Forex Trading Platforms and Brokers in
When traders want to trade in the forex markets, they will need a broker. But what exactly is a broker? We can explain it as follows:
Let’s say you want to buy a loaf of bread, so you set out to the closest shop. The loaf of bread is what you want to buy and the local market is the place where you can do this, because that is where bread is sold.
Similarly, imagine you are now selling bread and need to find customers. You can go to the local market because that is where your customers are. That is where there are people buying bread. The shop is a place where buyers and sellers meet. But, when you go to a shop, you won’t see people selling bread to each other; they will be sold through the shop itself.
In the forex markets, this is no different. There are buyers and sellers of different currencies – and they all need a place to come together and there needs to be a facility to actually buy and sell those currencies. Unlike a shop, in the forex markets, buyers and sellers can be thousands of miles apart. In order to find each other, there must be a mechanism that matches their interests: this is where the broker comes in.
So, What Is The Forex Broker's Role?
A broker is where buyers and sellers will go to buy and sell instruments, such as currencies.
The forex broker operates as a middleman between a trader and the market. A trader is not just the middleman between a trader and another buyer or seller, they are also the middlemen between a trader and what is called a “liquidity provider”
How Does A Trader Interact With A Forex Broker?
The broker can be seen as someone that a trader phones in order to buy or sell currencies. The development of the Internet and software now allows traders to interact with a broker through what is called a trading platform or trading software.
What Is A Trading Platform?
A trading platform is a piece of software through which a trader can actually buy and sell different currencies. Trading platforms are software downloaded from the Internet and installed onto a traders’ computer and this is what they will use to trade forex.
In online forex trading, most trading activity will happen through the broker’s trading platform and this means that the trading platform of a trader’s chosen broker must be user-friendly and stable.
When looking for a broker, traders should always check what its trading platform has to offer.
Does it offer free news feed, easy-to-use technical and charting tools? Does it present traders with all the information they will need to trade properly and effectively?
Is Forex Trading Legal in Nigeria?
Forex trading is legal in Nigeria if a trader trades their money for their personal benefit alone but raising capital from third parties for their benefit without a proper license to do so is illegal.
How Much do I Need to Start Trading Forex in Nigeria?
Some Forex and CFD brokerages require no minimum deposit and accept Nigerian residents as customers but, it is impractical to trade Forex with much less than $100 or its equivalent. $500 are recommended.
The Best Forex Trading Platforms and Brokers in Nigeria
Pepperstone boasts three top forex trading platforms:
- MetaTrader 4 – Most Popular for Forex Trading
- MetaTrader 5 – Most Popular CFDs Trading Platform
- cTrader – Best Automated Trading Platform
All three FX trading platforms come with a free demo account which will allow Nigerian traders to test out the forex broker and platform for 30 days. A maximum of AUD $50k in virtual funds can be traded over this duration on CFDs and forex markets.
Platform enhancements available for Pepperstone include:
- MetaTrader 4 smart trader tools,
- cTrader Automate
- Autochartist and
- API trading
Pepperstone is the most awarded provider when it comes to customer service, including investment trends which survey, actual forex traders, to gauge their performance. Pepperstone customer support ranges from global call centres, live chat and e-mail.
Pepperstone is considered safe since it’s regulated by two top-tier financial authorities, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), with a head office based in Australia.
C Markets is based in Australia and offers traders the lowest brokerage fees including:
- Low spreads on major currency pairs and exotic pairings
- Low commissions for MT4, MT5 or cTrader forex traders
- No Deposit or Withdrawal Fees
Commissions Offered by IC Markets
Forex traders in Nigeria can receive some of the lowest commissions from IC Markets including:
- USD $3.5 (per lot per side) for MetaTrader 4
- USD $3.5 (per lot per side) for MetaTrader 5
- USD $3.0 (per USD 100k) for cTrader
There is no commission for the standard account (commission-free account).
IC Markets is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of Seychelles.
