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Best Forex Brokers In South Africa 2020
South African traders looking to trade CFDs should choose a South African Forex Broker regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) with an advanced forex trading platform such as MetaTrader 4, a range of forex markets and currency pairs.
View the best forex brokers in South Africa below.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Thursday, April 09th, 2020
Top 8 Forex Brokers For South African Traders
The April 2020 best forex brokers in South Africa are:
- Pepperstone – Best South African MetaTrader 4 Broker
- ForexTime – FXTM Is The Top MetaTrader 5 Broker
- Plus500 – Our Best CFD Provider For Beginner Traders
- AvaTrade – Lowest Fixed Spread Forex Trading Account
- IG – Lowest Non-Commission Forex Trading Spreads
- HotForex – Best Forex Broker With ZAR Account
- FXCM – Good No Commission Forex Broker Account
- FxPro – Best Forex Broker Offering cTrader
- ThinkMarkets – Top No Deposit Forex Account
Regulations and Licenses
Markets and Instruments
Trading Platforms + Tools
The Best MT4 Forex Broker In South Africa Is Pepperstone
The fasted-growing broker worldwide is Pepperstone based on their:
- Lowest MetaTrader 4 (MT4) average spreads
- Low commissions from $3.50 ($7 round turn)
- Fastest execution speeds
- Minimum deposit requirement of $200
- No fees on deposits and withdrawals
- Award-winning customer service
Pepperstone is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. They have an FSP application in South Africa with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Below are the five key reasons why Pepperstone is recommended for those considering the MT4 which is the most used forex trading platform worldwide.
1) Average MT4 Spreads Offered By Pepperstone
Pepperstone has a razor online trading account offering spreads similar to a true ECN broker with EUR/USD spreads from 0.0 pips. Below compared 2020 average spreads of leading brokers offering ECN broker spreads with Pepperstone having the lowest across major currency pairs. These major currency pair spreads include 0.13 for the EURO/US Dollar, 0.14 for the Australian Dollar / US Dollar, 0.22 for the Euro/Japanese Yen, 0.41 for the Euro/British Pound, 0.44 for the Pound/US Dollar.
You can compare view more MetaTrader 4 Pepperstone spreads on our full comparison page.
2) MT4 Commissions
Pepperstone offers two main account types, standard and razor. The Razor online trading account is the most popular The razor account also charges a commission of $3.50 AUD per lot when the Australian Dollar online trading account currency is chosen. There are other rates as shown below with options from the British Pound (GBP), US Dollar (USD) or Euro (EUR) base currency are chosen. It should be noted that like most global CFD brokers there is no ZAR account option.
|Commissions Per Lot||US Dollar||Australian Dollar||British Pound||The Euro||Swiss Franc||Canadian Dollar||Singapore Dollar||New Zealand Dollar||Hong Kong Dollar||Japanese Yen|
|MetaTrader 4||USD 3.76||AUD 3.50||GBP 2.29||EUR 2.61||CHF 3.30||CAD 3.50||SGD 4.55||NZD 4.75||HKD 28.17||303|
There are also further commission discounts (rebates) available for active traders with three tires:
- Tier 1 = 100 lots = 10% rebate
- Tier 2 = 200-500 lots = 15% rebate
- Tier 3 = 500+ lots = Negotiable
3) Range Of Currency Pairs And CFDs
Pepperstone offer over 60 currency pairs from the majors such as EUR/USD to minors including ZAR/USD. Up to 500:1 leverage is offered on the forex market and the Pepperstone EDGE environment ensures fast execution speeds. In addition to currency pairs, there is the ability of trading CFDs including:
- Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash and Ethereum) with up to 5:1 leverage and no commissions
- Share CFDs (Over 60 high-quality stocks) with 20:1 maximum leverage and commissions from USD $0.02 per share
- Index CFDs (Across 14 major markets) with 200:1 maximum leverage and spreads from 0.4 pips
- Commodities (Metals, Soft Commodities, Energy) with 500:1 maximum leverage and spreads from 10 cents per pip
4) Low Minimum Deposit Of $200
Pepperstone has one of the lowest minimum deposit requirements of AUD $200. The fx broker also offers fee-free funding methods from Debit Card, Credit Card, Direct Transfer, Paypal to Skrill.
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5) Awards Winning Customer Support
Over the past decades, Pepperstone has won multiple awards for its customer service. This includes the Investment Trends customer support award, Professional Traders client relationship manager service award and the Global Forex best forex trading support award. The CFD provider offers South African traders with a 24/5 live chat, contact centre (phone) and e-mail customer support. Active traders also are provided with an account manager to tailor the support given for their needs. Read more…
Summary Of Why We Chose Pepperstone For South African Traders
Pepperstone’s low brokerage (spreads/fees), choice of forex trading platform and support are the three pillars making them the best broker. With a strong reputation worldwide and their FSP application pending, they are the ideal choice for South African forex traders.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
FXTM (ForexTime) – Best MetaTrader 5 Broker
Compare Forex Brokers’ top pick for the best MetaTrader 5 forex broker is ForexTime (FXTM). Founded in 2020, FXTM has the know-how expertise to offer South African traders top-notch technological solutions. Additionally, forex traders can benefit trading on the upgraded MetaTrader 5 (MT5) with an online broker that holds trading licenses from the world’s top regulatory agencies, including:
- In South Africa from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) with FSP license No. 46614.
- In Belize from the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC) with license numbers IFSC/60/345/TS
- In the UK from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with license No. 777911
- In Cyprus from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) with License No. 185/12
Below our team of industry experts will highlight all FXTM MetaTrader 5 features including functionality, range of markets, total costs and the trade execution speed.
3 Types of MetaTrader 5 Trading Accounts
ForexTime offers South African FX traders the choice to use the MetaTrader 5 platform on three different account types. The diverse selection of trading accounts allows FX traders to opt for an account that suits his trading requirements. Without further ado, SA traders can open 3 MetaTrader 5 trading accounts as follows:
- ECN Account
- ECN Zero Account
- FXTM Pro Account
Note* FXTM offers the ECN technology across all of its MT5 account offerings.
On the downside, we should note that the Swap-free trading account is not available through the MT5 platform. You can download the MetaTrader 5 for desktop and Mac versions as well as mobile trading (iPhone and Android). Additionally, there is a browser-based trading platform FXTM MT5 WebTrader, which is supported across 6 different browsers.
Low Range of Markets on MetaTrader 5
ForexTime offerings of financial instruments are extremely low when compared to other forex trading platforms. The range of currency pairs (major, minor and exotic) and asset classes offered by FXTM is on the low side. Currency trading can be done on 33 currency pairs and additionally, there are two CFD spot metals (XAUUSD and XAGUSD).
However, on the plus side, South African Forex traders can magnify their returns by having access to whopping maximum leverage of 1,000:1.
Fast Order Execution Speed
ForexTime can offer through its proprietary price engine technology fast execution speeds of 52 milliseconds (according to data compiled in December 2020). FXTM can also access a deep network of liquidity providers that ensures you will benefit from tight spreads. Additionally, the MetaTrader 5 platform can boost the following performances:
- Low re-quote rate of 3.22% (December 2020)
- Positive slippage on 94.64% of TP orders
- Negative slippage on 5.36% of SL orders
- Execution speed of 81 milliseconds for MT5 ECN account
- Execution speed of 88 milliseconds for MT5 ECN zero account
South African residents can explore all MetaTrader 5 features and performances in a risk-free environment by opting for opening a demo account. You can access the forex market and practice your trading skills under live market conditions.
FXPro – Best cTrader Broker
FxPro headquarters are in the UK and have offices across the world offering no dealing desk allowing fast execution speeds and low brokerage for automated trading. The broker offers MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and the cTrader forex trading platform. In addition to FSB (FSCA) regulation, the broker has a Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) regulation. Visit Site…
After evaluating all the features that come with a FxPro live account, we concluded that the best cTrader forex broker is the London-based FX broker FxPro. Below, our team of industry experts will try to outline all the aspects of FxPro’s software solution.
Full Market Depth (DOM)
The FxPro cTrader platform is equipped with full depth of market DOM. This feature lets forex traders visualize the best bid and ask prices coupled with the total amount of available liquidity. Compared to other trading platforms cTrader offers 3 convenient ways to display the data inside the DOM:
Note* FxPro’s order execution engine on the cTrader platform only uses the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) to execute orders.
