The sheer number of available forex brokers for beginners seems daunting, prompting a lot of time-consuming research. Additionally, it requires even more patience to receive proper education about successfully trading forex.
Fortunately, this comprehensive article will assist in both aspects. We have detailed some of the essential considerations when selecting the best forex brokers for beginners and how we rate them. Firstly, we have only listed regulated entities, all of whom hold multiple licenses from numerous jurisdictions.
The beginner will also find only brokers with favorable trading conditions and overall reasonable costs for capital requirements and trading purposes. Other focus in our selection include the range of available tradeable markets, educational and research material, payment options, and customer support channels.
We have narrowed the choice down to five top forex brokers for beginners, all embodying the above attributes, along with some helpful information about what forex trading is, what one needs to start trading, how forex brokers work, and essential trading tips for getting started.
Top 5 Forex Brokers For Beginners
Currency Pairs: 55
EURUSD Spread: 0.9 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:400
Since 2006, AvaTrade’s mission has been to provide an environment for traders of multiple financial instruments to trade with confidence. Their longevity and recognition align with their global footprint, boasting offices in numerous more countries than most brokers.
As part of their educational offering, AvaTrade offers the Sharp Trader service, providing written and video form material to impart basic to advanced knowledge for trading forex. Moreover, AvaTrade provides a copy trading service, a further advantage for novice traders still learning the ropes.
Generally, the broker’s product suite caters brilliantly towards newcomers in forex trading.
- Holds seven regulatory licenses in six continents
- Has offices in 10 countries
- Many depositing choices
- Extensive range of tradable markets
- Inactivity fee applies
- Only offers one account type
- Minimum deposit of $100
Currency Pairs: 48
EURUSD Spread: 0.7 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:500
Aside from XTB’s long-standing credentials as an exchange-listed brand with close to 20 years of existence, they are one of the few brokers with no minimum deposit. This attribute is well-suited, particularly for beginning and cash-strapped investors looking to trade forex.
Furthermore, no commissions exist on their standard account. Coupled with competitive spreads and rebates for clients in certain regions, X-Trade Brokers is a worthy consideration for the cost-conscious investor.
Along with offering numerous derivatives aside from forex, many payment options, platforms, and interactive client support, the broker has all its bases covered.
- Exchange-listed broker regulated by numerous bodies
- Has offices in 12 countries
- Provides zero spread account
- Various base account denominations, namely USD, EUR, GBP, HUF, and PLN
- No minimum deposit
- Withdrawal fees
- Inactivity fee
- No negative balance protection for traders outside the EU
- Doesn’t offer services to clients in 39 countries
Currency Pairs: 55
EURUSD Spread: 0.6 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:400
Forex.com is one of the oldest forex brokers still operating, priding itself on longevity, reliability, security, financial strength, and global competitiveness.
From a beginner’s perspective, the brokerage offers everything one would need here, from recognized platforms, extensive range of pairs, reasonable trading costs, responsive customer support, etc. Overall, there is very little to fault with Forex.com.
- Accepts US clients
- Part of a NASDAQ-listed subsidiary
- Well capitalized
- Offers several different accounts
- Only offers maximum leverage of 1:50
Currency Pairs: 47
EURUSD Spread: 1.0 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:30
eToro has existed since 2007 and is known for its multi-derivatives services and being leaders in the social trading space. Beginners can benefit from trading countless currencies on recognized platforms. Alternatively, they could consider joining their innovative social investment facility.
Social trading is a service allowing non-active or beginning investors to copy the positions of expert traders automatically in a social network. While losses do occur, such a platform can provide profiting opportunities passively.
Therefore, eToro is unique since beginners can choose to trade forex in a safe and regulated space or potentially profit from their social trading solutions.
- One of the leading and well-known social trading networks globally
- Has been active since 2007
- US-friendly broker
- Inactivity fee
- Doesn’t offer services to clients in more than 100 countries
- Much lower leverage than most brokers
- Conversion fee for non-USD deposits
Currency Pairs: 55
EURUSD Spread: 1.7 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:888
XM is one of the highly recognized names of forex brokerages since 2009, catering to clients of all levels and most nationalities. From multiple regulations, a broad selection of tradable markets to multi-language customer support, and excellent trading conditions, there’s virtually nothing a trader can’t benefit from XM.
One of the unique offerings with XM is their $30 no deposit bonus offer for brand-new clients, a deal they’ve been running for some years now. As a beginning trader, this promotion allows one to test their trading conditions without any financial risk.
Though a few Tcs and Cs apply should someone profit from this bonus, not many brokers offer this. Overall, aside from this generous promotion, XM is highly competitive and a hassle-free broker to trade with.
- Regulated by various regulatory bodies
- Offers cent account
- $30 no deposit bonus for new clients
- Inactivity fee
- Does not offer zero spread account
What is forex trading?
Forex, a portmanteau of foreign exchange, is a global decentralized financial market for buying and selling currencies. The participants in this arena are mainly large financial institutions, professional traders, and retail traders, all speculating on the exchange rates of numerous pairs.
The primary purpose of foreign exchange is facilitating international trade where private individuals and businesses regularly need to convert their money through buying or selling one currency to receive another. Countless market forces determine these rates, which fluctuate every second.
Speculators in forex study a plethora of technical, fundamental, and sentiment factors to determine when to buy or sell pairs to make a profit. Like many instruments, one of the main advantages is traders can make money in both rising and falling markets.
