By Jeffrey Cammack Updated: May 26, 2020

If you are new to trading, you can go about finding a trading platform in one of two ways.  You can either narrow down your broker choices first and then look at the platforms they support or decide which platform is right for you, and then find a matching broker.

By Jeffrey Cammack Updated: May 26, 2020
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Trading Conditions
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  • Broker
    FXTM

    FXTM  - Best Platform Options

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 10
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    FXTM is an award-winning ECN/STP broker popular with beginner traders and experienced traders alike. Its popularity is due to the very wide range of accounts types, from instant execution accounts with very low minimum deposits to ultra-low spread ECN accounts - MT4 is supported across all account types and MT5 is available on the ECN accounts. An Islamic option is available for all account types but only on the MT4 platform.

    With recognition from the FCA and CySec, excellent training material, and 24/7 customer support, FXTM is a great broker for all traders.

    • Good for beginners
    • Excellent education
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Expensive withdrawals
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Cent Account1.5 pipsNoneInstantUSD 10 Account Details
    Standard Account1.3 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    ECN Zero Account1.5 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    ECN Account0.1 pips$2.00MarketUSD 500 Account Details
    FXTM Pro Account0.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 25000 Account Details
  • Broker
    Tickmill

    Tickmill  - Most Trusted Broker

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSA-Seychelles FSA-Seychelles
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4

    Tickmill offers very low spreads and commission, a 30 USD welcome bonus for all new traders, fast market execution on the MT4 platform and has an excellent reputation in the industry.

    All accounts can be converted to Islamic accounts and all clients have access to free AutoChartist and Copy Trading (via Myfxbook) - great tools for traders of all experience levels. A regular winner of trade execution and trading conditions awards, Tickmill has the reputation, and the performance, traders should look for in a broker.

    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Wide range of assets
    • MT4 only
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Classic1.6 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Pro0.0 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    VIP0.0 pipsVariableMarketUSD 50000 Account Details
  • Broker
    OctaFX

    OctaFX  - Best Research

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 50
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader

    OctaFX is a client-focused, international broker with a loyal following of Malaysian traders. The website is fully translated into Bahasa Melayu and OctaFX are always running competitions and promotions for Malaysian clients; these include a 50% first deposit bonus, demo trading contests with cash prizes and frequent lottery giveaways (prizes include scooters, laptops and other gadgets).

    An Islamic option is available for all account types and new traders will like the excellent analytical section and range of useful trading tools such as AutoChartist, copy trading and an account monitoring service that lets beginners learn anonymously from successful traders. Trader education for beginners is well-presented and platform support is almost unbeatable, with MT4, MT5 and cTrader all offered.

    • Great platform choice
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Copy trading accounts
    • Limited education
    • Restrictive account types
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    cTrader ECN pips$3.00MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    MT4 Micro0.4 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    MT5 Pro0.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 500 Account Details
  • Broker
    Pepperstone

    Pepperstone  - Best Trading Conditions

    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader

    Founded in 2010, Pepperstone is an Australian ECN broker known for tight spreads, fast trade execution and broad trading platform support. As our highest rated pure ECN broker, if you want to pay a small commission for tighter spreads, you won't find much better than Pepperstone.

    Pepperstone's award-winning 24-hour support provides the foundation for its excellent customer service, where personalised assistance is available via a number of methods. It won the fastest-growing company award (2014) in Australia, from BRW Magazine and in the same year, emerged as the winner of the Governor of Victoria Export Awards cementing its reputation as a serious contender in the industry.

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Great platform choice
    • Wide range of assets
    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Razor0.0 pipsAUD$ 7ECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
    Swap-free1.0 pipsNoneECNUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    HotForex

    HotForex  - Best Education

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    FSC FSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    HotForex is an award-winning, global broker and has a reputation for client satisfaction. 

    Trading conditions are varied across four account types, but spreads are generally tight (and are often zero pips on the market execution account). All accounts are also available as Islamic accounts, and HotForex also offers copy-trading and managed accounts.  All clients have a dedicated account manager, and deposits and withdrawals are free no matter the funding method.

    HotForex has managed to attract a broad-based global clientele by offering multiple language capabilities and has a dedicated Malaysian team.

    • Low minimum deposit
    • Tight spreads
    • Well regulated
    • Good range of accounts
    • Limited base currencies
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5 Account Details
    Islamic1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Premium1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Auto1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Zero0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    HFCopy1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 300 Account Details
    Premium Pro1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 5000 Account Details
  • Broker
    eToro

    eToro  - Most Assets Available

    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • etoro

    eToro pioneered social trading in 2012 and has been widely recognised for making the social trading experience as smooth and engaging as possible. eToro has since grown to become one of the largest Forex brokers in the world, and its success has made it clear that many traders view an active and helpful community as an essential part of their trading strategy.

    eToro's trading model is quite different from most other brokers and may take some time to get accustomed to, but if you are looking for a fun and simple social trading experience, then eToro is the best.