Average Market Execution Speed of 37 Milliseconds
The FxPro cTrader trading platform can boost ultra-fast order execution speeds of:
- 37 milliseconds (average order execution speed)
- 11.06 milliseconds (fastest order execution speed)
While FxPro is not a true ECN forex broker, it runs a No Dealing Desk execution model (NDD). FxPro’s NDD model gives South African traders the chance to execute their orders without any human intervention. The no dealing desk forex brokers have the advantage of offering direct market access and a transparent way to trade. Our team of industry experts has assessed FxPro’s order execution policy and found the following advantages:
- 12.81% of client orders received positive slippage
- 98.60% of client orders received no requotes
- Collocated servers (Equinix LD5 data centre and AM4 in Amsterdam)
Limited Range of Markets
South African traders will have restricted access to the available financial markets. The range of markets available on the cTrader platform includes 4 asset classes:
- Forex currency pairs (70 pairs)
- Metal Trading (7 pairs)
- Stock indices (24 instruments)
- Commodities (3 energies)
Compared to other South African forex brokers, FxPro has a poor selection of financial instruments. The cTrader platform can only give traders access to a total of 104 instruments. However, trading CFDs on shares and futures can be accessed via the FxPro MetaTrader 4 terminal.
Final Words – About the Best cTrader Forex Broker
The award-winning cTrader trading platform offered by FxPro can be downloaded as a Desktop or MAC application. Additionally, SA traders can have direct access to the cTrader account directly from your browser via the cTrader Web Platform. On-the-go trading is also available via mobile trading (iOS and Android). If you’re a high volume trader, the FxPro cTrader platform can be a good fit for your needs.
HotForex – Best South African Rand (ZAR Account)
Our team of investing professionals included forex brokers that support ZAR Forex accounts and allows South African traders the comfort to fund their retail investor accounts using the local currency Rand. The forex trading accounts denominated in South African Rand are the ideal solution for traders who actively trade the ZAR crosses. Not many forex brokers can be proud to offer clients to open ZAR trading accounts. However, HotForex was able to score the highest amount of points on our star scoring system and was awarded the best ZAR account due to the following 3 reasons:
- Multiple trading account types (5 retail investor accounts)
- 11 funding methods
- Maximum leverage of 1000:1
If you want to study the full list of South African forex brokers with ZAR accounts, please check out: Top 5 Forex Broker ZAR Accounts.
HotForex Account Types
South African traders that prefer forex trading via trading accounts that are denominated in ZAR have a plethora of options to satisfy their needs if they opt for opening a live trading account with HotForex. No matter of the trading strategy used and level of risk with HotForex, clients can open a maximum of 5 live accounts and additional 3 demo accounts.
In the table below, our team of experts assessed the main features that come with each different account type.
|Micro Account||Premium Account||Zero Spread Account||HFCopy Account||Premium Pro Account|
|Minimum Deposit||$50||$100$||$200||$1000 for Strategy Provider, $300 for Follower||$500|
|Minimum Spread||From 1 pip||From 1 pip||From 0 pip||From 1 pip||From 1 pip|
|Range of Markets||8 Markets||8 Markets||8 Markets||Forex, Gold and Bitcoin||8 Markets|
|Maximum Total Trade Size||7 Standard lots per position||60 Standard lots per position||60 Standard lots per position||60 Standard lots per position||60 Standard lots per position|
|Commission for forex pairs||✘||✘||✔||✘||✘|
|Stop out level||50%||50%||50%||50%||20%|
Note* HotForex Zero Spread Account type comes with raw spreads and 0 markups, but it charges the following commission structure:
- $6 round turn commission on major currency pairs
- $8 round turn commission on minor currency pairs
HotForex Deposit Methods
HotForex offers a wide range of deposit and withdrawal methods catering to the needs of a wide base of clients. The minimum deposit to fund the most basic HotForex account is $50 or equivalent in South African Rand. Opening a live trading account with HotForex is simple and straight forward. Check out below the available payment methods via HotForex:
- Bank wire transfers
- Credit cards and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro)
- Electronic Wallets (Neteller, Skrill, and TrustPay)
Note* the only negative point scored by HF Markets is that it doesn’t support PayPal the world’s largest online payment portal.
HotForex 1000:1 Leverage on Forex Trading
South African residents can speculate on the exchange rates with a maximum leverage of 1000:1 on a total of 49 currency pairs, including:
- 15 major currency pairs
- 34 minor currency pairs
- 4 ZAR crosses (USDZAR, EURZAR, GBPZAR and ZARJPY)
Compared to other forex brokers, only Pepperstone, IC Markets and FxPro can boost decent forex leverage of 500:1. For a full comparison of the leverage offerings among South African forex brokers please study the table below.
|Instrument Traded||HotForex||FxPro Leverage||IC Markets Leverage||Pepperstone Leverage||IG Markets Leverage||Plus500 Leverage|
|Commodities||10:1||150:1||500:1||500:1||25:1 to 200:1||150:1|
Final Words – Best Broker with ZAR Account
Like all the best forex brokers operating in South Africa, HotForex abides by the standards imposed by the FSCA and other tier-one financial institutions (CySEC, FCA, DFSA and FSA). Client funds are secured and held in segregated accounts. With HF Markets enforces the negative balance protection policy, which means that SA traders can’t lose more than their account balance. Additionally, HotForex offers free account funding with zero deposit fees and fast transaction times.
eToro – Best South Africa Broker for Social Trading
Used by millions of traders worldwide, eToro is the world’s largest social trading broker that is favoured among South African residents due to its copy trading feature. Our team of experts assessed all social trading networks, but eToro came at the top of our proprietary scoring system due to the following reasons:
- Copy-trading on multiple assets all from one proprietary trading platform
- A diverse range of trading strategies, portfolios and trade signals to follow
- Low minimum deposit requirements of $200
- CopyPortfolios a unique premium feature designed for sophisticated investors
Note* the minimum deposit required to invest in CopyPortfolio is higher. SA traders need to put down $5,000 to access eToro’s premium products.
73% Success Rate on Copied Trades
Based on the data compiled since inception and ended in January 2020, eToro generates 73% success rate on over 124 million copied trades. In other words, 73% of the 124 million trades copied on the social trading platform closed in profit. The most popular social trading markets available on eToro include Forex, stock, indices, commodities, ETFs and cryptocurrencies.
eToro Investors can Earn 2% Annual Fees
eToro Popular Investor program is dedicated towards the skilled traders that have a profitable trading strategy and want to earn an additional income. If you become a Popular Investor on eToro copy trading platforms you can earn up to 2% in annual fees.
For example, if the total funds under management (funds that follow you) are $1 million, you’ll earn an additional $20,000 regardless of your success rate.
Note* The 2% annual fee is credited to your eToro account every month (by the 10 th of the month) and the funds will be available for withdrawal right away.
The eToro’s Popular Investor program is structured into 4 levels (Cadet, Rising Star, Champion and Elite) that come with their own requirements and different levels of assets under management. In conclusion, the more assets under management you manage to attract, the bigger your payment will be. The table below will highlight the 4 levels of the Popular Investor program.
Final Words – eToro Best South African Copy Trading Network
Overall, eToro came ahead of its competitors due to its large clients base of over 6 million traders. South African residents that lack the trading experience to generate a profit have a chance to use eToro copy trading feature and start earning a passive income. The financial services offered by eToro comply with the standard and rules imposed by the top financial institution including:
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) holding AFSL number 491139
- In the US, eToro USA LLC is registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business (on the downside it doesn’t hold a CFTC license)
- Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) holding license number 109/10
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) holding registration number 7973792
- On the downside, eToro is not regulated by the FSCA formerly known as the FSB
Note* while your funds are safe and secure, eToro will charge you a withdrawal fee of $25. The second negative point is eToro’s high spreads (typical EUR/USD spread of 3 pips and USD/ZAR spread of 50 pips) and the high overnight rollover fees.
Plus500 – Best For South African Beginner Traders
Compare Forex Broker’s top pick for the best South African CFD provider that caters to beginner traders is Plus500. Plus500 is a leading CFD provider that has financial services the suit beginner traders. Below, our team of experts list some of the essential features that make Plus500 loved by beginners:
- Dedicated round the clock customer support service 24/7 (including over the weekend support access)
- Easy-to-use CFD trading platform (web-based intuitive interface)
- State of the art social trading network
- Zero commission trading
- Forex educational webinars for beginners
- ZAR trading account (comes with convenient payment methods including debit cards and credit cards, bank transfer, PayPal and Skrill)
- Risk management tools to minimize risk (guaranteed stop loss). The disadvantage is that the guaranteed SL comes with an additional extra cost in the form of an additional spread charged and it’s only available to certain instruments.
While the Plus500 platform is recommended for beginner traders, we do not recommend using the platform in order to learn to trade. For this, we recommend their demo account where one trade with virtual currency rather than their own cash.
