AuthorBy Jeffrey Cammack
Updated: February 25, 2021

Our broker comparison rankings bring transparency to the Forex trading market.  This is our process for reviewing brokers.  Our editorial guidelines can be found on our about us page.    

The results of all of our broker research are published in the State of the Forex Market Report, a detailed breakdown of our broker ratings which is designed to help beginner traders find the most reliable and best-value brokers in the world. Brokers are always altering the products they offer, and we endeavour to keep our reviews updated with the latest data available.

We maintain accounts at every broker we review to continually monitor their performance, processes and trading conditions. While we have reviewed most popular brokers, we also include those which we have not reviewed in our broker directory. Those brokers we don’t consider to be a good option for traders will still be included in our directory – we will always indicate if we don’t recommend a broker.

How we rank Forex brokers

Leading Forex brokers offer their clients the best trading experience. This includes a high quality of regulation, trading conditions, and platform selection through to payment options and customer support.

By making our review process transparent, our readers will be able to find the best-regulated brokers, the brokers with the most favourable trading conditions, the perfect choice of a trading platform and the learning material suitable for your level of knowledge. 

Trust and Reputation

Traders want to know they can trust their broker with their money. Trust in the Forex trading business is entirely founded upon regulation.

There are multiple regulators around the world, each regulating at a different standard. For this reason, we have split up regulators in 5 tiers – where the highest tier has the most committed regulators, and the bottom tier has those regulators that don’t regulate adequately. 

The most trusted regulators are traditional and robust and are active in both creating new regulation as well as the enforcement of rules. They continually post warnings and prosecute companies who don’t comply with the rules. Enforcement sets these organisations apart from their counterparts. Tier 1 regulators are the FCA (United Kingdom), ASIC (Australia) and MAS (Singapore).

A note on the FSCA – South Africa’s regulator. The FSCA actively writes laws to protect clients, but because of the scarcity of information around the new ODP licensing requirements, a lack of global reach and limited local enforcement activities, we have placed them as tier 3. These aspects should not discourage clients from trading with FSCA regulated brokers, but FSCA regulation coupled with other regulation would be advantageous to the trader.

A good Forex broker is going to be regulated by multiple tier 1 & 2 regulators. We especially like CMC Markets,, Pepperstone, MarketsX and IG Markets for their dedication to regulation. 

Trading conditions

Traders want to know the cost of trading at each broker. As our focus is on beginners starting their trading career, we look at the minimum deposit required for an entry-level account, the number of Forex pairs available to trade, and the cost of trading. We especially like Tickmill, Exness and AvaTrade for their trading conditions. Let’s look at each of these areas in more detail.

Minimum deposit

A trader should only deposit an amount they would be ready to lose. Forex trading is a high-risk activity, so brokers who require traders to deposit amounts they potentially can not afford to lose, are less favourable to the client. While it is almost impossible to start a trading career with as little as $5, we do value brokers who have entry-level accounts that require less than $100.

# of FX Pairs

A trader should be able to choose from the broadest range of assets possible. Should brokers offer an insufficient number of FX pairs to trade, this will limit a trader’s opportunities and strategy.

Cost of trading

We measure the cost to trade one lot of EUR/USD using the account with the lowest minimum deposit, taking into account both the spread and commission charged. The EUR/USD is the most commonly traded FX pair, and thus sets an accurate benchmark for all brokers. The cost of trading one lot of EUR/USD at major brands varies between $5 – $40 USD. 

Trading Platforms

Traders want Forex brokers to offer them a choice of software platforms. While every Forex broker will provide clients with at least one trading platform option, we appreciate brokers who offer multiple options that include MetaTrader4, MetaTrader5, cTrader and fully mobile and web-browser compatible experiences.

We especially like Pepperstone, OctaFX, IC Markets and FxPro for their commitment to offering all major trading platforms to their clients.

