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.
Top Takeaways for 2019
After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for our third annual forex broker review, here are our top findings on OANDA:
- Founded in 1996, OANDA is regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe (average-risk) broker for trading forex and CFDs.
- Through its MarketPulse offering, OANDA provides a diverse and rich offering of market research, helping the broker finished Best in Class (top 7) for Research.
- OANDA's trading platform suite, fxTrade, is brilliant for charting but lacks in most other areas. It's good, but not great, and, overall, it trails platform leaders IG, Saxo Bank, and Dukascopy. That said, OANDA provides excellent options for algorithmic trading.
- OANDA provides traders a small selection of tradeable products. With pricing, we found OANDA to offer slightly better than average rates but still trails discount leaders CMC Markets and IG.
- OANDA offers average customer service. The broker finished 13th (out of 23) in our national testing from locations across the United Kingdom.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Is OANDA Safe?
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.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Offering of Investments
Depending on the OANDA entity where you establish an account, the range of markets may vary slightly. CFDs are not available in the US, whereas, in Singapore, OANDA offers Bitcoin as a CFD. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to OANDA clients.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||71|
|CFDs - Total Offered||53|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
When it comes to pricing, overall, OANDA is just slightly better than the industry standard.
Spreads: 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 cost 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 pricing at OANDA was 1.2 pips on the EUR/USD pair during Q1 2019.
Micro lots: In most cases, the smallest contract size for trading forex is one micro lot. However, unique to OANDA, the broker brings this minimum trade size down by three orders of magnitude to 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot.
Transparency: OANDA continually publishes a trailing average of its average spread across nearly all timeframes, as part of its push for greater transparency with pricing. However, because it does not publish a specific number that reflects the average spread over a fixed period, such as one day or one month, it is difficult to make a more precise comparison.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$0.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.4 (as of Q3 2018)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||1.4 (as of Oct 19)|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms & Tools
OANDA’s trading platform suite, fxTrade, is suitable for charting and news but lacks in other areas. Despite an overall diverse offering of platforms, OANDA is good, but not great.
fxTrade platform: OANDA’s flagship fxTrade platform is available for web, desktop, and mobile. Powered by TradingView, charting offers over 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.
Algorithmic trading: Additional platforms are available from third-party developers within OANDA’s Marketplace, including the Seer Trading Platform, which supports algorithmic trading system development, including 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 apps in various supported languages, including Python and C#.
Account management: OANDA combines several services into its online account management portal that makes it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements. Account features include performance analysis from the analytics provider Chasing Returns.
MetaTrader: For traders who prefer MT4, OANDA also offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform.
Despite most research opening in a new browser window (annoying), OANDA provides forex and CFD traders everything they need, and more, to successfully navigate the markets.
Market news: OANDA offers a broad range of research for forex traders. For example, news headlines on OANDA’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform stream from Reuters, MarketPulse, MarketWatch, Mainichi, and CNBC, among other providers.
Premium content: Research content includes technical analysis, various macroeconomic news, research from UBS, an economic calendar forecast from 4CAST, and access to AutoChartist. The broker also offers Dow Jones Select for a monthly fee.
MarketPulse: OANDA’s MarketPulse site has content dedicated to news, research, and analysis, and the firm’s research team powers much of the content. OANDA’s mobile app, fxTrade, streams news from Dow Jones as well as the company’s blog.
OANDA's fxTrade mobile app is easy to use, provides quality market research, and includes excellent charting features (33 technical indicators). That said, like its desktop and web-based counterparts, it lacks in other areas important to everyday forex and CFD traders.
Order entry: One neat feature that stood out was the seamless transition to the trade ticket window within the charts. Users can quickly enter their orders from the chart then adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels using simple drag & drop.
Deposits: Funding via the mobile app is simple, and during my testing, funds credited to the live account almost immediately showed up after the transaction was completed.
Syncing: Positives aside, one feature I’d like to see added is the addition of global watch list syncing. With syncing, instruments that are added in the web or desktop version of the platform automatically appear in the mobile app. Similarly, mobile chart indicators do not sync with the desktop or web version of fxTrade.
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.
- 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)
OANDA’s edge is its strong regulatory track record, with licenses in the strictest major financial centers, alongside robust market research. Cons include a small list of tradable products and pricing that trails discount leaders.
All in all, OANDA is best suited for casual investors alongside sophisticated traders who prefer to connect via API, or who use automated trading systems on MT4.
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.
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.
OANDA Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
OANDA Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
OANDA Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||Yes|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
2019 Review Methodology
For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. 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.
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.