Note* On the negative side, Plus500 doesn’t offer its clients access to a desktop trading platform. Plus500 offers a WebTrader platform and mobile trading via CFD trading apps (iOS and Android).
+2000 Financial Instruments
The Plus500 trading platform offers access to the most traded markets in the world, including shares, indices, Forex, commodities, options, ETFs and cryptocurrencies. Compared to other forex brokers, Plus500 has a wide range of asset classes, but IG Markets and CMC Markets can offer their clients more markets and subsequently more trading opportunities.
Due to the zero-commission policy, Plus500 is not able to offer low spreads. For example, the EUR/USD spread offered by Plus500 is 0.6 pips and the USD/ZAR spread is 85 pips.
Our team of industry experts conducted a deep review of South African forex brokers and their spread offering on the most traded currency pairs and the ZAR crosses. See the table below.
Final Words – Best Forex Broker for Beginners
Plus500 holds an Authorized Financial Services Provider licence with the Financial Service Board of South Africa. The global CFD Provider is suitable for all investors with strengths in customer service and easy to use Forex trading platform and a range of markets from Shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies and Forex with an assortment of currency pairs. Plus 500 is also regulated by financial institutions including the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Australian Insurance and Investment Corporation (ASIC).
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
FXCM – Best No Commission Forex Broker Account
Based on our proprietary star scoring system, FXCM is the best forex broker offering no commission on FX trading. South African residents can enjoy trading on the foreign exchange market with a proprietary trading platform, spreads as low as 1.2 pips on EUR/USD and 57.6 pips on USD/ZAR and leverage as high as 400:1 (and 200:1 for CFD trading). The average spreads are calculated from October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.
Note* The default forex leverage is 400:1 but for deposits over $20,000 the leverage will be limited to 100:1.
Another aspect which makes FXCM offerings of financial services so attractive is their exclusive bonuses and promotions. Currently, SA traders can enjoy the following bonuses for forex trading:
- Forex welcome bonus of $20 (or Rand 300) available until June 30, 2020
- Forex affiliate program (you can get additional $20 when you refer friends and family to FXCM)
- FXCM Africa monthly trading contest (the winner can get $500 cash prize)
Note* SA traders need to make a minimum deposit of $50 (or Rand 749) to be eligible for FXCM’s bonuses and promotions.
FXCM Range of Trading Platforms
In terms of forex trading platform options, FXCM offers three featured trading platforms:
- MetaTrader 4 (MT4) – the world’s most popular trading platform
- Trading Station – FXCM’s proprietary trading platform
- NinjaTrader – dedicated to developing automated trading strategies via Strategy Builder feature
Note* Additionally to the main trading platforms, FXCM offers third-party platforms that can be fully blended with FXCM’s financial services. There are a total of 7 third-party trading platforms, including QuantConnect, MotiveWave, AgenaTrader, Sierra Chart, SeerTrading, NeuroShell Trader and StrategyQuant.
Each of FXCM’s trading platforms has unique trading features and providing market access for all types of traders. Regardless, of your preferred trading platform, FXCM can boost the following advantages:
- 67.37% of client orders got executed with no slippage
- 22.00% of client orders received positive slippage
- 17 milliseconds average execution speed
- 98.84% better Forex pricing compared to the interbank pricing
Final Words – Best Forex Broker with No Commission
Overall, FXCM has the best no commission forex trading accounts dedicated to South African traders. Pepperstone came in second place in the same category. One thing to mention is that the FXCM trading accounts offer variable spreads plus mark-up pricing. The zero-commission trading feature couple with a solid range of trading platforms and enhanced execution speed makes FXCM the best forex broker with no commission.
Note* FXCM took some extra negative points due to its lack of diversity when it comes to the available currency pairs for trading. In total, FXCM offers only 39 forex currency pairs (major, minor and exotic pairs).
AvaTrade – Best Fixed Spread CFD Broker
Compare Forex Broker’s top pick for the best CFD broker with the lowest spreads is international broker AvaTrade. Regulated across five continents, including on the African continent by the local watchdog FSCA, AvaTrade gives SA traders access to over 784 financial instruments, including:
- Forex currency pairs (55+ major, minor and exotic pairs). Competitive spreads starting from 0.9 pips on EUR/USD and 85 pips on USD/ZAR.
- CFDs on global stocks (627 individual stocks like Amazon, Facebook or Google). The CFD stock spread starts from 0.13%.
- CFDs on commodities (17 soft and hard commodities, including metals). Gold spread starts from $0.34 and WTI Oil spread of $0.03.
- CFDs on indices (20 global indices). The spread on the DJ30 is 3.00 points and MSCI spread is 0.10 points.
- CFDs on FX Options (44 FX options contracts)
- ETFs (5 ETF contracts). The spread are as low as 0.13%
- Bonds (2 bond contracts)
- CFDs on cryptocurrency (14 digital coins). The bitcoin spread is 0.5% over-market.
It’s important to note that AvaTrade offers different levels of leverage conditions as follows:
- Gold leverage is 20:1 and the rest of commodities is 10:1
- Stock leverage of 5:1
- Indices leverage 10:1 (and 20:1 on the most traded indices)
- Cryptocurrency leverage of 2:1
AvaTrade has access to a deep pool of liquidity providers which promises CFD trading with competitive spreads. AvaTrade ZA also has numerous trading platforms, including the iconic MT4 and MT5 platforms, a browser-based trading platform and proprietary trading platforms AvaTradeGO and AvaOptions. Across all trading platforms, AvaTrade offers fixed spreads.
Fixed Spread Forex Trading Broker
AvaTrade offers competitive fixed spreads across its range of financial instruments. Unlike variable spreads, fixed spreads remain constant and aren’t impacted by the changes in the market conditions. However, it’s important to note that AvaTrade fix spreads are over the market. This means that the spread will fluctuate as per the market price, and they stop moving, once the position is open.
Below you can overview the fix spreads offered by AvaTrade under normal trading conditions on some of the most traded currency pairs:
Additionally, AvaTrade may offer spreads as a percentage of the position for some CFD instruments as follow:
- CFD stock spreads as low as 0.13%
- CFD commodity spreads as low as 0.03 points
- CFD index spread as low as 0.25 over-market
- CFD FX Options spread as low as 0.9 points
- CFD ETF spread as low as 0.13%
- CFD Bonds spread as low as 0.03 over-market
- CFD cryptocurrencies spread as low as 0.35% over-market
Final Words – Low Fixed Spread CFD Broker
Like Plus500, AvaTrade is a global Forex broker that also has a SA subsidiary (Ava Capital Markets Pty) meaning it is regulated by the South African Financial Services Board. They have over 200,000 Forex traders using the fx broker and have won the ‘best customer service award’ in past years. They offer a web trader, MT4, MT5 or the proprietary platform AvaTrade Go as a mobile trading app.
ThinkMarkets – Best No Deposit FSCA Forex Account
ThinkMarkets has ranked as the best forex broker with no minimum deposit requirements that offers FX and CFD trading. This South African-based forex broker has only recently opened up (May 2020) its business in the African continent. The legal entity under which ThinkMarkets offers its financial services to South African traders is TF Global Markets (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd. ThinkMarkets is regulated by the local financial watchdog Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and is an Authorized Financial Services Provider with FSP No 49835.
Offering financial services to forex traders in South Africa has become extremely competitive for the brokerage trading firms. However, ThinkMarkets has managed in a relatively short period of time to make a name for oneself.
Below, our team of experts will outline the main factors that weighted the most into our proprietary scoring system.
5 Types of Trading Forex Accounts
ThinkMarkets offer a variety of trading account types suitable for all types of traders. Setting up an account with this FSCA regulated FX broker requires no initial deposits (exception is the ThinkZero account). The types of forex accounts offered by ThinkMarkets are listed below:
- Standard account offers average spreads of 1.2 pips and access to 3 different trading platforms (ThinkTrader, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5)
- ThinkZero account offers raw spreads +$3.5 commission per 1 standard lot (requires a minimum operating balance of $500)
- Islamic accounts come with swap-free charges. However, ThinkMarkets charges a weekly administrative fee of $5 for major pairs and $10 for minor pairs for trades that are held more than 7 days.
- Demo account gives access to over 1200 tradable instruments (Forex and CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies and metals)
- Joint Account which can be owned by two account holders
See below a quick comparison between the two most popular ThinkMarkets accounts:
Note* The maximum leverage offered by ThinkMarkets is 500:1 if you qualify as a professional trader. Retail traders can only get maximum leverage of 30:1.
