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OANDA Review

Steven Hatzakis

May 3rd, 2022
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.6% 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.

A trusted global brand, OANDA stands out for its reputation and quality market research. Its regulatory track record is strong, and its support for third-party features bolsters its overall offering.

However, OANDA’s limited range of CFDs and below-average pricing puts it just behind the best forex brokers.


OANDA pros & cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Founded in 1996, OANDA is regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
  • Excellent quality market research articles and daily analysis updates can be found in the Market Pulse hub.
  • OANDA produces its own podcast series, "Market Insight".
  • The fxTrade mobile app has a great balance of features and ranks highly for ease of use.
  • OANDA's offering of research tools, news, and market analysis is excellent.
  • Social copy trading is available via ZuluTrade (though it requires a $500 deposit).
  • TradingView platform offered alongside several VPS services for MT4 hosting.
  • OANDA provides multiple options for algorithmic trading, including via API as part of its Algo Labs offering.

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Offers fewer video market updates than its peers.
  • Though the educational material is good, OANDA’s video content is not comprehensive, and mostly takes the form of platform tutorials.
  • OANDA’s spreads are below average, trailing discount leaders CMC Markets and IG by a wide margin.
  • OANDA's fxTrade desktop and web trading platform is good – not great – and trails platform leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank.

Overall summary

FeatureOANDA
Overall 4.5 Stars
Trust Score92
Offering of Investments 3 Stars
Commissions & Fees 3.5 Stars
Platforms & Tools 4 Stars
Research 4.5 Stars
Mobile Trading Apps 4.5 Stars
Education 3.5 Stars

Is OANDA safe?

help 92
Trust Score

OANDA is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 92 out of 99. OANDA is not publicly traded, does not operate a bank, and is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (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

FeatureOANDA
Year Founded1996
Publicly Traded (Listed) No
Bank No
Tier-1 Licenses6
Tier-2 Licenses0
Tier-3 Licenses1
Trust Score92

Offering of investments

The range of available markets at OANDA will vary slightly, depending on which of its entities regulates your account. CFDs are not available in the U.S., whereas in Australia and the BVI OANDA offers as many as 124 symbols and 71 forex pairs – as well as the option to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin as a CFD. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to OANDA clients.

Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available at OANDA through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except for Professional clients).

OANDA offering of investments:

FeatureOANDA
Forex Trading Yes
CFD Trading Yes
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 124
Forex Pairs (Total)71
US Stock Trading (Non CFD) No
Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD) No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Cryptocurrency (Physical) No
Cryptocurrency (CFD) Yes
Crypto Disclaimer (UK)Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's U.K. entity, nor to U.K. residents (except to Professional clients).

Commissions and fees

OANDA’s trading costs are generally steep, with high effective spreads across both its default and core pricing, compared to the best brokers. While not a discount broker, OANDA’s main advantage is its automated execution across its account offering.

Spreads: OANDA’s bid/ask spreads (the fees clients pay to trade) are most comparable to FOREX.com and FxPro, while the minimum spread cost (or lowest advertised rate) may be slightly higher than those firms that list a sub-pip spread (less than 1.0 pip). For example, the average non-core pricing at OANDA was 1.2 pips on the EUR/USD pair during Q1 2019.

Core pricing: OANDA’s core pricing features lower spreads, but includes a per-side commission of $5 per $100,000 worth of currency (or roughly $10 per round turn standard lot). This option requires a $10,000 minimum deposit, and when factoring in the commission, the all-in cost ends up being nearly identical to the commission-free pricing. For example, let’s say the spread on the EUR/USD is 1.4 pips under the default pricing structure, and the spread for core pricing is only 0.4 pips. Once you factor in the commission-equivalent of 1 pip (0.5 pips per side), the total cost for core pricing ends up coming to 1.4 pips – same as the default price.

Micro lots: In most cases, the smallest contract size for trading forex is one micro lot. However, OANDA brings this minimum trade size down by three orders of magnitude – to 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot.

