In this guide on the best brokers for forex in South Africa, we go over the top rated brokers 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 broker can be a daunting task.
Top Rated Forex Trading Platforms in South Africa 2021
Here is our list of the best platforms for Forex trading in South Africa 2021. We’ve detailed their benefits and given you our opinion on where they might lack. You should read the guide to the best trading platforms in South Africa.
Plus500 is great for CFD Forex day trading. 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 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 Plus 500 Review
|Intuitive mobile app||Lack of educational and research tools|
|Offers a wide range of market instruments|
|Fast order execution|
|Free demo 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 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.
|Low fees||News flow could be better|
|No withdrawal or deposit fees|
|Access to a range of platforms|
|Reliable customer service|
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.
|Wide range of securities available||Pricing on some securities|
|Promotes crowdsourcing of ideas||Customer service|
|Tools for cryptocurrency trading|
|Easy for beginners to navigate|
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 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
|Easy and convenient method of opening an account|
|Wide range of instruments available|
|No deposit and withdrawal fees|
XM is a well-regulated and trustworthy company. 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.
|Low account fees||No balance protection|
|User-friendly account opening||Limited selection of products|
|Excellent educational tools|
|Offers tight spreads|
As one of the most established companies, 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.
|Efficient account opening process||High fees for inactive accounts|
|No deposits and withdrawals fees|
|Excellent research tools|
|Wide range of currency pairs|
ForexTime (FXTM) is another reliable choice. 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. Traders will also face high withdrawal fees and high account inactivity fees.
|Easy account opening process||Inactivity and withdrawal fees|
|Reliable customer service||High CFD fees|
|Premium educational tools|
>> Want to Trade Forex? Check out our guides on:
Forex Capital Market (FXCM) offers a great range of CFD investment products.
FXCM offers its customers several third-party platforms including ZuluTrade and MetaTrader4. These 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.
|Offers a wide range of platforms||High inactivity fees|
|User-friendly mobile app|
|Tight spreads offered|
|Well-established and reputable|
FxPro offers access to a range of premium platforms. These include cTrader, MetaTrader4, and the FxPro Edge.
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.
|Several premium platforms||Uncompetitive spreads and fees|
|Top-tier tools||Poor customer support|
|Educational and research materials|
HotForex is best known for its market execution, offering tight spreads to 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.
|Tight spreads||Only Forex and CFDs available|
|Wide range of account types|
|Premium market research|
|Great customer service|
How To Pick a Forex Broker In South Africa?
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 firm needs to follow all the rules and regulations set out by the FSCA.
The best 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 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.
A user-friendly platform goes a long way to improve your experience. You should choose one that gives you access to premium platforms such as MT4, cTrader, MT5, or proprietary platforms. Some offer their own proprietary solutions 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.
There are different account types available to different types of clients. You should know what you are looking for and need. 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.
Most platforms have Demo accounts available. These are also known as paper trading accounts. This allows you to invest virtual money in a real-time market simulator. This is particularly useful if you’re a beginne.
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
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 one that offers a selection of base currencies that you are interested in. The best will have a wide range of currency pairs available.
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.
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 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.
They 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.
You should choose a company 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 platform with risk management tools. These significantly help with your strategies.
They should provide access to hands-on 24/7 customer support staff. It’s essential to have easy access to support. This is especially important for beginner traders. Make sure you can quickly get in touch with staff for any urgent advice or technical issues.
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
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. Trustworthy companies make their spreads public for all currency pairs.
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 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.
Most require a minimum deposit amount to open an account. This amount varies. Some will only require a minimum of R50, while others might R5000 or larger deposits.
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.
The main way that they make money is through spreads. They charge a set commission fee per trade. Some make money through fees such as withdrawal and deposit fees.
eToro is the overall Forex broker for beginners. It provides a range of useful research materials. With its versatile mobile app and excellent copy trading capabilities, it is good for beginners.
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.