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OANDA Review

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis | July 11th, 2019

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.

The ForexBrokers.com Annual Review (3 years running) is among the most cited in the industry. Our Head of Research, Steven Hatzakis, is frequently referenced as a leading analyst covering forex brokers and cryptocurrency. Learn more.

Founded in 1996, OANDA operates across eight global financial centers, serving clients in over 196 countries through its entities licensed in six major regulatory jurisdictions, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.

OANDA caters to Forex and CFD traders through its proprietary fxTrade platform, which is available as a desktop, web, and mobile app. OANDA also offers the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform alongside connectivity to third-party platforms and tools through its app marketplace.

Review Summary

Rank: 12th (of 28)

As a trusted global brand, OANDA provides forex and CFD traders a limited offering of FX pairs and CFDs but stands out for its excellent charting tools and quality market research.

Benefits

  • Powerful charting tools in web, desktop and mobile.
  • Diverse offering of market research.
  • Clean online account management.

Considerations

  • Limited range of CFDs instruments offered.

Is OANDA Safe?

help 84
Trust Score

OANDA is considered average-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 84 out of 99. OANDA is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. OANDA is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). OANDA is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) . Learn more about Trust Score.

Regulations Comparison

FeatureOANDAIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Year Founded1996197419921989
Publicly Traded (Listed) No Yes No Yes
Bank No Yes Yes No
Tier-1 Licenses6664
Tier-2 Licenses0412
Tier-3 Licenses0000
Trust Score84999898

Commissions & Fees

Rank: 13th (of 28)

When it comes to pricing, overall OANDA is slightly better than the industry standard.

Benefits

  • OANDA’s bid/ask spreads, which are the fees clients pay to trade, are most comparable to FOREX.com and FxPro, while the minimum spread available (or lowest advertised rate) may be slightly higher than other firms that list a sub-pip spread (i.e., less than 1.0 pip). For example, the average non-core spreads at OANDA were 1.2 pips on the EUR/USD pair during Q1 2019.
  • In 2018, OANDA launched core pricing in additional markets, including Singapore, where average core spreads for the EUR/USD were 0.3 pips for the month of December 2018. While this must be manually requested, users can also create a v20 sub account and login to their dashboard to enable core pricing.
  • The smallest contract size for trading forex that most brokers offer is 1000 units or 1 micro lot, whereas, OANDA brings this minimum trade size down by three orders of magnitude to 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot.
  • Rather than publishing a specific number that reflects the average spread over a fixed period such as one day or one month, OANDA releases a trailing average of its average spread across nearly all timeframes, as part of its push for greater transparency with pricing.

Considerations

  • When you deposit more than £100,000 with OANDA, spreads are discounted anywhere from 0.2 – 0.4 pips, which reduce the spread to 0.80 – 1.0 pip, from the 1.2 pip spread on the EUR/USD we observed using sample data.
  • In the European Union (EU), OANDA Europe Limited acts as a matched-principal (i.e. comparable to an agency broker), whereas its other international OANDA entities, such as in the US, offer accounts with market-making execution. This diversity of account execution across OANDA entities is comparable to brokers that offer both modes, such as FOREX.com, FXDD and FxPro). Therefore, the execution mode should be considered when factoring potential trading costs including any spreads, commissions, and fees, and depending on whether a trading strategy is more spread-sensitive or execution-sensitive.

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Further Reading

Fees Comparison

FeatureOANDAIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00£250.00$2,000.00$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.400.7500.9000.744
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.400.3630.6000.744
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commissions & Fees 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 5 Stars

Platforms & Tools

Rank: 13th (of 28)

OANDA’s trading platform suite, fxTrade, is excellent for charting but lacks in other areas. Despite an overall diverse offering of platforms, OANDA is good, but not great.

Benefits

  • OANDA’s fxTrade platform is available for web, desktop, and mobile. Powered by TradingView, charting offers nearly 80 indicators and additional features such as the ability to overlay multiple currency pairs within a single chart for comparison. I also appreciated the fact that both the web-based and desktop versions of fxTrade were identical to each other, making swapping between both painless.
  • Additional platforms are available from third-party developers within OANDA’s Marketplace, including the Seer Trading Platform, which can be used for developing, back-testing and forward-testing automated trading systems. OANDA also supports trading connectivity to multiple charting platforms such as NinjaTrader, MultiCharts, and MotiveWave. Lastly, OANDA’s Algo Labs page uses Quant Connect to let users build their own apps in various supported languages including Python and C#.
  • OANDA combines several services into its online account management portal that make it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements.
  • For traders who prefer MT4, OANDA also offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform.