    • Well regulated
    • Good for beginners
    • Innovative trading tools
    • Limited education
    • Wide spreads
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Professional1.0 pipsNoneMarketEUR 200 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    XM Group (XM) is a full dealing desk broker which offers floating spreads and suits all kinds of traders.  XM offers swap-free Islamic accounts as well as a variety of other account types to suit traders.  It is a perfect broker for scalpers, intraday traders as well as long-term traders because of the tight spreads, fast execution times and good analysis software.  XM has a low minimum deposit making this broker accessible for traders just starting out.

    • Well regulated
    • Excellent education
    • Wide range of assets
    • Fast and free withdrawals
    • Dealing desk
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Micro1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
    XM Ultra Low0.6 pipsNoneInstantUSD 50 Account Details
    XM Zero0.6 pips$7.00InstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    B.V.I FSC B.V.I FSC
    FSA FSA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5

    Good value, beginner-friendly and hugely respected all over the world, AvaTrade is one of the most reputable brokers in the industry. With support for the leading trading platforms, great trading conditions on Islamic accounts and top-quality multilingual support, AvaTrade has built a brand on a solid reputation and continues to please its many new and existing customers.  

    AvaTrade offers trading in Forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, exchange-traded funds, options, bonds, and equities and is a good choice for any type of forex trader ranging from beginners to scalpers and intraday traders to long-term traders.

    • Good for beginners
    • Well regulated
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Dealing desk
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic1.2 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Professional0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
    Retail0.9 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    FCA FCA
    IFSC IFSC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 5
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • xStation5

    XTB is one of our highest rated brokers, and for good reason; super-low spreads, 1:500 leverage, fast market execution, excellent education and analysis, and a flexible cash-back bonus make it one of the best in the industry.

    In addition, XTB boasts world-class regulation and Islamic accounts are available on its award-winning xStation platform, though MT4 is also available for those who prefer it.

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Low minimum deposit
    • Good for beginners
    • Limited platform choice
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Islamic0.28 pips$10.00InstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Pro0.28 pips$7.00InstantUSD 5 Account Details
    Standard0.35 pipsNoneInstantUSD 5 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    FSCA FSCA
    MAS MAS
    FMA FMA
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • Plus500

    With 50+ Forex pairs available, tight spreads and fast execution, Plus500 is a popular broker with both its new and long-standing customers. Award-winning customer service is available 24/7 and the Plus500 platform is web-based with no need for any downloads or setup, making this a good provider for those starting out who want to keep it simple.

    Plus500 has one account with a 100 USD minimum deposit requirement and keeps simplicity at the core of its business.

     

    • Well regulated
    • Wide range of assets
    • Limited education
    • Limited account options
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard0.0 pipsNoneInstantUSD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    CySEC CySEC
    ASIC ASIC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 200
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader

    IC Markets is one of the few ECN brokers that is truly good for beginner traders; trader education and customer service are both top-notch and with free access to Trading Central - an excellent third-party analytics provider - new traders will feel very welcome indeed. IC Markets runs frequent bonus schemes, some especially for Islamic traders, with commission-free trading on Islamic accounts during Ramadan. 

    IC Markets also offers support for all three leading trading platforms so experienced traders looking for a good ECN broker with the best trading conditions and fast execution should be tempted too.

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Wide range of assets
    • Great platform choice
    • High minimum deposit
    • Limited market analysis
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    RAW - cTrader0.0 pips$3.00MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    RAW - MetaTrader0.0 pips$3.50MarketUSD 200 Account Details
    Standard - MetaTrader1.0 pipsNoneMarketUSD 200 Account Details
  • Broker
    REGULATED BY
    FCA FCA
    CySEC CySEC
    FSCA FSCA
    DFSA DFSA
    SCB SCB
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • cTrader
    • FxProEdge

    FXPro is one of the largest and most trusted brokers in the industry and, as such, are an excellent choice for new traders. Education for beginners is best-in-class and all three account types are available as Islamic accounts.

    With MT4, MT5, cTrader and a browser-based platform, a reasonable 100 USD opening deposit and outstanding customer service, FxPro offer competitive spreads to match profitability with security. 

    • Well regulated
    • Great platform choice
    • Tight spreads
    • Limited education
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    FxPro cTrader0.45 pips$4.50MarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT41.2 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    FxPro MT51.52 pipsNoneMarketUSD 100 Account Details
    Islamic1.2 pipsVariableMarketUSD 100 Account Details
  • REGULATED BY
    ASIC ASIC
    CySEC CySEC
    Trading Desk Type
    Minimum Deposit
    USD 100
    Trading Conditions
    Trading Platforms
    • MT4
    • MT5
    • IRESS

    FP Markets is a great Australian broker with simple account options and an exciting set of tools for traders with higher minimum deposits. Bonus schemes, including deposit and no-deposit bonuses, are frequently available and Islamic accounts are available on both the MT4 and MT5 platforms.

