The National Futures Association (NFA) is among the best-known national regulatory authorities worldwide due to the strict oversight it has over many U.S. financial firms. The NFA acts as the primary regulatory authority in the United States and is responsible for overseeing online forex brokers alongside the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Selecting the right broker and trading platform for currencies can impact your potential for profit, so consider your needs and choose wisely from our roundup of NFA-approved brokers.
Best NFA-Regulated Forex Brokers:
Overview: NFA Regulations for Forex Brokers
The NFA was one of the first financial watchdog agencies to impose tight restrictions on forex trading in an attempt to protect U.S.-based retail traders from suffering excessive losses.
Clients who trade through NFA-regulated forex brokers are currently subject to a number of notable limitations that include keeping leverage ratios at or below 50:1 on major currency transactions with an even lower leverage ratio limit of 30:1 for exotic currency pairs. Orders placed by the clients of these brokers must also be liquidated according to the first-in, first-out (FIFO) rule. The practice of hedging positions by simultaneously having open but offsetting positions in a currency pair is also prohibited.
Forex brokers need to have a minimum of $20 million in order to protect client funds. Brokers also need to make a report to the NFA each week on the balances clients have, which is published on its website.
Online forex brokers must fulfill all regulatory requirements and must continue good performance with respect to its clients. Too many client complaints can result in the withdrawal of this approval.
If regulated by the NFA, forex brokers usually display their NFA license number and a link to their profile at the bottom of their website, on a separate regulation page or on an FAQ page.
Benefits of NFA-Regulated Brokers
One of the most important benefits is that NFA regulation assures the safety of your funds deposited as margin. It also provides the opportunity for you to arbitrate and hopefully resolve a consumer dispute with the broker.
NFA regulation also demonstrates that an online forex broker has jumped through all the necessary hoops and passed all required screening procedures required by the NFA. You can review the regulatory profile for a broker using the NFA’s BASIC service before you choose to use its services.
NFA regulation helps ensure that the overseen broker remains trustworthy and can thereby prevent you from becoming a victim of fraudulent broker activities.
Top NFA Regulated Forex Brokers
The list of NFA regulated brokers varies from month to month, so we’ve compiled a current list of some of the best forex broker options also overseen by that association. Each of these preferred brokers has enjoyed a relatively stable and favorable regulatory history with the NFA.
FOREX.com is backed by Gain Capital and is the largest online forex broker for U.S.-based traders.
It’s regulated by the CFTC and NFA in addition to numerous other regulatory agencies around the world. This broker offers an execution service in several major currency pairs at its maximum leverage ratio of 50:1.
You can get started live trading with just a $50 minimum deposit or you can open a demo account with virtual money.
The broker also features competitive pricing, excellent customer service and powerful trading platforms for traders of all experience levels.
2. IG Markets
Switch to IG and enjoy spreads from 0.8 pips on EUR/USD and USD/JPY.
You can get started in less than 5 minutes. Simply fill out a form where you'll be asked about your trading experience. Then you get an instant online verification of your identity. From there, you can fund your account and trade. Withdraw money easily and whenever you'd like.
Their online forex trading platform offers a fast, clear, smart way to trade spot forex via your web browser. They also have a mobile app so you can trade on the go.
As an IG Markets user you can expect:
- Trading alerts
- Execution and pricing
Get started with IG Markets today.
3. Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers appeals to more advanced high-volume traders who wish to trade many international markets other than just forex.
It offers some of the best commissions among online brokers, starting at the greater of 0.20 basis points multiplied by the trade value and $2 for monthly trade volumes up to $1 million. If you trade more, you can get even better commissions.
Interactive Brokers also has several trading platforms, including its FX Trader platform designed specifically for trading currencies.
The main downside is that this broker requires a minimum deposit of $10,000.
4. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade benefits from oversight by the NFA and CFTC and offers excellent trading platforms for desktop, web and mobile devices. TD Ameritrade also offers excellent research and market analysis.
You can trade more than 70 different currency pairs via its excellent thinkorswim trading platform that offers especially good currency tracking and analysis tools, including hundreds of indicators for your charts.
The broker has a forex commission-based account that charges $0.10 per every 1,000 base currency units traded with a 50:1 margin requirement for major currencies. It also offers commission-free forex trading with wider dealing spreads.
Even if you’ve traded on the stock market, trading currencies is quite different if you are new to foreign exchange.
Once you’ve identified a reputable NFA regulated broker that fulfills your needs as a trader, you can visit its official website to start the process of opening and funding a live forex trading account. You can also usually test out its services and practice trading with a demo account.
Get a Forex Pro on Your Side
FOREX.com, registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), lets you trade a wide range of forex markets plus spot metals with low pricing and fast, quality execution on every trade.
You can also tap into:
- EUR/USD as low as 0.2 with fixed $5 commissions per 100,000
- Powerful, purpose-built currency trading platforms
- Monthly cash rebates of up to $9 per million dollars traded with FOREX.com’s Active Trader Program
Learn more about FOREX.com’s low pricing and how you can get started trading with FOREX.com.