Best Trading Platforms South Africa – Safe and Reliable Brokers Revealed 2022

There are many trading platforms available in South Africa. Picking a online broker should be based on securities available , ease-of-use, and service reputation. Here is a detailed guide on the best platforms in South Africa. This is a summary of the top trading platforms based on hours of research. We took popular brokers in South Africa and analyzed them based on fees, account minimums, security, customer reviews, customer support and more. Take a look at the best rated brokers below.

Best Online Brokers in South Africa 2022 List

We've rounded up the top South African trading platforms below based on a variety of factors. Check out the list of the best brokerage firms below!

  1. Interactive Brokers – Best Stock Trading Platform in South Africa Overall – Visit Interactive Brokers
  2. IQ Option – Best Trading Platform For Digital Options
  3. Plus500 – One of the Best Trading Platforms for CFD Trading
  4. AvaTrade – Best Trading Platform for Beginners in South Africa
  5. Pepperstone – Best Broker in South Africa For Low Forex Fees
  6. XTB – Trusted South Africa CFD Trading Platform
  7. XM – Reliable Broker in South Africa with Low CFD Fees
  8. Capital.com – Great Mobile Trading Platform in South Africa
  9. OANDA – Great Broker for Forex in South Africa

Best Brokers in South Africa in Detail

There are many online trading platforms available in South Africa. It can be a daunting task to pick the best. Some brokers offer a variety of products and assets – some are great for stocks, others for CFD trading, and some stand out as cryptocurrency exchanges. Below you will find our list of the top rated online brokerages in South Africa, based on a variety of factors such as fees, deposit methods, support, regulation, and safety.

  Interactive Brokers Logo
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Plus500 Comparison
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72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
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AvaTrade Logo Visit >>Pepperstone Logo
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XTB logo Visit >> XM Logo Visit >> Capital.Com Oanda Logo
Our Score:5/54.9/54.8/54.8/54.8/54.7/54.6/54.5/54.5/5
Founded:199320072013200620102002200920131996
Regulation:MAS,FCA,CFTC,SEC,CBI,IIROC,ASIC,CSSFCySEC, FMA, MAS, SFSA, FSCA, ASIC, FCACySECCySEC, ASIC,FSCA, FFAJ, ADGM,ISA,Central Bank of IrelandFCA,ASIC,DFSA,CySEC,CMAFCA, CySEC, IFSCCySEC, ASIC, IFSCASIC,FCA,CySEC,MiFIDIIROC,ASIC,CFTC,FCA,MAS,MFSA
Headquarters:Greenwich, Connecticut, United StatesIsraelCyprusDublin, IrelandMelbourne, AustraliaPolandCyprusLondon, UKNey York, USA
U.S. Clients Allowed:YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Available Outside U.S.YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum Deposit:$0$100$10$100$0$0$5$20$0
Deposit Methods:Credit Cards,Wire,Check,Online Bill Payment Check,ACH,EFT,RolloversCredit/Debit Cards,PayPal,Skrill,Bank TradsferCredit/Debit Card,WebMoney,Neteller,Skrill,Wire TransferCredit/Debit Cards,Neteller,WebMoney,Wire TransferCredit/Debit Card,Bank Transfer,PayPal,POLi,Netteler,Skrill,MPESA,BPay,UnionPayBank Transfer,Credit/Debit Cards,SkrillWire Transfer,Neteller,Skrill,Credit/Debit CardsCredit/Debit Cards, Wire Transfer,Sofort,iDEAL,MultiBanko,Trustly,WEbMoney,Qiwi,Skrill,NetellerCredit/Debit Cards,Wire Transfer
Min. Trade:$1VariesVariesVaries0.01 lots0.01 lots0.1 lotsVaries$1
FEATURES
Demo Account:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Islamic Account:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Margin:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Leverage:1:4up to 1:3001:30up to 1:400up to 1:800up to 1:500up to 1:8881:30up to 1:100
Copy Trading:NoNoNoYesYesNoYesNoYes
Trading Signals:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
PLATFORMS:
Mobile App:YesYesYesYesYesYes (xStation Mobile)YesYesYes
Proprietary Platform:Trader Workstation, Client PortalYesYesYesNoxStation 5NoWebPlatformYes (OANDA Trade)
Desktop:Yes (Trader Workstation)YesNoYesYesYes (xStation 5)Yes (MT4,MT5)YesYes (OANDA Trade)
cTrader:NoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
DupliTrade:NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
MetaTrader4:NoNoNoNoYesNoYesYesYes
MetaTrader5:NoNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
MARKETS AVAILABLE:
Stocks:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (CFD and Physical)No
Forex:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (CFD)Yes
Commodities:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (CFD)Yes (CFD)
Indices:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (CFD)Yes (CFD)
Cryptocurrencies:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes (CFD)Yes (CFD)
ADR:YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Options:YesYesDigital OptionsYesNoNoNoNoNo
Mutual Funds:YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
ETFs:YesYesYesYesNoYesNoYesNo
Binary Options:NoNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
SUPPORT
Email:YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Phone Support:YesYes (Whatsapp)YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Live Chat:YesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
FEES
Inactivity Fee:$0$10/month (after 3 months of no login activity)$10/month (after 90 days of no login activity)$50/quarter$0$10/month (after 1 year of no login activity)$15 one-off maintenance fee after one year of inactivity + 5$/month$0$0
Stocks ($1000 APPL Buy and Sell in 1 Week)$0 Commission$10.5 (CFD)$5.62 (CFD)0.13% Spread$0 + market spread0.03 (CFD)0.27 (CFD)0% Commission (physical) 0.1 (CFD)N/A
Forex:min. $2/order0.8pip Avg.0.7 pipsSpread (0.9 - 700)0.69 pips0.5 pip1.7 pip (average)0.00110
Spread + commission
Bonds:$0 per trade (remove liquidity)
$0.10 per trade (add liquidity)
N/AN/A0.03 - 0.06 Over MarketN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
ETFs:$0 CommissionVaries0.025%0.13% - 0.15%N/Afrom 0.08%N/Afrom 0.01N/A
Crypto:0.18%0.30% - 1%7% - 12% Over Market0.2% - 2% Over Market33.97 (average spread)from 0.22%N/A110Spread + commission
CDFs:SpreadSpreadSpreadSpreadSpreadSpreadSpreadSpreadSpread
Withdrawal Fee:$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0
Deposit Fee:$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0$0
Monthly Fee:NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo

