

That said, more brokers are offering MT5 all the time and some have chosen to only support MT5 from now on – probably at the behest of MetaQuotes themselves. If you are just starting out trading there is something to be said for getting used to MT5 before it starts overtaking its older sibling – which will inevitably happen.

Final Thoughts

MT5 will eventually overtake MT4 as the industry standard (unless one of the MetaQuotes competitors get there first) it’s just a matter of when.

The fact that MT5 is more feature-complete supports trading across all financial markets and allows for advanced script testing makes it very appealing to both brokers and traders. Allowing hedging for non-US users was a removal of a major obstacle to widespread support for MT5.

The only remaining problem is the lack of backwards compatibility with MT4 robots and EAs – and this is a problem that is never going to go away.

If you use MT4 and you love it, stick with it as it’s going to remain the gold standard for a few years yet – unless you want to trade the other markets. If you are new to trading it’s worth considering going straight to MT5.

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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)

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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. 

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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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