AuthorBy Jeffrey Cammack
Updated: June 24, 2022

We bring transparency to the Forex trading market by reviewing brokers, testing their platforms on modern devices, and rating them according to a standard set of 200 metrics. 

We open trading accounts with all the brokers we review to ensure that the products and user experience advertised are consistent with what traders receive.

We thoroughly test and evaluate all aspects of a broker. But our priority is to ensure that the trading costs advertised on the broker’s website are accurate. We also place special importance on reviewing a broker’s trading platforms, deposit and withdrawal fees, and withdrawal processing times.  Brokers are always altering the products they offer, and we keep our reviews updated with the latest data available.

To rate them fairly and without bias, we have developed our own testing and reviewing process, the details of which you can find below.

Devices Used for Testing

For every review, we test a broker’s website and trading platform on a PC desktop, MacBook Pro, iPhone, and Android mobile device. The devices used are:

  • PC Desktop: Intel Core I5 11400 4.4Ghz ¦ 16GB DDR4 RAM ¦ 256GB NVMe ¦ Windows 10 Pro
  • MacBook Pro: M1 Max 10-Core ¦ 32GB RAM ¦ 1TB SSD ¦ macOS 12.3
  • iPhone 11: Apple A13 ¦ 4GB RAM ¦ 128 GB ¦ iOS 15.5
  • Google Pixel 6: Google Tensor ¦ 8GB RAM ¦ 256GB SSD ¦ Android 12

How We Rate Brokers

We score brokers in seven different areas, collecting multiple data points on each. The highest score a broker can receive in each area is 5. Each area is weighted according to the following chart to calculate a final score for each broker:

In total, we look at over 200 individual metrics which are grouped into the following categories:

Forex Broker Scoring

  • Trust and Regulation
  • Trading Conditions and Costs
  • Trading Platforms and Tools
  • Deposits and Withdrawals
  • Instruments (Assets) Available
  • Education and Research
  • Customer Service

Trust and Reputation

Traders want to know they can trust a broker with their money. Trust in the Forex trading business is almost entirely founded upon regulation.

There are multiple regulators around the world, and some are better than others at protecting traders. For this reason, we have split up regulators into 4 tiers – where Tier 1 has the most committed regulators, and Tier 4 includes those that don’t regulate at all or regulate ineffectively.

Forex Regulation Licenese Tiers

The most trusted regulators are strict and proactive in creating new regulations and enforcing existing rules. They post warnings about fraudulent companies and prosecute companies that don’t comply with the rules. Enforcement sets these organisations apart from their counterparts. Tier 1 regulators are the FCA (United Kingdom), ASIC (Australia) and MAS (Singapore).

A note on ASIC – Australia’s regulator. ASIC’s job is to protect Australian residents from financial wrongdoing and in early 2021, ASIC tightened its restrictions on CFD trading to protect traders better. As a result, clients in Australia will have a leverage limit of 30:1 for Forex trading and have negative balance protection, so they can never lose more money than they have in their trading accounts. ASIC regulations also prevent brokers from offering promotions or bonuses. Overall, because of its global reach and strong regulatory enforcement, we have placed them in Tier 1.

Most of the best Forex brokers are regulated by multiple Tier 1 and Tier 2 regulators.

Trading Conditions and Costs

Traders want to know the cost of trading at each broker. As our focus is on beginners starting their trading careers, we look at the minimum deposit required for an entry-level account, the number of Forex pairs available to trade, and the cost of trading. Let’s look at each of these areas in more detail.

Minimum Deposit

Traders should only deposit an amount they are ready to lose. Forex trading is a high-risk activity, so brokers who require traders to deposit amounts they potentially cannot afford to lose are less favourable to the client. While it is almost impossible to start a trading career with as little as $5, we do value brokers who have entry-level accounts that require less than $100.

Number of FX Pairs

Traders should be able to choose from the broadest range of assets possible. Should brokers offer an insufficient number of FX pairs to trade, this will limit a trader’s opportunities and strategy.

Cost of Trading

When calculating trading costs, we measure the cost to trade one lot of EUR/USD using the broker’s account with the lowest minimum deposit. The cost includes both the spread and any commission charged. As the most traded Forex pair in the world, the EUR/USD is a suitable benchmark for all brokers. The cost of trading one lot of EUR/USD at major brokers varies between 5 – 40 USD. 

Trading Platforms

Traders want Forex brokers to offer them a choice of trading platforms. While every Forex broker will provide clients with at least one trading platform, we value brokers who offer multiple options, including MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, cTrader and fully mobile and web-browser compatible experiences.

Instruments to Trade

Forex CFDs are only one variety of CFD instruments that clients can trade. Traders want to know what other kinds of CFD instruments can be traded with each broker. Other CFD instruments could include:

  • Commodity CFDs
  • Cryptocurrency CFDs
  • Metal CFDs,
  • Equity CFDs
  • Energy CFDs
  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETFs) CFDs
  • Bond CFDs
  • Blend CFDs

A variety of CFD instruments – and a large range of CFDs for each instrument category – allow traders more opportunities for profitable trading. The best brokers will have many thousands of CFDs to trade covering all these instrument categories.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Traders want to deposit and withdraw account funds quickly and without fees. Most brokers will allow traders multiple instant funding methods for deposits without administration fees, but some brokers make it harder or more expensive to withdraw account funds.

The best brokers will process withdrawal requests within 24 hours, by multiple withdrawal methods and without charging processing fees.

Education and Analysis

Traders of different experience levels are going to need different kinds of educational material and market analysis from their brokers. Beginner traders need a high-quality, structured course to get started with Forex trading. Intermediate and advanced traders want an advanced education section introducing them to new strategies alongside daily analysis from in-house experts. Still, the best place to learn is with a demo account where the trader does not risk their account funds. We favour brokers that offer demo accounts that never expire. An unlimited demo account offers the beginner an indefinite period to learn hands-on, in a risk-free trading environment.

Educational Material

All too often, we see that education sections have been removed by brokers or replaced with a set of cheaply produced blog posts. Beginner traders need a structured, well-presented course, written by the broker to get an effective start at trading.

Advanced traders will want webinars presented by experts and an advanced strategy section filled with new trading ideas. This section does not need to be as structured as the beginner course, but the quality and expertise of the instructors should be clear.

Market Analysis

Traders of all levels want access to reliable trading ideas. Research and market analysis are always better when produced in-house by the broker, and benefit traders most when they are updated frequently. Third-party blog posts don’t show the same dedication and expertise in the trading ideas, so strong emphasis is placed on frequent in-house updates. Additionally, brokers that have in-house teams often offer interactive webinars where traders can glean from the experience of professionals in the field.

Customer Support

Traders want their broker to be available around the clock, via many different channels and in their local language. We favour brokers who offer phone, email, and live chat support 24/7. As most of the best Forex brokers are international, we believe that the more languages the support team speaks, the better.

State of the Forex Market Report

The results of our broker research are published in the State of the Forex Market Report, a detailed breakdown of our broker ratings, designed to help beginner traders find the most reliable and best-value brokers in the world.

Directory of CFD Brokers to Avoid

Our broker directory includes brokers that we do not recommend, but which remain an option for traders. Our directory is intended as a research tool for anyone seeking a professional opinion. If your current broker has not been evaluated by us, we hope that our selection of reviewed brokers will offer you a safer and superior alternative.

Contact us or find out more about us, our editorial policy, and why you can trust us.

Share your knowledge

  • Martin Urbanek says:

    Much valued assessment
    One way to help in decision making as there are more
    and more scammers out there

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