$1 Million Insurance Protection
South African traders can safely deposit money with ThinkMarkets. The additional $1 million client fund insurance offered by ThinkMarkets aims to safeguard your fund in an unlikely event of insolvency. Forex insurance coverage has the following advantages:
- Transparent protection with no additional fees
- Market-leading fund protection with segregated forex accounts
- Top-tier insurance partner (Lloyd’s of London)
Additionally, ThinkMarkets offer several payment options for deposits and withdrawals, including:
- Bank wire and bank transfers (international bank wire transfer costs $25)
- Credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercards)
- Visa Checkout
- Sid Secure EFT
- Payment Asia / UnionPay
- Zotapay Africa
Note* ThinkMarkets clients can manage the deposits and withdrawals through the secure client area ThinkPortal. SA traders can fund their account using the most popular currencies (ZAR, USD, EUR, CHF, GBP, JPY, AUD and more).
Final Words – Best SA Broker with No Deposit Requirement
Overall, ThinkMarkets is among the best South African Forex brokers due to their no minimum deposit requirements, a wide range of payment methods and fund protection. Following our extensive review process, we concluded that it’s safe to trade with ThinkMarkets.
IG – Lowest Forex Trading Standard Spreads
IG.com ranks as the lowest spread forex broker in South Africa for the standard account. Established in the UK in 1974, IG is the world’s biggest CFD provider. IG Markets South Africa Limited is part of IG Group Holdings Plc and regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) FSP No. 41393. We assessed all aspects of IG trading spreads along with evaluating all its trading features and found the following advantages:
- The average spread of 0.75 pips on EUR/USD
- Access to +17,000 global markets through CFD contracts
- Direct Market Access (DMA)
- ProRealTime charting software and trading platform for only Rand 300 per month
- Stockbroking services with over 12,000 global shares like Facebook, Apple, Alphabet, etc.
- First-class customer support
- Fund protection through segregated accounts at tier-one banks and negative balance protection
- Fast average order execution speed of 14 milliseconds
Discover below the CFD spreads charged by IG South Africa.
Competitive Standard Spreads
At, IG the average standard spreads are considered to be the lowest among all forex brokers operating in South Africa. IG pricing technology streams its quotes from a wide pool of liquidity providers, which reduces the spreads charged to SA traders. IG’s average trade spreads can go as low as:
- 0.75 pips on EUR/USD
- 1 point on FTSE 100
- 0.3 points minimum spread on spot Gold
- $40 minimum spread on Bitcoin
Note* IG charges the spreads across all its markets with the exception of share trading which is commission-based (USD 25 on the US share trading).
The typical average standard spreads for the most traded currency pairs can be studied below:
Additionally, the IG’s order management software comes with the following advantages:
- No re-quotes – less than 0.36% (according to data compiled through October 2020) of trading orders are rejected due to liquidity constraints
- Price improved technology ensures positive slippage – more than 183,000 orders received positive slippage (according to data compiled through October 2020)
- Good for handling large order trading sizes
- A high rate of 98.3% order fill
Final Words – IG Lowest Spread Forex Broker in South Africa
Our FX expertise revealed that IG has the lowest forex trading standard spreads among South African FX brokers. IG forex spreads oscillate in accordance with the market liquidity while CFD spreads remain unchanged excluding stock spreads. South African residents can open a live trading account with IG with a minimum deposit of Rand 4,000.
South Africa Brokers FAQs
Which forex broker is the best in South Africa?
Pepperstone was awarded the best forex broker for South African traders based on five key factors:
- It’s regulated with the FCA, ASIC and is in the process of a South African FSP licence
- It has the lowest commissions and spreads from 0.0 pips for the EUR/USD
- Traders can choose from the most popular forex platforms, MT4, MT5 or cTrader
- It has award-winning customer support from live chat to the call centre
- There are a plethora of fee-free funding methods with a $200 minimum deposit requirement
For more details, you can view the Pepperstone review.
How to choose the best forex broker?
To find the best fx broker for your needs you should be looking for a regulated fx broker that has low brokerage (spreads/commissions), a solid forex trading platform, strong customer service and easy deposit/withdrawal methods.
View our best forex broker section to see a list of the leading CFD providers.
What fx broker is best for beginners?
Beginner forex traders should be looking for a CFD broker that an easy to use forex trading platform, strong customer support and risk management features such as negative balance protection and guaranteed stop-loss orders.
Our recommendation is Plus500 which has the components a beginner trader needs.
Which forex broker has the best spreads?
The lowest spreads are available from providers that have ECN broker accounts. Our review of Pepperstone found they had the lowest spreads with some January 2020 example:
- EUR/USD average spread of 0.13
- AUD/USD average spread of 0.14
- EURJPY average spread of 0.22
- GBP/USD average spread of 0.44
- EUR/AUD average spread of 0.54
Brokers Regulated By FSB – South Africa Forex Brokers
|SA Forex Broker||Regulation||Min.Deposit||Trading Platform||Leverage|
|Pepperstone||FSB Pending, ASIC, FCA||$200||MT4, MT5, cTrader||500:1|
|FXTM (Forex Time)||FCA, CySec, IFSC||$5||MT4, MT5, Web||1000:1|
|AvaTrade||FSB, ASIC||$100||MT4, AvaTrader||400:1|
|IG||ASIC, FCA, MAS||$450||MT4, L2||200:1|
|FXCM||ASIC, FCA||$50||MT4, NinjaTrader||400:1|
|Markets.com||FSB, CySEC||$100||Sirix Web,
|Saxo Bank||FCA, FSA, ASIC||$10000||SaxoTrader||100:1|
|BlackStone Futures||FSB||R5000||MT4, CloudTrade||100:1|
|ALFA Financials||FSB||$1000||Alfa Trader||100:1|
|FxPro||FSB, FCA, CySEC||$100||MT4, MT5, FxPro, cTrader||500:1|
|Plus500||FSB, FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FMA, FSCA||€100||Plus500 Platform
Plus500 CFD Platform
Guide to Finding The Right Forex Broker In South Africa
South African forex trading success is partially dictated by the fx broker chosen and five criteria should be considered:
1) Spread and Commission Fees are the forms of brokerage that apply to a forex broker in South Africa. Some brokers will only have a spread while others may have narrower spreads but also charge a commission. Some other fees may apply to advanced features such as guaranteed spreads, an overnight holding of a position or licencing fees. Fees can also be reduced by choosing a South African Rand ZAR account.
2) Forex Platforms are the way online brokers allow South African forex traders to trade with currency markets. These have different interfaces, features and integrations. On the South African forex broker table above you can view how MetaTrader (MT4) is offered by most brokers giving the flexibility to change brokers if you choose this fx platform. Other platforms, on the other hand, may have unique features not available on MT4 such as share trading on MT5 and C# programming on cTrader. Another popular platform is NinjaTrader offered by FXCM and Forex.com.
3) Leverage is critical when currency trading in SA. As currency market movement is modest compared to other markets, leverage makes these more substantial to make real profits or losses. A trader needs to afford to take the high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Therefore, leverage needs to be aligned to a South African forex traders risk profile and trading strategy. Remember, losing your money is a real possibility on currency markets so it’s critical to understand the risks of forex trading.
4) Risk Management features take into account how trading CFDs are complex instruments. They help control risk such as determining when a trader exits a trade (eg a guaranteed stop) or to prevent a trader from not only losing your money but also from going negative through negative balance protection. Even with risk management, you can lose money when trading so the amount put into a deposit is critical. You can check with each fx broker what percentage of retail investors lose their money on retail investor accounts.
5) Regulatory Bodies: The South African local regulatory body is the FSCA, this is also referred to as the FSB (Financial Service Board). This regulator reviews the financial services industry excluding the banks. This regulator works towards protecting South African investors including forex traders and has powers to enforce their policies. They also work with the Ombudsman to investigate customer concerns in regards to forex trading brokers. View more our on FSB regulated page. Global financial institutions such as eToro, IC Markets and AxiTrader were not considered as part of this comparison as they were not FSCA certified but can be compared on this SA trader page.
Published by Justin Grossbard
Thursday, April 09th, 2020
Best Forex Brokers in South Africa 2020
Forex trading comes with some risk, but your choice of broker shouldn’t be part of that risk. As a South African trader, who should you turn to when looking for a broker? Check out our list for the very best brokers in South Africa.
The brokers below were evaluated on the quality of the trading platform they offered, the ease of use of each platform and the tools it provides. We also considered the commissions and other costs as well as their educational and customer service offerings.
