Best Forex Brokers for Australians

  • Summary
  • Trading
  • Spread
  • Support
Select up to three brokers to add to your custom comparison

Forex Trading in Australia

With an advanced economy and one of the best regulated financial sectors in the world, Australia has rapidly become a global hub for Forex trading. Many of the most influential brokers in the Forex industry are based here and Forex trading has never been easier or more secure for Australian traders.

With the number of high-quality Forex brokers competing in this financially literate market, selecting the right one to suit your needs can be difficult. Our goal at FX Australia is to help you compare the best brokers in Australia so you make the right choice when you open a Forex trading account.

How we Help You Compare Forex Brokers

Below are the most important criteria used to compare Forex brokers in Australia, these are the same criteria that we use to compose our State of the Market Report, which ranks all the brokers we review from best to worst. If you want to know more about how we work, check out our review process.

  • Regulation

Regulation is the first step in judging a broker’s trustworthiness – if a broker is compliant with the rules of one of the best regulators in the world you can be certain that you are being presented with a fair trading environment. It is generally agreed that the three best Forex regulators in the world are the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Many other regulators do exist and some of them also have excellent credentials, but these are the top three you want to look for.

  • Broker Type

All brokers will charge you for access to the Forex market. Some brokers will charge a fee through the spread – this means that the spread between the bid and the ask price will be wider – but will not charge any upfront commission. Other brokers will have a much smaller, or tighter, spread but will charge a commission per trade.

Brokers who charge a commission are known as ECN (Electronic Communication Network) brokers as any time you make a trade they will arrange for one of a network of liquidity providers (institutions with lots of money who provide backing to the brokers – usually big banks) to take the other side of your trade. Brokers that don’t charge a commission are called market makers, as they will usually take the other side of your trade themselves (what we call being the counterparty) and are therefore acting as the market themselves.

Some brokers can be a combination of both; you will find that many brokers will provide an ECN service on their higher-deposit account types while acting as a market maker for their lower-deposit accounts.

  • Trading Conditions

After trustworthiness, this is probably the most important overall criteria for judging a broker. Trading conditions is a catch-all term for those factors that have a direct impact on your profitability and are closely associated with the broker type, which we covered above. Common trading conditions include minimum deposit, average spread or commission charged, leverage offered, currency pairs available to trade, base currencies supported, whether hedging and scalping are allowed and whether swap-free (Islamic) accounts are available. These factors will directly impact your profit or loss, so you really don’t want any surprises.

  • Demo Accounts

Demo accounts are essential for all traders; new traders need them to learn how to trade and experienced traders need them to test out new strategies and to practice trading on unfamiliar currency pairs. Some brokers will have time-limited demo accounts or have other restrictions, so it’s important to find one that suits your needs.

  • Trading Platform

Trading platforms are the software used to place trades with your broker, most traders use third-party applications, but many brokers will also offer their own proprietary platforms. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) has been the market-leading third-party platform for well over a decade but many brokers also offer MetaTrader 5 (MT5), cTrader and other specialty platforms. MT4 has remained popular for so long because of the integrated programming language that was built specifically for it; MetaQuotes Language 4 (MQL4) allows traders to create trading robots, technical indicators, scripts, and function libraries for use on the platform. Talented programmers will give away or sell their successful trading robots and indicators via a market that’s built directly into the platform. Despite MT4’s popularity, MT5 and cTrader have been gaining in popularity in recent years.

  • Deposit and Withdrawal

Once you decide to work with a broker, you will have to think about funding your account. Most brokers will support debit/credit cards, bank wires and online payment systems such as Skrill or Neteller, but it’s important to check on fees and deposit and withdrawal times. This is doubly important if your chosen broker is located in a different country or if you will be converting currency to fund your account.

Featured Articles

AUD/USD to Benefit from China Nuclear Option in the Trade War

China is the largest foreign holder of US debt. According to the latest statistics, China owns $1.119 trillions worth of US treasuries. What traders need to understand is that China holds a massive US currency reserve which means that whatever China decides to do with its treasury bond holdings will impact the greenback.