    Spreads are tight, even on the Standard Account, and the lack of dealing desk intervention for all accounts removes any concern over conflict of interest.

    • Well regulated
    • Tight spreads
    • Good range of accounts
    • Great customer support
    • Expensive withdrawals
    AccountSpread FromCommissionExecutionMin. Deposit
    Standard IRESSN/A pips$10 AUD min, then 0.1%STPUSD 1,000 Account Details
    Platinum IRESSN/A pips$9 AUD min, then 0.09%STPUSD 25,000 Account Details
    Premier IRESSN/A pipsNo min, then 0.08%STPUSD 50,000 Account Details
    RAW0.0 pips$3.50STPUSD 100 Account Details
    Standard1.0 pipsNoneSTPUSD 100 Account Details

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What is a Forex trading platform?

A trading platform serves as a connection between traders and brokers. In addition to executing trades, it shows charts and analysis, which help in doing the analysis needed for trading.

In choosing a platform, find one that provides a nice variety of technical tools that carry out a meticulous analysis of the market, help find trading opportunities, and make trading less complicated.

Some platforms offer a social trading component or add-ons that can be purchased.  This allows traders to copy the trades of others on the network.  Other platforms will allow traders to set up algorithmic trading.  Be cautioned that automated trading strategies come with a potential for a significant loss, so an experienced trader needs to have a constant watch on trading activity if this is going to be used profitably.

The advantages of choosing a platform first

  • If you have a connection to a platform already – examples would be that they used it before or recommended by a friend/trading coach.
  • If you want the flexibility of movement between brokers in the future.
  • If you plan on having accounts with multiple brokers and would prefer a single piece of software.

Here are a few suggestions that might help beginners to find what they need from a platform to get started in the Forex market.

Are Forex platforms free?

The vast majority of trading platforms are free of charge.  Those that come with a small fee are very rare and are limited to institutional platforms. Cost should not be your biggest concern in choosing a platform.

What are the best trading platforms?

With a few exceptions, the best trading platforms are those which are supported by multiple brokers and are maintained independently.

MetaTrader

MetaTrader by MetaQuotes is by far the industry standard and is thus an excellent option for traders to consider.  It started out and continues to be, an independent platform that is loved by traders and quickly gained popularity because of the third-party add-ons and automated trading is enabled – in the form of scripts called expert advisors (EAs).  In 2005 with the launch of MetaTrader4, that brokers started offering the possibility of trading on the MetaQuotes platform and their position as the market leader was confirmed.

The brokers often give support for the MetaTrader products, so new traders with questions about how it can be used should contact customer service.  Even with the subsequent launch of MetaTrader 5 (MT5) with additional functionality, MT4 remains to be the trader’s favourite.

Algorithmic trading and the possibility of using EAs is still one of the main draws to the MT4/MT5 product.  To write EAs, you need to be a programmer in the MQL5 programming language, but there is a community store where you can buy EAs should you wish to include them in your trading strategy.  They can be found here:

Top MT4 brokers

cTrader

cTrader by Spotware may not be the market leader, but it is another well known independent trading tool launched in 2010, that I would consider to more beginner-friendly than their MetaTrader competitor.

At the time that cTrader launched, all that existed in the market was poor quality broker trading platforms and MetaTrader 4. MetaTrader at the time was not intuitive (and is still not), and the user interface was not appealing and outdated.

With the Trader First approach, the cTrader product suite broke into the market with a promise of creating a trading tool that was easier to use and delivered better features.  cTrader is far superior to MetaTrader with advanced charting and order control.

If you are looking for a platform that looks more modern, then cTrader is your choice.  This choice will not give you the same possibility of changing between brokers with the same software as would be more possible with MetaTrader because there are fewer brokers who offer this software choice, and the community using it is smaller and thus less able to provide help with creating EAs or providing support in the forums.

cTrader is not as famous as MetaTrader which I think this is primarily due to the origins of the product – MetaTrader was once the single option and the community built and supported it, whereas cTrader came in as a commercial product trying to succeed where MetaTrader has failed.  So don’t be turned off by the lower adoption rate as cTrader has its fans, myself included, that feel it offers a superior trading experience to the alternatives.

Beginners who want a dependable software, and want to trade with a specific broker that supports it should choose cTrader over MetaTrader.  cTrader his is a comprehensive tool for new traders who wish to have a platform that looks current and is less complicated to set up.

Top cTrader Brokers

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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