1. Interactive Brokers – Best Online Share Trading Platform South Africa Overall

Interactive Brokers Logo

Our Score: 5/5

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Interactive Brokers is our top pick in South Africa as the best trading platform. Interactive Brokers was founded in 1993 and their trading platform offers access to shares, options, forex, futures, bonds and funds across global 135 markets. They are a great choice for professional active traders, offering a powerful trading tools suite. Beginners will love them as a one stop for all their trading needs.

Trading fees are low, and order execution is one of the best in the industry. Their trading platform is available as a web application, desktop trading platform (Trader Workstation), and as IBRK mobile. Interactive Brokers trading platform is a powerful and flexible solution both for beginner and professional traders.

Thanks to Interactive Broker’s IB SmartRouting technology, their order execution is one of the best in the industry. Read Full Interactive Brokers Review

Interactive Brokers Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Industry Leading order execution Advanced Trading Options Can be Complicated at First
Wide range of securities available
Amazing Tools & Charting
Top Market Research
Education
Fractional shares

2. Plus500 – Best for CFD Trading Platform in South Africa

Plus500 Comparison

Our Score: 5/5

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 is a clear winner for CFD day trading in South Africa. It boasts over 2,000 CFDs available. These include cryptocurrency, Forex currency pairs, and options. Plus500 provides traders a way to test out forex and CFDs. Plus500 has limited educational resources and research tools. Traders will need to look for extra resources elsewhere. Read our review of Plus 500.

Plus500 Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
No Commission Education
2000+ Markets Available
Competitive Fees
Order Execution
Easy to use

3. IQ Option – Best Binary Options Trading Platform in South Africa

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Our Score: 4.8/5

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IQ Option is one of the fastest-growing trading platforms that offers their services to retail clients worldwide. With its strong and reliable reputation, this is a safe choice for both beginner and advanced traders in South Africa. IQ Option has Forex, options, Binary Option, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies and ETFs available.

IQ Option Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Award Winning Platform CFD Only
Account Opening
Instruments Available
Binary Options
Deposit And Withdrawal

4. Pepperstone – Best Forex Trading Platform in South Africa

Pepperstone Logo

Our Score: 4.8/5

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Pepperstone is primarily forex trading platform. They offer a selection of CFDs and are great for forex trading in South Africa. Pepperstone is best known for its extensive selection of third-party solutions like MetaTrader, cTrader, and low forex spreads. This allows you to crowdsource ideas and gain access to a range of different tools.