The brokers below represent the best forex brokers for trading in South Africa.
|Broker||Rating||Official Site||Regulations||Min Deposit||Max Leverage||Trading Platforms||Foundation Year||Publicly Traded||Trading Desk Type||Currencies||Commodities||Indices||Stocks||Crypto||Commission on trades||Fixed spreads||offers promotions||Official Site|
Regulated By: ASIC, FCA, FSP
Foundation Year : 1999
Headquarters : 20 Gresham Street, 4th Floor, London EC2V 7JE, United Kingdom
Min Deposit : $50
69.66% of retail investor accounts lose money
FXCM Group is an international online forex and CFD brokerage brand. Founded on 1999, The company is based in the UK. The brokerage firm also maintains offices in several jurisdictions such as Australia and South Africa.
In terms of tradable products, FXCM offers trading in the spot forex markets, cryptocurrencies, Treasury bond (the bund) and Contract for Difference (CFDs) for market indices and commodities. Due to the new ESMA regulation, the maximum leverage offered by FXCM is now restricted to 1:30 for major currency pairs.
Regulated By: ASIC, CySEC, FCA, FSB, ISA, MAS
Foundation Year : 2008
Headquarters : Building 25, MATAM, Haifa, Israel
Min Deposit : $100
76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Plus500 is a leading CFD trading platform with support for stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, and Forex. This commission-free brokerage charges very low spread-rates and offers fast trades on a great platform. Plus500 supports complex trades, includes negative balance protection, and makes trading an educational and hopefully profitable venture.
You can start with a free demo account to test the platform and any trading strategy. Real money accounts offer leverage of up to 300:1. This broker is based in Israel and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Regulated By: CySEC, FCA, FSC
Foundation Year : 2020
Headquarters : FXTM Tower, 35 Lamprou Konstantara, Kato Polemidia, 4156, Limassol, Cyprus
Min Deposit : $10
90% of retail CFD accounts lose money
FXTM, short for ForexTime, is a platform with a primary focus on foreign exchange. That specialization allows it to rise above many others when it comes to Forex focused trading platforms and tools. CFDs are available on 50+ currency pairs including major, minor, and exotic pairs. Leverage is available up to 1000:1.
Spreads are competitive across all platforms with 24-hour trading open 5 days per week. FXTM is based in Cyprus and licensed by the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulators in and out of the EU. A free demo account is available.
Regulated By: CySEC, IFSC
Foundation Year : 2009
Your capital is at risk
FBS Markets Inc. is a Forex and CFD broker that offers its services across the globe. The company was established in 2009 and since then, the brand has grown in size, capacity and technology. It offers currency pairs, CFDs, stocks, metals and cryptocurrencies on MT4 and MT5 platforms.
FBS Markets offers 37 currency pairs, 4 metals, 3 CFDs, 4 cryptocurrencies and 32 stocks.
FBS provides the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms as WebTrader, desktop applications and mobile applications. For leverage accounts, this brokerage offers leverage of up to 3000:1.
Regulated By: CySEC
Foundation Year : 2020
Headquarters : Suite 305, Griffith Corporate Centre, Beachmont, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Your capital is at risk
OctaFX is a Forex and CFD trading platform with a focus on low, competitively priced spreads. It supports MT4, MT5, and cTrader trading platforms. cTrader offers the lowest costs, but does require a bit more experience. Novice traders are best starting off at OctaFX using MetaTrader 4, which supports micro accounts.
OctaFX supports 28 currency pairs, a smaller number than many competitors. You can get leverage up to 500:1 for currencies. Different leverage is available for metals, indices, and crypto trading. OctaFX was founded in 2020 and is based in and licensed in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Regulated By: ASIC, CySEC, FCA, MiFID
Foundation Year : 2007
Headquarters : Kanika International Business Center 7th Floor, 4 Profiti Ilia Street Germasogeia, Limassol, Cyprus
Min Deposit : $200
62% of retail CFD investors lose money
eToro is an online trading platform that was founded in 2007 by the Assia siblings and their friend David Ring in Tel Aviv, Israel. Formerly known as RetailFX, eToro is the pioneering online broker for social trading. Their Openbook social trading platform in fact changed the nature of the way beginner online traders can trade the financial markets. It made the markets accessible to everyone, no matter what their level of experience by creating a user-friendly environment and allowing traders to copy the trades of other traders’ strategies automatically.
How to Choose a Forex Broker as a South African trader
The country of South Africa is one of the richest on the African continent. People make considerably higher salaries in comparison to other African countries. The economic environment in South Africa is quite liberal and you can easily invest in any financial market that is available, both local and global. As Forex is becoming more and more popular with traders there, you need to know what broker to choose before opening an account to trade.
One of the most important aspects to consider is whether the broker is regulated by FSB (local market regulator) or not. If not, do not even think of opening an account with the broker, as loose regulatory conditions bring not only advantages, but also hazards, that’s because lots of scammy brokers come to some countries to target your hard earned money.
Other aspects to consider would be to select a broker that offers a good, easy to use, user friendly and extra features rich platform. Commissions and spreads are also very important. You do not want to be charged hidden and extra fees when all reliable brokers will offer you tiny fixed or variable spreads. There should be a variety of types of accounts you can choose from. Generally speaking, the more the better. If the broker is not there for you to help, you should not be there with him putting money in his company. Customer service matters a lot. Finally, extra useful services are a big plus in deciding which broker to choose.
General Regulation & South African Regulation
Across the world the tendency is to introduce stricter requirements for both Forex brokers and traders. The 2008 crises caused a lot of FX brokers to go bankrupt and lots of traders to lose money because of price manipulation, inside trading, fraudulent practices and etc. Now, regulators frown upon non registered brokers and some even ban them or restrict them from offering services in their respective countries. In most places capital requirements for brokers are raised. The leverage offered to clients was also reduced significantly in order to reduce risks. Margin requirements increased and unreliable advertising which only stressed the profit size without disclosing potential risks was strictly prohibited almost everywhere around the world.
Now, in South Africa both Forex trading and the state of regulation of the market is still in its early stages of development. However, there is a regulator there which is the FSB – The Financial Services Board. The main task of the entity is to regulate all companies providing financial services in South Africa. The institution has strong powers to punish those brokers that fail to comply to other rules or even revoke their licenses. One of the key objectives of the regulator is to ensure that investors are offered fair and transparent services by certified brokers. So, if you choose one of the FSB approved brokers you will be able to trade with more confidence than if you traded with some shady unregulated operator.
Trading Platform & Software
One of the fun things and the comfort of doing business in Forex is that you can trade any Forex pair from the comfort of your home sitting in front of your pc and drinking your favorite drink. And you can do it at any time of the day you want. One thing you do need though is a good trading platform. This is your main tool of work and you can open a free demo account with any broker just to test their trading terminals to see if you feel comfortable with them and whether they have all the features you need.
A good trading platform will be easy to use, user friendly, offer you a lot of various charts with possibility to open a lot of windows on the same chart station and with a lot of time frames, from 1 minute to 1 month. You will also need your favorite indicators, ability to analyze charts and place notes on them, back test your strategy and etc. One of the best trading platforms for the time being is Metatrader. It has everything you need. So, you should see if your South Africa broker has it. Of course, if you prefer trading in a browser without downloading software most brokers will offer you that. But you need to check if they have all the tools you need for implementation of your trades.
Commisions & Spreads
Unlike trading stocks where you will pay an amount for each trade, most brokers do not charge fees. So how do they make money you may ask? By offering you currency pairs with spreads. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell price. For example EUR/USD may trade 1.1706 (buy) and 1.1708 sell. When you open a trade you will have 2 pips of deficit. That would be your broker‘s fee for opening a trade for you. Spreads tend to be fixed and variable and sometimes fixed plus some extra fixed fee. Fixed spreads will in most cases be from 1-5 on major pairs that have US dollar: eur/usd, gbp/usd, usd/jpy, aud/usd, usd/chf, usd/cad and nzd/usd and crosses from 4-15. Those would be combinations of non dollar pairs, for example: eur/jpy, eur/aud, gbp/jpy, aud/cad and etc.
Variable spreads can be much lower with as little as 0.2 for majors and 2-5 pips for crosses. If market is not affected by some surprising piece of fundamental news you will trade those low spreads. When some surprising economic or financial news is released and markets start going up or down sharply spreads tend to increase sharply too. So, you can choose between these two types of spreads depending on what kind of trader you are.
Account types generally depend on your capital size and sometimes on the turnover you make.
In this electronic age you can trade Forex with as little as 50$ on a micro account. Some companies can even allow you to trade with 1$ as they do not have lot size positions, but unit size positions. Well, these are very rare, but 100-200$ initial deposit accounts are offered with most brokers.
