The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (three years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 60,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. How we test.
Looking to bet that the Euro (EUR) currency will go up in value against the US Dollar (USD)? If so, you will want to trade the EUR/USD currency pair. Representing every currency across the globe, the forex market is the largest and most liquid market in the world, with trading conducted 24 hours a day, five days a week.
To trade forex, you need an online broker. Trading with a trusted forex broker is crucial for success in international currency markets. As a currency trader or investor, you may have specific needs related to which platform, tool, or research requirements should be met. Understanding your investment style can help determine which fx broker will be best for you.
Each year, our team here at ForexBrokers.com spends six months testing the biggest names in forex and assembles a guide to the best forex brokers for forex and CFDs trading. Here's our findings for 2019.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% 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.
Best Forex Brokers
Here's a breakdown of some of the best forex brokers in the world.
- IG - Best Overall, Most Trusted
- Saxo Bank - Best Web Platform, High Minimum Deposit
- CMC Markets - Best for Low Costs, Active Trading
- TD Ameritrade FX - Excellent Trading Platform, US only
- FOREX.com - Great All-around, Low Costs
- City Index - Well-rounded Offering
- XTB - Great Customer Service, Easy to Use Platform
- Dukascopy - Best Desktop Platform, Mobile App
- FXCM - Well-rounded Offering
Best Overall, Most Trusted - Visit Site
Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders an extensive list of tradable products, excellent trading and research tools, industry leading education, and competitive rates. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG our No. 1 overall broker in 2019. (68% of retail CFD accounts lose money.) Read full review
Best Web Platform, High Minimum Deposit
For traders that can afford the USD 10,000 minimum deposit (GBP 500 for the UK), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, excellent trading platforms, brilliant research, reliable customer service, and over 40,000 instruments to trade. Read full review
Best for Low Costs, Active Trading
Through its offices regulated in major global financial centers, CMC Markets offers traders a wide range of offerings with excellent pricing and its Next Generation trading platform, which is packed with innovative trading tools and charting. Read full review
Well-rounded, US Only - Visit Site
With nearly 80 currency pairs to trade alongside a plethora of trading tools and research, TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform provides US-based forex traders a winning solution. Read full review
Great All-around, Low Costs - Visit Site
FOREX.com has plenty of options for Forex and CFD traders across its regulated offerings globally. With full-feature platforms, diverse trading tools, and comprehensive research, FOREX.com caters to traders of all experience levels. (69% of retail CFD accounts lose money.) Read full review
City Index is a multi-asset forex broker, regulated in the UK and Singapore, that offers competitive spreads across multiple trading platforms. The broker caters to the needs of various clients, from beginners to advanced automated traders, and offers an active trader program for high-volume investors. Read full review
Great Customer Service, Ease of Use
As a trusted multi-asset broker regulated in several major financial centers, XTB provides a well-rounded, competitive trading experience. No question, customer service and xStation 5 are the broker’s two standout highlights. Read full review
Best Desktop Platform, Mobile App
Thanks to its JForex platform suite, Dukascopy provides forex traders industry leading trading tools and market research, which includes our favorite mobile app for 2019. Customer service and a narrow offering are the only weak spots in an otherwise great offering. Read full review
While its range of tradeable markets is narrow, FXCM caters well to high-volume traders, algorithmic traders, and traders that appreciate robust charting tools and quality market research. Read full review
Best Forex Brokers for Low Costs
Forex trading costs are not easy to break down. Reasons why trading costs can be impacted: bid/ask spreads can vary across venues (because forex is decentralized), forex spreads may be either fixed or variable (floating), and variable spreads may widen or narrow (vary) at different rates across brokers.
Furthermore, execution policies vary across firms in terms of how orders are handled (slippage/rejections), even when all else is equal. Brokers may be acting as market makers (dealers) to execute your trades and/or may be acting as agents for execution (relying on other dealers to execute). Forex spreads may include a round-turn commission. In addition, not all brokers publish their average spread data, and for those who do – not all brokers record their average spread over the same time-frames, making it difficult to make an accurate comparison.