Transparency: As part of its push for greater pricing transparency, OANDA continually publishes a trailing average of its spread across nearly all time frames. However, because it does not publish a number that reflects the average spread over a fixed period – such as one day or one month – it is difficult to make precise comparisons.

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OANDA pricing summary:

FeatureOANDA
Minimum Deposit$0.00
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard1.4 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active1.4 (August 2021)
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes
Execution: Agency Broker No
Execution: Market Maker Yes

Mobile trading apps

OANDA's flagship fxTrade mobile app is easy to use and provides quality market research and excellent charting features, ranking among the best brokers in this category in 2022.

Apps overview: OANDA offers the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) mobile app developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, alongside its own proprietary fxTrade mobile app.

Ease of use: Opening a chart on the fxTrade app is as easy as clicking the graph icon at the bottom of the watchlist. Whether setting up a trade or adding a price alert, I found the overall layout to be straightforward and easy to use. Beyond its intuitive design, charting with the fxTrade app is balanced with features such as research from Autochartist and news headlines.

A neat feature that stood out to me was the seamless transition to the trade ticket window from within the charts. Users can quickly enter their orders from the chart, then adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels with a simple drag and drop function.

Charting: The fxTrade app’s versatile charting features 33 technical indicators, 13 drawing tools, and the ability to select from over a dozen time frames. Zooming in and out of charts on fxTrade is a fluid experience thanks to the apps’ responsive design.

Syncing: I’d like to see fxTrade add the ability to sync watchlists, and it’s worth noting that mobile chart indicators do not sync with the desktop or web version of fxTrade. Lastly, adding educational and market analysis videos would be a logical (and helpful) next step in the evolution of the fxTrade app.

Gallery

OANDA mobile trading:

FeatureOANDA
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes
Watch List Yes
Watch List Syncing No
Charting - Indicators / Studies30
Charting - Draw Trendlines Yes
Charting - Trendlines Moveable Yes
Charting - Multiple Time Frames Yes
Charting - Drawings Autosave Yes
Forex Calendar Yes

Other trading platforms

OANDA’s fxTrade trading platform suite is a good option for charting (powered by TradingView) and news but falls short in other areas, such as the imperfect integration of research and trading tools within its desktop and web platforms.

Platform overview: OANDA offers two platform suites; the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform, developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation and available for web and desktop, and OANDA’s fxTrade web and desktop trading platform. MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is now available at OANDA after recently being expanded outside of Japan, from the broker’s BVI entity.

Charting: OANDA’s fxTrade platform features charts powered by TradingView, with over 80 indicators and various additional features, such as the ability to overlay multiple currency pairs within a single chart for comparison. I also appreciated that the web-based and desktop versions of fxTrade are identical to each other, which makes swapping between versions simple and painless.

However, many of the integrated features in the platform will trigger a new browser window to open – even when you are on the desktop version. Other brokers integrate such features directly into the platform, which allows you to stay focused without a distracting flurry of new windows popping into your screen.

Trading tools: Additional platforms are available from third-party developers within OANDA’s Marketplace. The Seer Trading Platform, for example, supports algorithmic trading system development – including back-testing and forward-testing automated trading systems. OANDA also supports trading connectivity with multiple charting platforms such as TradingView, NinjaTrader, MultiCharts, and MotiveWave. Lastly, OANDA’s Algo Labs provides API access with various supported languages, including Python and C#.

Account management: OANDA combines several services within its online account management portal, making it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements.

Gallery

OANDA trading platform:

FeatureOANDA
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Proprietary Platform Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) Yes
cTrader No
DupliTrade No
ZuluTrade Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31
Charting - Trade From Chart Yes
Watchlists - Total Fields7
Order Type - Market Yes

Market research

OANDA provides forex and CFD traders everything they need to successfully navigate the markets, with multiple daily articles, as well as podcasts and research tools. One minor annoyance is that many of the research resources from the desktop and web platform open in a new browser, rather than being directly integrated within the platform. OANDA also provides fewer video updates than the leaders in this category, such as Saxo Bank and IG.

