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Finding the Best Forex Trading Platform

Trading on the foreign exchange (Forex) has become quite popular in recent years. There are many reasons for this soaring popularity, including advancements in internet technology, which have made forex trading more accessible.

But first things first, to be successful in this business, you need the best forex trading platform. Unsurprisingly, some of the finest platforms were developed by the most successful brokers in the industry. Read on to find out more.

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Best Forex Trading Platforms – Top 3 Picks

Top 3 Picks

CMC Markets

Great charting tools

Many currency pairs

One-click trading

Open Account READ REVIEW

IG Group

17,000 different markets

Exceptional educational tools

0.014 seconds average execution speed

Open Account READ REVIEW

TD Ameritrade

No commission

paperMoney practicing tool

Award-winning customer service

Open Account READ REVIEW

5 Best Forex Trading Companies

1. CMC Markets

Great charting tools

Many currency pairs

One-click trading

Open Account

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CMC Markets has been one of the best brokers for over 30 years. It provides fast and reliable trading platforms that are highly customizable and coupled with some of the most competitive fees. The Financial Conduct Authority regulates CMC, ensuring that consumers are protected.

Read full review

Minimum deposit

$0

Currency pairs

300+

Years in business

31

Mobile app

Yes

2. IG Group

17,000 different markets

Exceptional educational tools

0.014 seconds average execution speed

Open Account

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IG was founded in 1947, but it wasn’t until 2019 that it started offering forex services to US customers. Its impressive volume of currency traders creates excellent opportunities for large profits. IG stands out from other top brokers thanks to its proprietary feature-filled platform.

Read full review

Minimum deposit

$300

Currency pairs

80+

Years in business

73

Mobile app

Yes

3. TD Ameritrade

No commission

paperMoney practicing tool

Award-winning customer service

Open Account

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TD Ameritrade has been around for several decades, and during that time, its services have been continually improving. Its thinkorswim platform is an excellent choice for all US traders due to its many tools for trading and research.

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Minimum deposit

$0

Currency pairs

70+

Years in business

45

Mobile app

Yes

4. Ally Invest

Easy-to-use platform

Very customizable interface

Great search functions

Open Account

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Ally Invest is widely credited with having the best forex trading platform for beginners. Ally Financial, a reputable bank holding company, acquired TradeKing in 2016 and rebranded it as Ally Invest. Aside from having a trustworthy parent company, Ally Invest guarantees safety thanks to oversight from several financial authorities.

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Minimum deposit

$50

Currency pairs

80+

Years in business

4

Mobile app

Yes

5. Forex.com

Low fees

Navigable interface

A wide range of educational tools

Open Account

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If you’re looking for the best forex trading company for experienced brokers, this is a great option. The Forex platform puts you in the driver’s seat with one-click trading and fully customizable layouts. The pricing is transparent and highly competitive, while flexible account types accommodate different trading styles.

Read full review

Minimum deposit:

$100

Currency pairs:

80

Years in business:

19

Mobile app:

Yes

How We Examine Foreign Currency Platforms

Our researchers have thoroughly analyzed myriads of trading platforms. The ones on our list are picked for their overall quality, which is a level above what you’d find with the competition. Before we dive into detailed examinations, we want to explain our selection criteria. This section will help you choose the best forex trading platform for yourself.

Reliability

Foreign currency trading is fast-paced, so you need a reliable platform. You don’t want it crashing or freezing when you’re about to make a move. This is especially important for those who wish to make frequent high-risk trades.

Ease of Use

It’s always great to have plenty of features at your disposal, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of efficiency. Making or closing trades should be as simple as possible because that’s the primary role of the forex trading platform. Furthermore, no one enjoys being confused, so the best interfaces have additional tools and charting options clearly displayed.

We suggest looking for very customizable platforms. Setting it up just the way you want will help you feel at ease and in control.

Fees

Every platform has costs and charges that you have to take into consideration before committing. Our list only includes platforms that don’t come with unreasonable fees.