Assets Available

Forex CFDs are only one variety of CFD product that clients can trade. Traders want to know what other kinds of CFD products can be traded with each broker. Other CFD products could include:

  • Commodity CFDs
  • Cryptocurrency CFDs
  • Metal CFDs,
  • Equity CFDs
  • Energy CFDs
  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETFs) CFDs
  • Bond CFDs
  • Blend CFDs

A variety of CFD products besides Forex CFDs allow traders more opportunity for trades. We especially like MarketsX, XTB, XM Global, Vantage FX and ThinkMarkets for their variety in available trading assets.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Traders want to deposit and withdraw account funds quickly, by a variety of methods and without fees. Most brokers will allow traders multiple instant funding methods for deposits without administration fees, but some brokers make it harder or more expensive to withdraw account funds.

The best brokers will process withdrawal requests within 24 hours, by multiple withdrawal methods and without charging processing fees. We especially like Blackstone Futures, FxPro, Go Markets and CMC Markets for their commitment to quickly returning clients funds.

Education and Analysis

Traders of different experience levels are going to need different kinds of educational material and market analysis from their broker. Beginner traders need a high-quality, structured, beginners course to get started with Forex trading. Intermediate and advanced traders want an advanced education section introducing them to new strategies alongside daily analysis from in-house experts. And the best place to learn is with a demo account where the trader does not risk their account funds. We favour brokers that offer unlimited demo accounts.

We especially like XM Global, FXTM, BDSwiss, IG Markets and Admiral Markets for their education and market analysis offering.

Educational material

All too often, we see that education sections have been removed by brokers, or replaced with a set of cheaply produced blog posts. Beginner traders need a structured, well-presented course, written by the broker to get an effective start at trading. An unlimited demo account offers the beginner an indefinite period to learn hands-on, in a risk-free trading environment.

Advanced traders will want webinars presented by experts and an advanced strategy section filled with new trading ideas. This section does not need to be as structured as the beginner course, but the quality and expertise of the instructor should be clear.

Market Analysis

Traders of all levels want access to reliable trading ideas. Research and market analysis are always better when produced in-house by the broker, and benefit traders most when made frequently. 3rd party blog posts don’t show the same dedication and expertise in the trading ideas, and thus strong emphasis is placed on frequent and in-house updates.

Customer Support

Traders want their broker to be available around the clock, via many different channels and in their language. We favour brokers who offer phone, email and live chat support 24/7. As most of the best Forex brokers are international, we believe that the more languages the support team speaks, the better. Broad language support gives our global audience a way to get their problems solved in the easiest possible way.

We especially like FXTM, Plus500, FP Markets and easyMarkets for their commitment to supporting customers.

How We Score Brokers

We score brokers on the seven different areas, collecting multiple data points on each. The highest score a broker can receive in each area is a 5. Each of the areas has a weighting, which we use to calculate a final score for each broker. The areas and the weightings are as follows.

  • Trust and Reputation – 20%
  • Trading Conditions – 20%
  • Platform and Tools – 17.5%
  • Assets Available – 12.5%
  • Deposit and Withdrawal – 10%
  • Education and Research – 10%
  • Customer Support – 10%

More detail on how we review each of these areas can be found on the State of the Market Report page.

Broker Directory

Our broker directory includes brokers whom we have not reviewed, but which remain an option for traders. Some of the brokers in our directory are not recommended for traders. Our directory is intended as a research tool for anyone seeking a professional opinion; if your current broker has not been evaluated by us we hope that our selection of reviewed brokers will offer you a better-regulated and superior alternative.

How can you help us?

Forex trading has a reputation for being a dishonest industry, and this notion is perpetuated by the corrupt players which still exist in the marketplace. We ask those who feel they have fallen victim to an unethical or criminal broker to complete our scam broker report so we can keep a record.

We regularly receive emails from individuals who have questions about how to get money back from brokers, or so-called professional Forex traders, who have cheated them.

Affiliate Disclosure

FX Scouts is a reader-supported magazine. When you sign up for an account through our links, we sometimes earn a commission, which enables us to continue making our website better for you, and continue our work.

We pride ourselves on our recommendations.
We never partner with bad brokers.
We always put you first.

Our business model never influences our opinion of any partner, and where our partner selection and review processes are separate. The compensation we receive from partners may affect how our lists are arranged, but the reviews are genuine, and the data is accurate. Our opinion can not be bought, and we always put our readers and their financial livelihoods first.

To read more about who we are, and our editorial process, read our about us page.

Share your knowledge

Featured Brokers

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.