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Best Forex Broker for Beginners

Since currency movements are impacted by a host of factors such geopolitics, economics and more, forex trading by nature involves high volatility. It’s most likely not for you if you’re a novice, unless you’re adequately backed by considerable financial resources.

If you’re new to forex, you may not know that the forex market is an over-the-counter market in which banks, brokers, institutions, investors, and traders buy and sell currencies. A 24-hour market, it functions five days a week.

Quick Look: Our Favorite Forex Brokers for Beginners

Brokerage Where They Shine Get Started

FOREX.com

  • Best Overall
  • Best Regulated
  • Best Platform/Ease of Use
  • Best In Terms of Educational Resources Offered
  • Best Customer Support
Open an Account

Ally Invest

  • Best In Terms of Educational Resources Offered
Open an Account

TD Ameritrade

  • Best In Terms of Educational Resources Offered
Open an Account
  • Best Affordability (Lowest Fees & Commissions)
N/A

What’s a forex broker?

A forex broker is an intermediary which facilitates buying and selling of currencies for a commission, or, in other words, executes orders on behalf of clients.

The broker supplies clients with information on the market price of a currency pair, finds a matching order to fulfill clients’ requests, sends the trading order to the market, and, after processing the order, gets back to the client with the status of the order.

Factors to consider when finding the best forex broker

If you’re on the hunt for a forex broker, the options may be overwhelming. But, you should be able to narrow down your search based on the following.

  • Credibility/reputation: Fully check the broker’s credentials. Look for brokers listed under the National Futures Association and the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
  • Trading platform: A user-friendly and simple trading platform is essential. Feature-rich platforms, while handy for an advanced trader, might be too much for a beginner.
  • Efficiency of execution: In order to ensure the best possible price for placed orders, execution, or the speed at which the orders are filled, should happen in nanoseconds, as forex moves are dynamic and volatile.
  • Customer service: A broker should be easy to contact and offer quick resolution of issues.
  • Affordable fees and commissions: In forex trading, fees and commissions will include a fixed spread, variable spread or a commission based on a percentage of the spread. Spread is the difference between the bid price (the price which the market is prepared to pay you for buying the currency) and the ask price (the price at which he is prepared to sell you the currency).

Picks for the best forex broker

Based on these characteristics, the best forex brokers for beginners are below. Before you open an account, consider which features matter most to you as a currency trader.

Best overall: FOREX.com

Best For
  • Forex traders located in the United States
  • MetaTrader 4 users
  • Beginner forex traders
  • Active forex traders

The top honors for a well-rounded brokerage catering to the needs of a beginner goes to FOREX.com. This broker promises stability, security, and strength. It offers more than one trading platform, including an in-house option and also provides trading on desktop, web, and mobile.

You’ll be able to trade over 80+ currencies pairs through FOREX.com. Forex.com also offers expert market analysis and trade ideas and also offers cash rebates through its Active Trader program. Its $5,000, 30-day risk-free practice trading account is also an added attraction.

Read Benzinga’s full Forex.com Review

Best regulation: FOREX.com

FOREX.com, owned by Gain Capital Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCAP) is the best when it comes to regulation, as it is under the regulatory purview of multiple agencies (including overseas agencies). Quick notes:

  • Oanda is also regulated by both NFA and CFTC.
  • Interactive Brokers, another active forex trader, as well as Nadex, are regulated by the CFTC.
  • TD Ameritrade’s TD Ameritrade Futures and Forex is a member of the NFA.

The advantages of trading with a regulated broker include transparency of operations, compensation or insurance payout (in case the brokerage fails) and anti-money laundering guarantees.

However, most are unregulated. (FXCM claims that by being unregulated, it’s able to offer a wider and more diverse range of products and promotions demanded by its client base.)

Best for trading platform/ease of use: Forex.com

FOREX.com provides clients with advanced platforms such as Metatrader 4 and has an in-house platform called FOREXTrader. Forex.com also offers a web platform, desktop, and mobile app.

  • Ally Invest Forex offers ease of use and flexibility as well as a full suite of professional charting and order management tools.
  • On the contrary, trading platforms such as TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform, which offers advanced charting and analysis tools, may not be best for forex newcomers.

Best for educational resources: Forex.com, Ally Invest & TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform offer educational materials, tutorials, real-time data, third-party research and more and therefore qualifies as the broker with the best educational resources.

TD Ameritrade also recently introduced its TD Ameritrade Network that live streams market analysis every day.  FOREX.com, with its videos, webinars, and guides, is a great bet as well. It even offers curated content based on the type of the investor you are, which is deduced based on a quiz.

Apart from providing content on trading fundamentals and technicals, it offers tutorials for its FOREX.com platform as well as the MetaTrader platform. Ally Invest is right on par in terms of the educational resources offered.