Pepperstone Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Forex Trading Limited to CFD and Forex
Deposit And Withdrawal
Third-party integrations
Great customer service

5. AvaTrade – Trusted MT4 Trading Platform South Africa

AvaTrade Logo

Our Score: 4.8/5

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AvaTrade was founded in 2006, and is based in Dublin, Ireland. AvaTrade offers forex, cryptocurrencies, and a wide range of CFDs in South Africa. Opening an account through AvaTrade is fast, easy, and completely digital . There are no fees charged for deposits and withdrawals. It has a user-friendly platform and diverse research and educational tools.

On the negative side, fees are high if you are a passive investor.

AvaTrade Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Account Opening No ETFs
Deposit And Withdrawal Inactivity Fees
Research Tools

6. XTB

XTB logo

Our Score: 4.7/5

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XTB is best known for its low forex fees. XTB has an intuitive trading platform with great charting tools and is easy to use. There are a few downsides though. Fees are above the industry average for share CFDs. XTB has a limited product portfolio, covering mainly CFDs and Forex. 

XTB Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Forex Fees Only CFD Trading
Deposit And Withdrawal Stock CFD Fees
Account Opening

7. XM

XM Logo

Our Score: 4.6/5

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XM has low stock CFDs fees and a user-friendly account opening. There are many educational resources as well as a demo account for beginners. A significant downside is that there is no investor protection for its South African customers. XM also has a limited product portfolio as it only has forex and CFDs. 

XM Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Low Fees Limited Products
Demo Account
Easy Account Opening
Education

8. Capital.com

Capital.Com

Our Score: 4.5/5

Capital.com’s selling point is its completely commission-free structure across all of its investment products. This is very rare in the industry. At Capital.com you get access to stocks, indices, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

They charge fees for inactivity, but these only apply if your account remains inactive for a year, which is in line with the industry standards.

Capital.com Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
Commission-free No Custom Strategies
Wide range of US and UK shares
Good educational resources
Education
AI assistant

9. OANDA

Oanda Logo

Our Score: 4.5/5

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Oanda is another great choice for investors in South Africa. It has a user-friendly interface with powerful research tools and numerous technical indicators. Oanda only has a small range of investment products though. They forex and CFDs trading in South Africa. Customer support could be better and is not available 24/7.

Oanda Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
User Friendly No 24/7 Support
Research
Account Opening Process
Education
AI assistant

Best Trading App in South Africa

The best app for trading in South Africa is Plus500. Plus500 offers CFDs on: stocks, Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Indices, Commodities, Options and ETFs. It is the world's leading CFD trading platform, trusted by millions of traders around the world. They offer a user-friendly proprietary platform and mobile app.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What is the Best Online Trading Platform for Beginners in South Africa?

The best online broker for beginners in South Africa is AvaTrade. They offer an easy to use trading platform, low fees and a wide variety of tradeable instruments. On top, AvaTrade also has copy trading for a full hands-off trading experience.

Which Bank Account is best as a Trading Platform In South Africa?

Here is a list of the best bank accounts for trading in South Africa:

  1. FNB
  2. Mercantile Bank
  3. Nedbank
  4. Absa
  5. Standard Bank

Online Trading South Africa

Online trading involves buying and selling stocks on a stock market. By opening an brokerage account, you are able to place buy and sell orders online. Your broker will then execute these orders on your behalf.

Different platforms allow you to trade different types of investment securities. In most cases, you are responsible for choosing which companies to buy stocks in. Only full-service brokerages offer investment advice.

How Does It Work?

Anyone can start as long as they have access to a stable internet connection and a way to fund a account. There are many online platforms available that give you access to securities. Opening an account in South Africa is easy and straightforward.

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) provides a regulated market to trade financial assets with other investors. South Africa is home to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). FSCA is a financial regulating authority. All brokers need to follow the rules and regulations set by this body.

South African investors have to pay taxes on capital gained. Forex traders are also required to declare any profits made through foreign exchange on their annual tax returns. Read about the forex brokers in South Africa in our guide.

What can you trade?

Stocks

Stocks or Shares are the most common way to invest in South Africa. Stocks allows you to buy and sell shares in a particular company. This means that you own a piece of the company.

Forex

Forex trading is when you exchange one currency for another currency. This means that you sell one currency while buying another one at the same time.

Commodities

Trading in commodities means investing in physical assets such as gold or oil. Most commodity trading involves futures contracts, although physical trading is still common.

Options

An options contract is a contract that offers a buyer the opportunity to buy or sell an asset at a future date. Options are derivatives based on the value of securities such as stocks.

Futures

Futures trading is when you buy and sell contracts for the delivery of a security or commodity on an agreed future date. The date of delivery of the security or commodity is set at a certain price.

