The Best Brokers for the Fast-Paced Forex Market

Who is the Top Forex Broker?

The best brokers are required to facilitate the fast-paced forex markets. We had a look into the leading forex brokers to bring the top choices to you.

The foreign exchange (forex) markets have drastically increased in popularity over the past few years. Once accessible to only those with dealing desks in investment banks, the proliferation of the internet has made this market accessible to all. In this post, we examine the top brokers that give their clients the best access to the forex market and the top tools to go with it.

Apart from the exchange pairs available to be traded, there are multiple other considerations take into account when choosing a forex broker. What kind of trading platforms are available is going to directly tie in with the performance of forex traders. The trade commissions will be another factor which is going to impact returns. Educational resources and support to improve trading strategies is another feature which will help traders bump up their earnings.

We delved deep into leading forex brokers to assess all of the factors that go into making a high-quality broker for forex traders. After trialing through the best and the worst, we found the following to be the best forex brokers reviewed:

Broker Overall rating Min deposit Fee Rating Customer service quality
79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

XTB is a publicly listed online trading service provider. The company was founded in Poland in 2002. It operates in numerous jurisdictions worldwide and is regulated by numerous regulators including the FCA.

XTB offers both MT4 as a trading platform and their own trading technology xStation 5. These are both attractive platforms with a host of features to assist in analysis. The platforms have a full suite of technical analysis tools and also have other tools such as sentiment analysis. Traders will not be able to avail of DMA to the forex market when trading with these platforms. There is also some restriction on the access to the market with trading hours being 24 hours for five days in the week.

However, there are also some benefits which make it a more attractive option for the smaller-scale trader. There is no minimum deposit required and traders can also make trades in micro-lot sizes. The spreads for the currency pairs start at 0.1 pips. Although it is not attractive as the platform that provides DMA with IG Group, the forex trading with XTB is more suitable and accessible for the trader that is starting out.

IG Group has a long history of operation. Founded in 1974 in the UK, the company currently specialises in providing online trading services. Although it started as a small operation, IG Group is now a publicly listed company listed on the FTSE 250. The company is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and also by multiple other regulators in other jurisdictions where it operates.

The forex services offered by IG Group cater for a wide variety of traders. The most advanced forex trading available to professional clients facilitates direct market access (DMA) for traders. This enables traders to avail of the lowest spread possible as their trades are facilitated directly into the market. However, there are data fees and also certain requirements which need to be met for a trader to become a professional client. Other options include trading the forex market through either CFDs or spread betting derivatives. These both have higher spreads but are available to all clients.

There are a number of trading platforms available to traders to facilitate the wide range of options from DMA to CFD trading. There is a dedicated platform for DMA that traders need to apply for. The hugely popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) is another option available to all IG traders. MT4 can be downloaded as a desktop client and features a wide variety of trading tools. Other platforms include apps which can be downloaded for mobile or tablet and a platform coded with HTML5 which is accessible through web browsers.

Interactive Brokers is a discount brokerage firm which competes with larger brokerage firms such as E-Trade, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade by charging drastically lower fees. The company was founded in 1977. The company started off as a small group of market makers but has now developed into one of the largest electronic brokerage firms. The firm is also now publicly listed and complies with numerous regulatory bodies including the SEC, CFTC, and FINRA.

Interactive Brokers has forex trading available from Sunday 17:15 to Friday 17:00 ET. The forex pricing is comprised of quotations from sixteen forex dealers. This results in extremely tight spreads that start at 0.1 pips. Interactive Brokers charges a separate commission on forex trades executed and this fee depends on the volume traded. The commissions start at 0.2 basis points multiplied by the trade value.

Interactive Brokers have a wide variety of trading platforms which caters for different levels of traders. All of the platforms function on Interactive Brokers own software and are available for desktop, tablet, mobile, and web. The desktop client is the most powerful and has the largest suite of trading tools. There is also a built-in bot that understands text and voice so that traders can place an order by speaking to the platform. There is also a host of API solutions which allows more advanced traders to integrate the Interactive Brokers backend to a different front end solution.

Pepperstone was founded in Australia in 2010. It has since expanded operations to multiple jurisdictions worldwide and has offices in the UK, Thailand, and the United States as well as Australia. The company is also regulated by the FCA. Pepperstone have a number of different accounts to cater to a variety of different traders. More advanced traders can set up an account where they can avail of interbank pricing with spreads from 0 pips. However, they will pay commission on this account so it is more suited if they are trading with a large account size. This type of account will also allow them to apply leverage on some products up to 500:1. These type of accounts are typically for professional traders. The other accounts are more suited for retail traders and will enable the trader to apply leverage up to 30:1. Pepperstone have a number of different trading platforms. They have the hugely popular MT4 desktop software available for retail traders. They have their own more advanced infrastructure available for professional traders to enable them to access interbank pricing. The Pepperstone trading platforms are supported on the web, mobile, and on desktop.

Pro's and Con's

Broker Pro's Con's
  • FCA Regulated. Quick account opening process with easy funding methods
  • Extensive education section combined with user videos
  • Offers MT4 and proprietary X-Station with options for Expert Advisor
  • Focused around CFD and Forex
  • Maximum leverage is not the highest available
  • Long track record in the CFD industry. Listed on the LSE, regulated in numerous jurisdictions
  • Offers a huge number of CFD’s (10,000+) in a variety of markets
  • Very affordable initial deposit of £250 for UK clients
  • Own research division, which is a benefit to its clients
  • Unless you live in the UK or Australia, you will only be able to trade CFDs
  • Doesn’t allow clients to select their level of leverage, defaults to the maximum allowed by regulators
  • Around for more than four decades and offers its clients a wide range of assets
  • Ability to buy actual shares, in addition to FOREX trading and CFDs
  • Extremely low rates and fees, which are a big benefit to frequent traders
  • Bad reputation when it comes to customer service, especially with smaller accounts.
  • The trading platform that Interactive Brokers designed has been described as ‘unintuitive’.
  • A wide variety of tools that traders can use to help when making their trading decisions.
  • Traders can apply large amounts of leverage and take both long and short positions in markets
  • A vast library of educational tools suitable for traders of all levels
  • Not a huge variety of trading instruments available within market classes
  • There are several different fee types which traders are subject to
  • Only operating for approximately ten years
79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Choosing the best forex broker for you…

Any of the brokers reviewed here are worthy considerations. However, when making a final decision, you need to determine what is most important for your trading. If it is having the best advantage when it comes to fees, you can look more closely at the brokers offering the lowest rates. If education or the fastest execution times are more important, you might be willing to give up having the lowest fees. Choosing a broker can also have its tradeoffs. Look for the best quality across every factor but also be aware of what are the most important priorities for your trading. There is certainly an argument that in certain regions some of these brokers are stronger, a prime example would be Pepperstone in the Australian market; with offices in Melbourne (Australia) and Interactive Brokers in Sydney.