Forex Trading Platforms and Brokers in
Before traders start on this journey it is important to understand what the process involves. Forex trading is the exchange of currencies to make a profit from fluctuations in the exchange rate. To open a trade, a trader will have to choose a currency pair, and indicate the direction they expect the exchange rate to move. When the exchange rate between the two currencies change, the trader can close the trade for a profit or a loss. Currency pairs are an expression of one currency’s value in terms of another currency.
The foreign exchange market accounts for more than $5 trillion on average traded value each day, making it the world’s largest financial market and since there is no central marketplace for the forex market, traders must select a forex broker to help them conduct their trading activity. In this article we will take a look at the best 10 Best Forex Trading Platforms and Brokers in South Africa and how to make an informed choice when choosing a broker.
How to Trade Forex?
A broker is the only way for retail traders to gain access the Forex market and depending on how a Forex broker is set up, they will either maintain the market which is referred to as market maker or offer a direct connection to the international market which is referred to as direct market access.
A trader will need to create an account with a broker to get started in forex trading and this is usually executed via a product called a Contract for Difference (CFD) with a trader chosen broker. A Contract for Difference (CFD) is a contract between a trader and their broker to pay any difference in the price of the two currencies between opening and closing a trade. This is very useful, as it means that neither the trader or their broker needs to actually hold any currency.
How do beginners learn to trade Forex?
The best way for beginners to learn the trade is by using a demo account before depositing money into an account.
The Best Forex Trading Platforms and Brokers in South Africa include
Pepperstone was founded in 2010 in Melbourne, and on average, process over $12.55 billion of trades each day and is best known for its extensive selection of third-party trading platforms. Pepperstone provides both forex and CFD traders competitive pricing, outstanding customer service, and one of the largest selections of third-party platforms available
Pepperstone is authorised by Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and offers traders a decent range of options on pricing plans, with its commission-based Razor Account being the top choice for most.
Pepperstone accounts on offer includes: Standard, Razor, Active Trade & Order-Routing.
Pepperstone offers an excellent third-party platform, including the full MetaTrader and cTrader suites which includes a MT4 (desktop and web), MT4 Multi-terminal, MT5, cTrader (desktop and web), and cAlgo. Traders can use either account type, Razor, or Standard, with any platform. Mobile trading can be conducted with either the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) mobile app, or the cTrader app, all available directly from the developer.
The XM Group provides traders with the entire suite of MetaTrader platforms plus over 1300 tradeable instruments and is regulated in two tier-1 jurisdictions and one tier-2 jurisdiction, making it a safe broker for forex and CFDs trading.
The XM Group offers traders CFDs on 1200 stocks, 30 indices, eight commodities, four metals, five energies, and 57 forex pairs and the commissions and fees at XM Group will vary on the type of account used. The XM Group is a MetaTrader-only broker offering the standard experience which includes both MT4 and MT5.
XM Group’s research offering consists of:
- Content generated by an in-house team of analysts including:
- Daily market recaps and
- Technical and fundamental analysis articles and videos.
- An economic calendar powered by Investing.com
Plus500 is a trusted global brand with a user-friendly platform on offer but traders must take note that 80.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Traders should consider whether they can afford to take the high risk of losing their money. Plus500 is authorized and regulated by well-regarded financial regulators: Plus500UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Plus500 CY Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. Plus500 AU Ltd is regulated by Australian Securities and investments Commission. Plus500 Ltd is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and follows best practice of corporate governance.
The Plus500 platform is noted as one of the most user-friendly platforms out there whilst still including advanced features attractive to experienced traders. Plus500 traders can trade CFDs with over 2,000 instruments (Shares, Indices, Commodities, Forex, and ETFs) across over 20 different markets worldwide.
Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), licensed by: ASIC in Australia, AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026; Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP #47546. You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets. Please refer to the Disclosure documents available on the website.
Plus500 offers traders a full service in in more than 60 countries and 32 different language. Plus500 also offers a free (unlimited by time) demo version.
The Plus500 platform is available for desktop, web, and mobile; but, MetaTrader is not offered. Plus500‘s flagship platform includes:
- The Plus500 WebTrader (browser-based) platform is perfect for beginners and both the desktop and web-based versions focus on simplicity.
