As much as you might not want to deal with them, all Forex traders need to partner with Forex brokers to process their trades — and after Forex giant FXCM’s recent withdrawal from the U.S. market now is a good time to evaluate and choose a broker for your trading.
It can be confusing to determine which Forex broker is right for you — and your style of trading — so this post has been compiled to provide facts about several brokerages with background information, a comparison of their commission structures, the number of currencies traded and the minimum deposit necessary in an account to start trading.
Most brokers provide online customer service, live chat assistance and free educational resources on their websites. The links to the top 4 brokers have been provided below. After you’ve established your account with one of these brokerages, you’ll be able to trade directly from your computer, tablet or even your smartphone.
Here are the top 4 Forex brokers currently serving customers in the U.S.:
Oanda was the first company to make comprehensive currency exchange information available over the Internet in 1996 and helped pioneer the development of internet-based currency trading in 2001. Oanda is a good choice for traders who would like to avoid commissions and pay via a spread markup. Oanda also has zero minimum investment required and no minimum trade lot (most brokers require trades of at least 1,000 units — a micro lot — or more).
- Top Features: No trade minimum and low spread
- Commission: Based on spread markup
- Account minimum: $0.00
- How many currency pairs may be traded: 90
TD Ameritrade is one of the world’s best-known brokerages and offers the ability to trade not only Forex but also stocks and options from one interface. This makes TD Ameritrade a good choice if you are investing in multiple markets. TD Ameritrade does charge commissions (with a $1 minimum) on some currency pairs, which could lead to higher costs for some traders.
- Top Features: Two powerful platforms (TD Ameritrade and TD Ameritrade thinkorswim) trade a range of investment products with a large currency selection for Forex traders.
- Commission: TD Ameritrade charges both commission ($1 minimum; $0.10/1,000 units per side) and a spread markup, depending on currencies traded.
- Account minimum: $200.00
- How many currency pairs may be traded: 100
FOREX.com is a very good brokerage for beginning traders, as its “trader support” extends from Sundays at 5:00 PM ET through Saturdays at 5:00 PM ET (taking off only from Friday at 5:00 PM until 9:00 AM Saturday). FOREX.com uses only spread markups that are somewhat wider than the competition, so costs can be higher when trading with FOREX.com. The company also charges accounts that have been inactive for 90 days a $15 monthly data fee.
FOREX.com is owned by Gain Capital, which also holds TradeKing Forex accounts. FOREX.com and TradeKing Forex are similar, so if you have already used TradeKing, you may find TradeKing Forex a better fit for you.
- Top Features: Many educational resources and devoted customer support for customers.
- Commission: Spread markup only
- Account minimum: $250.00
- How many currency pairs may be traded: 52
ATC Brokers uses flat commission pricing and provides a low-cost alternative by pricing its commission round turn (when you both buy and sell) at only $0.80 per 10,000 units. While ATC Brokers allows trades as small as 5,000 units, the $0.80 commission is a minimum charge.
- Top Features: Low round-turn commission structure
- Commission: Minimum $0.80 per 10,000 units, round-turn
- Account minimum: $5,000.00
- How many currency pairs may be traded: 35
The Forex market can have challenges for new traders, and education and training are always advised when entering any new investment opportunity. As you trade, you will also want to keep apprised of new offers and news about brokerages — as you can take advantage of a better deal at almost any time.