EasyMarkets Is the Best Forex Broker for Beginners in Nigeria and is regulated by CSEC (Cyprus) and ASIC (Australia) and offers beginner forex traders:
- Enhanced risk management tools as standard
- Fixed spreads on all forex pairings
- An easy to use forex trading platform
Risk Management Tools Offered by EasyMarkets
EasyMarkets offers traders three key risk management tools which are ideal to those new to currency trading:
‘dealCancellation’, when activated allows a trader to cancel a trade within 60 minutes when the markets move in the wrong direction, which is perfect for beginners or those who are concerned about the high risk of leveraged products.
Note: Only certain currency pairings offer dealCancellation and the feature can only be activated at certain times and there is a small fee when this is activated.
Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders
Most forex brokers in Nigeria offer stop-loss orders which will exit a trader when a set profit or loss is made on any trade, but the issue exists that when a market has low liquidity or experience high turbulence the CFD provider won’t be able to exist the trader at the set price, this is known as slippage and can lead to unexpected losses exceeding traders’ expectations.
EasyMarkets make all stop-loss ordered guaranteed stops meaning the maximum losses set are guaranteed to be locked in or the FX broker will cover the difference.
Negative Balance Protection
Similar to stop losses, negative balance protection helps stop a trader’s losses before it exceeds their expectations, but in this case, rather than protecting losses exceeding the amount set on a single trade, this stops overall losses from exceeding deposits. EasyMarkets guarantees traders that they will not lose more than their balance and if this does occur, they will cover the difference.
Perfect Platform for Beginners
EasyMarkets has a trading platform which is perfect for Beginners and offer the choice of MT4 or their own online trading platform. The EasyMarkets features such as dealCancellation are only available through their online forex platform which also includes a mobile trading app for iPhone, Android and iPad devices.
CMC Markets Has the Lowest Minimum Deposit and is one of the largest online brokers for stock market and currency trading in Nigeria. CMC Markets offer:
- A range of financial markets including Bitcoin
- $0 minimum deposit and easy funding methods
- Advanced charting through the Next Generation CFD platform
Financial Markets With CMC
CMC Markets specialise in trading forex with over 330 forex pairs but this is not the only CFDs financial markets traders can trade.
Other CFDs include:
- Commodities and treasuries
Funding with CMC Markets
CMC Markets offers basic funding methods including:
- Credit Cards (minus AMEX or Diner’s Club Cards)
- Debit Cards
- Bank account transfers
The biggest advantage is that CMC Markets has a $0 minimum deposit which means that you can move from a demo account to a live account without a large deposit required.
Advanced Charting Through the Next Generation Platform
CMC offers the choice of MT4 forex trading platform or the next generation platform.
Other key features of the Next Generation charting include:
- 35+ drawing tools
- Technical indicators
- Price History
- Chart Intervals
- Customised Charts
These five key features and the ability to trade directly from charts is why CMC’s CFD trading platform is considered the leader when it comes to charting.
CMC Markets is regulated through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 173730.
ForexTime (FXTM) Offers Local NGN Funding, an offer not made by most online brokers which increases exchange costs of currency trading. ForexTime offers NGN account funding through bank wire transfer or Neteller with a minimum deposit of $100 for a standard forex account for ForexTime. This allows traders to start trading a range of currency markets while lowering the exchange costs when moving NGN currency to a standard base currency.
Key Features of FXTM (ForexTime)
ForexTime offers social trading (copy trading) which means a trader:
- Selects a Strategy Manager
- Makes a deposit (minimum deposit of $100)
- Mirror the Strategy Manager’s trade
- Watch as you share a percentage of wins/losses
- Cash-out or add deposits when required
ForexTime is ideal for Nigerian traders new to CFDs with a higher risk profile.
FXTM is regulated by several financial authorities, including the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and supports multiple languages including Arabic, Czech, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Malaysian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
OANDA is the Most Regulated Forex Broker and operate across six of the most credible authorities including:
- Australia AISC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission)
- United States CFTD (Commodity Futures Trading Commission)
- Europe and UK FCA – (Financial Conduct Authority)
- Japan IFFA (Institute Financial Futures Association)
- Singapore MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore)
- Canada IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada)
OANDA Focuses on Transparency
OANDA is focused on pricing transparency and customer satisfaction and they offer real-time data from liquidity providers and finds mid-points across instruments. When it comes to customer support, OANDA boasts multiple customer service awards for 24 hours/6 days a week support. Live chat, emails and phone support is available.