- The Plus500 WebTrader platform offers robust charting with over 100 optional technical indicators plus the ability to save chart templates.
The Plus500 mobile app is similar to the web and desktop versions, consistent in both look and feel.
Try it first – Plus500 offers a free (unlimited by time) demo version.
80.5% of retail CFD accounts lose money
easyMarkets is an easy to use platforms perfect for beginners and is regulated in one tier-1 jurisdiction and one tier-2 jurisdiction. easyMarkets is best known for its ease of use, and two beginner-friendly features: dealCancellation and Freeze Rate.
easyMarkets Accounts on offer include easyMarkets offers three account types for which trading costs will vary alongside two platforms, its own proprietary HTML5 web-based platform and MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
easyMarkets combine multiple research resources in its trading platforms, including:
- A sentiment indicator
- Economic news calendar
- Streaming news headlines from FxWirePro
- Trading signals from Trading Central
easyMarkets offers traders an exclusive mobile app alongside the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) mobile app.
ThinkMarkets, also formerly known as ThinkForex, offers forex and CFDs traders’ access to 38 forex pairs and nearly 200 CFDs, which includes nine cryptocurrency CFDs. ThinkMarkets is not publicly traded, does not operate a bank and is authorised by two tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust).
Commissions and fees will vary depending on the type of ThinkMarkets chosen and three account types and a separate account type for its Trade Interceptor platform is on offer.
IC Markets is an ASIC-regulated MetaTrader and cTrader broker which provides competitive spreads on its commission-based accounts for both forex and CFD traders and is considered average-risk, is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. IC Markets is authorised by one tier-1 regulator (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust).
IC Markets has three account types on offer and trading costs will vary from commission-free (spread only) to commission-based pricing (spread + commission).
Vantage FX offers retail forex and CFD traders the Metatrader platform suite, ChartIQ, coupled with auto trading on ZuluTrade and Myfxbook and is considered average-risk, is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. Vantage FX is authorised by two tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust).
Vantage FX trading costs will depend on the traders chosen account and accounts on offer include the commission-free Standard STP account and the commission-based Raw ECN account. iOS and Android versions of the MT4 app comes standard – both available for download from the Apple iTunes store and Google Playstore, respectively.
Forex Time (FXTM)
Forex Time (FXTM) is a MetaTrader broker which offers forex and CFD traders multiple account options for both MT4 and MT5 platforms and is considered as average-risk, is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. FXTM is authorised by zero tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust).
FXTM offers traders seven different accounts types where the execution method, range of markets, available platform, and commissions and fees will be varied upon choice.
Alpari with its long-standing brand history, numerous offices, range of account types and diverse managed account offerings is the perfect choice for Forex and CFD traders who are looking to leverage the power of MetaTrader platforms.
Alpari is considered high-risk, and is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank and is authorised by zero tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and one tier-3 regulators (low trust). Commissions and fees at Alpari will vary and depend on the account type and platform used. Alpari integrates research content from several third-party providers under its Forex Analytics section and is a MetaTrader-only broker.
InstaForex is a MetaTrader only broker and is considered as high-risk and is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. Instaforex is authorised by zero tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and one tier-3 regulator (low trust).
InstaForex offers users two main account types: Insta.Standard and Insta.Eurica – both accounts have a 1 USD minimum deposit. InstaForex provides a range of offerings which includes InstaForex’s daily market analysis blogs and technical analysis posts via MT5. Interviews, weekly reviews, and educational videos are also available.
InstaForex offers the MT4 platform suite from MetaQuotes Software Corporation, developer of the widely popular MT4 and MT5 platforms for desktop, mobile, and web. iOS and Android versions of the MetaTrader 4 mobile app come standard and are both available for download from the Apple iTunes store and Android Playstore, respectively.
UFX offers a responsive ParagonEx platform combined with MT4 and is considered high-risk, and is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. UFX is authorised by zero tier-1 regulators (high trust), one tier-2 regulator (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). UFX’ trading costs consist of fixed spreads for forex trading and will vary dependent on the type of account chosen. UFX offers five accounts to choose from.