Analysis Tools and Charting

Trading FX takes a lot of practice, and even the best forex brokers, dealers, and traders need to conduct a thorough analysis of their work on a regular basis and, if needed, adjust their strategy. Good analysis tools are vital for this aspect of forex trading. Some of these include moving averages, trend indicators, indicators of volume, and many other useful instruments.

Charting capabilities are closely related to analysis tools since many traders prefer to have their research results displayed visually. With certain platforms, you’re allowed to create customized charts, as well as add drawings and labels. The very best trading platforms even enable you to place trades directly from the chart within the platform.

Automation

Automated trading features enable traders to set up triggers that buy or sell currencies when the appropriate conditions are met. These are quite handy because they allow you to maintain a presence on the FX market even when you aren’t in a position to do so in person.

The orders you configure can be market, stop, stop-limit, trailing stop, trailing stop-limit, market-if-touched, and limit-if touched. As you can see from any trading platform comparison, all the vendors differ when it comes to the number of automation options.

New traders should avoid overreliance on software to perform trades for them. As convenient as automated trading systems are, these can’t measure up to the expertise of professionals. Although automation eliminates human error that usually stems from emotional decision-making, other glitches like internet or hardware malfunctions can still occur.

Testing

Some forex platforms have a backtesting feature. You can use it to try out trading strategies you’ve developed by applying them to past market conditions. Once you’ve done that, you can identify defects in your strategies and optimize them accordingly. However, a backtested strategy isn’t foolproof, as backtesting is based on the hypothesis that a successful tactic from previous situations will work in the future.

Customer Support

Last but not least, we compiled our best forex trading platform list by assessing the customer support provided by the brokers. A lot of traders will immediately disqualify a platform if they aren’t satisfied with the customer care team. It’s easy to see why – it can get extremely frustrating when you’re unable to resolve a problem and the people who are supposed to assist you can’t be reached or aren’t all that knowledgeable about the issue.

5 Brokers with the Best Forex Trading Platforms

With CMC Markets you can use MetaTrader 4 or its own Next Generation platform. Our review is focused on CMC’s product as its unique features and tools place it among the best forex trading software on the market. It’s a platform that has won numerous awards.

Reliability

During our review process, we didn’t encounter a single glitch or lag. Our experience with Next Generation mirrors many positive online reviews.

Ease of Use

When you first open CMC’s platform, you might get the impression that it’s far too complicated. That first impression will soon fade. The neat layout and the intuitiveness of the interface make it easy to master. This is one of the easiest forex trading platforms to use thanks to its high customizability and the detailed platform guide available on the website.

Fees

CMC’s forex fees are on the low side. The average spread for major currency pairs is between 0.7 and 1.0 pips. There’s no deposit minimum, which is great for traders who wish to operate with small amounts. The only fee you should look out for is the inactivity fee of around $13/month that’s charged if you fail to use your account for 12 months.

Analysis Tools and Charting

CMC’s New Generation platform is the best forex platform for those who wish to perform top-notch examinations of the FX market. It offers more than 115 technical indicators and drawing tools, not to mention the exceptional live news feed and valuable insights written by CMC’s market experts.

All of the technical indicators and charts are customizable. And as great as that is, we were even more impressed by the possibility of trading directly from the charts.

Automation

The Next Generation platform doesn’t feature automated trading capabilities. You can place a Guaranteed Stop-Loss Order. There’s a GSLO premium, which is refunded when the GSLO is not triggered.

Testing

CMC’s forex platform has a backtesting tool that shows how well previous patterns fared on the market during a certain time period. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a function that lets you input your own strategies.

Customer Support

If for some reason you aren’t able to find a piece of information on the CMC Markets website, which is filled with educational content, you can count on its superb customer support team. CMC’s customer support representatives can be contacted by phone or email 24/7.

Reasons to use this platform

Award-winning

Low fees

No minimum deposit

115+ technical indicators and drawing tools

IG is widely regarded as one of the top 10 forex brokers in the world. One of the main reasons for this is that it’s regulated by several top-tier bodies. Aside from the third-party MetaTrader 4 and ProRealTime software, IG also provides its proprietary FX trading platform. In our review, we examined IG’s own trading platform.