To assess brokers, we took into consideration how much beginners, average traders, and even more seasoned traders would pay, looking at average spreads for standard forex contracts (100,000 units) as well as mini accounts (10,000 units) and micro accounts (1,000 units), where applicable. We then calculated the all-in cost by including any round-turn commission that was added to prevailing spreads.
While the all-in cost to trade can be critical for many traders, it is essential to look at the whole picture in terms of how a broker’s overall offering could best suit your needs. Questions to ask include: What are average spreads for the account types offered? How will differences in margin requirements or execution type offered affect my forex trading volumes and related trading costs? These are just some of the questions that can help traders consider key differences between offerings.
Best Forex Trading Platforms
Forex trading platforms are the modern gateway to investing in international currency markets. Regardless of your trading style, or preferred multi-asset instrument, the platform technology you use can affect nearly all aspects of your trading experience. From accessing research to analyzing news events or performing technical analysis on charts, forex trading platforms share the common goal of making it easy to help you trade and discover trading opportunities, while managing your personal investments.
Over the past decade, forex trading platform technology has continued to evolve steadily across devices, with a shift from desktop to web and then to mobile. With ongoing enhancements to the user experience throughout the year, forex brokers compete for market share amid shifting regulations and the evolving needs of traders.
From among the 28 forex brokers we tested this year, it was clear that the best forex platforms continued to innovate and pack a slew of features and tools into a simplified user experience, while keeping the technology up to date with the latest supported standards. All in all, these platforms provide customers a rich and pleasurable experience in all critical areas of forex trading.
Overall, the best forex platform for you will depend on a myriad of factors. First, do you prefer a web-based environment or desktop download? Next, consider how important tools such as charting or automated trading are to you. Available order types and other unique tools and advanced features are also items to keep in mind.
Fortunately, nearly every forex broker supports opening a demo account and testing out the experience in a simulated trading environment.
Best International Offering
Foreign exchange markets are open 24 hours a day, five days a week, which means investors can constantly scan international markets for opportunities to invest. Having access to multiple asset classes from within a single platform is important to many investors, as financial markets, including forex and even cryptocurrencies, are highly interconnected. The ability to react quickly to geopolitical and economic news events in real time is key.
In the early 2000s, a fine line used to exist: brokers were most often concentrated on offering just one asset, for example forex, to their customers. However, today trading platforms are no longer just for trading forex, stocks, or futures; instead, multi-asset offerings are now industry standards among all the largest online brokers. That said, the range of products and markets you can trade still varies considerably across firms.
Best Forex Research
Almost every forex broker aims to provide its clients with research content and tools to find and analyze investment opportunities. At the same time, we are living in the digital information age where traders can get lost in the sea of forex news headlines, making it hard to get the information they need unless brokers provide the right structure for forex research.
Beyond news headlines and an economic calendar, leading forex brokers usually integrate in-house research for fundamental news and technical analysis, then couple it with outsourced research content. Firms that take it a step further may even create their own TV channel, for example, to stream video updates instead of providing basic daily or weekly video updates.
Furthermore, many research tools are increasingly integrated within trading platforms, such as daily or weekly market recaps and analysis, live trading rooms, and integrated pattern- recognition tools for news events and charts, as well as screeners, heat maps, and sentiment indicators.
When selecting a forex broker for its FX research tools, remember that quality is just as important as quantity. The reason why our top picks for research consistently earn high marks each year is that they provide a great blend of in-house market analysis as well as tier-1 quality third-party research.
Best Forex Trading Apps
While nearly all forex brokers have offered mobile apps for years, the competition continues to increase as clients demand many of the same features in mobile that are normally found on desktop and web platforms.
To determine the best forex brokers for mobile trading in 2019, we focused on identifying mobile experiences that were bug-free, cleanly designed, and provided a wide range of features. Additionally, we looked for brokers who have been able to create a seamless experience between their mobile apps and their desktop and/or web-based platforms.
Best Customer Service
When using a forex broker, a single customer service experience is not enough to assess the all-round quality and scope of service. Instead, multiple interactions with a broker’s customer support staff should be conducted to determine an overall rating of customer service.
