Forex trading among retail investors and traders in Australia is on the rise as this huge financial market expands in the country and globally. Many currencies trade in the forex market, and the Australian dollar (AUD) — also known by its nickname “the Aussie” — is among them. This currency is issued and managed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) which acts as the country’s central bank.
Furthermore, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) ranked the AUD 5th among April 2016’s most actively traded currencies when it then made up 6.9 percent of forex market turnover. The AUD was also ranked 6th among currencies held as central bank reserves, making up 1.5 percent of Q3 2018 reserves, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
When selecting the best online brokerage firms regulated by ASIC, keep in mind the forex broker you choose is as important as how you trade. Also, the amount of leverage you can use, the assets you can trade, the available trading software and the required amount for a minimum margin deposit can vary substantially between brokers, so review each forex broker carefully to make sure they can fulfill your requirements.
Quick Look: Best ASIC-Regulated Forex Brokers
- Best for Access to Foreign Markets: Interactive Brokers
- Best for U.S Clients: FOREX.com
- Best for Beginners: AvaTrade
- Best in Australia: Vantage Markets
- Best for Low Deposits: Plus500
- Best for MetaTrader 4 Users: IG Markets
Best ASIC-Regulated Forex Brokers
Each of the top ASIC-regulated forex brokers listed below accepts Australian clients. Although forex traders based in Australia will typically select an ASIC-regulated broker to deal through for their own protection, other international brokers may also accept them as clients.
1. Best for Access to Foreign Markets: Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is a top U.S.-based online broker that was founded in 1977. It allows you to trade more than 120 world markets, including stocks listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Regulated in the U.S. by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Interactive Brokers accepts clients from Australia via its Interactive Brokers Australia Pty Ltd. subsidiary which is duly regulated by ASIC.
In addition to forex pairs, Interactive Brokers lets you trade stocks, futures, options and options on futures, bonds and funds. Its top-rated trading platform TraderWorkstation (TWS) is available in both Windows and Mac versions and is geared toward professional traders. Interactive Brokers also offers a mobile option for iOS and Android, as well as a more basic trading platform called Client Portal.
Although you might find the Interactive Brokers commission schedule somewhat complex, its fees are competitive to suit high-volume trading. It also offers extensive research and educational materials for traders who need that. This broker does charge a fee for inactive accounts.
- Properly regulated
- Many forex pairs to choose from
- Access to over 100 world markets
- High minimum deposit
2. Best for US Clients: FOREX.com
- Best For:Forex Trading in and Outside the U.S.securely through Forex.com's website
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
FOREX.com is the leading online forex broker in the U.S. for client assets. It submits to strict regulation under the CFTC and NFA, as well as ASIC and accepts Australian clients.
You will need a minimum deposit of $250 to open a trading account at FOREX.com. Although the maximum leverage ratio is only 50 to 1, you can trade micro-lots if you want to take the lower risk to start with.
With respect to trading platforms, FOREX.com offers its own proprietary trading platform and also lets you use Metatrader 4 or 5 (MT4/5) and NinjaTrader. The forex broker supports platforms for trading on desktop, web-based or mobile devices.
- 50:1 leverage available
- Demo accounts available
- Low minimums
- The sheer scope of the site may be overwhelming
3. Best for Beginners: AvaTrade
AvaTrade is a forex trading platform that offers various features and tools for traders of all levels. The platform is recognized for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, making it simple for beginners to navigate and execute trades. AvaTrade operates under 7 regulations in 6 continents, including Europe, Australia, Japan, British Virgin Islands, UAE, and South Africa. The platform offers a wide range of assets, leading platforms, and favorable trading conditions, including leverage of up to 400:1. The platform is recognized for its user-friendly interface and intuitive design, making it simple for beginners to navigate and execute trades.
- Wide range of tradable assets, including forex, stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies
- Access to advanced trading tools and feature
- Ability to analyze the market and execute trades efficiently
- Competitive spreads and low fees
- Limited account types
- Inactivity fees
- Customer support could be better
4. Best in Australia: Vantage Markets
Vantage is a forex trader and CFD market for anyone in Australia. You can also trade indices, commodities and cryptocurrency if you like. With quality liquidity and the capacity to handle high volume traders, Vantage also offers:
- Low fees
- A 50% welcome bonus
- Negative balance protection
- Easy deposits and withdrawals
You can register with Vantage in just a few moments. Plus, the platform has 24hr support and opens accounts for Islamic traders who don’t want to earn money based on interest. Choose from 40 FX pairs, over 200 CFDs, several indices, oil, gas, gold and much more.
- CFDs available
- Bonuses available
- Easy to set up an account
- Less forex pairs than other platforms
5. Best for Low Deposits: Plus500
Plus500 is a CFD broker founded in 2008 in Israel and is authorized and regulated by the following regulatory agencies:
- Plus500CY Ltd is authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14)
- Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909)
- Plus500S Pte Ltd, licensed by the MAS (#CMSI00648-1) and IE Singapore (#PLUS/CBL/2018)
- PlusS0OSEY Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039)
- Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), licensed by ASIC in Australia ASL #417727
- FMA in New Zealand FSP #486026, Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa PSP #47546.