Reliability

IG’s platform is largely stable. There were a few issues regarding client positions not appearing on its platform in May 2020, but these were quickly resolved. This should in no way discourage you from using it – such troubling occurrences are very rare, and we don’t expect them in the future.

Ease of Use

As you’d expect from a top trading platform like the one IG has developed, flexibility is one of its strong suits. You can easily move elements around to give it the look that suits you best. Many customers find it to be the most user-friendly trading platform they’ve ever laid their hands on.

Fees

The minimum spread for major currency pairs provided by IG is usually around 0.9, but it can go as low as 0.6 and as high as 2.5 pips. This is a reasonable offer, especially if you stick to the most popular major currency pairs such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and USD/JPY. This also makes IG one of the best forex brokers in the USA.

If you don’t use your account for 24 months, you’ll be charged $18/month. There is a minimum deposit of $300 in order to start trading with IG’s platform.

Analysis Tools and Charting

You won’t find as many charting and analysis tools on IG’s platform as you would on CMC, but rest assured that no crucial tool is missing.

Automation

ProRealTime is integrated with IG’s trading platform and enables you to create triggers that when activated place trades on your behalf. This system also allows you to make simultaneous trades yourself.

Testing

Although IG is among the top 10 brokerage firms, it has failed to add a backtesting feature to its proprietary platform. This testing tool is only available via ProRealTime.

Customer Support

IG’s customer support is available around the clock from Monday to Friday. You can use phone, email, or Twitter to inquire about IG’s services. You’ll be happy to know that we were very pleased with how responsive and patient the representatives were.

Reasons to use this platform

Customer safety guaranteed by several top-tier bodies

User-friendly platform

Excellent customer support

If you’re browsing through lists of top forex brokers and looking for one that focuses solely on perfecting its own platform, then TD Ameritrade is a great option. Its flagship product is the thinkorswim desktop-based trading platform that’s also available for the web. Our review focuses on these two versions.

Reliability

In our experience, the platforms are highly reliable; there were no mishaps during our tests. However, we did encounter a few customer reviews that mentioned occasional freezing, so that’s something to look out for.

Ease of Use

The thinkorswim desktop currency trading platform appears intimidating at first glance, and it does have a slightly steeper learning curve than similar products. But considering the many powerful tools it possesses, taking a bit longer to master it is well worth it. On the other hand, the web version is very clear, and you won’t encounter any obstacles while using it.

The web platform’s downside is that it isn’t customizable and contains considerably fewer features when compared to its desktop counterpart.

Fees

Some call thinkorswim the best free trading platform, which is true to some extent. The platform is terrific, and there are no inactivity fees or minimum deposit. However, there’s nothing free in this world. Although the costs of trades are low, fees do exist and are reflected in the forex spread.

Analysis Tools and Charting

Analysis tools are where TD Ameritrade’s desktop platform truly shines. There are more than 400 technical indicators, and tweaking charts is extremely simple. The number of indicators on the web platform is less impressive – you’ll only find 11 of them.

Automation

Once you open a TD Ameritrade account for FX trading, login and you’ll be able to upgrade and get the Autotrade service provided by TD Ameritrader’s affiliate TradeWise Advisors. Autotrade collects trade recommendations from newsletter providers and enters them into your account. Of course, you have to enable automated trade executions first. Note that the TradeWise subscription is free the first two months, and after that you’ll be charged $20/month per trading strategy.

Testing

Another superb feature at TD Ameritrade is the OnDemand backtesting tool. You can develop strategies or simply practice forex trading by using it – all of your commands will be applied to historical data.

Customer Service

You can call, message, tweet, or text TD Ameritrade’s customer service team. The friendly and helpful representatives are available 24/7.

Reasons to use this platform

400+ technical indicators

Autotrade service

Backtesting tool

Ally Invest provides a separate forex trading platform that’s not integrated with its other products. Aside from the Ally Invest Forex platform that we’re reviewing, MetaTrader 4 is also available to Ally Invest’s customers.