Here at ForexBrokers.com, we follow the rigorous testing approach used by our sister site, StockBrokers.com, the most respected in the industry when it comes to trusted US stockbroker reviews.
For the 28 international forex brokers included in our customer service assessment, we conducted institutional-grade phone testing with the help of UK-based customer experience research group Customerwise. Over the course of six weeks, 229 phone tests were conducted across the UK (Note: brokers who do not offer any UK-based phone support were excluded from testing).
In the final ranking for best customer service, IG ended up first followed by XTB, ADS Securities, LCG, and Saxo Bank in fifth. View the full rankings.
Best for Day Trading (Professional Client Status)
When it comes to active trading / day trading, not all forex brokers’ offerings are created equal. The trading requirements, and resulting commission/spread discounts a forex trader is entitled to, can vary considerably across forex brokers.
The available trading tools day traders need, such as advanced order types, for example, may vary from one firm to another. Not only that, but in today's highly regulated forex world, traders who want to maximize their margin leverage must apply and obtain ESMA's professional client status with the broker.
Needless to say, professional forex traders are consistently engaged with the market on a daily basis. Tracking news, monitoring watch lists, conducting analysis, and placing trades make up most of the usual routine. As a result, this unique breed of investor places far more trades, on average, than any long-term investor.
Overall, the best broker for active trading will depend on your specific situation when it comes to commission and fees. All the forex brokers in this category offer competitive pricing for active and professional traders who trade frequently. Here's our top picks for 2019.
If you’re considering an active trader program you might first ask: How much do I plan to trade over the calendar month? How will the available margin rates at my broker affect my trade sizes and overall volumes? How sensitive is my trading strategy to spread/commission rates? Other factors that can play a crucial role in your overall experience are the execution method, order types, trading platforms, and other such preferences.
How to Choose a Forex Broker
Here are some of the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing an online broker for currency trading.
Regulation and Trust: Not all regulatory jurisdictions and licenses are created equal for international forex and CFD Brokers. Investors should know which country their broker is based in and which country’s laws apply to their account, and the regulatory status of that broker. To avoid forex fraud, it is critical to use a well-known and well-regulated broker. See: How to Avoid Forex Trading Scams
Company Policies and History: As part of every investors due diligence process, steps to help ensure account security should include verifying a firm’s regulatory licenses and its legal obligations in safeguarding clients’ money. It is also important to review the customer agreements, read up on the company's history, and verify that its primary offices are located in a well-respected country, if not your own.
Range of Markets Offered: It is always important to determine which markets or individual trading products (currency pair or stock symbol) you want to trade, then check to make sure they are offered. Also check to ensure the products you want to trade are available in your region.
FX Trading Tools & Platforms: Which platforms and trading tools are available for the products you are considering? Are they compatible with your web browser, computer operating system, or mobile smartphone, or any other devices you are planning to use for trading?
FX Analysis and Global Market Research: Available research tools for scanning, analyzing, and conducting technical and fundamental analysis will vary from broker to broker.
Forex spreads, commissions, and overall trading costs: For forex trading, the all-in cost to complete (open/close) each trade will consists of the spreads, plus and any round-turn commissions. The same generally applies to CFDs, in terms of bid/ask spreads plus any per trade commission.
Order Execution: Available execution methods can depend on whether the broker is a principal dealer acting as a market maker, and/or if they are an agency-only broker relying on third-party dealers (liquidity providers). Other execution methods, policies, conditions, or available order types can vary (including premium or free trade protection tools such as guaranteed stop-loss orders, fill-or-kill or fill within a maximum deviation range) can vary from broker to broker.
Order Type and Execution: Some execution methods or order types may incur negative or positive slippage. This means orders will fill but the fill price could be better or worse than that requested. Since each broker is different, some firms may re-quote an order with a new price for you to accept (or reject) in case the price has changed.
Customer Service: Customer service is important. The scope and quality of support can be a major differentiator across online FX brokerages, ranging from the speed and overall quality of assistance to availability across global trading hours and international markets.
Education: Currency trading can be complex. Even seasoned investors are constantly learning to expand their breadth of currency markets. The disparity between currency brokers that provide thorough, high-quality education and those who do not is vast.
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For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors 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.