If you have over a thousand USD you can try a mini and trade mini lots and if you prefer bigger trade sizes like 100k (standard lot) you would need 10k or more capital to trade with.
Of course, you can go further still and get VIP account where huge positions are traded, but you need to always remember that trading is a risky business and you should not risk what you cannot afford to lose.
Trading is an international business, so you can expect a lot of foreign brokers offering there services in South Africa. It is obvious you need to expect excellent customer service in your own language or dialect from them. Those who care, they will go extra mile or two to make you their customer. Do not forget that they will also have to offer a great and speedy request, complaint, questions answering service generally running all working days 24 hours without stopping till weekend. If they fail to solve your problems in a timely manner, do not trade with them.
Like has been said, a good broker will walk extra mile to gain confidence of his clients. Most brokers will do so by offering a lot of extra services for their customers both on their websites and on their platforms. Large amount of those would be educational materials: videos, audio, articles, Ebooks and etc. They will hold free webinars and classes for newbies on every possible aspect of Forex trading. These things will definitely show that your broker cares about you.
You will always have time to trade Forex, so there is no need to rush to trade. You need to eliminate one problem first, find a good and reliable broker. You do that by checking whether he is regulated and what kind of services he offers in terms what hat been discussed in the article. If the broker you have looked at fits our description, it will probably be a good one. Of course, trading is always a risk and you should be ready to lose, but if you have done your homework success will come in your trading eventually.
Compare Financial Spread Betting Platforms & Brokers
Compare spread betting platforms and the brokers who offer them. Compare the costs, spreads, offers and features that each of these companies offer. Our broker reviews could help you decide which broker is best for you. We only feature Spread Betting Brokers authorised and regulated by the FCA where client funds are protected under the FSCS.
CFDs and spread bets are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Featured brokers appear first.
|Featured Spread BettingBroker||What markets can you spread bet on?||How much are the spread betting fees?||CEO Interview||More Info|
|Go long or short and spread bet on more than 17,000 markets with with IG, the world’s No.1 provider||Spread bet from 0.6 points on key FX pairs like EUR/USD, 1 point on major indices like the Germany 30 and FTSE 100, and 0.3 points on Spot Gold.||Spread bet on the price movements of thousands of financial instruments, including indices, currencies, cryptocurrencies, commodities, shares and treasuries.||Competitive spreads on our spread betting instruments, including major FX pairs from 0.7 points, major indices from 1 point and crude oil from 3 points.||Spread bet on 150+ instruments across FX, indices, equities, cryptos, energy and commodities, and more, across three, free powerful platforms||Spreads on our MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are variable, with prices coming from many providers and sources to ensure you’re getting the best price.||Read Tamas Szabo CEO Interview||Visit Pepperstone||Spread Betting with City Index provides a tax-free* way to trade over 8000+ global markets.||Fixed and variable spreads from 0.5 points with benchmark UK financing is LIBOR +/-2.5%||Coming Soon|| Visit City Index
What is financial spread betting?
Spread betting is a way to bet on the rise and fall of the prices of an asset, like a stock, commodity or financial instrument. You do not own the underlying asset but make money by predicting correctly if the value of your chosen asset will rise or fall in a given timescale. You can spread bet on anything from shares to gold and crude, FX or house prices. There are a few key differences between traditional investing. Firstly, it’s a bet so there is no tax on profits (at the moment). Secondly, you trade on margin as you bet on a per point basis so you can make or lose much more than your stake – which makes spread betting a high risk/high reward product. Many of the spread betting brokers listed in our comparison tables have very good education articles, videos and demo account for potential clients to practice on. You can read our guide what is spread betting to get more detail and learn our top tips.
Read Our Spread Betting Guides & Tips
Watch our “what is spread betting” video interview with CMC Markets
We talk to Ryan O’Dougherty from CMC Markets about spread betting, what is spread betting, who it’s for, what are the main benefits, the main risks, the best time to trade, and also, the most common mistakes traders make and how to avoid them.
A quick summary of all the major spread betting brokers in the UK
There are quite a few spread betting brokers in the UK and there are actually very few fundamental differences between them.
They all offer access to the same markets, with the same spreads and generally all offer the same trading tools. We covered in some depth how you should actually choose a spread betting broker before. Below is a summary of some of the top brokers:
Vote in the “Spread Betting Broker Awards”
Our spread betting awards include all the major spread betting brokers in the UK. Our judges are a combination of market professionals, clients, traders, managers and investment personalities. On every spread betting broker review, there is a section to write a review and rate a broker based on set criteria. It only takes a few moments to cast your vote and will help highlight the best spread betting accounts, providers and offers in the UK.
Spread betting company reviews
If you are looking for a review on the top spread betting firms in the UK you have come to the right place. We only list regulated brokers that offer secure, platforms, tight spreads and quick execution on FX, Equities, Commodities, Indices and Fixed Income:
You can also post your own rating and account review to let other traders know what you think.
We review the best spread betting brokers and look at the top accounts. Read our review of Core Spreads, or see what users think when they reviewed ETX capital, we also look at all the major spread betting companies. You can share your opinion on the best brokers by voting in our broker awards.
How important are tight spreads when spread betting?
Tight spread betting spreads are indeed an important part of trading through a spread betting broker. But it is important to take other considerations into account as well. A broker may try to win your business by marketing ultra-tight spreads on a couple of the main products, but then increase spreads on the more exotic asset classes. You also need to make sure that when you pick a broker the spreads are always tight, not just during normal trading hours or excluding periods over economic figure releases. In some circumstances, it may be best to go with a broker that has consistently tight spreads throughout its entire asset class range rather than just on a few key products. That being said, if you only trade two or three indices and FX pairs, they go with what broker will give you the lowest trading costs and have back up accounts for other instruments.
Comparing tight spreads from spread betting companies
Tight spreads are no the be all and end all of spread betting, but they are certainly an important aspect. When comparing how tight spreads are among spread betting companies you must also look at the overall offering as being taken in by the initial spread may have a detrimental effect on your trading if you are trading exotic products.
The spread betting brokers offer consistently tight spreads:
The top five spread betting firms (and what they are good at).
All brokers are not equal. Some are just better at some things than others.
Here’s a quick rundown of the key strengths of the top five established spread betting brokers and what makes them stand out.
Can you make money spread betting?
This is one of the most often asked questions for new traders and the simple answer is yes, of course, you can. Spread betting provides access to an unprecedented range of markets. The simple fact of the matter is that markets do one of two things. They either go up, or they go down. It is the rate at which they do so and whether you pick the right direction that determines if you make money.
We’ve put together a handy series of guides that should help new and experienced traders navigate the markets through spread betting.
Before you start reading the guides you should be aware that spread betting is not like placing a normal bet where you losses are capped at the initial stake. You are betting a certain amount per point move of an asset. If the asset is priced at 100 it means that if it goes to 0 and you have bet £1 per point you can lose £100. So for a £1 bet your potential downside is 100x your stake. On the plus side, if the price goes to 500 you make £400 which is a monster return for a £1 bet. If you don’t know how spread betting works you can read our article on the basics of how spread betting works here.
One of the most important factors in spread betting is choosing a broker you are comfortable with. There are many factors involved in choosing the right broker, including; liquidity, financial stability, range of markets, spread width and educational and research tools. Read our guide on how to choose the right spread betting broker before you open an account.
Financial Security – a key feature of any spread betting broker…
It goes without saying that you need your spread betting broker you use to be financially secure and established. Before opening an account, always do some background digging into the company as there have been a few examples of spread betting companies going bankrupt and traders having problems getting their funds back. An easy way to keep an eye on a companies financials is to go with brokers that are traded themselves on the London Stock Exchange. Being a public company means that you have to submit financial reports on a regular basis. The share price and market cap are also good indicators of whether or not a company is heading for trouble. If a broker is not listed on the stock exchange you can have a look at their accounts on companies house or on websites like duedil.com. If you are trading through a spread betting white label it’s important to check just what balance sheet you are using, the brand or the underlying provider.
Best MT4 spread betting brokers
MT4 is on the of the best ways to trade FX online, and now many spread betting brokers now offer MT4 as a platform. If you are interested in spread betting on MT4 you can review the best MT4 spread betting accounts here.
Where to get the tightest FX spreads
Spread betting on Forex is all about tight prices, speed and market timing. It is one of the most actively traded markets in the world. Positions are generally turned over much faster than any other asset class and traders aim to take quick profits. Finding a spread betting broker with really tight FX spreads can make a big difference to your profit and loss at the end of the trading day.
Three brokers where you can spread bet on foreign exchange with rates under 1 pip.
None of the above float your boat? Compare all spreadbetting FX accounts here.
