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Best Forex Brokers for Beginners in 2021

Steven HatzakisBlain Reinkensmeyer

The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (five years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 50,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. How we test.

The best forex brokers for beginners offer three essential benefits. The first and most important is that they are a regulated and trusted brand that provides a user-friendly web-based platform. Second, they offer a strong variety of educational resources. Third, they provide access to quality market research.

In our review of forex and Contract for Difference, or CFD, broker offerings, we spent endless hours opening demo accounts, navigating forex platforms, conducting market research and testing website usability, as well as watching educational videos and webinars.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What is forex trading?

Forex trading is the process of exchanging one currency for another, known as buying or selling currency pairs, based on prevailing exchange rates from the forex market. The forex market is the largest global market, with nearly $6.59 trillion in currency traded on average per day.


What is a forex broker?

When it comes to trading foreign currency, you use a forex broker, also known as a currency trading broker, to place your trades. When you trade forex, you buy or sell in currency pairs, e.g., "EUR / USD" (Euro / U.S. Dollar). You open an account, deposit funds, then use the broker's trading platform to buy and sell currency using margin. The forex markets are open 24 hours a day, five days a week.

To learn more about the basics of trading forex, we recommend the School of Pipsology alongside the NFA's Trading Forex booklet.


The Best Forex Brokers for Beginners

Here's a summary of the best forex brokers for beginner forex traders.

  • Plus500 - Overall winner for beginners and ease of use
  • IG - Excellent education, most trusted
  • eToro - Best trading platform for copy trading
  • AvaTrade - Quality educational resources
  • CMC Markets - Best web trading platform, excellent education
  • XTB - Best customer service, great education
  • OANDA - Quality research, user-friendly platform
Plus500 logo

Overall winner for beginners and ease of use

Plus500 is a trusted global brand that offers online traders an easy-to-use trading platform and a thorough selection of CFD instruments. However, Plus500 trails industry leaders in market research and advanced trading tools desired by active traders. Disclosure: A trading platform recommended for beginners does not make it easy to make money. Trading is risky. Read full review

IG logo

Excellent education, most trusted - Visit Site

Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders the ultimate package of excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, competitive pricing, and an extensive list of tradeable products. This fantastic all-around experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2021. Read full review

eToro logo

Best trading platform for copy trading

eToro is excellent for social copy trading and cryptocurrency trading, and is our top pick for both categories in 2021. Furthermore, eToro offers a user-friendly web platform and mobile app that is great for casual investors, including beginners. Read full review

AvaTrade logo

Quality educational resources

AvaTrade is a trusted global brand best known for offering traders an extensive selection of trading platform options. Our testing found AvaTrade to be great for copy trading, competitive for mobile, mostly in line with the industry average for pricing and research, and a winner for investor education. Read full review

CMC Markets logo

Best web trading platform, excellent education

When it comes to education, CMC Markets competes with the best in the industry by offering forex and CFD traders a diverse selection of education in a variety of formats, including written articles, video updates, podcasts, and live webinars. Education aside, the CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform is fast, reliable, and comes packed with tools and features. Read full review

XTB logo

Best customer service, great education

As a trusted multi-asset broker, XTB offers traders outstanding customer service and an excellent trading experience overall thanks to the xStation 5 trading platform. I was left impressed with XTB's education offering, thanks to its extensive written content and video materials. The only drawback is a lack of live webinars currently, although archived recordings are available. Read full review

OANDA logo

Quality research, user-friendly platform

As a trusted global brand, OANDA provides forex and CFD traders a limited offering of FX pairs and CFDs but stands out for its reputation and quality market research. OANDA's trading platform suite, fxTrade, is easy-to-use for new forex traders. OANDA provides a good balance of educational materials in both written and video formats, along with webinars conducted by its staff. Read full review


Forex trading platforms education comparison

Taken from our forex broker comparison tool, here's a comparison of the education features for the best forex brokers for beginners.

Feature Plus500 IG
Visit Site
eToro AvaTrade
Has Education - Forex No Yes Yes Yes
Has Education - CFDs No Yes No No
Client Webinars No Yes Yes Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) No Yes No Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos No Yes Yes Yes
Videos - Advanced Trading Videos No Yes Yes Yes
Investor Dictionary (Glossary) No Yes Yes Yes



Is forex trading good for beginners?

Forex trading can be complex and may not be suitable for everyone. Whether forex is good for you will depend on your financial condition, goals, and how much investing experience you already have as a beginner.

Overall, beginners must exercise caution, especially as the majority of forex traders lose money. Also, leveraged forex trading - whether as a CFD or otherwise - is traded from a margin account, which means it is possible for you to incur a negative balance and lose more than you invest.

Note: If you’re a beginner, start by learning the risks associated with forex trading. Read all the educational materials that online forex brokers provide before trading with live funds.

A free demo account allows you to learn the software, and many beginners start with a small amount of risk capital, with the goal to establish a consistent trading record.


Can I teach myself forex trading?

Yes, the best forex brokers offer a variety of educational materials, such as articles and videos, that make it possible to teach yourself forex trading. While studying up doesn't guarantee success, it's an important first step. Plus500's simple platform design makes it a good one to learn on; some brokers, like IG, even offer progress tracking.


How do I start trading forex?

Before using real money, open a free demo account that lets you use the trading platform and learn how it works before making a deposit. After you learn the software and practice using the virtual account, you can open a live forex trading account and begin with an amount of risk capital that you can afford to lose.


Forex trading step by step

  1. 1. Choose only regulated brokers to open a live account.
  2. 2. Study free educational material.
  3. 3. Open a free demo account and practice.
  4. 4. Learn to use the trading software.
  5. 5. Develop a trading strategy.
  6. 6. Deposit a small amount of risk capital.
  7. 7. Focus on managing percentage returns.
  8. 8. Only scale when you have a consistent track record.