Considerations

  • Beyond great charting, the fxTrade platform lacks depth as far as trading tools go.

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Further Reading

Tools Comparison

FeatureOANDAIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web Platform Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes Yes No Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) No No No No
cTrader No No No No
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51224781
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31171724
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields712128
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes Yes Yes Yes
Platform & Tools 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Customer Service

Rank: 13th (of 28)

To score Customer Service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For our 2019 Review, 229 customer service tests were conducted over six weeks.

Results

  • Average Connection Time: <2 minutes
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 6.7 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 4.1 / 10
  • Overall Score: 5.9 / 10
  • Ranking: 13th (23 brokers)
  • View Infographic

Research

Rank: 6th (of 28)

OANDA provides forex and CFD traders everything they need, and more, to successful navigate the markets and conduct quality market research.

Benefits

  • OANDA offers a broad range of research for forex traders, including from within its trading platforms, with news headlines on OANDA’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform streaming from Reuters, Market Pulse, MarketWatch, Mainichi, CNBC, and other providers.
  • Research content includes technical analysis, various macroeconomic news, as well as research from UBS, an economic calendar forecast from 4CAST, and access to AutoChartist for traders to find and research trading opportunities.
  • OANDA’s MarketPulse site has content dedicated to news, research, and analysis, and is supported by the firm’s research team. OANDA’s mobile app, fxTrade, streams news from Dow Jones as well as the company’s blog. The broker also offers Dow Jones Select for a premium.

Considerations

  • On the fxTrade desktop and web platform certain research modules trigger an external browser to open the content in a web page. OANDA could improve this by keeping its research centralized in the platform, so traders are not distracted from their desktop-based trading and while using the web version. This is an area we would like to see fixed to improve the fxTrade desktop experience, as many of the modules redirect to an external page.

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Further Reading

Research Comparison

FeatureOANDAIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Daily Market Commentary Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weekly Webinars Yes Yes Yes Yes
AutoChartist Yes Yes Yes No
Trading Central (Recognia) No No No Yes
Delkos Research No No No No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Economic Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Research 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars

Mobile Trading

Rank: 13th (of 28)

fxTrade is easy to use and includes excellent charting features; however, like its desktop and web-based counterparts, lacks in other areas important to traders.

Benefits

  • OANDA’s fxTrade mobile app, supported in both iOS and Android flavors, has a consistent feel with its web and desktop counterparts. The app cleanly integrates its research offering and charting is robust, providing identical tools, including 33 technical indicators.
  • One neat feature that stood out was the seamless transition to the trade ticket window within the charts. Users can easily enter their orders from the chart then adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels using simple drag & drop.
  • Funding via the mobile app is easy, and during my testing, funds were credited to the live account almost immediately after the transaction was successfully completed.

Considerations

  • Positives aside, one feature I’d like to see added to the mobile app is the addition of global watch list syncing, so instruments that are added in the web and/or desktop version of the platform automatically appear in the mobile app.

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Further Reading

Mobile Apps Comparison

FeatureOANDAIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Android App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Apple iOS App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - Forex Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watch List Syncing No Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies30264123
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Trend Lines Moveable Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes Yes Yes Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile Trading 3.5 Stars 4 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Offering of Investments

Rank: 15th (of 28)

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to OANDA clients.

Offering Comparison

FeatureOANDAIGSaxo BankCMC Markets
Forex: Spot Trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)7191182183
CFDs - Total Offered5215000329999959
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No No No No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD Yes Yes No Yes
Offering of Investments 3.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.5 Stars 4 Stars

Other Notes

In May 2018, CVC Capital Partners (CVC) Asia Fund IV, a private equity and investment advisory firm that manages $70 billion, announced the acquisition of all the outstanding equity of OANDA, subject to regulatory approval.

In November 2018, OANDA launched cryptocurrency bitcoin trading as a CFD from its Singapore office.

Final Thoughts

Rank: 12th (of 28)

OANDA’s edge is its strong regulatory track record, with licenses in the strictest major financial centers, and the company’s robust proprietary trading technology, which is trusted by large corporate clients and well-known brands.

While OANDA’s list of tradable products is limited, the broker offers powerful charting tools alongside numerous research and news channels all at competitive prices. OANDA is suitable for casual investors to sophisticated traders who prefer to connect via API or who use automated trading systems on MT4.

For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 81 variables. 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.


Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis 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.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves 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 web site as of 02/18/2019 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.

OANDA - CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. 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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