Bonds

Bond trading involves loaning money to institutions such as companies or governments. Traders make a profit by taking advantage of changes in the value of corporate or government bonds.

CFDs

A contract for difference (CFD) is when you agree to exchange the difference in the price of an asset from when the contract is opened to when it closes. You predict fluctuations in the prices of fast-moving global financial markets.

ETFs

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) lets you invest in a wide range of shares or bonds in one package. ETFs are different from other funds as they are traded on the stock market. 

Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is when money from a third party is used to invest in securities such as stocks or bonds. Investors buy shares in the mutual fund to get part ownership in the fund and the income that is generated.

Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency trading is buying and selling a digital currency via an exchange.

Investors buy cryptocurrency in the hopes that its value will increase. Bitcoin is a common example of a cryptocurrency.

How To Pick a Share Trading Platform?

Here are a few important factors to consider when picking a share trading platform in South Africa. Read what you should consider below.

Regulation & Safety, Account Security 

As an South African investor, you should be aware of the privacy and regulation policies. Trading Platforms should be ideally be regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) or other tier-1 regulating bodies. All trading platforms need to follow the rules set by these bodies regulating bodies. More isn't always better. It is important that the company is regulated by at least one tier-1 regulator.

Fees & Commissions

Trading platforms charge a range of different fees. You must be aware of all fees in advance. It's important to know how to determine commission charges. You should avoid choosing a brokers that earns commissions through unnecessary transactions.

CFD Trading vs Investing

Active trading is trading that lasts for seconds, minutes, at most a few days. This takes advantage of brief changes in the price of an asset. Long-term buy and hold investing is passive. This means buying and holding trades for several months or years.

You need to find a company that is best suited for your investing style and goals.

Tradeable Assets

There are a variety of different investment products available. Most brokers in South Africa offer common securities like stocks, options, bonds, and derivatives. Make sure the asset you are interested in is available. You should choose a broker that offers the investment products you're interested in trading.

Account Types

Brokers offer different account types to investors in South Africa. These include margin accounts, cash accounts, and retirement accounts. You need to be aware of which accounts are available as there might be different minimum investment amounts for different accounts.

Educational resources

Education resources are great if you’re wanting to expand on your strategies. These include videos, forums, and how-to articles. If you're a beginner trader, you'll need some advice on how to analyze the market and diversify your portfolio.Education resources are great if you’re wanting to expand on your strategies. These include videos, forums, and how-to articles. If you're a beginner, you'll need advice on how to analyze and diversify your portfolios.

Margin

Margin trading should only be for very experienced investors. It is a method of trading assets with borrowed funds. It allows traders to increase their buying power. Brokerages will charge different margin rates as interest on transactions. Beginners should stay clear of margin trading.

Account minimums

Most don’t require any minimum deposit amounts. Other high-end brokers might require a minimum balance of several thousand dollars.

Tools & Research

With access to premium tools and in-depth market research you will make the most of your trading experience. It should be easy to navigate and intuitive. Charting tools, price alerts, and customizable screeners are key features to look for.

Customer Service

A strong customer support system is another key component. You need to have easy access to support, especially if you are just starting out. Make sure you are able to contact support in your language and 24/7/365.

Mobile Trading

A mobile app allows you to access the markets from anywhere in the world, not just South Africa. You can buy and sell securities, and monitor your positions from your smartphone. If you're looking for easy access to your accounts, then you should look for brokers that offer a mobile app.

Banking Services

Some firms offer banking services. This is a great way to combine banking and trading on the same account.

Order Execution

Order execution happens with every buy or sell order. All your orders are sent to your broker to be executed. Efficient order execution is important, especially for active day traders.

International Trading

If you want to invest in foreign markets then you need make sure you can trade international markets like NASDAQ, NYSE, LSE and others.

Access to a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors guide you on how to spend your money wisely. It might be worthwhile looking into a full-service broker, especially if you’re new to the investment world.

Know the Terms and Conditions

You must be well aware of general terms and conditions before signing up. It’s important to do thorough research on the trading platform and its reputation.

How to Start Trading Stocks in South Africa

  1. Find a broker – The first step to start investing is to find a reputable stock trading platform. As a new investor, this requires careful thought. You take into consideration your investing styles and goals.
  2. Open an trading account – The next step is to open up an account. Follow the instructions on the website and set up an account. This requires you to upload relevant documents and personal details to verify your identity. You will need to make a deposit to fund your account. Many discount brokers nowadays don’t have a minimum deposit amount.
  3. Research before investing in your money – The easiest way to get started is to search for a company that you want to buy shares in. Make sure you’ve done your homework if you plan to invest your hard-earned money. Once you’ve made a decision, place an order.
  4. Develop a strategy – You should aim to build a diverse long-term share portfolio, depending on what you want as a trader. Your strategy should consider your profit goals, how much risk you can absorb, and how much time you can allocate.
  5. Understand the risks – Although a large portion of listed companies is well-run, it’s safer to dip your feet into online share trading with both eyes open and a lot of research under your belt. Some common risks to be aware of include decreases in share prices and potential mismanagement or bankruptcy of a company.

