Compare the best forex brokers & trading platforms
What are the best forex trading platforms?
If you’re looking to trade forex right away, you can follow any of the links below to head to one of the top forex trading brokers. If you need more information, then simply scroll past the table and keep reading.
What is a forex broker?
A forex broker is a company that allows users to trade currencies. These trading platforms provide access to online and app-based services, and also commonly allow for CFD trading in a variety of other assets, such as stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. The best forex brokers are easy to use, well regulated, and carry strong reputations acquired through years of steady operation and quality customer service.
How do FX brokers work?
Forex brokers work by acting as middlemen between their users and the interbank trading network (how banks trade currencies with each other). It is not possible for individuals to access this network, but FX brokers have institutional relationships that allow them to execute trades on their users’ behalf.
What’s the difference between a forex broker and a stock broker?
Simply put, forex brokers support the trading of foreign currencies, whereas stock brokers allow the trading of stocks and shares. Often, however, you’ll find there’s no practical difference as many trading platforms allow for both stock and forex trading. This is most common with CFD trading brokers.
How do I use a forex broker?
In order to use a forex trading platform you simply need to register with a broker, fund your account, and then head to the platform’s forex trading area. You’ll then see a variety of currency pairs you can trade and the current rates. There are three predominant ways to trade on a forex broker:
- In the spot forex market, you’re exchanging one currency for another at the exact point that the trade is settled. It’s called spot trading because the exchange occurs on the spot — within a very short period of time.
- In the forward forex market, you buy a contract that gives you the option to buy or sell a set amount of currency at a specific price. The trade then gets settled at a specific future date, or within a range of future dates.
- The future forex market lets you buy or sell a set amount of a given currency at a specific price and date in the future. Unlike forward forex trades, futures forex contracts are legally binding rather than simply optional.
The best forex trading platforms for beginners, traders, and long-term investors
When choosing between the best online forex brokers, the main considerations are your level of experience and the trading strategy you wish to pursue. Maybe you’re a beginner looking for a simple trading platform on which to learn the ropes, or maybe you’re an experienced trader looking to trade forex with high leverage. Here are the best UK forex brokers for each type of trader.
The top broker for beginners
For beginner forex traders, the priority is finding a platform that is as easy to use as possible, and ideally one that has a wide range of educational resources and a demo account so you can learn the ropes.
The top platform for day-traders
If you’re planning on making frequent trades in the forex market in order to generate an income, you’ll want to look for a platform that has a variety of different trading options. Top of the list will be leveraged trading and access to other asset markets.
The top app for long-term buyers
Although it’s a less popular approach than when investing in stocks, some traders do take a long term approach to forex trading. Usually using carry trades to benefit from interest differentials, a technique not necessarily possible on every forex trading platform.
What should I look for in a trading platform?
When choosing one of the top forex trading brokers available online, there are a few factors to consider. Here’s a quick run-down of the most important.
Design and ease of use
Your forex trades should not be hampered by your trading platform, so you need to make sure your forex broker has an intuitive design that works for you. FX trading can rely on timing trades just right, so you don’t want anything slowing your down.
Especially if you’re a beginner, but also if you’re an experienced trader using a new forex trading platform, look for one that offers a free demo account. These allow you to make trades in the forex market with fake money, meaning you can learn how to trade forex without risking your hard-earned money.
Forex brokers will charge some level of fees and commissions for their services, so it is essential to make sure that these are as low as possible. Generally when trading forex you’re looking to make frequent trades that come with small profit margins each time, so even small fees can add up fast.
The spread is the difference between the bid and ask (buy and sell) price of a given currency pair. Many forex brokers hide their true cost by charging no fees but applying large spreads which can eat into your capital over time.
To trade with an online forex broker you’ll need to fund your account using one of their supported payment methods (e.g. credit cards or Apple Pay). Depending on the FX trading platform you’re using this can come with additional fees for deposits or withdrawals, so check these before signing up.
Reputation and regulation
When choosing a trading platform you want to make sure you’re protected in case something goes wrong, and the best way to do this is by selecting a regulated broker. UK forex brokers tend to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with brokers based elsewhere in the world being overseen by other bodies.
Currency pairs available to trade
You don’t want to be restricted in the trades you can make on your chosen forex trading platform, so make sure that the broker offers access to a wide range of currency pairs. You can find information about the offerings of each broker in our comprehensive reviews.
Not all forex platforms will support every trading style, so make sure your broker fits your ambitions. We covered the three general ways forex can be traded further up the page – in addition to these, the three main trading styles on the FX market are scalping, swinging, and investing:
- In scalping, you’re opening and closing a position very fast, which means your trades must be executed as accurately as possible.
- In swinging, you’re keeping trades open a bit longer, from a day to a few weeks. When swinging, it’s desirable to find a broker that offers swap-free accounts, meaning the broker doesn’t charge a commission or rollover interest for extending your position overnight.
- In investing, your trading time frame is often significantly longer. When investing, it’s often helpful to use an ECN broker – a forex financial expert who uses electronic communications networks (ECNs) to give clients direct access to other participants in currency markets.
Quick answers to key questions
Do brokers charge commissions or fees for trading forex?
Yes, online forex brokers charge fees and commissions for executing trades. The exact level of these fees will vary from platform to platform so it’s best to do your research before signing up. If a trading platform advertises that it charges zero fees, then check the spreads the broker applies to forex trades – as the cost of trading with the platform will likely be hidden in these.