Reliability

It’s no wonder that Ally Invest Forex is frequently placed among the top 10 forex trading platforms. It almost never crashes, and it’s free of any glitches. This is a highly valued attribute in any trading platform.

Ease of Use

The platform’s design may not be as visually appealing as some of the other options we’ve reviewed, but it’s well-organized and you can customize it. It’s suitable for both experienced traders and beginners.

Fees

There is a $50 minimum deposit and Ally Invest Forex does take the spread. But other than that, trading currencies with Ally is very budget-friendly. You won’t be charged a commission on forex trades, nor will you need to pay inactivity or account closure fees.

Analysis Tools and Charting

Your Ally forex trading account will also give you access to strong FX market analysis tools. Although there are only 80 technical indicators, you won’t be disappointed with any one of them. The charting tools aren’t as noteworthy as those of its competitors, but these are still useful and user-friendly.

Automation

Perhaps the most appealing asset offered by the Ally Invest Forex platform is that it lets you create automated trading strategies. You can adapt them however you like.

Testing

After you’ve developed your strategies, you can backtest them within Ally’s platform. Whether you’re a top forex broker or someone who’s new to the field of currency trading, you’ll appreciate the usefulness of the automation and backtesting features.

Customer Service

Ally’s customer support may not have the fastest response times, but the team is available from 10 a.m. ET on Sunday to 5 p.m. ET on Friday. You can use phone, email, or live chat to get in touch with a representative.

Reasons to use this platform

Reliable

Automated trading strategies

Affordable

Founded in 2001, Forex.com is one of the best brokers for forex trading. It’s part of the StoneX Group, one of the largest financial services organizations that adheres to the highest standards of corporate governance. The site enables you to trade currencies using the MT4 broker and gives you more control over the process with its Advanced Trading Platform.

Reliability

Forex.com’s platforms are largely stable. After creating an account, we tested platforms from both mobile and desktop devices. There were no hiccups and everything worked perfectly. Forex has native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, so you’ll have constant access to the trading market.

Ease of Use

The forex trading website allows you to trade with more than 80 currencies. The interface is easy to navigate. To find the currency pairs you want to trade, just type the names into the search bar. The interface transparently displays bid and ask prices.

Fees

Depending on your needs, you can choose between three accounts with various fees: Standard, Commission, and STP Pro. The EUR/USD spread with the Commission account can be as low as 0.2, but there is a $5 fee per 100,000 units traded. With the Standard account, the EUR/USD spread is usually 1.0.

The STP Pro tailors to high-volume traders and offers more advanced tools, including an order book that keeps you updated on buy and sell orders.

Analysis Tools and Charting

Like other top-rated forex brokers from our list, Forex.com enables you to customize your charts in order to improve your trade analytics. This trading platform prides itself on providing more than 50 indicators that you can add to your chart.

Automation

Forex.com allows you to automate your trading and get access to more than 80 trading markets.

Testing

Before you start using the MetaTrader broker and trading on the Forex platforms, you can make risk-free investments and check out market conditions with the forex simulator. This will help you educate yourself about the market and explore trading strategies that increase your chances of success.

Customer Support

The best trading platform for forex must provide reliable and knowledgeable customer support 24/7. Forex.com comes pretty close to offering this level of assistance. Support agents are available from 10 a.m. on Sunday to 5 p.m. ET on Friday. The fastest way to get in touch with the support team is via the live chat option.

Reasons to use this platform

Fully customizable layouts

Backtesting tools

One-click trading

Various pricing accounts

Fortunly’s Guide to Forex Trading Platforms

Over the course of several decades, forex trading has become very popular. Today it’s somewhat fashionable to have an understanding of the basic concepts related to forex market trading. Until the advent of the internet and the abrupt development of the IT industry that now provides the necessary support for foreign exchange trading, currency trading was reserved for large players – banks and powerful financial institutions that conducted currency trading through electronic platforms created for this purpose.

Basic Concepts

To begin trading forex, you first have to know what that actually means. Forex is short for foreign exchange and involves the trading of one currency for another.