  9. Is forex trading profitable?

    The majority of traders lose money. Therefore, to beat the odds and make money trading forex, you must have a trading strategy that focuses not only on identifying trading opportunities (i.e., signals when to buy or sell) but also calculates the optimum trade size relative to your balance. In addition, the target risk and profit levels should be determined in advance using a stop-loss order and limit.

    This way, you have a plan on when to exit a trade, whether at a loss or profit. Because, to be successful in trading, you just need to keep your average losses smaller than your average profit. That’s harder than it sounds, but is the secret to making money trading forex.


    How do I choose a forex broker?

    It’s crucial to use a forex broker that holds the necessary licenses. Choosing a regulated broker that is permitted to offer services in your country helps you avoid potential scams. Also, by selecting a trusted forex broker that is well-capitalized, you reduce the risk of the broker going bankrupt and losing your deposit.

    Note: To select a forex broker, start by looking for brokers that are regulated in your country and any available consumer compensation funds provided as protection against bankruptcy. Next, read full-length forex reviews. Finally, compare your top two choices side-by-side to decide on a winner.

    Pro tip: In addition to trust, other factors to consider include trading costs, range of markets, available platforms, mobile trading apps (see our top picks for forex trading apps), market research and news sources, educational articles, and the quality of customer service that the forex broker provides.


    What is the best forex broker for beginners?

    Plus500 provides the best forex trading platform for beginners, thanks to a simple layout that is easy to learn.

    If you are a beginner looking for a thorough selection of educational materials, then IG is the best choice. We’ve also written an extensive guide for the best forex brokers in the USA for beginners, in addition to the brokers that support international traders.


    How much money do you need to trade forex?

    The amount of money you will need to trade forex depends on several factors, including your expected trade sizes, risk threshold per trade, the available margin requirements from the broker (i.e., leverage), and any minimum deposit limitation to open your account.

    For example: If you plan to trade one mini lot (10,000 units) worth of the euro currency at a time, and the forex broker offers a maximum of 20:1 leverage, that means you will need at least 5% of the trade value just for the margin, and another 1 euro for every pip you plan on risking when the market moves against your position. (Note: in this case 1 pip is 0.0001 Euro worth of currency.)

    So in the above example, one standard lot of 10,000 EUR/USD would require at least 500 euros in margin, and if you wanted to risk no more than 200 pips per trade, another 200 euros would need to be available. That means you would need a starting balance of 700 euros to trade forex.


    Can I trade forex with $10?

    Generally no, because even with the ability to trade micro-lots at most forex brokers, $10 would barely be enough for the margin requirement alone, even if you had access to the highest leverage. The best forex broker for small accounts will offer micro contracts, as well as a low minimum deposit. That said, you still need to consider having enough margin available to open each trade.

    For example, with at least $300, a trader could open one micro lot at a time and still have enough available for higher margin requirements, such as in Europe or the U.S. With a single micro-lot, each pip is worth around 10 cents for every $1,000 of currency you trade.


    Which forex broker has the lowest minimum deposit?

    There are several forex brokers, such as CMC Markets (which is also our pick for the best forex trading platform), that advertise a $0.0 minimum deposit, which means you can open a live account and deposit whatever amount you like to start trading.

    Note: When deciding how much to start with, keep in mind the cost of any wire fees or other transfer related costs in addition to your expected trade sizes and margin requirement.


    What are the most popular currency pairs?

    The most heavily traded currency pairs by volume all include the US dollar (USD), followed by the euro (EUR), Japanese yen (JPY), Great British Pound (GBP), Australian dollar (AUD), Canadian dollar (CAD), and Swiss Franc (CHF). This is according to the latest Triennial Survey by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which found that approximately 88% of all forex trades include the U.S. dollar.

    Note: The resulting pairs from these popular currencies are known as the “major pairs” and include the EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GPB/USD, AUD/USD, CAD/USD, CHF/USD, and followed by the Chinese renminbi (CNY) which is the eighth most traded currency, but seventh most traded currency pair when combined with the US Dollar (CNY/USD).


    Can I get rich by trading forex?

    While possible, getting rich by trading forex is rare. Practice and skill are required to make money trading forex. Successful traders strive to make trades that, on average, return larger profits (winners) than losses (losers) over time. Historically speaking, several hedge fund managers have been able to get rich trading forex. For example, George Soros made over £1 billion in profit by short selling the Great British Pound in 1992, in what can be described as a large bet.


    Which forex brokers accept U.S. or non-U.S. clients?

    Forex brokers who hold regulatory status in the US can accept U.S.-based clients. Meanwhile, forex brokers who accept non-US clients will usually need to hold licenses in the countries where their clients reside.

    For example, if you reside within the European Union, you will be able to open an account with an EU-regulated broker. If you live in a U.S. state, you will need to open an account with a U.S.-regulated broker.


    The Best Forex Trading Platforms for Beginners

    • Plus500 - WebTrader
    • IG - IG web platform
    • eToro - eToro CopyTrader
    • AvaTrade - AvaTrade WebTrader
    • CMC Markets - Next Generation
    • XTB - xStation 5
    • OANDA - fxTrade

    best forex brokers for beginners


    Read Next


    Methodology

    For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.

    Each broker was graded on 108 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure (read about Trust Score here).

    As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.

    Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.


    Forex Risk Disclaimer

    "There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.

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Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

Blain Reinkensmeyer

About the author: As Head of Research, Blain Reinkensmeyer has 18 years of trading experience with over 1,000 trades placed during that time. Referenced as a leading expert on the US online brokerage industry, Blain has been quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.


Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published website as of 12/14/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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Plus500UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909).

IG - 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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