Do I have to verify my identity with a forex trading broker?
Yes, you will need to verify your account to comply with financial service regulations. Verification will usually involve providing proof of identity and proof of address, often requiring a photo ID to be submitted. In some cases, you might be required to take and upload a selfie too, for facial recognition purposes.
Can I trade multiple currencies with a broker?
Yes, forex brokers all support a range of currency pairs. This does not mean that all brokers will support all currency pairs though, so be sure to compare your options before making your decision and registering with a broker.
Do I need any extra software to use a forex broker?
Not usually, no. Most forex trading platforms will allow you to trade either on your browser or with a specially designed mobile app. However, more experienced FX traders might prefer to link their brokerage account up to other software such as Meta Trader 4, and many UK forex brokers allow for this sort of integration.
Should I use a broker to trade forex?
If you want to trade currencies online, then a forex broker is your best option. Before getting started with forex trading, we recommend taking our beginner-friendly course on how to read forex charts so you can trade with confidence.
Before deciding whether or not to invest in forex, it’s a good idea to weigh up all the key considerations. If you’re still on the fence, consider the following pros and cons and questions below.
- Brokers offer the ability to trade a variety of foreign currencies
- Many platforms offer tools and options such as leveraged trading
- The forex market is the largest and most liquid in the world
- You can often trade forex on a stock trading platform
- Forex trading platforms tend to charge low fees
- Forex is a fast-paced 24/7 market that requires technical knowledge
- Nobody is guaranteed to make money trading forex
- Forex markets can be highly reactive to global political events
Should I trade forex now?
It’s up to you; if you feel you’ve got a grounding in how the forex markets work and want to try your hand at trading foreign currencies, then simply find yourself a reliable forex trading platform and start making trades.
Forex markets are very reactive to news from around the world, however, and you should always bear this in mind when trading foreign currencies. A mixture of financial analysis, bit news events, and long term trends combine to cause fluctuations in the forex market. You can keep up-to-date with all three with our latest forex news and analysis.
Dollar Index fails to sustain gains as bears eye a move below $90
US dollar index in recovery mode as Treasury nominee Janet Yellen set to declare commitment to market-determined dollar
Here’s where the dollar is heading if Joe Biden wins
Where can I learn more about forex trading?
Right here on invezz.com. We have a variety of free, beginner-friendly forex courses to guide you through how to trade forex. Using these you can learn more about how forex markets work and build your confidence before your start trading.
Yes, online forex brokers are available 24/7 – but opening new trades is not possible on weekends. Because of the opening and closing of different markets around the world, forex trades can be placed at any time during weekdays. On weekends it is not possible to open new positions, but you can close existing ones with your broker.
Yes, you can hold multiple trading platform accounts at the same time. Generally it is easier to place all your trades with the same forex broker, however, unless you’re scalping and trying to profit from the difference in spreads between platforms.
If you forget the password to your online brokerage account, then simply click the ‘forgotten password’ link on the login screen of your broker’s website. An email will be sent to you with instructions as to how to reset your password.
Yes, it is possible to engage in both short and long selling of foreign currencies with forex brokers, depending on which way you see the price of each currency going. In fact, many forex traders short currencies on a regular basis. Unlike on the stock market, risks associated with shorting on Forex are relatively limited, because of the inter-relation of currencies within given currency pairs.
Yes. Most forex trading platforms allow you to trade foreign currencies on easy-to-use mobile apps.
Yes, trading forex using an online broker is legal in the UK and in the majority of countries around the world. Always check the law where you live before engaging in trading activity, however.
Not all of them, but the best forex trading platforms are regulated by recognised financial bodies. In the UK, forex trading platforms are regulated by the FCA. The Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates forex trading in the United States.
Trading with an unregulated broker puts your capital at risk, as you have no protection if the platform turns out to be fraudulent.
It depends on how you trade forex. Spread betting doesn’t attract any taxes in the UK, but profits made from CFD trading will be subject to capital gains tax. Check the tax laws where you live to see if you have to pay tax on your forex trades.
It depends on the broker. There are many forex brokers that accept PayPal as a payment method, and with these platforms you’ll be able to withdraw directly into your PayPal account. With other trading platforms you might have to withdraw to your bank account and then transfer the money to PayPal
No, forex brokers require you to provide identification when registering for an FX trading account.
Yes, forex brokers will typically apply limits as to how much can be deposited, withdrawn, or traded in a given time period. Typically the minimum deposit with a broker will be in the region of £100, with other limits varying considerably from broker to broker.
Yes, you can. Your online forex trading platform will keep a record of your trades over time, and you will be able to access this through the dashboard of your account.
Yes, but it takes a few days. You’ll need to close all your positions on your current broker, withdraw your funds, open an account with a different broker, and deposit the funds into your account. After that’s all gone through you’ll be able to start trading with your new forex broker.
- 1. Compare the best forex brokers & trading platforms
- 2. What are the best forex trading platforms?
- 3. What is a forex broker?
- 4. The best forex trading platforms for beginners, traders, and long-term investors
- 5. What should I look for in a trading platform?
- 6. Quick answers to key questions
- 7. Should I use a broker to trade forex?
- 8. FAQs