Read article

Advantages of Brexit for the Australian Economy

The Australian economy, which has not seen a recession in the past 26 years and has survived every major financial crisis in modern history, is set for steady growth if the Australian government can successfully pull off a trade deal with the UK.

Read article

US Temporary Tariff Exemptions for Australia & AUDUSD Implications If A Deal Is Not Reached

One catalyst that has drawn most of the market’s attention recently is the intensifying trade war rhetoric surrounding US tariffs, and what the retaliatory response will be from affected nations. The Trump administration has granted temporary tariff exemptions for Australia, but the AUD/USD exchange rate is not out of trouble. 

Read article

What is Forex Trading?

Forex trading is the common term used to describe foreign exchange trading; it is also called currency trading, or FX trading. Forex trading is the exchange of currencies on the Forex market, the goal being to make a profit from fluctuations in the exchange rate. Most individual Forex traders use an online broker to access the Forex market, though some brokers also operate telephone desks.

The Forex market is the largest and most liquid market in the world and trading is carried out 24 hours a day, five days a week. 

Advantages to Trading Forex

There are several advantages that Forex trading has over other forms of trading, like stock and shares, for instance. As mentioned above, the Forex market is the largest in the world, turning over 5 trillion USD daily; this means that there will always be someone to take your trade, no matter what currency or how much you are trading.

The Forex market is also open 24 hours a day, five days a week – this is due to its decentralised nature. Stock exchanges are generally based in a single city and will be open for the normal working hours in those cities. Because the Forex market has no home country or city, it remains open all the time, all week long and retail traders can access the market whenever it suits them.

That’s not to say there aren’t particularly good or bad times to trade. Forex traders will refer to “sessions” and the 24-hour trading day is divided into the four major trading sessions: the Sydney session, the Tokyo session, the London session and the New York session. These sessions conform to the normal daytime trading hours in each of the cities – so the Sydney session runs from 7 am to 4 pm Sydney time (5 pm – 2 am in New York and 10 pm – 7 am in London).

Forex trading is also less expensive than trading stocks for individual (retail) traders. Most retail Forex trading is via a product called Contracts for Difference (CFDs). With CFD trading you never actually control the asset (in the case of Forex, the currencies) and you can use leverage (money borrowed from a broker) to increase the size of your trade without spending vast amounts of your own money. It’s important to note that while leverage dramatically increases the size of your trade, it also significantly increases your risk as you can lose much more than your initial deposit very quickly.

Another advantage of Forex trading is the sheer amount of free analysis and data available. Stock market traders will often have to purchase expensive subscriptions to analysis, data feeds and specialised news sources to stay abreast of the market. In contrast, with Forex trading most of this is freely available and much of it of very high quality.

Finally, Forex trading is just plain easier to learn than trading in other markets. Stock traders need detailed knowledge of hundreds of different companies in order to be successful – and often a strong background in economics – whereas many Forex traders will only focus on a few different currency pairs. This also means a lot less analysis to keep on top of, and most retail traders can learn enough to trade sensibly within a few months.

What Do We Trade in the Forex Market?

When we talk about trading Forex, we are talking about the exchange of currencies, which necessarily involves two currencies; AUD/USD, for instance, is the Australian Dollar and the US Dollar; we call this a currency pair. The first currency in a pair is called the base currency, and the second is called the quote currency.

Currency pairs are also always expressed as a price – in the example above, we could say the AUD/USD = 0.65. This means that the AUD is currently worth 0.65 USD. But when we trade a currency pair, it is slightly more complex than this.

If we wanted to know the price of the AUD/USD from a broker, we would be provided with two numbers. The first would be the price of buying the AUD/USD, and the second would be the price if we wanted to sell the AUD/USD. These prices are called the bid (buy) and the ask (sell) prices.