The firm offers excellent resources to help beginners understand forex trading. Some brokers offer a practice account to help beginners understand trading nuances. Forex.com and Ally Invest offer a $50,000 risk-free demo account, valid for 30 days.

Best for low fees: Oanda

A broker’s compensation is usually the spread between the bid and ask price. The dealer acting as principal in a transaction marks up the bid price, widening the bid-ask spread.

The difference between the market spread and the dealer’s marked-up spread is the profit, as the broker buys and sells from its inventory. Oanda scores over the rest in terms of the lowest spread. It also offers commission pricing, charging $50 per million units.

Best customer support: FOREX.com

Since forex is a five-day, 24/7 market, most forex brokers offer customer service from 5 p.m. ET Sunday to 5 p.m. ET Friday. However, FOREX.com’s customer support is available from 10 a.m. ET Sunday through 5 p.m. ET. Phone, live chat, and email support is available.

Final thoughts

The time and resources you commit as you dive into the complex investing world calls for patience and study. As long as you have the resources to commit, and even when you do lose, it all teaches you how to be a better trader.

Broker Best For Commissions Account Minimum Choose your platform
FOREX.com
  • Forex traders located in the United States
  • MetaTrader 4 users
  • Beginner forex traders
  • Active forex traders
Spreads start as low as $1 But vary based on trading volume $250
Get started securely through FOREX.com's website
1 Minute Review

One of the few forex brokers to provide MetaTrader support for U.S. clients, Forex.com has an impressive array of pairs to trade and three different accounts to choose from. Its educational materials are spot-on, but the margin requirements aren’t as accommodating as some competing forex brokers.

Pros
  • MetaTrader and NinjaTrader support
  • Lots of education materials
  • Direct market access accounts
  • Over 80 forex pairs to trade
Cons
  • Maximum leverage on only three pairs
  • No MetaTrader on spread or DMA accounts
Current Promotion

Ally Investment
  • Active traders
  • Beginners looking to start trading
  • Low fees
$4.95 volume discount available $0
Get started securely through Ally Investment's website
1 Minute Review

If investors are on the hunt for a bargain broker, Ally Invest could be the one. With low commissions across the board, Ally Invest (formerly TradeKing) stops potential investors in their tracks with its especially low mutual fund commissions. Commissions on stocks and ETFs are notoriously inexpensive as well, and for more active traders or those with larger account balances, commissions can dip as low as $3.95 per trade.

Pros
  • Volume discounts available
  • Among the lowest fees in industry
  • Good for every experience level
  • Excellent customer service
Cons
  • Lacks physical locations
Current Promotion

$3.95 per stock trade for Active Traders at Ally Invest

Interactive Brokers
  • Forex traders
  • Professional traders
  • Frequent traders with a thirst for different order types (63!)
$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available $0 for cash account, or a margin account with $2,000
Get started securely through Interactive Brokers's website
1 Minute Review

If you consider yourself a sure-footed professional trader, Interactive Brokers might be a major possibility for you, particularly if you’re adept at navigating tricky trading platforms (can you say 124 option indicators?) or have done more than just dipped your toe a “coupla times” into the complex world of international markets.

Pros
  • If you’re into trading on margin, you’re in luck. Interactive Brokers offers the lowest rates in the industry.
  • Low pay-per-share commissions on stock trades (up to 1,000 shares) and on options trades (up to 20 contracts)
  • Vast order types options for professional traders
Cons
  • Interactive Brokers charges account fees (including annual, transfer, closing an inactivity fees) and offers an extremely complex trading platform
Current Promotion

Lower minimum activity requirements ($3/month) and opening account minimum requirement ($3,000) for clients 25 and younger.

TD Ameritrade
  • Beginner investors
  • Advanced traders
  • Investors who want portfolio-building advice.
$6.95 $0
Get started securely through TD Ameritrade's website
1 Minute Review

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

Pros
  • Superior technology
  • No account minimum balance
  • Excellent customer support
  • Premier data and news partnerships
Cons
  • Slightly higher commissions
  • Can be for more advanced users
Current Promotion

Trade commission–free for 90 days & get up to $2500

Compare Online Brokers
Broker Commission Account Min Get Started

$6.95 for fewer than 30 trades/quarter. $0 Learn More

Flat-fee pricing: $5 per trade, Per-share pricing: $0.006-$0.01 per share ($1 minimum per trade) based on trading volume, Unbundled pricing: $0.002-$0.01 per share ($0.50-$1 minimum) based on trading volume $5,000 for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) Learn More

$4.95 volume discount available $0 Learn More

Free $0 Learn More

$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available $0 for cash account, or a margin account with $2,000 Learn More