As any experienced top forex broker will tell you, foreign exchange trading is actually trading in currency pairs (simultaneously buying one currency and selling another) with the aim of making a profit based on the difference in price, i.e. the exchange rate difference. This process is far from random – it’s a well-designed trading strategy that, among other things, implies efficient FX risk management.

FX risk management involves a series of actions by which the trader seeks to reduce to a minimum any exposure to foreign exchange risk – the risk of loss due to sudden exchange rate fluctuations.

A currency trader should know that higher risk could translate into more profits or lead to significant losses. Effective management of foreign exchange risk, as well as risk in general, requires setting stop-loss orders and emotional discipline, which means that trading must be based on verified facts and exact calculations. The idea is to avoid getting carried away by sudden jumps or drops in certain prices and by prospects of unexpected earnings.

So, what are some short and long positions you can take on currency trading platforms? When a trader takes a short position, he expects the value of the currency that he is trading with to depreciate. Taking a short position means selling a currency that’s expected to depreciate in value with the intention of buying it back in the future, but at a lower price. The trader takes a long position when he expects the price of a certain currency to appreciate. In other words, traders buy that currency with the intention of selling it in the future, but at a higher price.

In order to be the best broker you can be, you should also know that forex trading takes place on the so-called OTC (over-the-counter) foreign exchange market which means that it’s decentralized. It doesn’t have a specific physical location – it represents a global network of all interested participants. The OTC FX market works 24 hours a day, and the prices of currency pairs constantly fluctuate due to continuous trading and offerings.

The forex spread represents the difference between the buying and selling FX rate of a certain currency pair. The forex spread varies during the day because the prices of currencies depend on their supply and demand. The best forex trading platforms have news feeds because a currency’s supply and demand is influenced by a number of factors, such as the monetary policies of central banks of the currency being traded and geopolitical developments.

It’s important to note that some currency pairs, such as emerging market ones, have a wider spread when compared to those of major currency pairs. Under normal circumstances, higher trade volumes tend to lead to lower spreads.

The Most Traded Currency Pairs

On the best trading platforms for forex, you can trade in any currency pair, but the safest options are those that are traded the most. Odds are that the prices of those currencies are checked and reliable. The most traded currency pairs are those in which the USD (as the world’s former spare currency) is one of the two currencies. According to some estimates, about 75% of forex trading is realized in those currency pairs. If we add the GBP/JPY pair, we get a list of 8 major currency pairs. Currency pairs that don’t include the USD are called crosses.

How to Start Trading Forex

The best way to start is to choose a few leading forex brokers, such as CMC market or IG Group, and learn as much as possible about currency trading from the information available on their sites. Most Forex brokers offer demo versions of their trading platforms, which is a very good way to try your hand at trading currencies without the risk of losing money.

If you’re still unsure about how to invest in foreign currencies, even with all the excitement involved, you can always entrust this job to those who have extensive knowledge in the field. Check out a top forex brokers list on any reputable website and hire a forex broker who will invest in foreign currencies on your behalf.

FAQ

What is forex trading?

Forex trading is the buying and selling of currencies. You make a profit when the currency you are buying strengthens or when the one you are selling weakens. For example, if you expect the price of USD/GBP to go down, you sell your dollars. If there is any upward movement in the value of the currency, you can buy your dollars back for less money than before.

What is the best forex broker?

CMC Markets is the best forex broker. It’s a well-known company that’s been in business for quite some time and offers great services at reasonable prices.

What is the best trading software for beginners?

Ally Invest’s platforms have a neat design that makes them easy to master. In fact, many of their users have never used another trading platform. IG Group’s platforms are another great choice. Not only are these platforms user-friendly, but they also include superb education tools.

What is the best forex trading platform?

It’s hard to name just one, but in our opinion the best forex trading platform is CMC’s Next Generation. There are no glitches, and it has a wide assortment of functionalities.

How to trade foreign currency?

You can start trading currencies yourself or by hiring a broker. If you choose to do it alone, you’ll need a good platform. You can check out our list of suggestions for some of the best options on the market. Those who are unfamiliar with foreign exchange trading should do a little bit of research before trying it. You can visit any credible broker website since they usually post very informative content.