Best Forex Broker South Africa 2021

In this guide on the forex brokers in South Africa, we go over the best, based on a variety of factors. We base our guides on hours of research and outline our top picks. Minimum deposit, low fees, account opening, regulation, trading platform and more is taken into consideration. With so many options for South African traders, picking the right Forex Broker can be a daunting task.

Best Forex Trading Platform South Africa

Here is our list of the best Forex trading platforms in South Africa 2021. We’ve detailed their benefits and given you our honest opinion on where they might lack. 

Plus500

Plus500 is a clear winner for Forex day trading in South Africa. It boasts over 2,000 CFDs available. This includes cryptocurrencies, forex pairs, options, and more.

Plus500 gives beginners an easy way to test out their trading platform with a demo account. It offers tight spreads and free deposits and withdrawals. The strong 24/7 customer support is a finishing touch for those wanting a seamless experience.

This brokerage has a notable lack of educational resources and research tools. New traders will have to find additional resources elsewhere. Read Full Review

PROSCONS
Intuitive mobile appLack of educational and research tools
Offers a wide range of market instruments
Fast order execution
Competitive spreads
Free demo account
Open Free Account

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.

Pepperstone

Pepperstone is another reliable choice for South African traders. Pepperstone is best known for its impressive range of third-party platforms and low fees. This includes cTrader and MetaTrader. Pepperstone is great for their customer support, forex fees and overall great user experience. On the downside, their news flow needs improvement.

Pepperstone Logo
PROSCONS
Low feesNews flow could be better
No withdrawal or deposit fees
Access to a range of platforms
Reliable customer service
Open Free Account

eToro

eToro is the best overall choice for beginner traders. It offers a versatile mobile app that is great for both beginners and experienced investors. 

eToro gives you access to a broad range of strategies to copy. This includes forex, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. 

They offer a range of useful research materials for traders. Paper trading is available with access to $100,000 of virtual money. A downside is that eToro has a bit higher fees than the industry average.

PROSCONS
Wide range of securities availablePricing on some securities
Promotes crowdsourcing of ideasCustomer service
Tools for cryptocurrency trading
User-friendly platform
Easy for beginners to navigate
Open Free Account

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% 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.

IQ Option

IQ Option is one of the fastest-growing brokers in the world. With its strong reputation, IQ Option South Africa is a safe choice. They don't have deposit and withdrawal fees, which is a major upside. Its offerings also include ETFs, stocks, cryptocurrencies, digital options and binary options.

One downside is the fact that they lack some

PROSCONS
Easy and convenient method of opening an account
Wide range of instruments available
No deposit and withdrawal fees
Open Free Account

XM

XM is another well-regulated broker available for South African traders. XM gives traders access to competitively low fees. Opening an account through XM is simple and efficient. There are excellent educational resources offered, including a demo account for beginners.

A big downside is the lack of investor protection for South African customers. XM also offers a limited product portfolio that only includes Forex and CFDs. 

PROSCONS
Low account feesNo protection for South African traders
User-friendly account openingLimited selection of products
Excellent educational tools
Offers tight spreads
Demo Account
Open Free Account

AvaTrade

As one of the most established brokers, AvaTrade has earned a solid reputation over the years. The brokerage offers traders a wide range of over 55 different currency pairs.

Opening an account with AvaTrade is quick and user-friendly. There are no fees charged for withdrawals or deposits. Traders have access to a diverse range of research and educational tools.

On the negative side, AvaTrade charges high account inactivity fees. This isn’t ideal for passive traders.

PROSCONS
Efficient account opening processHigh fees for inactive accounts
No deposits and withdrawals fees
Excellent research tools
Wide range of currency pairs 
Open Free Account

FXTM

ForexTime (FXTM) is another reliable choice for South African traders. It stands out for its excellent customer service and educational tools. Traders have access to a free demo account as well as live educational webinars. 

On the negative side, FXTM charges high fees for CFDs. South African traders will also face high withdrawal fees and high account inactivity fees.

FXTM Logo
PROSCONS
Easy account opening processInactivity and withdrawal fees
Reliable customer serviceHigh CFD fees 
Premium educational tools

>> Want to Trade Forex? Check out our guides on:

FXCM

Forex Capital Market (FXCM) offers South Africans a great range of CFD investment products. 