Research overview: OANDA offers a broad range of research for forex traders. Its MarketPulse site has an excellent selection of articles organized by category with multiple updates published each day, and news headlines on OANDA’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) and fxTrade platforms stream directly from Dow Jones Newswire – among other providers. Autochartist integration within the broker’s web platform and mobile app offers trading signals and automated technical analysis. Finally, OANDA produces a Market Insights series with daily analysis updates.

Market news and analysis: OANDA’s MarketPulse site has dedicated news, research, and analysis content, powered by its in-house research team. OANDA’s fxTrade mobile app streams news from Dow Jones as well as the company’s blog.

Premium content: OANDA offers Dow Jones Select, and third-party technical analysis software is available from MotiveWave and MultiCharts.

Gallery

OANDA research:

FeatureOANDA
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
Autochartist Yes
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Economic Calendar Yes

Education

OANDA balances its decent offering of written educational material with a series of webinars conducted by its staff. However, it lacks an extensive range of educational videos. Expanding its range of videos and further organizing its existing content would elevate OANDA's educational offering, which does not currently measure up to education leaders such as IG and AvaTrade.

Learning center: OANDA’s online course spans 19 chapters, and covers technical and fundamental analysis. Each chapter comes with several lessons, but many of the accompanying videos are just platform tutorials – not financial market education.

Room for improvement: OANDA’s educational content for beginners is scattered across its website. Adding the ability to filter educational resources by experience level would benefit traders of all competencies. The best brokers in this category have a comprehensive offering of both videos and articles. As such, I’d also like to see an increase in the number of educational videos at OANDA, beyond the existing platform tutorials.

Gallery

OANDA education:

FeatureOANDA
Has Education - Forex or CFDs Yes
Client Webinars Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes
Videos - Advanced Trading Videos Yes
Investor Dictionary (Glossary) Yes

Final thoughts

OANDA’s edge is its strong regulatory track record, with licenses in the strictest major financial centers. It also delivers robust market research content and an excellent mobile app. OANDA is held back by its small list of just 124 tradable products, and by pricing that can’t compete with the best low-cost brokers.

For 2022, OANDA was again Best in Class in the Ease of Use category, thanks to its straightforward web and mobile trading apps. All in all, OANDA offers something for casual investors, while also serving sophisticated traders who prefer to connect via API or use automated trading systems on MT4.

What is the minimum deposit for OANDA?

There is no minimum balance or deposit amount needed to activate a live account at OANDA.

Furthermore, unlike most brokers that offer micro contracts (1,000 units) as the smallest trade size, OANDA allows you to trade as little as 1 unit of currency when trading forex. This makes OANDA a great option for those who want to test a trading strategy with a small deposit and not be constrained by the minimum trade size.

Is OANDA a good broker for beginners?

OANDA does rank highly for its ease-of-use factor, making its fxTrade platform and client dashboard good for beginners, especially when compared to the complex trading software available from other brokers. In addition, OANDA has a decent offering of client education, alongside excellent research.

Is my money safe with OANDA?

OANDA is regulated in numerous Tier-1 jurisdictions including in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Australia, Japan, and Canada, making it a trustworthy broker to keep your money safe. OANDA’s longstanding history dating to 1996, impeccable regulatory track record, global licenses and capital infusions from private equity groups over the years make it a safe broker to hold client funds.

Choosing a well-capitalized and trusted broker is crucial for reducing your counterparty risk, because in the extraordinary event of your broker’s insolvency, your deposit may only be partially protected under any applicable regulatory compensation funds.

About OANDA

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 U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.

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.

2022 Review Methodology

For our 2022 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 39 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.

Each broker was graded on 113 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.


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.








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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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