Using spread betting as a tool for arbitrage between brokers
Punters have been trying to beat the man for centuries and spread betting is no different. In the case of spread betting brokerage arbitrage appears that the scales are against the customer.
There are countless cases of punters finding loopholes in the dealing systems of various stock and spread betting brokers and (quite innocently) trading to take advantage of them. After all arbitrage between markets is a legitimate trading strategy. However, as with casinos, the house will win when it comes down to it. Don’t bother as this sort of behaviour can be seen as market manipulation and may result in fines from the FCA
Stick to the basic principles of buying low and selling high. It’s not fair but it’s the facts.
Spread Betting on Foreign Exchange, FX or Forex
The FX market is the most traded asset class in the world and one of the most popular asset classes with spread betting brokers. The major pairs offer great liquidity, tight pricing and good intra-day trading ranges. Because of this brokers are able to offer low margin rates, meaning high leverage. So Spread betting on FX is one of the best ways to trade foreign exchange. You can compare the best Forex brokers here.
Regulation and it’s importance for spread betting brokers
Spread betting brokers in the UK is regulated by the FCA and the FSA register provides a database of the company status, the management and also their regulated employment history. By doing a search on the register you can quite easily find out what experience and pedigree the management have. Never, trade with a company that is not regulated by the FCA. Most brokers display their regulatory status in the footer of the website at the bottom. Our spread betting company comparison tables only include spread betting brokers that are regulated.
Welcome offers and trading bonuses in spread betting
Spread betting brokers are regulated by the FCA and are not allowed to offer welcome bonuses anymore. If a broker does offer you a cash bonus for signing up it may be a scam. You can check that a broker is regulated by the FCA on the FCA register. If you think that an unauthorised broker is trying to scam you, you can report them to the FCA.
Range of markets offered by a spread betting account
Some spread betting companies focus on tight spreads on a few key markets. Others focus on providing a good value overall service. When opening a new account, have in mind what asset classes and individual instruments you want to trade. If you are more interested in AIM and small-cap shares you will need a spread betting broker that specialises in them. If that is the case it may well prove beneficial to open a second account with one of the major providers where you can trade pretty much what you want when you want. All brokers will offer the major index, commodities and FX pairs though.
Added value offered by spread betting brokers
Inherently, most spread betting brokers are the same. There is not much difference in spreads, funding charges, range of markets and platforms these days. So one thing to look out for if you are after value (other than tight spreads) is what else you get as part of the account package. Some spread betting accounts provide access to third-party research and analysis services. Some provide direct market access and others are stripped to the bone and offer nothing other than access to the platform. If you are happy to have various screens open then this may appeal, but a quick look at the spread betting account features comparison table should give you a good indication of what additional services spread betting accounts will give you.
Compare Added Value Spread Betting Accounts
If you are looking for a new broker make sure that you choose one that gives you a little more than just tight spreads. Most spread betting brokers are the same underneath the hood so look for one that gives you a trading edge. Undoubtedly an edge can come in the form of sentiment, data, news or analysis. It’s up to you as a trader to find the best edge for your trading.
Here are some spread betting brokers that offer good added value:
Spread Betting Broker Reviews
Use our reviews to find out more about brokers you are considering. We combine expert opinion with user reviews to help you find the right broker for you. Remember the spread betting company that is best for you may not be the same as someone else’s so take that in to consideration and make your own decision based on what you need most and as always do your own research before committing. If you are new then start small, you can lose more than your initial deposit so get lots of experience before trading up.
Spread Betting Guides, Tips & Strategy
We’ve put together a few spread betting guides that can help you navigate the world of spread betting. The financial markets are difficult to profit from and spread betting is a high-risk leveraged way of speculating that can result in significant wins and losses. Make sure you fully understand the risks involved by familiarising yourself with how it works.
Which is the right spread betting broker for you?
Every trader is different and every spread betting broker is different in small ways. True, most offer the same thing for the same price, but personal preference can make a big difference in how you interact with the trading platform, the brokers and ultimately how you picking the right spread betting broker can affect you win/loss ration of trades.
Some golden rules of day trading via spread bets…
There are some key principles that all spread betting traders should adhere to if they want to make money. Check out our three golden rules to profitable day trading to see if you use these strategies every time you make a trading decision. If not you may find that paying a bit more attention to your strategy, discipline and objectives will make a big difference.
Spread bet trading on the go
It is essential that any broker you use has the ability for you to check and close your positions on the move. You can compare the best Financial Spread Betting Mobile Apps to make sure that you don’t lose touch with the market for the moment. Most brokers still offer dealing support by phone, but with high-risk bets on you need to be connected all the time.
Who are the major players in the spread betting world?
Spread betting is dominated by several firms, but as there are relatively little barriers to entering the market. new firms are cropping up all the time. We’ve put together a quick summary of all the major spread betting brokers in the UK. Good brokers last because they provide good customer service and fair pricing. Being the cheapest is not necessarily the best when it comes to trading.
Here is a quick rundown of the biggest spread betting brokers
Spread Betting on Bitcoin – need we say more
I’m sure your eyes have already rolled over and a nerve is popping in the back of your head at the concept of trading such an unknown instrument. however,if you really must spread bet on bitcoin here is how.
Spread Betting on the volatility of the markets.
There are various indicators that will show you how volatile the market is. In most cases, a moving market is easier to trade than a stagnant one. You can spread bet on market volatility using the VIX, a futures contract based in Chicago. It’s not the easiest indicator to follow or understand but once mastered can be an invaluable tool.
Price differences between spread betting brokers
Today, most brokers spreads and prices will be fairly similar, but on occasion, there may be an opportunity to arbitrage between brokers. But to be honest the way information is distributed and based on how competitive the industry legitimate arbitrage opportunities will be rare.
Spread betting on smaller cap stocks
There are pros and cons to spread betting on the smaller stocks. Obviously, a pro is that if they sky rocket you don’t have to pay tax (at the moment) on your winnings. The cons are that they are illiquid and as such can be very volatile. The best way to spread bet on the AIM market is through a spread betting broker you have a good relationship with and talks to the market directly. Even if you are a big client you may find the dealers get annoying with you. But if you hold the positions long enough you’ll also end up paying a lot in interest overnight funding.
Spread betting on property
It is possible to spread bet on the UK housing market going up or down but only through a small number of brokers. Spreads will be wide and the market does not move much. If you manage to track down a price double check how long it will be honored for and what size you can bet. It may be a good hedge against a property portfolio, but check the funding rates for short positions if that is your intention.
Technical versus fundamental analysis in spread betting
Most spread traders use technical analysis as is provides a good visual representation of the market and is generally more relevant to short term moves. However, it is based on historic events where as fundamental analysis looks at what a company should be worth in the future. Technical analysis vs fundamental analysis in spread betting is a debate that will probably go on for either, but at the end of the day it is down to personal preference.
Profiting from profit warnings
It’s sad but true, there is easy money to be made in the market by betting on a company under performing. They say profit warnings come in threes so there are many bear traders out there stalking the market for potential victims. Shorting stocks is how you use spread betting to bet on a downward market and can be profitable, but beware losses are unlimited. You can only make as much as your stake goes to zero, but in theory a stock price can go on up forever.
Spread betting vs. CFDs (Contracts for difference)
It is easy to see the difference between spread betting and CFDs. CFDs in the UK are for professionals as they provide direct market access and anonymity (to an extent). Outside the UK CFDs are used by private clients as there are no tax benefits.
Hedging with spread betting
No this is actually a valuable application of spread betting. Using spread betting as a hedging tool can be both an efficient way to manage a profitable position for tax purposes.
How does spread betting really work?
Do you really want to know how financial spread betting the markets works? If you do great, but in reality, you make money if you call the market right, you lose if you don’t. Understanding the mechanics of the product isn’t going to help you be a better stock picker.
Training courses to be a better spread bet trader.
If you’ve just asked yourself “Should I enrol on a trading course to learn spread betting?” The answer is no you shouldn’t. You should avoid spread betting all together. It’s a high risk product for high risk experienced investors. Most trading courses are run by people with little or no knowledge of the actual market and let’s be honest, if they were good traders you they certainly wouldn’t be teaching.
Why do most people lose money spread betting?
I’m sure that you’ve read somewhere that most traders who spread bet lose money? But, what is the main reason most spread betting clients lose money? The answer is pretty simple, it involved around getting involved in something with out enough experience. Spread betting is not an easy way to make money, and should not be marketed or promoted as such. It is a facility to bet on the financial markets to be used appropriately. Most brokers do a good job of ensuring that clients have some investment experience before allowing them an account.