Using the same example, the AUD/USD may be presented as 0.6535/0.6538. The difference between the two prices is called the spread and is measured in pips, which is the change in the 4th decimal place of a price. In the case above, the spread between the bid and ask prices is 3 pips.

Forex Education and Analysis

As Tony Blair once put it: “Education, education, education”. While this is a fairly simplistic way to make the point, the point remains valid: education is not just a priority, it’s essential. It’s no secret that the majority of Forex traders lose money, and if you want to be in the minority that makes consistent profits you are going to have to educate yourself. Without education you are only gambling and gambling with leveraged products is the road to ruin.

Luckily, there are many places to find learning material online; we have an entire section dedicated to Forex education and most brokers will feature an education section on their sites. The best brokers will have structured courses for traders of differing experience levels and will also run frequent webinars on some of the more complex aspects of trading. A few of the larger brokers will also hold seminars and workshops in cities around the globe.

Once you have got to grips with the basics, a large part of your Forex education will be focused on market analysis. Analysis can be split into two forms, fundamental analysis and technical analysis; fundamental analysis is the forecasting of price changes based on geopolitical and economic events and technical analysis is the forecasting of prices changes based on historical data, usually from charts.

A solid grasp of both forms of analysis will be necessary to build a trading plan and once you have a trading plan you will need to test this out on a demo account for some time before you try it in on the live market. And this brings us neatly on to the link between Forex trading strategy and risk management.

Trading Strategy and Risk Management 

As mentioned above, without a proper Forex education you will be doing little more than gambling.

It’s common knowledge that most Forex traders lose money, but it’s a little-known fact that most Forex trades are profitable – what drives the majority of traders into an overall loss is that most losing Forex trades are larger than the profitable ones

This fact highlights the importance of risk management in Forex trading, and risk management will be key in any Forex strategy. Developing a strategy based on risk management will be about developing a system that informs you when is the right time to open a trade and, more importantly, when to close a trade. Many Forex traders hold on to trades too long and end up making a loss or a much smaller profit than they could have otherwise.

It’s not difficult to lose 50% of your trading account but if you want to recover that same 50%, you need to make a gain of 100% on what you have left – and doubling your money in the Forex market takes discipline, patience and intelligence.

The major risks in Forex trading can be broken down into four separate areas:

  • Volatility: The Forex market is extremely volatile at times. This volatility is what makes Forex trading profitable, but the market can change direction very quickly, and this can mean a trade can go against you faster than you can react intelligently. You must always be aware of your active trades and use a stop-loss to protect your capital.
  • Unpredictability: There are just too many factors and actors in the Forex market for it to ever be truly predictable. Good traders set a win-loss target ratio so as to account for the losses and use a strategy to minimise them, if you are expecting to lose on occasion this also helps you to recover psychologically when it does happen.
  • Leverage: Forex CFD trading requires using leverage. Leverage can greatly amplify your profits, but it also amplifies your losses and all losses will be deducted from your trading account. If you don’t protect yourself adequately, your account balance can be wiped out with a single bad trade.
  • Interest: In some cases, interest can be charged on your trades. Most commonly, interest is charged when trading positions are held overnight and an adjustment will be applied. Brokers will generally take funds from your account to pay this fee – in the case of a large open position, the amount taken in interest can be substantial.

Remember that Forex trading requires a lot of trial and error. To be successful, you are going to have to try a number of different strategies before you find the right one, or combination, that works for you.

We Are Proudly Reader Supported

For us to keep the lights on and our staff paid, we have needed to find a way to make an income from this website.  In the case that you click on any links to visit a broker, we may receive a commission from the partner through something called an affiliate program. 

The size of the commission in no way affects the editorial process, and our reviews can in no way be bought.  We pride ourselves on our transparency and the quality of our comparisons.  We appreciate your support by using our links to sign up with brokers we partner with.

Stay updated

This form has double opt in enabled. You will need to confirm your email address before being added to the list.

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.