UFX offers the MT4 platform suite from MetaQuotes Software Corporation plus the MetaTrader 4 mobile app, alongside its ParagonEx mobile app – available iOS and Android versions available for download from the Apple iTunes store and Android Playstore, respectively.
How to Find a Good Forex Broker in South Africa
There are a large and growing number of forex brokers, and choosing the right one requires thoughtfully sifting through an overwhelming number of magazine and internet advertisements.
Many South African Forex brokers do not offer the best of trading conditions but luckily, some international players have in recent years entered the region and the level of service for South Africa is noticeably better than that on offer for the other countries. The basic criteria to use in choosing a broker are few and simple.
Qualities to look for when picking a forex broker includes:
- Transaction Costs
- Deposit and Withdrawal
- Trading Platform
- Customer Service
It is strongly advised that traders only choose brokers authorized and regulated by leading regulation authorities as this indicates a broker’s reliability and will protect a traders’ money.
Easy to Use Forex Trading Platform
Online Forex trading needs to be simple, straight-forward, intuitive and easy to trade. A good User Interface is very important.
Efficient customer support is key and it always a good idea to communicate with brokers’ customer service reps before making a final broker choice. Simply ask them a few questions by mail or over the phone before opening an account and compare it to others. This is an easy way to get a feeling for the speed of service as well as its quality and availability.
Different Forex brokers offer different leverages and the higher the leverage used, the more profit can potentially be made, and the higher the risk.
First Deposit Bonus
There will be a few brokers offering great starting bonuses.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Traders need to pay attention to the broker policy regarding withdrawals, including the waiting time for withdrawals and other written policies.
It is crucial to use a well-known, properly regulated broker to avoid forex scams. To do this trader must first identify the register number from the disclosure text at the bottom of the broker’s homepage, followed by looking up the firm on the regulator’s website to validate the register number. If the broker is not regulated in a traders’ country, do more research!
What's the Difference Between a Dealing-desk and an Agency Broker?
If a forex broker is operating as a dealer, also known as dealing-desk, they will be on the other side of their client’s trades and on the flip-side if a forex broker is not on the other side of their client’s trades, they will be acting as an agent (agency broker) by routing the trade on to another dealer.
There are also hybrid-desks, which may operate as a dealing-desk and agency in one.
Choosing a Broker
Once a trader has selected the best forex broker for their particular needs, they should visit that broker’s official website and fill in an online form to get started. All brokers can perform identity and location verification for traders before opening an account and accepting their initial margin deposit.
Consider Your Trading Style
A traders preferred trading style or strategy can help them to determine the best broker for their needs. What generally differentiates various trading styles is the amount of time a trader will hold a position, trading frequency and how trade entries and exits are timed. Trading styles also tend to fall into two broad categories: intraday or position trading.
If a trader is a long-term position trader who trades relatively infrequently, they may want to select a broker with a broad range of assets paired with great information and educational offerings. Traders might not need to choose one with the tightest dealing spreads since they will not be trading often.
Active short-term traders are far more sensitive to dealing spread widths they will want to choose a broker with guaranteed order fills to help prevent that issue.
Another trading style factor could involve choosing a broker with negative balance protection. If a trader intends to place their account at risk, they should avoid a situation where a negative balance could put them into debt if a trading position goes sharply against them.
Traders must make sure that a broker is properly regulated. The safety of a deposit is always the top priority. Traders should take the time to compare the trading platforms, tools, and investment research provided by each broker and read forex broker reviews to compare pricing and product offerings (e.g., number of forex pairs and CFDs available to trade). Whether a trader is planning to trade forex or trade stocks on the stock market, it is best to remember that selecting a broker to partner with can impact a traders’ bottom line as a trader, so it is pivotal make sure this choice is as ideal as possible.
If a trader has confidence in their forex broker, they will be able to devote more time and attention to analysis and developing forex strategies. Traders must take their time when looking for a forex broker because a bad decision can turn out to be a costly mistake. Top brokers will offer robust resources, low trading costs and access to the worldwide interbank system and will handle a traders’ money with care, even if they open a small account in the hopes of turning it into a small fortune through their trading skills.