The evil B book run by spread betting brokers
The B book has a pretty bad reputation, rather unjustly. It’s a little unfair as the industry wouldn’t exist without it. Some ask how can the B Book Model in spread betting really still exist in the current financial climate? The answer is simple, without it all the brokers would go out of business.
Spread betting brokers actually like it when you make money
Some do anyway. Some spread betting brokers actually love it when you make money! Spread betting is not an evil industry and in fact offers some of the best customer service and retention rates around. Clients can stay loyal to the same broker for decades.
Making money as a spread bet trader
If you’ve just Google “can you make money spread betting”? The answer is similar to whether or not you should go on a training course. The answer is no you can’t. Some people can, but only experienced investors and speculators, will find their way into the 20% of clients that across in the spread betting client universe of around 100,000 clients actually make money.
White label spread betting brokers – any good?
Some yes, some are just pointless. A white label gives established financial companies the opportunity to give their client base an additional service or another way of doing business with them. Many customers in the financial industry are loyal to brands that help them make and save money or provide good advice. However, going with a white label brokers that doesn’t already exist providing their customers with financial services has no value. Better off to go with one of the major providers like:
Here are 5 of the best spread betting platforms for beginners and why.
If you’re looking for the best spread betting platform for beginners we’ve put together a list of the top 5 brokers and more importantly reasons why they are good.
Spread betting is a highly regulated financial product and profits are free of capital gains tax. However, if you’re new to spread betting here’s what you need to look out for.
First, what are the top five brokers for spread betting beginners:
Three simple spread betting strategies to get you started
Strategy is key to spread betting. Having a clear idea of how you want to trade will give you the best chance of maximizing profits and reducing losses. If you are just getting started in spread betting and looking for basic strategy that promotes good trading we’ve put together a quick summary of three simple spreads betting trading strategies that should help you find your feet. Here are three strategies to get started on the right track:
1) Never over trade.
It’s temping to smash straight into the market and trade as large as possible. But this is the quickest way to lose your money. When you get started bet small relative to your account size. This means if you have £1,000 on your account allocate no more than 10% of that to the margin of each trade and keep at least 50% free for variation margin (covering your profit and loss). The principle is the same if you are trading with £100k. You shouldn’t use more than 50% or £50k as initial margin, or have a single position that accounts for more than 10% of your account. Spread betting brokers provide access to well over 3,000 instruments to trade and having a diverse range of positions will spread your risk. If you have too fee large positions and one moves against you it can quickly wipe out your account. Having lots of small positions will help you manage your profit and loss more effectively.
2) Cut your losses, run your profits.
The last point in never over trading bring us on nicely to the most important part of spread betting strategy. Always cut a losing trade and run profitable ones for longer. The best traders in the world only get it right about half the time, but what makes them good traders is that they are not in a rush to take profits and realise when they have called the market right to let a position run and bank big wins. If you call a trend or reversal well, there is more to be gained from adding a trailing stop and profit limit tan taking a quick turn and looking for another opportunity. Equally important is cutting losses. As with profitable trades where letting it run make big profits. With losing trades, letting them run will run up big losses. If a position or trade is not doing what you hoped, cut it out and keep your power dry and move on to the next trade.
3) Choosing the right spread betting broker
As spread betting is commission free (the charges are built into the spread and overnight fee) it’s easy to become complacent about which broker you use. Tight spreads and low financing charges are the key to efficient trading. If you are jobbing in and out of positions everyday trading with a broker that offers even slightly tighter spreads can increase your profits by up to 20%.
Here’s a reason why each of these spread betting brokers are good for beginners:
Best spread betting brokers for HNWs with large accounts
Comparing other types of FCA regulated UK brokers
When looking for a new broker there are a few important factors to consider. The most prevalent being that they offer cost-effective access to the markets and asset classes you want to trade. But you also need to consider the regulatory status of the broker, the trading costs, what added value they offer and how financially secure they are.
In our broker comparison pages we’ll take a look at the top FOREX, CFD, spread betting, MT4, binary and currency brokers that are regulated by the FCA and what makes them stand out above the competition.
Key features of spread betting
How to choose a financial spread betting broker
There are a few key features to look at when switching or opening a spread betting account. These include:
Your spread betting broker must be authorised and regulated by the FCA.
By ensuring your spread betting broker is fully authorised and regulated by the FCA some of your funds will be protected under the FSCS. The FCA also requires spread betting brokers to report on a regular basis and have adequate compliance procedures in place to treat customers fairly.
Good Money Guide only shows brokers who are authorised and registered with the FCA and as such, offer FSCS protection for their customers money.
Check how wide a spread betting broker’s spreads are
Our spread betting broker comparison tables highlight how wide a companies spreads are. This is important because it is a big cost to you as a trader. The narrower a companies spreads are the lower your trading costs will be. A spread is the difference between the price at which you can buy and sell a position. So if you are a intraday trader who makes lots of trades this can have a bit impact on your profit and loss.
Check you can trade with a spread betting broker on the go?
Most spread betting brokers will have multi platform and mobile and tablet apps for trading on the go. As more volume goes through on mobile broker apps and mobile access ensures that you are always connected to the market to check prices and open and close positions.
Check what asset classes your spread betting broker covers
Some broker solely focus on one product like FX, others cover the entire market. Generally the bigger the broker the more stocks and asset you can trade. The majority of spread betting activity is on the major stocks, FX pairs and indices, but by switching to a broker with better market coverage there will be no delay on putting a trade on an obscure stock or index if the opportunity presents itself.
Experience matters when spread betting
The more established a spread betting broker the better they will be at dealing with customer issues. The financial markets are vastly complex so having experienced brokers and customer service staff is vital to sorting trading errors and helping you navigate new products.
Go with a spread betting broker that offers added value
Most brokers offer pretty much the same access to the market. By choosing a spread betting broker will lots off added value tools like live news, technical analysis and sentiment indicators you will get a better overview of the market and hopefully be better informed when you trade.
Does your spread betting broker offer credit
Some brokers offer credit accounts. This means if you are a good client you can put a trade on without having any cash in your account. You will have to fund the account, but by having a bit of credit it means you can put a trade on quickly without having to wait for funds to be added.
Following profitable traders through social trading spread betting brokers
Social trading is bug business now. It basically allows you to execute the same trades as the best customer of a specific broker. If a broker allows social trading they will show th performance and trades of traders that make money. You can then allocate a certain amount of capital to follow their real live positions.
Which are the best spread betting platform for beginners?
This is a tricky question as there is no one size fits all spread betting broker for beginners. If you want to find out which best spread betting platform for beginners you can read one of our guides. But beware, if you are a beginner spread betting, although it has high rewards is very risky. So make sure you fully understand how spread betting works before you start trading.
Do we have a list of spread betting forex brokers?
Yes we do, you can read our page on spread betting forex brokers to find out which spread betting broker offers the best markets, forex spreads and added value for your forex spread betting. As always when you are looking for a spread betting forex broker make sure they are regulated by the FCA and listed on the Good Broker Guide.
Why is spread betting UK exclusive?
Spread betting in the UK is only possible because there is no capital gains tax on spread betting profits. This does of course mean that you cannot offset spread betting losses and tax laws can and always will change. Spread betting outside the UK does not exist as UK spread bettors are the only traders than benefit from the tax breaks.
Financial spread betting versus sports spread betting.
There is only one financial spread betting broker that also offers sports spread betting. That financial spread betting broker is Spreadex. Many other spread betting brokers used to offer sports spread betting, but now it is just Spreadex. Sports spread betting is a bit like trading the financial markets through financial spread betting, but instead of betting on the price of shares, forex and commodities, you are trading sports scores.
Do brokers still offer spread betting offers?
Not really, spread betting offers don’t really exist anymore as the regulators through the spread betting offers that brokers were offering were attracting the wrong sort of client to spread betting. Instead, now brokers have to provide a better service, tighter pricing, and access to more markets. So actually, the reduction of spread betting offers is a good thing for traders.
Which is the best spread betting platform?
Many financial websites give out awards to the best spread betting platforms each year. However, take them all with a pinch of salt, many of these award ceremonies tend to give awards to all brokers in one way or another in exchange for sponsorship. However, Good Money Guide’s annual awards are different.
We run an annual, unbiased and independent awards ceremony and decide the winners based on;
Do you have a list of mt4 spread betting brokers?
Yes, you can view our mt4 spread betting broker comparison page for more information on spread betting brokers that offer spread betting on the MT4 platform. Most decent spread betting brokers will have their own trading platforms, but, because of the massive appeal of MT4 good spread betting brokers will also offer this as an option.
Spread Betting Brokers
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