FXCM offers its customers several third-party platforms including ZuluTrade and MetaTrader4. These platforms give you access to a range of useful drawing tools and technical indicators.

A downside is the high account inactivity fees. This only applies to you if your account is inactive for more than a year.

FXCM Logo
PROSCONS
Offers a wide range of platformsHigh inactivity fees 
User-friendly mobile app platform
Low fees
Tight spreads offered
Well-established and reputable broker

FxPro

FxPro is an ebroker that offers South Africans access to a range of premium platforms. These include cTrader,  MetaTrader4, and the FxPro Edge platform. 

These come with various useful tools, educational resources, and top-notch market analysis. 

The spreads and fees are not the most competitive unfortunately though. Customer support is also not very responsive.

FxPro Logo
PROSCONS
Several premium platforms Uncompetitive spreads and fees
Top-tier toolsPoor customer support
Educational and research materials

HotForex

HotForex is best known for its market execution, offering tight spreads to South African retails traders. 

It features a selection of account types ideal for both professionals and beginners. There is a low minimum account deposit of $5. 

On the negative side, there are no other investment products available besides Forex and CFDs.

HotForex
PROSCONS
Tight spreadsOnly Forex and CFDs available
Wide range of account types
Premium market research
Great customer service

How To Pick a Forex Broker In South Africa?

Regulation 

The company you pick, should be registered with at least one financial regulating authority. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the regulating body in South Africa. Your brokerage service needs to follow all the rules and regulations set out by the FSCA.

Account Security 

The best brokers will make your account security a top priority. Account security features help ensure that your account is protected from growing cyber threats. Features such as two-step authorization should be included.

Currency Pairs Offered 

You need to make sure to find a broker that offers the exact currency pairs that you are interested in. The best offer traders a wide selection of currency pairs.

Fees & Commission 

Some charge a wide range of trading and non-trading fees. If you’re a retail trader then it’s best to choose a broker with low commission fees. It’s important to be aware of all the fees in advance. 

Rollover Interest 

Rollover interest is charged by a broker when a position is held at the end of a trading day. Different brokers might charge different rollover interest rates. Low rollover interest rates are best for beginner forex traders.

Platforms Supported 

A user-friendly platform goes a long way to improve your experience. You should choose a broker that gives you access to premium platforms such as MT4, cTrader, or MT5. Some offer their own proprietary platforms which offer unique tools and features.

Leverage and Margin 

Leverage is when you use borrowed capital to open a trade position or make an investment. This has the potential to increase your returns, but it increases your potential risk at the same time. High leverage trades usually lead to higher profits or higher losses. This will depend on how successful the trade is.

Margin risk is the financial risk that comes with achieving an expected margin. This refers to the probability that a certain economic change will negatively affect your expected profit margin.

Account Types

Forex brokers might offer different account types to their clients. You should make sure that your broker offers exactly what you’re looking for. Different account types usually come with different trade fees and account minimums.

Mini or Micro Accounts: A mini account, also known as a micro account, is an account aimed at smaller investors to access the market. This account type is best suited for beginner traders who plan on trading small volumes.

Retail Accounts: A retail trader is someone who trades their own money but does not trade for a living. Some cater more for retail traders with lower fees and no minimum account balance.

VIP or Professional Accounts: A VIP or professional account is designed for traders who make large deposit amounts and actively trade large volumes. These accounts offer custom-tailored services for professional traders. Account-holders are generally charged lower fees along with more competitive account fees. 

Demo Account Available

Demo accounts are offered by many online brokers these days. These are also known as paper trading accounts. This allows you to invest fake virtual money in a real-time market simulator. This tool is particularly useful if you’re a beginner Forex trader.

Deposit Methods

They should offer a smooth and straightforward deposit method. A simple process and deposits should be available. Make sure they offer the deposit method you want to use. These include: credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, crypto transfers and others.

Base currency and the ZAR

If you’re a South African trader then you’ll want to look for a broker that offers currency pairs with South African rand (ZAR) as the quoted currency. 

Always make sure you choose a broker that offers a selection of base currencies that you are interested in. The best will have a wide range of currency pairs available.

Order Types 

These are the most common order types that you should know.

Market orders are the most common order types. These are orders that will instantly execute a trade at the current market price.

Limit orders are another important type of order to understand. A buy limit order is placed to buy at a specific price or lower. You place a sell limit order to sell at a specific price or higher.