Risks of Online Trading In South Africa

Every beginner should be aware of the risks with trading. It’s important to research thoroughly where you’re putting your money.

Leverage Risk

Leverage is using borrowed capital to make an investment. While leverage increases potential returns, it also increases potential risk. High leverage often leads to high profit or high loss, depending on how the position moves.

Margin Risk 

Margin risk is the risk associated with achieving an expected margin. This is the probability that changes in economic development will negatively impact a profit margin’s expected cash flow.

Interest Rate Risk

An increase in the interest rate of a country leads to a strong currency. This usually raises the value of the currency and its interest rates. On the other hand, decreasing interest rates lead to a weaker currency. This causes investors to withdraw their investments and leave the country.

Exchange Rate Risk

Exchange rate risk is caused by changes in an investor's local currency compared to foreign-investment currency. Exchange rates sometimes change in the 24-hour period before your trade is settled. 

How To Learn Learning Online Trading 

The learning curve for new investors often seems rather steep. It’s important to establish your risks, profit goals, and how much time you can devote to it. Here are the first few steps to learn.

Understanding Price Fluctuations

Many new investors make the mistake of throwing money at securities without understanding why prices move up or down. Your goal should be to learn how to trade with skill and authority. This starts with educating yourself on financial markets with charts and price actions. 

Learn to Analyze

Once you understand price movements, start by studying the basics of technical analysis. This allows you to start predicting price changes and how to take advantage of them. 

Paper Trading

A demo account, or paper trading, is the perfect way for beginners to test out the waters. It allows you to invest virtual money into real-time market simulations. This lets you track the theoretical performance of your buy and sell decisions.

FAQ

How much do I need to start?

Most services nowadays don't have a minimum deposit amount. This means that you don’t need any amount to open an account. Thanks to commission-free brokers that offer fractional shares, it’s possible to start investing as little as R100. To get started you need to look at diversifying your portfolio. You should aim to open multiple trading positions with different investment vehicles. In order to do this, you would need at least R1000 to get started.

What is Share Trading?

It is buying and selling of a company’s stock in order to make a profit. A share represents a portion of ownership in the company.

What is Forex trading?

Forex trading is exchanging one currency into another currency. You always sell one currency while buying another one at the same time.

Is Trading Legal in South Africa? 

Yes, trading is legal in South Africa. All securities including stocks, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies are legal. You are required to follow all financial laws in place to prevent money laundering and you must declare your income tax.

What is the safest Trading Platform in South Africa?

Interactive Brokers is a safe and well-established broker. They have good reputation and are regulated by the FSCA.

Can you do online trading in whilst you are on a student visa?

Yes, international students can trade. Just make sure that you choose a reliable and well-known broker that abides by the laws and regulations set out by financial regulating bodies.

Which Trading Platform in South Africa has low fees? 

For stocks, Interactive Brokers offers the most competitive fees. It offers a large selection of stocks and low fees. For forex, Pepperstone is the cheapest. 

What is the best trading app in South Africa?

Plus500 is the overall best app in SA. Their app is easy to navigate, with an excellent crowdsourcing community and a broad range of useful research materials. 

What is the best share trading platform for beginners in South Africa?

The best broker for beginners in South Africa is Interactive Brokers. Both the mobile and web version are easy to use.

Is it trading profitable?

Trading is a great way to generate extra income on the side. Only a select few investors will earn enough profit to turn this into a full-time career. This requires a lot of time and active portfolio management.

Do Traders Pay Tax in South Africa?

The answer is yes. Traders pay tax on trading in South Africa. Even you use a offshore trading platform, you are obliged to pay tax on the profits.

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Ziga Breznik

Author

About the author

Ziga Breznik is the owner and head of research at PublicFinanceInternational.org – he is an active investor in the forex, crypto and stock markets – he has seen trading platforms disappear along with his investments – especially during the “crypto boom”. Ziga learned the hard way that finding a reputable and trustworthy online brokerage is key to long-term success in the financial markets. He founded PublicFinanceInternational.org as a platform where he shares his research with one goal in mind: to provide unbiased and trustworthy online brokers reviews.