You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets. Consider if you fall within our Target Market Distribution. Please refer to the Disclosure documents available on their website.
In order to trade on Real trading account you will need to complete the registration, fill in the Questionnaire, verify your account and deposit of $100 to get started with an account at Plus500, and you can trade an exceptionally wide range of more than 2,500 assets on CFD`s.
86% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
- Quality regulation
- Trade over 2,500 assets
- CFDs are available
- No support for MT4 or MT5
6. Best for MetaTrader4 Users: IG Markets
- Best For:Forex Executionsecurely through IG Markets's website
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Founded in 1974 in the UK, IG is an online forex and CFD broker that also offers spread betting. It is regulated by the FCA in the UK and by ASIC in Australia, and it accepts Australian clients.
IG uses a popular broker model that features straight through processing (STP) for order execution and it offers direct market access (DMA) for share trading.
You’ll need at least $250 to open a trading account with IG that will let you trade forex, shares, commodities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cryptocurrencies and indices. Its supported 3rd-party trading platforms include MT4, and the broker also offers its proprietary app for mobile trading app and a web-based trading platform.
- Powerful mobile app
- Available in several countries
- Straight through processing
- $250 minimum
What is ASIC?
The primary financial sector regulatory agency in Australia is known as the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This organization supervises all financial markets in Australia, in addition to the settlement and clearing of securities in the country.
ASIC operates under the authority of Australia’s Corporations Act and Market Integrity Rules. All forex brokers with Australian offices must be authorized to operate by ASIC before starting to accept clients there.
Another relevant regulatory body for Australian traders, especially if they trade stocks and other exchange-traded securities, is ASX Compliance that is a separate division of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). ASX Compliance oversees listed entities and market participants to make sure they comply with the ASX listing and operating rules for all of its exchange-traded markets. ASX Compliance works closely with ASIC to alert the government regulator when it observes possible rule violations or other relevant issues.
What to Consider Before Trading Forex
When considering your choices for the best ASIC-regulated forex broker, the one you select is just as important as how you trade, so choose wisely. Open an account with a reputable broker that you feel safe with since you’re entrusting them with your margin deposit.
Before starting to trade forex, think about how you intend to operate in the currency market. Listed below are some of the key considerations to take into account before trading in a live account:
- Devise a trading strategy: Every successful trader needs to know what their strategy will be for making money trading forex. Whether you are a scalper, a day trader, a swing trader or a trend trader will determine the time frame in which you hold positions and how you manage them.
- Choose currencies to trade: Some currency pairs have much tighter dealing spreads and so are more appropriate for certain strategies like scalping. Other currency pairs can show impressive long-term trends and may be more suitable for trend traders, so choose your currency pairs wisely and in a way that suits your chosen strategy.
- Write down a realistic trade plan: For best success trading, you will want to plan out exactly how you intend to trade and write it down. You will then need to have the time, discipline and financial resources to be able to follow your plan accurately in a live trading environment.
- Choose the best forex broker: The broker you choose to trade with can strongly impact your success as a trader, so choose one wisely after first assessing your needs in detail.
- Open a demo account: Just about every online broker will provide you with free access to a demo account funded with virtual money so that you can try out their platform and practice trading. You can also use demo accounts to test your trading plan with to make sure you can operate it profitably.
Next Steps with ASIC Forex Brokers
Virtually all online brokers provide a website and customer service personnel who speak English, so Australians should experience no communication challenges when selecting a forex broker from the list above.
In addition to choosing an ASIC-regulated broker to trade through from Australia, you’ll want to research the broker’s reputation with its customers and make sure it segregates client funds from its own. Once you feel comfortable with a forex broker, you can open up a free demo account with them to test services and start practice trading.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whar does the ASIC do?
The ASIC regulates the financial industry in Australia including banks, Forex, financial institutions, and Austrailian companies.
Do Forex traders in Australia pay tax?
Yes, Austrailia is one of the few countries that tax the profits made from Forex trading.
Who regulates Forex trading in Australia?
In Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, also known as ASIC regulates trading.
Get a Forex Pro on Your Side
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Learn more about FOREX.com’s low pricing and how you can get started trading with FOREX.com.
About Jay and Julie Hawk
During her financial career, Julie developed world-class expertise in technical analysis, including Elliott Wave Theory, and was deeply involved in initiating research into automated trading and trading signal systems. As a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Guild, Julie regularly wrote trade strategies, educational material, market commentary, foreign exchange newsletters, reports, articles and press releases. In addition, Julie was interviewed for various financial markets magazines and news wires in her professional capacity as a forex and derivatives expert. Since retiring from working at banks, Julie has been writing and editing books and articles about financial markets for companies like Benzinga, as well as trading forex online and mentoring other traders as part of TheFXperts’ financial team.
In addition to trading stock index, forex and commodity futures and options professionally on exchange floors, Jay also has experience trading stocks and options for private investors and trading forex online for his own account. He has also developed extensive experience in performing and using fundamental economic and corporate analysis to inform his trading and investment activities. Jay is also an expert financial writer with particular expertise in reviewing online brokers and investor services.