Pending orders are orders that are still waiting to be executed at a specific price in the future. 

Stop orders are used to prevent your order from being executed until the price of your security reaches a specific point. 

Stop loss orders are a type of order designed to prevent additional losses. If the price movement of the security goes against you, then the order won’t be executed.
Trailing stop orders are a type of stop loss order that change depending on the price fluctuation of the market.

Mobile Trading 

A mobile trading platform is a more condensed version of a normal desktop platform. This allows you to manage your portfolio through an app on your smartphone. This is useful if you are looking to trade on-the-go. Make sure you choose a versatile and well-designed app.

Type of Brokers 

Market Makers are brokers that create the market prices for their clients. This means that they will often take the other side of a trade in order to control fixed prices.

Both Straight Through Processing (STP) and Electronic Communication Network (ECN) brokers do not create market prices. These let their clients trade at current market prices. They only act to connect trading parties.

Education and Research Available 

Education resources are vital for new traders. Some examples of useful resources are tutorial videos, how-to articles, and community forums. 

Your broker should provide a variety of market research. Access to in-depth currency price movements will showcase its performance and potential growth on the market. This allows you to perform a thorough market analysis.

Tools Available 

You should choose a brokerage service that offers a range of trading tools. This includes charting tools, price alerts, and analyst ratings. 

Trading comes with high financial risk. This is why it’s important to choose a broker with risk management tools. These significantly help with your strategies.

Customer Service 

Your broker should provide access to hands-on 24/7 customer support staff. It’s essential to have easy access to your broker. This is especially important for beginner traders. Make sure you can quickly get in touch with staff for any urgent advice or technical issues.

Execution Speeds 

Order execution is the time that it takes to complete a buy or sell order. Each order is sent through to your broker to be executed on your behalf. Fast order execution time is important if you’re interested in day trading.

Hedging and Scalping

Scalping is a short-term strategy that involves making a profit by quickly closing a trade with tight pips. 

Hedging is another common strategy used by active traders. It involves placing orders on both sides of a currency pair. If both a buy and a sell order are made, then you are guaranteed to make a profit.

Risks of trading Forex

While Forex trading comes with high potential gains, it also comes with high risk. Before jumping in you need to understand the most common risks involved.

Margin and leverage risk is when a sudden price movement in a trade might result in immediate losses above the amount you invested.

Exchange rate risk is the potential loss caused by changes in the value of a currency. This is due to the constant shifting of worldwide supply and demand.

Interest rate risk refers to the profit and loss made by changes in global interest rates. The higher the rate of return, the more profit you make. One of the biggest factors in the Forex market is interest rate changes made by the eight global central banks.

Forex Fees Explained

Spread

The most obvious fee is the spread. This is the difference between the buy and sell price in a currency pair. The lower or tighter the spread, the less you will spend on the trade. A good broker will make their spreads public for all currency pairs.

Rollover fees

The rollover fee is a small fee charged for holding a position overnight. These are only avoided by opening and closing trades on the same day. If you’re looking for a cheaper broker then you should make sure that their rollover interest rates are low.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

The best charge no fees for deposits and withdrawals. This is an easy way for some brokers to make money off clients. Some might charge a flat fee, while others charge an amount percentage. This makes large deposits and withdrawals very expensive.

Minimum deposit

Most require a minimum deposit amount to open an account. This amount will range from broker to broker. Some will only require a minimum of R50, while others might R5000 or larger deposits.

FAQ

Is Forex Trading Legal in South Africa?

Yes, forex trading is legal for South Africans as long as you abide by financial laws that prevent money laundering. All profits made need to be declared for income tax. 

How Do Forex Brokers Make Money?

The main way that brokers make money is through the spread. They charge a set commission fee per trade. Some make money through fees such as withdrawal and deposit fees.

What is the best Forex Broker For Beginners?

eToro is the overall Forex broker for beginners. It provides a range of useful research materials. With its versatile mobile app and excellent crowdsourcing, this broker has everything a beginner needs. 

Who is the richest Forex Trader In South Africa?

Jabulani Ngcobo, born in 1985, is one of the richest South African Forex traders today. He is a self-made millionaire with an estimated net worth of $2.4 billion. Ngcobo has written a biography called Cashflow Naked which educates readers on managing your finance.