Alpari offers the latest MT5 software coupled with solid features without a freezing or downtime. Alpari also offer instant order execution with Nano, Standard accounts, and market execution with their ECN accounts and comes with multiple timeframes, order types and many technical indicators for technical analysis. There is a news feed built in to keep track of any news during trading and a PAMM account for investors are also on offer with an app where traders can keep track.
Alpari Key Features:
- Supports: MT4 & MT5 with multi device support
- Minimum deposit: ₦0
- Max. Leverage: 1:1000
- Trading Instruments: 46 Forex pairs, Cryptocurrency, CFDs on Indices
Alpari is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
The HotForex MT5 terminal offers 21 different timeframes, superior analysis tools, trading across HotForex asset classes, close to 100 simultaneous charts, hedging and one-click trading and 80+ technical indicators plus an in-built economic calendar.
The account can be accessed from anywhere using an iPhone, interactive charts for 9 timeframes, advanced trading functions, one-click trading, 24 analytical objects, and 30 technical indicators.
Hotforex’s Metatrader offers a fast order execution, news feed, multiple order types, support for EAs.
Key features include:
- Supports: MT4, MT5 for desktop, web & mobile
- Minimum deposit: $5
- Max. Leverage: 1:1000
- Trading Instruments: Forex, Cryptocurrencies, CFDs on Stock Indices, Commodities, metals
HotForex is regulated by the St. Vincent & the Grenadines regulatory authority, the CySEC in Cyprus, and the FSC of the Republic of Mauritius under the HF Markets moniker.
Tickmill has a 100% NDD forex platform, meaning that there is no conflict of interest with their clients. Tickmills’ MT4 has full support for EA’s, multiple charts, news, limit orders & much more.
Tickmills’ MT4 is supported on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, as well as webtrader and the platform has 62 currency pairs.
Key Features include:
- Supports: Metatrader for desktop, web & mobile
- Minimum deposit: $100
- Max. Leverage: 1:500
- Trading Instruments: Forex, CFDs on Stock Indices, precious metals
TickMill Ltd is regulated as a Securities Dealer by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA).
- Regulated by: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)
- Headquarters: Australia
- Foundation year: 2007
- Min Deposit: No minimum deposit.
- Used by over 10,000 traders
How to Choose a Forex Broker – In Short
What are you looking for in a forex broker? To do this, traders need to create a list of all the things or items they will need that a forex broker should provide. This list should include topics like –
- How many currency pairs would you like to trade?
- What kind of trading leverage do you need?
- What kind of spread do you want, a fixed or variable spread broker?
- Which country do you want your forex broker to be in?
Use Google, Yahoo or Bing search engines and visit each forex broker in consideration and see if any of these forex broker match and meets your needs.
When visiting a forex brokers website:
- Read their policies and trading rules.
- Understand their terms and conditions
Traders should avoid any broker who –
- Has no physical address listed on the contact us page or anywhere on the broker’s site.
- Only has phone, chats, skype ID and email.
- Overall website appearance is not good.
Search forex broker reviews. Some will be very good and others less flattering. So, keep an open mind when reading these, and don’t make it the base of your decision alone. Follow up by Sending A Test Email to A Forex Broker/Call Their Phone as some brokers will be very quick in taking your money to open your forex trading account but their response to customer inquiries or customer support may be beyond poor.
As it has been repeated a few times in the guide above, picking the right broker will have a massive influence on how successful a user’s trading venture will be.
No detail should be left to chance and traders will need a well-regulated broker, where a trader’s money is safe, one that features a user-friendly trading platform, with tight spreads and fees, and on top of it all suits a user’s trading style. Brokerage selection is a time-consuming task, but a necessary time investment into the eventual success as a Forex trader. The basic criteria to use in choosing a broker are few and simple – yet important!