Unlike other securities, forex stands out for a few reasons. For starters, it is the most liquid and traded market globally. According to the Bank of International Settlements’ 2019 triennial survey, forex averaged $6.6 trillion in trading volume; this number has almost certainly grown larger since.
This unique feature allows for millisecond-quick buying and selling of currencies and profit gains within minutes or months. Secondly, forex is open for trading 24/5. Lastly, it is the most leveraged financial instrument amongst them all, meaning the barrier to entry is lower than it’s ever been.
If we combine all these motives, it’s clear to observe why forex is becoming increasingly popular.
What do I need to start trading forex?
The decision to venture into any financial market should be seriously scrutinized, considering all the educational and monetary implications. Though forex is quite accessible and getting involved is relatively simple, prospective traders need to take a few things into account:
Understanding the financial risks
As with any security, forex carries a considerable potential for capital loss, which is often further exacerbated by leverage and volatile conditions.
Although profits are indeed possible, losing money occurs even for professional traders with years of experience. Beginners should appreciate trading is a game of probabilities rather than certainties. Thus, past results are not always an indication of future performance.
Knowing the basics of forex trading
Novice traders should equip themselves with all the rudimentary elements of trading currencies. This includes understanding the common terminology, knowing how leverage, margin, and equity work, the currency code symbols, trading costs, etc.
Choosing a broker to open a demo account
Grasping the last step will transition swiftly into this step. A demo account is the next logical part for any beginner to start practicing what they’ve learned.
It may seem a zillion brokers exist offering demo accounts, making it harder to know the best one to choose. Fortunately, the following guides will assist in this regard.
More importantly, this account will show them how real markets move, help navigate the trading platform, and place positions mimicking what they would in real life without any real money down.
How do forex brokers work?
Brokers are the middlemen between traders and the actual forex market. Forex comprises several financial institutions trading massive volumes of currencies. Many of these dealers are large banks such as JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Citi, and UBS, which are referred to as the interbank market.
Naturally, the average Joe would not be able to trade directly with this group primarily due to capital requirements. A forex broker is a financial services operation allowing easier access to this interbank market for retail and professional traders.
Furthermore, this broker provides the trading software and ensures it can seamlessly trade on-demand with little or no glitches. Whenever one executes an order to buy or sell a currency pair, the broker will route this position to the interbank market.
For their efforts, the broker applies a spread, essentially a mark-up between the price received from the interbank market and the final one seen by the trader. It’s crucial to note numerous brokers are also dealers themselves, a brokerage model known as a dealing desk or market maker.
Also, some brokers can receive compensation from commissions applied for every order and swaps, the latter of which are fees a trader may incur for holding positions overnight. Regardless of the brokerage model, brokers are also responsible for facilitating deposits and withdrawals for their clients, which sometimes might have fees payable to them.
How to choose a forex broker for a beginner trader
Choosing a forex broker as a beginner trader should encompass the following:
Looking at regulation licenses
This is the first reference point for any potential client in the industry. Regulation licensing ensures a broker strictly adheres to best practices, is well-capitalized, and secure. Dealing with an organization upholding these qualities brings peace of mind.
The second aspect of regulation is looking at where a particular broker has acquired their license. Regions considered offshore like Belize, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and Mauritius aren’t as trusted as those in Europe, Australia, and North America.
Regulators like CySEC (Cyprus), FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), and others predominantly from Europe are well recognized in forex and should be top of mind for the beginning trader.
Looking at trading costs
Here, we have the costs of execution and those dealing with funding/withdrawing to consider. Newer traders will naturally start with low capital, making it imperative to choose a broker with a small minimum deposit.
For trading purposes, traders need not worry much about since spreads and commissions (if any) are competitive across the board. If one desired to hold positions overnight, they would have to compare the swap rates.
For funding, it’s best to opt for options not typically incurring fees like card payments because of their instantaneous nature.
For withdrawing, the trader will have to differentiate and preferably choose the many brokers not levying any commissions. Also, withdrawals should generally occur within a maximum of two days.
Lastly, a trader will want a broker capable of providing responsive support in their preferred language, whether through live chat, telephone, email, or instant messaging.
How to avoid scam forex brokers
Avoiding becoming a victim to a scam forex broker is much simpler nowadays, thanks to regulation. Clients can easily verify a broker’s license with a certain regulator and whether it’s currently active or not.
Scams in forex rarely come from brokers but more from individuals. A brokerage business is always conscious of maintaining a healthy reputation to attain and retain clients.
Many traders are prone to reading assessments from several online forums and review websites. Traders often provide negative comments about brokers on these platforms that could make one think of a scam.
In most cases, these are ill-informed and more to do with natural market dynamics than the broker’s wrongdoing. Still, traders should observe such platforms only to gauge if there are persistent comments about withdrawal difficulty.
Essential forex trading tips for beginners
As a beginner, getting educated sufficiently is the first goal. While the fundamental concept of buying and selling in forex is straightforward, a lot goes into the decision-making for eventually executing a position and being consistently profitable.
Ideally, a new trader should not consider a live account until at least a year has elapsed. During this time, one should have been consistently practicing a chosen strategy on a demo account and built up several months of performance data which has preferably been run through a simulation.
Only at this point will the trader now looking at choosing a broker using the guides above. One is going to consider how much capital to start with. Even if the trader has fairly superior confidence and sizeable net worth, it’s usually best to start small and grow gradually from there.
Importantly, they should only risk disposable income, money they are prepared to lose at any moment. Lastly, the trader must have realistic expectations and not focus on astronomical gains quickly; ultimately, forex is a marathon, not a sprint.