Can I trade forex without a broker?

Lots of people want to trade forex but not everyone wants to use a broker. Here we look at if it is even possible to trade forex without a broker.
By:  &  James Knight
Updated: Jul 7, 2022

This beginner friendly guide explores the different options traders have. We discuss if you can trade without a forex broker, explain what a broker is, and compare the top platforms to use for forex trading. 

Is it possible to trade forex without a broker?

Yes, although using a broker is the easiest way to speculate on currency fluctuations. Forex trading is essentially exchanging one currency for another and it is not necessary to use a broker for this service. Lots of people use a bureau de change at the airport for example. Other common places you can buy and sell FX are banks and post offices. 

While in theory you could use any of the above services, it will be very difficult, expensive, and long winded to use them for trading activities. Many of these services have vastly different rates compared to online brokerage firms. Their spreads are much higher than what you’ll find with a broker, as are commissions and other charges. 

Trading forex without a broker exposes you to unnecessary risk and makes the process much longer compared to using an online company. Forex brokers can give you direct access to the market so you’ll get the best prices. You can also use things like a stop loss on a brokerage platform which protects you from big swings in prices.  

What is a forex broker?

It’s an online company that allows you to trade the forex market. Forex brokers work in lots of different ways but generally act as an intermediary between you and the interbank market (where banks trade currencies with each other). Most brokers operate online and to access their trading terminals you will need to use a piece of software known as a platform. 

A trading platform is what connects you to your brokerage account and facilitates the buying and selling of currencies. Trading platforms come in all different shapes and sizes and the most popular one for forex is MetaTrader 4. When using a forex broker you will be able to trade a broad range of FX pairs, use technical tools, and price charts for analysis. 

Platforms can be used on a computer or via a mobile app. There are many different types of brokers. ECN and STP brokers connect you directly to the interbank market so you can have the best prices and fastest execution. Others let you trade forex using CFDs, and most give you the ability to trade using leverage. 

Benefits and risks of trading forex without a broker

Although it is possible to trade forex without a broker it is generally not recommended. There are some benefits but there are many more risks and below we have included a few of the key ones:

Benefits

  • Less chance of falling for online scams or fraud
  • You don’t need a bank account and can make all transactions using cash

Risks

Which broker should I use?

Now that you know the benefits of using a broker compared to not using one you may be ready to start trading. You can click on any of the links below to register an account with some of the best forex brokers around and start trading in just a few minutes.

1
Min. Deposit
$10
Promotion
User Score
10
Leverage
500:1
New accounts
Spreads
0.8
PIPs
Regulations
Forex Pairs
55+
No Fee
Start Trading
Pros:
55+ currency pairs available
Trade on a trusted platform
24/7 support via live chats, email or phone call
Payment Methods
Bitcoin, Credit Card, Debit Card, Visa
Full regulations list:
LonghornFX offers high-leverage trading on a wide variety of assets. Trading with leverage carries a degree of risk which may result in losing more than your investments. Clients should practise risk management to protect themselves from losing more than they can afford when trading with leverage.
2
Min. Deposit
$10
Promotion
User Score
9.3
Leverage
30:1
New accounts
Spreads
1
PIPs
Regulations
CySEC, FCA
Forex Pairs
No Fee
Start Trading
Pros:
Join the Social Trading revolution. Connect with other traders, discuss trading strategies, and use our patented CopyTrader
eToro is the world’s leading social trading platform, offering a wide array of tools to invest in the capital markets
Largest number of currency pairs to trade
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
3
Min. Deposit
$10
Promotion
User Score
8.7
Leverage
500:1
New accounts
Spreads
0.7
PIPs
Regulations
Forex Pairs
55+
No Fee
Start Trading
Pros:
Can fund with BTC
64 global companies including Netflix and Amazon
Free deposits and withdrawals
Payment Methods
Bitcoin, Credit Card, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
EagleFX offers leveraged trading on a range of assets within its platform. CFD and Spot Forex trading do carry a degree of risk which may result in you losing more than your initial investment. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved with leveraged trading and ensure this is not detrimental to your personal or institution's financial well being.
4
Min. Deposit
-
Promotion
User Score
8.5
Leverage
:1
New accounts
Spreads
PIPs
Regulations
CFTC, FCA, IIROC
Forex Pairs
No Fee
Start Trading
Pros:
Take a position on major global indices, including US Wall St 30 and France 40
Low spreads and accurate pricing reflecting the underlying market
Comprehensive analysis and new for better decision making
Payment Methods
Bank Wire, Check, Credit Card
Full regulations list:
CFTC, FCA, IIROC, MAS, NFA
Leveraged trading in foreign currency contracts or other off-exchange products on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you in light of your personal circumstances. You may lose more than you invest.
5
Min. Deposit
-
Promotion
User Score
7.9
Leverage
:1
New accounts
Spreads
PIPs
Regulations
Forex Pairs
No Fee
Start Trading
Pros:
Forex Demo Account
Trading accounts in EUR, USD, PLN, CZK, GBP
MT4 and MT5 platforms
Payment Methods
BPAY, Bank Wire, Bitcoin, Boleto, CartaSi, Carte Bleue, China UnionPay, Credit Card, Dankort
Debit Card, Giropay, Ideal, MoneyGram, POLi, Paxum, PayCo, Przelewy24, Sofort, Trustly, Western Union, ePay bg, ePayments Transfer, neteller, postepay, skrill
Full regulations list:

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Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is a lead content editor for Invezz. He's an avid trader and golfer, who spends an inordinate amount of time watching Leicester City and the… read more.